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Costly culinary tools that you own that don't get much use, or that have caused you buyers remorse.

letsindulge Jun 2, 2013 09:00 PM

My top 3 are:

http://cookware.lecreuset.com/cookware/product_Moroccan-Tagine_10151_-1_20002_10103_

http://www.cameronsproducts.com/stovetop-smoker

http://www.knifemerchant.com/product....

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  1. Chemicalkinetics Jun 2, 2013 10:00 PM

    Don't get love much or don't get used much?

    I don't get to use the following much, but they work perfectly fine and I like them a lot. I just don't get to use them much.

    Korean stone bowl (Dolsot):
    http://www.chow.com/photos/754514

    Egg waffle iron:
    http://www.chow.com/photos/698289

    -------------------
    These I don't love (not necessary hate, but don't love):

    Nordic smoker:
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Nordic-Ware-Stovetop-Kettle-Smoker/9239292

    Tassimo T65:
    http://www.amazon.com/Tassimo-TAS6515UC-Single-Twilight-Titanium/dp/B007962F2O

    Lodge Color (enameled) cast iron Dutch oven:

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/6005464?wml...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
      letsindulge Jun 2, 2013 10:18 PM

      Thanks for posing that question. My intended question was "not used much", but it would be interesting to know what items have failed to meet our expectations as well. Am going to attempt to edit the original post. LOL!

      Gosh...I love dolsot bi bim bop. Do you heat the vessel on the stove top? I see that we both have smokers on our list. I actually like mine, but don't use it very often. I have a SS All Clad dutch oven in my arsenal. Believe I got my $ worth. I know that people swear by enameled cast ironware but I can't justify the purchase, plus it's heavy as heck.

      1. re: letsindulge
        Chemicalkinetics Jun 2, 2013 10:45 PM

        <I love dolsot bi bim bop>

        Me too, which is why I bought the dolsot.

        <Do you heat the vessel on the stove top?>

        Yeah, I do. It is pretty cool to cook in a stoneware -- a literal stone ware.

        < I have a SS All Clad dutch oven in my arsenal>

        I know a lot of people like enameled cast iron Dutch ovens, and they are attractive and a bit more traditional. Objectively speaking, I don't see how a stainless steel cladded Dutch oven won't work just as good. In my case, I started using more of the bare cast iron cookware and moved away from the enameled cast iron cookware

    2. JenniferLopez Jun 3, 2013 07:00 AM

      Whats wrong with the chinois?? I was about to buy that one from Matfer. Not enough use or was there a problem with it?

      I regret my Le Creuset dutch oven as it saw no use after upgrading to copper. I was able to sell it for a profit though.

      I also regret my le creuset grill pan. too small. and everything sticks. Its also a pain to clean.

      And im not a fan of my Maverick Commercial thermometer i got from Williams-sonoma. I found out about the Thermapen only after the return period ended. Sometimes I think about "accidentally" leaving it in the oven.

      11 Replies
      1. re: JenniferLopez
        kaleokahu Jun 3, 2013 08:16 AM

        Hi, JLo:

        The Matfer chinoise is a very useful item, and the best in its class. Buy with confidence.

        Aloha,
        Kaleo

        1. re: kaleokahu
          m
          mwhitmore Jun 4, 2013 07:28 AM

          I *want* the chinoise! Not sure what exoglass is. What about the 'easy to clean' claim? I have found every chinoise I have used to be a PITA to clean.

          1. re: mwhitmore
            letsindulge Jun 4, 2013 05:17 PM

            Royal PITA! Maybe you'd be interested in purchasing my "like-new" Mafter exoglass? ;)

            1. re: letsindulge
              alarash Jan 1, 2014 12:52 AM

              Hi letsindulge,

              I'd like to buy your exoglass. Shoot me an email at quddus-at-g-mail-dot-com.

              Thanks!

            2. re: mwhitmore
              kaleokahu Jun 9, 2013 05:45 PM

              Hi, mwhitmore:

              Exoglass is a Matfer-Bourgeat proprietary, nonporous composite material which is temperature resistant up to 430F. Dishwasher safe and can be sterilized. It is very ugly (in the usual grey) but really good stuff. Cooks Illustrated rated the M-B Chinoise tops, even at $118.

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

            3. re: kaleokahu
              letsindulge Jun 4, 2013 05:10 PM

              I totally concur that it is the best. It's why I bought it! I don't make quantities of stock any longer, so it's hanging from my overhead pot rack now. I employ this strainer when I'm making a few quarts. Easy to throw in the dishwasher.

               
              1. re: kaleokahu
                JoanN Dec 29, 2013 04:03 PM

                I agree. I'd avoided buying the Matfer because I couldn't figure out where I'd be able to store it in a small NYC apartment kitchen. It really is pretty bulky. Finally found a place to hang it and bought it just before Thanksgiving. What a pleasure to use. And I don't find it especially difficult to clean. Stuff seems to sponge right out of it. Anyway, I couldn't believe the nonsense I'd gone through for years to strain stocks, gravies, ice cream bases. I've used it at least a dozen times in the past month and am only kicking myself that I waited so long to buy it.

              2. re: JenniferLopez
                Terrie H. Jun 5, 2013 12:17 PM

                I also never use my Le Creuset grill pan. No matter how hot or gentle the heat, everything sticked, which also made it miserable to clean.

                1. re: Terrie H.
                  John E. Jun 16, 2013 08:30 PM

                  I have two of the Le Creuset grill pans. They are are not shaped the same and one is red while the other is green. I think I bought the second one before I tried using the first one. I guess I bought them because they were Le Creuset. That, and they were $5 and $7. I did find out why they were donated to Goodwill.

                  1. re: John E.
                    letsindulge Jun 16, 2013 10:24 PM

                    My one, and only piece of Le Creuset is the afore mentioned tagine. I've not missed having a LC casserole, or french oven because I'm perfectly happy with my SS All Clad. From stovetop to oven is how I use them.

                  2. re: Terrie H.
                    flourgirl Jan 1, 2014 07:50 AM

                    I have two of those grill pans and while I don't love them because I think they're too small, I never have anything stick to them. I will say they both have a lot of patina and don't look too pretty but they work well.

                2. i
                  INDIANRIVERFL Jun 3, 2013 07:59 AM

                  There are things I rarely use, but would never give up. Poultry shears, barbed fondue forks, and duck press come to mind.

