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    Published on September 26th, 2011 | by Greg

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    Knives And A Skil­let From Wüsthof And Anolon

    We have two prod­ucts to­day that shake up the norms in their re­spec­tive cat­e­gories. You think of steak knives as hav­ing one par­tic­u­lar­ly salient fea­ture: ser­ra­tion. To­day’s elim­i­nate them, but still work like a charm. Sim­i­lar­ly, when you think of a cop­per skil­let, you imag­ine a fast-heat­ing, at­trac­tive but eas­i­ly dam­aged and ex­pen­sive pan- in­stead, this one is pri­mar­i­ly stain­less, ex­treme­ly durable, and re­mark­ably af­ford­able.

    We’ve seen a lot of knives pass through these pages, but sur­pris­ing­ly few steak knives. Part of that stems from the fact that so many of them seem pret­ty stan­dard, and al­so the fact that they al­ways come in sets. But the Wüsthof Grand Prix II Steak Knife Set shakes things up a bit- they are avail­able in sets of four or six, and even have a few col­or op­tions. Ours were a pleas­ant, at­trac­tive red though they ap­pear on their site and else­where pri­mar­i­ly in black. And you don’t need to wor­ry about sharp­ness- these are in­cred­i­bly sharp, with a fine­ly ta­pered point that comes to a spear­ing tip. We didn’t know quite what to ex­pect when we sat down to some 1.5-inch think medi­um well steaks, but these knives made short work of the task. They aren’t as dis­tinc­tive as their Wave line, but are eas­i­er to main­tain.

    We’ve seen plen­ty of Wüsthof cut­lery be­fore and al­ways come away im­pressed. The Grand Prix II line of­fers many blade op­tions- par­ing, cook’s, peel­ing, trim­ming, bon­ing, san­toku, even a cleaver, in sev­er­al sizes. The han­dles are syn­thet­ic, for dura­bil­i­ty, but feel a lit­tle lightweight to us. Bal­ance is ex­cel­lent though, and they feel com­fort­ably er­gonom­ic. As we’ve said in pre­vi­ous re­views, any de­cent new knife is sharp, but we try them out for a few weeks and see how the edge fares over time. We al­so try to use them out­side of their in­tend­ed pur­pose, sim­ply to see if they test well against things like toma­toes or bread- the steak knives served per­fect­ly for meats and even some work that would nor­mal­ly be re­served for a small­er chef’s blade like trim­ming some veg­eta­bles in a pinch. We threw them in the dish­wash­er, and they held up well, but you have to be very care­ful pulling them out and putting them away- they’ll trim your fin­gers as eas­i­ly as meat. Our car­ni­vores loved these- your fam­i­ly will too. Life­time war­ran­ty, avail­able on­line and in stores for around $150. Ama­zon has a nice video as well, show­ing how Wüsthof pro­duces their blades.

    Be­fore you can eat though, you need to cook. We ac­tu­al­ly pan-fried some steaks in our lat­est kitchen ad­di­tion, with the Anolon Nou­velle Cop­per Stain­less Steel 12-inch skil­let. Suit­able for use on all stove­tops, we pri­mar­i­ly used our gas burn­ers. One writ­er al­so threw it in the oven af­ter fry­ing up some mixed veg­gies to keep them warm- the pan is over safe to 500 de­grees. And it’s ex­treme­ly in­ex­pen­sive for a hefty pan- cer­tain­ly lighter than cast iron, we found it to be a de­cent bal­ance. Cop­per in the base means even, fast cook­ing, the added alu­minum is lightweight, and stain­less steel makes the whole thing stur­dy (and mag­ne­tized for use with in­duc­tion cook­plates and sys­tems). The lid is OK- it fits nice­ly, but the han­dle isn’t great. And we miss the flush riv­ets that we’ve seen on oth­er Anolon se­ries.

    But the sur­face was ef­fec­tive- we could even use met­al uten­sils safe­ly. Omelets were a snap, though per­for­mance wasn’t as good as oth­er non-stick pans that we’ve tried. And we liked that it was dish­wash­er safe. A few runs through the wringer of large break­fasts and brunch­es typ­i­cal­ly put a mark on pans, but this one was left look­ing new. The on­ly re­al is­sue we had with con­struc­tion was the joint be­tween the flat bot­tom and sloped side- it was a bit less smooth than many oth­er pans and thus more like­ly to get some­thing stuck there dur­ing cook­ing. But the price is great- $80! And it’s a great, bal­anced pan with plen­ty to rec­om­mend to all but the most se­ri­ous folks. A life­time war­ran­ty soothes any­one wor­ried about longevi­ty, and we can’t wait to see the rest of the line. We’ve used their bake­ware as well, and even man­aged to drop a cook­ie sheet from a bal­cony- it sur­vived the sev­er­al sto­ry fall un­scathed.

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    About the Author

    Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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