Thread Number: 77185  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Kitchen Appliances That Never Quite Fullfilled Their Promises
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Post# 1011377   10/18/2018 at 23:34 (241 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        

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Over the years various gadgets/kitchen appliances burst onto the scene making all sorts of claims. Years later after things never quite worked out that way they either vanished or regulated to other uses.

Microwave oven comes to mind off top of one's head.

When first came out all sorts of promises about juicy and delicious meats and so forth in record time were made. Turns out meats done in a microwave don't brown and look rather ghastly grey color. The addition of various browning concoctions didn't always help either. Many a Margo Ledbetter thought she was queen of entertaining with hors d'oeuvres made in microwave, when in reality no one wanted to touch.

Today microwaves are used for making popcorn, reheating foods and preparing meals for one designed especially to be done in microwave; but those elegant roasts never quite happened.

Post# 1011386 , Reply# 1   10/19/2018 at 02:31 (241 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

My experience with microwave "ovens" is not the same as yours.

My mom used to make a pork roast in the microwave that was quite moist and delicious. My aunt told my mom to her face "well, if you don't want to give me the recipe, don't give me the recipe, but don't lie to me it was nuked", and was not satisfied until my mom bought another chunk of pork and nuked it in front of her.

To be fair, I don't remember how to make it, and her microwave was only 750W or so (this was in the early 80's), so I haven't chanced it. Yet.

I make a meatloaf in the nuker too, and if I don't tell people it was microwaved, they say it's moist and delicious and grab seconds and sometimes thirds.

I usually make it in a loaf pan format, which browns it even more, and leaves the inside pink warm, which hides the fact it was nuked even more, particularly because the outside gets very brown and crunchy.

A few weeks ago, I heard that making it in a ring form (like a bundt cake or angel food cake pan) not only it roasts faster, but one doesn't have to turn the meatloaf so many times.

So, today I tried it -- it's true, it roasts way faster and you only have to turn it once, it starts upside down for 5 minutes at 100% (1,200W), you flip it right side up, 100% for another 3 minutes, then 3 minutes at 50%, rest 3 minutes.

You do need to brush the entire thing with olive oil before nuking, and the recipe needs way less liquid than regular recipes, because there is not enough time to evaporate that much moisture. I used 2.25 pounds of ground beef, one envelope of Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup mix, one egg, 2 ounces (0.25 cup) of water, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and only one cup of bread crumbs.

To be fair, I have not served it during fancy dinner parties -- then again, I would not be serving meatloaf then. But when it's just friends that were visiting and end up staying for dinner and I throw something together, no one has complained, quite the contrary.

Tonight's experiment was not as successful as I'd like, because I wasn't careful and as I was removing the food from the pan (so I could brush it and roast it), it fell apart, so it looks more discombobulated than it should be. Next time, I'll support it on the way to the "bacon rack" and it will look much better.

††††††-- Paulo.

PS: I also use the nuker to make bread dough rise faster, I use bursts of a couple of minutes at 10% power interleaved with 1 minute rest, and it keeps the dough at around 85-100F, which makes the dough rise enough to bake in the regular oven in 15 minutes or less. One can also melt chocolate or make caramel way faster and more easily. Microwaves are not the end all and be all, it's true, but people seem perfectly happy to wait for hours for a very pale sous vide dish and *then* brown it with a blow torch, broiler or frying pan, so just because "it doesn't brown" (read, they don't know how to make it brown properly) it shouldn't be an impediment to getting food cooked fast. If I use a toaster, the bread gets toasted, if I use a potato masher, the food gets mashed, each tool has its ideal uses and the non-ideal uses, as well as the total disasters. I wouldn't fault the microwave because it can't do everything well, I use it for what it does well, and use the rest of the equipment for what they do well. For example, I hear that many people whose ovens are broken or they don't have an oven try to use a dutch oven on the stovetop, and complain the cakes are not as good. Well, true, but then again, if they aren't using a thermostatically controlled oven, I am not surprised, just be grateful you got a cake at all instead of a burned mess on the dutch oven.

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Post# 1011388 , Reply# 2   10/19/2018 at 03:03 (241 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I use my microwave everyday! I havenít made a white sauce, pudding or pie filling any other way since we got our first MW in 1985. Itís foolproof, never scorchs or lumps and you donít have to stir it constantly. For a white sauce, just melt the butter first, then whisk in the flour, nuke for about a 30 -45 secs, now add the milk, salt and pepper, whisk and nuke for about a min for each cup of milk in the recipe, whisk again, and nuke for another min for each cup of milk used, whisk again and nuke a min more if not thick enough. The lumps come right out by whisking and the sauce will be perfectly smooth.

Use the same technique for puddings and piefillings, but whisk the flour or cornstarch with the sugar, then add the milk of half and half and eggs or yolks and whisk throughly and nuke at 3 min intervals, whisking after each 3 mins, until desired thickness, add the butter and flavoring,and voila, its done! No lumps or scorching, and you can be busy doing other things while its nuking, instead of stirring constantly.

If youíve never used your MW this way, you need to try it, youíll never go back. And to cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts for chicken salad or to use in casseroles, burritos or tacos, its the best. I put two 6 to 8 oz. chicken breasts in a pyrex pie plate, pierce them on both sides with a cooking fork and sprinkle both sides with seasoned salt. Cover with waxpaper, saran wrap or a dish cover and nuke at 50% power for 15 mins. Test with an instant read thermometer, if 170F, theyíre done, if not nuke for another min or two, until 170F. You can then let them rest about 10-15 mins and either shred or cut into cubes for use. The chicken tastes delicious, and again easy as pie.

Granted, you have to use different techniques than conventional cooking methods to get good results, but it can be done,and for somethings, I think the MW is actually better.


Post# 1011390 , Reply# 3   10/19/2018 at 06:18 (240 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I've been using a microwave oven since the late 1960s - my folks (my father in particular) liked 'new' gadgets. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as the old Latvian proverb goes...

I was the adventerous one in the kitchen and I tried just about everything the microwave cookbook that came with that first Tappan microwave of ours. I found very quickly that puddings and pie fillings were a natural for the microwave. I made (and still make) white sauce and cream soup bases. I learned how to cook veggies quickly and without turning them into a green pile of goo (like my mother did...). The crowing acheivement was the year I cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving in one. This was actually the 'christening' of our 2nd microwave oven which was a honking big Moffat (made by Litton) - this one was big enough to hold a turkey!

