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torakris

Ikea's kitchen goods

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Ikea has come to Japan. :biggrin: Store #2 opened not far from my house yesterday, I have been browsing the catalogue that mysteriosly appeared in my mailbox a couple weeks ago and have been circling items I am interested in. The prices on some of this stuff just seems to good to be true, especially for Japan.

Some of the things I am interested in are various dishes, coffee mugs, glassware and silverware. Also roasting pans, gratin dishes and some cute ice cube trays.

I would love to hear other's experiences with Ikea products, good and bad.

Any product recommendations?

Anything I should avoid?


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Here's what I've found about IKEA products. Yes, the prices are low, but they are not built to last. If you'll looking for something that you plan to replace in a year or two, go for it. If you're thinking you want to invest in something that will last for 10+ years, skip IKEA. Some products will last longer than others. The ceramic items like dishes, mugs and gratin dishes will hold up like the ones you get from other stores. I'm really not fond of the pots and pans.

What I suggest about IKEA is to go to the store instead of ordering from the catalog or online. You'll be able to see the quality in person and decide if it's worh your money.

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THe pots and pans suck, but while in London, I found their oven dishes and pans pretty good. 2 years worth of roasted rosemary garlic potatoes wil attest to that.

While moving around and staying in serviced apartments, most in Europe had Ikea knife sets... while useable definitely not for the workhorse kitchen... might sound stupid, but good for kids learning to cook... I knew a family where each kid over the age of 12 had their own set of Ikea knives and the eldest, an 18 year old, was saving up for his first set of Globals... How sweet.


"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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What I suggest about IKEA is to go to the store instead of ordering from the catalog or online. You'll be able to see the quality in person and decide if it's worh your money.

Exactly so, but you might want to wait a few weeks after the opening. Ikea and Japan seem like such a perfect fit that traffic might pile up for miles.

Ikea's fabulous, but quirky: the decision is almost always about price. The kitchens they sell are amazing quality for the money: my husband, who has hand-crafted several kitchens over the last twenty years now routinely directs hopeful clients to Ikea first. He deems it unfair to attempt a big job if Ikea can do it better and cheaper, which is almost always.

I buy their 1.99 non-stick cheapo skillet twice a year: it's about price. A two buck pan that makes omelets every week can be discarded. For a birthday bash a few years ago we discovered that Ikea's everyday wine glasses were cheaper and nicer than plastic: say, four bucks for six. We laid in ten boxes, and in two years of regular use they were dead. No big deal.

The crockery can be so cheap it makes you feel guilty about buying it, and it lasts forever. The harp-shaped Scandinavian vegetable peelers are the best price-to-value kitchen item I can think of. If you dine by candlelight , as we do, the candles are highest quality and inexpensive.

But go for the fun! I want to know how Swedish meatballs and carbonated pear cider go over in Japan.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I am glad to hear all of this.

I am not really in the market for new pans and knives but is so easy to get tempted by low prices... I will just close my eyes and keep on walking.

I am definitely going to pick up some ceramic pieces, I have been wanting to replace my coffee cups/mugs for sometime now. I also need a bunch of plastic cups for kids. these are really hard to find in Japan for some reason.

I think I will get that gratin dish as well, the one I have been using for 10 years isn't going to make it much longer and is just too small for our family of 5.

I will also be checking out the food. :biggrin:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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i have a few plates and bowls from them, most notably the square plates with the sloping sides. I don't have a dishwasher so I have to handwash these and they still manage to chip and crack. "Crack" means that their are deep grey lines throughout my white plates and bowls...this doesn't mean that they are splitting or separating all over the place. Its not very pretty

I heard their knives were pretty decent though?


BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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Yeah, I think you can say about all IKEA products, including the kitchen stuff, that you have to watch sharp for the quality/durability, which can vary. But a goodly amount of their stuff does hold up pretty darned well, and is often cleverly designed. And in addition to all that, I find I just like IKEA's design aesthetic. I think they must have me right in the crosshairs of their demographic-targetting machine. :laugh:

This one pan of theirs that I own is a typical example of their stuff. It's the one I call my "fake wok"--bowl-shaped pan, aluminum with non-stick inside and royal blue enamel outside, glass dome lid with plastic handle. It didn't cost much. You can tell it ain't built for the ages the second you pick it up. But it works quite well for what it is ... and since I've taken care not to abuse it, it's lasted a whole lot longer than I've had any right to expect. Plus it's kinda cute. :biggrin:

So, hey, as long as you're not expecting the stuff to be Le Creuset, what the hey! It's fun and clever and serves its purpose.

