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Best pots and pans? - Page 2

post #31 of 68
Le Creuset makes good cookware, certainly.

I think there are plenty of other manufacturers who perform as well for less money. Might not look as pretty doing it though.
post #32 of 68

my wife is looking to get new pots and pan's. I understand that you have to use different makes but who are the god ones and the not so god ones.  my wife is looking to buy from Calphalon is that a good brand?

post #33 of 68

Calphalon is a very good brand; but that only takes you so far.  Whether a given set is right for you depends on the particular line, and whether or not that type will suit.  

 

What, specifically, interests your wife?

 

BDL 

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post #34 of 68

I use Belgique, stainless copperclad. I love em. I think my set came from Macy's'.

I looked at a lot of sets first, even Wolfgang Pucks, etc. But the first thing I look for is a

"folded edge" . If it's a single edge (like Puck's) Ive found that edge to get dinged up and

bent far too easily. My folded Belgique pans are tough.  And pretty. The only down side

is that the handles are a little skinny, especially on the large saute pans/skillets.

post #35 of 68

Have to tout Calphalon... not terribly expensive by GREAT return/replace policy!  Bought a basic set SEVERAL years ago as a gift to self... stock pot (not very large), 2 sauce pans with lids, 2 skillets, and a straight sided saute with lids... in non-stick.  I was good to them... NO metal tools or VERY careful when used.  After MANY years, NO major scratches or any peeling of non-stick surface, but non-stick just wasn't so non-stick any more.

 

Had heard/read about their return policy so checked it out.  Form to fill out at their site... description of what you were returning and why.  NO receipts required.  Could print out a shipping lable tho DID have to pay to have 3 favorite pieces sent back.  A week or so later, got 2 BRAND new replacement items.

post #36 of 68

I can tell you this. My wife and I both love to cook. we bought a set of All-Clad 12 years ago and couldn't be happier. As far as non-stick goes I learned over the years that the best non-stick fry pans we bought at Sams Club in the commercial kitchen area and you get 2 size pans for I think under $20.00. They have lasted the best of all and cook great. As well they are easy to clean.

 

My knife preference is Shun, they are expensive you you really only need 3 sizes. They are sharp as hell so be carefull

post #37 of 68
I agree with the other comments -- individual pieces are better. I started with Calphalon, but have slowly replaced them all with All Clad. Ditto with Le Crueset moving to Staub. Le Crueset works fine, but the interior tends to stain. Staub has a black interior that doesn't.
post #38 of 68

I'm suprised that nobody has mentioned DeBuyer carbon steel.  I have a "Mineral B" skillet and a "Carbone" crepe pan, and I love them both.  Like cast iron, they do require seasoning, but after very little use they're both become practically non-stick.  They're also a screaming value.  I think the crepe pan cost me $25.  I'm not sure of the forum rules about vendors, so I won't say where I got them, but if you'd like to know PM me.  BTW, I can't really tell a functional difference between the Mineral B and the Carbone.  I'd choose whichever was cheaper in the size you want.

 

Regards,

 

Russ

post #39 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsritchey View Post

I'm suprised that nobody has mentioned DeBuyer carbon steel.  I have a "Mineral B" skillet and a "Carbone" crepe pan, and I love them both.  Like cast iron, they do require seasoning, but after very little use they're both become practically non-stick.  They're also a screaming value.  I think the crepe pan cost me $25.  I'm not sure of the forum rules about vendors, so I won't say where I got them, but if you'd like to know PM me.  BTW, I can't really tell a functional difference between the Mineral B and the Carbone.  I'd choose whichever was cheaper in the size you want.

 

Regards,

 

Russ

 

I've had my DeBuyers (std carbon steel pans) for a couple of years and love them, they perform better than any cast iron jobs I've used.

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

 

-T

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post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post

 

I've had my DeBuyers (std carbon steel pans) for a couple of years and love them, they perform better than any cast iron jobs I've used.

In terms of skillets and crepe pans... ditto.  For all else, All-clad is by far the best of the various pot/pan mkes that I use.

post #41 of 68

I have three DeBuyer Carbone frying pans and they are great. I also have a bunch of Vollrath Tribute and they're great as well. Together they make a kit that's hard to beat in performance or price. I'm sure All Clad quality stuff, but man is it pricy. If the the name is important and you have deep pockets, then perhaps AC is the ticket. I priced out the pieces I have in the AC, on sale, and it came to over $2k. I spent around one-third that amount and couldn't be happier.   

post #42 of 68

As far as braziers are concerned, are Browne-Halco, Vollrath Tribute and Admiral Craft pretty much the same quality?  I'm looking for a brazier with a capacity of around 8-10 QTS.

