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Cookware Advice Needed

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    Cookware Advice Needed

    Ok guys and gals, need some help here.

    SWMBO has determined that the pots and pans in our kitchen need replacement. We have remnants of a set received for our wedding, nigh on 30 years go this February, along with a couple of sauce pans (aluminum!) handed down from my grandmother who died in 1986, and an assortment of worn out non-stick skillets picked up on a trip to the Ikea store in Atlanta 10 or 12 years ago. We shopped a few things at Target, Kohl's and Bed, Bath & Beyond, as well as Sam's Club, over the weekend. It's not like there were doorbuster sales on Black Friday for cookware for the most part - although I did end up with two Kuerig machines for my office. Found a Kuerig Mini for $49 at Target, ideal for the corner of my desk, then next door at BB&B found a full size Kuerig Select for $59. All between 10pm and midnight on Thursday night, when the wife and daughter drug me and my daughter's fiancé out shopping. I've got to return one, still on the fence.

    Anyway, back to cookware. Been reading Consumer Reports online (I have a subscription), then went to America's Test Kitchen, and all over the Internet. Ratings and reviews are all over the place. I know she wants a set that will last the rest of our life, and I am told this is NOT GOING TO BE HER CHRISTMAS PRESENT! . So budget is a consideration.

    I think the more I read that the sets are best avoided, as they tend to throw too-small sauce pans and undersized dutch ovens into the mix. So here is what I am thinking.

    1. Avoid a set. Buy well reviewed cookware of each type (skillet, sauce pan, dutch oven).

    2. Go with clad stainless for most of the pots and pans (triple layer with copper between 2 layers of stainless), as non-stick makes little sense on sauce pans and dutch ovens, and just means they will wear out.

    3. Get in the above mentioned stainless a 2 and 4 quart sauce pan, maybe an 8 quart dutch oven. Thinking Brazil made Tramontina for these, so that they all match.

    4. Get a 6 or 7 quart Cuisinart porcelain coated dutch oven.

    5. Get maybe ONE stainless skillet, likely 12 inch. Would also go Tramontina to match the other cookware.

    6. Get 8/10/12 inch non-stick skillets. America's Test Kitchen likes the Oxo Goodgrips, and those are about $30 per skillet. These are an item that WILL get replaced every few years, just due to the nature of non-stick.

    7. We will of course continue to have my 5 quart Lodge dutch oven (with lid and fry basket), 12" Lodge skillet and 14" Lodge pizza pan. She doesn't ever touch the cast iron stuff though, and considers that to be mine.

    Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated, as I am sick of looking at this. I am the research person. Wife threw that task to me...

    Thanks!

    Jim, hopelessly mired in cookware reviews, in Huntsville...
    Last edited by jfmorris; December 2, 2019, 10:49 AM.

    #2
    FWIW, I have a couple of pans from MadeIn. No middle man. American Made. Tri-ply, stainless steel cookware. Not cheap. but not the most expensive in that material you can get either.

    It's really that simple, in my opinion. You can get all the "must-haves" from them, and you'll have them forever unless you abuse them.

    I got tramontina non-sticks. I think they were $20, and like you said they only last a little while. No need to spend $$$ on these.

    Comment


    • JoeSousa
      JoeSousa commented
      Editing a comment
      I have a couple Made In pans (skillet and non-stick) and they are excellent quality. Great feel to them as well.

    #3
    Get one nonstick skillet in the size you use most. Get the other sizes in stainless. I have All-Clad and imho they are the best. This way you’re only replacing the egg pan and not a three. Stainless clad cookware is great for searing, pan sauces, etc. good luck.

    Comment


    • Old Glory
      Old Glory commented
      Editing a comment
      Another vote for All-Clad. Carbon pans are interesting as well. We also have a few porcelain coated dutch ovens by Le Cruset purchased at the outlet in Kittery, ME. Love them because they are non-reactive and clean easily.

    • DiverDriver
      DiverDriver commented
      Editing a comment
      Totally agree with the All-Clad. I rarely use toxic non-stick.