I've cooked beef roasts successfully and no one noticed that the surface was a little less browned than if cooked in the oven. I showed my father the trick of cooking bacon on a paper-towel lined plate in about 1969 - he still cooks bacon that way! Fish fillets cook wonderfully, but I am not fond of shellfish done in the nuke for some reason. I will go on the record as saying that a microwave is a key player in my kitchen!

Now, as for what appliances didn't quite live up to their hype, the electric butter melter comes to mind... OK, I admit it - I do have one all the same...

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Post# 1011392 , Reply# 4   10/19/2018 at 07:15 (240 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Oh Laundress, The Microwave Lobby Will Get You, LOL

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I can't imagine a good kitchen without a MWO, both my brother Jeff and I have three MWOs built in to our kitchens. We each have a full sized wall oven that cooks with convection and microwaves if selected and two additional full sized counter top models.


I would never think of roasting a chicken, a turkey, a leg of lamb, or really any meat without using at least some MW power. And for home made apple pies [ 8 minutes ] from start of cooking to done brown and beautiful. Casseroles roasted vegetables and on and on are done in 1/3 the time and are better looking than if you do it the old fashioned ways.


As far as overrated useless appliances an electric can opener gets my vote, never saw the need if you have a wall mounted Swing-Away, even a portable one in a drawer is very easy.


PS, using a MWO to pop popcorn is very hard on the magnetron tube in your MWO, I never do it and do-not recommend it. I either do PC on the stove or you can get one of many good portable electric corn poppers.


John L.

Post# 1011394 , Reply# 5   10/19/2018 at 07:52 (240 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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When I was a kid the countertop "air-poppers" were the big new thing.


The trouble is that air-popped corn is so dry that even salt won't stick to it.  So everybody ended up drizzling all kinds of butter or margarine over it making it far less healthy vs. just making it in a pan.


Then MWO popcorn became the big thing and that was that for the air poppers.  Although I just looked at they are still made so somebody must be buying them.


At this point in my life I avoid popcorn, I have enough crowns already and I do not need another cracked tooth or root canal!

Post# 1011400 , Reply# 6   10/19/2018 at 09:44 (240 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Speedcook ovens

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Among the earliest was the GE Versatronic combining heat and microwave, was not a big seller.


Adding convection to the mix didn't seem to make them any more appealing.  Sales never reached the point where economies of scale meant significantly lower prices.


Then came the halogen-only FlashBake 120 residential version of the commercial light-powered quick heating ovens (usually found in bars for baking a pizza in a minute or three).  Problem is, QuadLux, the maker of the FlashBake 120, jumped the gun on the non-competition clause of the contract they had with the major appliance makers to develop lightwave cooking so it could then be incorporated into their speedcook ovens.  Sued out of existence.


The latest halogen/microwave/convection generation are usually buried on their makers' websites.  You have to dig to find GE Advantium, Whirlpool Velos and Maytag Accellis.  The verdict from many testing sites and organizations: the time saved cooking was usually spent polishing the mirrored interior.

Post# 1011401 , Reply# 7   10/19/2018 at 09:51 (240 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
And lest we forget: Whirlpool Polara Refrigerated Range

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I know.  Talk about an oxymoron, but the idea was: set the controls, put your perishable casserole in the combo fridge/oven on the chill setting and have the oven switch to baking, then keep-warm in time to have dinner ready when you get home from work.  Price tag was in the thousands.




Put the ingredients in the stoneware crock from your $40.00 programmable slow cooker, put the crock in the fridge, last person to leave the house puts the crock in the heater base and sets the cooking timer.

Post# 1011406 , Reply# 8   10/19/2018 at 10:00 (240 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        
Oh, and I forgot

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nothing makes better corn on the cob than a MW! For 2 ears of corn, shuck the ears, rinse with cold water, place in a pyrex pie plate add about 1 tbs. of water, cover and nuke for 5 mins., the most full flavored corn ever! Of course if you need more than 4 ears, then its more effiecent to steam them instead. Ditto for asparagus, up to 2 bunches can be nuked at a time, and they are always perfect, never overdone.

And to soften butter quickly for creaming, place 1 or 2 sticks on the turntable, set the power to 10% (this only works if you can set your MW to 10%), for butter right out of the refrigerator start with 1 min. of time. For a single stick this may be enough. If not, or for two sticks, turn them over and reverse the ends, and nuke for another 30 secs to 1 min., again at 10%. You will get butter that has softened evenly, and can then be used immediately for creaming.

And I agree with Jim, the air popper was a big waste of time and space, and I hate MW popcorn, its just plain nasty! I make pop corn on the stove top in either my 3 or 4 qt. Farberware saucepans, depending on how much I want to make. Faster than a countertop electric popper, and less likely to be soggy.

Iíl also vote with John that an electric can opener is also a waste of space, either a good wall mounted Swing a Way, or handheld model are all anyone really needs.


Post# 1011409 , Reply# 9   10/19/2018 at 10:06 (240 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Well there's always the ubiquitous red West Bend electric wok that seriously languishes on the shelf of every thrift store but over the last year or two I've been seeing scads of bread makers

Post# 1011411 , Reply# 10   10/19/2018 at 10:16 (240 days old) by washman (o)        
I recall those air poppers

NIce idea if they actually popped the corn. Most of what I recall was like Styrofoam and tasted like newspaper.

Post# 1011413 , Reply# 11   10/19/2018 at 10:17 (240 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Litany of Short-Lived and/or Used Once Single-Taskers

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Hamburger cooker


Crepe maker


Egg boiler/poacher


Bacon cooker


Hot dog shocker


Rotating pizza baker


Quesadilla maker


In-shell egg scrambler



Feel free to add to the litany.

Post# 1011419 , Reply# 12   10/19/2018 at 11:28 (240 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
Hey, now!

I do not have one currently, but let's not hate on electric can openers too much. Too much.

There are people with only limited use of their hands, so for them, an electric can oener makes a lot of sense.


Post# 1011424 , Reply# 13   10/19/2018 at 12:24 (240 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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I love my Presto pizza player!  It does a great job and is practically fool-proof. 


Considering that the Gaggenau Garbage oven that came with our new house spews hot air from its front vent clear across the kitchen, there is no way I'll use it on a day when I'm trying to avoid using the A/C.  The Presto is fun to use and it has virtually zero effect on the temperature in the kitchen.


I'm totally down with viewing a hot dog shocker as a failure.  The metallic taste from the prongs was just foul.

Post# 1011425 , Reply# 14   10/19/2018 at 12:30 (240 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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I often micro-cook baked potatoes, fresh asparagus, and frozen veggie packages.† Mine has auto-sensor settings.

