what are the best pots and pans????
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my husband is buying me a new set of pots and pans....nonstick? calphalon? copper?
which ones do you recommend????? and why
I asked this question not long ago on chowhound and am now happy I took the "hounds" advice. I really did not want nonstick but wasn't sure of what type of pots/pans I did want. So, I went to TJ Maxx,Ross,Marshall type stores and bought a few pots and pans to try out. I bought separates and eventually wound up with a set of stainless steel I really do like-Revereware copper bottoms. I use Bartenders Friend to clean them up and it works great. Great idea since I could buy what I really need and use rather than a set.
food seek - I have to agree with you on the Bartender's friend - that stuff works great. A Neighbor told us about it about a year ago and as a result our Calphalon pans which are nearly 10 years old look great. The Calphalon pans are great, they do a good job or distrubing heat, they stand the test of time. We don't have any non-stick pans - and we use them often to sear meat before roasting - easy clean up. All-Clad also gets good reviews, and I've been surprised by the following that Viking has - I've always known they make great appliances, but the cookware gets good reviews as well, the following review covers the calphalon pans we have and viking:
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It depends alot on wht kind of cooking you do. If you saute and brown foods then a typical nonstick will not suit you. rather a triple ply or a calphalon hard anodized or a nickle lined heavy copper( if you are willing to spend the price, it's worth it for at least a skillet, saute pan or fait tout) the interior of a saucepan is a lot less important that the thickness of the bottom. for stockpots, the bottom must be thick and the interior must be non reactive. Everyone should have a good cast iron frying pan for chicken and fish, and making a steak when it's bad outside. I have a number of hard anodized calphalon pans, a number of good copper ones and a couple of stainless ones along with an 9 " and an 11" cast iron from the early part of last century that are prized and babied(actually not babied, as they get hard use, but loved) and a host of other special purpose pots and pans. It just depends on what you're going to do with them.
New Revereware isn't even in the same ballpark as the old stuff. I have a late 40's 2 1/2 qt saucepan with a double boiler insert that was my mother's that still is in great shape and is handy as a pocket on a shirt. but I made the mistake of assuming that they were still being made the same way. I bought a 112" skillet, and aside from being about half the gauge of the old, the handle fell off after about 2 years. I woudn't but and new ones again. If you can find old ones they're okay, but even the old onels aren't thick enough to keep from developing hot spots.
I rec a selection of varied materials rather than a set. Sets are for show kitchens.
I love my Vollrath waterless cookware for veggie cooking. Use tiny bit (drops) of water, heat pan, then turn down to lowest possible heat, super-tightfitting lid creates vaccuum and cooks quickly with much less loss of nutrients flavor, color, etc. Expensive, but heirloom quality.
Cast iron skillets (get old ones at a flea market and clean them up--Lodge are not high quality) are invaluable for saute-ing, frying, baking quick breads, toasting nuts and seeds, etc. The most frequently used pieces of cookware in my kitchen.
Cast iron dutch oven for stews and braises. 8 to 12 qt size.
Stainless steel omelette pan -8"