    #4
    The higher end emrilware is much cheaper and made by allclad. The copper disk is only in the bottom, and not up the sides. Must tests that have been done have showed little to no difference in cooking/heat retention.

    Comment


    • au4stree
      au4stree commented
      Editing a comment
      Been using our Emerilware cookset since we received as a wedding gift, 17 years and they are great performers.

    • HouseHomey
      HouseHomey commented
      Editing a comment
      I have some emerald left from my 1995 (or so) purchase and my 2010 purchase. LOVE, love my emeril!!

    #5
    All Clad seconds are still on sale here:

    https://homeandcooksales.com/?trk_ms...vings+is+here!

    Might be something there.

    Comment


      #6
      Personally, I don't own any nonstick cookware and incidentally, nothing sticks to my pans.

      Comment


      • texastweeter
        texastweeter commented
        Editing a comment
        Slowly working my wife up to my black iron

      • Troutman
        Troutman commented
        Editing a comment
        Our Calphlon non-stick pans lasted maybe 10 years and were shot. They do guarantee them; however, so we boxed them up and got replacement All Clad with the money they refunded us. The pots from the set are still going strong though, maybe 20 years now.

      • Attjack
        Attjack commented
        Editing a comment
        Troutman 10 years isn't bad and guaranteed is better.

      #7
      Knives and cookware are very personal. I think it would be best to shop each piece together considering quality, size, weight and looks as factors. Some skillets can be very heavy or awkward to hold even though they look nice. My stainless skillet is an Emeril Legassi and it was inexpensive but just the right weight and handle for being able to toss/mix.

      You also know what sizes you need from your routine cooking. I like having a 12” saucier with lid and use the same lid for my other 12” skillets.

      it will be fun shopping for them together.

      Comment


      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        My wife cooks, but doesn't enjoy it or get into it as much as I do. I would enjoy shopping for stuff like this much more than she will. She would go with what is cheapest most likely!

      #8
      I have a Le Creuset dutch oven and smaller stock pot with a skillet as a lid. I think I have had them for about 30 years. I bought them for my wife early into our marriage. We didn't have much money and felt really smug as we watched the price of them climb. I have my Lodge stuff for outdoors and we have a mix of other pots and pans for indoors. If something happened to the Le Creuset's I would definitely replace them for her. I looked online and there appears to be sales on everything including these today.
      Last edited by tbob4; December 2, 2019, 04:09 PM.

      Comment


      • Troutman
        Troutman commented
        Editing a comment
        Yup what he said. Best pots made, period.

      #9
      Non stick doesn’t just mean Teflon anymore. I have a ceramic coating non stick frying pan that seems to be tough. It ain’t gonna get scratched easily anyway.

      if you are considering ever having an induction stove (I want one) then make sure to add "induction ready" to that list. Even if you don’t get an induction cook top anytime soon the pans still work on any surface and tend to be higher quality.

      Comment


        #10
        I've got one All-Clad Sauce pan that was my Mom's old pan. A few cheap pots for boiling water.

        Did I mention Cast iron. I have lots of that but I really only use three or four of them. I pretty much only use my 10 inch All-Clad Sauce pan, my cast iron 10s or 12s, 6-Qt Dutch oven, 4 qt Dutch oven and that is about it for me. The rest is done on the grill or over a fire of some kind. I cook pretty simply as it is just me at home.

        When I was at my Dad's this week for the holiday I was putting away all the dishes and, pans, pots etc that him and his wife have. I was amazed at how much crap they had. one million different pans , serving dishes, bowls, glasses silverware, china, pots, pans, spatulas, serving spoons, gravy boats, etc. At that point the only thing I was thankful for was that I did not have all that STUFF!

        Keep it light and keep it to what you use all the time. That is all you need. This is a good time to donate what you don't need and others may, trim the fat in the kitchen and IMHO have a more organized and usable kitchen.

        Comment


        • barelfly
          barelfly commented
          Editing a comment
          You have cast iron?