Packaged noodles/pasta (with tuna or canned chicken added), or Jambalaya rice mix with sausage added.† One of the auto-sensor settings is for rice.† It once-in-a-while undercooks but simple enough to add more time.

Post# 1011439 , Reply# 15   10/19/2018 at 16:08 (240 days old) by kd12 (Arkansas)        
Countertop Baking

I wonder if the Frigidaire fold back surface cooking units should be on the list. Seemed like a solution in search of a problem.

Post# 1011440 , Reply# 16   10/19/2018 at 16:26 (240 days old) by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

Not here in the USA but...

Bosch Liftmatic (Shitmatic) oven

It was wonderful, great, fantastic, amazing, beautiful and worth every cent of the 20 thousand Reais (5 thousand dollars nowadays) that I paid for it when i made my kitchen in Brazil...

Until one year later, 2 days after the warranty expired and the lift mechanism simply broke.

I spent 4 long years with that thing in my kitchen with two broomsticks holding the oven closed. Every time I used it i had to lift it manually and have other person placing the broomsticks under it. (great exercise for the biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles)

Sometimes the sticks would slide and the oven bottom would literally fall with watever was inside the oven.

Replacement part + labor was more expensive than a new oven because parts had to be imported from Europe and the oven was discontinued just a few months after I bought it.

The day I finally remodeled my kitchen (new cabinets and a NORMAL oven) I couldn't resist and used a hammer to break that "thing", kicked it. punched it and cursed it with all my repertory of bad words.

I just found the commercial for the Siemens version of the same oven and started laughing with the song saying "keep on lifting".... Yes, literally buy one of those ovens and keep on lifting it for the rest of it's life.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO thomasortega's LINK

Post# 1011446 , Reply# 17   10/19/2018 at 18:10 (240 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

My mother appreciated her electric can opener when she had terrible eczema and any pressure on her fingers was very painful and caused bleeding. With the GE, which I still have, all she had to do was use the heel of her hand to operate it.

I think the biggest flop was the rotating glass drum thing with the external heating element and the thermometer at the end by Farber. I can't recall the name of the thing, but it was very expensive, frightening to most housewives and considered unneeded and a piece of foolish junk by real cooks.

Post# 1011447 , Reply# 18   10/19/2018 at 18:32 (240 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
i have a microwave

but rarely use it, if I was in a hurry I would have started sooner!

Post# 1011454 , Reply# 19   10/19/2018 at 19:18 (240 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Yeah, but frozen French Fries in 4 minutes under the electric broiler with the magnetron pumping out microwaves in an Amana microthermal oven are such a nice, fast treat.

Post# 1011476 , Reply# 20   10/19/2018 at 21:47 (240 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Thomas Ortega complained about the Bosch/Siemens Liftmatic oven.

I watched the video linked.

So many questions! Wow.

Even supposing that the thing never broke and worked for 20 years as it was supposed to work... how did that make it into production?

Sure, I can see the geek appeal. But it doesn't seem like they even tried to use it in real life cooking real things in a real kitchen.

If one has a good eye for "debugging" one would immediately catch a serious flaw or two right on their video trying to advertise the thing: they show how the bottom touches something under the oven and reverses a couple of inches, for example. To me, that would immediately point out to one of the disadvantages, namely that the area and volume from under the oven to the countertop is now "wasted" to the oven if you are using it. Countertop and cabinet space is at a premium in most kitchens, and now there's this space that needs to be kept free while the oven is in use. With a regular oven, you open the door towards the floor, it feels like it'd be better to me.

The other problem is, sure, it has a self-cleaning cycle. Then it finishes, are we expected to contort ourselves to wipe the walls/inside the oven or does it come apart for cleaning? Doesn't look easy to do.

What would be the advantages? Maybe you can lower the food to check and most of the hot air stays inside so one doesn't lose heat so easily?

In any case, now that we know it broke easily, even if a new model similar to that comes out, I, for one, would be leery of it until at the very least 5 years had past so we could have some idea of the reliability, by which time they'd probably discontinue it anyway.


Post# 1011492 , Reply# 21   10/20/2018 at 00:00 (240 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My grandmother was the first in our family to get a was a Sharp carousel convection with timer dials and slide switches around 1983 or so.  My mother then bought the touch pad digital version of the same oven about a year later.  They both used each function all the time.  But when mother's finally died she just went with a plain microwave.  My grandmother replaced hers with the latest convection microwave version from Sharp.  I also bought a convection Sharp about 8 years ago thinking I would do away with the toaster oven and free up counter space.  Didn't happen.  Still have both.  Thanksgiving and Christmas I might fire up the convection oven to bake something I don't want to taste like the turkey or it may need a different temperature.  I've never had any problem keeping the stainless interior clean.  Most of the reviews online people complained and belly-ached about "how do you get the burned on splatters off the interior?"  Magic eraser comes to mind now but for years I used regular oven cleaner as was recommended in Mother's old Sharp owner's manual...just don't spray it into the holes inside.  But when mine finally dies I won't get another convection oven.  I'd rather use my gas oven anyway except for the fact it heats up the house in the summer.  If I ever build a new house I want to have a gas range out in the garage to use in the summertime.


I've read online that those hot air poppers can be used to roast your own coffee beans.

Post# 1011507 , Reply# 22   10/20/2018 at 03:27 (240 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Microwave popcorn-besides not good for your oven-its also not good for YOU!!!Too many funky ingredients in the microwave popcorn.and as John points out-the popped corn puts little or no loading on the magnetron-so something is going to give if this happens-the corn can catch fire-and QUICKLY or frequent use will cause the magnetron to burn out because the energy it generates is not properly absorbed by the food.Consider your microwave oven as a transmitter of sorts-the food would be the load or antenna-most foods are fine-there loading doesn't change as popcorn does.Its like trying to run one of our transmitters into a no load or light load-the tube will suffer and you can get RF circuit arcing.

Post# 1011511 , Reply# 23   10/20/2018 at 05:12 (239 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Stand chastened and rebuked

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One had no idea was surrounded by such experts in microwave cookery.

Having tried various meats and other dishes early on with microwave ovens (and was not impressed) soon settled on using them for things like porridge, veggies, certain cuts of chicken or fish, those sort of things.

Have several vintage books on microwave cooking (one from Panasonic), but again most of the recipes left one rather "meh".

Post# 1011521 , Reply# 24   10/20/2018 at 07:54 (239 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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There was a recipe for cream cheese swirl brownies in the cookbook included with our first WP microwave in 1979, which I made quite often when I discovered it.

