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What kind of pots and pans do you have?


mommyoffive
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When I had to replace mine I followed American Test Kitchen rec's. I ended up with a mix of All Clad, Cuisanart, and Le Creuset depending on what I could find deals on and their recommendations. I've been well pleased with all of them, they cook well. 

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We have a mixture.  The items that I love and go to most often--my grandmother's cast iron skillet and my Staub enameled cast iron pieces (small and large Dutch oven and an all purpose pan--like a large deep skillet).  

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I've been through many pots and pans over the years.  (revere, calphalon, knock-off calphalon, scan-pan, etc.)  I do not buy sets - ime: you end up with pots you never use.    We buy a particular pot for a particular purpose.  

I'm a firm believer in NOT paying retail. (even their "sale" prices - many of which should have been their regular price.)  I've been building a collection, most of which will last forever.  I buy a lot of seconds pieces at TJMaxx/Marshall's (same owner.)  some off ebay, some from AC seconds store.  I prowl.  Different sizes of sauce pans, saute pans, stock pots, frying pans, etc.    

I have all-clad d5, AC triply, AC NS1, Cuisinart French classic, Cuisinart MCP, (same thickness as All-clad.  , and Tramontina - makes ONE line - that is the same thickness as all-clad. - other triplys are not as thick.)

and some cast iron.   I especially like my cast iron griddle. - someone gave dh a stainless steel popover pan.  I despised that thing . . So I bought him a cast iron one.  so. much. better!

I recall the first time making a béchamel sauce in my AC 4qt non-stick sauce pan . . . . swoon.  worth. every. penny.

2dd isn't much into cooking, but she had pots with stainless disk bottoms.  So I bought her a triply pot.  (I'm there enough - she lives in another state.) She was awakened to how much of a difference there really is.

 

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9 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

What do you guys think of stainless steel pots and pans?

that's what triply is.   It has three plys/layers of metal - one of stainless, one of aluminum, one of stainless.   (the AC copper core isn't worth the money - the copper layer is too thin.)  The aluminum conducts heat better than stainless so the pots will heat more evenly.   Stainless doesn't conduct heat very well, so it's not even and scorching is more common.

I remember when my mom got rid of her collection of pots - revere, heavy-guage aluminum (conducts great, but aluminum really needs to be coated with something.), other - she got stainless rena-ware back in the 70s. (she was working for them.) It's some sort of layered stainless.  I don't know all the layers it had then.  I noticed an improvement.  My brother has them.

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I worked for Crate & Barrel for years, built up a huge collection of pots and pans, and attended and presented countless demo sessions over those years. When my ex and I separated a few years ago, he ended up with almost all of the cookware, and I went out and got a few new pieces for myself. I'm not even sure what the brands are on the new ones, but I shopped at TJ Maxx and looked for good prices on specific features.

I chose an enameled 12 inch 4qt braiser, and a stainless steel 3qt pot, with steamer and double boiler inserts. They have glass lids, handles on the side, and are oven safe. I use those for almost all of my cooking. I eventually went back for a duplicate of the 3qt pot, since I use it so much, and then added a flat grill pan for pancakes, since they are about the only thing I couldn't pull off in the other cookware.

I also have a small stack of 1/4 sheet pans, a bundt pan, silicone muffin cups, and a loaf pan, and some electric cookware (crock pot and kettle). 

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

What do you guys think of stainless steel pots and pans?

Mine can all be used on electric, gas or induction stovetop. We cook mainly soups and stir fry for daily meals so my most use pots and pans are my 5qt pot and 12” wok. I have a small sauce pot for heating up sauces and making roux.

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I have been slowly building up a collection of All-clad. I like the way it conducts the heat. I have had vintage Revereware (didn't like), Corningware (didn't like), Visions by corning (didn't like). 

In the past, I had some Le Creuset, the Martha Stewart version of Le Creuset, and some vintage 80s ceramic cookware from France (name escapes me). I liked them all, but the Le Creuset was heavy. My ex got the French cookware 😞

*It was Arcoflam cookware from France. 

Edited by MissLemon
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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

What kind of pots and pans do you have?   Pros and Cons?  Or why did you pick the certain kind.  Could be a brand or the type of pan.  

I am looking at getting some new pots and pans and just wanted to hear what kind are good or bad. 

I love to cook (and have been on the planet a long time) and I've acquired a rather vast collection of cookware. And my experience is cooking with gas (not electric or induction, which can have their own requirements).

Each type of cookware has its strengths and weaknesses. 

My advice would be to build a set off a foundation of "ply" stainless. I have a good amount of All Clad. Good quality, but not inexpensive. Cuisinart makes some that's less expensive, well regarded, but I've never used it.

Over the years I've recommended Tramontina Triple-Ply to many people on this forum as an inexpensive alternative to All Clad, despite have only "seen it" (as opposed to cooking on it). I have had nothing but very positive feedback from people who purchased Tramontina. 

My own mother (who passed this year) purchased a set of Tramontina on my advice. I recently got an opportunity to use her set for the first time when we stayed at her condo. I liked it. It was on an electric range (which is out of my "comfort zone") but it performed well.

The Tramontina triple ply is well finished. The lids are almost exact copies of the All Clad. The balance and the handle design are not as nice as the All Clad, but the cost savings are considerable.

To a stainless ply set I'd add made from carbon steel (aka mineral steel, black steel) from De Buyer (or similar). Carbon steel is similar to cast iron (need to be seasoned) and is excellent for high heat cooking (like searing). I call this "dirty" cooking (as opposed to "clean" cooking, where ply excels). Carbon steel is heavy, but much lighter than cast iron.

I'd get a small inexpensive nonstick skillet for eggs, etc.

It is nice to have a large enameled cast-iron dutch oven for stewing and braising. These tend to be expensive.

If your set lacks a large pasta pot there are very cheap large (thin) stainless pots that are no good to cook in, but fine for boiling. Generally made in Korea.

This would be a good start IMO.

My very favorite pans are heavy French copper in a ply with stainless liners and cast handles (made by Bourgeat) but prices on these have gone crazy in recent years. I have a large set and I cherish them. My "price is no object" recommendation, but Tramontina at 1/10 the cost is where I'd start if I was watching my pennies. All Clad is very nice as well.

My 2 cents.

Bill

 

 

 

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I have a variety of stuff in a variety of prices. I like my Revere ware stainless, but I've gotten other stuff as gifts over the years, and I've picked up duplicates of sizes I use frequently. I think thick bottomed Revere makes a nice basic set if they have sizes and requirements you want.

Frying pans--I like my Cuisinart SS frying pans. I have an Aldi SS frying pan that is basically identical except the handle is attached differently and wobbles. I like the way they both cook and would not otherwise know the difference, lol! 

I have a couple of non-stick, but I can't seem to find a brand that lasts that long. I know my parents have some, and I probably just need to see what they use. The ones I have are a stop-gap until I feel like paying more. I have some older T-fal pans, and they are fine; I might like updated versions of their non-stick.