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I buy their 1.99 non-stick cheapo skillet twice a year: it's about price.  A two buck pan that makes omelets every week can be discarded.

Same here, I usually buy the set that comes with a small and medium-sized pan. Then again, cheap teflon pans should be widely available in Japan.

Stuff I recommend:

-Juicer (wood) has held up nicely.

-Plastic kitchen shears, will eventually break but still a bargain.

-Magnetized kitchen timer, cheap and simple, I have a bunch of these.

-Shaker set, I'm no bartender (I use them to make iced coffee shakeratos), but seems like a good bargain.

-Select glassware (not stemware), cheap and cheerful.

-Plastic storage container set (the one with three sizes that fit into one large rectangular container)

-End grain butcher block, ours has held up nicely but is likely too massive for a typical Japanese kitchen.

Duds/not recommended:

-Pots and pans (poor quality)

-Earthenware (dinnerware) bowls (crack/chip easily) *EDITED for CLARITY*

-Thin stemware (too fragile)

The paring knife is okay, but I would stay away from the larger knives. Standard Japanese household kitchen knives will probably serve you better.


Edited by sanrensho (log)

Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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i have a few plates and bowls from them, most notably the square plates with the sloping sides.  I don't have a dishwasher so I have to handwash these  and they still manage to chip and crack.  "Crack" means that their are deep grey lines throughout my white plates and bowls...this doesn't mean that they are splitting or separating all over the place.  Its not very pretty.

I've had the same experience. However, that's with their cheapest crockery (I just wanted a couple of dishes that would go in the microwave). Their second-cheapest crockery seems to stand up better. Also, strangely, their incredibly cheap blue mugs.

They usually have sets of three pairs of scissors which are really cheap and surprisingly strong - mine have lasted and lasted.

Caroline

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I have some IKEA kitchen shears that I've had for more than ten years!

Great small glassware (tiny mise bowls, v small juice glasses/large shot glasses, small stemmed sherry glasses).

Plastic, rubber-bottomed mixing bowls (with lids now!).

Second the candles, some of the candle holders are also wicked cheap.

Third the small nonstick frying pans.

I also like their picture frames and bathroom rugs.

(80% of my furniture is IKEA, as well; you just have to choose carefully)


Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Champagne Glasses -- for the millenium (geez, SIX years ago!), I purchased 60 or 70 glasses that were sold in six-packs for $2.99 each = .50 cents a glass! I still have 40 or 50 of them. I also bought white and red wine glasses in those same six-packs but they have broken over the years.

Take a look at the "As-Is" department -- it will be hidden in a cubby-hole by somewhere around the check-out counters. I have found amazing bargains in the way of bookshelves, teapots, couches, lamps, etc. It got to a point where I would stop by my IKEA, just walk straight to the As-Is department and peruse and walk out if I didn't see anything. During my college days, I would go once a week as the selections changed daily. Seriously discounted stuff!

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My ceramic wear is holding up nicely and I pop it in the oven almost weekly (I've had it for two years).

I agree- pass on pots and pan. There are fun inexpensive gadgets that I buy occasionally for fun.

The one thing I bought at IKEA and love (and have bought for many many people) is their cheese grater that comes with its own bowl. The bowl is plastic and oval and about 1 1/2 times the size of one of my hands. It has a plastic lid and two sizes of graters that fit on top like a lid. So you grate your cheese into the bowl then snap on the plastic lid and toss in fridge. No mess and the cheese stays fresh for a couple weeks in the bowl. I don't know if I described this well but for $2 it is a hell of a grater. :biggrin:

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I buy their 1.99 non-stick cheapo skillet twice a year: it's about price.  A two buck pan that makes omelets every week can be discarded.

Same here, I usually buy the set that comes with a small and medium-sized pan. Then again, cheap teflon pans should be widely available in Japan.

Me three. I don't believe in expensive non-stick skillets (they all wear out in the end). I bought a set of medium & small skillets at Ikea a few years ago, and they're still going strong, believe it or not.

