German-engineered products have an indisputable reputation for quality. The attention to detail is second-to-none whether the item in question is an Audi convertible, a Steiff plush toy, or a pair of Adidas athletic shoes. Naturally, German cookware is no exception.
We’ve discussed French cookware on the blog before, so let’s hop a country over this time and take a look at the German cookery brands that can help bring a bit of Ordnung to your own kitchen.
Produced in Solingen (which is often referred to as the “City of Blades” thanks to its heavy manufacturing of top-quality cutting devices for a variety of companies) since 1814, Wüsthof is an iconic brand for German kitchen knives. These knives are known for their precision edges, which remain sharp for long periods of time, and their lovely balance of weight that makes them a pleasure to hold in the hand. I have a Wüsthof chef’s knife from their sleek Culinar line, and it’s as delightful to work with as it is to look at. Having a really good knife is one of the easiest ways to make your cooking efforts safer, more efficient, and enjoyable. A properly maintained and cared for Wüsthof can foreseeably last a lifetime—it’s worth the investment!
Zwiling J.A. Henckels
Also based in Solingen, Zwiling dates back to 1731 and their knives are equally coveted by professional chefs and home cooks around the world. Sharp blades, balanced weight, and quality construction give Zwiling J.A. Henckels knives incredible performance and functionality. The company also produces stainless steel, aluminum, and nonstick pots and pans, wine accessories, and a variety of cooking utensils; making it possible to outfit your whole kitchen with German-made quality.
Founded in Geislingen in 1853 as Straub & Schweizer, the company got its start by producing silver-plated serving and tableware. Today, WMF is one of the most recognized names in German cookware, with a full line of kitchen accruement including pots and pans, bakeware, cutlery, kitchen gadgets, and more. Pricing tends to be mid-range, which makes the brand financially accessible while still retaining their outstanding reputation. While most of WMF’s production takes place in Germany, some items are produced in China. Be sure to take note of the location of manufacture at the time of purchase if this is of importance to you.
If you’re a bread-baking enthusiast, you might already be familiar with Römertopf and their unique clay cookers. Since 1967, Römertopf has been producing exceptionally crafted pots made of natural clay that are suitable for use in a wide variety of baking and cooking techniques. From crusty loaves to juicy braises, cooking with clay produces consistently great results thanks to its ability to adapt to changing temperature. Simply soak the pot in water before use, then pop it in a cold oven to pre-heat. Römertopfs are even safe for microwave use, which opens up a new level of versatility.
Rösle produces a wide range of kitchen gadgets and utensils, and has been headquartered in Marktoberdorf, Germany since 1888. While most of their items today are produced in China, they’re still crafted from German design and German steel. Rösle offers everything from can openers to kitchen torches, burger presses to tongs, ladles to slicers. Prices are affordable without sacrificing quality, and the Rösle name continues to be a respected member of the German cookware family.
A true “made in Germany” brand, Woll has been operating since 1979 as a producer of professional-level cast aluminum cookware. The company prides itself on good old-fashioned craftsmanship paired with practical innovation, and their pots are really some of the best on the market. Price point is a bit higher with Woll, but the pieces are certainly worth the investment. As with any high-quality cookware, proper use and care can mean that the pan may very well outlive you!
Headquartered in Idar-Oberstein from its foundation in 1845, Fissler is perhaps one of the most recognized brands of German cookware. The company actually has a second production location in Hoppstädten-Weisersbach, which opened in 1973 to help accommodate Fissler’s continued growth. Like WMF, Fissler produces just about anything you could ask for in a kitchen, and their quality remains supreme no matter how diverse the product lines.
Do you have a preferred German brand in your own kitchen? Tell us about your favorite pieces in the comments!