Do Kitchen Gadgets Really Work
We all know the typical pitch for kitchen gadgets. It dices, it slices, it opens, it cooks, it cleans, it peels, it’s absolutely stupendous and you simply can’t live without it! The 30 second and even 30 minute ads on TV can leave you foaming at the mouth to by the latest and greatest kitchen invention. Even if it only promises to make life just a smidgen easier.
Kitchen gadgets are notorious for either being a giant success or a huge flop. The flops are often remembered more often than the hits. As consumers, we don’t want to get ripped off, and many of us have been burned in the past on one product or another. That’s why so many people want to know if something is going to perform as well at home as it does on the infomercial.
Why Do We Love Kitchen Gadgets?
Kitchen gadgets hold a special place in our hearts. The very thought of having an amazing kitchen utensil that can do something in a more effective way, sends us into a buying frenzy. But why? Where does this urge stem from?
Perhaps it goes back to our earliest days, when cavemen started using tools. If the caveman down at the other cave came up with a new way to mash grains, or a sharper blade to cut meats, word must have quickly spread about the new invention. Before long everyone would start to use this new method, until the next best thing came along.
We don’t live in caves any more, but the excitement of a new invention still speaks to our soul. Deep down we love to know that there are people out there whose job it is to come up with ways to make our lives easier. We can now order these products from the comfort of home via our high definition televisions, but essentially it’s the same. Somebody out there is doing things more easily than we are, and we want in!
The Wannabe Chef
Or maybe it’s that we each believe that secretly there’s a chef inside of us, just waiting to come out. If we just had that one missing utensil, we could finally break out of our shell and make incredible dishes at home, with everyone lavishing praise on our cooking prowess. Or maybe we just want to be able to make edible food in a very short amount of time, because our lives are too hectic.
Whatever the reason, kitchen gadgets have been around for some time, and their future looks bright. Until there’s one gadget to rule them all, there will be a regular onslaught of great and not-so-great kitchen products coming out of the labs. So let’s see what they’ve got cookin’.
Product Review Recaps
Slice-O-Matic has one of those names that seems like it was pulled from a 1950′s movie about the future. Well, now we actually have something that does do just about everything you can with a knife, including slicing and dicing up foods. Or so it claims. But how does it stack up to actually being used by regular folks with no hidden agenda?
After testing it out in the real world, the feedback has been lukewarm. Some say it works and they would buy it, but others were not impressed with its apparently cheap construction, and difficulty of use.
See our full review of Slice-O-Matic
Press Dough Recap
Press Dough is not necessarily a unique idea, someone must have seen their kid playing with Play-Doh and figured it’d be a good way to make cookies. That’s pretty much all you need these days in order to qualify as invention. But does pushing dough through a series of shape-making tubes actually produce better tasting cookies?
It’s basically a toy for the kitchen, so don’t fall for the pitch that this is going to deliver tastier cookies, because you have to supply your own dough, so the cookies will taste as good as the dough you mix up. However, there is something to be said for things tasting better when they look better, so you may be able to make tastier, better looking edibles at home.
See our full review of Press Dough
The RoboStir is one of thoser products that when you see it you just want one. It looks so futuristic, and it will make you wonder why you’ve been stirring food like a sucker all this time. We live in an era where it seems feasible that they could make something that stirs your food and moves across the pan without missing a spot.
But the fact is that RoboStir doesn’t quite live up to its hype, or its performance as depicted on television. Some claim it’s a total fraud, while others think it only misses the mark by a bit.
See our full review of Robostir
When a kitchen gadget is just a pan, it had better bring its A game if it wants to compete. Most of the products on the market have a lot of bells and whistles to them, so people are quick to turn their nose up at something that seems simple and not so revolutionary.
With a name like OrGreenic you better believe they are trying to sell people on the idea that their pan is somehow more natural than using regular stainless steel or a non-stick pan with Teflon coating. They go a step further and claim that you will use less oil with their non-stick marvel. So how does it pan out?
See our full review of OrGreenic
Swivel Store Recap
Most of us have at least one cupboard that’s a total disaster. Somehow we find the thing that we need in it without all of the other things falling out. Upon seeing the concept for the Swivel Store, it seems like it would work, and has led many people to part with their credit card details in hope of a workable solution.
But there are several design flaws that make Swivel Store a flop. It doesn’t work, even in optimal conditions that rarely exist in the real world. So does it have any redeemable qualities that make it worth a try?
