We talk a lot about essential gadgets that we can't live without and useless gadgets to toss in the Goodwill bin, but we rarely talk about the ones that got away. Those gadgets that we purged from our kitchens in fits of "tidying" and then almost immediately regretted. Deep, everlasting regret.
I'm speaking from experience, which I'll get to in a minute.
Seeking company in my mourning, I asked some of my fellow Kitchn editors and food writer friends if they felt similar feelings of deep regret over the loss of any particular gadget or kitchen tool. Here are the kitchen tools that got away — and what you should get if you also find yourself yearning for any of these items.
1. A potato masher
"I most regret the loss of my potato masher. It was one of those old-school, non-fancy ones with a wooden handle attached to a grill-like masher. I used it once a year, maybe, but it was only after I handed it over to Goodwill that I realized how handy it actually was. Yes, a potato masher has essentially one job — to mash potatoes, and occasionally other things — but it really does that one job very well. A dinner fork simply does not have the same smashing power." — Emma Christensen, Contributor
The one to get now: OXO Good Grips Smooth Potato Masher, $13
2. Box grater
"I got rid of my box grater because it took up too much space, but then I discovered that none of my Microplanes or my food processor really did the job quite as well. They just don't replace the basic ease and function of my old box grater." — Faith Durand, Editor-in-Chief
The one to get now: Cuisipro Surface Glide Technology 4-Sided Boxed Grater, $26
3. Microwave rice cooker
"I regret getting rid of my microwave rice cooker. Sometimes I just want to cook a small amount of rice, and it was so easy and quick to do — totally hands-off. I do have a more elaborate Japanese electric rice cooker now, but the microwave one was great to use in hotel rooms when traveling!" — Christine Gallary, Food Editor-at-Large
The one to get now: Joseph Joseph M-Cuisine Microwave Rice Cooker, $15
4. Immersion blender
"My (relatively new) immersion blender blew a fuse and never worked again after that. I read through the warranty but there was so much red tape around getting a replacement that I just tossed it instead. I thought I could get by with my regular blender, but every time I make soup, or want to blitz a sauce really quickly to thin it out, I miss my old immersion blender — it just got the job done so efficiently! No mess or hassle of puréeing in batches." — Lauren Kodiak, Managing Editor
The one to get now: Breville Control Grip, $93
5. Electric waffle iron/grill
"My husband had a very heavy-duty electric waffle iron/grill when we got married. Really old and icky looking, so I tried to get rid of it. Then I purchased a new one, which never got hot enough! I now worship the old one. And he won't let me forget it." — Nathalie Dupree, chef and cooking show host, and author of Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking
The one to get now: Black + Decker 3-in-1 Waffle Maker, $62
6. Citrus juicer
"I had a citrus reamer already and really thought that would be enough. It seemed frivolous to have both. But all those times when I'm picking the seeds out of the squeezed lemon or lime juice — I really regret tossing my juicer. It also has made me dread citrus juicing altogether, which I don't think was the case before." — Andrea Lynn, food writer and author of Queens: A Culinary Passport
The one to get now: Chef'n FreshForce Citrus Juicer, $25
"I had a terrific toaster in grad school. It made perfect toast every time. When I got a roommate who also had a toaster, I figured I would get rid of mine. Hers never worked nearly as well as my old one. I've mourned that toaster ever since." — Jeanne Sauvage, food writer and author of Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays
The one to get now: Hamilton Beach Beach Extra-Wide 2-Slice Slot Toaster, $25
Your turn! What gadgets or kitchen tools do you regret getting rid of?