                  The culinary tool I most regret buying are hundreds of cook books. Look nice, good reads, a cuisine I hope to explore, and 5 years later never in the rotation. I just came across a copy of the recipes from the culinary olympics of 1980, purchased at the 1984 competition. With a couple autographs. I will keep it for the memories.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                    m
                    mwhitmore Jun 4, 2013 07:32 AM

                    Duck press---great answer!

                  2. Davwud Jun 3, 2013 08:23 AM

                    Probably the two biggest wastes of money for me I'm lucky I didn't purchase. One was a wedding gift and the other, a Christmas gift.

                    Anyway, was thoroughly unimpressed with our bread maker and found the deep fryer a lot more pain than it was worth.

                    For bread I go old school and use and oven and for deep frying I just use a dutch oven and a Chinese fishing basket aka spider.

                    DT

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Davwud
                      letsindulge Jun 4, 2013 04:47 PM

                      I do some baking, but not bread in a long while. I'm fortunate to have several excellent artisan bread companies in my vicinity.

                      I'm almost certain that I'll be garage selling my Rival deep fryer. I deep-fry so infrequently that a dutch oven paired with a splatter screen get's the job done.

                      1. re: Davwud
                        flourgirl Jan 1, 2014 07:52 AM

                        Same here regarding deep fryer. I sold mine and do the same thing you do with a dutch oven and spider. Works fine.

                        1. re: Davwud
                          g
                          GalinaL Jan 2, 2014 04:31 AM

                          I use my bread-maker(only bake cycle) to bake a sourdough rye bread in my garage in order not to over-heat my house.

                        2. Atomic76 Jun 3, 2013 08:41 AM

                          My Cuisinart Rotisserie Oven. The thing is impossible to keep clean so it looks awful on the counter, but it's also too big and bulky to store away regularly. The dripping tray is barely deep enough to hold all the fat that melts off the chicken, so it usually overflows when you are trying to take stuff out. It comes with kebab attachments, but the meat and other items slide right off while cooking since it's vertical. Besides, who wants to wait 3 hours for some kebabs or a hamburger when you could throw them on the grill in 10 minutes?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Atomic76
                            letsindulge Jun 4, 2013 04:37 PM

                            My DIL's parents hosted us for Thanksgiving dinner and roasted the bird in their Ronco vertical rotisserie. It was actually pretty decent. I'm not tempted to buy one though.

                            1. re: letsindulge
                              Poochinator Jun 8, 2013 02:57 PM

                              Mr. Pooch's daddy gave us a Ronco Showtime Rotisserie....best gift ever. No cleaning other than the prongs and drip pan. It lives in our garage. We love to watch it cook while sipping martinis.

                              My regrets are the rice maker and juicer.

                              1. re: Poochinator
                                coll Jan 2, 2014 04:54 AM

                                Ronco for me, a gift also. I don't use it everyday, since I've only made whole chickens in it, but I would never part with it. Next up, I want to try duck. Someone here said it works very well for that.

                          2. h
                            HaveSpoonWillCook Jun 3, 2013 08:44 AM

                            Pasta maker.
                            Never used it even once - just loved the idea and thought it'd be fun to make some as I enjoy preparing most of my food from scratch. But somehow this just didn't take.

                            Juice presser.
                            The cleanup is just too much bother.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: HaveSpoonWillCook
                              tim irvine Jun 3, 2013 08:39 PM

                              Love my old Atlas pasta maker but have never tried the ravioli attachment...too easy to make big ones and cut by hand with a pastry wheel. Also never used a potsticker mold. Gave it away... A dollar and a half regret...
                              ;0)

                              1. re: tim irvine
                                letsindulge Jun 4, 2013 04:32 PM

                                I have the same pasta maker and at one time was considering purchasing the motor attachment. It could have kept the pasta maker company where it sits on the SS storage rack in my pantry! Lol!

                              2. re: HaveSpoonWillCook
                                JetLaggedChef Jan 1, 2014 08:24 PM

                                Was the pasta maker a press model or a roller/cutter model?

                              3. John E. Jun 3, 2013 10:29 AM

                                I can only think of two kitchen items that I regret their purchase, a bread maker and a Juiceman Juicer. I paid retail for both. The juicer was a pain to clean and I just never got into juicing. The breadmaker did help to ween me off bread for a while. I didn't want to buy bread since we had the machine, but I got tired of the machine so I quit eating bread. Now, I don't ever make bread because we have a commercial bakery nearby that makes artisan bread they sell to stores and restaurants and also at their outlet store. Bread that costs $4.50 a loaf (or more) at the grocery store is 3 for $2.50.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: John E.
                                  m
                                  mwhitmore Jun 4, 2013 07:34 AM

                                  "So I quit eating bread." Hey, that alone would be worth the purchase price!

                                  1. re: John E.
                                    r
                                    rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:11 AM

                                    Isn't it funny how different people are?

                                    I got a bread machine when they first came out. Replaced it with the larger horizontal machine as soon as they came out. I've had a bread machine ever since (I'm on my 3rd).

                                    I can bake bread. Any kind of bread. I'm as adept at making it by hand, with a stand mixer or with the bread machine. And I resort to all those methods. But my bread machine saves me time and provides convenience so long as I use it first for a pre-ferment and shape and bake by hand.

                                    Meanwhile, hooray for you for having great artisinal bread so cheap and available!!!

                                    1. re: John E.
                                      g
                                      GalinaL Jan 2, 2014 04:40 AM

                                      I have a juicer which shreds veggies first very thinly in order to extract juice, so I use it to grate a horse-reddish for a souse - it spares me some tears.

                                    2. s
                                      SigneGT Jun 4, 2013 05:58 AM

                                      I don't know if i regret any of my purchases and i have a LOT of kitchenware. Sometimes it bothers me that i bought a kitchenaid stand mixer, because i bought it purely for the looks. It works like a charm, but it's too small!

                                      When i visit my mother and use her Kenwood with a bowl of almost 7 liters i get so jealous. I sometimes have to bake my bread in batches with the kitchenaid.

                                      But then again, whenever i go into my kitchen and see that beautiful red beast, i come to my senses and just smile.

                                      Oh and the most useless piece of kitchenware i have ever bought is definitely the Jamie Oliver Flavour Shaker. It brings nothing to the table xD

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: SigneGT
                                        letsindulge Jun 4, 2013 04:26 PM

                                        Had to Google search the J.O. Flavour Shaker. The sound would drive me bonkers! Lol!

                                        1. re: letsindulge
                                          s
                                          SigneGT Jun 5, 2013 02:28 AM

                                          I know right? Even IF i use it, i use it without the little ball inside. Such a waste of money, luckily it's not that expensive :b

                                          1. re: SigneGT
                                            d
                                            DebinIndiana Jan 1, 2014 05:38 AM

                                            Maybe not too expensive, but definitely overpriced for a plastic bottle with a ball inside...

