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Buying Cookware

Poll Results: What kind of cookware do you prefer?

 
  • 36% (93)
    All-Clad
  • 6% (16)
    Le Creuset
  • 8% (22)
    Cast Iron
  • 1% (3)
    Aluminum
  • 10% (26)
    Copper
  • 19% (48)
    Stainless Steel
  • 6% (17)
    Circulon, Anodized, etc.
  • 7% (19)
    Other (please share in this post)
  • 3% (8)
    Wok
252 Total Votes  
post #1 of 137
Thread Starter 
Many of you pros already have your favorite pieces. This is for anyone who may be in the market for cookware.

Consider the amount you are wanting to invest. If you're on a budget, you may just want to invest in one or two quality pieces. It really depends on how much money you want to spend and how much it matters to you.

Investing in high quality pots and pans that will last you the rest of your life would be the best investment in the long run. Look for those with lifetime warranties and consider what professional chefs use (All-Clad).



There are a handful of high quality cookware lines (All-Clad, Berndes, Le Creuset) available and hundreds of others that aren't so good. All-Clad & Le Creuset would be the top of the line cookware and heat the fastest.




If you don't want to spend the money on All-Clad, consider "Berndes" made in Germany. Awarded a BEST BUY by Consumers Digest for a Second Time.



Here are several articles which should give you a good idea of what to look for and what to avoid.

The Ins and Outs of Pots and Pans

Get a Handle on Pots and Pans

What a Cook Wants: Pots and Pans

So you'd like to... be a real man in the kitchen

Choosing the Right Saucepan




What kinds of cookware do you use and prefer over others and why?

What are your "most used" pieces?
post #2 of 137
Well I couldn't really pick just one of the choices listed, because what I use depends on what I'm cooking...I have a stainless steel stock-pot. I love cast iron for pan-frying and dutch-oven style cooking. For most everything else, I have anodized aluminum cookware- with non-stick surfaces. I like them because they're non-stick, for one, but my pots, pans, and lids are also oven safe to 350F. A lifetime guarantee also helps. :)
If you don't ask, you'll never know.
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If you don't ask, you'll never know.
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post #3 of 137
All Clad pots and pans including their Copper Chef line are on sale right now at OUTLETS ONLINE!

I still want to get a couple of pieces by Mauviel, however.

Here's the url:

https://www.outletsonline.com/cgi-bi...301+1013729282

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #4 of 137
I have a couple of pieces of All-Clad; my raosting pan and a new paella pan. Most of my cookware is Cuisinart Everyday Stainless. It heats pretty quickly and evenly and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to buy. I agree that buying sets is probably not the way to go. Buy good stuff a piece or two at a time. Oh, buy the way, I also own a few cast iron skillets. Nothing like 'em :)
At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.
www.kyleskitchen.net
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At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.
www.kyleskitchen.net
Reply
post #5 of 137
I have to say that I voted for All-Clad, because that is what my family used, and it is what I mostly have right now. However, the absolute best pan I have every used and is my 11" Demeyere Sirroco fry pan. Go to the website and you'll see the quality that goes into these pans.
post #6 of 137

I'm not gonna pay a lot for that saucepan...

Shop around. The longer the better. Decide what you want and wait till you find that piece or set for a decent price. I have different types of pots and pans for work and home, but got a decent price for just about everything. My last large pan purchase was for home. A department store in the area went out of business and had everything in their kitchenware section at really good prices. I got a 14 piece set of Farberware Millenium cookware for $98.00, probably about their cost. I also look for used stuff through restaurant supply places. I got a heavy Vollrath 3-ply stainless 20 qt stockpot for $50.00 in very good shape,with lid. For saute pans, uncoated or non-stick, restaurant supply places are the way to go if beauty isn't an issue. A Wearever, or Torowear or Vollrath saute pan is practically home-cook proof. I also collect cookware from second hand places. I have gotten several pieces of Le Creuset in perfect shape-no chips, no rust, no cracks and paid maybe $1.00 each. My favorite fondue pot is a 1qt Le Creuset. I have a pretty good collection of my prize cookware-my copper pots, pans and bowls. And yes, I use them.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #7 of 137
I'm like roon, depends on what I'm cooking. However, about 15 years ago my mother in law gave us a set of Magnalite as a house warming gift. I don't think anything heats faster than that. A couple of years ago I won a set of All Clad stainless in a drawing. I thought all my birthdays had come at once. It is fantastic. I have an assortment of Wearever and other pieces that I will continue to add to. You can never have too many.
:bounce: :bounce: :D :) :chef:

