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Old 02-04-2010, 11:35 AM   #1
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Beginner looking for a good knife set and cookware

I am a beginner to knives cookware and never thought about spending the money for a good set of knives. This year that is all past me as my hobbies have changed from wrenching on cars to saltwater tanks. Those 2 are very expensive hobbies and I got rid of my 11 sec car to venture into sometihng knew to keep me out of trouble .

so I have a set of JC Penny Cook's block set of knives and just ordered an Edge Pro to learn to sharpen. the professionals here charge $5 a knife. I don't minf paying the money but would rather do it mysef and have the sharpener to use at my own leisure to do my dad's knives .

I was looking into these from reading briefly on this forum. I went to Bedbath and beyond and was looking at the Henkels, Wusthof, ad the Shun's they carry.

Amazon.com: Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless-Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set: Kitchen & Dining

Amazon.com: Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro S Stainless-Steel 21-Piece Knife Set with Block: Kitchen & Dining

Please let me know what you think.

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Old 02-04-2010, 11:42 AM   #2
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I have the Pro S knives and they are a very good product. I can't imagine you need a 21-piece set even if 9 pieces are the block and steak knives. That's a ton of money! I'd recommend buying 3-4 knives to start and adding to them when you decide what you actually need.

The Cookware set is also a good one. If you are a Costco member, they have a similar set for about $200.00 that will also serve you well.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:43 AM   #3
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The advice (and it is good advice) that you will get from most people here is to stay away from knife and cookware sets. It is usually much more economical to buy individual pieces so you can get exactly what you want and you are not paying for items you will not use. And with knives at least, the better ones generally do not come in sets. That is not to say you can not get knife blocks that are very good knives, but I am just speaking in generalities.

With cookware, you will want different pieces to do different jobs, and by that I mean is that a set will have one kind of cookware (stainless steel, cast iron, Teflon, etc.), but depending on what you cook one size will not fit all. You may want a Teflon pan for eggs, but a cast iron pan for steaks. It is better to buy one piece at a time as you decide what you will need and that way you can customize your cookware accordingly.

With knives, the blocks usually come with a ton of knives you will never use. Instead of spending $100 on a block that had 5 knives, 3 or 4 of which you will never use, you can use that $100 to get one knife that you will use that will be of higher quality.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:45 AM   #4
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Most people agree that sets (cookware or knives) are not recommended over collecting different types, sizes from different brands. Sets often come with pieces you will rarely use and that just take up space in your cabinet or on your countertop. If you were to purchase a stainless 12 piece set, then found that you prefer a different finish, or a different brand of stainless you would have wasted a lot of money. Same goes for knives. Better to build up your collection a piece or two at a time with pieces you know you will use. That's what I'm trying to do now.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:04 PM   #5
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I just looke at that cookware set a little closer, and here is my amateur take on it. The small saucepans are fine and would get much use. For the 8 and 10" skillet I would prefer a non-stick one and a cast iron one. The 3.5 qt saute pan is a bit small. I have a 4.5 and like it a lot. It is perfect for boiling chicken carcass, and many other things. The 8 qt stockpot is great. I have one (mine was $40 at Walmart) and I use it all the time. Do you have any cookware now?
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:31 PM   #6
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If you don't need all of the steak knives in the block you linked, Henckels has a great value on Four Star at the moment. It's a promotional deal with an eight or nine piece block of their Four Star knives. It's hard to beat it. The sets include an 8" Chef's knife, a 3" paring knife, a steel, a block and a few pieces of assorted junk. At $150, it's pretty reasonable. For another $50, they'll throw in a bread knife. Add a boning knife from open stock (which doubles as a filet knife) and you'll have everything you could ever want. A couple of decades ago, Four Star was Henckels top of the line. It's what we were issued in culinary school and I've used the very same set for more than two decades now. I won't say that they look like the day I was handed the roll, but they're every bit as sharp.

I have several pieces of the Cuisinart cookware...again dating to the eighties, with different handles (welded instead of riveted back then, but I've never had one fail). They've held up really well through the years and they cook very evenly. I did notice on ATK, they didn't come out looking very good though. They banged one hard and knocked the thick disc out of the bottom. So, if you happen to abuse your cookware you might look elsewhere. It looks to me like Cuisinart is still the value leader in quality cookware. That set would be a good start.

You'll eventually work up to a lot of variety in your cookware. A few things, I can't live without: a dutch oven (I like enamel over cast iron, but cast iron is great too), a few inexpensive non-stick pans (I get cheap Farberware at Wal Mart because they only last a couple of years anyhow), a cast iron grilling pan, a cast iron griddle, a good roasting pan with a V rack...I'm sure I'm forgetting something.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:49 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice on the knives and cookware. I will look into this stuff slowly then before jumping the gun.

I already went through this with blenders and food processors over the past years. Heck I even bought into the Ninja hype. Low and behold I was at Costco and seen a Vita mix 5200 demo and I impressed. At the time I was like man 400 for a blender that is nuts. After I researched it for a week I was sold. This thing will chop bones..lol It is an amazing blender. I t has me making green smoothies around the clock. This is the Best blender I have used and worth every penny...
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:55 PM   #8
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For the bulk of the population, $400 for a blender is nuts....but it wasn't made for the bulk of the population. For those of us who respect a good kitchen tool, it's a sound value.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vagriller View Post
I just looke at that cookware set a little closer, and here is my amateur take on it. The small saucepans are fine and would get much use. For the 8 and 10" skillet I would prefer a non-stick one and a cast iron one. The 3.5 qt saute pan is a bit small. I have a 4.5 and like it a lot. It is perfect for boiling chicken carcass, and many other things. The 8 qt stockpot is great. I have one (mine was $40 at Walmart) and I use it all the time. Do you have any cookware now?
I guess all of that depends on how you cook, and for how many. I have 1.5 & 2.5 qt sauce pans, but had to buy a 0.5 qt because I needed something smaller.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jet View Post
I guess all of that depends on how you cook, and for how many. I have 1.5 & 2.5 qt sauce pans, but had to buy a 0.5 qt because I needed something smaller.
All the more reason not to buy a set! You can leave off one of both of the SS skillets and get the smaller sauce pan.
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