                                            oops, didn't notice -- old thread. It's an interesting one!

                                      2. lamb_da_calculus Jun 4, 2013 06:16 AM

                                        I have two knives, a 6" chef's knife and a 3-4" paring knife. I never use the paring knife.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: lamb_da_calculus
                                          letsindulge Jun 4, 2013 10:33 AM

                                          A 6" chef would be useless for me. My 8 and 10" get regular use. My 12" barely gets touched but no $ came out of my pocket. It came in my knife kit from culinary school. CCA 2002!

                                          1. re: letsindulge
                                            flourgirl Jan 1, 2014 07:55 AM

                                            It's interesting to read about different people's preferences. I can't imagine not having my 10" chef's knife, it's my go to, followed by my 8" knife. I just got a 6 1/2" nakiri for Christmas though, and I can't wait to give it a work out.

                                        2. NonnieMuss Jun 4, 2013 06:20 AM

                                          Easily the two most expensive items in my kitchen: KitchenAid stand mixer and Cuisinart 11-cup food processer. But no buyer's remorse for either - they do their jobs well when the time comes, I just don't use them as much as I'd like to. I admit cleaning both is a pain in the arse, but I wouldn't give either of them up.

                                          I'd possibly forfeit the KitchenAid pasta extruder attachment - quite expensive and I don't use it often enough - I prefer to roll and cut on my old Atlas.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: NonnieMuss
                                            letsindulge Jun 4, 2013 04:21 PM

                                            I have the roller/cutter attachment but haven't made fresh pasta in a few years. Gosh...<shaking head>

                                            1. re: NonnieMuss
                                              r
                                              rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:15 AM

                                              I'm with you on the Cuisinart, I rarely pull down the 11-cup one. I've got a mini that sits on my counter and does most of what I want much more easily.

                                              Can't agree with you on the pasta attachment for the KA. I never could feed pasta in, handle the exiting sheets and crank at the same time. OTOH, I'm a kitchen toy whore and I bought an extruder and haven't even tried it yet.

                                            2. Candy Jun 4, 2013 11:04 AM

                                              I bought a Le Creuset Tagine and have used it 1-2 times. Had to have it and I am sure I will use it fall and winter. It looks gorgeous sitting on my cook top. It is the yellow color from the last few years, not this year's new yellow.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Candy
                                                letsindulge Jun 4, 2013 12:18 PM

                                                Purchased mine 2003. It's red. Had the same thought as you did about putting it to use during this fall/winter.

                                                1. re: Candy
                                                  r
                                                  rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:16 AM

                                                  Do you bake bread? Tagines are *ideal* for Jim Lahey's technique of baking in a hot pot. The bottom is shallow enough that you won't get burned or feel awkward loading a shaped loaf in and the top is high enough to provide for all the oven spring you'll get. You can even slash your dough in the blazing hot bottom without difficulty!

                                                2. r
                                                  Roland Parker Jun 5, 2013 02:42 AM

                                                  I was given a deep fat fryer and a bread maker by a neigbor who was moving away. I didn't ask for them, she turned up one day with them and I couldn't say no.

                                                  Tried the bread maker once or twice. Wasn't impressed. I prefer making bread the old fashioned way and the bread maker's bread tasted too standardized to me - I might as well have bought it at the supermarket. I can also buy very good quality artisanal bread for not much money. The bread maker was eventually tossed out when it was our turn to move.

                                                  Never used the deep fat fryer. Gave it away a few days later to the cleaner. Did have a slight bout of guilt as the cleaner wasn't someone who really needed a deep fat fryer in her kitchen.

                                                  Otherwise my only regrets were certain cookbooks.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Roland Parker
                                                    r
                                                    rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:20 AM

                                                    There's a great book called "Rustic European Breads from your Bread Machine" that completely changed how I used mine. http://www.amazon.com/Rustic-European...

                                                    It's all about the variety of pre-ferments and how they can make your bread outstanding with all the utility of bread machines. If you still have the machine and want to give it another whirl I really recommend the book. If you don't and you want to continue doing your breads by hand it's still full of some great recipes that are a survey of world breads and pre-ferments.

                                                  2. Antilope Jun 5, 2013 03:25 AM

                                                    Atlas manual pasta maker. $ 40. Used three times in 20 years.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Antilope
                                                      Antilope Dec 29, 2013 03:34 PM

                                                      I recently read about someone using a manual pasta maker to roll out thin dough for making crisp homemade crackers. Maybe I will find a use for this thing yet. ;-) The spiders in the back of the cabinet may have to move again. 8-p

                                                      1. re: Antilope
                                                        r
                                                        rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:21 AM

                                                        Great for the pastry shell for knishes too.

                                                    2. r
                                                      rasputina Jun 5, 2013 05:34 AM

                                                      Kitchen Aid Mixer. I should just Craigslist it or something.

                                                      Pasta roller attachments for the KA mixer, I haven't used them once.

                                                      I ended up buying a better mixer that I wish I'd bought first instead of the KA. It's got to be the most over hyped piece of kitchen equipment out there.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: rasputina
                                                        s
                                                        SigneGT Jun 5, 2013 12:56 PM

                                                        What requirements of yours doesn't it fulfill?

                                                        I agree it's quite hyped, i bought mine because of the looks. I find it absolutely beautiful. But i think it does what it's supposed too, haven't run into anything yet that it couldn't do.

                                                        1. re: SigneGT
                                                          j
                                                          jbsiegel Jun 8, 2013 05:33 PM

                                                          I have to admit that I don't like my KA mixer much either. A few reasons:

                                                          1. It's heavy as lead and a total PITA to get out unless I need it for a lengthy process. Otherwise, it's my hand mixer all the way.
                                                          2. The metal beater doesn't get the stuff off the sides of the bowl. But, to be able to scrape down the sides, I have to turn the whole thing off, lower the bowl, etc. And...stuff gets lodged on the beater in the "holes" that doesn't come off unless I scrape it off.
                                                          3. I have one of those "side-scraper" plastic beaters too. This one at least gets the sides of the bowl, but again, stuff gets lodged here and there on the beater and I have to scrape those.
                                                          4. I don't like that there isn't enough space to dump ingredients into the bowl without lowering it and doing careful maneuvering. I know I could use that pour-cover thing, but that's just one more thing to wash.

                                                          To be honest, I want to go back to my cheapo mixer. With that, I could just scrape down while the thing was still running.

