EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK
FARMHOUSE CERAMIC EGG CRATE
Cost: $20 | Buy it at Crate & Barrel
Here's a ceramic version of the cardboard egg crate you can find at any supermarket for a fraction of this price — including the eggs. Meanwhile, you know what actual farmer and chicken owners use to collect eggs? That's right: Those cheap, cardboard egg crates that don't cost $20 and don't exist out of a sense of irony.
TAKARA TOMY 3D LATTE FOAM GUN
Cost: $35 | Buy it on Amazon
Okay, if you can't even make the little latte roses with a toothpick, good luck doing Japanese-style foam sculptures every time you pour yourself a latte. You want that Alaskan husky on your next cappuccino, but the time it takes to construct it (on top of the $35 you spent to do so) will have you reaching for the spoon again.
ICE CREAM LOCK
Cost: $40 | Buy it on Amazon
How crazy can a product be if it's an "Amazon's Choice"? Somewhere between spending $40 on a joke ice cream pint lock you'll never use and the idea that you'll actually use it.
THREE-TIER FONDUE FOUNTAIN
Cost: $42 | Buy it at Bed, Bath & Beyond
No. Not only are these devices a gross waste of chocolate, but they're the easiest way to infuriate parents, whose children you just made sticky and sick. If you're an adult, meanwhile, just consider that one of these likely featured prominently in the worst wedding you've ever attended. A fondue pot may be similarly useless, but it's cleaner and less wasteful.
EMILE HENRY OLIVE OIL BOTTLE
Cost: $45 | Buy it at Sur La Table
Emile Henry makes some great cookware, and its pie pans are status symbols. But $45 for a clay bottle, a cork, and a $1 spout? There are a lot of less costly options, including the bottle the olive oil comes in.
CUISINART SNOW CONE MAKER
Cost: $70 | Buy it at Sur La Table
You don't need a specialized snow cone maker when a blender does the same job crushing ice. You don't need syrup packets when there are a bunch of homemade recipes out there. Lastly, you don't need an appliance specifically for something you'll make maybe a handful of times.
STARFIT HOT DOG STEAMER
Cost: $70 | Buy it at Bed, Bath & Beyond
It could be argued that this isn't even the best way to cook hot dogs (grilled, people). But how often are you making hot dogs that a dedicated appliance seems like a good idea, and that soggy, steamed buns are acceptable to you?
BREVILLE PRECISION POACHER
Cost: $100 | Buy it at Williams Sonoma
Poaching an egg really isn't that difficult. A saucepan, boiled water, salt, and vinegar will get it done. Unless you're running an eggs benedict factory on the weekend, it'll take you awhile to make enough poached eggs to get a return on this $100 investment. Worth mentioning: It's usually $300.
THE SMOKING GUN BY BREVILLE
Cost: $100 | Buy it at Sur La Table
You won't actually be smoking food with this device, just "infusing" it with some applewood or hickory character by burning wood chips, exposing food to all of the smoke and none of the heat. The aroma will cling to food like cigarette smoke clings to a shirt, but don't expect miracles when you spend minutes blowing smoke at a plate of ribs that usually smokes for hours.
TRIBEST SOYABELLA DELUXE SOYMILK AND NUT MILK MAKER
Cost: $130 | Buy it at Bed, Bath & Beyond
Milk drinkers don't buy cow or goat rigs and pump milk right into their kitchens, so why, pray tell, would you want to spend $130 to grind and press nut milk or soy milk on your own? You can't produce almonds or cashews in enough capacity to make worthwhile volumes, and the accompanying small tofu kit raises the same questions.
PIZZARETTE SIX-PERSON MINI PIZZA OVEN
Cost: $150 | Buy it at Bed, Bath & Beyond
Home pizza making is a fairly simple process that involves, at most, a stone and and oven and, at least, a decent pan and said oven. This little cooker is basically an Easy-Bake Oven for mini pizzas.
Cost: $150 | Buy it eBay
You can't tell a joke about the Juicero that hasn't been told. The great Silicon Valley smug machine vowed to change the world one juice bag at a time, but the $400 device just weakly squeezed packets of pulp that could also be squeezed by hand. It's still considered stupid, and the company shut down less than a year after introducing it. Juiceros can still be found on eBay, if you still want to see what the fuss is about.
BIBO BARMAID SMART COCKTAIL MACHINE
Cost: $200 | Buy it at Bed, Bath & Beyond
Lots of companies have tried to be "the Keurig of" whatever; this one tries to be the Keurig of cocktails — but proprietary flavor pouches and blends work only in volume. A daily cup or two of coffee will pay off a Keurig quickly; a daily cocktail may produce less desirable results.
