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Old 04-16-2007, 06:29 PM   #1
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Stainless Steel vs Hard Anodized

Hi, I'm a newbie... I want to buy a decent set of pots and pans that will last me a very good while, perform well, and be able to put in the dishwasher if I so desire (this is a secondary concern).

I've ruled out (I think) buying a non-stick coated set, but am still wondering about whether I should go stainless steel or hard-anodized... Does anyone have any advice? Is the performance of hard anodized hugely superior to stainless steel? Even if is more durable, is this really a concern since apparently good stainless steel lasts for ages anyway??

Appreciate any advice or feedback!

Thanks

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Old 04-16-2007, 08:59 PM   #2
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hi Nattie, and welcome to the site.

the type of cookware in your kitchen is a definite matter of personal preference. i'm sure you'll find just as many disciples of anodized as you will of stainless (i'm stainless all the way, and yes, my same set has lasted me well since early college...NO nonstick here either), and a few for good old fashioned cast iron, too. go buy yourself one nice pot of each, of a quality you won't mind keeping around, and test drive 'em. when you know what YOU like, then head on out and buy your set.

meanwhile, search through the archives, because discussions like this have come up many a time in the past.
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:03 PM   #3
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stainless may be dishwasher safe, hard anodized rarely is.
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:59 PM   #4
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I've begun switching from anodized to stainless for two reasons... easier clean up and less reactive to the foods I cook. I use tomatoes quite a bit in cooking, and anodized almost always changes the color and flavor of my tomato dishes. Also, and perhaps it's the way I'm cooking, anodized seems to stick worse than stainless does.
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:28 PM   #5
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When you consider SS, you should look at tri-ply layered SS. The entire pan body is two layers of SS with a layer of Aluminum in between. This is the best option for SS and it's the best option IMO.

It is more durable than hard anodized, less reactive and dishwasher safe.

My preference, look in my kitchen, is SS. Others may disagree.
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Old 04-17-2007, 06:53 AM   #6
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Thanks all for the feedback! I have since changed my mind and decided I would like non-stick frying pans (but ss pots), since I make the most mess with them... I guess the question now is, do you see any advantage of non-stick hard-anodized over non-stick stainless steel or non-stick aluminium (are there any other types?)? I have looked at scanpan - a nonstick made from ceramic titanium, which is not hard anodized but everyone is telling me here (in Oz) that scanpan is the top of the range in terms of nonstick... any comments on these also??
Thanks again,
Nattie
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Old 04-17-2007, 06:57 AM   #7
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I look at non-stick skillets as disposable items. I buy heavy aluminum skillets with a non-stick coating and toss them when they go bad. That way I don't have to feel guilty about ruining a $150 pan with a little scratch.

You can get a set of three heavy aluminum pans, 8", 10" and 12" for a total of $25 at Costco among other places. They perform every bit as well as a more expensive pan.
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:27 AM   #8
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By the way, I was looking at Esteele Stainless Steel pots - does anyone have experience (good or bad) with these, or any other recommendations?
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:37 AM   #9
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I haven't heard of them before but the website shows a pot with a disk on the bottom. This style of construction can work well, expecially on an electric stove.

Just curious, why did you focus on this brand rather than some of the more commonly available ones?
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:42 AM   #10
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Well, out of the 3 large department stores that I have been to (in Australia), Esteele seem to be the best that are available ... admittedly I have only started looking, but they are coming highly recommended. Apparently they are stainless steel encasing and aluminium core, with a relatively thick copper base covered with SS - these are the best I have seen so far. What other brands should I be looking for?
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