I use mine occasionally for packaged pasta salad.† Cooking pasta is essentially a hydration process which takes the same amount of time via microwave as stovetop but there can be only one dish involved for prep, serving, and storage.

I've done Hamburger Helper a couple times (one of the auto-sense selections is for "browning" ground beef), which comes out nicely enough since there's sauce involved and any meat "grayness" isn't an issue.

Post# 1011523 , Reply# 25   10/20/2018 at 08:13 (239 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Never pasta

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Well other than prepared/frozen dishes, but did try rice in MW once. Wasn't impressed so went back to stove top.

Truth to tell have been making rice that way for so long it just comes naturally.

Speaking of kitchen appliances that haven't..... A neighbor moving house years ago now gave one a Panasonic rice cooker. It has sat sitting on shelf ever since because don't see the point. Again am so used to making rice on stove that it just doesn't occur to bother any other way.

Post# 1011527 , Reply# 26   10/20/2018 at 10:14 (239 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

One thing where Microwaves excel is sweating down onions. Chopped onion, a little olive oil in a square Corning pan will cook faster and be much less likely to burn than on the stove top. The walls of the cavity will run with water as the great amount of water steams away. After a few minutes, I remove the pan and see if any stirring is needed to prevent the edges from scorching, but then continue cooking to the desired doneness.

Post# 1011529 , Reply# 27   10/20/2018 at 11:05 (239 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

How about the hotdog toaster, and the Taco Fiesta taco buffet server? And those things with a coffee maker, toaster oven, and small griddle plate all in one. I think most of these are made by Nostalgia Electrics.

Anyone remember the Kenmore Toast N Wave and Brew N Wave ovens? Never liked those as to me a toaster or coffee maker is something that gets replaced more often than a microwave.

My least used appliances are probably my waffle iron, KitchenAid blender and my Sunbeam Mixmaster. Not that I don't like these, or they don't do what they claim, it's just that I usually don't feel like making waffles or pancakes from a mix, most weekends. I wish I felt like it more often.

Post# 1011534 , Reply# 28   10/20/2018 at 12:28 (239 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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I swear by my rice cookers!  I've found they work best on basamati rice.

Post# 1011537 , Reply# 29   10/20/2018 at 12:51 (239 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I think that's kind of where I am too.
I know there's more that I could do with the microwave than reheat stuff.
We buy frozen vegetables that steam in the bag.
It works great for those.
But we both work full-time, and just don't ever have the time or energy to cook like I'd like to.

As an aside, our microwave is dated July 1991.
It's a Sharp Carousel II, with ESP Sensor. Model # R-5H82.
I've had it since before my wife and I got married.
It belonged to her parents, and it quit working.
They asked me if I wanted it, but I'd have to get it fixed.
I said sure, because I'm a hoarder, and rarely say no to anything free.

Less than $20 later, the microwave repair specialist had it working like new, and we're still using it daily to this day.
Meanwhile, my now in-laws have gone through, I believe three microwaves since this one!


Post# 1011559 , Reply# 30   10/20/2018 at 14:33 (239 days old) by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

KA fresh prep shredder accessory

It works great (the new version), KA even sent me for free the fourth drum that the package and the website shows but it's not available with the product, somewhat a false advertisement.

It is extremely useful, however, it's a pain to clean because it's not dishwasher safe.

Post# 1011560 , Reply# 31   10/20/2018 at 14:52 (239 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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Veg-O-Matic.  It slices, wedges and dices, but it's a PITA to clean.

Post# 1011597 , Reply# 32   10/20/2018 at 20:50 (239 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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I cook all vegetables in the microwave...just a spoonful of water with the vegetables in a covered dish and cook for 3-4 minutes. I also have a Pampered Chef rice cooker for the microwave which I use to cook all great and have perfect rice every time.


Post# 1011614 , Reply# 33   10/21/2018 at 00:10 (239 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

I cook my veggies in the nukebox,too.Better than on a stove.There is a Sharp Carousel microwave here at work-in the site kitchen.The oven uses cards of some sort-they have been missing since I have been here-the oven has to be well over 20 yrs old-still works.And it has heated coffee,popcorn and who knows what else.A high quality machine if its lasted this long-and it gets heavy use.Has lasted thru like 3 newer GE's and one Frigidaire microwaves.When those die here they just go into the dumpster.

Post# 1011719 , Reply# 34   10/21/2018 at 20:50 (238 days old) by 63kenmore (Tennessee)        

Back in the Ď70ís we gave my mother the nickname ďthe gadget queenĒ. She had just about every frivolous appliance ever made. My dad always indulged her in this as she was an excellent cook and he liked to eat. I remember the electric donut maker, hot air popcorn popper, a portable convection oven (1970ís), just to name a few. She was the first in the family and neighborhood to have a microwave (Litton), KA mixer, electric roaster, lefse griddle, pizzelle iron, krumkake iron, bread maker, and this is just the short list. When she passed away 5 years ago, she had almost 140 cookbooks.

Post# 1011732 , Reply# 35   10/21/2018 at 22:34 (238 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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We had a hot-air popper in the 70s.† Gnasty.

I have a mini-donut maker, received as a gift (operates like a waffle iron).† Tried a couple of the included recipes, then went to using packaged muffin mix.† It's cute but not really worth the effort.

The parents have a countertop bread maker and a rotisserie oven.† They like both, used them numerous times but slacked-off from it.

Post# 1011748 , Reply# 36   10/22/2018 at 01:18 (238 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Besides Crock Pots

launderess's profile picture
Think bread makers are in the top five things one sees most often at thrift stores.

Used my Phillips BM to death when purchased several years ago (ironically yes, at local thrift), but it has sat sitting for some time now. Just can't bring oneself to bin it just yet, but know it soon will have to go. For now it just sits there haunting me.

Post# 1011751 , Reply# 37   10/22/2018 at 03:12 (238 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

I might have to find one of those pampered chef rice cookers.  Tony's part Korean and loves rice.  He can make a meal of kimchi, seaweed, and rice. 

Post# 1011799 , Reply# 38   10/22/2018 at 12:25 (237 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Here is a "promised alternative to deep frying" or an alternative to frying that ordinarily uses oil, that I was sold on:

I bought what was $10 at a garage sale that ordinarily goes for around $20, New... And although it looked unused, I dually washed the basket and the tray, tried a few things, such as fish, potatoes and shrimp to often find the stuff often didn't fry enough, of only get what would ordinarily be 'baked'...

The breeding just tended to be a bit raw, or simply needed more time to be baked, and to the point where maybe I just need to buy fish that's already breaded...

