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Nov 29, 2011 11:06 AM

What's on your "Cookware" gift list?

My additions of "Cookware" items to my personal gift list have been complete failures, receipt-wise. :-) I don't know if they're viewed as too boring, or silly, or expensive, or... what?

Two years ago I had a selection of J-knives, ranging from $50 petits to $300 gyutos.
I understand, it's kind of expensive to folks who aren't "into" knives.
I got none.
So, I went shopping on my own at the post-holiday sales.

Last year I had a nice leather strop, CrO wax stick, new waterstone & a Nagura on my list.
I understand, this is probably not the most exciting list in the family.
I got the CrO stick.
After the holidays I made my own strop.

This year, I'm trying to be both reasonable AND devil-may-care.
I have the same $40 waterstone from last year & added a $90 Boardsmith cutting board.

The only other items I'm intersted in right now are espresso-related & way beyond what anyone would reasonably spend for someone to make 1-oz of coffee.

What's on your list? :-)

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  1. "I understand, it's kind of expensive to folks who aren't "into" knives."

    Sure a $300 knife is a lot for most people, but $50 doesn't sound that bad.

    "I got the CrO stick."

    What was that? $10?

    I don't have a list per sa, but I may buy myself an usuba after Christmas (after the crazy mail delay). I figure that if I keep on delaying, then I will never improve my usuba knife skill.

    Other cookware on my list are: waffle iron, pepper mill. The one I am most excited is the Nordic egg waffle iron. In a moment of weakness, I may really buy it:

    The problem is: will I use it enough to justify it. I know if I get an usuba, normal waffle iron and pepper mill, then I will use those for sure. I owned these before, I know I will use them, but I cannot objectively say I will use the egg waffle iron much. Still, it looks nice. So my emotional side is battling against my logical side.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      " So my emotional side is battling against my logical side."

      It's know as lust!! The waffle iron is beautiful.

      I've just purchased 2 Shibazi cleavers for mincing meat.(16.00 each) - about the size of your CCK 1303 - Early Christmas gift to myself. Factory edge is promising.

      1. re: rosetown

        I heard good things about Shibazi, but I am still more of a CCK guy from an emotional point of view. CCK is such an old brand, and Shibazi is so new in comparison.

        Shibazi 'stainless steel' knives?

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          They are stainless - I'm going the other investment direction - how good can it be for a small investment. They are not as good as a CCK 1303. Still, from the factory, the edge, without help, can almost push cut phone book paper. The edge would benefit from help. I've also purchased a 2 sided stone for $5.00. I want to see how these cheap, knives and stones, perform, in a home environment. They are mainly purchased by the many Vietnamese restaurants in the area.

          1. re: rosetown

            rosetown - I've done a little of this as well, searching the local thrift stores for restore-able knives. The most I've paid so far is $3, but usually it's between $1-$2.

            What kind of stone did you get?

            1. re: Eiron

              "rosetown - I've done a little of this as well, searching the local thrift stores for restore-able knives. The most I've paid so far is $3, but usually it's between $1-$2."

              I can't compete with that price point.

              "What kind of stone did you get?"

              The stone is no- name - and has no useful information on the box. I mean absolutely nothing. I've had to use my thumb to get a feeling. My plan is to sharpen the SBZ,s with the finest side. The cleavers will benefit or not. If not, then it's time to buy a better stone, or better knives.

              That aside, I do admire quality Japanese knives, and will eventually spring for one. Perhaps a usaba, and then, that leads into stones that I will be able describe in detail. :)

      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Chem - $50 doesn't sound bad to you & me, but that was on a knife for which most people would expect to spend only $5, or maybe $10 if it was "really nice."

        Yeah, I think the CrO stick was less than $7. :-D

        Why wouldn't you use the egg waffle iron much? Because of the style of waffles, or because you have to use it on the stove?

