DIYEat & Drink

Downgrade Your Trendy Foods: 5 Kitchen Gadgets That Make You Look Like a Tool

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Following hot on the heels of Polina’s air-tight Do Not Buy Tupperware post, we’d like to highlight several other kitchen items that are just not necessary for you to spend money on. These are the sorts of kitchen gadgets that every urban Foodster (That’s: Foodie + Hipster, I guess) thinks is totally essential to creating an absolutely heavenly home-cooked, gourmet meal but really you’d be laughed out of the kitchen of any self-respecting restaurant. (I think we here at BAS have about 46 years of collective restaurant experience, so we should know.)

This looks far too technical for me.

The Garlic Press: I had a garlic press once, but only because it was stolen during a supply-raid on a parent’s kitchen (they never use all that stuff anyway). I probably used it twice before breaking it by trying to use it to squeeze a lime for a mojito or something. If you need to chop up garlic really tiny-like, just man up and smash it with the side of a wide-blade knife. Remove the skin from the pile of garlic mush, and then keep chopping until your house smells like a restaurant in North Beach/Little Italy. Pat yourself on the back for all your hard work with a couple swigs of Carlo Rossi jug wine.

I have no respect for your lazy drinking habits.

Elaborate Wine Opening Device: Are you a cater waiter? Do you open more than five bottles of wine a night, on a regular basis? Then you don’t need some fancy rabbit to open your wine for you. Half the Napa tasting rooms aren’t even so lazily pretentious that they need to scramble to open a bottle of vino in under 4 seconds. Take some pleasure in opening your wine bottle and pulling out that cork. Alternatively: just drink Carlo Rossi Jug wine with a screwcap or use a shoe.

Are we stuck in the 80's again?

Electric Can Opener: More than anything else, this one just says: “I’m lazy!” And it makes your kitchen feel like you live at your grandmother’s house. Besides, you’re going to want all the arm strength you can get from opening cans so you can more easily lift and open entire jugs of Carlo Rossi Wine.

Would you rather be able to melt sugar or WELD STEEL?

Culinary Torch: I have a hard time believing that anyone loves Creme Brulee so much that they make it at home often enough to justify spending over $30 on a miniature propane torch. If you’re really going to do this with the flamethrowers in the kitchen, go get yourself a real propane torch which will come in handy when you need to solder some copper pipes yourself. You will, of course, want to reward yourself with a couple swigs from that jug of Carlo Rossi wine.

It's just a colander inside a bucket.

Salad Spinner: This is a tricky one, because everyone knows salad is good for you and we could probably all eat more salad. But having one of these on your counter is like yelling “LOOK AT ME, I’M SO HEALTHY. I EAT SALAD.” which has the effect of making you seem desperate. Just wash your baby spinach mix out in the sink and toss it in the spaghetti strainer like everyone else. The 10 bucks you saved on this thing can easily be put towards a couple of jugs of Carlo Rossi wine which is balance out your crazy salad habit.

(Pretty much all photos courtesy Crate&Barrel and Ikea)

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Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler

Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler

Andrew is an East Coast transplant from Virginia hamming it up in San Francisco without any intention of leaving. Having worked every typical job from Bike Shop Employee to Bartender to Ad Agency Hotshot, to Dotcom Layoff he now busts his ass covering the "weird things to do" beat for gracious local audiences at and rallies the Western Addy/Lower Haight/Panhandle neighborhoods into action at His work was published in a real, paper magazine one time. One day he might even figure out how to make money from it.


  1. Transister Sistor
    July 19, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Easy tip to deal with garlic:
    Take the paper off yer garlic clove and rub it over the small-grate part of a cheese grater. There you go- it’s minced!

  2. Polina Yamshchikov - Flirt Poor
    July 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    that shit about the salad spinner is some garbage, sir. if you wash greens in it and then keep em in there with a paper towel stuck in the bottom to collect moisture, they keep for SO LONG and allow you avoid the horror of having to deal with a rotting bag of arugula in the crisper drawer after you inevitably forget about it.

  3. Polina Yamshchikov - Flirt Poor
    July 19, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    however touche about the carlo, everyone could use so much more of that always.