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newbie looking for a cookware set - Page 2

post #31 of 57
I have to agree with singer4660 completely. I've had my Emerilware set for about six years, use all the pieces,never had a single problem and they look like new. I will say that over 40 years plus of cooking I have also accumulated some cast iron, non stick, and Le Creuset, all of which have their uses, but the set I bought for $199.00 was a great value and get the majority of use in my kitchen.

Frugally yours,

Willie
post #32 of 57
Give me the old wearever aluminum with the heavy rivited handles as sold in rest. supplies stores.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #33 of 57
>I would absolutely own one good non-stick pan. You can't cook eggs,.....<

Boy am I tired of hearing this.

Your grandmother never heard of teflon. But she had no problem frying eggs. Among other reasons she had skillets made of other materials, such as carbon steel, and cast iron, and aluminum (and even glass).

Ever been to a Waffle House restaurant? Row after row of skillets used to fry eggs, and nary a non-stick version in the bunch. Imagine that; a whole chain of restaurants frying thousands of eggs each morning without non-stick skillets.

And, despite the widespread myth, you can cook eggs in stainless if you learn how to use the material. I do it all the time, without them sticking or breaking.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #34 of 57
>........never had a single problem <

Willie, I'm happy that your Emerilware worked out for you. Truly I am.

But the test of a company is not when its products do what they're supposed to. Basic performace is a reasonable expectation. The real test of a company is what happens when the product does not do what it's supposed to, or otherwise fails.

In the case of All-Clad, when a product doesn't perform, failure extends to the executive suite, where neither the so-called customer service people nor the top executives, give much of a d_mn.

Once upon a time All-Clad was, effectively, the only source of clad cookware. As a result, they developed an arrogance that continues despite the fact they have at least a half dozen competitors who make equal or higher quality goods at lower prices. And who stand behind their products.

If All-Clad ever decides to honor its much-touted warranty I might consider using its products. But until they can demonstrate a basic level of customer care, I'll cast my dollar votes with companies that do.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #35 of 57
My grandmother never heard of teflon and she also used 3 tablespoons of butter to fry an egg. Personally, I don't need the calories.

While it is true that professionals and experienced home cooks can be completely competent cooking eggs and anything else in virtually any pan, the average home cook, and certainly the "newbie" that started this string, tend not to be so lucky. If we want others to love cooking as much as we do, then we have to consider ease of use as a critical component in the early stages. I'm just suggesting that having the right tools can make all the difference even if the professionals consider this cheating.
post #36 of 57
I agree and don't agree -- with you and with KYHeirloomer.

On the one hand, yes, you can use very little fat these days, and that's something a good deal more desired today than it was. On the other hand, grandma used a well-seasoned cast-iron or carbon-steel skillet, which was much more non-stick than modern non-stick artificial surfaces, regardless of the fat used.

So I think the ideal surface is certainly well-seasoned steel or iron, and if you want to make a good omelet, steel is going to be your friend: iron is just too dang heavy. But this ideal surface isn't available to every home cook in the way it once was. To get and maintain this surface, you must use this skillet constantly, cooking eggs and bacon and steaks and whatever. If you only cook eggs once in a while -- maybe every couple of weekends, and the rest of the time you have cereal and toast -- that surface isn't going to function. Back in the day, my grandmother expected to dish up eggs or flapjacks almost every day, and her pans supported this. If you try to dig out your carbon steel every two weeks and think that patina is going to work like a charm, you've got another think coming.

To my mind, the point about nonstick is to think of it as a semi-passable imitation of a patina'ed carbon pan. It's not nearly as good, but you don't have to work at it, have good habits, or cook the right things constantly. If you run a restaurant that cooks eggs all the time, don't be stupid: get carbon. If you cook eggs every 2-3 weeks maybe, get nonstick.
post #37 of 57
It's interesting to look back and remember that teflon pans were first brought to market for easy cleanup and minimal care as the actual benefit of non-stick.

We've drifted into liking non-stick for low fat applications and the convenience of howit handles certain tricky foods.

But that wasn't what was initially perceived as beneficial about non-stick.

Phil
post #38 of 57
>....having the right tools can make all the difference even if the professionals consider this cheating.<

I don't think anyone considers the use of non-stick cookware as cheating, Singer. It's more a question of efficiency. Non-stick, for various reasons, just doesn't fit in a busy restaurant kitchen.

