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J.A Henckels Forged Knife Set at Costco, Good Value?

Zwilling means "twins" in German. Any time you see the logo with both guys or the name "Zwilling" by itself, you're getting the company's premium knives.

In general, when things are listed with both names - Zwilling J.A. Henckels - it's the "better" on the "Good-Better-Best" continuum.

Items that are just named J.A. Henckels will usually have the one-man logo (cut one dude off of the logo), will generally not be made in Germany, and are their "Good" on the line.

Aug 19, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

J.A Henckels Forged Knife Set at Costco, Good Value?

Anything that is just marked Henckels and has only one of the men from the twin/two man logo is the low-grade stuff.

Things marked Zwilling Henckels that have both guys are the mid-range.

Anything that is Zwilling with both guys is the good stuff.

Aug 18, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Vitamix Creations Turbo vs. Vitamix 5200 Super Package

For the money you're proposing the poster spends, they could buy the Breville Hemisphere and still have a hell of a lot more money left over to buy their ingredients.

That blender rings in at $200 and isn't a knock-off of a BlendTec like the supposedly superior Waring.

Aug 10, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Vitamix Creations Turbo vs. Vitamix 5200 Super Package

The Waring Pro Professional Food and Beverage Blender (Model PBB201)

"Given its four short blades, a cramped jar with a flat bottom, and a weak motor, it was no surprise that this 360-watt blender failed at most tasks. Furthermore, it began emitting a noxious odor and making an awful rattling noise almost immediately," says CI in its September-October 2012 issue.

The Waring was the lowest-rated blender of the lot, earning no more than 1.5 stars in any given category (that one was for margaritas).

I don't care how you spin it, junk is junk.

I've owned a VitaMix for 6 years now and wouldn't trade it for the world.

Aug 10, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Vitamix Creations Turbo vs. Vitamix 5200 Super Package

If Waring blenders are so great, how was Cooks Illustrated able to repeatedly kill them in their testing? I call horsefeathers... The damned things can't even demolish ice without clogging up and burning out the motor.

Aug 10, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Bob Kramer Essential Knives: Anyone bought one?

The Carbon line had a massive problem with the rivets. Every model I ever felt had rough, sharp edges - almost like the wood of the handle had shrunk.

The Damascus and Essential lines, having synthetic handles, (linen micarta and POM plastic, respectively) seem to have a much more consistent, smooth finish with the rivets.

Combine that with the fact that the Carbon line rusts if you look at it wrong and I can see why most SLT stores no longer carry it.

Jul 29, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Bob Kramer Essential Knives: Anyone bought one?

The carbon steel line is now an online-only item for most SLT customers, remaining only in top-market stores.

Jul 27, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

STAUB AND THEIR COLORS!

The new orange is not Saffron. Saffron's been carried in Sur La Table stores for a couple years. I know this because the Pentagon Row store in Arlington has the skillets on clearance. It's a deeper dijon mustard color, not orange.

The new orange color is due for a Fall 2014 release according to Zwilling Henckels' Facebook page a few weeks ago.

Apr 28, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Alternative to 10" All-Clad skillet?

Check out the Mauviel M'Collection at Sur La Table. The 10" skillet is on sale for $99.96. This line is five layers fully clad with a handle meant to be balanced into the forearm, rather than bending the wrist.

(http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

)

Alternately, the Demeyere Industry5 skillet in the 9.5" size is $79.96 on sale.

(http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

)

I'd say either is infinitely better than All-Clad's current production. And neither of these are Chinese-made. Demeyere is Belgian and Mauviel is French.

Apr 16, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

If you could have only 1 knife...?

I'll second Demeyere with either Proline or Industry5. I'd also add Mauviel's stainless. Their handles are ergonomic and sized to the pan, not just a standard issue (which can tip over smaller skillets).

@Cynic: do you have older or newer All-Clad? The new stuff is the problem. Old stock is usually of more stout character.

Apr 16, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

If you could have only 1 knife...?

The All-Clad pan was your first mistake. The old grey mare just ain't what she used to be. A decade ago, that pan might have lasted you forever, but they're not making them the same way. Ever since the company was bought out by a European conglomerate, it's Made In China lids, redesigned and uncomfortable handles, and bottoms that warp.

Don't let the knife be a mistake.

As for a knife, I'd say an 8" chef from Wusthof. Their Classic line is the standard, of course, but they make lines called Epicure and IKON that take the work to the next level. Epicure feels a little out of balance to me, but the handle is comfortable. IKON, on the other hand, is out of this world.

You can get fancier later when you're settled and have room/money for the next "better" knife up the chain, but a well-maintained Wusthof knife kept in a block or at least with a sheath over the blade will last you a good long time.

Go to Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma and actually hold one in your hand. I know SLT usually has a case with all of the 8" chefs they have in every line, so it's easy to work your way through the choices without much stress.

Apr 16, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

If you could have only 1 knife...?

The All-Clad pan was your first mistake. The old grey mare just ain't what she used to be. A decade ago, that pan might have lasted you forever, but they're not making them the same way. Ever since the company was bought out by a European conglomerate, it's Made In China lids, redesigned and uncomfortable handles, and bottoms that warp.

Don't let the knife be a mistake.

As for a knife, I'd say an 8" chef from Wusthof. Their Classic line is the standard, of course, but they make lines called Epicure and IKON that take the work to the next level. Epicure feels a little out of balance to me, but the handle is comfortable. IKON, on the other hand, is out of this world.

