Jump to content

Menu

Need new pots and pans...


Donna
 Share

Recommended Posts

I need new pans. All the non-stick stuff has worn off. My dh is thinking stainless steel or cast iron. I like non-stick (when it is on and working). Anyone have a great set of pots and pans they really, really like and that have lasted a long time? Suggestions, please?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 101
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I like our stainless steel set. Cook's Illustrated usually reviews cookware and gives ratings, so you might want to check out those reviews. I have pieces from Cuisinart Chef's Classic, which Cook's Illustrated rated fairly well, and the line isn't as expensive as some of the higher end pots and pans. I also have a Henckel's ss roaster, which I love.

 

You might also want to consider getting one non-stick pan dedicated to cooking eggs, if you cook eggs often.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RevereWare--stainless with copper bottoms. They last forever.

 

I know people love cast iron, but the thought of everything that was ever cooked in a cast-iron pan still hanging out there in the molecules just sort of grosses me out. :blink:

 

I have 30yo waterless cookware which has been great. I only use a non-stick pan for things like omelets or scrambled eggs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like different materials for different pans, e.g., stainless for pots that will be mostly used for boiling water, cast iron or anodized aluminum for others (gravy/sauce/chili/dutch ovens), and I like to have both cast iron and nonstick to choose from for saute pans.

 

Costco (Kirkland brand) used to have a decent and very affordable set of stainless, though I'm not sure whether they still sell it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A good quality stainless steel with at least one ceramic glazed pan for eggs. Spend more, even if you have to buy one here and there, because they'll cook more evenly and last forever. Teflon or similiar non-stick is really bad health-wise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am still using my Farberware pots which I got when I married, 19 years ago. I love them. Once or twice in that time the screws holding the handles have had to be tightened. They are stainless steel with heavy bottoms, and are very reasonably priced.

 

I also have two cast iron skillets, one small and one large, which I use for most of my frying. They are virtually non-stick, indestructible, and cheap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A good quality stainless steel with at least one ceramic glazed pan for eggs. Spend more, even if you have to buy one here and there, because they'll cook more evenly and last forever. Teflon or similiar non-stick is really bad health-wise.

 

links pretty please!! esp. the ceramic glazed pan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Kirkland brand of stainless steel pots and pans at Costco are great! I asked for recommendations about a year ago when we decided to get rid of our nonstick pans. Several friends suggested I try it out, because Costco has such a great return policy.

 

I didn't need it. They are really nice--good heavy bottoms to conduct heat, riveted handles that won't ever come loose, and it's a good mix of pots and pans. The price is quite affordable as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love my Creuset. I bought it at TJ Maxx and Home Goods and Amazon. Amazon had an amazing deal on a set that was a discontinued color. :001_huh:

 

I have that and then I have 2 non-stick pans for eggs and pancakes.

 

I had revereware for a few years before I started REALLY cooking. It was OK, but I couldn't do any serious cooking in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Revereware is fine for what it is...a starter set for people with limited resources or who aren't interested in cooking. They weren't made to be extremely accurate.

 

I like cast iron for frying pans. I also have a dutch oven, but not everyone is into the cleaning/seasoning that goes into cast iron or their weight.

 

I picked up a solid little sauce pan at Good Will last year. Its a Calphalon. I like the feel of it. Its much thicker than Revere (my other sauce pans) with more even cooking while still being light. I love it. DH and I will eventually replace all of our saucepans with Calphalon and I'll consider trying a frying pan (I'm usually not a fan of nonstick in pans you scrape). They have several series, all but one series needs to be handwashed. So if that is a problem make sure you have the dishwasher safe version.

 

I'm not a fan of stainless steel. Its awful to clean and it stains so easily.

 

Chowhound has some good reviews too, although foodies can tend toward more expensive brands. The one thing I took away from the discussion was that different types of food cook better in different pans. Different materials conduct heat more quickly/more evenly/longer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a cobbler of sorts. I have a mainstay frying pan that's about 12 inches with a lid, a 10-inch Orgreenic for eggs and small saute jobs, a cast-iron grill/griddle that covers two burners, and a 3-qt Princess House "chef's pan" (sauce pan) that is my pasta/rice workhorse.

