or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Equipment Reviews › Suggestions for Conversion from Non-Stick to "Eclectic" Mix of Pots & Pans
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Suggestions for Conversion from Non-Stick to "Eclectic" Mix of Pots & Pans

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So I've completely worn out (and outgrown) my Kitchen Aid set of non-stick pots & pans and won't be going the set route this time.

I'm trying to figure out the essentials...and how they translate...for example...what's the best pot for boiling eggs or pasta...since I was used to my medium sized pot from the set.  

Here's what I have picked up so far at Ross and Tuesday Morning:

9 Quart Chantal Stockpot

4 Quart Covered Sauce Pan (Tramontina)

Copper Stock Pot (has the "Fabrication Francaise" on the side...with cast iron/bronze handles) Not sure about cooking in this or if it's better to look at;) It was more of an impulse buy because it was so pretty.


I also have one large good condition teflon skillet and my beloved Griswold iron skillet that I just restored and seasoned.

So what am I missing...or what would people suggest...

Thanks in advance!

*I cook every meal in my house so there's a lot of action in my kitchen...in case that's important...
post #2 of 20
well, i have just simply been replacing it all with stainless pots with thick bottoms and cast iron skillets/pans in various sizes, I have an actual cast iron griddle that sits over two burner on the average stove, takes a while to get the heat right but it's worth it.. Honestly, if its been made to cook in, it's been made in cast iron. Aside from the issue of weight I really don't think there is anything better IMO.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
post #3 of 20
Wow! You're cooking every meal at home with two skillets and one sauce pan. You're a better man than I am, that's for sure.

Excluding the two anodized pots Friend Wife likes, I don't have any non-stick as such. But I do have variously sized pots and pans, in several materials (cast-iron, stainless, and carbon steel).
There's no need to itemize everything. My needs and yours are different. But unless you do a lot of one-pot meals, I don't see how you can make do without at least a couple more skillets, and at least one smaller pot.

A word on skillets and saute pans. A typical recommendation is to have several 8-inchers. In my experience, the 10-inch and 12-inch sizes actually get more use---and that's cooking just for the two of us. And I often find that sauciers sometimes work better for sauteeing than do "official" saute pans.
 
If I had to confine myself to just one skillet it would be a 10- or 12-inch cast iron "chicken fryer," aruguably the most versatile "pot" every designed.

At base, however, your cookware needs will be determined by the kind of cooking you do, and the number of people you cook for. For instance, for actually making sauces the 4-quarter is likely too large. So I'd consider a 1- or 1 1/2 quart for that purpose. But if you don't make many sauces, perhaps you don't need the smaller sizes.

If you do, or intend doing, stir frying, a carbon-steel wok would be a good addition.

One suggestion for making decisions. When you were using the KA set, think about how it worked for you. For a particular dish, did pot X work perfectly? Or did you think, "I really need something bigger (or smaller) " Then extrapolate out when you choose your new stuff.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Gunnar--I agree...I love my cast-iron!!

KY--Ha! No, I haven't been doing much cooking the last few weeks because of this transition;)  And your suggestions on the skillets and sauce pans was exactly what I was looking for!! That really helped me visualize what I need. Going in the stores and looking at stuff can get overwhelming but now I know exactly what I need. Thanks!!

**Oh and when I said I cook every meal in my house I meant *I*....hubby does no cooking:)
post #5 of 20
Going in the stores and looking at stuff can get overwhelming

Yeah, well, my problem when I go into a cookware store is my index finger. It's just keeps working----that one, and that one, and that big one over in the corner, and.....

Fact is, though, you can never have too many pots and pans.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #6 of 20
One other thing, 13Wine. As you assemble your collection of cookware give some thought to sheetpans. There is nothing quite as versitile, whether actually cooking or baking on them, or doing prep work, or a dozen other tasks. I even use them when setting up a 3-stage breading station, for instance. And when it comes to draining fried foods, forget paper towels. Just put a rack on a sheet pan and you're good to go.

I'm always discovering additional uses for them. And you will too. Yet, it's one part of the cookware arsonal most home cooks ignore.

Full sheets will not work in the average home kitchen. Home stoves are mostly 30 inches, and you need at least a 36 for a full sheet. But half-sheets and quarter-sheets work fine.

Unlike those tinny cookie sheets you find in the box stores and supermarkets, sheet pans are heavy gauge metal. They never warp in the oven, as cookie sheets are wont to do. And real sheet pans come in standardized sizes, again, unlike the thin stuff in the markets. Those seem to be built based on the manufacturers whims.

While some regular stores do stock real sheet pans, you're more likely to find them in a restaurant supply place.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Great tip on the sheet pans.  My MIL actually sent us home with one during the Holidays and I did end up using it...but I gave it back. I'll have to look for one.

