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Stainless pans

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey guys and gals, my name is Kyle, from Nebraska. Yes, we have electricity and internet. I'm going to skip the introduction because there's not muchtherewith; I cook at home and I'd like to serious consider culinary school at some point, but that point is not now.

That said, I'm looking for some stainless steel equipment. Specifically a 10" skillet, 4-5 qt Dutch oven or pot and a 2-3 qt sauce pan. These are what I use at home the most and I personally have no use for anything else right now.

I've been looking at the Calphalon AccuCore, but what do y'all think? That's about my max price range, buying individuals because I don't need the clutter. And like I said, I'm sure there's better choices out there, but for cooking at home, many are probably ununnecessarily good.

Thanks in advance,
Kyle
post #2 of 21

Kyle,

Congratulations on the electricity and internet- movin' on up!

 

Use the search function on here to find threads containing Vollrath Tribute. This is the stainless that I'd recommend for the sauce pan, and the others if you're dead set on stainless.

 

However, what I think is better in the frying pan category is carbon steel. De Buyer is the go-to brand for this. 10 inch pan should be under $40. Carbone line as they're much less expensive than Mineral and I think price is the only difference. I'd suggest the 12.5" size since you can cook anything in it that you can cook in a 10", but that's your call. 

 

For Dutch ovens, Vollrath probably makes what you need in stainless (6 qt. stock pot), but the Dutch oven that everybody loves is enamel coated cast iron. Tramontana at Walmart if you're going cheap, Le Creuset if you want a lifetime purchase. I'm using a Tramontina (also Vollrath 8qt) but I'll be going for a 7.25 qt Le Creuset before too long.

 

Here are links to good vendors for De Buyer and Vollrath:

http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id=8521&categoryid=602#.Va-iMXjWzMU

https://www.katom.com/search?w=vollrath+tribute

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for your reply. I am looking for a stock pot, the accucore one is called a Dutch oven and for some reason stock pot was escaping my vocabulary. If I may, what are the advantages of carbon steel in this case? I was looking at stainless as an upgrade over non-stick (though in my kitchen, it still has a place) but I'm not familiar with carbon steels outside of knives and woks.
post #4 of 21
I'm with Sal on the fry pan. Advantage of carbon steel: highly efficient heat transfer, even heating with no hot spots, seasons like cast iron for resistance to sticking. Like cast iron the pan rust so need to be kept dry.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
I use cast iron very frequently. I have a skillet and Dutch oven, and also a 12 qt stock pot, but those aren't suitable for everything. Thanks again.
post #6 of 21

I just want to throw this out there. If you're not set on SS. I have had my All Clad MC2 pans for maybe 20+  yrs. Still look great and work well. I cook most everyday.  I use gas. They are 3 ply, Stainless on the inside, aluminum in the core and brushed outside. The brushed is nice because you can bring them back to original looking with a little elbow grease.

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post #7 of 21
Once seasoned, which is easy, the carbon steel will be non-stick enough to fry eggs. It's also the best for searing and high heat uses. It's not recommended for acidic foods like tomatoes, but you can still add few to a veggie mix without hurting anything. You just don't want to boil a pan full of them. I have a large stainless sauté pan for that purpose. They're workhorses and great value. I have three. The large(12") gets used the most by far.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Is the seasoning pretty scratch resistant? I'd prefer if I could use metal utensils, mostly whisks, wpatulas and tongs.
post #9 of 21

Yes.

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbuser92 View Post

Is the seasoning pretty scratch resistant? I'd prefer if I could use metal utensils, mostly whisks, wpatulas and tongs.


At first you'll have a thin coating and will want to be careful, but after awhile it will build up and become more durable. I use a metal spatula with mine all the time and it doesn't scratch the coating, however, I once tried a new spatula that had raw edge and it did scratch it. So I worked the edge with a file to get it smooth and now it's fine. You'll need to be careful about scrubbing too much with soap and abrasive pads. Best to just wipe it out with a sponge or cloth and leave it a bit greasy, and that will add to the non-stick coating instead of taking it off. Overall, you don't have to baby it- just be aware that your coating is made of polymers from the oil and you want to continue building it up not take it off. 

 

I have a stainless saute as well and I prefer the carbon steel for browning or searing (or frying eggs). Stainless is almost guaranteed to stick if you get it hot, whereas the carbon will put a nice sear on steak or chicken without sticking. You can also go from stovetop to the oven to finish if you want to. Use the search and read what experienced cooks have to say- I doubt you'll find anybody who has tried them and doesn't like them. 

post #11 of 21

Question for the carbon steel guys.

When I fry or saute I use my cast or carbon steel. I have had a couple of debuyers and I especially like using the one that looks almost like a Paella pan. My better half calls them the dirty pans she is not allowed to use:).  Ok my question. I am attending a decent size gathering of mostly foodies. I want to use the carbon steel pans to start and finish a quasi osso buco. The people throwing the party have a wonderful kitchen but they're on the top floor and the ranges are electric. Will the pans act differently on the electric or should I go with cast?

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post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, I was reading about carbon and it seemed like a little more maintenance and care to use than I'd like, but it seems that it's similar to cast iron? I will have to look long and hard for one that fits my needs. As for the sauce pan and stock pot, I will look at Vollrath. Are there any others to consider, or another brand for the skillet, or are those about my best choice for my price range?

I should clarify: I'd like to spend no more than $50-60 on a skillet, $60-75 on a sauce pan and $75-100 for a stock pot.

