Kitchen Tools: My Pro Kitchen

We're normally skeptical of cookware sets, finding it more worthwhile to invest in one or two good pieces that to get a large set with several pieces you don't need. But that opinion comes from the viewpoint of someone who already has the basics covered; we started out by "borrowing" pieces from the family kitchen, and have slowly grown our cookware collection. What about those who really own nothing, and are outfitting a new kitchen for the first time? Is this the cookware set for them? My Pro Kitchen aims to be "a thoughtful selection of high-quality, no-frills kitchen essentials – the same stuff the pros use in their own restaurants and kitchens." The 36 pieces include cookware that it took years for us to actually buy - like a bench scraper, a sharpening stone, and a meat thermometer - along with more obvious selections like pans and bowls. Click here to see everything in the set.

It's hard to tell the quality from pictures on a website, but these look like the simple, basic goods used in professional kitchens. The descriptions sound positive too; the knives are full-tang forged stainless steel, the sheet pan is "heavy duty aluminium." The one problem we have are that both frying pans are non-stick. We prefer stainless steel for searing meat, making sauces, and anything that requires a high temperature.

You might be able to go to a restaurant supply store and assemble this collection yourself for less than the $279 price tag, but how many of those just starting out will actually do that?

What do you think? Would you recommend this set to a friend outfitting a new kitchen for the first time?

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