These Professional Chefs Share Which Kitchen Items To Toss Out

Monica Gray - April 26, 2023

We all have an abundance of items in our kitchen. We use some items more often than others. Some items might be collecting dust at the bottom of our drawer. They always say less is more, so the less clutter you have taking up your home and kitchen space, the clearer you might feel, mentally We’ve curated a list of the most useless kitchen items out there. Once you clean up your kitchen, you’re well on your way to becoming a professional cook. Imran Ali, from London’s Michelin-starred Tamarind, says the most important tool in the kitchen isn’t one you can hold. In an interview, he said, “There is no more essential a tool in any kitchen than knowledge. You could have the best equipment and tools in the world’s best kitchen, but if you don’t know your food and you don’t know your ingredients and how they come together, then you won’t be able to make even the simplest of dishes.”


A recent study from Cornell University revealed that having a cluttered kitchen leads to overeating and eating more snacks and food with higher calories. In the study, one woman waited in a messy kitchen with dishes in the sink, newspapers on the counter, and a ringing phone, while another waited in a clean, calm kitchen. The woman waiting in the messy kitchen ate twice as many cookies as the woman waiting in the clean kitchen. One way to combat this disorder in your kitchen is to get rid of useless kitchen items and keep your space clean and organized. If you’re going to invest in tools, invest in versatile ones that you can use for many different things, like knives, tongs, and large spoons. The one-use kitchen tools are the biggest killers in the kitchen.


Get Rid Of Your Citrus Juicer

It might seem counterintuitive, but squeezing your lemons and limes the old-fashioned way is better than using a citrus juicer. Even though it’s satisfying to drink a cup of water, knowing there are no lemon seeds inside, there’s no point in using the juicer. As a top chef and owner of Sydney’s Chiswick, Opera Bar, and Riverbar & Kitchen, Matt Moran says to toss the citrus juicer. He said, “I would have to say that for me, it’s a citrus juicer. I know people love them but we have one at home that just never gets used – by the time you get it out and put all the parts together, not to mention dismantling and cleaning it, it just seems to make more sense to me to do it the old fashioned way.” We’re sorry to say it, but it’s time to step up your kitchen game and get rid of that juicer (SMH).


There’s No Need For Your Pomegranate Deseeder

Eating a pomegranate isn’t easy, and sometimes, you probably avoid the fruit because of how annoying it is to eat. Even though it tastes delicious in yogurt and various desserts, it’s probably a fruit most of us don’t eat often. That’s why the pomegranate basher was invented, though Somer Sivrioglu, chef and owner of Sydney restaurants Anason and Efendy argues that it’s a useless kitchen item, along with the lemon squeezer, as we’ve seen above. He said, “I buy most of my kitchen gadgets from Turkey and while I get some really useful stuff, I also acquire lots of useless stuff – like a pomegranate basher which I’ve never used. Another would be a lemon squeezer – I had the brilliant idea of having them placed on the tables of one of my restaurants and bought 20 of them which ended up being completely useless.” if it’s useless in a high-end restaurant, it’s useless in your kitchen. Customers using pomegranate deseeders find them useless since you can take the seeds out faster by hand (Lakeland).


Use A Regular Knife For Lettuce, Not A Lettuce Knife

It seems like people thought of a pointless tool for everything. One of those pointless tools is the lettuce knife. Chef Arce claims that a regular knife is better than a lettuce knife. They claim that lettuce knives prevent the lettuce from browning, though it’s a huge scam. One Cook’s Illustrated report showed that lettuce browned after 12 days when cut with a lettuce knife, browned after 13 days when cut with a regular knife, and browned after 14 days when torn with your hands. The biggest mystery is who keeps lettuce around for two weeks. It wouldn’t even last that long. Cut your knife with a high-quality, stainless steel knife and it’ll get the job done just fine. Don’t invest in another pointless toolset that you can only use for one thing (Beacon Journal).


