5 Mushroom Slicer (banana cutter, strawberry huller, cherry pitter, garlic peeler etc.)
This is more of a category than a single item. There are hundreds of these out on the market and they can look truly ingenious. But resist the temptation. Besides the fact that they usually only serve on limited purpose, they often don’t actually work that well. In most cases, it’s simpler to just use the right knife or vegetable peeler and save the restrictive, hard to clean gadgets for the restaurateurs, who have to pit 2000 cherries a day every day throughout cherry season or the caterers who really need all 700 of the mushrooms that they’re using to be cut into identical slices.
4 Popcorn Maker
We’re not suggesting you limit yourself to buttered, over-salted microwave popcorn. Instead, we suggest you go the old fashioned route and just use a pot on the stove. Popcorn makers are often hard to clean and take up valuable counter space for an appliance you’re probably not going to use regularly. Plus, the difference between using this gadget as opposed to the stovetop, isn’t that great. Making popcorn on the stove is pretty simple. Simple heat up a bit of oil in a large pot, and use a few kernels to test. Once those pop, you can throw in the rest, put on the lid and shake it around a bit until it pop. Then you can pour it out into a bowl, flavor and eat! This method isn’t much more complicated but saves you plenty of space by using tools you already have.
3 Electric Griddle
If you are going to make the switch from waffles to pancakes, you may be tempted to buy an electric griddle but we don’t think you need to bother. The advantage of an electric griddle is also its downfall. The large flat space makes it really convenient for pancakes, fried eggs or anything else you may want to flip but it also means that trying to find storage space is a hellish task. Just use a large heavy pan and you should be fine. A sauté pan will work and a cast iron skillet is perfect. They will nest in nicely with the rest of your pans and they’re a lot more versatile than any appliance.
2 Waffle Iron
We’ll admit, this is the one we’d soonest admit you might be able to use. There really is nothing else that serves quite the same purpose. But that purpose is aggravatingly specific. Even a Panini press can be used to make good grilled cheese, or as a grill in a pinch. But not this. This makes only one item: Waffles. Chocolate chip waffles, blueberry waffles, cinnamon waffles. But still, just waffles. Is it really worth the added cost, the storage space and the frustrating cleaning of all those little squares? Our suggestion is to just make pancakes instead.
1 Meat Grinder
Making your own burgers and meatballs isn’t something that’s reserved for the professionals out there. It’s easy and you don’t need to be an expert to make a decent burger. But some people who want to make a truly impressive, out-of-this-world burger hold the opinion that the only way to do that is to grind your own meat. That way, you know exactly what you’re getting. You can pick out the cut of meat you want, with exactly the right amount of fat. So while most of us won’t feel the need to do this, we’ll accept that it’s not a crazy thing to do. But you still probably don’t need a meat grinder. A good food processor will serve the same purpose. Although it might not have the exact same result, if you know what you’re doing you can easily get close enough to make it worth saving yourself the extra cost, fuss and storage space that a meat grinder would require.
What are your basic gadgets you’re willing to find space for?