 

I would love to own a full decent set and am personally torn between Le Crueset, Lodge (cast iron, hoo-ahh), and All-Clad.

 

I'll second the pp who said to check America's Test Kitchen for reviews.

 

Good luck and let us know what you pick. Black Friday may be a good day to get cookware dirt cheap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stainless here! I have Emerilware, which is made by All-Clad, but not as expensive as their really good line. I love it, and it's way easier to clean than I imagined it would be. I've had my set for six years, now, and I'm really happy with how it's held up, and it cooks much better than my old non-stick stuff ever did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I'm not a fan of stainless steel. Its awful to clean and it stains so easily.

 

 

 

That's so funny -- one of the reasons I love stainless is it is so easy to clean! I just put mine in the dishwasher and occasionally use stainless steel cleanser to shine them up and they look as good as new. I've never had mine stain. I wonder why.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a cuisinart everyday stainless set that my husband bought me a few years ago and it's held up really well and cooks beautifully. I do have 1 non-stick pan for when I make eggs or if my mom is in town, she just can't get the hang of cooking with stainless. The biggest thing that changed when I got away from non-stick was learning that the only thing that needs high heat is boiling water, everything else is med-high at most, usually med will do the trick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We still have some of our copper bottom revere ware, made in USA apparently, inherited from parents who used it for a long time before giving it to us and buying inferior replacements, and who died years ago in their 80's. The newer revere ware we bought is made in China, which offends me somehow, and it also seems cheaper but is similar. This is mostly for boiling water and making rice and so on, and we make Italian pasta in a designated huge stainless pot.

 

The non stickum stuff wore off the cheap but handy, light and (to me) attractive mirro frying pans some time ago and when some eggs went on the floor afterwards during the scooping out nprocess, my wife made some appropriately frustrated remarks about needing new ones.

 

So I went to a local Kroger where they still had the light weight mirro stuff for about $10, but they are also made in China and seemed cheaper and lighter than before. 5-10 years use seems pretty ok for a $10 pan. So I bought them because I like lightweight stuff, but I noticed the Oneida frying pans seemed heavier and nicer looking. They are also non stick but with a different technique that looks as if it possibly "cannot wear off" or at least not as fast, since it is a sort of finish rather than a coating.

 

I did not know non stick was bad for us. At first I felt like a good guy, and my wife said she is satisfied especially with the Oneida, but now I am wondering if she didn't really want some pricey stuff from williams sonoma or somewhere, but that hadn't dawned on me. I had recalled her liking the earlier higher quality mirro pan 10 years ago, but her taste is changing.

 

 

I used to be a young man trying to earn a living in sales, and i was briefly trained as a door to door pots and pan and imported chinaware salesman, targeting gullible young brides and engaged women. ("This is something the bride can enjoy choosing and bringing into the new home!") I mainly recall we resold the heavy duty and fancy looking stainless steel stuff and chinaware for about a 500%-1000% markup or more. (In my defense I did not have the deceptiveness needed for this job and quit before actually closing any sales.)

 

E.g. the chinaware cost us about $15 and we sold it for around $135. This was 50 years ago, but be aware cookware is apparently still a very high markup product line.

 

of course we still have our cast iron skillets for certain special items like a wonderfully simple un-iced buttermilk based country chocolate cake we bake in the oven in it

Edited by mathwonk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I were trying to put together an "ultimate (bargain) starter-set," I'd do something like this:

 

1) Get a Tramontina 18/10 stainless starter set from Walmart for $129. This gives you an 8" sauté/fry, 10" sauté/fry, a 2 qt sauce, a 3 qt sauce, and 5 qt Duthch Oven.

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-8-Piece-Cookware-Set/5716478?findingMethod=rr

 

2) Add an el cheapo 8 qt thin steel stock-pot (probably Korean). This would be almost exclusively for water-based cooking (like boiling pasta or steaming corn). Cheap. Something like this (yes it is "junk", but serves the limited purpose well):

 

http://www.amazon.com/Imusa-Stainless-Steel-Stock-Quart/dp/B0018KNC4C/ref=pd_bxgy_k_img_y

 

 

 

3) An good sized enameled cast-iron Dutch Oven. The Le Crueset or Staub pieces are highest quality, but a "knock off" like Tramontia would be the "budget" choice.