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

 

-T

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post #43 of 68

My reservation with Vollrath Tribute is that the lids are not heavy or tight fitting enough for proper braising. I have no first hand experience with the Browne-Halco or Admiral Craft brasiers, but I see that they are both disc bottom, and I definitely prefer fully clad triply. 8-10 quarts is big so not sure what's available in enameled cast iron, which would be my preference. Cast iron works almost like a pressure cooker with the tight, heavy lids and that is ideal. I'd suggest checking to see what Staub and Le Crueset offer in the larger sizes. It's going to be a lot more expensive than triply though. Perhaps Tribute with some other lid, or weight the lid. 

post #44 of 68

What is your experience with the stuff that you use, salparadise?????  Myself, I'm about ready to order from Dehillerin because they stock the sizes that I need and are staffed with personnel who can answer my every question.  To now I've been totally dissatisfied with the customer service here in the U.S. as they lack real chefs on staff, at least those vendors that I've contacted.


Edited by kokopuffs - 3/15/13 at 3:17pm

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-T

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post #45 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post

What is your experience with the stuff that you use, salparadise?????  Myself, I'm about ready to order from Dehillerin because they stock the sizes that I need and are staffed with personnel who can answer my every question.  To now I've been totally dissatisfied with the customer service here in the U.S. as they lack real chefs on staff, at least those vendors that I've contacted.

 

Kokopuffs, what I use are DeBuyer Carbone carbon steel frying pans, Vollrath Tribute sauce pans, stock pots and sauté pan, and a Tramontina 6.5 quart enameled cast iron dutch oven. The DeBuyer is top quality, cooks like a dream. I fried three eggs (w/ butter) in my large DeBuyer this morning and it's just perfect-- not a hint of sticking, even heat, etc. It sears and grills meat, pan seared salmon fillets to perfection- stovetop to oven when needed. Can't say enough good things about these pans (3 sizes). The Vollrath Tribute is excellent as well, and my only complaint is that the lids are not custom fitted, but that's minor. The 6 quart sauté pan (12") gets a tremendous amount of use, highly versatile and useful. The dutch oven is what I mostly use for braising and it performs without complaint, however, the enamel is discolored now which is a minor annoyance. But I paid $39 for it rather than $150 or whatever Le Creuset costs in that size. If I was assured that the interior of the expensive brands would not discolor I'd probably spring for one. I might also go up one size to 8 or 9 quart since it would have more bottom surface for browning, and I could make larger batches of soups, but since I have 8 and 16 quart Tribute stock pots it's not imperative. All in all, I have a setup that performs extremely well, easy to maintain, and I don't have a ton of bucks in it either. If money were no object I might like to try copper, but having to polish it, using extreme care when cooking, and still get the interiors refinished periodically just seems like a lot when the clad stainless works so well for a fraction of the expense. I would like to have one of the low profile brasiers by Staub or Le Creuset- can anyone comment on the resistance to staining on the interior of those?

post #46 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by salparadise View Post

 

Kokopuffs, what I use are DeBuyer Carbone carbon steel frying pans, Vollrath Tribute sauce pans, stock pots and sauté pan, and a Tramontina 6.5 quart enameled cast iron dutch oven. ...

 

If money were no object I might like to try copper, but having to polish it, using extreme care when cooking, and still get the interiors refinished periodically just seems like a lot when the clad stainless works so well for a fraction of the expense.

 

Sal:  As to copper cleaning, I never bother to polish the copper on my Mauviel 3 qt braiser.  As a matter of fact, after having accidentally spilled some beet juice (from a can of sliced beets) onto the copper, it seemed to clean and 'self-polish' the metal brilliantly and I mean brilliantly.  The three quart size is, however, a bit undersized and I wished I had selected either the 6 or 9 qt model instead - especially way back in 2002 when the dollar was worth a lot more.

 

I really love my deBuyer CS fry pans.

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

 

-T

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post #47 of 68

Money is a little tight and I'm considering the dutch ovens in enamel made by Lodge and Tramontina.  Any opinions there??  What about the Lodge dutch oven made in plain cast iron.


Edited by kokopuffs - 3/19/13 at 7:54am

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post #48 of 68

The enamel Lodge and Tramontina are good value. For home use, enamel is the way to go IMO.  A dutch oven is all about wet cooking. While you can do that in the plain cast iron, they are reactive metals for wines, fruits and tomato cooking. Not ideal. You'll be spending time re-seasoning them and dealing with off flavors and colors.  Plain cast iron is good for hard use environments like rafting, camping and that sort of thing where enamel wouldn't survive.

