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Old 12-23-2004, 01:24 PM   #1
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Buying Pans, what’s important? Question for cooking expert

Hi, I’m not experienced in what makes a cooking pan good but I wanted to buy some good cooking pans for my parents, like the kind you see the cooks on TV using. Not Teflon.
Can anyone make any recommendations what I should be aware of in picking out high quality pans?

I'm willing to spend 2 or 3 hundred even on 3 or 4 pans if I can get somethaing high end, or do I need to spend that much?

Advanced thahks!


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Old 12-23-2004, 01:35 PM   #2
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Hi Wave! Welcome to the site.
Try this thread from further down in this section. It might be a good place to start: http://www.discusscooking.com/viewtopic.php?t=4014

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Old 12-23-2004, 04:29 PM   #3
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Thank you PA Baker for the link, I'll take a look at that.
That wolf gang set looks nice.

I was reading somewhere that some of the good stainless steel sets have an aluminum layer for heat conductivity laminated between the stainless steel interior and exterior. These things are like $170 for one pan, that’s a lot.
I’m guessing you can put most of the good pans in the oven right?
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Old 12-23-2004, 05:28 PM   #4
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Hi Waveform! Glad to have you join us here!!! :D

Cookware made from different materials in different ways have their advantages and drawbacks. The discussion we had on this, that PABaker gave you, demonstrates this.

Stainless steel is a rotten heat conductor .... that's why good SS cookware has either a center core of aluminum - or a thick disk of aluminum "encapsulated" on the bottom of the pots/pans. I, personally, don't find that the high end All Clad is any better than the cheaper good quality aluminum bottom disc cookware.

I don't have it - but if I was buying cookware today .... I would have no second thoughts about buying Wolfgang Puck's cookware.

Stainless Steel cookware can go into the oven. The only problem is with the handles and lids. Metal handles can go into a hotter oven than plastic, some plastic can't go into an oven at any temp. Tempered glass lids can only handle between 350F-450F - depending on the brand. But for most oven cooking like a braise or a stew - that would be fine.
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Old 12-24-2004, 01:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help guys

I yesterday I went and bought two things from Williams Sonoma which is a place here in Chicago not sure if they are anywhere else? Have you heard of them?
I spent $140 on a 12 ’’frying pan and about $90 on a sauté pan. I think they have the wrong picture up at the site becouse when you click on the 12'' fry pan it's not the right image. Click on the 14'' thats what my pan looks like.

They want almost $500 just for a 7 peice set so I just got two of the most important things at this time.
These have the aluminum in the center but I think they are stainless steel on the top so they won’t wear away. I guess some of these brands that have aluminum none stick on the outside is not so good, that guy at the store was telling me that aluminum reacts with food.
Anyway they have some beautiful stuff at this place!


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Old 12-24-2004, 02:16 PM   #6
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I just called the William Sonoma

They said I’m the second person that called on the web site not having the correct image.
Apparently it’s correct so I have the 14’’ which is fine. I guess I should let the store know. I can't beleave they have the wrong lable up.
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Old 12-24-2004, 04:16 PM   #7
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Somebody posted earlier that the Wolfgang Puck stainless steel set was highly rated by Consumer Reports. For the price, you can't beat it. It's sold at the Home Shopping Network. There's a dizzying array of sets available for under $300, as I recall. I'm talking 30+ piece sets for two hundred sumthin dollars.

One caution. Lots of old home cooks don't know how to cook with Stainless Steel. SS takes a bit of learning to cook with it properly. When frying, there's no such thing as oil free frying, so if your parents are on a low fat diet, that could be a problem. You may want to include some non-stick frying pans.
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Old 12-24-2004, 06:15 PM   #8
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I think you made the right choice. All-Clad is truly top of the line, both by reputation and quality. I don't have any all clad myself, but I've handled them in the store and I have heard enough good things about them.
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Old 12-24-2004, 06:25 PM   #9
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beware of the "emerilware" by all clad. i have worn out the nonstick coating inside a frying pan, an omelet pan, and a sauce pan is scratched. what used to be a shiny non-stick coating is now a matte, very sticky surface. the anodized grey outside is also very stained, and i have tried everything to clean it.
i really liked their weight and heat conductivity, but the non-stick coating needs to be improved.
waveform, something you might want to research and invest in is a good cast iron pan, grill pan, and/or dutch oven to go along with non-stick and stainless cookware.
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Old 12-24-2004, 06:46 PM   #10
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Most of my stuff is Calphalon non-stick (I make a lot of sticky things - eggs, sauces, pancakes) but I do have an All-Clad fry pan for searing meats and putting in the oven to finish - it is excellent cookware. I'm sure your parents will be happy with your gift.

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