 

4) A larger fry pan (12") or an assortment depending on needs. Here cast iron is often the "go to" choice. It is a very good choice but I will offer one I think is better. Very thick (3mm) carbon steel sauté pans. The ones I have are French with cast iron handles, but can not be found anymore. DeBuyer makes some highly rated ones they call "mineral pans" that look good. Not cheap, but will last generations.

 

There is one in particular called a "Country Fry Pan" that is similar in shape to a saucier or flat-wok that looks very handy. I have a heavy French copper/steel pan like this and it is my most used pot.

 

See DeBuyer Mineral Steel Pans here (may not be lowest price):

 

http://www.chefscatalog.com/catalog/search.aspx?scommand=search&search=debuyer&sourcecode=DW1GG1019&gclid=CK2q9-uix7ICFSiCQgodfl8Adw

 

5) Maybe an egg pan.

 

This would be a good start. Cast-iron pieces can often be picked up inexpensively at thrift stores or yard sales. And as long as they are not "pitted" even rusty ones can be re-claimed with a little effort.

 

Bill

Edited by Spy Car
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have fallen in love with NordicWare, which is non-stick, made in the US, and very sturdy/has lasted me nicely so far (admittedly, not long enough yet to be considered "long term"; about 1 yr thus far). I am happy to buy from a company that is producing a quality product, in the US, using green energy practices as well.

 

I found mine at WalMart; they are not very pricey, and are also available on-line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's so funny -- one of the reasons I love stainless is it is so easy to clean! I just put mine in the dishwasher and occasionally use stainless steel cleanser to shine them up and they look as good as new. I've never had mine stain. I wonder why.

 

I tried 4 different pans early in our marriage. (I should probably say I tried 1 pan and then dh kept bringing the others into the house.) With each one there was sticking, staining, and I had to take a brillo pad to it on a regular basis. Even with the brillo pad they were stained and ugly and I had a hard time getting food out (eggs especially).

 

They are pretty when you get them. I have no idea why our experiences are so different. I went through a very frustrated period where I hated every frying pan I'd ever owned, until I got a cast iron pan that wasn't over-seasoned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was reluctant to make the switch from non-stick, but adjusted very well to SS even for omelets.:001_smile:

 

My SS set is Cuisinart; I've used it for going on 10 years now, and I love being able to scrub it or even use a fork:D.

 

I have some Calphon (sp?), but pretty much stick with my Cuisinart pots and pans.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite and most versatile piece of cookware is my 12" iron skillet. I can cook almost anything in it: I use it in the oven, on the stove, sauté with it, fry fish or eggs, make spaghetti sauce, bake cornbread, simmer stews, etc. The possibilities are endless. The only downside is that it's heavy, so if you have weak arms or wrists, you'll get tired of carrying it around the kitchen.

Other than that, I have a couple of basic stainless steel stockpots and saucepans that get daily use and one nonstick skillet that I rarely use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But RevereWare pans are very thin and therefore cause hot-spots and scorching of food. Sorry, but I think RevereWare is "junk"

 

Bill

 

This is true of the new ones.

 

If you can get old ones at an estate sale or from someone's mom, they are excellent. Mine that I bought while in college (long time ago!) are excellent.

I've tried a newer one and it was indeed junk!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have cast iron for frying pans, and stainless steel for pots.

 

Much of my stainless is RevereWare. It is older, but it's worked great since I bought it back in college. Don't know about the newer stuff, because I've never needed to replace anything.

 

The stainless is very easy to clean - at least for pots. The cast iron frying pans become very non-stick, and are also easy to clean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is true of the new ones.

 

If you can get old ones at an estate sale or from someone's mom, they are excellent. Mine that I bought while in college (long time ago!) are excellent.

I've tried a newer one and it was indeed junk!

