High heat cookware?

jormydogMay 12, 2014

Posted this in the cookware forum, but it is dead and hasn't had threads in weeks over there.

As part of a kitchen remodel we are (likely) buying a 48" Bluestar Platinum range that has very high heat burners (25k BTU). We're figuring on getting new cookware at that point to replace some VERY well used Calphalon non-stick pans.
How good are the 5-ply All-Clad Stainless sets, with a copper core? Saw them at Williams-Sonoma and they seem well-made, although a small fortune for a large set.

I figure heat distribution will be of extra importance with the power of the new range....quite a change from our current KA.

My wife is also concerned since these aren't non-stick pans, but I have read that with high heat and stainless you can cook anything off them.

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I would avoid non-stick pans if you are using high heat as that poses safety concerns. (Actually I avoid them altogether).

You might take a look at the tramontina pans available at Walmart. I bought them after reading about them on these forums and have been pleased. At the time of my purchase they received very good reviews at a reasonable price.

Here is a link that might be useful: Non-stick pan safety

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 5:45PM
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I too avoid nonstick pans, I won't even have them in my house.

All I have ever cooked on has been 5 or 7 ply stainless steel cookware and yes, you can cook anything on it. Veggies can be cooked with little to no water, meat can be cooked with little to no oil, etc.

It does cost a lot, I paid about 2000 12 years ago but my pots and pans have a lifetime warranty.

My parents are still using their set that they purchased over 30 years ago.

Quality stainless steel cookware is a worthwhile investment, IMHO.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 6:29PM
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I have a Bluestar RNB, and my go to favorite cookware, (other than the built in griddle) is my vintage cast iron that I have collected over the years. After that, I have a few All Clad 3 ply pieces, along with a couple Emirilware copper core, some Cuisinart French Classic saucepans, and vintage Revereware copper bottoms. All work well for different needs.
I too, have a strong dislike of non-stick, although I do own one Scanpan that I reserve strictly for omelettes. I might add, my seasoned cast iron is essentially as non stick as any of the plastic coated junk out there...
I find I use all my skillets less than I used to, because the griddle is really my favorite cooking medium :)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 7:11PM
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I currently have a Viking open burner range, and will be getting a Bluestar range when we remodel this summer (we want a larger range, the Viking is great). I have had the All Clad copper core cookware for many years and love those pots and pans. Expensive but so worth it. They work fantastically with the high heat my Viking puts out and I have no doubt they will work wonderfully with the Bluestar when we get it. I also have a couple of cast iron pans I use also, and you can't go wrong with having some of those too.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:30PM
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I think you'll find most of us on here generally suggest against non-stick.

I would suggest getting a few cast iron pieces - these can be obtained fairly inexpensively. All in all, I have been happy with my All-Clad - I'm fortunate in that I live near enough the factory that I can hit the factory seconds/over-run sales that they have twice a year and have therefore picked up my All-Clad for much less than what you normally find in sale prices....but, keep your eyes open - if you watch, individual pieces go on sale pretty regularly at Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table.

I also bought one of these and have been quite happy with it: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/de-buyer-mineral-b-fry-pan/?pkey=ccookware-de-buyer&cm_src=cookware-de-buyer::NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_--_-

I don't have any of the Tramontina, but that has been reviewed favorably here by quite a few.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 12:33AM
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Link to tramontina vs all-clad review. Google will get you a lot more comparisons.

Here is a link that might be useful: Serious eats

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:05AM
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The ideal pan for gas ranges is tin-lined heavy French copper. Nothing will sear or simmer like a copper pan. They aren't very affordable today and aren't all that easy to find. But a 10 or 12-inch saute pan and a 3-quart saucepan as investment pieces it would be well worth it for precision.

I wasn't at all happy with the All Clad pans. They look good but the bottoms warped slightly and they weren't as responsive as I'd like. I had a basic set and sold it.

For a high powered gas range there is less expensive cookware something like Vollrath, or equivalent aluminum from a restaurant supply store, will be the most economical alternative.

Demeyere Atlantis would be the ideal choice. The cladding on Demeyere is all over the pieces, not just on the bottom, which is important for a high-powered range. These are very expensive but they will give a lifetime of service, perform wonderfully and they can go straight into the dishwasher with no worries. It takes a hunt but they can be found on sale and, occasionally, on ebay.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:06AM
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Fori is not pleased

As far as non-stick cookware goes, remember that you don't have to turn the heat up all the way. If you want to use Teflon for your eggs, no problem. It's not like you will be cranking up the BTUs for that anyway!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:24PM
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The other obvious candidate for you would be a wok. BlueStar is great because you can just take the grate off and use the wok without a ring.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Interesting discussion. I didn't know about the dangers of non stick so I will be looking to replace them. I have a few LaCreuset pieces which I hardly use because they aren't accessible. I will have a spot in my new kitchen for those. I have never used stainless because I thought food sticks to it. How do you clean it?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:20PM
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I use stainless exclusively. Heat the pan well, heat some oil and not much sticks. I soak mine when necessary. Also a baking soda and dish soap paste is great for clean of scrambled eggs or the like.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:29PM
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cani123- all I have ever cooked on is high quality stainless. My grandmother had it(Salad Master), my parents own it (can't remember the brand but same kind of thing) and as soon as I got married I purchased it (Royal Prestige) so bear in mind, its all I have really known.

My pans get so hot when I toss a few water droplets in, instead of sizzling, they bead up and dance around the pan, that's how I know it is hot enough. Then I can throw frozen chicken in, put the lid on, lower the heat and in 10-15 minutes I have perfectly cooked meat that comes right up without sticking.

If I do cook something too long or at too high a heat and food gets stuck on, I scrub the pan with Bar Keepers Friend or, if its really bad, I just let it soak for a while.

Most of the time though, I just put my pans in my dishwasher and they come out clean.

I avoided Teflon products because I had a pet bird at the time and if you look, there is a warning label on all Teflon coated pans that says it can be toxic for birds, I didn't want to risk it.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:45PM
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At the recommendations of others in the forums, I've been adding some DeMeyere Atlantis pieces. They have a special stainless alloy that releases food much more easily than the All-Clad. I have some All Clad d5, regular All-Clad and some cast iron (including Le Creuset). I like that the DeMeyere are smooth (no rivets) and that many of the pans heat all the way up the sides. The sauce pans have a copper core wrapped in silver and another five ply of alloys .

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:58PM
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The site below has a lot of geeky analysis of cookware that lines up with what you see here, particularly on DeMeyere. It's not an easy site to navigate, but it has a pile of info.

But I'm cheap. I have a bunch of All Clad, seconds for the most part, bought at the factory sale. They go back close to 20 years, when the sale was actually at the factory. Still going strong. I've filled in since then with Vollrath stainless (restaurant supply) and Staub and Le Creuset (both Sierra Trading Post, oddly enough, on their deal fliers).

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.centurylife.org/how-to-choose-cookware/

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:45AM
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