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Aug 19, 2008 07:30 AM

beginner: want's top class cookware

hello everybody,
my first post here, i have found this site via google, and was surprised what kind of really enthousiastic people are on this board.

So now my questions and some other relevant information.

1)i'm living in europe, to be more exactly: belgium, brussels (so demeyere, falk company is not even 40 miles away). i'm telling this because a few of the brands people discuss here are quite hard to get in belgium and brands like demeyere are easy to get and don't cost that much because they have not to be shipped.

2)So what i'm looking for.
1)a frying pan
2)a sauté pan
3)a sauteuse pan
4)a wok
5)roastering tin
6)a non stick pan

well to be quite honest, i'm thinking of buying for all that stuff demeyere. I will buy the most expensive line, and maybe i loose some items in favor of a Multifunctional cooking pan.

what do you think of the demeyere line, i have read a lot about the All Clad line, but it is a bit harder to get here and i have red that the demeyere is better. A shop suggested me Viking range pans. but why should i get those ones above demeyere ?

do i really need a non stick pan ? if i buy a proline frying pan, you can cook without fat ? off course an egg or pancake will probalby stick to the proline pan, but if you are willing to use a bit of fat , would it stick then ?

so if i need a good non stick pan: the question is here again :
1)health risk of toxins which are becoming vapour, and the pealing off the coating
2) scratch resistance
an online shop adviced me woll titan plus serie. has anyone experience with it. (the scnapan, greenpan .... have a lot of complaints from what i read) to be honest: money is no object in this quest, good healty material that will last forever is). (but i'm still wondering if i need a non stick pan).

well that's it for now, hopefully somebody jumps in
thanx a lot

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  1. most likely you're going to also want some saucepans, 1- and 2- quart or so and a stockpot, about 16 quarts for making stock. For these, I think, Demeyere might be overkill. Demeyere also has a non stick line, as does Mauviel. You might also consider Sitram, which is stainless with an aluminum disk and is made in France.
    You can't go wrong with Demeyere, though.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chuckl

      I've not used Demeyere, but have been very happy with my Sitram which has a copper disk. For non-stick, I use Swiss Diamond, which I imagine is available in Europe as well.

      1. re: MMRuth

        hello, thanx for the replies,

        i have lookd at sitram, and they look nice, but prices are not that easy to find.
        but from what i find they are much cheaper then demeyere. still demeyere has some advantage (like the surface treatment of the toplayer and also the silver in the pots as an heat conduct increaser)

        yes yes indeed in need a sauce pan, a sauteuse is the name i thouhgt?
        i guess a sauteuse, a frypan and a sautepan are the most important to be of a very good brand. Cooking potatoes, spaghetti .... .. I wanna spent the money on the more important things first. Also the stockpot : i'll probably buy a decent one, but not demeyere, paying 400 euro for one pot i hardly use is a bit to crazy.

        Mauviel: the copper-steel version is made by falk: they are the only one who have the technology; also the falk versions don't need that much polisching on the copper as the mauviel; the mauviel is better looking, the falk should be the better quality. (at least that's what i have been reading from a belgium site form a guy who has them both).

        the swiss diamond pans have got some remarks. They should not be as good and healty as they look to be.

        but can anyone tell me if a demeyere proline with butter can compete with a non stick ?

        thanx a lot

        1. re: fillemon

          To answer your specific questions:

          -- you only need and should use non-stick for limited things, like an omelette.

          -- You are right to go for a less expensive stockpot. As long as it is stainless steel and not aluminum, no worries.

          -- Cheap carbon steel wok is the way to go. It is authentic.

          -- All non-sticks scratch. Get used to the idea of replacing them every few years.

          -- The Demeyere Conical Sauteuse is probably the pan I use most. It is larger than my other saucepans, and I think it comes in smaller sizes too. I would use smaller sizes probably more than other stainless steel smaller saucepans. The Falk small saucepan is the BEST for making gravy, however.

          -- Yes, you can cook some things without butter or oil in some pots. But why would you want to? :)

          BTW -- I have never seen a Demeyere or Mauviel piece here in the US that were non-stick. Hard to imagine.

          1. re: RGC1982

            I have a DeMeyere crepe pan that is non-stick. It's just great! I love my DeMeyere cookware, but for stock and cheesemaking, I bought a large stainless pot.

    2. I love my Demeyere pieces, and they are my go-to pots and pans. When I am not using them, I reach for LeCreuset or a plain cast iron skillet. My favorite Demeyere line is Atlantis. I have their disk bottom saute pans, and a conical sauteuse, which is a clad construction. I use them all the time, and I like their construction better than All Clad because there are no rivets. I have gotten some protests when I say that I like Demeyere better from All Clad bigots on this board, but I think the reason people in the US know All Clad is that it is an American brand, and it is heavily marketed. I also do not believe that all pots and pans should be clad construction. For some applications, disk bottom is clearly better on both gas and flat cooktops.