 

We had the old ones growing up. They were OK, but not great. The construction was solid, but they are too thin IMO to do non-water-based cooking well.

 

I used them a lot. They were way better than the Faberware pieces we had (those were useless) but thickness makes a big difference.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anyone ever hits the "jackpot" the French heavy copper pots and pans with stainless-steel liners and cast-iron handles made by Matfer Bourgeat are simply the best cookware one can ever use (for most purposes). They are $$$$$ but the quality is phenomenal, and these will last multiple generations.

 

These are an "investment."

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of mine are stainless, but I do have a few non stick that I like. With a balance of price (meaning not too insane) and quality so far my favorite have been from Calphalon.

 

I hate to say it, but I really dislike cast iron. I'm into cooking...I'm supposed to like it right? Nope...don't like it at all.

 

I hate cast iron. I pretended to like it. I bought one, used it.....kept using it while ruining everything I cooked. I think I even told people I liked them. But no. No amount of using it made me like it.

 

I love my All Clad. I have one insanely priced copper and the rest are the stainless.

 

And I have a couple stock pots that barely fit on my stove.

 

ETA: Oh and I have a huge oval Le Crueset dutch oven. And a wok.

Edited by 425lisamarie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of mine are stainless, but I do have a few non stick that I like. With a balance of price (meaning not too insane) and quality so far my favorite have been from Calphalon.

 

I hate to say it, but I really dislike cast iron. I'm into cooking...I'm supposed to like it right? Nope...don't like it at all.

 

Have you ever tried carbon-steel/black-steel/mineral-iron skillets? I think they have the best of cast-iron but are less "bulky" (they are still heavy but the metal is more dense) and the smoother finish make them cook more "cleanly" than cast-iron. And they clean up easily.

 

I have both but will usually reach for carbon-steel over cast-iron.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I once had a cast iron griddle. That thing was a nightmare to clean. I mean you aren't supposed to submerge it in water right? But if it gets really grungy it's just freaking hard to deal with. But water makes it rust. And where am I supposed to store a greasy griddle?...

 

I wash my iron skillet with hot, soapy water and dry it on the stove (right away) almost every time I use it. My pan is seasoned, but it doesn't stay greasy or sticky. If it starts to rust, I re-season it--which is rare, but has happened when someone left it in the sink or dish drainer by accident.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you ever tried carbon-steel/black-steel/mineral-iron skillets? I think they have the best of cast-iron but are less "bulky" (they are still heavy but the metal is more dense) and the smoother finish make them cook more "cleanly" than cast-iron.

 

I have both but will usually reach for carbon-steel over cast-iron.

 

Bill

 

I think that's what my crepe pans are. They are very thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that's what my crepe pans are. They are very thing.

 

Yep. The only difference with the crepe pans is that they are usually thinner (and smaller in diameter). But it is the same material. Most Chinese Woks are also carbon-steel. They take a little while to bet up to temperature (as steel is not as good a conductor of heat as copper, or even aluminium) but they take heat and will sauté like monsters. Indestructible.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a carbon steel wok and it works well, it wasn't an expensive model.

 

My favorite pan is my 4 qrt All Clad Saute pan

 

I do love my plan jane Lodge cast iron 10 in skillet, which is also a lid to a 4 quart cast iron dutch oven I have. I cook eggs, bacon and sausage in my cast iron usually.

 

I cook my saute pan for pan frying , curries and such.

 

I saute as well in my wok but usually not heavy sauce items

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a cuisinart everyday stainless set that my husband bought me a few years ago and it's held up really well and cooks beautifully. I do have 1 non-stick pan for when I make eggs or if my mom is in town, she just can't get the hang of cooking with stainless.

This is what I have, in addition to a couple of Ikea ss pots, a 12" cast iron skillet with double handles and a Cuisinart griddle that spans two burners.

 

I use the Everyday stainless (2, 2.5, 3.75, 9, and 16 qt.) or Ikea (7 & 11 qt.) pots to cook pasta, soup, chili, rice, etc. I use the nonstick pans or griddle to cook eggs. The cast iron skillet is for just about everything else - stir frys, taco meat, sautes, and on and on. We use the skillet almost every day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a carbon steel wok and it works well, it wasn't an expensive model

 

Yea, that is a good thing about carbon-steel, it is cheap. Woks are great and even the "flat" Woks (while not traditional) can be great on a Western stove.

