48 Kitchen Gadgets You Should Never Spend Money On

Egg Cooker with Eggs on Kitchen Counter


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Egg Cooker with Eggs on Kitchen Counter

Half Baked

There are plenty of fabulous appliances and accessories that can make specific food-related tasks just a little bit easier, but others are likely to do little more than squander your money and your storage space. From sneakily mainstream to the truly bizarre, here are 48 wasteful buys that you just don't need in your kitchen — and how much you'll likely save by not purchasing them.

Cook N Home 4 Quart 3-Piece Vegetable Asparagus Steamer Pot B01EHXPT2Y

1. Asparagus Steamer

What you'll save: $30-$50
You have to really love asparagus to invest in a special asparagus-sized pot with a wire insert that encourages your favorite veggie to stand up straight while it cooks. The rest of us will stick with cramming asparagus into a multi-purpose steamer basket, roasting it in the oven, or tossing it in a pan with some garlic and butter (yum).

Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer B0047E0EII

2. 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.)

CBK-110 Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Maker B07C8V4FDR

3. 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

4. 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.

Nostalgia 12 Cup Popcorn Maker Red B00005UNAB

5. 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.

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Tensorsine Corn Cob Stripper B09DSHP27H

6. 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

7. 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 and there are plenty of easy pasta recipes, 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.

The Magic Tap Automatic Drink Dispenser B09PGXV8TR

8. 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

9. 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.

HOME-X Pie Bird Steam-Releasing Tool B07Z9K91WR

10. 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.

Presto 05466 Stainless Steel Dual Basket Deep Fryer B000HEBAV2

11. 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.

There are also plenty of other secrets to making delicious fried chicken that don't require a pricey deep fryer.

Prepworks by Progressive Tuna Press B0012XGNJG

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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 for this inexpensive Mexican dish, 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.

ARTTHOME Stainless Steel Taco Holders 4 Packs B07FBNFPHG

15. 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

16. 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.

Holstein Housewares Omelet Maker Yellow B08ZWC6QFH

17. 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.

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

18. 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.

Zeroll 1010 Heat Conductive Ice Cream Scoop B0002U33RU

19. 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.

Hamilton Beach 76606ZA Smooth Touch Electric Automatic Can Opener B00T4RH8E6

20. 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.

FIZZpod Soda Maker B084YVK9VN

21. Soda Maker

What you'll save: $30-$119
Store-bought carbonated drinks are relatively inexpensive, and what are the chances that you'll improve on the formula for Coca-Cola in your home kitchen? If you consume a lot of seltzer on a weekly basis, consider a hand-held carbonated soda maker, which is easily stored and a fraction of the cost of a countertop soda maker.

DASH Rapid Egg Cooker B00DDXWFY0

22. 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

23. 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

24. 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

25. 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.)

Norpro Deluxe Pickle Pincher B000PSBNCG

26. 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
Nostalgia BST3AQ Breakfast Station Aqua B07YFDM4V7

28. 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.)

HidrateSpark PRO Smart Water Bottle Wildberry B09DTHQ9LL

29. 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?

Cookie Dipper YNGLLC B082QNZR6T

30. 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.

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

31. 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.

Amazing Bacon Wizard Microwave Bacon Cooker B08SWKSY7S

32. 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.

Besides, there are better options out there for gifts for bacon lovers.

OXO Good Grips Large Salad Spinner B00004OCKR

33. 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.

Corynn Estelle Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder Set B09TRY7Y8M

34. 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.)

KitchenAid Classic Garlic Press Cobalt Blue B08N2RDBHT

35. 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

36. 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.

Yardwe 12-Pieces Trongs B085HD4VPS

37. Trongs

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).

Ragnify Stainless Steel Spaghetti Measurer B08ZKJ57F9

38. 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

39. 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

40. 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

41. Snow-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

42. 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

43. 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

44. 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

45. 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.)

Heck, you don't even need a corkscrew to open a wine bottle if you're truly dedicated.

Moonshan Automatic Milk Tea Shaker Machine B09L63V12J

46. 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

47. 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.

Sharpening a knife on an electric sharpener at home. The man's hand drives the knife blade between the blue sharpeners, dust flies on the machine.
Ольга Симонова/istockphoto

48. Electric Knife Sharpener

What You'll Save: $65-$679

While an electric knife sharpener may offer an easier and faster way to sharpen kitchen knives, the significantly higher price tag (I mean seriously — Home Depot is charging nearly $700 for one) is just not worth it. With a little practice, manual sharpeners ($5 on Amazon) can produce edges that are just as sharp as their electric counterparts. Traditional sharpening tools also provide more control over the angle and pressure, enabling users to fine-tune their blades to the desired sharpness. Plus, you get a nice little arm workout while doing it.