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It was pretty pricey... and you don't use it!

I bought this 10" (2-quart) Bourgeat flared copper saute pan a couple of years ago, along with two other Bourgeat copper pieces, from a website that had inadvertently underpriced many pieces of really fine copper cookware. But even as a bargain, it was fairly expensive, and the truth is, I rarely use it. It's one of those things where I like the idea of it more than the reality of it. Since it's "flared," the base of it is only about 7", making it fairly small for a saute pan, and it's just a little too cumbersome for me to use a saucepan (it's heavy, as you might imagine). No, I don't want to give it away or sell it. I like it even though I don't use it. Is that weird, or what? (By the way, I do love and use the two other pieces I bought at the same time -- an 11" casserole and an 11" brazier).

Have you got kitchen items you paid quite a bit for, that you imagined you'd use fairly often but which turned out to get used rarely, if at all? Are you attached to these purchases like I am to mine, for reasons you don't really understand?

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  1. A real bargain, indeed. Your pan is called an evasée or chef's pan. They are really quite versatile. Bourgeat is the best and you should learn to use it. Space it too limited here to sing its praises but here are the bottom lines from my Web site article. "Why bother [with it]? Well, if you have always wanted to toss and flambé your cognac-finished steak sauce in a skillet over a raging gas fire like the line cook in the LeRoy Neiman painting—without having to call 911—this is the safer pan. If you are outfitting a small kitchen, substitute a large evasée for a saucepan and wok. If a two-pan galley is the limit on your yacht, select a skillet and an evasée. Or, if you must get by with only one good pan in the Winnebago, go evasée!

    4 Replies
    1. re: GeezerGourmet

      You made me smile, GeezerG. So it's an evasée, eh? Already I'm liking it better! I'm sure you're right -- that I should learn to use it. The thing is, I could NEVER toss and flambe anything in it because it's too darned heavy for me. Tell me, though, what makes it a safer pan? Is it the depth of it? I wish there was a YouTube video I could watch that demonstrates the various uses of this pan. Actually, now that I think of it, the reason I bought the pan in the first place was because I thought it would be good for making risotto, but with the bottom being only 7", I find it too small. Do you have any other suggestions for how I might use it? And I'd love to look at your website. Can you provide a link?

      1. re: CindyJ

        Just add .com to my name. Indeed, there is a resotto/evasée recipe there.

      2. re: GeezerGourmet

        Guess what...? I think I'm going to use my Bourgeat evasée for making the gravy on Thanksgiving.

        1. re: GeezerGourmet

          I'm intrigued by the thought of substituting an evasée for a wok, as I just threw out my wok beause it just took up too much storage space in a small kitchen. What is the smallest size evasée that is practical to use as a wok substitute? I have a small kitchen and am usually cooking for one, although, of course, sometimes I entertain.

        2. I've had a new 7.25 qt Le Creuset French oven for nearly a year that I've never used because it's too big. The smaller sizes are all big enough.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Jay F

            Surely you could use your LC for an oven braise or soup. I've got one that size, too, and although I need help carrying it from the stovetop to the oven when it's full, I love the pot.

            1. re: CindyJ

              Oh, I can, yes. It's just that I have the 5.5, 4.5, and 3.5 qt sizes, and they've always been big enough. I live alone, and I use the 3.5 and 5.5 qt sizes nearly all the time.

              I think if I ever have people over for bouillabaisse or cioppino, that's when I'll use the big one.

              1. re: CindyJ

                I chose the 6.75 qt. low wide instead of the 7.25 qt. because of the larger surface area. That, and because it was $99.99 at WS on sale :-). I like the shape and it's different from my other pieces. I only cook for one too, but it's great to make a large batch of anything and then freeze the leftovers for many other meals. You don't always feel like cooking, and it's great to have something good in the freezer you can just heat when you're hungry. If you take the lid off when moving it, it's much easier to lift.

                1. re: blondelle

                  I have the 13 1/4 qt french oven. It nearly never leaves the cabinet. Maybe someday if my clothes washer breaks down. . . (I actually use it for soups and chili quite often).

            2. Beautiful pan.

              I have certainly bought things which I thought were good idea, but ended up not using them, but none of them are very expensive. For example, I have a $5 stainless steel soap:


              I also bought a set of stainless steel steamer for like $10, but they ended up too small for what I use. The bamboo ones are better for me.

              I also have a tiny stainless steel wok for $15 which is better for presentation than for cooking. I have never used it for neither cooking nor presentation -- never used it once:


              I guess the most expensive toy I have which I don't use anymore is my Bosch Tassimo Coffee machine (~$200). Actually, I used it for the first year but stopped using it. I am not a coffee drinker anyway. I got it for free because I was asked to review the product.

              Ok, I just remember. This is probably my best example. I have a ~$70 stovetop BBQ smoker and I only used it 2-3 times. It made my entire place smells like barbecue for days.


              4 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I've wondered about those stovetop BBQ smokers, ChemicalK. You'd need a super-powered exhaust fan to deal with the smoke.

                How do *I* get to test coffee machines and other kitchen products? Seems like a nifty gig!

