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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Matt_D on August 10, 2015, 06:58:29 PM

Title: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Matt_D on August 10, 2015, 06:58:29 PM
This was spurred by a post asking about what cookware to buy... but I'm going more in the other direction!

I'm assuming anyone responding likes to cook (or at least cooks frequently) because that's the best way to eat well cheaply... but I'm interested in knowing what people have found they can live without! Or alternately... what have you acquired that allowed you to get rid of several other things and just use one thing instead? I'd like to go a bit more minimal in our kitchen cupboards, and maybe this will be food for thought for others looking to not clutter things up in the first place.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: MayDay on August 10, 2015, 07:05:13 PM
-Kitchenaid attachment for slicing food.  I have a food processor that came with the attachment, so I didn't need a duplicate, plus really how much food can I really need to slice?  If I didn't have the FP, I still wouldn't have kept it. 
-Zucchini spiralizer.  I liked the Zoodles, but really, once or twice a year was not worth keeping it. 
-3 cookie sheets.  2 is enough. 
-3 9x12 pans.  2 is enough. 

Those are things I have recently gotten rid of.  I am sure there are a million more. 
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: KMMK on August 10, 2015, 07:40:40 PM
Dish rack/tray (if you handwash). I just put towels on the counter.
Toaster - don't eat toast.
I have a large glass measuring cup thing that serves as a mixing bowl and a pouring cup (like for pancake batter).
Muffin tins - make square muffins in a square or rectangular cake pan instead - easier to clean.
Or just don't bake at all, which is mostly what I do.
Stick blender instead of regular blender and food processor.
Tortilla press instead of rolling pin.

I try to keep my kitchen really minimal.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Thinkum on August 10, 2015, 07:43:16 PM
We have refrained from buying a stand mixer, a food processor, and a toaster oven. If we buy the toaster oven, we will get rid of the toaster. I am not sure the other 2 can be justified since I've cooked this long without them. I would also say that you can avoid a lot by purchasing some all around staples such as 3 good knives as well as a few good pots and pans. All those little items of convenience are just that, convenience, and they mostly only take up dollars and cupboard/cabinet space. If I find a ton of a certain kitchen item at the thrift stores, then I'm sure I don't need it. Like griddles and paninni makers.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Noodle on August 10, 2015, 10:14:38 PM
I have limited appliances...but I have a stand mixer, food processor, and toaster oven and you will get them away from me when you rip them from my cold dead hands! It so depends on how you cook...I don't have an ice cream maker, panini press, or espresso maker, for instance.

I did get rid of a couple of varieties of indoor grills, neither of which ever worked right or made food I liked. I could probably get rid of the waffle iron but I enjoy it every so often and you can't really substitute other equipment. I finally broke down and got a rice cooker at a yard sale, and I am never going back. I know you can cook rice on top of the stove, but it is so nice to set and forget it while I am dealing with the curry or stir-fry or whatever.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Thinkum on August 10, 2015, 10:18:28 PM
Our rice cooker has been with us so long and is such a time saver, it's never going anywhere but in the recycling heap when it finally dies. We do have an ice cream maker, but I got it free and it comes in handy this time of year. Another favorite is the Crock-Pot slow cooker.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: squeakywheel on August 10, 2015, 10:23:26 PM
Our rice cooker has been with us so long and is such a time saver, it's never going anywhere but in the recycling heap when it finally dies. We do have an ice cream maker, but I got it free and it comes in handy this time of year. Another favorite is the Crock-Pot slow cooker.

We downsized a few years ago, so my kitchen downsized as well. I don't have space for both a crock pot and a rice cooker, so I have a combo that does both! Similarly, my food processor will double as a blender, and the toaster oven does more than toast bread.

Also got rid of the quesadilla/sandwich press (just can do it on the stove).
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: MsPeacock on August 11, 2015, 04:38:01 AM
I got rid of the rice cooker. It took up too much space to justify its continued occupation of my kitchen. Maybe it was just the model I had - but it seemed to take 2 hours to cook rice. 3 for brown. Like it would soak it and then... idk - but I can cook rice on the stove top in 20-40 minutes w/o a lot of struggle.

Ice cream maker was purchased with daydreams of making fantastic ice cream concoctions w/ my kids. Only used it a couple times. Would not repurchase. I haven't kicked it out yet.

Stick blender is awesome.

Food processor is awesome.

 Regular blender is good if you like making coffee drinks (a'la Starbucks but way cheaper - my son likes them and it is easier w/ the blender).

Kitchen Aid stand mixer: had one years ago and hated it because it was so heavy and took up so much space. Sold it. More recently a friend had financial trouble and needed to sell a bunch of her stuff - after she moved - and I bought her Kitchen Aid mixer because she couldn't ship it and it was a way to help her out. I have mixed feelings about it - I did w/o for many years by using a rinky dink hand held mixer. The big stand mixer does do heavy batters better - but gosh, the thing weighs like 20 pounds and takes up a huge amount of space. So, I'd probably pass on a stand mixer unless you are huge into baking and instead just get a good hand held mixer that will do 90% of what you want one to do.

