Author Topic: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(  (Read 5195 times)

Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #50 on: October 07, 2019, 11:22:54 AM »
Do you normally  make soup with sour in it? Maybe that dissolves some of the steel.

I really don't think that's it. It was 3 different recipes and it wasn't just flavour but a significant difference in texture; only one recipe was acidic.

I found a Cuisinart pot for about $100 on Amazon, and the Test Kitchen indicated that brand as the runner up to Le Creuset, with downsides that it chips more and weighs more.

Lulee

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #51 on: October 07, 2019, 11:23:02 AM »
Never tried Lodge's enameled cookware but Mom swore by her old cast iron pan she had of theirs, right up til she dropped it and the handle broke off.  Newer ones are "pebblier" in texture like all newer cast iron ware is but otherwise they still have a good reputation.

Any chance you can borrow different cookware from friends, especially fancy pants ones who put out for high-end cookware?  Then you can try a few different types until you figure out which brands you like.

I haven't tried the Emil Legare's enameled ware though I think I saw it rated well on one of their shows.  I do have some of his steel cookware which I like fairly well (it was a gift).

The 2017 reviews on dutch ovens says Cuisanart compares well to Le Crueset and is a bit cheaper.  I don't know if they have much cookware in their site but I have gotten refurbished equipment at their store for a savings. 

meghan88

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #52 on: October 07, 2019, 12:15:00 PM »
Wouldn't the easiest solution just be to cook something else/adjust your meal plans? Like, instead of two pots of soup, one batch of soup in the expensive pot + something else that didn't involve a pot? I also do volume cooking every weekend, and have a very minimalist kitchen where nothing is really replicated, and find that having a variety of different types of dishes in the meal plan helps prevent me from needing extra anything. So some soup, some baked dishes, some stir fries, etc.

I could...but years of working out a routine that I enjoy is worth buying a new pot for me.

I'm saving this for an example for next time there's a discussion about how the forums have dramatically changed over the years in terms of spending/consumption patterns.

For a once-in-a-lifetime purchase of a good cooking pot that'll last for years, for someone who does a lot of cooking?  Does that consumption pattern rank alongside those on the forum who own cars and trucks - sometimes more than one - but could probably do without them?

Malkynn - have you tried kijiji, craigslist, varagesale, letgo etc.?  Garage sales, or the local goodwill?  Maybe post a "want" ad on kijiji and see what comes up?

honeybbq

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #53 on: October 07, 2019, 01:25:01 PM »
As the defender of the Vitamix, I had to come in and support you with your $$ kitchen tool.

Think of it as anything else: a convolution of the cost per "use/wear/etc" and the quality of the output and the time savings (if there are any).

Cooking is an art, and you can't make the Mona Lisa out of rancid paints.

dcozad999

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #54 on: October 07, 2019, 01:26:45 PM »
I hope you're not a Star Wars fan. If so, they may have left you with little choice:

https://www.menshealth.com/technology-gear/g29385319/star-wars-le-creuset-line/







I'm digging that Han Solo Carbonite Signature Roaster.

Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #55 on: October 07, 2019, 01:34:35 PM »
I hope you're not a Star Wars fan. If so, they may have left you with little choice:

https://www.menshealth.com/technology-gear/g29385319/star-wars-le-creuset-line/







I'm digging that Han Solo Carbonite Signature Roaster.

Lol, cute, but definitely not partial to collector's items

lhamo

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #56 on: October 07, 2019, 02:09:24 PM »
Another vote for Lodge enameled cast iron.  We have a 6 qt that we bought about 10 years ago to replace the Costco one we bought first that had problems with the enamel chipping.  The Lodge has held up well, though we don't use it all the time -- it is HEAVY!

KBecks

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #57 on: October 07, 2019, 02:23:01 PM »
Are these blind taste tests?


Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #58 on: October 07, 2019, 02:58:04 PM »
Are these blind taste tests?

Nope.

OtherJen

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #59 on: October 07, 2019, 03:00:47 PM »
Wouldn't the easiest solution just be to cook something else/adjust your meal plans? Like, instead of two pots of soup, one batch of soup in the expensive pot + something else that didn't involve a pot? I also do volume cooking every weekend, and have a very minimalist kitchen where nothing is really replicated, and find that having a variety of different types of dishes in the meal plan helps prevent me from needing extra anything. So some soup, some baked dishes, some stir fries, etc.

I could...but years of working out a routine that I enjoy is worth buying a new pot for me.

I'm saving this for an example for next time there's a discussion about how the forums have dramatically changed over the years in terms of spending/consumption patterns.

For a once-in-a-lifetime purchase of a good cooking pot that'll last for years, for someone who does a lot of cooking?  Does that consumption pattern rank alongside those on the forum who own cars and trucks - sometimes more than one - but could probably do without them?

Right? Maybe $100 (equivalent to what, 2Ė4 restaurant meals for 2 people) for a quality pot that will be used regularly and possibly last for decades doesn't seem that crazy to me. I mean, some people on the forums spend a lot more than that on plane travel or kids' sports or organic free-range everything. *shrugs* I thought the point of Mustachianism was to be very smart with money so that you can spend mindfully on your values.

mountain mustache

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #60 on: October 07, 2019, 06:28:05 PM »
Wouldn't the easiest solution just be to cook something else/adjust your meal plans? Like, instead of two pots of soup, one batch of soup in the expensive pot + something else that didn't involve a pot? I also do volume cooking every weekend, and have a very minimalist kitchen where nothing is really replicated, and find that having a variety of different types of dishes in the meal plan helps prevent me from needing extra anything. So some soup, some baked dishes, some stir fries, etc.

