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If you had to buy all new pots/pans....

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What would you buy??:)

I ask because I want to get really high quality pots/pans and am trying to figure out which types (brand) to buy and what variety of different types would give me versatility in cooking. I do a lot of cooking but have the old stuff I bought as a student. For my wedding, i'd like to upgrade:) Obviously, the prices can't be ridiculous but you know..i'm registering, i think, at williams-sonoma if that helps. probably macys too. any suggestions would be appreciated!

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  1. Cups,

    You will get so many advices on this. Congratulation on the wedding. I can give you a thousand words answer, but who wants to read something like that, right?

    First of all, your question is very broad. There are stainless steel, aluminum, copper, nonstick, cast iron, enameled cast iron, carbon steel, clay, ... cookware. I personally use fairly inexpensive cookware. I spend more on sharpening stones than my cookware - really. I have two cast iron Dutch ovens, one enameled cast iron Dutch oven (basically retired) , a cast iron skillet, a carbon steel wok, a triply stainless saucepan, a 4 qt clay pot and a small clay pot. I won't mind getting a carbon steel or a triply frying pan.

    For most people, I think cladded stainless steel is a good start. However, it really depends on your cooking style. For example, nonstick cookware is very easy to clean and very clean use, cast iron cookware produce some of the best tasting crust and fonds, copper and aluminum cookware give you very good temperature control with their very fast heat response....

    So what do you desire the most in cookware? Easy of use or good tasting or good heat response or goodheat retention or even heating surface (minimal heat spot)?

    12 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      For casserole pots: Le Creuset. For pots and pans: All-clad. For non-stick: Generic restaurant-supply-store pans.

      1. re: Indirect Heat

        Good suggestions. What about copper?

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Who can afford copper? *sigh*

          1. re: Indirect Heat

            If you're willing to scrounge, you can get GREAT deals on PREMIUM copper. I just got a Mauviel domed fish poacher off of Craigslist for $25 (looks new), that lists in the $300 range; two Gaillard saucepans (best of the best) for $50 on eBay. Gaillards go for many hundreds each to collectors. Plus, it's kinda fun to look for deals like this. But if you have to have new and have it all match, the snobby stores do charge exorbitant prices.

            1. re: Indirect Heat

              Who wants to clean copper? *double sigh*

              1. re: Jay F

                I only polish my copper when I have a ceiling rack to display it from. In this house, no ceiling rack and no possibility, so I don't polish my copper any more and it goes through the dish washer. It still cooks the SAME, and if I ever have another ceiling rack, it will polish up just fine. '-)

                Caroline the Pragmatic

                1. re: Jay F

                  After spending all Saturday polishing the boat (who can afford "help"), all yesterday polishing the kitchen, I was reminded why we are going w/stainless instead of copper; copper tarnishes quicker here and looks ARE important ... to me.

            2. re: Indirect Heat

              +1 to Indirect and Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

              Emeril-ware is made by All-Clad.
              http://www.emerilware.com/faqs.php (See question/answer 15)

              If memory serves me to what I paid for my All-Clad 15+ years ago, Emeril-ware is considerably less-expensive, but verify that.

              I have one All-Clad, NON non-stick, 12" saute pan w/lid that I use when wanting a good caramelization/sear on food. A non-stick will not achieve that because caramelization is produced by slightly burning food/creating a fond and non-stick's goal is to prevent burning - so an investment in a quality gauge stainless skillet/saute pan should be made at some point.

              If you think you may be interested in Le Creuset, I just came from Tuesday Morning and they currently have 3.5 qt dutch ovens for $40 and 6.5 qt for $140. Personally, they're much too heavy for me (before adding the bounty), but they are popular and those prices are exceptional.

              1. re: CocoaNut

                Wow, I never though to look at Tuesday Morning! Do you happen to remember what colors they had?

                I've been checking our TJMaxx but haven't had much luck, just an old yellow color. I am on the hunt for a deal on a white one!