 

In all seriousness, tramontina makes a stainless dutch oven I would pick for home use over an enameled one. No cracking, crazing, chips and lighter as well. The main down side is it's only 5 quarts. It would be quite at home on a camp stove as well.

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-5-Qt.-18-10-Stainless-Steel-TriPly-Clad-Covered-Dutch-Oven/11072503

 

I use a disk bottomed stainless Tramontina Sauteuse a lot for similar braising dishes.

post #49 of 68

Thanks but I'm really needing something around 7 QTS give or take.

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-T

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post #50 of 68

Tramontina has a 7 quart oval enameled that sells for $80 (walmart). Comparable Staub or Le Crueset is nearly 4X that price. I think you'd probably be pleased with it. I have a 6.5 round Tramontina and it's great except for the enamel staining some. They've replaced the style I have with a new one and I don't know if the enamel has changed or not. I agree with phatch regarding the plain cast iron. It really serves a different purpose and not as versatile. I'd definitely grab one at garage or estate sale if I could though. The Vollrath Tribute is another option if you're willing to source your own lid (or you could buy theirs, but I wouldn't). It's 10 quart, 12" diameter, so a lid should be easy enough to find. 

post #51 of 68

The Vollrath 7 QT Centurion looks good, too.  And so does this 7 QT Tramontina on ebay.

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

 

-T

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-T

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post #52 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by salparadise View Post

 

Kokopuffs, what I use are DeBuyer Carbone carbon steel frying pans, Vollrath Tribute sauce pans, stock pots and sauté pan, and a Tramontina 6.5 quart enameled cast iron dutch oven. The DeBuyer is top quality, cooks like a dream. I fried three eggs (w/ butter) in my large DeBuyer this morning and it's just perfect-- not a hint of sticking, even heat, etc. It sears and grills meat, pan seared salmon fillets to perfection- stovetop to oven when needed. Can't say enough good things about these pans (3 sizes). The Vollrath Tribute is excellent as well, and my only complaint is that the lids are not custom fitted, but that's minor. The 6 quart sauté pan (12") gets a tremendous amount of use, highly versatile and useful. The dutch oven is what I mostly use for braising and it performs without complaint, however, the enamel is discolored now which is a minor annoyance. But I paid $39 for it rather than $150 or whatever Le Creuset costs in that size. If I was assured that the interior of the expensive brands would not discolor I'd probably spring for one. I might also go up one size to 8 or 9 quart since it would have more bottom surface for browning, and I could make larger batches of soups, but since I have 8 and 16 quart Tribute stock pots it's not imperative. All in all, I have a setup that performs extremely well, easy to maintain, and I don't have a ton of bucks in it either. If money were no object I might like to try copper, but having to polish it, using extreme care when cooking, and still get the interiors refinished periodically just seems like a lot when the clad stainless works so well for a fraction of the expense. I would like to have one of the low profile brasiers by Staub or Le Creuset- can anyone comment on the resistance to staining on the interior of those?


I have a Le Creuset 5.2L Enamelled Round Dutch Oven and I don't have any problems with staining yet. I have had it for over 2 years and roughly cook in it once a week. I will not hold back in adding anything to the pot. I have cooked tomato sauces, soups and stews with Tumeric, de-glazed with wine, curry powder, anything that could possibly stain it, I have used. I have burnt food on there accidentally and had no issues in the marks coming off.

 

But I have seen pictures of other peoples that are stained so not sure how they get there. Mine has held up great and I would buy another one in a heart beat. I'm actually considering it because 5.2L is just too small. wish I knew this before.

post #53 of 68

I wished that I could afford Le Creuset brand.

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-T

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-T

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post #54 of 68

I considered the $90 Costco "Kirkland" signature 8 Qt pot: http://www.costco.com/Kirkland-Signature%E2%84%A2-8-quart-Enameled-Cast-Iron-French-Oval-Oven.product.11758081.html but personally didn't buy it only because it's too large for me. But I did do a little sleuthing during my research....

 

Costco Kirkland description:

Each Kirkland Signature™ Oval French Oven is individually crafted in a sand mold. The molds are destroyed after each use, ensuring that your piece is a one-of-a-kind creation. Some irregularities may appear because of our traditional and handcrafted manufacturing process; however this will not affect the performance of your pots in any way.

