New Bluestar deserves new Cookware - Suggestions?

otterkillDecember 1, 2012

Hi all, just treated myself to a new Bluestar Range and I think she ( deserves a new set of cookware. I now have a set of Faberware from the seventies...and a few odds n ends. Any recommendations? Anyone seen/used the Gordon Ramsay set or is it all hype. Thanks for your thoughts.

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I really like my Calphalon Tri-ply skillets, the handle is comfortable and they heat very evenly. We recently purchased a set of Cuisinart Multi-clad for my step daughter, and she is very pleased with them. And of course you cannot beat Le Creuset for soups, stews and braises.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Sounds good...gonna check out Home Goods and TJ Maxx for old pots are well just old but still very usable. Just want a few new pieces.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 10:17PM
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I have an eclectic collection of pots and pans. I watch for intro specials

CIA is quite nice and somewhat reasonable - that is culinary institute of America - snagged a set to complete missing sizes at Baldwin brass in west reading pa. Was back to visit and it is still on sale.

Demeyer - snagged one from sur de table- it was still expensive but it sure is pretty.

All Clad - pretty darn nice and can go into the DW. I consider it the work horse of the kitchen.

Staub - pretty darn heavy. I only have one and usually forget that I have it and snag other vessels.

Just picked up a scan pan pro iq small skillet to try - it is non stick but not Teflon based.

I am thinking of getting a Lodge grill pan and panini press
Calphalon- I had to retire my eclectic set as I went induction so most doesn't work- I lived my unison vessels. Saving these for our vacation home.

Bottom line- you have a lot of options with gas. Anodized aluminum is lighter. It conducts heat well - so a griddle will heat across burners. Most AA clean easily but can't go into the DW. Some newer ones can such as the unison.

I haven't used my CIA enough to form an opinion but it is well made. I have 3 pieces of all clad that are 25 years old and still look great. The newer ones look and feel like the same quality but more confusing as many different styles- some if the new styles have multiple layers using aluminum and steel.

I love having a variety of choices I only have 1 of each size pan except in the 2-2,5 qt range- so I don't have a set of each.

Have fun shopping.

PS since your BS is made in reading - maybe consider getting pots from reading. I didn't have to pay shipping as I was over the threshold for free shipping but don't remember the price point

Usual iPhone text errors

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 11:11PM
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I've had some Le Creuset pieces from way back in the 80's and it's still a workhorse for me. The only piece that I was disappointed with was the skillet with non-stick surface. It wore out just as any other brand, so DH took it to work and used a sandblaster on it, removed all traces of the non-stick and now I have a great cast-iron skillet with pretty enamel on the outside. I also have some All Clad and it's good stuff. But I also have some less expensive stainless from one of the higher-end stores (can't remember if it was Dillards or Burdines) that is probably 25 years old and it's still going strong. The brand name was Belgique, don't know if it's available anymore but it's been great, use it all the time too. As for non-stick, I've given up paying big money for it. I've found that the ones that are at Sam's in the restaurant section are just as good and far less expensive than the higher-end ones. And when they do go bad, it doesn't hurt as much to toss them. I don't use anything aluminum. I had a Calphalon skillet once that stuck so bad I finally gave it away, I don't know what I was doing wrong with it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 7:21AM
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First, read the article at the link. You'll spend maybe 20 minutes doing so, but even if you only retain twenty percent of the data you'll still know more than the vast majority of store clerks trying to convince you that their article is the best.

You need to ask yourself what cooking techniques will you be doing. If you're making a lot of temperature sensitive sauces, it might be worth it to get some high end Falk Culinair copper stuff; if you're not anything that fancy, that sort of expense would be a waste of money.

I personally advise against a set. Invariably there is some article you'll never use. (I was given a Cuisinart stainless set; I like the saucepans and saute pan, but don't like the skillets. However, if you do want a set, Consumer Reports recently raved about Costco's 'Kirkland' stainless pots.)

Go in to the purchase of each item by asking, 'What can this tool do that I need to have done, and does it do it better than other stuff out there?'

If I were outfitting a kitchen today, here's what I'd get. Just my opinion, but I've used every one of these items and I like them a lot:

A few heavy aluminum nonstick skillets. I got the ones at Sams Club. You can get whatever sizes you need. They'll wear out after a few years, but they're cheap.

