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Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Posted by fav.auntx2 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 0:20

I bought a very cheap set of cookware (nonstick of course!) from Walmart when I first moved out on my own. Now 5 years later..... it's pretty awful! It's time to get a real set. I need advice! Around 'these here parts' the best cookware you find in a kitchen is Paula Deen or Racheal Ray ;)

I do realize there has been discussion over this topic and I did attempt to search but found nothing incredibly helpful.

A little about me -
I love to cook and cook something every day. I do live alone so I cook for one about 60% of the time. The other 40% is for gathering of less than 15. My cooktop is electric. The valuable things I own are a cast iron skillet (love it) and a better homes and garden 12 quart stainless steel pot which seems a bit too large for me. (I really like this one too and it was bought out of necessity at Walmart awhile back.)

I like the looks of stainless steel but for instance the pot I have now is specific for washing care. I want things I can put in the dishwasher.

I want a quality set that will last for a very,very long time. I am young and hopefully I will have the joy of using these things for years to come.

Any input would be helpful! I really am at a loss here!
I do not want to purchase some expensive cookware and not be valuable to my kitchen arsenal. TIA!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Did you see this thread ? It's the last one I remember seeing that was really good.
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0508321525451.html

I understand the Kirkland/Costco stainless sets get good reviews on egullet and chowhound. They are the tri-ply ones, so comparable to all-clad. The Tramontina are supposed to be good as well. They come from WalMart !!

For non-stick, I have been really appreciating my Farberware Millenium series that are the ones with the lifetime warranty and are supposed to also be metal utensil safe.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Also, check on the Cooking Forum. They will probably have more advice for you.

Good luck!


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

I would recommend looking for Induction Compatible cookware. This will give you options for the future. I have an eclectic set of Pots. I tend to buy the trial version If it is a size I am looking to use.
I have all clad, Calphalon, CIA, Staub, LeC, DeMeyere, and ScanPan IQ.
My two nonstick pans are CIA fry/sauté pan and scanpan small frypan. Both work great.
The only set is my CIA as it had all the missing sizes.
My recommendation is to go to the stores And pick up a few trial Vessels.

I apologize for the Extra capitalization. I am testing the microphone feature for texting. Is working But since I am talking and phrases It can get a bit confused. LOL


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Haunt Marshall's, TJ Maxx, and Home Goods. They occasionally have Calphalon Tri-ply stainless for about half of retail. I have All-Clad and Cuisinart pieces too, but Calphalon is my favorite. It's heavy and the handles have three rivets. The lids are glass, but well made. It conducts heat well and cleans up beautifully.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Over the years, though, I have learned (usually the hard way) to not put any of my nice pots/pans in the DW. Good quality pans aren't hard to clean by hand, though, especially if you follow directions and use them correctly (like, how high of heat, avoid PAM like products)

I also have an eclectic collection from Marshalls, clearance, samples etc to get just the sizes that work for me. My enameled cast iron paella pan is one of my favs for cooking, but it was not proving durable until I seasoned it the old-fashioned way (I only paid $3 for it though)


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

I ditto the advice to NOT USE aerosol kitchen sprays such as Pam.
I stopped using them on my newest set of non-stick and it has made a huge difference. I got some SS pump-spray bottles (2-pack at Costco) and fill them with my own oils for low-fat cooking.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

I have a set of Calphalon stainless, I think it's their contemporary line, that I LOVE. Worth every penny. I also have one Calphalon non-stick sauté pan, which comes in handy from time to time, cast iron 10" - LOVE, and a good enameled dutch oven. I got my set at Bed Bath and Beyond of all places - it was a return that was missing a lid and was over 50% off! I bought a replacement lid online.

If I had to pick three, I could not live without my 10" cast iron, my 12" stainless sauté, and my stainless sauce pan, none of which ever go in the dishwasher. But I don't mind, it beats the weird off taste of non-stick coatings. I've always been able to taste it. :(


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

What resources do you have locally or are you looking to buy online? What type of cooking do you do? Are you cooking with gas or electric? Are your cooking and power options likely to change over the years? Are you looking for suggestions on types, brands or pieces?

