Unitasker Wednesday: Wannabe waffle makers

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Since the release of the George Foreman Grill in 1994, small appliance manufacturers have been trying to get in on the profitable waffle-iron-as-stove-or-oven market. We started noticing this trend a couple years ago, and we featured the Mini Cupcake Maker unitasker at the beginning of the recent explosion. And since then, the market truly has errupted with [Insert Name of Food You Sometimes Eat] Makers and we feel it is our duty to introduce you to some of our new favorite wannabe waffle maker unitaskers …

… like the Brownie Bar Maker:

… and the Fortune Cookie Maker:

… and for dog lovers, there is the Dog Treat Maker:

… and the Corn Dog Maker:

… and last, but certainly not least, the Churros Maker:

Can you imagine how much storage space in your kitchen you would sacrifice if you had a George Forman Grill with five removable plates, a Brownie Bar Maker, a Fortune Cookie Maker, a Dog Treat Maker, a Corn Dog Maker, and a Churros Maker? You could have your own small appliance museum! My word.

Note: I would have included the Cake Pop Maker, except I honestly have no idea how you can make cake pops without the device. Round balls of cake mystify me.

Thanks to the dozens of Unclutterer readers who sent us links to all of these delightfully entertaining unitaskers.

28 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Wannabe waffle makers”

  1. posted by Sara on

    Well, technically, you can make cake pops by crumbling up a baked cake and mixing the crumbs with frosting, then forming that into balls which are then dipped in chocolate. This is the method in the Bakerella Cake Pops book, anyway. Do these taste good? Yes, I’ve had them at parties, and they taste amazing. Are they good for you? I think you know the answer to that.

    I haven’t made any either way. If I’m going to eat cake, I just make a cake or cupcakes. I’m so boring.

  2. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Sara — THANK YOU for that explanation!!

  3. posted by Susannah on

    We have a similar device that’s sold as a donut hole maker, but it’s easy to see how you’d make cake pops.

    If you’re okay with everything you bake being spherical, there are many more. It came with recipes for brownie bites and mini-muffins.

  4. posted by Annette on

    Round balls of cake = donut holes. Buy those, add sticks, and dip in icing.

  5. posted by Me on

    I’ve also made cake pops the same way as explained above. I think the machine would make them more “pretty” when dunked in chocolate, since there are no crumbs. But I don’t need perfection when doing cake balls. They all taste the same.

    As far as the electric makers go, I am torn. I totally see the point that you don’t need a dedicated maker. But for some reason I really want the waffle stick maker with french toast stick changeable plates. I saw a review that said if you want sticks of waffle, just cut the freakin waffle up. Made me laugh. I’ve made french toast stick by cutting up the french toast, but it just didn’t have the same crunchiness all around like the store bought ones.

    Either way, I’m giving lots of thoughts and not impluse buying it. If I still want it after lots of thought, I just might get it. I’m just not getting 10-20 dedicated maker grills.

  6. posted by Amy on

    Annette beat me to it! doughnut holes are not a mystery… *wink*

  7. posted by hkw on

    The cake pop makers mystify me because the whole point is that the handmade ones are little balls of super-moist icingy-cakey goodness dipped in chocolate. The cake pop maker would just make round cake.

  8. posted by Lindsey on

    I was going to make some sort of cutting remark, then I realized that I would probably use the dog treat maker. I won’t buy it myself, but I have relatives that tend to buy that sort of thing as gifts and if I received that from them, I would use it. Uncluttering fail.

  9. posted by Cal on

    You’ve forgotten the mini doughnut maker: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....atizer-20/.

    There’s also a toasted sandwich maker that’s been on the market for at least two decades (my bf’s mom had one when we were kids). They’re more specialized than a panini press in that you make triangle shaped sandwich pockets…I think you can only successfully use cheap white bread with it.

  10. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Lindsey — I was kind of in line with your thinking about the dog treat maker until I saw that it only makes FOUR treats at a time. When I had a dog, I had a pan that was like a muffin pan but had 12 dog biscuit bone shapes in it. The pan took up barely any space in the cupboard and made three times as many biscuits. Yes, the pan was unitasker-ish, but I used it a lot and it was way more efficient than this thing.

  11. posted by maxie on

    If you want french toast sticks, cut your bread into sticks before dipping and frying. Dog biscuits–buy a cookie cutter for a couple of bucks; there are a ton of recipes for baking dog biscuits. Churros–ain’t churros if they’re not deep-fat fried. Cake balls, ok, I can’t think of another way to bake them, but those balls made from crumbled cake and frosting are horrid. Unless, of course, you’re a eat-frosting-from-the-can person.

  12. posted by Shanna Swendson on

    I think the grand prize for this sort of thing has to go to the electric quesadilla maker. Not only is it a specialized appliance, but it’s one that is probably even more cumbersome to use than the quesadilla maker in my house, which I call a “skillet.” Heat skillet, drop a tortilla in it, sprinkle on cheese and other fillings, put another tortilla on top, then flip. You’ve got a quesadilla in the amount of time it would take to dig out the specialized appliance, and clean-up has to be much easier with a skillet. I go through this rant every Christmas season when the useless appliances as gift ideas ads come out. I can’t imagine looking at a quesadilla and thinking that people need a specialized appliance for making one.

    I did see an ad this weekend for a combo electric baker thing that had different plates for being a sandwich press, brownie baker, mini Bundt cake baker and I think cake pop maker. That might be the way to go if the oven just doesn’t do it for you.

  13. posted by Carol Swedlund on

    I agree with Shanna on the quesadilla maker! My SIL never knows what to get us and got us one several years ago. We used it once before we donated it and went back to using the skillet.