                                                          On the plus side, I do like the way it'll knead bread dough for me.

                                                          What mixer did you end up buying instead?

                                                      2. k
                                                        kimbers324 Jun 5, 2013 05:36 AM

                                                        I have an expensive, highly rated Zojirushi rice cooker that I have never used. I don't see the need to because I think rice turns out perfectly when cooked in my 2 qt (Lodge) or 3.5 qt (Tramontina enameled) cast iron dutch ovens. I hold onto the rice cooker thinking it may come in handy if all of the burners on my stove are occupied, but that hasn't happened yet.

                                                        I don't use my 8" stainless steel saute pan. I thought it was cute and it is easy to store, but not very practical.

                                                        I also rarely use my 12" Cuisinart SS 'everyday' pan, ever since I got the 3.5 qt Le Creuset braiser (which I LOVE). The only reason I ever use the everyday pan is b/c I don't have a 12" SS skillet (working on that), and there are times when I prefer SS over cast iron b/c it heats up more quickly and I can throw it in the dishwasher. As soon as I add a good 12" SS skillet to my collection, though, the everyday pan is moving out! (Unless y'all can convince me otherwise!)

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: kimbers324
                                                          EWSflash Dec 29, 2013 05:21 PM

                                                          My Fuzzy Logic Zojirushi rice maker is one of the best investments I ever made. We use it at least once a week, and often more than that.

                                                          1. re: kimbers324
                                                            flourgirl Jan 1, 2014 07:59 AM

                                                            I agree, I make rice on the stove all the time and it comes out perfect every time. I see no need for a dedicated rice cooker. And that's coming from a person with a LOT of kitchen ware.

                                                            1. re: kimbers324
                                                              r
                                                              rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:22 AM

                                                              I never saw the need for a rice cooker. It's just something that's not all that challenging for someone making rice less than several times a week.

                                                            2. w
                                                              windward Jun 5, 2013 06:19 AM

                                                              My good cleaver
                                                              My mango slicer
                                                              Ricer- Hard to store and takes up space.

                                                              No remose - just do not use them too often.

                                                              12 Replies
                                                              1. re: windward
                                                                letsindulge Jun 5, 2013 12:09 PM

                                                                Ricer here also. Used maybe twice a year. Which reminds me that I'm craving a food mill, but I need it like another whole in my head. Lol!

                                                                1. re: windward
                                                                  r
                                                                  rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:24 AM

                                                                  I don't pull down the heavy cleaver often but when it's needed there just isn't anything that's as safe.

                                                                  OTOH, I don't make mashed potatoes without the ricer and it fills in for a food mill for small batches of some things. And did you know you can also use it for spatzle?

                                                                  1. re: windward
                                                                    k
                                                                    knifesavers Jan 1, 2014 12:44 PM

                                                                    I have a 2.75 lb Lamson cleaver and a 3 lb Briddell but haven't found a use for either but damn they look cool on the wall.

                                                                    If the zombies rise up, I'm grabbing both. :)

                                                                    Jim

                                                                    1. re: knifesavers
                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Jan 1, 2014 01:13 PM

                                                                      Yes, I do think about zombies from time to time. Got to get a good zombie game.

                                                                      1. re: knifesavers
                                                                        tim irvine Jan 1, 2014 02:45 PM

                                                                        I agree that a heavy cleaver spends a lot of time alone in a dark drawer, but come BBQ time I am glad I have it. It is awesome for ribs.

                                                                        1. re: tim irvine
                                                                          Caroline1 Jan 1, 2014 08:56 PM

                                                                          If you guys are talking about the kind/size of "heavy cleaver" I'm thinking about, and you actually use it the way the kitchen gods intended, you must have one awesome chopping block! Awesome! Which is why I gave my mighty butcher's cleaver away years ago. That, and the fact that my aim sucked when I had to use two whacks to get through a large bone. (So how come nobody makes a great kitchen chainsaw??? Why is that?)

                                                                          But just so you know, a really good kitchen torch is a better tool when it comes to zombies... Just sayin'...

                                                                          1. re: Caroline1
                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Jan 1, 2014 09:24 PM

                                                                            <a really good kitchen torch is a better tool when it comes to zombies... Just sayin'...>

                                                                            It depends what kind of zombies we are talking about. If we are talking about the ones from "Walking Dead" (comics/TV/games), then a cleaver is better -- to destroy their brains.

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                              Caroline1 Jan 1, 2014 10:25 PM

                                                                              So what have you got against fried brains? And/or gourmet zombies?

                                                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Jan 1, 2014 11:09 PM

                                                                                Just saying that it will take a torch much longer to fry a zombie's brain than swing an axe straight to its head.

                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                  Caroline1 Jan 1, 2014 11:37 PM

                                                                                  Well, I guess that depends on which part of the zombie is oozing out all over the floor...

                                                                                  Ooh! Lunch! '-)

                                                                          2. re: tim irvine
                                                                            kaleokahu Jan 5, 2014 08:54 AM

                                                                            And busting up bones for stock. And playing "Gangs of New York".

                                                                        2. re: windward
                                                                          breadchick Jan 5, 2014 09:26 AM

                                                                          I have a good Chinese cleaver that gets used from time to time - along with a heavy hard rubber mallet to give me more oomph.

                                                                        3. m
                                                                          Miss Priss Jun 5, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                          As my cooking habits change and my cookware collectin grows, this is an issue that keeps cropping up. My All-Clad stainless 4-quart saute pan (purchased from Cookware 'n' More, so at least I didn't pay retail!) has been gathering dust in storage ever since I lucked into a Sitran Catering 11" saute pan at a flea market and found that I liked it much better than the All-Clad. My Wusthof Classic 8" wide chef's knife, beautiful but heavy, has been all but replaced by a $7 Kiwi cleaver-style chef's knife. And now that I've become a pressure-cooking devotee, my 5.5 and 3-quart Le Creuset casseroles hardly ever see action for braises or stews (though the 2-quart casserole can't be beat for rice and grains). I hate to give these retired items away, though, as I've loved them well in the past and their time may come again.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Miss Priss
                                                                            letsindulge Jun 5, 2013 12:15 PM

                                                                            I'd like to add the wide 8" chef to my arsenal. Does it have the cullens (scallop-shaped cut-outs)? Interested in striking up a deal? ;)

                                                                          2. Antilope Jun 5, 2013 12:57 PM

                                                                            Maybe there should be an exchange set up. Someone could trade their square hard boiled egg maker for a plastic microwave pressure cooker and both parties would be happy. ;-)

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Antilope
                                                                              John E. Jun 5, 2013 03:20 PM

                                                                              We have two of those square hard cooked egg makers. One was $3 and the other was .50 cents at a thrift store. I bought the second one so I could make a dozen of the square eggs easier. I have a niece who has four daughters of their own. They have a house out in the country and have a chicken coop but no hens. I had those little girls begging their mom to let their Uncle John get them some chickens that lay square eggs.

