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Wouldn't it be great to have a specific machine or gadget for every task in the kitchen? When you're improvising this may seem like the ideal, but it is really not.

There are a couple of kitchen electronics we use every day (coffee maker and toaster) while the rest are used occasionally. Our condo has the smallest kitchen we've ever had making counter and cupboard space a premium and only for the must-haves.

Then there is the cost factor. $20-$50 sounds inexpensive until you multiply it by number of appliances. Of course, the price could be even higher depending on features and brand.

Least Used Kitchen Appliances

Here are ten items I've had or considered that were eventually deemed unnecessary. Most likely, you don't need them either.

1. Baked Potato Cooker. We got this as a Christmas gift. I appreciate the thought but we never used it and finally donated it after storing for a couple of years. I prefer the taste of oven-baked potatoes. If we don't have the time or want to heat the kitchen, I just microwave them.

2. Electric Wok. At one time, I used the wok every 3-4 weeks, but the footprint of it required a lot of storage space so it was downsized along with our home. Now, I use a large multi-purpose skillet and it works just fine.

3. Cappuchino Maker. My oldest son wanted one of these for a holiday present years ago. We gave it to him and I think it got used a handful of times. He liked the drinks but wasn't willing to go to the trouble to make them regularly. Not too much later, it was at a garage sale.

4. Ice Cream Maker. This may be the most controversial machine on the list. I remember how much time electric makers saved homemade ice cream lovers when they first came out. However, most households just don't use them enough to justify the storage space.

5. Rotisserie. Chicken broiled on a rotisserie is one of my favorite meals. I get a 3-4 pound broiled chicken for only $5 at the nearby big box store. Just the thought of cleaning the machine, let alone paying for and storing it, turns me off!

6. Sandwich Press. Who doesn't love a grilled sandwich or panini? But you don't need a separate machine. I have a counter-top grill with 5 types of inserts so I can make hot sandwiches, waffles and grill meat all with the same appliance.

7. Wine Opener. If you open a bottle of wine nightly, then maybe this gadget wouldn't be a bad deal. For box wine or infrequent drinkers, a manual corkscrew is just fine.

8. Ice Shaver. Hawaiian shaved ices are refreshing on a hot summer day. What do you do with the machine the rest of the year? I think it's cheaper in the long run to buy the occasional shaved ice instead of getting the machine and ingredients.

9. Egg Cooker. When I think about the hundreds of years people have been cooking eggs, an electric egg cooker seems very unnecessary. Don't limit yourself to cooking them one or two styles. Use a skillet or pot (for boiled eggs) and follow a good cook book. You'll be making perfect eggs in no time.

10. Quesadilla Maker. We love quesadillas, but it seems silly to have machine just to make them and warm tortillas. That multi-purpose skillet is the perfect size for burrito size tortillas and my husband makes a mean chicken quesadilla!

Take a critical look at your kitchen? Do you have machines and gadgets that are rarely used? Lighten the load and sell or donate them. What is the kitchen appliance you never use?

About Kay Lynn

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22 comments add your comment

  1. I don’t think I have an appliance I never use, but there are a few I under use. We have a huge coffee maker that we pull out for parties, ice tea maker, and a blender.

    • My blender and food processor are definitely under-used — to the point I should probably get rid of them. If you host events with large groups then I can see holding onto the big coffee maker.

  2. My cherry pitter. I love it and it’s so much fun to use but I only buy cherries about 5 times a year.

    • I’ve never had a cherry pitter. I can imagine it makes it such an easier job you need to hold on to that even if it is used only a few times a year.

  3. I don’t think we have a kitchen we rarely use, except for the espresso machine. It was a Christmas gift from my Mom, and so it has to stay. For espresso and cappuccino, we still go basic with a stovetop espresso maker and a plungey-thingey for the milk foam.

    • I must confess we have a kitchen appliance from my mom that I’ve used only a couple of times after six years. I can’t get rid of it for the same reason as you.

  4. I don’t have one item from that list, and to be honest, I never liked the idea of having a bung of things sitting out on the counters taking up space or cluttering a cabinet. The multi-function griddle is a great invention, though, and I know my parents use theirs all the time. The only thing I have (well, actually until this past weekend I had one) was my blender, but overuse ended up doing it in.

    • Eric, I hope the blender overuse was for a fun time. :) I’m glad to know others don’t want to clutter counters with too many specialized kitchen appliances.

  5. I think we use all our machines, including the ice cream maker. The magic bullet gets the most use though and the kitchen aid is not used to its full potential. I keep planning to make different types of bread but always have some excuse of not finding time…

    • Suba, you’re doing a great job managing what you keep in the kitchen. I’m reformed but still could probably get rid of a couple.

    • The baked potato cooker had a heating element with six prongs sticking up that you could put through the potato that would bake it. It also would work with hot dogs supposedly.

      It was one of those gifts you open up and don’t know what to say. We got rid of our bread machine a few years ago. We ate too much bread with it (the smell of hot bread is so tempting!).

  6. I have a blender that I rarely use, but it’s very handy when I do need it.

    I have some other kind of contraption in my cabinets – can’t even remember what it is. Maybe a bread maker? That thing probably needs to go.

    When I moved into my house two years ago, I came with nothing but a set of pots and pans. I bemoaned all the appliances I left behind – my George Foreman grill (I WILL replace that one, used it all the time), my deep fryer, my waffle iron… But for two years I have managed to survive without any of those things. And I definitely don’t cook enough to need much. So I think I’ll stick with my minimalist kitchen!

    • Andrea, we use all three of those appliances regularly and I’d have a hard time doing without. We make waffles 2-3 times a month and deep fry once a week. I wouldn’t want to keep pouring oil in a pan when we wanted to make tater tots or fries.

  7. I hate specialty appliances but there is one i have on your list, the rotisserie chicken cooker (They had me at “Set it and forget it.”) And yes, you’re right, it’s impossible to clean and so grungy I can’t bring myself to use it anymore.

  8. When younger, I once bought someone a deluxe pasta maker as a wedding gift. It wasn’t on registry, so I’m not exactly sure why I bought it other than it seemed cool. Anyway, I can’t imagine wasting time using that too often when ready made pasta is inexpensive and readily available

    I had a breadmaker that I really enjoyed using about 10 years ago, then abruptly stopped and never used it again. Fresh baked bread can be purchased for low prices outside, where many of us live. Of course, I don’t buy much of that either:)

    • The pasta maker does seem like it would be cool, but I bet they didn’t use it very often.

      Good point about fresh bread being fairly inexpensively and readily available. The type we buy wouldn’t have come from the bread machine anyway.