      You will be very happy with Demeyere pots and pans. The saute pans are beautiful, and can be proudly carried to the table. The thick disk bottoms are wonderful and very flat, perfect for a flat top cooktop. I avoided the really modern looking Sirocco line because the weird knobs don't feel good in my hands, although some people just love the look and don't care about the feel.

      For a frying pan, I became a convert to plain black cast iron when I moved to the US South. NOTHING works better than this for most things, like frying cutlets or other items.

      The Falk pieces are top notch. I would have more if I could justify the expense. Sauce pan and "stew pot" are fantastic.

      I only use a non-stick frying pan to make eggs. I have no other non-stick (except one frying pan that I no longer use). I use the cast iron skillet for most everything else I need to fry.

      As for roasting pans, the best ones I own are beat-up stainless steel hand-me-downs from a closed restaurant. After those, I recommend Bourgeat. The best roaster I have ever purchased. Sturdy stainless steel that cleans up easily.

      You should consider some French-made enameled cast iron like Staub or Le Crueset or Chasseur for Dutch ovens. There really isn't anything like them for slow cooking.

      3 Replies
      1. re: RGC1982

        first of all : thank you so much for the information

        @RGC1982 first reply
        1) i was thinking of a non stick only for an omelette, but i can bake an omelette in a very cheap steel pan, with a bit of butter. so if that is the only reason, i might drop it.
        2)for the stockpot: okee
        3)the wok: cheap carbon steel: well yes and no: first i needs more maintaince like seasoning, and i have no gass burners that can deliver a hugh mount of heat.
        so an steel demeyere or a cast iron may be a better solution, also i use the wok as a big saute pan when a lot of people coming by.
        4)okee, i'll get used to the idea of get rid of non stick's every few year
        5)Demeyere Conical Sauteuse : i think that is indeed one of the most used pans in the line. i will certainly get one of those. a quite big one, (i use a wok sometimes if i need a lot of food to be prepared)
        6)i do wanna use butter, it's just that with a very good pan like demeyere and a little bit of butter, an egg should cook fine : at least that's what i think
        7)demeyere has a non stick coating in some lines.

        @RGC1982 second reply
        well that's what i have red too, demeyere is better then all clad, but since i'm living in belgium and demeyere is easier to get, and the prices are not that much different, i'm going with demeyere off course.
        I avoid the modern ones to, i like the classical thing. for me cooking ware has to look decent, functional and soberly.
        well the frying pan: i also gonna buy one of these, but i have a hard time finding one without a non stick surface. I want an old fashioned plain cast iron one. i'm looking for it.
        the falk pots are indeed very very nice: here in belgium they are quite cheap, even cheaper the demeyere pots and pans. so maybe i buy a sauce pan, but that will be the only one i think. well i'm not gonna buy a set, i'll buy piece after piece and maybe i end up with more than one falk, although the convenience of putting it in a dishwasher can be handy.
        thanx, for the roaster, i look into it.
        yes: i'm already looking for a staub, i really like that kind of dishes; slow cooking is one of my favorits.

        thank you so much
        so to sum up
        1) a non stick for eggs
        2)a cast iron skillet for frying everthing else (but what about pancakes) (and fish ?)
        3)a conical sauteuse : falk or demeyere
        4)a stainless steel roastering (why not cast iron to ? )
        5) a staub or creuset

        1. re: fillemon

          Both pancakes and fish will be fine in either cast iron or nonstick, but depending on what else you're cooking in the cast iron, you might want to do these things in the nonstick so that they don't take on the flavor of the seasoning. If you're using enameled cast iron, this is not an issue.

          There's no real advantage to a cast iron roaster in the oven. The point of cast iron is to retain heat, which is very important if your dish is on the stovetop. If food is in your oven, the heat isn't going anywhere (and if it is, the problem is your oven, not your pot). For a regular roast beef, a 5-6 quart dutch oven works great. For something larger, like a turkey, you would need a much larger pot. Lugging a 9-13 quart cast iron pot around is not fun. Such large sizes are also very expensive, though this may be less of an issue in Euro.

          1. re: fillemon

            My one and only caution about the conical sauteuse from Demeyere is that I find it to be quite heavy when full (I think mine is 4 qts or so). It could use a "helper" handle on the opposite side to lift. I find anything more than 3 qts. too heavy when full to lift easily unless it has two handles, but I am probably just a weakling. I actually prefer to fill up a Falk Stewpot sometimes for this reason.

