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Starter Pots and Pans - Another Post.

Hi everyone,

So I'm sure there are previous threads on this topic, but I believe that each household is a bit different...

I'm getting ready to move over to the UK from the States, my fiance and I have just purchased a home out there.

We're a young couple, first home, not looking at having any children so really a general dinner prep would be for her and I, although the occasional dinner party could boost the number to 6-10 people. I'm considered a bit of a "Foodie" by my friends, and in general a good cook...but I've never owned a set of "quality pans".

So, starting from scratch from the pots/pans department, this is what I"m thinking about

Saute Pan (For...just about everything)
Non-stick Skillet (mainly for eggs)
Maybe a medium/lg sauce pan (I have a small one already)
Roasting pan
Stock pot
Maybe a dutch oven for stews.
I've already picked up a Wok.

(Gas hob)

Am I missing something important? What brands/models do you recommend? Money IS an object, I can't afford to spend an obnoxious amount on the stuff, but I do want something that is going to last a long time, and has that "Feel" of quality. So "Best bang for the buck" if you would...

Any advice is appreciated - be nice to the n00b though :)

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  1. If you did want to look for the more "upscale" cookware at a discount, Williams Sonoma has an outlet about 70 miles from you.. could be worth spending a day at the outlet:

    PRIME OUTLET @ BIRCH RUN
    Williams Sonoma Outlet
    12150 SOUTH BEYER ROAD
    BIRCH RUN, MI 48415
    (989) 624-6092
    73.3 miles

    It looks like Le Creuset has an outlet in the same center..
    8925 Market Place Dr # F530
    Birch Run, MI 48415-7904
    (989) 624-6264

    Both carry clad stainless steel cookware and both carry the LC enamel cast iron if you wanted to look for one of their dutch ovens at a nice discount.
    If you look for LC at the LC outlet.. they are seconds which usually means a variation in the paint.. still has full warranty. But get them to bring you out a few of the pots you are interested in and look them over well.. I've gotten mine with just a mis colored pin dot of paint at substantial savings and no one would notice if I didn't point it out.

    The outlet here also has a couple other kitchen stores for miscellaneous items as well.
    Hope this helps!

    1. Daederik - I think you fully covered. In terms of brands, I would take into my consideration only the induction ready cookware. I like AC SS and LC. By the way, depending on the pricing, I would consider buying some or many of them (especially such as LC and European brands) in UK due to the stronger USD and avoid shipping something from US to UK. I bet you might have thought:) Congratulation.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hobbybaker

        I agree with you wholeheartedly re induction-ready. It's certainly the wave of the (near) future. If they're just starting out, why not get something that will work every which way? I got a great 11 or 12 piece set (and I'm usually averse to sets) at Costco, Circulon for $200. Along with a couple of CI and some LC and Staub, I'm truly set for life. Dang it :)

        Edit: Forgot to mention that I just went induction and some of my favorite pieces no longer work. Gratefully I have a daughter who commented on "Christmas in February" when I passed them on to her.

      2. I recommend you purchase everything there, so you don't have to move it overseas. It's costly, you risk breakage, etc. Why bother?

        If you are a foodie and a good cook, you already know what you need! Take the pot or pan you use most often and upgrade that first. For your saute pan I recommend something along the lines of Demeyere's multifunction pan (terribly expensive in the U.S.): http://tinyurl.com/yzsll2s or All-clad's braiser pan: http://tinyurl.com/ydu6an4. While neither is strictly a saute pan as they have flared sides, their shape is versatile and easy to maneuver into the oven.

        1. Thanks for the tips. I'm probably going to end up ordering the stuff online on some UK based sites. I'll probably end up going up to Birch run to get a good "feel" for the pans I'm looking for. I'm TERRIBLE at visualizing the difference between a 3qt saucier, and a 5qt one etc. etc....UK bases it off litres, so that makes it even worse >.<

          Will look into the convection stuff - I hadn't considered that at all.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Daederik

            this may help with your conversions when you get your quart visuals:
            http://www.conversion-metric.org/volu...