Love the toaster oven.

Like the crock pot but it is huge and I hope to get a smaller one at some point.

I don't like having a ton of appliances, and generally object to appliances that only do one thing (e.g. that darn ice cream maker, the rice cooker). So, no waffle makers, etc. Found a mandolin to be basically useless and terrifying to use, and created huge amounts of food waste.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: MayDay on August 11, 2015, 06:09:09 AM
Oh, I did have a rice maker at one point.

Forgot because it left the house so fast. A pan on the stove works fine.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 11, 2015, 06:31:04 AM
We don't need an ice cream maker, but we have one that gets occasional use.

I've never  gotten a panini press, a rotisserie oven, almost anything sold on TV.  We got rid of the "George Foreman Grill" after college. W

We use our kitchen aid mixer daily, often multiple times a day.  The pasta attachment isn't strictly necessary, but we use that too.  LOVE the meat grinding attachment.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: ash7962 on August 11, 2015, 07:09:27 AM
Haha I'm sorry, but I'm going to use this as an opportunity to share what I found in my mom's kitchen a couple weeks ago.  We went through 4 of her kitchen drawers which is about 1/5 of her kitchen storage.  Some highlights: 5 vegetable peelers (she didn't know about 3 of them), about 10 baby spoons (I'm her youngest at 25), 4 pizza stone scrapers found strewn across 3 separate drawers, at least 15 wooden spoons, and finally about a billion parts to kitchen gadgets that she has no idea what belongs to what or what any of it does.  Unsurprisingly, she is always telling me about how inefficient her kitchen is and how little space she has.

More on topic: I think a ton of kitchen items are optional.  For example, I could ditch my cheese grater and use a knife to chop up some cheese.  I won't do it though because I think its easier, faster, and has better results when using the cheese grater.  Its all about balancing the item's required storage space, ease of use, ease of cleaning, and how much value the thing really adds.

My super minimalist kitchen would be:
2 skillets (1 large cast iron, and 1 small), 1 medium sauce pan, 1 dutch oven/soup pot, a cookie sheet, 1 larger oven safe pan (9x9 maybe), 1 chef's knife, a set of measuring spoons/cups, a can opener, a whisk, 2 wooden spoons, 2 cutting boards (1 meat, 1 vege), and a colander.  Might be a couple more things I'm forgetting.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: epipenguin on August 11, 2015, 07:41:15 AM
I have a fancy countertop toaster oven. Well, it's a convection oven really. I bought it when my old toaster broke. And then when my microwave broke, I figured I'd see how long I could last without one, and see if I could just use the toaster oven. I also use it in place of the regular oven 99.9% of the time, as it saves electricity. So that is replacing 3 other gadgets for me, although the regular oven/stove is still in place.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Tetsuya Hondo on August 11, 2015, 08:28:19 AM
For us the biggest issue is just too much glassware in general. In our pre-Mustacian days, we just bought way too much crap. The irony is that the more we know and more skilled we are with cooking, the fewer things we actually need.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: GizmoTX on August 11, 2015, 08:50:30 AM
The Instant Pot electric pressure cooker is a fantastic small electric appliance; in addition to providing push button automatic & fast PC cooking, it can also function as a slow cooker, rice cooker, sautÚ pan, soup pot, popcorn popper, & yogurt maker. In PC mode, it keeps the kitchen cool & saves energy.  It has a stainless steel inner pot & you can get an extra, good for making rice or veggies in the PC without having to empty the first pot, which also can go on the stovetop. DS is in his first apartment & the Instant Pot is his only small appliance, which takes little room on the counter. I recommend the 6 quart size & the newer Duo model, available from Amazon.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Money Mouse on August 11, 2015, 09:08:28 AM
I might be the wrong person to ask, because if you let me go into a kitchen gadget store, I'll lose my ever lovin' mind!

That said, while I have what many Mustashians would consider "way too much" a non-MMM home chef would consider it "bare bones". What maters is that you have what YOU truly need and use on a regular basis.

One of the easiest ways to cut down on what you currently have is to take a look around your kitchen (or where ever you store your cooking things) and see if anything is gathering dust. If you have to wash something you take out of the cupboard before cooking with it, odds are you don't use it often enough to justify having it. But still consider carefully, you already purchased it so it's a sunk cost. If you know for a fact you'll still use X item once or twice a year and you have the space to store it, it could be worth hanging on to. But if you've got something you haven't used in 5 years and are pretty sure you won't use it for another five, dump it.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: bobechs on August 11, 2015, 09:25:05 AM
Let's face it: if you have more than a canteen cup you are cooking -or dreaming about cooking- waaay too much.

