Despite the average bachelor probably having no more than two or three kitchen gadgets at his disposal (excluding essential cookware like pots, pans, spatulas, and slotted spoons), there are actually dozens that could come in handy depending on what you're trying to prepare. However, as useful as some kitchen gadgets can be, there's an obvious over-saturation of the market. Walk into the kitchen section of any department store and you're going to find dozens of single-use gadgets that might look convenient but will only end up taking up space. Honestly, do you really need separate slicers for tomatoes, bananas, avocados, and onions? And is that plastic bag holder going to be useful or will it require more time to set up than it would save? And yes, there is such a thing as a plastic bag holder. In fact, that's only scratching the surface of the useless kitchen gadgets.
Keep in mind that this list is entirely relative. Something that we might feel is incredibly useless, like a butter dispenser, might be useful to a handful of people. However, generally speaking, most people would contend that they could do without a machine that dispenses butter onto toast, corn, or other foods. Let's not forget you actually have to take the butter out of its packaging and put it into the dispenser before using it. That's the case with a lot of these useless utensils and gadgets - they require more preparatory work than they're worth. Yet, keep reading for seven gadgets that you absolutely should pick up the next time you see them.
21 Useless: Tuna Squish
No, the tuna squish isn't a wrestling maneuver. It's an actual kitchen gadget that promises to remove the water from canned tuna, because apparently that's a challenging task for some. There are surprisingly several different brands of this product and the average one on Amazon sells for $20, which is an absolute atrocity.
If you've ever opened a can of tuna, you'll know that the simplest - and most effective - way to remove the water is to press down on the tuna with the lid after removing it. There's no need whatsoever for a tuna press, but companies understand people sometimes enjoy wasting money.
20 Useless: Jenaluca Herb Scissors
Pro tip: Never buy a pair of scissors that promises to do the job of regular scissors but for specialized purposes. Scissors are scissors and can cut through most food items. For instance, the same pair of scissors you use for arts and crafts can be just as effective at cutting lettuce as a set of salad shears.
In that same vein, the Jenaluca Herb Scissors, despite their 4.5 rating on Amazon, are both a waste of drawer space and money. They're $15 and promise to save time and hassle when slicing herbs, but first ask yourself how often you're dealing with enough fresh herbs that you require specialized scissors and second forget you even bothered considering that question.
19 Essential: Immersion Blender
A lot of the negative aspects of the products listed includes the fact that, more than anything, they're a waste of space. The immersion blender, while perhaps not always as effective or useful as a regular blender, saves you plenty of space in your kitchen and is far more handy than a regular blender.
You can purchase a good immersion blender for as little as $40, where as a good five-speed blender might set you back a couple hundred dollars. It's far more practical as well as you can quickly use it in recipes for soups, sauces, salad dressings, and fancy drinks.
18 Useless: Egg-and-Muffin Toaster
Keeping with the theme of saving kitchen space, you might think it would be worthwhile to purchase a product can do the work of two separate products, but boy would you be wrong. It's hard to really go wrong with buying a toaster as even the cheapest ones work just as well as the more expensive ones, but have you ever cooked an egg on your toaster?
If you've answered yes, you're either a struggling college student or you own the West Bend egg-and-muffin toaster, which costs around $50 depending on where you buy it. If you already own a stove, there's literally no reason to purchase this other than to have your friends exclaim, "Weird flex, but OK."
17 Useless: Taco Proper Taco Holders
Have you tried to set up multiple hard shell tacos on a plate at once? No? You mean you actually fill tacos individually and eat them before beginning to fill the next one like a normal human being? In that case, the Taco Proper set of four taco holders will be of no interest to you, even at a reasonable price of $9.49.
An oven-safe set that can help crisp soft shell tacos could be useful, but these plastic holders aren't going to make taco nights any easier. If anything, they will only delay the time it takes for a delicious taco to be stuffed down your gullet.
16 Essential: Onion Goggles
Yes, it's a little strange that the most ridiculous-sounding gadget on here falls under the essentials category, but how many times have you been chopping onions only to have to look away to stop yourself from crying? Purple onions aren't that bad, but white onions can induce tears within a few seconds.
