/ Food & Drink, Technology

Do you own kitchen appliances you rarely use?

kitchen appliances

Is your kitchen worktop cluttered with appliances you never use? Would a multifunctional tool make more sense than lots of single-purpose gadgets?

A couple of years ago, I inherited my grandmother’s food processor. Although she was a keen cook and baker, it turns out that all she used it for was making breadcrumbs for Christmas puddings – not exactly an everyday activity.

Having convinced both myself and my mum that I would get loads of use out of it, I kept it. Two years (and one house move) later, that food processor is still sitting in its box in a cupboard somewhere in my kitchen.

But am I missing out?

Single-purpose vs multifunctional

Every year sees a new tool, such as spiralizers and soup makers ready to take its place in our kitchens. Sometimes it’s old favourites, such as slow cookers or pressure cookers that have been brought up to date for modern means.

Except a lot of these tools and gadgets are actually one-trick ponies. They usually catch our eye when walking along the high street or searching for gifts.

For example, the mojito tool I bought my husband a few years ago has made it out of the drawer only a handful of times, and the crepe maker only makes the occasional appearance from the top of the fridge. And does anyone really need an egg separator, when a little bit of care and patience will do the job just as well?

Surely we’re better off making wise investments in multifunctional machines?

Take some of the food processors and mixers available on the market that chop, knead, whisk and mix their way through multiple cooking tasks. In our tests we do find that some multifunctional machines struggle to excel at all tasks, but there are exceptions.

So instead of filling my kitchen with numerous single-purpose tools, should I find my food processor its own place on the worktop and make use of this good all-rounder?

Over to you

Do you prefer a specific tool built for one purpose, or does the convenience of having multiple tools in one compact machine draw you in? What tool, gadget or kitchen machine can’t you live without? And what have you relegated to the back of your kitchen cupboards after convincing yourself it was a good idea to buy it at the time?


Your header post has posed two different questions, Stephanie: 1. Are your worktops cluttered with never-used appliances and 2. multifunction tool vis a vis dedicated items.

On the first question, the answer from here is no. We had a new Ikea (WBB) kitchen installed last year and the amazing amount of space in its drawers and cupboards allows us to put everything away and only leave chopping boards out.

On the second point, providing the multi-purpose tool does the job, what’s not to like?


I’ve been administering exams this week, so by way of recompense to those who have suffered thereby, here’s my script for this paper:

1. No. Like Ian, I have plenty of cupboard space and pretty much everything I didn’t actually ever use (or need) was disposed of some while ago.

2. “Would a multifunctional *tool* make more sense than lots of single-purpose *gadgets*? (I detect some *bias* in the question here – see asterisks above.) The only multifunctional tools I seem to have here are this laptop, a small Swiss Army knife and my bare hands. I didn’t find too many gadgets either. The most superfluous item I found was an unused set of sardine snack forks. As they were a recent Christmas present, they haven’t yet found their way to any of my local charity shops.

All done 🙂

Now, Dr Kipling, what’s the marking scheme? have you prepared some model answers? and, by any chance, do you also make exceeding good cakes? 🙂 🙂 🙂


Sardine snack forks sound like a very unusual gift! In the spirit of “multifunctional” could they be re-purposed?
On your final question, I’d have to refer you to my husband! 🙂


My most useless gadget is a juicer. It takes ages to put together, ages to keep unclogging it, ages to take apart again and wash AND dry all the bits, but mainly because the fad soon wore off!!! 🙃 Juiced cabbage just ain’t nice and if you don’t drink it immediately, tastes even worse. ☹

Second waste of money was a Krupps espresso machine. Too much hassle to use, lukewarm coffee, expensive trial and error trying different coffee beans, so it has spent the last umpteen years in the back of a cupboard.


Alfa we must have a lot in common, I also have a smoothie maker that I have never used. I can tell you exactly where in my kitchen it is, and that its original box is still sealed shut. My reasons are also similar to yours, it’s all just a bit of a hassle.

I also have, a cupcake maker, an omelette maker and a coffee machine (with built in alarm) which I rarely, if ever, use.

I wonder if I would be better passing these on?


It is an interesting Conversation.