I think you are wise to start looking for better quality. It will make cooking easier, healthier and it is a better long term investment -- I used my first cookware daily for more than 25 years before a different kitchen called for different materials. I think a magnetic tri-ply is a great option for your essential pieces (don't get rid of the cast iron). Total tri-ply construction is better than multi-clad bottoms for more even cooking and to eliminate hot spots or scorching on the sides. The difference can sometimes be hard to tell from descriptions. Magnetic stainless used in the bottoms means it can be used for induction cooking too.

If your local selection is limited, Cookware & More is an online outlet for All-Clad. You can find irregulars at good discounts similar to Marshall's et. al. The Tramontina tri-ply is well rated for value. Caphalon make some tri-ply that is good and less expensive, sometimes found at Marshall's, but not as good as All-Clad for some things. You could also watch places like Macy's for great sales You won't find All-clad on great sales unless it is a single piece special offer or an expensive set, but you might find a great buy on other brands. Amazon is always an option too.

Good luck with your search.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

I rarely put cookware in the DW, mainly because I run it infrequently and need the item sooner and because they're large and take up too much space. Sorry to always belabor the DW quirk topics, but why does a DW harm cookware. I don't mean just nonstick items or composite handles. Is DW detergent really that powerful that it can harm metal?


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

oh I'm almost overwhelmed!! So much good advice!!

Buehl, I had no idea there was a cooking forum but omg I looked for a min there and it seems so helpful!!

Angela thanks for the fantastic thread link. very helpful info on there.

A2gemini, will it be listed as induction compatible? My new cooktop is electric not induction but it would be wise to leave that option open for the distant future (I love my voice to text feature. Good luck!)

Mayflowers, great idea about Marshalls etc!! I have purchased other cooking utensils there before but had forgotten about them for this expenditure.

To address all other questions and comments - I handwash everything now as I do not have a dishwasher hooked up yet. Yep its just sitting in its hole haha! I am not absolutely against handwashing but would love the convenience.

I do not use ANY pam type things. The closest to frying I do is fried potatoes and that is rare honestly. My cooking methods are not likely to change anytime soon. My range is all electric. I think I have a good idea of what sizes and pieces I need, brand and quality is what I am struggling with. I have access to stores but they are about 2 hours away. I can also order online.

Everyone has been so helpful. I will do some more research tonight and come back with a narrowing or hopefully a much better idea of what direction to take. Thanks so much! I hope I didn't overlook or miss anything. I will scrutinize later when I have more time available. Thank you thank you!!


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

I have All-Clad and though I love it, it is just too heavy when lifting with food in it, so I wish I had something a bit lighter.

I bought sets of the Costco Kirkland brand stainless steel for my son and granddaughters; they all love it. The pieces are truly lovely. It also can be used for induction cooking.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

If you love to cook, I think it is worth it to learn how to cook with stainless steel. It's a little bit harder to clean but once you get the hang of it it's definitely worth it! You have so much more flexibility with stainless than with nonstick.

I have this set and it is perfect for cooking for 1 or 2 people on a daily basis. I also have a couple 8' nonstick skillets from the same collection (multi clad pro) that I would highly recommend.

If you keep an eye on this it sometimes goes down to $215ish.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cuisinart Multi-Clad Pro Set.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Buy a set of good quality stainless steel pots and pans. They will last forever! Mine are about 25 years old.

I also buy one separate frying pan that is nonstick, because that's how I like to cook. That gets replaced much more often. But I just got a new one at IKEA last weekend that seems pretty durable compared to my prior purchases.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

I am another very satisfied All Clad user. Ours go in the dishwasher as I don't like to wash pans unless they don't fit. They clean up beautifully and perform great. I have varying sizes so since it is just you, you can go on the small size which will make it cheaper too. The only thing I have had to add to my set is a cast iron pan which you already have.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

When we became empty nesters, I bought the five-piece All Clad D5 set from Williams-Sonoma for $399. I am not normally a person who buys sets, but the All Clad D5 is great and this set had really useful items--a 2 quart covered saucepan, a 3 quart covered saute pan and a 9" French skillet (I don't like regular frying pans but love this skillet). I think for a single person, this set would be a really great way to buy the highest quality cookware without buying a lot.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Walnutcreek, I’ve seen that particular set recommended a couple times by different people. I feel that’s a reasonable price that I can get a great start on a fully supplied kitchen. I really like this option/set. Do they seem durable?

