Don’t get us wrong: We love cool kitchen gadgets as much as the next person — especially ones for the kitchen. The niftier, the better. But there are some inventions out there that are just plain unnecessary. Because, really, do you need a tool just for cutting strawberries? Probably not.
Here are 20 such gadgets that may seem pretty ingenious — and maybe they are — but let us give you some advice: Save your money. Because generally any plain old kitchen knife will do the trick. We’ve included the old-school solutions for you to get the job done without another gadget taking up space in your kitchen.
Egg-Design Hard Cooked Egg Molds
This one has no utility. But it sure does turn your eggs into awesome works of art. Place a hot, peeled hard-boiled egg in the mold, snap it shut and plate in ice water to set.
Old school: Eat a plain hard-boiled egg — in it’s normal egg shape. Tastes the same.
By this point, you probably know how much we love avocados over here. And we really don’t care how perfectly it’s cut — just as long as it’s perfectly ripe and crushed into a delectable guacamole. So do you need an avocado cuber for even cubes of the veggie? We say nah.
OXO Mango Splitter
We admit it: Mangos are a tad difficult to slice. But it’s not impossible. You really just need a good knife. But if you dread cutting through the fruit, go ahead and invest in the mango splitter. At the very least, you’ll impress your friends.
Sur La Table Cherry Pitter
So yeah, we do kind of wish cherries grew without the pits. But pitting a cherry with a knife — or popping one in your mouth and gracefully spitting the seeds out — works just as well. If you’re so inclined to invest in a cherry pitter, though, this one pits four cherries at a time.
Tomato Stem Remover
Hmm, have you ever had difficulty removing the stem from a tomato. Yes? Well then, by all means, buy yourself a Zyliss Tomato Stem Remover. We do give this gadget props, though, for including a de-seeding tool that scrapes seeds from tomatoes, peppers and chilies.
Old school: Yank the stem out with your bare hands.
A kitchen or paring knife comes in handy when cutting strawberries, but the Stem Gem strawberry-stem remover hulls the fruit “effortlessly.”
If you bake apple pies on a daily basis, by all means treat yourself to an apple peeler. And bonus: With this beauty, you can peel, core and slice pears and potatoes, too.
Quesadilla Grill Basket
We aren’t going to rag too much on this one, as it’s pretty cool — but do you really make quesadillas THAT much? To use this gadget, home cooks place the quesadilla in the grill basket, cook on the outdoor grill and flip ‘em without losing any of the tasty ingredients.
If you can honestly say you can’t even hard-boil an egg, well then, who are we to stop you from buying the egg timer? Drop the temperature-sensitive timer in a pot of boiling water pot with your eggs. It will change color, indicating soft-, medium- and hard-boiled stages. It also adjusts automatically to the number of eggs, volume of water and altitude.
Peugeot Nutmeg Mill
We’re not so sure how many recipes actually call for nutmeg. But we assume it’s not enough to justify the $59.95 nutmeg mill.
Microwave S’mores Maker
Price: $10.99 on Amazon
S’mores are not really what we’d call a fancy dessert. But this gadget sure does take this favorite to a new level. It features a water reservoir that ensures even heating all around and “arms” that prevent your s’mores from falling over while cooking.
Price: $3.38 on Amazon
Separating egg whites from the yolk is admittedly not the easiest task to accomplish in the kitchen. But with a little practice, you literally don’t need any tool but the egg shell. The egg separator takes the difficulty — and we think the fun — out of the job. Place the egg separator on the edge of a bowl, and crack open the egg into the separating dish; the egg white will run through, leaving behind the yolk in the dish.
One-Click Butter Cutter
It literally cuts slices of butter.
Old school: Use a butter knife. If you need a video, stop reading.
Chef’n Banana Slicer
It literally cuts slices of banana.
Old school: If we haven’t said it enough, a normal knife is an amazing invention that can cut all kinds of fruits and vegetables. But, just for fun, here’s a tutorial for slicing a banana in the peel.
So, you know you can cut lettuce with a regular knife too, right? If you want to get fancy about it, though, the Good Grips Lettuce Knife has a serrated edge to help you cut through all types of greens, from romaine to iceberg. The clear plastic blade also prevents lettuce from bruising or browning.
Old school: Use a knife.
Kitchen Art Ham Dogger
A hamburger tastes like a hamburger even if you shape it like a hot dog. But if you just can’t decide between the two at your next backyard barbecue, well then go ahead and stuff your burger meat into the Kitchen Art Ham Dogger. It will, you know, still taste like a hamburger, but you can eat it in a hotdog bun we guess.
Old school: Eat a regular-shaped hamburger.
OXO Corn Peeler
We think tearing through a corncob with your teeth is the way to go, but for you neater corn eaters who prefer a fork, cutting the kernels off first is your go-to method. The OXO Corn Peeler removes multiple rows of kernels from corn with a stainless steel blade that is serrated on both sides for both righties and lefties.
Old school: Use a regular knife to cut the kernels off. However, we did find a video of a guy who tested the OXO Corn Peeler against a regular old knife and found that the OXO gadget was easier to use and did a better job. So far be it from us to scold you for wanting perfectly cut corn kernels.
Broom Cake Tester
It’s hard to tell when a cake is done. It’s tempting to taste test it to make this determination. But the safer method is inserting a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. This broom comes with bristles that you break off with each test. It’s cute, for sure, but you know how much toothpicks cost, right?
Old school: Use a toothpick.
This little gadget is pretty ingenious. Instead of getting your hands messy by squeezing your citrus fruit, you simply insert the stem and spray. But if you’re looking to save $5, then squeeze on.
Old school: Squeeze or:
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Slicer
Pineapples are one of those unwieldy fruits that require a little bit of patience. But if you’ve got some — and a good, sharp knife — there’s no need to invest in a pineapple slicer. We must admit, though, this one cores and slices the fruit into rings, which you normally only see in a fancy fruit basket.