Pots--I love the couple of Tramontina pots I have. I think we picked up one at a TJ Maxx sort of store, and I bought one for next to nothing at a yard sale--it still had stickers on it. It's my favorite pot in the world because of size and shape. It's not so wide that it doesn't play nicely with other pots and pans, and it has both a steamer and a double boiler that fit on top. If I am eating veggies that steam well together, I can put one veg in the bottom in a folding steamer basket and one veg in the steamer basket that fits the pot and save space, energy, and time. It's also a great pot for moderate amounts of soup--batches that don't quite require a large stock pot. When I picked up the Tramontina at a yard sale, I was looking for a pot that size and shape, and the modularity was icing on the cake. I had no idea if the brand was good or not, but it had a nice thick bottom. 

I cook on gas. I am not a fancy cook, so that should inform the value of my opinion--I have a lot of food intolerances that have been shifting sand, so I lost the joy of explorative cooking, and I've never been a foodie because the ratio of preparation time to how fast it goes down the hatch bugs me way too much. (I loved to bake and try new techniques that way, but being GF and needing to avoid cards took the wind out of that too).

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I have 3 different kinds:  Greenpan,  T-Fal stainless steel, and my grandmother's vintage pot.     There are pros and cons to each.  The Greenpan is delicate and scratches easily, no matter how careful I am, but nothing sticks and it is my favorite frying pan to use for eggs and pancakes.  The stainless steel pot heats quickly, evenly, and is fantastic, but things do stick sometimes which is frustrating.   My grandmother's pot has nothing but pros and no cons.  It is also probably at least 80 years old and pots aren't made nearly that good anymore.   Depending on what I am cooking will depend on what pot I use.

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I had to rehome the majority of my cookware when we adopted our canary, as Teflon / PFOS / PFOA fumes can kill pet birds. I now use primarily my grandmother's stainless Revere Ware and a GreenLife set.

I've been happy with the non-stick properties of the GreenLife pans, but I did read that they shouldn't be used at higher than medium heat to preserve the ceramic coating. They come in fun colors and are inexpensive.

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Just bought the Kirkland five ply SS. For the price I just couldn’t go wrong! So far I really like them. 
 

We have a couple deep Greenpans - supposedly the healthy and safe choices for nonstick but I agree that they scratch easily. 
 

I looked at All Clad and had to take a deep breath over those prices!

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31 minutes ago, BlsdMama said:

Just bought the Kirkland five ply SS. For the price I just couldn’t go wrong! So far I really like them. 
 

We have a couple deep Greenpans - supposedly the healthy and safe choices for nonstick but I agree that they scratch easily. 
 

I looked at All Clad and had to take a deep breath over those prices!

That's why I refuse to even pay their sale prices.  Seconds are just fine.. - but it takes time to stalk TJMaxx/Marshall's/AC's "seconds" site, etc.

It's nice costco came out with a five ply set.  probably based off the AC D5 (which I love.)  -

just a btw: their original kirkland luggage was based off tumi.

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We have just gotten this set in the last few months.    So far we love it:

https://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-Premier-12-piece-Anodized-Cookware/dp/B08159PZ91/ref=sr_1_10?crid=2YD32LPPOLZLD&dchild=1&keywords=calphalon+cookware+set&qid=1610223486&sprefix=calph%2Caps%2C169&sr=8-10

My husband gets a gift from his work every 5 years for his anniversary.   This is the gift we picked for his 15 year anniversary with them.   We always pick new cookware, and each anniversary he qualifies for upgraded stuff.   So, we didn't pay for it.

Edited by DawnM
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All Clad for almost everything.  I adore my All Cald.  I’m old enough to have started with Master Chef, and now I have some D5 also.  Steady, even heat.  No sticking.  Less use of fuel.  Nice fitting lids—less evaporation but no weird lid explosions.  I am so spoiled.  

The exceptions are:  A cheaper pasta pot called a Multi Pot that has a deep pasta insert, a less deep steamer basket, and a glass lid.  Great for pasta or for steaming things, and pretty darned good for slow cooking of spaghetti sauce.

And an iron Dutch oven (Lodge) to bake sourdough rounds in.

And Vitaclay rice cooker, which I absolutely love.

Most of my bakeware is shiny, inexpensive drug store’s finest, or Pampered Chef stoneware.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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I have mostly Tramontina's tri-ply. If you want All Clad, but can't afford it, they're made the same way. They're incredibly good. I'm hard on pans - they've been excellent.

I have a large Le Crueset Dutch oven that I adore. If you can't afford Le Crueset, the Lodge enamel is nearly as good for a smaller price.

Edited by Farrar
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All-Clad pots and pans and bakeware.  A couple of Pampered Chef stoneware-pizza stone and baking sheet.

I wanted a lifetime warranty and for my son, who is a culinary student, to be able to inherit them.

I also have Lodge cast iron skillet and dutch oven.

 

Edited by AngelaGT
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PS. Why I have Lodge non- enameled iron for my sourdough—I start at 500, and that is either at or above the upper temp limit for enameled iron, depending on brand.  Not interested in risking delamination at those temperatures, or contamination or whatever.  I’d rather have iron in my food than whatever is in enamel.  

 

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When my son moved out a few months ago, we sent most of my collection of mis-matched cookware with him and bought the Le Creuset I'd always wanted. Even buying from the outlet store at theoretically discounted prices, it hurt when I pulled out my debit card to make the purchase. However, no regrets at all so far. It's made it so much more enjoyable to cook that it's been totally worth it.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

I have mostly Tramontina's tri-ply. If you want All Clad, but can't afford it, they're made the same way. They're incredibly good. I'm hard on pans - they've been excellent.

I have a large Le Crueset Dutch oven that I adore. If you can't afford Le Crueset, the Lodge enamel is nearly as good for a smaller price.

Yes, years ago when I was first starting out replacing my cookware - I did a lot of research.  Cooks magazine/Le Gourmet/?  I don't remember which, did a huge spread on comparing cookware.

There were only a scant handful of triplys on the market that were comparable to AC.  (there are a lot of triplys are on the market - the vast majority are thinner.) They measured with calipers, examination of how they're made, then did some cooking tests.  (While AC did win on the scorch test against tramontina and cuisinart- unless you're a master chef, a home cook probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference.)

Tramontina's triply (sorry, I don't remember the name of their triply line.  I don't actually own any though it's on my radar.)

and

Cuisinart's

-French Classic (made in france, straight sides) and

-Multi-clad Pro (made in China, rolled rims) -

the handles are different too.  (I prefer the French Classic's handles.)

(cuisinart makes other lines of 'ply' cookware, with similar names - they do NOT compare with AC.)

 

another thing they said - and I've found to be true - you want metal lids so you're not using all your heat to the heat up glass.  As tempting as it is to be able to see what's going on in the pot, metal lids simply cook better.