I prefer to not purchase anything nonstick. I think I can get the hang of cooking with SS fairly quickly and I feel better about leaving the nonstick behind.

Oh gosh simply thinking of Pam spray makes me cringe!!

Linelle, I think it’s the abrasion/chemical reaction of the detergent with the steel. I have several SS handle knives that were handwash only. Well… they found their way into the dishwasher because why not?! The handles came out spotted like a giraffe  I don’t mind and I rather like it. Looks loved and used! So I think the spots are the issue. The exact cause of why that happens I have no idea.

NYCdevil, the set you suggested seems very versatile. I think I could get along nicely with that set until I could purchase additional items. Oooh and they are DW safe. Love that!? Also atm you get a ‘free’ lasagna pan, cookbook and oven mitts when you purchase that particular set. It’s a freebie!

I think the easiest thing to do would be start with a set because my entire collection has to go now! Except for the big pot and of course the cast iron. Love that thing.

So, things I know so far - Stainless steel seems more appealing to me and it needs to be tri-ply correct? I would like to start with a set and supplement from there. But is it cheaper to purchase individual pieces or the set? I am leaning to All Clad at this moment.

In relation to price and quality, would it be best to start with a small set or select items of All Clad and build slowly from there or purchase a cheaper set of, let’s say, the Costco Kirkland or the Cuisinart? Is there really a distinct difference in terms of longevity quality and cooking ability between the All Clad or other really expensive brands and the cheaper options? Price is a slight consideration, by which I mean I don’t want to spend $800 on something that I could get the same quality from a $400 investment. However, if the quality is really that much better for the $800 then I would choose that option. I am truly looking for something that will last 20-30 years. I’ve got a lot of cooking to do!


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Thanks for all the great cookware advice. A2 I just ordered an 8.5 inch non stick iq scan pan. I can't wait to try it. I used my amazon points so I only paid $6 for it!

Edited for spelling

This post was edited by holly-kay on Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 20:34


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Ok why is the Emeril All Clad line at Macy's so darn cheap? It has great reviews as well.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

I've had All-Clad for about 20 yrs. It's nice cookware, but several of the pans have cracked, and all the larger pans are warped on the bottom. Not good if you have a smooth top range. I have gas so don't notice it too much. The warranty is another whole issue. I originally spent big bucks and got a "set", and have since purchased individual pieces from Amazon and ebay.

I've also read that Tramontina is great, and can be bought at Wal-Mart and of course Amazon. Don't feel you have to buy an entire set right away. Get a couple pieces and try them. Everybody cooks differently, so everyone's needs are different.

I'm not a fan of non-stick cookware either. SS is my choice.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Holly-kaye- way to go. I will wave as we drive by your area today :-)


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Here is how I have bought and buy cookware.

Started out life after college with a gifted set of Farberware. My mother had used hers for going on 30 years (and still does) and thought I would like the same thing. They worked, but they were never my favorite. It was a set with a few pots and a two non-stick skillets. The non-sticks in that set were worthless, no idea if they are the same now. I ended up with two of the Calphalon anodized non-sticks and was happy with them. I had an electric coil stove for those years, and they worked fine on there- the pans weren't responsive, but neither was the cooking apparatus! I had always wanted "pretty" cookware, but delayed replacement because the ranges I was using really didn't merit a $200 sauce pan.

I bought a few items here and there- a larger stainless steel stockpot from Costco (12 qts) and a few Le Creuset french ovens (2.5 quart, 5 qt rounds, small braiser) and a Lodge color dutch oven for baking breads in the oven. The Lodge is the most beat up, but I use it and am not careful with it. Have a cast iron skillet, but have never really gotten into it- I hate the Lodge factory coating and haven't been able to really feel like it's a functional piece of cookware.

Along comes a new house, and a desire to finally get a range that is a pleasure to use instead of one that I was constantly fighting. I ended up with an Electrolux induction range, and had to replace the Farberware (yes, I checked with a magnet). I bought some All-Clad saucepans (1.5 qt, 4 qt), All-Clad French skillets (9 in maybe?), and a Scanpan CTX small non-stick. Two Ikea pans as well - a wok-like 365 frying pan and a very small non-stick-- I just bought them because they were cheap, and fulfill a need that I haven't yet filled with better stuff. I love the new cookware on the stove. The All-Clad is more difficult to clean and pretty much requires Barkeepers Friend after everything. Blanching green beans leaves a green scum that just doesn't come off!

