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sam90 02-08-2017 09:15 AM

Frying Pan, Casserole Pan or Stock Pot?
 
Hi,

I've been looking into getting a complete new set of pots and pans for some time now, but I am having a bit of a problem deciding what sort of pans I need.

I'm looking at the Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel range as I love the look and have a load of John Lewis vouchers to use up.

I tend to cook a lot of curries, pasta, stir fry and casserole dishes, as well as meat dishes accompanied by boiled/steamed vegetables. I also love a fry up at the weekends as well as pancakes, omlettes.

I already know I am going to get the 4 Piece saucepan set which comes with a 16cm, 18cm, 20cm saucepan and a 24cm non-stick frying pan. I am also going to get the 24cm steel saute pan (un-coated) as I love to caramelise onions and saute veg.

I am torn, however, when deciding which large pan to get for cooking currys/spag-bol/resotto/stir-frys and other large dishes for the family. In the past I have always used a 28cm non stick frying pan with a lid for these dishes which has worked out well. However I am not sure if I should be using a casserole pan, or something more like a saucepan or stockpot, or if there is something else I have completely forgotten about. The Le Creuset 3-Ply range currently offers:
  • 28cm or 30cm Frying Pan (non-stick)
  • 26cm or 30cm Steel Casserole Pan (non non-stick)
  • 24cm Steel Casserole Stock Pot (non non-stick)

I guess I'm trying to find which is the most versatile large pan which will cater for my needs of cooking large meals in, but am not sure which it is!

Thank you in advance.

GotGarlic 02-08-2017 09:45 AM

Hi and welcome to Discuss Cooking [emoji2]

I use my sauté pan for stir-fries and risotto and some sauces, as well as some braised dishes.

For larger batches of soups, stews, braises and curries, I suggest either a braiser or a Dutch oven. I only use my stockpot for stock and large batches of sauces like lasagna sauce - sort of like spag bol, I guess lol

https://www.lecreuset.com/cookware/braisers

https://www.lecreuset.com/cookware/dutch-ovens

I would also suggest that you stay away from sets, except that saucepan set you mentioned. You usually end up getting a bunch of pans you rarely use. You're better off buying individual items that you know you will use.

I would also suggest not getting non-stick, with the exception of a pan for eggs. The bits that stick are called fond. It adds great flavor to food when it's scraped and dissolved into sauces :yum:

sam90 02-08-2017 10:04 AM

Thank's for the welcome, and also for the reply!

The braiser that you have linked looks to me as the equivalent Casserole Pan in the UK, see the link. That seems to be more towards what I will use rather than a dutch oven. I do most of my cooking on the hob in relatively short time and all in one go such as cooking the meat and veg then adding the sauce till it simmers all in the same pan on the hob. It's vary rare that I would leave something to cook for hours on end, the times that I am organised to do that I would use either a small slow cooker or large pyrex bowl with a lid in the oven.

(https://www.lecreuset.co.uk/signatur...attribute=2968)

I am in the UK and am aware that the pans available in the ranges differ slightly from the US to the UK.

With regards to sticking to one set, I don't mind not getting all the same set, but if the range offers everything I need then I'd rather stick to it than have mis-matching pans.

caseydog 02-09-2017 12:49 AM

I'm curious, if the 28cm non-stick pan you have now works well for your big family dishes, why change pans? There is a saying here in the US, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I tend to add pans to the ones I have that work, and only get rid of one's I don't like, or never use. I got rid of my tri-ply stainless skillets, because I found myself using either my non-stcick restaurant supply skillets, or my cast iron skillets instead. My LeCreuset cast iron dutch ovens get a constant work out, too. But, my daily "go-to" pans are some non-stick skillets I got at the local restaurant supply store for relatively cheap.

A few stainless sauce pans of different sizes are very handy. Mine are All-Clad, and I use them a lot. Buying "sets" of pans can be more cost effective, as long as you are pretty sure you will use almost everything in the set. You just need to weigh the cost of the set vs the cost of the pieces you really want purchased separately.

CD

sam90 02-09-2017 03:25 AM

It needs replacing as the non stick is coming off, and it is warped beyond measure to the point that the lid falls off wen placed on it. The reason for wanting a whole new set is because I have very little cookware at all, just that, a saucepan and a small frying pan which is also warped and flaking. Hence why I tend to cook everything in the large frying pan.

You're one of the first people I've seen on here who prefers their non-stick skillets to stainless, everyone else seems to favour the stainless for the fonds.

