HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

Stupid gadgets

The citrus press.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I don't even know what one is.

    An apple corer.

    14 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      oh, I LURVE my crank-operated apple corer. Makes apple-based desserts and applesauce go really fast.

      Because oldest pup would stand on his head for homemade applesauce, he loves my apple corer, too.

        1. re: c oliver

          I do use that for baked apples and poached pears.

        2. re: sunshine842

          Easiest, fastest, applesauce:

          Don't peel. Don't core. Just quarter and cook, then put thru the Foley Food Mill.

          1. re: sandylc

            but I don't own a food mill, and I *do* own a crank-operated peeler/slicer/corer.

            1. re: sunshine842

              I had one of those, and it only worked well on perfectly symmetrical apples, of which I encountered very few.

              In theory, it's a cool machine, but in practice it didn't work for me.

              Also, I tend to cook almost exclusively with Jonathans, which can be somewhat less firm, and the peeler/slicer/corer tended to chew them up, too.

              1. re: sandylc

                I've never had issues with mine. Although it's not a Foley brand.

                  1. re: sandylc

                    I don't understand the question, I was referring to a food mill not the apple corer peeler ect.

                    1. re: rasputina

                      I was talking about having issues with the apple peeley-corer machine in response to sunshine's comments about hers....

                      1. re: sandylc

                        Ok no prob, it shows the reply to me so I wasn't sure.

                        1. re: sandylc

                          We had one of those machines and never could get the thing to work satisfactorily. Meanwhile, a SIL said hers worked well, but she didn't use it much because she didn't like apple sauce or apple pie. I didn't believe her, and don't really miss a machine like this.

              2. re: sandylc

                One of the reasons I love my Foley food mill -- NOT a stupid gadget.

                ETA -- have not seen a Foley apple slicer -- only a Foley food mill.

          2. 50% of OXO products. The other 50% are great.

            1 Reply
            1. re: linguafood

              I was about to wildly disagree, until I realized we are only 20% apart. I'd say 70% are useful, the rest are gadgets cadged from responses to "You can be an inventor!" or, are simply lesser gadgets.

            2. This thing: The Salad X-Press
              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product...

              it takes up an inordinate amount of space, is heavy but the worst part is the blades chop things smaller than the basket holes, so while it can spin lettuce and it can chop veggies it cannot actually spin a salad

              It should be called the salad separator

              also just entirely awkward to handle

              I got it new on half price day from the thrift store - probably for about $3 and re-donated after one use.

              1. Do you mean this?

                http://www.functionjunction.com/produ...

                I use mine always, and a smaller one for limes. I don't think it's stupid at all, because it does a good job and because squeezing lemons by hand would irritate my skin. If you are not prone to dermatitis, more power to you, but that doesn't mean that a device which is helpful to those of us who are is "stupid."

                13 Replies
                  1. re: TroyTempest

                    I like it, too--have RA in my hands, so using 2 hands to squeeze the handles reduces the pain, plus I get much more juice than if I hand squeezed.

                  2. re: GH1618

                    I have the lemon size one and use it all the time.

                    1. re: GH1618

                      I've got one of those sized for limes and I use it all the time. It's great! Much better than any other method of squeezing limes.

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        I got this for my sister as an Xmas stocking stuffer and she loves it!

                      2. re: GH1618

                        I have one and it works like crap. It never gets all the juice out of the fruit. I can't believe I haven't tossed it yet. I use a wood reamer most of the time and will break out the citrus juicer if I need to do more than 1-2 fruits.

                        1. re: rasputina

                          I thought it would be useful to squeeze lemons instead of over a sifter. Nope, the seeds pop out the sides so straining is still necessary. If I use the citrus press, it is now over a strainer and then I hand squeeze and get another few teaspoons of juice that would have been lost. It just doesn't work and people are losing the juice.

                          1. re: Bellachefa

                            Squeeze your halved citrus over a strainer and bowl, by putting it between the arms of kitchen tongs. Squeeze with one hand on either side of the fruit. Reposition the fruit once or twice so you get every drop out.

                          2. re: rasputina

                            I originally had a more expensive version of this kind of citrus squeezer (pictured here). It had two sections, one for lemons, a smaller one for limes. It was awful. Hard to squeeze, messy, etc. I gave it to my son, and while he was using it, it broke apart. Then one day I was shopping at a local Mexican grocery store and saw a lime-only version for $2.99. I decided to try it and it's terrific! Easy to use, efficient and fast. Conclusion: not all citrus squeezers of this design are created equal, and more $$$ doesn't necessarily translate to better quality.