A "poor man's air-fryer", in other words, of which I would be interested in a real one, that a while back, the store I work at briefly carried and had seen at least a couple of my co-workers buy, while another one I had overheard bought hers....

This one is the Chef Club brand, while a classmate of mine, also a Facebook friend also has one, too, though most-likely a different brand that I had seen what she'd cooked in it, more than the actual appliance, while there's whatever the store I used to work at, Walmart carries, as well as with some 10%-off coupons I have a handful of around the house, leaves Bed, Bath and Beyond, and whatever is its brands...

So I feel tempted to go into air frying (I would love a clean, neat way to make my own favorite fried fish 'n chips) but I do not know which kind or brand works best and to get...

-- Dave

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Post# 1011808 , Reply# 39   10/22/2018 at 14:25 (237 days old) by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        

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Have yet to find anything that comes anywhere near a deep fat fryer replacement have seen and used air fryers and its nothing more than a halogen oven some take forever to cook and it comes out baked and dry so may just as well use the oven. I cannot abide oven chips/fries just like bits of dry card on your plate.


Post# 1011921 , Reply# 40   10/23/2018 at 17:42 (236 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

OOH! OOH! Have to share this about French Fries (chips). Fixed the first of the season in the Amana Micro-Thermal Oven in the 30" range. I turned on the broiler, got the frozen fries out of the freezer then drizzled a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a 7" Corning Ware skillet. I added the fries to the pan and tossed them with a fork to get some of the oil on them. Then I put them under the broiler and turned on the microwaves for about 4 min 15 seconds. I turned off the broiler when they had less than a minute to cook and when I took them out, they had the most amazing texture. There was a crisp, almost fried outside, not dry or baked and a pleasant, tender inside. This worked better than any way except actually frying them and with no mess at all.

Another candidate for the "Not All That" award is the Ronson Cook'n Stir blender--so loud, too loud for any extended cooking operation if you have to stay in the same room.

Post# 1011966 , Reply# 41   10/23/2018 at 23:52 (236 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Anyone have a video of the Ronson blender so we can see it work and hear it?

Post# 1011993 , Reply# 42   10/24/2018 at 11:01 (235 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        
Micro Asparagus

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Olive Oyl drizzle, Tony Chachere's seasoning.† Grated cheese when done.

(some sort of reflection on the microwave door ... only the ceramic dish is in it)

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Post# 1011995 , Reply# 43   10/24/2018 at 11:18 (235 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Ronson Cook and Stir

I have 2 of them, but mine are very quiet,

Post# 1012219 , Reply# 44   10/26/2018 at 22:36 (233 days old) by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        
The electric spoon

In the 1960s some tried selling an electric spoon. I was an oval shaped mixing spoon and had a metal loop that was anchored in the handle and had the same contour as the spoon. An electric motor in the handle had three speeds to spin the loop. Was not practical or effective--it could not replace a portable electric mixer.

Post# 1012260 , Reply# 45   10/27/2018 at 14:44 (232 days old) by rinso (Meridian Idaho)        

rinso's profile picture

My husband and I have always loved "As Seen on TV" gadgets, even way back when. (we've been together for 44 years, married for 4) Less than 50% of them actually worked as advertised and if they did, they didn't last.  We have found our 2 Sharper Image halogen ovens to be indispensable. (these are the ones with the glass bowls) The NuWave halogen oven we tried just didn't get hot enough. 


Our past failures include: The Presto Burger Maker, Das Wiener Shocker, Sears belt-driven blender and food processor combo, KitchenAid mandolin slicer,  GE combination microwave/convection oven, (using the convection oven fries the electronics) The ultra-cheapo Redi Set Go fryer, (non-stick surface wears out quickly), The Ron Popeil pasta maker, (plastic bowl cracks around the extruder after a short time) and, of course, the Vegamatic. 

Post# 1012296 , Reply# 46   10/27/2018 at 19:38 (232 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        
Ron Popeil

Ha that pasta machine infomercial was on all the time I remember back then.

"Give me a pocket fisherman, or a machine that can boil an egg inside its shell".

I think I'm getting the song right?

Post# 1012346 , Reply# 47   10/28/2018 at 10:17 (231 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
Ah,, the in the shellEgg Scrambler.. I bought one of those I'm guessing it was around 1977 ish. It actually worked and was really novel . I didn't use it much and for the life of me can't remember what ever happened to it... I must have still had it in 1983 when I met Larry because he still brings it up 35 years later in conversation to anyone and everyone when they ask about my collection obsession .

Post# 1012371 , Reply# 48   10/28/2018 at 15:34 (231 days old) by rinso (Meridian Idaho)        

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If you watch closely in the Popeil pasta machine infomercial, you'll see one of the machines break when being switched from mix to extrude. The camera quickly cuts away from it, but you can catch it.


Post# 1012380 , Reply# 49   10/28/2018 at 17:32 (231 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
TurboChef tried twice . . .

joeekaitis's profile picture


. . . to bring their speedcook ovens home.  Neither was a big seller.  Could it have something to do with their 7-figure price tags?

Post# 1012386 , Reply# 50   10/28/2018 at 18:14 (231 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Also believe

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Microwave ovens are good for making bacon. Use of paper towels keeps splattering down and absorbs all that excess fat. But then one doesn't have bacon drippings for making corn bread and other things.

Post# 1012401 , Reply# 51   10/28/2018 at 20:50 (231 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

And certain things NEED bacon drippings, Corn for example!

Post# 1012612 , Reply# 52   10/30/2018 at 08:24 (229 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Wash tubes and wave pools . . .

joeekaitis's profile picture


Any other dishwasher technology that was going to change the world but didn't?

Post# 1012616 , Reply# 53   10/30/2018 at 08:49 (229 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
Why not: Kitchen GADGETS! Here are MORE:

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I bought something called Eggers that were supposed to make hard boiled eggs easier, but you were supposed to oil them so the eggs would come out, only to make them too slippery to get a good grip on...

I think you also broke each egg and got it to fit, all raw and that into each case, then shut with the lid, put in a pot of boiling water, and supposedly you got hard boiled eggs without the shell, so you can imagine with the mess and undesired results, this was an item I'd spent good money on and quickly got rid of...

Another was a potato cutter that was supposed to slice your whole spuds, but it resulted in the thing being thrown and flung around when the cut potatoes got stuck in there & wouldn't come out!

And last of alll, I had a pasta boiler--it was a part of our wedding set and the jar the pasta goes in arrived cracked, but somehow instead of returning it, I wonder why I just broke down and bought another one--and needless to say, the first time I used it I didn't put the lid on tight enough, so right when I strained the pasta through the slotted lid, along with the boiling water, all that spaghetti also went right down the drain...

