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Thread: Complete and utter newbie

  1. #21
    My hands are only slightly bigger than yours and I find my Wusthofs heavy and clunky, which is what lead me to this forum. If you do decide to upgrade your knives later, I wouldn't recommend those at all.

    Since I'm not an expert on knives, ill leave those recommendations to the more knowledgeable. However, I'd like to give you a few recommendations on other things for your kitchen so you're not wasting money like I have over the years.

    First, as mentioned above, a good quality wood cutting board is a great investment. End grain is preferable but if you don't get one as a gift, get a good edge grain and upgrade later. If its taken care of it will last you forever. My step dad still has a cutting board from his teenage years. He's now in his mid 50s.

    12" cast iron skillet! This really is one of those must have items. You can do practically anything with it and 12" isn't too big or too small. It's also very inexpensive. Just remember to keep it well seasoned and never use soap to wash it. If you maintain it, you'll be passing it down to your grand kids one day.

    I LOVE the Tramontina cookware line (available at I always recommend this brand to friends and family that are looking to replace their fastly worn out nonstick. Its perfect for us home cooks. Their stainless triply pots and pans are a great bang for your buck buy. I tested a 12" tramontina against my mother in laws all clad and couldn't find too much of a difference. Their 12" ceramic non stick pan. is really good too.

    Enameled cast iron Dutch oven is great for so many things.

    Duralex stacking mixing bowls. Love these and they are only $40

    Last but not least, my most favorite kitchen utensil - the spurtle. It's a cross between a spatula and a spoon. I've given these to everyone I know and they all fall in love with them. I've got several sets as backups because only 2 people make these and I don't ever want to be without one. I use it for everything.

    Those were just a few inexpensive things that will end up lasting you for many many years. Congrats on your upcoming marriage, I wish you all the best!

  2. #22
    Yeah; I tried holding a Wustof in the store and I was not the most keen on them. But as I haven't handled many knives, I couldn't really tell why. My fiance's hands aren't much bigger than mine either so at least we're not looking to please both giant and tiny at the same time.

    Was the end-grain I posted okay?

    I already registered for a cast iron skillet! I'm asking for the enamel one and if we use it a ton (which I'm guessing will be true), we'll get a normal one down the line. My fiance is convinced that cast iron isn't non-stick and is too much work so the enamel is a nice compromise for now.

    I've been looking at the anolon anodized ones right now. My fiance is stuck on non-stick so to speak and like I said, he's the main cook for now! I looked at reviews and people seem to be pretty pleased with them, without them being the "traditional" non-stick. I'm also guessing we'll be getting some stoneware something as one of the ladies invited sells Pampered Chef and has already asked for a list of what we'd be interested in...definitely the stoneware as everything else has good equivalents elsewhere but PC does make nice stoneware.

    Oh...yes, I registered for one of those (dutch oven) as well. Not an expensive Le Creuset, just a Lodge one, but I wouldn't complain if someone upgraded!

    Awesome! I think we registered for stainless steel as we're both klutzes and us+glass is not a good thing...but they're definitely the stacking ones!

    Ooo...that sounds interesting. I'll look at it.

    Those were just a few inexpensive things that will end up lasting you for many many years. Congrats on your upcoming marriage, I wish you all the best!

    Other note: What to look for in a steak knife? I heard the name Laguiole tossed around...I'm gathering that is the brand being talking about but probably not the knives being discussed? I'd like a set of steak knives if possible because even if we don't eat much steak, they make great delicate veggie knifes and my family used our steak knives for anything partially tough.

  3. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by rhondarc View Post
    Thanks! aren't really supposed to wash any knives in the dishwasher, are you?

    In terms of cutting boards, what is the difference between something like:
    or ?
    The first one has end grain and the second has the edge-grain, correct?

    Does the board thickness matter much?
    Yup, that's right about the boards. Although I'm not sure acacia is a good wood for cutting on. Someone else will have to chime in on that.

    Good steak knives that aren't super expensive are hard to come by. The link you posted for the Laguiole is the correct brand, but as you guessed not the right set. The ones that live up to the name are typically a few hundred dollar for a set of 4. In a steal knife you should look for something without too much flex in the blade and good steel, these will typically be non-serrated. You could take a look at what Victorinox has to offer, they have some sets for about $180. Of course, I've also heard people say that the nice smooth cuts made by expensive steak knifes are unnecessary and that the cheaper serrated are fine since the food is about to go into your mouth anyways.

