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Old 03-14-2006, 04:09 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
Stock Pots (see here and here) are, by definition, relatively tall and narrow. Meant for inhibiting evaporation.
Wouldn't you achieve the same goal with a cover? I don't plan to buy anew pot any time soon, and I seem to have had good results with what I have.
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Old 03-14-2006, 04:12 PM   #32
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There is no need to buy a new pot. If what you have is working for you then that is all that matters!

That is a good question about the cover!
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Old 03-14-2006, 10:13 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
Weed, that was an excellent primer on cookware. If you don't mind, I'm going to make a copy for a new page in my children's cookbooks.
Constance, I just re-read the post so I could remember what I said. There were so many typos in it that you'd think I'd never typed before. I hope you are finding fewer typos in our collaberative work.

In any case, thanks.

And I believe that as with knives, personal experience and preference plays a major roll in using cookware. What one person swears is the best, drives another person crazy. I happen to like cast iron, and cheap SS with the aluminum disk on the bottom. I have Reverware stainless that I inherited from my mother when she passed on. It serves me well and is almost mon-stick when used properly. But then, so is my high-carbon steel flat-bottome wok for Atlas, and my cast iron (Lodge & Wagner). The only pots I have that are notoriously sticky are the Visions glassware. And yet others love that brand imensely. I detest non-stick coatings because I've never had a non-stick pan that stands up to my abuse. In cooking on the stove-top, finess isn't one of my strengths. I tend to cook hot and fast, unless the food requires slow-moist heat. And then I use other cooking methods.

I say, try out some stuff. Then make your permanent choices. Oh, and to show you how versatile cookware can be, you know the aluminum camping kits, with the little fry pans and pots? They stick to vertually everything but water. But, if you take a little cooking oil or shortening, and bake it onto the cooking surface (your seasoning the metal as you would cast iron), they become very good little cooking kits for making everything from pancakes to fried eggs.

You just have to think about what you are doing, and how you want your pans to perform.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 03-14-2006, 11:31 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North
I say, try out some stuff. Then make your permanent choices.
Good advice, but quite honestly, how can I do this?

I've never even seen stainless steel pots and pans being used (in real life), let alone know someone who would let me use theirs to try out.

I will probably take this route once I'm out of college since I will have more free time, more money and will probably be cooking everyday. At the rate I cook It would take me forever to pick the perfect pots and pans. I'm sure there are no real *permanent* choices though, even to the experienced chef, except maybe a few.

I'm pretty much looking for a basic set to get me by. I don't need top of the line stuff, but I don't want junk either. Right now at our house we have one really bad stainless dutch oven, one really bad 10-12" non-stick skillet, one really bad 6-8" skillet and some other (aluminum)pot that has dents all over it. Oh and I picked up a really big stock pot at a thrift store for next to nothing, but I don't know what it's made out of, so I'm a little afraid to use it.

Thanks,

brad
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Old 03-14-2006, 11:47 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North
Constance, I just re-read the post so I could remember what I said. There were so many typos in it that you'd think I'd never typed before. I hope you are finding fewer typos in our collaberative work.

In any case, thanks.

And I believe that as with knives, personal experience and preference plays a major roll in using cookware. What one person swears is the best, drives another person crazy. I happen to like cast iron, and cheap SS with the aluminum disk on the bottom. I have Reverware stainless that I inherited from my mother when she passed on. It serves me well and is almost mon-stick when used properly. But then, so is my high-carbon steel flat-bottome wok for Atlas, and my cast iron (Lodge & Wagner). The only pots I have that are notoriously sticky are the Visions glassware. And yet others love that brand imensely. I detest non-stick coatings because I've never had a non-stick pan that stands up to my abuse. In cooking on the stove-top, finess isn't one of my strengths. I tend to cook hot and fast, unless the food requires slow-moist heat. And then I use other cooking methods.

I say, try out some stuff. Then make your permanent choices. Oh, and to show you how versatile cookware can be, you know the aluminum camping kits, with the little fry pans and pots? They stick to vertually everything but water. But, if you take a little cooking oil or shortening, and bake it onto the cooking surface (your seasoning the metal as you would cast iron), they become very good little cooking kits for making everything from pancakes to fried eggs.

You just have to think about what you are doing, and how you want your pans to perform.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Hey Goodweed....you sure you aint drinkin as you type??? I am funnin at ya.... I get a kick out of your typos!!!! I am sure I will have a few......