 

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Although I had been a pleased, loyal customer for years, I would highly advise against any purchases from Sur la Table at this point.  I was upset when our local store closed last year.  I placed an online order at the beginning of December.  Part of the order is still in "processing".  Trying to reach Sur la Table has been impossible.  When I call the customer service number I get someone who says they will email the vendor and then somehow the call "disconnects".  I have tried completing the online form for customer service, but it doesn't work.  I have tried emailing and they give me a phone number to call but that doesn't work.  I used a gift card for payment, so I can't just stop payment on my credit card.  

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8 hours ago, Bootsie said:

Sur la Table

Oh dear, I didn't know they were in trouble! I have a towel fetish and like their dish towels somewhat better than Williams Sonoma. It will be sad if they go under. Maybe I can stop in and pick up some towels. 

8 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

Yes, years ago when I was first starting out replacing my cookware - I did a lot of research.  Cooks magazine/Le Gourmet/?  I don't remember which, did a huge spread on comparing cookware.

There were only a scant handful of triplys on the market that were comparable to AC.  (there are a lot of triplys are on the market - the vast majority are thinner.) They measured with calipers, examination of how they're made, then did some cooking tests.  (While AC did win on the scorch test against tramontina and cuisinart- unless you're a master chef, a home cook probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference.)

Tramontina's triply (sorry, I don't remember the name of their triply line.  I don't actually own any though it's on my radar.)

and

Cuisinart's

-French Classic (made in france, straight sides) and

-Multi-clad Pro (made in China, rolled rims) -

the handles are different too.  (I prefer the French Classic's handles.)

(cuisinart makes other lines of 'ply' cookware, with similar names - they do NOT compare with AC.)

 

another thing they said - and I've found to be true - you want metal lids so you're not using all your heat to the heat up glass.  As tempting as it is to be able to see what's going on in the pot, metal lids simply cook better.

 

Yup, research is what I'm doing now. I gave dh very vague suggestions for Christmas of "Go to Williams Sonoma and get D3 because it's tri ply" and "I would like more knives" and you can imagine how that ended up. :biggrin: Actually my big embarrassment is realizing I have put NO effort into pans for the last how many years! I have a scad of enameled cast iron (le creuset, lodge, tramontina, a bit of everything), an eclectic mix of clearance skillets from Kohls (apparently I thought I'd try various lines?), and even a collection of antique visionware (which I actually really like, you make laugh, but most of which we broke). 

We weren't very delicate or skillful chefs, so we slowly have worn out things, ruined things, broken things. Most of my original stainless steel set from marriage got tossed. I even destroyed a *beloved* le creuset thing, not sure what it's called. It was shallow, about 12" wide, two narrow handles. Maybe it's called a casserole? It was the BOMB. So loved that pan. We used it all the time. I think dd may have been the one, heating it too much, adding some liquid, who knows. The glaze started flaking up. Sad, sad, sad.

So now I'm realizing my pan situation is sort of dilapidated! What he got me is (shh) Calphalon. One piece is tri clad and another a disk bottom. They're actually really cute, though the 5 qt tri clad has terrible reviews for warping. I *think* what I'm going to do is return them and replace. He agreed he wouldn't be offended at all if I returned them and picked out two new pans. He just said something about them not being "$500 a piece" hahahaha. :biggrin:

  This lovely lady on youtube has kind of a balanced perspective on eclectic pot use. I think she struck it right that in reality you're asking 1) what you want to cook and 2) what pot you would need and 3) what specs are really needed to make that pot work well.

I also sort of fell down a rabbit hole researching carbon steel

 

only to conclude that it *probably* isn't going to work on my glass top stove. Now would I want to make a move to induction at some point? I don't know, I will need to replace my stove at some point and I don't do gas because of the fumes. But even induction doesn't seem to be good with the carbon steel. If I had lots of energy and a gas stove, they seem lovely to me. It also means that the right cookware for you is connected to what type of stove you're cooking on. It doesn't have to be stainless! It's what you're cooking and what your options are with the surface/heat you're using.

So then I read a funny little tip in a Chowhound forum (because I keep searching things) and they suggested trying *TJMaxx*. Sure enough, I got there today and they had an astonishing variety at stupid low prices! Now most was nonstick, but still, they had All Clad, carbon steel, paella pans, all kinds of nifty stuff. I ended up grabbing a Lodge round griddle https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Griddle-Pre-seasoned-Pancakes-Quesadillas/dp/B00008GKDN/ref=sr_1_4?crid=95B7RBLTLMZH&dchild=1&keywords=lodge+cast+iron+griddle&qid=1610257435&sprefix=lodge+%2Caps%2C339&sr=8-4  It was only $10 at TJMaxx and $15 on amazon. I have several cast iron pieces (5 or 6, dunno) but I just got out of the habit of using them. I thought this might connect directly to food I like to make. Should be great for quesadillas or even large pancakes (fun!), and it works fine on my glass stove. 

So then here is an article for you on the Tramontina vs. All Clad debate. https://www.seriouseats.com/2010/08/equipment-the-all-clad-vs-tramontina-skillet.html  He has some helpful pictures showing differences in browning. I mentioned I have an eclectic mix of 8 and 10 ish inch skillets. Maybe they're 9 and 11. I ought to measure, lol. Anyways, I'm pretty sure in that mix I have a tramontina, cuisinart (disk bottom), Food Network (no longer available?), and Calphalon. The Calphalon is warped miserably, likely due to abuse. I never said we were nice to our stuff or good at what we were doing, lol. And honestly, if you spend 10 years driving hours and hours each week for therapies, you end up eating frozen fish pieces and throwing something in the instant pot. The whole question of pots and pans was moot. But here I am with less therapy driving and more time on my hands, so I might as well be kind and spiff things up and cook.

So the Tramontina is the pan I *want* to like and don't. And the only thing I can pin down concretely is the slope of the sides. If you look at the pictures carefully of various fry pans, you'll see the differences. Even among fry pans, some slope the sides more than others. The Tramontina is a lovely pan but the slope is extreme. So functionally my favorite pan of the bunch is the Food Network. I have no idea who made it or what they do, but that pan KICKS BUTT. I made eggs today, and when the planets align and you get it properly heated and use it right, you can crank out omelets with NO STICKING. I'm huge on omelets, because I eat them with lots of veges and HOT BBQ as my comfort food. So the Food Network pan, which I can't get more of but was probably a budget/clearance choice, is something I would buy more of just for that budget option. Too bad it's not available and I don't know what's comparable. 

The Calphalon warped from abuse. The Tramontina is unwarped despite our abuse, but the metal looks like it's stained or pitting or beginning to wear through in the stainless layer, not sure. I'm not really inclined to replace it with more. It's mainly those sloped sides, sigh.

