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DawgHouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:02 AM
Original message
I need new cookware
My cookware is shot but that's okay because it's that teflon stuff anyway. I've been doing some research but I just find myself getting more confused. I know some recommend the Calphalon (sp?) but doesn't that have some kind of coating on it? Is it teflon? Do I really need non stick cookware anyway? Maybe it would be okay to have one pan that is non stick for omelets and things like that but I don't really see the need for everything to be non stick.

Price is a consideration but not a major consideration for me. I would gladly pay more for cookware that lasts a good long time and retains it's beauty.

Any recommendations? I cook on a gas stove, if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance, foodies! :)
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. tri clad stainless
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 08:30 AM by AZDemDist6


and keep some Barkeepers Friend around to keep it shiny

Kirkland Signature products are designed and produced with only the finest quality materials and workmanship available. This beautifully fashioned cookware demonstrates Italian style with its elegant curved design and flared rim for easy pouring. Constructed of 18/10 stainless steel, the copper-bonded five-ply base is manufactured to allow even and efficient transfer of heat while eliminating hot spots.

Each pan is manufactured with a five-ply base construction consisting of two layers of stainless steel, two layers of aluminum and a copper core. The substantial impact-bonded base enables the pan to reach and maintain the desired cooking temperature quickly and evenly. This cookware is durable, elegant and easy to maintain.

* 18/10 stainless steel cookware
* Copper-bonded five-ply base
* Heavy gauge, mirror polished stainless steel for beauty and durability
* Non-reactive and non-porous mirror polished exterior
* Handcrafted and hand-polished hollow-cast handles are ergonomically designed to assist in natural wrist position and comfort. Securely riveted for a lifetime of use
* Heavy gauge, dimple-dome shaped lids fit precisely for heat and nutrient retention. The snug fit creates a tight "seal" for a more efficient form of self basting
* Flared edges for easy pouring
* 1.5 qt. Covered saucepan
* 2 qt. Covered saucepan with steamer insert
* 4 qt. Covered saucepan (lid fits 8.5" flared edge skillet)
* 8.5 qt. Covered stockpot (lid fits 10" flared edge skillet)
* 3.5 qt. Covered saut pan
* 8.5" Flared edge skillet
* 10" Flared edge skillet
* Can be used on gas, electric, halogen and ceramic burners
* Oven safe at temperatures up to 500 degrees F / 260 degrees C. Not recommended for broiling
* National Sanitation Foundation approved (NSF)


http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=100483...
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DawgHouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. I have seen this at Costco.
I don't know if I need the whole set but I've picked up the pieces and admired them for a while. I have also read some good reviews. Thanks for the advice!
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. I've bought my cookware a piece at a time and it doesn't match
which is fine with me because I approach things from a utilitarian not a decorative viewpoint.

I have Calphalon saute pans (I use their "everyday pan" every day, so it's well named) and two of their sauce pans. My soup pots are Le Creuset Dutch ovens, heavy enamelled cast iron pots suitable for long, slow cooking. I also have the Le Creuset grill pan for winter grilling. I have two old cast iron fry pans. I have 4 small Teflon coated aluminum sauce pans. I have a stainless steel stock pot. Then there are the rolled steel items: one omelet pan, one 5" frypan, and one large wok.

The only cookware I've had that I've actively disliked was stainless steel. Yes, it looked pretty hanging up on the wall, but everything stuck to it and that mirrorlike finish just didn't last. My ex got that stuff when I left. Other people love stainless, so you'll get different opinions on that.

The beauty of cooking on a gas stove is that any cookware will work. It all comes down to budget and decorative taste. You'll get different opinions on different cookware according to what people have.
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DawgHouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Maybe I will do this, just get one piece at a time.
I really like the Le Creuset dutch ovens. Our newspaper just did a write up about dutch ovens where they tested and rated them and the Le Creuset came out on top of their kitchen testing. I also have a one calphalon pan that was given to me by my neighbor when she worked at a department store. She was always getting goodies for really low prices when things went on clearance. While I do like the pan, I am not clear exactly what kind of surface it has inside of it. Am I over reacting to the teflon warnings?
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Watch the sales at Amazon for Calphalon
and google Caplan-Duval for Le Creuset. They're a Canadian company whose prices are better than anything you'll find at a bricks and mortar store. It's gotten ridiculously expensive in the last couple of years, though. I'm not sure if I'd buy it now or just go to a Caphalon equivalent.

Calphalon has a whole lot of different cookware out now, from the cheapest and thinnest stuff with Teflon inside to the heavy duty commercial kitchen stuff that's thick, heavy, and uncoated.

I keep the Teflon in my little saucepans because it doesn't react with acid foods and because liquids keep it well below the temperature that causes problems with it. I don't have any in frypans because frying is what heats it to the level it gives off dangerous fumes.

Again, it's a matter of taste and budget and how you cook.

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vademocrat Donating Member (962 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Amazon has deals on Le Creuset also -
I've gotten a two dutch ovens, a covered saute pan, and an omelette pan from them over the last 4 years - each time was a great price. Have fun looking at all the stuff out there!
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. I think a diverse variety of surfaces is best
I have WolfGang Puck-ware stainless- which I love, love love.

I have a few enamel coated cast iron which I love, love, love.

And I have a heavy non stick omlette/crepe pan that's terrific.


I think you need to think about how you cook and what you really need.


I like pieces that go from the stove to the oven so the non treated stainless is perfect. Sticking isn't an issue.

The heavier cast iron pieces are great for stews and soups.

