Kitchen gadgets take up a lot of room in our kitchens but how many do we really use? The real question — do we need more kitchen gadgets (small appliances) and especially those we only use once a year unless they save us lots of time?
My confession is my newest kitchen gadget, my Ninja Pulse Blender which I absolutely love. It's helping me eat (or drink) healthier with a minimum of effort, including cleaning up. It lets me make nutritious shakes in single servings, right in the cup I use to drink the shake and I use it every day!
So let's explore how many kitchen gadgets you already have, sitting on the counter and hidden inside your cabinets. Then you can decide if you need another gadget, and maybe you do but how about trading (gifting one of your existing kitchen gadgets that you never use) a new one for an old one?
Last Kitchen Gadget You Bought?
While sharing my latest kitchen gadget, it seemed appropriate to survey a few friends to learn what their last purchase was, so I defined kitchen gadgets as small appliances, often electronic to save us time and not essential for day-to-day living. What's important is how often we use our kitchen gadgets, as Overstock.com might call them “cooking essentials” where I feel there are very few kitchen gadgets we use every day!
- Jamie (family, 2 kids) said she bought a hand operated can opener, and shared her gadget story. Her kitchen gadget drawer was so full that it broke, and they had to empty it to repair the drawer. This gave Jamie the perfect opportunity to “… clean out the gadget drawer” and keep what she really uses.
- Nance (couple, no kids at home) recently bought a new “micro” coffee maker.
- Kathleen (single) said she last bought a frying pan (gadget?) and before that a NuWave Infrared Oven which she uses every day in the winter (but once a week in the summer as she likes to cook out).
- Craig (couple, no kids at home) – bought a coffee grinder.
Kitchen Gadgets on Your Counter Tops?
More interesting was which kitchen gadgets are kept out on the counter top, as no one ever has enough counter space. This got very interesting because with just 5 homeowners, it was clear what the “essential” kitchen gadgets are — coffee maker, toaster or toaster oven, blender and a microwave because not everyone has a wall mounted microwave.
|Toaster / toaster oven||X||X||X||X|
Kitchen Gadgets You Own?
So what kitchen gadgets aren't on the counter top, again a very interesting set of responses. To make it easier for people to respond, I asked what 3 or 4 gadgets they used most but due to space constraints couldn't keep on the counter top. Last, they were asked what kitchen gadgets they never used?
|Survey Participants||Kitchen Gadgets|
|Family Uses Frequently||Infrequent Use, i.e. Guests||Never Used|
|Tina (couple, no kids)||Rice cooker, waffle iron||Crock pot, mixer, i.e. gingerbread houses once a year|
|Jamie (family, 2 kids)||Vegetable steamer, griddle||George Forman (gift); decided not to buy crepe maker|
|Nance (couple, no kids)||Rice maker, mixer (loves to bake)||Griddle for company||Waffle maker|
|Kathleen (single)||Not in years (since kids left home) – waffle maker, toaster oven, pop up toaster, griddle|
|Craig (couple, no kids)||Crock pot (2 of them) and electric fry pan||Waffle iron and maybe some other things packed away in the attic|
Kitchen Organization and Gadgets
You'll enjoy your kitchen more when everything has a place so it's easy to find things, and easy to put them away. While I love my Kitchen Aid blender for the hours it saves me each year when I make gingerbread houses (6 to 8 houses as we make it a neighborhood gathering), maybe I could just as easily borrow a blender from a friend? The key here is thinking through how often you'll use that next kitchen gadget, and where you'll store it … before you buy it!
You might find some other useful tips here:
- Kitchen Gadgets: What Do We Really Need?
- Kitchen Storage Ideas to Get Organized
- Kitchen Activity Centers helps you identify things you need to store in your kitchen.