Top Ten Useless Kitchen Gadgets

I’d share a picture of one of these contraptions, but I don’t have one — picture or contraption.

That’s not to say I haven’t had one or three of these “tools” in my kitchen at one time or another.

I have, but after discovering they were pretty much worthless, I donated them.

Why donate instead of toss? Because…

One cooks trash is another cook’s treasure.

Even though I’ve found these doohickeys to be useless, that doesn’t mean that someone else, who thinks their kitchen revolves around said items, is wrong. Unenlightened, perhaps, but definitely not wrong.

Teaching cooking classes in dozens of kitchen stores across the country has given me the opportunity to play with more clever-but-inane tools than you can shake a whisk at.

I love gadgets as much as the next cook, but the 10 items on this certifiably unscientific and utterly biased list, do not belong in the kitchen. At least not in mine.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 useless, and therefore don’t-waste-your-money kitchen gadgets:

(drum roll, please…)


10.  Grapefruit knife

The serrated edge is a good idea in theory, but it just tears the juice pockets. A paring knife works just as well.

9.  Strawberry huller

It never works anyway, sometimes leaving bits of leaves behind, or worse, grabbing valuable flesh along with the core, which by the way, tastes just fine if the strawberry is at peak ripeness.

8.  Asparagus peeler

Looks cool, but a regular peeler does the same job.

7.  Spaghetti server

Tongs work just as well to grab and serve spaghetti. Save a slot in your drawer or utensil crock for another spatula or wooden spoon, both of which are much more versatile.

6.  Hand held mini chopper

Never chops evenly. A chef’s knife does a much better job.

5.  Artichoke stand

Full disclosure: this is the only one on the list that I haven’t personally tried, but seriously, a stand to set artichokes on for steaming? Must have been made by the same folks who made the vertical roasting stand for chickens, another gadget that belongs on this list.

4.  Creme Brulee torch

Pul-leeze! Your arm will get tired before your sugar burns. Get yourself a real propane torch from Ace Hardware.

3.  Avocado scoop

Always leaves behind the brightest green flesh, and I never seem to buy an avocado that’s just the right size for this tool.

2.  Egg separator

The best egg separator is attached to your arm.

1.  Mango pitter

Good idea, bad execution. Every mango pit is different, so you either leave too much mango on the pit, or the pit is too large and the pitter gets stuck, so you end up making chunky mango puree from repeated attempts.

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