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The 10 Most Useless Kitchen Gadgets

February 2, 2013  |  9:48am

While online commenters are the bane of anyone whose business shows up on Yelp, the clever web critics who took to Amazon and turned the silly Hutzler 571 banana slicer into a well-shared social-media meme deserve a round of applause for their hilarious work. Why does anyone need a piece of yellow plastic to cut up their banana? Does it make it any less funny to know that the safety cutting tool is geared toward Montessori kids? Probable not. But the whole episode made it obvious that those ridiculous items sold on late night TV and QVC have found a home online. Which means we are now free to openly mock them using all available media. Here are a few of the funniest, most pointless kitchen gadgets available on the web now.

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1. CHEF’N BANANA SLICER
Yes, another way to slice a banana. We, as a nation, might have to file a class action suit against the Chef’n brand for not only turning out a banana slicer that looks like it could be used in a bris, but many other fruit slicers and well. The main problem with the Chef’n slicer, other than it’s easy replaceability by a knife, is threat towards the phallus. As one commenter writer, “My husband likes bananas but hates watching me do this for some reason. He hasn’t slept in weeks.”

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2. FOX RUN BUTTER SPREADER
Fox Run is, like Chef’n, another arbiter of kitchen crap. I understand the desire to not allow churned milk to touch one’s flesh, but is it necessary to buy an exoskeleton for your stick of butter so that you can apply it to, say, toast or corn on the cob without getting greasy? No, it is not. Again, please use a knife. Or if you’re crafty, use the butter wrapper. It’s like a built in glove.

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3. ONE CLICK STICK BUTTER CUTTER
Yet another exoskeleton trying to keep humans from butter. When did we deem butter and skin commingling to be something we should avoid? Maybe it’s time for a dairy civil rights movement. There is no reason for these barriers to exist between man and fat.

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4. BUTTER MILL BUTTER DISPENSER
With three butter-related gadgets making this list, as well as the number of banana-slicing related tools, it seems like Americans have built up some serious fears against coming into any contact with anything yellow. The need for a squeezed butter dispenser in one’s life must suggest such a serious carpal tunnel problem that stops you from cutting butter with a knife—that task that takes literal seconds to accomplish.

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5. ROLL AND POUR
As someone whose muscles still work, a plastic gadget that helps me pour liquids from two-liter bottles and gallon jugs into my glass makes little sense. And all the able body people using the Roll and Pour in photos make no sense either. But, of course, children and the elderly can benefit greatly from this tool. But the Roll and Pour’s Amazon description lists young women as beneficiaries of the product. You know, because of their undeveloped wrist muscles. I was almost on your side, Roll and Pour, before the sexism.

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6. HOG WILD TWIRLING SPAGHETTI FORK
A comment in this Amazon item suggests that a non-Italian might not know how to properly twirl spaghetti. I guess there are some cultural differences globalization can’t crack. Some folks bought it as a novelty, others, I presume, because they want something battery-powered hovering over their dinner. Needless to say, twirl your own frickin’ pasta, bro.

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7. HOOMOOL PIZZA CUTTING SHEARS
The idea of scissors to cut pizza is only sort of ridiculous. You could use scissors you already own and clean them, but there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing you have a pair of scissors dedicated to cutting pizza, right? Thing is, a pizza wheel accomplishes this task much easier than scissors. And you’d think the added spatula portion of this tool would stretch out the cheese and ingredients on the top of your pie. Again, another tool whose function is better replicated by good knife.

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8. AMCO PEPPER PREPPER
As a blog post in the Phoenix New Times points out, AMCO’s Pepper Prepper still requires you to take up a pepper’s historical dismemberer—the knife—in addition to its secondary piece of green plastic. For the completely clueless cook, here’s how you prep a pepper: Slice off the stem top with a knife; use hands to pull out the seed core; chop in half with knife; and slice to desired size. Not too hard, huh? Well, if you need an extra drawer jockey to help complete that task, be our guest and buy one. But listen, you are smart enough not to need it. You can do it.

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9. NIBBLED CUTTING BOARD
This one falls under the worst present from an in-law category. Pretty much everything found on the website Baron Bob is meant to squeeze a smile out of Baptists and old uncles who love references to beer drinking. This “gadget” isn’t absolutely pointless, but I’m nervous I’ll unwrap this thing from a relative who heard I was into food and thought this would make a great gift.

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10. BANANA HANDLE GRIPPER
Dear designers, please stop giving Musa acuminata such a bum rap. Bananas are wonderful, easy-to-prep (unless you’re a baby) fruit. Stop turning them into your cheap gags! According to Amazon reviews, don’t use this baby on an iron skillet. And, according to the same reviews, there is a person somewhere out there who thinks this ‘gripper’ looks cool in your kitchen. It doesn’t. Unless you are a gorilla. And it that case you don’t need a kitchen.

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