                                                                              Until reading your post I had never heard of a microwave pressure cooker.

                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                Antilope Jun 5, 2013 04:18 PM

                                                                                A microwave pressure cooker is a piece of plastic junk from China with a twist lock or clamp on lid that makes a minimum seal. It is probably just steaming the vegetables under a very low pressure. I don't own one, but I have seen people begging in various messages (not on Chow) for recipes, because their unit was missing the recipe brochure.

                                                                                Here is a commonly seen model:
                                                                                http://www.amazon.com/Handy-Gourmet-M...

                                                                                1. re: Antilope
                                                                                  m
                                                                                  mwhitmore Jun 7, 2013 07:05 AM

                                                                                  I thought you were joking! Making up an obscure couldn't-possibly-exist gizmo. Thanks for the laugh.

                                                                                  1. re: mwhitmore
                                                                                    Antilope Jun 7, 2013 07:44 AM

                                                                                    Here is a link to the "top of the line " microwave pressure cooker from Nordic Ware. It's $50????!!!!! So for the price of a stainless steel or heavy aluminum pressure cooker, you can have a plastic one.

                                                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-Mic...

                                                                                    1. re: Antilope
                                                                                      coll Jan 2, 2014 05:04 AM

                                                                                      I don't know if it's actually a "pressure cooker" but I have the same thing except Tupperware. Went to a party and had to buy SOMETHING!

                                                                              2. re: Antilope
                                                                                EWSflash Dec 29, 2013 05:24 PM

                                                                                My mother-in-law gave me a microwave pressure cooker many years ago, it was the best thing for cooking artichokes ever. It wasn't a cheap one, it was pretty solid. I wish I could find it. We moved and I haven't seen it since.

                                                                              3. drongo Jun 5, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                                                I have an Emile Henry tagine that I got for Christmas 2 years ago and have used just once. It looks nice but is more fragile than my Dutch ovens and I don't see what advantages it brings.

                                                                                I have a pasta maker (brand forgotten) that I used a lot at one time many years ago -- but I have not used it even once in the last 20 years.

                                                                                I have a vacuum tumbler marinator that has also been sitting in my basement for years. It looks somewhat like the one at the link below (but not exactly that model):
                                                                                http://www.marinator.com/lt10.htm

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: drongo
                                                                                  letsindulge Jun 5, 2013 04:18 PM

                                                                                  Wowza on that vacuum tumbler marinator! :)

                                                                                  1. re: letsindulge
                                                                                    rmarisco Jun 8, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                                                    "medical grade vacuum pump",,,????
                                                                                    EEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!

                                                                                  2. re: drongo
                                                                                    r
                                                                                    rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:28 AM

                                                                                    I wrote it above but if you're a bread baker don't overlook the tagine for Jim Lahey-style bread.

                                                                                    I got the big EH tagine as a Christmas present a few years ago and felt about the same way you do until I used it for bread and found I could load dough in effortlessly and burn-free and take advantage of that high top for oven spring.

                                                                                    I also LOVE EH Flameware. I admit it breaks but I love it so much I *always* replace it. …from the "parts" catalogue at the EH site if I can but even at full price if I need to. I love it that much!

                                                                                  3. f
                                                                                    foodieX2 Jun 8, 2013 02:16 PM

                                                                                    My chinois. I bought one year when my CSA was over run with cooking/saucing tomatoes. Haven't used it since.

                                                                                    1. s
                                                                                      soccermom13 Jun 16, 2013 04:52 PM

                                                                                      Silipat---not that costly, but I hate paying even a little for something I never use.

                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: soccermom13
                                                                                        j
                                                                                        jbsiegel Jun 16, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                                                        I have one of those, but NEVER use it. For some reason, I always just pull out the parchment paper. (Probably because I'm too lazy to wash it!)

                                                                                        1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                          s
                                                                                          soccermom13 Jun 16, 2013 05:29 PM

                                                                                          That's my reason too, jbsiegel. I'd rather use parchment. I do actually reuse the parchment a few times before I discard it---but I just fold it up and store it in a small Tupperware container. No washing involved. Lazy works for me :0)

                                                                                        2. re: soccermom13
                                                                                          letsindulge Jun 16, 2013 06:51 PM

                                                                                          Hey ladies, I have a single Silpat and have found myself wishing I had another when the cookie baking bug hits me every so often. It has also saved me from spillovers when baking pie, or cobblers. Cleanup is not as easy as crinkling up a sheet of parchment paper, but just a few swipes of a soapy sponge is all it takes.

                                                                                          1. re: soccermom13
                                                                                            f
                                                                                            foxspirit Dec 31, 2013 12:20 PM

                                                                                            I love my silpats! Washing is pretty simple as I stick mine into the dish washer.

                                                                                            1. re: foxspirit
                                                                                              JetLaggedChef Jan 1, 2014 08:28 PM

                                                                                              That's a great idea! I've had mine for about 15 years and never thought of it. How do you arrange it in the washer to get it clean?

                                                                                            2. re: soccermom13
                                                                                              r
                                                                                              rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:33 AM

                                                                                              I stopped using mine for cookies but it's great for rolling out pastry. It's heavy and "tacky" enough to stay put while you roll and flexible enough to transfer flat pastry to the dish. Also great for candy making. And when I have extra tempered chocolate I just leave it in a silicone container or pour it out on the silpat and crunch it up for storage once it's solidified again.

                                                                                              Finally, a silpat on a cookie sheet is so easy to clean up when your baking or roasting something you know will spatter or have overflow.

                                                                                              I can see that it may not be worth it to everyone to buy it/therm. As I said, I bought mine for cookies and have pretty much abandoned them for that application. But if you've got them, they're still useful.

                                                                                              Oh, and since I don't need the full sheet ones so much I've trimmed them down to fit various size cake pans that don't benefit from the same crispy bottoms that cookies do.

                                                                                              1. re: rainey
                                                                                                breadchick Jan 5, 2014 09:32 AM

                                                                                                I've read, in an older Chowhound post, that it's not a good idea to cut Silpat mats for other uses. If it's just a silicone mat, no problem, but the glass fibers in Silpat seem to be the issue.