                            BTW, it's worth mentioning for those of you who have tried this type of squeezer and found it inefficient, the correct way to place the halved fruit into the squeezer is somewhat counterintuitive. The fruit is placed with the flat side against the holes and the "plunger" at the rounded end. After it's squeezed, the fruit is a flattened, almost inside-out puck.

                             
                            1. re: CindyJ

                              I agree with the "upside down" position of the citrus--I get lots more juice that way. No seeds, ever.

                          3. re: GH1618

                            I'm all for citrus juicers. The fruit can be really hard to squeeze sometimes, no one likes seeds, and have you ever had a tiny cut when using one? Ouch!

                            I use a thing similar to this when I need more than a single fruit. I can't recall where or when I got it, but I suspect it was sometime in the 80's, because it's that soft grayish blue that was very popular (along with peach and tan) in the mid-80's, when everyone was duck crazy, and right before the whole southwest thing came along. Anyway, it works.

                            http://www.amazon.com/Citrus-Juicer-W...

                            1. re: GH1618

                              First ran into these down in Baja. I haven't been without one since.

                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                Those avocado ones must be the most useless things around. What is easier to slice than an avocado??

                                1. re: TroyTempest

                                  LOL. I have a Kuhn Rikon "Avocado Knife" given to me as a gift. I used it once (to try it out) and it's been sitting in a drawer ever since. I think a lot of these gadgets are bought as gifts for cooks who have fully equipped kitchens -- so the givers are looking for something unusual.

                                2. Herb chopper. I got this one for a gift one time. Didn't find it saved time or produced a better result than a plain old knife-cutting board combo. It quickly got regifted.

                                  http://www.amazon.com/The-Pampered-Ch...

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: tcamp

                                    I use that when I'm doing the holiday baking -- it does lots of nuts and chocolate in a lot less time than I can do it by hand.

                                    I use it for megabatches of chili and lasagna, too.

                                    One of those things that doesn't even get weekly use, but I'm very happy to have it.

                                    1. Not stupid if you have issues with your hands, or if you like fresh juice.

                                      I also love most of Oxo's tools -- I only own a handful, but they feel like they belong in your hand, which is a key part of having a user-friendly tool.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        Don't buy one of their crappy "plastic" flyswatters. The old-fashioned ones are still the best.

                                        1. re: grampart

                                          I have a swatter that has an electric fly zapper built in to it - that's an improvement.

                                          1. re: kagemusha49

                                            I have one of those. Every Spring, I electrocute myself testing if the batteries are still good.

                                      2. It's not really the gadgets that are stupid. It's the people that buy them, isn't it?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer. I've said many times that they need to come out with a reverse model because not all bananas curve in the same direction. The original 571 only slices half my bananas. And to top it off, I'm left-handed; the device is right-handed. Stupid gadget.

                                          http://www.amazon.com/Hutzler-571-Ban...

                                          16 Replies
                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                            wow, that banana slicer looks a lot harder to clean then a

                                            knife

                                            who knew people would believe you needed a gadget to slice a banana

                                            gold star duffy

                                            1. re: Bellachefa

                                              Thanks Bellachefa,

                                              I keep that one in my pocket (not literally) for times like these. It's a One Trick Pony for all seasons, one I can trot out when people are inclined to ridicule OTP gadgets, with a "how dare you" attitude about it being the best thing since sliced bananas. It's also useful, as you've seen, for threads like this one.

                                              Mostly though, I love it for it's reviews. I do believe it is the most reviewed item on Amazon, and that's award-worthy right there. BTW, said reviews are an afternoon's entertainment all by themselves. Really.

                                              Practically speaking, I do see two excellent uses for the Hutzler 571. If I wanted to make a lot of frozen banana slices, as for choloate covered treats, it would rock. If I had a kid who just had to have sliced bananas on his cereal, I could throw this at his head and tell him to learn to cook for himself.

                                              But still, it's a pity it doesn't come in a left-handed version.