(https://d3axvdqkyu09xk.cloudfront.net/attachments/imageuploadedbytapatalk1411338802-210033-jpg.29769/)
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: vhalros on August 11, 2015, 09:41:55 AM
I got rid of my slow-cooker (which was getting kinda wonky) and replaced it with an Instapot. It works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, and yogurt maker (I eat a lot of yogurt; this has saved a decent amount of money). So it replaces several other pieces of kitchen ware.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: teen persuasion on August 11, 2015, 09:45:34 AM
Definitely depends on what you regularly cook/bake.  Waffle iron is a must in our house, but a rice cooker is unnecessary to me.  We cook rice often, but I have no problem with doing it in a pot on the stove.

I have a Kitchenaid stand mixer, but only pull it out a few times a year.  I actually prefer to knead dough by hand.  My food processor has been in storage for probably 10 years, obviously unnecessary.  The toaster oven is used multiple times a day, often in place of the regular oven for small items like a pan of biscuits or half dozen muffins.

Generally I prefer hand tools to power tools, and general tools to specialized ones, so I hand rolled pasta last night (no pasta machine).  Certain things can serve multiple purposes: pizza pans also function as cookie sheets in a pinch.  Big pots are good for boiling pasta, making soup, making cheese.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Dee18 on August 11, 2015, 05:24:23 PM
Le Creuset Dutch oven my sister gave me years ago (weighed a ton and I prefer my plain old cast iron one) sold it for $100. (She found it at a yard sale).  Breadmaker--I prefer to knead it.  Electric coffee maker.  Extra spatulas and cooking spoons.  Tupperware-I prefer glass so I can put it right in the microwave.  +1 garlic press.  Extra knives. Extra everything--I got rid of more than half of my dishes and glassware and I still have plenty.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: frompa on August 11, 2015, 05:41:25 PM
Ha ha, this is an entertaining topic, because only two days ago I walked into my kitchen and thought, "Damn, this counter is cluttered."  I picked up the toaster and said to my sweetie, "Do you use this?" "Nope," he said. "Me neither," I said, and I tossed it into the garbage.  I felt so virtuous. 
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on August 11, 2015, 05:46:42 PM
We lost a ten-inch aluminum skillet in a move. (No idea how. Mr. FP swears he checked the cabinets and he is pretty reliable.) We do not really miss it. Can do everything in either the 12-inch cast iron skillet or the stock pot.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Thinkum on August 11, 2015, 05:47:46 PM
Ha ha, this is an entertaining topic, because only two days ago I walked into my kitchen and thought, "Damn, this counter is cluttered."  I picked up the toaster and said to my sweetie, "Do you use this?" "Nope," he said. "Me neither," I said, and I tossed it into the garbage.  I felt so virtuous.

Wasn't in good enough shape to donate? We donate all the stuff we don't use anymore, if there is still some life in them of course.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Migs on August 11, 2015, 05:50:49 PM
I don't have one, but the thing I've noticed that people have in their kitchen that's almost never used is the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. They're on just about every one of my friends' wedding registries and more often than not it serves as kitchen decoration.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: bobechs on August 11, 2015, 07:27:34 PM
Ha ha, this is an entertaining topic, because only two days ago I walked into my kitchen and thought, "Damn, this counter is cluttered."  I picked up the toaster and said to my sweetie, "Do you use this?" "Nope," he said. "Me neither," I said, and I tossed it into the garbage.  I felt so virtuous.

Wasn't in good enough shape to donate? We donate all the stuff we don't use anymore, if there is still some life in them of course.

Why schlep it down there so someone can then schlep it back home, only to wind up as another useless shrine to the kitchen gods?

I say cut out the middleman and send it straight to small appliance Hades.


Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: vhalros on August 11, 2015, 07:45:51 PM

Why schlep it down there so someone can then schlep it back home, only to wind up as another useless shrine to the kitchen gods?

I say cut out the middleman and send it straight to small appliance Hades.

I don't know if it is the same every where, but here I can make nearly anything disappear by putting it out on the boulevard with a sign that says "free". At the very least "donating" in this manner helps fight my natural hoarder impulses.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: justajane on August 11, 2015, 07:55:09 PM
Ha ha, this is an entertaining topic, because only two days ago I walked into my kitchen and thought, "Damn, this counter is cluttered."  I picked up the toaster and said to my sweetie, "Do you use this?" "Nope," he said. "Me neither," I said, and I tossed it into the garbage.  I felt so virtuous.

Wasn't in good enough shape to donate? We donate all the stuff we don't use anymore, if there is still some life in them of course.

Why schlep it down there so someone can then schlep it back home, only to wind up as another useless shrine to the kitchen gods?

I say cut out the middleman and send it straight to small appliance Hades.

Um, some people actually use toasters. That's why they sell them.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Caoineag on August 11, 2015, 08:04:19 PM
Got rid of the crockpot which was beginning to fall apart when I got an instant pot (best part is if you use it as a slow cooker in the summer, it doesn't heat up the house even a little bit). My food processor and a hand mixer (small one, I can always do multiple batches) which are used instead of a kitchen aid mixer (never owned), a stick blender (I have actually burned the motor out on one of these) and a blender (which is good because I just burned out one of these as well). I make bread in my oven rather than a breadmaker.

