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Poll: Are high end knives = high end cookware?

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shouse

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You can't see the advantage of a high end pan over a cheap one but you can see an advantage of a $200 dedicated coffee grinder? My cheap pans warp and don't hold even heat retention when that happens. The finish(if there is one) comes off easier, they're thinner so they don't heat every, and my staub dutch oven enamel is far more durable then what I find on the lodge. There definitely is a very noticeable difference.

How much difference is there really between a $150 knife and $400? You have to take one to the stone a bit more and one can slice through to your bone 1ns faster than the cheaper one...? Idk....
 

rickbern

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I've known for a long time that I'm a bit of an outlier in this group, but hey, I like you guys, you treat each other with respect!

I think of my knives (wakui, gengetsu, kochi) as sort of middle of the road, trending higher end and my cookware (mauviel, demeyere, fissler, carbon steel, a few lecreuset) as higher end. But if a less expensive alternative works, I'm all over it.

I found more benefit from upgrading my 10" cuisinart saute pan to a 24 cm fissler than upgrading a wakui gyuto to a gengetsu. But I like the gengetsu a lot too and definitely thought I'd keep the wakui around, the cuisinart saute I didn't see much reason to keep. I just got my first suji, which was a cheapie fkm 270, I like having it, I do slice roasts better with it, but I get much more excited about the $10-$30 clay pots I bought, those I think give my cooking a whole new dimension.
 

rickbern

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I used to get my copper pans re-tinned when needed, but my go-to tinner closed years ago—now they are resigned to being pretty objects in the kitchen. Although, my copper Tarte Tatin pan still has its lining in tact, and gets used.
Ditmas, these guys re-tin. Probably more than a new pan though...

 

McMan

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I used to get my copper pans re-tinned when needed, but my go-to tinner closed years ago—now they are resigned to being pretty objects in the kitchen. Although, my copper Tarte Tatin pan still has its lining in tact, and gets used.
This guy's good:
 

nwshull

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You can't see the advantage of a high end pan over a cheap one but you can see an advantage of a $200 dedicated coffee grinder? My cheap pans warp and don't hold even heat retention when that happens. The finish(if there is one) comes off easier, they're thinner so they don't heat every, and my staub dutch oven enamel is far more durable then what I find on the lodge. There definitely is a very noticeable difference.

How much difference is there really between a $150 knife and $400? You have to take one to the stone a bit more and one can slice through to your bone 1ns faster than the cheaper one...? Idk....
I think it depends on the persons skillset and what they cook, as well as what stove you have. If you're using a sauce pan mostly for making pasta and basic sauces, and not complex french sauces, it doesn't really matter if its copper. Similarly if you got that electric coil BS your heat control isn't going to be there. If you have low output gas burners, its a lot harder to do those really nice sears on meat. And if you don't eat much red meat, you probably don't care about the high heat range performance as much either.

I think some knives are just sporty and really fun to do a fast chop with in a way a copper sauce pan perfect heat control preserving an emulsion is just not. (Seriously emulsions are just pure stress)
 

DitmasPork

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rickbern

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Yup! Know them!
I went down to the guys on the jersey shore with a photographer from the New York post once, we spent the whole day there photographing them work their process. Great guys, some real intellectuals in shop aprons.

At the end of the day I bought a pan from them, they steered me to stainless lined, one of the guys said “retinners arent going to be around forever”

I’ve used that pot for every dish of polenta I ever cook.
 

rickbern

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Yup! Know them!
Alas, Brooklyn is nothing but a brand. A friend has a pot, I thought I’d drop it off, I wrote to ask them about it:

“We maintain our office and small showroom in Brooklyn. The more firecode-unfriendly and space intensive parts of our business happen across a few rivers in Indiana and Ohio. Retinning happens at our facility in Lima where we produce BCC and do restoration work on all manner of copper cookware.”
 

DitmasPork

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Alas, Brooklyn is nothing but a brand. A friend has a pot, I thought I’d drop it off, I wrote to ask them about it:

“We maintain our office and small showroom in Brooklyn. The more firecode-unfriendly and space intensive parts of our business happen across a few rivers in Indiana and Ohio. Retinning happens at our facility in Lima where we produce BCC and do restoration work on all manner of copper cookware.”
Really???!!! Lima??!! That's waaay the heck out there near Buffalo. I've never been to the Brooklyn showroom, just assumed they had a workshop with boiling caldrons of melted tin.
 