                                              Duffy

                                                1. re: Bellachefa

                                                  our favorite prank as kids was to take a sewing needle and pierce the skin of a banana every 1/2" or so along the length of the banana. We'd then rock the needle back and forth, cutting the banana inside the skin. (NO, you don't leave the needle in the banana.....)

                                                  It never failed to make us giggle like fools when some unsuspecting foil (Dad SWORE he never saw it coming. Every year. On April 1) would peel the banana and have it fall in slices all over the kitchen...

                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    Hey sunshine,

                                                    That's a neat prank, especially for kid-on-parent pranking. Fun!

                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                      In college it worked to dumbfound roommates with hangovers, too.

                                                      I'd peel that banana, and shazam -- nice neat slices fall right on the cornflakes.

                                                      (screwing with hungover people can be fun)

                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        So sunshine's just a nickname. Beelzebub is on your driver's license?

                                                    2. re: sunshine842

                                                      I learned how to do this with a needle and thread. Your technique seems easier.

                                                      I wonder where that book which had all kinds of fun tricks ended up?

                                                  2. re: DuffyH

                                                    These reviews are hilarious! As good as the Bic Pens for Her reviews.

                                                2. re: DuffyH

                                                  ...and the fact that it looks harder to use than a knife, would be another reason to not have one

                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                    I bought one of these for one of my dad's friends. He eats a single banana a week, Tuesday mornings for breakfast, and they go banana shopping starting on Friday or Saturday to make sure the banana is the right color on Tuesday. The couple are in their 80s and he loves to collect useless kitchen gadgets.

                                                    This egg device is the last gadget I gave him.

                                                    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005D6N...

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      Oh, hell no! That's it, John, you win. That is by far the stupidest gadget I've ever seen. Here's why. 3 pieces. dishwasher safe. A bowl and whisk, or bowl and fork is 2 pieces, also dishwasher safe.

                                                      My beloved Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer is a single piece gadget, and it's flat, too, for easy storage. This one fixes what isn't broken and needs an extra piece to do it. And what are the odds that damn little ball gets lost?

                                                      Damn, I'm going to have to rethink this. I love that banana slicer, I do, but this egg thingy is way more useless. And therefore better, in the twisted world of useless gadgets.

                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                        Another egg gadget ... a couple of months ago I backed a Kickstarter project "A Goose That Lays Golden Eggs". It is a low-tech device designed to scramble the contents of an egg by using centrifugal force without breaking the shell. After listening to their marketing plan, I had to have it.

                                                        It looks a little like an isometric exercise device (we must, we must, we must increase the bust). If it does work as easily as they show, I will have "golden", hard-cooked deviled eggs for the holidays.

                                                        The project was fully funded. They needed to raise $34,500 and received nearly five times that amount in pledges. It is currently in production the first delivery is scheduled for October of this year.

                                                        https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...

                                                        1. re: AntarcticWidow

                                                          I figured out how to do that using a string of the air-filled plastic pillow bags now used as cushioning for cardboard boxes. Deflate, put egg into center pillow, spin, pull.

                                                    2. "Stupid gadgets" end up in yard sales. I'm NOT willing to "pay" for ANY "BUT WAIT!" gadget. If something's clean, preferably with instructions, and CHEAP, I'll buy it for a buck or 2. If I like it, I keep it... if not it gets donated to Good Will... making sure it's TOTALLY cleaned up first.

                                                      Bought a juicer, told husband just HAD to have it, but got tired of the clean-up. He was right... donated after 1-2 uses.

                                                      Bought a brand-new, NEVER used bread machine... still in box... maybe $5?? Sister uses hers all the time, mostly for pizza dough, so gave it a whirl. It worked just great, but not something I could remotely have out on countertop... too big. Used a few times and donated.

                                                      SIL gave me one of those apple peeler/slicer/corer thingis from her days of doing Pampered Chef demos. If you're "fixin to make" REAL lemon-ade (no, I'm not from the south, unless south Jersey counts!?!), here's a tip. Put lemons on that gizmo, with just the peeler part exposed. You'll end up with a PILE of perfect lemon zest and leoms still cooperate to juice. I let it air-dry untill crispy enough to be ground to a powder. Then make "lemon-pepper" that's NOT mostly salt.

                                                      Have one of those doo-dads that produces veggie "spaghetti". I like what it does to cukes or beets for salads. Holds to counter with suction cup legs, small, light-weight, EASY clean-up.

