Kitchen Appliances You've Been Brainwashed Into Thinking You Need

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With dedicated devices to cook everything from eggs and yogurt, to pizza and bacon, smart versions of everything under the sun, and a range of products you would never even have considered a few years ago, there are more appliances and devices than space in most kitchens these days. 

The demand is increasing so much that a report published by Allied Market Research (via MarketWatch) says the kitchen appliance market is estimated to reach $253.4 billion in 2020. And as The NPD Group found, consumers are spending more than ever on small appliances, including those for their kitchens. 

But, do we really need all the kitchen appliances we're spending our hard-earned money on? We don't think so. Yet, thanks to brilliant advertising and the power of things like social media, more and more people think they really do. Take a look at just some of the kitchen appliances you've been brainwashed into thinking you need.

Smart refrigerators

Sure, refrigerators with wine racks and upgraded temperature control settings can be a boon, but we're talking about those smart refrigerators with touchscreens, cameras, social connectivity, and entertainment centers. 

Many smart refrigerators offer the ability to look inside the fridge to see what food you have without opening the door too often, which people often think will save them a ton of money on their electric bills. However, while leaving the door open all the time will waste energy, you're not actually going to save more than a few dollars a year on your electricity bill by opening the door to check what's inside.

Smart fridges can also help you check expiration dates, and come loaded with applications to help you upload photos and stay connected to your family with calendar syncing and messaging features, as well as radio and television options that even if you do need, are already on your phone, tablets, and computers. Smart refrigerators also let you change the temperature of your fridge from your phone — because apparently, some people's temperature needs fluctuate a lot when it comes to the fridge. 

Don't waste the whopping amount of money that these will cost you.

Toaster ovens

Do you have a toaster, a microwave, and an oven? Even if you have just two of the three popular kitchen appliances, you definitely don't need a toaster oven. 

We've been brainwashed into believing that having a toaster oven will make heating things up quicker, but it's really not that difficult to pop leftovers and frozen foods in the oven. Most affordable, reasonably-sized toaster ovens won't hold much food anyway. That means you're probably going to have to cook multiple batches, and once you've done that, you haven't saved any time at all. Plus, if you're really in a big hurry, that's what your microwave is for — and we know you probably have one of those.

Save some money and a ton of counter top space by skipping the toaster oven. We know you think you need one, but you really, really don't.

Breakfast stations

These all-in-one appliances are often touted as a way to make your breakfast routine easier and more efficient. How fun is it that you can make an entire breakfast (including coffee!) all in one appliance? But you don't really need a breakfast station, unless you don't have access to the most basic of kitchen appliances. You've just been brainwashed into thinking you do.

Everything cooked in a breakfast station can be made by something you probably already have on-hand in your kitchen. Do you have a frying pan, an oven, and a coffee maker? If the answer is yes, than you have zero need for this bulky little machine. 

Of course, if you're big on camping (or maybe, glamping?), this might be something you could use. The same goes for the avid tailgate chef. Other than that, this one isn't going to do anything other than take up a whole lot of precious counter space.

Egg cookers

Egg cookers are usually fairly cheap, and allow you to do everything from cooking 10 eggs to the consistency you desire, poaching four eggs at a time, and making a three-egg omelet. It's no wonder so many of us have been brainwashed into thinking we really need one. 

But, do you really need a special appliance to help you cook eggs? You can boil eggs in a few minutes simply by placing them in a pot of water on your stove. it's incredibly easy to fry or scramble an egg, and even if your egg of choice is a poached one — arguably one of the tougher egg-cooking techniques to get perfect — it's not difficult enough to require a special machine to do it for you. 

Besides, learning how to make an egg in any form is a pretty basic kitchen skill, so if you need this machine because you don't already know how to, spend your time doing that instead of cleaning out all of the attachments in this machine every day.

Countertop pizza ovens

There's absolutely no reason anyone ever needs a countertop pizza oven. More than likely, you're going to be using it to heat up a frozen pizza, but even if you're planning to make your own pizza from scratch, dough and all, your oven is completely capable of handling the task.