Jock
post #8 of 137
In the bakery we use the restaurant issue wearever for most utility, dbl boiler,sauces,choux paste etc. for sugar we use copper and for creams we use straight stainless.
I can't remember how many yrs. I have had my all clad at home. They are used every day, they look like the day they were bought. 36" gas and I love them for what I do. even heating etc.
I just picked up a couple of used 2qt 1qt on ebay

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is Too Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is Too Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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post #9 of 137
I still favor French copper over other all the fancy American brands. As I wrote over a year ago, besides working great and lasting a long time, they also can be had for less money. please read before you spend more money on lesser quality pots.
post #10 of 137
I have a set of Scan Pans...they are pretty good, got a life time warantee and I have returned pots....
The huge skillet is indispensible.
Cast Iron!!! What can replace that for frying chicken?
Then the assortment of odds and ends...
One of my least favs is enamel coated pans.
I've recently cooked on an induction stove and for some stupid reason my rice continually sticks to the pan.....stupid stove.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 137
I voted for All-clad because that is my everyday cookware for the most part and I love it. But as others have mentioned, I could never do away with my cast iron skillet. It is the best. It belonged to my grandmother, then my mom and now me. It is truly a great piece. I would also love to own a couple of Le Cruset pieces but they are so expensive. Someday, maybe.
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #12 of 137
Thread Starter 
Pete,

About 7 years ago I could have had the exact set pictured above (lovingly pre-owned) for all of $35.00 at a garage sale in Pittsburg, KS of all places. Yes, you read that correctly. Now I wouldn't be able to buy half a lid for that price.

This was before I was interested in cooking or let alone had any knowledge of it's quality. I also missed out on a brand new 7 piece All-Clad set for $100 still in the box.

NEVER again.

:cry:
post #13 of 137
Pete,


At the local Costco you can find le Creuset at a very good price. I seem to recall 100$ for three pans.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #14 of 137
WOW! That is a great price, but are you sure that it was Le Cruset. I know of a couple of knock offs that are pretty cheap, but not nearly the quality. The porcelin coating on these is very weak and cracks and chips very easily.

I would also hate to think of all the great deals, at garage sales, that I have passed up, years ago, not knowing what I know now!!

Actually the only pieces of Le Cruset that I really, really, want are one of their terrines (the long rectangular one), one of their "dutch ovens", and their paella pan with lid. But, if anyone were to buy me any of it (hint, hint;) )I certainly won't mind. LOL!!!
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #15 of 137
Although I voted All-Clad since most of my pieces are that brand, I use different pans for specific cooking methods. As mentioned by others, I wouldn't dream of using anything but my Le Creuset dutch oven for stews and soups or my Calphelon NS Dutch Oven for roasting. I waited close to three years before buying my first All Clad and even then it was on Ebay at a reasonable price.
Ciao!

"I Am Not Afraid... I Was Born To Do This." Joan of Arc
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Ciao!

"I Am Not Afraid... I Was Born To Do This." Joan of Arc
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post #16 of 137
Most of my Le Creuset is over 30 years old -- a little chipped, a little cracked, not much enamel left on the bottom of the dutch oven, but they all still work fine. (My husband will ONLY use the 2Q casserole for his excellent oatmeal!)

The All-clad is a lot newer, mostly bought on sale at Broadway Panhandler's "Yard Sale" where they unload stuff even cheaper than usual. Between these two brands, I'm set for the next 30 years, I should live so long. Besides fabulous heating properties, they clean up so easily -- just soak if anything sticks, and it comes right off. And cleaning up is almost as important to me as cooking. Certainly as necessary!

