It's here; haters gotta hate, hate, hate
December 16, 2021 3:24 AM   Subscribe

The 2021 haters guide to the Williams-Sonoma catalogue In case anyone has been waiting for the yearly guide; it's here!
posted by mightshould (64 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
Let's see if I can do this right:

Metafilter: Why don’t you burn a used car on your lawn while you’re at it, fuckface?
posted by memetoclast at 4:22 AM on December 16, 2021 [8 favorites]


I love that they put his name on the featured peppermint bark tin.
posted by dywypi at 4:43 AM on December 16, 2021 [14 favorites]


The "Drew" on the peppermint bark box is a stroke of evil genius from W-S's creative team.

I spent part of my stimulus last year on subscriptions to support writers I like. By far, Defector has been the best investment. I hope they can make it work for the long term. This also reminds me that I need to buy myself Drew's book!
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:44 AM on December 16, 2021 [15 favorites]


I own and have used a pie bird. Long live the pie bird.
posted by stillnocturnal at 5:07 AM on December 16, 2021 [5 favorites]


Still chortling at “lumbermonger.”
posted by cheapskatebay at 5:20 AM on December 16, 2021 [10 favorites]


Does the pie bird do anything more than cutting a series of slits will do? I ask because I'd like one if I need one, but otherwise I have done fine on the slit system so far.

They really should have sent him that peppermint bark tin. He's done as much publicity for them as their catalog ever has.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:31 AM on December 16, 2021 [7 favorites]


Does the pie bird do anything more than cutting a series of slits will do

It also looks like a bird, which is nice. But no, I don't think it does anything special, I just use one because it was my grandmother's and reminds me of her.
posted by stillnocturnal at 5:34 AM on December 16, 2021 [13 favorites]


Red Velvet Norah Jones
posted by emelenjr at 5:40 AM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]


I don’t understand that specific pie bird, because usually the steam vents out the bird’s upraised beak. Is there just a hole in the top of it?
posted by Missense Mutation at 5:42 AM on December 16, 2021 [4 favorites]


Vegetarian checking in to ask: wtf is a pie bird? Are they like the four and twenty singing zombie blackbirds?

e: holy shit they are!
posted by MiraK at 6:01 AM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]


This particular copy stood out: "The well-bred treats sit and stay on the rim, then lie atop the cocoa and melt."

Using "well-bred treats" rather than the more pleasingly alliterative "well-trained treats" is striking. Of course good behavior is a matter of breeding. It's so deeply in Williams-Sonoma demographic territory it's almost a marshmallow dog-whistle.
posted by phooky at 6:03 AM on December 16, 2021 [40 favorites]



MetaFilter: Almost a marshmallow dog-whistle.
posted by MiraK at 6:07 AM on December 16, 2021 [14 favorites]


Vegetarian checking in to ask: wtf is a pie bird? Are they the four and twenty singing zombie blackbirds?

It's a small ceramic bird that you put in the middle of a pie to vent the steam. I have one given to me by my southern in-laws which I have never used; it looks like this one from Amazon.

There are a few things on here I kind of like, like the Christmas tree napkin rings, and then I look at the price and am like ... ... ... WTF.

We have a bunch of intentionally mismatched Christmas plates that we got from random collections on Replacements.com and they bring me lots of joy, like we'll have a random plate that says 1986 with a picture of Santa, and a plate with six geese a-laying but no other plates from the Twelve Days of Christmas, and a Spode and one from the Old British Castles Christmas collection I believe, and I would kind of like to add those napkin rings to my festive holiday table but $100 for a set of four? That is absolute fucking madness.
posted by an octopus IRL at 6:07 AM on December 16, 2021 [9 favorites]


LE CREUSET ENAMELED CAST IRON HARRY POTTER™ ROUND DUTCH OVEN

Oh my. For most of my adult life I have wanted a Le Creuset Dutch Oven as like, you know, one of those luxury fantasy things that you can get along just fine without, but at Christmas and birthdays you dream about. But no longer -- those stinkers have sold out to Harry Potter. The dream is dead.
posted by JanetLand at 6:19 AM on December 16, 2021 [12 favorites]


