6 Over-the-Top Kitchen Appliances

Somethings you just don't need. Somethings you just don't need. Sharp knives, pots and pans, wooden spoons and whisks are all of paramount importance in the kitchen, but what about the Stovetop Potato Baker or the endless variations on cake, cupcake and cookie molds? A fairy cake mold is certainly cute for a two-year-old's birthday, but do we really need new shapes each year for every possible occasion?

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A marriage between the age of invention and the age of consumption has sent inventors of all stripes on a binge, churning out product after product meant for singular tasks a home cook might need once, twice or, most likely, never. The craze for useless kitchen appliances probably started with the electric can opener, one of which my grandmother has insisted on keeping for about 60 years and attempting to open the dog food with it. She always resorts to the handheld version, but somehow that electric can opener has held a prized place next to her utensil jar.

With the invention of a number of truly revolutionary appliances - the mixer, the food processor, the slow cooker - home cooking has moved on up from a lowly chore to a fun hobby. However, riding the crest of the mixer revolution are other less mind-blowing inventions that are so niche, they amount to a hobbyist's accoutrements.

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In our search for the most over-the-top kitchen gadgets, we found some ingenious ideas that are worth the splurge, like the Terracotta Brown Sugar Disks and the Edge Brownie Pan (Who doesn't love the edges?). There's a chef in each of us and a gadget for every task, but of the thousands of appliances available today, only about 10% are necessary and another 10% are useful.

Can Colander

Squeezing out the smelly juice from a tuna can is certainly no fun, but how fun is cleaning out a smelly, specifically designed Can Colander to go with it? And, what with all those mercury warnings, canned tuna shouldn't be at the top of our lunchtime menus anymore anyway.

Round Cooking Cutter

Use a round cookie cutter to make uniform dumpling wrappers.

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Microwave S'Mores Maker

This is for anyone who misses a good campfire. Fill the S'mores Maker with water, assemble two s'mores, place them underneath the arms of the maker and pop in the microwave. In 30 seconds you'll have beautiful, melty s'mores. The maker warns against burning yourself when removing the contraption from the microwave. Ahh, just like summer camp.

Baggy Rack

Kudos to the inventor out there who wants to save us all from the chaos that is a spilled baggy of hot chili, but the answer isn't a baggy stand. It's folding over the top of the baggy twice, filling it with a couple big spoonfuls of chili and squaring it on the countertop.

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Hamburger Patty Caddy by Progressive

If you like your burgers shaped like Mickey D's then this is the caddy for you. Here's how it works: stuff some ground meat in there, press down a disk until it's all spread out, top with more meat and repeat. Sound appetizing?

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Microwaveable Ice Cream Scoop

Carpal tunnel is a universal problem, especially for ice cream fanatics. The old solution was to run your scoop under hot water, but now there's a much better way. Don't wait 30 seconds for the water to heat the scoop when, in 30 seconds, the microwave will do it. Peace at last.

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-Peggy Bourjaily, The Daily Meal