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Mar 19, 2013 01:52 PM

Your best cookware find at a garage sale?

Now that my cookware Knowledge has in increased because of chowhound, I will start looking for hidden gems at garage sales.

What is your best find at a garage sale?

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  1. Three in quick succession, all copper! An estate sale in Whittier got me a pile of different-sized gratin pans, one round and four oval, for a total of $60; a yard sale in our Pasadena neighborhood two weekends later yielded two French saucepans with lids, one big and one small, $12 total. And an estate sale on Mt. Washington a month later got me an antique English sauté pan, with a stamped-in monogram and iron handle, and a 12" French skillet, $5 apiece. Re-tinning and polishing for all this ran me about $300, roughly the price of any one of these bought new.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      Don't take away my chowhound creds but mine was one of those electric sandwich press/makers that makes 2 square sandwiches with the diagonal "seam" down the middle.

      It cost 25 cents. We bought it when we were newly weds and very poor. We're only moderately poor now (lol). But it made a lot of really good "grilled" cheese sandwiches and peanut butter and banana sandwiches back in the day. I still have it almost 17 years later and it still works. It still makes kick-ass cheese sandwiches too.

      1. re: Ariadanz

        You just gained about 25 years worth of CH cred in my books on this. I grew up with a waffle iron that doubled as a grilled-cheese sandwich maker, and finding one that still worked that way was a personal landmark to me. Any snowy day I could count on a pan of tomato soup and a platter of those sandwiches to keep me perking.

        1. re: Will Owen

          Good finds and eBay sellable anytime you want. I spy out copper everywhere not just cookware. It is almost a precious metal being that it is in the same Periodic Table grouping as silver and gold. It is a lesser cousin of those two, a bright shinning knight ready to joust

          1. re: lastZZ

            I found an 8 quart Le cruset dutch oven for 2.00. I love it.

        2. Cast iron skillets...I think I've gotten three or four over the years. The most recent is the perfect size for one fried egg, and so very well seasoned... <grin>

          2 Replies
          1. re: kcshigekawa

            Lord, I was forgetting the cast iron! Keep at it, because it's everywhere. I bought my first piece, a smallish Dutch oven, at a hardware store, and the big grill pan at a cookware place, but something like eight skillets, two chicken fryers, a big Dutch oven, griddle and godnose how many muffin and cornstick molds … it's a disease, I'm out of room, but if it's under ten bucks I can't not buy it.

            Those itty bitty baby pans were salesman's samples, and usually wound up in the batterie de cuisine of some little girl's toy kitchen. Yes, I do use mine for an egg once in a while, just to justify keeping it!

            1. re: Will Owen

              I always look (although I'm trying to avoid garage/yard sales these days...way too much stuff...), and will never turn down good cast iron!

          2. Nothing fancy or even name brand, as far as I know, but I had a fantastic dutch oven that I picked up for maybe a dollar. I could even panfry steaks in it and have them come out great.

            Sadly, I lost it in a move and have mourned it ever since.

            1. My best garage sale find is an old-fashioned fifties era rolling pin that I like very well. I don't use it nearly as much as I used to, but when I pull it out, it is a pleasure to use.

              It has red handles, and it rolls freely on a steel pin. (I think that's how it works.) I work a little flour into the barrel and away I go.

              1. A cast iron skillet for fifty cents.