HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What's your latest food quest? Share your adventure
TELL US

Most annoying/useless appliance you own

cronker Jul 16, 2013 07:49 PM

Mine is my juicer.
Great idea, lovely end product, but a real PITA to clean - spend more time cleaning it than enjoying its wares. And no one wants the result of an incorrectly cleaned juicing machine!

  1. Candy Jul 25, 2013 09:30 AM

    If I find something to be useless I get rid of it. I have a Breville masticating juicer. I use it mainly for fresh pineapple juice. Now that we are getting into high summer I'll be making fresh V8 with the ripe veggies.

    It is not that much of a pain to clean, and a trick I learned to help with clean-up is to line the waste receptacle with one of those plastic bags from the grocery store. Lift it out and empty into the compost bin. Give it a rinse just in case there was a bit of a leak.

    1. deet13 Jul 24, 2013 09:25 PM

      Our microwave oven.

      We rarely use it, and it occupies a few square feet of precious counter space.

      To be frank, we only have a microwave oven because my wife's parents bought it for us as a housewarming gift a few years ago.

      If it wasn't for the fact that the microwave was a gift from family members, it probably would have found it's way to the back room where my butchers block, cabinet smoker, game butchering tools, and the meat grinder all currently reside.

      1 Reply
      1. re: deet13
        weezieduzzit Jul 24, 2013 09:30 PM

        The microwave WAS our least used appliance (built in over the stove when this house was purchased.) I find microwaves useless and it sat there unused for a couple of years until one day I just couldn't stand to look at it any longer. We took it out, set it on the curb with a "free" sign and watched it drive away in the back of a truck a short time later. Wish we would have done it sooner, the kitchen looks so much nicer without it.

      2. Atomic76 Jul 24, 2013 09:06 PM

        Electric Wok - I have no idea why I bought this. Piece of crap, doesn't get anywhere near hot enough and takes up a bunch of space.

        Cuisinart Rotisserie Oven - Impossible to keep clean, even after the first or second use. There's a reflector plate in the back that gets caked with burnt on fat. The pan is too shallow causing the fat from a chicken to overflow. The extra attachments for kebabs and burgers are pointless - who wants to wait an hour for a damn burger to cook? There's no benefit to it spinning around either. Same goes for kebabs, I could cook them on a grill in minutes, plus the ingredients slide off of them because they hang vertically. The unit is huge and an eyesore since you can never get it completely clean. A roasted chicken in it doesn't really taste any better than just roasting it in an oven.

        Jack LaLane Juicer - Way too much work, and parts to clean, all for a glass of juice. The nozzle is too low so you can't even stand up a tall glass under it - you have to collect the juice into a bowl then pour it into a glass. The white model stains very easily, especially when you are putting stuff like carrots and beets in it. The appliance is also enormous overall.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Atomic76
          l
          LJones Jul 24, 2013 09:18 PM

          Electrics wok, couldn't agree more...

        2. p
          pedalfaster Jul 23, 2013 03:15 PM

          May it be "used to own"?
          My father (bless his heart) gifted me with a ginormous salad spinner. I am a long-time vegetarian, so I see the logic.

          But...the darn thing took up GOBS of cabinet space in the small house I was renting at the time. I found myself going back to the "dishtowel" (or "pillow-sack") method of drying greens instead. The spinner went to a local charity gift shop.

          I have a larger kitchen now, but I hope someone else is enjoying those tasty, healthy and well-spun salad greens,

          1. firecooked Jul 22, 2013 04:40 PM

            Its not useless, just annoying: my Dacor gas cooktop. Its a big and impressive thing, but it won't cook anything at a low simmer unless you use the "simmer plate" to make the burner inefficient, it takes a long time bring a big pot of water to boil, there is not a small burner to use on small pans, and I still occasionally forget that with gas, a lot more heat goes up the side of the pan and you need to use a pot holder to grab the side handles on a pot.

            2 Replies
            1. re: firecooked
              CindyJ Jul 25, 2013 06:15 AM

              I've got a Dacor gas cooktop and have absolutely no problem with a low simmer. It took me a while to figure out that the special "simmer" setting that is designed into one of the burners just doesn't work. On my cooktop, the burner with the "simmer" setting is a 15,000 BTU burner; instead, I use the 9,500 BTU burner for simmering. It gives me much more flexibility in the lower heat range. If you don't know the BTUs of your individual burners, check out your product manual. It's a useful tidbit of information.

              1. re: CindyJ
                firecooked Jul 25, 2013 07:23 PM

                I have checked... The burners are all identical. It's about 10 years old, before they had the simmer option. I even called Dacor to see if I could retrofit one of the simmer burners and the answer was no.