I've also discovered I have a *handle* fetish or thing or pickiness and that maybe America's Test Kitchen doesn't think through things the way I do, kwim? You can go to youtube and find their reviews. I always appreciate their analysis, and that's why I had unthinkingly told my dh to buy the All Clad D3. Well then I got in the outlet (after Christmas, after receiving the other stuff) and realized the D3 handles feel awful1!! And other reviewers say the same thing. I suppose it is subjective, but like I said I'm in my 40s and maybe I don't value things and prioritize the same way as ATK. Like maybe their analysis is prioritizing cost or whatever and other things matter to me, kwim? The way the weight of the skill and handle balance matters a lot to me! The way the handle feels, like whether the thing is so imbalanced and narrow I'm going to drop the pan matters! So if you can get your hands on things, it would be good. Amazon does returns easily through Kohls, etc. You might be able to see Tramontina in person at Walmart. I didn't make it there tonight. And of course Williams Sonoma has stuff. But if you buy something through amazon, you can send back what doesn't suit you.

So after all that, I am kind of getting interested in Demeyere. I need to get back to Williams Sonoma and see if they have any in stock. I was at the outlet before, and things were jumbled on shelves, so you couldn't tell what you were looking at. Turns out I really like the handles on the All Clad Collectives line. So if just handles were deciding (since the prices between D3 and D5 are sometimes very close, 10%), then I'd go Collectives. But then I found out about thsi Demeyere, which WS sells. It's made by Zwillings, which is also Henkels (knives). They're trying to upscale and beat All Clad, so they have a few more features. I'm not sure they're better, but I'm very drawn to their elimination of *rivets*. We don't seem to have a ton of problems with them, just peskiness, but they do make me not want to cook tomato products or anything wet in my pans that have rivets. So just for the cleanness, Demeyere makes a lot of sense. But that's not a budget option at all, not even close. 

What I like from my research is the realization that *the pans I need* connect to *what I cook*. So now that I've learned about sauciers, skillets vs. fry pans (because literally I hadn't even sorted this out, been sorta busy the last 10 years, lol), weeknight pots, etc. I'm just spending some time thinking about what I have been cooking, what I want to cook, and what pans would make those things go better. And I've also concluded that for almost any SHAPE of pot you want, you're going to have some pricepoint options from inexpensive to expensive that could get you there. For instance, ATK has a video reviewing sauciers (which I really need, haha, need is so relative) and they have a $$$ pan at the top and a very economical Calphalon as their #3, go figure! And they said ALL worked fine. 

The other little twist for me has been our shift toward smaller batches for cooking. I just got a cooking for two book and today picked up the most adorable "Pyrex Littles" bakeware that can make the 2-3 person batches that seem to fit us better. We use our toaster/convection oven quite a bit, so I'm excited to have smaller scale pans that fit these new recipes, like a batch of cornmeal muffins that only makes *4*! I didn't even have a pan small enough to do that, haha. So I've been noticing in the reviews that the tendency is to take down the size a bit for smaller families. I might find the more common 3+ quart saucier a bit much and do well to consider a 2.5. I thought I wanted a large skillet (14" collective All Clad) but in reality something smaller would fit. I have an ATK cooking for 2 cookbook from the library and they pair the recipes with suggested pans. I just need to think about it to make sure the scale of pans I'm prioritizing matches what I want to cook.

Well I hope you like whatever you buy. Because I already have stuff in general, I'm probably just going to take my time and buy a few things as I figure out *why* I want them. Oh and I STRONGLY agree with the advice to go cheap (Tramontina, whatever) for pasta pots, steamers, etc. I have a couple of those, one larger and one smaller. Tramontina or something good enough and economical is FINE for that. If you don't have one, a large pot with pasta and steamer inserts can be such a great start! I think I picked up one at Walmart on clearance once. It was tramontina. They get pretty abused, so I don't make soup in them anymore. (the metal in the bottom leaches because it's getting worn) But for cooking pasta, they're fine. For soups, I'm either going to use my enameled cast iron (again, any price point is fine, it's ALL fine) or my Instant Pot.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-Gourmet-4-Piece-8-Quart-Covered-Multi-Cooker/36778060  Here, something like this. It will change your life. 

 

Edited by PeterPan
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https://www.lecreuset.com/braiser/LS2532.html  Ok, this was the pan we loved. I'm pretty sure dd destroyed it the last time she was home, sigh. It can be done. Overheat it drop, pop pop. It has left such a hole in my cooking existence. 

If you decide you want comparisons on enameled cast iron, ask. I've got stuff from Aldi, Le Creuset, Lodge, Tramontina. I haven't really looked at carefully to see what wears better than others. I think there are differences in design. I used to cook beans on the stove (which bubbled over, stained the pan, and was a pain) so I had a small Le Creuset for that. Now I do beans in the Instant Pot. That goes back to that point that what pans you want connect back directly to what you want to cook, kwim? People mention using a saucier for rice, but I do that in the IP. Now PIE FILLING, that I want a saucier for, hahaha. Dh is huge on pies. So you can believe high on the priority list is picking a saucier to fit pie filling. :biggrin:

Now I'm really curious. Dh said I could pick out two pans for my Christmas present and return those others if I decide I don't want them. They're actually really cute, especially the 3 quart, and the handle on the three quart is great. But it's really tempting to replace the Le Creuset braiser that died and maybe get a saucier for pie filling. Then I could slowly acquire more pieces as I sort things out, directly tying pan to what I want to cook. I got the new lodge thing so I'll make quesadillas, and so on. So I can sort out how picky I am on Lodge vs. Le Creuset. It was such a great pan. I cannot believe she did that. I'll have to measure, but if that thing was $360 and she destroyed it, that's awful, sigh. 

I guess that was my last piece of advice. LOL Don't feel compelled to overbuy or buy things so nice you cry if your kids destroy them. They very well may.

Edited by PeterPan
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18 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Oh dear, I didn't know they were in trouble! I have a towel fetish and like their dish towels somewhat better than Williams Sonoma. It will be sad if they go under. Maybe I can stop in and pick up some towels. 

 

 

Sur la Table closed 50 of its stores and sold to private investors as part of a bankruptcy deal.  I don't know what their online customer service was before, but I would expect a Sur la Table customer service person to to spending five minutes stumbling over the word "crepe".  If there is something you want, I would advise going in and get them.  What little I can get from them is "vendor issues" and they won't release the payment from my gift card so that I can get something else.  My suspicion is that they are having vendor issues because they have been paying their suppliers or have been slow at paying them with the bankruptcy proceedings.  

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4 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

Sur la Table closed 50 of its stores and sold to private investors as part of a bankruptcy deal.  I don't know what their online customer service was before, but I would expect a Sur la Table customer service person to to spending five minutes stumbling over the word "crepe".  If there is something you want, I would advise going in and get them.  What little I can get from them is "vendor issues" and they won't release the payment from my gift card so that I can get something else.  My suspicion is that they are having vendor issues because they have been paying their suppliers or have been slow at paying them with the bankruptcy proceedings.  

