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Kitchen cookware recomendations requested.

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    Kitchen cookware recomendations requested.

    I've seen that several of you are very good cooks, so I am looking for a little advice on cleaning out my kitchen. I don't do a ton of cooking inside, but I have a lot of cheap garbage equipment that gets in my way and I want to replace it with fewer, higher quality pieces.
    For example I have probably 30 frying pans, mostly either picked up at Walmart a decade ago when I was single or given as gifts. I can't imagine I need more than 1 of a few different sizes, but I want them to last. I have cookie sheets that effectively launch cookies into the air when they suddenly warp at high temps etc.
    I can research brands and manufacturers (but feel free to supply those) but what are your main go-to pots, pans, sizes, finishes etc.? Said another way, if you started your kitchen from scratch with 10 things, what would they be? Not really appliances either, just the actual pots, pans, sheet pans, casserole dishes etc.

    Thanks

    #2
    I've been happy with the Ikea 365 pots and pans I bought a couple years ago. I was given an induction burner, so that was a big factor in why I chose them.. They have good heft for their size, work great. I also have a few Lodge Cast Iron skillets for special use. I use them for frying chicken and also for deep dish pizza and corn bread. As far as sheet pans go, I have 1/2 sheets and I dunno maybe they'd be 3/4 sheets from a restaurant supply house that are great. American Metal Crafters (I think) makes my pullman loaf pan, my bunt pan and springforms are Nordicware.

    Comment


    • _John_
      _John_ commented
      Editing a comment
      We don't have an Ikea so I will haft to look those up, thanks.

    #3
    Get your sheet pans from a restaurant supply store or look for USA pans on Amazon.
    Skillets, you need at least a 12 inch and a 10 inch Lodge cast iron skillet.
    A 10 inch Stainless steel skillet (Calphalon is good or if you want one that will last a lifetime get an All Clad)
    A 6 quart dutch oven. Doubles as a fryer as well. Get a Le Creuset and you'll probably never replace it.

    A small sauce pan for......sauces or toasting spices etc.

    I use my cast iron skillets as casserole dishes, bake cakes in them as well.
    Going cheap on pots and pans is actually more expensive in the long run. Get the best that you can afford. Quality over quantity.

    If I'm in the kitchen, I reach for a cast iron skillet first 99.999% of the time.

    Comment


    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      @Earnest... I suppose you're right. I've just have never done it. If you read about the effect soap has on the seasoning I resist doing it.

    • Ernest
      Ernest commented
      Editing a comment
      Wartface yeah but my philosophy is first break all the rules then see what hatches!! Most folks just pass on the "don'ts" without actually trying the "don'ts" for themselves.

    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      There ain't no rules in the Kitchen or the Bedroom... Meathead!

      Do your thing man.

    #4
    2 Sheet pans
    12 " skillet (stainless) that can go in the oven
    10 " cast iron skillet
    5 qt Dutch Oven
    3 qt sauce pan
    1 qt sauce pan
    9x13 casserole pan

    Bamboo Stir-Fry Spatula
    Stainless Spatula
    Tongs

    These are things I use ALL the time.

    Comment


      #5
      Love my All Clad pans. Don't buy a set, just buy what you need. WS and other have promo pans at good prices and you can usually build a reasonable set from those. I use this pan http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produ...-NoFacet-_--_- more than any other. Add a 4 qt soup pot and a non-stick fry pan for fish and eggs and you don't need much else.

      Comment


      • _John_
        _John_ commented
        Editing a comment
        That looks like a heck of a pan!

      #6
      John cast iron is really way too easy to maintain.
      While it's still new, I used to use a little more fat, and let it warm up real good before cooking. Now nothing sticks, fish, eggs, cakes, corn bread etc. Once I'm done cooking, I run it through hot water and scrub it with one of those plastic like dish Cleaners. Dry it on the stove, apply a thin layer of oil and.....done!
      If I cook strong fishy fishy like salmon, I'll rinse it with a tiny bit of soap.
      Most folks will spend hours seasoning them while they are new. I can't be bothered, I just start cooking. Seasoning will build up with more use.