See our full review of Swivel Store
NuWave Oven Recap
There are many products out there that are in the similar vein as the NuWave Oven. Every manufacturer wants to make the next grill or oven that makes it into nearly every American kitchen, like the George Foreman grill did previously.
The NuWave Oven is a welcome entrant into the kitchen grill and oven slot. They have produced a product that really does seem to fulfill many of the claims it makes. Some things it’s not so good with, and with others there’s a bit of a learning curve, but overall it’s a solid buy.
See our full review of NuWave Oven
Egg Genie Recap
Cooking eggs is a real pain, and so you’ll always see things like Egg Genie come out, promising to make the process easier. Many will gobble them up just to try them out, hoping that it will put hard-boiled eggs back on the menu, or on it more often.
So is this thing all it’s cracked up to be, or is the yolk on you? Clocking in at under $20 and garnering mostly positive feedback, we’ve given this one the green light. The worse case you’ll be out an Andrew Jackson, but the best case you’ll have some yummy eggs without the hassle.
See our full review of Egg Genie
Cuisinart Griddler Recap
In an industry where things are getting smaller and smaller, the Cuisinart Griddler is falling in line with its compact size Since they are aiming at replacing several of your appliances, it’s remarkable that they can get something to do five different things yet somehow take up less space than you think it would..
So does this griller make the mark? Our evaluation shows that it actually does work, but given its size you won’t be able to cook large quantities of food, so it’s best for smaller families. If you’re a family of 5 or fewer, we recommend giving it a go.
See our full review of Cuisinart Griddler
One Touch Knife Recap
Electric knives have been around for decades, but the One Touch Knife hopes to bring retro back and make it cordless as well. However, there are several flaws to this concept, and the main one lies in its attempt at cordlessness.
By powering it with ordinary batteries, the designers didn’t give it enough juice to be able to slice through ordinary things, even something like turkey breast. It doesn’t matter how sharp the blade is, if it powers down so easily the entire product is rendered useless. There are plenty of good knives out there that don’t need batteries and that cut through things quite effortlessly.
See our full review of One Touch Knife
Smart Lidz Recap
Chef Tony can make anything seem great, and Smart Lidz is no exception. With a great idea behind them, can they follow through with their claims at being able to make an airtight seal on all sorts of different bowls and containers?
The sad part is that they can’t. After testing them out it has been shown that they don’t fit on all types of storage units, and once they are placed in the refrigerator, they don’t keep their seal. By morning you’ll have unsealed leftovers going bad. Unfortunately we recommend passing on these lids, and continuing your search for the perfect seal.
See our full review of Smart Lidz
Flat Fold Colander Recap
You just can’t deny that something needs to be done about conventional colanders. They’re bulky, messy, and can sometimes be dangerous when trying to drain pasta. But is the Flat Fold Colander the answer it claims to be?
By folding flat it’s supposed to be able to solve your storage woes. And by being durable it’s claimed to be able to handle even your biggest loads. After putting it to the test on some typical straining situations it was shown to hold up under pressure, and perform as it is shown to in its ads, making it a success, and a cheap buy.
See our full review of Flat Fold Colander
Eggies uses a pretty clever method of making hard boiled eggs, by combining the traditional way of making them, but giving them an artificial shell. By cracking the eggs into the Eggies containers, you avoid having to peel the eggs by hand once you’re finished.
But does this ingenious approach pay dividends? After being tested in actual kitchens it appears that it does pretty much work, if you follow the directions and don’t skip over an important step. Find out what that step is, and get more in depth analysis.
See our full review of Eggies
Slushy Magic Recap
On a hot summer’s day nothing is quite as satisfying as an frosty cold slushee made with your favorite ingredients. It’s every worth the resulting brain freeze that comes from drinking it too fast. And this is the promise from the makers of Slushy Magic, that you can have them whenever you want.
When we first reviewed the Slushy Magic system of making what basically amounts to Slurpees at home, we weren’t too impressed. But others have sounded off and voiced that indeed Slushy Magic does work as advertised, and creates high quality slushees at home.
See our full review of Slushy Magic
Xpress Redi Set Go Recap
The Xpress Redi Set Go seems to be a late entrant into the ring of things like the George Foreman Grill, and it’s not as if they’ve reinvented the wheel. They do claim that you can make healthier meals with it and that you can make lots of different foods.
After testing it out, it was shown that it may take a little learning in order to become familiar with how to use ir properly, but after you’ve got it down, it works as shown. You can make healthy, grilled foods at home easily, and avoid going out to eat so much.