Ok, so let me make sure I understand. You're saying you placed an order for an item that was in stock and it did not ship? They're listing cookware on sale and I'm in the market. So if I ordered something for pick up at our store that I could get to locally, will I actually pick it up? But if I order online it's a crap shoot? I agree a cc is safer in that situation.

Edited by PeterPan
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5 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

I would expect a Sur la Table customer service person to to spending five minutes stumbling over the word "crepe".

We had a department store chain that went bankrupt and it was liquidated by another company. At that point the whole tone changed. 

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2 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Ok, so let me make sure I understand. You're saying you placed an order for an item that was in stock and it did not ship? They're listing cookware on sale and I'm in the market. So if I ordered something for pick up at our store that I could get to locally, will I actually pick it up? But if I order online it's a crap shoot? I agree a cc is safer in that situation.

When I ordered the items, nothing was noted as being "out of stock"--just simply "allow 14 days for shipping".  When I look at my order online now it says the  shipping status is "processing"--not any mention of out of stock, back ordered, possible shipping date.  It has been like that for a month now.  Sur la Table acknowledges I have not received the package.  But, they say they can't cancel the order and refund the charges to my gift card until they talk to their vendor...which maybe they can do next week... and then maybe they can refund the card.  Their employees keep telling me not to worry that the gift card hasn't been charged; it just shows a zero balance and can't be used, but it hasn't be charged yet and won't be until the items ship ?🙄?

Sounds to me as if they have a cash flow problem.  They took payment for the gift card, so they owe me, but they don't have the cash to pay vendors to get their inventory now.  

I would do an in-store pickup if that is an option where you are; hopefully there is a person that you can talk to if there is a problem.  

image.png.3a6c64a2b0fc1479b5b43a5609faf0e3.png

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11 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

"allow 14 days for shipping".

Yeah, I'm looking through their sale and some items are in stock and others say they'll ship from vendor, which has those longer dates. We'll see. I'll definitely be cautious, thanks!

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29 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

We had a department store chain that went bankrupt and it was liquidated by another company. At that point the whole tone changed. 

Since you are sensitive to slope and considering braisiers, please please please look at my faves at Williams Sonoma—the All Clad D5 Essential Pans.  They come in three sizes, and they are wonderful.  I have the 4 quart and the 6 quart.  They are nicely sloped, kind of like deep frying pans, very even heat despite the large diameter of the bottoms, so I really don’t get hot spots or a lot of radial temp variation.  I use them to saute and brown, braise, and deglaze and make sauces, of course, but also for things that I used to use deeper pots for, because the lids fit well so despite the large surface area things don’t seem to dry out.  For instance, I used to always make chicken and dumplings in a deep, heavy, straight sided pot, and now I make it in these.  Plus the depth means that for things I used to use my frying pans for, no more spattering.  Plus you can put them right in the oven, and they are safe to 600 degrees!

They are a Williams Sonoma exclusive, I believe.  And now are my go to wedding present for special friends.

If I had had these sooner, I would have a lot fewer pots and pans.  For one thing, I’d get the third size, too, and ditch the frying pans completely.  And no more two handled straight sided kettles.  No semi-wok.  No saute pan.  Just these, a 2 quart base double boiler, a multi pot, and that Lodge cast iron Dutch oven for bread.  Well, I guess I would need my cast iron frying pan if I ever start making pot stickers again.  Because I can’t really make things stick to the All Clad very easily.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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42 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Ok, so let me make sure I understand. You're saying you placed an order for an item that was in stock and it did not ship? They're listing cookware on sale and I'm in the market. So if I ordered something for pick up at our store that I could get to locally, will I actually pick it up? But if I order online it's a crap shoot? I agree a cc is safer in that situation.

this is not encouraging to me at the moment.   I ordered an item for 1dd in December (not sur la table)  for her birthday tomorrow.  So far as I know, it still hasn't even shipped.

 

I remember when there was one Sur La Table - across the street from Pike's Place market.  It was so crammed full of stuff, you could hardly move.  They expanded too fast, so I'm sad to say - I'm not really surprised.

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15 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

look at my faves at Williams Sonoma—the All Clad D5 Essential Pans.  They come in three sizes, and they are wonderful.  I have the 4 quart and the 6 quart.

Ooo, thanks for the recommend! Yes, the Essentials were on the (blushes) wish list I was developing! So you're saying get the 3/4/6 qt of those and skip a lot else? Interesting. I think one reason dh wanted me to go toward stainless is he gets stuck washing. I'll probably start a thread on it, because it's its own discussion. 

So have you compared the All Clad Weeknight pan and the Essentials? The Weeknight is also 4 quart, brushed, similar price.

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25 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

a 2 quart base double boiler

Haha, I'm pretty sure I own a double boiler insert! I think it came with something I bought, like maybe that smaller steamer/stockpot. I never use it because it's so much easier just to whip out a stainless steel bowl of the correct size and throw it over a pot of boiling water. I have a set of SS bowls I got dirt cheap at a restaurant supply. I don't use a microwave, so to make rice krispie treats I use the largest SS bowl over my large pasta pot. I don't even use the double boiler when I do chocolate or something small because it seems such a waste. I think the double boiler insert has lines or something, I don't know. I just use the SS bowls, lol. 

28 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Well, I guess I would need my cast iron frying pan if I ever start making pot stickers again.  Because I can’t really make things stick to the All Clad very easily.

Ok, I saw people talking about this in reviews. You mean you make them from scratch? We've so been living the Frozen life, haha. I go to Trader Joes and throw whatever I find there on a baking sheet and bake it, done. Is there something I should be doing differently? From scratch is probably not happening for another 8 years till ds is gone, lol.

30 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

If I had had these sooner, I would have a lot fewer pots and pans.  For one thing, I’d get the third size, too, and ditch the frying pans completely.  And no more two handled straight sided kettles.  No semi-wok.  No saute pan.  Just these, a 2 quart base double boiler, a multi pot, and that Lodge cast iron Dutch oven for bread.

Yup, I'm starting to see your logic. The Visionware (yes, laugh but it does basic things fine) I use all the time is, well I need to measure it. It's what I need more of, that kind of every day, 3" deep, makes things happen kind of pan. So I think you're onto something here because I use that pan over and over, multiple times a day. Drives me a little crazy, because maybe I'll make beans and rice for lunch then it's dirty when I go to make dinner. 

That's the thing. Like they can say brown this, sear that, put it in the oven, but that's not what I do. (Yet!) I'd *like* to learn to do it for fish possibly. We eat a lot of fish, and I've always been so in survival mode that I just take the pieces out frozen, adorn them, and bake. I'd love to become a little more gourmet on that, but I'm not yet, lol. I don't eat red meat, so searing steaks is not a draw. 

Do you ever do stir fries? My dh likes shrimp, so I'll make him stir fries with shrimp, spicy brats, peppers/onions, and wild rice. Now that I have him convinced on quinoia, I could do even more stir fries. Ds will eat them for lunch too. I don't think I want a *wok* because I'm not really that official. Just something that casually lets me put things together in 2-3 person quantities. We used to do it in that Le Creuset braiser that dd destroyed. It was wide and flat and held heat, so it did GREAT. I'm thinking these essential pans wouldn't be enough base. 