A lot of my friends buy their inexpensive glassware.

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I have these glasses, and believe it or not, after 2 years (and kids and granite countertops), not one has broken, and like the picture shows, they stack beautifully.

(edited to correct link)


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Duds/not recommended:

-Ceramic bowls (crack/chip easily)

Sorry, I should have been more clear about this. I meant to say "earthenware (dinnerware) bowls." I don't have any experience with their ceramic bakewear. I actually have the Ikea pie plate but haven't gotten around to using it yet.

Too busy...baking cakes. :raz:


Edited by sanrensho (log)

Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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Three words - plastic cutting boards.

They come in a bunch of colors and are cheap enough to buy a whole bunch.


Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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I forgot to mention this the first time. Our all-time favorite, in terms of pure usage, is the set of flower-shaped (multicolored) plastic dishes from the kids section. I know that these were discontinued and replaced with a different version a few years ago, but we still use ours daily.


Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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You'll know once you go to the store. The quality is immediately apparent.

I've bought mixing bowls and the like for cheap. Last just as long as others.

Silverware - fantastic and durable.

Glasses - fine with me.

I wouldn't buy knives, things with movable parts, etc.


“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

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I've never bought any Ikea pots and pans but I bought lots of other stuff linens, bowls, dishes, kitchen tools, utensils and furniture prior to 1989 all of which are still going strong. 1989 was the year I moved to an Ikea-less area. I miss it very much and the smaller stuff can't be purchased through the mail. As for quality, many of the baking dishes, bowls and things I bought have outlasted similar ones bought at WilliamsSonama and other places that are supposed to have decent quality stuff. My last purchase was a coffee table that was a duplicate of one sold at Pottery barn for $300 or $400 dollars, even with shipping it was under $150.

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I have two recommendations, both cheap, sturdy, and good for tight kitchen spaces -- though neither is found in the kitchen section.

To solve a lighting problem in the space where our rolling cabinet usually sits (my main work station in the kitchen), I've installed a set of these IKEA Trettio lights under the wall shelving unit. They were very easy to install and I use them literally daily.

The second the Ikea Frost clothes drying rack, which has been indispensable for drying pasta and sausages:

gallery_19804_437_90678.jpg

gallery_19804_437_91814.jpg

The bars can be lowered to hang off the frame, but I remove them after each use and store them in the pantry so that they don't bang on the refrigerator door. You can see their uses here for sausage-making, and I use it throughout the rolling and cutting process when making fresh pasta.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chris,

That is just genius. I have been drying my sausages on cookie racks on my dining room table but that means we have to eat our dinner that day on the coffee table in the living room...

Just as I assumed Ikea was packed, I did manage to find everything I was looking for though and we did have some planning how we would design the rooms if we ever bought a house.

I do plan on going back maybe next month during a weekday with friends so I can look around a little more carefully. Next on my list are the laundry rack and some wine glasses.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I would agree with the responses above. The only item I would advise to skip are the plastic "cute shapes" ice cube trays. I have yet to get the ice cubes out without breaking my fingers - if anyone has a tip, please forward them on!

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I would agree with the responses above.  The only item I would advise to skip are the plastic "cute shapes" ice cube trays.  I have yet to get the ice cubes out without breaking my fingers - if anyone has a tip, please forward them on!

I bought 3 of these....

They are in the freezer as I type, I did manage to remove the puzzle and star shaped ones yesterday but it wasn't easy.

I was hoping we can use them for making homemade gummies or jello shapes, do you think this will work?


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I would agree with the responses above.  The only item I would advise to skip are the plastic "cute shapes" ice cube trays.  I have yet to get the ice cubes out without breaking my fingers - if anyone has a tip, please forward them on!

I bought 3 of these....

They are in the freezer as I type, I did manage to remove the puzzle and star shaped ones yesterday but it wasn't easy.

I was hoping we can use them for making homemade gummies or jello shapes, do you think this will work?

I tried jello too but the rubber of the tray is too "sticky" and the shape too small to cut out without wrecking it entirely. Haven't tried homemade gummies though...

I have also tried using hot water but it only melted the ice cube :sad:. I think the trays were a good idea but not really practical...

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