I love gadgets. Kitchen gadgets are especially interesting to me as they are all intended to make life easier for the home cook by turning otherwise difficult tasks into trivial issues. Whether you use a gadget to chop an onion or peel a potato, the kitchen gadget market is certainly one of the largest and most lucrative out there.
Unfortunately, I’ve been burned by some gadgets that just don’t live up to the promises made on late-night television. Insomnia has many negative side effects, and perhaps the most annoying is the shrinking bank account and dissatisfaction that comes with buying things you see on late-night television.
In this article, I’ll talk about three kitchen gadgets I bought with all intention of using them to do everything and anything they were advertised for, but reality didn’t exactly meet expectations.
When I first saw the infomercial for the Robo Stir, I was intrigued. Not only did this little robot seem to take all the hassle away from making sauces and soups that require constant stirring during preparation, but it would also free me up to prepare other components of the meal without having to call my spouse in from the other room to stir for me.
That sounded great in theory, but the actual device itself did not deliver.
To start: Robo Stir requires an even surface to work properly. If you have an older (or cheaper) oven that uses standard element burners and is traditionally leveled with a lower back end, then you might have a hard time using the Robo Stir to do anything but stir the back corner of whatever pot you place it in.
Let’s not also forget to mention how loud this thing is. The feet don’t just glide across the bottom of the pot. They vibrate rather violently. This isn’t a quiet gadget by any stretch of the imagination. If you plan on having music or a TV playing while cooking with this, forget about it.
This is another great concept that just doesn’t live up to its promise. It looks simple and easy on the commercials, but the reality of the situation is that those little plastic containers are a pain to store and keep up with. This creates kind of a nightmare for whoever ends up being in charge of doing the dishes after they’ve been used.
It’s far easier to just cook an egg the old-fashioned way. Hard-boiled eggs aren’t that difficult, and no plastic container can really make it any easier. If anything, Eggies add steps to the process.
I can see where it might be appealing to someone who can only have egg whites and doesn’t want to give up having hard-boiled eggs. For them, it’s wonderful. Unfortunately, you could also poach an egg in a convenient silicon poaching cup and have roughly the same result minus the egg shape.
Unless you’re very picky about the shape of your eggs, this one is a pass.
Pizza bakers are cool-looking, and they work very well. The problem with them is that they’re basically a toaster oven that’s just a bit thinner and less convenient for anything but a pizza. If you ask me, you’re better off buying a toaster or convection oven and passing up the ~$200 expense of having a giant metal box that does just one thing well sitting on your counter.
Anything that hogs space on your counter should be able to do more than one thing. That’s a rule by which even a standard toaster abides. You aren’t limited to toasting just slices of bread in a toaster. Why should you be limited to just making pizzas and other flat-baked foods? Add a window to the experience and get yourself something you’ll actually use if the oven you already have isn’t convenient enough for you.
These are three of my biggest kitchen gadget regrets. What are yours? Is there a gadget in your kitchen that you could have done without?