Quality kitchen utensils?

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Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:04 pm

Recently I was able to stock my kitchen with brand new equipment. I had previously been using stuff my parents gave me when they upgraded their own gear many years ago. As I relished in matching silverware and dish sets something occurred to me; they don’t make stuff like they used to and realized I had donated my old stuff a little too hastily.

I don’t get it; brand name expensive stuff all the way to generics, all of it is crap. If it is steel, chances are it’s going to rust, if it’s plastic it’s going to melt or have handles that store liquid or crevices that retain food stuff. Overall things are flimsy and poorly made.

My knife set isn’t the highest end but they are middle of the road I’d say. Saber makes them and while the cutting capability has diminished in a very short period of time they are still better than anything else I’ve used. The problem? They have started to rust in the oddest of places. I even jumped through all the hoops of keeping them dry at all times and hand washing them and immediately drying from day one.

I went out and bought a mixer from Kitchen Aid. The mixer attachments are about as cheap as can be, far from what the older generations were. They even go so far as to say you shouldn’t wash them in the dishwasher. My parents and their grandparents ran theirs through the dishwasher on a weekly basis and they stood up to the punishment.

I’ve gone so far as to purchase some really old stuff from ebay when the opportunity arises but it’s hard to know what exactly to buy. My old stuff in some cases had no markings left, they never had any markings, or they were the same brand names of today only made right. Needless to say it’s not making it easy to track down quality equipment.

It’s so frustrating to spend so much money on supposedly quality stuff only to find out it is almost useless. Measuring cups that break after a couple months or whisks that sprinkle rust in your bowl don’t have many uses outside of shop projects or a new biscuit cutter. But you know what, I already have a biscuit cutter from the sixties and it works perfectly fine.

Anyways, where might one find some good cooking equipment? I’ve figured out the secrets to most everything else but not utensils. I want something that can handle stirring food as necessary at normal cooking temperatures without melting or act like I’m stirring with a wet noodle. I want something that can handle a dishwasher, and with that, something that doesn’t hold water and wait for you to reach over hot oil to come pouring out. At this point I’m willing to pay for it if it’s worth it; I’ve thrown so much crap away it would have paid for something of real quality from the start.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:19 pm

This Cuisipro whisk is a good one:
http://www.amazon.com/Cuisipro-10-Twist ... 000BU58IS/
It's also available in blue or grey and in different sizes and shapes.

I've got a good set of professional cookware and cooking utensils from Anolon. However, you can find less expensive pieces that serve well. My favorite slotted spoon is from Rubbermaid.

You can stop by your local mall at a Le Gourmet Chef or Williams-Sonoma store if you need to play with stuff before you buy.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:30 pm

If you're looking at knives, Global makes very good stuff. They are expensive, but they should last a lifetime.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:23 am

Try to find a Cutco seller in your area - they work on the 'independet contrator' seller model so you'll have to find someone selling in your area but they are still good quality as far as I know. http://www.cutco.com/home.jsp - looks like they have tools to help find sellers.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:38 am

I buy kitchen stuff usually from Amazon (for several reasons: free 2-day shipping (I'm a Prime member), no-question returns for just about everything, Amazon Visa card that gives me like 3% back for every stuff I buy there). For stuff like whisks/spatulas OXO is usually a good brand. For knives I usually buy stuff made by Henckels (but not the "International" line, which is a junk made out of low-quality stamped steel in some 3rd-world country) - never seen any rust on their products or any mechanical defects developing even after years of usage, though Wusthof is also a pretty good brand and I've heard good things about Shun knives (though never used that brand personally). For rest of the stuff - just look at reviews on Amazon, read what people say, especially people who have to use these things several hours/day.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:20 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:Try to find a Cutco seller in your area - they work on the 'independet contrator' seller model so you'll have to find someone selling in your area but they are still good quality as far as I know. http://www.cutco.com/home.jsp - looks like they have tools to help find sellers.


we got a set of these and love them... we ended up giving away our previous set of knives LoL
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:14 am

Our kitchen consists of mainly KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Wüsthof, and Bialetti.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:00 am

thegleek wrote:Our kitchen consists of mainly KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Wüsthof, and Bialetti.