 

You're right though, there are times (like having a sauce-based finish, there a stainless interior (over a core) is best.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suggest good, heavy stainless steel - go to your local restaurant supply store and get what they have there. It won't be cheap, but it will last FOREVER. Many people don't know that restaurant supply stores will usually sell to the general public, but they often will. Their smallest sizes are generally a large size for a normal household :-)

 

I bought a stockpot from a restaurant supply in college. It still looks brand new, and it gets used all the time. It's heavy and easy to clean. I don't think they have an actual brand name, but they usually just have one kind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I were trying to put together an "ultimate (bargain) starter-set," I'd do something like this:

 

1) Get a Tramontina 18/10 stainless starter set from Walmart for $129. This gives you an 8" sauté/fry, 10" sauté/fry, a 2 qt sauce, a 3 qt sauce, and 5 qt Duthch Oven.

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-8-Piece-Cookware-Set/5716478?findingMethod=rr

 

 

We have this set from Walmart. They are cheap and still look brand new (we've had them about 3 years now). It was the first set of stainless dishes I've had and I've been thrilled with them. I really don't find that stuff sticks that much worse in them than teflon. I didn't want iron because they are heavy and you can't use soap on them. I wanted as little room for error as possible.

 

I highly recommend using barkeeper's friend to clean stainless pans with. It is a powder and keeps the pans looking new.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I never noticed either one during the 5 or 6 years I cooked with it, unless I turned the flame up and walked away. :D

 

The copper in RevereWare is too thin to do a good job dispersing the heat (which is why copper should be used in cookware). This makes the copper mostly decorative. And the steel (also thin) heats unevenly.

 

High quality modern multi-ply cookware with copper and/or aluminum layers sandwiched with stainless steel liners are quite superior to RevereWare.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have this set from Walmart. They are cheap and still look brand new (we've had them about 3 years now). It was the first set of stainless dishes I've had and I've been thrilled with them. I really don't find that stuff sticks that much worse in them than teflon. I didn't want iron because they are heavy and you can't use soap on them. I wanted as little room for error as possible.

 

I highly recommend using barkeeper's friend to clean stainless pans with. It is a powder and keeps the pans looking new.

 

Considering one can (easily) pay $129 for a single pan for All Clad, getting a whole set for that price is a bargain.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For anyone wondering about cast iron, I do submerge mine in water all the time, and they don't rust unless I leave them in for too long or don't dry them all the way. I usually wipe them with a cloth to dry them. We have a 10" skillet that gets used anywhere from one to three times a day; it's beautiful now. Rarely does anything stick to it, and if something does, it's because we didn't throw in enough fat. It cleans up so nicely too. Our other cast iron is very nice to use, but it's not nearly as non-stick because it's not used nearly as often. The oblong griddle thingy is a bit of a pain to clean, both because it doesn't quite fit in our sink, and because it's not as well-seasoned, but even it is pretty lovely for burgers.

 

The cast iron dutch oven -- marvelous. Sear the meat on the stove, let it slow cook in the oven, and then use the pot to make gravy on the stove again, all without changing pots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am learning a lot here and am pretty sure now I made a mistake gong to Kroger for cheapo frying pans.

 

The big stainless steel pasta pots and so on my wife brought in a few years back all seem to be calphalon, which costs a lot more than I would have expected.

 

We used to have a big stainless steel omelette pan with a long wooden handle tipped in steel, but it seemed all style and not much functionality to me.

 

As an old guy with arthritis, I can say there comes a time when weight matters a lot, and you need to change even if the stuff has not worn out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an old guy with arthritis, I can say there comes a time when weight matters a lot, and you need to change even if the stuff has not worn out.

 

I totally know what you mean! Our pots and pans are REALLY heavy, and with my arthritis that makes them really hard to pick up sometimes, especially the bigger ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...