Wedding Registry "Set" - Help needed! (Seeking Cook's Illustrated article as well!)
I just want to start off by saying that I stumbled upon this site yesterday, and already I'm in love with it! You seem like such a knowledgeable, helpful bunch and I'm really excited to start posting regularly.
That being said, I am in desperate need of some solid advice! My fiance and I have a month to finalize our wedding registry before our "Save the dates" go out and all of the major gift buying begins. (Side note: We're both half-Greek and we're having a wedding with 400 people. I'm crying from the stress already!)
We seem to have figured out what we want for almost everything, except for cookware. He's a pretty good cook; I'm "domestically disabled" (his affectionate term for the future mother of his children) and can't fry an egg without messing things up. We're planning on taking cooking classes together, and I hope to one day make all of our favorites, like roasted Greek chicken and his grandmother's "earth-shattering" avoglmenono soup; steak au poivre with a French bistro salad, and sesame beef with Chinese vegetables. Obviously I have a LOT of learning to do, but I figure a sturdy foundation of quality pots and pans should make this whole process a lot easier.
So I I ask you, good people of Chowhound: What are the essential pieces we need to register for? I dug through a few posts on here, and I saw someone say that Cook's Illustrated did an article on this very topic, but I can't seem to find it. Also, all of the posts seemed to have different responses, and I'd kill for some cohesion.
In addition, I'm wondering if I NEED a Le Creuset dutch oven if I get, say, an All-Clad or Calphalon 8 quart pot? And do I need a 5 or 6 quart saute pot/pan if I had an LC oven and said A-C or Calphalon pot? Also, what sizes will be the most practical for two people planning on doing a good deal of entertaining and having at least 2 kids someday? I know I want to register for a Lodge 12 inch skillet, and I found a killer (in my opinion) set on nonstick frying pans to register for:
So what else do I need? A 12 inch stainless pan, and... what else am I missing? Sizes would be SO appreciated! And is it okay to ask for the very pricey All-Clad/Le Creuset pieces in this case, or will the fiance and I just look like two greedy twenty-somethings who don't know the value of a dollar?
Thank you SO MUCH for any input! Honestly, I really appreciate it. :)
ETA: We're registering at Macy's (hence the link above) as well as Williams-Sonoma. And the house we're looking at to purchase will have an electric stovetop. Hope this helps.
You seem to have covered a lot.. there are some niche pieces you may want to list - a roasting pan or smaller lasagna pan, a decent covered casserole that could go into an oven (Emile Henry Flame Top is good, but expensive).
There are lots of old threads on here about wedding registries if you want to see what stuff people feel is necessary. Personally, make sure you put some thought into knives (and TRY them out, don't just buy the best based on what Macy's is pushing - some people like the feel of a Wusthof, some like the feel of a MAC in their hands). Don't just buy a set - you'll find yourself using at most 2-3 knives for most everything. Get a nice thermometer and a scale, IMHO.
We got an All-Clad lasagna pan, as well as a roaster. My everyday china pattern, Mikasa's Antique White, comes with a covered casserole that's oven-proof, but I also added a few (STUNNING!) Emile Henry bakeware pieces too. Thank you for pointing me in Emile Henry's direction!
The knife bit is a great piece of advice; my fiance and actually did test out knives at Williams-Sonoma last week. There really is a big difference in brands and weight! We registered for a bread, chef, and paring knife by Wusthof, plus some of their shears. We also registered for this adorable, cheaper set of tri-colored paring knives; it's $32 for all three.
Write out everything that you and your fiance have cooked over the last two weeks. Write down all the cookware that you needed to make that happen. Next, flip through a cookbook and identify a half-dozen or so recipes that you would LIKE to make and eat. Write down the cookware that you need to make that happen.
And there you go.
The reason that there is little cohesion among people's responses is because people/families don't all cook and eat the same way. What is a staple to one family may be completely irrelevant to another.
Having said that, I find that a saute pan and small non-stick pan for eggs in the morning is essential.
I showed this reply to my fiance this morning and we did just that! I posted our final registry items above, but this comment was definitely eye-opening. We realized that we NEEDED nonstick pans because we love omelets, and that the All-Clad saucepans were indispensible, considering how much oatmeal and soup we make. Thank you so much!
I can't find the link (that doesn't require registration to cook's illustrated) but i believe it includes the following
a 2 and 4 quart all clad saucepan
a 12 inch skillet all clad
a saute pan? all clad
the lodge 12 inch skillet
and a 7 quart le creuset
as well as some non-stick- they recomend wearever i think, i have analon advanced, but i'm sure any heavy non stick will work just just fine- though i doubt you'll need a whole set- i have an 8 inch and an 11 inch non stick pan and I've never needed anything more.
I think it's find to registr for the good stuff as long as you have some less expensive stuff on there as well (gadgets, baking pans etc) Also, i've posted before on the all clad pieces that are notably less expensive than others. you can get the 1 1/2 quart and 3 1/2 quart saucepan at macy's for a lot less than the 2 and 4 quarts and they won't make much difference.
Thank you so much! My fiance and I JUST finished registering right now, and it's thanks to your Macy's suggestions regarding the All-Clad! Both saucepans, plus a 6 qt saute, the 8 qt stock pot, a 12 inch stainless, a round nonstick grill pan, and the 2-pack of 8 and 10 inch nonstick Emerilware pans (also by All-Clad). We went to Williams Sonoma for a Lodge skillet (12 inches). And we finally decided on a round wide 6.75 Le Creuset in Caribbean from Macy's (W-S didn't have that color, for some reason.) Ahhh, I'm nerdily excited now! Thanks again. :)