I could...but years of working out a routine that I enjoy is worth buying a new pot for me.

I'm saving this for an example for next time there's a discussion about how the forums have dramatically changed over the years in terms of spending/consumption patterns.

For a once-in-a-lifetime purchase of a good cooking pot that'll last for years, for someone who does a lot of cooking?  Does that consumption pattern rank alongside those on the forum who own cars and trucks - sometimes more than one - but could probably do without them?

Right? Maybe $100 (equivalent to what, 2Ė4 restaurant meals for 2 people) for a quality pot that will be used regularly and possibly last for decades doesn't seem that crazy to me. I mean, some people on the forums spend a lot more than that on plane travel or kids' sports or organic free-range everything. *shrugs* I thought the point of Mustachianism was to be very smart with money so that you can spend mindfully on your values.

I agree on this. I don't travel, ever, because it's not my passion, so I literally spend $0 on travel every year (ok maybe $100 on gas to road trip somewhere to camp for free).  I love cooking, I'm very passionate about good ingredients, trying new recipes, and enjoying the experience of cooking. I have a few pieces of expensive cookware and a few nice appliances that bring me great joy to use when I cook every single day. International travel/flying to exotic places is consumption/spending I don't agree with or need personally, but plenty of people on this forum justify that expense over small expenses that they may just not understand because it is not a need that they personally have. If you value the cooking experience, the joy of making amazing food at home that tastes incredible, then to me a nice pot  equates to "spending mindfully on your values." But that's just my two cents.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 06:32:45 PM by mountain mustache »

calimom

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #61 on: October 07, 2019, 08:09:48 PM »
@mountain mustache , great response to a rather...smug post. We all have things and experiences we value.

Long ago, I had a friend who was a fabulous home chef. She lived in a studio apartment the shittiest kitchen you ever saw, but produced wonderful meals for her guests. She impressed upon me the need for good quality knives and pots, and thus my small collection of Le Creuset was inspired. I have a stock pot, Dutch over, casserole, and grill pan. All purchase from an outlet. I am particularly fond of the Dutch oven which goes from stovetop to oven for things like a cassoulet. From what I have read, the Staub looks like a good contender and not as pricey.

I'm not-so-secretly happy that I acquired my fancy cookware, good knives, Vitamix and my Volvo wagon before discovering MMM. You may all show me the door now.

Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #62 on: October 08, 2019, 04:58:26 AM »
FWIW, @Zikoris is welcome to criticize my spending whenever she wants. She's a personal inspiration to me as she's one of the only Mustachians out there in the media that I really relate to in terms of core lifestyle.

That's why I didn't mind expanding on my cooking routine, because I don't mind clarifying that I wasn't just casually brushing off a smart suggestion that she made.

I don't come here to have my spending decisions supported, I come here to have them challenged with useful information and creative alternative solutions.

Truthfully, knowing myself, I'll probably not buy any pot for months, try a few more permutations of cooking with what I already have to see if I can maneuver a better system. This kitchen is still new to me and I'm still learning her quirks.

Thanks to this thread, I now have a much better understanding of what I'm looking at in terms of high end vs budget enameled cast iron, and I'll let that info percolate for awhile until the answer seems obvious.

In the meantime, all suggestions and input are welcome, even those that are just people telling me that I'm imagining things, lol.

terran

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #63 on: October 08, 2019, 05:53:40 AM »
I don't know that I could bring myself to buy it myself, but I will say that we inherited my mother-in-law's wedding gift Le Creuset that must be approaching 50 years old now, and while there is staining on the inside they're smooth and chip free.

Zikoris

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #64 on: October 08, 2019, 09:09:49 AM »
FWIW, @Zikoris is welcome to criticize my spending whenever she wants. She's a personal inspiration to me as she's one of the only Mustachians out there in the media that I really relate to in terms of core lifestyle.

That's why I didn't mind expanding on my cooking routine, because I don't mind clarifying that I wasn't just casually brushing off a smart suggestion that she made.

I don't come here to have my spending decisions supported, I come here to have them challenged with useful information and creative alternative solutions.


Well, that's good! I certainly have no ill intentions - my perspective is generally that if I have a problem and I'm about to spend a pile of money trying to solve it, and someone has another possible solution that doesn't cost anything, for god sakes please tell me - maybe I'll do it, maybe I won't but I want all the options.

I'm also a fan of having a flexible and adaptable food system in general - my own system has had MANY large changes over the last... ten years?... due to different kitchens, working hours, grocery store choices, equipment, changing preferences, and so on. I am constantly making tweaks and improvements as I figure out better ways to do things, and increase my skills in different food prep areas. Certainly every time we come back from an overseas trip there are substantial changes due to wanting to try making everything I ate there, lol. It's not absolutely necessary, of course, but I find being really flexible and adaptable really helps my food system in general.

littlebird

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #65 on: October 08, 2019, 11:28:54 AM »
Chiming in to join the chorus of Lodge enameled recommenders. On the rare occasions I shop at Marshall's I've seen them there almost every time for cheap. So if you are ok with an ugly color (they seem to usually be a kind of greyish purple) you should check there! They often also sell Le Creuset if you decide to go expensive.

merula

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #66 on: October 08, 2019, 11:40:56 AM »
I have two enamel cast iron pots, one Le Creuset and one from some department store with a celebrity chef marque (Martha? Emeril? Can't remember now). The cooking experience is very similar between the two in terms of even heating, heat retention, etc.

