Cookware Recommendation

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Peter J

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Cookware Recommendation
« on: 26 Mar 2019, 11:54 pm »
I'm almost afraid to ask, as it seems cookware is almost as polarizing as audio gear, but I know there are aficionados here with more insight and knowledge than me. Let me preface by saying I'm not much of a cook and neither is DW. We need decent stuff, preferably non-stick and tolerant of some unintentional abuse.

Years ago, I bought a set of ScanPan cookware. My, perhaps uninformed, thinking was once-and-done, buy good stuff.  Worked OK, but DW likes to get things HOT and has all but killed the big frypan. If it was ever non stick, it's not now. Last night I smoked some macaroni and cheese in a saucepan and, despite my best efforts, the bottom is black with macaroni shapes outlined.  :oops:


So I think, time to buy another set. Look for reviews. What a confusing morass of shit. Any given set will have lovers and haters with little in between. I'm wondering if, for our use anyway, looking at it from a 3-5 year lifespan then replace, might be more viable. I rarely adopt a philosophy like that, but maybe I should.


I think " this can be done for $300 or less" . Can it? Am I foolish to think I need to spend more that $100? I need some perspective. Bring it on, ye who cook.



Early B.

Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #1 on: 27 Mar 2019, 12:02 am »
After 25 years of going through cookware, we now keep it simple -- the most used cookware in our arsenal is an iron skillet. I will never buy non-stick cookware again. No matter how much money you spend, it's not gonna stay non-stick. The $20 iron skillet, properly seasoned, is the original non-stick cookware. It also holds heat very well and is easy to clean (water only!).   

mmurt

Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #2 on: 27 Mar 2019, 12:07 am »
I've had the Calphalon Elite fry pans for 5 or so years now.  They get pretty heavy use and go from gas cook top to oven often.  I've been very happy with the performance and durability.  You can find them on sale often at Williams and Sonoma.  Just be sure to allow to cool before washing and I keep a paper towel between the pans when stored to reduce the scratches,  I also do not use metal utensils or am careful when I do use metal tongs.

Brettio

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Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #3 on: 27 Mar 2019, 12:21 am »
While I have little experience with nonstick I would look at Costco for cookware.  They currently have a 10 piece JA Henckels non-stick set on sale for $199.00 with very good reviews.  Costco has a great return policy if you don’t like it.  And I’m not associated with Costco, just a fan.

Regarding cast iron, we also have cast iron pieces that work well because they’re properly treated, however they are so heavy my wife avoids them.

Brett


ketcham

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Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #4 on: 27 Mar 2019, 02:19 am »
new direct  from manufacturer - Missen.  I replaced everything with these.  Allclad quality and fraction of price.

John.

Mudslide

Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #5 on: 27 Mar 2019, 02:26 am »
Just say no to non-stick.  They do not last, cook unevenly, and you'll be buying again soon.

An iron skillet is okay, but can be a pain to cure and maintain...and is just one piece of cookware.

My wife and I wanted a one-and-done set of cookware, too.  Twenty years ago we sold our old stuff, mortgaged the house (not really, but we thought we couldn't afford the set at that time), and decided to go for a set that would do everything...forever.  We researched a lot and we found it.  It was/is All-Clad.  Today it truly looks as good as the day we bought it and cooks better than any cookware we've ever owned.  Most of that latter feature is a result of the bonded design (stainless steel bonded over an aluminum core).  These guys just exude quality in looks and performance.  The linked set may be out of your price range, but note that you can get smaller sets for less...and hopefully add pots or pans later to fill out your needs.  It will stand more heat than your stove AND oven can produce and is dishwasher safe (the Mrs. requirement  :))

You can likely find a set for a hundred bucks that hopefully gets you through the year and cooks...okay.  The only cooking we ever do not using the All-Clad is when I bbq or we want to wok something. 

Here you go...think about buying a set as a lifetime investment.  They're wonderful!   

https://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-Tri-Ply-Cookware-Dishwasher-Stainless/dp/B005H8KD3E/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=all%2Bclad&qid=1553652633&s=gateway&sr=8-6&th=1

avta

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Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #6 on: 27 Mar 2019, 02:54 am »
I completely agree regarding All Clad. We’ve had a set for about 15 years and it looks and cooks the same as when we bought it.  However We do have 2 inexpensive T-fal frying pans for cooking things like eggs, hash and a few other things. They hold up well enough and when they get scratched I throw them out. We got them at Target for under $20.

jules

Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #7 on: 27 Mar 2019, 06:14 am »
"Last night I smoked some macaroni and cheese in a saucepan and, despite my best efforts, the bottom is black with macaroni shapes outlined.  :oops:"

Aaagh! There's not a surface on earth that could withstand that combination!

There's no "perfect" surface for cooking and it really depends on what you're trying to cook. Iron is great if you're prepared to season it but once you add water and simmer for a while, the carefully created surface can be degraded. Great for frying, not so good for simmering in water.

Stainless steel [copper base or something similar] is fantastic for boiling/cooking in water but sticks when frying. It's probably the "safest" choice for all round work, though a stainless frypan is a complete waste of money.

Copper, as in classic French heavy duty tinned stuff, has some amazing qualities if you use it daily in a restaurant but it's pretty useless domestically [probably a good thing given  its cost  :)]

Aluminum, much hated by many after a 20th century scare over Al poisoning, can be very good in some limited situations. If you're trying to cook an omlette in butter, it will do a great job. It also conducts heat evenly and fast.