            1. re: Daederik

              I think Europa is closer to the (near) future of induction than the US. So it makes more sense to buy induction ready cookware for you. I guess that is why the european brands' cookware, which are imported and seen in the US, are often induction ready. (Needless to say, it depens on the area because both Europe and US are big.)

              1. re: hobbybaker

                That's what I understand, too.

                1. re: hobbybaker

                  You might even have induction stoves in your future home already :) Even if it is not the case, it is still good time to be familiar with the requirments of your stove top before buying anything.

                2. re: Daederik

                  A liter is 1.06 quarts so, for all intents and purposes, they're the same.
                  Bob

                3. Daederik, As hobbybaker has pointed out, "I would consider buying some or many of them (especially such as LC and European brands) in UK due to the stronger USD and avoid shipping something from US to UK." and as E_M has pointed out, "I recommend you purchase everything there, so you don't have to move it overseas. It's costly, you risk breakage, etc." May I add a third consideration?

                  Some really excellent lines of (European, mostly) pots and pans are simply not available in North America at any price, but just happen to be available in company stores located near where Britons and other Europeans like to take vacations. See, for example, the Hackman Etiqett line: http://www.hackman.fi/web/hackmanwww....

                  In your situation, I would go light on what I was shipping from the United States, then selectively add one pot or pan at a time as souvenirs from the places in Europe that I took my vacations. It's a win-win.

                  P.S., don't forget Sambonet stainless flatware, available from Small Island Trader in England.

                  1. One note of caution - it is extremely difficult to find the same quality cookware in the UK as you will find in the US. We have homes in both countries for the last 20 years and I can tell you that (1) you won't readily find the same quality and selection in the UK. You can find some online vendors that have very limited selections of AC, etc, and you will find that you pay significantly more in the UK than in the US.
                    I think you might want to look very carefully at the options as it may prove better to buy a few things in the US and ship them rather than get stuck with a small selection and higher prices there.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: knet

                      I appreciate your giving that perspective. When we've been in England we've been shocked at the price of all "things that plug in." Obviously it carries over to other things as well. The cost of shipping can become a relative factor very quickly.

                    2. Daederik - You have gotten good tips from various perspecitive.

                      I was simply curious how cheap can LC be in UK because I read some people even buy it at online stores in UK and ship it to US. As a sample, I picked up the 7.25 qt (6.7L) round from the following site.
                      http://www.cookwarebycsn.co.uk/asp/sh...

                      This is equivalent to USD 165, which is a good price considering this big pot is not a factory 2nd item.
                      http://finance.yahoo.com/currency-con...

                      As you see the link below, GBP against USD fell from 2.1 in the late 2007 to 1.5 these days, which is very favorable to buy something in UK, if you find what you want there. I know you already felt it through purchasing your home there. (ofcourse the beginning of the last year was the best! ) I would definitly buy LC in the UK not here if I move!!
                      http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=GBPUS...

                      In terms of the size, you might like 5.5 qt round better if you do not cook a big chunk of meat for pot roast etc. most people want to satrt with either 5.5 qt round or 7.25 qt round and they are good all-round palyers. But I like 6.75 qt oval a lot because I cook a big meat chunk in the pot and the pot provide the best fit to the most types of meat. Someone said in the past the oval shape is "bad", but in the oven what matters is the fit to the meat, so for me and my use, this shape is the best. Needless to say, if you use it on stove top most of the time, you like round shapes better. So, the best size/shape depends highly on what you cook and where you use it. it is not that simple which shape/size is best for someone. If ever so, LC needs to produce only those not that kind of variety! So as grunid recommend, take a look at LCs and get a feel about the size/shape helps to buy online. It is a nice place to spend time with fiance thinking about the future:) I hope my hus will spend time (and money?) with me more there:)

