The Great Hall
Help finding knives and cookware The Great Hall: Help finding knives and cookware
By Kevin (Kevin) on Saturday, September 04, 1999 - 12:16 pm: Edit

I am 16 and I just started cooking at a local Restaurant. I want to start cooking at home and I have no idea what I need to get started. What are some good brand names?

By Suelee (Suelee) on Sunday, September 05, 1999 - 06:09 am: Edit

For home use I find Calphalon cookware to be very reliable and it lasts forever.The newer non stick variety is hugely popular , I started with the original kind and found that if you season the pan as recommended and of course watch your recipes, sticking is not an issue. Knives - Henkels, Wusthof are both very good. I use both.

By Kevin (Kevin) on Monday, September 06, 1999 - 12:32 am: Edit

thank you for your help but, Ihave another question will i need a Chef's Knife and a Carving Knife and what sizes should I get. and should I use the "Steel" or a different kind of sharpener? I also have no idea what other kinds of knives I need Im thinking about getting a block set.

By Suelee (Suelee) on Monday, September 06, 1999 - 08:44 am: Edit

I think a block set is not a bad way to start. For chef's knives, I have 8 & 10 inch, use both, prefer the 10 inch. Once you use your knives, you will find the ones that feel the best in your hand. I would also get a boning knife & a carving knife. For sharpening, I found it useful to have the steel for quick treatments, but I bought the electric "Chef's Choice" diamond hone sharpener. I use it once a year to totally re-sharpen my knives, and once every two months or so to keep them in shape.

By Kevin (Kevin) on Monday, September 06, 1999 - 12:12 pm: Edit

thank you for all of your help suelee

By Patrick (Patrick) on Monday, September 06, 1999 - 01:18 pm: Edit

You have opened a number 10 can of worms with your questions. At home I use non teflon pans. I find that with teflon I am limited by what I can do. Calaphon will tell any Pro who asks that Flambe work (setting alcohol on fire in the pan) is a big no-no and will cause the teflon to flake exposing the food in the long run to aluminum (which causes alzheimers). You say your 16. Don't play with the expensive toys until you need them. If you have a good set of pots and pans at home use them. When you get into this profession you will find a bad variation in what most resturants have. If you have experience on low end equipment, you will be better off than the person who has only used perfect equipment. As to the pans get a calaphon 10" omellette pan (work on making omellettes and also cooking eggs which have no brown color at all). Get a good stainless pot for soups and stews (revere ware has inexpensive models). You will need a good roasting pan ( for "looks" in your kitchen Le Cruset has wonder yet heavy equipment).... Knives are another question. Most Chefs own Henkel or Wurstoff-Trident. There are other brands that are not as damaging to your budget and are used everyday in professional kitchens. F.Dick is a good brand. For Chef's knives I use High Carbon blades (wonderful edges, but need steeling often). There are also lower carbon steel blades that don't need to be sharpened as often. Carbon is a soft metal that makes the blade easy to sharpen by the cook or Chef, but it also loses it's edge easier. I use a tri stone to sharpen my personal knives once every 4 months. The rest of the time I use either a "steel" or a diamond edge "steel" to keep my edge.

As you can see with 2 opinnions, you have 2 choices of direction. As a 16 year old, I would highly advise that you go to your yellow pages, and look under "Resturant Supply" and visit a resturant supply store. Buy the equipment there that will allow you to get the most out of your budget. And I do mean most. Because the more toys you have to play with, the more exposed you will be. And remember that the advice that suelee and I have given is but a drop in the bucket. Get any tool, and work with it. If it isn't for you, donate to your local High School Home Ec. Class and up grade.

By Suelee (Suelee) on Monday, September 06, 1999 - 03:29 pm: Edit

I use the original calphalon, I only mentioned the non-stick due to its popularity & cost.The fact is that for many non-flaming dishes, and for small at home trial cooking, it may be easier on the budget. Watch out when buying roasting pans, again, I stay with calphalon over the others - but watch that sizing! They have some HUGE pans that you probably won't use for awhile and are very costly to just have sitting around. Since I do a lot of cooking & baking as my business, the cost was not such an issue for me. Again on knives, I have heard that the Chicago Cutlery brand is not bad, and it is considerably cheaper that the Henkels & Wurstoff that I bought. As to durability of the Chicago brand I am not sure.

I agree with Patrick, all this is just basic advise, there is a wealth of information out there - stop and see as many people and places that you can. Again, as you work with your knives and cookware, you will gain comfort and obviously have preferences. Experiment and enjoy!