                1. re: mrscox

                  Mrscox - White is hard to get for a deal. I think the best you can now is checking Bloomindales coming this saturday, 1/29/11. As cuetie pied posted, there is a one day home sale. They have many white there. Price is not that sweet as outelet or TJmax but not so bad either. I also recommend to check the bloomindales website on Tursday/Friday/Saturday this week.

              2. re: Indirect Heat

                Agree, agree, and agree

                1. re: Indirect Heat

                  +1 although I don't use non stick anything in my house since I have parrots.

                  I love my all clad pots and pans and my Le Creuset dishes are great. My sister looked at one that I had cooked au gratin potatoes in and was certain I'd have to soak it for hours to get the crud off. The burned stuff came right off and it went straight into the dishwasher and came out spotless.

              3. Thanks for the response:)!

                I definitely will go for one nonstick piece just for ease of use however I am more into good taste and heat response. I also cook in bulk (large quantities for the hubby:)) and find that small pieces are a total waste since I can never use them. I definitely think I will need some cast iron pieces as I don't have any now and can't wait to get something like a le cruset (sp?).
                Do you think william-sonoma is a good place to register for this type of stuff?

                2 Replies
                1. re: cups123

                  Cups,

                  How do you cook in bulk for your "hubby" before the actual wedding? :)

                  I agree with Indirect Heat. You don't want to spend way too much on nonstick cookware because they don't last very long. There are two camps on the enameled cast iron cookware. The Le Creuset camp and the Staub camp. You may want decide between the two:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4695...

                  You can often find Le Creuset at reduced price in Home Goods, Marshall, TJ Maxx.

                  To be honest, I have not gone through that registration thing, but I believe Williams Sonoma is a good place for this sort of thing. I have many friends did their registrations there. Williams Sonoma has a good selection for cookware.

                  1. re: cups123

                    Cups, one important question: Are you the sort who is willing to handwash your pots and pans, or do you prefer to toss them in the dishwasher? Copper, enameled cast iron, cast iron, carbon steel and aluminum MUST be handwashed. You really shouldn't even leave cast iron with food in it for very long, let alone overnight in the sink. If you are committed to taking care of these things, go ahead. If not, go for stainless steel with a non-stick skillet for eggs. Yes, LeCreuset says you can put their stuff in the DW, but you have to dry it or it can rust. Leaving in a damp DW overnight is not a good idea.

                  2. An assortment, as CK and IH have already indicated.`But yes, Willimas-Sonoma carries high quality pots--various All-Clad lines and Le Creuset (and top-of-the-line copper, too, if you've got big spenders on your guest list).

                    You can get plain old Lodge cast iron in hardware stores, probably Wal-Mart, even sporting good stores. I have a lot of Le Creuset, almost always purchased as "seconds" during the semi-annual sales at Le Creusert stores--much cheaper. As others have noted, you can often find them (as well as the odd All-Clad now and then) at Marshall's and T. J. Maxx. Macy's carries the more inexpensive Martha Stewart line, and for the money (esp. b/c of frequent sale specials), the MS enamelled cast iron is a pretty good buy.
                    I don't know how much cooking you do, but if it's a lot and you want the best pot or pan for the particular task, forget the matched sets.

                    1. cups123, take into account that, sooner or later, you will convert to induction.

                      Wait, wait, don't object; trust me, if you are resistant, it may happen later than sooner, but the day will come. If you purchase expensive pots now that are not induction ready, they will become planters when you convert to induction. But for every non-induction-ready pot on the market, there are several alternative induction-ready pots that perform just as well as the non-induction ready pot on resistive electric or gas hobs, and usually at as low a price. (One possible exception: round woks, unless you get a dished induction cooktop.)

                      Were I starting out today with a clean slate as you are, I would look long and hard at the Chantal Copper Fusion line -- along with an assortment of cast iron, of course. And you can never go wrong with Demeyere Apollo or Atlantis or Mauviel M'Cook.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Politeness

                        Why and how would a person be forced to go to induction?? Am I really that clueless? I made dinner at a friend's house and they had induction and they said that they had not had to purchase special pots or pans. I know they used to have gas. Both stoves performed stellar. With the same pans.