Maybe I should be looking to get a Dutch oven instead then? I'm not quite sure what one is, or what it's used for and how to use it? Do you put it on the hub or in the oven? How long does it usually take to cook up a meal?

caseydog 02-09-2017 04:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sam90 (Post 1498385)
It needs replacing as the non stick is coming off, and it is warped beyond measure to the point that the lid falls off wen placed on it. The reason for wanting a whole new set is because I have very little cookware at all, just that, a saucepan and a small frying pan which is also warped and flaking. Hence why I tend to cook everything in the large frying pan.

You're one of the first people I've seen on here who prefers their non-stick skillets to stainless, everyone else seems to favour the stainless for the fonds.

Maybe I should be looking to get a Dutch oven instead then? I'm not quite sure what one is, or what it's used for and how to use it? Do you put it on the hub or in the oven? How long does it usually take to cook up a meal?

Ah, if the pan is worn out, by all means, replace it.

If I am browning meat, or otherwise want to develop a fond, I use my cast-iron. But, for other things, the non-stick works. If I want to make a grilled cheese sandwich, or whip up some bacon and eggs, the non-stick works fine, and I can wash it, dry it and put it away in about 30 seconds.

A dutch oven can be used stove-top or in the oven, or both for some slow-cook recipes where you start off on the stove-top, browning and developing that fond, and then move to the oven to slowly braise.

For me, I find a cast iron dutch oven to be very versatile, and an essential item in my kitchen. If I were allowed only one pan/pot for the rest of my life, a dutch oven would be it.

All of my comments in this thread, BTW, are just a reflection of what works for me, worked out over 20 years of trial and error in the kitchen. I now have an eclectic collection of cookware that I feel comfortable, and confident using.

CD

GotGarlic 02-09-2017 11:18 AM

1 Attachment(s)
This is a Le Creuset enameled cast iron Dutch oven, in the color I happen to have :wink:

Attachment 26144

They come in several sizes and colors. For my family - just DH and me - the 5.5-quart size works great for soups, stews and braised meats. How long something takes to cook depends on what it is. These are great for long, slow cooking.

Zagut 02-09-2017 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caseydog (Post 1498379)
There is a saying here in the US, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

And I'll agree with that 100%. :clap:

But I'm a cheapskate and hate to see anything that can be used discarded. :wink:


Quote:

Originally Posted by caseydog (Post 1498389)
Ah, if the pan is worn out, by all means, replace it.

Again I agree. Everything has a useful service life and when the time comes we all gotta go sometime.


I now have an eclectic collection of cookware that I feel comfortable, and confident using.

This is sound advice and matches the cookware I've accumulated over the years.


You've asked a question only you can answer.
Get what fit's "your" needs and only you know what they are.
Run any and all suggestion through your filter and then buy what you feel is what you need for the results desired.

That being said, I'm not a big fan of nonstick.
I've never really seen the need for it since most pans can be nonstick if cared for properly and care is taken in preparation methods.
All nonstick pans wear out or should I say the coating wears out. You need to watch out for the utensils used with them and the temps you cook with.
But without the coating a pan can take a beating and keep on ticking. That's why I like my older pot's and pan's. They let me abuse them some and survive for another day. :rolleyes:

Best of luck in your search and I'm sure you'll get what you seek.
And remember that every day is a learning experience.

caseydog 02-09-2017 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GotGarlic (Post 1498409)
This is a Le Creuset enameled cast iron Dutch oven, in the color I happen to have :wink:

Attachment 26144

They come in several sizes and colors. For my family - just DH and me - the 5.5-quart size works great for soups, stews and braised meats. How long something takes to cook depends on what it is. These are great for long, slow cooking.

I have the same color... Flame. I live near a LeCreuset outlet store, so over the years, I've acquired three sizes of the dutch ovens for relatively cheap. I use all of them pretty regularly.

CD

dragnlaw 02-09-2017 08:49 PM

Nobody has given any bad advice on this thread!! LOL :chef:

Please also keep in mind pans (or pots for that matter) that have oven friendly handles (and lids) are wonderful. Yes, metal handles and lids do get hot but to be able to slide something into the oven to finish up is a definite plus!

