Thrifting for kitchen tools

Treasure hunting for kitchenware at thrift shops is a guilty pleasure. In my city there are at least 3 thrift shops within 2 miles of my home. During certain periods when my work responsibilities are manageable, I make a 15 minute pit stop on the way home to scan the kitchen aisle, sometimes several times a week. I admit if I replaced these visits with a 15 minute jog, I’d be healthier and better looking, and my kitchen drawers would be less cluttered.

But it’s days like today that keep me addicted. I came across this pretty nice doodad at a good price.

Do you check thrift stores for kitchen items? Share a pic of some of your recent finds.

Are you bashful about it, or perhaps proud to eschew consumerism? Ever bumped into a familiar face and been embarrassed to be caught thrifting? Ever bought an item later to be recognized by a friend who had donated it?

If adopting abandoned cookware seems unsanitary or unsafe to you, I get it. But for those willing to give a second life to kitchen gadgets after a good cleaning, please share details and let us take pleasure in your good fortune.

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Yard sales for me. And among my friends, scoring a great yard sale (or thrift shop) find is a point of pride.

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My handheld electric mixer, bought at a thrift store, is probably as old as I am (on the north side of 50). The plug on it has an interesting crack in it that would likely electrocute someone if they grabbed it wrong, but it still works great. My hand-cranked meat grinder, ricer, flour sifter, Pyrex measuring cups, and various other things were bought at thrift stores too. The more ancient the item, the longer it holds up to use.

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That Bamix is a SCORE! I found one, mint in box, at a garage sale and bought one at full price, one for the country, one for town. IMHO, Bamix is the best of the immersion blenders.

We haunt estate and garage sales and, yes, kitchen trivia is my forte. I love gadget drawers. I give stuff a temporary home, then donate those that i don’t find amusing to a cat rescue thrift shop.

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Nice score on the Bamix!

Yes, I’m a scrounger by nature. I love perusing thrift stores, and have passed many pleasant hours looking for cookware treasures. There’s something deeply more satisfying to me to actually find a random, tangible bargain than seek out the same thing on line.

Just last night, Wahine made a delicious chicken soup in one of my best thrift finds, a Georg Jensen Taverna silvered copper oven I stumbled on at a Goodwill.

Unfortunately, the thrifts in my present small-town environs rarely have the quality or number of offerings I was accustomed to in the city.

I rarely go to a thrift shop but my 3 daughters love going to them, especially the charities (Humane Society, Salvation Army, addiction recovery centers) rather than for-profits like Good Will.

They mostly look for clothing but sometimes come back with something for me in the kitchen.

This a Wear-Ever No. 2306, 5.5 quart (note I’ve posted it before on the old kitchenwares thread). Daughter #3 sent me a pic saying, “It’s only $4, do you want it?” and I said bring 'er on home.



I sometimes haunt the overstock areas of TJMaxx/Marshalls etc. I’ve picked up two butcher-block style cutting boards for about $15 each that were (IIRC) around $150 at BBB for the exact same item. So that’s “sortalike” thrifting. This image below is stock from HD but is similar except on mine the surfaces are flat/no channel.

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Yard sales are great. Where I live they are better for books and furniture and clothes. Kitchen stuff is less common.

You have great friends. Our friends either never set foot in thrift shops or would never admit it. For this reason I keep my guilty pleasure a secret.

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I too subscribe to the “they don’t make them like they used to” perspective.

Oh, too bad! I’ve been roaming flea markets and thrift stores and yard sales since I was a teen. Most of the people I know are also really into that.

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Hi Alarash,

For me, I’ve either “inherited it” from tenants–like my Sir Lawrence–or found a “special deal”–often on EBAY.

Both my two foundation knives for my current batterie were “free”–as is a plug-in rice cooker I use for steaming vegetables. My Le Creuset Zen tea kettle, and several pieces of Kobenstyle enameled steel, were found on EBAY auctions.

Ray

It’s a great way to try a curious kitchen unitasker for a while and re-donate later to make space. My process is to check Amazon reviews on line while in the thrift shop. If an item gets good feedback, I might give it a whirl.

Some that I re-donated without ever trying were a ravioli rolling pin, a marcato atlas holiday cookie maker with dough gun, an electric flour mill, a stone bread baker, a food mill, an avocado tool, and a soy milk maker.

Some items are frequently found at thrift shops indicating they’re pretty useless. The eggstractor, mechanical rotary apple peeler/corers, and vegetable spiralizers come to mind.

I found a pair of Kobenstyle roasting pans (one small, one slightly larger) that I picked up a few months back but have yet to use. They seem like thin enameled cast iron. Interesting stuff! The dark brown color wasn’t my favorite but the delicate styling attracted me.

They’re thin enameled steel. Think Graniteware you take camping.

I’m a fan of TJ’s too. Towels, linen, kitchen stuff.

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I have done a bit of thrifting, but I have a good bit of self discipline, an abstemiousness streak, and will never get something just because it is cool. It has to be something I know I would use, probably something I have already researched and pondered. So I tend to be more of an Etsy shopper for things I cannot find at a restaurant supply store. I have an old French Etsy pan on its way, hopefully arriving Monday.

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I’m pretty sure Goodwill Industries is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization. And fairly highly rated by the various groups that evaluate non-profits. I looked into them a while back when there were several rumors about their ownership. I donate to them all the time though I think The Sprout (my 25 y/o daughter) buys as much as I give.

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Kobenstyle original is all enameled steel–used for low temperature stovetop or in ovens. It has long been a part of my Swedish kitchen culture. I had a 2 qt. chrome reproduction with a substantial 3 ply disc base that I used for oatmeal for awhile–but without the outrageous colors, it didn’t work very well for me.

The two I have are Kobenstyle bright red–an oversized cocoa cup with lid and wooden handle–and a very large paella pan that I’ve never used to make paella.

Ray

Our main haunt is a kitten rescue thrift in the country. Dirt cheap and lovely people and purpose. So I consider my indulgences donations for a cause.

One recent piece was this unidentified slicer, which research taught me was a strawberry slicer. Huh?
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Not only unnecessary, but ineffective and close to impossible to clean. It is going back tomorrow as we go through the village. At $1, cheap fun, but not for me.

I have an Oster blender that I bought in 1990. The motor still works great, and those clunky mechanical buttons still do just what they’re supposed to. (No electronic controls to fry!) The even greater part is that when I finally broke the glass vessel for it a couple of years ago, I discovered that Oster still sells the exact same one, so I was able to replace it.

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$3.50. Dang! Sweet deal. I am always looking. Best catch of late was a chinois strainer with pestle for $3.00. I’d trade you for the Bamix, though.

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