I think I need to replace the braiser *and* get the essentials, hahaha. :biggrin: But seriously if there's a better pan for casual stir fries, I'm interested. 

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1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

the All Clad D5 Essential Pans.  They come in three sizes, and they are wonderful.

https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/all-clad-d5-brushed-stainless-steel-weeknight-pan-4-qt/?pkey=s|all clad weeknight pan|2  Here's that weeknight pan. So it only comes in 4 qt, either D3 or D5, but it's 13" diameter vs. 11 ½, ie just a little shallower. Ok, I went to measure my (beloved) visionware pan, and it's 9 ½" wide, a little under 3" deep. So that's letting me think through those Essentials and Weeknighter measurements relative to what I already have. 

The other scrappy thing, and this is such a first world problem, is the HANDLES on these things! I have a drawer stack for my pots, so the top drawer is shallow and the other two drawers are deep. They're, I don't know, maybe 33" wide? I could measure. I can put two le creuset soup pot type things side by side without a problem. But if I go putting in stuff that has these stupid long HANDLES, suddenly I've changed how my drawers function! If I got pans that *nested* and had some logic to them, it wouldn't be a problem. 

I saw someone who had hung this gorgeous massive 14" AC collective fry pan. Total pan lust, hahaha. But I don't really even have a good place to hang pans. I have drawers and can rearrange. 

Do you use these essentials pans for scrambled eggs? Eggs are such a study, with the ways to make them. I mean, you can just make them, sure. Dd had this way of making them creamy. My stepfather makes them on nonstick and cajoles and talks to them a long time, till they're a marvel. So I've been making our eggs in my random skillets. We used to cook bacon first in that (destroyed) Le Creuset braiser and then make the scrambled eggs in there. The way we did it, the entire bottom was gunked by the end. Part of it is the bacon just sticks and gets bits. Bits are of course flavor, and you want that flavor in the eggs! 

So if you want bacon in your scrambled eggs, what's the sensible pan for that?

I agree with you, I don't want to end up with an unnecessary number of pans. However I already have enough enameled cast iron that I don't just need bulk, if that makes sense. I really need to improve function. I want a better pan for pie filling. I want may bacon and eggs to go better. I want options for pans for omelets (big/small, wet vs. fluffy). I need to a better pan for casual stir fry. And I want to get some pans that scale down to *2 people* well, because I'm switching over to 2 person recipes.

Well anyways, I'm just hashing it out loud here, lol. I do think one of my enameled cast iron is pretty similar dimensions to one of those essentials pans. I don't want to duplicate on that. I'm going to go measure. 

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On 1/8/2021 at 2:49 PM, mommyoffive said:

What do you guys think of stainless steel pots and pans?

I've switched to mostly stainless steel and really like it.  My MiL gave me some emeril pans that work well.  I also bought the cheapest option of 2 size pots from the big chain store and I like those too.  It's easy clean up - I can scrub as hard as I have to without fear of damaging them.  The only things I don't like to make in them are pancakes and eggs.  I have kind of decided that nonstick pans (or we bought a gridle this time) are the best for those items, but they don't last forever.  I'll just plan on buying the cheapest option of nonstick and replacing every so often.

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3 hours ago, LauraClark said:

The only things I don't like to make in them are pancakes and eggs. 

What I read is the pores of the stainless are open and don't close till you heat it. I've been seeing some tips about preheating the pan until a certain point (what the water does). I've been kind of random about it, so sometimes I get that slip slide effect in my stainless and sometimes I don't. But like yesterday I made omelets twice, nailed it both times, so it *can* be done. Preheat the pan, put the butter in to where it melts and the water in it evaporates off but the pan is not so hot that you're all the way to burn/poof, then add room temp, not cold eggs. See if that gets you there.

I was trying to find a link saying some of this, because I saw it lots of places in my reading. Came across a video suggesting seasoning your stainless skillets with lard. Ironically, my grandma did say she seasoned her stainless and she was very particular about how it was washed because she didn't want the seasoning taken off! I'm not sure it's necessary, but hey who am I to argue with my grandma? :biggrin:

Your pancakes are sticking? Eggs I understand. Pancakes, are you preheating long enough, using a correct temp, and using a thin coating of oil? We NEVER have sticking with our pancakes. Zero, no matter which pan. I have some kind of stainless electric griddle I got from WS years ago, no sticking. Regular skillets of all varieties, no sticking. 

So I think work on your technique. You should be able to get *closer* to things not sticking, even if you decide you like nonstick better.

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9 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Haha, I'm pretty sure I own a double boiler insert! I think it came with something I bought, like maybe that smaller steamer/stockpot. I never use it because it's so much easier just to whip out a stainless steel bowl of the correct size and throw it over a pot of boiling water. I have a set of SS bowls I got dirt cheap at a restaurant supply. I don't use a microwave, so to make rice krispie treats I use the largest SS bowl over my large pasta pot. I don't even use the double boiler when I do chocolate or something small because it seems such a waste. I think the double boiler insert has lines or something, I don't know. I just use the SS bowls, lol. 

Ok, I saw people talking about this in reviews. You mean you make them from scratch? We've so been living the Frozen life, haha. I go to Trader Joes and throw whatever I find there on a baking sheet and bake it, done. Is there something I should be doing differently? From scratch is probably not happening for another 8 years till ds is gone, lol.

Yup, I'm starting to see your logic. The Visionware (yes, laugh but it does basic things fine) I use all the time is, well I need to measure it. It's what I need more of, that kind of every day, 3" deep, makes things happen kind of pan. So I think you're onto something here because I use that pan over and over, multiple times a day. Drives me a little crazy, because maybe I'll make beans and rice for lunch then it's dirty when I go to make dinner. 

That's the thing. Like they can say brown this, sear that, put it in the oven, but that's not what I do. (Yet!) I'd *like* to learn to do it for fish possibly. We eat a lot of fish, and I've always been so in survival mode that I just take the pieces out frozen, adorn them, and bake. I'd love to become a little more gourmet on that, but I'm not yet, lol. I don't eat red meat, so searing steaks is not a draw. 

Do you ever do stir fries? My dh likes shrimp, so I'll make him stir fries with shrimp, spicy brats, peppers/onions, and wild rice. Now that I have him convinced on quinoia, I could do even more stir fries. Ds will eat them for lunch too. I don't think I want a *wok* because I'm not really that official. Just something that casually lets me put things together in 2-3 person quantities. We used to do it in that Le Creuset braiser that dd destroyed. It was wide and flat and held heat, so it did GREAT. I'm thinking these essential pans wouldn't be enough base. 

I think I need to replace the braiser *and* get the essentials, hahaha. :biggrin: But seriously if there's a better pan for casual stir fries, I'm interested. 

