We live in one heck of a time, don't we? Kitchen efficiency is unlike it has ever been, with more and more versatile and innovative cooking inventions coming out left and right. New technologies, new designs and genius ideas for improving how we cook are revolutionizing how people experience the art of cuisine. Even though a lot of revolutionary inventions and improved classic appliances can be pretty pricey, they're certainly worth the investment if you're a tried and true foodie. When it comes down to it, high-quality kitchen accessories and appliances end up paying for themselves in the long run. Why not splurge a little now for a lifetime of quality kitchenware that won't fall apart in a year or two?
Unfortunately, with every genius game-changing idea for improving your kitchen, there are about a hundred duds. Some of those duds are even worse than duds-- they're laughable, ridiculous and utterly useless when it comes to improving anyone's kitchen.
Some of them are just poorly designed and constructed. Others serve absolutely no discernible purpose for anyone who cooks. And others are just ridiculous inventions that make one lose a little bit of faith in humanity. Think of the dumbest Shark Tank pitch you've ever heard. There are some kitchen gadgets out there that rival even that.
We put together a list of the best of the best kitchen gadgets out there along with a handful of trash appliances to avoid as well.
Check out these incredible (and incredibly disappointing) kitchen items that every foodie needs in their arsenal!
24 Need: DASH Digital Air Fryer
If you've never heard of an air fryer before, you're seriously missing out. This is one of those inventions that will change the way we cook (as well as our health) for years to come.
Air fryers mimic the way that oil coats food and cooks it evenly when heated, except it does so by circulating hot air around food with a very small amount of oil for some much-needed crispiness.
The DASH air fryer in particular is great because it isn't too pricey and has a compact, sleek design that would make a great addition to your countertop appliances.
23 Useless: Smart Egg Tray
The only acceptable reason to purchase this item is if you're blind.
This gadget, which looks like a plastic egg tray, syncs with your smartphone to let you know how many eggs you've got left. That's it. That's literally all this thing does. You could of course use your eyeballs and basic counting ability to figure out your egg situation, but you're just too busy for that right? We live in a new millennium! We want a robot to keep track of our eggs for us!
To make matters worse, according to some reviewers on Amazon, the Egg Minder is also poorly designed and stops working after a while.
22 Need: Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature Knife Block Set
Who is the chef without their knives? Every household, from the occasional meal-maker to the seasoned foodie (haha, get it?) needs a set of decent knives for chopping vegetables, fruits and meats. Unfortunately, really good restaurant-grade knife sets can get extremely expensive, so many tend to settle for poorly-made, rust-prone knives that blunt easily.
This knife set from Jwilling J.A. Henckels is certainly on the pricey side, but you are certainly not missing out when it comes to quality. Expect these knives to last you a very long time. And when they finally degrade, as all knives do, you'll probably want to repurchase the exact same set.
21 Useless: The Quesadilla Maker
It's like every time you go to Goodwill, there are at least a dozen shoehorns in a pile and always, always at least one quesadilla maker in the electronics section. Is it really that surprising? Who could possibly make so many quesadillas that they need a special quesadilla maker to satisfy these out of control quesadilla needs? Also, what is so inefficient about using a good old frying pan, spatula and knife to cook quesadillas? So many questions and so few answers. Why do you exist, quesadilla maker? And why do we always have that relative that gifts you at Christmas, only to seal your fate as a permanent thrift store item?
20 Need: KRUPS Grind and Brew Auto-start Coffee Maker with Built-in Coffee Grinder
Have you ever tried freshly ground coffee before? At the risk of sounding like a pretentious coffee snob, it is simply a game changer. It tastes fresher, it's more fragrant, and it is super easy to find whole coffee beans just about everywhere. Once you give it a shot, you'll never buy coffee grounds again. It's just that incredible.
To newbies, it may seem like a pain to grind beans every morning. But this "grind and brew" coffee maker from KRUPS makes the whole process even easier with an integrated grinder attached to a traditional brewing station, complete with a timing function.
19 Useless: Ontel Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer
Alright, we're not hating on vegetable spiralizers. The stationary tabletop models that have a crank actually work very well and help users reduce their carbs and eat more vegetables. A fine and dandy invention indeed.
However, the handheld vegetable spiralizer from Veggetti has to be one of the most poorly designed examples of a vegetable spiralizer ever. It is an absolute nightmare to try and clean thoroughly by hand and even dishwashers can't really get into the nook and crannies. The cone-shaped design wears vegetables down to a pointy-looking nub, effectively wasting at least a third of the vegetable. We suggest sticking to the tabletop version.
18 Need: Cuisinart Deluxe Griddler
A griddler may seem like it belongs on the "useless" side of this article at first glance. What kind of sandwich addiction warrants a griddler? Is it so different from the dreaded and confusing quesadilla maker?