(As far as Le Creuset, etc, goes - I strongly recommend checking out cast iron enamel on eBay. There are more brands than Le Creuset and enameled cast iron is notoriously long-lived. If you want it for its own sake and don't mind a few visible signs of wear, too, you can often pick up odd-sized vintage ones - I have a perfectly nice orange saucepan from Not-Le-Creuset, the enamel inside is a bit stained but OTOH it was about $50 with shipping and is in otherwise good shape.)
posted by Frowner at 6:24 AM on December 16, 2021 [10 favorites]


Kind of a weak hate list this year. Harry Potter is not my thing, but I can't hate on Le Creuset pots for those who do like them. The stuff made in France is great for cooking. And most of the Metafilter nerds here would probably fall over themselves and climb over each other for the Star Wars-themed pots LC made a while back, and I wouldn't have cause to hate on that. People like what they like. Mainly I want that espresso machine.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 6:26 AM on December 16, 2021 [5 favorites]


We have a Williams-Sonoma store not too far from us, and I like to take a stroll through it now and then. In the before times, during the holiday season they would put out plates with sample bits of stuff like the peppermint bark, which is genuinely delicious, if a bit overpriced, and little cups of hot cider or hot chocolate. It made a nice break during holiday shopping, and Mr. gudrun and I would stop by and sample as much of it as we could get away with. They sell very small bars of the peppermint bark, and I sometimes get those as stocking stuffers for people. One of the things we do is stop by the store and check their sale section, because you can sometimes find good bargains after various holidays. Also, I know the price is high, but their Sloppy Joe starter sauce is just so good, that we break down and buy a jar now and then.
posted by gudrun at 6:29 AM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]


I feel like these things need a class traitor's glossary.
keepsake: disposable
charcuterie: sausages
red velvet: purple
posted by phooky at 6:29 AM on December 16, 2021 [9 favorites]


Kind of a weak hate list this year.

As Drew ages, he's kinda becoming more of a WS person, so maybe the heart just isn't in it as much.
posted by hwyengr at 6:37 AM on December 16, 2021 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I think we're missing out on some prime content about the Williams Sonoma Holiday 7-in-1 Silicone Pancake Flipper Mold with Gingerbread Man and Snowflakes or Glass Caviar Dishes with Horn Spoons.
posted by carrioncomfort at 6:52 AM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]


I have a Le Creuset skillet and I love it but it weighs a ton, so that dutch oven must be heavy AF, but that line "for a bunch of yuppies who outsourced their imaginations to a bigoted ginger limey 20 years ago" still has me laughing.

My favorite part of this, though, was his opening, especially, "It’s the perfect mercantile resource for people like you and me who tipped generously all pandemic long until the SECOND we got vaccinated." which, yeah.

BTW, if you like weird, way out there, contemporary fantasy, I recommend Drew's book The Hike.
posted by ceejaytee at 6:53 AM on December 16, 2021 [5 favorites]


I wouldn't have cause to hate on that

Well, I hear you, but this post is specifically about hating on, after all.
posted by JanetLand at 6:54 AM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]


As far as Le Creuset, etc, goes - I strongly recommend checking out cast iron enamel on eBay. There are more brands than Le Creuset and enameled cast iron is notoriously long-lived.

Hell, the cast-iron Dutch Oven I own is something I got in a thrift shop somewhere for like ten bucks. It was in practically-new condition, it's the perfect scaled-down size I need as a mostly-single diner, and it's bright purple. Sometimes buying stuff used works.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:03 AM on December 16, 2021 [5 favorites]


I do heckin want that espresso machine and so does Drew. I actually really enjoy how the guide this year tilted just a bit toward the "oh god I've become everything I hate." Who among us? She said, eyeing the $40 jar of vanilla paste.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:06 AM on December 16, 2021 [8 favorites]


I, too, have seen myself live long enough to become the villain. On top of the dutch oven, I also have a Le Creuset butter dish. The horror, the horror...
posted by notoriety public at 7:10 AM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]


