Tools That Are Supposed to Make Your Life Easier But Actually Make It Worse

Julia Bainbridge
Food Editor
January 7, 2014

As food writer Michael Ruhlman said, THIS is the best kitchen tool you’ve got. (And it’s free!) But as long as there are demanding consumers and crafty marketing executives, so, too, will there be a plethora of kitchen tools advertised as “new” and “improved.” And somewhere, in the mix of those three elements, the gimmick is born. Every day. 

Here are some of the more ridiculous cooking gadgets we’ve seen recently.

The DASH Egg Cooker

Why this is supposed to make your life easier: It has a timer (just like that kitchen timer you already have!) and it can prepare seven eggs at once (just like a large skillet!). Okay, the truly good thing about this tool is that you can press a button and walk away, get dressed for work, whatever—it cooks the eggs for you and cuts off the heat when they’ve reached soft boil, hard boil, etc.

Why this will actually make your life worse: You know how many pots you have to clean if you learn to poach or fry or scramble eggs without this Jetsons-looking contraption? One. You know how many pieces of equipment you have to clean three to five business days after you click “add to bag” on this sucker? An egg cooker base, an egg holder tray, a poaching tray, and a stainless-steel lid, at least. 

The Bacon Wave

Why this is supposed to make your life easier: You can cook a gang of bacon in one fell swoop, and the clamps hold each strip in place so you can get flat, sandwich-friendly pieces.

Why this will actually make your life worse: YOU’RE EATING MICROWAVED BACON. You’re depriving yourself of one of life’s great pleasures. It’s oh-so-much better crisped up in a frying pan or in the oven. And you know what else cooks bacon nice and flat? A sheet pan with a cooling rack inside of it, both of which you already own. Yay. 

Chefmate’s Flavor Injector (or any flavor injector)

Why this is supposed to make your life easier: This massive syringe is meant to help you impart flavor to roast or grilled meats. You know, the same thing that marinating or basting them does.

Why this will actually make your life worse: There are less unfortunate things to have someone find in your handbag. Just saying. 

The Apple Divider

Why this is supposed to make your life easier: With one, arduous pressing down of the divider, you’ve cored and sliced an apple.

Why this will actually make your life worse: We could see the value of this if it cored, sliced, and took the skin off an apple in one fell swoop, or cored and sliced an apple very finely, but it doesn’t. It crudely cuts around the core and then separates the fruit into eight chunks. You can do this with your knife without adding a  7” x 4” x 2” piece of plastic and steel to your kitchen drawer. Plus, we don’t trust an instructional video that doesn’t actually show you the tool in action. 

The Eggstractor

Why this is supposed to make your life easier: It’s supposed to peel eggs for you.

Why this will actually make your life worse: It doesn’t peel eggs for you. So that’s $35 down the toilet.

The Indoor Flameless Marshmallow Roaster

Why this is supposed to make your life easier: Its stainless steel electric heater makes it relatively safe for children, plus you can roast marshmallows year ‘round.

Why this will actually make your life worse: You will forget the joy of roasting marshmallows, outside—like, in clean air—over an open fire, with sticks as utensils. Which means you might, over time, forget how to make a fire. Which means when the Apocalypse comes, you’ll be really screwed.