                      1. Just as an update, I went ahead and purchased the Demeyere multifunction pan. Looks slick, good quality, 30 year warranty, and can be used for a ton of different applications. Thanks for the recommendation :). I just wish I had it shipped her to the states so I could play around with it before I moved! (bought it from a UK site, and shipped out there)

                        If anyone reads this and is in the UK, I bought it from http://www.the-frying-pan.co.uk/ they look like they have a good selection of upper-end cookware. They also have associated sites that have saucepans, salt and pepper shakers and the like. Their customer service has been very good so far as well.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Daederik

                          You ABSOLUTELY MUST post an update. I don't care if it's 6 months from now. I need a first hand experience. And congratulations!

                          1. re: Daederik

                            Another quick update, Just bought a 4-piece LC setup
                            http://www.debenhams.com/webapp/wcs/s...

                            As well as some Royal Doulton Stainless Steel sauce pans (Not the GR line...a cheaper line...i'm worried I actually bought some really really cheap ones, because my fiance said that they "Felt light" when I asked her if they felt "Heavier or lighter then they look". Ah well, it's just saucepans, the hard workers are done!)

                            1. re: Daederik

                              Daederik, don't worry. Cheap saucepans are just fine. Basically, you will use saucepans to boil vegis and warm up soups etc. As a matter of fact, they are the first candidates to be downgraded if you need to save. Your decision to invest in Demeyer multifunction pan is perfect. The LC set's two dutch ovens are the exact same sizes that I have, 2qt and 3.5 qt. The 2qt is perfect for cooking rice, grains, and small amout of vegis. The 3.5 qt is good for soup & stews and non-knead bread. If you want to braise a big chunk of meat, like brisket, porkshoulder, and chuck roast, you might want to buy at least 5.5 qt. I have a 6.75qt oval as I mentioned before for this purpose. I cooked beef brisket (4.9 lb) last week. It fits perfectly to my oval 6.75qt. Is the inside of the pots also balck? If so, it is great as it is not going to be stained easily I guess. Great success!

                              I am glad to hear that you have made a great start into your new life:) Please keep us informed. I might want to import a pan from UK, so if you happen to find good vendors who ship to US, please let me know:)

                              1. re: Daederik

                                Random question with these (Just cause I"m new to the LC line). I know these aren't "non stick", and use their "Black Satin Enamel". I'm having a tough time finding info on whether or not it's ok to use metal utensils in these. This is the link I"m looking at on LC's site regarding care for the pans...nothing on if metal is OK or not
                                http://www.lecreuset.co.uk/Care--Use/...

                                anyone with any experience on the subject?

                                1. re: Daederik

                                  Daederik. No metal utensils on LC. They scratch the surface. I mostly use silicon or bamboo utensils.

                                  1. re: hobbybaker

                                    Thanks Hbaker. Can't wait till I finally get out there to try them out!

                            2. Daederik,

                              I think you pretty much has a very good list and these should cover most situations. I read Tramontina stainless steel cookware and Tramontina enameled cast iron Dutch Oven are great value according people on this site as well as review journals like Cooks Illustrated.

                              http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-...

                              Tramontina offers stainless steel cookware model at various price point. The Walmart version is very inexpensive:

                              http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-...

                              The prima series is the more expensive series:

                              http://www.125west.com/c-134-tramonti...

                              Best

                              1. Check out First Ireland http://www.firstireland.com/

                                Their le Creuset prices are noteworthy, whether you are in U.K., U.S., Canada or wherever.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: chililime

                                  Thanks chililime. I think their shipping is reasonable. I want to know some more of those retailers. I am interested in buying a European brand's pressure cooker from UK retailers to ship. The model I am interested is not yet launched in the US market and when it is, the price will be higher than buying it in Europe. After service etc is just fine as they have US subsidiaries here anyway. If you guys happened to notice another, please kindly let me know.