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wedding registry - the essentials??

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

hi all!  i've love some advice from all of those professional chefs and home cooks out there...

 

my fiance and i are putting together our wedding registry, and we basically need to start from scratch with regard to cooking equipment and kitchen supplies.

 

i'd love any/all advice on what essentials are for our wedding registry -- pots? pans? dutch ovens? immersion blender?  -- and any specific brands that are highly recommended!  thanks in advance for your time.  :)

 ~expert eater. novice cook.~
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 ~expert eater. novice cook.~
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post #2 of 11

Equipping someone else's kitchen without knowing a little something about what they want, how much they're going to spend, how they cook, and so on is more than a little daunting.

 

If you could provide a few details about yourself, break your equipment needs and wishes down into specific things,  and add what you consider to be a reasonable price range for each, it would make it easier to help. 

 

Starting a separate thread for each type of thing in the equipment section would make things less confusing for all of us. 

 

 

Good luck on your new life,

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 9/22/10 at 7:24pm
post #3 of 11

If this is for a wedding registry, price points should be irrelevent, Boar. The newlyweds aren't paying for it.

 

Lolamb, I would start by determining the kind of cooking needs you have. That is, are you and your beloved serious foodies who will be doing lots of fancy cookery? Or are you casual cooks, more likely to call for take out?

 

Within that framework, start making lists of the sorts types of things you used at home, and what you felt was missing. That is, you know you'll need pots. But what sizes and materials? And in what numbers. You get the idea. That will cover basics. Then start looking at the "it would be nice to have" items. Crockpots? Stand mixers? Food processors? If you think you'll put these to use, start focusing on makes and models.

 

Do the same thing with cutlery.

 

I know this sounds kind of nebulous. But, as BDL points out, without more info about what sort of cooking you do, and the level of skill you have, it's hard to be specific.

 

One suggestion, for both cutlery and cookware: don't look at sets. Most of the time sets contain items that you'll never use, and they just take up space. You're better off choosing the specific piece you want, and amass your cooking equipment that way.  

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 11

I agree with the others that more details about what you cook, how you cook etc... would help. I also agree that you should avoid sets.

 

If it were me, I'd put on the list (at the top of my head):

 

1 butcher block, john boos

1 chef knife

3-5 paring knives

1 8" stainless steel skillet

1 8" carbon steel pan

1 10" stainless steel skillet

1 10" carbon steel pan

1 12" stainless steel skillet

1 small saucepan

1 medium saucepan

1 6Qt Saute pan

1 stainless steel stock pot (for stock, but also soup, pasta etc...)

1 large roasting pan

1 "Le creuset" type enameled cast iron dish with lid

 

Plates

Cuttlery

Glasses

Nice stem wine glasses

 

All sizes of tupperwares - I prefer the glass ones with a plastic lid. Get a LOT of tiny ones, real useful for leftovers or for freezing small quantities of sauce or stock.

 

Food processor

Good quality blender (vita-mix)

Pasta strainer

Medium mesh strainer

Fine mesh strainer (chinois)

 

 

From there you can go with accessories or specialty items:

wok

paella pan

rice cooker

ice cream maker

waffle maker

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone!!!!  French Fries, your list of must-haves is particularly helpful.  KYHeirloomer, thanks for the heads up to avoid sets!

 

BDL, for clarification, we're more casual at-home cooks, although at some point we'd like to venture into more gourmet preparations. 

 

Are there any specific brands that you all prefer for pots/pans?  To be honest, the only one I'm most familiar with is All-Clad.  Also, how essential is the copper?  I understand it helps things to cook more evenly?

 

Thanks again!

 ~expert eater. novice cook.~
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 ~expert eater. novice cook.~
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post #6 of 11

Of all the knives in my kitchen I use the steak knife the most.  In fact I use these so much as utility knives I normally have a mess of 4-5 sitting in the dirty cutlery pile!  I use basic chicago cutlery wood handled steak knives.  They've lasted 15 years and will likely last another 50.

