Kitchen Gadgets That Are a Waste of Money

Egg Cooker with Eggs on Kitchen Counter


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Egg Cooker with Eggs on Kitchen Counter
Cook N Home 4 Quart 3-Piece Vegetable Asparagus Steamer Pot B01EHXPT2Y
Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer B0047E0EII

Banana Slicer

What you'll save: $6
The hilarious reviews of the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer on Amazon are a testament to its utter uselessness and redundancy. Unless you have a thing for ultra-uniform banana slices, save your cash and use a knife. (See also: Hot dog slicers, strawberry slicers, avocado slicers ... basically, all special slicers.)

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CBK-110 Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Maker B07C8V4FDR

Bread Maker

What you'll save: $95-$340
Your kitchen already has a built-in bread-making machine (Hint: it's called an oven). Try a quick bread or the now-famous no-knead bread recipe from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery. The ingredients are basic, the technique is simple, and the result doesn't require a pricey, specialized machine the size of a small child.

Mountain Grillers Meat Claws Black B077DKT757

Meat-Shredding Claws

What you'll save: $7-$20
Not gonna lie: These things look pretty cool for unleashing your inner carnivore — or for pretending you're Wolverine. But unless you're a hosting daily barbecues or regularly cooking whole hogs on your backyard spit, these are probably overkill. Stick to a couple of forks for your latest crockpot creation.

Related: 10 Money-Saving Tips for the Backyard Grill Master

Nostalgia 12 Cup Popcorn Maker Red B00005UNAB

Popcorn Machine

What you'll save: $30-$330
It's not even worth doing the math to find out how much popcorn you'd have to eat for a personal popcorn machine to be cost-effective. Save your valuable cupboard space and throw a bag of Jiffy Pop on the stove, reap the money-saving benefits of popping raw kernels in a brown paper bag, or buy microwave popcorn. To really impress movie-night companions, jazz it up with spices already in the cabinet such as paprika, curry powder, or an Italian spice blend.

Related: 50 Ways to Get Creative With Your Popcorn

Tensorsine Corn Cob Stripper B09DSHP27H

Corn Kernel Stripper

What you'll save: $7-$25
While we're on the subject of corn, there are all sorts of gadgets that will strip your corn cob of all its delicious kernels. Unfortunately, that would deprive you of the summer rite of passage that is eating a delicious ear of buttery corn on the cob, then picking those kernels out of your teeth. Instead, grab a sharp knife and use one of the Kitchn's hacks instead of buying another gadget.

ISILER 150 Roller Pasta Maker B07HB2KL4C

Pasta Maker

What you'll save: $30-$285
Unless you're rolling out pounds of fresh pasta each night, a pasta machine isn't worth the money. It takes some work to use, and it's a major pain to clean. Dry noodles are ultra-cheap, so a pasta machine isn't a major money saver. Also, Italian grandmothers have also been making fresh pasta for decades without machines. This Epicurious recipe calls for just two ingredients: semolina flour and water.

Related: Use Your Noodle: 20 Creative Recipes That Highlight Pasta’s Many Shapes

The Magic Tap Automatic Drink Dispenser B09PGXV8TR

Magic Tap

What you'll save: $21
Poof! It's magic: Your $21 just evaporated into thin air when you bought the Magic Tap. This drink dispenser saves us all from the indignity of lifting and pouring containers of juice, milk, soda, or other drinks. Unless you buy the heftiest Costco mega-jugs, we recommend you keep working on your upper-body strength by getting your favorite beverage the old-fashioned way.

Cuisinart CWO-25 Stainless Steel Electric Wine Opener B01IA3H6ZA

Electric Wine Opener

What you'll save: $13-$50
To be fair, an automatic wine opener can be a handy gadget for vino lovers who lack the strength or dexterity for a corkscrew. Otherwise, the downsides are myriad: These gadgets are single-use, expensive, and require a spot (and an outlet) on your counter. A corkscrew barely takes up any space, usually includes a bottle opener, and keeps your wine-lover street cred intact.