      Comment


        #7
        I do have an army of lodge skillets ranging from 3 inch to 17 inch

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          #8
          Cast iron is cool, but it's got a bit of a learning curve and it's heavy. I have a 10" stainless steel pan with two handles and a domed lid that I use probably 90% of the time for everything except bacon and eggs. For bacon and eggs I have a very nice nonstick pan (by "very nice" I mean $35 instead of $20).

          I would say one of my "must haves" is a good garlic press- I have a Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press that I bought a bit more than a year ago on the recommendation of Cook's Illustrated and I use it probably three times I week. I HATE chopping garlic!

          Also good knives and good cutting boards but you probably already knew that.

          Comment


            #9
            ThePitt if you have a microplane grater try grating your garlic. You'll never use the presser again.

            Comment


            • ThePitt
              ThePitt commented
              Editing a comment
              I do have one... is it worth the effort to grate over press/ worth the garlic smell on my fingers?

              My favorite BBQ book in the history of ever is by Adam Perry Lang and he recommends taking out the middle of the garlic clove and then grating the rest and I've always skipped that step because *ugh work*. Also because Adam Perry Lang has the most ridiculously complicated BBQ steps and I always shave off the annoying steps.

            • Ernest
              Ernest commented
              Editing a comment
              ThePitt Only take it out if it is green. Might cause some gastric discomfort.
              smelly garlic fingers is just part of the cooking process.

            • The Burn
              The Burn commented
              Editing a comment
              I do this with fresh ginger. But I'm sure I'll shred my fingers on those small garlic cloves :-)

            #10
            My favorite garlic press is the one from Pampered Chef.

            Comment


              #11
              I'm sure they do it to prevent comparisons, but researching All-Clad has been frustrating. I have determined some have a stainless exterior and some aluminum, other than that can anyone give any insight on how they name these things? Amazon has at least 8 model numbers for a 12" skillet, and that's ignoring the the non-stick.

              ​Inviting mgaretz and Marauderer as I believe you both know a heck of a lot about these things.

              Comment


                #12
                All Clad has two finishes in stainless - brushed and polished. Then they have several different constructions of the internal layers. The original is Tri-Ply which is a layer of thick aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless. The outer stainless layer is induction compatible. Later they came out with D5 which is 5 layers: stainless, aluminum, stainless, aluminum, stainless. I like it, but not really sure I can tell the difference between the original tri-ply, which was always excellent. They also have some with copper cores. Some come with lids, some don't.

                Like I said, check out WS, SLT, Macy's etc. for their "promo priced" pans. The one I linked to above is one of them. Homegoods/TJ Maxx/Ross often have random All Clad pieces too, usually well below retail, but check to be sure.

                Not all Tri-Ply is the same. I bought a Sur La Table brand roasting pan that was tri-ply because it was a lot less than the All Clad I wanted. It cooks fine but is much, much harder to clean compared to the All Clad.

                Comment


                • _John_
                  _John_ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks, was at the WS today and I could get a car cheaper than a few of their pans, nothing on special. Good thinking on the others, i'll check em out.

                • Dr ROK
                  Dr ROK commented
                  Editing a comment
                  All Clad can be a bit pricey, but they will last many generations, so they are actually cheaper in the long run. Quality rather than quantity.

                • ThePitt
                  ThePitt commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Williams-Sonoma is insanely, insanely overpriced. I just go to browse/handle the merchandise then purchase what I want from Amazon.

                #13
                There are also some pieces in D7, but that appears to be a WS exclusive, as are some copper core pieces in the TK line (Thomas Keller). D5 in polished also appears to be a WS exclusive, everyone else has brushed. I prefer the polished finish.

                Comment


                  #14
                  I'll add one of my favorites to the above - silicone baking mats. Not sure how I lived without them. Link to Amazon from here and look for "Artisan (2 pk.) Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat Set, 16 5/8 x 11". About $14 and Prime eligible. I may never need to buy another baking sheet.
                  Jim

                  Comment


                    #15
                    Should add - I have a set of anodized aluminum "Circulon" cookware that is nearly 20 years old and still holding up really well. I have a tri-ply all-clad 14" saute for pan sauces and cooking that requires serious browning, but for day-to-day the Circulon has served me very well. There is a significant improvement in the time to boil in those pots compared to stainless.

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