10 ridiculous kitchen tools
August 20th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Some kitchen equipment must have been created just so it could get the most hilarious review on Amazon. I’m thinking, of course, of the Hutzler Banana Slicer, and the 2011 review, titled “No More Winning For You, Mr. Banana!” Currently, almost 48,000 people have found this review helpful. It’s followed by the “Saved My Marriage” comment, which compares the banana slicer to the wheel, penicillin and the iPhone.

If only I could write reviews like that. Or find kitchen equipment that enables those kinds of reviews. Luckily for me, my excellent colleague at Food & Wine, food editor Daniel Gritzer, is the Simon Cowell of the kitchen equipment world. He took on the task of finding the 10 Most Ridiculous Kitchen Tools. Take it away, Daniel.

Hutzler Banana Slicer
Let’s start with the king of ridiculous devices, the banana slicer that launched a zillion online comments. I thought this was a gag gift at first (as a gag gift, it’s pretty great!), but it turns out there are companies that actually sell this plastic, yellow, banana-shaped slicer. The best thing about it is surely the now-legendary review on Amazon that starts this way: “For decades I have been trying to come up with an ideal way to slice a banana. ‘Use a knife!’ they say. Well...my parole officer won’t allow me to be around knives. ‘Shoot it with a gun!’ Background check...HELLO! I had to resort to carefully attempt to slice those bananas with my bare hands...”

Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker
If you feel the need to waste away in Margaritaville as literally as possible, you can spend $230 (a bargain from the $425 list price) on this frozen-drink device that claims to shave ice rather than just crushing it. Alternatively, you can buy a good blender and make all the frozen drinks you ever want, plus about a million other things.

Norpro Lemon Lime Slicer
Let’s be clear - this is a lemon/lime wedge cutter. If you’re past the point of being able to cut a lime wedge for your Corona, you probably shouldn’t be fooling around with a sharp-bladed piece of kitchen equipment either.

Paderno Egg Separator
Here’s a tip: The best egg separator ever is located at the end of your forearm with five fingers attached.

MSC Joie Simply Slice Strawberry Slicer
This little, bladed device is shaped like a strawberry so you know what fruit it’s designed to slice. Because it’s also a fruit slicer, it’s drawing plenty of comparisons to the Hutzler Banana tool. One customer noted that they’ll gladly stand in line for the iSlice mini with Bluetooth.

West Bend Automatic Egg Cooker
Covered by a clear plastic dome, this egg cooker boasts the ability to hard- or soft-boil eggs just by pushing a button. I’m fairly certain that any civilization that considers boiling an egg to be too difficult an undertaking is doomed.

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker
This machine makes breakfast sandwiches “in the comfort of your own home.” Something that can also be accomplished using a skillet. But more importantly, how do you divide up that one breakfast sandwich? Because it makes only one at a time.

Rollie EggMaster Vertical Grill
According to the product description of this electric, egg-cylinder-producing machine, “Eggs might seem like an atypical kabob, but they’re delicious right off the wooden skewer.” Which tells you everything you need to know.

Amco Serrated Salad Chopper
You know how a sharp knife never really cuts lettuce properly, making this device totally essential? Yeah, me neither.

Amco Peach Pitter/Slicer
Of all the fruit slicers out there, I think I object to this one the most: It leaves so much fruit behind on the pit. Anyone using this should probably stick to mealy, out-of-season peaches.

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soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Christine

    You have to look up the Egg Pillow. Abeam bag for your egg meant to keep it from riling off the table, and touted as something in which your egg can "comfortably" sit while waiting to be consumed. No kidding. Vacu Vin Egg Pillows

    January 30, 2014 at 1:16 am |
  2. Private personal training

    Hutzler Banana Slicer awesome! Great for slicing up food for the little ones.
    The Paderno Egg Separator is cool to it works well.

    January 28, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
  3. spaetzle machine

    Being a veggie I battled to find much of the area cuisine that I could sample on my recent vacation to Germany. One particular meal that I do rather like was Spaetzle which I am expecting to try and repeat at home.

    November 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  4. FunKyChick

    I think the quesadilla maker is also ridiculous. We make quesadillas at home all the time using a panini press/grill. Now the panini press/grill is wonderful. We use it for burgers, pork chops, chicken, quesadillas, sandwiches. So glad we have one.

    September 11, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  5. Thinking things through

    I will confess no desire to purchase any of these items. But they are fun to go and read the reviews for. Since most are obviously useless to the majority of us.

    August 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  6. boreshaexpert

    Don't forget about the quaseidilla maker http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-25409-Quesadilla-Maker/dp/B0052FXXPW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1377409255&sr=8-2&keywords=quesadilla+maker

    August 25, 2013 at 1:46 am |
    • Bored Board


      August 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  7. No, no, they have a point

    If you carefully peel a banana and take it to work in one of those very handy banana holders, then pull out the banana slicer at lunch time, you will never have to worry about your coworkers invading your space ever again. See? Useful.

    August 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  8. JellyBean

    Bring eggs to a rolling boil. Cover and remove from burner for 20 minutes. Cool in iced water. Perfect eggs every time.

    August 22, 2013 at 8:44 am |
  9. Linda Phipps

    My husband bought me a hamburger patty maker: it is of a metal that cannot go into a dishwasher, has to be assembled and taken apart, and you STILL get your hands dirty. I never use it.

    August 22, 2013 at 7:09 am |
  10. Brian Schild

    Cook note; It is best to tear lettuce by hand, rather than chop or slice. Unless shredding is required.

    August 22, 2013 at 1:09 am |
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