Bye-Bye, Knife Block

After years of owning a home, you’ve likely accumulated many kitchen items that you never use. It especially happens after weddings and birthdays, when people get you a present for your home. One of the biggest kitchen no-nos, according to professional chef Costa Lapaseotes, is a knife block. He said, “Knife sets that come in their block always come with a bunch of unnecessary knives that all could be replaced with one good quality chef’s knife. On top of that, the block itself is bad for knife storage. Pulling knives in and out dulls them, only a little bit, but it adds up.” Dulling your knife reduces its quality and effectiveness. One knife sounds a lot better than several useless knives. If you want to go professional, invest in a high-quality chef knife, and if you want to organize your kitchen, invest in a magnetic knife rack (The Kitchn).


The All-In-One Gadget

Do you have a kitchen item that claims it can slice, dice, mince, and more? It’s nearly impossible for one gadget to do all of that in a way that screams quality. If you do use a gadget like that, chances are, you’re not slicing or dicing like a professional, which will affect the quality of your meals. As the owner of Melbourne’s Lume, Shaun Quade said, “The least helpful kitchen gadget in my mind is anything that claims “it slices, it dices, it’s 20 different gadgets all rolled into one!” I think anyone that is in a kitchen and attempting to cook should at least have a rudimentary grasp of basic knife skills. I mean we’re all adults here, we all have access to YouTube. Buy one good quality chef’s knife, look after it and there will be no need to ever again buy something off of the Shamwow guy on late-night TV.” It’s time to improve your kitchen gadgets and buy high-quality items that work (SMH).


Don’t Buy A Thermomix

If you don’t have one already, don’t waste your well-earned $2,359 on a Thermomix. Even though the gadget seems enticing, as it mixes and cooks at the same time, there’s no use for it whatsoever in the kitchen. Chef James Privett warns about buying it unless you’re a professional. He said, “The Thermomix has become a glamour item to own, but it has very little day-to-day use in the average kitchen. As a home cook, it is highly underutilized.” You could invest in other gadgets you’ll use way more, like high-quality pans and knives. The Thermomix is also not needed if you’re someone who likes to enjoy the process of cooking. There’s also no safety cut-off for speed when you’re heating food above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be dangerous if you have kids in the house (Choice).


Dump The Plastic Utensils

Sturdy stainless steel utensils fare way better than their plastic counterparts. Sets of utensils usually come with several different options, some of which you’ll use often, others which will likely collect dust in your drawer. Professional chef Shares Lapaseotes said, “I also don’t love all the plastic. Silicone spatulas and spoons are alright, and have their place in baking, but a sturdy metal burger flipper or stirring spoon is much better. Same with the whisk — a good stainless will do a better job with thick batters.” Whether you’re a family that cooks more often or bakes more often always opt for metal utensils. They have fewer toxins present in plastic products, are long-lasting, and are way more durable. This is also way better for the environment (Wowe Lifestyle).


Rabbit Wine Openers Are Pointless

If you have a complex rabbit wine opener in your home, it doesn’t look good. It doesn’t take a professional to open a bottle of wine with a traditional wine opener. Using a traditional one also looks a lot classier. Chef Ethan Stowell said, “Owning one of these is announcing that you are lacking in another area if you catch my drift.” If you want to impress your friends, the way to do that is through a regular, affordable wine opener. Use that money you saved not buying a rabbit wine opener for a decent bottle of wine. Rabbit openers can also ruin the cork of synthetic brands (Reddit).

Serious Eats

Use Tongs, Not A Pasta Fork To Remove Pasta

Taking pasta out of the water isn’t rocket science, so there’s no reason to use a pasta fork. Using tongs to take out the pasta is easier and will save you space in your kitchen. Chef Sarah Grueneber from Chicago said, “I think that it is unnecessary to have any tool in the kitchen for taking pasta out of water besides tongs. For instance, the pasta spoon/fork that is in most home kitchens. If I make pasta at home, I want to be as efficient as possible. The pasta spoon method is too time-consuming. I usually use tongs to remove the pasta into the pasta sauce, or I reserve some of the cooking water and then strain the pasta into a colander in the sink.” If you’re going to invest in something, invest in tongs, as they’re more versatile (Blue Apron).