See our full review of Express Redi Set Go
Always Fresh Container Recap
By bringing up the claim that the average American family wastes tons of food each year, the makers of the Always Fresh Container hope to win your purchase by promising to reduce that amount considerably.
But after being tested against conventional storage containers, it was found that these “special” ones do not actually provide any special benefit, and the nanotechnology, if any is actually used, does little to keep the food fresh. And who would want to eat 3 week old food anyway?
See our full review of Always Fresh Container
Showtime Petite Rotisserie Recap
If you always wanted to buy the original Showtime Rotisserie unit, but could quite go through with it because it was just to big and bulky, Ron Popeil is hoping that the petite model will win your vote.
It’s got all the same features and benefits as the best-selling original model, but with a smaller size and slightly smaller price tag. You’ll still be able to cook all of your meats the rotisserie way, but with a smaller unit. This is great for smaller families, couples, and those bachelors and bachelorettes out there.
See our full review of Showtime Petite Rotisserie
Perfect Brownie Pan Recap
The smell of brownies permeating through the house is enough to make anyone salivate. If you’re a brownie lover you’ve probably always hoped for a product like this to come out. It claims to provide perfect brownies, all pre-cut, and all with their own crispy crust and warm soft inside.
But is it as sweet as it claims? After testing it out in a real kitchen it was shown to deliver on its claim. You provide the brownie mix, so you can use your favorite recipe, and then the pan will do the rest to insure you a consistently perfect brownie experience.
See our full review of the Perfect Brownie Pan
Perfect Meatloaf Pan Recap
The Perfect Meatloaf Pan was conceived for those meatloaf lovers out there that serve it enough times a month to invest in a dedicated pan. It claims that it delivers a perfect meatloaf every time, because of it’s patented insert that keeps the loaf out of its own grease.
But does it show you the beef? Testing against a traditional meatloaf pan shows that the insert, while helpful in keeping the loaf elevated, causes the loaf to not cook in its own juices, and therefore makes it have a longer cooking time. Find out if you should buy it or not in our full evaluation.
See our full review of the Perfect Meatloaf Pan
Fasta Pasta Recap
Fasta Pasta hopes to alleviate all of your pasta making woes with one unit. It takes away the waiting, the straining, and the babysitting of the pasta pot, giving you fully cooked pasta in a fraction of the time and being able to strain it and measure it right from the same container.
You may be skeptical that you could get tasty pasta from a microwave dish, and to be truthful we didn’t think you could either. But after giving it a thorough evaluation it was found that Fasta Pasta actually makes faster pasta, and it does taste like fully cooked pasta.
See our full review of Fasta Pasta
Big City Slider Station Recap
If your family loves burger night, and you’ve been wondering how to give it a twist, you are the target market for the makers of Big City Slider Station. They’ve figured out a way for you to make those yummy mini burgers that you see at diners and some restaurants like Friday’s.
After putting it through it’s paces in a real kitchen, it was shown to work as described and produces delicious mini burgers at a pretty good pace. It’s a way for you to include your family in the cooking process and makes an event out of an ordinary meal.
See our full review of Big City Slider Station
Miracle Blades Recap
Who can ignore the ads for Miracle Blades? After seeing them cut through just about everything, and then be able to slice through a tomato and a pineapple, it’s hard not to pick up the phone or order online right away. But common sense prevails and its best to do your research first.
But in this case you can just jump on board the train and complete your order! The knives arrive as sharp as sharp can be and they can actually cut through metal and then slice through a tomato. It’s pretty remarkable that you can buy a high-quality knife set at this price point.
See our full review of Miracle Blades
Handy Caddy Recap
Handy Caddy gets a lot of sneers and jeers from people because it’s such a simple, and basic concept. Plus they go to great lengths to dramatize the need for their product, that it’s even caused some to make spoofs of their ads.
Most likely you really don’t need a Handy Caddy. But if you resonated with the people having a horrible day because they fumble with their coffee maker being too far back on the counter, you may as well grab one and see if it’s the fix you need, since it does perform its basic function relatively well.
See our full review of Handy Caddy
Yoshi Blade Recap
Forget a whole knife set, when you get it right, all you need is one. At least that’s the thinking behind the Yoshi Blade. They’re hoping that one size fits all and you can get most things done in the kitchen with their ceramic knife. While many knifes use steel, Yoshi Blade swears you won’t need to replace it because it won’t rust or pit, it can’t since its ceramic.
