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Cookware discussion

travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,292
edited October 2012 in Off Topic
I recently had a guest come and stay with me for a few months (my mother). Long story short, she ruined my entire set of Calphlon. (she is no longer at my house)

My question is, what's the best for an everyday cooking set and why?

I think my old set is Calphlon Unison (teflon coated). I would like something that cant be ruined from using a fork to stir pasta and will last a long time. 
Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
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Comments

  • Mike8itMike8it Posts: 468
    All-clad if money is not an issue. There are some other clad options out there that are less expensive but they usually just have a Stainless Steel Aluminum Core / Magnetic Stainless Steel Ply.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,017
    I'm gonna get shot down in flames for saying this, but the commercial stuff at Sam's club - the al a carte pots and pans that are spun aluminum and have the silicone handles - same stuff restaurants use.  It's cheap, has good heat transfer properties, thick so your wife can teach you a lesson whenever she wants without damaging it, and you can wear it out and buy another for next to nufin'.

    You don't see the fancy stuff used in restaurants.  Food doesn't taste better if you have designer pots and pans. 

    You can get this stuff with non-stick Teflon or whatever coating too.    Just don't get the non-stick if you plan to invite your mom back.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    I love my All-Clad SS. Can do anything with them, easy to clean, can more or less beat them up with zero issues.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,159
    Paderno is really good, not the Italian one the Canadian. I wouldn't buy anything that isn't induction rated at this point.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    I use the commercial style ones with the silicone handles from Costco for nonstick surface pans...
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,017
    I use the commercial style ones with the silicone handles from Costco for nonstick surface pans...
    I think that's the same stuff they sell at Sam's.  Looks the same anyway.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    Probably nola- the ones I have are branded Tramontina and Nordicware.
  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,947
    edited October 2012
    I bought some Circulon pots and skillets about a year ago.  So far, so good.  Supposedly, they are dishwasher safe and are good with induction heating.  They have a glass lid, which I like.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,017
    We have an ungodly amount of pots and pans, many brands.  If I could do it all over again, I'd just by the commercial stuff restaurants use.   You want several things in your pots and pans which I'll obnoxiously outline below:

    1. Good heat transfer (especially if you have a gas stove) so you don't get hot spots.
    2. Non-reactive surface
    3. Easy to clean
    4. A couple non-stick pans your mother can ruin, and for cooking eggs and stuff that sticks that you need to flip.

    Anyway, the commercial restaurant stuff satisfies 1,2 and 4.  They're not easy to clean - restaurants have dishwashers, so cooks don't give a damn.  We do.  But the nice thing is, you don't have to baby it and use the manufacturer recommended plastic scrubby.  You can use a brillo pad, steel wool, those copper things crack addicts buy, even sand blast it.  They're cheap and they're thick, so you're not going to wear it out by scrubbing.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,292
    How on earth do you know about the crack head brillo? You always know you are in a good part of town when the gas station sells them from BEHIND the counter to prevent theft. 
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • Check your warranty on your Calphalon. Most of their sets have a lifetime warranty. Probably won't be covered if your mom used metal utensils, but worth a shot. Calphalon are also made in the good old U.S.A.

    My parents have a set of pans that are really nice with a lifetime warranty. They will replace them for any reason. Not sure of the name. I'll find out and send it to you.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,017
    How on earth do you know about the crack head brillo? You always know you are in a good part of town when the gas station sells them from BEHIND the counter to prevent theft. 
    My brother and I were buying some beer in a crappy convenience store years ago (in San Antonio when I was visiting family) and he pointed them out - they were behind the counter. I think it was off O'Conner road, not a bad part of town.  Then I started to notice them after that.  I live in downtown New Orleans.  We buy the brillos with the blue obnoxiously-hard-to-remove soap embedded in them.  And we only use them to clean stuff.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,292
    edited October 2012
    This is really going to blow your mind. Look next to the registers of the same gas stations. If they have a fake flower in a small "vase", it's for smoking crack too. It's amazing how may places sell those things. 
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,159
    LMAO. I remember stopping in a convenience store in Detroit to ask directions and there was bullet proof glass and a little slot for passing money.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • All Clad-  $$$ but something you will pass down to the kid.  The other half has been know to peel teflon off frying pans (do mean plural)...he has not been able to dent the All Clad.  Works on the egg too.  Watch Sur la Table flyers or go on line.  They will have All Clad factory specials.  Bed Bath and Beyond + coupon will give you a pretty good discount on just about any cookware.  If you need BBB coupons we can make a trade.
    Eggin in SW "Keep it Weird" TX
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,517
    Mike8it said:

    All-clad if money is not an issue. There are some other clad options out there that are less expensive but they usually just have a Stainless Steel Aluminum Core / Magnetic Stainless Steel Ply.

    +1 for All-Clad. I have d5 and copper core. Nice heavy pans that heat evenly due to their cladded build. Standard All-Clad is 3-ply with an aluminum core for heat distribution and SS coating for the inner and outer surface. Both of mine are 5-ply, one with an extra aluminum core and the other with a copper core. Absolutely fantastic! They are incredibly versatile and responsive so you can use them for all types of cooking. Copper core is great for sauces and any sauté or braise due to the copper's sensitivity. Lifetime warranty. My parents bought their set in 1993. No warping or dents in nearly 20 years. These and let creuset are the only sets of cookware seen in America's Test Kitchen and the All-Clad skillet has been the top rated pan since they started reviews. You will pay for it though.
  • lwrehmlwrehm Posts: 157
    We love the All-Clad SS, got it a Williams-Sonoma several years ago, 10 piece set I believe.  It replace the Calphalon non-stick we got as a wedding gift back in '96', I was never a fan of that set.  The to suppliment I get 8" and 10" non-sticks from the restaurant supply house, a couple of old cast iron skillets from an auction.
  • This is really going to blow your mind. Look next to the registers of the same gas stations. If they have a fake flower in a small "vase", it's for smoking crack too. It's amazing how may places sell those things. 
    Yup.  And the guy hanging in the convenience store parking lot has a mouthfull of rocks.  They're unaffected by digestive juices so if the poe-poe rolls up he can swallow the stash and retrieve it in the morning.  Hold out your hand with bills between your fingers and he'll take the bills and spit a rock into your palm.  I'll stick with meat and beer.
    My actuary says I'm dead.
  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,022
    I got my first set of Calphalon in 2005, My wife uses them at least twice a day (stay at home Mom) and we are now on my second set that need to be replaced. So I will be following this with interest. Thanks Travis.

    All Clad is expensive but if they last 10 years or more they would be worth it.
  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    They should last a lifetime Brownie.
  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 3,860
    I'm gonna get shot down in flames for saying this, but the commercial stuff at Sam's club -
    I have a lot of that stuff, and love it.  It is for inside cooking, not part of my Egg tool set.
    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

  • dweebs0rdweebs0r Posts: 492
    I cant believe I'm the only one to say it but what about vintage cast iron?  That stuff cooks well and is indestructible.  Griswold vintage stuff is my favorite.
    -Jody Newell (LBGE & finally a mini BGE!)
    Location:  Munford, TN  Homepage:  Shadow photo shadow.gif
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 2,855
    I've had my Commercial grade Caphalon Anodized for 20 plus years.  Give it a good restoration every year or two using Barkeepers Friend powder and a Scotch Brite green scrub pad.  Still looks and cooks like new.  It's actually more non-stick than the couple of teflon coated Caphalon I got to use for eggs or other non stick cooks.  And the teflon coated stuff has cuts and scratches in the surface. 
    __________________________________________
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,434
    Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't buy a "set" from anybody, each style/build has its own unique uses/specialties.  I'll throw out a few ideas (what I'd repurchase if my house burned down):
     
    1)  Large steel-with-copper-or-aluminum-core All-Clad frypan, with glass cover.  I grew up on non-stick frypans, but nobody tells you you can't get a good fond, or a good sauce, with non-stick.  This was a revelation to me.  
     