  14. posted by Roxanne on

    I bought a mini doughnut maker for a gift exchange at work last year, and it was well received. I think some of these would make good gifts for the kind of person who can’t be bothered to bake, but might do it if it were easier (or seemed easier). Or maybe the cupcake or cake pop maker would be fun for children and parents to use together. But yeah, seeing all of these lined up does seem ridiculous. I wouldn’t buy any of these for myself, except maybe for an actual waffle maker!

  15. posted by Henave on

    I’m oldish and I remember when electric bread machines hit the market. Everyone had to have one, they were everywhere in all different varieties. Then we all used them a few times and realized it wasn’t really that great, put them in our closets and eventually offloaded them at Goodwill or a garage sale. I predict there will be a glut of mini-makers on the resale market in the near future.

  16. posted by Lesley on

    I can’t stop laughing at the dog biscuit maker. Seriously, who has time to make homemade dog biscuits? And why, when there are plenty of super-cheap dog treats at the grocery store? Do you really think the dog knows it was a labor of love too make him treats, instead of pulling them from a box?

    Bizarre.

  17. posted by susan on

    I volunteer at a no kill dog shelter. Making 4 treats at once is crazy. I make a recipe for dog biscuits with beef granules and cheese (plus the usual dough ingredients) roll it out and use a small bone shape cookie cutter. I usually make 100 at a time. Easy to do and I go through 100 every 4-5 days.
    In the past I have donated a bread maker, baby fryer, Belgium waffle maker, Foreman grill, pop corn popper and probably others. I do use my electric wok. Had it for 15 years. Can make a cheese burger or grilled cheese in it or anything really. I also use my blender and mini food processor.
    My parents had a boconeer when I was growing up. You draped the bacon over the central element and closed up the sides. All the grease drained to the tray below. No mess. Now I just cook bacon in the over in a jelly roll pan if I don’t want to fry it on the stove. No mess but nice and crisp.

  18. posted by Jane on

    When I was a kid my mom had a waffle/grilled cheese maker. the metal nonstick plates just flipped over for which ever you were using and then they came out of the machine for easy washing after they cooled off. I hated the small Forman grill I had cause it was so difficult to clean with out immersing. I have been waiting for a switchable device to enter the market but these days no one wants to make a multipurpose device. Just happy i can still buy a toaster oven even thought they take up too much room now since they have to be able to bake a pizza too. Well no one is ever satisfied, especially me.

  19. posted by Sarah on

    Still a unitasker, but one taking up less space than a gizmo: the donut hole pan. We have used it to make cake balls.

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com.....t-hole-pan

  20. posted by Christine on

    The only reason I could see for MAYBE getting any of these things is in the first user review for the brownie maker – you get “fresh baked goods” without heating the oven. Living in a climate that gets really hot in summer I can understand that up to a point… but baking in the height of summer has never bothered me that much, especially if I do it first thing in the morning!

  21. posted by Cathy on

    Huh, my dog-bone shaped cookie cutter takes up WAY less space than that monstrosity, and I make LOTS of cookies at a time!

  22. posted by Anna on

    Shanna, your “quesadilla maker” (skillet) reminds me that I have a wonderful popcorn popper. It’s a large covered saucepan. Add a layer of kernels to a little oil and/or butter, shake over moderate heat, listen to the pop pop pop of the kernels. There’s your popcorn.

  23. posted by JustGail on

    Regarding cake pops, there are 2 kinds. The cake mixed with frosting and shaped into balls, and then the ones that use cake baked into balls using a pan like the one Sarah linked to or a cake pop maker then dipped in frosting. The cake/frosting ones no way need anything special to make, but for the plain cake ones, I don’t see how without a pan at minimum.

    Overall – I’d say 75% of them will appear at the local thrift store soon, if they don’t end up in the recycler or landfill first. The rest will be stuffed in the attic or far corner of the basement to deal with “someday” after the novelty wears off.

  24. posted by purpleBee on

    Delightfully unitasky!
    Why do I have a sudden urge to say “and that’s not all, you also get…” … a huge loss of storage space.

    Cal, those old sandwich toasters that make sealed triangular sandwiches can multitask. If you replace the bread with filo pastry you can make feta & spinach triangles, triangular sausage ‘rolls’, little pasties etc.

  25. posted by Kim B on

    Of course, there’s no requirement that cake pops be round balls. Any small cake shape can be put on a stick and dipped in frosting. Cutting up pound cake works really well for this. The trick is to cut, insert sticks, and then freeze to help minimize the crumbs when you dip. It’s a great use for smaller cookie cutters. Then, if you want to make the round ones, you have leftover pieces of cake you can use in the “crumbs mixed with frosting” technique.

  26. posted by Jeri on

    Our Unitasker Christmas gift, was the Iced Tea Brewer. Used it once or twice, then went back to using the large glass pickle jar, inherited from my grandmother, and the sun.

  27. posted by Kristen on

    My 7 year old’s Christmas wish list this year consisted of the fortune cookie maker (we have never seen her eat a fortune cookie), the cake pop maker, and some sort of slushie maker. You can imagine how happy I was. I did end up getting her the cake pop maker even after my coworker told me how to make cake pops using a regular cake. I am sure it will end up with the easy bake oven that we got her last year until she grows old enough to not care when I get rid of them.

  28. posted by Liz R. on

    In case you want to buy a complete collection of wannabe waffle makers in one place, there’s a sale at Woot.com that can help you out: http://home.woot.com/plus/like.....ur-kitchen – they have a few new ones there; the meatball maker and the mini pizza maker are the ones that really baffle me.

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