Related: How to Spot a Good, Cheap Bottle of Wine

HOME-X Pie Bird Steam-Releasing Tool B07Z9K91WR

Pie Bird

What you'll save: $6-$28
Chances are that if you know what a pie bird is, you probably already have one. For the rest of us pie novices, here's a quick explainer: These little ceramic birds can help vent steam as your pie bakes and keep the filling where it should be, instead of bubbling over. Of course, most home bakers still manage to turn out tasty pies sans pie birds, and owners admit they're more of an adorable kitchen accent than a must-have baking tool.

Related: 20 Essential Baking Tools That Every Aspiring Pastry Chef Needs

Presto 05466 Stainless Steel Dual Basket Deep Fryer B000HEBAV2

Deep Fryer

What you'll save: $40-$1,068
A deep fryer might sound like a fun purchase when there are visions of onion rings and funnel cake dancing in your head. But it definitely won't see enough use to justify its size, cost, and labor. Achieve all your deep-frying needs with a heavy-duty medium or large pot (or even a wok) plus a thermometer. Serious Eats offers deep-frying instructions so you can be a pro without the machine.

Related: 20 Chef Secrets for Crisp, Juicy Fried Chicken

Prepworks by Progressive Tuna Press B0012XGNJG

Tuna Press

What you'll save: $15
Can't get enough of canned tuna? Then this little can-shaped colander, complete with its fish-shaped handles and holes, is for you. The tuna press aims to help you drain that can without any muss or fuss, and it can even drain the occasional can of black beans or corn, too. Of course, most of us just carefully drain the liquid past a partially open can lid, but if you like your tuna extra dry, knock yourself out.

Progressive Prep Solutions Microwave S'mores Maker B001447LEE

Microwave S'mores Maker

What you'll save: $14
More than almost any other treat, s'mores are indelibly tied to the process of making them: A crackling, cozy campfire, burnt-on-purpose marshmallows, and sticky fingers. But if you want to suck all the joy out of s'mores and make them into a soulless weeknight dessert, by all means, invest in this bizarre-looking, space-hogging microwave s'mores maker.

Taco Tuesday Deluxe Electric Quesadilla Maker Red B09VR7G4GV

Quesadilla Maker

What you'll save: $25-$37
Toss a tortilla onto a lightly greased pan, add cheese and other toppings, fold it and flip after a few minutes. That's all it takes to make a quesadilla — crispy on the outside with a gooey, melty inside. There's no need for specialized equipment, just a sauté pan and a spatula. After using a quesadilla maker a few times and scraping bits of dried cheese from its crevices, you'll send it to collect dust in the garage with other single-purpose appliances.

Related: 21 Delicious and Inexpensive Mexican Dishes

ARTTHOME Stainless Steel Taco Holders 4 Packs B07FBNFPHG

Taco Holder

What you'll save: $7-$29
Perhaps taco holders facilitate a more civilized taco-eating experience. They can allow an intrepid home chef to pre-make each precious taco, then keep everything upright and together once it's on the plate. But we're just not convinced. In the interest of saving money and space, we'll be over with the barbarians who assemble their tacos as they go, finishing off any spilled toppings with a fork and a smile.

Related: 30 Cheap, Delicious Ways to Fill Your Tacos

Presto 03430 Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven B00005IBXJ

Countertop Pizza Oven

What you'll save: $49-$569
Though pizza-only countertop ovens claim to save energy and cook more evenly, these small appliances aren't that small, and they will take up a lot of cabinet or counter space for something you may use just once a week (unless you have a deep, unabiding love for DiGiorno). The beauty of the oven you already have? It bakes everything, including pizzas.

Related: We Tasted 13 Frozen Pizzas and This Is the Best

Holstein Housewares Omelet Maker Yellow B08ZWC6QFH

Omelet Maker

What you'll save: $20-$35
Most of us mere mortals make our omelets with a nonstick fry pan and a stove. Heck, some of us even enjoy waiting for that perfect moment to flip them. But if you're anti-flip (or anti-stove, or anti-pan), rejoice in the ridiculousness of a dedicated, plug-in omelet maker. Bonus: It will take you twice as long to make omelets now — and that's even after the thing is preheated.

Related: 13 Simple Ways to Cook Eggs

Cuisinart CFO-3SS 3-Quart Electric Fondue Pot B00018RR48

Fondue Set

What you'll save: $30-$100
The '70s called, and it wants its fondue set back. There's a reason fondue was a trend that hasn't exactly seen a revival: This is the quintessential single-use appliance, and it typically ends up gathering dust in the garage, or on the shelves of a thrift store. If you're nostalgic for vintage kitchenware, invest in a good cast-iron pan instead. And if you really want fondue, splurge on a nice evening at The Melting Pot.