The one difference I've noticed is that the enamel on the cheap one is harder to clean, easily discolored and seems thinner. The thinness of the inside enamel might be due to extra scrubbing because of the 'harder to clean' issue, but I've also chipped the outside of the cheaper one but not the Le Creuset.

I wouldn't buy a cheap one again, so I'm on the lookout for Le Creuset (and now Staub, thanks for the rec) at thrift stores, garage sales, pawn shops, etc. (I've found pawn shops to be a great source of higher-quality household things than you'd normally see at thrift stores.)

Lucky Recardito

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #67 on: October 08, 2019, 12:05:21 PM »
+1 for Lodge; I'll also add that we have a Cost Plus World Market-branded enameled cast iron Dutch oven that was left in our kitchen by the previous homeowners and that we then adopted; it's currently my favorite pot. (I've never cooked in high-end cast iron, though, so it's possible I don't know what I'm missing.) Not sure if they make larger models.

Voicing general support for nice kitchen tools, though. So, so great.

GuitarStv

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #68 on: October 08, 2019, 12:17:21 PM »
I don't taste anything wrong with food made in the large stainless steel soup pot we bought at Goodwill 20 years ago.  Get an inexpensive (preferably used) stainless steel pot and go to town.

If you desperately feel the need for a ceramic coated pot, why not trawl your local craigslist until one pops up?  No reason to buy a new one.  Those pots should last forever if taken care of properly.

FL_MM

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #69 on: October 08, 2019, 01:41:40 PM »
Good cookware is a lifetime investment. Buy what you need and whatever encourages you to cook. I may get facepunched by the hardcore, but the cost of the right tools is less expensive than eating out or ruining food.
If you have the time, shop sales, outlets and garage/estate sales.
My stash includes 2 large Staub Dutch ovens purchased for 70% off at an end of season sale, LC skillet, braiser and gratin dish all purchased at an outlet with a coupon, a vintage Wagner skillet, and vintage Revereware. Iíve never paid over $100 a piece. The Wagner was a find at $5.
Happy hunting!

Linea_Norway

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #70 on: October 08, 2019, 01:45:19 PM »
Damn, this afternoon you me looking at Le Creuset pots online and considering them.

Luckily I still have the idea that our stainless steel pans works fine for soup. And the Ikea wok works fine for wokking. And another stainless steel pan can even in theory make bread in the oven. So I won't buy one.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #71 on: October 08, 2019, 02:46:30 PM »
Someone is selling a cherry red Le Creuset soup pot for $70 on my Nextdoor app. Made me think of this thread.

Dicey

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #72 on: October 08, 2019, 03:30:38 PM »
When we were cleaning out the house after my mom died, my brother wanted the le Ceuset pot. First, hecause he had given it to her years before and second because, le Creuset...

Thanks to this thread, I'm kinda jonesing for one now. I think if I lie down it will pass.

Altons Bobs

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #73 on: October 08, 2019, 05:43:52 PM »
I'd say to just go buy it since you know you will be using it regularly.

Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #74 on: October 08, 2019, 07:23:59 PM »
I don't taste anything wrong with food made in the large stainless steel soup pot we bought at Goodwill 20 years ago.  Get an inexpensive (preferably used) stainless steel pot and go to town.

If you desperately feel the need for a ceramic coated pot, why not trawl your local craigslist until one pops up?  No reason to buy a new one.  Those pots should last forever if taken care of properly.

I don't need an inexpensive steel pot, I have several expensive ones, plus two cat-bathtub sized copper pots.
I don't desperately need a second cast iron pot, I'm considering one.
I also never said there's anything wrong with cooking in stainless steel, but I am finding that my cooking is coming out better in cast iron.

So ...yeah....

But thanks for the suggestion, I'll keep checking Kijiji.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 07:59:29 PM by Malkynn »

Case

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #75 on: October 09, 2019, 06:42:31 PM »
Wouldn't the easiest solution just be to cook something else/adjust your meal plans? Like, instead of two pots of soup, one batch of soup in the expensive pot + something else that didn't involve a pot? I also do volume cooking every weekend, and have a very minimalist kitchen where nothing is really replicated, and find that having a variety of different types of dishes in the meal plan helps prevent me from needing extra anything. So some soup, some baked dishes, some stir fries, etc.

I could...but years of working out a routine that I enjoy is worth buying a new pot for me.

I'm saving this for an example for next time there's a discussion about how the forums have dramatically changed over the years in terms of spending/consumption patterns.

For a once-in-a-lifetime purchase of a good cooking pot that'll last for years, for someone who does a lot of cooking?  Does that consumption pattern rank alongside those on the forum who own cars and trucks - sometimes more than one - but could probably do without them?

Malkynn - have you tried kijiji, craigslist, varagesale, letgo etc.?  Garage sales, or the local goodwill?  Maybe post a "want" ad on kijiji and see what comes up?

I think Zikorisí point is that posting about a fanciful purchase on one of the top frugality forums on the web is a stark contrast to the forum of a few years ago, for better or worse.  Even if a fancy pan is a small purchase compared to a clown car, it is nonetheless an extravagance.
Are extravagances not allowed, especially when you can easily afford them?  Of course not.  But Zikorisí point ( my interpretation ) is that a lot of this sort of stuff pops up nowadays and it has definitely changed the character of this forum.  Whether that is good or bad is subjective.

