Monday, April 6, 2009


That's right, it's the plastic egg cracker!
Exactly what you need to instantly create more unnecessary dishes.

I used to think that I'd start a blog called: The idea was that I'd snap a picture of some totally ridiculous tool; Something that the manufacturer claimed would change your life. My idea was to post a pic of the useless gadget, describe its intended purpose, rip it apart on multiple levels attempting to humiliate the user and then offer up an alternative tool that you already have in your kitchen.

The alternative section would consist of some stock photos that would keep appearing over and over and over again as the suggested replacement. A photo of someone's hands would be repeated many times. So would a chef knife. To replace this plastic egg cracker, for example, you'd get a picture of a brain, a counter, and a bowl. You get the idea.

Some of my other favorite useless gadgets are:

1. Garlic roller thing. This one just makes me laugh (if by laugh I mean a bitter snort of contempt). By the time you've inserted your garlic clove into the middle of the roller, rolled it around, popped it out, and cleaned the roller thing, you could have already whacked the crap out of the clove with your knife, sauteed it and caught up on the last 5 seasons of Grey's Anatomy.

2. Electric can opener. I did think this was sort of cool as a child but - c'mon- our grandmother had arthritis which is the ONLY excusable reason to have one. Don't have arthritis? Hate to break it to you but you're just insufferably lazy. Get a can opener, a manual can opener that is, and work towards burning a few calories.

3. The double-boiler A classic! This is one of my favorites. The idea is to gently cook food above a simmering pot of water. Time to pull out the DOUBLE BOILER! It's a pot that has another pot that sits on top of it. Almost exactly like a pot that you stick a metal or glass bowl over. Replacement photos: Brain, pot you already own, bowl.

The beauty of the chef knife, and our brain for that matter, is that they are multi-purpose tools designed or evolved to tackle many complex problems. It can be argued that some people's brains are single-use, but now is not the place to open that can of worms.

If the kitchen tool in question has only one purpose and/or comes out of storage once a year for some obscure job, then that is a very good sign that it is a piece of UselessKitchenKrap. I know there are many more opinions out there on this topic, so I leave you now to tawk amongst yourselves.


Jesse Selengut said...

Not that I am any authority but it would be fun to see a list of all the different kinds of (kitchen related) things you can do with a chef's knife -
I challenge you to come with ten right now:
1) Cut things
2) counter top zamboni
3) garlic smack down
4) open a can of tuna after the lid has fallen in a little bit
5) stab someone in the kitchen
6) cut the extra string off something you're tying
7) stab someone else in the kitchen
8) slide cut stuff into to the pan
9) open packaging
10) scrape off inside of chevre packaging

I am not a chef so I have limited experience and could generate 10 things (with only 2 deaths) in a matter of minutes. . . you chefs out there can do better. I'm curious, anyway.

Chris said...

At least this egg-separator has comic value...

But really, unless you're entertaining kids in the kitchen you'd probably never use it.

Mike said...

Love it, Chris! That is a close approximation of what my weekend was like. (Seasonal allergic rhinitis.)
For anyone who has trouble with Chris' link, try this:

LC said...

Becky, you forgot #11, the AmyP corollary: stab YOURSELF in the butt while hunting porcini...

alex hayden said...

My family has a tradition of including a "mystery" kitchen gadget with the Christmas gifts each year. The gadget is sent out of its original packaging, so we can all guess what the hell it's supposed to be.

Last year's gem was the Pie Gate! Keeps all those pesky cherries from oozing out of your cut pie.


Becky said...

My comments on my brother Jesse's list:

2) counter top zamboni
3) garlic smack down
4) open a can of tuna after the lid has fallen in a little bit (USE CHEAP PARING KNIFE. DON'T TELL OTHER CHEFS)
6) cut the extra string off something you're tying
7) stab someone else in the kitchen (THE PERSON IN #9 WHO'S ABOUT TO OPEN PACKAGING WITH MY KNIFE)
8) slide cut stuff into the pan
9) open packaging
10) scrape off inside of chevre packaging (BRILLIANT)

and thanks to LC, I've added one more

11)stab yourself (if you are amy p, you stab your butt accidently, when hunting porcini. If you me, you slice off part of your knuckle while teaching a cooking class.)

Becky said...

Susan: Piegate The real reason Nixon went down.

Shauna said...

I remember when we talked about that website -- we were in Sur la Table that long lovely day. We really should still do it. We'd make a mint.

Jeanne said...

I will admit, to all and sundry, that I use the garlic roller thingy. Especially when I have a bunch of little tiny cloves. Put them in there, roll them around, you're done. Shake out the roller thingy and put in drawer. No so useless for me :).

Becky said...

Shauna: we totally did! I remember that conversation... yes, we should do it. Let me know when you have some time.

Jeanne: Ok, I'll give you that... yes, for those tiny, tiny cloves, I can see the value of the roller. Truth is, I'm allergic to garlic, so it was an easy thing for me to pick on. ;)


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