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Jun 11, 2013 06:01 AM

What cookware item do you want now?

In your heart of hearts, what pot are you lusting for? In my case it is a rondeau. CIA.

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  1. My lust isn't focused on pots at the moment. I'm good there. I am, however, lusting after a new Chinese chefs knife, a round cutting wooden board, and a tapered rolling pin.

    7 Replies
    1. re: tcamp

      ooh! i have the tapered rolling pin - from france. I inherited it: i love it. THEN i got a tiny rolling pin from India (for chappati) and i love that one too. now i feel a collection beginning.....

      1. re: rmarisco

        I love rolling pins and i do have a collection of them. This one is my favorite:

        It's a pasta rolling pin, about 32" long.

        1. re: flourgirl

          Do you work it out to those ends? Seems like the sheet of dough would cup and be hard to work. (But that is one pretty piece.)

          1. re: hambone

            No, you don't work it out to the ends, the tapered ends are there to prevent crimping the dough. When you roll pasta this way, the process really involves stretching the dough along the length of the pin, hence the length. There's lots of youtube videos that demonstrate the technique.

            1. re: flourgirl

              I make pasta often. (OK, semi often.) And one of my go-to things is the rolled stuffed pasta from Marcella Hazzan's Classic Italian Cookbook.

              My pasta pin (nothing pretty) is tapered over the length. But now that I think about it, I find it makes for a little too much stretching in the middle of the sheet of pasta as I work the dough across the length.

              I'm gonna try using a pin with even thickness in the working area. Thanks.

              1. re: hambone

                I admit this pin was a major indulgence, but i couldn't resist it when I found it on Etsy and I absolutely love it. Makes the process that much more enjoyable for me.

                1. re: flourgirl

                  I bought a 36" piece of maple this weekend and, inspired by your post, I am going to turn a new pin for myself.

                  I was thinking 1. that a pasta pin without the traditional curve might make for flatter pieces of pasta and 2. if I place the inserts at thoughtful distances, it might make for easier measuring.

                  I guess mine will be the negative of yours (dark highlights/light pin). Thanks for the inspiration.

                  If you have any thoughts/suggestions, I won't begin before next weekend.

    2. What do I want? Hmm, in term of knife, I won't mind to have a Takeda knife. In term of pots and pans, I won't mind to have a Scanpan just to try it out, but I don't think I feel very strongly toward either.

      Ok, maybe if I have a large backyard, then what I want to have is a nice barbecue smoker. Something along that line.

      18 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Oh, that reminds me of this article which filled me with envy and lust.

        Unfortunately, I don't have a back yard either and I'm guessing doing this on my little wooden deck would be unadvisable.

        1. re: tcamp

          Yeah, in term of cooking need, I am lacking more in term of space, like large backyard and large kitchen. And in all honesty, my true "botteneck" is time. I wish I have more time to cook more complicated meal and to learn.

          Alas, the one more difficult to acquire: time.

          1. re: tcamp

            Hi, tcamp:

            This article is HILARIOUS. Extra! Extra! "Times writers discover you can fry fish outside the house using GAS!" What'll this ground-breaking culinary duo discover for us and their editors next? That you can go CAMPING and cook whatever you like using...burning WOOD? Someone prepare the Pulitzer nomination now!

            Here's a futurist tip for a real NYT scoop [sotto voce]... You get one of these newly-discovered "compact but powerful gas burners", see, a big 'ole stockpot, 5G of peanut oil, and a TURKEY!!!

            We really are doomed, I think.


            1. re: tcamp

              Oh yes. A friends husband burned their deck down. A stray coal had fallen out and he did not see it. He went in the house to do something else. In about an hour he noticed that the deck was on fire. Good by deck. Their house was built on the side of a hill. The back (lowest level) was a walk out, the deck was at street level and was built above the patio/walk out. It was happy mother's day, by the way don't try to go out on the deck, I burned it down for you.

              1. re: Candy

                How awful :( Another advantage to our gas grills! And we also have a fireproof mat under it.

