Need advice registering for cookware
I am overwhelmed with all the choices. I've been reading alot. I like the versatility of stainless. Haven't quite figured out the benefit of anodized aluminum. Copper being the best but more expensive are there any "must-haves". All-clad vs. Calphalon. All-clad non-stick vs. calphalon non-stick. I do not need help on what pieces to choose or on cast-iron enamel.
I got married 3 years ago, and after much research, settled on the All Clad stainless. We love it! As others have said, non-stick is very limiting, although a few pieces are essential. Besides the All Clad set (10 piece, I think), we have 10'' and 12" non-stick All Clad pans. Good luck!
re: meggie t
This is exactly what I would ask for if other people are paying. I was not that lucky and bought basically whaT you have myself from COOKWARE AND MORE and 10years later have THANKED MYSELF for not cheaping out. Good cookware can make you a better cookf you cooperate. Unfortunately, the unverse is true,
Frankly, I registered for anodized and le cruset such.
No one got them for me. None of my guests wanted to foot the bill for cookware.
Had I known someone would, looking back, I would have registered for a good set of cast iron. Cast iron seasons like a dream and, well taken care of, is non stick. it also REALLY conducts head well. You can go from stovetop to oven in a snap.
I have two cast iron pans, an old skillet from my grandmother and a 19 inch pan I bought a year ago. Both work like dreams. I want more!
I agree with stainless and nonanodized.
IMO there is really no reason to own more than a piece or two of nonstick cookware. I mean, much of the time you want the food to stick and crate fond. Nonstick is evry limiting, IMO.
HA cookware can;t be put in the dishwasher. Enough said in my book.
The previous posters are right on the money. My mom gave me her old stainless, she got it when she got married 38 years ago. it still performs beautifully, there's not a spot of rust on it and the big sauce pan is just a little dented from when I banged on it with a spoon when I was a baby. The only reason she replaced it is she wanted a fancier stainless set with more ergonomic handles.
By contrast, I've thrown out a few non-stick pans because they just get worn out.
And I think that my sister's anodized aluminum are a pain in the butt to use because they are extremely heavy and unwieldy. Not only that, they scratch easily and are a pain to clean.
And then there's my cast iron skillet. That belonged to my grandmother in the 60s. My mom has a cast iron skillet that her grandmother used. We are talking some seriously old cookware here, and they work just as great as they ever did.
I saw your post and felt I should share our story.
We got married almost 4 years ago, and I really pushed my wife to get the dishwasher-safe non-stick cookset. I remember the saleslady at Macy's was kind of dismissive of that, since it wasn't as expensive, but I said that the convenience of dishwasher-safe plus non-stick was really important. Can't remember if it was All-clad or Calphalon. Sorry, when you use stuff all the time, you stop "seeing" the logo...
Well, fast forward 4 years, and what's going on with our set? The big 12" saute pan is toast. Too much cooking at high temps has ruined the non-stick. We recently replaced it with a stainless steel saute pan. Pretty nice. Because it's new, we've been washing it by hand. Good to hear it's dishwasher safe...
The 10" and 8" omlette pans are holding up decently. Getting scratched, but I love being able to just throw 'em in the dishwasher.
The pots for boiling stuff are doing great. Once again, love the non-stick and and the easy cleanup combined. When you let mac and cheese or spaghetti sauce dry on a pot, you'll be thankful you've got dishwasher-safe nonstick.
We also added a cast-iron 10" saute pan. We love it. We got it after our original 12" saute pan lost its non-stick. Can't dishwasher it, but it's as non-stick as our official non-sticks. Plus, you get a nice brown "fond" on the food that you just don't get with non-stick. It's kind weird not using soap on the inside of the pan, but keeping the "seasoning" on the cast-iron is worth it. Basically, we'll just soak it in hot water and then nylon scrubber brush it clean. If something really needs scouring, we'll use some salt (for abrasive) and a dishrag, and rinse it clean right away.
Now that we've got the stainless 12" and the cast-iron 10", we basically will do things like salmon on the cast-iron, because it gets a nice fond, and yet comes off the pan easily, while other meats like chicken are done on the stainless steel, since you get a nice fond but there's still a bit of sticking to the pan.
We've also added on a nice non-stick wok that is great for stir-fries, but wasn't part of any set when we did the registry. I had an old steel wok, that I never really "seasoned" properly. I didn't know about those things before I got the cast-iron pan, so I would always scrub the wok clean, and it would get a glaze of rust where the water remained afterwards. Anyways, the new wok is bigger, with better handles.
P.S. I would avoid copper since it's _hugely_ time consuming to keep looking nice.
I suggest going stainless all the way, do not register for a whole set of non-stick or anodized pots and pans. Think about it - why would you want or need a non-stick pot to boil water or make a soup/stock? Almost ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING aside from stainless will required you to wash by hand; that means all non-stick, all anodized, and all copper. By all means, get yourself a non-stick pan for eggs & fish and maybe a copper saute pan for special stuff, but for everyday use go for stainless. All stainless is dishwasher safe. Another strike against non-stick is that it will not last forever; maybe 5-7 years under normal use. After that you're in the market for a whole new set of pots & pans. Anodized will scratch easily. Unless you plan on hand washing everything you cook in for the next 7 years, get stainless pots. Unfortunately All-Clad has made a stainless interior pot with an anodized exterior. What a mistake that stuff is... they basically took a stainless pot and made it non-dishwasher safe. By the way, if you put anodized in the dishwasher, your anodized coating will wash off. It takes a while, but it will most certainly wash right off!