                        In my house we have a couple of non-stick, some stainless big pots and one enormous cast iron. I've had them forever and the non-sticks are starting to give up the ghost.

                        1. re: JerryMe

                          Induction is so much more energy efficient, it is likely that most households will eventually move that way. Induction is used greatly in Europe, and so most believe that it is only a matter of time before it is adopted here. Having said that, if you are, say, 60 years old and just moved into your retirement house, it probably won't be an issue for you.

                          In order for induction to work, the cookware must be ferrous, which basically means that it contains iron. So cast iron, stainless steel (as an alloy), etc. are all induction compatible, while aluminum and copper are not.

                          1. re: E_M

                            E_M,

                            I don't think induction cooking is much more energy efficient. The argument for induction cooking is that it loses less energy between the stove to the pot, and that is true. However, it is not more energy efficient when the entire process is accounted for. A gas stove uses a raw energy source, whereas an induction stove uses electricity. Electricity is not a raw energy and needs to be generated. Usually, there is a >60% energy loss to convert gas/oil/coal to electricity, and that is not including the electricity power loss during the transmission from the power plants to grid to your house.

                            In other words, most of the the energy loss in using a gas stove is at your stovetop, whereas the energy loss in using an inudction stove is at the power plants and the transmission lines.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Gas cooking IS becoming increasingly less energy efficient as renewable energy sources become more popular.

                              1. re: cutipie721

                                Cutipie,

                                I don't think it is possible for gas cooking to be less energy efficient. As of now, heat transfer from gas stovetop to cookware is about 40%. Unless you think our technology is going backward, that number is not going down.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  That was my relative speaking, especially if you want to "account for the entire process" of energy production and delivery. My point still stands. As renewable energy becomes more popular by the day, energy efficiency of all things using electricity goes up. Hence gas cooking becomes dirtier and less efficient in comparison.

                          2. re: JerryMe

                            Hi Jerry,

                            Well, I am not sure if any one is literally forced to use induction. A lot of people like the heat response in a induction cooktop. Induction cooking is based on alternating magentic field to induce heat in your cookware, so your cookware need to have a strong magentic response. Cast iron and carbon steel cookware will certainly work. 18/0 stainless steel cookware will work. 18/10 stainless steel will not work. Neither will aluminum, copper, clay, stone, glass, ....

                            1. re: JerryMe

                              Most stainless steel and cast iron is induction compatible. Just look for it on the box when you buy your pots and pans.

                              1. re: RGC1982

                                Better than looking for "induction compatible' on the box, when you go shopping just take a magnet along with you. Any old refrigerator magnet will do, even those pliable plastic kind. If you pay attention, you will find that it sticks "stronger" to some pots and pan than it does to others. You want the ones that it is strongest with. It will have greater interaction with the induction cook top.

                                1. re: Caroline1

                                  Actually, you do want to use a weak magnet like those refrigerator magents. Like you said, there are magnetic pans, and there are MAGNETIC pans. A weaker magnet would do a better job in distinguishing them (for most people).

                              2. re: JerryMe

                                JerryMe: "Why and how would a person be forced to go to induction??"

                                Why would a person be forced to use electric fueled interior lighting instead of gas lamps? No one was, but over the past century gas lamps have declined into desuetude. Just from a functional superiority for purpose standpoint, induction cooktops have advantages over both resistive electric and gas cooktops as great as the advantage that electric lighting enjoys over gas lighting.

                                However, at least in commercial settings, and perhaps one day in residential settings as well, there is a fair possibility that differentials in insurance rates will provide powerful incentives ro switch to induction. No one ever caught his or her sleeve on fire from an induction "burner"; no spilled-over pot contents from an induction heated pot ever caught fire. No one has died from the enrichment of carbon dioxide inside the kitchen occasioned by the operation of an induction unit. The premiums of rational insurance companies will reflect the probabilities that claims may be filed.

                                Insurance companies give reduced automobile insurance rates to non-smokers, impose higher rates on physicians who perform obstetrics than physicians who practice other specialties, and charge higher malpractice insurance rates to lawyers who engage in the issuance of securities (stock offerings). Rational insurance companies at some point will commence to impose a surcharge for homes with gas or resistive electric cooking surfaces and will offer discounts to homes with only induction cooking surfaces. You can book that.

