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Help choosing new cookware

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello

 

I saw a discussion about this great article:

 

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/25717-understanding-stovetop-cookware/

 

which inspired me. I'm moving into a new house with a brand new kitchen and new induction hob. I cook a lot and want to change my intire cookware set (which is crap) to a great set. To do this I have saved up a lot of money.

I want to make my set of tri-ply and disc bottom depending on the use. I live in denmark and my plan is to order them from e-dehillerin.fr. I'm thinking of making my set from the inox pro (pujadas i think) and Stainless steel kitchen ustensils (Mauviel) ranges.

 

My list is long so made the list in this google docs document to make it easier to see:

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11p8b12SbqnNJqGtJTgNybXYZ4SlYzI-ZwUKlCAJSQOk/edit?usp=sharing

 

I'm especially interested in heearing if you think I have have made the right selections of which cookware is tri-ply and which is disc bottom. I mostly based this on, in which cookware food will have contact with the side (tri-ply) and which it will not (disc).

 

I also like to hear if you think their is any cookware I need that is not on my list (mostly pots and pans), and all in all any recomendations or advice you might have. Also anybody know the pujadas and mauviel ranges?

 

Thanks in advance, hope you all can help me.

 

ps. I'm new to this forum, so I search the forum for an apropiate place to post my question, I'm not completely sure this is correct, so please feel free to move it to the correct place, sorry for any inconvinience.

post #2 of 21

Since this is your first post can you simply list the top 5 brands you are interested in? Most people are not going to click on a google docs link to someone they don't know.

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
It's not so much brands, but making the right choise between disc and tri-ply.

Whats the danger about a google docs? The list is just not easy to post in this forum, because the posts has to be rather simple.
post #4 of 21

you are an At Home Cook and you're buying everything on that list?

qty
5 stewing pans
10 sauce pans
2 stock pots
3 saute pans
2 sauteuse
5 fry pans
2 cast iron fry pans
grill pan
2 roasting pans

etc
etc

seriously?

since you have no experience with any of these, here's my suggestion:

before buying 4,5,6 of any of them, just limit yourself to two or three hundred of each type and brand, try them out cooking at home.
you may find personal preferences as to handles, design/shapes, lids, etc.

using induction there's not going to be huge differences in performance between (one to five thousand) ply pans and disc types.
presuming they're intended for induction cooking.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oh, this is just my wish list. But posted them all because i wanted to know if i made the correct choises between tri-ply and disc.

So you think there is not much difference between disc and tri-ply on induction ? Even for for example a slanted sateuse?
post #6 of 21

first ask yourself:
what is the functional difference between x-ply / disc bottoms and "the other" (undefined) stuff?

 

answer:  they are intended to spread the heat 'more better evenly'

problem:  the theory works if you are dealing with gas / electric because "the heat" is in more concentrated areas.

with induction cooking "the whole nine pan yards" gets heated up "equally" - to the extent that the effective induction diameter and the pan diameter are reasonably "the same"

 

if you are buying the cheapest disc design from the lowest cost Chinese supplier - there is a real issue of long term durability and potential separation / delamination of the disc from 'the other layers'

 

otoh, expen$ive disc failure looks like:

 

 

 

>>"a slanted sauteuse" . . .
you will very likely find no significant difference in how "heat travels up the side of the pan" in real life.  that difference exists only in marketing misspeak/hyperbole/fiction.

 

stuff like "drats, I need 2x as many lids because the lids from Brand X don't fit Brand Y" may play a long term non-happiness role in your kitchen. and golly dang dim, can't find the right lid . . .  ( background clatter of pot lids flying . . . )

 

investing in "an entire set / batch / group / collage / assembly" of pot Brand X with no user experience but based solely on some 'internet' recommendation is really really a bad approach.

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yeah i agree that it is better to try out a small amount before bying a complete set.

I also see your point about induction heating evenly, however thought the heat would travel up the side on tri-ply, even on induction. Which certainly would not be the case for ss-sides. Making tri-ply better for a sauteuse, even on induction.
post #8 of 21

>>Which certainly would not be the case for ss-sides.

 

I would suggest you test out that theory before . . . . .

 

the transmission of heat "through" a ply is first order dependent on the thickness of the ply.  more precisely, the cross section area normal to the direction of heat travel.

3-4-5-9-1000-30000 plys . . . and 'zactly how thick are they?

 

for example, on a "normalized" basis, aluminum "holds" heat way better than cast iron.

so why do people form the opinion a cast iron pan does better in the "holds heat" area?

 

hint:  it has to do with mass.....

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
The sides of ss are very thin so taking that ss is a poor conductor and the thin sides, it would be surprising if they heat evenly. I guess I'm asking here to see if anyone can prove me wrong by expirience.

The alu in the tri-ply is about 2 mm thick.

To answer your second question, i know its about the density.
post #10 of 21

>>prove it by experience

I tried many/most of the recommended brands.
but my experience is more than 20 years old - so good chance it is not current.
after trying quite a few from quite a number of makers, and being not really happy with any of them, I bought solid copper with stainless interior. it works the best, for me, on gas.  does not work on induction.

