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.

Amazon

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.

Amazon

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.

Amazon

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.

Amazon

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.

Amazon

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!

Amazon

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.

Amazon

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.

Amazon

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.

Amazon

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.

Amazon

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.

Amazon

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.

Amazon

Deals

These Amazon kitchen deals are perfect for Christmas gifts and healthy eating

Today is day 10 of Amazon’s “12 Days of Deals,” and it’s all about kitchen. From blenders to Instant Pots to KitchenAid mixers and more, practical yet highly coveted small appliances are available for up to 50 percent off.
Deals

Amazon is slashing its prices on an array of top blenders

Quality blenders from Vitamix to Ninja and more are on sale at Amazon — just in time to gift them for Christmas. They're great for preparing tasty treats, and as a kitchen staple, they make a great gift for the budding chef in your life.
Deals

The best air fryer deals you can still snag before Christmas

Christmas is closing in on us fast, but you still have a little bit of time left for last-minute kitchen gifts. We've searched the depths of Amazon and Walmart to bring you the best air fryer deals going on right now.
Movies & TV

The best Christmas TV episodes and specials

To help get you in the spirit of the season, we've compiled a list of the best Christmas TV episodes and specials. Whether it's free episodes on your favorite streaming service, or stop-motion classics, look no further.
Smart Home

These accessories take your already awesome Instant Pot to a whole new level

If you're familiar with the Instant Pot, you know that this bad boy acts as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, egg boiler, and a lot more. Here are some must-have accessories to make Instant Pot cooking even better.
Smart Home

Amazon shows off compact cashier-free store that could show up at airports

Amazon is testing its smallest Amazon Go store to date as it considers taking the grab-and-go technology to new venues such as airports and train stations. The compact store is a quarter the size of its current locations.
Smart Home

Amazon sent me a Christmas tree. Did it leave me pining for more?

Is driving to a Christmas tree lot or farm to get some fresh pine a daunting task that you dread every year? Good news: Amazon is now selling real Christmas trees with free shipping. We decided to order one to see how it went.
Smart Home

Cops go after porch pirates with dummy Amazon boxes and GPS trackers

Amazon is helping police in Jersey City to catch thieves who steal delivered packages from outside people's homes. Within just minutes of the operation's launch this week, cops nabbed their first porch pirate.
Smart Home

A couple’s recalled dishwasher caught on fire — and now they’re warning others

A Wisconsin couple has been using the dishwasher in their house for a year, unaware that it was recalled in 2009. Then the appliance caught fire. Now they are warning others to check appliances for risks when buying or renting a home.
Smart Home

Amazon has some killer deals on vacuums through the holidays

Whether you're buying for someone else or for yourself, Amazon has some great deals on vacuums running through the holidays. Score them while you can and keep your home cleaner than ever.
Smart Home

Got an Emerson thermostat? 135,000 of them are being recalled due to fire risk

Most recalls are relatively benign but if you own an Emerson-branded thermostat, we encourage you to check your model number because the company has alerted consumers to the potential of the device starting a fire.
Deals

You don't want to sleep on these red-hot bedding deals

We've rounded up some of the best discounts and sales happening right now, so you can buy yourself (or your loved ones) new bedding without breaking your budget. Trust us when we say these are deals worth losing sleep over.
Deals

Best deals for smart home plugs that control your lights and appliances

Smart hubs and speakers play central communication and management roles in your home, but smart plugs let you add lights and appliances to your system. Any smart plug you buy must support one feature or anything you plug in stays dumb.
Mobile

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.