With reference to worktops themselves Which? apparently has never evaluated them. Given that pretty much 20 million houses have them and the constant flow of replacement occurring I wondered if a run through on the various types on the market, around ten, would be helpful to readers.

Durability, maintenance, and upkeep could all be usefully covered. Having them as separate items in Review might also pull forth details from subscribers that would be of interest. Having had both Corian and massive granite in the last decade i have no doubt that Corian is far more practical. But then I have not tried glass or other composites so my views are partial.

Whilst on the subject of kitchens I note that Which? last reviewed a cooker hood in February 2012 and there are eight tested models. After five years I would expect better given they must all be common in UK kitchens.

Que Choisir has tested 73 of them in ducted mode and 58 in recirculating mode. It uses uses the same methodology as Which? uses when it instructs the independent lab Which? employs. Last updated 2017

Choice in Australia has tested 34 in ducted mode and 28 recirculating mode. Updated 2017.

Test.de, Germany has tested 21 in ducted mode and 21 in recirculating updated 2016.

From the Que Choisir testing it is obvious that expensive is not necessarily a good indicator of efficiency. The second best being in the low hundreds versus others in the high hundreds and thousands of euros.

The scoring ranging from 6.4 to 15.7 out of 20 indicates a wide wide range of results.


I second Patrick on cooker hoods and worktops. Which? reviews were close to useless, in fact most items wanted in a new kitchen were. Gas hobs get really bad reviews which I think has more to do with speed of heating than anything else. I have a new gas hob probably equivalent to one with around 50% scoring and love it. Does it heat up slower? Maybe, I haven’t really noticed, but the ability to instantly change the heat and not spend all my time babysitting a ceramic hob or cleaning up the mess after I turn my back for 2 seconds far outweighs a slightly longer heating up time.


Thank you for your feedback about cooker hoods, I’ll pass it on to my colleagues.
We do have some information on the different types of worktops, which can be found here: http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/fitted-kitchens/article/planning-a-kitchen/kitchen-units-doors-and-worktops.

KAB says:
16 July 2017

Having just replaced my own kitchen, I found this website useful (admittedly after I had purchased my cooker hood which fortunately came in at No2):


KAB says:
16 July 2017

I found the website below useful in comparing cooker hoods. I only found it after I had bought mine for a recent kitchen re-fit. Turned out to be the secone highest rated. And it is very good (and quiet).



Our policy on kitchen gadgets mirrors Derek’s. The toaster lives in a cupboard and the rest have gone. The kettle is the only plug-in thing we now have on the worktop. My workshop on the other hand is absolutely full of tools and materials, many of which are duplicates or triplicates or seldom used.

On worktops, the aesthetic appeal counts for as much as the quality and endurance. They are also status symbols.

I don’t see much need for cooker hoods. Again they are part of the presentation rather than the performance. In my opinion they are universally ugly and make too much noise. I like the pop-up extractors but still think they are unnecessary. The only part we use on our hood is the light to illuminate the hob. Sorry, Alfa – we love our ceramic hob; so easy to keep clean and so smart when not in use. We don’t seem to have the mess problems you refer to: the temperature control is highly variable and very responsive [together with a bit of prestidigitation with the pan lids].


I am on my first cooker hood and finding it somewhat useful. It does keep smells and steam at bay. I put the slow cooker under the hood when I cook a ham joint and it does stop the smell permeating the rest of the house.

I seem to be alone in disliking ceramic hobs. One bad experience was enough to put me off for life. It was easier to keep clean than the gas hob, but I don’t regret going for gas as I am back in control of my cooker again.


Cooker hoods do their job well if well-maintained and cleaned frequently.We just open the garden doors or windows! We have also developed the art of simmering control to reduce steam output which is wasteful of energy.

Most people choose gas hobs but we didn’t like the Zanussi kit that was installed by the house-builders and preferred the appearance of the ceramic hob. Naked flames have always worried me.I would say induction hobs are even better than ceramic in terms of safety.

The status thing with cookers is to have a stand-out range with six hobs, four ovens and an impressive battery of iron and copper pans, fish kettles, hare jugs, cooking weapons, and gobbling rods on display. Oh, and a cleaner to keep it all looking lovely. Then it is the perfect place to drape a tea towel or two.


I use my externally-vented extractor hood if I leave the ga