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Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

Posted by homersgarden (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 30, 06 at 14:12

I am new to the world of actually enjoying cooking. I have been married for almost ten years and received very cheap Faberware coated pots and pans as a wedding gift. These babies are shot. They did the trick for the last nine years, but since moving into a new-to-us home with a fantastic kitchen for cooking six months ago, I have really started to do a lot more in terms of cooking. I am now ready to buy some new pots and pans, but have no idea what do do? Opinions would be helpful. Do I go with Calphalon? Stainless steel? Copper? Kirkland brand at Costco? What are the benefits of teflon? I have heard some bad things about it. Any comments would be helpful.
I currently cook on electric, but when we update appliances in a year or two I will switch to gas. Thanks in advance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

You buy what's best for the job you want it to do. I don't believe in a "set of cookware"...
I like 2 non stick fry pans...one for one or 2 eggs and another for eggs for 4 people. I like aluminum with a coating...not stainless and not Claphalon.
I like something that can start on the cook top and go to the oven...For this I like a Le Cruset oval baker or a gratin dish. That's good for fritattas, oven roasted potatoes, where you would like to melt the butter and start it on the stove top and finish in the oven, and I use it for small roasts like a pork temderloin that I want to brown on the cook top and finish in the oven.
And then you will need a Dutch Oven....and again I prefer le Cruset...or a look alike. Buy in the size (s) you need.
What's missing is a big stainless pot for boiling water for corn or pasta, or making soups and stocks.
Add a couple of small stainless, clad bottom sauce pans for cooking a few carrots and you have most all of what you need...other stuff is what you "want"..LOL!
Linda C


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RE: Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

Well I've been cooking forever and I would suggest the following:

1. I like Calphalon or Anolon nonstick for fry pans. You'll need an 8" pan, a 10 pan" and a 12" Everyday Pan with a cover.

2. For slow cooking, sauses, stews, etc., All Clad regular stainless (not nonstick) is great. a 2qt, 3qt and a 5qt will cover most everything.

3. For pasta cooking or egg boiling, get some regular inexpensive stainless steel pots (again not nonstick) with a layered clad bottom at Marshalls or TJ Maxx or Tuesday Morning.

I have a glass top electric and all the above work very well.

Hope that helps.


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RE: Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

One note that the others have not mentioned is get a very good quality "chicken fryer". this is a large skillet with straight sides, not sloping. I use mine more than any other pan in the kitchen. I use it for everything from bacon, veggies, sauces, etc. I prefer that pan be non stick coated for ease of cooking and clean up. A good heavy fryer with a heat dispersing bottom is a must.

I do not like annodized aluminum, as it can leave marks and can not be put in the dishwasher. Most of my cookware is stainless steel with an aluminum layer in the bottom and mostly non stick coated. The Cook's Essentials brand is very good quality, very good price, good warranty. It is sold on the TV at QVC.

DP


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RE: Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

I have a mixture of pots & pans. I use an All Clad stainless fry pan for searing and making pan sauces. I also use an All Clad reducing pot for other sauces. My dutch oven is a Le Cruset and I love it. For non-stick, I have some anodized aluminum pots & pans made by Circulon that I've had for well over 10 years. They are still holding up well, and I've always put them in the dishwasher.


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RE: Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

I, too, have a mixture of pots and pans, from really inexpensive off-brand stuff to Mauviel copper. Usually if I see a pan I like and it's on sale, I buy it. Recently bought a Staub round dutch oven for half price as well as a Le Creuset green pepper dutch oven also for half price...

Mostly I use a cheap carbon steel wok, a Le Creuset 1-1/2 qt. buffet casserole, and the lid from a small non-stick camping pot that's just the right size for 2 eggs...


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RE: Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

I have the Kirkland Signature stainless steel cookware set from Costco, I use all of them although not all at the same time. ;) I also have an 8 inch non-stick Emeril pan for eggs and a wok - also from Costco. I highly recommend KS, give it a try, you can always take them back if you don't like them.


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RE: Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

If you can afford even one beautiful copper pan--2mm thick and stainless or tin lined, get one. Until a few months ago I had never cooked in copperware (and I'm well "over the hill"); the way this metal behaves on the stove is enchanting to me. Fast response, even heat, beautiful browning, less fuel, and gorgeous besides. Start with an 11" saute with a lid. You won't be sorry. I also changed to a couple of pieces of All-Clad Copper Core. Very nice.


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RE: Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

I wouldn't own another thing made by All-Clad if they gave it to me, not after my experience with their (non)customer service people.

Kitchenware is only as good as the people behind it, and All Clad does not stand behind its products.


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RE: Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

I also have a mixture. I have some Farberware non-stick, Calphalon, some stainless steel, enameled steel stock pots, a copper bottom stainless stock pot, cast iron skillets and dutch oven, and several pressure cookers. I don't care for stainless skillets and sauce pans. I also use the Emeril nonstick roasting pans a lot. They make excellent griddles and I can use 2 of them to cook 4 large steaks on the cook top all at once. They are great for baking biscuits.

I'm a little scared to say this, but I always look forward to Xmas because someone might give me a cheap set of non stick cookware and usually it's perfect for a lot of tasks. Then I can get rid of the old ugly set.

My favorite pots are the "everyday" ones that have 2 short handles. They are versatile and fit nicely on the stove and table. I have several of different sizes and use them most of the time.

Also, if you get non stick, I find it's fun to collect interesting wood cooking utensils. My favorites are a big olive wood soup ladle and a bamboo paddle (perfect for flipping things).
-Hal


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RE: Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

I purchased a set of try-ply Calphalon Contemporary cookware. Then, I purchased separate pieces of various brands depended on my needs. For non-stick, I have some Calphalon hard anodized and Lodge cast iron cookwares.

Except for cast irons, most, if not all, non-stick cookwares have teflon or similar substance which is harmful when cook at high temperature. The fume is invisible and is known to kill indoor bird pets. Unlike other cookware, you should not preheat non-stick cookwares. It will make the cookware hotter than it should.

If you want to be on the safe side, cast irons are best for non-stick and healthy to use too. Most come pre-seasoned and ready to use. Beside giving you some needed irons, cast iron cookware will give you some muscle too =o)

If you're a serious cook, it's hard to stick with just 1 brand or 1 type of cookware. Nevertheless, chose the types that would best fit your cooking methods. ie: I like to brown meat or fish before putting it in the oven. I chose the Calphalon tri-ply stainless and cast irons so I could move from the cooktop straight to the oven and cook in high heat.


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RE: Need new pots and pans...what to do? I need help!

I received two sets of cookware when I got married. When I left my husband, I also left behind my cookware. I have been replenishing my cookware with mostly Calphalon stainless steel pots and saute pans. The skillet my boyfriend had when I met him is really great (also Calphalon). I also have several stoneware casserole dishes and a Cuisinart Dutch oven I'm in love with (and got for 50% off at TJ Maxx). I am currently on the prowl for a Dutch oven about 16qt so I can freeze more food.

I use a lot of cast iron (enamel-covered or not) these days. Cast iron really is fantastic for a lot of applications.

I keep some cheap, non-stick pans around for eggs, etc., so I have no problems trashing them and buying new ones. When I make an omelet, I saute all my veggies in my other stuff and only cook the eggs in non-stick. I hate non-stick, so pretty much only use it for making omelets, pancakes, etc.

As for bakeware, the stuff from the restaurant supply store is perfect 99% of the time.


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