/ 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?


My dad would like a simple microwave that does just the one job he needs it to.
Reheat food.
800w no more, no less.
A dial that goes to 10 minutes maximum.
No clock.
No LED screen.
No turntable.


Spiraliser, most useless thing ever, nasty to use, difficult to clean, impossible to reassemble.
Used once.

Also the stick blender, never used more than twice, my wife has hidden it.

I want to throw the spiraliser at the outside wall. Expensive junk.


I know what you mean about kitchen gadgets that are difficult to clean and fiddly to reassemble, Chris. I’m not surprised that many are consigned to cupboards or sent to charity shops.

It does not require much understanding of science to see why a typical stick blender is good at spreading hot soup beyond the confines of a pan, requiring care to use one without having to clean the hob or worktop. I’m fairly confident that I could design one that was fit for purpose.

Orna Kustow says:
25 May 2018

OK, here’s my thing: I’m over 80 and I’m scared that one day I may forget to switch off the gas and… well, you know the rest. So I’m definitely an electric gadget freak. Dual induction plate, kettle, combi microwave oven and a slow-cooker. I’m now flirting seriously with replacing the latter with oine of those new
multi-cookers like Instant. Can anyone recommend the idea and/or a particular model?