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cookware brands???

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

there are so many cookware brand out there i get so overwhelmed. i want to get my husband a new cook set. i know he would like ameriware but they are expensive. could any one recommend a brand that fit these criteria? my husband love to cook and cook a lot. so he needs something that versatile and durable. 

 

• "Pro-Series Plus Ti-2®" This revolutionary new 3-layer system is internally reinforced with ceramic and titanium. 
• Completely nonstick inside and out!
• Approved for use with metal utensils.
• 25 year warranty!
• Completely ovenproof for baking.
• Dishwasher safe (commercial dishwashers okay)!
• Triple riveted "never loosen" heavy gauge, commercial nickel-plated handles for durability.
post #2 of 4

I think the fact that "Pro-series Plus ti-2" is a registered trademark of ameriware means that with your criteria, you won't find any other brand besides ameriware (of which I have no experience, sorry).

post #3 of 4

You've got some good criteria in the list and a few that I'd call maybe criteria.

 

First off, most of us here wouldn't recommend a set. Generally you get a few pots/pans you'll like and use and a few that will just sit idle.  But which pan is which will vary from person to person and timing in that person's life. When I first got married, I used a 1 and 2 quart saucepan a lot. Now, I hardly ever use them, but reach for a 2.5 and 3 quart saucepans because I'm cooking for a whole family with kids. Early in the marriage, 8 and 10 inch saute pans were great. Now it's almost exclusively 12 inch pans.  I use my wok a lot more now than before as well, but that's because my interest and skills changed than family size.

 

What does he like to cook? Focus on equipment that supports that interest.

 

Anyway, on to your list:

 

• "Pro-Series Plus Ti-2®" This revolutionary new 3-layer system is internally reinforced with ceramic and titanium.  (this is a type of nonstick material)
• Completely nonstick inside and out!
This is a maybe criteria to me.  Skipping the brand of the non-stick stuff for now, why do you want non-stick?  Is it for it's simple clean up?--I'm thinking this is the reason because you want this on the outside too.  Is it for the ability to cook with minimal fat? Is it because you have a recurring problem with food sticking?  
 
If you're focusing on non-stick for specific health reasons such as reducing fat in cooking, I think that's great. However, that's rarely the primary interest in non-stick.
 
This is just my perspective based on  personal experience, but the love of non-stick tends to reflect a casual level of interest and skill in cooking. I bought a set of hard anodized non-stick cookware as I was getting into cooking. And it worked fine. But I wouldn't choose it again now for reasons I'll get into below.  I do still buy and use nonstick cookware, but only in 12 and 10" saute pans.
 
In a sauce pan, or pot, non-stick is rarely needed, and it does have some drawbacks in these pans. First, these are usually used for wet cooking and so the clean up is rarely an issue. A non-stick coating makes it difficult to gauge color accurately such as in sugar work or a browned butter sauce. For the most part, it just isn't worth the added expense and hassle of nonstick for saucepans and pots. 
 
Non-stick pans don't produce fond, and don't sear properly. Once you understand how to sear and properly brown foods and use the fond that STICKS to the pan, you won't need non-stick (in general) for the dishes you cook. Meat and vegetables will mostly release themselves from a pan when they're cooked on that side.  There's some threads on this topic here, but once you learn to time that and read the item you're cooking, you've got a great skill that frees you up in pan choices and technique. And your food improves too as does clean up.
 
This is where the appeal of pans of materials like Cast Iron or Carbon Steel become attractive. These pans develop a natural non-stick aspect with use but still produce fond and sear wonderfully. The downside is they are heavy and not dishwasher safe, although they do clean up quickly and easily.
 
Stainless steel is also good in a multi-ply pan and has the advantage that it is non-reactive for longer simmered sauces of tomato and wine. I think these are the best general purpose pans you can buy.
 
But I still l do use non-stick, mostly for eggs and fish items. And also in the 12 inch size for pan to oven one-dish casserole type things.
 
 
• Approved for use with metal utensils.
I agree, I like pans that are this way. Stainless steel, cast iron, carbon steel are just fine with metal utensils. Even then, I do use a lot of bamboo utensils because they're pleasant to use inexpensive, and often the right tool for the job. And work well in my non-stick when needed.
 
