8 Useless Kitchen Gadgets (and What to Use Instead)


garlic press

Some kitchen tools fail to deliver all that they promise (ahem, Garlic Press, I'm talking to you!).

If your kitchen is overrun with useless gadgets, check out our list to see which products just aren't worth keeping around, and alternatives to use instead.

Garlic Press

Some home cooks swear by this little gadget. But cleaning the darn thing is a pain. Plus, it never "presses" the entire clove -- there's always some left over. What to use instead: I'm going to get flamed for this, but really, is it that disruptive to take out a small cutting board and quickly mince a couple cloves of garlic with a good, sharp knife?

Rabbit Ears Wine-Opener

We have a huge, fancy, expensive rabbit ears wine-opener we received as a wedding present that sits unused in its fancy box taking up space in the cabinet. What to use instead: A cheap, tiny wine corkscrew gets the job done every time.


Pitting cherries is a messy, tedious job, and unfortunately no kitchen tool, no matter how brilliant, will ever change this. What to use instead: A sharp pairing knife and a cutting board that you won't mind if it gets stained -- now stop looking for the easy way out and get to work!


See "Garlic Press" or "Cherry-Pitter."

Food Processor

I have fantasies about ridding my kitchen of the food processor forever. Pros: It makes great pesto. Cons: I only use it for pesto; it takes up precious counter real estate; it has so many parts, which make cleanup a seemingly lifelong process; I always, ALWAYS cut my thumb on the blade. What to use instead: Does it really do anything that a good blender or grater can't?


Do you own an Italian restaurant that specializes in fresh, homemade pasta? Right. Then you don't need this gadget. What to use instead: If you're craving homemade pasta, then save yourself two hours and buy it at the store like everyone else.

Panini Press

Similar to the pasta-maker, I have little use for one-time food gadgets: They're expensive; they take up space; they're annoying to clean. (The quesadilla-maker also applies here.) What to use instead: A hot skillet. Here's a helpful how-to.


Why does asparagus need its very own special steamer? Is it afraid of getting contaminated by other "non-special" veggies? I'm the sucker who actually bought one of these things, and yet I ask myself this all the time. What to use instead: Throw your asparagus into a pot of boiling water -- it'll taste the same. Or you can use a regular ol' non-special vegetable steamer.

Agree with our list? What do you think is the most useless kitchen gadget?

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RanaA... RanaAurora

I actually use my apple slicer/corer a lot.  My old one broke finally so I immediately bought a new one.  Kids do better eating more slices than a whole apple, and it only takes 10 seconds to slice and core the apple with it. 

Cafe... Cafe Cynthia

Aw, I'm disappointed about the food processor! I've been saving for a Cuisinart and I'm almost ready to buy. What about if you are a voracious baker, like I am --- sauces, dough, bread. Is it worth it, then?

RanaA... RanaAurora

Cynthia, I bought a blender that happens to have a small food processor attachment.  I rarely use it.

My mother however would never rid of hers.  You'd probably get good use out of it.

Cafe Kim Cafe Kim

Cynthia, you make a good point. Now that you mention it, I know a lot of people use their food processor to make pie dough -- and get a lot of good use out of it that way. I use my kitchen stand mixer for that, though. So maybe if you don't have a mixer -- the Cuisinart would be a good purchase.

lovin... lovinangels


you can also use the processor to make homemade ground meat for burgers (a la Alton brown). It's also really great for grinding nuts into homemade butters and crusts for things like cheesecakes. I have an apple slicer/corer (its one circular piece, with a blade pattern that looks like a bicycle wheel, that is very use ful.

I personally think the egg separators are amusing, and the garlic press is just a waste of cash.

B.DiS... B.DiSylvester

I feel the same way about the garlic press. I grate mine on a zester -- then my fingers smell like garlic. Hmmm ... the difficulty continues!

momof... momoflilangel

My most useless gaget is a Pampered Chef Mix n Chop. It is supposed to help chop and crumble foods (like hamburger) for even cooking but it doesn't do any better then a spatula and is harder to clean.

And nothing against pampered chef b/c I have a lot more of their products that I love, just not this one.

jagam... jagamama0710

I also have to disagree about the apple slicer/corer. I use that thing almost every day! If you rarely ate apples though, sure, it'd be pretty useless. :) Apple+pb is one of our fave snacks though so it is well loved in my house.

I agree about the garlic press though. I don't even have one. I buy bottled minced garlic most of the time unless I'm feeling ambitious. lol

cafemama cafemama

My garlic press has become a favorite toy for my 3 year old - so I guess it found a way to be useful. Love the apple corer - takes me 2 seconds to cut up the apple for a snack. I use that one a lot.

mille... millerbunch

i use my garlic pess and apple corer/slicer a lot...lol 

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