It's usually more economical and fun to shop for tools, pots & pans, and general kitchen equipment in a restaurant supply store. These stores are usually located in larger cities and most have specific retail only hours. The prices are comparable or less than the department stores and the best part is the durability. Nothing is flimsy quality. Remember, this stuff is meant to withstand heavy, constant usage in a restaurant kitchen. You'll have it in your kitchen for years.

As just an example, consider the average balloon whisk sold in many department stores. The neck is wire bound and rusts easily beneath the neck within a few washings. The whisk itself contains only a few wires so it takes longer to whip egg whites into peaks. The commercial whip has a solid metal rod as a handle which protects from rust and trapped food particles. Not only is it more sanitary but it also has more wires to effectively whip the whites.

Where ever you buy your equipment, put your money in the best you can afford. Cooking is a life long adventure; you can always add to your collection later.

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