If you could buy any brand cookware...Stainless or Nonstick?

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After trying both, Do you prefer Stainless steel or Nonstick cookware?

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Assistant Cook
Feb 6, 2004
I'm looking for new cookware & feel lost on what choice to make.
#1 - Stainless steel vs. nonstick (I'm a big low-fat, non-stick cookware fan, but wonder about getting SS & only one NS frypan)

#2 - Which brand to buy???

I have to go with your way of thinking...I have stainless pots (Cuisinart) but a large non-stick heavy fry pan...Also my crockpot is non-stick and after 10 years I still love it. I did get one large stainless fry pan but I dont use it as often as my non-stick. I like easy cleanup. I would go with good stainless though...something heavy, that will heat evenly.
I've just gone with Calphalon Commercial Non-Stick frying & saute pans to replace my old cheapo non-stick ones, and I was going to keep my good set of British stainless steel tri-ply pots, but then I bought a Circulon pasta pot and loved it so much, I had to buy pots to match :)

I bought the original Calphalon way back when there was only one choice - and it was a good choice too!! But if I had to buy pots and pans right now from scratch I would go with stainless steel and one small and one large non-stick - Some of the big warehouse places (like Sam's Club) had a set of 3 for $26.00, which just can't be beat.

For stainless, right now I would probably buy Viking - I would want it to match my Viking Range - (oh, no, I don't actually HAVE a Viking range - but just in case I win the lottery I may as well have the pots already! :roll: ) Actually, if I won the lottery I may have to look into an Aga. But definately not the purple one! :shock:

I splurged and got AllClad and am very happy. Its all stainless and I added one nonstick fry pan that I use the most because of the easy clean up, but like the others too for making gravies etc...
Allclad is great. I keep A bottle of olive oil next to the stove for them. They get washed imediatly after each use. If you don't get enough fat in the pan before you use them, they can be A pain to clean (burnt eggs!)
It's also nice to have A few non-stick pans- for eggs or whatever. Then you can't use A metal spatula, or they get nicked and rust up. I don't know how many nonstick pans I tossed.
Allclad is not cheap, I agree. I dropped like over 500 bucks for my Allclad set, BUT- these will probably be the same set that I pass on to my children, When I'm cookin in "the big kitchen in the sky".
My Vote: Calphalon

Calphalon for me!!! I replaced my old mis-matched collection a few years ago and won't go back to stainless, aluminum or anything else. The only drawback to the Calphalon is not being able to put it in the dishwasher but the non-stick surfaces are rather easy to clean "the old fashioned way."

I never had a dishwasher before moving to this condo so I wasn't sure I would ever use it. I started out washing the dishes by hand and then putting them into the dishwasher. Now, I have found myself putting the same dishes back in the dishwasher a second or third time if they don't come out the first time. :)
My 2 cents worth (adjusted for inflation).
I have tried every form of cookware known to man. Bar none, my two favorites are stainless steel and cast iron. I own mostly non-coated but do have a couple of skillets that are non-stick. Stainless is non-reactive (meaning acidic foods do not react with the metal causing off flavors, colors or odors), they will allow the Maillard reaction to take place (the technical term referring to the browning of meat and what makes it take place) and they are easy to clean. If you get a thick enough aluminum disk sandwiched into the bottom, they are fairly responsive as well.
Cast iron heats quickly, browns like nobody's business and holds heat incredibly well for long periods of time. In addition, some studies indicate that cast iron actually leeches trace amounts of iron into foods when cooking. Thus, like the cook him/herself, the cookware actually puts a little of itself into the food.
I love my hard anodized aluminum pans. They cook wonderfully, are non-stick and clean like a dream, and I can use metal utensils in them. I have stainless and cast iron also, but I almost always use my anodized pans.

:) Barbara
:cry: umm my non so called stick usually falls off mine :cry:

so i bought stainless instead :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
JESS said:
:cry: umm my non so called stick usually falls off mine :cry:

so i bought stainless instead :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
That's what I love about the hard anodized. It isn't just a non-stick coating. I don't remember the exact process, but it is permanent.

:) Barbara
Why Stainless Steel?

Stainless Steel is much healthier. Preferably 304 Surgical Stainless Steel. There is a great article discussing the differences at http://amazingcookware.com/whystainlesssteel.php There is more to it than just stainless or teflon. Layered stainless effects the cooking as well. The artical also discusses the theory of Alzheimer's & using aluminum.
Hope this helps.
I have mostly Calphalon Non Stick plus a few SS All Clad pieces. If I were to do it all over again then I would do the opposite of what I have now. I would get mostly SS (and probably All Clad) with one or two non stick.

I think for you since you are into low fat cooking, non stick might be a better option as you can use a lot less fat then when cooking with SS, but it really all depends on what you will be cooking and which you like to use more. If you are not concerned with making pan sauces from the fond that collects on the pan or you are not too concerned with how brown your meats get then non stick could work well for you.

All Clad stainless is great. The non-stick I have used in the past really gets nasty looking and actually stainless works better in my opinion.
add me to the all clad fan club. never a moment of clean-up trouble, even last week when i made chinese beef and peppers in my chef's pan and thought it have to soak overnight (cleaned up like it never was used).

i also have one nonstick fry pan for eggs and potatoes.

some cast iron is great--we have regular cast iron and some le creuset.

calphalon is a no-go in our house. we make a lot of italian food with acidic ingredients. that anodized finish interacts with the food and gives it a metallic taste. blegh.

one copper pan for fastfastfasthothothot cooking.

For me I like both. I guess it depends what you're making, but I do love my nonstick baking sheets!! :D
To me this is a no-brainer. BOTH. My 'big' set of pots and pans has always been some kind of stainless steel -- when I was young, it was copper bottomed revere ware. I still love the stuff, but it doensn't mesh well with glass-top electric stoves. When I had to ditch my old life for a new one, I bought a stainless steel modern set. I believe it is a French brand, cannot remember. BUT I will never be without a couple of nonstick skillets. Mom always bought these as cheaply as possible, and considered them disposable. I go a little more on the budgetary scale, but not enough that I have to worry about what utensils I use on them. To me, you don't need a nonstick finish on things like your stock pot, anything you're boiling or steaming in. You want to have a regular finish on your deep pan (never know what to call it -- the thing that looks like a frying pan but has deeper sides and a lid) -- nonstick will keep your meats from sticking and forming the basis of a good sauce. On the other hand, when you fry eggs, make omlettes, pancakes, fry potatoes, etc, you want to NOT leave behind that brown coating. So I vote for BOTH in every kitchen. The big set, regular, then two nonstick frying pans, but not expensive. If you scrape the finish on them, no aligator tears.
I've had nonstick for so many years, I wouldn't know how to use anything else. I have QVC's Cooks Essentials. I started with the hard coated enamel, but have moved to the SS500 and hard anodized. My sister is still using the enamel ones and loves them!

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