Malkynn, the short cut easy answer is to go with wirecutterís Lodge recommendation, which they pretty thoroughly evaluate and find to have equal performance to Le Creuset.  Beyond that, you will probably have an easier time figuring out on a cooking specific forum or by just buying the Lodge and the <insert expensive brand here> and run the comparison.  Then you can report out and add more data points (the im sure a google search will return you plenty of user data).

My own personal experience:
My Relative insisted on getting me expensive fissler SS for my wedding gift.  Later, I needed a large pot for beer brewing so i bought a 4 gallon cheap brand made-in-china with similar design characteristics (aluminum core within SS).  In practice, they both seem to work reasonably well and i cannot differentiate them.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 08:17:13 PM by Case »

ROF Expat

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #76 on: October 10, 2019, 04:21:53 AM »
Malkynn,

I don't think you should be criticized for wanting to spend some money on a thoughtful purchase of something you will use and  enjoy (and can afford).  I wonder if you might have set the wrong tone by describing your enameled pot as "fancy."  It seems to me that you are saying the enameled pot gives you a better result, and the fact that it is more expensive than the steel pot is more or less incidental. 

I can't speak directly to the difference with soup, but I definitely find that different materials have a huge impact on cooking.  My wife loves her ceramic coated pans for eggs, but I much prefer cast iron for almost everything.  I find that the cast iron sears steaks far better than any alternative.  The fact that a good enameled pan should last your lifetime and be passed on to your heirs might even take a little of the sting out of the initial purchase price. 

We bought a couple of Le Creuset pots years ago (including the gigantic "goose pot") and are very happy with them.  I just looked up the current cost of a goose pot and it took my breath away.  I'm pretty sure I didn't pay anything near the current price for them.  I have some lodge cast iron, but none of the enamel.  Given the price difference, I'd probably start with the Lodge and only consider the Le Creuset in the unlikely event that the Lodge didn't perform well. 



Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #77 on: October 10, 2019, 04:26:29 AM »
Wouldn't the easiest solution just be to cook something else/adjust your meal plans? Like, instead of two pots of soup, one batch of soup in the expensive pot + something else that didn't involve a pot? I also do volume cooking every weekend, and have a very minimalist kitchen where nothing is really replicated, and find that having a variety of different types of dishes in the meal plan helps prevent me from needing extra anything. So some soup, some baked dishes, some stir fries, etc.

I could...but years of working out a routine that I enjoy is worth buying a new pot for me.

I'm saving this for an example for next time there's a discussion about how the forums have dramatically changed over the years in terms of spending/consumption patterns.

For a once-in-a-lifetime purchase of a good cooking pot that'll last for years, for someone who does a lot of cooking?  Does that consumption pattern rank alongside those on the forum who own cars and trucks - sometimes more than one - but could probably do without them?

Malkynn - have you tried kijiji, craigslist, varagesale, letgo etc.?  Garage sales, or the local goodwill?  Maybe post a "want" ad on kijiji and see what comes up?

I think Zikorisí point is that posting about a fanciful purchase on one of the top frugality forums on the web is a stark contrast to the forum of a few years ago, for better or worse.  Even if a fancy pan is a small purchase compared to a clown car, it is nonetheless an extravagance.
Are extravagances not allowed, especially when you can easily afford them?  Of course not.  But Zikorisí point ( my interpretation ) is that a lot of this sort of stuff pops up nowadays and it has definitely changed the character of this forum.  Whether that is good or bad is subjective.

Malkynn, the short cut easy answer is to go with wirecutterís Lodge recommendation, which they pretty thoroughly evaluate and find to have equal performance to Le Creuset.  Beyond that, you will probably have an easier time figuring out on a cooking specific forum or by just buying the Lodge and the <insert expensive brand here> and run the comparison.  Then you can report out and add more data points (the im sure a google search will return you plenty of user data).

My own personal experience:
My Relative insisted on getting me expensive fissler SS for my wedding gift.  Later, I needed a large pot for beer brewing so i bought a 4 gallon cheap brand made-in-china with similar design characteristics (aluminum core within SS).  In practice, they both seem to work reasonably well and i cannot differentiate them.

I'm pretty sure Zikoris' point was that she made a suggestion for a seemingly easy workaround so that I wouldn't have to buy a new pot and my reply seemed like a glib "nah, I think I'll just buy a pot anyway", which is why I clarified how I cook.
She already came back and said as much.

Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #78 on: October 10, 2019, 04:52:36 AM »
Malkynn,

I don't think you should be criticized for wanting to spend some money on a thoughtful purchase of something you will use and  enjoy (and can afford).  I wonder if you might have set the wrong tone by describing your enameled pot as "fancy."  It seems to me that you are saying the enameled pot gives you a better result, and the fact that it is more expensive than the steel pot is more or less incidental. 

I can't speak directly to the difference with soup, but I definitely find that different materials have a huge impact on cooking.  My wife loves her ceramic coated pans for eggs, but I much prefer cast iron for almost everything.  I find that the cast iron sears steaks far better than any alternative.  The fact that a good enameled pan should last your lifetime and be passed on to your heirs might even take a little of the sting out of the initial purchase price. 