My foreman grill has waffle plates I can rotate in so I don't have to own a waffle maker (and unlike some people, we use ours regularly). I have never owned a toaster oven and feel no need to do so. I do own an ice cream maker which I used to use pretty regularly but I should get rid of it as we just don't eat a lot of ice cream, sorbet or sherbet.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: FLA on August 11, 2015, 08:08:33 PM
short version, I was downsizing, my mom is slowly terminal, we combined resources on a handicapped accessible home. I hate saying this about my mom because everything is clean and she doesn't have 27 cats but she is a hoarder.  When they moved they got a double wide dumpster and filled it twice! I caught her one day on a ladder trying to get into it to pull her treasures back out.  She can barely walk, take away something she "needs"?  She'll beat you to a bloody pulp and run for the dumpster to get it.  She and I are opposites. 

She has 4 food processors, people gave them to her over the years until she finally got one of those heavy, ginormous ones that you leave on your counter.  She has never used any of them.  So there is one thing, you can skip.

We have 3 rice cookers, I love a rice cooker, esp one that steams veggies.  I have a big stoneware crockpot, that gets used a ton

we have a couple of stick blenders, we do use one of those.  I have never felt the need for anything more than that and a hand held mixer. 

good pots and pans are important, even if you have to buy the one at a time.  I like the Circulon ones from Macy's that anodized but can still go in the dishwasher.  They are in a box in the basement as we use my mother's ancient crap. 

I like a regular toaster oven.  I like my Soda Stream but I wax and wane on that.  Blenders are a PITA to  store but I use it a few times a year.

We have a reg coffee pot, a 4 cup pot and now a Keurig.  All on the kitchen counter, one of them is going out on trash day.   

decent knives are nice.  I like a air popcorn popper. Bread machine died and the Queen does not happen to have 4 of those.  I probably won't replace it. I like the collapsible colander.  I like Le Creuset items I got at an outlet and for gifts.  Basic corning ware for serving, re-heating left overs, etc. 

between us we have 3 different kinds of Forman grills.  The big one is nice but it's stored away so we forget about it. I would not bother with the small ones.

Bodum glassware is my favorite, keeps drinks hot or cold for hours but looks like a regular glass, I wouldn't pay full price for them, they break easily. The copy cats out there are just as nice. 

I like the stemless wine classes I received.  Less likely of a dog tail spilling the wine. 

I don't even know if average people still do this, I think "silver" silverware for nice occasions is a PITA to keep polished, instead get nice flatware that is suitable for everyday and fine for occasions. 

oh, one thing I use almost everyday is a Tupperware gravy and dressing shaker.  It's a 16 oz cup with this ring that makes things mix together and a spill proof top lid for a straw, I use it to make Slimfast.  We have one for gravy/dressings.

God, I wish I could just ship you all of our extras, some are still in the box!  Can I interest you in 227 Hummels?  I hear they are making a come back!
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 12, 2015, 06:41:52 AM
I don't have one, but the thing I've noticed that people have in their kitchen that's almost never used is the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. They're on just about every one of my friends' wedding registries and more often than not it serves as kitchen decoration.

That's a thing I'd recommend to most Mustachians though. Because typical people don't make most of their own meals- they eat out a lot.

Or maybe I feel the need to defend the Kitchenaid, because it is the most used thing in our kitchen.  Except maybe the counters.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: markbrynn on August 12, 2015, 07:34:02 AM
A good way to look at it would be to consider the 50 most common things that you make in the kitchen (cooking, baking, but also general preparation like salads) and see what equipment is required* for each dish. Weight the scoring by how often each thing is made (or how much you couldn't live without it) and you end up with an idea of what gadgets you should keep and what you can ditch.

I haven't actually done this, but have reached the same basic conclusion on certain items. I could make and enjoy waffles, but it's one dish (with a few variations) and requires a specialist piece of equipment. I can make similar dishes (e.g. pancakes) or I can get waffles once a year at my sister's or at a restaurant, so I don't own a waffle iron.

* I realize that part of this discussion is about which gadgets are required and which only help a bit with convenience. That almost has to be a personal decision as it's been proven that you can cook all sorts of meals with a coffee maker.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Candace on August 12, 2015, 07:48:28 AM
I had one of those hand-chopper things that you put veggies in to chop them up quickly. That was a complete waste. The blades would get caught on the veggies so it wouldn't keep chopping other things in the little chamber, and washing it took as much time as just chopping the veggies with a decent knife to begin with.

The thing I use most often is my pressure cooker. Dishes that would take several hours on the stove can be made in one hour in the pressure cooker, and meat is always tender. Plus, I just think it's fun.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: nereo on August 12, 2015, 07:59:08 AM
I've worked in professional kitchens and love to cook, so the de-facto gift for me seems to be some kitchen trinket.  I hate it, since I take a much more minimalist approach and I hate uni-taskers.  I'm constantly trying to find good homes for well-intentioned gifts that have no place in my kitchen without upsetting or offending the gift-giver.

