8 Useless Kitchen Gadgets (and What to Use Instead)

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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.

Cherry-Pitter

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!

Apple-Corer

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?

Pasta-Maker

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.

Asparagus-Steamer

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?


gadgets, products