Monday, October 18, 2010

Top 11 Crappy Kitchen Tools To Avoid

There are like a billion gajillion kitchen gadgets out there, and they all look so nifty and useful, especially as an impulse buy at the checkout while grocery shopping and at three a.m. on QVC after you've gotten paid. How do you know which will give you the world's worst case of buyer's remorse?

Follow my advice and you'll thank me one day. Here is my Top 11 list of kitchen doodads you should avoid like the plague. Why 11? Because I've been biting off the Nostalgia Critic for this long, might as well roll with it.
But hey, at least I added a link, right? See, I can be nice when I want to. Now go fuck yourself.

Well, you can read my countdown, and then you can go fuck yourself.

11. The Garlic Peeler
The point of this little hoozajammie is to peel the skin off garlic cloves without getting that garlic smell on your hands. I guess you just roll it around and the cloves magically come out as seen in this picture. This thing is quite literally a hollow tube you're paying anywhere from $6 to $15 for. Is it too rough for you to smash it with something, or roast it in olive oil so the skin just peels right off with a wet cloth? You don't need this.

10. The Flour Sifter
This is a nifty little gadget to sift your flour, weeding out any impurities and giving your flour a lighter consistency, more like cake flour. But unless you're a caterer or run a bakery, you don't need it.  I use a rice strainer, it's easier to clean, and considerably less expensive. I've seen these babies run for as much as $40 a piece.

 9. The Egg Slicer
Ugh, really? Do I even need to go into why this thing is useless? Use a knife. Get your chopping/precision skills down. And if you're making egg salad, use a goddamn fork, for fuck's sake. Or flush $15 down the crapper, see if I care.

8. Citrus Segmenter
This doohicky chops a half a grapefruit, orange or lemon into wedges for $20. Listen... if you can operate a knife well enough to cut a fruit in half, it wouldn't be much of a stretch for you to cut it down the rest of the way, would it? C'mon, people. Seriously.

7. Cake Tester
I'll admit, I fell for this one. I have this exact same model and paid $6.99 for it several years ago. Before I bought it, I used toothpicks which were equally as effective, and available at a 99 cent store. The only time this thing came in handy was for my superbowl party football cake, which was nearly an entire 12" tall. (Too tall for toothpicks) Now, half the time I can't find it in my utensil drawer and end up using toothpicks anyway. Stupid fucking investment.

6. Melon Ballers
Do you really need your melon served in tiny uniform balls? Depending on where you go, these dumb things can set you back up to $20, especially if they have cute little melon shapes as handles. Gawd, they saw you coming, didn't they?  This goes for the melon baller's retarded cousins, the avocado scooper and the meat baller. Lazy schmucks, use a spoon!

 5. Apple Corers
Just. Say. No. Do you have any idea how many apple-related dishes you'd have to make in order to justify a purchase like this?

4. Pasta Measurer
I can kind of see this working if you get into a fistfight outside a restaurant, but inside, real chefs call a pasta measurer your hand, plus a dash of judgment and pinch of common sense. Besides, making too much is also that awesome thing called leftovers. We like that, don't we? Don't be the dildo that blows $12 on this.

3. Kiwi Scoop
If you get this, you're the tool. They make this awesome kiwi scoop that looks a lot like what you already have-- it's called a spoon!

2. The Shrimp Deveiner
Otherwise known as the paring knife. The commercial grade ones can devein, butterfly or fully split up to 100 shrimp per minute. The one for regular kitchens looks exactly like a paring knife, which is funny. The Shrimp Butler is a crank-type thing that does similar to commercial grade machines only slower. It'll set you back about $35 bucks. Just use a friggin' knife.

And by far, the number 1 most useless and wasteful kitchen tool is....


1. The Garbage Disposal
I know a lot of you suburban housewives, co-op and condo owners will want to skin my hide for this, but garbage disposals are the epitome of useless. Not only are they dangerous around idiots and drunk people who like to put glass bottles in there because they like the sound it makes, but according to an independent study by WETA, (an environmental impact group based in Arlington, VA) wastewater that contains a high amount of organic matter is harder to break down in a septic tank or at the sewage treatment plant. As a result, the use of garbage disposals has contributed to increased nutrient loads in rivers and streams, along with erosion, runoff of overused fertilizer. This causes algal blooms and other undesirable effects, like "dead zones" in the Gulf of Mexico. Is it too difficult to peel your vegetables over newspaper, or in a bowl rather than contributing to global pollution? I think the garbage disposal, along with other environmentally irresponsible things need to be banned. I support home composing because whether you're creating more biogas or methane from solid waste in landfills, it has a negative impact on the planet. Composing may be a little more work, but for the future generations, it could be crutial. Besides, there's an old saying that nothing easy ever pays off in the end, and nobody ever meets any resistance going downhill.
Learn more about composting here.  Go ahead, laugh off this blog. Call me a hippy. But in 20 years when the Gulf of Mexico is so toxic that it makes the Volga river look like the Mediterranean, and your grandkids are eating Soilent Green, you'll wish you had put in the extra effort while it still mattered.

Whatever. You can go fuck yourself now. See you at the dinner table, bitches!


  1. Profane AND enviromentally conscious? I think I <3 you. :-) Just voted for you on the Saveur poll. check out my blog if you like.

