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Old 06-28-2008, 09:06 PM   #1
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Reasonably priced cookware that is of very good quality.....

I really need to stock up on kitchen items. This includes appliances as well as basic things you use in the kitchen. If somebody could give me ideas as to basic kitchen appliances and kitchenware you should have in the kitchen, I would very much appreciate it. All suggestions are welcome and I really need ideas here. Off the top of my head, this is what I can think of that I need:

Measuring cups (pyrex glass measuring cup for measuring large quantities, as well as a set)

Measuring spoons

Food processor (not the dinky kind, one that is multi-functional and versatile)

Blender
No warp cookie sheets
muffin tins
loaf tins
pie tins
spice grinder (can use it to grind coffee grounds and whole spices)

This is the basic list that I have come up with. Does anybody know where I can find kitchen appliances and cookware that are at reasonable prices but don't compensate with their quality? I've looked at cooks.com. The quality is top-notch, but the prices are abhorrent.

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Old 06-28-2008, 10:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uniqueenigma View Post
I really need to stock up on kitchen items. This includes appliances as well as basic things you use in the kitchen. If somebody could give me ideas as to basic kitchen appliances and kitchenware you should have in the kitchen, I would very much appreciate it. All suggestions are welcome and I really need ideas here. Off the top of my head, this is what I can think of that I need:

Measuring cups (pyrex glass measuring cup for measuring large quantities, as well as a set)

Measuring spoons

Food processor (not the dinky kind, one that is multi-functional and versatile)

Blender
No warp cookie sheets
muffin tins
loaf tins
pie tins
spice grinder (can use it to grind coffee grounds and whole spices)

This is the basic list that I have come up with. Does anybody know where I can find kitchen appliances and cookware that are at reasonable prices but don't compensate with their quality? I've looked at cooks.com. The quality is top-notch, but the prices are abhorrent.
It really depends on what you want to cook at the moment you will need some good pans etc. cooks.com is really expensive instead try amazon,com there you can check the reviews and usually get free shipping on anything that is $25.00 or more even from multible orders.
Hang in there you will get a lot of help from DC. So what really is important what do you like to cook or bake at this point so you can get more specific advice
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:27 PM   #3
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Well I don't really know what reasonable pricing is to you, but...

The blender and food processor will be your biggest expenses. Shopping around online will probably save you some vs the cooks.com prices, but it'll still be in the same neighborhood for the same goods. If you're willing to go used, you can save a lot by shopping on craigslist or yard sales, but it's a longer, slower process and also a bit riskier (It's hard to know how much use the item has seen and how much life it has left in it). If you go this route, be careful and try to test the goods before buying. What exactly is it you want to do with them, by the way? There's a lot of overlap in function between the two and you could probably get by with just one for awhile at least.

For most of the rest, I'd probably hit either a restaurant supply store if you have one nearby or something like a Target/Walgreens/Longs type store. You can also get lucky at places like Marshalls and Ross sometimes, but it's hit and miss.

As far as the grinder goes, you'll need two if you want to grind coffee beans as well as spices. Coffee leaves oils in there that will flavor your spices and you don't want that.
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:28 AM   #4
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Measuring cups (wet and dry) and measuring spoons can be picked up just about anywhere - from the $1 store to the fancy cookware shops.

No-warp cookie sheets is something that you will probably have to get from a restaurant supply (for the best price) and will cost you a buck or two more than the stuff that warps (and gets tossed every couple of years) that you find at the discount stores sold under the name of cookie sheets, assuming you're talking about real cookie sheets. If you want no-warp baking (sheet/bun) pans - the restaurant supply is again your best friend - a couple of 1/4 and 1/2 size pans are the most useful sizes ... although you may want a 3/4 size pan if you're looking for a really big one - and if it will fit into your oven (baking needs room around the pan for the natural convection currents in the oven to produce even cooking - a minimum of 2-inches all the way around the pan ... so the oven would need to be a minimum of 25" W x 19" D to use the 3/4 pan).

As for the muffin, loaf, pie and cake tins .... I know you didn't mention cake tins ... the material (clear pyrex, glazed ceramic, shiny aluminum, dull aluminum, dark metal) is a matter of preference based on the results you are looking for (basically - the color of the crust). I prefer pyrex or glazed ceramic for pies, dark metal for muffins and loaves of bread, dull aluminum for cakes and some mufins, bright shiny aluminum for white/yellow cake muffins, pound cake, etc. Again - these are fairly common and easy to find. Heavy-duty quality is going to cost a little more than the cheapest - but is generally cheaper over the long run.