                1. re: c oliver

                  I need a fireproof mat for under my charcoal grill, since the grill sits on the deck, which is made from a composite plastic material. What kind of mat do you use?

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    It's one I got at either Home Depot or Lowes. Specifically for under grills so in that department.

                2. re: Candy

                  <A friends husband burned their deck down.>

                  Better than burning the house down.

                3. re: tcamp

                  Yeah....I keep looking at those, too (even before the nyt article was published). We have a wedding coming up and I'm convinced it will come in handy,

                  1. re: tcamp

                    I immediately added one of those burners and one of thsoe pans to my cart on Amazon. The only reason I haven't pulled the trigger yet is the same problem others here have - time. I have trouble finding enough time to use the backyard cooking equipment we already own. I'm not sure I can justify adding even more at this time. Maybe when things slow down in August....

                    1. re: flourgirl

                      I have a three-burner outdoor propane stove. I know what you mean about finding time to use all of the outdoor equipment, but I try ;-)
                      We use that stove occasionally for a "fry night". We will gather with friends, and cook some combination of wings, fish, chicken tenders, onion rings, fresh-cut fries, battered dill pickles, perhaps some others that I am forgetting. I also have a large cast-iron griddle that fits over the entire stove, giving me a large, fun space for great things like tailgate breakfasts, fajitas, and such things. It's definitely another fun toy (or necessary tool, when I explain it to my wife!).

                    2. re: tcamp

                      I have been doing a version of this on my smallish wood deck for years. I cook all kinds of things in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven right on the main grate of my gas grill. Especially great for things like burgers and pork chops and steaks. Even pizza.

                      But most fish, especially scallops, require such minimal cooking time that cooking on a stovetop in a SS pan is just way easier.

                      I had one of those propane turkey fryer things for a while, a few years back. (I only used it on the stone patio area). The kind they sell at Costco. At the time it seemed almost too powerful and hard to regulate.

                    3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I live in a one-bedroom Manhattan apartment and when friends ask if I'm interested in buying a weekend/country home I say, No. But I am interested in buying a kitchen. Really don't give much of a damn about the rest of the house, but I'd kill for a great big kitchen with all the bells and whistles (including a salamander!) and a large outdoor patio where I could put my Big Green Egg. Unfortunately, never gonna happen.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        I haven't seen your apartment but could you gut it and have a kitchen/dining/no living room area??? Just kidding. But it does seem our guests go from the kitchen to the dining table and then home.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          I always have thought if I found myself single again, I'd be happy with a studio apartment... one room for living/sleeping... and then a ginormous kitchen :)

                          My last apartment in Chicago was large, and remodeled. The best thing they did was take the wall out between the teeny kitchen, and the formal dining room (it was a pre-war building). They just made it one giant kitchen with a small built-in table for two. Perfect.

                          1. re: juliejulez

                            A NYC friend has a huge apartment in a pre-war building with one of those tiny kitchens. Dining room has a table that probably seats 16, bookcases lining one wall, a china cabinet at the end, a standup bass fiddle (is that what they're called) and a keyboard at the other end. I'd knock down that wall to the kitchen in a..................New York minute :)

                            1. re: juliejulez

                              We own a fairly modest ranch that had a smallish kitchen and a very small formal dining room when we bought the house. One of the very first things we did when we started renovating was to remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room. I love my big kitchen and I've never really missed the formal dining room. We have a 6 person dining table in the kitchen and a 4 person square breakfast bar that we actually eat most of our meals at. We get so much more use out of the space this way and it really opened up the house.

                              1. re: juliejulez

                                Often in Québec, in apartments the same size and vintage (or earlier) as those described here, we do have relatively large kitchens and no dining roomsé People congregated in the kitchen, a heritage of country life around the wood-burning stove that heated the house. Not enough storage for modern people though. There used to be sheds in the back of the triplexes for wood, coal or oil, and also winter food storage. These were torn down in the 1970s and 80s as very severe fire hazards (they were build of dried-out wood, and there were still combustibles).

