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Nov 26, 2011 10:40 AM

Recommendations on inexpensive cookware for college kid

My daughter is moving in with a few roommates, and we need indestructible, but decent, cookware. You can assume that the roomies will not be interested in taking care of their pots and pans, and may do things like leave them in a wet sink for a day or two, put water in a hot pan, use metal spatulas on non-stick surfaces, refuse to wash pieces by hand, etc. My recent experience has been with more expensive cookware, or cookware that requires handwashing, so I thought it might be best to ask my fellow hounds about their experiences. I am leaning toward stainless steel, but will consider other types. Budget up to about $400-$500 for a few basic pots and pans, does not need to be a matching set.

Here are the criteria:

-Non-stick for fry pans
-No glass lids
-Dishwasher Safe
-Can be clad or disk bottomed, as they will probably be used on a variety of cooktops in the next few years
- Will not be subject to rust, chipping, or require re-seasoning on a regular basis. Must be able to survive 24-48 hours in a wet sink with the original food residue, plus water, in it, without rusting
- Oven safe to at least 400 degrees, including lid knobs
- Preferred welded handles, but will consider rivets for this set

All recommendations based on personal experience will be warmly welcomed. Thank you.

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  1. How about an inexpensive set of Tramontina triply and then buy a nonstick fry pan?

    1. If your daughter requires new cookware and in a set, suggest you buy a set from Macy's during their clearance sales, using one of their coupons. Otherwise, the least expensive way of getting new cookware that meets your requirements but don't necessarily match is to check out what's on sale at someplace like Ross. I am not sure college kids (as opposed to moms) even care about having pots and pans that match.

      1. Magefesa Dakar (or Praga) enamel-on-steel. Dishwasher safe. The 8-inch frying pan (or set) is available on I have the 9-inch and use it often, in preference to other, more expensive pieces. Throw in a copy of Peg Bracken's book.

        1. I agree with Chem on the Tramontina from Walmart. Or, for even much less, the IKEA 365+ line of cookware is pretty good for the price.

          1. Easy to answer. Just search for restaurant supply on the
            internet and get aluminum cookware. I've Lused incoln Wear-Ever
            frying pans for years. For saucepans, You might to get
            anodized stuff from the same outlets. You'll save 30 to 80
            percent over department stores, and of course restaurant
            equipment has to be tough.

            I would't expect long life from non-stick pans with metal utensils, though.