That was a long story. Basically, if you are looking to replace, and are a serious cook, buy individual pieces to suit your needs and allow yourself to collect them over a period of time. Next on my list is a saucier (3qt?). Get what you really want, and what you need at the time.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

fav.auntx2, the Costco Kirkland stainless steel has been very durable. That set has items that are used very often, so that is another bonus of the set. I also recommend getting one or two non-stick skillets. There are just times that you need nonstick, for example, cooking eggs. The nonstick do not need to be expensive in my opinion. That is because every year nonstick seems to improve, so I wouldn't want to spend lots of dollars on nonstick then have something much better come along in a few years. Also, at least so far, most nonstick finishes do not last truly well for more than 3 years, so why pay lots of money for a nonstick.

Hope this makes sense.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

When I got induction 4 years ago, my 20 year old collection of Cuisinart pans was divided and sent to family and friends. They are still using them. Initially Emilware worked fine (recently they have begun warping). They were hard to clean and some sizes were not available. Canadian friends purchased a set of stainless Lagostina pans and brought them down for me. Wonderful, but 6 sauce pans--only sauce pans. I still chuckle that this Italian set doesn't include saute pans or fry pans of any sort. Guess Italian cooking doesn't need saute pans? I know better. Anyway, 12" and 10" pans have come from Marshalls--Cuisinart and KitchenAid brands. Excellent stainless.

I could be wrong, but after using Emilware and All Clad, it seems to me that those brands probably work better with gas than electric. The handles get really hot and they are difficult to clean, but again, it may just be the induction .... All I know is that I don't want All Clad in my kitchen.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Hi
I have all clad as well as a Tramontina stock pot. Love those and my cast iron skillet. I would never use non-stick for health reasons, but have never had any problem cooking eggs in the 7 or 10 inch all clad skillet--just make sure it is piping hot, add oil or butter to coat--turn off and add eggs. Perfect.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

I recommend Calphalon stainless steel. I splurged on a set after getting an induction cooktop (great sale at Macy's, didn't actually cost that much). The Calphalon cooks beautifully, and cleans up like a dream. I just cooked quinoa a little too long, no oil in the pan, and the pan came completely clean easily with a washcloth and dish soap. Give ss a try; you may be surprised at how well it cleans. Even scrambled eggs clean up easily in the Calphalon. With non-stick, you will be replacing pans every 3 - 5 years.


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

My vote goes to Circulon...great bang for the buck (if you find them on sale) the best I have ever used(including Calphalon) and even can use METAL utensils......with no damage......it even had stickers on each pot saying metal safe.....I still can't believe it....

FYI, the new Cuisinart stuff is absolute junk...lasted less than 1 year.....


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

I have the Cuisinart stainless N set that is very highly rated on Amazon. I just started using it as my cooktop was just installed. The quality of the vessels seems excellent, however I am very disappointed in the lids. I was expecting glass lids but they are just flat metal disks with a handle. I suppose I didn't read enough about what the set included so it's my bad. I will slowly be replacing them with AllClad.

I have the scan pan on order and also the All Clad butter warmer (1/2 quart) which seems like an excellent size for heating soups for one and a small sauté pan.

A2 I hope you had a great trip to visit your DM!!!


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Many thanks to everyone for their input! I have decided to go with All Clad and have a small set ordered! It should be here friday! I am so excited for some real cookware!

I am so grateful for all the ideas, suggestions, personal stories/favorites etc. The posts were directly helpful at face value but also helped me figure out what to research, look for and how to assess my cooking needs. I really had no idea where to start with this. Bravo to each of you! Thank you so much!!

p.s. I will post a small tidbit of how my first cooking experience on SS goes ;)


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RE: Cookware advice please! Old nonstick is tainting my potatoes!

Got All Clad last year when new kitchen was done.....what have I been missing! Also several cast iron skillets to round out the options. I supplemented my WS pieces with several seconds from Cookware and More, can't tell the difference from the ones from WS. Was in Williams Sonoma today, All Clad is 20% off, which can end up being quite a good price on their specials. They also had several pieces of All Clad on their sale table.


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