My wife says the Wusthof knife set I gave her 11 years ago is almost the best gift she ever got. There is nothing like a true straight sharp edge on quality steel in a well-balanced knife. If you cook much at all (I don't mean heating frozen or boxed processed food-like substances), you'll love good knives.

On everything else, I agree, I've not found a brand of utensils that distinguishes itself as much as those knives do from ordinary knives.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:20 am

Yes, my wife absolutely loves the Global chef's knife I got her.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:11 pm

Inkling wrote:My wife says the Wusthof knife set I gave her 11 years ago is almost the best gift she ever got. There is nothing like a true straight sharp edge on quality steel in a well-balanced knife. If you cook much at all (I don't mean heating frozen or boxed processed food-like substances), you'll love good knives.

My German-made forged-steel Henckels set is at least as old and will likely survive to my great-grandchildren.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:41 pm

Try Chicago Cutlery. They're forged steel. They last a long time in terms of sharpness and i have yet to find them rust. For a living I am chef and run a restaurant.

I bought this set for my mother and girlfriend. Most times they do wipe them dry, and some times they let it air dry hanging them upside with the rest of the utensils. They're dangerously sharp, so I wouldnt use the steak knives for guests to use. :o

http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Cutlery-W ... 968&sr=8-1

The only thing i did notice for this particular model is that the wood handles has not been cured or finished. So they did start to loose that gloss after a full year later. Feel free to look at Chicago cutlery, their prices are pretty modest. :wink:

However, if this brand doesnt work for you, the main thing that matters is if it's forged steel. So, feel free to consider other of the comments you read. If its not forged, dont buy it. :-?
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:38 pm

Another vote for Wusthof. Their gourmet line isn't full tang, but the Classic line feels excellent in the hand. Easy to sharpen yourself too. Great knives all around.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:12 am

Another brand for good Knives are Calphalon. I got the wife a single knife as a starter for the Katana series (great entry level stuff) and she loves the heck out of it, and she used to work in a casino restaurant in NY. They are fairly inexpensive compared to some of the other insane brands out there. I prefer this santoku knife over my parents cut-co junk any day. I was to say I picked up on the 8" one for right under $80. Does about 80% of everything you need a knife for in the kitchen.

As for pots and pans, I recently bought a German brand "Woll" pan (again starter piece) for the wife and its been hands down the best pan I've ever owned. Its got some real weight to it, solid as hell construction, the handle does not feel like its budges one single bit. They use small little diamonds as a coating to event distribute heat. She can cook an egg on the thing without a single bit of oil and the egg slides right off. For fun I tried cooking an egg 100% without a spatula and I didn't miss it one bit. I think she took something metal to it the first 2 weeks and put a small scratch in it, but i tried to feel it with my finger nail and it I can't feel it. It slightly made that part of the pan an ever so slightly darker color, but absolutely NOTHING about the way it cooks on that portion has changed. I'm 100% impressed with this stuff.

http://www.woll-cookware.com/mediathek/ ... oc/90.html

I've tried all sorts of other cheapo pieces to get us by and I've been sadly disappointed. Oddly enough for the cheaper get me buy stuff, the Sam's Club Members Mark set has done decently, although she dropped one pot and its no longer round so the lids aren't on all that great. For the most part their non-stick surface has done ok, not amazing though, had them for about 3 years now.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:08 pm

I'll second the recommendation for the Calphalon Katana line, I personally use the 8" Santoku, though, over christmas I found that Bed bath and beyond had the 6" chef's knife for 39.95, some type of promo, gave a few as christmas gifts. As far as Cutco, there's a set floating around here, I've yet to figure out what's so amazing about them, they seem cheap and aren't at all enjoyable to use.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:32 am

Cutco knives are very durable and have a good warranty.