                                                      30 Replies
                                                      1. re: kseiverd

                                                        Ooh. Wait -- is there any white pith left on the lemon rinds?

                                                        I'm thinking a serious limoncello hack here...!!!

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          Just about NO white pith, left behind! Pith stays on the fruit, so totally squeezable no matter how you choose to do that.

                                                          1. re: kseiverd

                                                            COOL.

                                                            I'm definitely filing that away for lemon season next year.

                                                            1. re: kseiverd

                                                              You can achieve that fine a peel with a Messermeister serrated swivel-blade vegetable peeler for about $7.
                                                              Definitely NOT stupid. It also peels tomatoes and peaches without taking the flesh with it.

                                                            2. re: sunshine842

                                                              My mother used to say she didn't like it when my dad squeezed the oranges. She said "he gets too much pith in the juice". Then she would laugh at her own joke. This was after she got dementua.

                                                            3. re: kseiverd

                                                              <mostly for pizza dough, so gave it a whirl. It worked just great, but not something I could remotely have out on countertop... too big>

                                                              This haunts me. I really WANT a bread machine for pizza dough, but at the same time I can't bear the thought of it on the counter. I mean, seriously, I think about this frequently.

                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                I've used a bread machine for pizza for the last 8-10 years. It consistently makes a beautiful dough (especially if you use the Lehman dough calculator tool on pizzamaking.com) and it takes about 5 minutes to measure everything and press a couple of buttons. I keep ours on a closet shelf, but if I had to find room on a counter, I would. Occasionally, I even do a loaf of bread in it, but most often I just use the dough cycle and bake it in the oven.

                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                  And this is why I'm so torn over the bread machine. I really, really want it for dump and walk away dough making, but I don't have room for it anywhere except on a counter or in another room. I would never use it if I had to haul it out every time.

                                                                  I've long wished that someone would make a dough machine for us. I know a lot of bakers who only use their machines for dough anyway. Think how much smaller it would be. THAT's an item I could get excited about.

                                                                2. re: DuffyH

                                                                  I bought a 15 dollar bread machine from Craigslist but keep it in the garage due to lack of kitchen space. I find making pizza dough by hand, in bulk and frozen in balls, to be easy and relaxing.

                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                    I find making the dough by hand to be a waste of time and (imho) dough that has been frozen just doesn't handle as nicely as unfrozen, although it tastes fine.

                                                                    1. re: grampart

                                                                      Occupational hazard, I guess. I just don't make it home early enough to make dough though pizza is such a nice, quick, easy meal.

                                                                      I think the kneading process is relaxing but can see how others might not groove on it.

                                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                                        I also do mine by hand, but I don't knead it. I just let time and a few stretch-and-folds do the work. Very little effort. Did it tonight for supper because I was tired.

                                                                      2. re: grampart

                                                                        <dough that has been frozen just doesn't handle as nicely as unfrozen, although it tastes fine.>

                                                                        Thank you, grampart! I also think it doesn't have nearly as much oven spring as fresh. That's why I don't freeze it anymore.

                                                                        But I do make it by hand, or with my KA mixer or FP, depending on how i'm feeling the pizza vibe that day. I like to keep my appliances guessing.

                                                                    2. re: DuffyH

                                                                      If all you'd use it for is pizza dough, it will take a lot of uses to pay for itself. Supermarkets have excellent bagged pizza doughs (I love the multigrain one at my favorite market) for a buck or two.

                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                        I use it for all bread doughs. I find that supermarket doughs have usually been frozen and, as I said above, defrosted don't handle nicely.

                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                          I've tried dough from Publix and find it just sort of meh. And it's overpriced, at $2.79. None of the other local markets have fresh dough, so I make it myself until someone invents a home pizza dough machine.

                                                                          My gripe is that I just haven't been able to solve the lack of oven spring when I freeze the dough, meaning I need to make it fresh each time. That's the big PITA.

                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                            and I don't know what the heck Publix does to their dough, but that gluten won't relax. ever. I've let it rest, I've kneaded it and let it rise again, and I've whaled it repeatedly onto my board -- the stuff stays knotted hard and won't stretch.

                                                                            Tastes good, but it's a bitch to work with.

                                                                            If I think about it early in the day, I'll make my own, but usually we call Papa Murphy's.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              Here is a secret. You can stir up pizza dough from scratch and just use it right away with NO rising time. It's of course better if you give it time to develop more flavor, but you can make a totally acceptable pizza from just-made dough.

