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  1. #1
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Default Help: Recommendations from Chefs?

    Hi guys,

    I know there are some pros here so I need advice (will be moving to a new place) on top quality but lots of bang for buck

    1. Best couple of knives (prefer something carbon and very versatile, hopefully on sale) in the most useful sizes - guess will be cutting meat and some chopping
    2. pan (e.g. is Calphalon good, what's better) I guess 10" or so: T-Fal or what? durability, heat distribution, etc.
    3. some pot for soups - afraid I'll break a glass top but maybe they are better?


    I do enjoy some cooking but won't have much time so I need decent sizes so I can cook only once every several days

    Thanks!
    Ivo

  2. #2
    Previously lost, now "Pasturized" kaptain_zero's Avatar
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    Not a chef, but do plenty of cooking at home.

    Knives? I don't use carbon blades, I'm happy with Wusthof and Victorinox. Size is pretty personal, I like an 8" Chefs knife but often reach for a slightly longer slicing knife ( A Henkels, found discarded after being used for gardening of all things! Fixed the broken tip and honed it up... good as new except for looks!).

    Cookware? Hands down All Clad stainless. Crappy handles (they can get hot but I always use a towel when I pick up a pan) but the best heat distribution out there, so if you can afford it, buy it. Need to save money? I'd look at Cusineart.

    Regards

    Christian
    "Aw nuts, now I can't remember what I forgot!" --- Kaptain "Champion of lost causes" Zero

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  4. #3
    Cheapskate Honer Wildtim's Avatar
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    I like my Wustof knives, and my Caphalon cookware. I like the combination of a chefs knife and a boning knife for all around utility, the chefs for cutting vegies and the boning does a number on meat. The only improvment I would make to my cookwear would be to have gotten the teflon coated rather than the plain, I leave them sit to often after using them and the teflon would certainly help with cleanup.

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    izlat (04-30-2008)

  6. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Thanks!

    All-Clad: I am flirting with the idea but really not that much of a cook

    Calphalon and Ciusinart seem more reasonable, considering my hodge-podges

    Cheers
    Ivo

  7. #5
    Previously lost, now "Pasturized" kaptain_zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by izlat View Post
    Thanks!

    All-Clad: I am flirting with the idea but really not that much of a cook

    Calphalon and Ciusinart seem more reasonable, considering my hodge-podges

    Cheers
    Ivo
    Well Ivo, it's usually the cheapest to buy your last set of pans first. That said, I can't say I've been impressed with the Calphalon pans I've seen but I haven't seen them all. They seem to be more of a boutique brand... nothing really special but hey, we have a quirky name and we put the word Professional on the box. Ditto for most of the celebrity chef branded stuff, some are downright dreadful. Cusinart stainless is good bang for buck, you're not going to tell the difference in the taste of your food between it and All Clad and with their lighter weight are probably better suited for home cooking, being lighter and easier to handle.

    Don't be afraid to mix and match either, All quality cookware is sold open stock, pick and choose what you think might suit you best.

    Regards

    Christian
    "Aw nuts, now I can't remember what I forgot!" --- Kaptain "Champion of lost causes" Zero

  8. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Hi Christian -

    I'm with you that ideally I can only afford the best but right now it's not the time to spend several hundred

    Probably would buy some Cuisinart stainless for starters (pot + pan), then later I'll try to get an All Clad 10" pan. For my soups, I really can't see how I need All Clad - pretty much any pot would do alright, and for other meals I have very nice special clayware stuff, etc. but it won't be moving with me (for the time being). I just need a minimal set to be able to cook some food for a while

    Thanks again
    Ivo

    ps I liked Calphahon because it's heavy gauge, seems solid and I expected good heat distribution at a very reasonable price

  9. #7
    Doc
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    I have all clad cook ware and wustof knives and both have served me well but if moneys an issue I have found that nothing beats cast iron for all around cooking. when seasoned properly it is non stick, conducts heat well, and will work stove top or in the oven equally well. Just another option!

  10. #8
    The Razor Whisperer Philadelph's Avatar
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    Hey Ivo, don't know if you want to get too into different pots and pans and all, but check out Le Creuset's cast irons. They are very heavy, but can withstand a LOT. They can also go from the stovetop straight into the oven and are enameled so I don't think they need conditioning like regular cast iron. They are workhorses. Check them out at least.

  11. #9
    Senior Member sensei_kyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philadelph View Post
    Hey Ivo, don't know if you want to get too into different pots and pans and all, but check out Le Creuset's cast irons. They are very heavy, but can withstand a LOT. They can also go from the stovetop straight into the oven and are enameled so I don't think they need conditioning like regular cast iron. They are workhorses. Check them out at least.
    I have to agree with you. I've bought two different sizes for my wife and she loves them. I cook with them on occasion. Well seasoned cast iron is hard to beat, and you certainly can't go wrong with All Clad.

    Wustof knives receive great reviews. I have some JA Henckels I picked up ten years ago and they're still the best knives I've owned. The super high-end ones are where it's at -- stay away from the cheap models. I've heard the handles have been redesigned in the past few years and many folks don't like them as well. Find something that fits you hand. Try lots of stuff. I use an 8" chef's knife for nearly everything. My wife likes her Santoku knife, and it does a great job just in a different way than a chef's knife.

  12. #10
    Senior Member ewanhuzarmie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sensei_kyle View Post
    I have some JA Henckels I picked up ten years ago and they're still the best knives I've owned.
    10 years ago is a good time to have picked up J.A. Henckels. IIRC, Within the past 5 years they've moved their blade production facility for cheaper labor costs and the quality of blades has suffered because of it. In fact, the designers of their older blades had a fall-out with the rest because of the changes and split off into their own company. Blades from the new company are at least as nice as the old Henckels and are balanced better (more centered than handle-heavy). I'll have to try to track down the name of the new company as I don't remember it right now.

    ETA:
    There is another Cutlery company that produces some very fine blades is Global. They're a brand made by Yoshikin. They have a very nice balance and are made out of a single piece of molybdenum/vanadium stainless. Their blades also tend to be shaper and hold their hone better than others as they are ground to a narrower angle and non-beveled. They're supposed to be a pain to hone (really hard steel). My sister has a set of them, and they're a pleasure to work with. Oh, and best of all, they're a good deal less expensive than Henckels and Wusthof.
    Last edited by ewanhuzarmie; 04-30-2008 at 07:28 AM.

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