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Things that are a total waste of money


Fat Guy
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I see a lot of home kitchens, some of which are the kitchens of people with an alarming amount of disposable income. I see a lot of things where I say, if I had that kind of budget, I'd want those things even though they're expensive. But some stuff I see, I think no matter how much money I had I still wouldn't buy it.

Nominations?

I'd like to put forward, for my first nomination, the cookware of All-Clad.

Ya know what? I just bought a 6 piece set of all-clad MC2 and I paid some low price of about 303.00(no tax, no shipping). I freaking LOVE IT. Totally worth it to me, I'm just sorry I waited so long to get it.

In March I bought the 12" non-stick covered frying pan from WS for 89.99( got 10% off from my chef business card). I love that too. I doubt I'll be throwing that pan away ( because I doubt the non-stick surface will warp, fade, scratch, etc).

Whats your aversion?

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Many people disagree with me but I'll nominate granite countertops. Not only are they expensive but they often give a very cold look (and feel) to kitchens which in my mine are supposed to me warm and messy.

This was the first thing that I thought of. Not because it's a waste of money, it's just not my taste. I like a warm, farmhouse kind of kitchen and 'shabby' defines my taste and my pocketbook! I don't like anything to be too shiny!

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Many people disagree with me but I'll nominate granite countertops. Not only are they expensive but they often give a very cold look (and feel) to kitchens which in my mine are supposed to me warm and messy.

This was the first thing that I thought of. Not because it's a waste of money, it's just not my taste. I like a warm, farmhouse kind of kitchen and 'shabby' defines my taste and my pocketbook! I don't like anything to be too shiny!

I love my granite( yep, its expensive), but I looked at it like an investment( if we ever want to sell the house). I think our kitchen looks pretty warm and inviting. here is an older picture, prior to the glass tile backsplash( another thing I love) installation.

gallery_25969_665_148263.jpg

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Instead, I will nominate major appliances.  Built in sub-zero fridge, for one.  (too shallow)

But the king is the Viking** range or cooktop in the household where the only cooking going on is making microwave mac and cheese.

** Or any other pricey brand

That was my first thought. I have been in several mega-remodeled homes recently and the appliances are gorgeous but they house nothing of interest. In particular the mega Viking or Gaggenau stoves are really attractive, but these are people who grill occasionally outside and never cook. I do not get it. I have had the save GE gas oven for at least 14 years, I even stored it while we remodeled our new house and built it into the granite countertops (more on those later). I can cook most people under the table with it, and it fits me like a glove. When I want more power or more burners I use my outdoor cooking area.

I love my granite counters. They are so freeing. I never worry about anything. The only care they require is a wipe down with a wet cloth. They have never seen a chemical on purpose. I plop my dough right on the counter to work it. i must admit that in my last place I chose tile and was convinced it was more homey- but I have seen the light :biggrin: I also think the granite is inviting, but I am a stone person in general.

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I just bought a 6 piece set of all-clad MC2 and I paid some low price of about 303.00(no tax, no shipping).  I freaking LOVE IT. . . .

Whats your aversion?

I think it's not that All Clad is a bad product (except that the handles truly suck). It's just that you can find equally good cookware for much less money. It sounds like you got a good price on your set, but lines like Le Creuset's stainless/clad line or even Sur La Table's "tri-ply" are anywhere from two-thirds to half the price of the All Clad stainless line and perform just as well, if not better. And the AC Copper Core line is a joke -- for that price you can get Demeyere's Apollo or Sirocco line get a significant layer of copper, instead of a thin layer sandwiched by aluminum.

The other thing about All Clad in my experience is that because it has the big name, many people choose it as their first "serious" cookware, so of course they love it -- they've been using crappy pans and this is the first decent stuff they've used. I've had lots of customers over my years in cookware stores who have started out buying All Clad and then ended up upgrading to Demeyere; I've never had a customer go the other way, even if the All Clad was on sale.

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. . . .

In March I bought the 12" non-stick covered frying pan from WS for 89.99( got 10% off from my chef business card).  I love that too.  I doubt I'll be throwing that pan away ( because I doubt the non-stick surface will warp, fade, scratch, etc). 

Whats your aversion?

Excellent price for All-Clad. But anyone who says that A-C (regardless of which line) doesn't warp is either inexperienced or lying.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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. . . .

In March I bought the 12" non-stick covered frying pan from WS for 89.99( got 10% off from my chef business card).  I love that too.  I doubt I'll be throwing that pan away ( because I doubt the non-stick surface will warp, fade, scratch, etc). 

Whats your aversion?

Excellent price for All-Clad. But anyone who says that A-C (regardless of which line) doesn't warp is either inexperienced or lying.

And thats why I chose to buy at Williams Sonoma. If anything happens to the pan, I just bring it back. They have excellent customer service.

