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”:

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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.

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Good Gadget, Bad Gadget Pt. IV

Summer is on the horizon. Which means it’s time for a new onslaught of absurd kitchen gadgets. (Next winter’s clearance items.) Kudos to kitchen gadget inventors everywhere for their continued creativity in coming up with an infinite procession of products we didn’t even know we needed. (And, if you’re like me, you’re just clamoring for new gadgets to fill up all that empty cabinet space in your kitchen.)

As usual, when I’m finished exploring the world of the ridiculous, I will delve briefly into the truly useful — which is, sadly, a much smaller category. But first, the Hall of Shame:

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This may be the worst kitchen gadget ever invented. Thank you, Suzanna, for passing this one along:

Tuna press — to press the oil out of the tuna can... I kid you not.

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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.

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Good Gadget, Bad Gadget, Pt. II

There’s a whole industry based on creating useless gadgets. I may have to get creative and come up with something myself. Get a piece of that business. Seems people actually buy these things.

I was embarrassed to discover some bad gadgets in my own kitchen drawers… must’ve been gifts.

A little brush to brush... uh, something off?

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Good Gadget, Bad Gadget Pt. 1

I get several emails a week from Sur la Table and Williams-Sonoma, usually trying to sell me something I don’t want or need. Many of the gadgets people invent for the kitchen are downright silly — created by those with too much time on their hands. Here are some gadgets you definitely DON’T need in your kitchen — followed by a few you do!

A corn peeler. How often do you peel corn?

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