                                                                                                1. re: breadchick
                                                                                                  r
                                                                                                  rainey Jan 5, 2014 10:16 AM

                                                                                                  I haven't noticed it in years of cooking with them but perhaps others should be advised.

                                                                                                  Silpats and Exopats which do have fiberglass seem to have them really embedded. The Exopats (a Canadian brand) have the fibers exposed on raw edges when they come form the manufacturer as mine are since I've cut them down. It may be that it worked better when I used a rotary razor cutter than if I had used scissors which might not be sharp enough to make as clean a cut.

                                                                                                  I'd stop using them with wet batters but I'm betting anything that was going to work its way loose has done that by now. For things just sitting on the surface I'm not particularly concerned for my own use.

                                                                                                  Still, thanks for the heads up and I hope others take it under consideration.

                                                                                                  1. re: rainey
                                                                                                    breadchick Jan 5, 2014 03:17 PM

                                                                                                    You're very welcome! :)

                                                                                            3. c
                                                                                              calumin Jun 16, 2013 08:43 PM

                                                                                              I don't use my electric snocone maker as much as I thought I would.

                                                                                              My bread maker takes up a lot of space and is used once every 2-3 years.

                                                                                              I would like to use my KitchenAId mixer more (instead of the portable mixer which is used 100x more often), but I don't want to give up permanent counter space that would make it easy to access.

                                                                                              1. b
                                                                                                brooktroutchaser Jun 17, 2013 04:46 AM

                                                                                                I have a mint Sur la Table roasting pan, the large size, ideal for roasting an 18 pound turkey. But I never do.

                                                                                                1. v
                                                                                                  VongolaDecimo Jun 17, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                                                                  Luckily, I usually return things in time if I dont like something so I dont have much buyer's remorse.

                                                                                                  One thing I've kept but regret was my Wusthof meat tenderizer: I dont know what I was thinking paying $200 for a meat pounder. Its excellent, gets plenty of use, but I want to slap myself whenever I see something else I could have used that money for. I could get the same results with a cheap meat pounder.

                                                                                                  Shun whetstone. Much happier with my individual Gesshins.

                                                                                                  Not exactly costly but when put together they are. Every single garage sale, yard sale, thrift store purchase. I normally end up buying better things shortly after as I like to compare what I bought to other products. They then sit there only to gather dust. The last straw was when I bought a Ninja only to replace it with a Vitamix 750 after 2 uses. Just gave it away to some random guy on the street. The opportunity cost of going to these things in search of a "great deal" is simply not worth my time. Time is money. And people are usually just selling junk anyways. The good stuff tends to go to ebay.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: VongolaDecimo
                                                                                                    letsindulge Jun 17, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                                                                    My knives from culinary school are Wustof but wasn't familiar with the meat tenderizer so I Googled it. Looks like it would do a good job producing cutlets but I don't see how it tenderizes.

                                                                                                    1. re: letsindulge
                                                                                                      Caroline1 Jan 1, 2014 02:39 PM

                                                                                                      The Wusthof "meat tenderizer" is a major rip off because you can get the same result much faster and with less work by using a cast iron frying pan (of reasonable size) to flatten out your schnitzels or paillards/escallops. The pounding, when done right, ruptures a lot of the connective tissue and muscles, and it's that tearing of them that tenderizes the meat.

                                                                                                      Oh, and when using a cast iron skillet instead of the Wusthoff, use the same procedure before bashing the protein: lay it on and cover it with plastic wrap.

                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                    CaliforniaJoseph Dec 29, 2013 01:42 AM

                                                                                                    16" Calphalon hard anodized paella pan. eBay: $25, free shipping, unused without tags, lid included....

                                                                                                    ...and then it arrived... and I truly grasped how big a 16" pan is...

                                                                                                    I have yet to use it - I love owning it really, it's a collectible and it was made in my hometown...

                                                                                                    But seriously, what was I thinking? I've never even made paella!

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: CaliforniaJoseph
                                                                                                      John E. Dec 29, 2013 08:04 PM

                                                                                                      What I would do with a 16" paella pan is to have a backyard paella party. I'd probably test it first on family to make sure I knew what I was doing. I bet you could use and outdoor propane cooker (remember deep frying turkeys?) and have a great party.

                                                                                                      Just make sure you get a good crust on the bottom.

                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                        c
                                                                                                        CaliforniaJoseph Jan 5, 2014 06:12 AM

                                                                                                        Already in the planning! Since I now have a 15" IMUSA paella pan also... (Gift)

                                                                                                        31 inches of paella pan. I'd better get down to business already

                                                                                                    2. c
                                                                                                      CaliforniaJoseph Dec 29, 2013 01:53 AM

                                                                                                      Near complete set of red (poppy) Club Aluminum that was the Michigan summer cabin cookware in an estate of someone who may have spent a cumulative year using them if you added up the the time spent up there over 20 years. $50 for the lot of it, I just wanted the 8 qt dutch oven and planned to use the rest for decor - those plans changed and the set now occupies the nether regions of my cupboard.

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: CaliforniaJoseph
                                                                                                        NonnieMuss Dec 29, 2013 03:04 PM

                                                                                                        Can I have them? I've never found anything - ANYTHING - as good as this stuff. I only have a few bits and pieces of my mom's old (avocado green) set. The 8 qt. dutch oven haunts my dreams.

                                                                                                        1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                                          c
                                                                                                          CaliforniaJoseph Jan 5, 2014 06:20 AM

                                                                                                          Keep an eye on eBay and thrift shops. Since writing that I found a 12" chicken fryer for $6.88 and a matching Westbend stovetop bun warmer/serving oven...

                                                                                                          Better Half has agreed on my request to remove cabinet doors for open shelf display on the ridiculously placed cabinets over fridge.

                                                                                                          Now I just need the 6 qt roaster, 12 quart roaster, Stanish omelette pan and second tea kettle! :)

                                                                                                           
                                                                                                          1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                            JbrendanP Jan 5, 2014 08:24 AM

                                                                                                            I too have bits and pieces from my mom's avocado set. She upgraded to an induction stove top some years back, and gave me the Club set since she couldn't use them anymore.

                                                                                                            But she kept the dutch oven for her self since she could still use it in the oven!

                                                                                                            It was the piece I was most excited for when she said I could have them.

                                                                                                            1. re: JbrendanP
                                                                                                              c
                                                                                                              CaliforniaJoseph Jan 5, 2014 12:51 PM

                                                                                                              There are at least 50 on eBay on any given day - check it out. 90 hits came back just now!

