Cookware

11 Novelty Kitchen Gadgets That Only Have One Job—And I Want Them All

Why yes, I do need a corn stripper and butter cutter.

June  4, 2021
Photo by Amazon

We spent the last year and a half reorganizing, reimagining, and decluttering almost every part of our lives and spaces, but there will always, always be one thing that I’d happily cram into my newly-organized cabinets. That’s right—I’m talking about kitchen gadgets.

There are kitchen gadgets that are genuinely useful, like potato ricers and avocado slicers. But then there are novelty gadgets that have a singular—and often extremely specific—purpose like a butter cutter or a hands-free stirrer. Turns out, I’m an absolute sucker for any type of novelty tool that has just one job—and on Amazon, there are many.

Even though my kitchen (despite my multiple Marie Kondo-inspired cleanses)is extremely full of such trinkets and tools, there are always sooo many others I'm tempted to drop in my cart. Here are just 11 of the one-fit wonders I definitely don't need, but absolutely want to have (even if I only use them once).

1. Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

We know you’ve seen this everywhere (and maybe already own it), but this is one of the more hardworking uni-tasking kitchen gadgets because it can cook eggs a ton of different ways—hard boiled, soft boiled, scrambled, poached, and even as omelettes. Technically, this compact machine can cook whatever you put in there, but let’s be real—you’re only ever going to make hard boiled eggs with it.

2. Nostalgia Pop-Up 2 Hot Dog and Bun Toaster

Making hot dogs is hard work—but not if you have this handy dog and bun toaster. It makes the perfect serving for one (in my book anyway) and only fits standard franks and buns, but it’s just too adorable to pass up. I just know it’s going to be worth buying for the two times I eat hot dogs in a whole year.

Photo by Amazon
Photo by Amazon

3. Chef'n Cob Corn Stripper

In theory, corn on the cob is cute. In real life, it’s messy—and like quinoa, it always finds a way into your teeth. That’s why I’ll only eat corn by the spoonful after stripping it with this nifty little gadget.

4. StirMate Hands-Free Automatic Stirrer

While the lazy way is often not the best way to achieve, well, anything, I think I can make an exception for this hands-free automatic stirrer designed to fit pots and pans of all sizes. Though on the pricier side for a gadget, I can just envision it stirring my favorite summer soup to bubbling perfection while I curl up on the couch and watch The Bachelor.

Photo by Amazon
Photo by Amazon

5. Higfra Electric Wine Aerator And Decanter

Speaking of lazy, I now find my life (and television viewing routine) totally incomplete without this do-it-all wine gadget. With the press of a button, it aerates, decants, and pours my wine tap-style into my glass. Cheers to that!

6. Kitchen Gizmo Snap 'N Strain Strainer

When straining your pasta into a separate colander is just too much, you can use this snazzy Snap 'N Strain Strainer instead. Do I need it? Of course not. But it's so small and storage-friendly (it'll tuck right in to the corner of my cabinet perfectly) that I want it.

Photo by Amazon
Photo by Amazon

7. FullStar Vegetable Spiralizer

Spiralized vegetables will never fool me into thinking that zucchini noodles are pasta. Carbs will always reign supreme but this tiny, compact, handheld spiralizer is luring me to eat more vegetables with its clever cuteness.

8. Hulless Stainless Steel Onion Holder

Chopping an onion in slices is hard. Chopping an onion in perfect, even slices without losing a finger is even harder. This handy little onion holder (which is also great for tomatoes, potatoes, meat, and anything else your imagination will allow) makes my culinary dreams, possible—without any phalangeal danger.

Photo by Amazon
Photo by Amazon

9. One-Click Stick Butter Cutter

I have been and will always be butter's number-one fan. As part of my memorabilia collection, I own a butter keeper, multiple butter knives, and a butter churner (because the best butter is homemade butter), but I'm thinking that this brilliant stick butter cutter needs to join the party. After stumbling upon it, I can't imagine buttering my toast or pancakes any other way.

10. Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker

No matter how hard I try, I am a hot mess in the morning (13 times hitting the snooze button? Oh yeah, that's me), meaning a proper breakfast is always a rushed afterthought. I think this all-in-one breakfast sandwich maker might solve my problems (even ones that have nothing do with breakfast), since it takes care of every step in the process—minus cracking the eggs.

Photo by Amazon
Photo by Amazon

11. i Kito Stainless Steel Ravioli Mould

Do I make fresh pasta regularly? Or empanadas? Or dumplings? No, no, and no. But that's because I don't have this adorable ravioli/empanada/dumpling/any-doughy-pocket mould. And if I ever decide to be that person who makes homemade ravioli for a regular weeknight dinner, this would really help.

This article was updated in June 2021 with even more fun kitchen gadgets.

What are some "useless" kitchen tools you absolutely can't live without? Tell us in the comments below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.


Legitimately Useful Kitchen Tools

Grab your copy

It's here: Our game-changing guide to everyone's favorite room in the house. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks—from our community, test kitchen, and cooks we love—to help transform your space into its best self.

Grab your copy

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Holly Siegel
    Holly Siegel
  • Andrea Young
    Andrea Young
  • J
    J
  • jlevy
    jlevy
  • Smaug
    Smaug
Erin Alexander is the Brand Partnerships Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.

22 Comments

Holly S. June 7, 2021
Erin! I would add a pair of those 5-blade herb scissors where brilliantly, the cover for them helps you get out the herbs after you cut them. It's not the same as just cutting them!
 