Ply cookware is not ideal for high-heat cooking, like stir-fry. Not the right tool.

Instead look at carbon steel. Traditional woks are made of carbon steel.

Consider a DeBuyer Country Fry pan for this sort of purpose. Flat bottomed (better for Western range-tops) but with sloped sides.

These sorts of pans take time to pre-heat, but once "hot" are very stable as long as the heat source remains.

https://debuyer-usa.com/products/mineral-b-country-fry-pan?_pos=1&_sid=3267d93ee&_ss=r

Bill

 

 

 

 

Edited by Spy Car
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58 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

Ply cookware is not ideal for high-heat cooking, like stir-fry. Not the right tool.

Instead look at carbon steel. Traditional woks are made of carbon steel.

Consider a DeBuyer Country Fry pan for this sort of purpose. Flat bottomed (better for Western range-tops) but with sloped sides.

These sorts of pans take time to pre-heat, but once "hot" are very stable as long as the heat source remains.

https://debuyer-usa.com/products/mineral-b-country-fry-pan?_pos=1&_sid=3267d93ee&_ss=r

Bill

 

 

 

 

I have a carbon steel wok too but mine just came from Wal-Mart.

I use cast iron for my egg pan. I have a small cast iron I use for things like toasting nuts or spices and cooking naan.

I have 2 cast iron dutch ovens, one for camp fire and one for the stove.

I have 2 non-stick griddle pans. One for gf people and one non-gf- they are used for quesadillas, grilled cheese/sandwiches, and pancakes.

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20 minutes ago, Soror said:

I have a carbon steel wok too but mine just came from Wal-Mart.

I use cast iron for my egg pan. I have a small cast iron I use for things like toasting nuts or spices and cooking naan.

I have 2 cast iron dutch ovens, one for camp fire and one for the stove.

I have 2 non-stick griddle pans. One for gf people and one non-gf- they are used for quesadillas, grilled cheese/sandwiches, and pancakes.

 

Good stuff!

I love cast iron. It is heavy. Fine for me, but I'm  large man.

One favorite "outdoor" cast-iron piece is my Potjie Pot. It is a pot-bellied dutch oven with three legs from South Africa.

Great for slow cooks.

Bill

 

 

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11 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Ooo, thanks for the recommend! Yes, the Essentials were on the (blushes) wish list I was developing! So you're saying get the 3/4/6 qt of those and skip a lot else? Interesting. I think one reason dh wanted me to go toward stainless is he gets stuck washing. I'll probably start a thread on it, because it's its own discussion. 

So have you compared the All Clad Weeknight pan and the Essentials? The Weeknight is also 4 quart, brushed, similar price.

Yes, I’m saying get those, try them for a while, and then figure out what else to get.  If they had been available when I started buying All Clad, I would have a lot fewer pots and pans.

I have not seen the Weeknight pan except online, but it is intriguing.  I believe that it is only available in D3, and in investigating D3 vs. D5, D3 is faster-responding but D5 has more even heating.  I have been amazed at the even heating even of the 6 quart essential pan, and it being D5 must have contributed to that.  I have not felt that the responsiveness of it being slower than D3 has been an issue.  It still seems pretty responsive to me.  So I would still suggest the Essential Pans.

I suspect that one reason AC came out with the Weeknight pan is that the Essential Pans are exclusive to Williams Sonoma.  

ETA:  I see that you’re saying that there are D5 Weeknight pans, and so maybe I’m wrong.  I’m not sure which ones I would pick.  I do like the depth of the Essentials to avoid splattering, but if I were getting D5 anyway, the Weeknight might be a good compromise to have more surface area, AND the D5 would ensure even heating.  I’d have to look at them to see.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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19 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

One favorite "outdoor" cast-iron piece is my Potjie Pot. It is a pot-bellied dutch oven with three legs from South Africa.

I love that you use a Potjie!!  A lamb potjie that takes a few hours to cook over the fire is just the best.

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Peter Pan—addressing many of your other comments/questions here.

Regarding double boilers—I used to do the stainless steel bowl thing, but I love my AC double boiler so much.  It’s a thick ceramic insert that fits into the 2 quart pot with a collared rim, so it can’t sink in too far.  The thing that makes me prefer it to my old SS bowl method is that it heats up slowly and very evenly.  For melting things like chocolate, I like this better than the SS in which the heat was heavy at the walls and didn’t extend inward much and dissipated quickly.  Also, the pot lid fits on the insert, so if I need something to hold near temp I can help that by covering it.

I don’t make scrambled or fried eggs.  I hate them and the smell alone makes me vomit.  So my husband makes those, and he likes his battered, disgusting nonstick fry pan for them.  Whatever floats his boat, I say, as long as I don’t have to do this.  When I used to force myself to do it anyway, while holding my breath, I found that my fried eggs came out credible looking from my old 8 or 10 inch AC fry pans.  No idea how they tasted but DH seemed to like them.  I know what they are supposed to look like, so I cooked to appearance.  Neither of us had needed to make quantities that require the 4 quart Essential pan, although if we had a 3 quart I might try that.

Pot stickers:  The authentic way to make these is to heat up about 1/2 inch of peanut oil in the bottom of a heavy cast iron fry pan, fry on one side for a few minutes, hold a lid in one hand (I use a griddle) and a measuring cup of water in the other with a glove on that one, QUICKLY pour in the water and cover almost simultaneously (there WILL BE significant and dangerous spattering), turn down the heat, and steam for about half an hour.  The initial fry gets that first side stuck enough to brown.  The steaming finishes the filling and loosens the potstickers enough from the pan that they don’t tear when you get them out with a pancake turner.  

I have only done this with homemade wrappers.  I’m not sure that the thinner Costco wrappers would hold up to this treatment, but it does give results that are the same as San Francisco Chinese restaurants so I’m at a 10 for authenticity.  I have not done this in years.  Making the wrappers takes a long time, and the commercially available won ton skins are not comparable.  I need to scout out whether there are thicker, larger wrappers available in the local Chinese markets now—if so, I might try it again.

Stir fry:  I can do great stir fry in the essential pans.  They are less responsive than my old carbon steel wok, which of course is the gold standard, but they are much easier to clean and I can match the results with a little effort.  The key is to get the temperature right before putting the food in.  The oil needs to be very hot but not quite smoking.  I test it by flicking in drops of water—they should skitter, not drop in.  So, for instance, I would often have one fry for the meat, add sauce, cook briefly, take it out, then one fry for the veggies, then combine.  Whereas with the essential pan I would double check the temperature before frying the veggies, maybe wait a minute after dumping out the meat for it to get to temp.  And then keep the meat and sauce in the warming oven instead of out on the counter, so that it would not drop the mixture temp too far when adding to the veggies.  To me this is fast and easy.  If you want a real wok, though, get a 14 inch carbon steel one from Taylor and Ng.  Those are the real thing and that is a great standard size.  