                                                                                                          2. re: CaliforniaJoseph
                                                                                                            John E. Dec 29, 2013 08:12 PM

                                                                                                            I did not know what 'club aluminum' was before reading your post. I did a search and found an image for the aluminum kettle that was well-used by my grandmother. It's a natural aluminum 5 quart kettle that we now use at our hunting cabin. When I got it the bakelite knob on the lid was rotten so I put a new knob on it that was meant for a kitchen cupboard.

                                                                                                            1. re: John E.
                                                                                                              c
                                                                                                              CaliforniaJoseph Jan 5, 2014 06:21 AM

                                                                                                              You have now a perfect vessel for no-knead Dutch oven bread. Go forth and bake!

                                                                                                            2. re: CaliforniaJoseph
                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                              Jerseygirl111 Jan 1, 2014 11:35 AM

                                                                                                              Oh geez, I have a plain silver dutch oven like that. It was my grandmothers, she used it for stew, I use it as an ice bucket.

                                                                                                              1. re: Jerseygirl111
                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                CaliforniaJoseph Jan 5, 2014 06:24 AM

                                                                                                                Use it to bake bread. You will thank me.

                                                                                                            3. whs Dec 29, 2013 04:15 PM

                                                                                                              my iddly steamer, my dosai pan, my professional mandoline, my upright chicken roaster (actually, that one cost $5).

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: whs
                                                                                                                p
                                                                                                                pine time Jan 1, 2014 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                My idli steamer was probably a whopping $5--what's an expensive one like, and why don't you like it? Can't imagine what would be a useable substitute.

                                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                                sisterfunkhaus Dec 29, 2013 06:28 PM

                                                                                                                My mandolin. I am generally not a gadget person, but I thought this would be great. I prefer slicing by hand. It's more fun and meditative.

                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: sisterfunkhaus
                                                                                                                  f
                                                                                                                  foxspirit Dec 31, 2013 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                  I have the same issue with mine! Its ok and does save a bit of time if you're cutting in bulk but in general is just a pain to get out when I can just chop something real quick with a knife.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sisterfunkhaus
                                                                                                                    flourgirl Jan 1, 2014 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                    I got rid of my mandolin years ago, but I love my v-slicer and my benriner slicers. The v-slicer especially gets used at least once or twice a week. And it's indispensable to me when making things like potato gratins.

                                                                                                                    1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                      JoanN Jan 1, 2014 10:55 AM

                                                                                                                      Am I the only one who held onto and still uses the Bron mandolin she was given as a gift nearly 40 years ago? I replaced the main blade about 5 years ago and the machine is like new. I had a V slicer and got rid of it. And I have and use a benriner slicer for smaller things. But the benriner just doesn't cut as evenly as the Bron, especially julienne, nor does it do some of the big jobs as well. The Bron, for instance, is far better for French fries, and is large enough to slice a potato lengthwise, not just across. I always haul it out for 5 pounds of onions for pissaladiere; apples for apple pie and pears for tarts; anything that's too unwieldy for the benriner, such as a large bulb of fennel, eggplant, jicama, etc.

                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                        r
                                                                                                                        rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                        Nope! I've got a French one I spent beaucoup bucks on a number of years ago. I still respect it and feel I "want" it on some level but I'm an impulsive person and I've seriously cut myself with it too many times. NOT the fault of the mandoline. That's why I keep hoping I'll be a better person and use it better. ;>

                                                                                                                    2. re: sisterfunkhaus
                                                                                                                      Caroline1 Jan 1, 2014 02:55 PM

                                                                                                                      Yeah, but if you want to make zucchini noodles, you just can't beat a mondolin! I think I bought my Benriner mandolin about 1961 or 62, It was super cheap, worked great, and had little "add on" blades for fine and finer julienne. But I really really really wanted a professional mandolin! I can tell you that chronic procrastination is sometimes a blessing. I was about to order one a few years ago, then I began paying more attention to TV chefs. The REAL chefs... And just about to a man/woman, they ALL use Benriners...!!!! They saved me a couple of hundred bucks!!! And what that says to me is that the Benriner is MUCH easier to use, cause rich and successful chefs could care less about cost. They want performance!

                                                                                                                      Oh... and MY Benriner just passed it's 50th birthday and is still going strong. There was a time when I used it at least once a day, but ... Well, let's just say that we're both "of retirement age."

                                                                                                                      1. re: sisterfunkhaus
                                                                                                                        coll Jan 2, 2014 05:11 AM

                                                                                                                        Thanks for the idea, I have a professional Bron mandolin that scares me too much to use very often. It's only the two of us anyway, how much stuff do I need to cut? Going on eBay today!! Unless someone has a pressure canner or food mill they want to trade......

                                                                                                                      2. AntarcticWidow Dec 29, 2013 09:13 PM

                                                                                                                        As I look around my kitchen there is no remorse, but there are a few things that have never been or are no longer used. Not a complete list, but a start:

                                                                                                                        a Norpro bean frencher
                                                                                                                        Euro Cuisine yogurt maker
                                                                                                                        Breville panini duo press, used a few times then traded up to their grill press/griddle.
                                                                                                                        an ice cream maker
                                                                                                                        Atlas Marcato pasta machine, had since the 80s, rarely use anymore.
                                                                                                                        FoodSaver vacuum sealer, early model, don't use anymore.
                                                                                                                        Silpats, don't like
                                                                                                                        Silicone muffin cups, don't like
                                                                                                                        de Buyer tinned copper cannele molds, beautiful and unused. have had these for over a year.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: AntarcticWidow
                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                          Felila Jan 2, 2014 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                          The Joe Pastry blog recently did a whole series of posts on making cannele. Perhaps you could read those posts and regain your enthusiasm for cannele.

                                                                                                                        2. Sam Salmon Dec 29, 2013 09:49 PM

                                                                                                                          I love my Stovetop smoker but need more time to utilise it properly-no regrets though and looking @ the patina on it all kinds of fond memories.

                                                                                                                          1. rmarisco Dec 31, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                            ice cream maker. i even got a double sided one so we could have 2 flavors....

                                                                                                                            i'd rather buy my ice cream.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: rmarisco
                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                              jbsiegel Dec 31, 2013 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                              Not me. I make ice cream regularly and LOVE it. My ice cream maker was one of the best purchases ever!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: rmarisco
                                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                                rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                I've got 2. I could do without the one with the freezable gel lining. The proper dasher one that uses a minimal number of ice cubes and table salt will eventually give out. After all, it's getting close to 20 years old and the manufacturer long ago discontinued it.

                                                                                                                                One day I hope to find the space for a condenser machine.

