There’s no disagreement: For its intended use, a rolling pizza cutter works better than anything else. Plus, many home chefs point out that pizza wheels come in handy not only for slicing their namesake, but also for prepping everything from pie crusts to fresh pasta. That said, if you don’t cook or bake very often, chances are that in your kitchen, a pizza cutter would only collect dust between infrequent uses. That's fine, in theory, since pizza cutters neither cost much nor take up very much room. But if like so many other homeowners, you're on a mission to reduce unnecessary clutter in the kitchen, you're much better off sticking with the simple, "good enough" alternative—a regular chef's knife.
If you love yogurt so much that you restock on every visit to the store, consider this: You can cut your grocery costs by skipping the store-bought yogurt varieties and learning to make your own. People have been making homemade yogurt for hundreds, if not thousands of years. There are many methods of doing so that require nothing more than the cookware and utensils already in your kitchen. True, a yogurt maker simplifies the process but only to a limited degree. Unless you plan on preparing heaping quantities of yogurt on a regular, continuing basis, there's no reason to buy such a specialized appliance, especially when you factor in the bulky, difficult-to-store size of the average unit.
A warm, toasted panini is always an upgrade from your typical sandwich. It's why having your own panini press in your kitchen seems like a great idea. But in reality? The kitchen appliance is heavy and takes up a lot of space, whether on your counter or stored in a cabinet. It also isn't the easiest to clean. Rather than splurging on this contraption you can use your indoor electric grill, or even easier a skillet on the stovetop!
A burger press helps home chefs create perfectly shaped patties, but the unnecessary gadget is more inconvenient than helpful. Burgers don’t need to be uniformly molded for proper cooking, and the press won’t affect the taste of the meat at all. Plus, the shaper comes with its own host of issues, like the need to sanitize between uses to prevent the spread of E. coli. Save time, money, and space in your kitchen by using your hands to form your hamburgers instead. If you really want a consistent patty shape—or if the thought of touching raw meat disgusts you—try molding your burgers with other kitchen tools like an ice cream scoop, mason jar lid, or measuring cup.
If you’re a pasta aficionado who enjoys creating homemade fettuccine and spaghetti noodles, then your pasta maker may be a well-used necessity. On the other hand, if you’re perfectly content with cooking up a box of dried pasta, the gadget is likely collecting dust at the back of your pantry. To save yourself from buyer’s remorse and kitchen clutter, don’t buy a pasta maker unless you’re positive it will get enough use to justify the purchase.
You don't need a bread maker to be an experienced baker, or even enjoy the occasional home-baked goods. Sure, the low-maintenance appliance makes fresh bread accessible the way that slow cookers saved dinner after long days, but it's quite a countertop commitment for cooking only a portion of your meals. If you already have a stand mixer, consider instead investing in a palm-sized attachment that can do the same work: the dough hook. After kneading the bread dough to develop the gluten that makes it rise just so, you can pop that loaf into your oven.
While this breakfast staple is protein-packed to deliver the energy you need all day long, how often do you or your family really consume hard-boiled eggs anyway? If the answer isn't "twice a day," then you can probably survive without this bulky 4- to 12-egg cooker by boiling a half-dozen eggs in a sauce pan periodically instead. An even simpler alternative to boiling water on the stove: Check your supermarket for bags of already boiled and peeled eggs, right next to the cartons—they'll eat up zero extra space in your kitchen.
Stand-alone Cake Maker
Electric cake makers, and their cousins, cake pop makers, promise moist, fluffy confections with push-button convenience. However, the tasty proposition comes with a catch: you've got to find a place to store this bulky appliance. While traditional cake pans can be stacked and stored with ease, a cake maker requires more than its fair share of shelf space, and that poses a challenge in an already cluttered kitchen. If you prefer a set-and-forget baking experience to to the age-old oven method, employ your ever-versatile crockpot to bake a cake to remember.
Electric Crepe Griddle
The delights of French cuisine can be yours in a flash, with an electric crepe maker—so says popular opinion. But did you know that cooking this paper thin pancake is almost as foolproof when done in a standard griddle? That's good news for gourmands whose cramped kitchens can't possibly accommodate another single-use appliance. Besides, let's face it, how often do you whip up this little treat? Chances are it's not often enough to justify the purchase.
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What cheese lover doesn't enjoy a dipping into a warm pot of delectable fondue? It's a fan favorite at parties but despite the fondue pot's obvious appeal, this single-use appliance spends more time on a shelf than on the hors d'oeuvres table. Before you buy, be honest about how often you'll use this contraption. If you can't justify the cabinet space it takes to store the pot, get your occasional fondue fix when you're out to eat instead.
A recent spate of baking shows have introduced home cooks to the tools of professional cake makers. A good baker can make decorating a three-tier cake look like, well, a cake walk. The truth is it takes trial and error to make an award-winning confection. If you're not ready to spend the time learning the tricks of the trade, you might want to stick to mixing up simple yet tasty birthday cakes, and skip the fondant smoothers, frosting knives, and fancy cake slicers.
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