Did a recipe yesterday that said to use a casserole dish for in the oven and then switch to a stovetop pan to finish the sauce... duh... started in an oven safe saute pan and finished it in the same pan - one less dish to wash!

caseydog 02-09-2017 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dragnlaw (Post 1498459)
Nobody has given any bad advice on this thread!! LOL :chef:

I guess I need to stop now, while I'm ahead. :angel:

CD

sam90 02-10-2017 05:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caseydog (Post 1498461)
I guess I need to stop now, while I'm ahead. :angel:

CD

You're right, this is way more information that I anticipated, thank you all! I'm going to have a look at some of those dutch ovens and see what they are all about, they sound amazing and the thought of braising my meat and then leaving it to stew for hours makes me salivate.

I think I am still going to go for the saucepan set with a small non-stick frying pan (24cm) to do my eggs and pancakes in. Then I will have to keep an eye out for a larger stainless steel frying pan, brasier or saute pan to cook the majority of my quick (under an hour) meals in. I tend to cook these meals in bulk so I have left overs for work for the next few days so I'd ideally get a 30cm pan.

Other than that, I think I will be set for the time being, maybe a small 24cm saute pan to caramalize and get my fonds for when I'm cooking a smaller meal.

How does that sound?

caseydog 02-10-2017 06:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sam90 (Post 1498497)
You're right, this is way more information that I anticipated, thank you all! I'm going to have a look at some of those dutch ovens and see what they are all about, they sound amazing and the thought of braising my meat and then leaving it to stew for hours makes me salivate.

I think I am still going to go for the saucepan set with a small non-stick frying pan (24cm) to do my eggs and pancakes in. Then I will have to keep an eye out for a larger stainless steel frying pan, brasier or saute pan to cook the majority of my quick (under an hour) meals in. I tend to cook these meals in bulk so I have left overs for work for the next few days so I'd ideally get a 30cm pan.

Other than that, I think I will be set for the time being, maybe a small 24cm saute pan to caramalize and get my fonds for when I'm cooking a smaller meal.

How does that sound?

I think the saucepan set sounds like a very good choice, and the non-stick frying pan is a good utility pan for those quick meals we all make to fit our schedules.

I also think you are wise to buy a few things at a time, and incorporate them into your cooking one step at a time. Then you can ask yourself, "What do I want to do, that I am not able to do with what I have?" Hopefully you won't have to give away as much kitchen $tuff as I did in assembling what I have now.

Do some YouTube searches on dutch oven cooking. It will give you an idea what you can do with them. I mentioned starting on the stove-top, and moving to the oven to slow cook. Here is a video -- part of a series that Michael Ruhlmann did for Le Creuset -- where he uses a dutch oven to do a slow cook starting on the stove-top, and finishing in the oven.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeyqYyjbcaA


CD

sam90 02-10-2017 11:57 AM

That video was great, I've watched a few of them now, including one where he sautes some medallions in a pan with red wine. That looked yummy!

tenspeed 02-10-2017 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sam90 (Post 1498497)
You're right, this is way more information that I anticipated, thank you all! I'm going to have a look at some of those dutch ovens and see what they are all about, they sound amazing and the thought of braising my meat and then leaving it to stew for hours makes me salivate........

.....Then I will have to keep an eye out for a larger stainless steel frying pan, brasier or saute pan to cook the majority of my quick (under an hour) meals in.

For a working person who wants to cook a meal in under an hour, you might want to consider a pressure cooker. Modern electric pressure cookers, like an Instant Pot, are set and forget appliances. Set the timer, hit the start button, and wait for it to finish. And they cook much, much faster than a Dutch Oven.

Here's an article that covers some of the basics:

Why Anything Slow Cookers Can Do, Others Can Do Better | Serious Eats

caseydog 02-10-2017 08:33 PM

^^^^^ Well now, there's another thing to add to your information overload. :wink:

I can't say much about pressure cookers, because I've never owned one -- so far.

CD

Cooking Goddess 02-11-2017 03:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caseydog (Post 1498591)
...because I've never owned one -- so far.

CD

Keep coming around here and you're sure to acquire all sorts of kitchen toys you never even considered pre-DC. A lot of us like to collect. *ducks head down - raises hand*

caseydog 02-11-2017 04:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess (Post 1498629)
Keep coming around here and you're sure to acquire all sorts of kitchen toys you never even considered pre-DC. A lot of us like to collect. *ducks head down - raises hand*

I kick the idea around from time to time, but my kitchen is full now. When I got divorced, I sold the Dallas suburbanite "minimal" house -- big enough for two normal families -- and built a 1,620 square foot house. The kitchen is wonderful (mostly), but not big. If I get a pressure cooker, I'll have to get rid of something else to make room for it. That is a rule I've made for myself.

