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Need recommendations for new set of pots and pans

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by wahoowad, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    If you want to get new pans every few years, then keep on going with non-stick and other mediocre pans. The better way to do it is to get quality pans and have them forever. All Clad is one of the best. Get on pan at a time, like every year for Christmas, and you will have a large set before you know it. While getting the entire set is nice, I find you usually don't use or need everything in the set. Why do you think they use Stainless in commercial kitchen as well as aluminum pans. ONce they are used enough and seasoned, they are pretty close to non-stick. Non-stick is more about cooking than the coating on the pan. Non-stick pans are very good for eggs cooked at teh proper temp - low. Everyone I know trashes their non-stick pans by turning the heat up too high. I would start here...

    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/all-clad-d5-stainless-steel-4-quart-saute-simmer-pan/?pkey=ccookware-all-clad|ckwallbst

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  2. Later

    Later New Member

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    When we bought the stove the dealer said that cast iron has a rough bottom surface and can easily scratch the glass. Aluminum and copper bottom pans are out too.
  3. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've overheated a teflon coated pan accidently.
    (wrong burner control) nothing in the pan and it was clean. oops.
    It does smell funny/odd. When it still smelled odd the next day I threw it out.


    Another thing that's supposedly bad for teflon pans ( and probably others, too) is storing the cooked food in them for days in the fridge.
  4. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Ehhh, so what! Cook it up. Paper plates can't take the heat.
  5. lammi66

    lammi66 Member

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    +1 Inexpensive and a CR Best Buy!
  6. RoseRedHoofbeats

    RoseRedHoofbeats Feeling the Heat

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    Or, if you're, say, broke and can't afford to pay $80 for a skillet, then you can just treat your pots and pans carefully and use them for 10+ years. Sixes either way

    ~Rose
  7. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    Pots and pans are some of the few things anyone uses in their home every day. every day. every day.

    Buy the best you can afford. Hurts once. Going back to wal-mart to buy a $15 frying pan or stock pot every year adds up over time. I know, I have two brothers who are cheaper than a ... well you know. 30 years ago my wife and I bought a complete Le Creuset set. Still have every one of them. They all still look like they did new. Other than a 12" saucier we bought a couple years ago, it's all we have and we use it everyday. Couldn't be happier. Between them, those two brothers have been through a couple dozen cheap pots/pans/skillets each.


    We are soon to start spending long periods out and about in our Airstream camper, (vintage, restored by us, bought for $2k 3 years ago) and don't know what to do, as with a camper trailer weight is an issue.. Maybe the Emeril stuff, it gets good reviews.

    As far as using cast iron on a smooth top, we have been in this house we built when I retired from the army, 15 years. Smooth top range bought new then. The top looks perfect. Now, the enamel of the stove itself is chipped in a couple places where a pan hit it hard accidently, but the glass top is perfect.
  8. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    My stove is probably 5 years old now so I bet I have scratches but I don't have any gouges or anything like that. Not sure why the salesman would say that?? So what the hell do you cook with? CAst Iron, Alum and Copper are the best...

    Either you expect or the stove company expects your stove to be a showroom instead of a kitchen where actual work/cooking gets done. Kitchens can be nice looking but if they are pristine, it means they are not used. I LOVE the look of a gently worn kitchen.
  9. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    I hear you on the broke deal. My point is that if you are going to get a cheaper set, and not flat broke, you may want to change your philosophy. People I know buy teflon or the 'new' nonstick pan all the time, misuse them or use them like you would a good SS pan, and then they get chucked once they are beat to heck. It makes no sense. If you cannot afford an entire set of good cookware, buy one piece at a time - BUT get quality cookware. Copper bottom, SS, quality manufacturer...all important. Some of the cheaper knock-offs have welds that separate or other issue. You pay multiple times with cheap tools - only once with quality.
  10. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Revere Ware! You'll never buy another set... ever! We got a set as newlyweds...37 years ago. They look almost like new and we use them a lot! You don't need non-stick for sauce pans. Calphalon non stick is the way to go for skillets.
  11. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Frankly, for non-stick skillets I jut buy the cheap ones in the grocery store, a few sizes, and they last several years in normal use. When they get a little discolored, I grab a new one in that size, and figure I got my money's worth (i.e. $20) compared to spending hundreds of dollars up front. I save some of the older ones for those couple times a year we need three skillets, or we are frying up latkes, etc.

    Of course, for soups and sauces, we go for nice ss pots with heavy bases, still pretty cheap at IKEA, and should last 20 yrs in everyday use.
  12. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    kitchen aid
  13. pyper

    pyper New Member

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    We got a set of SS clad (aluminum core) pans at Sams Club about 10 years ago. They've held up well. The large pan (14") has a warped bottom, but all the others are still flat. We have some copper clad Revere Ware pans. Not a fan. They're OK if you're careful, I suppose.

    We have a few cast iron pieces too, and I like them, after a fashion, but you have to clean them right away or they rust. Upthread someone recommended Scanpan, and I really like them. We got a couple of those for wedding gifts and they're amazing. Unfortunately my wife won't let me cook on them because they're aluminum. Don't ask.

    They don't seem to sell what we bought any more, but the pieces look like this, only in SS:
    http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=prod741175

    It's that pan in front of the two saute pans that warped. We use it all the time -- pretty much every day. After that, probably the 3 quart sauce pan.

