Good Gadget, Bad Gadget Pt. V

It’s fun to kick off a new year with another addition of our popular post, “Good Gadget, Bad Gadget.” It seems that even with an economic downturn, the gadget industry is employing armies of product designers and child labor-stocked Chinese factories in the creation of countless new must-have items for the kitchen.

I’m a fan of modern design — we live in a midcentury modern house with sectional couch, Barcelona lounges, shiny orange barstools we call the “iStools”. But one of the most important points to modern design is “form follows function.” And one of the prevailing afflictions in modern design — especially kitchen gadget design — is “form follows form.” In other words, when clever product designers get really cool ideas with utter disregard to whether something is needed.

From the outlands of the avant garde comes the modern edition of “worst gadgets”. I call these “Form Gone Wild”:

*   *   *

The Garlic Zoom XL. Not sure what the “XL” is for, except that’s what people tack on to the names of their new cars, motorcycles and other products to make them sound futuristic.

And speaking of new cars, could you not just see this little pod cruising across the surface of Mars? Not sure what it does to garlic, though.

I think Dyson Technologies might’ve invented this next one:

The 3-in-1 Peeler. If you press that button in the middle, I'm pretty sure it'll cruise all around the floor changing directions when it bumps into something.

How about this one:

The al dente "spaghetti tester". I have an al dente spaghetti tester — it's called my mouth. And it doesn't cost $60.

And this:

This is called the "Even Shell Soft-Boiled Egg Breaking & Perforating Device." Honestly... I didn't make that up. Good one, guys.

*   *   *

And since I’m skewering the new, how about a tip of the hat to the old, with these classic tried-but-true good gadgets:

The traditional garlic press. Contrast with the Garlic Zoom XL above.

I can’t believe I’ve never written about tongs before. If God had added one more item to the human body, it would’ve been tongs.

Perhaps the most useful and best designed gadget ever.

Finally, from any culture on every continent comes another of the most useful tools ever, the mortar & pestle. Native Americans in our canyon left indentations in boulders near our home where they used to grind acorns.

This version, the molcajete, comes from Mexico and makes world-class salsas and guacamole. No "XL" necessary.

Not enough for you? Check out the Skinny Girls “Good Gadget, Bad Gadget” archive. And stay tuned for future GG, BG posts. Keep those products coming, guys!

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. paul
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 01:57:00

    Inspector Gadget could have used some tongs!


  2. Lisa Gaskin
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 04:18:23

    This whole thing cracks me up


  3. Suzanna
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 06:26:57

    I see you went high tech with the bad gadgets this round….the lowly corn-cob-butter-holder didn’t hold a shine to those. Oh well – maybe next round!

    (and MAN – have you checked out tong selections lately? Almost worth an individual post! Couldn’t find the basics I visualized as pictured above….settled for something less than the $18 Dyson Tech design at Target….)


  4. TLee
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 06:30:26

    I love the kuhn rikon press as it is the easiest press to clean…ever!


  5. Andy
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 15:43:46

    Too funny


  6. Trackback: Top 10: Must Have Kitchen Tools | Garlic My Soul

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