Nutrition Education Store

You Don’t Need A Microwave

Even though microwaves have been around for decades, chef Jordan Toft suggests you get rid of them. It might seem shocking, but there’s no real need for them. He said, “For me, the most useless kitchen appliance is the microwave. It does make a good plate warmer though.” Microwaves change the taste and texture of the food and do not heat our food evenly. There are also concerns that it emits harmful radiation and zaps your food’s nutrients, though science does not back these fears. Professional chef Lino Sauro, co-owner of Sydney’s Olio Kensington Street, also agrees the microwave is useless. He said, “My most underused and useless kitchen appliance would have to be the microwave. Almost every use of it is widely replaceable with other heat sources. Also, if it’s not a high-tech model, it can turn dangerous and be unsafe for your health.” That’s two chefs’ opinions on the microwave. It’s time to cook your food the old-fashioned way, with your gas stove (Linkedin).


Eyeball Your Pasta Portion, You Don’t Need A Tool

If any tools on this list are pointless, it’s the pasta portion measurer. It’s not hard to eyeball the amount of pasta you need, it doesn’t need to be measured to the noodle. Tony Mantuano from Spiaggia said, “No one uses a pasta portioner.” If you want to cook like a professional and impress your friends with your cooking skills, then measure the pasta by hand. Or, if you’re worried about messing up the meal, use the hole in your pasta spoon to measure the serving size (Taste Of Home).

The Kitchn

Separate Your Egg Yolks By Hand, Not With A Tool

It’s not hard to separate your egg yolks by hand, and if you’re separating more than one egg yolk, it’ll even save you time. Not only that, but you don’t have to wash any dishes when you’re finished. Two chefs suggest never using an egg yolk separator. Daniel Holzman from The Meatball Shop in New York City said, “Nobody needs an egg yolk separator. If you’re separating more than six eggs at a time, it’s easier to just use your hand to separate them or use the shell as you’re cracking them.” Your egg yolk separator is probably not easily on hand, so you’ll waste time looking for it. Chef Ericka Burke from Volunteer Park Café in Seattle said, “Stupid! With the time it takes to rummage around looking for this tool, digging in drawers, you could have run at least a dozen eggs through your fingers. And, it takes about 60 seconds to wash your hands.” There’s even a chance they won’t work properly if the y9olk is too big (Sumthinz Cooking).


Avocado Knives

Professional chefs at Cooks Illustrated experimented with 100 avocados using an avocado knife. It was scientifically proven that these knives were pointless and have no use in the kitchen. Some did more mushing than cutting, some didn’t work at all, and others were so slippery they were considered dangerous. Chef Manny Arce from Poquitos in Seattle only cuts his avocados with a regular knife. Even though it might make you feel fancy, there’s seriously no need for them. Also, Chef Miye Bromberg said, “As long as you have a sharp knife and know how to use it correctly, you’re going to avoid 90 percent of the cuts and injuries people get into when slicing an avocado.” Learn how to use a knife, and all your troubles will be solved. If you don’t know how to use a knife in the first place, you shouldn’t be in the kitchen, period (Bon Appetit).


Slow Cook Without A Crock Pot

You don’t need a crock pot to successfully slow-cook your meals. Your oven does the job perfectly, and even better than a crock pot, especially if you have large portion sizes. Braden Wages from Malai Kitchen in Dallas said, “We slow-cook things all the time at the restaurant, but never with a Crock Pot. Get rid of it.” All you have to do is brown the meat on the stove, add the herbs and vegetables, and let it cook on slow heat until the meat is tender. You can also slow cook on your stovetop (Folk Cities).


Nix The Garlic Crusher

As much as you probably love your garlic crusher, there’s no need for it in the kitchen. Hack the art of mincing garlic with a sharp, high-quality knife. You’ll have better results than the crusher will ever give you. They don’t save time, and they’ll end up ruining your food. Cynthia Kallile, from the Meatloaf Bakery, said “It seems like every home cook has one or wants one, but here are two simple techniques for crushing garlic without a press: The first, I learned from my mother. Simply place the peeled garlic clove in a small bowl (or use a mortar and pestle), add a small pinch of salt, and take the end of a knife or the pestle and pound it until it’s mashed! It’s easy, fast, and better than punching a pillow (great for relieving tension)! The other method uses the flat side of a chef’s knife and a cutting board. Smash the clove with the flat side of the blade (safely, using your fingers to guide the blade) until it’s thoroughly crushed. A bit of salt on the garlic helps with this too.” There’s nothing wrong with improving your kitchen skills, especially one that’ll improve the quality of your food (Epicurious).


