The Kitchen Gadget Catastrophe

What I find the most annoying is that many kitchen gadgets have ONE purpose and one purpose only.  Take for instance, the cake pop maker.  It looks similar to a waffle maker (which is also another one purpose gadget), but it only makes cake pops.  You can’t make anything else, unless it’s another sphere type of food. So I guess you can make your own Timbits?

cakepop pics

via babycakesshop.com

Getting back to the waffle maker, it only makes waffles and nothing else. The soda stream machine.  Making carbonated drinks and nothing else. I don’t know if this was meant to be a cost saving device, but I’ve been able to get 2L bottles of soda for $0.88 and I thought that was a good deal. I rarely drink soda to begin with, so I don’t really see the need for a soda making machine. Another gadget- the popcorn maker obviously only makes popcorn. Ummmmm….what’s wrong with microwavable popcorn?? As you can see, the list is endless.

It makes sense that with cooking you need a lot of utensils, vessels and gadgets. However these utensils, vessels and gadgets are tools you normally use in everyday/every week cooking meaning that they get used quite often. They sit in the dust for months until one day you feel guilty for not using it enough so you decide to bust out the one purpose gadget out because you feel like making ice??!!? Yes, such a thing exists, and it costs $129.99 at Home Outfitters.  Apparently ice-cube trays  or buying bags of ice is not enough. Or what about the many fridges that have built-in water dispensers and ice makers?

Cost Per Use

The point I’m trying to get at is as cool and convenient as they are, (I’m not going to lie, I have “ooohed” and “aahhhed” over one purpose gadget wonders), they almost seem like a waste of money and a waste of space. You only use it once in a blue moon and the rest of the time you may even forget you had it in the first place.

It all goes back to the cost per use principle, which is a great way to justify a purchase.  Okay, so you know this good quality set of knives is going to set you back a couple hundred bucks. But more often than not, ingredients need to be cut up, unless you really want to eat that whole onion. You need knives. You pretty much need them every time you cook.  The same goes for a cutting board. You are constantly using these items, so you want them to be of decent quality and last for quite some time. The couple hundred bucks for the knives is worth it.

Are These Gadgets Worth It?

Is the cake pop maker worth it? Unless you are in the cake pop making business or enjoy it regularly as your hobby, probably not. At least in my opinion. The internet is proof that you can make cake pops without the cake pop maker.

These gadgets tend to be found in bed/bath/kitchen type stores.   Engaged couples often register at these stores and sometimes request these gadgets as gifts.  To be honest, I’m not so sure I’d want one as a wedding gift. It’s nice that I’m getting it free, but I have very limited use for them.  Most of them are gadgets that make things I could easily make myself with the gadgets I already have. I’d rather get something I can get a lot of uses out of.  Why isn’t there a kitchen gadget that’s like a Swiss Army knife or Transformer?

 

Do you own any one purpose gadget wonders?  Do you swear by them?

43 thoughts on “The Kitchen Gadget Catastrophe

  1. We all have at least one such gadget! Yeah, the power of advertisements! I don’t know why juicers and toasters often fall into this category – we actually use them both quite regularly!

    • I guess juicers and toasters would fall into this category because they do only one thing: make juice and make toast respectively. However, I think they should be put into a different category: one purpose gadgets that get used frequently.

  2. We really only have one gadget- our popcorn maker. My favorite food is popcorn. We make it every weekend. A box of 6 popcorn bags (with two servings in each bag) costs about $3 bucks (or about .50 per saving) depending on quality. The cost of home popcorn is about .20 per serving and makes more!

  3. You can always find lots of these sorts of gadgets at garage sales. That says it all, I think, about their usefulness.

    I do have an air popcorn popper. I’m on an ultra-low fat diet, and the popper lets me enjoy a great snack with no added fat.

    • Funny you should mention the garlic press. We have one too, but I actually rarely use it when I need garlic. I have this method where I press the handle of a steak knife onto it, and give it one hard smack. Garlic comes out easily. No muss, no fuss. 🙂

  4. I’m cracking up about the cake pop maker! I’m sure there is someone out there who uses it regularly and it is worth it for them by cost-per-use standards.

    My kitchen space is pretty limited, so I usually steer clear of these gadgets. I’m sure some of the things I use regularly, for others would be a frivolous waste of space and money. For example, We regularly use a waffle iron (we pretty much always eat a hot breakfast because it’s cheaper than cold cereal), saucer/juicer (apple sauce, pear sauce, etc) and rice cooker.

    • Kitchen space always seems to be limited, so it would definitely make sense to only have gadgets on the counter that are used quite often. I’d have to say the one purpose things we use regularly are the coffeemaker and the toaster.

  5. Ugh, yeah. Well, I have a rice cooker but we use it all the time. The crockpot, sometimes. We have two citrus juicers (for squeezing lemons/oranges etc) – one is electric and one manual, both freebies, yet we never use the electric one!

