15 oddly specific kitchen appliances everyone seemed to have in the 1970s

A home was not a home without a Hot Dogger™.

There's an episode in the first season of WKRP in Cincinnati in which Jennifer (Loni Anderson) is showing Johnny Fever her kitchen. She needs him to pretend to be her husband. Because she once swore to a marriage pact with an old boyfriend….

Anyway, that doesn't matter. The point is Jennifer's kitchen is stuffed with electric appliances. All of them. A power strip runs across the backsplash, sprouting dozens of cords. The joke is that men are constantly gifting her with kitchen appliances to woo her. This counted as courtship in the 1970s.

Jennifer has every appliance on the market at the time. Like her, you would need a plethora of outlets to power all these, even if you just wanted a few hot dogs. Imagine the electric bills. Today, cooks prefer natural gas appliances. Back then, however, it was all about electricity. Let's take a look.

Did you — or do you — have any of these appliances?

1. Electric Fondue Set

A party wasn't a party without a hot pot of molten cheese. The little stabbing, dipping forks make eating more fun. 

Image: Sears / GoRetro

2. Presto Hot Dogger

"Cook six hot dogs in 60 seconds!" the box proclaimed. The Presto gizmo did more than speed-heat franks. The sharp skewers held your wieners by the ends and gave them a dramatic curl shape. Straight dogs were for squares. And, yes, Jennifer proudly shows off her Hot Dogger to Johnny in that WKRP episode.

Image: Wish Book Web

3. Bun Warmer

If you're cooking up six hot franks, you might as well warm up six buns in your electric bun warmer.

Image: Wish Book Web

4. Peanut Butter Machine

Jennifer also points to her "peanut butter maker." Peanut butter maker? Indeed! The Salton® Peanut Butter Machine could churn out chunky or smooth bread spread for just $24.99. Or $5 per month. Yeah, you could pay for a peanut butter machine in installments.

Image: Wish Book Web

5. Super Shooter

Entertaining was everything in the 1970s. Naturally, the fondue pot would be the centerpiece of dinner. But before that, you had to serve platters packed with deviled eggs. And the best way to squirt the, er, devil onto your eggs was the Wear-Ever® Super Shooter™. You had to eat a ton of deviled eggs to make this $24.49 purchase worthwhile.

Image: Wish Book Web

6. Electric Knife

Sawing back and forth with your arm is tiring. Just squeeze a trigger and let science hack through your ham.

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7. Food Slicer

Go to the deli? Pshaw. Bring the deli to your countertop.

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8. Popcorn Popper

Video truly did not kill the radio star. However, the microwave absolutely killed the electric popcorn popper. People had less patience for these machines once they could nuke a bag of Orville's in 90 seconds. But, oh, how much better these air-popped kernels were.

Image: Wish Book Web

9. Electric Ice Cream Freezer

Don't be fooled by the old-timey oaken barrel facade. This dessert whipper was also power by Edison, baby.

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10. Waffler

Mmm… waffles. 

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11. Electric Skillet

Honest question — did anyone use their range? Or was this for people without a stove? Because there's not really a huge reason to have an electric skillet when you can simply buy a skillet. But Everything Electric was the mission of the day.

Image: Wish Book Web

12. Whiz Grid

Tired of all those hot dogs from the Hot Dogger? Well, slap a few patties on the Whiz Grid™.

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13. Deluxe Woodgrain Crock-Pot

Yes, Crock-Pots are still coveted by cooks today. But back in the Seventies, wood paneling was all the rage. Even your cookware had to look wooden.

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14. Serv-It-Hot Food Warmer

Now that you've cooked all those hot dogs, beans, burgers, waffles and whatnot, you have to keep everything warm. Enter the Serv-It-Hot. Mount it under your cabinets or prop it up on your counter. Your kitchen is suddenly just like a Sizzler!

Image: Wish Book Web

15. Seal-A-Meal

Okay, you kept everything warm with the Serv-It-Hot. You made all the hors d'oeuvres with the Super Shooter. Some fondue cubes remain undipped. What to do with the leftovers? Seal everything up with this plastic bag contraption. Ziplocs hit the market in the 1960s, but maybe that was just too easy?

Image: Wish Book Web

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BrianHenegar 2 months ago
Alton Brown said it best. The only unitasker that belongs in your kitchen is a fire extinguisher. (However, I will give props to the electric carving knife. We own one and once you use it, you’ll never use a manual knife again)
Douglas 10 months ago
As a kid I had the hot dogger; my family the bun warmer and electric knife (staples for holidays). About 10 years ago I bought another hot dogger. Still use it occasionally. There was another version of a hot dog cooker where water was poured in a basin and the hot dog sat on grid over the water and a cover with slit openings. The steam coming through the slits softened the bun.
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