                          2. Sharp knives. The are past the point of redemption with a steel. Waiting for the Wuesthof special where they will sharpen your knives if you purchase a new one above a certain price point.

                            Dear Daughter gets the new knife.

                            39 Replies
                            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                              I wonder if free knife sharpening is overrated. Hear me out. Shun has free knife sharpening service. Shun is pretty good. You send in your knives and pay for the postal, and Shun will sharpen them in 1-4 weeks, and send them back to you and even pay for the return the postal. Still, you have to pay for the postal.

                              I don't know what Wusthof will do, but I assume similar. This means you will have to pay for postal and you need to wait for quiet a long time.

                              My feeling is that it is probably still cheaper and faster if you can locate a local professional knife sharpener

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                75 miles away in Orlando. 1-2 week wait.

                                Ulterior motive. Wuesthof replaces the knives with the tips broken off.

                                Note to self. Do not use $75+ knives to pry open lids of cans. Blush.

                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                  I gave my mother a Wuesthof chef's knife and she used it as a cleaver to hack up a chicken and knocked a big chunk out of the blade.

                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                    Did that with my hand forged cleaver from Japan. Something missed in the 3 to 4 hours of translated instruction.

                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                      Yikes. I can't decide whether to have it reground into something completely different or just ignore it since it's about 2/3 the way up the shaft. Makes it hard to sharpen, though.

                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  I have a Shun sharpener and a Chef's Choice for my western knives. I hone them first before sharpening. They both do a good job.

                                  By the way, Kyocera sharpens for free. All you have to do is pay the postage to send the knife. They pay the postage to return them to you.

                                  1. re: Candy

                                    Kyocera I think is a different case because most people are not equipped to sharpen a ceramic knife.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      That is right. I use a diamond hone and it occasionally tides me over.

                                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    How did I not know this? Can't possibly be so expensive to ship my Shun when its time comes.

                                    On my wish list, I've wanted a mezzaluna for years. I now want THIS Shun mezzaluna with bowl I read about here.

                                    Original thread--iyc_nyc, I hope you're proud of yourself! ;) ALL YOUR FAULT!

                                    1. re: kattyeyes


                                      Shipping fee cannot be cheap, can it? I know high end kitchen stores like Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma have sharpening service. The Sur La Table sale lady said that it is $1 per inch -- which is very cheap. I don't know if she is correct, but that means it will be $8 for an 8" inch knife, and you can get the knife back in 1-2 days I think. No postal fee when you drop off and pick up the knife in person.

                                      Free knife sharpening always require postal fee, which I assume can be more $8, and the service time can be a month

                                      "warranty order plus round-trip shipping of up to four weeks."

                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                        Haha. Well, I can blame MANY on these boards for my cookware arsenal, which is overtaking my little kitchen. :-)

                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                          I had a mezzaluna like that one from Williams-Sonoma. The bowl broke within a year. I really want the two-handled one from Italy. I'll probably get it one of these days...

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              This Mezzaluna is available in North America from WMF, for a reasonable price.

                                              Stainless with good blades, it does a quick job of cutting. My wife prefers the two handles. We hand wash ours but it can be cleaned in a dishwasher.

                                              1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                Thanks SWISSAIRE - but according to their US website WMF does not offer any mezzaluna. I rather fancied one from Fantes, the 5 inch one, second one down. I only want it for herbs:

                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  Hi Gio -

                                                  No problem. The Fantes model looks very good.

                                                  I just checked on your (US) and the WMF stainless steel Mezzaluna is listed for $ 49. USD.
                                                  It is listed as WMF Profi Plus Double-Handle Mezzaluna, 7-Inch.

                                                  My wife used ours last night to prep herbes for Supper. These are great tools to have in the kitchen.

                                              2. re: Gio

                                                Gio, did you have the Shun one -- meaning the bamboo bowl broke? Did it just crack or how did it break?