I have a small set of Cutco knives, but I actually prefer using my (less expensive) J.A. Henckels knives, particularly the 7" Santoku.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:45 am

I use Sabatier knives and they are very good. You'll have to find an older set, though, as they make them in asia now and the quality is somewhat diminished.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:44 am

I can't give any advice on US kitchenware brands, but the "cheap and nasty" plague swept Europe too.

China makes cheap crap.
Japan and Western Europe makes great stuff.

A decade ago, the chinese crap was a quarter the cost of the Japanese/German stuff.
Now that the chinese crap is heavier and not-quite-as-crap, they're selling it for the same price as the good stuff, but it's still in a different league.

Even good brands like Brabantia are turning to China for manufacturing and the results are dire....
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:35 pm

I have a set of Cutcos that grew somewhat dull after like 10 years. Sent them back and they resharpened the entire set. Not too shabby.

As for rusting, it never even occurred to me that I'd have to be careful to keep these from rusting. We only wash them after use and let them air dry.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:19 pm

re: "I don’t get it; brand name expensive stuff all the way to generics, all of it is crap." -- I think your biggest problem is self identified. (this sort of thing raises troll flags, too)

You can still get cast iron cookware and the only difference from 50 years ago is that the iron quality is better controlled.

As for knife steel rusting -- that's a primary indicator of cheap trying to get the hardness required for a good edge. As noted above, there are modern knives that don't cut corners.

What is truly a marvel these days is the variety and the fact that even the worst of it is often better than the bottom end of what was available not long ago. The best of it is significantly better. It also amazes me the innovation in design and function that make a lot of tasks easier and more accurate.

So if all you find is crap, the implication is that is all you are looking for. Define your criteria better. See what those who make a living at it use. Start monitoring the pertinent blogs and forums. Ask questions. Look for answers
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:22 pm

*shrugs* Amazon. A local kitchen supply shop will usually carry hefty no-nonsense utensils.

I also like Cutco. They're nice to deal with. Boker (also from the City of Blades, like Wusthof, Henckel, etc) makes nice knives, too. If you're mega-picky about form and have too much money, you could always get custom work done (perhaps by a fellow like Joel Bukiewicz).

I'm kinda curious as to what you're doing with your utensils that makes them break and rust so readily. I grew up cooking with cheap crap which worked fine because we didn't bash it around. I currently have a crock of wooden spoons and a few cheap one or two-piece plastic tools which I've come to use for most tasks (silicon or nylon things from OXO, Norpro, etc). They often have injection molding seams to razor off and they're not heirlooms... but they work.

There are expensive brands on Amazon that look very nice, and I would own them if I could justify the cost (I prefer pricey bits of dead critter to pricey tools). Many of them have 4+ star ratings from active chefs who review more than one utensil (that's a way to find nice tools — follow a good reviewer).
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:03 pm

Boker (also from the City of Blades, like Wusthof, Henckel, etc) makes nice knives, too.


...I had no idea, my roommates last name is Boker, I know what I'm getting her for her birthday...
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:54 am

Knives: Japanese steel is generally harder (higher Rockwell hardness). Gross over-simplification aside, this allows them to generally be sharpened to an, um, sharper edge. The downside is that this makes them more brittle, which means the edge can chip more easily, etc, and they generally don't hold their edge as long.

A few Japanese manufacturers use stainless steel in the blades. This supposedly gets you the best of both worlds. One such line of knives is the Misono UX10. After wanting a high quality Chef's knife and doing a whole bunch of research a couple of years ago, I settled on these. Though a bit pricey, they are excellent. I have the9.5" Chef's and 7.1" Santoku. A step down from this would be something like MAC knives, which are also very good.

No matter how good a knife is, it needs to be stored properly (some place where the edge won't get bashed around - like a block or a sheath - and sharpened every so often (frequency dependent on blade material, frequency of use and how well stored). This may sound obvious, but I'm always surprised at people who acquire decent knives, never sharpen them, and then complain that they suck.