                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                I've been having pretty good luck lately with Italian Feather Bread dough. It's as wet as just-mixed no-knead dough, possibly wetter, but with lots of yeast it only needs a quick rise time to give me both decent (not great) flavor and good (not great) oven spring. It's a mix, rise and shape affair with minimal kneading that is giving me better results than other quick pizza doughs I've tried. It's a bitch to handle, but the better pie is worth it.

                                                                                Keeping it OT, I picked up a Danish whisk to facilitate hand-mixing. The jury is still out on that gadget. As much as I hate hauling out my KA mixer for one pizza, I think in the end it's easier.

                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                  we don't like it.

                                                                                  If I'm going to make pizza dough, it's going to be with yeast and allowed time to rise.

                                                                                  It only takes a couple of hours, but usually by the time we admit defeat and go for pizza, it's too late to make it.

                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                    Yes, with yeast! Your regular recipe! You just don't let it have rise time.

                                                                                  2. re: sandylc

                                                                                    Yes, I don't get all the angst over pizza dough. I haven't found one good reason to bother with making it ahead and freezing it. It takes very little time to rise before it's ready to bake and you can always make it up the night before and leave in the fridge to rise overnight instead. It's super fast to make and requires few ingredients. I can't comprehend needing to buy it ready made.

                                                                              2. re: greygarious

                                                                                Ugh, seriously? Every supermarket dough I have tried has been mediocre at best. Even though I use mine for all kinds of dough it has more than paid for itself it fabulous pizza dough.

                                                                              3. re: DuffyH

                                                                                I recently fell victim to the bread machine - for $7 I figured I give it a try

                                                                                I bought it to be able to make bread in the summer when I don't want to turn on the oven - I have found it OK for this but the bread is not great - I think it is tweakable though. I have also used it to make pasta dough - wich was very successful and saved a lot of the mess of the dough-egg volcano and also freed hands to do other things. I will try it for pizza soon

                                                                                It is an obnoxious machine though and I do not have counter space for it but I also do not have easy daily access to fresh bread or pasta. I think in winter when oven baking warms the house and cold dark days make kneading dough therapeutic it will go into storage but in summer I would rather have a glass of Pinot Grigio in my hand than doughfingers.

                                                                                it is not baking or dough making in the artistic or tactile manner and does not compare but it does get a job done.

                                                                                1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                  Hi JT,

                                                                                  <It is an obnoxious machine though and I do not have counter space for it but I also do not have easy daily access to fresh bread or pasta.>

                                                                                  Yes, exactly. I also lack counter (and storage) space for one. Why, oh why does no one make a pizza dough machine that only takes a little bit of space?

                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                    a little dough ball machine!

                                                                                    I do like how the bread machine is making pasta dough for me but I still make a giant mess rolling the stuff out

                                                                                    I have also discovered that it is a good way to make "sourdough" with my extra starter (which I hate discarding) when I don't feel like baking, although it is not really sourdough IMO because you still need commercial yeast - but the starter gives flavor anyway

                                                                                    1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                      Hi JT,

                                                                                      <a little dough ball machine!>

                                                                                      Exactly! Is that too much to ask from life? :-(

                                                                                      <I do like how the bread machine is making pasta dough for me but I still make a giant mess rolling the stuff out>

                                                                                      This is my problem, too. Then there's the space needed for the cooling rack, and the toppings. I mean, I really love having a giant cutting board (my Boos island top) for rolling out dough, mixing sauces and chopping the toppers, but by the time we're serving people, even just the two of us, there's flour and food all over the place. It's a mess, for sure.

                                                                                      We like flatbread pizzas, so while at the grocery store I picked up a flatbread package that looked promising.

                                                                                      But I still want my little dough ball machine.

                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                        I have *no counter space fortunately I do have a nice big pastry board that sits over my sink - this comes in very handy - but yes there is flour EVERYWHERE

                                                                                        the bread machine is a new toy and I may loose my love for it but it IS a handy gadget - I just need a bigger kitchen LOL, but that would require bigger house I got nowhere to go

                                                                              4. re: kseiverd

                                                                                I love that idea of using lemons in it for the peel. I love my apple peeler/corer/slicer. It's so convenient for pies.

