We love our gadgets. Indeed, they often make life so much easier, whether it be air fryers or that onion dicer that saves you from teary meal prep. However, some inventions honestly seem like a money grab. Not only will they waste space in your kitchen, they'll also destroy your hard-earned cash. A popular internet forum recently discussed kitchen items they felt were over-hyped and not worth it.
1. Designer Cheesecloth
With many people trying to make their products at home, products like cheesecloth are having a moment. This is a translucent, loosely woven fabric, usually undyed, that you use to drain the whey out when making cheese. It should be one of the cheapest types of cloth out there. If you're paying more than a few dollars simply because it has a particular brand or chef's name on it, you may want to find other options.
2. Hexclad Cookware
If you've watched anything with Gordon Ramsay lately, you'll have seen Hexclad Cookware used or promoted. It looks pretty, and a famous chef recommends it, so it must be good, right? As one forum member points out, it's just a gimmick and a technology that's been around for a long time. If you need a new non-stick pan, there are plenty of others to choose from.
3. The Always Pan
This pan is highly used and promoted on Instagram. The claim is that it's a multi-use item and replaces eight other pieces of equipment, such as a frying pan, saucepan, and spoon rest. It does this by having higher sides than a traditional fry pan. Nothing is extraordinary about it, but if you want to part with $145 to say you own one, we won't judge.
4. Expensive Cast Iron Pans
Cast iron pans are a must for every serious chef, and knowing how to season and keep it is part of owning one. However, they're all made of the same material — cast iron. Paying an asking price of $400 doesn't make your steak taste any better. One on Amazon for $18 has over 100k good reviews.
5. Automatic Pasta Maker
If you eat a lot of pasta and want to make your own, spending $300 seems like a good investment, right? According to several forum members, the machine gathers dust in their cupboards. They claim it's easier to make it by hand.
6. The Margaritaville
If you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, forget about buying a Margaritaville. It's essentially an expensive ice crusher. One person says that their in-laws got one, and they hated it. It was then passed from family member to family member like a hot potato. They described it as a time and space waster.
7. Expensive Mortar and Pestle
There is a theme here, and the lesson is that sometimes, just because it has a hefty price tag, it doesn't mean it's better than the one that's ten times less. A mortar and pestle is intended to crush things like whole spices and herbs, so if one marble mortar and pestle is $20 and one at an upmarket culinary store is $120, the only difference is the foolish person willing to spend that much.
8. Expensive Charcoal Grills
There are now Wi-Fi grills that you can control from anywhere in your house. There's no need to waste time looking at the meat. These expensive grills might excite some people, but one forum member says that you can't beat the standard and inexpensive Weber charcoal grills that have existed since 1893.
9. Cutco Knives
People aren't impressed with these expensive knives' pushy sales tactics or overly-hyped quality. When cooking at home, the only thing you need in a knife is something that actually cuts. If your knives aren't doing the trick, it might be time to invest in an inexpensive sharpener.
10. Cold Brew Systems
Cold brew is all the rage these days, so of course, people are looking to have it at home. Plenty of these systems are out there — the low-end ones range from about $20 to $80. Essentially, it's coffee grounds in water, but you can easily make it in something like a mason jar or a French Press, according to a forum member.
11. Tortilla Press
Tortilla presses can be versatile tools. While Amazon offers a $60 10-inch cast iron tortilla press, you can find larger wooden ones for just $20 at local markets in areas with substantial Mexican or Spanish communities. One person says that the material the press is made from is insignificant since you're covering the service with parchment paper anyway.
12. Pampered Chef Single-Use Gadgets
Have you ever dreaded that invite to a friend's Pampered Chef party? You don't want to seem rude, but you don't need an avocado slicer that you may use once in your lifetime. What about a boiled egg slicer? There are probably people who use these things frequently, but for most of us, they just take up drawer space.
13. Cast Iron Wok
Have you ever been to an Asian kitchen and seen the chef using a heavy cast iron work? No? That's because it wouldn't work for things like stir-fry. However, some company thought this was a great idea, and people out there bought it.
14. Wolf Brand Gas Top
It looks very pretty and boasts a quality restaurant experience in the comfort of your home. They're one of the pricier gas tops, starting at around $2000 for your standard four burner. One forum member says it started breaking down after three years of use.
15. Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Products
Kimball is one of the co-founders of cooking shows America's Test Kitchen and Milk Street. This means he can put his name on many kitchen products, and people will buy them. That's one of the good things about being a celebrity — if you start your own business, you don't have to work too hard at marketing. People say they like Kimball and Milk Street but are disappointed they've resorted to monetizing things this way.