                                                                                                                                There's nothing like homemade ice cream and the flavors that become available when you can make it yourself!

                                                                                                                              2. g
                                                                                                                                GreekChorus Dec 31, 2013 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                An electric tortilla press/cooker. Not good.

                                                                                                                                1. alarash Jan 1, 2014 12:57 AM

                                                                                                                                  Pressure smoker. Doesn't work as well as you'd hope. Anyone surprised?

                                                                                                                                  The only silver lining is that I got it at a decent price off a gal who also only used it just once before coming to the same conclusion.

                                                                                                                                  1. DuffyH Jan 1, 2014 04:40 AM

                                                                                                                                    Ice cream maker - used exactly once in 2 years.

                                                                                                                                    KA pasta attachment - used exactly never in 3 years

                                                                                                                                    One was a gift from Mom (should have gone with the Soda Stream she initially wanted to buy us) and the KA pasta thing was something I just had to have. Silly me.

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                      alarash Jan 1, 2014 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                      If you decide to unload the pasta attachment, I'll buy. Always been curious to try it.
                                                                                                                                      Shoot me a message at my g mail account. my handle is quddus

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alarash
                                                                                                                                        r
                                                                                                                                        rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                        Hope you get a good deal from someone who doesn't appreciate it. It's an expensive accessory but it does a great job if you can't pat your head and rub your tummy or handle dough and crank a roller at the same time. ;>

                                                                                                                                    2. z
                                                                                                                                      zackly Jan 1, 2014 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                                      Stainless steel mandoline slicer that was very expensive. Now I use a plastic one that works better (sharper) and costs a fraction of what the original one did.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: zackly
                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                        Leepa Jan 1, 2014 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                                        Same here.

                                                                                                                                      2. r
                                                                                                                                        rainey Jan 1, 2014 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                                        I've got a *ton*. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were an exchange for these things so we could get rid of the things that take up space and try something new that might not have worked for someone else but be useful in our kitchens?

                                                                                                                                        The opposite side of this question is that a few Christmases ago someone gave me a huge tagine. I thought all it would do is occupy space on a high cabinet shelf. On the contrary, I use it *all* the time. Great for braising -- especially since it's the Emile Henry Flame that can take direct heat on the range -- but SENSATIONAL for break baking as the bottom is, ideally, shallow and the top allows tremendous expansion room for the oven spring. Who knew? LOVE it!

                                                                                                                                        1. sal_acid Jan 1, 2014 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                                          Panini press, breadmaker don't get much use.

                                                                                                                                          Electric Deep Fryer(s)- none are a good as a big pot and a lot of oil. not even the "pro" models. Most can't reach 375 and have too small a volume. And then you have to store them.

                                                                                                                                          1. c
                                                                                                                                            Christina D Jan 1, 2014 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                            I have a Le Creuset tagine too and it's useless. The bottom is so small and shallow, nothing fits in it.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Christina D
                                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                                              JbrendanP Jan 1, 2014 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                                              I too have the tagine. While I never use the top, I actually find the bottom fairly useful.

                                                                                                                                              Makes nice corn bread, chicago style pizza, or anything you'd bake in a cast iron skillet.

                                                                                                                                              It's also just the right size for chicken or duck leg confit.

                                                                                                                                            2. c
                                                                                                                                              Christina D Jan 1, 2014 02:56 PM

                                                                                                                                              Our big big BIG bust was a Klose gas grill. They made our smoker, which is a great piece of equipment, so we ordered a gas grill from them. Huge mistake.

                                                                                                                                              The element is too small for the size of the grill, so we can't get a proper sear. It also eats up a ton of propane and the lid is too small to close over the rotisserie.

                                                                                                                                              I keep swearing that my husband is going to come home one day and find that damn thing on the curb. It's awful.

                                                                                                                                              1. Caroline1 Jan 1, 2014 03:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                Useless for me:

                                                                                                                                                Pasta machine! HATE it. As I've shared on these boards before, I don't like fresh pasta. Didn't know that when I bought the machine.

                                                                                                                                                Countertop rotisserie oven. No counter space. It does a great job, but no room...

                                                                                                                                                A stupidly expensive electric deep fryer. It is SOOooooOOooOOo much easier just to use a saucepan full of oil and a thermometer on the stove top to French fry! MUCH less cleanup, and I can regulate how much oil I need by the diameter of the pan. If I was a short order cook in a restaurant, I would want -- make that insist -- on a dedicated automated deep fryer. But for home? I love my saucepans!

                                                                                                                                                I'm gonna quit now while you guys are ahead, because I could go on for another two or three weeks! I mean, how many of you want to hear about my larding needles and plum pudding molds? '-)

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                  JetLaggedChef Jan 1, 2014 08:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Did you try eggless fresh pasta? (I found I don't like egg pasta because it feels too soft and mushy to me)

                                                                                                                                                2. JetLaggedChef Jan 1, 2014 09:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I don't like my Charbroil infrared grill. It does cook evenly and perfect with little grill marks... but it tastes like it was cooked on a George Forman. There's none of that seared browned edges that really kick off steak into the world of POW. :)

                                                                                                                                                  I wish I'd purchased the regular model - about $200 less.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Crockett67 Jan 2, 2014 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                    The juicer, I don't regret it, but it's too $$$ to use since I tend to juice fruit rather than 'green lean' juices. That and my SO isn't much for it so anything I make is pretty much mine alone.

                                                                                                                                                    Then again, now I am craving a pink grapefruit and pear sparkler...

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Crockett67
                                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                                      jeanmarieok Jan 2, 2014 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I have a love- hate with my juicer. I pushed it aside for my Vitamix, but I've gone back to the juicer. I like my juice with most of the pulp removed, so Vitamix doesn't work in place of my juicer. But I HATE the clean up of the juicer.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                                                                                        Crockett67 Jan 2, 2014 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Totally feel ya there on the clean up.

                                                                                                                                                    2. u
                                                                                                                                                      ultimatepotato Jan 2, 2014 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Friends of mine clubbed together for Christmas 2012 and got me a Kenwood food processor - it was a thank you for helping them get through some tough times, mainly through feeding them.

                                                                                                                                                      It's still in the box, a year and a week later. It's too big, has too many parts, and doesn't have the one attachment that I might have used it for (centrifugal juicer). I live in a studio apartment and it just sits on top of the fridge, waiting to be loved.

                                                                                                                                                      Don't get me wrong, I was very touched by the gift. BUT - I wish they had asked what I needed/wanted first. Because ultimately, it would have been a bottle of wine and for them to keep the rest of their money.

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