 

I also think you could use an assortment of whisks and you can never have too many tongs, silicon spatulas , and wooden spoons.  3-4 of each of different sizes plus a coupla soup ladles.  Then some small stuff like peelers, juicer, corkscrew, measuring spoons and cups, zester, apple corer, etc.

post #7 of 11

You live on the west side.  Where are you registering?  BB&B? SLT? W-S?  Macy's?  Surfas?  If you ever get to Monterey Park you may want to look at Action Supply on Atlantic.  It's got better prices than Star (on Sepulveda in the SF Valley) and much, much better prices than Surfas.  Plus, lots of great places to eat in Monterey Park.  You could try Elite -- one of the three best places for Dim Sum in SoCal.

 

I disagree with KY, and think being price conscious is a way of being sensitive to your friends and family.  On the selfish side, if you keep your requests reasonable you stand a better chance of having them granted.

 

A Vita-Mix is a great appliance no doubt, especially if you want to make your own flour in the blender or plan on opening a smoothie business.  If you just want something that will make great frozen Margaritas and Daiquiris (instead of the melted slush you get from regular home blenders), puree your gazpacho and other mundane blender tasks you might try something like a Waring BB180.  Under $100, and it will do everything you want.  

 

How about a stand mixer, like a Kitchen Aid?  Too much machine?  Don't need it yet?  Well, at least register for a Cuisinar or KitchenAid electric hand mixer.  Or both.  Immersion ("stick") blenders are nice, but not a necessity.  How are you doing for storage space in your kitchen.

 

Food Processor?  KA or Cuisinart.  6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other. 

 

French Fries has a pretty good list.  Very good, actually.  Except no one needs 5 paring knives unless they're planning on a couple of shifts of garde manger during the honeymoon.  Reconcile yourselves to the thought that you'll still have to buy stuff as you go. 

 

Speaking of knives...  As a casual cook, you probably aren't thinking about the sorts of knives that serious cooks convince themselves (ourselves) they (we) need.   On the other hand, cheap dreck isn't going to do you any good nor will expensive knives you can't don't and won't sharpen.  A puzzlement. 

 

We can figure out your knives (and sharpening stuff) in a separate thread.  In the meantime, don't buy Cutco, Chicago Cutlery, Kitchen Aid, or Henckels International.  Promise me.   

 

Perhaps a knife, weird pan (for all that carbon steel, not to mention the so-far unmentioned paella pan) and appliance fund?  That makes it easier for you to choose your own purchases online or buy from places like Action where your family members probably never go.  

 

All Clad tends to be very expensive compared to the competition's equal or better quality.  It also runs heavy.  In stainless, I like Vollrath's commercial tri-ply line -- the name of which I forget.  But the name brand multi-ply stuff you see at BB&B and the major department stores -- Cuisinart, Calphalon, Tramontina, etc., is also very good.  That's stainless, mind you.  Stay away from the non-stick, especially if you're going to buy a few pieces of carbon steel. 

 

A lot of the "famous name" cookware like Paula Deen and Emeril is actually pretty good.  You tend to see that more at Target than Williams Sonoma -- it depends where you're registering.

 

If you like omelettes, do get a 10" carbon pan and reserve it for the purpose.  Well worth it.   Otherwise, even though I love the way it works, I have to wonder if carbon will suit your style.  It needs slightly different care, can't be used for long simmered tomato and wine sauces, gets ugly in a hurry, can't go in a dishwasher, but does the whole non-stick thing much better than non-stick.  Still want it?  

 

If you're buying open stock pots and pans, you want to keep an eye on the lid situation.  Or -- and it's not exactly a big onus -- you'll be schlepping to a store to get a few extras.

 

Open stock is great.  But, if there's someone eager to go big-ticket on your pots and pans, there's no harm in getting a set.  You can always add to it willy nilly as you go. 

 

Copper?  Nice if you're buying it for its beauty.  You don't get enough additonal performance from it compared to multi-ply for it to be worth the extra money for performance alone.  As one of the layers in a multi-ply -- really just a marketing gimmick compared to a slightly thicker layer of far less costly aluminum.  For all but a few cooks, copper's performance advantages are academic.  That is, it might do some things a little faster or a little more evenly, but YOU will never see it in YOUR cooking.   So don't register for it, and don't stress if you don't get any.  You're not missing anything.

 

What you save in copper, invest in coffee.  They have a lot of the same letters, and you know how important that is.  Seriously, $200 for a Technivorm is a lot of dough re mi for a "pour over" coffee maker, but it's worth it if you like your jamoke.  You'll want a decent burr grinder to go with it.  Another $100.

