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Old 10-07-2004, 12:04 AM   #1
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Help a new cook pick his first set of cookware

I just started living on my own and am looking for a good set of cookware. I am a new cook so I am probably going to get something nonstick. My preliminary choice is the calphalone one non stick. I have been in love with these pans since the first day I saw them at le gourmet chef. Any suggestions or opinions are highly valued. Thank in advance.

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Old 10-07-2004, 02:52 AM   #2
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just researched this for my cousin not too long ago - here's my recommendation based on Consumer Reports - America's Test Kitchen and epinions

start with Wolfgang Puck's Bistro Collection, you can get it on
Wolfgang Puck Bistro 20-piece Cookware Set on HSN
20 pieces for $159.98
then add Cuisinart non-stick fry pan - highlight, it can go in dishwasher!
(think that is available on Amazon)

The best cookware is a collection of different brands, but it takes years to accumulate. Le Cruset large pots and casseroles are among my favorites, also All Clad roasters. I'm sure Calaphone is good too, but if you are starting from scratch, I would get the Bistro Collection and then add on as time goes on. This gives you everything you need to do some serious cooking!

Good Luck!
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Old 10-07-2004, 06:37 AM   #3
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bienvenu, MockF1. Get at least one cast iron skillet.
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Old 10-07-2004, 08:42 AM   #4
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I bought the moderately priced Calphalon Kitchen Essentials set at Target for $200 2 years ago and am pleased with it. If the new One series is better, it should be an excellent set. I'm with mudbug, in addition to the set, get a cast iron (or stainless if you prefer) skillet for searing/deglazing and/or finishing in the oven under high heat.
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Old 10-07-2004, 09:42 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input so far
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Old 10-07-2004, 09:52 AM   #6
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Ditto, ditto, ditto here. I've had a lot of different makes and models of cookware over the years, but have never found anything with the weight, durability and versatility as Calphalon. And the Calphalon One is about as good as you can get, especially with their infused non-stick surface -- you'll never worry about scratches there. It's pricey, but if you can afford it now, the set will likely last you your entire life.

I have two rules with mine: Never use metal spatulas, spoons, etc. (I use wood primarily, but also use tools designed for non-stick); and ALWAYS wash the cookware by hand.

Cast iron is an animal I could not live without. Very inexpensive, generally, but when taken care of properly will endure many generations. I have a couple of skillets and a large pot (mean to be hung over a five) that are probably approaching 200 years of age, if not older. As noted, they're the best at searing, cooking at very high heat, and certainly for slow cooking for hours and hours. Love mine dearly.
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:28 AM   #7
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I really like my Calphalon non stick a lot. They are quite heavy so they do a good job at retaining heat. Plus they have a lifetime warranty so as long as you follow their rules (no metal utensils etc.) then they really will last you a lifetime.

Cast iron is great too and when properly seasoned it will be as nonstick as your best non stick pans, plus they are very inexpensive.
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Old 10-07-2004, 06:25 PM   #8
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Since your taste in cookware will change as you gain more experience I would suggest getting something good but not too expensive to start with. I would also suggest getting a good "set" to get started so that you will have a basic variety of pot and pan sizes since a set will usually be cheaper than buying each piece individually. Of course, you have to look at what you are getting in the sets ... some sets include 6 utensils (spatula, spoons, fork, tongs, etc) in the count - others give you all cookware, which I prefer since I wouldn't use the bundled utensils for anaything but wall decorations.

You might want to look on www.qvc.com and check out their Cook's Essentials line of non stick. http://www.qvc.com/asp/frameset.asp?class=7959&dd=/scripts/drilldown.dll?class=3344!frame=left&tmp=DE1&am p;cont=7 ... scroll down and look at the 20-pc set item number K0269 for $135 (you can put it on 4 flex payments so it only costs you about $34/month for 4 months). I've been impressed with Cook's Essentials non-stick enough that this is what I just ordered my kid sister for Christmas.

Before some people think I've been taken over by the dark forces - I'm only suggesting this as a starter set. I have some All-Clad stainless steel, Emerilware stainless steel, Calphalon anadized, Calphalon commercial non-stick anodized, cast iron, enameled steel, some anodized made by Forever Ware (they're no longer in business and NOT the same company using that name now), and plain old aluminum.

Of course if money is no object - you can forget everything I just said.
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Old 10-07-2004, 07:18 PM   #9
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Money is really no object as I just want something very nice to start off with.
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Old 10-07-2004, 08:30 PM   #10
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If money is no object then get yourself some All Clad and forget about the non stick. It is pretty easy to learn how to use regular stainless steel and All Clad is great stuff!
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