  4. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    The Alps, Austria, Europe
    tough, this is! especially because you're asking weenies like us who easily spend US$ 400 for a single knife (or even multiples of that amount)!

    anyway, i gave my mother in law her first real knife last christmas (together with an end-grain oak board). the first thing that i would consider a "knife" in her kitchen. it was a 7" cooking knife from sabatier's authentique range.

    given your experience with cooking and experience/willingness (this might be the wrong word, but hey, english isn't my mother tongue) to care for a knife, i only see stainless steel as material. i believe you can't do much wrong with sabatier, zwilling, wüsthof/dreizack, or wmf. those are good, reliable knives. nothing that will kick a** or be super-duper-über-sharp, but still, those will be good knives. i inherited my mum's knife block when she passed away, a knife block full of wüsthof/dreizack and zwilling "spitzenklasse" knives, and this is by far better than any cheap stuff. but, of course, there's always smth better... but "better" always comes at a price...

    i'd go for a chef's knife/gyuto in probably 8" and a smaller paring knife/petty. with those 2 you should do just fine!

  5. #25
    Well, I wouldn't be looking for super nice ones, just ones that cut easily. We had some bottom of the line serrated ones for a while and they worked pretty well. My parents have since upgraded to nicer finely-serrated completely ones and they work much nicer. (They almost look like they have no serration but it's definitely there.) Would the Laguiole ones I posted be similar to the Victorinox or what? Or is that a no? I'm just looking for something that doesn't require a TON of sawing at the meat.

    If anyone could comment on the Acacia, that would be great.
    And what is a boning knife?

  6. #26
    Oh, and I doubt anyone here is looking for it but the block set of the Forschner Victorinox is only 185 at Macy's...the 11 piece one with steak knives. That's about half what BB&B has them at.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Dardeau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    New Orleans, LA
    Iron cookware is nonstick, if properly seasoned. Rub the entire thing down with olive oil and put it in a 400 degree oven until it is black and glossy. Once it is seasoned you should not wash it wih soap and water unless you plan on reseasoning it. To clean just wipe it out with a clean towel. If you burn something to it, heat it on the stovetop and add a small amount of water to deglaze it and scrape with a wood spoon, or scrub it with a towel and some salt. The more you use an iron or steel pan the better, and more non stick it will get. On the subject of knives, the K Sabatier knives have really comfy handles for small hands, and are a pretty good deal for the price, and are aesthetically pleasing as well. The only drawback is they have the euro style finger guard that will make sharpening difficult down the road.

  8. #28
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I might have missed it, but how soon is the wedding? Also, are you already out "on your own"? If not, are you cooking to get the hang of things?

    I like that you came in and asked, making sure you get something good. Because that's really cool to me, I'd be up for sending you a free Forschner Chef knife (used, but in pretty nice shape), a Global sheepsfoot "parer", and likely a couple other knives in similar condition. I guarantee they'll all be very decent blades. All I'd ask is for you to cover shipping.

    Let me know if this interests you, and I can likely get it all done mid-week.

    Take a look around at:

    Email me at:

  9. #29
    Senior Member Dardeau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    New Orleans, LA
    On second thought, maybe 350 or 325 if you don't have a commercial hood. I forget about this kind of thing at my own house and set off my smoke alarm way too often.

  10. #30
    I'd take up Lefty's offer in a heartbeat.
    Not just because they are nice knives, but because you know they'll come sharp!!!
    What a generous man.

    Cast iron being "non-stick" is a relative term, in my opinion. You still need to butter it up, or use oil. Modern non-stick coatings require pretty much nothing. Heat it up, drop that egg in, done. Plus cast iron takes a long time to heat up, which is a hassle. Also, they tend to retain flavors. So if you decided to pan fry something like a mackerel in one, you'll be eating fish flavored scrambled egg for a while. On the other hand, some of the best tasting eggs, bacons, steaks, and bratwursts in my life has been cooked and seared in cast iron.

    Speaking of steaks, I'd have no problem with serrated knives. As my mother is my witness, steak knives go dull fast. Why? Because more often than not you serve your steak on a porcelain/ceramic/china dish, and 1 meal with porcelain dish ruin more knives than a thousand tomatoes. Serrated knives are pretty much impervious to these type of damages. Plus, if you sear your steaks so they develop a crisp skin, serration gives a nice bite.

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