Don’t Be Fancy With A Vegetable Spiralizer

As much as you probably love eating zucchini in the shape of pasta to satisfy your pasta craving, you just don’t need it. Even though most of us don’t have the professional skills of a chef to spiral our zucchini like Frank Camorra, there’s still no need for one. He said, “As far as useless kitchen gadgets go, there’s one my soon-to-be mother-in-law bought me just recently in the interests of making me eat healthier, it’s one of that vegetable spiralizer, which I haven’t even broken out of the box yet. I just think, if I want to eat zucchini, I’ll eat zucchini, I don’t need it to be a particular stringy shape. I don’t see the point of it personally, I like cooking vegetables, but my knife skills are good enough anyway.” You can still eat your vegetables while working on your knife skills at the same time. It takes a lot of time to use the spiralizer, and it doesn’t make enough to feed an entire family (Laura Fuentes).


Toss The Left-Handed Can Opener

Unless you’re left-handed, there’s no need to own a left-handed can opener. It’s taking up space in your kitchen you can use for other items. Chef Morgan McGlone, the owner of Belles Hot Chicken in Melbourne, Australia, said, “The most useless kitchen gadget is a left-handed can opener unless you’re like me and left-handed.” If you’re right-handed, using a left-handed can opener can be dangerous, since you can slice open your hand, fingers, or arm (Quora).


Pot Holders Have Tons Of Bacteria

To keep your kitchen clean and bacteria-free, get rid of your oven mitts and pot holders. Professional chefs don’t use pot holders. You have to stay on top of keeping them clean. There are several other alternatives you can use for the pot holder, like a towel. Andrew Gruel from Slapfish said, “No chef uses pot holders. We either burn our hands or use a dual-purpose kitchen towel (to clean, too). Pot holders are dirty bacteria sponges.” Even though burning your hands isn’t a good alternative, you can at least use kitchen towels as an alternative. Eric Bromberg from NYC Blue Ribbon Restaurants said, “Anything that is not a kitchen towel is less functional when holding hot items.” Break out the kitchen towels in your closet and use those instead (Research Gate).


You Don’t Need A Toaster Oven

If you need to toast your bread, just buy a toaster. There’s no need for that huge, clunky piece of metal to take up all of that precious counter space in your kitchen. Chef Ethan Stowell from Ethan Stowell Restaurants said, “Really? Nothing fits in it except a piece of bread, which it doesn’t toast properly.” Not only that, but the food is too close to the heating source, which means it can easily cause a fire. Cook things in your regular oven or toaster to prevent any accidents from happening (Houzz).


You Don’t Need Your Vegetable Peeler

When was the last time you used your vegetable peeler? Not for a while, unless you’re eating freshly peeled carrots every single day. Chef Jill Dupleix realized she barely uses her vegetable peeler. Even though you might want it in your kitchen, it’s not something you need to invest in. She said, “I’ve just realized I don’t use my vegetable peeler anymore, which surprises me. I roast carrots and parsnips unpeeled, I boil potatoes in their skins, and I wouldn’t peel an apple before eating it. I keep it, though, for the odd stripe-peeled cucumber or to make chocolate curls, and because it would feel weird not to have a veggie peeler in the kitchen drawer.” You can use a paring knife to peel your fruits and vegetables (Sabatier Shop).


Leave The Olive And Cherry Pitter On The Store’s Shelf

It’s easy and quick to peel an olive and cherry from its pit. You don’t need an extra, pointless tool to do this, especially a tool that only serves one purpose. If you’re going to have an efficient kitchen, invest in versatile tools. Chef Steve Chiappetti from the Marion Street Market said, “This can simply be done with your fingers, very easily!” Peeling olives and cherries can also be enjoyable. It’s not a tough task that requires a lot of technical skills. If you have kids looking to help you in the kitchen, you could make this a fun activity, as long as they’re old enough to handle olive and cherry pits (The Daily Meal)