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3 Kitchen Gadgets You Totally Don't Need (But I Do)

As-seen-on-TV magic helps me feed my family

Patty Lindley

Published on: December 11, 2018

Eggs prepared with the Egglettes Egg Cooker
Eggs prepared with the Egglettes Egg Cooker

As I have grown older, I have become embarrassingly susceptible to succumbing to the appeal of a retail-store endcap featuring entirely unnecessary — but genius! — kitchen gadgets. Few things make me happier when shopping than an "As Seen on TV" display. I always try to act calm and nonchalant as I angle up to them, but inside, I am tingling! They are so wonderfully engineered to be noticed, with their hyperbolic descriptors of product benefits and bright red and yellow packaging that catches and hypnotizes the eye ... Must ... have ... silicone egg poachers!!!!!  

Behold the three most recent (impulse) purchases I've made:

The Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker: I picked this bad boy up for a song at Fred Meyer recently, want to say for about $15 (available on Amazon for $18.99). My daughter is a sometimes "vegetarian," and egg breakfast sandwiches have been a key protein-supplying staple in her diet. She makes them herself, which means there is always a mess to contend with in the kitchen. Hurricane Matilda just blew through again!

When I saw this self-contained, cunning little device, I experienced a rapture moment. It really works well! The English muffin gets perfectly toasty and once you have your egg timing down, the resulting sandwich is Starbucks-competitive. The packaging puffery is true: When the device is sufficiently heated (few minutes while you fetch ingredients from the fridge), the assembly and cooking time for the sandwich is about five or six minutes. 

Keeping to the breakfast theme, I have had great success using another super-sensible and mess-mitigating egg cooking solution, Egglettes Egg Cooker Cups. Do not listen to the cranky-butts in the Amazon reviews — these are not hard to use or hard to clean up. No more expensive sous vide egg bites at Starbucks for me! Not when I can make twee little omelettes at home with whatever is on hand. Show me the fool who doesn't need help upping their egg cookery, and I bet that same fool has a stash of Egglettes. Perfectly Poaching Patty, that's me.

My brilliant master plan to slowly influence my two children to learn to cook for themselves — but not make an atrocious mess that I am left cleaning up every time (seriously, those two have me pricing sump pumps and taping the kitchen windows before their next category 5 landfall) — made the decision to snap up my latest impulse-buy kitchen gadget a no-brainer. 

Child number two, a frankfurter lover, sad to admit, is a bottomless pit who can sometimes only be sated by hot dogs. Last weekend, while perusing the aisles of the Kitchen Collection store in the North Bend outlet mall (an "As Seen on TV" paradise), my eyes alighted on the Hot Doglicious Microwave Hot Dog Cooker. We have not used it yet, but it checks all the right boxes:

  • Mesmerizing packaging optics of a fast food restaurant (what am I, a crow?)
  • The promise of amazing features almost too good to be true (Gives you that juicy flavor without the wait! BPA-free! Perfectly cooks the hot dog and steams the bun in under a minute!
  • A too-complicated (I mean, ingenious) Russian nested-doll design of interlocking cooking chambers

What could go wrong? Nothing, that's what.

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