  2. I voted for you, too, for the same reasons above. Finally, someone with the balls to explain exactly WHY these things are fucking stupid and useless. Kudos.

  3. Awesome list, til you hit #1.

    Try selling a home w/o a garbage disposal nowadays. Any good realtor will point to the lack of a disposal and be like: install one you cheap fucker.

    I bought a super duper quiet one when remodeling. And then we put a nice drain catcher above that to avoid kill the earth (and our old pipes).

  4. I did not have a garbage disposal until 5 years ago. I absofuckinglutely love it. Egg shells, cuke peels, banana peels, you name it, I'll shove it down there. Fuck Mexico and its Gulf. They don't even play Gulf in Mexico. The only thing that I will not consider shoving into my disposal (besides my penis - it's not long enough) is my car. V12 with twin turbos. It has a carbon footprint that can be seen from the moon. God it's beautiful. By the way, I do not own a single one of the items above, save for the disposal, so I obviously have some redeeming qualities. It's all pointless anyway. Did you forget about what happens on Saturday? See you in hell...

  5. these are so true!! there are some more!!! fish scaler, double-boiler, garlic press, pot watcher, electric can opener..i remember a tenant who has a penchant in baking, she bought this huge apple corer (picture 1 of apple corer) and now it's a big ugly looking piece of crap!! i laughed at the pasta measurer.. who uses that anyways?? hahahah!

  6. I have to disagree with some of your picks:
    1) Garlic peeler: Try peeling a whole head of garlic without one. No fun.
    2) Egg slicer: Again, you want to slice a dozen eggs by hand? I don't. Besides, it makes a cool harp, too!
    3) Melon baller: Great for serving half an apple--scoop out the apple guts and serve. I have two kids who each enjoy half an apple then toss the other half. This way I don't throw any food away.
    4) Automatic apple peeler/corer: This one's just fun! Plus, I can get the aforementioned kids to be my apple-peeling slaves with this little gizmo.
    5) Shrimp deveiner: I have one that looks like the one on the left in your photo. I also still have all my fingers.

  7. What a fun read!

    Melon baller just sounds so DIRTY!!!

    I think part of this really depends on your skills. I am not a proficient cutter. If I need to make even slices, it takes me a good long while. If you are a more trained chef, you probably slice so fast it's no big deal--and you save yourself cleaning a whole bunch of extra utensils. I remember my egg slicer taking quite some time to clean.

    Same goes for garlic, I still haven't learned the "trick" of pressing the garlic with my knife and then peeling off the skin real quick. I get someone more proficient to do it for me, and I think I could get a lot of use out of a garlic peeler.

    As far as the half an apple thing, that is wrong with cutting it in four pieces and taking out the core? Then each kid can still get two quarters of an apple, and you don't throw anything away. :)

  8. Melon baller--(hate to say it out loud)--I use it every day, for coring fruit like apples/pears; fruit looks nice, it's quick, and you lose the least fruit. Also perfect for seeding melons.

  9. Your excellent guidelines will be of great help to many. Nice post. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

    Cooking Equipment

  10. I just happened to come across this, and my one quibble is the garbage disposal. Like you, I believe in composting, but unfortunately, I am not the only person living in my house. My house is also populated with people who are not nearly as conscientious as I, having grown up without the dubious benefit of the products of the Insinkerator company (unlike say, my spouse, the primary culprit) necessitating keeping the drain clear of food, and the other residents are frequently known to fill the sink with detritus, which I am then forced to scoop out of the sink by hand. The garbage disposal saves me this trouble. I agree, however, that it is no replacement for a proper compost pile. Would that it were so easy to change our family.

  11. Those are bad gadgets. What kitchen tap accessories do you recommend?

  12. LOL! In general, I love the list. I would argue for the melon baller though. I have several in different sizes. They didn't cost much and I use them all the time for many things (though rarely for making melon balls), and they produce neat circular shapes that I can't make with a knife or spoon.

    1. Okay, granted. I may want to try that one day... hrm, you may make a believer out of me yet. lol

  13. So, so sorry guys... been away from the internet for almost a year now and I didn't even know I had comments before tonight. Who knew I was so popular? Love you all.

  14. I hate the garbage disposal. Why bother using the sink for your peelings and waste at all? WTF can't you just use a garbage wastebasket and dump it out? Or, if you have a dog, feed the fruit and vegetable scraps to the dog! We even use a strainer to PREVENT food from the dishes from entering the garbage disposal! Sure, if you live in an apartment and the dump bin is three floors down in another building, you have a good reason to use the garbage disposal. But if you live in a house, save the repairman trips and dispose of it the old fashioned way!

    ps. Welcome back. :D

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  17. I'm really not into gadgets of any sort, but I have to agree the garbage disposal is unadulterated stupidity on an easy switch. I am appalled so many people get so easily sold on junk. What exactly is better with it than dropping your potato peels on a newspaper sheet? The sink is not a comfortable place to peel compared to the countertop! And then there's the space it takes under the sink! I wouldn't want one if it were free and repaired for free for life!

  18. Everything has its place and is easily accessible. In the cabinet to the right, I put the casserole dishes and serving plates on the top shelf. Now the piles are not stacked too high and I don't fear breaking items as I pull something out. Kitchen tool blog

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