                1. re: CindyJ

                  That stovetop BBQ smoker actually worked as a tool. It really infused the BBQ wood smoke smell and it does produce soft tender meat. Unfortunately, I bought the stovetop one so I don't have to get an outdoor one (I live in an apartment). Well, it turns out, as you pointed out, that it needs a good exhaust fan, and I don't. I actually have a self-circulating exhaust fan -- if that is the correct term. The fan exhausts right in the kitchen, not outside. Round and round it goes.

                  I got picked up by Amazon to review small products from time to time. Amazon calls it the Vine Program. I rarely given the chance to view expensive goods like coffee machine or electric razor (that razor was actually the most expensive thing I reviewed and I only used twice). Most of the things I reviews are like peeler or energy soda or peanut butter cookies, nothing expensive.


                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Oh, you're lucky--Mr Pine is a Vine reviewer, but all the good stuff is sold out before he gets to choose them!

                    1. re: pine time

                      Oh Mr. Pine and I are on the same boat. I used to really take time to write good descriptive (but not nessary lengthy reviews). After awhile, the process just takes way too much time, so I have slowed down a lot. I have a few expensive toys, but unfortunately the expensive ones are not the one I want. I have an expensive electric razor and a high end Tassimo coffee machine. Everthing else is inexpensive.

              2. I bought a beautiful Berndes cast aluminum braiser that was costly. I like using it, but I am eating meat less frequently all the time, so I don't use it all that often. It does make a nice pot of chili, though.

                I would recommend this piece to anyone who seriously does braise and needs a pan that moves from stovetop to oven, and isn't horribly heavy.


                2 Replies
                1. re: sueatmo

                  Cool. Aluminum Dutch Oven. Got to try one sometime.

                  1. re: sueatmo

                    I made a lovely pot of chili yesterday. I reheated it today, and the final product was very good. I really like this pot. I should use it more.

                  2. I used a hefty gift certificate on a Waring Pro meat grinder that I've used exactly once. It did a terrible job, turning a nice cut of chuck roast into inedible gristly mush.

                    Now, it's possible that I set it up wrong (though I'm a pretty mechanical guy and followed the directions to the letter), so I keep meaning to try it again, but just haven't seemed to get around to it, that first experience was so off-putting.

                    1. That would be my DeBuyer mandoline. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and it's indeed great for thin-slicing large quantities of veg. However, setup and cleanup is a PITA, and it's a bit clumsy to use. Takes up a lot of storage space too.

                      Also, shortly after purchasing it ($100+-, IIRC) I discovered the little Kyocera mandoline ($15 at the time) with the ceramic blade, and that's the one I grab for anything but the largest recipes. Now I see they make an adjustable one too. I never would have bought the DeBuyer had I known about these.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Steve Green

                        Hi Steve,

                        Well I'd be thrilled to take that DeBuyer off your hands anytime! :-)

                      2. Does my Miele dishwasher count, LOL? Fell in love with the exclusive cutlery tray, didn't know about its other characteristics because we never had a Euro style DW before. Let's just say I hate the thing and leave it at that, since I've already been snarked at for my opinion about it elsewhere on this forum. But at $1000 plus tax in 2003, I'd say that was a pretty pricey mistake!

                        I suppose I shouldn't say I *never* use it, because it MAY get used once a year if I have the flu or something and don't feel up to hand washing as usual for days and days on end. And it does get used as a supplementary dish drainer occasionally (maybe once every couple of months). But used for its intended function? Rarely enough to be pretty much never, LOL

                        1. Cuisinart Stand Mixer. cost me a pretty penny, and has spent the better part of the past 4 years gathering dust on top of the fridge. i'm *determined* to start using it more frequently once i find a place & get settled, but right now all my stuff is in a storage facility back in LA.

                          1. My husband is a total sucker for bright and shiny kitchen tools and is no longer allowed to go into W-S unsupervised. I finally put my foot down when he bought a copper fish pan, it was close to $300. That one I returned and boy oh boy did W-S try everything possible to get me to keep it. I refused to back down.

                            My pricey mistake - a pasta/steamer insert for my All-clad stock pot. It isn't the newer mesh version, it is perforated and when it is in the pot, I can't cook a box of pasta because it takes up so much room. It is in the basement right now until it can be repurposed at a minnow/crayfish pen this coming summer.

                            Oh, and then there was the ice maker. I pawned that off on my cousin.

                            1. I am a kitchen item afficianado and have too many things that were pricey and are rarely used but when I have the task for which they are suited I am so glad I have them. If, however, I go a year without using an item it is in danger. Oddly a few of the items I bought thinking, "Boy, this is ridiculously pricey, and I will never use it." have turned out to be frequently used. Who'd think a copper pomme vapeur or Bain Marie would get a lot of use? They do! The things that never got used and got tossed were cheap, things like won ton molds.

                              1. Yep, and I give away stuff I hardly use.

                                1. Now is the re-gifting season!

                                  1. A mandoline. Not the very high end top of the line model, but still pricey. If I've had it for two years I think I've used it a total of 10 times. I'd rather just use a knife and rinse it clean. The mandoline is like a jigsaw puzzle to take apart, clean and reassemble.

