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looking for reasonably-priced kitchen gadgets in Vancouver

Now that I have my kitchen set up, I'm looking for some items to help me complete it:

- flat metal skewers for kabobs etc
- oxo good grips silicone basting brush
- wood cutting board (12"x18" or larger) that won't split or crack on me. I don't mind paying a bit more for this item if it'll last me longer. What kind of wood should I be looking for?
- sharpening steel

Any leads would be very helpful!

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  1. Personally, I really enjoy shopping at Home Sense. It is definitely hit and miss. Every time you go the items they carry will be different. However, most of the kitchen gadgets they sell are all good brand name stuff such as kitchenaid, oxo, etc. I go to Home Sense religiously weekly and over time I end up finding lots of really good stuff at a fraction of the cost that places like the Bay or Home Outfitters sells for. I've bought designer salt & pepper mills (eg. Peugeot) which normally sell for $120 at Williams Sonoma each. I managed to get the exact identical one at Home Sense for $40 each ($80 a pair). You just have to be patient. If you're not in a hurry for certain items, just drop by Home Sense every chance you get (probably not necessary to go more than once a week to the same location) and you'll be surprised over a span of a few months what you might find.

    4 Replies
    1. re: miss.foodie

      I've had good luck at the discount Ming Wo in the 2800 block of Broadway. For some reason this store is not listed on their website, but they routinely have 25% off things I need e.g. I finally picked up champagne flutes over the hols. The funny thing is that most of the stock seems to be the same as what they are selling at their 4th Ave or Granville stores but for less. I got Peugeots for Xmas pressies at 25% off... nice!

      ETA: not exactly budget but we also got one of those Epicurean cutting boards that has a rivulet for juices/fat around it using a Lee Valley gift card and are loving it. Seems really durable...

      1. re: grayelf

        Great recs from miss.foodie and greyelf so far. (Lee Valley is a surprisingly good place to get unusual kitchen things).

        Let me add restaurant supply store Tinland in Chinatown. I like shopping there better than at some of the usual suspects like Russell Foods (Clark Dr near Fujiya). You wont find 'consumer' items there (eg OXO brand stuff), but you will find some restaurant grade equivalents.

        I haven't found a wood cutting board I like yet. The good ones are too thick for my personal ergonomics (eg ones by Boos). I have given mine away because I found it too awkward to use.

        1. re: fmed

          Yes Tinland is a great choice. I've purchased a number of kitchen tools from there. I also second Home Sense and Winners but only if you're not in a rush to purchase as it is hit and miss. Other occasions I've found some good gadgets from the chinses stores that sells japanese products such as Daiso and one at Parker Place. Cheap and great to use. Did I ever mention I have a grape skin peeler that does wonders and all for less than two bucks! I love the tool =)

        2. re: grayelf

          I wholeheartedly second Ming Wo. Their selection of products is unsurpassed, and the prices are much better than any store I've been to. I bought a Victorinox sharpening steel there that has treated me well. I'm pretty sure they had Henckel and Global sharpening steels there as well if my memory is correct. Not sure about the wooden cutting boards... I'm a big fan of the restaurant oriented large NSF approved plastic cutting boards!

      2. Thanks for all the replies. I checked out HomeSense...it's not for me. I felt like I was at a rummage sale. I just don't have to time or patience! But Ming Wo on Broadway was good. I managed to get a few items and more.

        Now I'm looking for a pizza/baking stone. A big thick heavy one! I've seen these thin wimpy ones for pizza but I'd like a proper one that actually works. Any ideas? I've got a gas oven if that matters.

        2 Replies
        1. re: flowbee

          Not sure where you can get it here in town, but this is the Ferrari of baking stones: http://www.bakingstone.com/ - Fibrament

          I have a regular ceramic stone that was gifted to me a while back. It is still intact and works well...but when it cracks, I'll get a Fribrament.

          1. re: flowbee

            I read a review of many in magazine and oddly enough President's choice at Superstore came up for best value in Pizza stones. I grabbed one and love it -- crisp ever time (granted you need the right dough and a 475 degree oven). I think it was around $10 and came with a wire rack as well.

          2. The Gourmet Warehouse is a good source as well (on Hastings just east of Clark). Maybe not the cheapest around but their selection is great.

            8 Replies
            1. re: islandgirl

              wow, i could spend hours in there! too bad they were sold out of baking stones :(

              will try again...

              1. re: flowbee

                I love GW too but didn't mention it as the OP said "reasonably priced." GW does have competitive prices on some things but not so much on others.

                1. re: grayelf

                  i did end up buying an epicurean cutting board at ming wo, and i'm loving it! it's so light and i got one with rubber no-slip feet. i'm thinking of buying a smaller one to serve cheese on... we'll be hitting daiso soon to pick up odds'n ends.

                  1. re: flowbee

                    I'm really glad you bought Epicurean. I was going to second the suggestion. When I was looking to buy in New York, I talked to my favourite guy at Sur La Table and he assured me that Epicurean was the way to go. Better for your knives. No need to treat it. Dishwasher is not a problem. Dries really quickly. Easy to wipe down. Environmentally legit. And pretty too. I adore mine.

                    When I was at Ming Wo today I noticed that Epicurean just came out with recycled boards. Cool.

                    What is daiso? Where is Home Sense? I'm interested.

                    Gourmet Warehouse sounds like a dream.

                    1. re: sophie.

                      You really must go to Daiso soon! It's a chain of Japanese 100-yen shops (sort of like dollar stores here). The one at Aberdeen Center in Richmond was the first one in North America. It's a great place to shop for stocking stuffers, kitchen supplies, crafts, etc. Everything is $2. (My daughters and I go to Daiso then have lunch at the Aberdeen Mall food court occasionally).

                      Home Sense is related to Winners but focused more on upper-end items. It's a great place to get kitchen and bath stuff...but just like Winners, it's hit or miss.

                      1. re: fmed

                        Following on fmed's HomeSense comments: we've had really good luck at the one in Nanaimo, for some reason. We've been to the North Van and Robson St outlets and left empty handed but the Nanaimo one always comes through. An example: they carry Aubecq non-stick frying pans with some regularity. These are the best (and nicest looking FWIW) non-stick fry pans I've ever used and though they were more expensive than the "disposable" ones I had been resorting to using (you know, $20 at the Bay, scratch after three uses, argh) they are so worth it because they don't scratch! They are also much heavier gauge with metal handles and cook much more evenly.

                        1. re: grayelf

                          Oh apparently there's another japanese dollar store at Tinseltown in Chinatown. I'm not sure but I think it's the same ppl who opened up Daiso in Richmond. Haven't been but I hear it's not bad.

                          1. re: gourmet wife

                            Yes..it's a Daiso-clone called Yokoyaya. I haven't been yet.