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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12 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Ooo, thanks for the recommend! Yes, the Essentials were on the (blushes) wish list I was developing! So you're saying get the 3/4/6 qt of those and skip a lot else? Interesting. I think one reason dh wanted me to go toward stainless is he gets stuck washing. I'll probably start a thread on it, because it's its own discussion. 

So have you compared the All Clad Weeknight pan and the Essentials? The Weeknight is also 4 quart, brushed, similar price.

All-Clad Weeknight Pan vs Essential Pan: What's The Difference? - Miss Vickie

 

 

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1 hour ago, Hannah said:

I love that you use a Potjie!!  A lamb potjie that takes a few hours to cook over the fire is just the best.

I've scored serious bonus points on camping trips with friends by setting up a potjie in a campfire to cook for hours (with glowing charcoal on the lid). They are fun, yes?

Bill

 

 

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6 hours ago, PeterPan said:

What I read is the pores of the stainless are open and don't close till you heat it. I've been seeing some tips about preheating the pan until a certain point (what the water does). I've been kind of random about it, so sometimes I get that slip slide effect in my stainless and sometimes I don't. But like yesterday I made omelets twice, nailed it both times, so it *can* be done. Preheat the pan, put the butter in to where it melts and the water in it evaporates off but the pan is not so hot that you're all the way to burn/poof, then add room temp, not cold eggs. See if that gets you there.

I was trying to find a link saying some of this, because I saw it lots of places in my reading. Came across a video suggesting seasoning your stainless skillets with lard. Ironically, my grandma did say she seasoned her stainless and she was very particular about how it was washed because she didn't want the seasoning taken off! I'm not sure it's necessary, but hey who am I to argue with my grandma? :biggrin:

Your pancakes are sticking? Eggs I understand. Pancakes, are you preheating long enough, using a correct temp, and using a thin coating of oil? We NEVER have sticking with our pancakes. Zero, no matter which pan. I have some kind of stainless electric griddle I got from WS years ago, no sticking. Regular skillets of all varieties, no sticking. 

So I think work on your technique. You should be able to get *closer* to things not sticking, even if you decide you like nonstick better.

Oo-that's good to know. My pancakes were like your eggs-sometimes they worked and sometimes they didn't. So maybe the pancakes too were a matter of temperature and probably insufficient oil too. I might have to try it again-thanks!  And I didn't know you could season stainless-interesting.

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23 hours ago, Spy Car said:

Ply cookware is not ideal for high-heat cooking, like stir-fry. Not the right tool.

Instead look at carbon steel. Traditional woks are made of carbon steel.

Consider a DeBuyer Country Fry pan for this sort of purpose. Flat bottomed (better for Western range-tops) but with sloped sides.

These sorts of pans take time to pre-heat, but once "hot" are very stable as long as the heat source remains.

https://debuyer-usa.com/products/mineral-b-country-fry-pan?_pos=1&_sid=3267d93ee&_ss=r

Bill

 

 

 

 

Ok, I had seen that on the de Buyer site, but it had not registered in my PEA BRAIN what is was for! Well thanks, that makes sense, it's a wok by any other name. That youtube guy seemed to think using the pro version on electric smoothtop could work, that it wouldn't warp. And really, I was looking at my stuff and realizing most of my clad/ply stuff (all cheap) had NOT warped. Only that one ill fated Calphalon. And that really could have been due to user abuse, like plunging it into a sink and running cold water on it. (don't ask)

So have you used this mineral B country fry pan in either iteration? Like? Indeed, I was looking at clad (shh) woks on amazon. They sort of popped up, so I just looked. I haven't watched all the reviews yet. I would have assumed clad would be genius for a wok if you're moving away from carbon steel. But I can still see where carbon steel might be better. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GHMTW18/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1  This is the baby wok I found, analon triply clad. At $50 it didn't seem like too serious a commitment, but I didn't order it yet. If the Mineral B *pro* would survive my stove, I'd assume it's the better pan. It's also around the same size, really great for feeding 1-3 people.

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22 hours ago, Soror said:

I have a carbon steel wok too but mine just came from Wal-Mart.

Are you using it on electric or gas?

21 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Regarding double boilers—I used to do the stainless steel bowl thing, but I love my AC double boiler so much.  It’s a thick ceramic insert that fits into the 2 quart pot with a collared rim, so it can’t sink in too far.

I see what you mean! That IS very nice!!

22 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Yes, I’m saying get those, try them for a while, and then figure out what else to get.  If they had been available when I started buying All Clad, I would have a lot fewer pots and pans.

Yup, I'm definitely thinking hard here before I buy anything. And turns out I need to go to the big city, so I suddenly have an excuse to do some hands on investigation. :biggrin:

21 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

When I used to force myself to do it anyway, while holding my breath, I found that my fried eggs came out credible looking

LOL 

21 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

although if we had a 3 quart I might try that.

Yup that's what I'm thinking. And I'm going to try to hit WS, Sur la Table, etc. and actually see these things. I think, like you're saying, I'm going to want some conservative sizes. 

21 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Pot stickers:  The authentic way to make these is to heat up about 1/2 inch of peanut oil in the bottom of a heavy cast iron fry pan,

If you do that, do they get black bits? Well interesting. Honestly my cast iron has just sat in my drawers for a while. I got into a run where I only was cooking cornbread in it. I used to do eggs a lot, and then I got the hodgepodge collection of little skillets and didn't need to. I was watching an ATK video comparing Le Creuset and regular cast iron, and I didn't realize some of that searing I was thinking about, like fish, could be done in cast iron. So that's a whole school of thought I can explore. I've literally just put everything in the oven. And I have some reasonably good techniques, but they're not swank. Like hang it up on fish tacos, which I LOVE. I always eat those out, and it's pathetic because it sounds like you just cook the fish on the stove and boom. 

So then it's basic questions like for fish tacos would it be better to use cast iron (which in theory ought to work) or a good SS skillet? Seems to me the SS, but who knows. 

I definitely think I'm gonna keep baking my pot stickers. They're fine if you put them on parchment and spray them. I'm sure the right way is better, lol. 

21 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

it does give results that are the same as San Francisco Chinese restaurants

Ooo, that sounds very nice! I had wanted to take a cruise out of Long Beach before the shut down, sigh. Maybe some year when that state is sane again we can make it out and eat very authentic chinese. That would be fun. Of course, I have no clue if San Fran and LB are close, but there are probably more places.

22 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I can do great stir fry in the essential pans.  They are less responsive than my old carbon steel wok, which of course is the gold standard, but they are much easier to clean and I can match the results with a little effort.

Very good! 

21 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

I'm gonna make a trip to the big city and find out for myself! :biggrin:

 

20 hours ago, Spy Car said:

I've scored serious bonus points on camping trips with friends by setting up a potjie in a campfire to cook for hours (with glowing charcoal on the lid). They are fun, yes?

Bill

 

 

So what do you cook in this? 

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