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Are you addicted to kitchen equipment?

Ok, I wonder how many others of you are addicted to kitchen equipment?

I buy all sorts of stuff for highly specialized uses, so it is never cost–effective, but I have even separate olive and cherry pitters. I have bought and later rejected a variety of cook ware, and have special pans and roasters for occasional use. As my kitchen is 10X10, I have become extremely creative in storing and stacking the stuff. I just bought a 3qt Le Creuset saucier solely for uses like risotto. It cracks up my girlfriend whenever I pull out an exotic tool that has only one rare use. I am always on the hunt for something perfect for a specific use, no matter how infrequent even though I know that a good cook needs nothing more than a heat source and a vessel without leaks. (I was happiest giving away my sets of copper and anodized aluminum cookware, which I never liked) Not all the stuff is expensive, either.

One of these days I know I will succumb to buying a 15 qt goose pot that I won’t even be able to store, I just know it. How about you? What is the most esoteric thing you own?

I have, and have used, a fireplace punch heater for mulled wine, that is how bad my addiction is.

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  1. No, I am not addicted in the way that you are. I have little to no use for most "uni taskers". They waste space and money.

    I am addicted to quality and value though. I have just as little use for flimsy cookie sheets, decorative pans that don't perform, poorly made knives, etc.

    I would choose a single heavy bottom enamel pot over a whole set of light weight ones.

    1. Despite that I care about my cookware, I am less addicted to cookware than many people I know. I know many people look forward to the next KitchenAid, the next Le Cresuset...etc. I don't. I do have a hand hammered wok which is unique and specialize, a Korean granite stone bowl which is very beautiful, and I have a few good quality kitchen knives.

      Objectively speaking, I care about kitchen equipments than average Joe and Jane on the street, but I probably focus less on kitchen equipments than many people who regularly visit Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table.

      So I guess my "addiction" depends on who you compare to.

      1. When I took cooking lessons, I asked the head of the school what was important in picking out pots and pans; his reply was: "They should not have holes."

        1. I am addicted to finding quality in thrift shops and flea markets. This weekend it was a 10" Emeril non-stick skillet for $2.99 at Goodwill. Used, but the non-stick is still intact and performed perfectly. My first nonstick skillet in over 30 years. A 3.5 quart pristine Emeril pot with lid for $12.00 last year.

          Getting these to my daughter is remarkably hard.

          My idea of a cuisinart is two sharp 8" chefs knives.

          1. Hi, law_doc:

            Well, sure I'm addicted. But not to the point of resorting to a life of crime to get my fixes. Yet.

            But as I accumulate tools, I find I need less. If I find something that fills a hole, or upgrades what I already have, or something a recipe calls for (e.g., a larding needle) I'm open to acquiring them.

            You have a cider slipper, eh? How about Buffalo iron? A duck press? You obviously need a jamboniere as well.


            6 Replies
            1. re: kaleokahu

              I confess to a duck press from my Europe era.

              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                Hi, INDIANRIVER:

                If you ever care to part with it, let me know. The fat mallards in the freezer have been taunting me, and
                I would like to torture them into a state of deliciousness...


                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Sorry kaleokahu, but my daughter has first call on all the stuff. And she likes the duck feet from Dehillerin. But you are in luck. They still carry it and you can have it for EU 1051.60.

                  Got mine in 1988 and it was less than $100. The industrial mounted corkscrew that departed with ex was $20 and I can't even find one on the net. It is not the cheap renditions on ebay or Amazon. By these prices, I guess Europe has become as nuts for cookware as North America.

                  And I originally logged on without noticing caps locked and have been stuck ever since. Hope this has not irritated you as much as it does me.

                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                    Hi, INDIANRIVER:

                    Nah, that caps lock key messes me up, too. I just thought you were being emphatic.

                    I'll settle for a second option on the press..


                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      If I had the space, I would own one, duck press. Saw an antique beauty, brass, with claw feet, but no room at the inn. These are large!

                      I do have my mother's lamb cake mold, and my grandmother's hand potato ricing cone, however.

                      I don't have a jamboniere, and I haven't had the need for a buffalo iron, nor know where to buy one, but one of these days, who knows? Instant reheating of boiling water seems useful.

                      1. re: law_doc89

                        Well, if your addiction was grave, you'd already have two Christofle silver duck presses like the La Tour d'Argent's--a spare always kept ready in case of a malfunction.

                        I couldn't find a Buffalo iron either, so I had one made. The poor welder couldn't fathom its use. After using it some, it's apparent that two would be advised, and three prudent. It really is handy for quickly blanching colorful vegetables and brandishing at solicitors.

                        So, I pronounce your addiction nothing to worry about.


            2. Shopping of different kinds is an addiction for me. I've never specifically gone in for the single-use devices you speak of, but when I was putting together a new set of cookware after Le Creuset sent me free replacement cookware for a set I'd used up, I did spend a lot of time obsessing over other pieces I wanted to buy.

              There are still a few pieces I might buy if I had a whole lot of extra money, but I don't feel obsessed with it any longer, because my specific object of obsession has transmuted. It always does.