We bought a couple of Le Creuset pots years ago (including the gigantic "goose pot") and are very happy with them.  I just looked up the current cost of a goose pot and it took my breath away.  I'm pretty sure I didn't pay anything near the current price for them.  I have some lodge cast iron, but none of the enamel.  Given the price difference, I'd probably start with the Lodge and only consider the Le Creuset in the unlikely event that the Lodge didn't perform well.

Lol, I am not a thin-skinned lady, criticism doesn't bother me.
I might throw a little sarcasm back at @GuitarStv, but that's because he can take it too ;)

That last part is what I want to avoid, wasting money on a cheaper pot that I end up disliking and ending up buying the nice pot anyway.

I'm just considering all of my options, a new stove is still a possibility.

KBecks

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #79 on: October 10, 2019, 05:49:31 AM »
A Staub pot *is* fancy.

I have to stay off the thread to keep away from a case of the wants.  I didn't know our food would taste better in a high end pot!

Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #80 on: October 10, 2019, 06:06:46 AM »
A Staub pot *is* fancy.

I have to stay off the thread to keep away from a case of the wants.  I didn't know our food would taste better in a high end pot!

According to the Test Kitchen, it would taste just as good in an econo-pot like a Lodge or Cuisinart, so that's good news.

My hesitation is the weight, which is the main difference. Huge cast iron pots are already very heavy, I'm not sure I would do well with a significantly heavier pot.

Zoot

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #81 on: October 10, 2019, 06:14:16 AM »
I actually have a program on my laptop where I have cross referenced all of my recipes according to perishable ingredients that can't be bought in small amounts, or are very expensive in small amounts, and I plan a week's worth of cooking around those particular items.

I'd love to know what you're using, if it's commercially available--I've just got turned on to Copy Me That (and it has revolutionized my recipe management!), but would love to know more about what you're using (as it might be a good supplement).

Regarding the pot(s):  I have several pieces of All-Clad and Le Creuset in my kitchen, and LOVE them.  They will be pried from my cold, dead, fingers someday.  All of them were bought at off-price stores like Marshall's / Home Goods.  For instance, my Le Creuset dutch oven was $90 at Home Goods instead of $300 retail, because it had a TINY (and I do mean TINY) flaw in the enamel.  I've used it for going on 20 years now, and it's never missed a beat.  The All-Clad pieces were bought by similar methods.

For us cooks, tools are IMPORTANT.  Food behaves DIFFERENTLY in different cookware.  Cookware affects taste, texture, depth of flavor, behavior of ingredients, SO MANY THINGS.  Do not deny yourself the tools you need to practice your Art.  :)  Use the skills you have developed to find a good price on it, pay it, and enjoy it for the rest of your cooking life.  That $90 purchase has worked out to $4.50 per year of use so far, and that pot shows no signs of not lasting another couple of decades--and the payoff in excellent food has been more than worth it. 

G-dog

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #82 on: October 11, 2019, 03:05:46 PM »
I just saw a Lodge enameled pot at the grocery store for $80.  I didnít closely check size or weight - but it was at least 4 qt, maybe 6 qt size.

Case

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #83 on: October 11, 2019, 09:02:22 PM »
Wouldn't the easiest solution just be to cook something else/adjust your meal plans? Like, instead of two pots of soup, one batch of soup in the expensive pot + something else that didn't involve a pot? I also do volume cooking every weekend, and have a very minimalist kitchen where nothing is really replicated, and find that having a variety of different types of dishes in the meal plan helps prevent me from needing extra anything. So some soup, some baked dishes, some stir fries, etc.

I could...but years of working out a routine that I enjoy is worth buying a new pot for me.

I'm saving this for an example for next time there's a discussion about how the forums have dramatically changed over the years in terms of spending/consumption patterns.

For a once-in-a-lifetime purchase of a good cooking pot that'll last for years, for someone who does a lot of cooking?  Does that consumption pattern rank alongside those on the forum who own cars and trucks - sometimes more than one - but could probably do without them?

Malkynn - have you tried kijiji, craigslist, varagesale, letgo etc.?  Garage sales, or the local goodwill?  Maybe post a "want" ad on kijiji and see what comes up?

I think Zikorisí point is that posting about a fanciful purchase on one of the top frugality forums on the web is a stark contrast to the forum of a few years ago, for better or worse.  Even if a fancy pan is a small purchase compared to a clown car, it is nonetheless an extravagance.
Are extravagances not allowed, especially when you can easily afford them?  Of course not.  But Zikorisí point ( my interpretation ) is that a lot of this sort of stuff pops up nowadays and it has definitely changed the character of this forum.  Whether that is good or bad is subjective.

Malkynn, the short cut easy answer is to go with wirecutterís Lodge recommendation, which they pretty thoroughly evaluate and find to have equal performance to Le Creuset.  Beyond that, you will probably have an easier time figuring out on a cooking specific forum or by just buying the Lodge and the <insert expensive brand here> and run the comparison.  Then you can report out and add more data points (the im sure a google search will return you plenty of user data).

My own personal experience:
My Relative insisted on getting me expensive fissler SS for my wedding gift.  Later, I needed a large pot for beer brewing so i bought a 4 gallon cheap brand made-in-china with similar design characteristics (aluminum core within SS).  In practice, they both seem to work reasonably well and i cannot differentiate them.

I'm pretty sure Zikoris' point was that she made a suggestion for a seemingly easy workaround so that I wouldn't have to buy a new pot and my reply seemed like a glib "nah, I think I'll just buy a pot anyway", which is why I clarified how I cook.
She already came back and said as much.

