Even the pros agree that most kitchens don't need more than a sharp knife and some versatile pots and pans, but, most American kitchens have way more - too much in fact. All these highly specialized appliances are collecting dust and taking up a lot more space than they should.
To help you clear the clutter, Allison Fishman, host of Yahoo!'s Blue Ribbon Hunter and contributing editor at Cooking Light, shares which appliances are worth the money and which you can absolutely skip.
We all probably have a lot of gadgets in our kitchens that are redundant, that actually do exactly the same things that our ovens, microwaves and stoves do. There's perhaps none more redundant than the popcorn maker. Many of us get them as gifts and like them for their charm but use your microwave or stove to make popcorn, says Fishman. The microwave option is a favorite because its popcorn setting is pretty much perfect in terms of timing. A good pan on the stove is a fine substitute, as well.
Bread maker are very popular for their convenience. You throw in your ingredients and voila! You have delicious, artisan bread. But, again, it's redundant. Fishman says don't discount the experience of making bread the old-fashioned way, forgoing the fancy machine. "A part of the fun of bread is kneading it, letting it rise, having that beautiful experience," she says.
Electric Can Opener
"It's a waste of money and counter space," Fishman says. Even worse, the head of the device is difficult to clean and often harbors nasty bacteria, unlike a traditional handheld can opener that can be tossed into the dishwasher. The handheld only costs a few dollars and is just as quick to use. Unless there's a medical reason you can't open cans, there are few gadgets more unnecessary than this one, she says.
How often do you deep fry foods at home? Hopefully, not often enough to need an expensive deep fryer. Instead of splurging on the hefty appliance, Fishman suggest getting an inexpensive Dutch oven. "It's sturdy and heavy. That means it's going to keep that oil at a constant temperature. That's the key to deep frying," she says. Their simple design also make Dutch ovens better gifts and easier to serve from at the dinner table.
Slicers and Misc. Utensils
Slicers, peelers and other doo-dads are small but, before long, can populate your junk drawer. A garlic peeler, for example, is totally unnecessary. Fishman has a tried and true way to do it and all you need is two bowls. Press down on the head of the garlic to open it up, then put it in a bowl with a second bowl head down on top. Shake. Get clean, peeled bulbs that don't even require getting your hands dirty.
The list of unneeded utensils continues with tools including: the banana slicer, grapefruit segmenter and tomato corer. "It's chaos. It's unnecessary," says Fishman, "There's nothing happening here that your paring knife can't do."
This is your margarita maker, hot dog cooker - products we often see on infomercials that are really a big waste of money. Take the "RoboStir." It's a tool that stirs the pot for you because moving a spoon is what, too much work? Fishman says these gadgets typically end up in the basement because they're no comparison for the real thing.
As always, we want to hear from you. What are some kitchen gadgets you totally regret buying? Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh, and use the #FinFit.