            2. AmyH Jul 18, 2013 09:35 AM

              For my wedding shower many years ago, my grandmother gave me an Oster kitchen center. It had a base with a variety of different top parts (mixer, blender, shredder, grinder, etc.) The mixer and blender were actually useful. But the shredder (which I believe they called a food processor) shot the food into a separate bowl on the side. It always missed so I only used it once or twice and then got a real food processor. I think I may have only used the meat grinder once and it was just too hard to clean. I did use the blender occasionally but once I got an immersion blender it became very infrequent. I did buy an ice cream maker attachment and used that every so often. Sadly, the motor in the base finally gave up the ghost two years ago.

              1. r
                rasputina Jul 18, 2013 08:09 AM

                kitchen aid mixer.

                Completely annoying overhead motor that blocks the bowl and makes it difficult to add ingredients while mixing without turning it off first. And sorry that pouring shield isn't much of an improvement especially not when compared to having access to an open bowl.

                So happy I replaced it with the electrolux assistent and it's completely open bowl design.

                1. DuffyH Jul 18, 2013 07:26 AM

                  Since I finally replaced my stick blender last year, my old (really old) blender has only come out to play once, when my son was mixing up a big batch of frozen cocktails. I could live without it, happily.

                  1. b
                    BostonLover Jul 17, 2013 08:06 PM

                    My mandolin. It's so much easier for me to just use my knife. Although that's not really an appliance so...my food processor. I don't use it nearly as much as I thought I would.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: BostonLover
                      k
                      kate7047 Jul 17, 2013 08:19 PM

                      Ditto on the food processor. PITA to clean and to use. I use it exactly once a year to crumb a huge amount of vanilla wafers to make Christmas rum balls. Otherwise I would just rather use my knife. I DO use a mini-processor once in a while to make small amounts of sauces (eg romesco or chermoula), but who needs a quart of that stuff?

                      1. re: kate7047
                        e
                        emu48 Jul 18, 2013 02:09 PM

                        I have a belief that nobody should own a food processor unless they own a dishwasher. They're a bugger to clean otherwise.

                        1. re: emu48
                          r
                          rasputina Jul 18, 2013 03:28 PM

                          I have never put my FP parts in the dishwasher ever.

                    2. a
                      ahuva Jul 17, 2013 08:01 PM

                      Mine is the Ron Popeil 'Set it and Forget It' rotisserie oven. i used it once and it's been sitting, gathering dust in my basement, ever since. Must be going on ten years now since i last used it. i moved with it once, but next relocation - the oven gets dumped!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: ahuva
                        k
                        kaleokahu Jul 17, 2013 08:17 PM

                        Hi, ahuva:

                        I urge you (and everyone) to re-try Mr. Popeil's roti one more time before you junk it. Not that I have any affection for Popeiliorana, but *any* rotisserie is better than *no* rotisserie.

                        Aloha,
                        Kaleo

                        1. re: ahuva
                          c
                          cleobeach Jul 18, 2013 07:11 AM

                          Oh man, I want one of those. Trade you a gently used Kitchenaid blender.

                          1. re: ahuva
                            b
                            Bkeats Jul 18, 2013 07:33 AM

                            I think that applies to everything Ron sold.

                            1. re: ahuva
                              b
                              baseballfan Jul 18, 2013 08:02 AM

                              My mom gave us one for Christmas about 10 years ago and I just recently got rid of it when preparing for a move. I thought it did a great job but it was so difficult to clean that I had to force myself to use it. Also it took up too much counter space to leave out but I really had no where else to store it.

                            2. c
                              chellspecker Jul 17, 2013 07:27 PM

                              Sorry to double post, but I find this fascinating. I've spent a lot of time scouring the shelves of thrift shops, and if they are any indication, the kitchen "thing" with the worst ratio of number manufactured to number in current use would be the French onion soup bowl, followed closely by the fondue pot and chafing dish. And you have no idea how many chocolate fountains have been donated to charity.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: chellspecker
                                DuffyH Jul 17, 2013 07:38 PM

                                What I see the most in my local Salvation Army store is old-style drip coffee makers, circa 1980's, usually tan in color, which makes me think they used to be white. And yeah, fondue pots. They've always got one. Maybe the same one?

                                I could donate mine so they'd have two. I haven't used it in over 5 years, but hope springs!

                                1. re: DuffyH
                                  globocity Jul 17, 2013 09:26 PM

                                  Fondue parties are making a comeback!

                                  Trying to picture the old style coffee drip makers. Isn't that akin to what the trendy coffee shops are using?