I think your are referring to a different response of hers.

"I'm saving this for an example for next time there's a discussion about how the forums have dramatically changed over the years in terms of spending/consumption patterns."

This is the one I referred to.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #84 on: October 12, 2019, 05:38:43 AM »
I am thinking that appropriate cookware fits under the Vimes Boot Theory.  Buy the level of quality you will need and use it for a long time. 


Dicey

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #85 on: October 12, 2019, 05:47:01 AM »
I'm just considering all of my options, a new stove is still a possibility.
I saw what you did there ;-)

Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #86 on: October 12, 2019, 06:03:01 AM »
I think your are referring to a different response of hers.

"I'm saving this for an example for next time there's a discussion about how the forums have dramatically changed over the years in terms of spending/consumption patterns."

This is the one I referred to.

I'm not comfortable speaking for her too much, but yes, that is exactly the response I'm referring to, and I'm fairly confident my interpretation of the exchange is correct.

Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #87 on: October 12, 2019, 06:18:29 AM »
I'm just considering all of my options, a new stove is still a possibility.
I saw what you did there ;-)

I have a connection that can get me a good stove for less than the cost of a high end enameled pot, and the stove kind of sucks.

I'm also not looking to spend as little as possible, I'm just looking to avoid spending on a suboptimal option.

Case

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #88 on: October 12, 2019, 09:50:49 AM »
I think your are referring to a different response of hers.

"I'm saving this for an example for next time there's a discussion about how the forums have dramatically changed over the years in terms of spending/consumption patterns."

This is the one I referred to.

I'm not comfortable speaking for her too much, but yes, that is exactly the response I'm referring to, and I'm fairly confident my interpretation of the exchange is correct.

Ah, I see.  I donít see how you arrived at your interpretation, but itís no big deal, and perhaps I a just missing the obvious.

Zikoris

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #89 on: October 12, 2019, 10:38:31 AM »
I am thinking that appropriate cookware fits under the Vimes Boot Theory.  Buy the level of quality you will need and use it for a long time.

I'd say it's the opposite - a great example of why Vimes Boot Theory is no longer applicable to the modern world. The theory goes that a poor person could not afford the more expensive quality boots, and thus spent a lot more money than the rich person buying cheap pair after cheap pair, and hence it's more expensive to be poor. Which was once true, but then the world changed and the price of basic goods plummeted due to industrialization and mass production. There is practically nobody these days who even keeps a pair of shoes until they're completely worn out beyond use, because they've gotten to be so cheap and easily replaceable. The same goes with cookware - sure, you can get better results with better stuff, but the cheaper stuff will absolutely last years and years, and cost such a small amount to replace that most people, even the poorest, would not even bother to budget for it (like, literally a buck or two secondhand for a basic pot).

deborah

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #90 on: October 12, 2019, 12:25:52 PM »
I have a stainless steel pot for soup. Itís amazing. It is actually a pasta pot. Similar to this (but without the steamer insert - it only has the bigger pasta insert)

https://www.everten.com.au/scanpan-impact-multipot-24cm.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjw84XtBRDWARIsAAU1aM364785snpJDdlIp94q6Fe8TxZfQolpexpYrWW5MJ7cPz3l4u9v0hAaAunaEALw_wcB

I love the pasta insert, that I can use for dumping the ingredients in when I cook stock, and easily remove them from the stock at the end of cooking. It also enables me to cook the beans and drain them before completing the soup. The pot has revolutionised my soup cooking! It is rarely (if ever) used for pasta. As we cook soup weekly, the pot is one of our most used pieces of kitchen equipment. I agree that getting the right piece for the job is very important.

I would find the cast iron soup pot far too heavy especially once it had the soup in it.

Have you found that induction is better or worse for cooking with?

Cyanne

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #91 on: October 12, 2019, 03:00:55 PM »
Is this one large enough?

https://www.cutleryandmore.com/staub/round-dutch-oven-fish-knob-p138226

They have different colors and knob styles on clearance.

Cranky

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #92 on: October 12, 2019, 05:12:21 PM »
I am thinking that appropriate cookware fits under the Vimes Boot Theory.  Buy the level of quality you will need and use it for a long time.

I'd say it's the opposite - a great example of why Vimes Boot Theory is no longer applicable to the modern world. The theory goes that a poor person could not afford the more expensive quality boots, and thus spent a lot more money than the rich person buying cheap pair after cheap pair, and hence it's more expensive to be poor. Which was once true, but then the world changed and the price of basic goods plummeted due to industrialization and mass production. There is practically nobody these days who even keeps a pair of shoes until they're completely worn out beyond use, because they've gotten to be so cheap and easily replaceable. The same goes with cookware - sure, you can get better results with better stuff, but the cheaper stuff will absolutely last years and years, and cost such a small amount to replace that most people, even the poorest, would not even bother to budget for it (like, literally a buck or two secondhand for a basic pot).

I am also skeptical of the Vimes Boot Theory, because most of the price of a pair of shoes has to do with marketing, not the quality of the manufacturing or materials. You can pay a whole lot for really terrible shoes, and I've had cheap shoes last forever. (I have a pair of knock off Crocs that I bought out of the dollar bin at the grocery store, and I've worn them out in the garden for about 10 years now, and will probably wear them another 10 years.)

Also, good luck getting your boots resoled at a reasonable price.

Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #93 on: October 12, 2019, 06:01:42 PM »
I have a stainless steel pot for soup. Itís amazing. It is actually a pasta pot. Similar to this (but without the steamer insert - it only has the bigger pasta insert)

https://www.everten.com.au/scanpan-impact-multipot-24cm.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjw84XtBRDWARIsAAU1aM364785snpJDdlIp94q6Fe8TxZfQolpexpYrWW5MJ7cPz3l4u9v0hAaAunaEALw_wcB

I love the pasta insert, that I can use for dumping the ingredients in when I cook stock, and easily remove them from the stock at the end of cooking. It also enables me to cook the beans and drain them before completing the soup. The pot has revolutionised my soup cooking! It is rarely (if ever) used for pasta. As we cook soup weekly, the pot is one of our most used pieces of kitchen equipment. I agree that getting the right piece for the job is very important.

I would find the cast iron soup pot far too heavy especially once it had the soup in it.

Have you found that induction is better or worse for cooking with?

Induction? No idea, the only pots I can use it with are my cast iron, so I have no comparison.
It won't work with my copper or even with my stainless steel because of the texture on the bottoms of them.

I do have two large stainless steel pots, but I pretty much only use them for pasta, mostly because they're light, which is kind of handy when pouring boiling water.

I rarely move the cast iron pots when they have soup in them, so that's not an issue, just hauling them empty in and out of the cupboard.

Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #94 on: October 12, 2019, 06:14:13 PM »
I am thinking that appropriate cookware fits under the Vimes Boot Theory.  Buy the level of quality you will need and use it for a long time.

I'd say it's the opposite - a great example of why Vimes Boot Theory is no longer applicable to the modern world. The theory goes that a poor person could not afford the more expensive quality boots, and thus spent a lot more money than the rich person buying cheap pair after cheap pair, and hence it's more expensive to be poor. Which was once true, but then the world changed and the price of basic goods plummeted due to industrialization and mass production. There is practically nobody these days who even keeps a pair of shoes until they're completely worn out beyond use, because they've gotten to be so cheap and easily replaceable. The same goes with cookware - sure, you can get better results with better stuff, but the cheaper stuff will absolutely last years and years, and cost such a small amount to replace that most people, even the poorest, would not even bother to budget for it (like, literally a buck or two secondhand for a basic pot).

Plus, non enameled, unseasoned cast iron is dirt cheap...
I'm kind of surprised that no one has called me out for that yet.

Here's where you can legit call me a soft. The only benefit of enamel is that it's easier to clean, easier to maintain, and makes seeing the fond and the sear easier.

The expense of my pots doesn't make them cook better, the expense makes them easier to use while they cook better.

So yeah, definitely not a case of Vines Boot Theory. Very much a case of hedonic adaptation.

G-dog

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #95 on: October 12, 2019, 06:16:47 PM »
You donít worry about anything leaching out of non-enameled cast iron?  I would think it wasnít suitable for tomato sauces or other acidic foods.  Maybe that is do minor that itís not relevant.

Malkynn

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #96 on: October 12, 2019, 06:53:22 PM »
You donít worry about anything leaching out of non-enameled cast iron?  I would think it wasnít suitable for tomato sauces or other acidic foods.  Maybe that is do minor that itís not relevant.

Tomato sauce can definitely strip the seasoning and affect taste. That is absolutely true.

Now, I don't make tomato sauce and don't particularly like acidic food, so I wasn't really thinking of that honestly.

BrightFIRE

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #97 on: October 14, 2019, 01:17:56 PM »
I have a full set of Le Creuset, but a few years ago when I wanted a larger pot I didn't want to spend so much. I bought a Lodge pot (I think it's 8 Qt?) at Target for around $80. It works just as well as my Le Creuset and I'd happily buy more pieces in the future (heresy, I know!). It is heavy as all hell though, especially when full, and it's huge. If I put it in the oven, I have to take out the top rack to accommodate the closed pot with handle. It's a real challenge to lift when it's full and hot, and I have to remember to lift with my legs or I'll have a sore back the next day!

The only other thing I could think of for the different results is the burner itself. Do you always cook with the pots in the same spots on the stove top? Maybe one burner is weaker than the other?

If you're braising, one tip from Molly Stevens' All About Braising was to cut a piece of parchment to fit on top of the food and then put the lid on (even with good pots). It's an even better seal then.

ROF Expat

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #98 on: October 15, 2019, 01:11:12 AM »
I am thinking that appropriate cookware fits under the Vimes Boot Theory.  Buy the level of quality you will need and use it for a long time.

I'd say it's the opposite - a great example of why Vimes Boot Theory is no longer applicable to the modern world. The theory goes that a poor person could not afford the more expensive quality boots, and thus spent a lot more money than the rich person buying cheap pair after cheap pair, and hence it's more expensive to be poor. Which was once true, but then the world changed and the price of basic goods plummeted due to industrialization and mass production. There is practically nobody these days who even keeps a pair of shoes until they're completely worn out beyond use, because they've gotten to be so cheap and easily replaceable. The same goes with cookware - sure, you can get better results with better stuff, but the cheaper stuff will absolutely last years and years, and cost such a small amount to replace that most people, even the poorest, would not even bother to budget for it (like, literally a buck or two secondhand for a basic pot).

Plus, non enameled, unseasoned cast iron is dirt cheap...
I'm kind of surprised that no one has called me out for that yet.

Here's where you can legit call me a soft. The only benefit of enamel is that it's easier to clean, easier to maintain, and makes seeing the fond and the sear easier.

