12 absurdly specific kitchen gadgets you definitely don’t need (but probably want)

Euro Cuisine Automatic Yogurt Maker
The size of U.S. homes keeps increasing — they went from an average of about 1,700 square feet in the ‘80s to nearly 2,600 in 2013. One possible reason? We need more space to store our kitchen gadgets. Sure, it’s just a theory, but there are lots of appliances that are uber-specific that you only trot out once or twice a year. In the throes of a late-night infomercial session, these things may seem like must-haves, but in the harsh light of day, you may realize you could probably just cook pasta in a pot instead of a dedicated tube. Maybe we’re just jealous because we have no room for a special crème brûlée set, because who doesn’t want to make a fancy French dessert at home? It’s not that what these gadgets do, they don’t do well (many get rave reviews); it’s just that with a few hacks (like using a knife?), you could often replicate the results with what you have on hand.

Euro Cuisine Automatic Yogurt Maker ($27)

Euro Cuisine Automatic Yogurt Maker

If you search the Web for “make your own yogurt,” you’ll get raves about the benefits and ease of the process, and you’ll also find lots of recipes that don’t require a whole extra gadget for the process. Many of those in the yogurt-making culture swear a slow-cooker works just great.


SmartPlanet SuperPretzel pretzel maker ($21)

SmartPlanet SuperPretzel Pretzel Maker

There are lots of sandwich-maker-style devices with specific shapes like the pretzel maker, including corn dogs and doughnuts. Don’t get me wrong; I once had a sandwich maker, and it was glorious. Still, I hardly ever used it, though I ate sandwiches daily. The frequency of soft pretzel consumption can’t even compare, so this gadget would likely gather even more dust.


Nostalgia Electrics Mini Chocolate Fondue Fountain ($35.50)

Nostalgia Electrics Mini Chocolate Fondue Fountain

Fondue fountains were on the must-have list for pretty much every girl on My Super Sweet 16. That’s because fondue fountains are like the unicorns of the dessert world and not meant to be shoved in the cupboard next to your broken juicer.


Nostalgia Electrics Gummy Candy Maker ($29)

Nostalgia Electrics Gummy Candy Maker

This machine is clearly not for children. There’s a little hot pot in the center where you pour your gelatin and Jello, and there’s really only one reason to make your own gummy bears: so you can add vodka. We’re not knocking it, but you could probably do something similar with a pot, a stove, and some Lego ice cube trays.


Chef’n Bananza Banana Slicer ($8.40)

Chef'n Bananza Banana Slicer

In the 10 seconds it took you to slice one banana with a knife, you could’ve sliced ten more bananas. Now your cereal is hopelessly soggy.


Waring Professional Snow Cone Maker ($70)

Waring Professional Snow Cone Maker

OK, listen. Just what sort of magical household do you live in where every day is snow-cone day? Or maybe you just make a lot of mint juleps? Aw, heck. Bring on the alcoholic snow cones!


Innovia Automatic Paper Towel Dispenser ($100)

Innovia Automatic Paper Towel Dispenser

The reason for automatic paper towel dispensers in restrooms is because you don’t know how well the stranger who was in there before you washed their hands. If you are feeling squeamish about someone in your own home’s hygiene, maybe it’s time to have an honest talk with them.


SmartShopper Voice-Recognition Grocery-List Organizer ($130)

SmartShopper Voice-Recognition Grocery-List Organizer

This would’ve been really, really cool maybe 10 years ago. Now, it’s just as likely you’d print out your grocery list, promptly lose it, then curse yourself for not having it on your phone. If you like the idea of everyone being able to contribute to the list, well, there are apps for that.


Eddingtons Egg Cuber ($7)

Eddingtons Egg Cuber

Do you hate it when your boiled eggs roll around on your plate. Don’t lie to me. Cube your eggs. It’s the only solution.


King Dog Electric Corn Dog Fryer ($862)

King Dog Electric Corn Dog Fryer

I’m pretty sure I saw George Bluth hawking this on an infomercial once.


CucinaPro Crêpe Maker ($40)

CucinaPro Crepe Maker

No one ever said, “If Martha Stewart can do it, so can I,” but she does have a crêpe-making video on her site. The woman in the video does promise the process is easier than pancakes, and she does not have a dedicated machine. Either way, I’m probably just going to the food cart down the street for mine.


Smart Planet Hostess Mini CupCake Maker ($15.24)

Smart Planet Hostess Mini Cupcake Maker

Back in 2012, Hostess shut down, leaving millions terrified of a Twinkie-less existence. If that were still the case, we’d be singing this machine’s praises, but Hostess, and its CupCakes, are back.



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