29 completely pointless kitchen gadgets NO ONE needs

Useless utensils we can all do without

<p>Jeppe Gustafsson/Shutterstock</p>

Jeppe Gustafsson/Shutterstock

Got a few impulse-bought kitchen contraptions gathering dust in a cupboard? You're not alone. We've all fallen for faddish food trends at one time or another – so, to remind ourselves to think before we buy next time, we've rounded up the useless utensils we wish we'd never purchased.

From unwieldy tools that are an ordeal to clean to bulky machines that serve singular (and largely unnecessary) purposes, these are the kitchen gadgets none of us need in our lives. How many do you own?

We've based our ranking on the faddish nature of each gadget, and the opinions of our well-travelled (and well-fed) team. The list is unavoidably subjective.

29. Microwave egg poacher

<p>John New/Shutterstock</p>

John New/Shutterstock

Poached eggs can be tricky to get right. However, that doesn't mean you should use a microwave egg poacher, which can make your eggs hard and rubbery. Instead, follow our foolproof method for perfect poached eggs every time. First, lay a piece of cling film in a bowl, lightly oil the top, then crack an egg inside. Next, gather up the sides of the cling film and tie them together tightly at the top. Lower the parcel into boiling water and cook for three to six minutes, depending on the size of the egg and how soft you want it to be. Once cooked, let it cool down for a minute, then cut the cling film carefully to release the poached egg.

28. Garlic crusher

<p>Joe Gough/Shutterstock</p>

Joe Gough/Shutterstock

Garlic crushers might seem like nifty little tools; however, for the most part, they're more hassle than they're worth. Little garlic chunks cling to every nook and cranny, meaning they're a waking nightmare to clean – and you end up wasting some of your ingredients, too. Instead, use the flat side of a knife to crush your cloves, and the sharp edge to chop them up. Easy!

27. Electric juicer

<p>Africa Studio/Shutterstock</p>

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

A favourite among health enthusiasts, fruit juices have long been seen as a great way to pack in your five a day. But it turns out that juicing isn't as healthy a habit as you might think. Juicing reduces the fibre in your fruit and vegetables – and it also means that sugars are released more quickly, since they're no longer bound within plant cells. As such, you're better off ditching the juicer and opting for whole fruits instead.

26. Meat-shredding claws



Unless you're a seasoned pitmaster who throws whole-hog barbecues every weekend, you're unlikely to need a set of meat-shredding claws in your home kitchen. On the rare occasion that you've got pork that needs pulling or chicken that needs tearing to shreds (we're guessing this might happen once or twice a year, at most), a couple of forks will do the job just as well. Simply stick them in, then pull them in opposite directions to tear the meat apart.

25. Electric egg boiler

<p>Nikoleta Ivanova/Shutterstock</p>

Nikoleta Ivanova/Shutterstock

Even if you eat boiled eggs daily, you're unlikely to need this cumbersome contraption. To use an electric egg boiler, you'll typically need to pierce holes in the bottom of your eggs, add water, then set a timer to achieve your desired consistency. However, a saucepan of water and a timer are just as quick and efficient (if not more) – and they won't take up unnecessary space on your kitchen counter.

24. Salad spinner



Sure, salad spinners guarantee that your favourite leaves and veggies are perfectly clean before they reach your plate – but a quick stint under the tap can do that, too, with no washing up afterwards. Salad spinners are also on the bulky side, so they're likely to take up a lot of space in your kitchen cabinet. We think we'll save our money and stick with the good old-fashioned 'rinse and pat dry' method.

23. Yolk separator

<p>Irina Kryvasheina/Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Irina Kryvasheina/Alamy Stock Photo

Why bother spending money on a plastic gadget that's destined to jam up your kitchen drawer when you can easily do the job tool-free? Instead of buying a yolk separator, use the eggshell itself to scoop the yolk away from the white – sometimes it takes a little juggling, but it's easy when you know how. Plus, there's nothing more satisfying than throwing the used shell straight in the bin afterwards.

