Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tueday Open Thread: Pots and Pans

Dutch oven from the 1890s  Note the evidence o...Image via WikipediaSo, I need a few pots and pans. Somehow, it seems as if, nearly overnight, many of my pots and pans are ready to give up the ghost. Over the weekend, I threw away an ancient non-stick skillet where the teflon was shredding off. My favorite non-stick sauce pan starting showing the same signs of wear. The handle came off my favorite regular sauce pan (and I'm still using it because it's the best pan ever for cooking rice.) So, I'm looking to slowly add to my inventory. I've always subscribed to the idea of a good non-stick and a good standard saucepan (large size), then a good non-stick and good standard skillet. I could use a good Dutch oven, but I like LC and am too cheap to pay full price unless I have to. (Hello, terrine mold.)

So, what do you find is a good mix of pots/pans? What brands/lines do you like for the money? AllClad? Calphalon? (All my Calphalon cookware looks like *crap*.) Is copper worth it? What do you like? Dislike? Help me decide!


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9 comments:

bhorg said...

I prefer stainless, something creeps me out about non-stick/teflon

Kaco said...

I love my All Clad! Non-stick is good for a few things, but just doesn't produce the results of stainless.

dhonig said...

Everything else is just doing its best to imitate good old cast iron, without the weight. If you can handle the weight cast iron is always best. A properly seasoned cast iron pan does not need teflon.

It is amazing just how much you can do in a kitchen with one small and one large cast iron pan, an iron wok, and a large pot.

wnyc541 said...

Mix and Match All-Clad and Le Crueset...they have an outlet in Michigan City....worth the trip!

we just like vegetables said...

I'm with dhonig. I use cast iron for nearly everything -- and best of all, unlike teflon if you ruin the non-stick surface, you can just re-season it.

nolandda said...

I have to agree with bhorg. I am paranoid of non-stick surfaces and I am phasing them out of my kitchen one at a time as I can afford it.

As for a dutch oven you can often pick one up at Rural King or a camping/outdoorsy place for 20-30 USD.

Donald said...

Ugh, stay away from Teflon pans for sure. I've heard some good things about Scanpan's non-stick, but I haven't used them myself.

I have some of Sur la Table's house brand stainless and I've been beyond pleased with them. I use cast iron more than anything though.

As for dutch ovens it's hard to beat LC, Cook's Illustrated recommended Tramontina in their tests. They said the performance was on par with LC and you can pick up a 7.5 qt. at Walmart (I know) for $40. Might be worth a try.

Jeff (Good Grape) said...

Renee,

Roll with a Lodge enamel Dutch oven.

My wife and I have one and use it *all* the time.

LC quality at a fraction of the cost.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Lodge+dutch+oven&x=0&y=0

Jeff

J. Silverheels Gray said...

My main workhorses are a couple of Teflon-coated pans, a Lodge cast iron skillet and Dutch oven, and some vintage copper-clad Revereware. The cast iron and stainless steel last forever (or have so far, at least); the Teflon-coated pans need to be replaced frequently.

Cast iron is great, except when something acidic — like tomato sauce — is involved.