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Dec 29, 2013 07:06 AM

13 of the Most Extraordinarily Useless Food Inventions of 2013

2 and 5 are extremely useful. 3 is just pathetic.

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  1. Agreed. I also would use numbers 1,4, and 8.

    1. None of these products have crossed my path in 2013. Can't miss what you never knew existed.

      1. I find most of them pretty useless.

        I find Hydro Flask Insulated Growler (item 2) not useful for beer, but can be useful for many other drinks that need to be kept cold for hours. For example, during a long road trip on a hot summer day. It is a bit expensive though, which begs the question if it is really better than other insulated bottles.

        I find "Press Art Lemon and Lime Squeezer" (item 12) may be useful for a certain party setting.

        Item 3 and 11 are probably the least useful in my eyes.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Wouldn't the small cake sampler in the Mini Me pan just burn as it's 1/50 the size of the larger cake?

          1. re: SmartCookie

            Of course it would! But that's just proof positive of one more cooking gadget by someone who has never ever cooked! '-)

          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I don't think the lemon and lime squeezer are new to 2013. My mom has used a bird-shaped lemon squeezer for her tea for years now (it has a trap at the front to ensure no seeds slip through and it's apparently easier on her arthritic hands).

            Regarding the mini me pan: it looks like a silicon cup slips into the larger pan. So I'd guess you would just put the small pan in much later than the large pan. (Still seems like a waste . . .if you're so desperate for a nibble, just put in a cupcake along with your cake. That's essentially what this is.)

            1. re: gaffk

              Agree. Now, that you mentioned it, I am pretty sure I have seen a lime/lemon squeezer years ago.

              So which look the least and most useful for you?

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                The finger tongs are ridiculous (though I do own finger oven mitts for the toaster oven ;) Either pick up the wings and make a mess or get the boneless wings.

                The 2-in1 glass is also questionable. I prefer to taste my beers one at a time.

                3, 4, 6 and 8 are non-starters.

                The roll on olive oil is strangely intriguing--a nice coating without dunking. (Full disclosure: I own a Mist-O for the same purpose.)

                I hate to admit it, but chopstick straws are oddly attractive: eat the noodles and drink the broth without the slurping.

                I think I'd like the twist on/off cork.

                1. re: gaffk

                  I like the idea of the chopstick straws: those of us who are on the rather convex side have problems slurping our soup without getting it on the protruding parts.

                  I'm still trying to figure out the two beers at once one.

                  1. re: tardigrade

                    Really? :) I have the opposite opinion of you two. While I don't see the lemon/lime squeeze very useful on a daily basis, it seems very for presentation.

                    I don't see the chopstick straws for neither.

                    As for the two beer thing, the picture looks great. I was going to praise it until I looked at the photo closer. It may be messy to use.

                    1. re: gaffk

                      A silicone brush is also fine for dabbing on a bit of olive oil - that is what one uses it for in a pan, after all. An old-fashioned pastry brush is too, but harder to keep clean.

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  We have 2 of the flask insulated growlers and they are extremely useful if you are a home brewer and want to bring some of you beer to a tailgate, especially here in Florida in summer.

                  They are also good to use or buy while traveling if you go to a brewery and want to take your beer to your hotel room.

                  It's very specific but it can be useful for beer.

                  1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                    <It's very specific but it can be useful for beer>

                    But do these growlers have advantages over the typical insulated bottles?



                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      We have two, The first one we bought from Northern Brewer:
                      64 oz and BPA free -

                      It keeps it cooler than any thermos I've ever had.

                      The other we bought at Hess Brewing same type but different company plus the price included the beer. With San Diego going through a heat wave at the time it was a great purchase and we still use them often

                3. I have a special place in my heart (if not necessarily on my counters) for single-use items. I own corn stabbers. And a garlic press. And I've always secretly coveted this, even though I'm allergic to bananas and thus have even less use for it than the average Jane:

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: small h

                    I swear by my banana hanger. It makes the banana last longer than they do sitting on their bottom.

                    1. re: CanadaGirl

                      I like to think of the double entendre for "banana hanger."

                    2. re: small h

                      I didn't learn that there are people in this world who eat corn with their bare hands until I was about 22. Corn skewers were ALWAYS in my house.

                        1. re: Kontxesi

                          Corn skewers were for kids in our house. Once you were old enough to not make so much of a mess and better tolerate a hot corn cob, you got to graduate to hands only.

                          1. re: Sooeygun

                            Or my mom just let the corn on the cob to cool enough that it would still melt butter but not hot enough to burn anyone's hands! And the ears were served WHOLE! When I get those half-ear pieces in restaurants or frozen, I get this resentful feeling of being cheated! Then I taste it and the flavor is nothing even close to freshly shucked ears of just picked corn and I end up feeling grateful I only have to endure half an ear!

                            1. re: Caroline1

                              I have been called a 'corn snob'. I grew up next to a vegetable farm. The corn field was right next to our house. We would pop over and pick our own while with pot of water was heating up. At the end of the season, my dad would try and pay our farmer friend for what we have picked. Usually ended up paying him with baked goods instead, because he would refuse the money.

                              So my idea of fresh corn on the cob is a little skewed. I buy it at the farmer's market or road side stand, but never at the grocery store and don't eat it in restaurants.

                              1. re: Sooeygun

                                I used to live by a farm too. Not so close as lucky you, but close. ;>

                                They picked hourly. There were lines at the top of the hour waiting for the tractor to come in with the fresh stuff. Nothing like it!

                        2. re: small h

                          Bar near us serves a giant hot soft pretzel hanging from one of these. Maybe you could justify with that use? (Psssstt... found pre-cooked soft pretzels in freezer section a couple of years ago, was so happy.)

                          1. re: DuchessNukem

                            Hmm. Not a big pretzel eater, but maybe I could come up with some other food that benefits from being suspended. Tomatoes on the vine?

                              1. re: small h

                                The tomatoes will drop from the vine as the vine dries.

                                1. re: CanadaGirl

                                  What a lovely, bleak sentence that is. It's like summer's end in eleven words.

                          2. Hah! I wish I had seen those finger tongs before Christmas! My son LOVES wings but suffers from a skin condition so the franks really burm/irritate his skin. He goes thru a ton of napkins when he eats them. Those would have been a great (joke) stocking stuffer.