    • We don’t have a rice cooker. We don’t eat rice too often, however when we do, we cook it in the pot. Perhaps the manual citrus juicer is more fun to use? 🙂

  6. There are two one purpose gadgets that I use and I reallly enjoy having them. One is a garlic press I recently got. The time I save using that instead of peeling and chopping garlic is significant. I feel it is well worth the cost. The other would be something you actually mentioned and it’s a popcorn maker. I’m a popcorn connoisseur and to me nothing ever replicates the taste of movie theater popcorn but I can get pretty close with my popcorn maker. Dump in the seeds, some coconut oil, butter, and salt and I get an end product that is pretty darn close. At the very least it is immensly better than anythings I’ve ever gotten from the microwave variety.

    • To be honest, I haven’t had popcorn from a popcorn maker enough to know the difference in quality. I’m also surprised several readers have popcorn makers. I thought they were a thing of the past! lol.

  7. I have a cake pop maker I’m meaning to sell. I thought the soda stream was dumb until we started drinking club soda all the time. We don’t have one, but I wouldn’t mind one if it could live somewhere other than the counter. Waffles. Waffles. Those are a thing. I hear there’s a way to make non chemical coated popcorn in the microwave, but I’ve never tried it. .y spouse gas tried to ban me from eating popcorn because it’s so hard to vacuum up and falls under the couch…. But iwint give it up.

    • I’m curious as to whether the soda from the soda stream machine tastes close to the soda you purchase in the stores.

      I wouldn’t give up popcorn either. 😉

    • That’s a good rule. Although we have one counter section that has the microwave, toaster, electric kettle and coffeemaker (which is pretty crowded), we also have a couple of other sections that are free/mostly free of gadgets/appliances.

  8. I, too, am not a fan of one purpose gadgets especially if it is for the kitchen. I cannot imagine how my small kitchen would look like if I have all kinds of single-purpose this and that in it. But then again, there must be some who have great use for these kinds of things that is why they were manufactured.

    • When I was living in my apartment, I barely had ANY kitchen counter space. Add the toaster, knife block, and electric kettle and there was virtually NO counter space. I ended up getting a kitchen cart from Ikea to give myself that extra counter space. We still use it in our house for the fruit bowl, reusable lunch bags and other miscellaneous items.

  9. I find it annoying how all of the kitchen items are one use tools. I look at how cluttered our counter is with all of these things and I can’t put them in a cabinet because the cabinets are already full of food, pots, pans and other one use items! Someone really needs to come up with a multi-use item!

  10. I’m not a fan of the one purpose kitchen gadgets myself. There have been a couple, like cake pops that I’ve looked at and thought “How often would you use that?”. The only single use gadget I have (appliance wise) is my waffle maker and it gets used 1-2 times a month.

    • I would just see the cake pop maker as another annoying thing to clean. I rarely eat waffles and I can be pretty lazy when it comes to breakfast. Eggos are my instant waffles. 🙂

  11. I’m generally opposed to gadgets, as they tend to be a waste of money as you don’t usually use them often enough to be worth it. The most recent gadget I bought was a hand or immersion blender. It’s pretty useful for sauces and soups, but I don’t use it all that often.

    • We also have a hand blender. My bf made an amazing pumpkin soup with it. It fits easily in our kitchen drawer, so it doesn’t take up prime kitchen counter space.

  12. When we got married years ago, we registered for items like these; single purpose kitchen gadgets. Truth be told, we rarely use any of them! Our ice cream maker sits in our freezer (though we have made margaritas with it, so maybe it’s worth it!), our bread maker takes up space on our counter, and our juicer (which we didn’t ask for but received a few years ago) has been used twice. I don’t think I would have ever purchased these items myself, but they do seem a bit of a waste.

    • An ice cream maker does sound cool (no pun intended, haha), however I highly doubt it would get used that often. It just seems easier to buy a tub from the grocery store.

      I definitely would not purchase these things myself either.

  13. We had a cupboard full of blenders at one point. Don’t ask me why – ask the other half who kept buying them! Anyway we have given most of them away now. But yes many gadgets are really useless apart from the one thing and we should beware the salesman’s patter!

    • Blenders?!? Usually people only have just one! Haha. We have a blender. It was actually a wedding present from my parents’ wedding! It’s pretty ugly and the base is mustard yellow and is older than I am, but it still runs like a charm.

    • I think one purpose kitchen gadgets have the appeal of convenience. And you’re right, while it may take a bit more work and more tools (but tools you most likely will already have),you can make a lot of things!

    • Very good point. Some people don’t even have microwaves, which I consider to be a very useful (and necessary, in my opinion) one purpose gadget.

      I am pretty sure I can get by without a cake pop maker. 🙂

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