Good Gadget, Bad Gadget Pt. III

Obviously I like writing about gadgets.

Mostly because I’m continually amused at some of the things people produce for the kitchen. Like politics, it’s an endless source for humor. And, contrarily, I keep realizing how lost I would be in the kitchen without certain other tools.

From the “Over $100 Things You REALLY Don’t Need Unless You’re a Molecular Cooking Nerd” category come these fine new items being offered “exclusively” in a recent email.

A "food smoker" for $100. To add a bit of smoke flavor to your food.

$150 for this impressive whipped cream dispenser.


Wow. $1,000 for the "Polyscience Sous Vide Professional Immersion Circulator"!!! Act now and it's just $799.95!

Here’s some of our more classic unnecessary kitchen inventions:

Not much of a return on what you’re giving up in counter space for this guy (not to mention it would take you longer to set up than just to peel the apple the traditional way):

Apple peeler/corer. You need this.

And this:

Umm. Potato scrubbing gloves.

Finally, another handy slicing device:

Banana slicer. Cuts through that woody core just like butter.

And once again, here are a few items that, the more I use them, the more I realize how hard it would be to do without them:

Cute fancy coffee grinders

In addition to using my coffee grinder every morning to grind coffee, I have a second coffee grinder I use to grind other things — spices, chili peppers, curry mixtures, Japanese fish shavings… Once you get hooked on how handy these things are, you won’t be able to figure out how you lived without one. (And you don’t need a cute fancy one; the mundane black ones will work just as well.)

Various sized squirt bottles for decorating and finishing dishes:

And last but certainly not least, the microplane. I had another, longer version of this in one of my earlier gadget posts that I use for cheese and zesting. This bad boy is worth the few dollars it costs if you never use it for anything more than grating garlic — which will be a revelation in your cooking. (You’ll find me grating garlic in many of the recipes in my blog.)

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bruce Patch
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 20:32:31

    I guess I should return that fancy whip cream dispenser that I bought you guys for Christmas huh?


  2. heather
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 21:41:57

    Where’s the “Sean Colgin” action figure? It would help chop stuff, give constructive critiques AND offer encouraging words!! (ie., “EAT IT!)


  3. Thelma Lee
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 22:54:10

    Actually, those apple peeler corer slicers are a gas. My husband has to hold it down but we rock with that thing when I make applesauce.

    How about some old school gadgets: Foley fork anyone? I also cannot survive without my hand held blender. That single item has saved me hours of untold mess when making soup.


  4. Andrea Thompson
    Dec 15, 2010 @ 03:44:21

    i love all this….


  5. g
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 04:01:24

    Banana slicer? Really? I can’t imagine someone thinking that cutting bananas was such a burden they had to invent a solution to it.

    I just got done peeling potatoes with a standard potato peeler and making mashed potatoes with an old fashioned pastry blender, so I appreciate this post!!

    I am lusting over the grinders – but that’s because pretty colors turn me on. I already have a perfectly fine coffee grinder that’s probably 20 years old and works just fine, but I see that you’ve given me the perfect justification for getting a pretty new one (“must have for grinding spices!”).


  6. Valerie Patrick
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 13:33:20

    Apple Peeler’s work great for peeling beets.


  7. Suzanna
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 06:13:44

    Also in praise of the apple peeler – when used in the apple fritter tent at the Mennonite Relief Sale at the county fairgrounds every year of my childhood, anyway…….One was entertained watching all those apples being peeled non-stop while waiting in line for hot fried & powdered sugar deliciousness! Hail the apple peeler!


    • scolgin
      Dec 23, 2010 @ 15:07:09

      We have apple peeler defenders! Maybe it’s a Midwest thing. Or a state fair thing. Or an “I’ve got to peel 8,000 apples in one day” thing.

      Anyone wanna step up and defend that banana slicer!?


  8. Susie McCobb
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 16:03:22

    I am a huge fan of grating garlic!


  9. Trackback: Your Continuing Cooking Education « skinny girls & mayonnaise

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