22. Burger press

<p>marcin jucha/Shutterstock</p>

marcin jucha/Shutterstock

Part of the fun of making burgers from scratch is shaping them yourself – giving them that rustic, perfectly imperfect, homemade look. Conversely, using a burger press to squish your patties into uniform discs somehow takes all the joy out of things. We say save your cash and cupboard space, and take matters into your own hands (literally). And don't forget to put a dimple in each patty to prevent them from puffing up as they cook.

21. Hot dog maker

<p>Unknown/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0</p>

Unknown/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

These all-in-one machines cook sausages and warm rolls simultaneously, so you can eat hot dogs at home to your heart’s content. However, this clunky, space-gobbling contraption is really no substitute for a toaster and a frying pan. After all, who needs (or wants) to cook hot dogs every day?

20. Electric can opener



Those who are elderly or less able may benefit from using an electric can opener – but, as far as many others are concerned, they're just pointless space-occupiers, destined to gather dust.  A hand-held can opener is much easier to store (and just as easy to use). You can always look out for tins with ring pulls, too.

19. Avocado keepers



Avocados are prone to browning when exposed to the open air for too long – but that's nothing a simple Tupperware container can't solve. Place your avocado's flesh side down to limit contact with the air, and make sure the box is shut tight. A squeeze of acidic lemon or lime will work wonders, too.

18. Yogurt maker

<p>Tanya Stolyarevskaya/Shutterstock</p>

Tanya Stolyarevskaya/Shutterstock

If you're a yoghurt lover, a yoghurt maker might seem like a simple – not to mention money-saving – way to get your hands on preservative-free yoghurt. But did you know it's incredibly easy to make yoghurt from home without a flashy device? All you need is a clay pot and a lid. Here's the method: heat some milk until boiling, let it cool down until it's just warm to the touch, then add beaten live yoghurt and combine well. Empty the whole lot into a covered container, then leave it in a warm place for 8-10 hours (or overnight).

17. Herb keeper

<p>marcin jucha/Shutterstock</p>

marcin jucha/Shutterstock

Herb keepers usually look a bit like covered vases or tall containers, with room for water at the bottom – and they may well preserve your herbs for longer. However, DIY methods work just as well for keeping them fresh. Simply store herbs like basil and parsley in fresh water, just as you'd do with a bunch of flowers.

16. Mandoline slicer



True, mandoline slicers allow cooks to dice and slice vegetables to perfection – but how necessary is such precision in a home kitchen? They're nifty gadgets (albeit lethal for fingers), but they're unlikely to make it out of the box very often when a sharp knife will do the job.

15. Breakfast sandwich maker

<p>Beth/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</p>

Beth/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Unless you're going to fill up on a hearty sarnie every morning, a breakfast sandwich–making machine really isn't worth the surface space. It's more than a little faffy, with one section for your bread and other fillings, and another for your egg, which you slide out when cooked. Not only that, but it's really not much quicker – or cleaner – than a frying pan and a fish slice.

14. Whipped cream dispenser

<p>Anthony Hall/Shutterstock</p>

Anthony Hall/Shutterstock

These dispensers aren’t just for whipped cream, but for siphoning aerated sauces and foams, too – hardly a huge requirement, if your midweek meals consist of meatballs and lasagne. It's probably best to leave this one to the professionals (and free up some room in your kitchen cupboards at the same time).

13. Herb scissors



For the fraction of time they save, dedicated herb scissors really aren't worth the money. Regular scissors, or a sharp knife, will do the job just as well – and they won't take up nearly as much space in your kitchen drawers.

12. Spiralizer

<p>Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock</p>

Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock

For a period in the 2010s, spiralizers were a kitchen must-have, particularly revered among health fanatics who loved turning carrots and courgettes into 'spaghetti'. The device is still popular with no-carb dieters, but the rest of us have moved on. There's only so long fruit and vegetable ribbons can win out over a steaming bowl of real tagliatelle, after all.

