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Old 03-14-2006, 09:31 AM   #21
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Well it depends on what you will be buying piece by piece. Chances are you will not need every piece in the set. What you really need to do it look at what comes with the set and figure out if you need and will use every piece. if you will use them all then yes generally the set will be less expensive than piece by piece, but if there is even one thing that you do not think you need then it might be less expensive to get them individually.
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Old 03-14-2006, 10:25 AM   #22
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I also am of the opinion that a variety of cookware items styles and brands gives me the most versatility in the kitchen. I began with good cast iron, added anodyzed aluminum, copper, carbon steel , even clay and stone. If you like to shop for bargains at TJ max or Marshalls, lok for a good variety there and see what you like best. if those stores are not close, or that's not the way you shop, get a decent set...emeril or jamie oliver for example. they are decent basic sets and you can really learn your techniques with them. if later you want to spring for something fancier, mmore state of the art, fine...you've not spent a mint. enjoy the experience!
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Old 03-14-2006, 10:26 AM   #23
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GB, after reading your post I started thinking maybe a kit isn't the direction I want to head. Originally I was thinking like Corey, in that I could save money buy just buying a kit. But anyway, since I am basically on the road to becoming a vegetarian, I ought to buy pots and pans to fit that culinary lifestyle, naturally. Then I got to thinking, it seems like a lot of specialty pots and pans are made for meat; searing, browning, whathaveyou.

Would I be able to get buy with just a few well selected pots and pans, as a vegetarian? (e.g. the ones in the link I provided on a previous post)

brad
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Old 03-14-2006, 11:13 AM   #24
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I have never cooked only vegetarian meals, but I would guess that the same sorts of pans that you would want for meat you would also want for vegetarian meals.

The link you provided lists a stockpot, saute pan, sauce pan, cast iron skillet, cast iron casserole with lid, and a non stick skillet. The one I would add to that list would be a Dutch or French oven.

The stockpot, IMO, does not have to be expensive if you use it for things like boiling water for pasta or blanching veggies. If you are making stock then you will want a narrow pot as opposed to a large opening, but again you don't need to spend a lot of $$$ on it.

The cast iron pan is dirt cheap. You can pick them up for about $15-$20 new or find them for a couple Bucks at a garage sale.

For the non stick pan, there are two routs you can take. The first route it to buy an inexpensive one and just replace it when it wears out/scratches in a year or two. that is the route a lot of people take. I prefer route two which is buy a good heavy non stick pan (I have Calphalon non stick and I love them) and get one that has a lifetime warranty. As long as you take care of them (read: don't use metal utensils in them ever) and you don't void the warranty then they will treat you well. I like the better non stick pans because of the weight. My Calphalon pans heat very evenly because of this.
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Old 03-14-2006, 11:23 AM   #25
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I often prepare vegetarian meals, at least one a day. You use the same pans. You need a roaster (large and small) and a caserole pot. you needs sauce pans and a saute pan, you need skillets. Depending on family size and how often you cook for a crowd, depends on whether you 2 or three saucepans, or skillets etc. But you will want to saute and stir fry, boil and steam and braise, roast, bake grill etc...
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Old 03-14-2006, 12:19 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
One of the best things about All-Clad can be one of the most detrimental. All-Clad pans retain and transfer heat very, very well. Because of this, you can cook foods on a lower temp. than other pans and still get great results. However, you may need to add more oil than what you're used to in order to prevent the food from sticking. Because different stoves heat differently, there's no rule that one can really go by other than trial and error. In your case, it would probably be safe to cook your foods on medium--or a shade above medium but not medium high--and add 1 Tbsp. or so more of oil to the pan. If you're sauteeing properly, the oil will not saturate the food. The oil will just be used to aid in the cooking and heat transfer from the pan to whatever you're cooking.
Thanks, will keep trying.
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:17 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
The stockpot, IMO, does not have to be expensive if you use it for things like boiling water for pasta or blanching veggies. If you are making stock then you will want a narrow pot as opposed to a large opening, but again you don't need to spend a lot of $$$ on it.
Why is this? At the local culinary school I took classes at, we used a very ordinary 24 quart stockpot, and mine is of the same proportions, but just 16 quart. What do you gain with a narrow pot?
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:25 PM   #28
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With a narrow stockpot there is less surface area which means less evaporation. The flavors infuse into the liquid, but less liquid is lost to the atmosphere.
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:59 PM   #29
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Whatever you decide to do---get a set or buy pieces individually---IMO the most important piece you'll need is a 12" French skillet. In Western cooking, it's almost akin to how the Wok is to Chinese food in the sense that it will be the most versatile piece of cookware in your kitchen. Many sets come with 10" French skillets which are too small, so don't get those. The difference between what designates a French skillet from a saute pan are the sides. French skillets have angled sides and saute pans have straight up and down sides.
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:28 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by RPCookin
Why is this? At the local culinary school I took classes at, we used a very ordinary 24 quart stockpot, and mine is of the same proportions, but just 16 quart. What do you gain with a narrow pot?
Stock Pots (see here and here) are, by definition, relatively tall and narrow. Meant for inhibiting evaporation.
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