There are several old wives tales of how to keep yourself from crying, but why close your mouth and keep your tongue against the roof of your mouth while hopping up and down and your left foot and reading a copy of War and Peace when you can simply purchase a pair of Onion Goggles to do the trick?
15 Useless: Asparagus Peeler
Hands up if you didn't even realize peeling asparagus was a thing let alone something that required a designated peeling product. Asparagus isn't really a vegetable that is part of a typical dinner, but it is packed with nutrients like fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K. You should eat it more regularly, but here's a tip: you can simply use a knife to cut off its stems and enjoy from there, rather than wasting time peeling it.
Speaking honestly, I had to watch a video to see what exactly the asparagus peeler does and, well, it peels asparagus. So, if for some reason you need your asparagus peeled and a potato peeler isn't doing the trick for whatever reason, then maybe this is worth the $11.
14 Useless: Butter Dispenser
The butter dispenser is a product that makes absolutely zero sense and is not at all practical. This is not a butter syringe, which might make sense for some baking purposes, but an actual square-shaped dispenser that pushes out butter. It works similar to a syringe, but has a larger opening.
If you've ever tried buttering bread or toast with a butter knife and thought, "This is too convenient for me," then the butter dispenser is the perfect kitchen gadget for you. It allows you take butter out of its original packaging and put it into the device and then squeeze it on to whatever you choose. Then, all you have to do is use a butter knife if you want to spread it evenly.
13 Essential: Y-Peeler
A regular potato peeler is considered a kitchen essential not just for potatoes, but carrots, zucchini, and other vegetables. However, when you do go in search of a peeler, look for a Y-Peeler as it can save you from potential arthritis.
That might sound like a massive stretch and, while it kind of is, it is true that a Y-peeler is much more comfortable to hold than traditional narrow-handled straight peelers as you don't need to hold them with such a strong grip. They can also be gripped and used just as effectively with either hand, whereas others might present challenges for those who are left-hand dominant.
12 Useless: Bear Paw Meat Shredders
The Bear Paw Meat Shredders might come in handy when cooking pulled pork or shredding chicken breast, but there's a product that already does the same job in about the same amount of time. It's this game-changing product called a fork. Simply grab two of them and dig each into the meat you desire to shred, following which you pull apart in opposite directions.
The forks even have dual usage as eating utensils for pasta, various cuts of meat, vegetables, and just about everything except soup and cereal. The Bear Paw Meat Shredders will only take up kitchen space, unless you intend to pair them with the Onion Goggles for a homemade superhero costume.
11 Useless: Chef'n StemGem Strawberry Stem Remover
You may be noticing a theme here in that most of these products could simply be replaced with either a fork or knife. Even some of the products we've labeled useless could be of use to some people, but it's particularly difficult to imagine anyone who would feel possessed to buy the Chef'n StemGem Strawberry Stem Remover which, even at $9.99, feels like a bit of a scam.
Surprisingly, the product actually has a 4.8 rating on Amazon with 263 user reviews, which is either a sign that it does have value or there's a lot of people out there who find enjoyment in useless little gadgets. We'll go with the latter.
10 Essential: Kitchen Scale
Surprisingly, not many people seem to have a kitchen scale, but it's the perfect gadget for those who do a lot of baking or are following a strict diet. In regard to baking, measurements need to be precise and a scale is a better and more convenient way in making sure that's the case as you can use a single dish for all ingredients and scale back to zero after weighing each one.
You can find a good kitchen scale on Amazon for as little as $19.99, but it's also worth spending a little extra for a smart connect scale.
9 Useless: Pickle Picker
It's incredibly hard not to be sarcastic when describing some of these products, but this one takes the cake. Honestly, who has been so frustrated with trying to get a pickle out of the jar that you've smashed the entire bottle on the kitchen floor and had to go for a drive to cool off?
If that applies to you, the pickle picker will be a welcome product. If not, feel free to continue using a fork or toothpick like the rest of society. The product will only set you back $5, but it will then sit in a drawer for three years until you go to make BBQ steak skewers and realize it's not a skewer but a useless pickle picker that you foolishly bought on a whim that time at Bed Bath & Beyond.