Related: Far-Out '70s Fads That Have Made a Comeback

Zeroll 1010 Heat Conductive Ice Cream Scoop B0002U33RU

Warming Ice Cream Scoop

What you'll save: $7-$25
We all scream for ice cream, but apparently some of us are more impatient about it than others. Enter the self-warming ice cream scoop, which promises to make quick work of even the hardest ice cream using some sort of thermodynamic voodoo. Cool idea, but we'll stick to the time-tested methods of running a regular ice-cream scoop under warm water, or simply letting that pint of frozen goodness soften on the counter for a few minutes.

Related: Relive Your Childhood By Making These 13 Classic Ice Cream Truck Treats

Hamilton Beach 76606ZA Smooth Touch Electric Automatic Can Opener B00T4RH8E6

Electric Can Opener

What you'll save: $15-$50
A prime example of a gadget that occupies too much precious space on a kitchen counter, an electric can opener doesn't save money or make food taste better. If it breaks, it's a hassle and an extra cost to repair or replace. Unless you have arthritis or another condition that necessitates an electric can opener, stick to the manual version.

Related: 30 Products and Services to Make Seniors' Lives Easier

FIZZpod Soda Maker B084YVK9VN
DASH Rapid Egg Cooker B00DDXWFY0

Egg Cooker

What you'll save: $14-$40
Step away from the egg cookers. Making hard- or soft-boiled eggs requires little more than a pot and the ability to boil water. Other egg tasks such as scrambling, poaching, or omelet-making can be done in with your average sauté pan. If it's too daunting to cook eggs on a stovetop, there's no shame in making them in the microwave.

Jokari Ajustable Baggy Rack Stand 2 Pack B0049NQEKO

Hands-Free Bag Holder

What you'll save: $12
This head-scratching contraption aims to make the arduous task of filling a plastic baggie so much easier. Unless you're filling dozens of plastic bags a day with dastardly, unwieldy sauces or soups, steer clear. Your hands are free, and you won't have to excavate them from the back of your junk drawer.

Holstein Housewares Cupcake Maker B078DDZM6L

Cupcake Maker

What you'll save: $18-$43
We're not sure why anyone decided cupcakes were precious enough to require their own appliance, but the very existence of cupcake makers means there's a market somewhere (plenty of reviewers seem to buy them for kid bakers). But we'll stick to using our tried-and-true cupcake pan and, y'know, the oven.

Asdirne Pizza Scissors B08P58R8J1

Pizza Scissors

What you'll save: $7-$35
When a rolling pizza cutter just doesn't clutter your drawers enough, it's pizza scissors to the rescue. These stainless-steel wonders promise to slice through your pie with ease, and many even come with an attached wedge-shaped spatula to keep your fingers grease-free. (Hope you aren't one of those weirdos who likes square pieces of pizza.)

Related: From Plain Cheese to Peking Duck: 25 Yummy Pizza Recipes

Norpro Deluxe Pickle Pincher B000PSBNCG

Pickle Picker

What you'll save: $4-$19
Pickle pickers, aside from begging to be included in a tongue-twister, are made solely to spare your fingers from the germy indignity of reaching into a pickle jar (or olive jar, or pepper jar). Of course, a fork has served the same purpose for years, but pickle pickers claim to do the job more reliably, and keep your hands juice-free.

OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Egg Separator B00A2KD8NY

Egg Separator

What you'll save: $5-$13
Sure, salmonella is nothing to take lightly, but a dedicated egg separator seems especially superfluous when most of us have long used the shell itself to isolate the yolk and the white, taking care to wash up afterward. (Bonus: This egg separator might just be one of the grossest and most hilarious things we've ever seen on Amazon.)

Nostalgia BST3AQ Breakfast Station Aqua B07YFDM4V7

Breakfast Station

What you'll save: $40-$222
Does your family really like breakfast? Enough to buy an appliance the size of a small dog that is dedicated to churning out your daily bacon, eggs, toast and coffee? Then by all means, snap up the multi-functional gizmo that is the breakfast station, which typically combines a toaster oven, griddle, and coffee maker. (Seem excessive? A breakfast sandwich maker can let you indulge your morning-meal fantasies on a smaller scale.)

