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Buckeye33
10-10-2011, 03:40 PM
OK, I have started to cook a lot more and I think I am ready to upgrade my cooking items. I have cheap knives and mismatched hand me down pots and pans currently.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for quality knives and cookware? I'm not looking to buy the most expensive stuff, but am willing to spend some $ for good stuff.

Thanks!

PickOff
10-10-2011, 04:55 PM
OK, I have started to cook a lot more and I think I am ready to upgrade my cooking items. I have cheap knives and mismatched hand me down pots and pans currently.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for quality knives and cookware? I'm not looking to buy the most expensive stuff, but am willing to spend some $ for good stuff.

Thanks!

Emerilware. Good quality, made by All clad (at least some)but much cheaper. Great value in my opinion for cookware.

For knives, I'm not sure you can skimp here and really get much of an upgrade. JHenkel is not very good quality, but will be an upgrade. Price a cheap knife set at say Macy's, and compare to JHenkel, and then Wustof. My general advice would be to save up for Wustof as they are excellent quality. You will just have to repace the JHenkel down the road. So I recommend buying a cheap knife set and also by a Wusthof CLASSIC Santoku - 4183 / 17 cm (6" ) knife. Over time you can add to your Wustof. This knife you can use for pretty much everything except for pairing. Maybe cost you $60.

BuckeyeRed27
10-10-2011, 07:15 PM
Wustof's and Henkles are both awesome.

We got a set of Cephalon knives (21 piece) for our wedding and I really like them as well.

rdiersin
10-10-2011, 07:27 PM
One way to save on pots and pans is look at places such as cookwarenmore, where they sell All-clad with "defects". I have yet to find what the defects are. I have a set of All Clad MC2 which I love. I would recommend whatever you do, buy pieces as you go along and not sets. There was a sale on All-Clad french skillets at Williams-Sonoma a couple of days ago that was pretty good, 2 skillets for less than $100.

As far as knives. There was a big sale on the Bob Kramer Shun knives a little while ago (it may still be around at different places) and I have that for my chef's knife and its been great. I have found good sales on the Shun Classic knives at times as well. I have a couple of those and they work well. For a really good knife for really cheap, I highly recommend the Forschner knives. They are under $20 bucks and Cooks Illustrated magazine has done testing where they stand up just as good as the Wustoff Classic knife. I had one for several years and liked it. If you are going for a European style knife, as opposed to a Japanese style, I would go with the Forschner.

I mentioned Cooks Illustrated magazine. They do a ton of testing and if you are really interested in cooking, they are a great resource for recipes (the narratives and just or more useful than the recipes) and a great resource for finding cookware. They test everything and always give a best buy. I have really yet to go wrong with something they recommend for cookware.

RBA
10-11-2011, 04:21 AM
Paula Dean, you-all

SunDeck
10-11-2011, 06:14 AM
Henckels Professional "S", ice hardened.
I have one of those- about a six inch blade. I also have a Calphalon paring knife, which is good, but doesn't keep its edge as well as the Henckels.

Keep them sharp or there's no reason in buying a good knife.
Protect the blades with a cover or something to store them in.
Handle the knife before you buy it, to make sure it feels good in your hand.

Sweetstop
10-11-2011, 07:55 AM
good enameled cast iron dutch oven is a must..they last forever..le creuset, etc.

RBA
10-11-2011, 10:49 AM
Henckels Professional "S", ice hardened.
I have one of those- about a six inch blade. I also have a Calphalon paring knife, which is good, but doesn't keep its edge as well as the Henckels.

Keep them sharp or there's no reason in buying a good knife.
Protect the blades with a cover or something to store them in.
Handle the knife before you buy it, to make sure it feels good in your hand.

I have cheap knives and even for the cheap ones the secret is to keep them sharp.

SunDeck
10-11-2011, 12:50 PM
I have cheap knives and even for the cheap ones the secret is to keep them sharp.

Excellent point. My grandmother never had enough money to buy good knives, but you could shave with the ones she had.
That said, I think the main difference is how long they'll hold an edge. My henckels is almost difficult to dull.

westofyou
10-11-2011, 02:56 PM
I'm a big cast iron guy, take care of them and they will serve you well

Roy Tucker
10-11-2011, 03:05 PM
I mentioned Cooks Illustrated magazine. They do a ton of testing and if you are really interested in cooking, they are a great resource for recipes (the narratives and just or more useful than the recipes) and a great resource for finding cookware. They test everything and always give a best buy. I have really yet to go wrong with something they recommend for cookware.

Their knives recommendations: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/equipment/results.asp?docid=32210

I second the Cook's Illustrated magazine comment. I've subscribed to it for a few years now and really enjoy it. Recipes real people can use, I love to read the way they develop a recipe, and the product recommendations are very good. Plus I like the layout.

I've got a set of walnut handle Chicago Cutlery knives that an old g/f bought me back in the early 80's that have served me well. I don't think they're the highest quality you can buy, but they've done pretty well.

I use a sharpening steel on them just about every time I use them which helps keep the edge. I also get them sharpened about once every couple years and recondition the wood handles with some kind of oil (I forget what).

And I'll second sweetstop's good enameled cast iron le creuset dutch oven.

Roy Tucker
10-11-2011, 03:13 PM
One more thing that may sound dumb...

I swear by all the OXO Good Grips tools. Especially the can opener and the plastic cutting boards. Also the angled measuring cups where you can tell how much is in the cup from above instead of the side.

rdiersin
10-11-2011, 03:24 PM
I use a sharpening steel on them just about every time I use them which helps keep the edge. I also get them sharpened about once every couple years and recondition the wood handles with some kind of oil (I forget what).


Mineral oil? Beeswax works as well. I use both on wood utensils and cutting boards.

I would also second WOY's comment on cast iron. They are great tools and can be used on the stove, in the oven, on the grill....... Plus they are pretty cheap. I have a cast iron combo cooker which I use to make bread, but can also use as a skillet and a sauce pan. A 10in or 12in cast iron skillet is as good of a roasting pan for chicken as I have yet to use. If you can find old cast iron pans by Griswold or Wagner, they are some of the best non-stick cookware around. The newer pre-seasoned Lodge pans are great for a lot of things, but aren't as non-stick as the older pans.

If there is one piece of advice I can give, it is to build these things up gradually. Sometimes you can find cookware sets for cheap, but most of the time you get some pans you just don't have a use for. Start with a good small set. I think Lynne Rossetto Kasper from the Splendid Table says to start with a stockpot, saute pan, and small sauce pan. I tend to agree with that, though I would add the 12in skillet in there as well.

One last thing, Restaurant supply stores are great places to find cheap, good cookware. It doesn't look pretty, but they work well.

Buckeye33
10-11-2011, 04:52 PM
OK, thanks for all the great feedback.

I am going to start my knife collection with the $30 Victorinox Forschner 8-inch Chef's Knife, and the same brand paring knife that Cooks Illustrated recommended. For $40 I might as well try them and they could easily be plenty of knife for my needs.

The options on cookware is so wide that I'm going to take my time trying to figure out exactly what I want for that.

Should I be looking for stainless with copper/aluminum core, Non stick, Clad, Hard Anodized?

I'm looking to upgrade cookware so I can start to experiment cooking proteins on the stove top instead of baking everything in the oven or on the grill. My wife is a vegetarian, but eats seafood so I'm looking to begin trying something different than just throwing fish in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Sweetstop
10-11-2011, 05:50 PM
honestly, my very favorite knife..and definitely most used, is a 5 1/2" zwilling j.a. henckels hollow ground santoku knife...so light, stays sharp