Scanware can still be useful if you only use it for very specific jobs where it just can't over-heat. A Scanware roasting pan will last for many, many years if it's only used in the oven, at moderate temps, with a fair mass of meat/veg in the pan.

I'd suggest you don't get a "set" of anything but maybe buy a couple of stainless [conductive base] saucepans, an iron frying pan and other individual utensils that will work for what you cook. 

As for the macaroni and cheese ... either hold off adding the cheese til it's cooked or if you're re-heating it, the dreaded microwave is the only way it isn't going to stick horribly!



 

ctviggen

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Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #8 on: 27 Mar 2019, 09:35 am »
I like this pan, though it takes seasoning:

https://www.amazon.com/MINERAL-Round-Carbon-Steel-12-5-Inch/dp/B00462QP1G/ref=sr_1_1?crid=175V1HLOIEWL8&keywords=de+buyer+carbon+steel&qid=1553679038&s=gateway&sprefix=de+buyer%2Caps%2C138&sr=8-1

I also use cast iron and stainless steel.  Usually All-Clad, though I have other German manufacturers.

Unfortunately, for eggs, you really do need a non-stick. I personally can't get my cast iron or carbon steel seasoned enough to cook eggs. 

johnto

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Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #9 on: 27 Mar 2019, 12:43 pm »
Another cast Iron fan here. Buy quality American like Lodge very reasonably priced and come preseasoned. This cookware will last forever and can be used stove top or in the oven. Just follow the cleaning and seasoning directions and you shouldn't have any problems.

yamaha626

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Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #10 on: 27 Mar 2019, 02:53 pm »
+1 on the lodge cast iron. If it weren't for the women in my life, I'd be using only cast iron with one exception...I use a 8" non stick skillet to cook my morning eggs

skunark

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Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #11 on: 27 Mar 2019, 03:41 pm »
A few years back i gave away my inexpensive but really good set of cuisinart cookware to my nephew and bought all-clad copper core to replace them.  End of the day both sets are nice, but I can’t recommend all-clad as the lids are not USA made and they develop rust spots almost immediately.   All-clad replaced them without hassle, but the replacement lids have the same issue. 

I don't think you can use historical data when selecting kitchen gear as manufacturers contract out so much these days.   

I would minimize aluminum in your cookware though, focus on quality stainless steel and enamel cast-iron.

Tyson

Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #12 on: 27 Mar 2019, 04:11 pm »
I've not had issues with rust on my full set of All Clad pots and pans.  I love my set.  Tough as nails and looks cool on the pot rack in the kitchen.

toocool4

Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #13 on: 27 Mar 2019, 04:46 pm »
I use Le Creuset they have lifetime guarantee, some the the newer designs still have 10 - 15 year guarantee. I have been using them for years, in all those years i have only every returned one thing which they replaced and i think that may have been my fault. 

www.lecreuset.co.uk

audioengr

Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #14 on: 27 Mar 2019, 05:17 pm »
If you are using an induction cooktop, you can't beat Hexclad.  Really even heat and you can even use metal spatula on the non-stick surface.  I don't though.  Best spatula is the one from Creuset.

I have tried them all. Next best is Masterclad.  Creuset heat slugs are too small diameter so you have to use a large burner on a small pan.

WGH

Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #15 on: 27 Mar 2019, 05:22 pm »
All Clad is great, the last cookware you will ever need. I cook eggs in mine all the time and they don't stick but there is a trick to it. Heat the pan a little, add oil and let it get super hot but not smoking, then take the hot pan off the burner for a few minutes to cool down a little. When the pan has cooled to the egg cooking temp add the eggs, the surface will be just as slippery as a non-stick. A little practice and you'll get the hang of it.

toddc2

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Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #16 on: 27 Mar 2019, 07:17 pm »
All Clad fan here. I bucked up about 25 years ago for a nice set and have never looked back. I added a second 6 quart sauté pan because I use that pan the most. I also have a pair of nice non-stick frying pans but replace them every four or five years.

srb

Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #17 on: 27 Mar 2019, 07:30 pm »
I have four All-Clad pans and although they've performed quite well over the last 15 years, I do find their handles are rather uncomfortable compared to many other pans.

If you go to a store to see them, make sure you heft a couple (throw an object in them to simulate actual weighted use) and see if this is of any concern or not for you.

Mudslide

Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #18 on: 27 Mar 2019, 07:56 pm »
I've not had issues with rust on my full set of All Clad pots and pans.  I love my set.  Tough as nails and looks cool on the pot rack in the kitchen.

This ^.  In 20 years I have had no issues with rust or any problem with my All-Clad lids (or any other part of the things).  And I agree that eggs are a joy to cook if you get the pan heated well, first.  No problem there. 

When I provided the link above, I was a little surprised by the cladding over aluminum.  I could swear mine are clad over copper.  But then I'm older than the Great Wall....

Peter...go All-Clad and you'll be thanking us for decades...as will your significant other be thanking you.   :D

Ponkbutler

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Re: Cookware Recommendation
« Reply #19 on: 27 Mar 2019, 08:09 pm »
Another Le Creuset fan. I have pans that are over 50 years old and still going strong. That said, it's the quality of the cooking with very even heat dispersion that I like. They're also pretty easy to clean and have no nasty chemicals.