And, I think you are correct. Get one good quality non stick omlette/crepe pan. That's all the non stick you really need IMO.
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DawgHouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. I saw the Puck stuff in the store too.
Maybe I should just pick up one piece and try it out! Thanks!
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I also have a Puck set in stainless which I LOVE
and use every day. I have 2 cast iron skillets and a dutch oven and I also have a few pieces of enameled cast iron (ala LaCrueset) which I use once in a while.

But I have a smooth top electric stove so the stainless works well for me. Hopefully I'll get gas in the new house later this year and then we'll see how much I love my Pucks :rofl:

I think Warpy may not have had the tri clad stainless, I have absolutely no problems with sticking since the tri clad doesn't give you "hot spots" like some of the lessor stainless will do. and with the Barkeepers Friend they stay looking great. I usually only have to give them the "extra" attention a couple times a year

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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Hey, AZ...question about that tri-clad...
Are you able to fry eggs and other prone-to-sticking foods in it OK? I've got one piece that's similar to the tri-clad, and noticed that NOTHING sticks to it, but I haven't been brave enough to try frying eggs in it. Yet (but I want to really, really bad...LOL).
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. sorry can't help ya there, the Pucks have teflon on the fry pans
sorry!
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. ooohhhh...
nebbermind :-)

(but thanks, anyway!)
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. My Pucks fry pans are all aluminum
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 07:28 PM by The empressof all
I have a separate omelet te pan though for eggs which does have a non stick finish. I haven't had any sticking problems with my fry pans. I only use olive oil or butter never Pam which I think leaves a hinky finish on the pan.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Warpy had the aluminum bottomed stainless
and grew to hate it like poison over about an eight year period.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
14. Many other threads (and thread hijackings) on cookware have been posted
You might want to search this forum's archives.

Some specific answers/comments:

Calphalon is a brand of cookware, not a type. Their original stuff was anodized aluminum, which kinda looks like teflon, but is absolutely unrelated in any way, shape, or form to teflon. Now they make all manner of cookware. Stainless with heat disk, multi-ply stainless, the original stuff, and various subflavors.

Stainless cookware is fine as long as you don't overheat it. Also, the stuff with applied disks is prone to hot spots and sticking at the edge of the disk. If you really want stainless, multi-ply is the best way to go.

As for sets, they're fine as a starting point or if you're equipping your kitchen for the first time. If not, as others have said, consider buying the individual pieces you need, with an eye toward the right pot for the right job. Some good suggestions were already posted, above.

If you have a Home Goods or Marshall's by you, go there and look around. They have closeouts and overstocks and you can often find first rate stuff for way cheap.

Here's a link to a great site that has not only the cookware you might want, but a LOT of really, really good information. The link is to the site's page on cookware. Be sure to look all around the site, though. You'll get a good idea of what's out there.

http://fantes.com/cookware.htm

I think if I were looking to have a basic assortment of 'starter' (or in your case, 'restarter') cookware, I'd go with a mid-grade line of multi-ply stainless.

I happened to be in K-Mart just this morning and, as is my habit, went to the cookware area. It seems that good ol' Martha Stewart has come out with a line of multi-ply cookware with copper exteriors. It is copper outside, aluminum in the core, and stainless on the inside. As a representative price, a 12" skillet with a helper handle was pretty reasonable (I thought) $29. The 8" skillet was $19. They had a few other pieces, too.

I have some older Martha Stewart triply (not copper) that really is pretty damned good. And we use our cookware pretty hard (but we also take good care of it, too). This stuff is now about 6 or 7 years old and has held up pretty well.

When you start to look at the truly dizzying array of options, consider what you'll be cooking and get the right tool for the job - right size for your family, right material for the job, right look and feel to meet both your aesthetic and functional sensibilities, and right price.

More money does not always translate into the best tool for the job. A $10 carbon steel European-made crepe pan will out cook the $120 All Clad crepe pan all day long and twice on Sunday.

The reverse is also true. A $100 tin-lined copper sauce pan will make a better bechamel sauce than a whole fleet of thin $10 Wal-Mart aluminum sauce pans.

Anyway, there have been books written on this topic, so all the answers you get here, collectively, only scratch the surface.

In addition to the link, above, you might also want to check out Alton Brown's "I'm Just Here For The Food". Or even better, his "Gear For Your Kitchen". Both have good, solid, practical (if a bit offbeat at times) information.

If, however, you have specific questions (rather than an open-ended one), I have no doubt you'll get a good answer here.

Bon chance! :hi:
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. A specific brand suggestion ........
Tramontina .... I see it all the time at both Marshalls and Home Goods. It is nice a looking tri-ply cookware line that has all the bells and whistles for a reasonable price. The name and company are Brazilian with Italian roots, but the cookware, these days, is made in Korea (like 90% of everyone else's cookware). The cast handles are comfortable and the pans have nice balance. Best of all, the price is reasonable, even at full retail. At discount, its a real bargain.

Here's their skillet.

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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. I can get him a 13 pc set of those for $129.99 plus shipping
they have a few sets at my local Costco business warehouse (not the usual member warehouse)
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
15. If you have a dishwasher...
Be sure to get ones that can go in the dishwasher.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
16. I'm really enjoying my Calphalon Commercial line hard anodized...
...cookware-- so much so that I've bought additional pieces as I find them on sale. I use a mix of cast iron, stainless steel with composite bottoms, and the Calphalon, and find myself using the Calphalon about 90 percent of the time. Sorry, I haven'r read the whole thread yet but I'm sure others have told you that the hard anodized is not "coated," but rather given a hard oxidation to protect both the cookware and the food. Don't buy Calphalon if you can't live with the idea on not putting your pots and pans in the dishwasher. Otherwise, I give it my endorsement.
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