I don't mind the Le Creuset so much as the Harry Potter.
WS knowing, absolutely consciously knowing, that their market doesn't give a shit that the licensor is TERFy garbage.
These are bad people, and while Drew's schtick is sadly stale, it's target is ripe as hell.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:13 AM on December 16, 2021 [9 favorites]


Yeah declaring your love for Harry Potter with a $400 pot with lid is super fucking disturbing, both for class and TERF-supporting issues. I loved his take down. Look forward to this every year, I might read all the previous ones again too.
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:16 AM on December 16, 2021 [10 favorites]


NBCUniversal is likely the licensor of Harry Potter IP, not the person that I'm thinking you're thinking is.
posted by achrise at 7:26 AM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure what you mean, achrise?
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:28 AM on December 16, 2021


The opening, which appears to be a parody of old-money families, is somewhat incongruous. My image of old-money folk is that they don't buy crap like this, because they inherited it all. Williams Sonoma and its ilk (as least as mocked here) is for those who are trying (and failing) to emulate old-money WASPs.

The line about covering sentiment towels in plastic wrap was especially strange. They wouldn't have sentiment towels, much less put plastic wrap on them. Putting plastic on household goods, like furniture, is is something poor people do, because they can't afford to repair or replace damaged goods, and can't live with stained or torn goods because it would reflect badly. (If you're rich, you don't have to appear rich; see Mark Zuckerberg's hoodies.)
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 7:30 AM on December 16, 2021 [5 favorites]


a perfectly nice orange saucepan from Not-Le-Creuset, the enamel inside is a bit stained

Buy vintage Descoware. Le Creuset bought them out. Or new Staub, if you want something premium while avoiding Le Creuset. (This is also the season for Aldi enameled cast iron, and my store has 2 qt dutch ovens right now.)

Since when do Mormons not eat cheese? Or was that some kind of running inside joke?
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:32 AM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]


Feels very 2015, before the dark times. The snark of yore.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:33 AM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]


Have to say, the marshmallow thing…years ago I received a tin of caramel-covered marshmallows. Marshmallows are not my thing. Don’t even care for s’mores, but I tried one (individually wrapped in wax paper) and OH MY GOD. Do not mistake gourmet marshmallows for Jet Puffs. These were sweets of the gods. I ate the whole tin in two days. Now making marshmallows is apparently not that difficult although I believe it requires a fancy tool like a candy thermometer and it’s a sticky process, especially with the caramel so I’ve never tried to duplicate them but they live on in memory…
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:00 AM on December 16, 2021 [6 favorites]


The dissolving marshmallow dogs are horrifying. Imagine what that looks like halfway dissolved, and then imagine drinking that. Urgh.
posted by BeeDo at 8:46 AM on December 16, 2021 [8 favorites]


I'm not into this kind of stuff, but I agree on "high end" marshmallows being almost a completely different animal versus regular marshmallows from a grocery store. I also generally dislike marshmallows, but I tried some fancy-pants kind once and it was truly amazing. Then (for some reason) my brother once made marshmallows from scratch. These were also almost entirely unlike grocery store big-bag-o-marshmallows.

We got a big Le Creuset enameled cast iron dutch oven from a Le Creuset outlet store a couple years back. They go on sale in the summer and we got a large one for around $100. And it's the real thing, too. This was in a mall in northern Indiana not far from Chicago, near where many wealthy Chicagoans have second homes along the other side of Lake Michigan FWIW. They really are nice items to make stews with. But $400 is absurd.

The e-toaster is easily the silliest item in this article. I wouldn't even use a thing like that if it magically materialized in my kitchen. I do not want LCD panels on any of my kitchen stuff, ever. Our toaster was probably $35 and it's been perfectly good for over 10 years.
posted by SoberHighland at 9:07 AM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]


OK, I have no vested interest in Williams-Sonoma, but I am going to shill for them just this once.