 

Really good espresso machines start at around a K.  Yep.  You don't have the chutzpah to even ask.  BTW if you do, don't buy the new Livetta or the Livia 90 from Pasquini (on Olympic), whom I otherwise adore.  There are better for the money, than either.  You may or may not find that the little $300 machines make a drinkable brew.  You'll need advice from someone else about those.

 

You'll want a "spaghetti set."  That's a medium sized stock pot (about 8qt) with two strainers and a lid.  A disk bottom is okay.  Tri or multi-ply is great for skillet and saute pans, nice on smaller sauce pans, but overkill on big pots.  Tramontina is very good.

 

A Lodge cast-iron griddle on one side/grill on t'other.  You want one mos' def'.

 

Do you need a wok?  Keep the task away from your relatives unless one of them can be trusted.  They'll buy something too good to work well. You want inexpensive carbon steel.  Again, the SGV beckons. 

 

A real kitchen supply house like Action, Star and Surfas is your best bet for the small tools like whisks and stuff.  Smart and Final has some good stuff but you have to be careful.  You might actually be able to register at Surfas, but certainly not the others.  Maybe put a few friends together along with a couple of hundred bucks from the fund and go to Stars or Action on a weekend morning not too long after the wedding.  If you go Stars you can go to Hogly Wogly's after.  If you go to Action, that sounds like Dumplings 10053 (in El Monte) beckoning.

 

Good equipment won't make you a good cook; but at least you won't have to fight it.

 

Happy marriage,

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 9/23/10 at 1:25pm
post #8 of 11
Quote:

Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post


no one needs 5 paring knives unless they're planning on a couple of shifts of garde manger during the honeymoon.


Hey, you're partly responsible for this choice of mine: you recommended I get the Victorinox paring knife. I loved mine right away, and my wife too - she said: "those are great, get 3 or 4 of them next time!" - I thought that was a bit overkill so I only got one more, for her. She was so disappointed we only had two that I later bought an extra 2, for a total of four. One of them is in my knife bag at all times, I've already lost one (you know, those catering events....), so we have two to play with around the kitchen.

 

But you're right, if you're careful you should be fine with two of them. I just think it's handy to have more in case you don't wash them right away.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

WOW this is so helpful -- thank you BDL!  I think we're going to register at BB&B (and maybe W-S, too...).  My fiance and I will be taking this entire thread along to the store when we register!  Amazing resource -- I will also be forwarding to my girlfriends who are also in the midst of registering.  Thanks to all!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

You live on the west side.  Where are you registering?  BB&B? SLT? W-S?  Macy's?  Surfas?  If you ever get to Monterey Park you may want to look at Action Supply on Atlantic.  It's got better prices than Star (on Sepulveda in the SF Valley) and much, much better prices than Surfas.  Plus, lots of great places to eat in Monterey Park.  You could try Elite -- one of the three best places for Dim Sum in SoCal.

 

I disagree with KY, and think being price conscious is a way of being sensitive to your friends and family.  On the selfish side, if you keep your requests reasonable you stand a better chance of having them granted.

 

A Vita-Mix is a great appliance no doubt, especially if you want to make your own flour in the blender or plan on opening a smoothie business.  If you just want something that will make great frozen Margaritas and Daiquiris (instead of the melted slush you get from regular home blenders), puree your gazpacho and other mundane blender tasks you might try something like a Waring BB180.  Under $100, and it will do everything you want.  

 

How about a stand mixer, like a Kitchen Aid?  Too much machine?  Don't need it yet?  Well, at least register for a Cuisinar or KitchenAid electric hand mixer.  Or both.  Immersion ("stick") blenders are nice, but not a necessity.  How are you doing for storage space in your kitchen.

 

Food Processor?  KA or Cuisinart.  6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other. 

 

French Fries has a pretty good list.  Very good, actually.  Except no one needs 5 paring knives unless they're planning on a couple of shifts of garde manger during the honeymoon.  Reconcile yourselves to the thought that you'll still have to buy stuff as you go. 

 

Speaking of knives...  As a casual cook, you probably aren't thinking about the sorts of knives that serious cooks convince themselves (ourselves) they (we) need.   On the other hand, cheap dreck isn't going to do you any good nor will expensive knives you can't don't and won't sharpen.  A puzzlement. 