                                  1. re: globocity
                                    c
                                    chellspecker Jul 18, 2013 01:51 AM

                                    I think they're more like the kind they use to make your free coffee while you wait for your oil change, i.e. the worst coffee makers on the planet next to the ones in hotel rooms. Your basic crappy office coffee machine. White plastic really doesn't stay white very long when coffee is involved.

                                    The trendy coffee shops I've noticed are using vacuum coffee pots which have been around since 1830 in various forms and are recently experiencing somewhat of a renaissance.

                                    I love fondue. There's a cheese shop where I live that rents out fondue sets for free when you buy the cheese from them. It makes so much sense when it's something you will only eat maybe a couple times a year. That didn't stop me from picking up a few vintage fondue pots during my recent enthusiasm for all things fondue.

                                    1. re: globocity
                                      DuffyH Jul 18, 2013 07:23 AM

                                      Globocity,

                                      <Trying to picture the old style coffee drip makers.>

                                      Think early Mr. Coffee.

                                    2. re: DuffyH
                                      b
                                      Bkeats Jul 18, 2013 07:33 AM

                                      Fondue pots are great for shabu shabu. Much better than fondue.

                                  2. DuffyH Jul 17, 2013 07:20 PM

                                    The parm/ice grater disk for my KA food processor. Totally useful, but such a PITA to clean that I grate an entire wedge of cheese at one time, and store it in a pair of green cheese containers I swiped from a friend. Lasts about a month.

                                    I know I could use my Microplane rasp to do the same job on an as-needed basis, but we use a lot of grated parm and I don't want to.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: DuffyH
                                      c
                                      chellspecker Jul 17, 2013 08:30 PM

                                      I have a Microplane too, but man that cheese is hard. I recently made a bunch of pesto and started by whizzing chunks of parmesan into cheese-meal in my food processor. But hmmm, maybe a grating disk is just what I need. Is it the kind with the little watermelon-seed-shaped slots, or the sharp metal nubs that always seem to cut your knuckles? My food processor has some disks. Come to think of it, I've NEVER used the french fry disk.

                                      1. re: chellspecker
                                        DuffyH Jul 17, 2013 08:41 PM

                                        It's the one with the little four-spoke bits that stick up. Like the fine side of a box grater. I've got something like 7-8 disks and that's the only one I use. I've found it's usually easier to use a hand grater for shredding cheese and veg.

                                        I use it frequently with the metal blade for lots of things, but the disks were mostly a waste of money.

                                        EDIT - I use one of the shredding disks to shred soap for homemade laundry detergent, too.

                                        Another EDIT - Be sure to cut off the rind BEFORE grating the cheese. I forgot to once, and broke the lid of my food processor. Sadly, that lid was no longer made, forcing me to junk the whole thing and buy new.

                                        1. re: DuffyH
                                          k
                                          kaleokahu Jul 17, 2013 09:18 PM

                                          Hi, Duffy: "...the disks were mostly a waste of money."

                                          Isn't that the truth? Someone in France made some strange decisions....

                                          Aloha,
                                          Kaleo

                                          PS: Hard Reggiano is a Cuisinart-killer.

                                          1. re: kaleokahu
                                            DuffyH Jul 18, 2013 07:25 AM

                                            Hey Kaleo,

                                            <PS: Hard Reggiano is a Cuisinart-killer.>

                                            Ah, the voice of experience...

                                            1. re: kaleokahu
                                              melpy Jul 24, 2013 09:24 PM

                                              I love the discs! I can slice or shred in seconds. The cleaning is pretty simple especially if you do it right away.

                                              1. re: melpy
                                                c
                                                cleobeach Jul 25, 2013 06:46 AM

                                                I got a food processor for Christmas and it is becoming my most favorite tool. I agree on the "right away" part of cleaning the disks, especially when I shred cheese.

                                      2. c
                                        chellspecker Jul 17, 2013 07:16 PM

                                        Sad to say, my tagine has only been used once. Picked it up on sale at a Le Creuset outlet store and it sits on a shelf gathering dust. It's too small and shallow for a decent amount of stew, and overflows easily. If I ever want to make a tagine again, I'm more likely to just make it in a Dutch oven or any casserole. I gave up my bread maker when I moved seven years ago in the interest of saving space, and the collection of four Braun Dieter Rams juicers found at thrift stores for parts that were stashed under my bed had to be pared down to one and one only. Did I tell you I have a thing for appliances?

                                        That said, I love my rice cooker, ice cream maker, hot air corn popper, espresso machine and burr grinder and the hundreds of hand-held gadgets that fill my drawers and three utensil canisters on my counter. I was just thinking the other day that the only one I don't really use is my German hard-boiled egg slicer which makes six perfect longitudinal segments. But I might need it one day...