              For a long time in my life, I obsessively bought records and CDs. And clothing at other points.

              And these things can change in an instant.

              It's been dinnerware and flatware for awhile now. I've always said if I were suddenly struck rich, I would have at least one room devoted entirely to dishes and silverware.

              Lately, I've been collecting Fiesta. I've used two of their pitchers for making iced tea for the last 20 years or so, making more as soon as I finish one pitcher, having the other one cold and ready to drink. And on and on, such that I am never out of iced tea.

              Both pitchers broke over the last year, so I bought two new ones. I liked them so much, I've been buying more Fiesta ever since. It can be like that, shopping.

              I don't know specifically what will come next, but something will swoop in and take the place of Fiesta.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Jay F

                +1 on the shopping addiction

                I think I've beaten the record/CD and shoe catgories and am currently battling the cookbook issue, but by far the worst is the cookware Jones. I have a small house and waaay too much stuff, 3/4 of which must go before I can begin a deserately needed remodel. Started going through the plastic storage bins in the basement yesterday and unearthed (among many other things) 4 food mills, 17 skillets abd a Staub mussel pot. And I've only just begun.......

                1. re: Pwmfan

                  I've found it much simpler to sell on Amazon Marketplace than on eBay. If you sell on AM, though, they have to already carry what you want to sell.

                  1. re: Jay F

                    Thanks for the tip. I've been wondering about avenues to sell this stuff.

                    1. re: Jay F

                      +1 on selling on Amazon. I've sold a ton of stuff on there, ranging from my son's toys & games he no longer wants, to books, to cookware I upgraded from etc. Much easier than ebay.

                      And Pwmfan - I can relate. We have a small house too and it's a constant battle to keep it from getting cluttered. (Hence the selling on Amazon experience.) I have a lot of cookware, although I will say I use almost every single thing I have fairly often, except for perhaps some very specialized bakeware. (Although when i want to use it, I'm glad I have it.) I've been pretty good about getting rid of the stuff i really don't need anymore. Cookbooks are a WHOLE other issue. I love love love cookbooks, I have a humongous collection and finding storage for them in our very modest home is always a challenge to say the least. I'm in the middle of combing through all of our books and putting together a pile to donate to our library's annual fund raising book sale - but there's hardly any cookbooks in the pile.

                2. Indianariverfl... I'm with you on "gently used" thrift store finds. Found a blue enamel (exterior) Le C, cast iron grill pan... for $5! Exterior in perfect condition, interior only miinor schmutz to get rid of. Found a "vintage??" KA stand mixer for $19.99 at Good Will. Crank up/down model, with whisk/paddle,dough hook. Runs GREAT... found a SECOND bowl at GW back during the summer... handy during holiday cookie making. Found a Cuisinart food processor for $8... clean, ran fine, had all the attachments. Already HAD one, but was thinking spare bowl?? Ended up, was a step UP from model I had.

                  Best finds have been cast iron pieces... generally DIRT cheap... only go for "name" stuff. Once cleaned up and reseasoned, becomes addition to growing collections.

                  Would LOVE to find an enamel Dutch oven... even if not perfect. Have all cast iron one I bought at a yard sale for a few $... didn't have lid of wire handle... but I have a lid that fits. Would LOVE to find a deep, CI, "chicken fryer"!?!

                  1. I will buy different pieces of kitchen equipment only if I can get a great bargain on Craigslist or at a thrift store, etc. So they clog up the shelves in my basement, but it's nice to know I have something I need when the fancy takes me to make something unique. My latest find: a Baine-Marie at a Salvation Army shop for $10.

                    1. I am totally addicted to cookware. I have a whole room full affectionately called the "Pan Room." It is supposed to be an office on the first floor of my house...but it is full of stainless steel Costco racks with tons of cookware.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: PanFreak

                        Add me to the list of those with an office that is instead full of steel Costco racks loaded with cookware. I also have a couple of the Sam's Club stainless work tables with the lower shelf. Those are in the eat in kitchen though.

                        Next on my list is some copper.

                        1. re: rasputina

                          I think when a dedicated room is needed to house your collection, you qualify as an addict!

                      2. Not addicted, but I do like of acquire new pieces every so often.

                        Recently purchased a Dutch oven after considering it for 5 years.

                        I like adding to my collection of pots and pans, and usually find some great pieces in the clearance section at Macy's.

                        Unitaskers drive me crazy and take up space in my kitchen. Most have made their way into my daughter's play kitchen.

                        Oh, and another favorite are the Williams Sonoma rubber spatulas. I can't justify buying them full price so I usually wait till their end of season sales.

                        1. I find that I've assembled a pretty good collection of cookware, bakeware, etc., but some of the things I've purchased over the past couple decades aren't working for me anymore. So, I'm happy to buy new stuff and pass some of the All Clad etc. to my kids. I recently replaced my AC 12 inch skillet with a Cuisinart French 12 inch with a more ergonomic handle (and helper handle.) Same thing with my all purpose 3 qt sauce pan. I needed that better grip. So, yeah, I have a need to buy new stuff to replace really good cookware. And...

