NYT Article – The No-Frills Kitchen

Here’s a neat story by one of the New York Times’ food columnists about how you can equip a rather complete kitchen for between two and three hundred bucks.   Note the lack of power tools until you get to the optional stuff.

Mr. Bittman’s comments on knives are telling, especially since most ‘quality’ chef’s knives seem to cost at least $50 in big box chain stores, and the assumption is that anything cheaper is a piece of crap that won’t hold an edge.

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2 Responses to NYT Article – The No-Frills Kitchen

  1. Dan says:

    2 things. #1 Restaurant supply stores really do have the cheapest prices for quality tools. Some might require you to work at a restaurant or have some other weird requirement for individuals to buy from them. However, if you know what you’re doing, you can sweet talk your way around that requirement. #2 It’s true what he says about restaurants kitchen’s tools, especially the knives. I worked part time in a restaurant kitchen for 3 years as a cook for spending money back in college. We used the cheapo knives similar to what he described in the article and we didn’t replace one during my tenure. Constant sharpening is all you need. With the advent of the celebrity cooking shows, it has made for some hoity toity foodies who think they need to buy all the crap they see pitched to them on tv. This article flies in the face of most cooking shows and he makes some good points about what you really need in the kitchen versus what you can improvise with.

    Side note to Bart/FGLB: I took an open hearth cooking class recently. One of the other participants told me he seasons his cast iron cookware by buying the fatiest bacon he can find and slow roasting it over a campfire all day long while he goes camping. He claims it only takes one session to build up a good patina. Interesting approach that I may try for future cast iron purchases.

  2. Bart says:

    Thanks for the tip on cast iron seasoning, Dan. I’ve been baking a lot of bread in my cast iron dutch ovens, and I usually coat the inside with olive oil and then heat it up to 450F to get ready for the bread… after a few sessions of that I have an excellent seasoning built up inside it.

    Thanks also for your comments regarding the story. Lots of people think that having top-shelf cookware or cutlery is necessary for quality cooking and it just isn’t so. I’ll never buy another set of non-stick cookware again after having gone through two sets of Calphalon in the last decade. We now have stainless steel, and while it has some limitations, it’s basically bulletproof care-wise.

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