Want to Buy New Cookware For My Wife - Need Help!
My wife loves to cook - I don't. Since buying her current cookware set, she's read more cooking books and magazines, watched more shows, and has been getting more adventurous with her cooking. I want to buy her at least a couple really nice pieces to replace some of the more worn items and have been doing a lot of research (reading posts on this board and articles like these):
What She Has:
3QT Non-Stick Emeril by All-Clad Saute Pan - Bad Shape (I want to replace this one
)10" Non-Stick Emeril by All-Clad Fry Pan - OK Shape
Smaller Non-Stick Emeril by All-Clad Fry Pan - OK Shape
2.5QT Non-Stick Emeril by All-Clad Sauce Pan - Pretty Worn (I want to replace this piece)
Smaller Non-Stick Emeril by All-Clad Sauce Pan - OK Shape
5-7QT Round Dutch Oven (Le Crueset Knock-Off) - Almost New
She also has a few stock pots (don’t know the size) that are in pretty good condition.
This is what I’ve come up with so far:
1st Item - 3 or 4 QT Saute Pan:
Because we have a gas stove, I'm a bit concerned that the discs on pans from Sitram, Paderno, and Demeyere Apollo don't go all the way to the edge and those that do, like the Atlantis and Sirocco, are quite expensive. In addition, Demeyere is the only one of these brands that offers a helper handle. We always hand wash pots and pans, so dishwasher compatibility is not an issue. For those reasons, I think I've settled on the All-Clad 4QT LTD which I have seen for $190. Good Choice?
2nd Item - 3QT Sauce Pan:
This is where I really need help. I'm thinking about getting her a nice copper piece (I like Falk’s offerings), but because they are so expensive, I would like to buy something that will be very versatile. If I'm buying only one sauce-type pan around 3QT capacity, should I go with a true Sauce Pan (like she currently has), a Chef’s Pan, a Sauciere, or a Stew Pan? Personally, I think the Falk Stew Pan is pretty nice because it has two handles that should help with extra weight inherent with copper and would look great at the table should she choose to serve from it, but I’m no cook and welcome your opinions. Also, are all of Falk's pans 2.5mm thick copper?
Please let me know if you have any other thoughts or suggestions.
As a hard core home chef myself, I have to say my sautee pan (looks like a wok with a handle) gets a lot of love as does my extra large maybe 15 inch frying pan. I'm really anti non-stick personally, whether it causes alzheimers or not, I've always found that once the non-stick wears down they're harder to clean than regular pans and the underlying material isn't as quality as stainless steel which is what I use, any pro make is going to have the copper core for the heat distribution qualities without the extra maintenance that copper requires. I think the All Clad is great but expensive for what it is. I have a few All-Clads because I needed some uniqe sizes, but the majority of my stuff is from restaurant supply stores, at least half if not a third the price of All Clad for har core, copper core stainless that will last you a lifetime. I'm not sure where you're located, but here in Los Angeles, there's a massive restaurant supply sotre called Surfas in Culver City that is a foodie mecca and caters to pros, maybe they're even on line. Also, in terms of when I need new cookware I usually go with a shape/size I don't have. I noticed you have a lot of 3-7 qt stuff on your wish list and in your repitoire. Maybe she'd like something smaller, I use a lot of little sauce pans as well. Also, not sure how you want to present the gift but since she is the chef, it may not be as WOW! But if my S.O. either gave me a gift cert or took me to one of these restaurant supply places, or if you want to go high end, Sur Le Table, Bed Bath and Beyond and said "Get to restocking, I believe you're a fan of stainless steel, no?" Well, that would be one very spoiled SO for a very long time in the future! Best of luck to you!
Good quality Non-Stick cookware is wonderful! I also love Emile bakeware... Here's a HUGE trick/tip for non-stick cookware...NEVER, EVER use non-stick spray unless it's a brand that has no silicone in it like 'Mazola Pure'. I kept wondering why all of my nice, non-stick cookware kept chipping and turning into garbage...found out the hard way...I was using non-stick spray that was ruining the finish. UGH! Also, a great alternative to non-stick is Emile's new line of 'Flame' cookware that you can use on on the stove-top/microwave/oven etc. I have collected four pots in that line and I LOVE THEM and the clean-up is a breeze! :) -But, they are rather pricey...worth every penny IMHO. :D
The remaining Teflon can be removed for Emerilware and you would be left with very nice sauté pans. I love my MC All-Clad and if your wife likes Emerilware, she will like any All-clad.
My All-Clad sauciers are very popular in the kitchen. Ive never liked the chefs pans as it seems to be a overpriced wok.
There is no need to buy a All_clad stock pot. I bought mine at restaurant supply store and I game my Mom a scratch-and-dent 12 qt Revere-ware stock pot that I purchased at a Revere outlet for $25.00.
All kitchens need a enameled cast iron pot and a steel wok is very convenient
I generally don't use non-stick. It is difficult to really sear or brown things in non-stick. Two of my very favorite and oft-used pans are my 3 qut. saute' (All-Clad) and my 14" skillet (also A-C). My next purchase will be the saucier. The other was a really great Christms gift.