            Along the same lines, I find that even my enameled cast iron LeCreuset roaster, (which is small, maybe 12 inches long) is heavy when there is a large roast in it. I would shudder to think of what a big heavy roaster would feel like with a large turkey or leg of lamb in it, so I personally shy away from very heavy roasting pans. The Bourgeat is beautiful and solid, but not prohibitively heavy. Some of those All Clads advertised in the States are so heavy that I find myself in awe of these each year when they put them on sale in the fall for the holidays. I don't think I could manage a 20 lb. bird in it. However, I am a smallish, middle-aged woman, so maybe you are in much better shape!

            As for the wok -- I don't have gas burners anymore either, and I find it IS harder to use the wok compared to when I did cook on gas. It just seems to be harder to get hot and stay hot once food is in it. If you are really going to use it a lot, like a large saute pan -- I would suggest you get a large saute pan if you are not cooking on gas. The Demeyeres hold heat really well on non-gas cooktops because of their disk bottoms. I would still get a Wok for stir frying, but whatever you do, don't get a non-stick wok because you want high temperature cooking, and non-stick is not designed for that. I am actually considering one of those stand-alone electric woks because of the heat consistency issues. However, I will say that when I did cook on gas, cheap carbon steel was wonderful. You did have to dry it on the burner for a minute or so after washing, and wipe a small towel with olive oil over the inside to coat -- that's all.

            Can you not find Lodge cast iron cookware in Belgium?

        2. I've had my Demeyere Atlantis pans for about a year and absolutely love them! I own the 1.6 qt sauce pan w/lid, 2.6 qt conical sauteuse w/lid, 3.2 qt sauce pan w/lid, 4.2 qt saute w/lid, 5.5 qt casserole w/steamer insert and lid and 8.9 qt casserole with lid.

          I also have the 11" fry pan (not nonstick) and Apollo 5.8 qt multifunctional pan with basket, steam rack and lid as well as the 7.9" multi-functional double boiler which fits the 3.2 qt sauce pan.

          I cook 5-6 dinners a week, as well as pack lunches every day for both me and my husband, so my pots definitely get used. However, I find the pieces that I reach for most often are my 2.6 qt conical sauteuse and my 5.8 qt multifunctional pan. The saucier with the rounded bottom is by far my favorite piece of cookware.

          If I had to do over again, I would skip the accessories (including lid) for the 5.8 qt multifunctional pan and the steamer insert for the 5.5 qt casserole. Also, I'm really glad I didn't pay for the double boiler which I received free with my order. I would also purchase an additional larger sauteuse instead of the 3.2 qt sauce pan.

          I wish Demeyere made a roasting pan, b/c I love that their pans don't have rivets which makes clean-up a breeze. I use the multifunctional pan when I need to roast something in the oven.

          I also like that all the pieces can go in the dishwasher. In fact, the manufacturer recommends you wash the cookware in the dishwasher. Definitely get the Demeyere silver polish which I thinks works better than Barkeeper's Friend. I purchase mine at Amazon. Also, I find that Dawn Power Greaser also works well if I don't want to soak the pot for really tough, baked on messes. You could stick everything in the dishwasher and completely skip the silver polish/power greaser, but I like super shiny pots since most hang on a pot rack in my kitchen.

          I also have two nonstick fry pans (one small, one large), two Lodge cast iron pans (a regular 12" fry pan and a round flat pan that's great for making paninis or fajitas) and a 5qt enameled dutch oven. I also have a large All-Clad stock pot with steamer insert that I've used a couple of times to steam lobsters and crabs.

          Now that's probably way more cookware than one needs, but I like a well-stocked kitchen and choose to spend money on fun "kitchen stuff" than clothes and jewelry, lol.

          Hope that helps!

          1. If you can get Demeyere at reasonable prices, that is clearly the way to go. Demeyere is some of the finest stainless steel cookware on the market. A basic set that includes a fry pan, sauce pan, saute pan, and large pot will work well.

            The posts here have all been great and are accurate. Rarely does anyone just have one cookware material. Stainless steel is healthy and can be used for most cooking. I love cast iron, enameled or non-enameled. If you can get a fry pan and 3-6qt casserole dish from Staub or Le Creuset, along with your Demeyere stainless steel, you'll be in great shape.

            A couple of final recommendations: For baking, try glass/ceramic/stoneware from Emile Henry, Corningware, or Pyrex. If you're trying to cook healthy, I'd stay away from nonstick, and use the stainless steel and cast iron fry pans.

            Be careful what heat level you use! Sticking is often caused by using too high of a heat. Demeyere is of such good quality, all you really need to use is low to medium heat. The pan will do the rest.

            Happy Cooking!