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Old 07-16-2005, 01:27 PM   #1
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Any recommendable cookware set under $100?

Finally I got my own kitchen for the first time in my life.
I was so ready to start cooking anything, anytime I want but it seems to me that using right tools is very important in cooking. Just like I discovered recently that my inexpensive serrated knife from IKEA might not work out for me. Not to mention, the magic of cast iron pots!

Anyway, I set my budget under 100 dollars for new SS pots and pans as a start. Could anybody please help me finding something that's both within my budget and trustworthy?

And..is a good cast iron set like Le creuset always that expensive? They are so beautiful but too much to reach to...

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Old 07-16-2005, 01:38 PM   #2
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Congrats on your new home! It's so fun setting up for the first time.

I'm sure someone will come on shortly and answer your questions.
Have fun!!!
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Old 07-16-2005, 02:37 PM   #3
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Hi, kitty Welcome to DC

I like my T-Fal and my Farberware Stainless Steel. I know the T-fal set that I got was a basic and was $100. Not sure how much the Farberware is, my hubby inherited that from a sweet older gentleman.
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Old 07-16-2005, 04:02 PM   #4
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I wouldn't buy a set as such....you will get pots in a set that you will never use, and you need different surfaces for different cooking techniques. The trick is to get as many uses out of one pot or pan as possible. This is what I would do...

I would definately buy a couple of pre-seasoned cast-iron pans for general cooking....they are cheap, and can be used for searing, frying, baking, roasting (I roast potatoes, bake pizza's, and roast joints of meats & chickens in them....and use them on top of the stove for sauces, chilli, pancakes, hash browns, eggs, stir-fry, just about anything really! They are virtually indestructable, easy care (just scrub out with hot water - no soap!), and they cook wonderfully! I would go for a couple of 12" diameter pans.

For boiling veggies, rice and pasta and making stocks & soups (things with a lot of water/fluid in them) then you can get away with a couple of cheapish stainless steel, or non-stick, pans - whatever your preference is. One big (5 quart size) and one medium (2 quart size) should suffice for now. You can always replace them with better quality pots later on, but you really don't need an expensive pot to boil water!

One small non-stick pan for omelettes, crepes and frying or poaching eggs - again, it doesn't have to be expensive to get you started, as long as you are prepared to replace it in a couple of years time. 6-8" diameter should suffice.

If you still have some money left, then a non-stick roasting pan will double as a cookie sheet or as a griddle if used stove-top.

If you like casseroles, then I would add a 5qt slow-cooker to your list (you can use the removable pottery casserole dish with lid in your normal oven, as well as in the electric slow-cooker base, and it will be microwave-safe as well for cooking veggies in too...).

One good, sharp knife is all you need...I have a whole wooden block full of knives, but only use one of them 99% of the time, and that is a small 5' Wusthoff paring knife. I can do almost anything with that one knife!

I love my Le Creuset pans, but they are definately not a necessity - I managed to cook great meals for 25 years using very inexpensive cookware, and have only had the money to replace my cookware with better quality stuff in the past couple of years. If I could only keep one pot and one pan from all my collection, it would be my Lodge pre-seasoned 12" cast iron pan, and my 5qt non-stick Dutch oven - I could cook most anything with those two items.

Best of luck shopping!

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Old 07-16-2005, 04:57 PM   #5
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I am new to this... I pressed a wrong button by mistake a few times and my replies were all gone with the wind! I learned through my lessons and below is what could save.
If you happend to run into my other replies please excuse all the mass I made. thanks.
-----------------------------------------------------
Thank you so much for your replies. This is the reason why I just fell in love with DC! You wouldn't even know how much this is helping me. Now I can tell my hubby the exact types of cookware I need instead of beating around the bush.

After reading texasgirl's reply, I did some research online as far as those products' price is concerned and I could find a couple of sets I like under 100 bucks. Probably it would be better for me to get individually since, like Paint pointed out, the kinds of pots and pans I use daily are limited. It would be a smart purchase to get them saperately than buying a whole set of cookware which won't be that practical in the end. Paint mentioned a lot of stuff above but maybe with an additional cast-iron pan, a slow cooker...and a finger slicing Gyuto or Santoku knife, I think that will do it 'for now'.

I am so excited~!!! I can't wait till my hubby comes back from Road America so I could show him my sad puppy eyes and crocodile tears. Oh~ my babies~just hang in there~Mommy's coming!

Once again, thank you for all your help!
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Old 07-16-2005, 05:03 PM   #6
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lol, good luck with the hubby, kitty. I know that trick very well hehe!!!
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Old 07-16-2005, 10:12 PM   #7
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LOL! Just buy it and pretend you've had it for ages.....that's what I do LOL!

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Old 07-16-2005, 10:52 PM   #8
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The thing is...he thinks I am cute whenever I do that and usually takes me out for dinner as a bonus! However,with the new cookware in my hands, I might suggest a big fat grocery shopping instead! Can you imagine how I would be like some day when I get to have a set of le creuset? Was everyboy like me when you first had your own kitchen?
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Old 07-19-2005, 10:54 PM   #9
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Humm ... putting on my very clean and bright white t-shirt with the big red bull's eye on both sides .....

Everyone needs a basic "starter" set of pots-n-pans. A "skillet" or two, a couple of saucepans, and a 5-6 qt soup pot/stock pot/"Dutch oven" (whatever they call it). No - this is NOT everything that you will ever need, or will buy .... it's just a start of basic things that everyone needs.

With your budget goal of $100 - look for a set that includes as many of the pieces that you need. Sets are cheaper than buying individual pieces. Check out places online like HSN.com and QVC.com for sets. Cook's Essentials, Wolfgang Puck's Bistro line, among others .... they are all comperable.
If you have a restaurant supply store in town - you might want to pay them a visit and look around. You can get a better deal on commercial quality baking sheets and such for usually as cheap or cheaper than a lesser quality at Target or WalMart!

As you grow in experience you will move up to better cookware one piece at a time - and a wider selection of pieces as you learn the limits and advantages of different materials. I remember my first set of cookware - when I had my first apartment, and bought with my first credit card - a 5-piece set of blue and white enameled steel from Sears - think it cost $45 back in 1970 (my card max was $50 so I know it was under that). Today I have cast iron, anodized aluminum, stainless steel, etc ....
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:09 PM   #10
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if you live near an outlet center look for the corning/revere store. They have some good basic sets for under $100 that are much better than the old revereware. You need at least a heavy disk bottom to prevent hot spots and burning. The QVC Technique set is quite good for the price.

As Michael said, as time and experience go on, you may well find yourself buying individual pieces of all types. Great! The best "set" is the one made up of your tried and true personal favorites, with hopefully a few family pieces handed down.
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