And it is a super sharp knife, and once you get over how it looks you’ll be pleasantly surprised that it functions as good as or better than a steel blade, and should last longer too. Because ceramics are cheap to produce, it comes at an attractive price.
See our full review of Yoshi Blade
Big Boss Grill Recap
The Big Boss Grill just looks fun. It looks like a George Foreman grill on crack. With all of its interchangeable plates it’s given itself a tall order with all of the things it claims you can make, including donuts and waffles.
So how does it do, can it really make all of these yummy foods? The answer, as with most multi-function products, is that it does some things really well and others not so much.
See our full review of Big Boss Grill
Magic Bullet Recap
The Magic Bullet has the cute factor covered. It looks like the Little Blender That Could. But can it? It seems well thought out, and they’ve got their target market covered by showing how it can make blended drinks, and even included color coded cups so everyone can have their own and not get them mixed up.
But in regards to using it to replace your big blender at home, it doesn’t seem to measure up. Because of its small size, you have to pre-cut larger fruits and vegetables that you wouldn’t have to in a normal-sized blender. But it could be fun to have around for parties, and for small meals.
See our full review of Magic Bullet
Samurai Shark Recap
Samurai Shark is for the true kitchen gadget aficionado. When they bring Billy Mays in to pitch a product, they know that they need to make the hard sell. After all, it’s just a knife sharpener that we’re talking about. It’s not as if many people wake up in the morning thinking they’re going to buy a knife sharpener today.
But it turns out that it’s a really good sharpener, and a good buy, which is usually the case behind Billy Mays products: a good product but not a lot of demand or strong desire to buy for most people.
See our full review of Samurai Shark
Slap Chop Recap
The Slap Chop looks so fun and easy that who wouldn’t want one? Even if you’ve got some pent up aggression that you want to get out, it’s almost a therapeutic product. With a well-presented infomercial showing just how easy it is to slap and chop up foods, it’s no wonder this became a best-seller.
After giving it the test in real world situations, it was found that the Slap Chop not only works on TV but also in your home. It’s not just slick marketing, there is some ingenuity to the product with its criss-cross blade design.
See our full review of Slap Chop
Ove Glove Recap
The Ove Glove goes after conventional oven mitts and attempts to replace them entirely. By fitting like a glove and being able to withstand high heats, it hopes to make it into every kitchen. If you’ve ever used an ordinary oven mitt and had your hand burned through the cheap material, you’ve no doubt thought of getting one.
And it does work, just like you’d want it to. One thing though is it does get a bit messy, and because of its almost space-aged material it doesn’t wash up too easily. It can get a bit grimey if you get food on it.
See our full review of Ove Glove
Grater Plater Recap
If you’ve ever grated a bit of your finger off when trying to grate cheese or garlic, the Grater Plater hopes to save you from future bloodshed. It’s designed in a way that lets it grate up things like carrots, cheeses, and garlic, but it won’t grate your fingers and knuckles.
It’s great to have in your kitchen, but it won’t replace your regular grater just yet, especially if it’s one of those shredders that also has a grater. This item doesn’t shred things, so you’ll want to keep your old shredder for that, and use this just to grate.
See our full review of Grater Plater
Vitamix is a blender lovers blender. It does all of the things you want a blender to do, like blend up fruit and vegetables into a smoothie, and process all sorts of foods for use in recipes. But it also goes one step further and says you can makes soups right in it, and it can even grind up grains for use in homemade bread.
There’s not a lot of hype to this product, and the claims they make they back up. It’s a little on the pricey side, but if you’re in the market for a top-end blender, this should be on your short list.
See our full review of Vitamix
Cork Lifter Recap
The Cork Lifter may seem a bit frivolous, but if you’ve ever struggled to open a bottle of wine you’ll be interested in whether or not it works. It’s selling feature is that it uses compressed air to pop up the cork in an instant.
With its one touch use, it might be good for older folks that can’t twist and turn a regular wine bottle opener, but because you must replace the air cartridges, this product isn’t worth the upkeep.
See our full review of the Cork Lifter
Cracking eggs can be messy, tedious work, but is it such a chore that it requires its own gadget? Sure the EZ Cracker looks like it cracks eggs very easily, and with no mess. If you’ve ever crunched on an egg shell you want something that promises no more of that.
But loading the egg and un-docking the spent shell takes up just about as much time as cracking the egg the old fashioned way and picking out any errant shell bits.
See our full review of EZ Cracker
Auto Safety Master Opener
A handy little gadget, this can replace two or three of your current openers taking up space in your junk drawer. It’s well designed and well manufactured so you can keep it around for years and you won’t have to worry about replacing it.
