The equipment testing team at America’s Test Kitchen has spent thousands of hours over the past decade separating the good from the bad–and once in a while they come across gadgets and equipment that perform so poorly, they deserve special mention.
If we’re going to shell out money for a gadget devoted to just one dish, it better be awfully good. This quesadilla maker, however, severely limits the amount of cheese that can be sandwiched between the tortillas. So, uh, what’s the point? Unless you’re on a diet, use a skillet instead.
Although this gadget is supposed to peel and devein shrimp, it only accomplishes the task partway by slitting the shell to reveal the vein. Even worse, we found that the shrimp sometimes became mangled in the machine.
Ouch! Put away your thermo fork and grab an instant-read thermometer and pair of tongs instead. Thermometer forks are designed to enable the user to move the food being cooked on the grill and take its temperature at the same time. We found this gadget awkward to use, especially when trying to flip or turn meat for even browning.
This gadget claims to deliver perfectly cubed onions and elegant batons of carrots, bell peppers, or apples with one punch of the handheld chopper blades against its platform base. But too often, we found ourselves cautiously extracting suspended vegetables from the blade. We’ll stick to chopping veggies the old-fashioned way–with a sharp knife and cutting board.
Supermarkets often suspend unripe bananas from tall poles covered with small hooks. Banana hangers miniaturize this idea for the home kitchen. Sounds good, but we found no difference in the ripening time between hanging bananas and simply setting them on the counter. Both bunches turned spotty brown at the same rate, too.