What to Register for - Advice
I registered for the following Calphalon One Infused Anodized cookware:
- 10" Omlette pan
- 4.5 qt sauce pan
- 5 qt sauce pan
- 8.5 qt Dutch Oven
- Roasting Pan
I've read a lot of anti-Calphalon postings on here and reviews seem to be mixed. Should I switch to the following:
- 10" nonstick cheapo pan
- Stainless Steel, All-Clad 4.5 qt sauce pan
- Stainless Steel, All-Clad 5 qt saute pan
- 8.5 qt Staub Dutch Oven or All-Clad Dutch Oven
- Stainless Steel, All-Clad Roasting Pan
Why would I use a Staub Dutch oven over a regular metal one? I've never used this before.
I've also registered for the Caphalon slow cooker - Should I go with something else?
I'll be using the above items to: cook soups, fry eggs, make sauces, pan fry meats and make sauces, steam veggies, saute veggies, etc. I do not want something dishwahser safe. Easier clean-up and less stickiness would be nice, which is why I went for the C1 in the first place. I don't want to be polishing that stainless for the rest of my life!
Ok, lets step back and first think about the budget of your people.. and I am going to ignore electrics, and gadgets, as your post seemed to focus on cookware..here's my take...
1) Do you have a large stockpot... don't see it, but its important to have.. mostly, you'll boil water in it to make pasta..if you don't have one, you need one..
2) Roasting pan - you don't really deglaze a roasting pan.. read reviews.. my biggest item with roasting pans is size - I have 2 now, a big and small one - do you want a massive turkey roasting pan? or do you want a batch o' potatoes, chicken roasting pan?..
3) Skillets play out this way: do you have something to high-heat sear with - cast iron, black steel, etc. Then do you have a couple skillets that can be used for searing with fond - stainless, for the most part.
4) Do you want a saucier? A useful pot, at least for me...
5) a Dutch/French oven is one of my most useful pieces.. I have a LC 5.5qt, which is fine for 4-6 groups, but larger could serve a purpose. But I have seen a LOT of reviews of cheaper D-ovens that passed muster..
6) A moderate-sized non-stick or anodized sauce pan is nice for general tasks like rice making
7) you don't mention a larger saute pan at all - I find that useful for cooktop - to - oven roasting.
I'd stick with stainless for everything, though I do have a stainless and an anodized frying pan. I like the anodized for things like eggs, but the stainless has the advantage of going into the oven. I actually find the cleaning up of the two is pretty similar in terms of releasing food though I'm not a stickler for getting all the brown spots off the stainless each time. Steel wool pads and repetions (not strength) will get them off.
My preferrence for the Dutch Oven is Le Crueset. It really is a work horse.
Don't know about the Staub or All-Clad dutch ovens but I love my Le Creuset enameled cast iron dutch oven(s) and don't know what I ever did without them.
8.5 qt. is rather large, unless you are cooking for very large groups. I would suggest a 5 or 6.75 (5 qt. is the workhorse of my kitchen and I have kids). But if I were getting married again and knew what I know now, I'd register for more than one. 5 qt. first, then larger and smaller versions. Love 'em.
Here's what I'd recommend:
- 12" non-stick skillet
- 12" cast iron or enameled cast iron skillet
- 10" skillet in whichever style you prefer
- 2 @2 quart saucepans in stainless
- 2 @4 quart " "
- 1 @8 or 10 quart stockpot in stainless
- 1 @5+ quart enameled cast iron dutch oven/soup pot - Staub or Le Creuset (bigger is better for this one)
- 1 roasting pan (don't forget to register for a rack)
Go ahead and register for the slow cooker, but also think about registering for a pressure cooker or a combination of the two (Fagor makes one and I have it; it's swell).
This will cover everything you'll normally need.
Growing up, we didn't have dishwashers either; I considered handwashing to be cleaner. However, when I purchased my tiny townhome 10 years ago, I HAD to have a Fisher Paykel dishdrawer. I use it almost everyday now and stick my SS All-Clads & LeCreusets--along w/my Global & Kershaw Pure Komachi knives--in them.
And just for the record, I LOVE my SS All-Clad & LCs. Barkeepers Friend is a great cleanser for the AC when it discolours.
Stainless steel does not need polishing. It cleans up in a jiffy and always looks great. We have mostly All-Clad pans and a few Calphalon, and the All-Clad pans are the ones we reach for. Some people on these boards love slow cookers, I personally don't care for them.
stainless steel pans do not clean up in a jiffy. stuff will stick to them, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's useful in deglazing and making sauces. But if you expect stainless to be as easy to clean up as a non stick pan you will be badly disappointed. Nonetheless, they are great for making sauces and sauteing. All clad have a layer of aluminum or copper sandwiched between stainless to improve conductivity, as stainless alone is a relatively poor conductor of heat. The other option might be something with a disk bottom, like Sitram. The reason you want Staub (or le creuset for that matter) is for low and slow cooking. They're cast iron and are great for stews and braised dishes.
Truly, I never have a problem with my stainless All-Clad pans, and I am kind of perplexed by some people's difficulty in cleaning them. The All-Clad master chef 2 with the brushed aluminum exterior are a pain to keep clean since the finish of the exterior tends to wear off if you scrub too hard. I never have had a problem with the SS ones.