        • Attjack
          Attjack commented
          Editing a comment
          By weight who really has more though? You or your parents? 😂

        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          Probably me. Attjack

        #11
        I bought a Tramontina set a few years ago and am very happy with it. Performance and build quality are both good. The set I got has 1.5 & 3 qt. saucepans, 8 & 10" skillets and a 5 qt. dutch oven. All of it gets used so I don't regret buying the set, but if I was putting it together piecemeal I'd change the 3 qt. saucepan for a 3 qt. saucier and the skillets to 10" & 12". I also bought a 5qt. straight-sided sauté pan which gets used about 50/50 with my 12" lodge, super handy pan to have.

        My wife uses the skillets more than I do, as I'm more apt to just grab one of my 10" CI skillets and those are a bit heavy for her.

        Comment


          #12
          Tri ply clad for sure. All clad is good but pricey. There are others out there now. Get a saucier, a fry pan and a soup pot and the bases are covered. Pretty much anything else covered by a large cheap stock pot and a carbon wok and your existing cast iron.

          for roasting, just use the CI or half sheet pans with racks.

          :-)
          Last edited by Polarbear777; December 2, 2019, 07:14 PM.

          Comment


            #13
            Spinaker "Did I mention cast iron" LMAO!

            Believe it or not I have 3 pieces of Rachel Ray non stick . The one with the red handle. "Cucina" I think. I really love mine.

            honestly I’m not one that has to have the "Best" or "Best reviewed" of everything. There are a lot of great products today and a lot of average products that will last with care.

            sounds like you have it figured. I like emeril, all clad, cast iron, maiviel, demeyere, some Rachel ray, some Viking etc...

            funnybthat I’m not a real fan of the calphalon and the other.

            Likely you will do fine as you care for your stuff. I think you are right about the sets though. Also I stay away from glass lids and glass in the kitchen in general.

            let us know what you select. I really want to know and need a couple of pieces.

            Comment


            • Potkettleblack
              Potkettleblack commented
              Editing a comment
              I have gotten 15 years of use out of my Calphalon, and it's not really failing now, but I'm slow rolling replacements for the pieces. I note that they don't make the Calphalon that we got for our wedding anymore, a dark metal pan without a non-stick coating, so things have definitely changed.

              Where that's failing me, that's where I'm replacing. A dark saucier has some problems. And I've wanted to replace my large skillet with a high walled saute pan for a long time.

            • HouseHomey
              HouseHomey commented
              Editing a comment
              Potkettleblack Do have the ones with the fat handles before the "stay cool" era?? They used to have some that seemed like they had a really thick coating on them. Everything is different now though. Sophia put a beating on all three of the RR non stick last night. Let’s see how these last.

            • Potkettleblack
              Potkettleblack commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, nice fat handles, and a tech that was supposed to be kinda non-stick, but let you take it up to whatever heat.

              Great pans, but I've bowed a few of the bottoms, have a nice 10" cast iron, a couple of Misen non-sticks, and slowly but surely, it's all headed out.

            #14
            all mine is either emrilware, or Wolfgang all clad, black iron, or my 3 calphalon nonstick. Oh and a TON of bean/stock pots.

            Comment


              #15
              Misen makes a very nice nonstick as well as very nice stainless. Well reviewed. I picked up a 3qt saucier and a 3qt sautée pan to replace pans we got for our wedding. I have an 8” and a 10” nonstick fry pans from them as well.

              MadeIn also gets a LeChef letter of approval for cost and quality.

              Comment


              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                Troutman Really? That's unfortunate to hear. The commercials I've seen for their knife they look quite nice and inexpensive.

              • Troutman
                Troutman commented
                Editing a comment
                Not to get into a Misen bash but I bought into their Kickstarter on that knife. Supposed to have some ungodly Rockwell hardness, well someone already tested one and its phony. The blade has a very rough finish, not smooth like a good polished knife. It's Chinese made. I guess just read the reviews. I own one but don't use it much, too many other choices for this knife junky

              • Potkettleblack
                Potkettleblack commented
                Editing a comment
                I actually love my Misen knife, from the kickstarter. I cut my finger on it just yesterday, fishing something out of the dish drainer.

                Works very nicely for me, my go to knife for nearly everything.

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