 

you speak as if there were only one company that makes disc bottoms and only one company that makes x-ply pots.  as someone previously suggested, perhaps if you disclose what brand names / lines you are looking at you may get more input.

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
I don't speak like that, but it must be possible to discuss disc vs tri-ply, depending on the intended use. Asuming a quality set of both.

As i wrote im looking at mauviel and pujadas
post #12 of 21

I have yet to use a disc bottom pot or pan that I thought was superior to a comparable clad model.

I have cooked on gas, coiltop induction (my favorite) and halogen glass top which I dislike.

Look for one or two used cast iron smooth finish pans, In North America the favorite is Griswold but I am sure there must be something similar in Europe.

Induction works really really well with carbon steel pans as they are very responsive, but like driving a very responsive sports car on a difficult road, get ready for some wipe outs before you master them. I have a couple of them and wow what a sear you can get on a fish filet and then finish it in the oven. Having the induction unit on full and bringing the pan in and out of contact can give you incredible control over the final result.

As for the rest of the items a friend of mine who is a chef swears by Mauviel´s saucier.

I put all my disc bottoms to Goodwill.  Tramontina´s clad is almost identical to All Clad but considerably less expensive.

Except for my 30cm pan and 3L saucier, all the rest is Tramontina

Here is a link to a really helpful comparison http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/08/equipment-the-all-clad-vs-tramontina-skillet.html

As for the dutch (french) oven, le creuset

I saw no pressure cooker in your list, it has become my favorite way to prepare stock, the high temperature brings out the flavors better than long simmering times. I have a Fagor.

post #13 of 21

>> a disc bottom pot or pan that I thought was superior to a comparable clad model.
curiosier and curiosier grows the plot (g)


because, in my 20 year ago trials, I found the disk bottoms superior to the clad.
but WAIT!  could it relate to what one is doing / expecting / using the pan/pot for?

 

when I get to thinking "even heat distribution" I'm prone to think about soups, stews, gravies, sauces - basically anything "liquid / flowable" - and the more viscous / thicker the more important is the "no hot spots, please" thing.


otoh, saute and pan fry - typically the stuff in the pan gets moved around... something about 'jumping in the pan' for saute especially.  when I'm jerking and janking and making the stuff in the pan flip and fliver, I wonder how seriously important a "cool" spot is - like comma I mean I'm there flipping and dipping until a % of the shakable stuff in the pan takes on the color / crust / finish I'm looking for....


pseudo-deep fry (think fried chicken...)  - never encountered the situation where one side of the pan burned but the other side didn't.   if the heat was too high, ya' burn the whole panful.....

 

now searing.... uneven hot spots could make a difference.  which I did not actually investigate because if I'm gonna' white hot sear a chunk-o-meat, it's happening in a cast iron pan . . .

 

so the "heat up the sides" of a ply pan sounds good - using a solid copper/ss lined pot I see tomato soup (for example) sizzling around the sides.  question:  is that "required" to heat soup?  or a white sauce?

 

I'm not a pro, my kitchen stuff doesn't speak to me in French, so I'm asking a real honest question:  when is having heat traveling up the sides of a sauce pot of advantage?

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Good question, exactly what i want to discuss.

In My mind heat up the side could be great for preparing sauces that requires low but even heat all over, like a bearnaise. Thats why i suggest tri-ply for a couple of sauce pots.

It would also be great in sauciers to really take advances of the slanted sides to get, a more quick evaporstion. Also to get even heat when it is used for sauteing or a risotto.

If it is for a normal sauce or tomato sauce disc bottoms would work fine because, i guess there is no problem that all heat comes from behov, the same for a stock pot. Further more the low conducting sides will keep heat inside the pot, making it faster to reach boiling.

This is just my reasoning behind my suggestions, why i have made the choises on my list. Any input is appreciated.
post #15 of 21

mrandersb,

 

We were in the same situation a few years ago and replaced no fewer than 15 pots and pans with an assortment of induction compatible cookware. Some are expensive (All Clad tri-ply and Le Crueset enameled), most middle-of-the-road (de Buyer, Lodge, Calphalon tri-ply/All Clad lookalikes) and a real cheap piece or two. Two large 20 qt. soup/stock pots were sourced at a restaurant supply store for not much $.

 

The bottom line is they all function pretty much the same. We do a lot of entertaining, making dishes that require a delicate touch to full-on heat. I love induction for low slow simmering of stocks. My favorites are the three de Buyer pans and plan on buying a larger fry pan. Next are the two Le Crueset Dutch ovens. The 8 qt. All Clad high side saute is perfect for risotto. But IMO the Calphalons (we got a full set for next to nothing at a Macy's close-out and with a coupon) do just as well.