On the other hand, in a small inn or B&B, the cookware often parallels what you'd have at home, and non-stick is often favored for certain applications.

There are also some potential health issues that have been raised about non-stick.

Personally, I don't consider non-stick to be either efficient nor safe, so don't have any in the house.

All that aside, however, the basic question is whether or not you can cook eggs in a stainless or other skillet. And the answer to that one is, "of course!" If you opt for non-stick, that's your choice, and none can argue with it. But the idea that you have to have a non-stick pan for cooking eggs is nonesense.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #39 of 57
>So I think the ideal surface is certainly well-seasoned steel or iron, and if you want to make a good omelet, steel is going to be your friend: iron is just too dang heavy.<

No argument at all, Chris.

The one drawback to carbon (other than the general lack of availability) is that the typical homeowner wants bright, shiny pots and pans. Those of us, like thee and me, who love carbon talk about the "patina" that develops. But, let's be honest, it's ugly as homemade sin, and the pans actually look dirty. Most housewives, particular of an older generation, wouldn't have such things in their homes.

In theory only efficiency should matter. But in practical terms, things like the look of carbon steel pans has to be taken into consideration when making recomendations.

Speaking of recomendations, anyone know where I can get a carbon steel skillet running 14 inches or larger?
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #40 of 57
I have no trouble frying eggs in stainless pans. What I have trouble with is scrambled eggs sticking. Of course, a short soak in hot water gets it loose.
post #41 of 57
You know, I'm generally not one to complain, but I'm getting pretty frustrated with this forum. While I understand that the mission of ChefTalk is to provide a link to professional chefs, it seems that just about every suggestion I make is criticized directly or indirectly as not appropriate for a restaurant environment. I would understand this if I was posting in one of the professional forums or even one for students, but I'm not. I'm very careful to respond only to other home cooks who are looking for general opinions on a topic with which I have experience.

Take this thread for example. The original poster is very clear about being an at home cook who's looking to improve his skills. He asked about cookware that would be appropriate for an at home cook. I suggested a reasonably priced set that I own and, God forbid, a non-stick skillet to ease the way into successfully making the occassional egg. Keep in mind that I have 30 years of experience in my home kitchen and am by anyone's standards a darn fine cook. What followed was nothing short of outright hostility regarding the relative need for, quality of, and safety of my suggestions! What's up with that?
post #42 of 57
Try the knifemerchant.com--David Holly is great and he has some monster carbon steel pans, I think up to 20" or so.
post #43 of 57
Singer. I'm not criticizing, just saying frying eggs is no problem with SS pans. The key is keep the heat down. Scrambled eggs and crepes are a different story. I use nonstick for those. I'm not a pro by any means, just a relatively inexperienced home cook.
post #44 of 57
As moderator of this forum I'll take this to heart. However, the most vocal participants in this thread are all homecooks, no pros, me included.

On the point of restaurant environments, they often use plain aluminum for their saute pans because they cook evenly, are cheap and do the job well. I don't particularly care for plain aluminum myself though all the good and bad things of plain aluminum are also true of carbon steel and cast iron. I do have cast iron and carbon steel pans. So have some confidence in what you like and do. You're right for your situation. Which is exactly what restaurants are doing too.

Many here extol the virtues of Japanese knives. I think they're way overpriced for what you get. And it's not that I won't pay that much for a hard quality steel knife because I have, many times. And I can sharpen them just fine. I just don't see the reward for the cost in that item that they do. So I prefer the Forschner Fibrox knives as they are the sweet spot in performance for cost for me. And they're right, the Forschner doesn't hold it's edge as well, but I can restore it in under a minute and keep on going. Works great for me but I'll never convince them of my position.

I'm glad you're happy with it. In large general terms, your experience with a set is in the minority which doesn't invalidate your experience. Most of us have bought sets in the past and found them lacking. This is the more common experience with sets among enthusiast cooks and so we base our recommendations on what is more commonly seen as better. You'll note in my initial reply to the OP, I didn't speak in absolutes

It isn't universally so and feel free to express your pleasure in your set.