So, the pressure cooker has not yet justified getting rid of something else.

CD

jennyema 02-11-2017 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tenspeed (Post 1498564)
For a working person who wants to cook a meal in under an hour, you might want to consider a pressure cooker. Modern electric pressure cookers, like an Instant Pot, are set and forget appliances. Set the timer, hit the start button, and wait for it to finish. And they cook much, much faster than a Dutch Oven.

Here's an article that covers some of the basics:

Why Anything Slow Cookers Can Do, Others Can Do Better | Serious Eats

Instapots rock!! I love mine!!

Zagut 02-12-2017 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caseydog (Post 1498632)
I kick the idea around from time to time, but my kitchen is full now. When I got divorced, I sold the Dallas suburbanite "minimal" house -- big enough for two normal families -- and built a 1,620 square foot house. The kitchen is wonderful (mostly), but not big. If I get a pressure cooker, I'll have to get rid of something else to make room for it. That is a rule I've made for myself.

So, the pressure cooker has not yet justified getting rid of something else.

CD

Well ya know........ Somewhere I heard that rules were made to be broken. :whistling

Quote:

Originally Posted by tenspeed (Post 1498564)
For a working person who wants to cook a meal in under an hour, you might want to consider a pressure cooker. Modern electric pressure cookers, like an Instant Pot, are set and forget appliances. Set the timer, hit the start button, and wait for it to finish. And they cook much, much faster than a Dutch Oven.

Here's an article that covers some of the basics:

Why Anything Slow Cookers Can Do, Others Can Do Better | Serious Eats

Thanks for the nice link.
A Crock Pot defiantly leaves something to be desired but the price points in the article show why the Crock Pot sells so well.

sam90 02-14-2017 05:49 AM

So, after a long few days of deliberation, I decided to treat myself to a Dutch Oven! I popped down to my nearest Le Creuset store on Sunday morning and am now the proud owner of a 28cm (6.1L) Round Cerise Dutch Oven. I was greated in store with a glass of bubbly as the store had a valentines event on, one where everything in store was 20% off. After a bit of bartering I managed to get them to knock of another 10% of the purchase and they even threw in a free cast-iron cookbook with loads of yummy recipes.

That night I cooked an amazing beef brisket pot roast in ale, enough to feed a small army. It was so easy to use, searing the meat and saute the veg before popping it in the oven to stew for five hours. The meat was so tender and the gravy/juices were mouth watering. I't sits pride of place on the side next to the cooker and I intend to use it for as much as possible, and my gf wants to bake bread and cakes in it too!

I'm holding off on getting the pan set for now until there is a decent offer on them, as I can make do with the dutch oven and the one salvageable saucepan that we have. My only quarrel is that I potentially might have gone for a too large a size, as it will be a bit unpractical to use the dutch oven for small meals when it is just me eating, but for that I guess I can just use a small saucepan or frying pan.

Thank you all so much for you advice. It is really appreciated.

dragnlaw 02-14-2017 08:02 AM

Congratualations! Guess I don't have to say Enjoy! as you already are. :wink:

As for a smaller size, you can adapt some recipes but for the most part - like the rest of us single and only for two cooks - learn to eat leftovers! :lol:

Seriously, you can find recipes. Example, roast a whole chicken, with the vegies for one meal. find at least 2 more recipes for the the chicken, as in perhaps a pot pie, sandwiches (hot or cold), etc. This is what I do.
Here's a recipe for a frozen meal using cooked chicken, very handy.

Thai Chicken

Makes: 4 servings Serving Size: 3/4 cup chicken mixture
Prep: 15 mins Freeze: Up to 4 months Stand: Thaw 20 minutes

Ingredients

• 1/4 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
• 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
• 12 ounces cubed cooked chicken breast
• 1 cup bite-size red sweet pepper strips (1 medium)
• 1/2 cup thinly bias-sliced carrot (1 medium)
• 1/2 cup fresh snow pea pods
• 4 teaspoons sesame oil
• Mixed salad greens, 8-inch multigrain flour tortillas, or multigrain flatbreads
• Lime wedges

Directions

PrincessFiona60 02-14-2017 08:36 AM

Okay Dragnlaw, you had me at Thai. Please post this recipe in the Chicken or Ethnic cooking threads so we don't lose it. Darn it, I wasn't hungry till I read this.

dragnlaw 02-14-2017 08:49 AM

Oops, sorry. I thought about that after I hit 'submit reply' and had left the site. Will do and will try to post a pic to go along with it.