It’s great to have around for someone that has arthritis or joint pain and has trouble opening things. Since this opens so many different packages, it makes it a solid buy.
See our full review of Auto Safety Master Opener
This one is a pretty spectacular flop. Marinated meats taste better, but promising to be able to marinate things instantly is a big claim. The Instant Marinator is a fraud, saying that it infuses the meat with the marinade. In fact, it didn’t even beat out just marinating meats for a few minutes, in a side by side test.
You can safely avoid this product, and stick to your current marinating methods for now.
See our full review of Instant Marinator
Ninja Kitchen Blender Recap
The Ninja Kitchen Blender tries to bring a professional caliber blender down in price so more people can afford to have a nicely equipped kitchen. They say that it has a revolutionary new blade system, and that it’s got enough power to blend through most anything you put in it. They go on to state that you can replace up to 4 or 5 different appliances with this one device.
This is a pretty competitive marketplace, so it’s always interesting to see a product that is trying to usurp the position of some pretty common appliances like food processors and mixers. See what we thought of it.
See our full review of Ninja Kitchen Blender
Easy Dish Recap
Easy Dish tries to make the tedious and daily chore of dish washing easier on everyone. By placing this unit in your sink you will have everything you need to get the dishes done quickly and easily. It has a bunch of bristles on one side, so when you swipe a dish through them it get clean without much effort on your part.
It’s also supposed to use less soap and less water, cutting down on your expenses, freeing up your time, and making you happier in general. But how does it really stack up?
See our full review of Easy Dish
Scoop It Recap
Scoop It is basically a few pieces of plastic that acts as a dustpan for the things that you cut up while you’re cooking. Instead of using your knife blade or your hands to transport chopped up foods to the fry pan or pot, you use the Scoop It system and you won’t worry about dropping them, or having them fall to the floor.
So how does Scoop It hold up to real-world testing, and what are people that use it saying about its effectiveness? We explored both of these in detail and have our answer for you.
See our full review of Scoop It
Pasta Boat Recap
Pasta Boat promises to deliver perfectly cooked pasta from a microwave. Most people that love their pasta will probably be skeptical that anything delicious can come out of the microwave. But those that are weary of cooking pasta the traditional way, with the waiting, the babysitting, and the danger of steam burns will definitely appreciate a new solution.
The only way to make a determination as to whether or not the Pasta Boat is a success is to pit it against traditionally cooked pasta, see which one takes longer, and see which one tastes better.
See our full review of Pasta Boat
Chef Basket Recap
The Chef Basket is designed to be the answer to the colander. When cooking pasta you can place the basket right into the pot of boiling water, let the pasta cook, and then pull the basket out so you don’t have to strain the noodles the old way with a strainer.
This product has been around many people have tried it in their own homes and have reported back as to whether or not it works. While there were some common complaints, find out if the overall consensus was to buy this or avoid it. Our full review has the answers you need.
See our full review of Chef Basket
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Things to Avoid
There are some kitchen gadgets out there that you can spot are duds a mile away. But then there are others that manage to convince you to go against your own rationality. It’s easy to get swept up in the buying frenzy, because the companies that market these products have developed ways that play on your psyche, and induce you to purchase.
Avoid any site that looks like they’re just after your money, and also avoid clicking the Buy Now button unless the purchase amount is showing up on the page you’re on. Many of these companies will charge you extra shipping or include “free” items that you have to pay shipping charges on, and won’t show you the total before you click the Buy button. This is an unscrupulous practice, and is unfortunately not well-policed by any governing body.
So Really, Do Any Kitchen Gadgets Actually Work?
Yes, some really do! The hard part is finding which ones. You can’t let a ton of bad apples spoil the few good ones out there that could really make your life in the kitchen easier. Some of these products are of high quality, do what they say they can do, are easy to clean, and will give you years of use.
Others are made of cheap materials, assembled in China, and either break the first few times you use them, or never work in the first place. In the grand scheme of things you just have to come to terms with the fact that you might get burned by some products, and you might hit the jackpot on others. Don’t be afraid to spend the money on a product, because in the long run it will all average out with your better selections.
Give them a shot! The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll have spent money on a piece of junk. The best thing that could happen is you might be able to serve better food to your family or to yourself. You might even have an upgrade in your quality of life by the newfound ease you have in getting tasks done in the kitchen. All in all, it’s totally worth it, and the process of trial and error can be fun when you let your defenses down on kitchen gadgets.
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