    Whatever the band, I'm a big fan of clad ss. It heats evenly, it's durable, and it's easy to clean. Yeah, stuff can stick, but you just take a steel wool pad and scrub it and it comes right off. Just don't get the kind that looks like this with the clad core only on the bottom: http://www.amazon.com/Members-Mark-Stainless-Steel-Cookware/dp/B003IGWOLG Stuff burns onto the sides with pans like this.
  14. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    Just got a Calphalon non-stick for the wife's birthday. She too was sick of the cheap pans discoloring and wearing out quickly. Since she uses the non-stick more than I do, I had her get the 12" fry/omelet pan to add tot he smaller one.
  15. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    I use all stainless steel saucepans, and a cast iron frying pan here, and there is one handy little trick to make cast iron really non-stick.

    Get an orbital sander, and get the internal finish of the frying pan up to a really shiny finish, it may take some time.
    This will get rid of all the small imperfections on the casting which can cause food to snag.
    Then add some cooking oil, rub it all around, and heat it up on the stove to a fairly high temperature, this will ensure it is non-stick for the future.

    If something happens at a later date and you destroy the finish, you can chip off the coating, and re-do it. This means you have something that will last virtually forever!
  16. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    It takes more than 1 coat of oil to season a cast iron pan. heck, it took mine a few years and camping trips. My entire set is awesome now some 15 years later. BUT - they are a very different animal from a good non-stick pan. Cast iron takes a long time to heat up for sure...
  17. Ratherbfishin

    Ratherbfishin Member

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    If you get used to using cast iron skillets- you will be amazed at how non-stickish it is.

    Really? I have use mine over and over... everything sticks like glue.. what am I doing wrong? Do you have to have them super hot or something? I have only tried mostly breakfast items like home fries and oh what a sticky mess. Over easy eggs? forget it. I guess I just dont know how to cook on cast iron.
  18. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    The trick to making cast iron non-stick is to season it properly first. Like I said above, if you polish the surface up with sandpaper using an orbital sander, you will remove the tiny blemishes and the oil will not have to take years to get the non-stick effect. Like all painting, several thin coats are better than one thick one, but it can all be done easily using a pastry brush and some cooking oil. Cheaper cast iron has more blemishes than the expensive cast iron, the sanding will take a bit longer to get that smooth surface, but it is that smooth surface which will cut the seasoning time right down!
  19. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I cook nearly exclusively on cast iron. I do have 1 nonstick sautee plan that I use for very fluffy scrambled eggs but that's it. I also have a SS 5+ gallon stock pot for doing large batches of soups, spaghetti sauce, beer, etc.

    However, cast iron is awesome once you learn to use it and it doesn't wear out. My son gets to eat meals where I use one of his Great-Great grandmother's skillets! I don't care what you pay for a non-stick pan but I challenge you to find one that is going to be in service for 90 years with no problems like this skillet has been.

    I have really gotten away from non-stick after my college roomate nearly killed us all from teflon poisoning. He started a non-stick dutch oven w/ boiling water in it to cook pasta. He fell asleep and before ever putting the pasta in. Water boiled dry, and we all gagged on the fumes as we woke up w/ alarms going off. Each of us was sick w/ flu like symptoms for days. Because of this, I became interested in cast iron.

    Now I don't recommend you go out and buy a full set yet, but buy one and see what you think. A #10 cast iron skillet by lodge can be bought from target, walmart, sporting good stores, etc for about 20 bucks.

    here is a griddle I have by lodge. If you watch the video be careful if you are one to get sea sick. I am no cinematographer.



    I made this video to dispel the idea that cast iron pans require a lot of grease to keep food from sticking. So long as a pan is seasoned properly and well maintained, it is virtually nonstick. I've had people comment that cast iron is only non-stick if you cook hot as I did in this video, if you are of that company then I'll make another video of a fried egg over low heat (I hate skinned up over easy eggs) to dispell this myth for you.

    A few keys to seasoning cast iron.

    1. Use it! Especially for baking as that really seasons it well. Things such as oven fried chicken come out unbelievably crispy in cast iron compared to glass baking dishes. Additionally, bake pizza, biscuits and cornbread in it. Even baking your Tuesday night chicken nuggets / fish sticks / crescent rolls / etc in it will help to improve the seasoning.

    2. Clean it properly. Clean it while it is still warm using good hot water and a vegetable brush if necessary, then dry thoroughly. When dry, if necessary (the pan looks dry) give it a quick shot (1/2 tea) of canola oil just to coat, wipe with paper towel and store.

    3. If something tragic happened and you need to re-season your cast iron, I find success by thoroughly cleaning the piece and drying it. Next rub it with a very light layer of Crisco. Place it in (lid on grill down) your gas grill on med-high heat (about 450-550 degrees) upside down so that excessive oil can drip off. Heat until it stops smoking and has a uniform appearance. Let cool well before trying to handle. I recommend the gas grill for this but if you'd like to test your smoke detectors, it will work equally well in the oven.

    pen
  20. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    It is a little known fact that if you keep a pet parrot in a kitchen where you cook with teflon coated saucepans, it will die from teflon fumes.........
  21. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    100 percent agreed on the Cast iron as long as they are seasoned. Seasoning can take a long time to get it to a perfect non-stick.

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