 

 

Staub description:

Each piece of Staub cookware has been personally designed by Mr. Francis Staub and individually crafted in a sand mould. The moulds are destroyed after each use, ensuring that your piece is a one-of-a-kind creation. Some irregularities may appear because of our traditional and hand-crafted manufacturing process but they will not affect the performance of your pots in any way.

 

You draw your own conclusions. wink.gif

 

post #55 of 68

I hear Tramontina enameled dutch ovens are good, and not as pricey as Le Creuset or Staub. America's Test Kitchen gave it a best product review for the price. I don't personally own one. I own Le Creuset and got it on sale at a great deal. Note that the handles can't withstand over 400 degrees or so. You have to buy a stainless steel one separately if you plan on using higher temps.

post #56 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingNothing View Post


I have a Le Creuset 5.2L Enamelled Round Dutch Oven and I don't have any problems with staining yet. I have had it for over 2 years and roughly cook in it once a week. I will not hold back in adding anything to the pot. I have cooked tomato sauces, soups and stews with Tumeric, de-glazed with wine, curry powder, anything that could possibly stain it, I have used. I have burnt food on there accidentally and had no issues in the marks coming off.

 

But I have seen pictures of other peoples that are stained so not sure how they get there. Mine has held up great and I would buy another one in a heart beat. I'm actually considering it because 5.2L is just too small. wish I knew this before.

 

I think there must be differences in the formulation of the enamel interior that account for my Tramontina staining and your Le Creuset not staining. I only paid $39 for mine and it's still perfectly functional, so I'm not much worried about it. If I had $325 in it (7.25 qt at williams sonoma) I'd certainly be unhappy about staining though. I'd love to invest in a LC because I know they're excellent in many ways, but I'm kinda tight with a buck and it takes some mental gymnastics to justify. ;-) 

post #57 of 68
We just bought a Tramontina dutch oven for around $50. It came with the plastic knob, which we quickly replaced with a Le Creuset metal knob. I think the newer models come with the metal lid knob now. Lodge also makes an enabled dutch.
post #58 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

I considered the $90 Costco "Kirkland" signature 8 Qt pot: http://www.costco.com/Kirkland-Signature%E2%84%A2-8-quart-Enameled-Cast-Iron-French-Oval-Oven.product.11758081.html but personally didn't buy it only because it's too large for me. But I did do a little sleuthing during my research....

 

Costco Kirkland description:

Each Kirkland Signature™ Oval French Oven is individually crafted in a sand mold. The molds are destroyed after each use, ensuring that your piece is a one-of-a-kind creation. Some irregularities may appear because of our traditional and handcrafted manufacturing process; however this will not affect the performance of your pots in any way.

 

 

Staub description:

Each piece of Staub cookware has been personally designed by Mr. Francis Staub and individually crafted in a sand mould. The moulds are destroyed after each use, ensuring that your piece is a one-of-a-kind creation. Some irregularities may appear because of our traditional and hand-crafted manufacturing process but they will not affect the performance of your pots in any way.

 

You draw your own conclusions. wink.gif

 

 

 

Cast shower drain strainers are also made by hand, in sand molds.  But yes, I see the connection you've pointed out.  Costco's no dummy.

We recently bought the Kirkland 5-ply stainless pots & pans.  Awesome quality.  The only downside, when compared to All-Clad is that the Kirkland stuff doesn't have the multi-ply up the sides.

post #59 of 68

After all said and done and all the research completed, I'm going to settle for a brazier in the Vollrath Tribute or the Vollrath Centurian line.  The latter is twice as expensive as the former.  They both seem good values for stainless steel and if it's good enough for restaurants to use, it's quite good enough for me.


Edited by kokopuffs - 3/26/13 at 5:54am

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-T

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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

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post #60 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post

After all said and done and all the research completed, I'm going to settle for a brazier in the Vollrath Tribute or the Vollrath Centurian line.  The latter is twice as expensive as the former.  They both seem good values for stainless steel and if it's good enough for restaurants to use, it's quite good enough for me.

 

I have a restaurant supplier where I get cost plus 5%. I'm just a home cook though. I ordered the Vollrath Tribute 16qt stock pot through them but they accidentally ordered me the Centurian line as that's the line they tend to order for restaurants . When I went down to pick it up I noticed the quality was pretty bad compared to the Tribute line. It also said it was made in China compared to the Tribute line which is made in the USA. The handles were poorly tack welded on as I could see the tack dimple on the inside of the pot. I think the stainless is way poorer quality and thickness on the Centurian line compared to the Tribute.

 

I have viewed the Tribute stock pots and the quality/workmanship is ay higher.
 

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