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New to cooking.. I need help with kitchen things. :(

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Dear.. Cooking people

 

 

 I am just learning to cook. I really need help. First I have been using knives from 12 years ago that my husband mother gave us for christmas called miracle knives. I do not believe they are miracle. I cut onions with steak knives to give you example of what I know in the kitchen. I am looking for knives that are very good and the ones that I need to cut things like vegetables or more. Money does matter. If you were getting something for your daughter or son and you wanted them to have a good set what would you recommend and which knives are necessary that people need to make things with. Price limit no more than 400.00. However that price is not for just one knife. :) Thank ya'll in advance for helping me. Also, I need like the things you cook in like skillet and those type things also. Which pans would I need. I have a walmart brand that I keep replacing. Also the same thing in regards to what you recommend. Good price for Quality that will last us for a long time. My husband does not want something that sticks. I went to william sonoma yesterday one of the pans I picked up I had to hold with two hands It was very heavy. So again price does matter. Thanks for taking time to read this and giving you guys expert advice.

 

 

Thank you

post #2 of 6

On knives, you might want to look around in the knives forum for similar questions, for example.  

 

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/72666/another-beginner-searching-for-a-good-knife

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/73295/more-beginner-questions

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/72425/home-cook-looking-for-first-real-knife

 

The good news is that for $400 you can get a couple of knives that will cut way, way better than what you have now, and you will have something left over for sharpening.  The maybe less-good news is that all knives need to be sharpened, and you either need to learn to do that yourself or find someone you can pay to sharpen your knives from time to time.

 

On pans and so forth, my standard advice is to find a restaurant supply store.  Where are you?  Most cities have one or two, and they're usually happy to sell to the general public.  Restaurant supply stores specialize in the practical mid-range in between cheap junk and overpriced trophy items, and prices are usually decent.  Williams Sonoma is fine if you have money to burn.

post #3 of 6

just my 5¢ ellanic,

my DH wanted to give me kitchen tools and asked what I wanted,

my reply?  a good chef's knife, a slicing knife and lastly a paring knife.

you need to find a brand that has a handle that suits your hand...

as to pot and pans, again find a brand that you can afford, I started out at Target and Wal Mart, and I also bought some open stock All-Clad as it went on sale (sorry but not WS, too spendy)

post #4 of 6

Definitely yes on the knives. I get by just fine with a chef's knife, a paring knife, a bread knife and a smallish serrated knife which I replace every couple of years. Luckily, I live just a block from two places that offer inexpensive knife sharpening. I hone every couple of uses but I've never mastered sharpening my own.

 

If you want a skillet that will last a long time, then non-stick is not the best choice. Even good non-stick needs to be replaced every year or two, depending on how often you use it.  

 

Non-stick has its uses--mostly for making eggs--but is not the best cooking surface for developing flavor in foods. You want that browned, sticky stuff that builds up in the pan, especially when cooking meat or poultry.

 

Fully clad stainless steel or well-seasoned cast iron skillets are more versatile but can be quite heavy, especially cast iron.  If you buy a stainless steel skillet, get one with a stainless steel handle, so it can go in the oven, too.

 

A 12" is probably the most useful size. If you also buy a non-stick especially for cooking eggs and omelets, a smaller size is probably better. I'd also make sure that one had a stainless handle, too.

 

Another heavy but possibly necessary cooking vessel is an enameled cast iron dutch oven that can go from the stovetop to the oven. I use mine for soups, stews & braised dishes. A 6 or 6.5 qt will also allow you to braise a small chicken.

 

Add a stock pot for boiling pasta (and making stock, if you are so inclined) and a couple of stainless steel sauce pans and most of your basic needs should be covered.

 

I'd also say a one inch deep half-sheet pan or jelly roll pan is a necessity.

 

What you need for bakeware will depend on what you end up liking to cook.

 

I buy most of my cookware on line (Amazon, Overstock.com, Cutlery and More) or from places like Marshall's or TJ Maxx.  

post #5 of 6

If you live near a Sur la Table or a place/cooking school/community center that offers cooking lessons, I would put my first money there.  I'm a technique person.  Once you learn basic knife skills of cutting and chopping and see how that suits your own life and the food that you will be cooking, you will know exactly what size your first chef knife should be.  some people like larger blades, some like smaller, some like santoku style etc.   Some of this is personal preference but it's all based on skill, experience, you own feel IMO. 

 

They always say that a dull knife will cause more accidents and that a sharp knife is safest.  However a really sharp knife in the hands of someone with limited skill is an accident waiting to happen.  I've seen the DH pick up a knife....it's amazing how little intuition he has about cutting up a vegetable... but he can launch a rocket from his laptop!   Technique should be emphasized more.  I'm not talking meez like a pro chef...i'm just talking basic knife skills for regular home cooking.

 

Same with pans...depends on the type of cooking you do, how strong you are, your tolerance to cleaning the pans etc.  

post #6 of 6

If I were setting up a new kitchen on a minimal budget here's what I'd buy. I think I could do almost everything with this setup appliances are optional. If not a stand mixer then a hand mixer would do for most things.

 

Primary Items:

Wusthof 8" Classic chef's knife and 3.5" paring knife

De Buyer carbon steel 12.5" frying pan

Cast Iron 10" fry pan (used Griswold or Wagner or Lodge)

6.5 quart enameled dutch oven (Tramontina, Walmart)

5 quart tri-ply stainless saute pan (straight side, Vollrath Tribute or Tramontina)

12 or 16 quart tri-ply stainless stock pot (12")

6 quart brasier, tri-ply stainless

2.5 and 4.5 quart sauce pans, tri-ply stainless

Pyrex mixing bowls and baking dishes

Corning casseroles and soufflet dishes

Heavy duty, very thick baking sheets

 

Small necessary items:

Stainless cooking spoon and spatulas

Wooden spoons

Ladle

Tongs

Digital timer

Digital meat thermometer

Box grater

Spice bottles and bulk spices

 

Small Appliances:

Kitchenaid 600 Pro stand mixer

Kitchenaid 3.5 cup chopper

Blender - I have a Waring (because Rhondstadt calls it out by name in Poor Poor Pitiful Me) 

Countertop Convection Oven - Hamilton Beech

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