I didn't see the hostility directed towards you. Please point out such posts to me in the future. You can report posts with the shield icon in the upper right corner of each post and I'll look at what's going on.

It's hard to read the emotional state of someone on the internet. Plain text doesn't carry the emotional cues of the conversation. While this has turned into a bit of a debate I don't see the discussion as attacking you personally but I'm happy to be corrected if there was a personal attack. I've only skimmed much of it.

There certainly has been pointed discussion at the position you espouse but I don't think they were directed personally. That can be tough to separate for many people particularly with only text as the interaction.

I don't agree with KYHeirloomer on abandoning teflon. I've seen the reports on the dangers of teflon and I use it within my understanding of those dangers. KYH has a different tolerance threshold for that. I just know that KYH and I agree to differ on this topic and we get along about it.

Please stay with us. I think you'll find the occasional upset worth the benefits.
post #45 of 57
>What followed was nothing short of outright hostility regarding the relative need for, quality of, and safety of my suggestions! What's up with that? <

Singer, I'm sorry if you took any of my comments that way. They certainly were not offered with any hostile intent. I've just reread each of them, in fact, and I don't understand where you saw hostility---either in general tone or directed at you personally.

What we had was a difference of opinion. You said "you can't do something", and I said "yes you can."

I have continually stressed that personal choices are just that. If you opt for a particular kind of cookware, that's your choice. If I opt for a different kind, that's my choice.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #46 of 57
>Try the knifemerchant.com--David Holly is great and he has some monster carbon steel pans, I think up to 20" or so. <

Thanks for the tip, profxfiles. I'll check them out.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #47 of 57
profixfiles, do you have an exact URL for Dave Holly's company? I can't find it under any configuration of the knife merchant.

Thanks.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #48 of 57

Url

I am apparently too much of a n00b to be allowed to post the actual URL, but it is

www knifemerchant com

just add the appropriate periods
post #49 of 57
It takes 5 posts to be able to include a URL. This is all about limiting spam accounts. We get lots of them even with this limitation.

Phil
post #50 of 57
That did it profxfiles. Looks like they have exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #51 of 57
You are certainly welcome--David turned me on to the Messermeister knife company. I have been thrilled with the service I have received from David, including his price-matching guarantee.
post #52 of 57
I don't know about his price-matching guarantee. But from what I saw on the steel cookware pages, it's probably not needed. His prices are more than reasonable, and certainly lower than comparable other sellers.

I ordered the Lyons-style heavy duty skillet, 14 1/8 inch diameter last night, and now await it with bated breath.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #53 of 57
Same situation as the OP, but just wondering if anyone with a Costco membership has tried their 16pc 5ply set? I ended up purchasing it but may take it back. I really like cuisinarts multiclad line up, but ended up succumbing to impulse while walking through costco. Luckily their return policy is stellar if I change my mind, but has anyone dealt with this product that can attest to its longevity? It's "5 ply", but I think that just means the base.... not that it's really that big of an issue for me.
post #54 of 57
I went and looked at them today. They look like they'd cook fine. Good heavy base all the way to the cooking edge. Not sure what I think about the flared saucepans and pot.
post #55 of 57
"but just wondering if anyone with a Costco membership has tried their 16pc 5ply set"

I bought one of those sets as a wedding gift earlier this year. The smaller pots have a pretty extreme flare but the bottoms are heavy. It's hard to complain at the price point. They were the best value I could find at that time in that price range but they were not my favorite over all.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #56 of 57
Profxfiles: Just a note to thank you again for the lead to knifemerchant.com.

I'd ordered the 14" skillet, which arrived a few days ago. It already is developing a nice patina (what's the sense in buying new toys if you don't play with them, right).

Frankly, the handle isn't quite as comfortable as my de Buyer skillets. But given the difference in pricepoints I can live with that.

If anyone is looking to assemble carbon steel cookware, I heartily recommend this company.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #57 of 57
I have 1 Emeril saucier that was offered at a 'try me' price. It is only a 1-quart size but it is my favorite pan and I use it everyday. It cooke so evenly.

My other cookware is Farberware All Clad. I bought it in 1970 and it looks as new as the Emeril pan I got last year. Newer versions of the Faberware are no where near my original set in quality. We picked up a newer Farberware set a few years ago and I gave away most of the pieces-they were horrible.
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