Which pots and pans should I buy?

rph123April 14, 2014

I've just moved into my new house, and I'm looking to replace my set from school. Any good recommendations? I think I want nonstick. As for as price, I don't really want to break the bank but I don't mind paying a little more for better quality. I'll be using them on a propane wolf cooktop. I'm still trying to get use to using gas. I've always used electric. Thanks.

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Normally I wouldn't recommend nonstick for everything, and usually agree with people who suggest that you avoid sets. But if you've got a limited budget and want to get the most bang for your buck, sets make sense. That normally means all the pans will be of the same construction.

For you, with your Wolf cooktop, I'd suggest anodized aluminum. It heats very evenly, cleanup is easy, too. It can't go in the dishwasher, but again, cleanup is super easy, so it's really not an issue. It's also durable and will look good for a long time.

For pure value, Tramontina is excellent. Good thickness, well made and has every pan you'll need for a long, long time. For an extra thick pan that will give exceptionally even cooking, I like Kitchenaid. It's got a good selection of pans, also at an excellent price.

The thing about buying a nonstick set is that you need it to last, so that means you have to treat it right. No metal utensils, ever. No cooking sprays, like Pam. They ruin nonstick. Nothing over medium heat, ever. But that's ok with aluminum, because it will heat faster than other metals, so there's no need to crank up the heat. For boiling water high is ok, but only for that. Ignore recipe instructions that call for high heat or preheating before adding oil. Add oil to the pan, turn the heat to medium. When the oil is just showing wisps of smoke, it's hot enough to sear meat. Most foods don't need it that hot.

If your pans should get a little sticky, make a slurry of baking soda and water, then lightly scrub the pan with a blue scrubby sponge. But if you treat it right, this shouldn't be necessary.

Here's the Kitchenaid link: http://www.kitchenaid.com/shop/kitchenware-1/cookware-2/cookware-3/-[KCH1S10KD]-404866/KCH1S10KD/
Note the model number, or buy from the KA website. There's a lot of older KA cookware out there that's not as thick.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tramontina Anodized Aluminum

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 3:45AM
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I did want to mention stainless steel as an alternative, with a couple of nonstick frypans for eggs, fish and other delicate foods. The advantages of stainless steel are that they're dishwasher safe and you can safely use higher heat and metal utensils. If you've only used nonstick in the past, there'll be a learning curve, but nothing too challenging. You'll just need to learn a few simple tricks to make sure food doesn't stick. And trust me, it's not hard at all.

Tramontina makes an excellent set of fully clad stainless steel.


Add a pair of additional frypans from Calphalon and you've still got a reasonably priced set that should last you many years: http://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-Unison-Nonstick-10-Inch-Omelette/dp/B004RIY4J4/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1397634745&sr=1-1&keywords=ceramic+nonstick+frying+pan

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:03AM
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