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Old 08-21-2002, 09:01 AM   #1
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Replacing cookware

Hi, I'm new to the board and glad I found it. My wife and I are getting ready to remodel the kitchen and we will be replacing our current cookware. Presently we are using Circulon and we both do not like it. We saw the NSF cookware thread and were surprised by the pricing. Is this well worth the inexpensive prices as compared with Al Clad and the likes. I take it this is what is used in most retail type kitchens where looks are not a priority. We are looking for good cookware and we are not stuck on brand name products. We were wondering how does this NSF type cookware compare with others. Hope I haven't rattled on and someone can make sense of what we are trying to accomplish.

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Old 08-26-2002, 12:57 PM   #2
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hi glennm,

I just noticed this thread - not sure how I missed it.

I use just the plain Calphalon, not the non-stick. However, I do like a couple skillets to be non-stick for eggs and such. Cookware is such a personal thing and I'm sure you'll find everyone likes something a little different.

I don't like a shiney finish because they start showing scratches very soon, I don't like everything to be non-stick because I like to use my whisk a lot, I would love to have a few copper pieces but haven't gotten around to it (they are great conductors of heat). I really like that matte gray finish of the calphalon because it holds up well, though you do have to clean it properly AFTER EACH USE. I've had a set for 15 years and they still look new.

What are you leaning towards? Or is it too soon to answer that?
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Old 08-27-2002, 02:36 AM   #3
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Hi, glennm - a few ideas: if you live in or near a town big enough to have a restaurant supply store, you might just wander in and look around. The restaurant supply place here carries quite a few items that are the right size for home cooking and the owners are quite happy to take a "civilian's" money!

Also, if you don't already own a cast iron skillet and a cast iron dutch oven or 3-qt saucepan, get thee to an auction house! Or a hardware store. Or - and this may surprise you - a plain old secondhand store (Goodwill, Salvation Army, VFW, et al). Or a yard/garage sale. Or an estate tag sale. Any of these el cheapo places are excellent sources for really good stuff at really good prices. It requires a certain amount of wading, but there are some real deals out there. I've seen not only beautiful, smooth grained cast iron skillets and pots; very expensive, top of the line name-brand pots, pans, china, pottery, silver; gadgets both antique and new . . . the works, actually, and if a person is patient and persistent, (aka stubborn and relentless) it's possible to equip an entire kitchen, beautifully, for about 20 cents on the dollar.

BTW, when you buy cast iron anything, look at the interior. If it looks pebbly don't buy it - it will never perform to standard. What you want is the old, fine-grained cast iron - the bottom of the pan looks like it's been spun in circles and even when new it is very smooth. When properly seasoned, I've found these to be within a couple percentage points of being as nonstick as "boughten" nonstick pans. Oh - if you're lucky enough to bump into anything with "Griswold" stamped on the bottom, grab it! You have just acquired an heirloom.

Let us know what you find, wherever you end up finding it. It will be fun to hear about your search and its results!:)
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Old 08-28-2002, 07:49 AM   #4
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Glen> it all depends on what your style is as to what you you should considder getting. If you could tell me a little more about what you cook and what you would like to be able to cook it would help in reccomendations
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Old 08-28-2002, 08:32 AM   #5
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All..Thanks for the replies...I was beginning to think that no one looked at the threads. To answer the questions, both my wife and I cook, she cooks more day to day with me doing the more fancy/weekend. I like cooking Chinese, Indonesian, Mexican, Italian and experimenting with some of the things we see on FoodTV. We live in St Louis. We do have cast iron that we cook in, but we need to purchase some new since our cast iron is used at the Lake. We are looking for stainless cookware since we do own non-stick (Circulon) now and there are disadvantages in cooking when you want certain outcomes.
We saw another forum board and they talked about Tramontina cookware as being very good and not overly priced. We like the All Clad but the price!!!!
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Old 08-28-2002, 09:45 AM   #6
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the stainless from tramontina is equal to all-clad, they don't make every pan that all clad does, but those can be found elsewhere from other makers who are also equal in quality to all-clad. The one thing to remember when you are considdering all clad is 90% of their operating budget goes to advertising and promotion of cooking shows that promote all clad products, and they pass that cost right on to the consumer. if you want more nonstick pans and are in the market for an entire set you can get a set of Sam's Club brnd (members mark) which has a metal utensil safe surface. I use them in my catering and at home. if you are looking for some commercial quality nonstick saute pans tamontina makes a set of 3 (8, 10 and 12 inch) NSF listed ones also available at sam's club.

If you are looking for more cast iron and can't find any of the used preseasoned finds, walmart carries most of the pieces lodge makes. What they don't carry you can find at the kitchen collection (I believe their is an outlet not to far from st louis), or you can find them online. If you want to find some really unique cast iron cookware ebay is the place to go but the shipping can be a killer. Cast iron bread pans and muffin tins give a really crunchy crust. One more thing if you want a cast iron double sided griddle or grill pan i prefer a wagner instead of a lodge as it usually fits beter on standard stove tops. If you want both of these options but don't really want a two burner modle they are all available separately and this is often a better choice for people with electric ranges.

Another piece most people never think about but has plenty of uses is a heavy roasting pan that can go from stove top to oven or vice versa.
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input. I saw a 13 piece set of the Tramontina, brand new, in the box for $134. I will check around at Sams and see how their stuff looks. I did see on the other forum where Sam's MM non-stick was a good value and quality.

Guess Knifes are going to be a whole nother can of worms.
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Old 08-28-2002, 04:13 PM   #8
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knives

personally knives aren't really that expensive either, if you follow the same kinds of guidelines you did for the pans. Commercial knives are wonderful for home use too and cost much less than comparable brand names. Commercial knives won't look pretty, but when you considder you will get razor sharp and easily resharpenable blades like this 10" slicer or chef's knive will run you between $20 to $30. The other thing I will pass along is if you get a good sharpener and a steel to keep them homed you can even buy cheap full tang stainless from just about anywhere and put a razor sharp edge on them. When I talk about a sheap sharpener I am speaking about an electric 3 stage one one like a chef's choice.
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Old 08-28-2002, 04:20 PM   #9
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Another way to sharpen which I prefer is with a honing stone, then I use a steel to take off any jagged edges caused by the honing stone. It takes a bit longer but boy what an edge!!!
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Old 08-28-2002, 10:04 PM   #10
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Thanks again for all the input. I'll keep you informed to what I have purchased. glenn:)
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