Best places to buy cookware:
- Cookware & More
- Cutlery and more
- Japanese Chef’s Knife
- J C Peny
- Kohl’s Store
- Metro Kitchen
- Local restaurant supply store
Alton Brown’s Gear for Your Kitchen is an excellent guide on cookware.
Japanese-style knives are thin, light and semi-flexible. These knives are sharpened at a tighter angle which lets them pass through foods very easily. MAC—Chef and paring knives from the Professional line and utility/filleting knife from the Original line come highly recommended.
Cook’s Illustrated ranked the Victorinox Fibrox 8” Chef’s Knife as the best buy. These knives are very reliable and if you pay attention, you will see many of these in commercial kitchens. They are available on Amazon.com for $25 (but performs like a $125 knife).
If looking for something cheap, go for Kiwi knives. They are flimsy, but they are incredibly sharp and hold an edge well. Throw them out every few months and buy a new one for $5 per blade.
Taking care of knives
- Treat them gently; don’t drop them in a sink.
- Never clean them in the dishwasher.
- Use knife blocks with horizontal slots, a magnetic strip, or keep them in a drawer in their case.
- Steel and hone them regularly.
- Re-sharpen when needed.
Pots & Pans
Pots: Go for the heavy duty, clad stainless sets. They performs better and are much more durable than the cheap, thin ones. A good clad stainless steel or copper pan is lighter, easy to clean and non-reactive compared to cast-iron and still give very good performance. If you wish to go for caste iron, Lodge is a good value brand. get it re seasoned after you buy it.
Pans: Go for thick Lyonnaise-style carbon steel pans. All-Clad (clad stainless steel), Matfer-Bourgeat (clad stainless steel, carbon steel, and heavy duty, quadruple-coated non-stick pans), de Buyer (carbon steel pans) and Mauviel (stainless clad copper pots and pans) come highly recommended.
Taking care of pots and pans
- Clad cookware: Wash by hand with hot, soapy water and let it air dry.
- Carbon Steel Pan: Gently clean the pans and apply a thin film of oil after each cooking session to keep it seasoned.
- Non-stick Pan: Never over-heat them. Clean them gently with warm soapy water as teh layers of teflon or other non-stick material will wear and tear faster.
Go for a maple or walnut wooden cutting board with plenty of real estate so you have lots of room. Glass and plastic cutting boards are virtually useless. Bamboo cutting boards provide are easier to work with, look nice and are relatively cheap, but the hardness of bamboo can dull out the knife edge quickly. John Boos is a very good brand, but expensive.
Vita-Mix is a very good brand, but expensive. KitchenAid’s immersion blender is good. Go easy on the blenders and be careful when blending hot items. Don’t overfill them.