Kitchen gadgets: The ugly - And a FREE contest to WIN free kitchen gadgets

Two days ago, we looked at some incredibly good gadgets from Chef's Planet. Yesterday, we looked at two bad gadgets, complete with video. And today we will look at two I find ugly.

Why are we doing all this looking?

I am tired of the hit-and-miss of gadget shopping, never knowing if a new purchase is going to be find or fallacy. See, I figured if I could just find a company I could rely on for amazing gadgets then . . . well, you can see where I am going with this.

And, of course, details on the Now It's Your Turn contest where you can win the most expensive item reviewed all week is coming up.

So, without further ado, today I bring you . . .

The ugly
I was absolutely intrigued by the whisk ($10, pictured above). It looked, as they said, "squidlike {sic}," making it the most unique whisk I had ever seen. Even better, they said it "... aerates mixtures in half the time of other whisks ..." A time-saver. Excellent!

So I threw a couple of eggs in a bowl and whipped. Nothing special. Nothing fast. Did it again, only this time with my regular whip. Nothing special. Nothing fast.

Erm, positive thing to say: This whisk is nice and light. Erm, reality check: It was no better or faster for me. And, you know, it does look squid-like (and you might want to tell your copywriter that "squidlike" is not a word).

The ugly: Part two
I was also intrigued by the potato masher ($10). The idea behind this masher is that instead of mashing the potatoes by bring the masher up and down, you mash them by twirling the masher. Pretty neat, eh?

I could not get it to work.

Part of the problem is the size of the area that mashes the potatoes. At 5" across, you need a bowl that has at least a 5" interior base; although larger would be better. Ideally, the base would be flat, or fairly flat. The bowl I would normally use had a rounded base, which meant any potatoes under the center of the masher just got pounded, not twirled.

I moved everything over to a flat-bottom bowl. Life did not improve.

Actually, the only way I could get the masher to do anything was to give in and just pound the hell out of the potatoes. And this ended up being worse than a regular masher. Why? With a regular masher, the mashed potato bits are free to come up from either side of the prongs. While potato bits on the circumference of with this masher can escape from too much pounding, the bits under the thick center just get compressed into a potato patty.

Most unpleasant.

The conclusion
Well, it doesn't look like I have found my ideal company, quite yet. But all is not lost. Chef's Planet had some winners I am delighted with and they do get big points for innovation (you gotta respect someone who tries). And now that they are on my radar, there are a few other things I'd like to look at. But, first, would you like to give one of their items a whirl? Well, you can if you like . . .

The super duper totally unique Now It's Your Turn contest
. . . Will be announced tomorrow. Yeah, you can win a free, free!, FREE kitchen gadget. And, yeah, there is something else I'm not telling you. Something good. So stay tuned. All will be revealed.