The reason you can’t cook anything more than cereal is that you don’t have the proper tools, right? The only thing separating you from Instagram-worthy plated dishes are those crazy kitchen gadgets you don’t own. Or maybe you’ve watched a few cooking shows on Food Network, and now you feel you’re ready to compete against Bobby Flay in an epic throwdown. All you need to go head to head are the tools to back you up.
The infomercials and TV ads about the latest and greatest kitchen gadgets can be quite convincing. They promise to change your life — all while saving you time and money — for the low, low price of $9.99. But wait! Most of these gadgets are a complete waste of money. Although they advertise novel and inventive cooking methods, you should think twice before purchasing any of the kitchen gadgets on this list. Here are 15 of the most outlandish products you must avoid at all costs
1. Fat Magnet
- Price: $14.99
- Reviews: 2.4 out of 5 stars
Once the words “fat free” and “low fat” were introduced to the world, everyone wanted a new and improved way to remove extra fat from their diets. Thank goodness kitchen gadgets, such as the Fat Magnet, were introduced to society. This tool attracts all the unhealthy fat from your soups and stews, allowing you to skim it away. Just freeze the tool first, and its metal plate should grab the fat from the top of the dish. Unfortunately, most consumer reviews are negative, claiming the magnet is a joke and a complete waste of money.
Next: A vending machine for your wine
- Price: $5,649 on Amazon
- Reviews: 3 out of 5 stars
Maybe money is no issue for you, so a statement piece for the kitchen seems doable. A four-bottle wine station will surely to do the trick. Just think of it as a froyo station for your wine. With the WineStation, you can choose a half glass or full glass of vino with just the touch of a button. It also claims to preserve the wine selection for up to 60 days. Aside from the fact that this product is unnecessarily extravagant, consumer reviews vary in satisfaction, as well. Therefore, this product is rendered both crazy and useless.
Next: A butter syringe that is rendered useless
3. Butter Mill
- Price: $19.95
- Reviews: 3.3 out of 5 stars
If you keep your butter in the fridge then you know how frustrating trying to slice cold butter can be. This dispenser uses compression to force even the coldest spreads into thin ribbons that’ll melt quickly on your food. Even if you only use it for corn on the cob, it seems paying $19.95 for less hassle might be worth it.
Not so, say dissatisfied customers. They claim the product is liable to break and that buying spreadable butter would be the better option. It’s for this reason the Butter Mill is considered yet another wacky kitchen gizmo that just isn’t worth it.
Next: A product that prevents you from crying while chopping onions
4. Onion Goggles
- Price: $20
- Reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Peel one onion, and suddenly the waterworks begin. But as your dad always said, there’s no use crying over chopped onions — or something like that. Foolish style aside, these onion goggles protect your face from irritating onion vapors with foam seals. Is it worth your money? That’s up to you. If you’re still fearful of chopping, you can do so for a lot cheaper than the goggles by microwaving the onion first or rinsing it with cold water before chopping to suppress the juices that make your eyes run.
Next: An extravagant toaster oven
5. The Smart Oven
- Price: $249.95
- Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars
In theory, toaster ovens are meant to supplement your real oven as a solution for quick meals. So why spend hundreds on a countertop oven that will do the same thing as your conventional oven? This smart toaster oven has tons of capabilities, such as baking pies, roasting meat, and reheating leftovers. Its fancy technology even claims to cook food 30% faster in a convection setting, but we’re still unsure whether that warrants a $250 supplemental oven purchase. Plus, many admit to less than positive experiences with the product. If your need for a toaster oven still holds strong, a cheaper version will work just as well.
Next: Finger guards
6. Anti-cut device
- Price: Was $3.50 (Currently unavailable)
- Reviews: 2.3 out of 5 stars
At first glance, this knife guard seems like the perfect solution for novice chefs and dangerously dull kitchen knives. Just use the plastic guard to protect your fingers from the knife to avoid cuts. Reviews, however, say this product is made of cheap plastic and doesn’t work as intended. Sure, a few dollars won’t exactly break the bank, but why give money away for a useless kitchen gadget that functions poorly?
Next: A product sensationalized by food bloggers
7. Veggetti spiralizer
- Price: $9.94
- Reviews: 3.7 out of 5 stars
Want to impress on Instagram or become the next food blogger? Social media foodies love to promote various types of spiralizers that promise to slice your veggie noodles into a work of art. You could drop a few bucks on a cheaper spiralizer, but the reviews on such a product are mixed. Some claim it’s the worst purchase they’ve ever made, while others say it makes them want to eat vegetables.