Twigg

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Pots, pans, knives, rice makers, etc. are all just tools to achieve a prepared meal. Some people on here focus all on the knife and that is fine. I tend to look at it more as a tool box, with a slant toward knives. I feel I have good quality pans and pots, am working to improve appliances and am collecting nice knives. My goal is the food though. For example, I just shredded 4 heads of cabbage and it is currently in my fermentation crock (Ohio Stonewear) and am super excited. I think answers will always vary depending on the person's focus and goals. That makes this place diverse and interesting.
 

spaceconvoy

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5. A mixture of high- and low-end knives and cookware, each chosen for their own unique design features

I don't care about the perceived value of things, but I do care about some very specific design details. Sometimes only high-end equipment has what I'm looking for, and sometimes low-end stuff has certain features you can't find elsewhere.

For instance, have a few Staub cocottes because I prefer their thin black cooking surface to the thick white surface on all other enameled cast iron, which I know will eventually crack and discolor. But my favorite stainless sauce pan is a $40 Emeril because it's the only one I could find with a rolled lip, pouring spout, and short handle. I'd like to replace it with something nicer but what I'm looking for doesn't exist elsewhere.

Same goes for knives. I'd pay many times what my CCK cleaver cost for one with better steel, but there's nothing with the same geometry and handle. And I'd have preferred to pay less for my Toyanabe nakiri, but nothing else has the same combination of super thin convex grind, and extreme distal taper that gives the perfect pinch-grip balance.

This makes me realize I care more about the tactile feel of my equipment than anything else.
 

Qapla'

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I'd pay many times what my CCK cleaver cost for one with better steel, but there's nothing with the same geometry and handle.
A bit of a tangent, but forumites have recommended the Laseur Chinese Slicer as an upgrade from the CCK.
 

spaceconvoy

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Ok, not that many times more. And the handles look too heavy. But yes, one day I'll be able to afford custom ordering a set of knives to my exact specification. Someday...
 

josemartinlopez

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All my metal cookware looks like s**t. Even the copper. Too much of a pain in the ass to keep pristine.
Heh is there any way to keep copper pristine if you actually use it? I had a friend who bought it when he got married, somehow promising his wife he would polish them daily. His wife is still laughing.
 

MarcelNL

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Copper, IMO it should look weathered, or indeed it shows it's never used.

My cookware is a jumble of things bought for purpose. Some noname cast iron (some chinese Ikea), a Ronneby bruk, some Le Creuset, regular pots; some from Fissler, some other no name mid range pots, Frying pans; some Tefal non stick 'throwaway' frying pans (as the coating dies in like a year), a De Buyer carbon, a Silit pro that never grew on me (note to self to test it on induction, it was expensive enough to let it sit unused). I gave away my beloved copper sauce pan (stainless liner) as it does not work on induction.

As we are in transit to a new house with induction I am orienting myself to replace most of the regular cooking pots, my budget is flexible but I simply cannot justify buying expensive pans just because they are expensive.

Knives is similar but there I can appreciate the craftsmanship, and a knive needs to 'speak to me'.
 

ian

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You can't see the advantage of a high end pan over a cheap one but you can see an advantage of a $200 dedicated coffee grinder?
Idk if this was directed at me, but currently I’m working with a flat top electrical stove. It both takes forever to heat anything up and the heat is pretty evenly distributed underneath any pan, so the issues you mentioned are not factors at all for me. Maybe if I had a different stove I’d be more interested in other pans, hard to say. If I was dealing with hot spots and warping, I would be unsatisfied for sure.
 

ian

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Maybe I should soften my first post in this thread, though. Obviously one can cook any quality of food extremely well using medium priced knives and pans, given that most professionals are using stuff on the level of Wusthof/Shun and Tramontina. So the more expensive stuff is desirable because 1) it just feels good to use fancy stuff, and 2) there are slight performance enhancements (e.g. ease of cut / food release, responsiveness to heat) that make them just a little nicer to use. I guess I focus more on these slight advantages when it comes to knives, just because I love cutting stuff so much. But the fact that my stove is a flat top electric also makes the advantages of high end pans less obvious.
 

Luftmensch

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you can see an advantage of a $200 dedicated coffee grinder?
Ask an espresso enthusiast and they will tell you $200 for a coffee grinder is coming in at the low end. Nothing wrong with that - everybody has their budget. But if you go to any coffee forum, it wont take you long to find that one of the most commonly dispensed pieces of advice is "buy the best grinder you can afford".

We all value different things; right? An espresso/coffee nutbag might place a disproportionate value on their coffee ritual over skillets. In my kitchen, my coffee grinder is one of the most expensive items (and it provides joy two to three times a day).
 
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josemartinlopez

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I treasure nutbag friends who explain their obsessions to me, unfortunately I sometimes end up getting equipment that they convince me I need.
 

