Wedding Registry: How to Choose Flatware

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Yay, you're engaged! Now what?

More Registry Redux: Equipment Essentials

You're about to start a life with someone, and that life requires an immense amount of equipment — the tools of living! These can include things for the bedroom, the bathroom, and the living room, but most importantly, you'll need tools for the kitchen.

How do you go about choosing the right pots, the perfect pans, and the sharpest knives? We have you covered. All week long we'll be bringing you tips of the trade on what's hot in the kitchen (excuse the pun) and what the necessities are for making meals for your family, your friends, your spouse, and hosting parties that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Up today? Flatware! Let's set the table with all of the right utensils that you'll need — from big steak knives to serving spoons — for all of the parties you'll be hosting. Jeffrey Elliot, author of the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills, knows a few things about flatware and he talked to us!

What kind of flatware do I need?
You should own a set of 18/10 stainless steel flatware. The 18 refers to the chromium content, and the 10 refers to the amount of nickel which is combined with iron to create stainless steel. The 18/10 combination means that you'll get a lifetime of use out of the flatware, with it retaining its luster.

How many sets do I need?
At a minimum you should have at least as many place settings as you have seats at your table, but it doesn't hurt to have a few extra. I like to have a 50 percent buffer, meaning that although my dining table seats eight, I have 12 place settings. These extra settings come in handy if I'm serving multiple courses.

How many varieties?
A standard place setting has a teaspoon, a soup/ tablespoon, a dinner knife, a salad fork, and a dinner fork.

You'll need to supplement this with steak knives (I recommend fine-edge steak knives over serrated edge because those bruise the meat) and serving pieces such as a serving fork, spoon, slotted spoon, and ladle.

There are other specialized flatware pieces out there that you can add, but these are the basics.

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