Go over this list and check off the items you want, then take it with you when you register.
Ready to think outside the kitchen drawer? Consider registering for useful items from the following list: mixing bowls, colander, salad spinner, glass liquid-measuring cups, cutting boards, kitchen scale, box grater, pepper mill, fine sieve, mortar and pestle, funnels, fat separator, flour sifter, nonstick baking mats, cookie-cutter set, pastry-bag set, oven mitts, and pot holders.
Copper is often considered the ultimate material for cookware. It is an excellent heat conductor. Copper reacts with acidic foods, so many pans are lined with tin or steel. It also tarnishes easily and must be polished regularly.
Stainless steel is durable and easy to clean but does not transmit heat well. Pots with copper or aluminum bases have much better heat distribution.
Aluminum is durable and heats quickly, but if the metal is thin, the pan will warp easily and heat unevenly.
Anodized aluminum is a specially treated aluminum that is harder and denser than normal aluminum. It is lightweight, an excellent heat conductor, and easy to maintain.
Cast iron has excellent heat transmission and is good for cooking at high temperatures. It is exceedingly strong and durable but reacts with acidic foods, is slow to heat, and is very heavy.
Enameled cast iron shares the characteristics of cast iron but is nonreactive. It is recommended for long, slow braising or simmering.
Plain steel, also known as mild steel, rolled steel, or untreated steel, is thin and strong and conducts heat well. It is ideal for woks and crepe pans.
Black, or blue, steel is similar to plain steel, but because it is specially treated, its surface resists corrosion and absorbs heat better.
Enameled steel is also called porcelain enamel. It is light and conducts heat well. The enameled surface has a slight nonstick quality and is nonreactive. The best cookware is made with thick steel, three coats of enamel, and a stainless steel rim to prevent chipping.
Heatproof glass, such as Pyrex, is not a good heat conductor; it is nonreactive with foods, but may chip or crack.
Knife handles should be sealed and seamless, made of wood impregnated with plastic or of molded polypropylene, and firmly riveted or bonded to the tang (the extension of the blade). The tang itself should extend the entire length of the handle.
Knife blades are made from carbon steel (for the sharpest edge) or stainless steel (not so sharp, but easier to care for). Whatever the metal, the blades are forged -- hammered out of a thick piece of steel -- or stamped -- die cut from a sheet of steel.
Cutting edges are flat ground (ground to a taper at point and edge, with a distinctive wedge shape); hollow ground (with a slight concave curve in the sides of the blade -- generally less long-lived than flat ground); or serrated (edged with teeth or scallops). Serrated knives hold their cutting edge longer than either flat or hollow ground; however, when they lose the edge, they cannot be sharpened again.
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