A couple of enameled cast iron Dutch ovens. Le Creuset and Staub are the high end lines, but I don't know if the premium price is justified compared with their competitors like Lodge enameled. Not knocking LC or Staub--they're great-- it's just that you do pay a fair amount for that label.

A good stovetop pressure cooker. I like the Kuhn Rikon line, but it's pricey; something nearly as good is the Fagor brand. (Fagor, in it s 'Splendid' line, makes a multipot set for around $100 which includes an 8 qt stockpot, a 4 qt saute pan, a pressure lid that fits both and a non-pressure lid that fits them both--a bargain.) I never got a pressure cooker till I was in my fifties, and now I couldn't see ever having a kitchen without one. Do a Cooking Forum search on the topic--you'll find a lot of PC enthusiasts here.

Some iron skillets for searing steaks. Once seasoned, it's nearly as nonstick as teflon. You can buy a new Lodge cast iron skillet and season it, but for not much more money (and sometimes even less) you can buy a vintage Wagner or Griswold. The older stuff has a smoother finish and takes a seasoning well. An alternative is to buy a carbon steel frypan. I have a couple by deBuyer, and they're good, but I personally prefer a carbon steel pan by Paderno World Cuisine. They come from the factory slick as a whistle and once seasoned, they are nicely nonstick.

You'll need a few saucpans for heating stuff up. The Cuisinart ones I have do okay; if you wanted the heat to go up the sides of the pan you'd need to spring for something like All Clad.

I have a Tramontina stockpot from Walmart. Works fine.

And one item I don't have, but maybe Santa might get for me: a saucier with rounded corners on the bottom so you can get a whisk into the corners.

Here is a link that might be useful: stovetop cookware

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:55AM
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Thanks for all the info and the link....lots of info. Hope there's not gonna be a quiz! lol My 1970's Farberware is still working...just the handles are getting a little worn...I wonder if I can buy new? Hope Santa brings everyone what they want. Thanks and Happy Holidays!!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:01AM
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I had my heart set on BS forever. Then I found out what venting would be required and switched to induction. But if I had gotten BS, I would definitely have a round-bottom carbon steel wok. See link below for options (no affiliation). Gas is the best way to get good char in stir frying, and carbon steel will give you the most authentic cooking material for high heat cooking.


Here is a link that might be useful: the wok shop

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 11:49AM
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You'll quickly find that the bottoms on that old Farberware are pretty thin, and you'll be burning more things. No, you should get new cookware, just don't worry about a matched set.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:06PM
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otterkill far so good with the old Farberware. Someone on the cookware site suggested that Walmart has a triple clad set Tramodine that is really good. Might have to check those out. They also make a dutch oven but I might splurge on that (nose around Home Goods/Tj Maxx) Jadeite..why a carbon steel wok vs stainless. I looked at that one and it seems like a good price just wondering what the differences are. Thanks

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 7:56AM
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otterkill - stainless is a poor conductor of heat. Carbon steel is much better at transferring heat from the source to your food. Stir-frying is all about high heat to get a quick sear. It makes all the difference when you have real power like the BS burners provide.

Note that if you do go with carbon steel, you need to season it which means a bit of bother at first. Once that first seasoning is over, you will have a stick-free pan for life.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:53AM
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In addition to what Cheryl said, st. steel gets discolored and doesn't look good.

Carbon steel after a while gets totally black inside and outside and will look better.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:02AM
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good suggestions above. I've had my Hot hot Bluestar for a few years and found that I tend to use:
Le Crueset for searing, slow cook, big pot stuff- I never worry about scorching or long term sticking.
Cast Iron Skillet for pan steaks- I wouldn't use anything else for this hot work.
Heavy aluminum non-stick- typical non stick projects.
A few assorted All Clad Pots- Heavy bottom is important with high heat or it burns in seconds. Thick clad gives a little forgiving time to your cooking. Every thing is so much faster.
I did buy a couple nice woks and seasoned them nicely but I don't use them often- I could use a lesson in that department.


Here is a link that might be useful: Seasoned Woks

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:25AM
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