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Aug 22, 2011 08:16 AM

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.