I just wanted to say that this thread is a good read. I have never really considered my cookware much until now. Most all of mine is non stick and have just about any size you can think of. I based most of my purchases on size (they say size matters ) as opposed to cooking surface types... ss, non-stick, cast iron, etc. So it is interesting to learn how the different cooking surfaces interact with the food and end result that you are looking for in the food. I have a cast iron.... so I am covered there, but would like to know more about the curing and seasoning process for cast iron. Basic proper care for these gems! So now I am planning to buy "key" pieces to expand on my cooking repetoire (sp?).
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Old 03-15-2006, 12:06 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sattie
...but would like to know more about the curing and seasoning process for cast iron. Basic proper care for these gems!
Yes! I can definitely afford a $15-20 pan and would gladly accept it into my dismal assemblage of what some may consider pans

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Old 03-15-2006, 12:09 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom of the Kitchen
Yes! I can definitely afford a $15-20 pan and would gladly accept it into my dismal assemblage of what some may consider pans

brad
I know how you feel.... I am sure my measly collection of bottom shelf cooking tools would fit right in!!!!
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:11 PM   #38
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I won't talk about your pans if you won't talk about my knives.............
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Old 03-15-2006, 05:42 PM   #39
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Thanks Satie. And nope, I haven't touched alcohol in almost 30 years. Can't stand the flavor or what it does to my poor body. My typing erros are an inborn talent.

As for my cookware, and cooking tools, as I said, my SS is Reverware, you know, the 20 - 30 dollar pots and pans. My cast iron is a mixture of heritage stuff (Wagner Ware) that I inherited when my mother died, along with more that I received when my Dad passed on, and some Lodge cast iron that was given to me by someone who just didnt' want or appreciate cast iron. When I'd first gotten maried (28 years back) like most newly weds, I knew nothing about how to judge quality and purchased the K-Mart specials. They worked, but were lacking in quality and usefullness. Still, it took time and research to eventually know what constituted quality. Along with my current cookware, which by the way does and admirable job with each piece costing 30 bucs or less (except for my very large SS lasanga/roaster, and my egg-poaching pan), I have one very good quality 10" chef's knife which I use for almost everything, three Chicago cutlery knives that work for the rest of my cutting chores, and one pair of kitchen shears. Oh, and my Atlas flat-bottome wok is a wonderful thing.

I would say that my entire cookeware assemblage would cost less than 250 bucks toatal. Of course, the prep tools are extremely important. You should have a good ballon whisk that has a comfortable handle and many wire loops, a flat whisk, a ball-whisk (straight tines with metalic balls on the end, very stiff), and a couple of smaleer whisks for wroking in small containers (useful for hand blending condiments such as home-made tartar sauce, shrimp cocktail sauce, etc.

Your most important tool is your head. As I stated, if you know the limitations of your tools and cookware, you can be creative and still make it work well for you, as with the previously mentioned aluminum camping kit.

As for trying out different cookware, that's what girlfreinds and their parents are for . You just volunteer to show off your cullinary expertise at their home, cook dinner for them, using their cookware of course. And if you are single, There are few things you can do, besides being truly honest and caring, that will impress your would-be partner more than cooking her, and her family a great meal.

Remember, technique is far more important that having the perfect pot. Shiny pots are a wonderful thing if you're concerned with showing off pots. Me, I'd rather show off my food creations.

A freind for another site I used to visit had a tag line at the end of his posts that said it well, and I paraphrase as accurately as my memory will allow; "It is far more important what goes into the pot, than is the pot."

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 03-19-2006, 11:20 AM   #40
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If I was suggesting cookware for a beginner, I would keep it really simple. Don't buy a complete set unless you plan on using all the pieces.

So, here's my suggested inventory for a beginner:

1 Non Stick 12" skillet/saute pan w/lid
1 Non Stick 8" omelette pan
1 Non Stick griddle skillet (minimum 10") (the kind w/grill marks)
1 Enameled Cast Iron 5 qt French Oven (optional for budgetary reasons)
1 Stainless Steel 12" skillet/saute pan w/lid
1 8 qt Stock Pot (your choice of exterior or interior)
1 4 qt sauce pan w/lid (your choice of exterior or interior)
1 Stainless Steel colander
1 Double sided cast iron two burner griddle
1 Roaster pan w/lid (I prefer dark exterior and interior)

Where I give you the options of exterior and interior, my only advice would be to get something with a little weight to it. If you prefer non-stick, by all means purchase non-stick. If you prefer stainless steel, again, by all means purchase stainless steel. However, just make sure there's some weight to it.

Everyone has their own preferences as to manufacturer. Go for a name brand and buy the best that you can afford at this moment. It doesn't have to be All-Clad stainless but it could be Cuisinart. The non-stick could be Calphalon.

All the pots and pans that I have suggested for your inventory will take you anywhere you want to go. You don't need a fancy schmansy fish poacher.

Keep it simple until you discover your cooking talents and interests. Then you can expound on your inventory and trade up.
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