If you are a fan of kitchen gadgets and cooking tools, you know that there are plenty of options available - including some that are truly bizarre. Just because a tool is strange doesn't mean that it isn't useful, though. One of these interesting and unusual options just might become the next must-have item for your kitchen collection!
Ten Really Unusual Kitchen Gadgets
1. "The Ex" Knife Set
Are you looking for new knives because you lost yours in in unpleasant break-up? If so, adding "The EX"® Voodoo® Knife Set to your kitchen just might give you a bit of pleasure! Not only will you get a set of "chef-quality" stainless steel knives, you'll also get the pleasure of storing them in a metal or plastic holder that gives the impression that you are 'sticking it to' or stabbing your ex every time you put a knife away.
The company's commercial says using "The Ex" can be "cathartic" and refers to the knife holder as "an anonymous effigy dedicated to whoever you choose." Designed by Italian designer Raffaele Iannello, a set with an all metal holder costs $1,000, while you can get the same knives in a plastic holder for around $160.
2. Wavy Knife
Who says knives have to have a straight edge? The Wavy Knife from Crisp is anything but flat! This colorful wavy knife is fun and funky looking while also providing a practical solution for some creative food preparation challenges.
The knife has serrated edges, providing an easy way to cut potatoes into crinkle-cut sticks or to give veggies an elegant and interesting shape. This rather unusual kitchen tool provides a great way for you to take your food presentation skills to the next level! It's affordable too, retailing at just under $13.
3. Himalayan Salt Plate
If you are a fan of interesting and unusual kitchen tools, consider adding a Himalayan salt plate from The Spice Lab to your collection of cooking and serving pieces. This item is exactly what it sounds like. It is a brick-shaped plate made from pure Himalayan salt that is sure to attract attention any time you use it.
You can use this item cold or hot, and it can be used to serve or cook food.
- Chill a Himalayan salt plate and use it as a tray for serving foods that need to be kept cold for serving, such as sushi or antipasto.
- Heat it in your oven or on your grill, then take it out and cook foods like fish or eggs on it at your table. It will add just the right amount of salt to the food as it cooks.
An 8" X 4" X 2" salt plate costs just under $20. Larger sizes and multi-packs are also available.
4. The Smoking Gun
Luca Manfè, winner of Masterchef season 4 said, "My number one bizarre gadget that I am going to buy is a smoking gun! It's very easy to use, and it brings so much flavor to your food!" One such tool is The Smoking Gun® Handheld Food Smoker from PolyScience Culinary, which costs around $150.
While it is definitely outside the norm to use a torch for cooking in the kitchen, this type of device can be fun and useful. You can use a hand-held smoking gun to add flavor to a wide variety of foods - from sauces and butters to sweets and salads. Add a "combustible" (like tea, spices, herbs, wood chips, dried flowers, etc.) to the tool's chamber, light a match and aim it to direct the smoke at the food you want to use it on.
5. Cream Whipper
Chef Manfè also considers a cream whipper to be on of the top unusual kitchen gadgets, and he just bought one. Cream whippers, such as iSi's Creative Whip collection, use nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide and are designed (as the name indicates) to whip cream - such as for coffee or hot chocolate, and are often used in coffee shops. However, they can be used at home and for other purposes.
Chef Manfè said, "I just bought a cream whipper that I am not going to use for whipped cream, but for all savory ingredients - like whipped lardo or whipped beets for example." While you can use a simple hand or stand mixer to whip just about anything (including cream), the task becomes a bit more interesting with this unusual, chef-recommended, gadget. Prices range from $55 to $160 depending on model selected. You'll also have to purchase refill N2O or CO2 canister chargers.
6. Alfillé Butter Wizard
Are you particular about the temperature of your butter? Butter stored in the refrigerator is too hard to spread, yet butter left on the counter all the time becomes rancid after a few days. If you ever wished for a happy medium between keeping your butter cold or letting it sit at room temperature, you'll be really excited to learn about the Alfillé Butter Wizard.
Strange as it seems, this gadget is a battery-operated, temperature controlled butter dish. For around $50, you can add a gadget to your kitchen that keeps butter at the perfect temperature without refrigeration. You'll have access to easily-spreadable butter any time of the day or night. You will never again have to put your butter dish in the microwave before dinner because you forgot to take it out, and you'll certainly have an interesting conversation piece at dinner parties.
7. Flip-It! Caps
Flip-It!™ caps are a silly-looking plastic gadgets that are strange, yet wonderfully useful. They are basically tiny tripods that let you store your condiment containers upside down, something that makes them easier to use and helps you easily access every last drop of product - a feature that frugal consumers are sure to appreciate.
The company sent me a package of Flip-It!™ caps to try for myself, and I have to say that I am quite impressed with these tiny tools. They don't look like much out of the package, but they are easy to use and they really do work.
Adapters are included so you can use Flip-It with any size bottle opening. They are sturdy and really practical (albeit unusual). A package of six caps, which also includes an assortment of adapters and gaskets, costs around $20.
8. GRILL-RIGHT Bluetooth BBQ Thermometer
If you're always in search of new ways to improve upon your meat cooking skills, the GRILL-RIGHT Bluetooth BBQ Thermometer from Oregon Scientific is an unusual tech gadget that allows you to easily keep track of meat temperature without having to lurk over the grill, stove, or oven to watch a traditional meat thermometer until the desired temperature is reached.
The company sent me one of these gadgets to try for myself, so I can say from experience that it is super-easy to use. Once you set up the thermometer by inserting the probes into the meat and pairing the device to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, you'll receive temperature alerts letting you know when your meat reaches the desired temperature. You can also monitor temperature by watching the easy-to-see color-coded digital readout.
This unusual kitchen tech gadget costs around $60. It is ideal for people who love to own the latest tech gadgets as well as for those who have a tendency to wander away during cooking. With this gadget, as long as you have your connected smartphone on your person, you'll be alerted when you need to return to the cooking areas.
9. Herb Mincer
Who says you have to use a knife every time you want to cut something in the kitchen? If you're the kind of cook who likes unusual kitchen gadgets - even if they only serve one specific purpose - you might want to consider adding an herb mincer - such as the one from Crisp ($16) shown here - to your kitchen.
While this device is a bit odd - it looks like a combination between a computer mouse and a pizza cutter - and doesn't really do anything you can't do with a knife, it is something that people who do a lot of cooking with fresh herbs might really enjoy using.
A review on Cookistry.com points out that Crisp's herb mincer can help keep your fingers from smelling like herbs as they might if you used a knife. Using a herb mincer could also reduce the chances of cutting your fingers while chopping herbs, something that will appeal to those who are not particularly skilled when it comes to using kitchen knives.
10. Pencil Sharpener Vegetable Peeler
If you are a fan of unusual kitchen gadgets that keep you from having to work with a knife, you may also be interested in adding a pencil sharpener vegetable peeler to your collection of tools. This strange device is exactly what it sounds like - it is a gadget designed to peel vegetables that looks - and functions - just like a large hand-held pencil sharpener.
It doesn't work on all vegetables, but it does provide a good way to peel long, relatively slim items such as carrots, cucumbers and zucchini. Just place the veggie inside the 'sharpener' and twist the peel away. There is also a standard peeler blade on the end of the device. It's easy to see why this gadget earned a spot on Grazia Daily's list of "weird and wonderful kitchen gadgets you've never heard of."
What Do You Need?
While none of these strange gadgets is on anyone's list of essential kitchen utensils or tools, they all do serve a purpose. Which one(s) will you be adding to your kitchen collection?