You can get fancier later when you're settled and have room/money for the next "better" knife up the chain, but a well-maintained Wusthof knife kept in a block or at least with a sheath over the blade will last you a good long time.

Go to Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma and actually hold one in your hand. I know SLT usually has a case with all of the 8" chefs they have in every line, so it's easy to work your way through the choices without much stress.

Apr 16, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Sansaire sous vide - my experience as a warning!

Mine works fine and does the job perfectly. Sorry you're having such a bad experience with yours.

Mar 20, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

LC burned my beans..grrrrr

I don't know what sort of gas range you're working with, but I've used a full-size Viking range all the way down to a tiny apartment-sized gas stove and haven't burned things.

Mar 06, 2012
ProfessorBear in Cookware

LC burned my beans..grrrrr

"And consider that these Dutch Ovens are typically pretty scorchy on the cooktop."

Umm, no they aren't. That is, not if you follow the manufacturer's instructions and use medium or lower heat. I've been using Le Creuset for over seven years on coil stoves, gas, and ceramic tops and have never once - in any piece, from buffet casserole to skillet to French oven - burned anything in my Creuset.

If you pay attention to the pan and keep the heat low, you won't burn things. That's the point of heavy cast iron.

Cast iron retains and distributes heat well. You don't need higher heat.

Mar 06, 2012
ProfessorBear in Cookware

CONFIRMED - Regular Le Creuset line going away in February!

Agreed wholly. This worth less idea is so subjective as to be a non-issue.

I reaches sixty pieces yesterday. One of those - the 5.5 quart round in Rosemary from W-S - is "Signature". The other fifty-nine pieces are no less important, not of inferior quality, and not cosmetically imperfect in any way besides wear I've inflicted upon them.

Unless you're planning on selling your pieces, you've nothing to worry about.

The larger handles are more comfortable on the Signature collection. There's no denying that. And if, as they say, the enamel is thicker, well, bully for it. I baby my Creuset and it's doing right by me. That's the end of story. When I die (I'm 29 and hope that's not coming for a while...) either they get passed on, sold, or donated. You know who's not gonna care about their monetary value? Me.

The pots, pans, skillets, and whatever else will have done their job for me. End of story.

Nov 26, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Heads Up Le Creuset lovers

That would be me who posted it on Facebook. And that news about the new blue color was straight from the manager of the Grove City, PA outlet.

Nov 10, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Best knives?

Hear, hear.

Sep 26, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Best knives?

It's certainly not Cutco for a start!

I house-sat for a friend this summer who had been suckered into buying a huge block of Cutco crap from a student of hers. I have never used a more unwieldy, heavy, unbalanced piece of garbage in my life. And this from a person who grew up with dull, old, stamped knives.

The fact that you can't sharpen Cutco without voiding the warranty should be abhorrent to anyone who knows good knives. I don't have the time to send away a knife for weeks on end - I need my hardware when I need it.

That being said, I use Wusthof - Ikon and Classic - and Henckels - Vier Sterne. I used to have (and lost) a Wusthof Grand Prix that I liked a lot, but adore the Ikon 8" chef's knife and - truly - use it as much as my 8" Vier Sterne with granton edge.

Sep 22, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Cracked Le Creuset; should I be worried?

No, but that's wear and tear - not damage. You can still use a darkened LC vessel without any issue, but a crack through the iron isn't just something that happens. No company would be that stupid. Otherwise, you'd have every idiot dropping their pots when they wanted new ones. Think about it a minute.

Sep 04, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Cracked Le Creuset; should I be worried?

Their warranty may be forever, but it only covers manufacturer defect. A crack says one thing and one thing only: the piece was dropped.

I'll nearly guarantee you it's not covered.

I love the company and own over 50 pieces of LC enameled cast iron, but they're not going to go giving away freebies any time someone breaks their own stuff.

Sep 03, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

New Creuset Color at Williams-Sonoma - Aubergine

Yeah - Bloomingdale's had it over the winter, I think.

Aug 01, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

New Creuset Color at Williams-Sonoma - Aubergine

It must be very new as I didn't see it on Friday when I bought the Rosemary piece. I do agree on the Indigo comment, though. Could be quite pretty, but I'd still much prefer the Midnight Blue from South Africa.

Aug 01, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

New Creuset Color at Williams-Sonoma - Aubergine

It must be very new as I didn't see it Friday when I bought the Rosemary.

Aug 01, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

New Creuset Color at Williams-Sonoma - Aubergine

Yet another new Creuset color at Williams-Sonoma: Aubergine.

Aug 01, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Staub colors @ Sur La Table

Mer is a very handsome color. Staub got their sea color right where Creuset got theirs way wrong.

Jul 31, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Staub colors @ Sur La Table

Mer is really a handsome color. Staub got it right where Creuset got Ocean wrong - way wrong.

Jul 31, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Staub colors @ Sur La Table

Fumee has the same mirrored finish of Titanium, just with a darker finish. I think that's what they mean about likeness.

Jul 31, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

new Le Creuset color? - limited edition "Rosemary"

I believe it's out of make now... they did Chili, a red without gradient, a blue without change (the name of which I can't recall), and Saffron. I got a piece of Chili at TJMaxx for dirt cheap to go with all of my red.

Jul 28, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware

new Le Creuset color? - limited edition "Rosemary"

At the Williams-Sonoma in Beachwood, Ohio. It's really gorgeous and looks very nice with the red. Or at least I'm convincing myself of that fact.

It's so much nicer than the Fennel.

Jul 28, 2011
ProfessorBear in Cookware