Thanks again guys, and sorry for so many questions. I just want to get some good quality cookware that will last without mortgaging my house.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
I forgot to ask another question. Willt the carbon steel pick up flavors the way cast iron does? Say, a fishy taste with your eggs the next morning?
post #14 of 21
I've not experienced that with carbon steel pans.
post #15 of 21
@panini I don't think they'll act differently on electric. I have electric and it works fine.

@kbuser92 I haven't noticed a tendency to pick up flavors.

There are many brands making a tri-ply line these days. They're all going to be in the same price range as vollrath. I've used tramontana and didn't think the heat distribution was as good, but that's subjective impression. Calphalon and Cuisinart make tri-ply lines and I assume they're good, but don't think they're better or cheaper even in the discount stores. All Clad is the prestige brand but they're up to a few times the price, and don't cook any better as far as I can tell- and I've used them enough to form an opinion.

I researched obsessively before buying vollrath and came to the conclusion that I couldn't do any better on price or quality. And I liked the fact that they're industrial equipment rather than a consumer brand. I'm a happy customer and would buy them again.

~~~

PS: I just noticed that Costco has a couple of interesting sets. Cuisinart 12-pc (6 + lids) for $200 and Cooks Standard 10-pc (generic?) for $130. They include 8 qt stock pots, two sauce pans, and skillets. If you're brand agnostic this might be your deal. Attractive prices. If they have a satisfaction guarantee it might be worth a shot.
Edited by salparadise - 7/23/15 at 6:30pm
post #16 of 21

Hey Kyle,

 

Well the best deal going on at the moment for quality SS cookware is @zwillingonline.com  They have some sweet buys on the Sensation line. Demeyere of Belgium makes the Sensation and it's sister line Industry. 5 ply fully clad with thick conductive aluminum layer for even heating. Demeyere IMO is much better all around cookware than All Clad. Demeyere also makes the $$$ Atlantis, John Pawson and the Proline skillet. BTW Although more expensive the  Proline does outperform the Sensation/Industry a little heating wise, but it is heavy making it a little clunky feeling on the stovetop.

 

I went all in on the Sensation and now have a very complete set that I am absolutely  thrilled with. That sale at Zwilling has been going on for awhile so I don't know how long those prices will be up there for, but we are talking over 50% of of MSRP!. I had some Sensation pieces before and added on with this sale. Wish I had waited cause would of got a better deal with these prices. The sets are a particularly good deal. Well thought out with no throw in pieces that you don't want. Seriously! thats almost unheard of in a set. The mfg.'s almost always push something on you that you don't want in a set.  I would usually advise against a set except in this case. All good sizes/shapes no repetition.

 

Yeah other than that I like the disc bottom SS commercial lines from Sitram of France. which offers the Profeserie or Catering lines. Catering has copper disc but no go on Induction. Still great though. I also like the disc bottom Paderno World Cuisine Grand Gourmet/Volrath Centurion. made in Italy. Great feature on GG/Centurion is the double steel reinforced rim. Handles are good also comfortable stay cool tubular. Only thing with disc bottom cookware is if the diameter of pan is not wide enough flame hobs can scorch on the sides. I wouldn't go Disc bottom on a frypan or small to medium saucier. Better to go clad up the sides on a skillet basically. Straight sided pans are fine being disc bottom and I have a larger Volrath Centurion 26cm 4.3 qt rounded saute that performs well even with no cladding up the sides. BTW Paderno GG/Volrath Centurion tend to have more depth and less diameter for their capacity. I wouldn't go under 8" diameter if you have a gas hob, because flames could lick up the sides around the disc and scorch.

 

Remember that cookware is a durable good purchase and will last along time. I wanted to be happy with whats taking up space in my kitchen so I invested in quality. The  build quality will be better 0n Euro Mfg. cookware and standards of European factories is going to be much higher than anything made overseas.

 

Oh one more thing, a great common feature that just happens to be on the cookware lines I mentioned, is that the handles are all welded on, no rivets! So food doesn't get stuck on inside. I particularly like the welded rivetless design of the Sensation/Industry handles, very nice and the same design as the more expensive Proline/Atlantis/Pawson


Edited by BlueWolf - 8/3/15 at 2:53am
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you. Those are a bit above my price range, but I may make an exception because of the sale price, it would almost be dumb to forgo an offer like that. I've still not made a choice, though, they all look very nice.
post #18 of 21

You could go for the 7 piece set at $350 and just add the 11" skillett. That's pretty serviceable. You can also find say a 10-12 quart stockpot elsewhere. Sitram Profeserie is good. Still going to be around $100 for a decent Stockpot from Sitram or Paderno GG/ Vollrath Centurion. You don't really need a clad stockpot, but the Sensation 8 qt was a great deal so I went for one. 

 

On the Sitram Profeserie 11 quart stockpot. Brookstone has them and they often have  sale specials going where you could get a better deal.  I went to the Brookstone website and the size wasn't listed, but on amazon Brookstone is selling them so looks like they have um somwhere there at Brookstone.

 

 

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have a 12 qt already, I may look for a larger (32-40 qt) pot for crawfish, but probably not until next summer. And the Asian market has some that size anyways. Thank you.
post #20 of 21

I agree with @BlueWolf  Sitram is a great brand for the money I own a pot and it is still in great shape after many years.

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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post #21 of 21
I have had my LeCreust (hate auto correct) for 33 years. I also have some commercial SS pans. What I don't have is any non-stick Teflon pans. My CI and LeCreust are non-stick. When my mom bought the pans for me, she said they would last my lifetime. She was right.
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