Oh, and I'd like you to meet "Ms. Microwave Cleaner": You supposedly put water and juice from a lemon halve--or whole lemon in her & a fine mist from her will "self-clean you even dirtiest, filthiest, skumiest microwave oven cavity! (need I say more?)

-- Dave

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Post# 1012621 , Reply# 54   10/30/2018 at 09:47 (229 days old) by Marydoply (Columbus)        

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Ohhhh, I use the microwave only for reheating foods. I have tried to cook meat but without success.

Post# 1012622 , Reply# 55   10/30/2018 at 10:13 (229 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

iheartmaytag's profile picture
The Ronco Pasta maker is great, when it works. But as was said it fatigues quickly and breaks at the extruder.

You used to be able to buy replacement parts, I havent looked lately to see if they are still available.

Post# 1012630 , Reply# 56   10/30/2018 at 13:05 (229 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Re Electric can opener...

I cant do without a electric can opener, but the BEST one is the can opener attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer, I leave it in place all the time,

Post# 1012634 , Reply# 57   10/30/2018 at 13:32 (229 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I'm guessing you got less than stellar results.
But I do think Ms. Microwave Cleaner is pretty cute.
She looks like she's reprimanding the stains out of your microwave!


Post# 1012642 , Reply# 58   10/30/2018 at 16:45 (229 days old) by Moparwash (Pittsburgh,PA -Next Wash-In June 2020!)        

moparwash's profile picture
How about anything WCI?

Post# 1012643 , Reply# 59   10/30/2018 at 17:04 (229 days old) by Joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Nutation washers

joeekaitis's profile picture

Most notoriously, uh, famously, Whirlpool and Kenmore Calypso. Whatís a few tears, shreds and tatters if youíre saving water?

Post# 1012644 , Reply# 60   10/30/2018 at 17:08 (229 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

I've never had clothing damaged in 8+ years of using my Calypso.

Post# 1012645 , Reply# 61   10/30/2018 at 17:09 (229 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
Some of the other counter top appliances I see in abundance at the thrift stores are George Foreman style grills and Nu Wave type glass ovens. Within the next year or two I expect to be seeing many Tfal Actifry thingamibobs with the rotating turntable. Those are quickly being replaced by air fryers.

Post# 1012648 , Reply# 62   10/30/2018 at 17:20 (229 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I don't know if I'm the only one, but I LOVE my George Foreman grill!
I do steak on it, boneless chicken breasts, burgers, ground chicken patties, etc.
I just really like it!


Post# 1012703 , Reply# 63   10/31/2018 at 00:21 (229 days old) by mjg0619 (Scranton, Pennsylvania)        

mjg0619's profile picture
I'm with Barry. I LOVE my George Foreman grill and really want to get a bigger one.

Post# 1012707 , Reply# 64   10/31/2018 at 00:48 (229 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

I used to have a George Foreman grill and HATED it.The mesat cooked on it was like eating shoe leather-and the non removable grates also made me give it away to someone else.My old Farberware electric grill was MUCH better!!!The George Foreman machine did well with grilled cheese sandwitches

Post# 1012722 , Reply# 65   10/31/2018 at 05:35 (228 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

We actually have two of them. Both were given to us by my mom.
A really small one, for times where you're just making one burger, one smallish steak, maybe a grilled cheese.
Then we have the one that fits four burgers.

I will admit, I would like it even more if the grates were removable for cleaning.
But that's never been enough of a negative to make me stop using it.
Believe it or not, I've never tried making a grilled cheese sandwich on it!
But now I'm going to!


Post# 1012727 , Reply# 66   10/31/2018 at 06:22 (228 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

My Mom used hers for the grilled cheese sandwiches-about all she used it for.I don't like the fixed temps and cleaning the thing after cooking meat on it was a pain.And the drip pan that can't go in a dishwasher.And too me the flavors of the meat dripped into the little tray along with the fat!Hence the shoe leather meat.However for meat the machine did cook hamburgers better than steaks.

Post# 1012937 , Reply# 67   11/1/2018 at 21:51 (227 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

iowabear's profile picture

I've tried a couple of the Foreman-type grills. 


One had removable plates, one did not.  They were both hard to clean, even the one with removable plates had to be cleaned around the edges.  I always used them on my cooktop so I could vent out the smoke - so I always ended up cleaning that too because some grease always seemed to drip or leak.


In the end a small frying pan was just less trouble and easier to deal with.

Post# 1012947 , Reply# 68   11/1/2018 at 22:56 (227 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

I have a GE version of a Foreman has a drippings drawer and removable grates that are dishwasher safe.  I haven't used it in at least 10 years though!  I did like using it for chicken, pork chops, occasionally hamburgers.  Never used it for sandwiches.

Post# 1012949 , Reply# 69   11/1/2018 at 23:01 (227 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
I have a Hamilton Beach Contact Grill,with removable plates. It really does a nice job on burgers, pork chops and boneless chicken breasts. The grills are easy to clean and it doesnít generate any smoke. But I really prefer using the broiler instead. I think its faster,and I like the results of the broiled meats better.


Post# 1013493 , Reply# 70   11/6/2018 at 09:31 (222 days old) by Joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
You mean no one has mentioned . . .

joeekaitis's profile picture

Continuous cleaning ovens?

The death knell was probably most users ignoring the instructions to resist the urge to clean the thing and spraying on two inches of Easy-Off (in the yellow can, of course).

Post# 1013507 , Reply# 71   11/6/2018 at 10:59 (222 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Re George Foreman Grill

I had one but got rid of it, WAYYYY too hot for my cooking, burned up everything.

Post# 1013610 , Reply# 72   11/7/2018 at 09:49 (221 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

iowabear's profile picture

Surprised nobody has mentioned electric knives.


In the late 70s it seemed like everybody had one but nobody used them.  I think I remember ours getting used twice.


Today when I see one all I can picture is the dinner scene from the RHPS.



Post# 1013652 , Reply# 73   11/7/2018 at 17:56 (221 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

My dad used our quite a bit.  He became quite adapt at its usage.  I have it, but I wouldn't use it, too dangerous for me.  But guests are welcome to use it wwen the opportunity arises.  I've toyed with the idea of using it to slice bread out of the oven. 

Post# 1013654 , Reply# 74   11/7/2018 at 18:07 (221 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
Yes the electric knife is great for slicing soft bread.. Some bread machines also come with one.. It's also good for cutting and shaping foam if you have a reupholstery project

Post# 1013656 , Reply# 75   11/7/2018 at 18:09 (221 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

My sister received 6 (or more?) electric knives at their wedding 25+ years ago.