    2)  Medium-sized teflon-lined frypan (I use an aluminum T-Fal).  Wow, is that the opposite of (1) above?  Yes!  You'll use it for other things:  cooking eggs, most fish, those parmesan lacy cookie things, crepes, any thing that might stick.  Don't spend a lot of money on this pan, the non-stick wears off of all of them.  
     
    3)  Straight-sided saute pan, built like (1) above.  I have an All-Clad copper-core.  
     
    4)  Pots.  I have three cast-iron le Creuset's, enameled in and out.  You can saute aromatics in them before building a stew or soup, and they're easy to clean.  No hot spots due to the cast-iron, and will keep anything hot throughout a meal.  
     
    5)  Wok.  I recommend a cast-iron model from the Wok Shop, others have written about these on this forum.  Stay away from the steel, "Hand-Hammered" models; they're artificial crap that (in my experience) can't be seasoned properly.
     
    6)  Stock pot.  Alton Brown doesn't like the "sets" with a large stockpot, lid, shallow steamer and deep colander.  He's wrong on this one.  The deep colander is fantastic for making stocks; once its cooked just lift up the deep colander and toss the contents (just make sure to put the colander into the stock pot FIRST, something I fail at more often than not).  The shallow steamer is great for veggies, chinese dumplings, ears of corn, asparagus, even reheating leftovers in foil. Just make sure to get a steel stockpot with aluminum or copper sandwiched in the bottom (mine doesn't have a sandwich, can't cook stews or sauces in it, they burn).   
     
    7)  My final, and most-used pot:  I have a one-pint, anodized-aluminum straight-sided pot (I think its by Cuisinart).  Easy to clean, rolled lip, nice lid, I use it to heat up a can of soup on a lazy day, barbeque sauce for a brisket, , melt a tablespoon of butter, heat a marinade, steam a single artichoke, toast spices, a bowl of ramen with a few frozen shrimp, oatmeal for breakfast, green chile sauce, on and on.  
     
    Hope I've given you some ideas.       
    _____________________________________________
     
    I Know Why The Egged Bird Sings.
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • This is really going to blow your mind. Look next to the registers of the same gas stations. If they have a fake flower in a small "vase", it's for smoking crack too. It's amazing how may places sell those things. 
    LMAO. I remember stopping in a convenience store in Detroit to ask directions and there was bullet proof glass and a little slot for passing money.
     
    I see you fellas have been in my neck of the woods! 

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • timekpr1timekpr1 Posts: 148
    edited October 2012
    Your pretty gutsy to stop in Detroit and ask directions.  Important thing to remember - drive north, cross 8 mile road and get to the suburbs. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/05/most-dangerous-cities-in-america_n_996639.html
    Mama always said, Grilling was like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're gonna get.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,017
    edited October 2012
    I agree with Botch's good advice, except I don't think cast iron woks are substitutes for carbon steel woks, and that's because cast iron give you hot spots - it's lousy at distributing heat through itself.   The best way to heat it up for searing is to put it in an oven.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • GramblerGrambler Posts: 137
    Get a stainless steel or two. I always went coated but I love the sear you can get with stainless and it deglazes easily with a bit of wine. Calphalon makes good ones.
  • timekpr1timekpr1 Posts: 148
    I think, as with knives, you only need 3 or 4 pans.  I bought an All-Clad set but only use a few pieces.
    Mama always said, Grilling was like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're gonna get.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,017
    edited October 2012
    I'm a psycho in the kitchen.  I learned to cook in a commercial kitchen, where I have a stack of 100 saute pans ready to go.  If I'm hauling ass to get a bunch of finish times for dinner to converge, I just grab a new pot or pan rather than try to wash out something that would hold me back. Give me quantity.  Unfortunately I have to deal with a giant stack of dirty pots and pans after the dust settles.  That's why restaurants have dishwashers.

    If you want everything to be cooked fresh in time for service (at least where it matters), you have to put some thought into the process. Prep everything in advance of cooking it, then think about the timing, and damn the number of pots or pans you use.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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