Inspector Gadget

Unless you’re brand new here, you know I love my avocadoes. If you’re brand new here, I love my avocados.

So imagine my delight when I won a Facebook fan prize from Haas Avocados a couple weeks ago—an avocado cutter. I was excited, but not because I got an avocado cutter. We’ll get to that in a minute. No, being randomly selected and called out by name by “the avocado” was like requited love, if only for a moment.

Anyway, it came in the mail the other day.

gnomeavocutter

Uncle June made an appearance for photo purposes only.

As I suspected, I’ll probably never use it.

Why? Because when I look at an avocado, I think, “Where’s my knife?” I then proceed to slice the avocado, dig the pit out of and then either slice it with the knife or mash with a fork.

I do not look at it and think, “What a complex looking piece of food! In order to break through this enigma, I will require a full set of tools!”

And when I looked at the cutter, I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it (other than pose a gnome next to it and snap a picture, of course.) However, there are instructions on the website.

avoinstructions

Not to sound ungrateful for my prize, but is this really a necessary thing? How hard is it to cut an avocado in the first place? We need tools?

I did a little research and found out that not only is this “keep in your purse for emergency situations” 3-in-1 avocado cutter available, but there are more things to add to your avocado tool box:

avoslicer

A slicer that also helps scoop out the pit, you know, like a spoon.

williams_sonoma_avocado_cuber2

A cuber that looks like a lacrosse mallet.

Avocado Masher

A masher.

avoknife

And a “special” knife/4-in-one tool that “opens, pits, dices and removes the peel.”

I realize that my minimalism leaves my kitchen gadget collection limited to a can opener, but I think four or five tools to cut and serve an avocado is a bit much. If something only does one job, it just doesn’t seem practical, especially if it’s a pain to wash.

Despite my domestic disability, I can separate eggs or cut an apple into slices on my own.

Now that doesn’t mean I can’t spend hours in Bed, Bath & Beyond looking at all the fun gadgets and imagining what unnecessary things I would register for if I ever convinced someone to take me on as their consolation prize wife, but I would never actually buy them for myself.

Then there are “practical” things like spoon rests, which I guess I see the point of, even though I think a small plate does the same job. However, my grandma used to have one, so that gives it some cred. My grandma never had a citrus slicer or an electronic fork that twirled spaghetti, although that would be a fun experiment to try in the dining room

Anyway, this avocado cutter was free and I’m happy to try it out. If I somehow manage to maim myself or get it stuck in my hair, at least I’ll have material for another blog post.

Stay tuned.

When it comes to kitchen gadgets—not appliances like toasters or sandwich makers, but one-job gadgets—what do you have and what would you want?

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40 responses to “Inspector Gadget

  1. Seriously Abby,c are you trying to hurt me. I read things with no expectation that I will be choking on an M&M as I do, or that water will shoot out my nose and almost drown me. (an I being dramatic? What of it??? LOL)

    I hardly use any utensils…knives, spatulas, a wisk once a in ahile…but a fork will do…I’m not handy in the kitchen and the last time I checked I don’t need any kind of handy tool to open a tube of pringles 😉 xo

  2. Melanie The Spork Lover

    I love kitchen gadgets, but just can’t resign to buying any ’cause I think they are a waste and take up too much space. The thing I love most about avocadoes is using one of my really good knives to slice down the center, then I slam it in to the pit and turn to get the pit out. That’s the only gadget I need. I actually bought two pricey knives. Best investment of all time for someone who has a problem eating food out of boxes.

    I do have a USS Enterprise pizza cutter and light saber chopsticks, but that’s more a testiment to my nerdiness than my love of gadgets. My friend has a strawberry slicer that looks like a strawberry. That’s one useless thing I would like to have. It’s cute!

    • They say the one thing you should have is a great knife. I do not. I just have knives that came in a set, but that’s what I hear. I do use kitchen shears to cut pizza and a potato scrubber, and I used to use a garlic press before I realized the 15 mins spent trying to clean it warranted me just buying crushed garlic.

