Guide To: Good stores for basic kitchen equipment
Marketplace Link: Cookware & Tools
This month, nearly 2,000 people have signed on for the Kitchen Cure, a back-to-basics process that's focused on making your kitchen cleaner, healthier, and more organized. As the Cure gathers steam, we thought we'd use this store guide to hone in on kitchen essentials (no gadgets here!) and where to buy them.
Amazon.com (Online): Amazon might not be as tangible as the mom n' pop shop on the corner, but their huge warehouses stock most mainstream kitchen brands, from All Clad to Zak Designs. You can find good deals that are sometimes a little less than brick-and-mortar stores.
Restaurant Supply Stores (Online and Offline): These are good places to shop for pots, pans, basic tools, cutlery and dishes. Many of them offer pretty much everything you'd need to outfit an entire kitchen. The key is to come prepared. Bring a list and don't allow yourself to be seduced by the racks of shiny knives and saucepans. For a pared-down guide to restaurant supply stores, click here.
Cast Iron Cookware Stores (Online and Offline): There are two cast iron pieces that we use on a weekly basis: our Lodge frying pan (which was cheap) and our Le Creuset Dutch oven (which was not). Cast iron cookware remains a long-time kitchen staple because it's durable, holds heat well, and can easily go from stove to table. For a brief shopping guide to cast-iron (both bare and enameled) click here.
Crate & Barrel and C&B Outlet (Various Locations/Online): Their stores are accessible, affordable, and they stock a lot of mid-range basics, which is why they're a leader when it comes to wedding registries. We've shopped there for dish racks, cookware starter sets, and small appliances.
IKEA (Various Locations/Online): Cheap, ubiquitous, and stylish, IKEA's kitchen section is full of both good options and products that are less than long-lasting. For a starter guide, see our roundup of best IKEA kitchen products.
Lodge (Online): Lodge is a good source for inexpensive, durable cast iron skillets. You can shop for Lodge skillets at their website or at places like Target, Wal-Mart, and camping supply stores.
SimpleHuman (Various Locations/Online): Their products are a little more expensive than you might pay elsewhere, but we really like the dish racks, which come with modular parts and 5-year warranties. You can buy them online or at dealer stores, like Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Whole Foods (Various Locations): We've found some useful kitchen tools while shopping the grocery aisles at Whole Foods, and the prices on cookware aren't as high as you might expect. We've bought colanders, sponges, and scrub-brushes there and we've been pretty happy with them.
Target (Various Locations/Online): They carry a lot of basic brands, like Lodge, SimpleHuman, and Bodum, and they're a good place to shop for things like coffee presses and tea kettles.
Knife Stores (Online and Offline): You can't get far in the kitchen without a knife. The most basic, multi-purpose version is probably a Chef's Knife that's kept nice and sharp. For a guide to good knife stores, click here.
• Kitchen Cure Spring 2010
• Essential Kitchen Tools: A Roundup of Basics
• Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Kitchen Basics Under $25
Did we miss your favorite source for kitchen basics? Add it in the comments below!