                                                                              5. Obviously this disparity between what we each think is stupid calls for a gadget swap. I'll add my ricer to the pile of available gadgets that get no love at my house.

                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                1. re: tcamp

                                                                                  Oooh, ooh, is it a big one? I wish mine were larger. I really do. *sigh*

                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                    about 8" in diameter and 5" deep. Is that big?

                                                                                    The embarrassing thing is that this is the 2nd one I've purchased. First one got given away after a few years of non-use. Cannot explain myself sometimes.

                                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                                      I meant capacity, you goof. Mine is a one-cup model. I want a 2-cup one.

                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                          I have purchased and given away two ricers. I also can't explain myself either.

                                                                                          1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                            I love my ricer, although I could stand to get a better-quality one.

                                                                                            The best mashed potatoes: Scrub and BAKE your Idahos. Then, just cut the hot potatoes in half (do not peel), put one cut-side-down into the ricer, and squeeze into a bowl containing whatever you like to add to your mashed. Remove the skin from the ricer and toss it. Repeat until done. Whip lightly with a giant fork to mix.

                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                              Toss the skins??? Heavens to Murgatroyd, say it isn't so!

                                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                                I gasped an audible gasp, too, my friend. Butter and a baked potato skin is a match made in heaven.

                                                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                                                  Um..Um...scrambling...Um, I meant toss the skin...into your mouth? Into the butter dish for later? To the dog?

                                                                                                  You do realize that if I'd boiled the potatoes the skins would have been peeled off raw and put down the garbage disposer, right?

                                                                                                  And, yes, everyone, I do make mashed skin-on lumpy potatoes when I use red ones...

                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                    Oh, sandy, sandy, sandy. It's too late, dear. But hey, nice try! :-)

                                                                                      1. IMO bread machines qualify. Yes I know lots of people like them.

                                                                                        1. While not technically a gadget, the waterless ice cubs that you freeze, then put in your drink are pretty stupid. In most cocktails, you want that gradual dilution that you get from the ice.

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                            ah, but they work well for iced coffee and white wine -- things where dilution is most assuredly a bad thing.

                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                              I can see where that would be helpful. Didn't consider those uses.
                                                                                              Still, i don't want to be washing "ice cubes".

                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                iced coffee needs frozen iced-coffee cubes!

                                                                                              2. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                I got those rocks for my scotch habit. Meh. Prefer ice now.

                                                                                              3. I hate poorly designed/made spatulas/flippers. Esp ones made with hard ridged plastic. No flex, to thick, wrong shape.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: daislander

                                                                                                  heh -- my mom has an entire drawer full of flippers/turners that she hates. She keeps buying them hoping to find one like the ancient one that's falling apart.

                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                    I live in fear of the day Mom's (now mine) Ecko turner falls apart. The paint chipped off the handle decades ago, but it's holding on. Not bad considering it's over 50 yrs old.

                                                                                                2. i want a spiralizer. does anyone wish they hadn't bought theirs? which one is best?

                                                                                                   
                                                                                                  1. Are you kidding? Citrus press does belong on a list of stupid gadgets. I squeeze a lot of lemons and limes. I wouldn't be without my citrus press.

                                                                                                      1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                        How else am I supposed to measure out 1/2 cup for the doggies' dinners??

                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                          That's not exactly cooking related. I'd say keep the cups for that though, no sense in weighing out your dog food.

                                                                                                        2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                          as long as you only use European recipes.

                                                                                                          Oh, wait -- they measure liquids with measuring cups!

                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                            I didn't know that, but it doesn't really make much difference. Weighing things is more often easier because you can just throw it all in 1 bowl on a scale and tare it after each ingredient

                                                                                                            I use measuring cups occasionally too, I was mostly just making a joke, my measuring cups collect dust for the most part.

                                                                                                            Also, I want your avatar, keep going strong!!
                                                                                                            If you go back to posts before the heart, they changed the recommend to the heart so now it looks like we've hearted stuff (if you don't know when the change came about).

                                                                                                            1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                              Oh, my. Better un-rec/un-heart all those before it's too late!!!!

                                                                                                          2. sorry, I meant the citrus press does NOT belong on a list of useless gadgets.

                                                                                                            1. My least-used (i.e. never) gadget is the "Roasting Wand": http://www.amazon.com/BBB-Roasting-Wa... At first glance it looks like it might be NSFW, but it's legit!