One thing you didn't mention was wooden spoons. IMHO - every good kitchen needs a good selection of various sized good quality wooden spoons! My favorite source (for price and quality) is Fantes ... just scroll down to the wooden spoons - the beechwood are not as pretty as the olive, but I've been using them for over 10-years and never had one break or split.

Spice/Coffee grinder(s) - if you want one that will do double-duty ... look for one with removeable blades and stainless-steel bowl - like the KitchenAid Blade Coffee Grinder. Although it's going to cost about $40 - it's no more expensive than having two Krups coffee grinders (one for spices and one for coffee) which will cost you about $20 each (although they can be found for less sometimes at overstock stores like BigLots or Walgreens).

As for the blender and food processor .... if you have never owned either one and only think you'll use one a lot from what you see TV cooking demonstrators use them for - or you have a specific application where you know you will get your money's worth out of it ... I would either pick one up in the $25-$30 or less range from some overstock/discontinued place like BigLots or one of the discount stores like Target/WalMart/KMart. After a year or two - you will know if you need to upgrade, and an idea of what you need, or you'll be glad you saved yourself a lot of money.

You sound like one of us typical guys just getting started. Find a female friend and get her to help teach you how to shop.
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:21 AM   #5
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I hope I'm not repeating what someone else said... *too much ADD not enough focus to read the other posts completely. lol*

I research everything, especially my kitchen stuffs. That said, As far as a food processor, anything Cuisinart will make you happy. Picking the size is the confusing part. I have a 14 cup, which at the time, was the largest on the market. There may be bigger, but unless you have a family of 83, I doubt you'll need it. In fact, I bought the smaller 3 cup for when my 14C is just too much machine for the job.

Blender... what I DONT recommend is the Black and Decker pro blend. It really has trouble evenly blending and I find I have to keep stopping to mix things up a bit. A decent blender can be had for under $50 bucks, provided you aren't a margarita drinker, or throw snow cone parties every other day.

Also, a mixer of some sort. I got along fine for several years with a very inexpensive hand mixer. Probably cost a whopping $20. However, when I unwrapped my shiny new Kitchen Aid stand mixer one Christmas, well, let's just say I haven't seen much of my poor ole hand mixer. Honestly, a few Christmases later, I got a Kitchen Aid immersion blender (two piece please!!!) and could probably just ditch the hand mixer. But, it's like family. lol

Measuring cups... pyrex is good. Oxo is good. Goodwill is a great place to look because you might get lucky and find Cups and spoons by Foley. I personally prefer the ones that are not plastic and don't have the rounded lip. Makes it easier to level the dry ingredients with a flat edge.

Chicago Metallic "commercial" line has yet to let me down on anything, cookie sheet's, bread pans, etc. Pyrex glass is my first choice for pie.

Rubber spatulas, heat safe as high as you can find. If you use nonstick pots and pans, use utensils safe for that. I've melted plenty, so inexpensive isn't always a good thing. So far, I've been happy with my Calphalon. Wooden spoons are good to have, I just bought a Mario Batali for $5. So far, so good. One or two metal turner for my cast iron.

Mixing bowls. I have tons, and still not enough. I have a ceramic three piece set from ages ago that I'll cry if they break. Another set that goes with my Phaltzgraf dinnerwear set. Meh.. it's ok, not my first grab. I have several Pyrex glass bowls that have lids. The smaller ones make great cereal bowls. My most recent bowl purchase was the Pampered chef metal bowl set, with lids. While they're my first reach, they are also the closest to my typical work station.

A good knife set can, in my opinion, make or break your culinary experience. If you're cutting with crap, you're not going to have fun. Cooking should be fun. You can acquire a knife set for a decent price, but sharpening and honing should be your next google search. No matter what price, or what reputation, a dull knife set is worthless.

The one place I go first for kitchen stuff is Amazon. Not only do I get to see what other people think, but I typically find they beat most everybody else's price by a respectable margin. If I get a bee in my bonnet and need it NOW, I check my local Target, which is pretty good about carrying what I'm after. After that, I check Bed Bath and Beyond, and Kitchen & Co. Those two are great for selection, but not so great on price. But, like I said, that's in a weak moment of "I have to have it".
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:23 AM   #6
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Michael, I have to disagree with you about the coffee-spice grinder combination. I can taste the herbs, and spices in my coffee forever, even just when someone ground flavored coffee in one of mine, and have never figured out a good way to clean out a grinder. Also a burr grinder seem to work better for coffee for me. I agree about the wooden spoons. They are not at all expensive, and last a long time if you don't leave them to soak or run them through the DW.
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:14 PM   #7
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To make good coffee you need a burr type grinder. A blade type is what you want for herbs and such. So you probably need two.

I have a Cuisinart burr grinder that came from Costco. I don't remember it being too expensive.

Chad
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