ZOJIRUSHI HYBRID WATER BOILER
Cost: $235 | Buy it at Sur La Table
An electric kettle will cost 80 to 90 percent less than this and get the job done. The boiler promises hot water on demand, but electric kettles aren't all that pokey anymore.
CRAFTHOUSE BY FORTESSA SMOKING BOX AND HANDHELD SMOKER
Cost: $250 | Buy it at Sur La Table
Smoked cocktails are rare as it is, so buying a smoking box and smoking gun to dazzle the guests and smoke up a cocktail is going to yield diminishing results. What you saw at that hotel bar in Atlanta or Vegas won't necessarily translate to your kitchen island.
WHYNTER PORTABLE ICE MAKER WITH WATER CONNECTION
Cost: $330 | Buy it at Bed, Bath & Beyond
This monster likely should be for commercial use, but that's not why it's at Bed, Bath & Beyond — even though it's going to be rare to need 49 pounds of cubes from a portable ice maker connected to a water supply. Most folks will be better off either stocking up on ice trays or just buying bags of ice for big events.
PHILIPS SMART PASTA MAKER
Cost: $350 | Buy it at Williams Sonoma
You can get a decent pasta machine for about a tenth of the price. This turns pasta-making into an assembly line by automatically weighing ingredients, mixing, kneading, and extruding pasta. You're paying $350 (and it's regularly $500) for the privilege of just adding flour — steep when most pasta will cost you roughly $1 to $1.50 a pound.
TRIBEST DUET WATER REVITALIZER
Cost: $420 | Buy it at Bed, Bath & Beyond
We'll let them say it: This device "adds basic molecular structure to water by creating a vortex within a magnetic field and releasing tiny amounts of minerals from base of the pitcher. This process infuses water with high levels of oxygen and energy." Filter your water if you'd like, but oxygen is already one of the key elements of water (it's that O in H2O).
NOSTALGIA FROZEN DESSERT MAKER
Cost: $1,000 | Buy it at Williams Sonoma
Soft-serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, milkshakes, slushies, daiquiris, margaritas, and frozen coffee drinks all beckon from this commercial-grade machine. Are you consuming enough of any to warrant the price tag (when not on sale, $1,300)? If so, is that a good thing?
1953 CHEVY TRUCK NOSE KITCHEN COUNTER SET
Cost: $7,999 | Buy it on eBay
This might be perfect for a man cave, if anyone who still has one. This one-of-a-kind sink, faucet and cabinets also has real truck tires and rims, but if it doesn't seem crazy yet, wait for the kicker: no shipping. You have to go to Huntington Station, New York, to pick it up.
JURA GIGA X7 AUTOMATIC ESPRESSO MACHINE
Cost: $8,996 | Buy it at Williams Sonoma
With two grinders, two heating systems, and a café-worthy menu of coffee drinks, this is technically built for large offices and conference rooms. But Williams-Sonoma sells it to anyone willing to buy (and usually for $12,000). It's going to take a lot of coffee, lattes, Café Crème, macchiato, cappuccino, espresso, ristretto, pepresso, Irish coffee, Viennese coffee, mango lassi, and other drinks to pay down this price.
JET ENGINE COFFEE OR TEA MACHINE
Cost: $15,000 | Buy it on Hammacher Schlemmer
It's an espresso machine built into a one-quarter scale recreation of an authentic turbofan jet engine, handcrafted from aviation-grade aluminum alloy, stainless steel, and aluminum-bronze alloy. But why?
THE ROBOTIC BARTENDER
Cost: $25,000 | Buy it on Hammacher Schlemmer
You'll ordinarily find this in country clubs, stadium luxury suites, and hotels that don't want to employ bartenders. It has a 600-drink database for matching cocktails that are all customizable and holds bottles of spirits (not included) and 12 mixers (included) such as tonic water, cola, and lime juice. It holds up to 20 pounds of ice, and has a built-in garnish tray for olives and lemon twists. For your purposes, however, a decent liquor cabinet and a bartender's guide (or, you know, the internet) will do just fine.
NESMUK JAHRHUNDERTMESSER KNIFE
Cost: $91,994 | Buy it on Scharfkochen
How's your german? You'll want to read (or translate) carefully to make sure you're buying the right model of Nesmuk knife — the most expensive one, with a blade of premium grade carbon steel, a handle of 5,000-year-old oak, and a platinum collar studded with diamonds.
THE ECCENTRIC'S WINE STEWARD ELIMINATOR
Cost: $250,000 | Buy it on Hammacher Schlemmer
If you thought it was a lot to spend $25,000 on a robot that can make you 600 drinks, how would you feel about spending 10 times that on a machine you have to crank by hand to just open a bottle of wine? It's 8 feet high and 5 feet wide, so it also pretty much needs its own room.