                                                1. re: iyc_nyc

                                                  Hi iyc, just seeing your question now. It was a few years ago and I'm not sure if the bowl was bamboo or not. At the same time I did buy a bamboo cutting board as well and That broke too. The mezzaluna did look like those made by Shun but was not nearly as expensive.

                                                  I think both the mezzaluna bowl and the cutting board could not stand up to washing - only hand washing w hot water, a bit of regular dish detergent (not dishwasher), and a soft sponge. Both pieces broke in half... maybe it was a flaw? I have no idea.

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    OK, thanks.. my bowl and mezzaluna are looking strong but I haven't used them much yet. Also, the Shun set probably should not be put in the dishwasher, but not sure..

                                              3. re: kattyeyes

                                                I've been eyeing this mezzaluna for a while now:

                                                This one might be better suited for my needs though:

                                                When I can justify the cost, I will consider one (unless someone out there wants to get me a nice gift, in which case, I will get it much sooner.) Incidentally, how does one go about sharpening one of these?

                                                1. re: sherrib

                                                  Hi, sherri: "When I can justify the cost..."

                                                  I found a carbon steel dough cutter with a really cool cast handle at a garage sale for $1. I had a 4" thick maple cutting board at my beach house, so I cut a "bowl" into it a little larger than the radius of the blade. I posted a photo of it here a couple years ago. The concavity keeps what you're chopping together better than does a flat board. And I put an edge on the cutter.

                                                  I would caution you that perfectly uniform minces are a PITA with a mezzaluna (but no worse than with a FP). But for rustic-looking cutting, they're kinda fun.


                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                    Hi kaleo,

                                                    I remember your picture! Very cool. I'm not entirely sure whether or not a mezzaluna will solve my issues. I chop two huge bunches of parsley, another two of cilantro and another two of dill every couple of months (it would be much much more often if the process was a little less tedious.) I'm not even entirely sure if the mezzaluna will work better than my chef's knife. I would definitely look into it more before making the purchase.

                                                    1. re: sherrib

                                                      Hi, Sherri:

                                                      I thought of you when I saw this today. Not exactly a mezzaluna, but holds out the promise of halving the # of knife strokes:


                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                        Hmmmm. I don't know enough about this knife brand (and the quality of the steel they use) to know whether or not two 6 inch blades would perform any better than my one 10 inch Victorinox...

                                                        1. re: sherrib

                                                          Hi, Sherri:

                                                          It wasn't a recommendation, exactly. And it lacks the visual poetry of a mezzaluna. But for chopping herbs, I think the steel matters little, and you *would* get two cuts for the price of one.

                                                          You should have what you like. Consider looking on from time to time.


                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                            Hi kaleo,

                                                            I'm not sure WHAT I like. My only concern is to make the arduous process of herb mincing easier. I've finished the last of what was in the freezer and need to replenish soon.

                                                            The steel might matter. I chop some of the stems of the herbs along with the leaves (they're cooked rather than used for garnish so the stems are used for extra flavor.) Crunching through six big bunches of herbs with stems will effect the blade. I think I'm going to use my food processor again for the next batch just to make sure. I used it once and did not like the results.

                                                            I'm pretty sure that a small mezzaluna would NOT be better suited than a chef's knife for my needs. I wish I knew someone with experience with a larger one who could advise.

                                                  2. re: sherrib

                                                    A very good question.

                                                    Unlike a single knife blade, you need to be very careful.

                                                    1.) You are dealing with two blades to be sharpened.
                                                    2.) Both of the blades are curved.
                                                    3.) The mezzaluna itself is more difficult to stabiilze than one knife.

                                                    We have used both a large and a small blade mezzaluna, and find that our small stainless WMF mezzaluna does the same amount work.

                                                    To sharpen both blades we use a small, inexpensive product called a COMBO STAR. This sharpening tool is slightly larger than a pen. The sharpening side is diamond coated, and the other whetstone side removes any burring.