Post# 1013660 , Reply# 76   11/7/2018 at 18:51 (221 days old) by Xraytech (Rural southwest Pennsylvania )        

xraytech's profile picture
I love my electric knife. Mine is a mid 60s GE in avocado. Was grandmas. We both use it for carving hams, Iíve used it for bread and cheese as well

Post# 1013667 , Reply# 77   11/7/2018 at 20:22 (221 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

countryguy's profile picture
I use the electric knife for carving any type of meat - turkey, roast, etc. I also use it to cut home made bread or if I buy bread not already sliced.


Post# 1013668 , Reply# 78   11/7/2018 at 20:34 (221 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Electric knife

My parents had one, probably bought back in the 70s. Hamilton Beach Scovill.
I could slice a roast NICE with it.
I'm horrible at it with a normal knife.
I'm on a quest to find one exactly like it, with original box, since my mom gave hers to my brother, who destroys everything.


Post# 1013679 , Reply# 79   11/7/2018 at 20:58 (221 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Still have and use our original electric knife from the mid 60's, when I was a kid.  It's a wood grained GE with 2 sets of knives, short and long, and it came with a wall mountable case.I use it for cutting bread cubes and carving meat, works well.

Post# 1019418 , Reply# 80   12/29/2018 at 17:24 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Aaaarrrggghhh! The TOASTER OVEN!

This is the one in-laws had given to us a few years ago, as the one I'd attempted to get for our wedding eleven-years ago looked like it would take up more counter space than used well or appreciated and it's the time and temperature regulations I have a hard time with determining how long and how high the temp should be when I'm toasting, not to mention that the cavity is admittedly too small...

There is an even smaller white Black And Decker one I bought for myself long ago left at my parents' house that I supposedly had an easier time with but just didn't bother to make use of in my own living quarters, post-marriage as it had fallen a bit dirty, and with which ever more over the years and ocasionally looking at it sitting on the basement bar, noticed the cord for it, excessively frayed...

And long ago some childhood friends of mind toasted in a mini oven like that, as opposed to ever owning a pop-up, which I prefer, but the four-slice I got from my late brother-in-law (a Chefnan from Ollie's) broke and I could never figure out how to open/remove the crumb tray from it, so my Cuisinart (soon to be a no-name, the writing is rubbing off!) two-slice still after these many years still works and does its job!

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Post# 1019423 , Reply# 81   12/29/2018 at 17:37 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Okay, get ready for this one, that will cause argument or challenge a debate:

The slow cooker!

The food is mushy, 9-out-of-10 times the modest amount of liquid is excessive and even oozes and drips out of there, while maybe that "statistical one time" some spaghetti I made was too dry...

In any event, what I bought a newer, slightly larger model (though the stoneware had a hole in it, and the flawless one that Sunbeam sent me was for the big sized, while sadly right at the day I wanted to make that first meal in it, I have to contend with another (though smaller hole) and got too late for them to send me another!) the semi-successful AMKrayoRoast Duck:

(And maybe the dried duck grease that leaked on my ice cream scoop when making that drink made me sick!)

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Post# 1019428 , Reply# 82   12/29/2018 at 17:53 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture
I actually like toaster ovens. It's funny, because I think my mother always said they weren't worth bothering with or some such thing. I got one at a yard sale...and grew to like the thing. I've had several since then, most of which weren't special. Oddly the only one I didn't like was the DeLonghi that I got from some thrift shop. I'd sort wanted one, remembering when they were sold at the Bon for $$$, but mine never really worked that well for me. Maybe it was the design. Maybe it was just the condition (e.g., worn down by the previous owner to a mere shadow of its former self).

Although I've mostly used these as small ovens. I do use my current one for any/all toasting duties, but I think a toaster would work better. I don't have a toaster, although I don't toast bread very often any more.

Post# 1019433 , Reply# 83   12/29/2018 at 18:07 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture
For me personally...I'd vote for the bread machine as an appliance that never fulfilled the promise. I remember when they were fairly new (at least as a more or less mass market product), and hyped for how wonderful they were. I have had at least 2, maybe 3 I've gotten dirt cheap at a thrift store the last 15 years or so, and they never impressed me. Convenient? Easy to use? Yes. But the bread wasn't very good. One is better off just using a mixer or food processor to do the hard mixing/kneading work. (Plus the mixer/food processor can be used for more than bread.) For that matter, one can buy bread. Grocery stores in my area offer breads much better than "traditional" grocery store bread (like Wonder Bread), and these better breads are often better than what I recall ever eating from a bread machine.

Of course, "milage varies." I know a lot of people loved their bread machines. And it's entirely possible I'll try one again.

Post# 1019442 , Reply# 84   12/29/2018 at 19:54 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

Used my GE (WM exclusive) toaster oven reasonably often for baking, not so much for toasting.† I find that a traditional toaster does that quicker and better.

The GE's thermostat went wonky at 12.25 years.

Have a Breville Mini Smart Oven now.† Like it a lot.† I don't use the included porcelain baking tray, dark color browns too much.† I kept the aluminum tray from the GE, works better.

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Post# 1019448 , Reply# 85   12/29/2018 at 22:19 by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Bread Machine

launderess's profile picture
Have a Phillips that got for a very good price at local thrift. Used the thing to death for a few years when going through a bread making craze. Even purchased the book "Breadmaker's Bible" and so forth. Not to mention a job lot of SAF yeast packets that still are sitting in freezer.

Liked the bread machine because it allowed one to bake bread even under less than optimal conditions. Read very warm and moist summer weather, and or other times of year when house was cool (like to shut down most of the radiators in winter), and so forth.

After awhile things went they way always do; all that baking either by machine or whatever fell out of favor and machine has sat sitting haunting me ever since.

That being said the one thing can always count on finding at thrifts is the odd bread machine. *LOL*

As for quality, most things came out pretty well. Thanks to that bread maker's book and learning a few tricks could turn out decent to good brioche, raisin & cinnamon, whole wheat, seven grain and a few other breads.

Post# 1019464 , Reply# 86   12/30/2018 at 08:43 by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        
Speaking of piles at thrift stores -

gansky1's profile picture
Remember the Black & Decker (et al) electric jar opener? There were stacks of those at the thrift stores for a while a decade or so ago.

Add to the breadmaker department at the thrifts were all the accessories made to complement them, the slicing guides, bread storage containers and similar wares to make your bread-life easier.