Thanks for taking the time to respond!!
post #8 of 20
I find little use for 8" fry pans. 10 and 12 I use a lot. Get a cast iron or a carbon steel fry pan, preferably 12 inches. Very versatile and can be quite non-stick. Gets better over time and the more you use it. A 4 qt sauce pan seems big to me. 2 quart is my most used sauce pan.

a 12 quart stock pot is also very handy. Can seem too big but is just right for turkey stock, a shrimp boil (crab or lobsters) and more.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post

I find little use for 8" fry pans. 10 and 12 I use a lot. Get a cast iron or a carbon steel fry pan, preferably 12 inches. Very versatile and can be quite non-stick. Gets better over time and the more you use it. A 4 qt sauce pan seems big to me. 2 quart is my most used sauce pan.

a 12 quart stock pot is also very handy. Can seem too big but is just right for turkey stock, a shrimp boil (crab or lobsters) and more.
 

I agree with phatch on the skillets although my friend, Linda, loves her 8" all clad and uses it a lot.  I get much more use from my 4-qt sauce pan than my 2-qt, and use my 1-qt a couple of times a day.  And while a 12-qt stockpot is extremely useful, my 8-qt pots get a lot of use as well.

A Le Creuset or similar brand pot or two can come in mighty handy.  And, while I don't use it as much as some other might, I'll never give up the 10-inch and 12-inch cast iron skillets that I lug around.

And don't forget a good sauté pan.  A 3-quart All-Clad that I bought in 1980 is indespensible.

And even though I love my French carbon steel omelet pan (used only for eggs), a lot of use is given to the good, non-stick skillets that I have.

There is no single solution - we all cook differently.  And you have to consider your space requirements.  Do you have storage space for tall pots, or might a shorter, wider pot be a better choice?
Schmoozer
Reply
Schmoozer
Reply
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Schmoozer--What exactly do you use your 4 quart saucepan for?  I did buy one because it was one of the few that was Made in Brazil and not China. I'm on a super budget due to my husband being laid off and not knowing what the hell is going to happen. So I've been hitting up Tuesday Morning and Ross.  I'm finding some good deals but there's still a learning curve involved with the transition. And while I know what I used my previous pots and pans for it didn't necessarily mean it was the right fit either.

I have a 10 inch Griswold and I LOVE that thing. It cooks my eggs perfectly and they slide off...I wish I had it in a chicken fryer and a 12 inch.  

Anyway, I picked up a 1.5 quart sauce pan and it seems to be a good size.  

There's a Le Creuset French Oven (it's one of the bigger ones) at Tuesday Morning right now for $175 but the enamel is chipped off on a small portion of the handle.  Do you think it would be worth it??

I cook for 4 people (though my 3 year old barely counts)...and I cook anything from simple to complex...so there is a need for various pots and pans.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3wine View Post

Schmoozer--What exactly do you use your 4 quart saucepan for?  [/quote]

Making pasta for one, making rice, certain stocks and soups, making some sauces, some braises (although I now have a new Le Creuset, so the 4-quarter may be retired from some of those duties)


[quote]I have a 10 inch Griswold and I LOVE that thing. [/quote]

Great pan ... wish I had an old Griswald.


[quote] Anyway, I picked up a 1.5 quart sauce pan and it seems to be a good size. [/quote]

I think so. 

[quote] There's a Le Creuset French Oven (it's one of the bigger ones) at Tuesday Morning right now for $175 but the enamel is chipped off on a small portion of the handle.  Do you think it would be worth it??[/quote]

Might be, depending on how big the chip is.  It certainly won't effect the cooking.  My only concern is that the chip could grow and possible effect other areas of the pot.  However, many people have chips in their enameled pots and have no additional problems.  Were it me, depending on how big the cip was and how much a new one would cost, it might be worthwhile to rol the dice.


 
Schmoozer
Reply
Schmoozer
Reply
post #12 of 20
13Wine, check the flea markets and antique malls for a chicken fryer. They appear fairly often, and at great prices.

My pride and joy is an unbranded one, measuring 11+ inches at the mouth and 9+ at the base, with sidewalls 3 1/4 inches tall. The cover is deeply domed, and has the only self-basting system I've ever seen that both works, and which doesn't pull the cure. Wish I had more lids like it.

Based on where he'd acquired it, the dealer believes it dates from the 1930s.

Are you ready? I paid all of 32 bucks for it.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've been dying to check out all of our antique stores around town...as there are a lot now it seems.  I will definitely keep my eye out for the fryer/skillets...that would be a great find.

I'm thinking the chip is not bad at all but I need to sit on it...I guess if it sticks around then it's meant to be...and eventually it might get marked down even more.
post #14 of 20

One other thing I would give thought to.

You're willing to pay $175 for a piece that's already damaged, vs. buying a different brand for less than half that.

The long-term durability on the "other" brands, such as the Calphalon I bought is, admittedly, an open question. But I paid 70 bucks for it (8-quart oval) on sale. Seems to me that even if it should chip after a couple of years I'm still way ahead of the game. 

