Beware the single-use appliance!

Fall is the perfect time for dusting off your soup pot and making some hearty mushroom barley soup or a thick, warming broth. The majority of soup recipes are pretty much the same: Saute onions and garlic in some oil in the in the pot. Add chopped veggies, meat, grains and some seasoning. Let simmer. Serve.

The right gift for a blended family?

But now that holiday shopping season is looming large, Cuisinart has an alternative. It’s the Blend and Cook Soup Maker. A Bed Bath and Beyond ad for this gadget promises “no pot” and “no stirring” and “no chopping.” As if any of those things are particularly onerous and time-consuming, right? The soup maker appears to be an amalgam of blender and heater. It sells for $199.99.

This gadget, like most single-use kitchen gadgets, is likely to have a long shelf life. By which I mean it will spend a lot of time on your shelf, along with the panini press and espresso machine.

When I help clients to organize their kitchens, we often find dusty one-hit-wonder appliances hidden in the back of cabinets. They were usually wedding gifts that weren’t on the registry or the product of good intentions: “I’ll brew fresh coffee every morning before going to work!”

I generally advise against buying single-use gadgets, with some exceptions. If rice is a staple at your meals, a rice cooker is a wise investment. Ditto for a coffeemaker, provided you regularly drink coffee.

So save yourself $200 this holiday season. Chances are, you already have a large, heat-resistant device that will allow you to make quarts of nourishing soup. It’s called a pot.


About organizesf

Professional organizer June Bell ( combats clutter and chaos with sage advice, tested techniques and good humor.
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4 Responses to Beware the single-use appliance!

  1. Elizabeth says:

    As usual, you are SO RIGHT. I only own a few single-use appliances that I regularly use: crockpot, egg cooker, and small food processor. That’s it! I was just getting ready to write a post about this issue at my food blog: I have so many other single-use appliances gathering dust, it’s embarrassing. I’m thinking this would be a good time of year to donate those (perfect condition) items to a local charity thrift shop. Thanks for once again touching on an organizing tip that affects all of us.

  2. Susan says:

    And then there are those avocado green enamel fondue pots from the sixties… and all those long stemmed fondue forks…

  3. mom says:

    And the bread machines! Great article.

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