First off, a griddler is a godsend if you have a family with children that consume packed sandwiches for their school lunch. Second, you can use a griddler for a myriad of different foods that don't involve sandwiches in the least.
The Cuisinart GR-150 Deluxe Griddler is one of the best griddlers you can get for a decent price. The included scraping tool makes it very easy to keep clean as well.
17 Useless: Cave Tools Pulled Pork Shredder Bear Claws
Manly men with manly grills love using manly tools that validate their masculinity. One such tool that appears to the manly man is the meat claw, a tool that gets you up close and personal with your hog. Like, really up close and personal. You pop these babies on like you're Wolverine and go to town on that carcass. The downfall is that they look completely ridiculous, and also that they do a great job at covering your hands and arms in meat juice from the close contact.
Traditional steel pork pullers with long handles work significantly better at breaking up meat into delectable shreds, and they don't look ridiculous to boot.
16 Need: Thermoworks Waterproof Thermapen
If you cook any type of meat or seafood, you're going to need a decent thermometer. It isn't just vital for a tender juicy cooking time, but also for keeping your stomach (and the stomach of your dinner guests) from food poisoning.
The Thermoworks Waterproof Thermapen Mk4 is one of the best of the best when it comes to digital probe thermometers for checking the internal temperature of meat and seafood. The long battery life, ultra-accurate temperature gauge, and attractive price should land this little guy in your grill arsenal. It's also pretty compact, making it perfect for camping trips.
15 Useless: Kitchen Maestro Pizza Scissors
We're not talking smack about food-grade scissors here. Scissors and shears can play a super useful role in your kitchen. This, however, is a royal joke. And it doesn't even work well.
The Kitchen Maestro Pizza Scissors, with all its gaudy bright orange delight, couples shears with a spatula to make slicing and service slices of pizza pie a breeze. Except it doesn't. The scissors gunk up from the cheese and the flimsy attached server tends to buckle under the weight of anything but a thing crust zero-topping pie. This would be better fitted for slicing up quesadillas. But, of course, why does anyone need quesadilla accessories?
14 Need: Magic Bullet Blender
Everyone's heard of the Magic Bullet and for good reason. It is an incredibly useful little device that has all the benefits of a food processor or blender in a compact easy-to-store form. There are also a ton of different accessories you can get for the Magic Bullet, the most convenient being the attachable mugs and drinking pitchers. Mix up a smoothie with your favorite fruits and veggies, remove the blade, and voila! No immediate cleanup and you're suddenly much more inclined to drink healthy smoothies in the morning in lieu of greasy eggs and bacon. Your heart will certainly thank you.
13 Useless: The iKettle
The iKettle has a very similar face-palm energy to it that the Egg Minder does. Again, this device is only useful if you're blind or have some type of chronic amnesia.
The iKettle is, quite simply, a normal electronic water-boiler that is app compatible. You'll never forget that you've got the kettle on again! Except that isn't an issue for you, because you can easily set an alarm on your phone or oven or, you know, hang out in the kitchen for a minute. Who is so busy that they need technology to tell them when their tea is ready? Not everything needs to be synced with an app.
12 Need: Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
There is nothing like the mouth-watering aroma of espresso and cream in a quaint hole-in-the-wall coffee shop, nor the smooth and almost spicy taste of the strong Italian brew. What if you could bring this experience into your very own home?
It is certainly possible with the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, but it won't be cheap. It will, however, be absolutely worth it if you're a hardcore coffee fiend. This tabletop device comes complete with a grinder, hot water steam functions, self-cleaning functions, pressure gauge, and various filter and grind choices. All in a sleek stainless steel finish.
11 Useless: Nostalgia Two Hot Dog and Buns Pop-Up Toaster
Who are these people with such specific dietary addictions?! First we had the quesadilla fiend who decided that the quesadilla maker needed to be a thing, and now we have the hot dog battle station. Who eats hotdogs with verocity on a daily basis that they need a specially-design hotdog cooker with bun holes?
Sure, the little thing is cute and has a vintage vibe to it. But the only reason you should need to purchase this Frankenstein's toaster is if you eat a dangerous amount of hotdogs. And if that sounds like you, you have bigger problems to deal with. Please, get help.
10 Need: Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle
A general rule of thumb for the foodie-- you need a cast iron skillet. At the very least. It would be even better to get a few cast iron pans of various sizes as well as a dutch oven.
These traditional food-cookers are stellar at heat retention and come pre-seasoned, meaning that they have been "greased up" to prevent rusting over time. The more you cook with your cast iron pan, they better it gets at being non-stick. They generally never break down, either. Say goodbye to Teflon flakes in your food from cheap and flimsy cookware. Now you can sear, saute, simmer, bake, broiler, braise, fry, roast and grill with these ancient but still valuable pans.
9 Useless: Electronic Spaghetti-Twirling Fork
It's like we fell asleep and woke up in a post-apocalyptic future in which we depend on electronics for everything. There is absolutely no reason to have this device in your home.