And you don't have to be worried you won't get the perfect pizza crust by popping fresh dough in a traditional oven, because if you're using it right, you totally can. Most of these rotating counter top pizza ovens don't cook a pizza any faster than your oven — most of them even still need to preheat. And they're large enough that they would likely need their own dedicated cabinet in your kitchen — unless, of course, you just let sit sit out on the counter all the time. 

But even if you just really like way counter top pizza ovens cook your pizza, the frequency with which you'll use it means it's still not worth the purchase. Unless, of course, you eat pizza every single day. In that case, the money you'll save on this would be better used on the purchase of a cookbook or two.

Baby food makers

We know why you want a baby food maker. Mom guilt is real when it comes to how you feed your littlest ones, and this seems like the perfect solution to getting it done right. And you're not the only one to feel this way. According to The New York Times, more consumers are opting to make their own baby food these days, so it's no wonder these are all over the place. 

However, think long and hard before you actually invest in a baby food maker, because it's not worth the money or the space it's going to take up in your kitchen. Several baby food makers combine food processors, stick blenders, and steamers, and while we do understand the appeal of buying an all-in-one appliance, you probably have the ability to do all of this with the appliances you already have. 

And don't forget that babies usually only eat pureed food for a few months before they start moving onto things with a little more substance... and what are you supposed to do with this big (expensive) appliance when that happens?

Food dehydrators

Wellness culture is bigger than ever. According to a 2018 consumer study by L.E.K., 93 percent of respondents said they want to eat healthy at least some of the time, and 63 percent said they try to eat healthy most or all of the time. 

From swapping store-bought chips for dried fruit and vegetable chips to making your own fruit leather and jerky, dehydrating food is a great way to create some of the delicious, healthier snacks you've been meaning to add to your diet. It's also a good way to stockpile dried vegetables, make granola in large quantities, or preserve the aroma and flavor of things like fresh herbs. 

While the dehydrator is a wonderful way to do all these things, it's not a small appliance. Not only will it end up taking up a lot of room in your kitchen, even the smallest dehydrator usually comes with several trays, which increases the amount of washing up you will have to do later. 

You're not going to be dehydrating food in bulk all the time, but even if you are, save money and space and simply use your oven instead. A low temperature for six to 10 hours is all you need.

Bread makers

Bread isn't the easiest thing in the world to make, but how often are you going to be making it yourself? If you're trying to save time, store-bought bread is definitely the way to go. 

Of course, homemade bread often contains lower sodium, but even if you're trying to be healthier or want to control every ingredient that goes into it, you've got an oven that does exactly what the bread machine will. And while the gluten-free settings on higher-end models are the most attractive feature of these machines, it's still not worth the extra cost.

Making bread in the oven will not only save you money, it will also help save a lot of space in the kitchen. Sure, there's some kneading, proofing, and perfecting of techniques involved in the bread-making process, but it isn't as hard as it looks. Besides, while some high-end bread making machines are automatic and cut out this tedious kneading process, lower-end models only bake the bread after you've put the kneaded dough into the appliance. 

If you've been brainwashed into thinking you need a bread machine, we're here to tell you: you don't.

Wi-Fi enabled smart slow cookers

Even your slow cooker is trying to persuade you to upgrade to a better, more technology-friendly version of itself with Wi-Fi and the ability to pair with your smartphone, but there's really no need to ditch the classic models.

The most basic slow cooker will offer what attracts people to this appliance most — the convenience of putting all your ingredients in one pot and letting it do its thing. Sure, slow cookers with smart features include the ability to pick a recipe, add cooking times, and click a button to start the process, all from your smartphone. Some of them even included voice-controlled cooking — but do you really need this enough to invest in a new one? Couldn't you just turn it on when you're standing in front of it

One of the biggest advantages of a slow cooker is that there's no need to stir it or check in on it all day. The ability to make adjustments from your phone is just a fun extra feature, and not really all that necessary. Fewer features actually work to your advantage here, so save your money and stick to what you've got.