And the fact is, Le Cruset does chip and craze over time as well. 

So there's your balancing act: way less money against unknown quality.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

The long-term durability on the "other" brands, such as the Calphalon I bought is, admittedly, an open question. But I paid 70 bucks for it (8-quart oval) on sale. Seems to me that even if it should chip after a couple of years I'm still way ahead of the game. 

And the fact is, Le Cruset does chip and craze over time as well. 

So there's your balancing act: way less money against unknown quality. 
 


Perhaps another factor to consider is customer service should there be a problem with the item.  My personal experience with LC has been excellent, and comments by others have been similar.  What kind of service, repair, or replacement can be had from less expensive brands, especially those made in China?  Comments I've read often give those brands poor marks.

Perhaps is one wants to buy a less expensive item, they should consider purchasing it from a vendor that has a good reputation handling repairs or replacement, such as BB&B, maybe Costco?  In that way one can getr a good price as well as guaranteed good service.
Schmoozer
Reply
Schmoozer
Reply
post #16 of 20

Well, I got mine at BB&B, so warranty claims are no problem. If something goes seriously wrong, I just bring it back.

But I've had it about a year, now, and no problems have developed.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #17 of 20
I picked up a set of stainless steel (6 pots and pans + lids) from Sam's Club branded as their Member's Mark for about $100 and they have worked great for about 6 years now.  Of course I examined them before purchase to verify thickness, and they are decently thick.  Also, a few years ago I also got 2 10" aluminum skillets for $16 which I can beat the crap out of and not feel bad.  Perfect for 4 eggs over easy.  Also watch for Pyrex baking dishes, I got some buy one get one free. 
post #18 of 20
I too am acquiring a new motley assortment of pans. I just ordered this dutch oven from Amazon.

41Gf2VoqeML._SS400_.jpg
The cover is a frying pan/baking dish

I'm going to try and use the cover as a bread pan and preheat the pot and place it over the cover when baking the bread.

I got a huge, nonstick chef pan, with glass cover from BB&B that is like a wok, for just $9.99, that is just going to have to be good enough for now, for the acid foods.

1921312847653P.JPG
post #19 of 20
I am also working on a new assortment of cookware due to a change in stoves. So far I've bought the Cuisinart MCP-12 set well reviewed at Amazon, two Calphalon Tri-Ply 1 quart sauce pans and the wife wanted a pressure cooker so I picked up the Fagor Futuro 5 peice set which includes a 6 quart and 4 quart vessels with 1 glass and 1 pressure lid that can be swapped between the vessels. Fagor has extra glass lids at a very reasonable cost so both vessels can double for general cooking duty. Every decision has turned into a project and I'm hoping for the best.

I'm looking at the Tramontina line for a stock pot and maybe a few misc. items. Walmart.com has stock that they don't carry in the stores but can be delivered to the store for free.

Macy's has a friends and family sale going on I think it ends Sunday (May 1). I picked up the 2nd Calphalon 1 qt TriPly for 25% less than I paid for the 1st one on Amazon.

I'm now onto learning about shapening knives - but that's another thread.
post #20 of 20
 i, too, have been building up a decent collection over the past ten years or so. i've opted for higher quality stuff, but almost all purchased on sale. if you're patient, you'd be surprised what you can find. so far, i have (from memory):

8" SS fry - all-clad
10" SS fry - all-clad
12" SS fry - all-clad
10" anodized omelette - calphalon (old - it still says "commercial cookware, toledo")
10" SS/nonstick crêpe pan - all-clad
12" SS/nonstick french skillet - all-clad
12" cast iron skillet - unknown
10" square cast iron grill pan - lodge
13" anodized/nonstick chef's pan - calphalon (not very good quality, i must say - the nonstick is flaking like mad)
3qt SS - sauté w/lid - all-clad
2qt copper/tin sauté - baumalu ("fabrication française")
3qt SS saucepan w/steamer insert - all-clad
2qt SS saucepan w/double boiler insert - all-clad
1qt copper/tin saucepan - baumalu
1qt SS saucier - all-clad
3.5qt anodized soup pot - calphalon
3.5qt enameled iron dutch oven - descoware
5qt enameled iron dutch oven - staub
7qt cast iron dutch oven - lodge
4qt copper/tin stock pot - baumalu
8qt SS stockpot - calphalon
12qt SS stockpot w/mesh pasta insert - all-clad

yikes. i have a lot of pans - but i swear, i use all of them. and i still want a 4qt sauté and a better chef's pan... 

but, i've got to say - buying decent stuff is so much better than going cheap. buy it right, buy it once. and don't buy a set (unless it's on sale!). it's generally better to buy stuff individually, as you need it.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Equipment Reviews
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Equipment Reviews › Suggestions for Conversion from Non-Stick to "Eclectic" Mix of Pots & Pans