8 Useless: Amco Pepper Prepper
Again, if you for some reason don't own a knife, this product is perfect if you wanted an easy way to get right to the center of a bell pepper. Of course, then you would run into the problem of how you slice the pepper, because you certainly can't do it with the Amco Pepper Prepper. All this does is remove the center.
However, with a knife, you can slice off a side of the pepper and then, using your hands, rip the center - and seeds - out. The only positive reviews of the product are by people who grow and deal with large quantities of peppers. It's not something you would buy to accelerate the pace at which you make weeknight spaghetti sauce.
7 Essential: Microplane Premium Zester
A knife would suffice as a suitable replacement for most of these utensils and gadgets, but that simply isn't the case when it comes to grating an orange or lemon to add its zest in a dish. And sure, you can go without the zest element of a recipe, but a dash of lemon zest actually makes a world of difference in pasta and muffin recipes, believe it or not.
The Microplane Premium Zester can be purchased for under $20 on Amazon and is well worth the investment if you cook regularly. It's also small enough that it won't take up much space in your kitchen.
6 Useless: Hands-Free Bag Holder
You have to wonder how certain products are invented. Personally speaking, I've never had an issue putting leftover food or anything else into plastic bags. You hold the bag open with one hand and then, using the other, either put the food in the bag or slide it off a plate and into the bag. Beyond that, Tupperware seems to be a better option for storing leftovers.
However, if those options are too practical, these $22 Jokari 4-Count Hands-Free Baggy Holders will make for a perfect purchase on Amazon. You will never use them, but at least they'll make for a tacky kitchen decoration.
5 Useless: Norpro Mushroom Egg Slicer
An egg slicer can be convenient depending on how often you make potato salad and if you use sliced eggs in your recipe. Other than that, there's not many times you're going to use it. Most people who eat hard-boiled eggs just bite into them or cut them in half.
So, chances are if you're reading this, you're not a huge proponent of the egg slicer. But what if we told you this Norpro Slicer is not only capable of slicing eggs, but also mushrooms? Who wants to waste four seconds slicing a mushroom when you could do it in three seconds with this product?
4 Essential: Instant-Read Thermometer
It's almost astonishing how few people use instant-read thermometers, especially when cooking chicken. You can get away without one when dealing with beef or pork, but it's really hard to know how long to cook chicken because of varying factors like size and whether its boneless or bone-in.
Regular cooking thermometers can take a minute to even reach the correct temperature and are particularly hard to use when barbecuing. However, an instant-read thermometer is much easier to decipher and use. Think of dial watches and cell phones as comparables. Nobody wants to waste precious seconds figuring out the time when their phone displays it for them.
3 Useless: Fat Magnet
Even some of the most useless gadgets on this list have rave reviews on Amazon, but the Fat Magnet maintains only a three-star rating out of 25 customer reviews. The premise of the product - being able to remove excess fat from greasy foods by absorbing it from the surface of food - sounds promising, but it doesn't at all work as promised.
In fact, despite its three-star rating, 52 percent of the 25 customers on Amazon gave it a one-star rating, with one reviewer in particular stating it felt like something they would buy for a child's toy. Here's a free alternative to using the Fat Magnet: Cook healthier meals.
2 Useless: Chef'n Bananza Banana Slicer
This product costs $15 and promises the ability to perfectly slice whole bananas in a matter of seconds as if that wasn't something you could do just as well with a knife. In fact, this isn't even the best banana slicing product on the market as others allow you to place a whole banana in a similar-shaped object and slice into pieces.
In contrast, this product only allows you to slice roughly half of a banana at a time, meaning you need to clear out the slices and then put in the other half. By the time you've done that, you could have just as easily sliced it yourself with a knife.
1 Essential: Benriner Mandoline
It might sound hypocritical to bash all these other products that can simply be replaced with a knife to then list the Benriner Mandoline as an essential item, but this tool is vastly different than the others. For instance, as opposed to being specific to one food item, the Benriner Mandoline is suitable for cutting all sorts of vegetables. It's even great for quickly preparing home-cooked fries.
It has four different blades so you can slice vegetables as thin or thick as you prefer and is equipped with a safety device to ensure it's not your fingers that you're slicing. Sixty four percent of the 480 customers who reviewed it on Amazon gave it a five-star rating.