The air popper that Glenn mentioned was an excellent example of larger-than-life hype for a product that basically manufactured marginally edible packing peanuts. That said, I just let mine from the 80's go last year.

This youtube channel is fun to watch now and then, he reviews many of the "As Seen On TV" products. Some results are pretty surprising, some, not so much.


Post# 1019474 , Reply# 87   12/30/2018 at 10:41 by Xraytech (Rural southwest Pennsylvania )        

xraytech's profile picture
Speaking of popcorn making, we had a WestBend hot air machine from the 80s, that was the most horrid popcorn.

In 1994 or 95 we bought this Presto Power Pop at Hillís Department Store as a Christmas gift for dad.
From what I recall it actually worked well in our JCPenney microwave and made good popcorn. We used this a lot and for quite a few years.

While I wouldnít exactly call it a bad product, it certainly was a one trick pony

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Post# 1019475 , Reply# 88   12/30/2018 at 10:55 by Xraytech (Rural southwest Pennsylvania )        

xraytech's profile picture
Grandma Rose had one of these gadgets in her 1980s GE spacemaker microwave.
I donít remember this working well, and I donít think it lasted very long

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Post# 1019478 , Reply# 89   12/30/2018 at 11:17 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Rotating devices like that had a funny hit ratio -- some people loved them and some hated them. My feeling is that for people who had a good microwave oven with a decent stirrer fan probably didn't care for them much, because you only had to rotate the food a couple of times during cooking, while the folks who had an oven with no stirrer fan or a badly designed one were the ones to perceive the most difference.

That being said, for people who absolutely hated paying any attention to their food and wanted a set it and forget it thing, the rotating trays seemed to help some.

Post# 1019517 , Reply# 90   12/30/2018 at 17:38 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture
I have vague sense I may have seen Presto Power Pop ads in the 90s, but can't say for sure.

I can say that I got one, used. I was not terribly impressed by it. It did pop popcorn, BUT the popcorn was no better than air popped popcorn. Plus the paper disks on the bottom needed regular replacement, which meant one more thing to buy every so often. I eventually lost interest, and donated the Power Pop to some thrift shop.

Of the options I'm familiar with, a better choice--much better--would be a US made West Bend Stir Crazy. Yes, it's an appliance that is limited to one job, and takes cupboard space... And the popcorn was admittedly not as low calorie, since you needed oil. But it did the job really well--the popcorn, from what I recall, was MUCH better than air popped or microwave.

Post# 1019519 , Reply# 91   12/30/2018 at 17:42 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture
>As for quality, most things came out pretty well. Thanks to that bread maker's book and learning a few tricks could turn out decent to good brioche, raisin & cinnamon, whole wheat, seven grain and a few other breads.

Perhaps should have experimented more...and possibly read bread machine books. Maybe next time a bread machine turns up at 99 cent clearance day. LOL

BUT I can say that I at least did use recipes specifically intended for bread machines. It wasn't a case of taking my regular recipe, trying it, and then getting frustrated because it didn't work right.

Post# 1019540 , Reply# 92   12/30/2018 at 20:54 by Kate1 (Idaho)        

Iíve always been pretty averse to any gadgety type kitchen items. My mother was a gadget fanatic and had an entire corner of our pantry filled with one trick ponies and as seen on tv garbage. I canít remember a single thing that performed as advertised. I went so far opposite of her as an adult that I didnít even own a microwave until a year ago, and it was a gift from my sister! The only thing it gets used for is reheating leftovers. I did get an air popper as a wedding gift, but Iíd had one as a kid and knew better. It ended up at the Goodwill and I make our popcorn on the stovetop instead.

Post# 1019557 , Reply# 93   12/31/2018 at 00:05 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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The older I get, the fewer extra gadgets I want in the kitchen. I really enjoy doing much of my cooking and baking as simply as possible.

I own a KA Classic Stnad mixer, but I havenít used it for months. I use my KA 3 speed handmixer for all my baking needs. It can handle just about anything I need to do. I chop nuts by hand with a french knife, I canít see dragging out the Cuisinart to chop a 1/2 cup to a cup of nuts. Likewise, I shred and grate cheese with a hand grater, much easier to clean, and in the end faster than the food processor.

And like Kate, in the post above, I make our popcorn in a pan on the stove, tastes much better, and is an easier cleanup too. I really like being a hands on cook. I do however use my MW oven a lot, its a great time saver for the things it does well, like making white sauces, puddings and pie fillings softening or melting butter or chocolate, reheating leftovers, cooking boneless skinless chicken breasts for salad or casseroles, heating flour tortillas.

I did however get an electric knife sharpener for Christmas, and my knives havenít been so nice and sharp since they were new, great and useful kitchen gadget.


Post# 1020170 , Reply# 94   1/5/2019 at 06:48 by suebutcher (Victoria, Australia)        
Toasters and Microwaves

Toaster ovens are useful for adding a baked finish to food heated in a microwave. It's quicker than using a large oven go to whoa.

The Breville sandwich toaster was considered a disappointing gadget because it was difficult to clean. If you don't use it every day and only clean it when it's really necessary it's tolerable.

Post# 1020176 , Reply# 95   1/5/2019 at 09:00 by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        
Thanks Sam,

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My mom had one of those Micro-Go-Rounds that she loved.  We had a 1984 Amana Radarange that it was used in.  It was a Christmas gift from my aunt & uncle.  When it quit working I think they were no longer available in stores.  I remember mom was kinda bummed about it.

Post# 1020186 , Reply# 96   1/5/2019 at 10:34 by drhardee ( Columbia, SC)        

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I have to wonder about those Samsung "Waterwall" dishwashers that supposedly clean your dishes with a spraybar that runs on a track along the bottom of one's dishwasher. They have a fairly high failure rate, and reviews have NOT been kind....


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Post# 1020201 , Reply# 97   1/5/2019 at 13:24 by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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The waterwall system is yet another Samsung "revolutionary" feature that's already been tried before (by Ling-Temco).  Except LT's eye level dishwashers were infinitely cooler.


My mom's late '70s Montgomery Ward (of course) MO, a Tappan re-badge, had a Micro-Go-Round.  It got used a lot because, like everything from Ward's, the MO had an issue -- a hot spot that even the stirrer that made a scraping sound (of course) couldn't remedy.  The MGR was still working fine when that microwave was sold in 2008.

Post# 1020203 , Reply# 98   1/5/2019 at 13:30 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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I had a Micro Go Round in my 1979 Whirlpool Mark Series MW and I thought it worked well and did make for a more evenly heated dish. After about 10 or so years the spring broke in it so you couldnt wind it anymore.

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