Andrea Y. June 6, 2021
I am here for this thread. I am going to buy one of those corn strippers, because the minute I see a recipe that says "5 fresh ears of corn, kernels removed" I move on to the next recipe because it is so much work, so messy, and I always feel that I didn't really get all of the kernels off so I don't enjoy what I made anyway. It's real angst! I'll add to this list my mango pit remover. I love mangos, but figuring out where to cut, then how to remove from the skin kept me from buying these delicious fruits. With my mango pit remover and a tall glass, I now have beautiful mango halves to slice.
 
Jada W. June 7, 2021
Love mangoes—sounds like you have life all figured out, Andrea!
 
J June 5, 2021
The corn stripper rocks! However, you need to TWIST it—either the cob or the stripper—not push it—and the kernels will practically fall off.
 
Jada W. June 7, 2021
Thanks for the tip!
 
jlevy June 5, 2021
I’ve owned the butter cutter for years, and the whole family loves it. I got it so I could have consistent size cuts of butter to track calories. It does that, but it also makes thinner cuts that melt faster. I’ve given several to family members. If it ever broke I would definitely replace it.
 
Jada W. June 7, 2021
The only thing better than butter is perfectly melted butter—glad you're putting this tool to good use!
 
Smaug June 4, 2021
One of life's dirty little secrets- stripping corn cobs with a knife is messy and inefficient. I'd be tempted by the corn stripper, but you get better quality corn frozen than on the cob unless- maybe- you're picking your own.
 
Jada W. June 7, 2021
True, but corn on the cob is just too delicious to pass up!
 
Smaug June 7, 2021
Not really any more delicious than frozen, less so unless it's extremely fresh. It is indispensable for barbecue.
 
May June 4, 2021
These aren't gadgets but my bf has a whole shelf full of cute plastic toothpicks that he bought in Japan (and continues to buy when he finds them at Daiso). We're talking little animal heads, tiny gems, mini fruits, etc. Most of them are still in the package. I think he's opened one pack and used them for cubes of jell-o then had to go around picking them out of the trash when people accidentally threw them away. I won't even get into the other shelf above the toothpick shelf that is full of jell-o and popsicle molds. My feeling is, he likes them and has space for them so I'm not saying anything. I wish I liked jell-o though.
 
Jada W. June 7, 2021
LOVE Daiso - I feel your partner's need to buy the adorable toothpicks!
 
Ginger B. June 4, 2021
I wholeheartedly recommend the Dash Egg cooker. I picked one up a TJ Maxx for maybe $10 about 7 years ago and it gets used at least once per week. I've tried pretty much every other way to hard/soft boil eggs and this is the only method that is consistent at all. It does come with a little omelette pan, but I've never tried it. My favorite thing is to put duck eggs in it and fill the water to the hard-boil line. They come out gorgeously jammy (since they're bigger and denser than chicken eggs) and are perfect.

We did have the Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich maker for a while, since my husband is the king of breakfast sandwiches, but we found it rather finicky and difficult to clean. His original way with just a big skillet and the muffins in the toaster works way better. If you need a quick eggy breakfast option you can sleep-prep, make a big batch of egg scrambles in a muffin tin on a Sunday and then reheat them all week - if you've got a muffin-top tin, you may even be able to get the ratio right for a good breakfast sandwich.

My dad has the hot dog maker and loves it. =)
 
Jada W. June 7, 2021
Wow, you've got all the gadgets, Ginger! Sounds like the Dash egg cooker gets so much use in your kitchen!
 
Sharon E. January 25, 2019
I have a small gadget that does nothing but cook eggs. Since I am constitutionally incapable of making hard boiled eggs that aren't over or under done, I consider it worth the less than $30.00 CAD I paid for it, thank you. I no longer get raw garlic, although I do have a keeper. I just don't use it often enough. But, I do have a jar of minced garlic in olive oil. While not a gadget, it is a necessity.
 
J January 21, 2019
Love the piece! Very witty, and SO TRUE! It's fun thinking of the things that I have discarded. For example, a very expensive W-S potato ricer that wouldn't rice potatoes--I got a lot more pleasure out of throwing it away than using it. And things that I should discard -- the full-sized plastic spiralizer now stored in a bedroom closet because it won't sit still and works only on zucchini-- but I WANT the expensive Kitchen Aid attachment although it probably also works only for zucchini. And the little thingie, even though it may not work at all. Finally, curse you -- I didn't even know that an automatic stirring thingie or a special ravioli mold existed, and now I want them!!! :)
 
rainbow G. January 25, 2019
I bought the really expensive KitchenAid attachment spiralizer and it was great on apples... The one time I've used it. It hasn't seen the light of day since!
 
Author Comment
Erin A. January 25, 2019
Thank you, J!! I totally relate to everything you said. And that ravioli mold! It's too cute NOT to buy.
 
Author Comment
Erin A. January 25, 2019
Story of my life rainbow G.!
 
Lune June 4, 2021
I love my KitchenAid spiralizer! It makes slicing apples/pears for apple crisp a breeze! It works well with potatoes too if you want to make curly fries. And don't get me started on the pasta extruder attachment!
 
witloof January 21, 2019
I own that OXO spiralizer, and it does not spark joy. Nor does it spiralize very well at all. I used it exactly once, was horrified at how it mangled the zucchini I was attempting to turn into a zoodle, and tossed it in the back of a drawer where my second string kitchen tools {pastry brush, offset spatula, cherry pitter, cookie scoop} reside. It will probably get Kondoed during spring cleaning.
 
Author Comment
Erin A. January 25, 2019
This makes me very very sad.