 

The high cost of the induction was well worth it, and I spend a considerable amount on excellent knives. We don't scrimp on ingredients, either. Unless the cookware is complete crap, we're good with whatever is the most affordable/best deal on the right shape and size for the job.

post #16 of 21

>>my reasoning behind my suggestions . . .

 

your reasoning is quite sound.  however comma you may find in real life that although it is perfectly sound reasoning, it makes no real difference.  basically:  true but of no practical consequence.  perhaps the most pertinent "practical consequence" may the size of the hole in your wallet...?

 

for example - a flared / tapered side for risotto - I've never "reduced" / cooked risotto at a depth where the increased diameter / surface area would make a hoot regarding evaporation - and aside that, liquids in risotto "disappear" more from being absorbed than evaporating.  eh?

 

this morning I made soft boiled eggs on toast for breakfast.  my approach is to get the water up to boiling before putting in the eggs for a (timed) period.  I use a thin / non-ply / no nothing / 50-60 year old stainless steel pot filled half-way with water - about 3 inches / 7.5 cm deep

 

guess what - the water was boiling furiously off the vertical sides.  so much for thin stainless not conducting heat up the sides. 

 

now, true.... I had the gas cranked up 50% of the burner - way more heat input than I would every use on a roux, but however and etc, x-ply pans/pots do not have an exclusive on the property of heat movement up the sides.

post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
I did not meen evaporation when making risotto, but when using ir for reducing sauces :-)

I see your point about allthough it seems sound a disc bottom may work just as well.

For gas the sides may heat more, even though they are ss, than for induction, because of the open flame, but im not sure. So maybe tri-ply is more important on induction when heated sides are needed.

As far as money, i can affort some tri-ply, but for any pot where disc is just as fine, i will go for the disc.
post #18 of 21
The Demeyere Atlantis line uses a mix of both clad and disc bottoms, depending on the pieces intended purpose:
straight sides (stock pots, sauce pans, saute pans) disk bottom
sloped sides (fry pans/skillets, sauciers) tri/multi ply

It is also engineered with induction in mind. Might be worth checking out.

Here is a video talking about this line and their use of clad vs disc bottoms.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GcfbwXUOkdo&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DGcfbwXUOkdo
Edited by bkultra - 1/16/14 at 7:42pm
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

Interesting video. Seems like they use the kind of the same arguments as me. I will take a look at their cookware as well.

post #20 of 21

watched the first video . . . makes "sense" - pretty straight forward.  almost.


"fry pan with heat up the side" beneficial for omelets, pancakes, fish

(and a cast of unspecified thousands of others. . . )


sorry.... how thick you you make your omelets - do they need to cook "up the side" - 2-3 inches deep?  
sorry.... how big is that piece of fish that it drapes up the sides and you must cook the fish on the side of the pan...?
sorry.... you drape your pancake up the side of a fry pan....?  how does one manage that?  I pour the batter, never seen it run uphill.....
sorry.... if you're buying steaks to pan fry with curled up edges to take advantage of heat up the sides, aahhhhhhhh, not such a good idea in the 'freshness' category.

 

this is the "problem" with the (typically) marketing pittter-patter / "and we all know..." crap.  sounds good.  in real life it's utterly meaningless.  


this place is "full" of people professionally involved in cooking food.  
and not one has offered an opinion as to when "heat up the sides" is needed / required / of benefit.


then I watched the waterless cookware instructions.  hype, hyperbole, marketing gobble-di-gook and utter nonsense.  totally destroys the dude's credibility.


I steam vegetables 3-5 times a week.  big 50 year old ultra thin no-disc no-ply no nothing stainless steel pot with a steamer insert.


water boils, rises up through the steamer insert / basket, condenses on lid, falls back into pot.
the one difference I did see is"  "40 minutes later" vs my typical 15-20 steam cook cycle.

 

so much for the "and we all know you save energy with waterless cooking"

post #21 of 21
As someone that uses both induction and Demeyere cookware I find there is a time to use each style of cookware. I also don't agree with your statement "using induction there's not going to be huge differences in performance between (one to five thousand) ply pans and disc types." Induction cooktops vary in quality and some provide even cooking while others don't come close. Cookware plays a role in evening out these differences. You can't honestly believe that a single ply cookware would work as well as even just a decent triply? Disc bottoms not only help protect items from scorching but it changes the balance of the cookware piece. This is another reason people might prefer clad for frypans (a more natural balance).

There is no "silver bullet" of cookware. Not only are different construction styles important but so is material choice (read the originally linked article http://forums.egullet.org/topic/25717-understanding-stovetop-cookware/). I have a mix of SS, Cast iron, Enameled Cast iron, and carbon steel. Each has its use, as well as strengths and weakness.

I do agree that the person is a bit of a sales person in the video (let's face it, it's his job). But that does not mean he does not make valid points. Just use your critical thinking skills and you can separate the sales pitch from the rest.

Edit: Demeyere also provides cut-aways of all their cookware so you can not only view each layers thickness but it's construction. Not all manufactures are this transparent.
Edited by bkultra - 1/17/14 at 4:43pm
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