        And if we're going to bring logic into it, then my entire list is moot! ;-)

        1. re: Eiron

          "$50 doesn't sound bad to you & me, but that was on a knife for which most people would expect to spend only $5, or maybe $10 if it was "really nice." "

          Oh I get that part. In the beginning, I thought $30 is expensive for a knife. What I meant to say is that your friends and relatives were probably either going to get you a $50 knife or a $50 of something else (a pair of pants or a bottle of 12 yr Scotch) anyway. So it wasn't like they will pay more.

          "Why wouldn't you use the egg waffle iron much?"

          Partly what you said, the style of waffles, but most importantly...... I don't have a existing recipe for the batter. :P So I will have to hunt for some on the internet.

          You know what. I think I may get myself that egg waffle iron. It looks cool, and it is probably the first thing which Williams Sonoma offers which I want to get. It cannot be that bad to hunt for some egg waffle batter recipes. :D

          I don't know why your list would be moot. They sound very logic to me. A waterstone and a cutting board are certainly items which you will use on a regular basis.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics



            Chem, why are you getting a pepper mill? Do you not already have one, or looking for a different model/make?

            1. re: iyc_nyc

              Yeah, I have seen the second link. I think I will try to follow its recipe -- probably substitute custard powder with corn starch or something. Thank you.

              I have a pepper mill already, but, like many pepper mill, it changes its setting as it grind. I am looking at Vic Firth peppermills because many people claim they have a non-slip setting.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                those waffles look amazing! wish i cld get the real street-cart version... :-)

                1. re: iyc_nyc

                  How 'bout that? It looks like an abelskiver (sp?) pan!

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  More feedback on Vic Firth, or other good moderately priced suggestions? I have looked at various threads about pepper mills here, but updates are good. I know Cooks Ilustrated likes the Magnum but I don't think the plastic will work for me - prob will melt it on the stove!

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                "I don't know why your list would be moot."

                Because I don't "need" either the stone or the board. So if we're being logical, rather than emotional, my list becomes akin to Jay's original response. ;-)

                1. re: Eiron

                  You probably NEED the stone and cutting board more than other things like the number 11th tie, number 20th sweater or many other less useful things to you.

                  Let's face it, many things are very much relative. Surely, we need air, water and food, but if we push for the limit, then do we really need clothes or soap or electricity...etc.

          2. For someone else who doesn't know he wants it, I am going to get him an 8" diswasher safe non stick calphalon pan.

            For me, I want a wooden stir thing, the kind with a flatish end so that I can scrape the bottoms of pans. And a left hand LamsonSharp turner. And maybe a small burr grinder. And an electric water kettle and french press. And an easy no-frills mandolin with a metal glove and lots of band-aids. And maybe a 5-6 qt brasier or low-wide ECI pot.

            EDIT: And a really big carving board. Ours is too small and the juices run right off and half the bird/meat ends up on the counter.

            3 Replies
            1. re: E_M

              "... an easy no-frills mandolin with a metal glove and lots of band-aids..."

              I think this is why we never use either of our mandolins.... :-D

              1. re: Eiron

                Unfortunately, I have been unable to master the art of consistent slicing needed for cucumbers (tea sandwiches) and potatoes (gratins.)

              2. I wouldn't get anyone a's bad luck!

                5 Replies
                1. re: E_M

                  Not when you tape pennies to it! SHEESH, you need a black kat to explain this to you? ;P

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    Ha! Head side up, I presume.

                    I also need to replenish my store of herbs de provence (sp?) I find that blend to be extremely versatile and used the last of it in the T-day turkey.

                    Oh, AND a Taylor thermometer. I'd really like the one that you leave in the meat and the wire hangs outside and it beeps when it's done, but I've heard mixed reviews on that. Also, I don't understand how the oven door is able to close with that wire hanging out.

                    I'd really like to be able to buy attachments for my immersion blender (but I don't think the version I have lets me do that), but if it did, I so want a whisk, beater, and chopper.