A few of my least-favorite:
apple corer/peeler/slicer  (https://www.pamperedchef.com/shop/Cook%27s+Tools/Fruit+%26+Vegetable+Tools/Apple+Peeler%2C+Corer+%26+Slicer/2430)
bbq basting cup combo thingy
this massive garlic mincer (http://g02.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1k8XfIXXXXXaMXpXXq6xXFXXXA/3-in-1-font-b-Plastic-b-font-font-b-Garlic-b-font-font-b-Press.jpg)
a panini sandwich press
a lettuce knife

Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Migs on August 12, 2015, 08:37:22 AM
I don't have one, but the thing I've noticed that people have in their kitchen that's almost never used is the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. They're on just about every one of my friends' wedding registries and more often than not it serves as kitchen decoration.

That's a thing I'd recommend to most Mustachians though. Because typical people don't make most of their own meals- they eat out a lot.

Or maybe I feel the need to defend the Kitchenaid, because it is the most used thing in our kitchen.  Except maybe the counters.

It's totally different if you actually use it regularly! I have no doubts that the KA mixer is top notch (I'm not opposed to buying something of quality). Just commenting that most people that I know that buy them, generally don't use them and it seems like a waste.

Another one I thought of that seems pretty useless is the strawberry huller. Anyone actually use that regularly?
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Mother Fussbudget on August 12, 2015, 10:05:56 AM
Drop-in Oven.

I got rid of my oven in January - replaced with a cooktop w/cabinet base, and a convection microwave oven. 
I cook nearly everything on the stovetop, and microwave.  Exception:  pizza - and that's cooked in the convection oven.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Helvegen on August 12, 2015, 11:28:47 AM
I think the only thing I have in my kitchen I don't use enough to justify keeping is the pressure cooker. I plan on replacing my rice cooker, pressure cooker, and crockpot with an Instant Pot in a month or two, so that will free up some space. We got rid of the toaster a long time ago. If something needs to be toasted, we use the broiler setting in the oven. If I could get rid of it, I would get rid of my landlord's oven. The coils all sit extremely uneven and makes cooking a pita, so much that I bought a portable induction burner and I love it. The oven itself cooks about 25-50 degrees colder than whatever you program it to. I use the grill now for making pizzas and pita bread. The oven just won't really go over 450.

I have an Electrolux Assistent and you can pry that from my cold, dead hands. It makes the best bread products. Same with my garlic press. That thing I use ALL THE TIME now and kicking myself was to why I didn't bother to buy one before a few months ago.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: sunnyca on August 12, 2015, 12:32:49 PM
Salad spinner.  I bought it a year ago and used it- never. Luckily it was relatively inexpensive ($10 or so), but I still feel pretty bad about it.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Candace on August 12, 2015, 12:41:27 PM
To all who have posted about Instant Pot, thank you very much! I had never heard of it, and it sounds fabulous!
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 12, 2015, 01:13:29 PM
Salad spinner.  I bought it a year ago and used it- never. Luckily it was relatively inexpensive ($10 or so), but I still feel pretty bad about it.

Silly question- but, how do you efficiently and fully dry lettuce?

It doesn't seem to work if I use towels to pat it, so I use the salad spinner; but I'd love to have one less thing.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Sibley on August 12, 2015, 01:26:50 PM
Ha ha, this is an entertaining topic, because only two days ago I walked into my kitchen and thought, "Damn, this counter is cluttered."  I picked up the toaster and said to my sweetie, "Do you use this?" "Nope," he said. "Me neither," I said, and I tossed it into the garbage.  I felt so virtuous.

Wasn't in good enough shape to donate? We donate all the stuff we don't use anymore, if there is still some life in them of course.

Why schlep it down there so someone can then schlep it back home, only to wind up as another useless shrine to the kitchen gods?

I say cut out the middleman and send it straight to small appliance Hades.

Um, some people actually use toasters. That's why they sell them.

I use the toaster oven to cook hot dogs. Every 5 years or so it dies because it's been set on fire one to many times. Surprisingly, my roommie doesn't like this.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Sibley on August 12, 2015, 01:29:20 PM
short version, I was downsizing, my mom is slowly terminal, we combined resources on a handicapped accessible home. I hate saying this about my mom because everything is clean and she doesn't have 27 cats but she is a hoarder.  When they moved they got a double wide dumpster and filled it twice! I caught her one day on a ladder trying to get into it to pull her treasures back out.  She can barely walk, take away something she "needs"?  She'll beat you to a bloody pulp and run for the dumpster to get it.  She and I are opposites. 

So, to help clean things out, can you get rid of some of the duplicates? Would she notice if you didn't tell her and she didn't see them going out?
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Dicey on August 12, 2015, 02:04:29 PM
Ha ha, this is an entertaining topic, because only two days ago I walked into my kitchen and thought, "Damn, this counter is cluttered."  I picked up the toaster and said to my sweetie, "Do you use this?" "Nope," he said. "Me neither," I said, and I tossed it into the garbage.  I felt so virtuous.
Uh, throwing out a working toaster might not be the most mustachian way of disposing of it. Freecycle, Goodwill or simply passing it along to a young person just starting out are all better options than the landfill. Using it to barter for something you need could be even more mustachian.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: beachbound on August 12, 2015, 03:04:32 PM
Instant Pot FTW! Along with a FoodSaver...