                            2. Gimme a D! Gimme an E! Gimme an M! Gimme an E! ...

                              I like Sur la Table, and if you are in the Philadelphia area, Fantes.

                              Also remember that the shape of a pot/pan is just as important as the construction. So, you may find a (lesser) brand that has the most versatile shape that you end up getting a lot of use out of.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: E_M

                                E_M wrote: "Gimme a D! Gimme an E! Gimme an M! Gimme an E! ..."

                                What is D...E...M...E?

                              2. First - I completely agree with Politeness on the induction ready cookware. Whether or not you use it now, the day will come. And you can buy beautiful Le Creuset, All-Clad, etc and it is induction ready. Most copper is not. All-Clad is always a good choice, Demeyere also or Mauviel M'Cook line.

                                1. I love my Le Creuset and All-Clad SS tri-ply. They are induction capable and good "long-term investment" for me.

                                  If I would start from scratch today, I would buy All-Clad d5 (5 ply with improved handles and rolled rims) and Le Creuset as my core brands, so I would do my registry at Williams-Sonoma because d5 is their exclusive. I might pick up some pieces at Bloomies, too, because their selection of LC is sometimes better than WS.

                                  I might gradually add the speciality items, such as a saucier to me, when I know which ones/sizes are really better fits to my needs. As others pointed out, actual cooking for two helps a lot to figure out what you need and what you want:) If you plan to entertain at home often, you need some bigger pieces.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: hobbybaker

                                    Ditto on the awsomeness of the d5 handles and the selection at Bloomies. WS tells me that d5 is exclusive to them ONLY for a while: it will be rolled out in other stores in the future.

                                    I still would love a copper saucier (like the Try Me piece), even if it isn't induction compatible. If I ever get induction I'll retire it.

                                  2. What is considered the best right now and certainly one of the most expensive is All Clad Copper core then there is All Clad 3 ply stainless steel. One of those sets will set you back 600-700 dollars.

                                    I personally think it is a little overkill on the sauce pans. Do anyone really need a saucepan that is 1/4 inch thick on the base and walls with a core of aluminum or copper. For the fry pan and the saute pan, I understand.

                                    You will need a couple of 8 inch and a 10 inch and a 12 inch non stick skillets. No need in the real fancy ones. You should only really need these for eggs and omelettes and such.

                                    You need an enamel over cast iron dutch oven. If you want the best then Le Creuset. Otherwise, maybe Mario Batalli or lodge.

                                    That should give you a good start.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: tonka11_99

                                      Uhhhmm, saucepans are EXACTLY where you need the best construction.

                                    2. If I had to buy all new pots and pans... I absolutely love what I have right now other than one minor flaw. The All Clad stainless pieces I have were from the old line without a rolled rim, which becomes a pain when I want to pour liquid out slowly.

                                      I would still go for all clad and mauviel for my everyday pieces, Staub (Le Creuset's rival - oh god what did I say) for dutch oven, and de buyer as a cast iron alternative.

                                      You should go to the stores and feel the cookware before you put them into your registry though. I was curious and went to check what the new all clad d5 is all about. The pieces were a bit heavier than I what I have. I probably would pick something else than getting the d5.

                                      Congratulations to your wedding btw :)

                                      In case you don't get everything you listed, you should still be able to pick them up at a very affordable price with some shopping around. Many people here, including myself, managed to find a decent sized LC or Staub dutch ovens for $100 or less.

                                      1. Congrats on the wedding. I'm in the same boat as I keep tweaking my registry.
                                        I'd steer away from a complete set and go a la carte. Consider the materials used (copper, ss, iron) shape, and most importantly how you cook. That's what it comes down to most. If you are going to do most of the cooking, your personal preference should trum everything else.

                                        Staples in the kitchen include the 12'' fry pan from all-clad in which ever line you choose (d5, ss, copercore), a big stock pot, a few sauce pans, a cast iron skillet, and a cheapie non stick skillet that I wouldn't even bother registering for. Perhaps a copper core or copper saucier if you make delicate sauces.

