Useless Gadgets

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Useless Gadgets

Postby Jenise » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:28 pm

How many of these do you have?

Fun article from the Guardian on useless gadgets:

http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/food/story/0,,1981743,00.html
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Peter May » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:07 pm

Isn't the internet amazing?

I troll down to the corner shop every morning (as Ihave for decades) to buy my (paper) Guardian and there you are in Washington state reading it online.

Are you a regular Guardian reader, or did you just came across this item by chance?

Re kitchen gadgets - my personal list

Useless

sandwich toaster - used once
garlic crusher - a lifetime to clean when a knifeblade does the job as well
ice cream maker (impossible to fit lid on it)
measuring spoons - whats to measure?


Useful

silicon pastry brush -- wonderful
glass of Champagne -- chef's perks :)
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Randy Buckner » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:11 pm

I hardly call a Mandoline Slicer/Grater a useless object. We use ours frequently.
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Peter May » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:20 pm

Randy Buckner wrote:I hardly call a Mandoline Slicer/Grater a useless object. We use ours frequently.


So last century
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:07 pm

Of this list, I only have the mandolin which I really like. :lol: On the other hand, I just bought a cherry pitter. :oops:
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby TimMc » Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:10 am

I fall under the Various coffee makers category.

I have a French press coffee maker I have never used...nor do I intend to....but there it sits, underneath my Junk Drawer, forever useless.
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Paul Winalski » Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:55 am

OK, I've got two disagreements with this Grauniad article:

1) Woks are far from useless. I admit that I prefer to use mine on my outdoor gas ring that generates 50,000 BTUs when I can. But I have an indoor gas ring of much less power which nevertheless yields results I consider indispensible for Oriental cooking.

But I'll be the first to admit the futility of trying real stir-frying on an electric stove.


2) Apropos the above--I won't be parted from my Brun mandoline. I love Sichuan dry-fried beef, celery, and carrots with chile-and-bean sauce. OK--yes, one can shred the celery and carrots to the appropriate level of julienne with a Chinese cleaver. But who would want to spend that amount of time, effort, and risk to the fingers when the mandoline does the job in seconds?

And it'll also do potato gallettes, and French ^H^H^H^H^HFreedom fries, and shredded veggies for raitas, and . . . and . . . and . . . .


So a big BAH! to the Guardian on this one.

-Paul W.
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Randy Buckner » Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:03 am

Ditto on the wok as well -- I just made Kung Pao chicken tonight. The mandoline makes perfect onion slices for French onion soup.
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Paul Winalski » Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:18 am

Randy Buckner wrote:Ditto on the wok as well -- I just made Kung Pao chicken tonight. The mandoline makes perfect onion slices for French onion soup.


Great minds think alike--I bought some excellent small red chiles at the local Indian grocery store tonight. They reminded me so much of the "facing heaven" red chiles native to Sichuan, that I cooked them up into Kung Pao Gai Ding, in place of the customary dried red chiles. The dish came out wonderful--I broke into a sweat, and tears were running down my eyes. Best Kung Pao I've had in a good long time, and a welcome relief from the half-ass winter we've had in New England so far.

I won't part with either my wok or my mandoline.

-Paul W.
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Larry Greenly » Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:20 am

Amazing! I also made a variant of Kung Pao Chicken last night and ate the leftovers tonight. I marinated the chicken strips in soy sauce, a little sugar and some coconut vinegar. And I cooked it in my WOK. I own 3 or 4.

I own a pasta machine (actually, I have two), which I actually use now and again.

My inexpensive mandoline does the job for several dishes, including slicing potatoes for scalloped potatoes or even potato chips. I also bought one for a Xmas gift for my friend.

I even have a French >er< Freedom press that I use for coffee on rare occasions.
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Carrie L. » Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:40 pm

That was a fun read.
A mandolin is actually on my list of things TO GET though. And Bill, don't fret, I actually use my cherry pitter pretty frequently, most often to pit kalamata olives.

Some of my dust collectors ready for the trash bin or charity box are...(these were either gifts, or my husband's impulse buys.)

-Smoothy maker. Simply a blender with more breakable parts. In fact, I think one of them is broken.

-Mini chopper. Worthless. So many pieces to clean. A sharp knife does such a superior job.

-Pasta machine. I feel guilty everytime I see it sitting unused in the pantry. My husband wishes I would use it every day, but I've only used it once in 8 years.

-Zester. It became obsolete in my kitchen the day I was given a microplane grater.

I'm going to clean out my pantry now.
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby James Roscoe » Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:26 pm

I just got my wife a very nice mandoline. She is making her excellent onion soup. It is NOT useless!
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Howie Hart » Sat Jan 06, 2007 3:00 pm

I inherited several items from my mother. These include a special wheel-type thing with a handle that crimps and trims the edges of pie cust, A cast iron pot with a cast iron lid that holds about 2 cups, 4 grapefruit spoons, a mushroom brush, an egg separator, a weird slicer that cuts veggies so they're like corrugated, another cutting thing that has about serrated 8 blades spaced about 1/4 inch apart and an appliance that makes crusty bowls from batter (I'm guessing chicken pot pie?). There is more. :roll:
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Carl Eppig » Sat Jan 06, 2007 3:12 pm

Agree with the comments about the wok. Since dear wife discovered Brown Basmati rice, we've been woking away. Two times just this past week. Incidentally Paul don't know why you need the 50K BTUs. I don't even turn the stove up to high, and the stir fries come out fine.
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Thomas » Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:44 pm

Hmmm. useless gadgets:

vegetable shaver
garlic press
meat grinder (I have one that is hand operated, which is what makes it useless)
tomato press (used it the first year I got it and haven't taken out of the closet since--1985)
yogurt maker
peanut butter maker (you want to talk about clean up!)
cheese knife (what's wrong with a regular knife?)
honey dispenser (nothing will ever dispense honey)

Oh, so many things...
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Randy Buckner » Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:29 am

garlic press


Oh my! Another item I use almost daily....
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Re: Useless Gadgets

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:56 am

And Bill, don't fret, I actually use my cherry pitter pretty frequently, most often to pit kalamata olives.
Thanks Carrie. I only bought it to make cherry clafoutis. :lol: Seems like once I rip a recipe out of a cooking mag, I'm hell-bent of having to make it before the recipe gets filed. This one has been sitting for a while.
For olives, I just usually squish them under a coffee mug and pull out the pit.
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