Wahnamhong

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Copper, IMO it should look weathered, or indeed it shows it's never used.

My cookware is a jumble of things bought for purpose. Some noname cast iron (some chinese Ikea), a Ronneby bruk, some Le Creuset, regular pots; some from Fissler, some other no name mid range pots, Frying pans; some Tefal non stick 'throwaway' frying pans (as the coating dies in like a year), a De Buyer carbon, a Silit pro that never grew on me (note to self to test it on induction, it was expensive enough to let it sit unused). I gave away my beloved copper sauce pan (stainless liner) as it does not work on induction.

As we are in transit to a new house with induction I am orienting myself to replace most of the regular cooking pots, my budget is flexible but I simply cannot justify buying expensive pans just because they are expensive.

Knives is similar but there I can appreciate the craftsmanship, and a knive needs to 'speak to me'.
Exactly. This is my 11 year old Mauviel stainless steel lined copper saute pan. Never been polished! :)

If you need help finding induction cookware pls let me know, I have a lot of experience buying good cookware in Europe for not much money.

3DF9CFA0-E9E2-41BA-B485-3F92E390F2B2.jpeg
 

Rreidiii

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some one who re-tins pots and pans is called a Tinker. Yes copper is toxic and should have a barrier between the copper and the food especially if it’s acidic. Anyone here used a unlined copper pot for whipping egg whites?
As for the previous comment on warping pans, they are crap that is way to thin or thicker common aluminum pans like vollrath that warped or buckled you are cooking at too high of a temperatur.
 

shouse

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Idk if this was directed at me, but currently I’m working with a flat top electrical stove. It both takes forever to heat anything up and the heat is pretty evenly distributed underneath any pan, so the issues you mentioned are not factors at all for me. Maybe if I had a different stove I’d be more interested in other pans, hard to say. If I was dealing with hot spots and warping, I would be unsatisfied for sure.
It was, but I screwed up the Quote posting. And I wasn't trying to come across as offensive, I probably could have chosen my words more carefully. I'm just trying to gain a better perspective on how some people can rationalize things differently than others and for what justifications. I think at the end of the day, everyone is going to justify what they bought and why they bought it because to admit otherwise means they screwed up. Rarely do we like to admit that to others :p
I like the way Twigg explained it 👍

I love cutting stuff so much.
You should probably talk to someone about that. 😁
 

tcmx3

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I am not willing to go as high-end on pots/pans as I am on knives because I have simply never felt anything like the connection I have with knives, so I would never, for example, get a custom made pot/pan. I will get the best performing factory stuff I can for those, except for I did kind of cheat and buy a generic stock pot.

the two most valuable things in my kitchen (minus large appliances) are my coffee grinder and my kato 240, in that order.

oh also I use a 5 dollar plastic v60.
 

stringer

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I am all over the place.

I have some nice stuff but I am really cheap in general. I spent a long time working in and running restaurants which clouds my brain. Mostly I like to spend just enough to get something that will perform well enough not to annoy me for a very long time. I inherited a 5 piece set of All-Clad from a friend who passed. I would have never paid for it new. We have since added some Tramontina and Calphalon sauce pots. As well as several restaurant supply Made-In-China pieces (non-stick skillets, 5 quart straight sided skillet, sheets and half sheets). I have some old school cast iron flea market finds from Griswold and Wagner. But a 12" Lodge skillet sees the most use. My wife and I traded in a whole bunch of unwanted wedding presents to Williams-Sonoma for a Le Creuset Dutch Oven. We have since added a new LC piece every 3 or 4 years. All of my cutting boards are local craftsperson/flea market finds or cheapo plastic color coded ones. I do have a Robot-Coupe, but the rest of my appliances are pretty pedestrian. Cuisinart, Kitchenaid, Crockpot, etc.

My knives are similarly eclectic. I own a Shi.Han and a Watanabe and some Ashis. But I also own more than my fair share of $3 paring knives, no-name Chinese cleavers, Dexter-Russells with thermoplastic handles and entry level Japanese knives like Tojiro and Kanehide.
 

rmrf

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My knives are similarly eclectic. I own a Shi.Han and a Watanabe and some Ashis. But I also own more than my fair share of $3 paring knives, no-name Chinese cleavers, Dexter-Russells with thermoplastic handles and entry level Japanese knives like Tojiro and Kanehide.
I'm oddly attached to my dexters with plastic handles. I love using them for cutting raw meat because when my hands get covered in blood and grease, the knife doesn't slip. If I'm rich, one day I'll get a Kato or a shig and have white thermoplastic handle put on it.
 

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