                          I just got a Vitamix. Love it. Next, a pro meat grinder - that's been on the radar for a while now.

                          Actually, I don't mind passing things on to my kids - hell, they'll have super quality stuff from the get go. And, I can buy new stuff that works for me now because of my joint issues and concern for handle design.

                          I just wish I had the means to buy the better stuff when I was younger and could handle it.

                          Hey, it's all good.

                          1. Yes, I am addicted. However, I don't have a huge kitchen; so i try to enforce the maxim of "use it at least once a year or let it go." The only items that are likely endangered are the Bundt pan, the food mill, and the tagine. Oddly enough in the rest of the house I am a bit of a minimalist, but I believe the kitchen is nearing capacity.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: tim irvine

                              I went through about a year and a half of upgrading and filling out my equipment, but it ended last spring.

                              Just the other night I was reflecting happily that I have just about everything I need, and very little that I don't -- I've used almost every piece of cookware in this kitchen in the last year. Now beginning to cast a cold eye on the few holdouts: the bigger stoneware rectangular baker, the stored small All-Clad saucepans (1 and 2 qt), and, yes, the Bundt pan.

                              Thinking I'll make a real effort to redeem the Bundt pan, if I can find a recipe that doesn't involve using a mixer. (Donated my mother's Sunbeam two years ago, after not using it for 15 years.)

                              1. re: ellabee

                                Hi, ellabee:

                                Don't forget another poster's brilliant adaptation of the Bundt--inverted, it makes a decent sausage stuffer.


                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  Creative storage:

                                  My bundt pan is at the bottom of my 16 qt pot, under a layer of plastic storage container lids.

                                  1. re: law_doc89

                                    Great, now if only I had a 16 qt pot! ;> Or wanted to make my own sausage...

                                    That's one reason I'm not in a big hurry to shed the really large rectangular baker; the size that I use most sits in it (with a towel in between), so it's not taking up much extra room.

                                    Maybe someday I'll have a big buffet that could bring it into play.

                                    1. re: ellabee

                                      How do you boil lobsters w/o a large pot?

                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                          Unless you want them boiled.

                                          I steam my lobsters in wine in the oven in a stone baking dish, from Portugal.

                                          1. re: law_doc89

                                            Hi, l_d:

                                            Yes, it goes without saying that if you want boiled lobsters, you should boil them. You posed the question of how you do it if you don't have a large pot.

                                            The MW is another option, but I've not tried that.


                                        2. re: law_doc89

                                          In the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, there's not a lot of call for boiling lobsters.

                                  2. re: ellabee

                                    Update: An online friend who's a genius baker recommended a tasty-sounding bundt cake recipe that doesn't need a mixer:


                                    So, if you're looking to engage that lonely pan...

                                    1. re: ellabee

                                      That sounds nice and easy. And delicious. Thanks, Ella.

                                2. If you were truly "addicted to kitchen equipment," I'd think you would never actually use all those gadgets but maybe display them instead. But you do seem more gadget-oriented than food-oriented, more into the process than the product. Not for me!.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: John Francis

                                    Ah, but I do use them all. Part of the fun is the special tool for the special use. I can cook a gourmet meal in an aluminum pot on a hot plate if need be, but it fun to use the special tools. A sub compact car and a Bentley will both get you from here to there, but which do you imagine is more fun?

                                  2. A bit, yes, but being mindful of a downsizing upcoming soon. But kselverd, I want to go shopping at Goodwill with you! Those are incredible finds.

                                    1. Being an engineer for a chemical company, I'm a stickler for following directions and a believer in the right tool for the job at hand. As such, if I need a tool, I buy it. This also applies to the kitchen. And as far as I'm concerned, there is nothing worse than a poor tool, so I buy quality as well.

                                      1. "The MW is another option"


                                        1. I don't know about addict but I do know that hanging around this place is not helpful in encouraging restraint.

                                          I have limited space and it is full already. However, I will confess to a wee problem with thrift store finds. I am selective but I've purchased a few appliances at thrift store that I use and love - crockpot, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, mini GF grill, etc. Then there is my growing desire for new knives - 2 carbon steel acquisitions to date.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: tcamp

                                            "I don't know about addict but I do know that hanging around this place is not helpful in encouraging restraint."


                                            1. re: Cam14

                                              LOL! There are several threads on CH that are "not helpful in encouraging restraint." Especially for us cookbook addicts. There are several ongoing threads on the subject that are downright dangerous.

                                          2. I am addicted to looking at cookware and kitchen gear. I love having good tools, and I get cranky if I can't put my hand on what I need immediately, leading to fusses with the cleanup crew of one, Mr. Sueatmo. But after many years of cooking, I generally don't spend big bucks on much unless I can justifying it for its use.

                                            For many years I cooked in a fine, moderately roomy kitchen, which I had filled pretty full. If I contemplated a purchase, Mr. Sueatmo would always ask "where will you store it?" To him space if finite, and to me it is flexible.