                                        1. c
                                          ctfoodie Jul 17, 2013 11:54 AM

                                          Avocado slicer. Stupidest thing ever...

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: ctfoodie
                                            e
                                            escondido123 Jul 18, 2013 07:48 AM

                                            I used to work at a kitchen store and one of our most popular gadgets was a mango slicer. I was never a big mango eater but folks who were said it did an amazing job. I'm now a mango fan so will be buying one when I get to a kitchen store--the one I worked at closed.

                                            1. re: escondido123
                                              r
                                              rasputina Jul 18, 2013 08:13 AM

                                              Honestly I don't like mine much. If the mango is soft it smashes it because it takes pressure to get around the pit. I've gone back to using a knife.

                                              1. re: rasputina
                                                AmyH Jul 18, 2013 09:25 AM

                                                Mine does that, too, but mainly during the initial cut through the skin. So I press on the mango slicer just hard enough to make guide marks on the top of the mango. Then I use my knife to score the skin where the marks are and switch back to the mango slicer. Now it can do its job without squashing the mango.

                                            2. re: ctfoodie
                                              Candy Jul 23, 2013 12:29 PM

                                              I love my avocado slicer. It sliced the avocado beautifully and lifts it out of the shell cleanly. Mine is one made with wire cutters. I have seen all plastic slicers and was not impressed.

                                            3. e
                                              escondido123 Jul 17, 2013 08:07 AM

                                              Kitchen Aid meat grinder attachment. All I can get is grey ooze no matter how I cut, freeze, grind the meat.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: escondido123
                                                l
                                                LJones Jul 17, 2013 11:49 AM

                                                I had a family-owned hand-cranked mincer when I was a child but one of my sisters has it now. Very useful and probably one of those would have a price similar to the attachment...

                                                1. re: escondido123
                                                  r
                                                  rasputina Jul 18, 2013 08:12 AM

                                                  ITA, it's a cheap piece of plastic, mine cracked.

                                                  1. re: escondido123
                                                    l
                                                    LaureltQ Jul 18, 2013 12:06 PM

                                                    I use mine several times per year, but have to be careful to trim off any particularly sinewy parts of the meat and give those to the dogs. Even so, I still have to take it apart halfway through grinding anything and remove any fibers tangled around the impeller blade and die.

                                                    It's a pile of junk.

                                                    1. re: escondido123
                                                      Candy Jul 23, 2013 12:27 PM

                                                      I've not had that problem. Mine grinds both coarsely and finely. It does a great job. Maybe you got a dud?

                                                    2. c
                                                      cleobeach Jul 17, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                      I did a major purge two or so years ago so I got rid of many, many useless kitchen items.

                                                      The one that remains that really annoys me the Kitchenaid blender. I know I haven't used it in at least two years. It takes up too much room yet I can't bring myself to get rid of it.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: cleobeach
                                                        globocity Jul 17, 2013 09:24 PM

                                                        Was going to post something similar to this. I originally bought the Kitchenaid blender to make smoothies. I quickly grew tired of cleaning it daily. Haven't used it in a few years and like you....I feel compelled to keep the damn thing. Thinking, What if someday I need it?

                                                        1. re: cleobeach
                                                          l
                                                          LJones Jul 23, 2013 03:07 PM

                                                          My wife loves her Kitchenaide. It is used to make cakes, cookies, and candies, kneed breads and pastries, and is indispensible for her frosting creations: see photo.

                                                           
                                                          1. re: cleobeach
                                                            melpy Jul 24, 2013 09:19 PM

                                                            Blender is definitely my least used "appliance". Most thinks go into te food processor o I use my stick blender.

                                                            1. re: cleobeach
                                                              CindyJ Jul 25, 2013 06:04 AM

                                                              Agreed! The blender is a funny thing. I NEVER use it, but I can't bring myself to part with it. Go figure!

                                                            2. juliejulez Jul 16, 2013 08:37 PM

                                                              My flour sifter. It's a crappy one from Ikea and it constantly gets stuck. I want an old one like my Mom's that she found in an apartment she moved into in the 70s and kept it.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: juliejulez
                                                                c
                                                                chellspecker Jul 17, 2013 07:13 PM

                                                                Check out thrift stores, charity shops, flea markets and church and estate sales. You will find one. I have two that I have accumulated over the years. I should give you one of mine, because to be honest I don't use it that much.