 

We can figure out your knives (and sharpening stuff) in a separate thread.  In the meantime, don't buy Cutco, Chicago Cutlery, Kitchen Aid, or Henckels International.  Promise me.   

 

Perhaps a knife, weird pan (for all that carbon steel, not to mention the so-far unmentioned paella pan) and appliance fund?  That makes it easier for you to choose your own purchases online or buy from places like Action where your family members probably never go.  

 

All Clad tends to be very expensive compared to the competition's equal or better quality.  It also runs heavy.  In stainless, I like Vollrath's commercial tri-ply line -- the name of which I forget.  But the name brand multi-ply stuff you see at BB&B and the major department stores -- Cuisinart, Calphalon, Tramontina, etc., is also very good.  That's stainless, mind you.  Stay away from the non-stick, especially if you're going to buy a few pieces of carbon steel. 

 

A lot of the "famous name" cookware like Paula Deen and Emeril is actually pretty good.  You tend to see that more at Target than Williams Sonoma -- it depends where you're registering.

 

If you like omelettes, do get a 10" carbon pan and reserve it for the purpose.  Well worth it.   Otherwise, even though I love the way it works, I have to wonder if carbon will suit your style.  It needs slightly different care, can't be used for long simmered tomato and wine sauces, gets ugly in a hurry, can't go in a dishwasher, but does the whole non-stick thing much better than non-stick.  Still want it?  

 

If you're buying open stock pots and pans, you want to keep an eye on the lid situation.  Or -- and it's not exactly a big onus -- you'll be schlepping to a store to get a few extras.

 

Open stock is great.  But, if there's someone eager to go big-ticket on your pots and pans, there's no harm in getting a set.  You can always add to it willy nilly as you go. 

 

Copper?  Nice if you're buying it for its beauty.  You don't get enough additonal performance from it compared to multi-ply for it to be worth the extra money for performance alone.  As one of the layers in a multi-ply -- really just a marketing gimmick compared to a slightly thicker layer of far less costly aluminum.  For all but a few cooks, copper's performance advantages are academic.  That is, it might do some things a little faster or a little more evenly, but YOU will never see it in YOUR cooking.   So don't register for it, and don't stress if you don't get any.  You're not missing anything.

 

What you save in copper, invest in coffee.  They have a lot of the same letters, and you know how important that is.  Seriously, $200 for a Technivorm is a lot of dough re mi for a "pour over" coffee maker, but it's worth it if you like your jamoke.  You'll want a decent burr grinder to go with it.  Another $100.

 

Really good espresso machines start at around a K.  Yep.  You don't have the chutzpah to even ask.  BTW if you do, don't buy the new Livetta or the Livia 90 from Pasquini (on Olympic), whom I otherwise adore.  There are better for the money, than either.  You may or may not find that the little $300 machines make a drinkable brew.  You'll need advice from someone else about those.

 

You'll want a "spaghetti set."  That's a medium sized stock pot (about 8qt) with two strainers and a lid.  A disk bottom is okay.  Tri or multi-ply is great for skillet and saute pans, nice on smaller sauce pans, but overkill on big pots.  Tramontina is very good.

 

A Lodge cast-iron griddle on one side/grill on t'other.  You want one mos' def'.

 

Do you need a wok?  Keep the task away from your relatives unless one of them can be trusted.  They'll buy something too good to work well. You want inexpensive carbon steel.  Again, the SGV beckons. 

 

A real kitchen supply house like Action, Star and Surfas is your best bet for the small tools like whisks and stuff.  Smart and Final has some good stuff but you have to be careful.  You might actually be able to register at Surfas, but certainly not the others.  Maybe put a few friends together along with a couple of hundred bucks from the fund and go to Stars or Action on a weekend morning not too long after the wedding.  If you go Stars you can go to Hogly Wogly's after.  If you go to Action, that sounds like Dumplings 10053 (in El Monte) beckoning.

 

Good equipment won't make you a good cook; but at least you won't have to fight it.

 

Happy marriage,

BDL

 ~expert eater. novice cook.~
Reply
 ~expert eater. novice cook.~
Reply
post #10 of 11

I second BDL - Vollrath for bang-for-buck.  But if you can get folks to buy you All-Clad, why not?

The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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post #11 of 11

Oh, and a Weber Kettle, 22", is a good idea.

The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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