Cool Tools and Things That Miss the Mark

As a Chronic Chick, I appreciate my small appliances. They make my life simpler. There’s two I love the most:  My Vitamix blender and my slow cooker.

While browsing a popular retailer’s website, I note an astonishing assortment of small appliances for the kitchen.  There was the cool, the practical, the cute, and, in my humble opinion, “things that miss the mark.”

In the cool category, I’d put the following:

Cool Tool #1:

This is a cheese grater with a convenient storage box for your grated cheese.  Less mess however with a retail price of $159.99 (CAD) it is a bit high-end.


Cool Tool #2:

This stylish looking coffee carafe is made of heavy-grade aluminum to help coffee stay warm for hours and is available in 1, 3, and 6 cup sizes.  It’s chic, but the downside might be, as with all coffee carafes, the longer the coffee stays in the carafe, the more metallic it might taste.  The 3 cup size, pictured above, retails for $89.99.  Again, it’s up there and I wonder why “good taste” has to be expensive.  This carafe however is a bargain compared to the tea kettle I saw advertised on the same retailer’s website for $315.00.


Cool Tool #3:

This is a stainless steel coffee plunger, similar to the Bodum glass coffee plunger; however the stainless steel model appears to have the advantage over the Bodum glass one as the stainless steel will help keep the coffee warm, something the glass one was not-so-great at, prompting crafters to sew their own Bodum cozies, or those who weren’t so crafty to wrap tea towels around the base of it to keep the coffee warm.  Downside:  as with the coffee carafe, the possibility of metallic-tasting coffee.


Cool Tool #4:

Okay these are just “fun” – lotion dispensers in the shape of a coffee maker, juicer or toaster, for a person with a “kitchy” kitchen, this would be a perfect addition!


Cool Tool #5:

Here’s an all in one coffee maker and bean grinder.  Practical, functional, stylish-looking, less mess and space on the counter, what’s not to like?  If my current coffee maker and (separate) bean grinder ever give up the ghost, I’ll be buying one of these.


Now, in the “Things That Miss The Mark” category, the following.

Snow Cone Maker, which retails for $30.00. Low-cost alternative:  A blender and some ice, sugar and food coloring should do the trick.


Hot Chocolate Maker, which retails for $40.00.  Low cost alternative(s):  Heat 8 ounces of milk in the microwave or on the stove.  Place 1 tablespoon each cocoa and sugar in a mug.  Pour heated milk into the mug, stir thoroughly.  For multiple servings, a pot on the stove with some milk, cocoa and sugar does the same thing. To get your milk to “froth” [one of the features of this Hot Chocolate Maker], use an old-fashioned whisk.

The “Rocket Grill”.  Retails for $124.94, plus you need to buy replacement parchment pouches separately ($20 for a package of 36) but it does come with 48 of those parchment pouches.  Food is inserted in the pouches then inserted toaster-like into this grill.  The parchment pouches help grease drain away into the reservoir.  Apparently this grill “fully cooks most fresh foods in 3-8 minutes and most frozen foods in 8-12 minutes” [hence the name “Rocket” I suppose]. This may have some merit and appeal for time-stressed moms on the “front-end” [making of the food] but I wonder about the clean up and, if the item is discontinued, will you still be able to buy the replacement pouches?


A Margarator for $140.00 (makes blended drinks with ice – alcoholic and non-alcoholic.) I think a decent blender will do the same thing and have more uses.

I puzzle why retailers feel we need all these things cluttering up our counters and our lives and emptying our wallets.  Maybe their motto is: they who have the most kitchen appliances when they die wins.