                                                                1. re: juliejulez
                                                                  DuffyH Jul 17, 2013 07:23 PM

                                                                  julie,

                                                                  I always wanted what my great-aunt Kate had. Her sifter was in one of those old freestanding pantry cupboards that had a flour bin with built-in sifter. Last one I saw was pretty beat-up and went over $400 at an estate auction. I don't want one that badly.

                                                                2. weezieduzzit Jul 16, 2013 08:35 PM

                                                                  The only time I ever use the meat slicer is to make beef jerky, which I only do occasionally.

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                    k
                                                                    Kontxesi Jul 17, 2013 06:46 AM

                                                                    Geez, wouldn't that be handy.... I always seem to get sucked into cutting duty when my fiance wants to make jerky. What a chore!

                                                                    But I don't think I'll be going out and buying a meat slicer just for that. :p How big is this thing? What did it cost you? (I'm picturing huge one at the deli I used to work at.)

                                                                    1. re: Kontxesi
                                                                      weezieduzzit Jul 19, 2013 04:54 PM

                                                                      Kontexi, Its not a huge one like at a deli, it's a home version but its big enough to slice big hunks of partially frozen meat 1/4" thick to make jerky with. We paid $10 for it, in the box, at an estate sale, got the dehydrator we use to make the jerky (and for many other things like "sundried" tomatoes and kale chips,) at the same sale for another $10.

                                                                    2. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                      l
                                                                      LJones Jul 17, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                                      My family wants one to make thin sliced sandwich meat from my sous vide chicken and beef.

                                                                      1. re: LJones
                                                                        r
                                                                        rasputina Jul 18, 2013 08:11 AM

                                                                        I have a meat slicer, but the mandoline works great when I don't want to drag it out of the box.

                                                                        1. re: rasputina
                                                                          TonyC Jul 18, 2013 11:21 AM

                                                                          I've never thought of subbing the mandoline in as meat slicer. Why is that? I mean, I wish I used the meat slicer more often, but it's such a damn clunky beast.

                                                                      2. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                        Candy Jul 23, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                                        I have a slicer but it rarely gets used. It lives in my laundry room and comes out when needed. When you need it it is very handy to have. I loan mine to friends when they need one.

                                                                      3. a
                                                                        autumm Jul 16, 2013 08:25 PM

                                                                        Grill pans. Not an appliance, but what a pain to clean.

                                                                        If I must name an appliance, that would be my clothes iron.

                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                        1. re: autumm
                                                                          cronker Jul 16, 2013 09:06 PM

                                                                          Yeah, not restricted to appliances.

                                                                          I have a friend who has a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, a thermomix, a bread cooker, a stick blender, a juicer, a food processor, a George Foreman, a sandwich press, a rice cooker and an array of pots and pans.

                                                                          And NO bench space to work on, and no idea what is plugged in, and a lot of dusty (impressively expensive) unused appliances!

                                                                          1. re: cronker
                                                                            k
                                                                            kaleokahu Jul 17, 2013 12:05 PM

                                                                            Hi, cronker:

                                                                            That's really funny. You need to pick him/her up a vintage Octodog, 'lectric skillet, egg poacher and airpopper. Just keep adding unitasker appliances until they get the point. Or not, it'd still be hilarious.

                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                            1. re: cronker
                                                                              r
                                                                              rasputina Jul 18, 2013 08:10 AM

                                                                              I have most of those, but they aren't stored on the counter. Wire rack shelves are my friend.

                                                                            2. re: autumm
                                                                              l
                                                                              LJones Jul 17, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                              A wire brush does the trick!

                                                                              1. re: autumm
                                                                                l
                                                                                LJones Jul 17, 2013 11:41 AM

                                                                                These come in handy when you want grill marks on steaks but it's raining outside so you don't want to use the barbecue

                                                                                1. re: autumm
                                                                                  Atomic76 Jul 24, 2013 09:12 PM

                                                                                  I went through a couple of Calphalon grill pans, they were a nightmare to clean. The more you scrubbed them, the more you just damage the non stick surface making them even harder to clean down the road. I would eventually have to junk them after a few months.

                                                                                  I did pick up a relatively cheap indoor electric smokeless grill that wasn't too bad though. I got mine for like $30.

                                                                                  http://bbq.about.com/od/indoorgrillre...

                                                                                  There are only two parts to clean, the grill and the drip pan, and both fit into your dishwasher easily barely taking up any space. You put water in the drip pan and the grill itself has holes in it to allow the juices to fall through - instead of burning up in the wells of a standard grill pan.

                                                                                  My main gripe though was that it takes like 15 minutes to heat up, and never really gets screaming hot. It took forever to roast peppers on it, for example.

                                                                                Show Hidden Posts