By Kevin (Kevin) on Tuesday, October 05, 1999 - 07:07 pm: Edit

Thanks for all of your help. A friend of mine has the chicago cultry brand knives they are nice but he got them about 6 or 7 years ago. I found places that sold the chicago cultry brand but all of the knives were stamped steel and not forged steel and the chefs knife would bend about a half of an inch. So... I went out and got a 4-star Henkels set and im happy with them. I also got a 10 inch wearever omellette pan and the bottom and outside sides wont come clean (Its brown and sticky if it helps) do you have and idea how i could clean it. soaked it and then tried to wipe it off and and it didnt come off. I was just going to use a "scrach pad" on it but i was thinking you might have a better idea.

By David Hall on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 01:51 pm: Edit

As an amateur chef, working at home (and still trying to create a decent demi glace), I strongly recommend looking for both Henckels and Wusthof knives on eBay.

With a li'l patience, you will be able to outfit your knife block with NEW knives at less than half the retail price.

By Mbw (Mbw) on Friday, August 10, 2001 - 03:04 pm: Edit

Yep Henckels and wusthof!!!!

10" is a good starter knife, but as stated above the block set may be your best value!!

Macy's has good prices, and a fair selection.

Happy cooking!!


By Rc_fleming (Rc_fleming) on Friday, August 10, 2001 - 04:11 pm: Edit

I think someone on this site mentioned that they used softscrub to degrease the out sides. I havn't tried it myself so take it with a grain.

Also I've heard about a product mentioned on the site that gets all the pot black off the bottems. Anyone got a brand name?

Also I have a 10" wusthof chefs knife that got dropped and the tip bent. Should I just send it back or is there a wayto fix it at home with out further damaging the knife?


By chefjohn on Friday, August 10, 2001 - 07:21 pm: Edit

lemons and salt(kosher)to scrub the in side of your pan if it is seasoned. let the pan cool or the lemon juice will take off the seasoning when the pan is warm. soft scrub works on the outsid pretty well. works pretty well in pots with burnt product stains on the inside,let it soak though. call Wusthof on the knife. if not stick knife in small vise and bend back the point,making sure you protect the finish of the knife.

By Mbw (Mbw) on Friday, August 10, 2001 - 07:35 pm: Edit

Sticky pan?

Good old fassion hard scrubbing would work, but it will damage the outside of the pan. I just recently saw a spray product made just for what you are talking about. I don't remember the name, but it was at Smart & Final here in San Francisco. I'll repost if I see it again.

Bad news on the knife. As far as I know you need to grind the tip off. Your knife will be shorter and will never again have that cool point. I have a few knives that been bent, and I just took off the extra metal myself, or asked our knife guy to do it.

This in one of the reason some chefs won't let anyone touch their knives.

BTW for knives no one has mentioned Sabatier!!! I have seen some new stuff from them that "LOOKS" cool, but could be crap. Some of there old stuff however rocks. I have never handled a sharper knife than a High carbon steel Sabatier. Sure it's stained black in 10 minutes if you don't wash the lemon juice off of it, but WOW what an edge!

It's been a slice!


By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Friday, August 10, 2001 - 10:37 pm: Edit

I just bought a set of Sabatier knives for home. I got a good deal on a block set. Its' one of those 16 or 18 piece thing with shears, french knife, slicer, bread knife, parer, boner, a bunch of steak knives, and three "utility" knives that I don't think anyone anywhere has figured out a use for. I know the block is good for the edges and all, but seeing the small armory on my counter when I walk in my kitchen isn't real appealing either. They're headed for the knife drawer. On the box it said "Made in China". So Sabatier must haved licensed its' name for a cheaper line of Chinese knives for home use. I have also seen made in France Sabatier knives in recent supply catalogues, at least the stainless blades. The home cheapies are O.K. for what they are and how much I use them. They are full tanged and triple rivited, hardened wood handle, feel alright. I would'nt bring them to work. They would'nt hold up.
At work- I love my Trident Wustofs and old Dexter Russells.

By chefjohn on Saturday, August 11, 2001 - 04:18 pm: Edit

the only requirement i have is that the knives have a full tang,heavy bolster,not stamped and that the edge be at least beveled.i like the Heinckel barand that hangs on the peg board at stores,i think they are some thing like 36 bucks for a 8" chef. Wusthoff has the better blade though.

By Carl on Saturday, August 11, 2001 - 08:32 pm: Edit

I dunno, but I kinda am fond of my Chinese cleaver.... Good for the money...

By chefjohn on Saturday, August 11, 2001 - 10:13 pm: Edit

i thought about getting a cleaver. kinda neat. looks like you could de-bone a chicken in no time with it. i think F.DICK has one for about $30.00. worth a look anyway.

By Prospero on Friday, August 17, 2001 - 05:32 pm: Edit

I was in Williams-Sonoma today -- They had a sale on the Henkels Professional S line Cleaver. About $35, as I recall.

This seemed like a bargain, which is rare in that store.

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.