Useless kitchen gadgets (unlike your trusty electric knife sharpener!)


The Japanese have a word that is a little hard to translate directly into English – chindogu. Chindogu is the ‘art of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets… [that effectively have] no utility whatsoever’. This quote from Wikipedia took sixty words to describe the meaning of one!

Nowhere is ‘chindogu’ more prevalent than in the kitchen. We challenge you to say, hand on heart, that there is not one gadget in your kitchen that has gone unused within forty eight hours of you receiving it as a gift, or buying on a whim!

Anything from huge (and expensive) multi-function blenders to rice cookers to breadmakers invariably find their way into the hidden recesses of the garage, or on to eBay. And these aren’t even true chindogu devices – they’re all useful, but if they are too bulky and heavy to heft around the kitchen, they just don’t get used enough, and out they go.

Jump online and there is no end of lists of kitchen gadgets, which, depending on your point of view, should or should not be considered as ‘chindogu’.

Let us know what you think of our list – do you agree or disagree? Tell us in the comments below.

1) Pizza scissors

Self explanatory… but when was the last time the waiter offered to cut your pizza up with a pair of scissors?

2) Easy pour for bottles

For those people who consistently spill when pouring from large bottles – the ideal present, with a no-so-hidden message.

3) Hot dog and bun cooker

Did anyone say ‘lazy’?

4) Bag holder

It would have been interesting to see the user testing for this device. Is it really quicker to get one of these rather than improvise with what you already have?

5) Eatmecrunchy cereal bowl

For those who hate soggy cereal.

6) Fondue set (pictured)

Enough said.

7) Peanut butter and jelly spreader

Maybe not for the Australia market.

8) Herb scissors

‘What – you don’t have herb scissors at home? I’ll buy you a pair’.

9) Oven rack pull

Isn’t this what oven gloves are for?

10) Mayo knife spreader

Mayonnaise can be very hard to handle.

11) Eggmaster vertical grill

Still not quite worked this one out.

12) Sandwich knife

We’ve included this, but, having had to make kids’ pack lunches in under a minute, can see where this one’s coming from.

We haven’t really ranked these in any order, and if you’d like to see more about these kitchen gadgets, jump on the website articles listed below. One of the issues – in our opinion – is totally unrelated to the utility of the device in question. It’s got more to do with whether you would be able to use one of these gadgets in front of your friends and family… and keep a straight face. If you could – great, buy it if it genuinely makes your job in the kitchen easier. If you can’t, follow your instinct and keep your money.

Some gadgets on the other hand, are just cool. We’d rank the following as fitting this category…

1) The stupendous splendiferous butterup knife

At last a knife that helps you spread hard butter – it’s raised over $360K on Kickstarter.


2) Pizza cutter

We love ours, but that may be because the handle is shark-shaped.

3) Temperature controlled butter dish

Yes, we’re obsessed with butter. But a butter dish that keeps the butter from getting too hard in the fridge or melting in the heat? Priceless. Unfortunately also not available in Australia and out of stock in the UK. Oh well.


4) Anything from Dreamfarm

We don’t have any of these gizmos, but we think they’re all cool, plus they are from Brisbane!

5) Nirey electric knife sharpeners

Incredibly useful. No kitchen should be without one. What… biased? Us? Never!

Let us know if we’ve missed any chindogu gadgets or any cool ones.

More on kitchen gadgets




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