9 Questionable Kitchen Appliances to Give Those Who Suffer From Too Much Counter Space

9 Questionable Kitchen Appliances to Give Those Who Suffer From Too Much Counter Space

These machines simplify the easiest of cooking tasks—for better or worse.

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Julia Child taught the world that anyone could be an amateur chef in their own kitchen and whip up more than just meat and potatoes, but then technology came along and filled our kitchens with gadgets that turned everything from baking bread to making stews into push-button processes requiring little skill and even less risk.

These wonders of culinary automation can let a single person prepare a feast of a meal with minimal prep and without having to hover over a stove for hours on end. All they ask of us is to slowly take over every last inch of counter space in our kitchens. Sounds like a fair trade. If you know someone suffering from an abundance of countertop space but a lack of kitchen skills, here are nine appliances to give them this holiday season that promise to make the simplest of kitchen tasks even easier—but the toaster is going to have to scooch over and make some room.

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Recolte Easy Egg Steamer

Recolte Easy Egg Steamer

If an appliance can boil and turn water into steam, then it can be used to make hard-boiled eggs. That includes stoves and even devices like the Instant Pot, but why heat up an entire pot of water when all you’re craving is just a single egg? The $48 Recolte Easy Egg Steamer handles just a single task in your kitchen: boiling one whole chicken egg or a handful of smaller quail eggs. You just toss some water in and plug it in and the device will do the rest—minus the timing part. That’s still left to the user depending on how they like their yolks.

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One-Touch Hot Chocolate Maker

One-Touch Hot Chocolate Maker

When the weather starts to dip into the sub-zero temperatures, there’s nothing quite as satisfying and comforting as a warm cup of cocoa. But with halls to deck and gifts to buy, who has time to heat milk on the stove or add a powered mix to hot water? This $99 contraption does it all for you: Just dump the ingredients in the top (milk, chocolate, cocoa powder, etc.) and it mixes and heats it all up for you. As an added bonus: It’s mostly useless the rest of the year when you’re looking for an icy drink to cool down with.

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Vertical Waffle Toaster

Vertical Waffle Toaster

Unless you’re eating waffles every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a traditional waffle maker is complete overkill. No one thinks twice about finding a permanent home for a toaster on their counters, and the same probably goes for this $60 vertical waffle maker. It includes a pair of silicone snap-together waffle molds that you fill with waffle batter (a task that probably guarantees extensive cleanup afterwards) and then slide into the toaster’s slots. As with a traditional toaster, this waffle maker lets you adjust the browning level using a dial on the side, but unlike a regular toaster, you can’t peer inside to gauge if you’ve accidentally overdone it.

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Rapid Wine Chiller

Rapid Wine Chiller

If you’re lacking a wine cooler, a cellar, a basement, a fridge, or patience, for $100 this electronic rapid wine chiller promises to cool a bottle of cabernet or a can of soda in a minute flat, while other beverages and bottled drinks could take up to six minutes. Compared to sticking them in a foam cooler those results are impressive, but the machine does its thing with the help of water and ice. So if you don’t want this 14-inch long appliance staking its claim on your kitchen counters, just find yourself a bucket.

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Taco Tuesday Lazy Susan Taco Bar

Taco Tuesday Lazy Susan Taco Bar

Does your family love Taco Tuesday but lament the fact that every day can’t be filled with taco goodness? Serving up all the requisite ingredients is such a slog, it’s no wonder people only eat tacos once a week. But that could all change once the $50 Taco Tuesday Lazy Susan Taco Bar finds a permanent spot on your kitchen counters. The entire thing spins, providing easy access to toppings served up in six removable trays, and in the middle is a warming pot perfect for keeping ground beef, beans, or rice ready for eating. Taco Friday doesn’t quite have the same ring, but who’s complaining?

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GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker

GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker

If you’ve ever found yourself munching on the impossibly delicious and crunchy ice at a fast food joint and wondered why you don’t do the same thing at home, it’s because the trays in your freezer make the garbage ice, and GE’s Opal Nugget Ice Maker makes the good stuff. Instead of simply freezing water into cubes, this machine makes ice chunks by compacting ice flakes, and while the size and shapes are irregular, they’re softer and more satisfying to chew. Does that make a device that will claim a significant chunk of counter space worth $580? Of course it does: An ice maker with Bluetooth connectivity so you can turn it on from your phone and ensure the ice is always fresh is worth every cent.

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Countertop Dishwasher

Countertop Dishwasher

If your kitchen doesn’t have enough room for a full-sized dishwasher, there’s a good chance you probably don’t have enough room for a 21-inch-wide countertop model. But who cares? Washing dishes is one of the worst chores imaginable, and if you can unload all that work on this $400 compact dishwasher, then who needs countertop space for toasters, kettles, and cutting boards?

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Panasonic Rotisserie Oven

Panasonic Rotisserie Oven

Walk into any grocery or big box store with a fresh food department and for less than $10 you can walk out with a fully cooked rotisserie chicken and have dinner and lunch solved for several days. But that requires you to leave your house. With Panasonic’s countertop rotisserie oven, you can roast your own birds at home and never face the outside world. Using just 16 inches of counter space, the Panasonic has a series of infrared heating elements that cook chicken, beef, pork, fish, and even souffles if you’re feeling fancy. Just be prepared to spend well north of a Hamilton—think closer to $800+.

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Stainless Steel Cascading Fondue Fountain

Stainless Steel Cascading Fondue Fountain

No one needs their food delivered via fountain (especially not at your uninspired wedding), but a chocolate fountain suddenly becomes more appealing when it’s designed to handle other liquid consumables too—like ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, nacho cheese, and Buffalo sauce. With options like that it’s doubtful you’ll ever actually need to turn off this $80 fountain that sends condiments cascading off various tiers. You’ll want it front and center in the kitchen running 24/7 ensuring you’ll never eat another plain vegetable, marshmallow, strawberry, or chicken wing again.

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