                                                    You stroke the mezzaluna blades to sharpen one way, one at a time, and then stroke each blade the other way with the whetstone side.

                                                    A Swiss tool, which I use on most of our knives, including scalloped and serrated blades. I use one outdoors too.


                                                    I hope this is helpful.

                                                    1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                      Saving this to read more later, thank you, SWISSAIRE.

                                                      1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                        Thank you swissaire! I never knew such a tool existed and was always wondering what someone would do once the blade(s) of their mezzaluna went dull.

                                                        1. re: sherrib

                                                          My pleasure SherriB-

                                                          My wife uses it more than I do, as she had inherited her fathers' mezzaluna, a very large and old model from France. That one was used until the wooden handles corroded away, so it was used for about 3 generations.

                                                          The WMF we now have is small, stainless (inox) and fits in a drawer. I would say that it is sharpened about every 2 months using the combostar tool.

                                                          Keeping Scissors or Shears sharp: Just a note, but my wife had a problem with keeping shears sharp for cutting paper and patterns. In the kitchen, in the office, in the sewing room, in the garden workshop. This sharpening tool took care of all of those too.

                                                          I've tried it on almost every tool except my Sthil chainsaw: Who knows ?

                                                          1. re: SWISSAIRE


                                                            How is the combostar on knives? Does it take off a lot of metal? I've watched the video and it looks like it does not. Does it impart a nice edge?

                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                              Hi DuffyH-

                                                              This tool is very good with the majority of our kitchen knives which are Wüsthof, Rösle, Victornox, Sabatier, Friedrich Dick.

                                                              I suppose one could use it on our Global knive set, but I purchased a Global whetstone sharpener just two years ago, and will continue with that tool and method for the time being.

                                                              The combostar tool does not remove a lot of metal, no. But if you run your finger over the area that you ran the first step of the tool over, you may get cut from small burrs. That is why the second step with the whetstone blade is important.

                                                              SCALLOP: The technique I was shown with a scallop-bladed knife is to use the combostar tool ONLY on the opposite side of the blade.

                                                              A Santoku knife, and our long Granton blade knife ( for Holiday Gamon ) does not require this: Those blades are sharpened as the others are, and the Granton kinife yielded some remarkably classic "wafer-thin " slices of steak, tuna, roast, and game meat.

                                                              Yes, the tool imparts a nice knife edge and a sharp tip. I clean our knives first, sharpen them, wipe them clean carefully, and then use, or store them away.

                                                              Like most, I was trained to use a sharpening steel, but I find that this new method is easier, quicker, and does not result in banging away on a knife blade with the steel. Come to think of it, since buying this tool, I have not found the need to use any of our sharpening steels.

                                                              I hope this is helpful.

                                                              1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                Very helpful, SWISSAIRE. Thank you.

                                                                I've been using an Accusharp tool every 6-8 weeks, with daily steel use to straighten the edge. It removes quite a lot of metal relative to whetstones, more on the order of electric sharpeners. It's useless on my scalloped bread knife which has become quite dull over time.

                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                  Morgen DuffyH-

                                                                  Give one a try then.

                                                                  Very inexpensive tool.

                                                                  Speaking of bread, my two loaves are out of the oven and cooking on the racks, as we have guests. Off to work just now !


                                                                  1. re: DuffyH


                                                                    Accusharps not only remove a lot of metal but they tear it off which often leaves an uneven edge. I have one for cheap non serrated steak knives & another one for lawn and garden tools but I wouldn't put it to good European knife like a Wusthof classic.

                                                        2. re: sherrib

                                                          That is one LARGE mezzaluna, sister! I still have the Shun in the back of my mind as I've become quite Shun-ho (a la gung ho!) since I was introduced to them last year. Whoever gets one first, please report to this thread.