Related: The Greatest Breakfast Sandwich In Every State

HidrateSpark PRO Smart Water Bottle Wildberry B09DTHQ9LL

Smart Water Bottle

What you'll save: $50
Smart water bottles have to be one of the more inexplicable smart innovations to reach the masses. HidrateSpark PRO aims to keep you ultra-hydrated, automatically tracking your water intake and syncing the data to assorted fitness apps. Of course, the same apps have places where you can (gasp) manually record water intake, but what fun would that be?

Related: We Tried 9 Water Flavorings and These Are the Best

Cookie Dipper YNGLLC B082QNZR6T

Cookie Dippers

What you'll save: $6
If you're dipping your Oreos in your milk using your fingers, the makers of cookie dippers kindly want you to STOP IT NOW. There is a better way, they insist. The dipper "cradles the cookie by the cream and prevents the cookie from crumbling when dunked." So, no more cookie search-and-rescue operations, as long as you're willing to devote precious dollars and drawer space to this very specific little gizmo.

Related: 26 Must-Try Recipes for Oreo Lovers

Cuisinart CSBP-100 3-in-1 Stuffed Burger Press B00B58A0OC

Burger Press

What you'll save: $10-$40
We always thought shaping patties was part of the fun of homemade burgers, but if touching raw meat isn't your thing, there's a burger press out there ready and willing to come to the rescue. If you're intrepid enough to keep using your hands — they're free, after all — Serious Eats recommends putting a shallow dimple in each disc-shaped patty to keep them from puffing up into awkward golf balls once cooked.

Related: 30 Celebrity Chefs' Favorite Burger Recipes

Amazing Bacon Wizard Microwave Bacon Cooker B08SWKSY7S

Microwavable Bacon Cooker

What you'll save: $10-$40
No oven? No grill? No stove? Then maybe, just maybe, a microwavable bacon cooker is for you. But if the thought of rubbery bacon makes you die a little inside, steer clear of these hard-to-clean plastic contraptions, some of which may even be prone to melting. After all, some things are supposed to be sacred. Bacon is one of them.

Related: The Craziest Bacon Products You Can Buy

OXO Good Grips Large Salad Spinner B00004OCKR

Salad Spinner

What you'll save: $20-$61
You have to be eating a whole lot of greens to get your money's worth from a salad spinner, which simply makes washing and drying those leafy veggies a little bit quicker than the ol' rinse-and-pat method. Steer clear unless you plan on putting it to work in other capacities, like as a serving bowl or a colander.

Related: 22 Quick and Easy Cold Salads for People Who Hate Lettuce

Corynn Estelle Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder Set B09TRY7Y8M

Electric Salt and Pepper Grinders

What you'll save: $30-$50
Again, perhaps you could justify electric salt and pepper grinders if you have arthritic hands or another condition that prevents you from twisting a handle. Otherwise, it's hard to justify these automatic contraptions that have motors and batteries that die, leaving your dishes tragically unseasoned. (Yes, many of them have LED lights, but unless you're preparing dinner in the dark, they're probably not worth the extra spend.)

Related: 15 Spices and Spice Blends That Will Make Almost Any Meal Better

KitchenAid Classic Garlic Press Cobalt Blue B08N2RDBHT

Garlic Press

What you'll save: $7-$43
Notoriously hard-to-clean garlic presses are the subject of a bit of snobbery among professional cooks, who prefer to simply mince, chop, crush, or slice their garlic with a knife. If you need more reason to work on your knife skills: Interestingly, some food experts even say the press can impart a slight metallic tang as well as make the garlic overly potent — and more likely to ruin, not enhance, a dish.

Mueller Yogurt Maker B08QLMDNQZ

Yogurt Maker

What you'll save: $20-$60
You've got to really love yogurt to want one of these yogurt makers taking up space in your kitchen, especially since you can make even make yogurt in everyone's favorite multiple-use small appliance, the Instant Pot. Even worse, most of these gadgets won't turn out yogurt for at least half a day, and only do so in very small quantities. We'll stick to grabbing a six-pack on sale at the grocery store.