                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                Huh? I can't even guess how this might be used. It is possible I do not want to know.

                                                                                                                1. re: DebinIndiana

                                                                                                                  I don't think Amazon or the seller knows either.

                                                                                                                  1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                    best I could find was this: http://kitchengadgetsforcooking.com/r...

                                                                                                                    a smoke stack for a roasted chicken??

                                                                                                                    1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                      Same principle as a nail in a baked potato - it conducts heat into the center of a stuffed bird to shorten roasting time. I have seen it on TV, don't own or want one.

                                                                                                                    2. re: DebinIndiana

                                                                                                                      I think it is necessary to drink about a gallon of GoLYTELY to properly use that device.

                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                        Ha! I was thinking I'd seen it before on South Park. In the "Cartman gets an anal probe" episode. It's a classic, you know.

                                                                                                                    3. Love my citrus press but then again I make a ton lemonade, margaritas and smoothies. Fast and easy!

                                                                                                                      The worse gadget I ever received was the avocado slicer/scooper. If your avocado is the right ripeness for guacamole that thing just smooches it. My husband put it in my stocking and it went back before New Years.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                        I received one of those avocado slicers as a gag gift--thought maybe I'd try it on some button mushrooms. SPROING! First slice, 2 of the wires flew off. Sliced the silly mushrooms by hand and tossed the device.

                                                                                                                      2. Back in the early 70's, when I had a full head of very curly hair, my mother's angel food cake slicer served as a great Afro comb. A stupid gadget turned very useful.

                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                          That should be worth extra points, I think. :-)

                                                                                                                          1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                            A corollary: I use an afro comb to separate English muffins.

                                                                                                                            1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                              Now that's a useful tip. We love English muffins and have them several times a week. This would be a totally useful item for me, and so easy to store.

                                                                                                                            2. re: grampart

                                                                                                                              Love your post! I picked up one of these in a box lot purchase at an auction and couldn't figure out what the heck it was!! Love the comb idea!!!

                                                                                                                            3. I never understood the need for a "Lettuce Knife".

                                                                                                                              mr bc once bought me a rubber-like tube that was supposed to take the skins off garlic cloves if you put them inside once you'd broken down the head of garlic. It was a PITA and not nearly as quick as my chef's knife.

                                                                                                                              Hand operated choppers that you have to chop ingredients first so they fit inside so they can be chopped further!!! Seriously?!!

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                a lettuce knife *supposedly* keep the lettuce from going brown, as it will when cut with a metal knife. Meh. I tear it.

                                                                                                                                I love me my silicon garlic tube and use it all the time.

                                                                                                                                The hand-operated chopper is awesome for large quantities of things -- I use mine primarily for chopping nuts for the holiday baking, but large quantities of onions/peppers/etc for salsa/pasta sauce/soup usually get relegated to the "bang-bang" (as one of my pups dubbed it at about age 4)

                                                                                                                              2. Once i got an electric omelette pan for a gift. The kind that you pour the eggs and filling in, then shut the lid. My kids liked playing with it for about a month.

                                                                                                                                1. I was gifted a vegetable peeler that you wear like a ring. It's way too unstable to actually peel anything.

                                                                                                                                  They're not exactly gadgets, but was also gifted nonstick and cast iron grill pans. The CI pan works as a pretty good panini press for that one time a year when I need a panini press. Other than that I can't find anything which they do better than my other tools.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: woofermazing

                                                                                                                                    <I was gifted a vegetable peeler that you wear like a ring. It's way too unstable to actually peel anything.>

                                                                                                                                    I was given one of those as a promo item. The one I got may have been a better design, because it worked very well for carrots, cucumbers, any easy-to-peel smooth roundish veggie. I didn't like it for potatoes, because it was hard to follow the contours since I couldn't see them with the blade out of sight under my palm. It was definitely too unstable for apples.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: petek

                                                                                                                                      That is so wrong on so many levels!!!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                        What's wrong with chocolate filled banana's??? :D

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                          Yes, and may I be the first to say Ewww. Bad enough we turn the Hutzler 571 loose on them, but to eviscerate a poor helpless banana is, well, it's just mean.

                                                                                                                                          And besides, that first endless loop video? Again, Ewww.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                            Yeah, the video is gross. But a cream-filled banana actually sounds good to me!