WS makes a big jar of concentrated turkey gravy that makes a genuinely awesome—and very large amount—of turkey gravy. Hear me out— we make gravy from drippings and sautéed onions, a roux, seasonings, etc. But there's often just not enough gravy to be made from a single large turkey. The WS gravy concentrate can be added to your own gravy and makes it all go way, way further. It's not "cheap" (I think it's around $16 for a jar) but it's a large jar and makes a huge amount of extra gravy. We always thin it out as recommended and use it to extend our own turkey gravy. For a big Thanksgiving or Xmas meal, I think the extra ~$20 for a big mess of excellent gravy is well worth it.

That's the only stuff I ever buy from Williams Sonoma. I'm a bit of a food snob and this stuff is the real deal. Genuinely good and natural flavor and not too salty or greasy.
posted by SoberHighland at 9:22 AM on December 16, 2021 [5 favorites]


Out of curiosity, I looked up that cheese company, and you're basically paying $130 for $60 worth of cheese, a salami, a little bit of honey, crackers, all wrapped in a WS wooden crate. I will never get how a branded crate instantly generates value. Or why anyone would buy fancy marshmallows.

But he's wrong with the bread bowl - it's not a bowl for eating, it's a bowl for baking (and not actually a bowl, it's a bread cloche). A non-fancy dutch oven will work just fine, but many people prefer a ceramic cloche.
posted by coffeecat at 9:26 AM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]


They're $60 from King Arthur, which is already reasonably nice. Although the WS one (which appears to be Emile Henry) is shaped more like Lodge's combo cooker than a regular cloche.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:31 AM on December 16, 2021




I will never get how a branded crate instantly generates value.

Two words: corporate gifting. A boutique bank doesn't really care if it spends $50 or $100 on their cheese plate. A high-end law firm doesn't mind paying a 10x markup on their marshmallows. That's not what they're optimizing for. They do care if their client thinks they're cheaping out or aren't being considerate of them. The gift is the projection of wealth. It's why Tiffany's sells this insulting sterling silver tin can for $1000.
posted by phooky at 10:01 AM on December 16, 2021 [5 favorites]


The other value-add to the gift basket it direct shipping. If you want to buy $60 worth of cheese and send it to someone as anything other than a haphazard box of cheese, then you have to also buy a crate and get the cheese sent to you and put it in the crate and wrap the crate and ship the crate to the person you want it shipped to. If you just sent it from Williams-Sonoma, they do all that.

The "Drew" on the peppermint bark box is a stroke of evil genius from W-S's creative team.

I assumed it must be photoshopped, as it is in the header image for the story, but no, if you go to W-S's own site and look at the catalog, it is, indeed, Drew's name on the tin. Which is, as you say, a stroke of evil genius. It actually makes me like W-S a little bit more.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:22 AM on December 16, 2021 [20 favorites]


The other value-add to the gift basket it direct shipping. If you want to buy $60 worth of cheese and send it to someone as anything other than a haphazard box of cheese, then you have to also buy a crate and get the cheese sent to you and put it in the crate and wrap the crate and ship the crate to the person you want it shipped to. If you just sent it from Williams-Sonoma, they do all that.

Same with the "sugar cookie mix" that Drew threw shade on. And a couple years ago I would have thrown the same shade - but a few years of being a foodie participating in discussions here has underscored for me that not everyone knows how to bake, so sneering that "but the supermarket also has just plain flour and sugar for cheaper" is actually not fair to the non-bakers who want the mix for the comfort factor. So - the Blue has Taught Me Something, is what I'm saying.

However, I should also note that supermarkets also have sugar cookie mixes as well, which are also much cheaper than at Williams/Sonoma, so we can still throw shade on them for being overpriced anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:03 AM on December 16, 2021 [5 favorites]


A non-fancy dutch oven will work just fine, but many people prefer a ceramic cloche

A wet steel bowl overturned on a baking sheet will work - turns out a lot of the effect is captured steam, not heat. I’ve read of someone who does it with an overturned "disposable" turkey roasting pan! The heavy cast iron is useful if your oven is very weak or slow.