11. Strawberry huller



If you bought every fruit-preparing tool on the market, you'd end up with a kitchen drawer you couldn't close. Strawberry hullers are designed to neatly extract the stem from the fruit – ultimately something you're unlikely to need to do very often – and they're more than a little fiddly if you're preparing strawberries in bulk. You can do a similar job with a knife (or, of course, just go for it and eat around the leaves).

10. Fancy cocktail set

<p>Evgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock</p>

Evgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock

Cocktail sets with all the bells and whistles might seem fun and glamorous at first – but they can also be thoroughly overwhelming if you don't know how to use them. The good news is that all you really need to make great tipples is a cocktail shaker with an in-built strainer.

9. Electric kitchen knife



There's something wonderfully nostalgic about an electric kitchen knife. You might have fond memories of the cacophony it made when your parents were carving up a meat joint for the Sunday roast during the 1970s and 1980s, when these gadgets were all the rage. But, ultimately, they're tricky to clean and unbearably noisy, and you're much less likely to make accurate cuts when you use them – so invest in a sharp, good-quality regular knife for cutting meat instead. Electric knives are, however, helpful for people with some disabilities.

8. Bacon press

<p>Joe Herlong/Shutterstock</p>

Joe Herlong/Shutterstock

Apparently, some people have a penchant for perfectly straight bacon. If that's you, then go for it – but otherwise, this heavy bit of kit, used to weigh down rashers of bacon and stop them from curling up in a frying pan, really is quite useless. Save your cash (and save on the washing up, too).

7. Popcorn maker



However much you love popcorn, there's really no need for a countertop appliance when you can make your favourite movie snack on the stove or in the microwave. Popcorn makers work by simply applying heat to the kernels until they pop. Save yourself time and money by using a saucepan with a lid instead.

6. Electric salt and pepper grinders

<p>Iurii Korolev/Shutterstock</p>

Iurii Korolev/Shutterstock

Electric salt and pepper grinders fall into the same camp as electric can openers and electric knives. It's an extra expense for something that can just as easily be done by hand – though they do look smart on the dining table, we must admit.

5. Cupcake/muffin maker



Another single-purpose appliance taking up precious space in your kitchen, a muffin maker is basically an electric countertop oven with special moulds for cakes. However, even if you're a serious baker, there's little point in buying one if you've got a working oven and a muffin tin.

4. Carrot sharpener

<p>Eduardo Lopez/Shutterstock</p>

Eduardo Lopez/Shutterstock

While carrots sharpened to a perfect point might look pretty on a plate, the point of this bizarre kitchen gadget really does end there. If you can live without attractively arranged orange carrot shavings on your Sunday roast, then your money would definitely be better spent elsewhere.

3. Melon baller

<p>New Africa/Shutterstock</p>

New Africa/Shutterstock

A melon baller may be gloriously retro – after all, nothing conjures images of 1970s dinner parties quite like balled melon on sticks. But, if you have one, it's most likely something you used just once or twice, then consigned to your utensil drawer forever. Use rounded measuring spoons instead; they'll do the job just fine.

2. Pizza scissors

<p>Jeppe Gustafsson/Shutterstock</p>

Jeppe Gustafsson/Shutterstock

Pizza scissors are essentially a regular pair of scissors – but they typically come with a kind of spatula or mini pizza peel attached to the bottom, so you can shovel up your slice and slip it onto your plate. They may sound slick, but they've received mixed reviews. And really, why bother when a pizza cutter and a fish slice (or even your fingers) will work a treat?

1. Banana slicer

<p>J. Annie Wang/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</p>

J. Annie Wang/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Fancy some sliced banana on your porridge, or stirred into your fruit salad? Slatted and slightly curved, this simple gadget might save you a fraction of time when preparing your favourite fruit. But that extra time will be lost in cleaning the thing, as bits of banana insert themselves into all the little grooves. Best stick to a knife!

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