The Chef Report: Unnecessary Kitchen Gadgets

Want to make noodles out of vegetables? There’s a kitchen gadget for that. Want to slice strawberries? There’s a kitchen gadget for that. Want to make a panini? There’s a kitchen gadget for that. There’s virtually a kitchen gadget for every thing you could possibly want to do or make in the kitchen. But are they all really necessary? Or are many of the gadgets more of a waste of money and space? And do most gadgets actually save time or do they overly complicate things?

Before the Lawyer and the Chef met, the Lawyer loved kitchen gadgets. She owned a number of single-use gadgets and lusted over others.  The Chef, however, is not a fan of kitchen gadgets.  He prefers to use high-quality multi-use tools. And when the Lawyer and the Chef moved in together the Chef came with the kitchen essentials fit for a chef and as the Lawyer learned tips and tricks from the Chef   she began to realize that many kitchen gadgets are not necessary and that they add clutter, complication, and expense to food preparation.

It turns out that it’s not just the Chef who thinks that many kitchen gadgets are a waste. The folks over at The Greatist rounded up 19 food experts to weigh in on the kitchen gadgets they think are a waste and those that they think are worth it.  Here’s the Chef’s take on what the 19 food experts have to say about wasteful gadgets (we’ll discuss kitchen essentials in a subsequent post):

Wasteful Gadgets According to 19 Food Experts

Chef Says


 Agree. Vegetable noodles are all the rage these days, but you can make zoodles (zucchini noodles) and other veggie noodles with either a vegetable peeler (as Marion Nestle, PhD points out in the Greatist article) or you can use a cheese grater and turn the zucchini (or other vegetable) with the long side parallel to the grates in order to make long strips.

Food Processor

 If you have a high-quality blender like a Vitamix, you can do without the food processor. But a food processor can still be useful.

Garlic Press

 Agree. Many dishes have better flavor if you don’t mince the garlic but instead crush it and then slice thin. If you do need to mince, it’s quick enough to mince with a knife or you can use the smallest setting on your cheese grater or a microplane.

Apple Slicer

Agree. You can slice apples with a good quality chef’s knife.

Vacuum Sealing System

 Agree. Food stays better longer (whether in the fridge, freezer, or pantry) when you remove as much air as possible.   But you can use regular baggies and just make sure you press out all the air or push saran wrap down so it leaves no space (for example: if you make guacamole or another dip, make sure the saran wrap touches the top of the guac and isn’t merely stretched across the bowl).

Electric Pasta Maker

 Agree unless you are one who is constantly making pasta. Even if you do make pasta all the time, you might be better served by buying an attachment for the Kitchen Aid mixer.

Ice Cream Maker

 It depends. If you like ice cream, then it may be worth it. If you do invest in an ice cream maker, invest in a high quality one.

Melon Ballers

Agree. You can slice melon with the high quality chef’s knife.

Kitchen Aid

 Disagree. A Kitchen Aid is incredibly versatile. You can whip cream, make dough for cakes, cookies, and breads. With attachments you can make pasta or sausage or grind meat. And so much more.

Lemon Squeezer

Agree. You can squeeze lemon with your hands. Or even buy a bottle of lemon juice on occasion.


 It depends. I prefer to reheat food in the oven or on the stovetop when possible but a microwave still comes in handy. And most kitchens come standard with microwaves. But if I had limited counter space and no built-in microwave, I’d abandon the microwave for a toaster oven.

Bread Machine

Agree. If you really want fresh-baked bread you can mix up the dough in a Kitchen Aid and then bake it in the oven.

Expensive Juicer

 It depends. If you drink a lot of juice or you’re trying to get more greens in your diet then a juicer can be worth it. I recommend champion juicers.


 A toaster oven is a better investment. And if you don’t have either, you can toast things in an oven or in a pan.
Single-serving Coffee Pod Machines There’s no comparison to high quality coffee beans made in a French Press or a nice quality espresso. But a Keurigs or other single serve machine can’t be beat in terms of convenience (and they even make delicious but oh-so-fake cappuccino cups).

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