                                                    2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                      We have a fantastic and very simple knife sharpener. It has two white ceramic rods* about 5/16" in diameter and 6" long that fit into a pair of angled holes drilled into a wooden base. The base is drilled to hold the rods at the correct angle to sharpen a european-style knife. To sharpen the blade, you hold the knife square to the surface below the base, and run the blade down the rods alternately until the knife is sharp. Then use your steel to straighten & polish the edge, and you're done. We also use a Wustof hand sharpener for occasional touchups, but the angled rods really do the trick when our knives get dull. The rods are pretty smooth, and similar in texture to the raised un-glazed base 'rim' of a porcelain plate, which will also work in a pinch.

                                                      Here's a link:

                                                      Our's doesn't have the plexiglass protector.

                                                      * Evidently, the rods are "alumina-ceramic."

                                                    3. Nothing in the cookware line, but a good chambar vacuum unit would be a nice-to-have.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: wattacetti

                                                        I thought so too but the "really good" ones start around $1800.

                                                        The original Italian made Foodsaver (1970's - 1980's) perform almost as well & were built like tanks. If they do break, they are repairable and the parts are still available. Lightly used units can be had on ebay for between $50. - $75.

                                                        Bulk bags from places like "webrestaurantstore" are 1/2 the price of big box store bags....(ex) qt bags about .18 & gal bags about .25 to the front door.

                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                          I had thought about getting one of the original FoodSavers, but I want to be able to seal liquids without having to think about it and I want to be able to seal under a really strong vacuum for compression applications.

                                                          The butcher I go to has both a chambar and a commercial edge sealer, and from looking at the end result, I'd still rather get the chambar.

                                                          1. re: wattacetti

                                                            The original Foodsaver is one of the only ones where liquid will not hurt the pump, in fact its made to be flushed out with a mixture of warm water and Armor All silicone. The old fashion piston pump also draws a very strong vacuum and the heat sealer is second to none, burning through fat and slime which is an area where the new big box store models consistently fail.

                                                            For vacuum sealing liquids like stock or gravy you would need to freeze the liquid first with any of the external suction machines. This is one of the areas where the Chamber Vac excels.

                                                            Unfortunately, good C / V's with an entry level Busch pump and high quality transformer & sealing bar start around $1800.00. While they come in counter models, they are not light weight. They will however out perform any external machine using MUCH cheaper bags & one with a Busch oil lubed pump should last forever in a home setting.

                                                            Jury is still out on the Asian made C / V's that have made their way into the entry level lineups of well established vacuum sealer brands. At $800. to $1200. its a pretty big gamble. The components are clearly not as well made which explains the price difference.

                                                            Again this is a product that should have a service life longer than that of the owner and probably get passed down to kids. Parts & service availability are big (?)'s with these Asian made units.

                                                            If I really wanted a C / V, I would wait a year or two setting aside a little cash here and there until I had $1800 and get one that contained components with a 50 plus year track record.

                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                              As I said I want to be able to seal liquids without having to worry about it because every once in a while you need to be lazy.

                                                              Models I'm already looking at start around $2K, but it's not the cost, it's that I need to clear space for it. Thank you for mentioning a specific pump; I'll take a note of that before purchase.

                                                              1. re: wattacetti

                                                                Any time. Thom Dolder at PMG has been working with vacuum sealers since the 70's. He has several videos on them which are worth watching. Good luck.

                                                      2. Would really like a LeC enamel Dutch oven. Would also like a GOOD Japanese/Chinese cleaver.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: kseiverd

                                                          < Would also like a GOOD Japanese/Chinese cleaver.>

                                                          How much do you want to spend?

                                                          1. re: kseiverd

                                                            Check williams sonoma outlets for discounted LeC if you aren't too picky about colors...

                                                            1. re: kimeats

                                                              There are also Le Creuset outlets.

                                                            2. re: kseiverd

                                                              before you buy LC, take a look at Staub. Also made in France. The colors are wonderful, the quality is tops. I just wish I was younger and could lift either brand. Arthritis in my right hand has me asking my DH to lift a full pan.

                                                              1. re: Candy

                                                                I love my Staub Cocotte with the wonderful rooster on top!