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Old 03-01-2015, 12:48 PM   #1
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Cookware - what to buy?

Suppose you had no decent cookware what would you get CI, stainless or aluminum? Just lost!

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Old 03-01-2015, 12:59 PM   #2
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All of the above + some non-stick. I always like going to a restaurant supply store for all things in the kitchen. Unless your looking for a set.
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:08 PM   #3
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I agree with S&P.

More specifically, I'd get one or two cast iron skillets. You can get Lodge pre-seasoned for very short money. They will last forever.

Non-stick - an 8" skillet made of fairly thick aluminum coated with a teflon product. Great for fried and scrambled eggs and omelets. While you can use CI for eggs, flipping eggs with CI takes a really strong wrist. I go cheap here. I recently bought a three skillet set (8", 10", 12") of teflon on aluminum at Costco for $25. They will last me dozen years then I'll replace them.

For everyday pots and pans, I recommend tri-ply stainless steel. All major manufacturers offer them. I consider this type of cookware superior to 'disk on the bottom' cookware.

Enameled cast iron such as LeCrueset. I'd get a 7-quart french oven for braises and stews.

Also consider a carbon steel wok for stir-fries. Another low cost item.
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:14 PM   #4
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What S&P and Andy said. We have tons of cast iron and love, love, love it. It's versatile and virtually indestructible. There's rarely a week that goes by that one piece or another isn't pressed into service in our house.

I also endorse the restaurant supply store suggestion. They are great places for good-quality things, along with a huge selection in most cases. The prices are more than acceptable, too.
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennH View Post
Suppose you had no decent cookware what would you get CI, stainless or aluminum? Just lost!
A non-stick milk pan for making milk based sauces and scrambling eggs, Heavy, non-stick frying pan/skillet. I wouldn't bother with anything else in non-stick. Make them good non-stick not the cheap stuff which peels off as soon as you look at it (and always use wooden utensils to avoid damaging the non stick). For everything else I prefer enamelled cast iron as it covers everything you want to use and is "accidentally" non-stick without having to have that nasty coating. I have 3 in different sizes.

As an extra I would have a good quality aluminium omelette pan. Mine is 8"=inches diameter as I only cook omelettes for one. (Not non-stick).

I also have a small (serves 4) enamelled casserole dish with a lid (aka dutch oven or stew pot) with a lid that can be used as a cooking vessel for recipes that need a shallow ovenproof dish.

You don't really need 2 sizes of paella pans, a dutch oven that serves 12 people, 25 assorted cake baking tins, 6 baking sheets and 5 different sized roasting pans.....Oh dear, I really must have a sort out!
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:04 PM   #6
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Stainless is the workhorse of my kitchen. I have a few non-stick skillets for certain things. I also have some cast iron. Stainless gets the biggest workout in my kitchen.
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:10 PM   #7
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My set is similar to Bakechef's. I have several of each type, with SS being the workhorse.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:26 PM   #8
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I just ordered a set of stainless for my mom, she really liked my set, so I got her one similar. I also got her a couple non-stick. She's going to have a well outfitted kitchen when I'm done!
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:04 PM   #9
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Thanks to all

I had some non-stick pans but everything stuck to them and had lost hope. I thought there was a better solution for all my cooking needs but I guess not
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:46 PM   #10
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I stick with cast iron for most things, all my CI is just well seasoned and just as (if not more) non-stick than teflon. I have a large stainless stock pot and a simple aluminum pot for either boiling water or making stocks.

With CI, there is no concern over what utensils can be used, easy to clean, easy to care for, and lasts a lifetime or a few (most of ours was inherited)
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:49 PM   #11
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I have both stainless and nonstick, no cast iron except my enameled dutch ovens. I use the nonstick most of the time, and it holds up well with proper care. I don't see any problem with not using metal utensils, since I have virtually nothing but wood, nylon or silicone anyway.

I don't have cast iron because my wife doesn't like the weight. As long as I can make what I want to make without it, I'm happy.

Stainless is great when used properly, but it is a bit more tricky to keep foods from sticking to it. You can go wrong with both too little heat and too much. Once you get used to it, it's great.
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:55 PM   #12
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I have both stainless and nonstick, no cast iron except my enameled dutch ovens. I use the nonstick most of the time, and it holds up well with proper care. I don't see any problem with not using metal utensils, since I have virtually nothing but wood, nylon or silicone anyway.

I don't have cast iron because my wife doesn't like the weight. As long as I can make what I want to make without it, I'm happy.

Stainless is great when used properly, but it is a bit more tricky to keep foods from sticking to it. You can go wrong with both too little heat and too much. Once you get used to it, it's great.
I have a Wearever nonstick skillet that's about 15 years old and still going strong. This was when they advertised it as "safe for use with metal utensils" it has lived up to it's durability claims. It does have a few scratches but not enough to really damage the nonstick surface, it's fully intact. If I knew that it would last this long, I would have bought one in every size!

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Old 03-13-2015, 12:34 AM   #13
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:10 PM   #14
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You didn't say how many people are in your household. If it is just you, I would get a 6" or 8" cast iron skillet, a 4 or 6 qt stainless steel dutch oven, a stainless steel skillet. A 3-4 qt stainless steel pot with a lid. A small roaster pan--go to the thrift store, I've picked up several there for next to nothing. If you must, a non-stick skillet, but the CI should suffice once seasoned properly.


If two people, I'd get a 10" CI skillet, go with the 6 qt SS DO, and a 10 " SS skillet, a 6 qt SS pot with a lid and a roaster pan that will hold a 3-4 lb chicken.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:32 AM   #15
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How do you clean your stainless? I used a large skillet for the first time. Followed directions. The food was amazing but it has a stain in the bottom. I used BarKeeper's but still there. Nothing burned on it but there it is!
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:50 AM   #16
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Hi, DragonflyCooking. Welcome to Discuss Cooking

Check out this thread for some ideas: http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ad.php?t=90524
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:26 AM   #17
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Thank you! I guess I will be heading to the store for BKF. I have some for it's the liquid one and doesn't seem to do the job.
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Stainless is the workhorse of my kitchen. I have a few non-stick skillets for certain things. I also have some cast iron. Stainless gets the biggest workout in my kitchen.
Pretty much this.

There is a barely rebuttable presumption that you want to use pans that do not flavor a dish with product cooked in it previously.

The gold standard is, and always will be, tin-lined copper next is stainless-lined copper and after that restaurant-grade triply with a tie for certain techniques with restaurant-grade disk bottom stainless. After this then high carbon steel pans for searing not associated with a resulting pan reduction or pan sauce. Enameled cast iron rounds out the list.

Bare cast iron is way, way down on the list, as is bare aluminum both of which one trusts for obvious reasons.
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Old 09-23-2015, 03:34 PM   #19
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I think my pans are copper bottomed stainless. Also have cast iron.
I also have some cast aluminum. One nonstick griddle. And whatever stockpots are made of.
And all kinds of bakeware.

Now on what you should get... a few questions.
How many people?
What is your budget?
Do you like to cook?
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Old 12-09-2016, 02:45 PM   #20
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While stainless steel is a great choice, have you thought about using cookware made from a more natural material? Pure clay cookware is great for multiple types of cooking, plus it cooks better over time once it is seasoned (like cast iron cookware).
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