The expense of my pots doesn't make them cook better, the expense makes them easier to use while they cook better.

So yeah, definitely not a case of Vines Boot Theory. Very much a case of hedonic adaptation.

I wouldn't call you out on enamel vs plain iron because the price difference between a lodge bare iron and lodge enamel dutch oven in the 5/6 quart range is about $20 dollars.  Spending $60 for a 6 qt enameled pot that will be easier to clean, easier to maintain, and will make seeing your food and sear easier doesn't seem "hedonic" compared to $40 for a bare iron pot when we are talking about a  lifetime purchase. 

I think the Vimes boot theory is important in that it gets you thinking about value for money and total lifecycle costs rather than just up front cost.  The problem is that the theory is only relevant when it is fully thought out and fully applies.  For example, people are often advised to "buy the best tools you can afford."  This probably makes sense for professionals or even non-professionals who use their tools all the time.  That said, I buy relatively inexpensive tools because I only do home handyman stuff.  They won't last as long as higher grade tools, but I will never use them enough to wear them out. 

I strive to have fewer things of higher quality.  When I pass away and my grandchildren come to clear out my house, I hope they'll look at my stuff and say "Wow, look at all this great, high quality stuff!" and fight over who gets to take it home, rather than sigh sadly at the memory of their "hoarder" grandpa and argue whether it is worth taking all his junk to Goodwill or straight to the landfill. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Oh no...I have an expensive cookware problem :(
« Reply #99 on: October 15, 2019, 08:05:48 AM »
I am thinking that appropriate cookware fits under the Vimes Boot Theory.  Buy the level of quality you will need and use it for a long time.

I'd say it's the opposite - a great example of why Vimes Boot Theory is no longer applicable to the modern world. The theory goes that a poor person could not afford the more expensive quality boots, and thus spent a lot more money than the rich person buying cheap pair after cheap pair, and hence it's more expensive to be poor. Which was once true, but then the world changed and the price of basic goods plummeted due to industrialization and mass production. There is practically nobody these days who even keeps a pair of shoes until they're completely worn out beyond use, because they've gotten to be so cheap and easily replaceable. The same goes with cookware - sure, you can get better results with better stuff, but the cheaper stuff will absolutely last years and years, and cost such a small amount to replace that most people, even the poorest, would not even bother to budget for it (like, literally a buck or two secondhand for a basic pot).

Plus, non enameled, unseasoned cast iron is dirt cheap...
I'm kind of surprised that no one has called me out for that yet.

Here's where you can legit call me a soft. The only benefit of enamel is that it's easier to clean, easier to maintain, and makes seeing the fond and the sear easier.

The expense of my pots doesn't make them cook better, the expense makes them easier to use while they cook better.

So yeah, definitely not a case of Vines Boot Theory. Very much a case of hedonic adaptation.

I wouldn't call you out on enamel vs plain iron because the price difference between a lodge bare iron and lodge enamel dutch oven in the 5/6 quart range is about $20 dollars.  Spending $60 for a 6 qt enameled pot that will be easier to clean, easier to maintain, and will make seeing your food and sear easier doesn't seem "hedonic" compared to $40 for a bare iron pot when we are talking about a  lifetime purchase. 

I think the Vimes boot theory is important in that it gets you thinking about value for money and total lifecycle costs rather than just up front cost.  The problem is that the theory is only relevant when it is fully thought out and fully applies.  For example, people are often advised to "buy the best tools you can afford."  This probably makes sense for professionals or even non-professionals who use their tools all the time.  That said, I buy relatively inexpensive tools because I only do home handyman stuff.  They won't last as long as higher grade tools, but I will never use them enough to wear them out. 

I strive to have fewer things of higher quality.  When I pass away and my grandchildren come to clear out my house, I hope they'll look at my stuff and say "Wow, look at all this great, high quality stuff!" and fight over who gets to take it home, rather than sigh sadly at the memory of their "hoarder" grandpa and argue whether it is worth taking all his junk to Goodwill or straight to the landfill.

I've been using what are generally considered low quality second hand purchased stainless steel pans and pots for 20 odd years now.  They're light weight and have perfectly functional but non-sexy plastic handles.  I have had to perform maintenance on several of them during that time (tightening the screw that holds the handle onto the pan).  We make great food in them every week, and they've lasted pretty well.  There's no reason we wouldn't get at least another ten or twenty years out of them.  And we got the whole set (four pots and two frying pans) for around 50$ - so less than 10$ each.  It's very hard to argue that Vimes boot theory makes any kind of sense in that sort of environment.  Especially when comparing to cookware that goes for 100+ dollars a piece.

The comments about what you leave behind after you die kinda bother me too.  I've had two grandparents and a close friend die this year.  They all had spent money on high quality things that were important to them (be it furniture, fancy cooking related stuff, televisions, etc).  The vast majority of these items were sold off for very little money because nobody wanted them.  Just because it's high quality and you like a fancy enamel coated stainless steel dish it doesn't mean that your kid is going to want it (I certainly have no use for that type of cookware).  When I die and my child is going through the stuff I leave behind, instead of being impressed with the fancy shit I spent my money on I hope he goes "Wow . . . you really don't need expensive stuff to lead a high quality life!  And look at their bank account . . . they could have afforded any trendy crap being sold . . . but decided it wasn't necessary."  I want people to remember who I was, not fight over who has to sell my old crap on ebay.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 10:19:57 AM by GuitarStv »