                                    1. My KitchenAid stand mixer and my Musso Lussino gelato maker. I'm glad I have both when I want them. The gelato machine probably got more use when I was storing it at my brother's house, maybe I should be a good sister and make him gelato more often. I was convinced I needed the KA because I'm a pastry chef and how can a pastry chef not have a good mixer? But the truth is I don't bake at home much, bring it out for pizza dough every few months and will use it for pie dough tomorrow. At least I know it will last for a good long time. No regrets.

                                      1. My Cuisinart food processor. I've had it almost 2 years and the only thing I've used it for is to grate cheese and carrots a few times, and to make a salsa once. Otherwise, I either just hand chop, or use my immersion blender. Maybe if I cooked for a larger crowd I would use it more but I usually never cook for more than 3, so it doesn't seem worth it to put the thing together, and all the cleaning involved with it.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                          Your post talked me down from put a food processor on my Christmas list. About once a year I think I want one and then I come to my senses. We do not have the room to store one.

                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                            That's funny, I usually only cook for three too, and I use my food processor at least a few times a month. Different strokes....

                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                              I cook for two and use the food processor a couple of times a month. It goes in the dishwasher for cleaning, every little piece.

                                            2. A copper fry pan with a tin lining which I bought 30 years ago and used two or three times. I can't imagine what I was thinking. I am pretty sure I still have it, but not because I am attached to it. I just don't know what to do with it.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                sell it, it should still worth something.

                                              2. My one car garage size storage container. It has all of the things that won't fit on my boat. In the belief that I would give them to my daughter if I stayed afloat. Professional range, 20 boxes of porcellain and crystal from Bavaria, Czech, and France. 75 antique beer steins. Enough silver to start my own coinage. 40 years of All-clad, some of it bought at the factory in the early days when they would get rid of their seconds and lines that didn't sell. Would you believe a 40 quart stock pot? All my copper from Villeneuve, France.

                                                I've paid $138.00 a month on the off chance my daughter will get a place of her own. And she wants it all, no problem. Especially the beer steins. But she is going to have to have a signature on the lease before she gets it all.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                  Are you open to adoption? :-) I've got my own place.

                                                2. I have an expensive unlined curved large copper bowl for whipping egg whites. It is gorgeous. I have used it once. It is so gorgeous that I can't bear to dump it, but it's useless. Because it does not sit flat, it can't be repurposed into a fruit bowl or anything similar.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: omotosando

                                                    Learn to make souffles. I bought just such a copper bowl early on, and it instantly became one of my favorite kitchen tools. I haven't used it much in recent years. I'm going to have to make a souffle sometime soon.

                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                      I have the old KitchenAid Mixer copper bowl for whipping egg whites which was configured to put inside the outside stainless steel bowl.

                                                      DH whips eggs for a souffle in a ss mixing bowl, never thinking to use the copper bowl.

                                                    2. re: omotosando

                                                      You can use it as a bombe mold. Hard to find perfectly round bowls for that. Although most people make bombes even more rarely than souffles : )

                                                    3. Wilton Armetale Toureen, pricey in 1973.
                                                      I used it once. It has set for years on shelves, moved thousands of miles from house to house. I don't even have a hutch/buffet to put it on - it's just on the top of a cookbook bookshelf. I don't even think it's particularly attractive, just a remembrance of things past.

                                                      1. Mine was a Wusthof Grand Prix II chef knife. Got it on sale and despise the feel of the handle when cutting.

                                                        You will have to bury me with my original Wustof Grand Prix but the GPII sits in a drawer. Ended up with an F Dick Premier Plus as my secondary chef knife.

                                                        Lots of knick knacks also


                                                        1. My nakiri... sadly. Since acquiring a nice vegetable cleaver, I find myself never reaching for the nakiri :( Sad, as it is a very nice knife.

                                                          1. I posted this somewhere else but it certainly belongs here:

                                                            The "CUBO Fabbrica Spiedini". A couple of years ago I was sitting there watching some sort of restaurant show when the chef came out with this little cube contraption that he bought in Italy to make spiedini (Kabobs). Watching the show, I thought "this is fantastic, think of all the wonderful things I can make with that". I searched high and low for it not knowing what it was called. Finally I came across someones blog who mentioned this "contraption" and what it was called. I looked it up on EBAY and low and behold, for close to $100 I could have one shipped to me from Italy. I've used it once! The wooden skewers you buy in the stores are not quite all the same thickness, so some don't fit through the holes, the kabobs it makes are VERY thin, without the proper grill (which they sell), the skewers end up burning (even if you soak them). The "CUBO" is very well made and I will probably use it again but.......

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: jnk

                                                              Had to laugh about this one. Had never heard about the CUBO, but went and found a You Tube video about it. I could see myself falling for buying one. Thanks for saving me!

                                                              1. re: omotosando

                                                                Good for you. I looked at it the other day thinking I would use it, then put it back in the cabinet.