I’ll begin by saying that I love kitchen gadgets and small appliances. Or, to be more accurate I love the idea of them. I want to be the person who makes their own cheese, slices meat in thin even strips, and cooks a succulent pot roast in less than 20 minutes. The reality is it’s too much trouble to drag the appliance out of the box, set it up, learn to use it properly, and then clean it and put it away again.
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At this time of year the store flyers are full of electrical appliances for gift giving, often in seasonal colours. Here’s a list of a few kitchen gadgets that even a confirmed appliance lover like me would take a pass on.
1. Raclette – “A whole new dining experience”
This is basically a table-top grill that cooks veggies, sliced meats etc. on the top. Cheese (there is a Swiss variety called raclette) is simultaneously melted in little individual pans underneath, and then scraped out on top of the cooked food with a spatula.
It’s apparently all the rage in Europe. Guests gather round for relaxed and sociable dining with meals often running to several hours. Not that I like to eat and run, but …
Juicers are promoted for people wanting to live a healthier life style. But it takes a lot of fruit and vegetables to make even a small glass, and given that produce prices are sky high where I live, it just wouldn’t be worth the cost. Then add in prep time and cleaning all the parts.
Related: How to save money on groceries
It possibly would be a good investment for someone on a juice diet, but I would rather just eat the whole fruit – and that’s healthier for you.
3. Quesadilla Maker
I do like quesadillas, but I find it hard to imagine anyone making them so frequently that it would justify this purchase.
4. Chocolate Fountain
This contraption continuously heats a special melting chocolate in the base that then cascades over one or more “towers” to create a chocolate waterfall in which you dip various fruit (strawberries, pineapple, bananas) or pound cake.
This initially intrigued me because I love everything chocolate. It would be fun for a party, especially with kids – but at someone else’s house. It’s very much a novelty item.
5. Carbonated Drink Maker
This allows you to turn regular water into carbonated water for the equivalent of club soda, or you can add various flavored syrups to make pop.
Related: When needs are actually wants
I’m not much of a soda drinker anyway, but it seems to be fairly inexpensive in the grocery store without having to make your own. And I don’t see that you could make it taste better. I’ll pass.
6. Baby Food Maker
I don’t have an infant to prepare food for at the moment, but when I did I used a regular blender, or you can use a food mill. There is no reason that I can think of to buy a dedicated baby blender.
7. Counter-top rotisserie
These are about the size of a toaster oven with a lot less versatility. I can pick up a nice BBQ rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for about eight bucks.
8. Drink Makers
These include electric Ice Tea makers, Margarita makers and Martini makers. Except for a coffee pot, for most people, single types of drink makers are a waste of money and counter space.
9. Donut and Cupcake Makers
Here again, these are single use appliances. You can easily bake cupcakes in the oven, and as for donuts – isn’t that what Tim Hortons is for?
10. Egg Cooker
If you can’t boil a pot of water on the stove then you have serious cooking problems. Enough said!
I recommend giving careful thought before purchasing any of these items as gifts. Chances are they will be wasting space in someone’s cupboard by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, all my appliances are lined up neatly on one side of my pantry, waiting patiently to be put to use.
Unfortunately, my husband is not so patient.
Are you going to bake bread anytime soon?
Of course. Just not right now.
When are you going to make some ice cream?
Well, I have to wait until summer when we can enjoy it more.
I thought we were going to have waffles.
Sure. When I have time.
Honestly, all that man does is nag at me!