Random: Another random excellent top tier kitchen "utensil" I acquired recently is the ThermoWorks Thermapen. Why spend $90 on a kitchen thermometer, you may ask? Good question. The answer is instant read. Unlike some cheaper options that advertise instant read, these actually are. You get a stable and accurate temp reading in less than 3 seconds flat. This means you don't need to hassle with probes perpetually sticking in your food, or wireless thermometers, etc. You simple open your BBQ/oven , stick the pen in, get the reading and you're done, with minimal heat loss.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:30 am

My Wusthofs are fantastic, but even excellent knives need to be taken care of. They're stainless steel, so it would be pretty hard to make them rust. But it sounds like you need to not only improve your equipment, but how you're caring for it.

Globals are great knives, no argument (I have one), but I'm not a big fan of the dimpled steel grip. I find it a lot slippier than the traditional grips on my Wustofs, so it ends up almost never getting used.

As for pans, my wife and I both LOVE our All-Clads. Fantastic quality and they cook superbly. You'll need to experiment a bit to get the hang of cooking without the crutch of a non-stick surface. Once you get the hang of it, though, food just comes out better.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:29 am

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Last edited by clone on Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:45 am

Family used to own restaurants and they all used Zwilling J.A. Henckels gear. I love my Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives. But be sure to get the quality ones because they do make some lower end / lower priced models that are not so great.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:45 am

Check the date guys, the thread is 9 months old, necro'ed by a poster with 1 post.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:19 pm

So I should ask.. has anyone looked at ceramic knives? My wife uses a ceramic paring knife and loves it.. the only downside is that I think they are pretty brittle (as in I shudder to think what would happen if it gets dropped onto a tile floor)..
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:11 pm

Jambe wrote:I'm kinda curious as to what you're doing with your utensils that makes them break and rust so readily. I grew up cooking with cheap crap which worked fine because we didn't bash it around. I currently have a crock of wooden spoons and a few cheap one or two-piece plastic tools which I've come to use for most tasks (silicon or nylon things from OXO, Norpro, etc). They often have injection molding seams to razor off and they're not heirlooms... but they work.


clone wrote:I don't know what you are doing with your stuff that is destroying it but when I read your post I assumed you've either bought junk or you are literally trying to cut steel with your butter knives, pull ice brick frozen Ice Cream just by bending the handle on your spoon and punching pilot holes into wood with your forks.


Hmm, I didn't catch this last time around. You found me out guys, I actually have a tool chest full of our cookware because I'm trying to save money by making everything dual purpose. I've started some recent home improvement projects and driving nails with my skillet is giving me terrible elbow pains. Do you know of any pans that will drive a 16 penny nail through oak and is also light enough to flip pancakes? Jack***es :P And for the record, I never talked about spoons, forks or butter knives. That's because the dinnerware set I bought could probably do all of those things if I were so inclined to use them in such a fashion. I love the things, best purchase by far, and that is kind of why I started this as I know quality items exist in other forms.

I'm not that hard on my stuff, which is why the ancient gear is still working just fine, and that ancient gear is cheap crap from when I was a kid.

As for knives, the ones I got (Saber) are German hot dropped forged steel, the edges are also heat treated and ice cooled supposedly. I thought I was buying good stuff, but the rust still exists. I've sent the rusted ones back to Saber already as the warranty covers this but some of the replacements are starting to do it.

bryanl wrote:You can still get cast iron cookware and the only difference from 50 years ago is that the iron quality is better controlled.

Yep, I actually picked up a few cast iron pans/skillets along with some really old glassware stuff from local thrift stores. I use them for specific tasks and they are great to have around.

I've heard good things about the ceramic knives too, I also hear that the newer ones really aren't all that fragile.
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Re: Quality kitchen utensils?

Postposted on Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:31 pm

I have two knives. A shucking knife that is very sharp, about $8 around here, and a cheap stainless steel knife about 9" long. I'd guess at $15 for the big knife. I have a medium stone in the drawer and it puts a sharp slightly ragged edge on the knives. Never seen rust on either.

I love to cook but I don't see how one would need anything more. I have had these for many years.
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