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Old 11-07-2012, 04:23 PM   #11
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I cook for one-two people most of the time.
What I use most often:

I have stainless steel pans with non-stick coating (20 and 24cm). I don't really use pans without the non-stick surface, I do not see any advantage.

I am using a very small sauce pan with straight walls (I think is about 1 liter) and a 5 liter one quite often. I also use a sauce pan (I think its 20 cm in diameter) with curved walls for reducing sauces and stuff like that. I also use a 24cm pan with straight vertical edges (about 7cm high) quite often.

I have a le creuset cast iron grill pan that I have for special uses and a big 15l pot for making stocks that I later freeze for use in many dishes. I sometimes use a wok, but you can use a normal pan.

If you cook for more than 2, you should probably consider buying bigger pans and pots ;)
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:36 PM   #12
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For tri-ply, no non-stick, SS surface only. See my comments in my earlier post re non-stick.

Pan sizes depend on what and how much you cook. Basically, you'll need a skillet or two, saucepans (one with a steamer insert)and possibly a sauté (or frypan) pan. If you want to make your own stocks, a large stockpot is good to have. This doesn't need to be tri-ply but should have a multi-layer disk on the bottom (much cheaper and just as good).

All-Clad is considered the gold standard fro tri-ply SS. There are others as well. Cuisinart, Viking, Calphalon to name a few.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #13
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Welcome to DC! Many years ago, my mother bought me a "starter set" of Le Creuset enameled cookware. I still have it--love it, have grown from a novice cook to a rudimentary cook. I also have SS stockpots, and CI skillets, as well as a number of roasters, etc. One of the interesting things about my Le Creuset is that the pans pass the ice cube test. You put an ice cube in a pan, put another ice cube in a glass pyrex measuring cup or custard cup. The sides and bottom of the pan get colder as the ice cube melts. It also melts much faster (almost immediately) in the pan than it does in the pyrex measuring cup. The other thing, is that you can feel the coldness on the bottom of the pan and up the sides. It is an interesting experiment to try with cookware. There are other products on the market that do this as well.

Invest in the best cookware you can afford. I've had my Le Creuset for over 30 years. Love it still. But, I have other pans as well as I've said. I have a ton of Corningware (the blue flower pattern) that I use for casseroles, etc.

What you need are good knives, good pans, and a good cutting board. The rest is gravy.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewismalpas View Post
Thanks for the warm welcoming everyone, I really appreciate your time and effort.

In terms of tri-ply stainless which brands would you recommend which meet my criteria? Would you also recommend looking at stainless with a non-stick surface or is it better to regular/uncoated SS?

In terms of pots and pan what would you guys recommend, i.e what sizes / types?

Thanks all!
No non-stick on the tri-ply. I have a set of Lagostina SS pots and pans that have been doing a very good job for 23 years. They go in the oven too.

I also have some enamelled cast iron and plain cast iron. I don't bother with non-stick. Some of the plain cast iron is dedicated to eggs and is plenty non-stick, since it is seasoned.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
...You put an ice cube in a pan, put another ice cube in a glass pyrex measuring cup or custard cup. The sides and bottom of the pan get colder as the ice cube melts. It also melts much faster (almost immediately) in the pan than it does in the pyrex measuring cup...
Sure. But it's hardly fair to compare cookware to a measuring cup.

Cast iron is a better conductor than glass. Stainless steel is better than CI. Aluminum is better than SS. Copper is better than aluminum.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:07 PM   #16
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I like my Cuisinart SS set, got a good deal on it from Chef's Catalog, plus a free tea kettle. Goes in the oven and dishwasher.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:26 PM   #17
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I recommend:

10" SS fry pan
8" SS fry pan
10" Nonstick fry pan to be used for eggs ONLY
3qt saucepan
2qt saucier
a stock pot

As you move forward, replacing the SS fry pans with cast iron is a great idea, in my opinion. Nothing beats cast iron but learning to use it effectively is paramount and SS pans are a little more forgiving overall, especially in terms of cleanup. I wouldn't waste money on matching cookware sets that have a ton of crap in it when you'll likely end up using only a few pieces of the set and the rest collects dust. I'd also avoid nonstick for anything but a dedicated egg pan.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:44 PM   #18
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2 words - Carbon Steel

I've come full circle. Been through and still have various stainless steel offerings, have had too many non-stick to talk about. After 40 years I've settled on carbon steel.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:19 AM   #19
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Hi Lewis,
Welcome to DC.

Josie
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:25 AM   #20
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Thanks for the advice everyone, I've been reading up on non-stick vs uncoated stainless steel so I let you know which pans I decide to invest in.
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