                                        I'm like you and I cook in BULK for the fiance. People usually start out in Le Creuset with the 5.5 round dutch oven. I have this and would would def recommend going up in size to the 7.25 round or 9.5 oval. If I want to make 2 lasagnas and freeze one, I have to use two pots because my quart can't handle the doubled sauce recipe. Same goes for chili.

                                        Also if you cook in bulk then consider the 14'' AC skillet http://www.cooking.com/products/shpro... I REALLY want this, the helper handle makes it great. The bottom diameter is prob 11 inches or so, don't quote me on that. I'd measure your burner sizes and then go measure the pan's bottom diameter. Even if the pan is a little bigger than the burner that is ok since it is clad. Just be sure to let the pan preheat before use.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: dobs737

                                          Hi,
                                          I've been reading all the interesting comments about cookware. I started reading because I'm thinking about getting an induction cooktop and I'm concerned about what pots I have to have. One thing I'd like to suggest for non-stick cookware is Swiss Diamond. It's always good to have one or two. I bought mine from Williams Sonoma (they don't carry them now). You can get them at various sights and I just found out today that they do make induction pots and pans as well. I think they are wonderful. They are more expensive, and you still have to replace them every 3 or 4 years but I think they are the best non-stick pans around.

                                        2. Magnetic. My next stove top will be intuction.

                                          1. You will get a lot of All-clad recommendations, but there are other good SS options. I really like Demeyere's Atlantis pieces.

                                            http://www.jonvandalen.com/lte/2010/0...

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: tzakiel

                                              Nice. 5 ply cookware? How much?

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                It's a bit more than All-Clad in terms of $, and the construction depends on the function. They have two methods - a "clad" style for fry pans and reduction saucepans and then a "disk" style for saute, stock pots and regular sauce pans. The extra cost is worth it to me because the handles are actually comfortable, the bottoms include a thick copper layer (in the disk pans), the pans are heavy and the quality is overall very very high. They also have excellent customer service (I've exchanged e-mails with the US rep and gotten prompt, knowledgable responses)

                                                1. re: tzakiel

                                                  I read your blog a bit more closely. They look like very well constructed. It appears (according to your blog) that both the full clad and the bottom disc are made of 5 layers. Pretty fancy stuff :)

                                                  It appears your only complaint is the weight, no?

                                            2. Okay, I have to be budget-conscious so my answer won't be as much fun as some of the others! lol I'm still building my cookware stash, and I plan on the bulk of it being the Tramontina TriPly. If you do some searches on the board here, you'll see that a lot of folks think it's just as good as All-Clad, but without the hefty price tag.

                                              Here's my ideal set:

                                              - 12 inch s/s (stainless steel) skillet- Tramontina Triply- already have it
                                              - 10 inch non-stick skillet (mostly for omelets and fish)- Wearever brand- already have it
                                              - 10 inch cast iron skillet- Lodge Logic- already have it
                                              - 2 qt. and 4 qt. s/s saucepans- plan on getting the Tramontina
                                              - 12 qt. s/s stockpot- plan on getting the Tramontina
                                              - 7.25 qt. dutch oven- Le Creuset- already have it

                                              That's probably all I really "need," but I also have 2 other dutch ovens, both Le Creuset. One is the small 2 qt., which I really only use for my morning oatmeal or grits. That was a total indulgence b/c I could certainly make my breakfast in the 4 qt. saucepan. But I had an amazing coupon and love LC, so there's that. I also have what I think is a 3.75 qt. dutch oven, which was my Grandmother's so there's no way I'm letting that go! This one doesn't get a lot of use, though. It's just too small for most things I want to do, and it's too big for the grits/oatmeal that only I eat!

                                              HTH!

