How many kitchen gadgets is too many?

 waffle cones

Recently I have gone through kitchen cabinets with ruthless determination to downsize. Not being able to close some of the doors due to the surfeit of gadgets and appliances led me to do a KonMari-style clean out. Some items had been hand-me-downs, some were purchased on a whim, and others had become less useful as I changed the way I cook. Still, there’s a respectable amount of appliances and tools that some would question, including a waffle cone maker. Doing this clean out led me to ask questions like ‘does having this gadget help me be a better cook or just a more cluttered one?’ 

Keith Blanchard, writing in The Wall Street Journal, also wonders if the hyper-specialization in all cooking gadgets is beneficial. He thought that the cooking gadget trend was on the way out, but he notes that “then in came the hipsters. Those post-ironic facial-hair experimenters decided to ruin comfort food by miniaturizing everything, by stirring in eco-politics, and by infusing even the simplest staple foods with a tongue-torturing chain of exotic ingredients.”

The author pokes fun at too-precious items like a “crepe batter trowel spreader…in durable maple wood, $9 from Alamarra” and a “dedicated three-prong sausage pricker, $10 from the Sausage Maker.” The list of five questionable, highly specialized items that follows the article includes–you guessed it–a waffle cone maker. I’m still not giving mine away.

Photo of Homemade waffle cones from indexed blog Annie’s Eats

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  • MaryMM  on  November 27, 2016

    It would have been nice to be able to read this featured article in total. The first three paragraphs are just a teaser and don't identify more than one gadget. When I went to read the article I was asked to subscribe before I could read it. Seems like click bait. How about selecting an article subscribers can actually read?

  • darcie_b  on  November 27, 2016

    I don't have a subscription to WSJ but was able to view the entire article so I'm not sure why the link doesn't work. Try Googling the title of the article + Wall Street Journal – then click on the link from there. That has worked for me in the past with the WSJ when I run into a paywall.

  • Analyze  on  November 28, 2016

    Interesting topic; I love to organize and I think that it's most useful because then you can actually find and use what does fit you best. For cooking, I'd never make a list of gadgets that people should or shouldn't have; it completely depends on the individual's cooking habits! If you use it once a year and it's useful, that's still worth it IMO. The main thing is to routinely (maybe yearly) go through your drawers and identify the stuff that you rarely or never use. Then decide if you want to donate it OR set into a pile of things to try to use soon.

  • davidburkhart  on  December 30, 2016

    There's an old organization trick–free up two drawers (or cabinets) in your kitchen this week. Put everything in one. Whenever you use something this year, put it back in the other. At the end of next year, throw out whatever is left in the first drawer…

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