Confused:Learning to cook and need advice on buying cookware r/o please
- nycchic Dec 15, 2004 10:12 AM
Yesterday, I bought:
1. All-Clad Copper Core 3 qt saute pan for 110 - to be used for everything like frying plantains, sateing veggies, chicken, fish etc.
2, Circulon 10 inch non-stick frypan for eggs and pancakes
3. Le Creuset 1 1/4 qt saucepan for porridge, grains, hot chocolate etc..
4. Please advise / comment on what I should get next:
- A Le creuset 4 1/2 or 5 1/2 french oven for stews and soup?
- A stock pot? if so, what size? I currently use a cuisinart 5.5 qt duch oven type pot with a collapsible steamer for steaming and pasta(I bought this earlier this year)
- I can get some Mauviel cheaply, so what pans and size would I wanna buy and for what purpose.
- I can get a Le creseut 2 3/4 casserole for 49. should i invest in that too?
Thanks for your input as I am getting so overwhelmed and thoroughly confused.
You don't say what size the $49 Le Creuset is, but get it, it is a great price. My feeling is that you should get any Le Creuset you can afford, so I definitely recommend the French Oven too, the larger the better.
A stockpot is useful, the tall narrow shape is good for long slow simmering, because evaporation is not as fast as with a wider, shallower pot.
I strongly recommend a cast iron skillet, in addition to your copper core saute pan.
I'll tell you what, I've spent a fortune on the latest and greatest cookware, but I always find myself using my big stockpot that I bought in college, over ten years ago, from Wal Mart. I think it cost about 8 bucks. I use it for everything and generally beat the hell out of it. I mash potatoes in it, throw it in the dishwasher all sorts of things I can't do with my precious calphalon...Don't tell Joe H., but I even made his risotto in it and it was spectacular!
I think great knives are a must, but really, I wouldn't sweat it if you don't have the best of everything...
I must confess that I too, use my cheap pots much more than my le cruset pots. In fact, my favorite pot is a vintage saucepan that my sister found for me at a tag sale. The bottom is at least an inch thick & I've yet to have a sauce burn, curdle or seperate in it. However, good knives are crucial. I'd swear by my 10" wustof chef knife.
I use my All Clad 8 qt. pot for soups, stews, braised meats. It works as a stockpot as well as a dutch oven.
You may want a bigger sauté/fry pan (12"-14"). I find that one of the biggest mistakes beginners make (I still do this too) is try to sauté stuff in a pan that is too small. If items are over crowded in the pan they will steam or stew instead of sauté. There needs to be a lot of extra room in the pan for moisture to evaporate. When cooking for a dinner party I often have to sauté in three or four batches in my 10".
you have a 5.5 qt dutch oven. that should take care of the stews and soups. no need for to get the le creuset or stock pot, unless you really do stocks.
you need a 3qt saucier (round bottom). if you can afford it, which looks like you can, the all-clad one is nice.
and, more importantly, if you haven't done so, some good knives. start with 8 or 9" chef knife and honing stick, a paring knife, and shears. don't cheap out here. you will use these more than your pans.