                                              1. for saucepans and saute pans 2 -2.5 mm thick copper with tin linings -- mine are old and are badged by various sources but I am sure they are all Mauviel. Get pigtail type handles on the lids if you can find them. (Dehillerin or French Copper Studio has them). Tin linings, IMHO, are better. They stick way less. Of course SS has two other benefits ...you can heat it hotter (that's why I recommend a French steel frypan) and you can abuse it with metal tools.
                                                for stockpot, SS
                                                for casseroles/Dutch ovens, Staub or LC
                                                for frypans, DeBuyer heavy French steel
                                                for doubleboiler, something with a big ceramic insert
                                                for a roasting pan something heavy with an SS lining (nothings sticks like SS, hence the best fond for gravy!)

                                                1. Staub is a better product than Le Creuset. By more than just a little bit, IMO.

                                                  Tin-lined copper in a 2mm to 3mm thickness range is the standard by which all others are judged. There is nothing better. Period. Induction-schmuction, I wouldn't sweat it.

                                                  Stainless steel lined copper is an unnecessary compromise and an unhappy marriage between one of the best conductors of heat and one of the worst. A lot of people can't tell the difference between it and the tin-lined genuine article. Strive to be one of those who can. Beyond that, don't drink the AllClad Kool-Aid.

                                                  Cheers,

                                                  Charlie-the-Cook

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                    amen...I only mention SS (a) for a stockpot because responsiveness (or lack thereof) is not that big a deal, at least to me, for making stock or boiling large quantities of things, like pasta or lobsters and (b) for a roasting pan because you get great fond AND you can abuse the hell out of it with heat and metal tools. I need my Delbor whisk to make gravy since I can't find those little birch brooms anywhere (which are sold as cake testers but actually make amazing whisks (and are fine on tin)). Why anyone would buy a saute pan or a saucepan of copper with SS lining is beyond me. I have one small SS lined copper saucepan and even for a very small job I will opt for the slightly larger one with tin. When you need a pan to get HOT, nothing I have found beats carbon steel frypans.

                                                    I cannot speak to Staub but have heard wonderful things about it. However, if I were on a budget, I'd skip the enameled steel and use a carbon steel frypan for the browning phase and transfer to a nice but inexpensive ceramic pot for slow cooking. Of course if you have a Staub or LC and can still do "the right thing" on the rest of the items, cool.

                                                    1. re: tim irvine

                                                      Agree - I have a SS stockpot, actually two.

                                                      I have a Matfer-Bourgeat and de Buyer carbon steel pans. Love em, love em.

                                                      Saucepans are all tin-lined copper and two saute pans both tin lined copper.

                                                    2. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                      So you wouldn't recommend Falk?

                                                      1. re: E_M

                                                        No, not unless they have a tin-lined range of copper cookware. If everything they sell is SS lined then I'd pass.

                                                        If you have to buy SS then buy a product that has SS on both the inside and outside sandwiched over something else. Pans that have SS on one side, i.e. lined, have been known to get pulled out of shape by the uneven heating - bottoms no longer sit flat on burner grate. The thinner the SS the less this is a problem, but too thin probably defeats the purpose.

                                                        Tin-lined still the way to go. Plenty of retinning services available when/if that becomes a necessity (it would be years in a home kitchen).

                                                        1. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                          The thing that I really liked about the Falk saucier was its curved shape (Falk is SS lined). I haven't been able to find any tin-lined curved saucier. And the people on this board have really spoken highly about it. I suppose that the uneven heating could cause warpage, but would the heat ever get that high if the pan was only used for liquid sauces on simmer?

                                                          I really appreciate your (and everyone else's) viewpoint. I learn so much here!

                                                      2. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                        "Tin-lined copper in a 2mm to 3mm thickness range is the standard by which all others are judged. There is nothing better. Period. Induction-schmuction, I wouldn't sweat it. "..........CharlieTheCook

                                                        Charlie my boy, oh Charlie my boy, you ARE being naughty, aren't you? You wouldn't sweat it UNTIL you tried to cook with it on one of the current market models of American induction cook tops. Copper *IS* reactive to SOME newer model Japanese induction burners, but we just ain't there yet! But wouldn't it be loverly? However, you could go a loooooong time eating peanut butter and jelly while waiting for that technology to reach the American market so your copper pots will allow you to cook again.