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I guess there are reasons why anybody might buy anything, but when I walk into a rich dude's kitchen and see a gleaming set of All-Clad it screams ignorance to me. It means someone gave into marketing hype instead of actually buying the best, no less the best value. Whereas, if I see a gleaming set of Falk copper at least I think, hey, this guy may not cook much but he knows what's good and I wish I had it. A well-used set of Falk copper, now that's cool.

I've recently had occasion to cook with All-Clad and it wasn't bad, except for the handles which, unfortunately, many other brands have started emulating. It wasn't bad, but it was unremarkable and given that it costs as much as professional Bourgeat or something else really great it's hard to see why anybody buys it save for the fact that it's so well marketed.

I've got to guess that the professional kitchens equipped with All-Clad are getting some sort of marketing promo tie-in deal.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Slow-cookers are a waste for me.  I've had one for 5 years, and have used it twice.  I know they have their place other people's kitchens, but most things that I've seen people make in the them ("Hawaiian chicken" and the like) aren't things I want to cook.

I must stand up for the slow cooker. It's a huge help for the vegetarian cook, and anyone interested in frugal foods.

I use mine primarily to cook dry beans, which is something I do once or twice a week. I also occasionally use it for New Mexico style flat enchiladas, and for root vegetable stews. I especially like using it in the summertime, because it doesn't seem to heat up my kitchen as much as simmering beans on the stovetop does.

I like the fact that it is self-contained and safe to run while we're asleep or not at home -something I would never, ever do with my stove.

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Ok, I have to write in favor of my glass range hood. Our range is in an island, and the glass makes the hood less intrusive in the middle of the room. It is not particularly hard to keep clean, and there is NO maid in this house (admittedly I'm not the most fastidious housekeeper either). The biggest cleaning issue is dust on top, rather than splatter underneath, and it works like a dream.

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those "pot filler" faucets that have to be plumbed in behind the burners of the stove top.

seriously, if carrying the full pot of (presumably cool) water from the sink to the stove is too difficult, how will you ever get the cooked pasta, in the pot with the now-boiling water over to the sink to drain it?

Absolutely ! That was my logic to a T. I thought I was the only person in the world who thought that they were a useless, pretentious POS.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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those "pot filler" faucets that have to be plumbed in behind the burners of the stove top.

seriously, if carrying the full pot of (presumably cool) water from the sink to the stove is too difficult, how will you ever get the cooked pasta, in the pot with the now-boiling water over to the sink to drain it?

I regularly use my pot filler to fill my 24 quart stock pot with water after all the bones etc are in. I'm NOT hefting that thing from sink to stove top. :biggrin: Since I make a lot of stock, it's worth it to me.

Excellent price for All-Clad. But anyone who says that A-C (regardless of which line) doesn't warp is either inexperienced or lying.

I've had my All Clad for years and none of it has ever warped. The stainless steel skillets and roasting pans regularly go into a 500 degree oven, and it's never a problem and they're easy to clean with a bit of barkeeper's friend. I'm neither inexperienced or a liar. :raz:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Built in grill cook-tops - I thought I would use it a lot, especially in the colder months, but it is such a pain in the ass to clean. Even then, if it worked well, I would still use it, but it sucks. Mine is an electric Jenn-Air. The only reason we kept the insert when we remodeled the kitchen and changed the main cooktop to induction is to use the regular burners for pots that don't work on induction like my wife's copper jelly pot.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

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I also don't get the aversion to all-clad. While it may be expensive and may not be the "best", it is good cookware and frequently on sale at a reasonable price. Another advantage is that it is widely available, something not terribly true of the better European lines unless one lives in or near a major metropolis. I love my AC non-stick skillets. They haven't warped and I have no problems with the handles.

My favorite pot though is an Ikea non-stick wok that is well made, cheap and extremely versatile. I love it for cooking pasta of all things. It is from their top line.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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My one piece of All-Clad (a small sauce pan) lacks a rollover lip, one of the stupidest design omissions I can imagine. Even though I spent a mere $20 for it on clearance, it was a total waste of money because I never use it. I guess you could say that it looks really purty hanging there and all...

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I guess there are reasons why anybody might buy anything, but when I walk into a rich dude's kitchen and see a gleaming set of All-Clad it screams ignorance to me. It means someone gave into marketing hype instead of actually buying the best, no less the best value. Whereas, if I see a gleaming set of Falk copper at least I think, hey, this guy may not cook much but he knows what's good and I wish I had it. A well-used set of Falk copper, now that's cool.

To say purchasing All-Clad screams ignorance is a ridiculous statement. Often times, All-Clad is an excellent value - I've accrued mine over the years, all at sales prices and great values.

The title of this topic is things that are a total waste of money. Cookware that I've bought 15 years ago, used on a daily basis, and is still in perfect condition, including some non-stick, is hardly a total waste of money.