  3. No, I don’t think it’s a necessary thing. I wonder how many people we’ll catch using it. Have a nice day.
    – Randy

  4. From looking at this tool, I’d never have guessed what it’s to be used for! It just looks like a saw to me. 😯

  5. nah – me either! I was lucky enough to receive one of those once 😉 and I haven’t used it yet! I figure for someone who eats as many avos as I do (if you’re new here, I love avocados!), I kinda know how to whip through one with a knife!

    same with most “gadgets”. I have what I consider my essentials, food processor, juicer, etc. the biggest gadgety thing I have is one of those egg slicer things. I used to use it a lot.

    but this is coming from a girl who uses a chunky heel as a hammer, and rarely uses a hairbrush…

    • I can see the slicer being practical and useful for aestheic purposes. I use a knife, but I also don’t take beautiful pictures of my meals like you do. 1) Because I don’t take pictures and 2) my meals don’t look like yours 😉

  6. Wow. Avocados are really hopping on the give-away train! I won a T-Shirt via Twitter. Not sure which company…guess I’ll find out when I get the T-Shirt. Not to one up your gadget. Which I quite like, by the way.

    If I had a large kitchen I would get lots of gadgets. Currently I need a zester and a vitamix.

  7. Congrats on winning. Funny enough, I was going to write a post about useless kitchen gadgets. So putting that post on the shelf….

    Anyhow, I find cherry pitters kind of useless. Thanks to Real Simple, I know you can just use a straw.

    • “Winning” consisted of commenting first on their wall, but I’ll pretend it’s a major award. And we have such a weird ESP thing, as you always post something the day before I want to post something. That must mean we’re geniuses.

  8. We are an avocado family. Sandwiches, salads, or straight up.

    Uncle June needs his own Food Network show

    “Uncle June’s Bitchin Kitchen”

  9. I am going to throw in a vote for cherry pitters. When pitting several pounds of cherries for jam making, a straw (sorry Eden!) just doesn’t cut it!

    Also, the apple peeler/corer is essentail for the applesauce and apple butter canning.

    Orange peeler? Not so much. I just use my fingernail or a knife.

    • I’ve never used a cherry pitter, but I have used an apple corer and found it useful (when it didn’t slip to the side and come dangerously close to coring my own hand.)

  10. The only helpful gadget I’ve ever used is a wine opener. Well, that’s not entirely true – I also like the pizza cutter.

    And by reading this comment, everyone knows I don’t cook, but I like to get boozy and eat shitty food.

  11. Kitchen gadgets are things people use in the kitchen, right?

    Wine opener. That’s about all I have.

  12. I would take that thing to the office and use it as a weird mail opener.

    Not sure if I even have any “one job” gadgets. If I do, they’re clearly not being use…

  13. First of all, I love me some kitchen gadgets. I own distinct graters for cheese and nutmeg respectively. But the one gadget I always forget to use no matter how cute it is (I have this one http://freshouses.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Yolky-Egg-Separator.jpg) is an egg separator. The extra step of dumping it into the strainer when you could just use the shell it’s already in is totally not worth it!

    But damn, it is cute.

  14. I am a total minimalist. I have about 9 knives and only a few other kitchen gadgets. If I don’t use something for 6 months, it goes away.

    Of course, that is the moment I need that thing I just threw away. 😉

  15. I love kitchen gadgets from afar mostly because I’m too cheap to buy them. However, I’m really excited you won something off of FB. I enter those things all the time and never know of anyone who has actually won. I kind of want to ask you to sign an avocado and send it to ,me.

    • Well, all I did was comment “first” on the contest link, so I can’t say there was skill involved. And sorry, but considering avocados are $2/piece here right now, I’m hoarding them all for myself…

  16. I really want a Slap Chop. Not because I think it’s necessary, but because I like saying “Slap Chop.” And I love everything about the Slap Chop commercial, especially when the Slap Chop guy says “you’re going to have an exciting life now.”

    I wouldn’t mind having an avocado pitter either, because every time my husband wacks at an avocado pit with a big knife (a la Melanie the Spork Lover above) I picture him cutting his hand off. And then I’d have to cook.

  17. Some kitchen gadgets are awesome, some just makes me go … “Really??” i.e.: the weird garlic roller/peeler thing. Just smash the damn thing with a knife and the skin comes right off. Just a few days ago, I found out there’s an electronic sifter, yes, apparently sifting is such a complicated task and to avoid burning too many calories, we need an electronic gadget to do the job for us.

    Oh I love garlic crusher and egg separator is a god send when you’re need to separate a carton of 10 eggs.

  18. Someone bought me a battery operated wine opener for my birthday. It is strongly reminiscent of a sex toy…. and so it sits pride of place on my kitchen worktop confusing people who are far too shy to ask what the hell it actually is.

