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Old 04-10-2005, 01:47 PM   #11
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Calphalon or Ultrex non-stick: 2 sauce pans for sticky sauces, skillet for eggs & omelets, pancake griddle
All-Clad ss and Lodge ci: searing meats, creating fond, finishing in oven
Le Creuset: French oven for soups, stews, casseroles, roasts
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...and that's the way it is in northern Minnesota.
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Old 04-10-2005, 02:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat97
What material would you prefer and/or what brand?
It really depends on what you are making. Its like someone asking what kind of car to get but some people drive off road, some people drive on sand, some people drive in mud, some people drive only on highways, some people need to drive 5 people, some people drive solo.

For saute and getting good carmelization -- cast iron or black iron pans
For pots (not pans), stainless steel with good heavy bottom and if possible, with copper bottom plated on it (not painted on like some cheapo ones)
For slow cooking, enamel (Creuset type)
Don't worry so much on the brand (marketers will make you pay for that name anyway) but go for strength.

BTW, restaurant equipment is NFS rated, it HAS to have a NFS logo on it. The better stainless steel, NFS rated pans, are very expensive (ie, Sitram pans from France).

I mostly use black iron from France for general cooking. These are *like* cast iron but thinner. They also have very long handles. I've seen old photos of similar pans and there is no difference in design.

I use non-stick for eggs just for ease but you can pretty much use any pan and make it non-stick.

Non-stick pans and good carmelization is possible, but completely opposite of what you would want good carmelization for.
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:31 AM   #13
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Thank you all!
Eric- sorry it was a vague question :) Your answer is really helpful though- I am thinking of replacing my dinky, mostly teflon stuff all at once.
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat97
Thank you all!
Eric- sorry it was a vague question :)
If I was to get just ONE, I'll use iron or cast iron.

You should check out (if they have at your library or peruse it at the bookstore) "On Food and Cooking". In the back of the book somewhere, McGee (I just found out this was a pen name), writes what material is good for which method of cooking.
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric
If I was to get just ONE, I'll use iron or cast iron.

You should check out (if they have at your library or peruse it at the bookstore) "On Food and Cooking". In the back of the book somewhere, McGee (I just found out this was a pen name), writes what material is good for which method of cooking.

If I were only going to buy one, it would NOT be iron or cast iron unless it was coated, Like LC. Uncoated is reactive with food.

It would be fully clad stainless steel, like All Clad or similar. NO nonstick.

Check out online sellers of All Clad "cosmetic seconds." I got a whopping assortment for less than half price.

Don't buy sets -- they usually include pieces you'll never use. Dont think about Emerilware.

Here's an interesting discussion. http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache...conds%22&hl=en
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Old 04-12-2005, 06:25 PM   #16
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Wow, I know these are hard times for some but like jennyemma said these cosmetic seconds or irregulars are going for near half price. The first link I posted has a 20% off an already reduced price yet some just cant see spending that kind of money. Well sometimes you get what you pay for. It's amazing to me why so many have such an attitude about non stick. I always keep one around mainly for eggs but they do come in handy. While watching Jaques Pepin a few weeks ago I don't remember the dish he was cooking (it wasn't eggs) he made the comment that you'd have alot of trouble making the dish without a non-stick and he was using the pan I just bought, so there.
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Old 04-12-2005, 06:35 PM   #17
 
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I am a firm believer that I would rather have second hand diamonds than none at all.

In other words, if I can find a great piece of cooking equipment used for 1/4 of the new price or less, in good condition, I go for it.

Lack of money has never been an issue for me getting great cookware. Garage sales, thrift shops, auctions, used restaurant supply stores, Ebay, and even ---dare we say it, metal salvage yards often have great deals.

Some TLC with lots of soap, water, bleach, metal scrubbing brush, etc. and you are in business.
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:36 PM   #18
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I can't say that I have much experience with various types and brands, but I like what I have, even though it appears to be frowned on by most posters here. I have a 10 piece set of Emerilware by All Clad (nonstick), plus one 10" stainless All Clad saute pan. This is my primary cookware, and I haven't found anything to complain about with it. I am careful with the nonstick pans (wooden or plastic utensils only), and after 4 years I have had no problems with the coating peeling off (in fact it still looks like new). I bought the set right after we had the kitchen remodeled, and none of our old, cheap cookware would work on the new flattop range, so replacing it was a necessity, not an option.

And as far as going with the nonstick, I HATE cleaning up, so anything that mitigates the mess is a good thing.
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Old 04-22-2005, 11:51 AM   #19
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I had to buy new kitchenware from scratch, and have been very happy with my Sitram. I supplement it with a couple of inexpensive nonstick skillets that I just toss away every few years. My biggest recommendation is to never buy aluminum, there are too many limitations, and to avoid the lovely copper unless you truly get satisfaction and love out of cleaning and seeing something lovely after you're through (I'm not one, and lived with copper for the first 40 years of my life, and enough is enough).
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Old 04-22-2005, 11:57 AM   #20
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I would probabally buy cast iron and/or all clad.
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