Some items that I don't need are:

Apple corer/peeler/slicer
Mandoline
Slow cooker (replaced by Instant Pot)
Spare $15 blender
Device that makes squash come out like spaghetti
Extra grater
Electric Food slicer (given to me but haven't found it very useful yet after a week)
Extra potato peeler
Electric can opener (my mom needs it, though)
Magic Bullet (I have a stick blender and a Ninja food processor)
Keurig 2.0 (trying to talk myself into selling it, but it was a gift. I use French Press most of the time)
Portable tabletop gas grill (just throwing that in there. Small size, enough to cook about 4 patties, used only once in 2 years)
Salad spinner
3 extra baking sheets
4 extra bakeware pans
Small college dorm fridge used for excess crap like condiments (I know!)
Ice cream maker (might start using it)
Garbage disposal unit
Some other junk that I missed in the drawers (time to declutter)

And the soon-to-be-ordered Zoku ice pop maker. I have to talk the wife out of ordering this thing.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: kimmarg on August 12, 2015, 03:26:00 PM
I have a large glass measuring cup thing that serves as a mixing bowl and a pouring cup (like for pancake batter).
Muffin tins - make square muffins in a square or rectangular cake pan instead - easier to clean.
Or just don't bake at all, which is mostly what I do.
Stick blender instead of regular blender and food processor.
Tortilla press instead of rolling pin.


Interesting, my 4 cup glass measuring cup/ pouring gets used multiple times a week, is put it on must have.  Also I have no tortilla press but how would that sub for rolling pin for non- tortillas? I have made tortillas with a rolling pin but not sure about gingerbread cookies with a tortilla press....

The stick blender I can agree with
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: kimmarg on August 12, 2015, 03:29:55 PM
I don't have one, but the thing I've noticed that people have in their kitchen that's almost never used is the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. They're on just about every one of my friends' wedding registries and more often than not it serves as kitchen decoration.

Ok this whole thread is fascinating! Like a prior poster you'll have to pry my kitchen aid away from me. I agree it's heavy, but it never gets put 'away' it lives in the counter where it gets used multiple times a week. In fact I've been thinking of getting a second bowl so I can wash it less often. The bread dough hook has worn the coating off the bottom.  Sure, I thought it was fine kneading  by hand before I had it but now that I have it I make bread way more often, in fact I should go start some now!
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Sibley on August 12, 2015, 05:29:00 PM
Ha ha, this is an entertaining topic, because only two days ago I walked into my kitchen and thought, "Damn, this counter is cluttered."  I picked up the toaster and said to my sweetie, "Do you use this?" "Nope," he said. "Me neither," I said, and I tossed it into the garbage.  I felt so virtuous.

Wasn't in good enough shape to donate? We donate all the stuff we don't use anymore, if there is still some life in them of course.

Why schlep it down there so someone can then schlep it back home, only to wind up as another useless shrine to the kitchen gods?

I say cut out the middleman and send it straight to small appliance Hades.

Um, some people actually use toasters. That's why they sell them.

I use the toaster oven to cook hot dogs. Every 5 years or so it dies because it's been set on fire one to many times. Surprisingly, my roommie doesn't like this.

The cooking hot dogs, the fires, or both?

Mostly the fires. She just thinks I'm weird about the hot dogs. They're small and I'm always right there to keep them under control so it's ok.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: garth on August 13, 2015, 08:31:17 AM
We haven't had a microwave for 4 or 5 years now and are never going back to one. They are a waste of space as far as I'm concerned.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: fitfrugalfab on August 13, 2015, 08:40:52 AM
I now have a nutri bullet so I found that I can live without a bulky blender as well as one my hand mixers (I have 2 different styles). I also never use my large water strainer. Instead I just place the lid over the pot I boiled whatever in and the water will pour out of their while keeping the food in.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on August 13, 2015, 08:57:22 AM
Well, I have a very, very small kitchen. I'll say that as a preface. But, I also cook every single meal from scratch from whole foods, and have for years now. Most days, I cook three full meals at home. So lots of cooking.

What I DO have:
Knives, pots, pans, 2 dutch ovens, cutting boards, 1 baking sheet, 1 muffin tin
Vegetable peeler and julianne peeler- I can use the julianne for shredding cheese, making zoodles, shredding carrots, etc.
Hand blender- I use this for so many things
Coffee maker
One wooden spoon, one slotted metal spoon, one wooden spatula, one pot holder, one gravy whisk
Microwave, but I never end up using it except as a kitchen timer. Roommate uses it though, so it stays.
ETA: I have TWO slow cookers, would you believe it? They are my work horses. Second was a wedding present, so it wasn't planned, but I'm glad to have it now.

