When compiling your wedding registry, there are many choices to assemble your kitchen. As a chef, it is important that we have the necessary tools to efficiently complete the task. We must take care of our tools, keeping pots clean and knives sharpened. Even with my set of kitchen knives at home, I do my best to keep up on the edge, as well as keeping my pots and pans well cleaned. A truly clean cooking vessel – inside and out - is important to ensure that your food cooks evenly.
For a great edge, I prefer using the old fashioned sharpening stone. It takes more time but you take much less off the blade, making the knife last longer. Sometimes with a machined edge, it can be very sharp; however, the edge may not last long because the angle is too fine. Of course you cannot forget to steel your knives often. If you are unfamiliar, the steel is that funny rod with a handle that comes in many knife kits. Many mistake this technique for sharpening, but really all you are doing is straightening, or truing your edge. This helps to keep the knife sharper longer. The proper angle when sharpening or steeling your knife is 20 degrees.
For keeping your pots nice and clean, I suggest investing in a higher quality pot or pan. I use All-Clad at home. These pans are produced right here in the USA. The d5 all stainless steel model cooks very evenly and is easy to keep clean. They do offer non-stick pans as well, but I do not recommend using non-stick. If you heat your pans properly, and use a sufficient amount of oil, the sticking to the stainless is minimal. When cleaning, I use a soft sponge and dish soap. When the oil and stains are a little more stubborn, I turn to Bar Keepers Friend. It’s a powdered product, like Ajax or Comet, and works really well with keeping the pans truly clean. Too many people ignore keeping the bottom of their pans clean. This is important because it keeps the contact of the stove or flame direct with the pan and heats the pan more evenly and quickly.
So when making your wedding registry or simply purchasing your next set of kitchen equipment, remember that the higher quality products go a long way. As with any big dollar purchase, don’t forget to maintain your prized items, keeping them performing at a high level for years to come.