The pleasure of baking just as well with cheap as double-island people do with expensive is even greater than the pleasure of snark, I find. And snark is a lark.
posted by clew at 11:25 AM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]


The dissolving marshmallow dogs are horrifying. Imagine what that looks like halfway dissolved, and then imagine drinking that. Urgh.

Yeppers. Even if I could afford/justify affording cute stuff like those dogs or Japanese wagashi, or what have you, I don't think I could eat them. Too much of a crouton petter.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:29 AM on December 16, 2021


My beloved has two cast iron enamel thingies, one is a Dutch oven and the other is maybe 3 quarts. They're worth their weight in precious minerals, that's for sure. (She also has the big-ass Lodge frying pan and it makes everything better)

Drew's new book sounds intriguing.
posted by Ber at 12:53 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]


I love how hate has brought almost all of Metafilter together in celebration of cast enamel cookware. It's a holiday miracle!
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:44 PM on December 16, 2021 [6 favorites]


Every mom in America has a set of hand towels that they put in the bathroom for decoration and not for drying your hands on. To dry your hands, you must instead wipe them on your pajamas, or hang them on a clothesline, or drive to the nearest Jersey Turnpike rest stop and run them through a broken Dyson Airblade.

Love it.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 4:30 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]


My brother's now ex-wife once put a Williams-Sonoma $350 BBQ utensil set complete with a padded leather carrying case on their Christmas wish list. I saw it and thought "If my mom doesn't hate her yet, she absolutely will now".
posted by srboisvert at 4:54 PM on December 16, 2021 [4 favorites]


read "sentiment holiday towels" as "sentient holiday towels" & I'm gonna be thinking about that for the next half hour
posted by taquito sunrise at 4:56 PM on December 16, 2021 [8 favorites]


First of all, Le Creuset Dutch ovens are the best things ever although I admit someone gave me mine so I don't know what it would have cost. It's not so much Le Creuset or Harry Potter that is horrifying: it's that there are people who would buy a Le Creuset Harry Potter Dutch oven. I agree with people who say that WS is not catering to rich people, but rather to fancy middle class people. A rich person probably knows what color and style is the official snobby French color and style and would buy that.

I buy from a fancy food catalog that is always sending me questionnaires about how likely I would be to recommend them to my friends, and one time I answered honestly with a two, and some poor soul wrote me worried that somehow they had offended me. I had to write back that I love them, but none of my friends would pay $16 for a 10-yr-old can of Catalonian anchovies.

Not to derail this to be about pie birds, but I don't understand how they work. They are open on the bottom and have a hole in the top, but they only cover a square inch of pie area. Is it that air is pulled under the crust by the simmering filling, and would bubble through the filling if it didn't have an easier route through the intestinal tract of the bird?
posted by acrasis at 5:23 PM on December 16, 2021


Not to derail this to be about pie birds, but I don't understand how they work.

The bird is placed in the center of the pie dough, then filling is added, then the top dough is added, making sure the pie bird's head is sticking through the dough.

As the pie cooks, steam vents through the bird's beak to prevent pie filling from bubbling over. In addition, the top crust is supported by the bird's shoulders, eliminating bowed crust.
posted by jeremias at 6:02 PM on December 16, 2021 [5 favorites]


Williams Sonoma and its ilk (as least as mocked here) is for those who are trying (and failing) to emulate old-money WASPs.

No, it isn't. The marshmallows and peppermint bark are for people who live in golf course houses and need gifts for their HOA's Secret Santa exchange. The cheese basket is there for producers to send to agents and vice versa because Miss Grace Lemon Cakes got bought out and no one eats carbs anyway.

Williams-Sonoma, at least at the beginning, pushed a weekend in California wine country vibe, like you're going to pick some herbs from your garden, drizzle them with oil and serve them to your good friend Alice Waters in a bowl that you bought in some secret chef village in France. Even though it's apparently now going for a weekend at Universal Studios vibe, it's still a long way from WASPs, with their faded plaids and gin and despair.
posted by betweenthebars at 7:01 PM on December 16, 2021 [9 favorites]


it's still a long way from WASPs, with their faded plaids and gin and despair.