                    1. re: E_M

                      Oh, now the thermometer I can help you with! It came in very handy when I roasted a turkey breast last week. I've got the same kind you described, but it's a Pyrex Professional, courtesy of Bed Bath and Beyond (those coupons come in handy!). The wire isn't too thick at all--it's about the thickness of string you'd use to truss something--so the oven door closes without issue. Can't be beat for beeping at the precise temp to let you know "I'M DONE!!!" It would only be better if it made a "TA-DA!" kinda noise instead of beeping.

                      Looks EXACTLY like this, 'cept mine says "Pyrex Professional" rather than Oneida:

                      As to the Herbes de Provence, do you have a Penzey's near you? Love that store for spices and extracts, though I have not personally sampled their HdP. If not, you can mail order:

                      Happy shopping! BEEP (I'm done!)! :)

                      1. re: kattyeyes

                        "It would only be better if it made a "TA-DA!" kinda noise instead of beeping."


                        Hmmm... I think I see a new product niche...

                        1. re: Eiron

                          Just remember, you heard it here first. ;)

                2. Actually Mr. Sueatmo and I plan to buy an Ipad for ourselves this Christmas. I will be able to access Eat Your Books from it, and see recipes on it to cook by. At least I hope so. Maybe I need to find a clear ziplock bag for it first?

                  We don't do lists. But if we did, I'd ask for an immersion blender. If I was really bold, I'd ask for a BlendTec. (I want both.)

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: sueatmo

                    No need for a ziplock. Get a Zagg skin instead. It's awesome.

                    1. re: sueatmo

                      You don't need a plastic bag...get this kitchen mount, I have it and love it. I have loads of my favorite recipes in Pages on the iPad and use it all the time.
                      Best present you can get yourselves, you will love it.

                      1. re: Mother of four

                        I not only will get this for me, I'll give it to an adult child who cooks from an IPad. Thanks for pointing this out.

                        1. re: sueatmo

                          The adult child will love you for it!! You're welcome.

                        2. re: Mother of four

                          ohmigod, I need that. Along with the iPad.

                        3. re: sueatmo

                          I'd still get the plastic baggie :) Its really hard to keep from touching the ipad when my hands are covered in something - like flour.

                        4. The list doesn't change that much year to year, though every so often an item drops out because I finally save enough deposit cans to buy it myself. Hope continues to spring eternal that someone will actually buy what's on the list, though chances are excellent that I will receive something rather esoteric, like clothes. The list:

                          Julabo FusionChef Diamond L immersion circulator and 27L insulated tank (because it's always better to have a second immersion circulator to be able to do different temperatures simultaneously)

                          Mini-Pak Chamber vacuum unit

                          Porcelaine Bousquet's "Bulles" dinner set for 8 places

                          Napoleon Prestige Prestige Pro PRO450RSIB Gas Grill

                          Thermo Scientific Revco CxF ULT1390-10-A -86ºC chest freezer

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: wattacetti

                            "Thermo Scientific Revco CxF ULT1390-10-A -86ºC chest freezer"

                            Holy crap. Aren't those like $4000+? We have one in our lab.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Yes, but it'd replace the -20ºC chest freezer and will more stably hold food frozen. They were way more expensive than that when I was in the lab (IIRC, it was around $7K).

                              1. re: wattacetti

                                You may be correct. I didn't actually closely looked at the quote. I do remember it was definitely a capital spending. In addition, there are multiple version of -80oC of different price points.

                                Anyway, good to hear about the -80oC will be your future purchase.

                            2. re: wattacetti

                              "... Hope continues to spring eternal that someone will actually buy what's on the list, though chances are excellent that I will receive something rather esoteric, like clothes..."

                              LOL, I know exactly what you're feeling....

                              1. re: wattacetti

                                I'd also like a vacuum unit from Santa.

                                More for SO. He'd also like a copper pot. I'm getting him a truffle shaver and hopefully a Laguiole steak knife . . .

                                Also want a small food processor just for onions and garlic (I'm getting lazy).

                                Don't want to get a lot of stuff we won't use.

                                Someone gave us onion goggles. Love them! No more tears :)