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Old 08-23-2007, 11:31 PM   #11
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The restaurant biz isn't really a glamorous one, and every kitchen holds a pretty standard attitude of "Make it work with what ya got". Truth be told, your average kitchen saute' pan would be destroyed by the heat of a restaurant stove, oven, or salamander, not to mention grease damage and constant scrubbing. Like robo said, those pans heat very fast, which is important when you need very hot pans very quickly, and they can also take a beating.

I honestly prefer pro kitchen equipment to home use stuff. I find it to be infinitely more durable, and to be quite blunt, I think alot of home cooks buy into the idea that buying expensive "high-quality" cookware can turn them into a higher quality home cook, which is a pretty ridiculous notion. In some circumstances I think the very expensive items might help a novice to be generally more idiot-proof in his own kitchen, but when it comes down to it, there's nothing you can make in a $100 All-Clad something or other that you can't make in the $10 restaurant equivalent, and at least you can treat the $10 pan like its worth $10, and it can take it. It seems like all that nice expensive stuff needs to be babied in order to stay in working order.
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:37 PM   #12
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The restaurant biz isn't really a glamorous one, and every kitchen holds a pretty standard attitude of "Make it work with what ya got". Truth be told, your average kitchen saute' pan would be destroyed by the heat of a restaurant stove, oven, or salamander, not to mention grease damage and constant scrubbing. Like robo said, those pans heat very fast, which is important when you need very hot pans very quickly, and they can also take a beating.

I honestly prefer pro kitchen equipment to home use stuff. I find it to be infinitely more durable, and to be quite blunt, I think alot of home cooks buy into the idea that buying expensive "high-quality" cookware can turn them into a higher quality home cook, which is a pretty ridiculous notion. In some circumstances I think the very expensive items might help a novice to be generally more idiot-proof in his own kitchen, but when it comes down to it, there's nothing you can make in a $100 All-Clad something or other that you can't make in the $10 restaurant equivalent, and at least you can treat the $10 pan like its worth $10, and it can take it. It seems like all that nice expensive stuff needs to be babied in order to stay in working order.
You mean clothes don't make the man? Interesting comment. I have to agree. If one can't boil water in an expensive pan, then you can't do it in a less costly one.

A well-seasoned pan is a cooks best friend. That's one of the reasons I love my cast-iron cookware. Over 100 or so years it's gotten the best cruddy coat on it. Love it.
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:39 PM   #13
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Am not a professional cook, heck no. But have been lucky enough to see a few restaurants at work. Just regular restaurants.

Those places had someone who was doing the dishes, which includes cleaning the pots and pans.

And they treated them all gently and would certainly never take steel wool to a pan.

Faugh. Those guys had to get the pans clean and fast. The magic of Calphalon would not last very long. But the good old aluminum pans survive, if not looking all the best for the wear. And they are cheap.

And so they are used.

Which brings me to a point I have stated before. It ain't the cookware that puts out the food, it is the cook. And some of the best restaurant meals I have had were cooked in pots and pans that one could not sell at a garage sale.

Just my two cents.
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:39 PM   #14
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I spent three thousand dollars on Swiss Copper pans and had to keep them under lock and key ( big lock ) now I enjoy them at home. I scrounged the good will and the salvation army and bought good qual pans for pennys for the troops to use. I used mine primarily for table side cooking and would not let any body else touch them. Thats why you see so many banged up pots and pans. I worked in one kitchen where every roaster looked like it had been in a battle with Gengis Kahn but they still roasted.
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:46 PM   #15
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And, of course, you can put cheap aluminium pans on your head to keep aliens from reading your thoughts and stealing your recipes. That won't work with stainless.
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:52 PM   #16
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The restaurant biz isn't really a glamorous one, and every kitchen holds a pretty standard attitude of "Make it work with what ya got". Truth be told, your average kitchen saute' pan would be destroyed by the heat of a restaurant stove, oven, or salamander, not to mention grease damage and constant scrubbing. Like robo said, those pans heat very fast, which is important when you need very hot pans very quickly, and they can also take a beating.

I honestly prefer pro kitchen equipment to home use stuff. I find it to be infinitely more durable, and to be quite blunt, I think alot of home cooks buy into the idea that buying expensive "high-quality" cookware can turn them into a higher quality home cook, which is a pretty ridiculous notion. In some circumstances I think the very expensive items might help a novice to be generally more idiot-proof in his own kitchen, but when it comes down to it, there's nothing you can make in a $100 All-Clad something or other that you can't make in the $10 restaurant equivalent, and at least you can treat the $10 pan like its worth $10, and it can take it. It seems like all that nice expensive stuff needs to be babied in order to stay in working order.
I agree completely - my brother is really into photography and one of the biggest insults he could have is "hey, nice picture you took - you must have a really good camera"...

But that's a bit off-base from my question perhaps..

I guess I was wondering why someone would prefer those "cheap pans" to something a bit nicer like the Calphalon Tri-ply (I use these).. they heat up super fast, deglaze beautifullly and last forever...
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:58 PM   #17
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I don’t know CP but maybe it is like everyone else has said and that is because in a restaurant they cook 40 or 50 dishes a night while at home you only cook 1. And when you cook that one you have all the time in the world while the restaurant has a few minutes and aluminum is fast to heat up. My grandpa was a cook on a ship and he swore by aluminum for searing and sautes but I hate trying to clean it. I guess he never taught me that secret?
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:03 AM   #18
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I agree completely - my brother is really into photography and one of the biggest insults he could have is "hey, nice picture you took - you must have a really good camera"...

But that's a bit off-base from my question perhaps..

I guess I was wondering why someone would prefer those "cheap pans" to something a bit nicer like the Calphalon Tri-ply (I use these).. they heat up super fast, deglaze beautifullly and last forever...


I feel like the cheap pans are a better reflection of a good cook. If you can cook in those pans you can cook in anything. I like to know that when I make good food, I don't have to share my success with each layer of my tri-ply pan. Similarly, when I mess up, I don't want to share the blame with my pan. I want me food to be a reflection of my abaility and personality in the kitchen. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:12 AM   #19
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i've got de Buyer "white" steel fry pans.

i've got "cheap" aluminum pans.

i've got calphalon nonstick pans... the good ones.

and of course, i've got LOTS of cast iron pans.

the one i use the most = calphalon. they just seem to get hot quick, stay hot, and they are SUPER easy to clean!!!!
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:20 AM   #20
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Do you think it may have something to do with the fact that commercial stoves generally put out much higher BTUs than residential stoves so the heat retaining properties of Calphalon and the like are kind of overkill? Probably the cheap aluminum pans heat up just as quickly on commercial stoves as pricey pans. So why pay for expensive cookware you just have to worry about disappearing, etc. if they don't perform any better in the restaurant? And as far as how they look, ours would probably look like that too if we cooked as many meals in them everyday as a restaurant does.
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