BTW: my Magnalite covered 10" frying pan (originally "non-stick") is still going strong after 34+1/2 years -- no warping, even! Too bad the plastic handle means it can't go in the oven. Then again, maybe that's one reason it's lasted this long.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #17 of 137
Yes I am sure it's Le Creuset. If you're ever in town, I'll take you shopping! ;) The Costco package had a dutch oven, a pan and something else I can't recall. I am sure there was no terrine or paella dish. But with the exchange, you might be able to get a good deal elsewhere.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #18 of 137
I'm with KyleW. When my husband and I shopped around for cookware, we got a set of Cuisinart Everyday Stainless with the copper sandwich layer thing. The price was right, and we even use all the pieces it came with. There were similar sets that had strange sizes we would never use and I think that is just plain weird to me (or sets that have two saucepans that are almost the same size, etc.)
post #19 of 137
P.S. If my husband could vote, he would vote for the wok. Almost anything he makes is in a wok.
post #20 of 137
One of my All-clads is pretty much like a flat-bottomed wok, with a domed cover. Yeah, I use it A LOT. All the advantages of both, for heat retention up the sides, and easy clean-up after. In fact, I think this may have been the first AC I ever bought.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #21 of 137

Some Cookware Feedback

Remember, the right piece for the right job. This means that if a person wants to make real cornbread, you need a well-seasoned black cast iron pan but if you want to quickly saute something, stainless steel rises to the top as the cookware of choice. Stainless will give you "goodies" on the bottom of the pan (for a pan sauce), unlike non-stick.

For someone who needs to set up a new kitchen or make a bulk purchase, keep in mind:

* Stainless Steel is about the easiest to care for.

* Beware of "sets" because they have some useless pieces.

* Look for cookware that will last. Riveted handles are a must. Hefty, sandwiched bottom construction will afford good heat distribution. Look for cookware with tightly fitting lids and edges that will pour.

* Name brands are great but make sure they meet your criteria.
Food is sex for the stomach.
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Food is sex for the stomach.
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post #22 of 137
I actually learned about this from Nicko. There are Le Creuset outlets. Here are their locations: Le Creuste Outlet Stores

I've never been, so I don't know what prices are like, but maybe those who are interested can ask Nicko.
post #23 of 137
I was in a Le Creuset outlet store yesterday. The prices were OK. Something that I paid $80 + Shipping for at cooking.com was $72 at the outlet.
At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.
www.kyleskitchen.net
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At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.
www.kyleskitchen.net
Reply
post #24 of 137
Periodically at bettycrocker.com, I have seen selected Le Creuset pots for very good prices. Also, Le Creuset outlet stores have bi-annual (I think) sales and are willing to ship items. Though the items often are seconds, I couldn't find the flaw in the pot I bought.

I have a variety of brands of pots (no all-clad pieces yet), but am most fond of the Sitram "catering line". From the way they look all-clad and Sitram appear to be similar.
post #25 of 137

Only one choice...

is quite difficult. I voted for Cooper but I also love All-Clad! and I enjoy some LeCreuset as well! :rolleyes:
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #26 of 137

I said stainless steel but

I have a polyglot of pans, aluminum with non-stick (the set is Wearever with the exhaust lids), cast iron, stainless that has either a copper or aluminum core, etc., etc. and if I could find my 10 inch cast iron skillet it would be one of my favorites again (I moved). I just bought an 8 qt. stainless steel stock pot that I know will become one of my favorites. Made up a large batch of minestrone yesterday, and it was a joy to cook in that pan. I really have a hard time not buying more pans even though I DO NOT have a place to store them. The stock pot is in my bedroom. There is not one inch of space, even on the counters, in my dinky kitchen in which to store another cooking utensil. But, will that stop me, I doubt it.
Rue
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Rue
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post #27 of 137
lwunderlich

I have a small kitchen with little storage but that doesn't' stop me from buying new pieces. I have found two spots to hang my All-Clad pans that get them out of the way but always ready to be used- Thank God for tall ceilings - one is above a window and the other is high over the range. I used simple rods and hooks from IKEA instead of expensive pot racks. My stock pots and heavy Le Creuset are in the cabinets. I love the look and get many compliments on the style. Maybe it will work for you?
Ciao!

"I Am Not Afraid... I Was Born To Do This." Joan of Arc
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Ciao!

"I Am Not Afraid... I Was Born To Do This." Joan of Arc
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post #28 of 137
I think we should have a small kitchen contest!
At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.
www.kyleskitchen.net
Reply
At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.
www.kyleskitchen.net
Reply
post #29 of 137
I just love it! :p
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #30 of 137
Kyle - you definately have a small kitchen. What's the biggest meal you've ever cooked in it?
Ciao!

"I Am Not Afraid... I Was Born To Do This." Joan of Arc
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Ciao!

"I Am Not Afraid... I Was Born To Do This." Joan of Arc
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