You may be thinking, "Hey, what if you have arthritis? Won't this help with that?" Nope! You have to turn this stupid thing on, aim it at the noodles, then turn it off to stop the spinning. It is so poorly designed that it will make eating spaghetti more difficult than it was before, which wasn't all that difficult to begin with. What was once a one-hand job now becomes two, because you're operating a literal mini forklift.
8 Need: NutriChef Vacuum Sealer
It is extremely frustrating when frozen foods get freezer burn and when fresh vegetables go bad quickly. That is why it's surprising that vacuum sealers haven't become more of a household staple. They definitely should be.
This vacuum sealer from NutriChef is great in particular because it is affordable and very aesthetically pleasing. You certainly won't want to hide this appliance away in your cupboard.
The concept is simple-- it sucks the air out of bags containing food and creates an air-pocket free seal. You'll be happy about all the money you're going to save on wasted frozen and fresh food.
7 Useless: Hapifork Bluetooth Enabled Smart Fork
What is wrong with us? Just... what?
The Hapifork Bluetooth Enabled Smart Fork (who would've thought we'd eventually have something called a "smart fork") is a digital fork that syncs with your smartphone and tells you to stop pigging out. If there is too much fork motion going on, this device will properly body shame you over it. If you need a freaking fork to tell you when to stop eating, you have bigger problem to tackle than just simple overeating. Plus, you literally just use one fork over and over again, and it is not easy to clean. What is the point?
6 Need: KitchenAid Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield
In addition to a good set of kitchen knives and at least one cast iron pan, every foodie needs a solid stand mixer.
Even if you're not much of a dessert or baking person, there are so many benefits to having a stand mixer around. You can shred meat, mash potatoes, churn butter, ground beef, and make ice cream with a stand mixer. The opportunities are endless and once you have a mixer you won't be able to imagine life without it.
This model from KitchenAid is affordable, attractive, comes with ten speeds, and is compatible with a ton of different attachments for different mixing needs.
5 Useless: Dolce Gabbana x SMEG Sicily Is My Love Toaster
Smeg is an incredible kitchen appliance brand. Their products are sleek, last forever, and get the job done. This Italian company is a good one and their domestic appliances are definitely worth purchasing. This Dolce and Gabbana Smeg toaster, however, is a complete and utter joke.
Usually you can get a Smeg toaster for under $100 or $200 at the most. This toaster is $650. Who owns a $650 toaster? Do you make a crapload of toast on the daily? Are you that desperate for your peers' approval? If I owned this toaster, it would be in a trophy case. But I don't own this toaster, because it is a grand waste of money and just a dumb idea.
4 Need: Wolf Gourmet Programmable Multi Function Cooker with Temperature Probe
Slow cookers are pretty grand modern cooking devices. You can make chili, soups, roasts, curries, and just about everything in between. Throw some ingredients together, set it, and forget it! The result is often a juicy and delicious meal that only slow cooking could provide.
This slow cooker model from Wolf Gourmet may be one of the most expensive things on this list, but you absolutely get what you pay for. This slow cooker will last you forever. It is super easy to customize the settings on this thing and you can precisely saute different types of food with ease.
3 Useless: Elebebe Baby Food Maker
It is absolutely worth noting that we are not talking smack about parents who make their baby food from scratch. Not only does it save a ton of money, but you know exactly what your child is eating and can make sure it is healthy, nutritious, and additive-free. What we are talking smack about is ultra-specific very expensive baby food makers.
If only there was a usually-affordable multi-purpose device out there that contained a spinning blade and various settings for blade spinning speed? Unfortunately, no such thing exists. Guess we have to drop $70-100 on a baby food maker that has only one use.
2 Need: Omega Juicer
The juicing fad may seem like it is only just a fad, but there are a ton of benefits to juicing. You can make your own soup bases, nut butters, baby food, minced herbs, and nut milks.
By juicing and freezing fruit and vegetables to blend up later, you're setting yourself up for a significantly more delicious and satisfying smoothie. You can improve your health with juicing and not have to drop a ton of money at the grocery store on juice. What's not to love?
The Omega Juicer is on the more affordable side of juicers and works incredibly well. You might just be surprised at how much a juicer can change your life.
1 Useless: Literally any bread machine
Oh boy. Just about every child endured the unavoidable bread machine phase.
Your mom probably came home one day, delighted about all the fresh bread she was going to make. Then she made a loaf of bread or two. They were notably less tasty than storebought bread, and the mess from the prep was immense. The bread maker disappeared, either to a thrift store or a dark cupboard.
True foodies would be pleased to make their bread the old-fashioned way in an oven, and non-foodies will literally never need bread enough to warrant a bread machine. It is, through and through, a completely useless device. You'll probably find one at Goodwill next to the cursed quesadilla maker and shoehorns.