                                                      3. I would get Staub over Le Creuset, it's heavier, the colors are much richer, and the inside is not enameled, and i've found it gives a better sear. In addition, it has basting spikes in the lid. It's worth looking into, try to go a store that carries both brands, and compare them.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: kariface

                                                          Staub products all have enameled cooking surfaces.

                                                        2. i recently received all-clad for my wedding and love them! i think macy's usually had a better deal price wise than ws if that helps as well.

                                                          1. Being the poor college student that I am. I used to use cheap pots and pans. Which were okay....then I used my Aunt Heather's All-clad pots and pans and I never looked back! Yes they took a big punch in my wallet but it was well worth it for the amount of cooking I do. Top brands I recommend are All-clad for stainless steel, Rachael Ray for non stick and Caphalon is okay but they scratch easily...otherwise Target has a great selection of cookware!

                                                            1. So Cups...considering all of this fabulous advice given to you, what did you decide on?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: DAVESGIRL

                                                                I would opt for a smaller All clad cookware set first of all, because claded pots and pans combine the best qualities of various materials, so you actually get a pot that has steel, aluminum and copper in it. There is a piece I couldn't do without - the Dutch (or French) oven made of enameled cast iron. This is a piece of cookware that is so versatile and some of my most successful recipes are med in it! This might help: http://www.cookwarepoint.com/enameled...

                                                              2. I realize this is an old thread, but if I had to buy a new set of pots and pans I'd get the Tramontina try-ply set from Walmart that includes the larger size skillet and pans. It's about as good as All-Clad at a fraction of the price.

                                                                1. Hi- I got married sort of recently and I'm very happy with my all clad stainless. I would suggest choosing the pieces you really love and not doing a set (unless those sizes really work for you) so you get what you actually want. Also- for registry purposes a single pot is often about what someone might spend and a set is sort of out there unless people are pitching in.

                                                                  I'd also put a le creuset on there. I love mine and there are a lot of fans out there. I think the one i got was someone who likes to give them at weddings.

                                                                  and since it is expensive make sure to get nice spatulas, cutting boards, tongs and all of that. People will clear that stuff out at your shower.

                                                                  edited to add: I would look at some of the special value sizes at williams sonoma. some of those are well priced for your guests and really useful sizes. They also have a 4.5 qt creuset with a trivet for a decent price which would be a great gift.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: qwerty78

                                                                    Personally I would go with stainless for a set ..having said that I presently own a set of Governors Table ( the Bay 23 years old) Guaranteed 25 yrs .. ( no sign of decline....yet)

                                                                    I have had great success shopping @ local liquidators....( salvage stores) The very best Chef quality stainless saute & fry pans & sauce pans etc ... ..SS & literally non stick they are that good !
                                                                    ( for a Fraction of retail)

                                                                    Enamel cast iron is nice but pricey! I have a few but..
                                                                    I find cast iron cooks a shade too fast ..... unless u have a wood stove and are cooking way slow ....
                                                                    A good slow cooker/ crock pot will do & is way cheaper !

                                                                    Good luck !

                                                                  2. I'm basing this off my current budget, so it wouldn't be different from what I already have, but:

                                                                    -2 cast iron skillets - One large, one small (already have the large)
                                                                    -All-Clad skillet - 10" or 12"
                                                                    -Lodge enameled dutch oven (I already have one)
                                                                    -A few restaurant supply type non-stick pans

                                                                    -One large stockpot, one medium saucepan - Pardon my ignorance, but how much does material type matter here? I have both of these in stainless steel (I bought a set on a whim a few years back and haven't even used it...ha).

                                                                    1. If I had to buy all new pots/pans, I think I would cry. I've accumulated many, many, MANY pieces over the years and got some amazing bargains (let's not discuss the LeCrueset oval 6.5 qt I picked up for $50!). All pieces are quality and have their own merits.

                                                                      But.....if I *had* to, I'd repurchase LeCrueset 6.5 qt oval and 5.5 qt round, a boatload of Tramontina TriPly sauce pans and skillets, some cast iron (vintage preferred) and 8-, 12- and 16 qt stock pots. That would suffice.