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Advice in purchasing new cookware.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 


I am new to chef talk, and looking for your input regarding which cookware pieces to purchase for myself.

I am looking to buy a few new pieces of cookware as the pots/pans that I have are about 25 years old. My mom purchased a set for me as a gift for when I moved into my new home with my future husband. Well, there is no husband but I did purchase my own home a few years ago! lol. I don't use many of the pots/pans there were part of the set as I don't like them, and I find that with the few pieces that I do use, they don't cook well on my gas stove. I have been doing a lot of research on-line, and learning a lot about the different types of cookware. It's been quite overwhelming but there seems to be so much information! There's all clad, tri-ply, cast iron, aluminium, copper, stainless steel, non-stick (which seems to get a bad rap). I thought non-stick was a good thing. I guess it depends how you cook! I also learned of lines from Le Creuset, Staub, Paderno (which looks like a beautiful set, and it's made in Canada!), and Cuisinart, which is also really nice. 


I was in Home Sense today, and noticed Lagostina, and Cuisinart. I held a few of the pots in my hand to get a feel for them, and see how heavy and comfortable they were. I really liked the Cuisinart but when I turned it over, it said it was made in China. I was disappointed as I didn't want anything made in China. I then picked up a few pieces from Lagostina, and they were comfortable. I liked the style, handle and design. I believe it's the Lagostina Impact Copper 5-ply.  They had the saucepan and Dutch oven with cover.  The 14 cm saucepan is $29.99 (reg. $50.00), 16cm saucepan is $34.99 (reg. $60.00), and Dutch oven $59.99 (reg. $100.00).  They look good but I did notice a few scratches on the Dutch oven lid, and light black stains/streaks (?) around the top and bottom rim of the saucepan. They are not very obvious but when you are examining the, you notice it. I only mention this because I'm concerned that if I were to buy these pieces, they would easily scratch, or be damaged in some other way. This is what they look like:


I also saw Le Creuset. They were packaged in an orange box. I saw a few other Le Creuset pieces but they were not in a box, and when I looked at the bottom, it said, made in China. I'm guessing that these are not 'real' Le Creuset? The pieces in the box were from France but they looked very identical.


What do you think about the Lagostina pieces from Home Sense? It does not state where they were made although I have a Lagostina pot that was my mom's. She gave it to me when I moved out, and there is a sticker still on it that says "Made in Italy". I'm not sure if the Lagostina pieces from Home Sense or Winners are legitimate, or not.


I saw the Paderno set online via Costco. The reviews were positive, and the people who bought them are happy with them. I also went on the Paderno site, and they have some too good to be true specials. I sometimes wonder how something that cost $1199.00 now costs $279.99! I have noticed this not only with Paderno but with the other lines of cookware that I mentioned.


I have read great things about Le Crueset and would like to add a piece to my kitchen. I’m just not sure which one. I like the square griddle as I could grill fish and veggies, or the Dutch oven to cook tomato sauce, and soups.


A bit about me. I live just outside Toronto, Canada. I grew up in an Italian household so I learned to cook at home (from scratch). However, with that being said, I'm not an expert in the kitchen. I enjoy cooking (when I do), and am learning to prepare new recipes especially for friends, and family. I enjoy cooking for others, and learning new recipes including curry, Thai, and Asian cuisine. I love making pasta dishes but don't cook them often; mostly when I cook for others. I like to make healthy dishes such fish (salmon, trout, cod), greens, hearty soups (barley vegetable), squashes, etc. I eat eggs (scrambled, sunny side up, boiled) but I don't eat meat. I also make pancakes once in a while, and some baking. I don’t bake as much as I used to! I leave that to my mom. I enjoy the more traditional Italian baked goods that she prepares.


Thank you for your input.


P.S. I just saw this on the Canadian Tire site. It had positive reviews. What do you think? I read that most people prefer not to buy 'sets' and to buy one piece at a time, and to add to your collection over time but this seems like a good set.




post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

I found a blog which describes the new Lagostina 'set' that mixes different pieces. I felt it was worthy of sharing.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello, is anybody there? I haven't heard back from anyone and was hoping to get some input. I'm surprised I haven't received any responses. I hope to soon.  : )

post #4 of 7

If you're about function; don't buy a set. If you're about appearance; get the set.


Yes; some brands like Calphalon are Chinese, and you will find reviews by people that tested Calphalon cladded alongside All Clad favoring All Clad (made in USA), but not for the price. I remember reading a comment here that All Clad isn't as good as it used to be (if you can find older ones in a thrift store or online it might be preferable).


Fully cladded cookware can be great for some things, but not all. A frying pan or saute pan I'd like cladded. I don't see the real need for a stock pot (which is more about small liquid surface area and pressure cookers are preferable for stock anyway), pressure cooker, dutch oven, etc to be fully cladded because they tend to cook with liquid that distributes heat. Stainless Steel is susceptible to salt erosion and or chlorine damage. Anything you cook dried beans in, or otherwise add salt to while cooking; you may consider ceramic, glass, or another inert material (building a layer of polymerized oil can help also).


The polish on a frying pan can help it release food (resist the temptation to scrub pans with abrasives -  Barkeepers Friend, Zud, and Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) are ok). Here's a video that will help you realize the futility in having non-stick pans (the new age non-stick require this process): 



There are of course other techniques like cold oil; hot pan, rinsing and straining potato of starch, and de-glazing to make a sauce to make clean up easy. I've taught my assistants that if the chicken or beef is sticking; it's too early to flip it (~2/3 done before flip). -The more you know; the less you need non-stick. ;-)


Cast Iron is great if you don't mind cleaning your pans with a paper towel, and don't mind their heft. They are as non-stick as non stick can get if you use them right. Carbon steel is another option that needs the same care, but it's much lighter and much more expensive.


Buy pans as you need them. Do some research on each one before buying. Some of your old pans are probably fine. 

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Gosh, I didn't realize how much there is to know about pots/pans, and what you cook in them, and add to them while cooking! You're probably right. The pots I do have are working for me right now. I guess I got excited one day, and decided to change the ones I have for new ones. I figured since I had them for so long, that it would be nice to change them. However, as you, and others have suggested, I will continue to research them, and buy them as needed. Thanks.  : )

post #6 of 7
Padernos good. i especially like the glass covers. Made in PEI.
post #7 of 7

If you are looking for non-stick the Calphalon Unison ceramic pans work better than Teflon and are recommended by a lot of the pros around here.  Super happy with mine.




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