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Things you thought you didn't need but were wrong about, and things you thought you needed but really didn't

Thought I didn't need but was wrong:

Rice cooker
Electric kettle
Deep fryer
Stand mixer
Ice cream maker
Wok

Things I thought I needed but didn't:

Tagine
Mezzaluna
Panini Grill
Slap chop (just kidding!!)

Oh one more..

Things I've been on the fence about for a really long time:

Quality bread knife
Quality paring knife
Quality roasting pan
Deep freezer (mine broke)
A cookie sheet that I only use for cookies

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  1. I love NOT having a garbage disposal -- when we replaced the sink we left it out. Now there's just a nice clean clear exit pipe that doesn't jam up or perpetually seem a little smelly.

    4 Replies
    1. re: blue room

      Unfortunately the covenants and restrictions of my neighborhood require disposers. The neighborhood is old enough that when this one goes out I may just have the sink re-plumbed with out one. There is a neighborhood assoc. but who is going to come and inspect my plumbing. Our pipe that connects to the disposer becomes clogged every other year and backs up spilling out into the pipe that my washing machine uses for emptying the washer. Garbage everywhere and 2 ruined floors. We have a compost bin, may as well make better use of it.

      1. re: Candy

        Sounds like my house! Huge f-ing mess.

        1. re: Candy

          It's because the pipe is insufficient, not the disposer. My parents have the same problem.

          1. re: MrsPaw

            It can also be due to misuse: overloading, putting things down it which don't belong there, insufficient water.

      2. I got married in the last year, so these are all registry-oriented.

        Things I thought I wanted but didn't need: fancy iced drink glasses (sooo impractical), waffle iron, turkey roasting pan, wooden salad bowl set, huge pizza pan, and my stand mixer. I like all of them, I just don't NEED them.

        Things I thought I didn't need but definitely do and am glad I got them: rice cooker, double-walled cocktail glasses (amaaaaazing), really good red wine and young white wine glasses, cast iron griddle pan with bacon press, Staub dutch ovens, gorgeous soup and serving bowls.

        And OP, if you are on the fence about those things, let me chime in and say you should never regret investing in good knives because they will last a long time. And I strongly advocate for a cookie sheet devoted only to cookies. I like the giant air-bake ones that can fit 24 cookies on at once.

        1. thought i didn't need (or want!) but was wrong:
          -slow cooker
          -wok
          -white AND red wine glasses
          -chopsticks

          things i thought i needed but don't use:
          -colander
          -paring knife
          -cookie sheets
          -chop wizard
          -deep fryer

          things i would never live without:
          -garbage disposal
          -full bar set up and wine fridge

          3 Replies
          1. re: jamieeats

            You don't use a colander? That surprises me. I expect you're better at draining things with just the pot and the lid than I am!

            1. re: Jeri L

              i just can't stand having to wash another dish!

              1. re: jamieeats

                Between my large scoop with holes (for chunky pasta) and good tongs, I never use my colender anymore for pasta.

          2. Thought I didn't need but was wrong:
            A pantry
            My Foodsaver
            A good ice cream scoop (I kept bending my spoons)
            A silicone basting brush
            Utensil crocks
            A couple of jelly roll pans with racks dedicated to savory cooking
            A couple of jelly roll pans with racks dedicated to baking
            All stainless steel serrated steak knives
            A hand held digital thermometer including infrared sensor
            A wooden spatula
            A handheld immersion blender (even better a cordless one)
            Prep bowls
            A balloon whisk and a flat whisk
            Clarified butter
            Tongs

            Things I thought I needed but didn't:
            An electric chopper
            A big wood chopping board (I use the flexible fiberglass(?) ones)
            A deep fat fryer (I use it a couple of times a year)
            Ice Cream Maker (haven’t used it in 2 years)
            High end (Henckel pro-s) steak knives

            Things I’m glad I have:
            Good Knives
            My All-Clad skillets
            Several timers especially the one that hangs around my neck
            A digital thermometer with alarm
            A garlic press
            A good pepper mill
            A silicone spatula
            Ove Gloves
            “Better than Bouillon” beef and chicken bases
            Bottled minced garlic (yeah I know. I have fresh too)
            A microplane
            A crock pot for stocks and pulled pork (unfortunately, that’s about it)

            7 Replies
            1. re: Hank Hanover

              Hank, tell me about the Better than Bouillon, please. I saw it yesterday and was tempted, but have never used it--do you use it in lieu of stock/broth? Is it super salty? Willing to give it a try, but not sure how to use it.

              1. re: pine time

                It is salty. They do have low sodium versions. My grocery store only has the low sodium in chicken flavor. It is a paste that has been cooked down from meat and bones. You use a teaspoon for every cup of liquid. I usually use it to augment canned stock or broth. It really tastes meaty. It will make a decent gravy with just water and a roux.

                There are alternatives. I have been thinking about buying the Minor's soupbases available at www.soupbase.com. You can get them in 16 ounce tubs and in low sodium versions. They are what restaurants use for sauces and gravies.

                Both products are expensive but the soupbase products are cheaper if you can use that much of it.

                1. re: Hank Hanover

                  I will vouch for Minor's low sodium bases and soupbase.com. Once you have it in the fridge you'll find you use it a lot.

                2. re: pine time

                  I use this product, both chicken and beef. I cooked black beans for chili in water and a little of the beef flavor.

                  If I don't have chicken broth, I use a little of the soup base to flavor the water. From time to time I've strengthened my homemade chicken broth with a little of the soup base as well.

                  Penzey's carries a similar product in a similar jar. They carry multiple flavors, including turkey. I haven't tried them yet, but I imagine they are much the same.

                  1. re: pine time

                    Additional reasons to like Better than Bouillon rather than stock: a) useful for when you want the flavor without the liquid, as in a saute (eg sauteed mushrooms); b) if you don't need a whole can/box worth of broth, you don't then have the leftover going bad in the refrigerator.

                    Large jar at costco is a good deal.

                    1. re: pine time

                      They are incredibly handy and don't take up a lot of space in the fridge. Also come in many flavors beyond chicken and beef - we're fond of the lobster, the fish, and the mushroom. The only one I find kind of disappointing is the vegetable one - thin and too tomatoey.

                    2. re: Hank Hanover

                      A pressure cooker is faster and quicker for making stock and many other things. I've got a crock pot that has not been out of my laundry room for about 10 years.

                    3. Things I didn't need but was wrong:

                      - Waffle Maker - I thought it was not necessary, but I really wanted one and I'm very happy I have it. I don't use it every day, but I do use it at least once a month (sometimes more often).
                      - Ice Cream Maker - I don't use it often, but when I make ice cream I'm glad I don't have to use my hand mixer
                      - Rice cooker - I use it to cook other grains as well

                      I love most of my gadgets even if I don't use them often.

                      Things I thought I needed but didn't:
                      - Whipped Cream Maker - I have this can with gas capsules to make whipped cream. Got it from W-S and never used it once.