Think I will post it in Chicken, that's where I have it in my files. But I've also got a file Asian, which on my computer I will copy it to.

PrincessFiona60 02-14-2017 08:56 AM

No sorry needed. It does sound wonderful! I just don't have all the ingredients on hand. Off to bed with me...night Dear!

dragnlaw 02-14-2017 09:26 AM

LOL Princess, that's why this recipe is so good. You make it when you do have the ingredients and it is in your freezer when you don't!

Sleep Well! Dream of yummy Thai Chicken! :yum:

caseydog 02-14-2017 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sam90 (Post 1499010)
So, after a long few days of deliberation, I decided to treat myself to a Dutch Oven! I popped down to my nearest Le Creuset store on Sunday morning and am now the proud owner of a 28cm (6.1L) Round Cerise Dutch Oven. I was greated in store with a glass of bubbly as the store had a valentines event on, one where everything in store was 20% off. After a bit of bartering I managed to get them to knock of another 10% of the purchase and they even threw in a free cast-iron cookbook with loads of yummy recipes.

That night I cooked an amazing beef brisket pot roast in ale, enough to feed a small army. It was so easy to use, searing the meat and saute the veg before popping it in the oven to stew for five hours. The meat was so tender and the gravy/juices were mouth watering. I't sits pride of place on the side next to the cooker and I intend to use it for as much as possible, and my gf wants to bake bread and cakes in it too!

I'm holding off on getting the pan set for now until there is a decent offer on them, as I can make do with the dutch oven and the one salvageable saucepan that we have. My only quarrel is that I potentially might have gone for a too large a size, as it will be a bit unpractical to use the dutch oven for small meals when it is just me eating, but for that I guess I can just use a small saucepan or frying pan.

Thank you all so much for you advice. It is really appreciated.

Wow, I love it when a story ends well. I'm so happy that you are enjoying your new kitchen toy. Yes, when you enjoy cooking, your tools are toys, too.

It may be too big, but trust me, that is better than too small. I have all three sizes of the round DOs. I use all of them -- each has it's purpose.

You are definitely buying right -- a little at a time. Buy a piece, learn it, make it yours.

CD

RPCookin 02-16-2017 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sam90 (Post 1499010)
So, after a long few days of deliberation, I decided to treat myself to a Dutch Oven! I popped down to my nearest Le Creuset store on Sunday morning and am now the proud owner of a 28cm (6.1L) Round Cerise Dutch Oven. I was greated in store with a glass of bubbly as the store had a valentines event on, one where everything in store was 20% off. After a bit of bartering I managed to get them to knock of another 10% of the purchase and they even threw in a free cast-iron cookbook with loads of yummy recipes.

That night I cooked an amazing beef brisket pot roast in ale, enough to feed a small army. It was so easy to use, searing the meat and saute the veg before popping it in the oven to stew for five hours. The meat was so tender and the gravy/juices were mouth watering. I't sits pride of place on the side next to the cooker and I intend to use it for as much as possible, and my gf wants to bake bread and cakes in it too!

I'm holding off on getting the pan set for now until there is a decent offer on them, as I can make do with the dutch oven and the one salvageable saucepan that we have. My only quarrel is that I potentially might have gone for a too large a size, as it will be a bit unpractical to use the dutch oven for small meals when it is just me eating, but for that I guess I can just use a small saucepan or frying pan.

Thank you all so much for you advice. It is really appreciated.

You'll never be sorry. I have a 5 (6?) quart round and a 9 quart oval, both enameled and love both. I've made both red and green chili, done chicken, pork, beef; braised and roasted; made casseroles. I haven't made any bread because I prefer doing the work of kneading - most with my KA mixer of course :wink:, but some by hand too - then shaping by hand. I like to get my hands all doughy. :chef:

Anyway, a CI dutch oven is a kitchen necessity for me.

Farmer Jon 02-20-2017 06:23 PM

When it comes to fry pans you can't beat good ole cast iron.

caseydog 02-20-2017 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Farmer Jon (Post 1499811)
When it comes to fry pans you can't beat good ole cast iron.

People get intimidated by cast iron pans, but they shouldn't -- especially with modern porcelain-enamel coated cast iron.

CD


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