I feel like they crossed over into WASPy taste a long time ago. It may be aspirational, but then so is Brooks Brothers. Or Polo.

It did feel more explicitly culinary in the 90s, more like Sur La Table is now.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:12 AM on December 17, 2021 [1 favorite]


LE CREUSET ENAMELED CAST IRON HARRY POTTER™ ROUND DUTCH OVEN

This one got me, too. My reaction of dismay was visceral and vocalized. It's so garish that at first I thought it was an Iron Man themed pan, and then I had whiplash that the Harry Potter theme was somehow impossibly even worse.

I've ranted about Le Crueset cookware before on MeFi and it's massively overpriced and overrated. It's fine cookware but there are reasons you don't really see it in commercial kitchens even in ones with a heavily French school or lean. Unless it's being repurposed as serveware for, say, French Onion soup or something using the ramekins or something where you want it to be able to go from prep fridge to oven to table.

There are much more affordable enameled cast iron cookware options out there, but even still enameled cast iron in general is overrated and not really needed. It looks pretty and the cleanup is nicer for baked dishes, braising and so on, but, eh, I just don't trust enameled cookware in general because it invariably gets chipped, cracked or hazed and depending on the enamel there can be health risks from the heavy metals used in ceramic/enamel glazes where it's inadvisable to keep using it if it gets chipped or cracked. I'm not sure of the current state of art or advice about this but I've been taught to not use or trust chipped or cracked glazes.

Sure, I wouldn't turn my nose up at a thrift store or yard sale score but even then it's not my first choice for cookware. The high prices/value for Le Crueset plus the relatively fragile enamel coatings over ductile cast iron means it can't really take much abuse or being knocked about.

And if you're getting serious about fancy or high end home cooking for the kind of money Le Crueset costs new you can go to a commercial restaurant supply store get stuff like solid copper pots and pans, heavy commercial All Clad grade steel, really nice bare cast iron and have money left over for some commercial grade tools that actually make a difference, like a good probe thermometers, a Robochef or Turbocoup, an immersion blender and some really nice knives.

I'm not acquisitional or aspirational, but I've put a fair amount of time into thinking about what I would do if I was rich enough to outfit a home kitchen for serious cooking and it would involve going directly to the nearest restaurant district like I was setting up a commercial kitchen. I'd want hotel pans and reach-in fridges designed to fit whole hotel pan sheets and speedracks on wheels. Maybe a vintage French Top or plancha style gas fired stove with some open burners, a steam jacketed convection oven, a bunch of Lexans/Cambros, inserts, and even a refrigerated lowboy prep station. Oh, and maybe a full sized exhaust hood, commercial triple sink, prep sink and even a handwashing station and sink.

It wouldn't look pretty at all. It would look everything like a small commercial kitchen with enough food handling furniture and hardware and NSF rated chrome and seamless stainless steel and racks and stuff to easily pass health and safety inspections with everything designed to fit around the whole hotel pan, cambro and insert system. Instead of granite countertops I'd get custom welded stainless steel.

It definitely would not involve Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table or other "aspirational" retailers. You can get commercial grade kitchen tools for much, much less, especially at places that deal in used restaurant gear.
posted by loquacious at 11:05 AM on December 17, 2021 [4 favorites]


really nice bare cast iron

I keep trying to love it and I have watched every damn video on different seasoning methods, but without hunting down antique ware or overpaying for artisanal hipster stuff, every pan I have tried comes frustratingly rough and I wind up with carbonized food messes and sticky and uneven half-cured seasoning that collects dust and cat hair. Carbon steel is a little bit better, but still not as easy as enamelware.

Stainless is fine but a pain to use for everything. Anodized aluminum is good so long as you're willing to replace it every couple of years (and be careful of utensils), but it doesn't work on induction.