Yogurt makers

Yogurt was invented way before smart gadgets and fancy kitchen appliances, so you already know there's a way to make it without one of these machines. These days, stores are spilling over with more options than we can count, and whether you like thick Greek yogurt, smooth-as-silk Icelandic yogurt, or the Swedish version, Filmjölk, there's a consistency and flavor of this healthy product for everyone. 

Of course, homemade yogurt can be a lot healthier than store-bought versions, so we understand why people are increasingly interested in trying to make it at home. Yogurt makers are marketed as quick, convenient options. And sure, with a device like this, you can homemade yogurt without having to do much more than press a few buttons. However, the process of fermentation can take anywhere from six to 24-hours with the machine or without.

As for convenience, there are many easy ways to make yogurt at home. Use your oven, slow cooker, a jar submerged in a hot water bath, or even just a heating pad. If you have an Instant Pot, it might even have a "yogurt" button. There's really no reason to waste precious space in your kitchen for this very specific appliance, especially when you can amek yogurt without it.

Bacon Express Grills

There are just so many different ways to cook bacon — you can fry it up in a pan, bake it in the oven, or even make it in a microwave. There's really no need to have a dedicated appliance to do the job for you. 

Little more than a novelty product, the Bacon Express Grill can only really hold six slices of bacon. It does cook bacon faster than we would be able to in a pan — but not when you figure in all the extra batches you'd need to fry up enough for the whole family.

Besides, do you really want to have to clean the tray, plate, and the actual device (that's most likely going to be covered in grease that you don't want it marinating in after every use) instead of just one baking sheet or frying pan?

Soda makers

Depending on your reasons for jumping on the homemade soda bandwagon, you may not really need a soda maker like the SodaStream.

Even for the most dedicated soda and sparkling water consumers, these aren't going to save you much money, unless you drink a lot of the stuff. As Business Insider found, you would have to drink around 240 liters to break even on the startup costs of a SodaStream. That's a lot!

The initial costs of the machine may not seem like a lot — that's where the brainwashing takes effect. However, you have to remember to budget in the carbonating cylinders and flavors that you'll need to buy quite frequently, which can add up to a pretty penny in the long run.

If you're trying to find a healthier drink option, this one might be worth it. But if you're just trying to save a few dollars, this one isn't worth your time.

Electric pasta machines

Pasta is delicious, and using a machine to whip some up from scratch in a jiffy is tempting, but it's unlikely you'll ever make enough to need this bulky device sitting in your kitchen. 

The electric versions of these appliances are popular, but don't be brainwashed into thinking they do enough to justify their staggering prices. If you really don't want to go through the rolling and cutting process, you can slip the dough into cheaper, hand-operated options. Sure, the electric version mixes it all up for you... but is it even homemade pasta at that point?

If you're willing to spend a few bucks and save a lot of space, pick up some pasta roller attachments for your stand-mixer instead (this is one device we do recommend for your kitchen), which can do the job just as well as the bulky, standalone, and more expensive options.

Electric popcorn makers

Unless you're buying one a popcorn maker as a fun gift or to add a quirky aesthetic to your kitchen, we assure you, you do not need a popcorn maker. The devices come in many shapes and forms, and may not be too expensive, but they're still a huge waste of money and space.

If it's lightly seasoned and made at home, popcorn has dietary fiber and a low-calorie count that makes it a delicious, relatively healthy snack. Still, you don't need to invest in a special air popcorn maker, even if it looks like the most convenient way to make it. Popcorn easy enough to make on your stove, without a fancy, dedicated appliance. And if you're looking for an even more convenient method, add the kernels to a paper bag and pop it in the microwave instead.

Both of these methods are smarter options than a machine that takes up a ton of space, and they also save you from having to clean one more appliance in your kitchen after every use.