What I do NOT have:
Zester (I use a paring knife)
Cheese grater
Stand mixer or hand mixer. I primarily don't bake, but when I do, I just cut together with forks
Rice cooker- pot works fine
Toaster- I don't eat toast
Blender
Food processor (I kind of want one, but they are quite large and I simply don't have room. I've managed for all of my adult life though, so perhaps I will continue to do without)
Rolling pin (I find a big jar with the label off works just fine on the rare occasion it is needed)
Salad spinner (would like one if I had the room. I don't. I either plan ahead and let them dry that way, or I put them in a pillowcase and act like a windmill if I'm pressed for time)
Pressure cooker
Garlic related items- just smack it with the flat of a big knife and then mince using a small knife. Easy once you get the hang of it.
Those little ovens that sit on the counter- I can't even remember what they are called. People make mini pizza and stuff with them. I just use the broiler on the rare occasion I want to make bruschetta or something.
Cooling racks- I don't bake so these aren't terribly needed
Slipat or other liners- again, no baking. Roasts don't stick to pans the way cookies do.
Popcorn popper- I just use a pot. I miss the ease of an airpopper though, so perhaps one day I'll replace this
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: ash7962 on August 13, 2015, 10:02:19 AM
Salad spinner (would like one if I had the room. I don't. I either plan ahead and let them dry that way, or I put them in a pillowcase and act like a windmill if I'm pressed for time)

This made me laugh, I love it.  Looks like I just got a new salad spinner :).
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on August 13, 2015, 10:22:55 AM
Salad spinner (would like one if I had the room. I don't. I either plan ahead and let them dry that way, or I put them in a pillowcase and act like a windmill if I'm pressed for time)

This made me laugh, I love it.  Looks like I just got a new salad spinner :).

Do it outside if you can =P
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Lis on August 13, 2015, 10:35:10 AM
I've only had tiny kitchens so far and have been responsible for buying my own stuff, so I don't have too many things that don't get used regularly. I think I still have a cheapy $10 toaster from Walmart that used to get used regularly but not anymore. I have two coffee makers - your standard 12cup one and a Keurig, $15 new and free used respectively. I use my Keurig regularly then sometimes get sick of it, so I'll switch it out for the regular one, then miss it and take it out again. We have a love-hate relationship. I could get rid of one of them I suppose... but not both. See what happens if you try to take my coffee makers away from me! (Hint, the hulk could then be compared to an adorable puppy.)

My slow cooker and rice cooker get used often and I love them. I just bought a cast iron skillet which is the most amazing thing in the world. I have a huge nonstick monster which is also great. I would be lost without my monster food processor, though my small one doesn't really get used too much anymore. I'm sure if I rummage through my drawers I'd find some other things I don't use that much. I know I have a pretty set of 5 colorful spatulas. Do I need all of them? No. But I love them.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: FLA on August 13, 2015, 10:51:08 AM
Haha I'm sorry, but I'm going to use this as an opportunity to share what I found in my mom's kitchen a couple weeks ago.   

I think we are sisters from another father!
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: FLA on August 13, 2015, 10:57:24 AM
 
 
[/quote]

It's totally different if you actually use it regularly! I have no doubts that the KA mixer is top notch (I'm not opposed to buying something of quality). Just commenting that most people that I know that buy them, generally don't use them and it seems like a waste.

Another one I thought of that seems pretty useless is the strawberry huller. Anyone actually use that regularly?
[/quote]

I read just take a straw and push it through the strawberry, never tried it so don't know if it works
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: FLA on August 13, 2015, 11:10:09 AM
 

So, to help clean things out, can you get rid of some of the duplicates? Would she notice if you didn't tell her and she didn't see them going out?
[/quote]

I tried with tupperware items, we have a double-sided cabinet just being used for container storage, stupid and at least half probably have BPH.  There are 3 or 4 more boxes in the basement, I tried and got caught.  So if I make a move to go in the basement (door is right next to her room), she asks me what exactly I am going to do down there? Now, it's not an issue, I can't do stairs just now.  She says she wants to be clutter free, the piles of papers all over her room make me want to cry.  I tried to help, on her desk top was a huge pile of electric bills going back to '92 for a house she no longer owns. I could not throw these out.  This kind of thing makes me nuts and I admit, we do not work well together on her clutter.  Several friends and her sister are helping her slowly on her room when they visit.  I can't comprehend saying you want to die in the most beautiful bedroom you've ever had but it is ruined by piles of papers and junk.  I know it's a mental illness, I can handle it with other people, but she is my mom and I respect her, so if she pitches a fit and cries over those electric bills, is it worth even bringing it up?  It's not, as long as her friends can
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: MudDuck on August 13, 2015, 11:15:06 AM
I have limited appliances...but I have a stand mixer, food processor, and toaster oven and you will get them away from me when you rip them from my cold dead hands! It so depends on how you cook...I don't have an ice cream maker, panini press, or espresso maker, for instance.

The toaster oven is the only oven worth using in the summer time.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: tstorer on February 24, 2016, 10:20:04 AM
Our microwave died and after several months we realized we didn't need to replace it.