Bee Wilson says it best in an opinion piece for The Telegraph. “I wonder how many meals of ‘beetroot noodles’ the average spiralizer-owner will eat before they revert to real pasta and shunt the wretched thing to the back of the cupboard.
Next: A product that sprays citrus
8. Fruit Spray Tool
- Price: Was $3.14 on Amazon (no longer available)
- Reviews: 2.1 out of 5 stars
Wouldn’t it be nice to get all the taste and flavor from citrus fruits without the annoying pulp and seeds? The sprayer wants to be the answer to your prayers, providing you with the essence of citrus every good recipe craves. Unfortunately, the reviews for this product are subpar, with one customer claiming it was too tough to get any juice to spray from the stem. A few bucks and this gadget is yours, but it’s likely to take up valuable space in the back drawer instead.
Next: Another faulty food mold product
9. Flippin’ Fantastic
- Price: $12.97
- Reviews: 2.1 out of 5 stars
Flipping a perfectly round pancake or cooking an egg over medium seems like the easiest thing in the world when TV ad professionals do it. But your result at home? An utter disaster. Unfortunately, this egg and pancake silicon mold is nowhere near as “Flippin’ Fantastic” as it claims to be, according to angry Amazon customers. Customers say they’re better off without this tool, and those thinking of spending money on this useless kitchen gadget should avoid doing so at all costs.
Next: Say no to avocado slicers.
10. Avocado Slicer
- Price: $9.99
- Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Consumer reviews for avocado slicers are pretty positive across the board. But anyone who takes a moment to use their brain would realize they’re a complete waste of money. For one, avocados range in size, so a one-size-fits-all scoop won’t grab all the avocado in one motion. Second, a ripe avocado can be scooped out with a spoon or dull knife — none of which require the use of an extraneous kitchen tool in your drawer.
Next: Why you shouldn’t buy specialized peelers
11. Asparagus Peeler
- Price: $6.99
- Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Just like the avocado slicers, an asparagus peeler is nice but not needed. In fact, any type of specialized peeler, except for a potato peeler, is an unnecessary use of your money. Use what you already have in your kitchen instead. Cooks can use a knife to chop off the rough end of asparagus, or bend it until it snaps away cleanly.
Next: The controversy with cereal bowls
12. Never Soggy Cereal Bowl
- Price: $14.95 on Amazon
- Reviews: 4.8 out of 5 stars
To drink the sugar milk from your cereal or not: It’s a controversial topic. The Never Soggy Cereal Bowl aims to put an end to such discussions by separating the cereal and milk into two compartments. It’s as if enjoying soggy cereal and the resulting sugar-flavored milk is a crime. Although the reviews for this contraption are overwhelmingly positive, one must note it eliminates the potential for cereal-milk drinkers. It’s up to you and your preferences on whether this gadget is a waste of money. Until then, the debate continues.
Next: Use your eyes instead of this wasteful gadget.
13. Egg Minder Intelligent Egg Tray
- Price: $11.98 on Amazon
- Reviews: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Sure, getting enough protein in your diet is imperative for overall health. And eggs are an excellent source of protein and other essential vitamins. But is it so dire that one would need an egg tray that tracks the number of eggs you have and alerts you when they’re going bad? Probably not. By syncing this tray to a smartphone app, you can receive trusty information about the quality of the eggs in your fridge. But customer reviews claim the intelligence in this tray has a long way to go, and using our eyes to determine quality would be wiser financially.
Next: A cutting board that’s likely irrelevant
14. Quirky Cutting Board
- Price: From $55.99 on Amazon
- Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars
For organizers at heart, this compartmentalized cutting board might be for you. Just chop and drop with ease. But upon further inspection, this kitchen gadget might not be the most responsible purchase. The containers allocated for chopped foods are quite small, and some reviews claim the board is wobbly as a result. And the drawers don’t come with lids, meaning you’ll need to cover the food with plastic wrap if you don’t plan to cook right away.
Next: Why garlic presses are pointless
15. Garlic Press
- Price: $15.99
- Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Similar to other tools on this list, garlic presses are more of a hindrance than a help. Many consumers claim these types of gadgets make it easier to avoid getting that pesky garlic smell on your fingers, but others say they’re a pain to clean with so many tiny crevasses. Savvy shoppers can save the $15 by smashing garlic cloves with the flat end of a knife to easily remove the coating and chopping it themselves.
Follow Lauren on Twitter @la_hamer.