One of the best things about technology is that it can make our lives easier. And in the kitchen, easy is always welcome. But the gadgets and appliances designed to help us cut corners do have a downside: They take up space. While the KonMari method is asking us to get rid of things that don’t spark joy, we thought it might be good to give some trendy kitchen appliances the joy test. And by joy we mean, “Is it worth the counter/cabinet space?”
Juicing has been all the rage. But is making room in your kitchen for a juicer worth it?
First, let’s look at the health benefits of juicing. Fruits and vegetables are good for you. And sure, drinking them is better than not having any at all, but that doesn’t mean you can just stop eating them. For one, you could be missing out on fiber — which is an important piece of your diet. Or they may contain an unnecessary amount of sugar (looking at you, fruit juice). Juicing does appear to have some true health claims but it’s not because of the juice, it’s because of what’s in it: fruits and veggies.
Now should you invest in a juicer? They can come with a pretty hefty price tag, even if you steer to the middle-of-the-road models. And then you have to factor in all the fresh fruits and veggies you need to buy to put INTO the juicer. Depending on how often you’re guzzling juice, the juice bar or packaged juices may not be that bad of an alternative — just make sure to read the label and keep an eye on ingredients and sugar levels.
We’re all busy people and the thought of being able to make a meal as quickly as possible is definitely a draw. But a lot of us also have a Crock-Pot, which technically is the opposite of an Instant Pot. Having both kitchen appliances can really hog valuable space, so is it worth it?
When you look at all the things an Instant Pot can do, we’d say totally. It can act as a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan and warming pot. Did you know you can make eggs, chicken breasts and applesauce in one? Yeah, you can. And though cook times aren’t always faster than the traditional way you might prepare a recipe, it does have the “set it and forget it” mentality and only uses one pot. So you don’t have to keep a close eye on what’s cookin’ and you don’t have to waste time doing tons of dishes. Make sure you read your instruction manual cover to cover to use it to its full potential.
You know what they say, “Bubbles make it better.” OK, so maybe nobody has said that, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Sparkling water is having a moment, and having carbonation right at your fingertips would save you from having to haul a 12-pack of water from your car to your fridge. Right?
If you’re a lover of fizz, it’s probably worth it. For one, using a soda maker means using a reusable container vs. an aluminum can or plastic bottle, and that’s good for the environment. It can be a budget-buy since you’ll no longer have to keep buying your carbonated water. (In fact, Wirecutter claims that using a soda maker costs less per liter than buying soda from the store.) And of course, our favorite benefit: It can help you stay hydrated — which we all know is beneficial for your well-being.
Now this appliance seems like a good idea: frying food (yum) with air instead of oil (healthy). But it might be too good to be true. Especially since you can get similar results in your oven. And switching to air frying wouldn’t be much healthier. In fact, one kitchen gadget tester found that she was using the same amount of oil to air fry veggies as she would for roasting them. And if you cut the oil out of the frying process altogether it no longer tastes fried, which kind of defeats the whole purpose. And Healthline found that air-fried food is still fried food and is still associated with many of the negative health effects as the original. Our verdict? Maybe skip this one.
Dried fruit, fruit leather, kale chips, beef jerky — the list of things that can be dehydrated goes on and on. But most of us aren’t astronauts who live on dried meals, so is this gadget worth the counter space?
Sure, they claim to make healthy snacks, but that might not be enough to call it a must-have. Time is certainly an issue. Don’t expect to have a healthy snack in a matter of hours, or even a day! Some ingredients can take up to 36 hours to dry! If you’re one of those people who loves to munch on dried fruits and jerky, this may be a more cost-effective way to enjoy some of your favorite snacks. If not, this is probably not the gadget for you — especially since dehydrated foods don’t really provide any additional health benefits.
Only you can decide if a gadget is a good fit for your kitchen based on your needs and budget. No matter what you decide, it might not be a bad idea to KonMari your existing appliances/gadgets and clear out the ones that are collecting dust to make way for something new. Do you have a kitchen gadget that you can’t live without? Tell us about it in the comments!