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

CindyJ Aug 22, 2011 08:16 AM

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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    GeezerGourmet RE: CindyJ Aug 22, 2011 11:19 AM

    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
      CindyJ RE: GeezerGourmet Aug 22, 2011 08:00 PM

      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
        GeezerGourmet RE: CindyJ Aug 23, 2011 06:10 AM

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

      2. re: GeezerGourmet
        CindyJ RE: GeezerGourmet Nov 17, 2011 05:53 PM

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

        1. re: GeezerGourmet
          omotosando RE: GeezerGourmet Nov 22, 2011 10:40 PM

          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. Jay F RE: CindyJ Aug 22, 2011 04:47 PM

          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
            CindyJ RE: Jay F Aug 22, 2011 08:02 PM

            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
              Jay F RE: CindyJ Aug 23, 2011 04:45 AM

              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
                blondelle RE: CindyJ Aug 23, 2011 05:16 AM

                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
                  Ninevah RE: blondelle Nov 18, 2011 10:24 AM

                  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. Chemicalkinetics RE: CindyJ Aug 22, 2011 05:40 PM

              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
                CindyJ RE: Chemicalkinetics Aug 22, 2011 08:05 PM

                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
                  Chemicalkinetics RE: CindyJ Aug 22, 2011 08:48 PM

                  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
                    pine time RE: Chemicalkinetics Aug 25, 2011 01:01 PM

                    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
                      Chemicalkinetics RE: pine time Aug 29, 2011 12:13 PM

                      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. s
                sueatmo RE: CindyJ Aug 22, 2011 06:18 PM

                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
                  Chemicalkinetics RE: sueatmo Aug 22, 2011 06:23 PM

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

                  1. re: sueatmo
                    sueatmo RE: sueatmo Dec 18, 2011 09:01 PM

                    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. BobB RE: CindyJ Aug 29, 2011 12:22 PM

                    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. Steve Green RE: CindyJ Aug 29, 2011 12:40 PM

                      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
                        jkling17 RE: Steve Green Nov 20, 2011 10:25 PM

                        Hi Steve,

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

                      2. s
                        skyline RE: CindyJ Aug 29, 2011 01:12 PM

                        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. goodhealthgourmet RE: CindyJ Nov 17, 2011 05:59 PM

                          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. c
                            cleobeach RE: CindyJ Nov 18, 2011 07:37 AM

                            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. tim irvine RE: CindyJ Nov 18, 2011 04:42 PM

                              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. m
                                mpalmer6c RE: CindyJ Nov 20, 2011 01:18 AM

                                Yep, and I give away stuff I hardly use.

                                1. s
                                  subal RE: CindyJ Nov 20, 2011 08:20 PM

                                  Now is the re-gifting season!

                                  1. ttoommyy RE: CindyJ Nov 21, 2011 06:04 AM

                                    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. babette feasts RE: CindyJ Nov 22, 2011 11:00 PM

                                      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. juliejulez RE: CindyJ Nov 22, 2011 11:08 PM

                                        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
                                          cleobeach RE: juliejulez Nov 23, 2011 06:13 AM

                                          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
                                            flourgirl RE: juliejulez Nov 23, 2011 01:45 PM

                                            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
                                              ellaf RE: juliejulez Nov 28, 2011 03:08 PM

                                              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. g
                                              GH1618 RE: CindyJ Nov 22, 2011 11:23 PM

                                              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
                                                Chemicalkinetics RE: GH1618 Nov 22, 2011 11:24 PM

                                                sell it, it should still worth something.

                                              2. i
                                                INDIANRIVERFL RE: CindyJ Nov 23, 2011 06:41 AM

                                                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
                                                  arashall RE: INDIANRIVERFL Nov 23, 2011 07:10 AM

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

                                                2. omotosando RE: CindyJ Nov 23, 2011 08:19 AM

                                                  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
                                                    Jay F RE: omotosando Nov 23, 2011 10:19 AM

                                                    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
                                                      Rella RE: Jay F Nov 23, 2011 02:47 PM

                                                      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
                                                      babette feasts RE: omotosando Nov 23, 2011 02:59 PM

                                                      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. r
                                                      Rella RE: CindyJ Nov 23, 2011 11:02 AM

                                                      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. k
                                                        knifesavers RE: CindyJ Nov 23, 2011 03:49 PM

                                                        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. m
                                                          mateo21 RE: CindyJ Nov 23, 2011 10:02 PM

                                                          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. jnk RE: CindyJ Dec 19, 2011 07:16 AM

                                                            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
                                                              omotosando RE: jnk Dec 19, 2011 12:11 PM

                                                              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
                                                                jnk RE: omotosando Dec 20, 2011 06:40 AM

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

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