• 25 year warranty!
I understand the appeal of this. Defects usually crop up early in the life of a product so very long terms aren't as critical imho.
 
• Completely ovenproof for baking.
Absolutely. This usually means metal handles, no coatings on the handles. This is harder to find in the common aluminum non-stick pans. and worth searching out.
 
• Dishwasher safe (commercial dishwashers okay)! 
I concur, but recognize the value of cast iron and carbon steel as cookware which exceed this requirement. Same for my carbon steel wok. There are times this is not as important.
 
• Triple riveted "never loosen" heavy gauge, commercial nickel-plated handles for durability.
Well riveted is good. Don't stress so much about the nickel plating.
 
  • Induction compatible

Ok, I added this one. This is becoming pretty common now and is a fabuluos heating method. Fast, efficient, powerful. Worth having compatibility with.

 

 

So with all that said, skip the set. You'll save money and build a collection of pots and pans that do what you need them to.

 

12 quart stock pot. Clad multiply pots are nice but outrageously expensive. For what these pots are used for, a a stainless steel pot with a good heavy disk base that goes out to the edge will work fabulously and are inexpensive. A pasta insert that goes down to within an inch or less of the bottom is ideal, but usually they're more like 2 inches from the bottom. That's workable, but it means you're boiling more water and so coming to the boil takes longer. On the other hand, the higher distance is better for steaming tamales.  I don't consider a pasta insert a must have, but they're very useful.  These often come with a steamer insert too. 12 quarts may seem big, but it's versatile at lower volumes and can still handle full batches of stock, a large turkey carcass from Thanksgiving, boiling lobster or a seafood boil and so on. It's the workhorse of a kitchen of most any size.  You should be able to find these for $50 or less with a disk bottom.

 

10 &12 inch skillet, stainless steel clad multi-ply.  All-Clad is the high standard here, but Tramontina rates just behind it in performance and quality at a fraction of the price.  Get them with lids that fit.   I haven't found much use for an 8 inch skillet, but there are people who disagree with me.  $50 for 12 from Tramontina, $40 for the 10 inch. More from other brands probably. Walmart has carried these in store before. With them changing over their cookware from the Paula Deen fiasco, they might again. They do have them online as well and you can have free shipping if you pick them in your local store.

 

Saucepans, in the sizes you'll use, 2 and 4 quart is I think the most versatile spread in general, but 1 and 3 quart are available if you use that size.  I think disk based is fine for these but clad stainless is nice if you can afford it.  $20-50 depending on brand and construction.  Walmart or K-mart usually have some of these that work fine at good prices in the disk bottom style of construction with riveted handles. You'll usually find some Clad construction at a higher price in the line a TV cooking star. These are usually fine too.

 

Non-stick skillet, 12 inch for sure, maybe a 10 and 8 depending on how many you're cooking for. 10 inch is a size I use a lot in the stove to oven technique for things like dutch babies, fritattas and such. An oven safe handle makes these very versatile, even for roasting vegetables.  $25 for a 12.  I shop the discount stores for these, usually a high production line like Wear-ever, Tramontina and  such. I usually buy one ahead of need as the standard non-stick coating is only good for 3-5 years depending how you care for it. It's good to have one ready to go when the current one fails.  I have bought these with a handle covering, then removed the rubber to expose the metal stem. Works for me.

 

So far, that's about $225 on the low end of things with some disk based items, probably $350 or more if you go for clad stainless construction throughout.

 

To consider

Cast iron / carbon steel skillets, carbon steel wok. 

 

 

Walmart has some clad stainless sets from Tramontina on their website that are fairly reasonable imho, but not perfect. Worth looking at though.  http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=tramontina+tri-ply+clad&ic=16_0&Find=Find&search_constraint=0

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 4

And I have watched the Ameriware demos at Costco and home fairs. They are nice, but very expensive and as I discuss above, not what I want.  If that's what you really must have, check with your local coscto for the next demo in your area. They've had the best pricing I've seen.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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