phenominal cookware?

chemarkSeptember 22, 2008

Hello All:

I'm just starting to build up my kitchen. Got a nice set of knives, some fantastic wine glasses, and now, I want to buy some stellar cookware. At first I thought I'd opt for a set that has some copper lining, is stainless steel and non-stick, but now IÂm not sure if that even exists... does it?

Also, would this be a good decision? Do any of you think there is something else that is comparable, or better than that, that might even cost less? Please keep in mind that having non-stick cook ware is important to me I like the ease of cleaning when IÂm done cookingÂ

Basically what I'm asking is, what do all of you cooking enthusiasts think the best tools to cook are? And, where do I get those tools for the best price possible? Please keep in mind that I live in NYC, and have a wide range of purchasing options.

I would appreciate any input you all could share.



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Welcome to the forum.

Your question has been kicked around here a few times, and has received almost as many answers as there are members of the forum. But before running out and buying a set of cookware, first ask yourself what you want to accomplish in your kitchen. Think of cookware as a set of tools. If you're never gonna change a head gasket on your car, you have no need for a torque wrench. Likewise with kitchen gear. If you do a lot of fancy cooking of temperature sensitive sauces, for example, it might be worthwhile to invest in some fantastic (and fantastically expensive) Falk Culinair copper pans; if you don't do anything like that, it would be a HUGE waste of money. If you do a lot of braising with slow cooking of pot roasts, a bunch of Enameled Cast Iron pots like Le Creuset or its imitators is worthwhile...if you don't, save your money.

A great starting point is to read the lengthy but very informative post at the link. If you read this and absorb only 20 percent of it, you'll still know much more than the average kitchen store salesperson. So read that and that will be a good guide as to where to go from there.

In my opinion, DON'T buy a set of cookware. Buy pots and pans for a specific task, and buy the best you can afford. The problem with a set is that there is inevitably a few items that you never use. I was given a set of Cuisinart pans; I like the saucepans but never use the skillets, preferring my trusty old cast iron skillets.

As far as nonstick goes, bear in mind that you can't use it at high heat. Whatever safety issues there are about Teflon, they all revolve around using it at high temperature; so if you have all nonstick cookware you are probably limited in that you can't do high temp techniques such as searing steaks and so forth. Properly seasoned cast iron is nearly nonstick, and enameled cast iron is fairly easy to clean as well. I have a Teflon skillet I use for eggs and such, but I never use it on high temps.

Another good resource is Alton Brown's book "Gear for your Kitchen". Pretty good advice.

So read the link, think about your needs, and go from there. One thing you might not be thinking about, but I'm really sold on, is a pressure cooker; it's revolutionized the way I cook. Good luck and feel free to post any other specific questions--there are a lot of helpful people here.

Here is a link that might be useful: stovetop cookware

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 11:36AM
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If I can repurchase everything again starting from scratch, I would only buy Demeyere and Le Creuset cookware! Demeyere is especially impressive after years owning All Clad and Calphalon.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 6:17AM
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lindac've got wine glasses and good on to the rest of the gear!
Not knowing what sort of cooking you do, but knowing you live in the city and likely are not going to be doing a lot of grilling, unless you have an industrial sized recirculating fan, I would suggest you begin with 2 non stick fry pans. I like Meyer professional....and I would recommend an 8 inch and a 10 or 12 inch pan.
Then I would look into a couple of Le Cruset Dutch ovens for soups, stews and braises.
You will need a roasting pan, I know they come in non stick, but that precludes using it for a wonderful beef roast cooked at 425 until it's crusty on the outside and rare in the middle. I would look for an anodized roaster....don't buy one of those black steel ones....they eventually peel!
Sauce pans? As much as your pocket book allows. Cuisinart has some beautiful new pans...I hear they are heavy, but also very pretty!....and expensive!
Then you need a non stick fry pan fors tove top searing and for that I recommend a fine old cast iron pan, griswold is good....and you will have to look in an antique store for that.
Good luck....and don't forget the tools like a Cuisinart processor and a blender, mixer coffee maker, tea ikettle etc.
And perhaps you need a wine cooler to store what will go in those lovely new glasses?
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 10:45AM
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I have collected various pots (not a set) over the years, here's a few: a Cuisinart small saucepan, a Magnalite oval roaster (can be used on stovetop), a Farberware Millenium medium saucepan, several skillets of various brands, a 5 qt Martha Stewart chili pot, and an All-Clad 8 qt. stainless stockpot.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 2:19AM
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I think it's time for a reminder that you can easily report SPAM to the powers-that-be by simply scrolling to the bottom of the main forum page, looking for the link that says Technical Problems, writing a persuasive little note that includes links to the problem author's posts, and POW. No more post.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 2:02PM
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