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Cookware which You Initially Disliked and now Love, or Vice Versa.

I believe there are posts along the line of “What cookware you cannot live without?” and “What gadgets do you find useless?”

Here is a more complex question: What cookware/gadgets/appliance did you initial hate and now love? You may have bought it under some presumptions, and the cookware did not deliver, but later it grew on you or that you discovered the proper usage. Conversely, do you have any cookware/gadget which you initially loved, but now dislike?

Hate --> Love:

My very first carbon steel wok is a cookware which I disliked first, and then fell in love. I disliked it because I didn’t know much about cookware seasoning. I fell in love because I figured out how to properly season it and take full advantage of it.

http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/...

Love --> Hate:

In term of cookware/gadgets which I initially liked, but later do not care for:

Wilton Dessert Decorator Pro. It works, but it is difficult to setup and difficult to clean.

http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-415-850-...

Lodge Color Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Ovens. Yes, they work, but it is just so much easier (for me) to work with the bare cast iron Dutch Oven.

http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Color-6-Q...

and Calphalone Infused One stir fry pan. It worked great the first few times, but gradually, the good old carbon steel woks just seem to work better.

How about you? Any cookware or gadget made you change your heart? Thanks for sharing.

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  1. I love my small T-fal Encore2 frying pan, which sat unused for several years after we got it. Since discovering how much better eggs are when cooked properly, and how much easier that is using this pan, I use it all the time.

    3 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      <and how much easier that is using this pan>

      The T-fal Encore2 is a nonstick interior enameled exterior cookware, right?
      What cookware were you using to make eggs before the T-fal Encore frying pan? Thanks.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        The Encore2 is aluminum, some kind of coating (anodized?) on the outside, Teflon on the inside. The edge has a shallow straight bevel like a crêpe pan, instead of a curve, which is best for tossing a fried egg in the air to flip (as with a crêpe).

        I wasn't cooking much at all during my working years, and ate out a lot, especially weekend brunch. I can't remember exactly how I used to cook aggs, or in what, except that I'm sure I overcooked fried and scrambled eggs. I think I almost always soft-boiled them, which works about the same with any pan.

        Since I've retired, I am now cooking a lot more. I read Julia Child's description of learning to cook a scrambled egg at le Cordon Bleu, and it was a revelation! I discovered this nearly unused small pan was perfect. Actually, I have two — 7-inch for two eggs, 8-inch for three. No utensils are ever used in these pans except a silicone spatula, so they don't get scratched, and they are (almost) always hand washed. They will last forever with careful handling.

        It's amazing how much better a scrambled (or fried) egg is when cooked slowly.

        1. re: GH1618

          <It's amazing how much better a scrambled (or fried) egg is when cooked slowly.>

          I can totally see this. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    2. This isn't cookware but more of a small appliance...but my slow cooker (crock pot)!
      I wasn't a full time mom/wife/and student when I dismissed my slow cooker as for old ladies!
      I make the best overnight oatmeal in there now. Hot breakfast without the work!

      3 Replies
      1. re: emmekin

        <I wasn't a full time mom/wife/and student when I dismissed my slow cooker as for old ladies!>

        Sometime we just have to admit that we are getting old. Just kidding. :)

        Crock pot definitely saves time and effort -- kind of like a laundry washing machine. It free you up to do something else.

        1. re: emmekin

          That's funny because my slow cooker is in my Love --> Hate category. I used it in the beginning but now find it a pain. Probably because my mornings are too hectic to do any food prep and then I'm way too exhausted in the evenings. I find I use my pressure cooker more and more often. I would LOVE to learn to love my slow cooker. I also think my slow cooker might be too big for some of the things I want to do in it. It's 6 1/2 quart capacity. I think I would use a smaller one more often but do I really want to buy a second slow cooker when I hardly use the one I already have? Knowing me, I probably will . . .

          1. re: sherrib

            <That's funny because my slow cooker is in my Love --> Hate category>

            Hey, I guess everyone is different. In fact, I can definitely say the same for nonstick Teflon cookware. Some people hate them, while many others cannot live without them.

        2. I am hoping to find the wok love soon. Now that I understand seasoning better and with several CI skillets and a blue steel pan under my belt I hope to really enjoy one!

          1. I was given my Lodge CI grill pan. I initially was wary of it, but I now love it unreservedly. I was afraid of sliding it across my glass cooktop. But it has never scratched it. I use it frequently.

            I replaced a old Cuisinart stainless pan (Everyday stainless, which is no longer made) that had gotten suspicious black marks on the inside bottom, as if the stainless was wearing thin, with a German made pan I found at Home Goods. The brand is Rohe, and I liked the smaller version of this pan for small portion soup making. The replacement pan is nowhere as good as the pan I recycled. And I find that the heat transfer isn't as good either. It takes longer to heat liquid than I expect from my old Cuisinart.

            The weird thing is, this company has some cute stainless casserole dishes, which I saw at Home Goods. I emailed Rohe about what temps they would withstand and discovered that the casserole dishes (labeled as casseroles) are not oven safe at normal baking temps! So I'm glad I didn't buy more than two of these pieces.

            However, these two pots are adequate for the uses I make of them, and the prices were right. I can always upgrade later if I find a deal.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sueatmo

              <I was given my Lodge CI grill pan. I initially was wary of it, but I now love it unreservedly. I was afraid of sliding it across my glass cooktop. But it has never scratched it.>

              Good to know. I am told that black glass cooktop will appear more scratched than say white glass cooktop. In other words, they could both have scatches, but the scatches on the black color background made them much more visible.

              <I emailed Rohe about what temps they would withstand and discovered that the casserole dishes (labeled as casseroles) are not oven safe at normal baking temps!>

              Ok, that is just really strange. :)

            2. I received this pineapple corer as a gift.

              http://www.amazon.com/MIU-France-Stai...

              As a fresh pineapple fanatic I thought this gadget was amazing—at first. Then with each successive use I disliked it more and more until finally I stopped using it.

              Here’s why:

              You have to get it EXACTLY on the core otherwise it leaves the core on the slices. Then I had to trim each slice. Grrr.

              The core kept getting stuck in the shaft and was difficult to remove.

              A REAL PAIN to clean especially with the design of the cutting blade.

              So I went back to ye ol’ knife with no regrets.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Spice_zing

                James Beard wrote that pineapple-in-a-can was just as good as fresh anyway, because fresh pineapple loses so much in transit to the mainland. Perhaps that's less true today than when he wrote it.

                1. re: Spice_zing

                  Same with Apple corers. I have yet to find one that gets all the core for baking. I dont mind eating some core fresh but in pies its like chewed off fingernails. I have to doctor each slice. So just a paring knife for me.

                2. Every waffle maker I have ever had has frustrated me to no end. Hated the last one (Vitantonio) but eventually got the batter, timing and pour amount down perfectly. These days I love it so much I fear a hobbit will show up and try to throw it in a fire.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: slowshooter

                    <These days I it love so much I fear a hobbit will show up and try to throw it in a fire.>

                    Ha ha ha. The relationship (love) is moving much faster than you have planned, and trying to stop it, huh?

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Methinks I typed too fast.... lol...

                      You have saveded it for posterity... But it demands correctimification.

                  2. Hate -> Love is my cast iron pan. Bought one of those so called pre-seasoned ones and first time out let's just say i had to fall back to take-out. Couple of bacon fry-ups later and its great now. No problem searing fish.