Related: 50 Ways to Save at the Grocery Store

Yardwe 12-Pieces Trongs B085HD4VPS


What you'll save: $15
If you can't stand to eat messy foods like chicken wings or ribs without getting your fingers slathered in sauce or grease, Trongs are angling for a spot in your utensil drawer. These bizarre plastic pinchers with grooves for your fingertips supposedly make mealtime a cleaner affair, but reviewers say they're awkward to use (surprise, surprise). We'll stick with fingers (and plenty of soap and water once we're done).

Related: 15 Fantastic Regional Rib Recipes

Ragnify Stainless Steel Spaghetti Measurer B08ZKJ57F9

Pasta Measurer

What you'll save: $6
It's beyond us why anyone wouldn't want leftover pasta — after all, it's one of those rare dishes that just seems to get better with age — but if you're militant about portion control, a pasta measurer can keep you from boiling too many noodles. But we still suggest that you fuhgeddaboudit because life is too short to measure pasta. Mangia, baby.

Vegetable Spiral Knife Carving Tool B09PDQNGL9

Roller Spiral Slicer

What you'll save: $9
While it's fun to have spiral-cut fruit, chances are pretty good your fruit will still look delicious without this extra step. Even with a tool, it's not easy to do, either.

Brentwood TS-601S 6 Mini Corn Dog Maker B0773T91SB

Corn Dog Maker

What you'll save: $24
Unless you eat corn dogs all the time, having a designated appliance to make them seems more likely to clutter your kitchen counter than make your life easier.

Nostalgia CLSC1AQ Retro Single Snow Cone Maker B083MSS9VQ

Sno-Cone Maker

What you'll save: $40
This is a big appliance for a dessert that definitely tastes better at the state fair than in your living room. If you want an icy dessert, it's probably easier to buy a carton of ice cream anyway.

UMIKU 5-in-1 Avocado Slicer & Masher B07XML4QRN

Avocado Masher

What You'll Save: $9
This masher, which doesn't look too different from a potato masher, will help you mash avocados, but so will a fork. There's not a really good reason to add this to your utensil drawer even if you eat guacamole every day.

Presto 03500 Belgian Waffle Bowl Maker B00YX2B3LG

Waffle Bowl Maker

What You'll Save: $35
Maybe you think ice cream just tastes better in a waffle bowl, but buying an appliance dedicated to making them (and not much else) seems like a great way to add to your kitchen clutter. Pick the waffle bowl at your favorite ice cream shop (or just pick some up pre-made from Target) and save yourself the clean-up hassle.

Nostalgia Chocolate Fondue Fountain B000FZ4TZC

Chocolate Fountain

What You'll Save: $22-$332
While chocolate fountains can add some flair to a wedding or other big event, you'd have to be a dedicated chocolate lover to add one to your kitchen. Save some space and try melting some chocolate on the stove for an easy (and far easier to clean) treat instead.

TenTen Labs Wine Aerator Pourer 2-Pack B014RS9NQ2

Wine Aerator

What you'll save: $13-$60
Wine aerators should get a pass from any penny pincher. Unless you're in a real hurry to aerate a wine, some experts say there's no reason to pony up for yet another useless bar accoutrement. Slowly swirling wine around in your glass should add plenty of oxygen, helping flavors deepen. (Bonus: You look like such a serious wine connoisseur when you do it.)

Related: We Tried Walmart and Target Wines, and These Are the Best

Moonshan Automatic Milk Tea Shaker Machine B09L63V12J

Milk Tea Shaker

What You'll Save: $426
If you can afford an automatic shaker for your milk tea, we're betting you can afford to buy a milk tea that meets your specifications at a nice tea shop near you. Otherwise, you can look forward to this huge contraption cluttering up your kitchen counter until the milk tea trend passes.

The Original Butter Bell Crock BB-AQRG Red B004Q9U4KM

Butter Bell

What You'll Save: $15-$29
The fancy French pottery dish known as a butter bell or butter crock claims to keep butter at perfect spreading consistency without refrigeration, using a base filled with water holding an inverted cup of butter. Is it worth the money and preparation time? Probably not. These devices don't always succeed in separating the butter from the water and tend to breed mold, according to comments posted at The Kitchn. This is another unnecessary expense, albeit small, that's likely to end up in a yard sale.