No big freezer, just three freezer drawers in a fridge/freezer. Actually I think a big standalone freezer would save money on food in the long term, but we don't have room for one!
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: kimmarg on February 24, 2016, 11:40:25 AM
Or just don't bake at all, which is mostly what I do.


The psychiatrist bill if I didn't bake would far out weigh any kitchen savings!  ;)
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Inaya on February 24, 2016, 12:17:36 PM
Necessary: Instant Pot, Kitchen Aid, Oxo mandoline/grater, 10" cast iron skillet, 5" nonstick skillet, Pyrex bowls of various sizes.


Seems silly but necessary: George Foreman grill (cooks bacon without setting off smoke detector!), Magic Bullet (delicious kefir smoothies on demand and practically free!), IKEA SK─RANDE knife sharpener (because my my ice skates hold their edges better than my knives).


Pretty silly but still use: Bread machine


Definitely silly: A device that makes homemade marshmallow Peeps, all-in-one breakfast maker (both inherited with the furnished apartment). Never used either one, but don't want to throw out because they're not actually mine to toss.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Parizade on February 24, 2016, 12:28:39 PM
French fry slicer (it seemed like a good idea at the time, I don't know why, I don't even like french fries)
Stoneware beer can chicken roaster. I used it once.
Pineapple corer

I would give up my regular oven before I'd part with my convection toaster oven though. I just love that little guy.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: serpentstooth on February 24, 2016, 01:00:12 PM
Necessary: Instant Pot, Kitchen Aid, Oxo mandoline/grater, 10" cast iron skillet, 5" nonstick skillet, Pyrex bowls of various sizes.


Seems silly but necessary: George Foreman grill (cooks bacon without setting off smoke detector!), Magic Bullet (delicious kefir smoothies on demand and practically free!), IKEA SK─RANDE knife sharpener (because my my ice skates hold their edges better than my knives).


Pretty silly but still use: Bread machine


Definitely silly: A device that makes homemade marshmallow Peeps, all-in-one breakfast maker (both inherited with the furnished apartment). Never used either one, but don't want to throw out because they're not actually mine to toss.

Today I learned you can buy a mold to make homemade Peeps and now I want one (I adore Peeps, because I am secretly five).

http://food52.com/blog/10116-how-to-make-homemade-marshmallow-peeps
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: ponyespresso on February 24, 2016, 02:27:55 PM
The Instant Pot electric pressure cooker is a fantastic small electric appliance; in addition to providing push button automatic & fast PC cooking, it can also function as a slow cooker, rice cooker, sautÚ pan, soup pot, popcorn popper, & yogurt maker. In PC mode, it keeps the kitchen cool & saves energy.  It has a stainless steel inner pot & you can get an extra, good for making rice or veggies in the PC without having to empty the first pot, which also can go on the stovetop. DS is in his first apartment & the Instant Pot is his only small appliance, which takes little room on the counter. I recommend the 6 quart size & the newer Duo model, available from Amazon.

+1 for the Instant Pot. My husband got me one for Xmas thinking it was a rice cooker, but it's so much more than that! I was skeptical at first, as I already own a pressure cooker and a crock pot. I use the Instant Pot all the time now. My beloved old school pressure cooker is now gathering dust. also, that's a great idea to get an extra pot -- that would be handy for the days I want to make some rice to go along with whatever I've cooked up in the I.P.


stuff I don't use that I still haven't gotten rid of but should: loaf pans. ravioli thingies. Italian stovetop coffee maker. egg poacher pan (whenever I talk about getting rid of it, hubby says he'll use it. then uses it once and forgets). I went through a lot of kitchen stuff last fall after reading Magical Art of Tidying but I probably need to do that exercise again to see what sparks joy!
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: jeromedawg on February 24, 2016, 02:36:50 PM
As everyone has said - Instant Pot. You really could replace most of your cookware with this thing (or two lol) based on what I've seen. We probably have way to much kitchen crap -more utensils than we probably need (courtesy of my parents mostly). We got a new set of SS cookware (Tramontina Member's Mark from Sams Club) that we've been making good use of though. Then my cast iron stuff. And a variety of baking pans/sheets/etc.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: Cassie on February 24, 2016, 04:55:19 PM
I have never been into kitchen gadgets and I don't bake now that my kids are grown. However, I ended up buying a food processor because my shoulder started to hurt from chopping things. I bought a bread machine and everyone loved the bread for about the first 6 months. Then they wanted store bought so it sits in the closet. I never used an electric can opener but then bought one after cutting myself badly on a can that was stubborn with the hand opener. I love my coffeepot and toaster. My microwave is both also a convection oven and regular oven which I love. I also have a crockpot and that is it. WE have tried various gadgets thru the years (not a lot ) but most ended up being given away.
Title: Re: Unnecessary kitchen items?
Post by: serpentstooth on February 24, 2016, 05:00:01 PM
I sold my rice and slow cookers and bought an InstantPot because of this forum.

I have a lot of kitchen gadgets and I use them. Anyone else have a cookie press here?