Hopefully my nicked and crazed descoware isn't killing me faster than the uncountable other low level environmental toxins I'm exposed to.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:11 AM on December 17, 2021 [2 favorites]


See now, I like enameled cast iron. I have one very good heavy stainless steel pan and a couple of plain cast iron skillets, but the enamel ones go stovetop to oven really easily and can cook watery things with a lot of tomato unlike the cast iron skillets where you have to worry about the seasoning and also cleaning cast iron is a pain if you cook anything that isn't really designed for a griddle, and they heat up very evenly and hold heat for a long time. My heavy stainless steel one has plastic handles so it doesn't go in the oven and of course since the sides are thinner even though the base is heavy, it doesn't hold heat the same way.

I have not had trouble with the enamel cracking and I'm not totally sure what I'd do to make it crack unless the pan itself was flawed, in which case I'd expect it to have cracked already since most of mine were old when I got them.

Also I have some anodized aluminum pans where the anodized part has worn away (and one where I cooked something that took it off, not sure how that happened) and I'm pretty much phasing those out and replacing them with enamel.
posted by Frowner at 11:18 AM on December 17, 2021 [4 favorites]


loquacious: I have a tab open right now on a commercial kitchen supplier. Bowls? A whole case. How many different sizes do actually need? I’m going with two. Spoons? A box of forged is 24$. Every time I need to replace my kitchen kit I’m switching to commercial. It costs about the same, and it’s just so much better built. Like my old pizza cutter’s paint job was flacking and then the glue came apart. Why did I buy that? Why did OXO make it that way?

A proper prep table sounds like the dream.
posted by zenon at 11:49 AM on December 17, 2021 [1 favorite]


If you live in a sizable metro area, stuff like prep tables shows up pretty regularly on Craigslist and Offerup.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:00 PM on December 17, 2021


If you live in a sizable metro area, stuff like prep tables shows up pretty regularly on Craigslist and Offerup.

However, living in a sizable metro area means that you likely don't have room for a prep table unless you're rich enough to afford a big apartment, which conversely means you're probably not shopping on Craigslist or Offerup anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:17 PM on December 17, 2021 [2 favorites]


The thing about sizable metro areas is that they're mostly made up of suburbs. Otherwise we call them cities.

And when I did live in the city proper, a prep table wouldn't have had to take up more space than a "bakers rack" or whatever pushed up against the wall. They come in different sizes. It's just not what you find at regular stores.

The tool storage/workbench units on holiday sale at HD, Lowes and Harbor Freight right now can work well too. Although I might not trust their 'wood' tops to be food safe.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:39 PM on December 17, 2021


some anodized aluminum pans where the anodized part has worn away (and one where I cooked something that took it off, not sure how that happened

I once cooked just plain apples in an anodized aluminum pan and LITTLE CUBES OF PAN came out leaving briefly-shiny divots and what the HECK was up with that? Calphalon customer service couldn't explain it. I don't think they actually believed it had happened.

Anyway, stainless steel is now my default for kitchen anything. The stuff is magic, it's embarrassing we're so bored by it. But because we're bored by it it turns up in thrift shops.
posted by clew at 1:08 PM on December 17, 2021 [3 favorites]


Got to agree with loquacious regarding Le Creuset. A visiting French friend and cooking maniac asked me with genuine curiosity why Americans loved Le Creuset so much - she was surprised to see it in every kitchen she visited here, especially since it is so expensive.
posted by maggiemaggie at 4:46 PM on December 18, 2021 [1 favorite]


Late to the Dutch oven conversation, but Lodge makes both enameled cast iron and seasoned cast iron. You can purchase them from Lodge or somewhere like Sportman’s Warehouse or Walmart. I believe I paid $50 for my cast iron oven. It weighs a metric fuckton but I can use it anywhere I want and it does what I want it to do. I’m a Lodge enthusiast though, and I want their pizza “stone.”
posted by sara is disenchanted at 6:23 PM on December 18, 2021 [1 favorite]


Seconding Lodge! I got my huge enameled cast iron Dutch oven from the Lodge outlet in TN for like $10 a million years ago and it's still going strong in regular rotation.
posted by cooker girl at 7:38 AM on December 19, 2021


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