But I will go with microwave ovens - I've gotten by without one for over 25 years; in my opinion, putting one in any kitchen would be a total waste of money.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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those "pot filler" faucets that have to be plumbed in behind the burners of the stove top.

seriously, if carrying the full pot of (presumably cool) water from the sink to the stove is too difficult, how will you ever get the cooked pasta, in the pot with the now-boiling water over to the sink to drain it?

I regularly use my pot filler to fill my 24 quart stock pot with water after all the bones etc are in. I'm NOT hefting that thing from sink to stove top. :biggrin: Since I make a lot of stock, it's worth it to me.

Excellent price for All-Clad. But anyone who says that A-C (regardless of which line) doesn't warp is either inexperienced or lying.

I've had my All Clad for years and none of it has ever warped. The stainless steel skillets and roasting pans regularly go into a 500 degree oven, and it's never a problem and they're easy to clean with a bit of barkeeper's friend. I'm neither inexperienced or a liar. :raz:

hey, marlene--

i am completely delighted to hear that there is someone out there using that pot filler. since you obviously cook seriously, you may be among the very few that spigot makes sense for. having worked at an appliance store, and hearing my friends' catering war-stories, i can assure you that most of the ones installed in home kitchens get turned on once, and then make a lovely home for spiders. i have to ask though--after the stock is finished, do you fish the bones out with tongs and ladle out the stock in situ? cuz otherwise, it still seems like somebody's gotta lug that full (now hot) pot to the sink again? the logistics escape me (although i do see it more logical for stock than pasta water, which is what most customers say they'll use it for.) it's a relatively costly investment for occasional use, in most cases. but i'm glad you're happy with yours, and will amend my vote to pot-fillers, other than marlene's.

i also love my all-clad, which i have happily abused for 20 years now. not a warped pan in the lot, and i like their handles!

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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hey, marlene--

i am completely delighted to hear that there is someone out there using that pot filler. since you obviously cook seriously, you may be among the very few that spigot makes sense for. having worked at an appliance store, and hearing my friends' catering war-stories, i can assure you that most of the ones installed in home kitchens get turned on once, and then make a lovely home for spiders. i have to ask though--after the stock is finished, do you fish the bones out with tongs and ladle out the stock in situ? cuz otherwise, it still seems like somebody's gotta lug that full (now hot) pot to the sink again? the logistics escape me (although i do see it more logical for stock than pasta water, which is what most customers say they'll use it for.) it's a relatively costly investment for occasional use, in most cases. but i'm glad you're happy with yours, and will amend my vote to pot-fillers, other than marlene's.

i also love my all-clad, which i have happily abused for 20 years now. not a warped pan in the lot, and i like their handles!

I do in fact. I put a large bowl beside the pot, then fish out most of the big stuff with a spider, then put the smaller stock pot beside the large one and put my strainer lined with cheesecloth over it and ladle the stock out with a 4 cup mesuring cup. No way would I be lifting it over to the sink when it's full!

I make pasta only on occassion, and I confess I have used it for that, :biggrin: but I really had the spigot installed for large stock pot use.

What I don't get is the sink in the island concept. The sink is right behind you usually. And it cuts into working space. I'm putting an island in at the cottage, and the contractor seemed really surprised when I vehemently vetoed the island sink. :biggrin:

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Now, a fun game is, of the things people have listed above, how many of them do you have (or still want)?

  • 2 All-clad pans, both gifts, and I have had no problems with either (mind you I'm cooking on an electric smoothtop range, "high heat" isn't that hot).
  • 1 electric juicer, also a gift. I use it every day, I like it.
  • Granite countertops. Came with the house. Way better than any other surface I've tried.
  • Pot filler. Don't have one, want one, for the same reason as Marlene.
  • Superauto espresso machines. If I had that kind of money, I'd love one.
  • "Trendy" shaped sinks. If I ever have an island, I'd like one of those long, narrow sinks that slope toward the middle, with a disposer unit, for easy cleanup.
  • Probably several other things that I'm forgetting but that someone want to tell me is a waste of money.

Edited to add:

  • Microwave. I have one. I want a smaller model, but I will have my microwave.

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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. . . .

In March I bought the 12" non-stick covered frying pan from WS for 89.99( got 10% off from my chef business card).  I love that too.  I doubt I'll be throwing that pan away ( because I doubt the non-stick surface will warp, fade, scratch, etc). 

Whats your aversion?

Excellent price for All-Clad. But anyone who says that A-C (regardless of which line) doesn't warp is either inexperienced or lying.

No warpage here. Not a liar, nor inexperienced either. But, what I will say is that when I worked in a restaurant, I was always told not to take a screaming hot pan and throw it into a sink or run it under cold water. THAT will warp it - whether it's AC, Calphalon, Lincoln Wearever, or whatever.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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