  19. I would like a garlic press, one of those splash-covers for the microwave and also something that helps me open jars because I can’t even think the number of times I’ve passed on a pickle because I couldn’t crack the lid. I hope Santa is reading.

    The avocado slicer is so ridiculous, I laughed as soon as I saw the photo. I cut around with a knife, twist open and scoop seed out with pointy side of knife – 3 seconds! It’s almost as useful as the Bagel Cutter. You know, because bread is so difficult to cut through? The little hole just throws me off?

  20. Who invents these things? Totally worthless crap!

  21. I love my apple slicer/corer- so much easier than a knife! I also use it for onions. But I agree, most things that I have a handy gadget for (egg white separator, mandolin slicer, food chopper, etc) I just end up doing with my good knife. But I do use my vegetable peeler, can strainer, and mini whisk (Pampered Chef) and love them.
    So I guess I’m half and half. I do use some of my gadgets and love them, but cookie scoops, egg slicers and strawberry corers are jobs done by spoons and knives!

  22. Until now, I had no idea how many damn Avocado-specific tools existed. Consider me now-enlightened. Great blog by the way!

  23. I made a judgmental snort every time I walk by the avocado slicer at my grocery store because I agree that it’s really unnecessary. And I’m like… one of the laziest people ever.
    And by the look on Uncle June’s face, I see he agrees with me.

  24. Knives and a screwdriver are the only kitchen gadgets you need. TRUTH.

  25. One year for his birthday, I presented my husband with a Rabbit corkscrew– the idiot proof corkscrew. I got it for him because it was a cool gadget and for me, because I’m the idiot when it comes to opening wine. And true to form, I broke the idiot proof corkscrew. Did I mention it was an expensive idiot proof corkscrew?

    My purebred French sister-in-law laughed at our expensive, pretentious gadget, saying a waiter’s corkscrew was the best and only real corkscrew. So I bought a few of them.

    She was correct. They are the easiest and most reliable to use, but out of the three or four we had, there’s only one left, because they are not idiot proof.

  26. You’re totally being uncreative. If that’s a word.
    With your new avocado tool, you can slice avocados AND eggs, slice soft cheeses, scrape crusty things off your counter/pots/stovetop, clean underneath your fingernails, poke that 1″ hole in the film of a microwave dinner before cooking, comb the hair on your chin when you get old & decide not to pluck anymore…that thing is a world of opportunity.
    Think outside the box, my dear. It is a beautiful place.

    This coming from someone who makes coffee with a strainer, huge filter and Pyrex measuring cup when we have no power, I should probably say I wish I had a French Press.

  27. I recommend you check out “Unitasker Wednesdays” on Unclutter.com if you enjoy laughing at unnecessary single-purpose kitchen gadgets. The “pizza scissors/spatula” that actually has the word “pizza” carved into it was a good recent one, as was the “tummy tub baby bath,” which is basically just a big plastic bucket in which to place your baby. 🙂

  28. hehe, congrats, Abby!
    I got a mango slicer the other day in the mail and was like..uhhh wtf do I do with this? I know how to slice a mango just fine.

  29. this is pretty much an ideal example of why i don’t mess with the damn things.

    that, and their slimey texture. ugh.

  30. I’m not into kitchen gadgets, but I do have that thing that slices and cores an apple. I use it maybe 2-3 times a year.

  31. ah not to add to the avocado-specific kitchen tool ridiculousness but I have found myself using this just about every other day: http://www.amazon.com/Harold-Import-Company-Avo-Saver/dp/B001IWONL6
    I live in a town with no real clothes shopping to speak of so when I am having a rough day I find myself in this drugstore that has all kinds of silly kitchen items and knickknacks…. and I am also in love with my $5 julienne peeler (by Swissmar) that saves me from either having no carrots in my salad each day or massive intimidating carrot chunks due to failed attempt to wake up early enough to actually learn how to julienne my veggies…

    • I’ve seen those, and if I didn’t use a whole avocado at once every time, I would probably get one myself. Mostly because it’s cute. I’ve also seen them for garlic, tomatoes, onions, etc.–even bananas (who eats half a banana?) A normal container would probably work just as well, but I just think they’re cute. As for the carrots? A total witch to try and cut or slice, so I’m with you there…

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