You've probably heard someone exclaim "They just don't make them like they used to!" My dad usually adds something to the effect, "It's all made in China, and it's junk!" when describing whatever take-your-pick product. As I get older, I've realized there seems to be a large amount of truth to these statements.

Younger generations are rediscovering old kitchen appliances and gadgets. There are Reddit communities dedicated to r/VintageAppliances, where fans expound on their durability, design, colors, rarity, etc.

Example: an old waffle iron that my wife got from her mom.

When she first brought it home, I grumbled a bit. We don't make waffles that often, and the thought of storing another somewhat bulky kitchen gadget on an already overflowing pantry shelf jammed with other rarely-used appliances didn't bring me joy.

Credit Canva
Credit Canva

No touchscreen, Bluetooth, or app here.

This old Toastmaster waffle maker doesn't have a digital display. The temperature control is a simple knob and the old-school "ready" light on top barely emits a dull red glow when it reaches temp.

It's very heavy, gloriously wrapped in well-aged chrome. It's got a cool springy thing protecting the back of the cord near the hinge. It's built like a tank.

Credit Michael Foth, TSM
Credit Michael Foth, TSM

Then I used this old beast of a waffle maker.

Other than needing a thorough exterior scrub, this 50-year-old waffle maker is awesome. It heats up fast and holds temperatures well for the next batch of waffles. There are no cold spots in the heating pattern and the thick cast iron churns out perfectly cooked waffles in just a couple of minutes.

BONUS: I just discovered that the waffle plates are reversible. Waffle-ey on one side and flat on the other. Flip them over, snap them back in place, and... voila! It's a panini press. I made the best hot ham a cheese sandwiches that day, and can't wait to smash-cook other things.

Credit Canva
Credit Canva

Kitchen gadgets and appliances are largely disposable now.

Very few are user-serviceable, and if you get 5+ years out of a cheap new coffee pot, slow roaster, toaster, or waffle maker, it's probably outlived its manufacturer's intended lifespan. Because... if they built them to last for fifty years, the companies surely wouldn't sell as many units, would they?

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What's your longest-running gadget or appliance and why do you love it? We'd love to hear your comments. Reach out on our Mobile App.

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