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What Cookware to get?

I have been wanting to upgrade my cookware for ages. Currently, I am using a non-stick cookware set and it needs to go! I want to replace it with stainless....likely triply or clad....but I have a limited budget so All Clad is out.

I already have a Le Crueset 6.5 Dutch Oven.

To it, I think I would like to add:
10 or 12 inch saute pan
2 qt covered sauce pan
4 qt covered sauce pan

Any recommendations on brand?

Also, I am thinking that maybe I should get a cast iron saute pan instead of a stainless one...?

And, do you think I am missing any pots/pans from the list above? Do I need an everyday pan?

Thanks!

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  1. Especially because of a limited budget, I would get pans one at a time as you decide you need them. The most important is the sauté pan, in my opinion, so I would concentrate on that and spend a little more, if possible, by deferring other pans, in order to get a good one. In fact, that's what I did. I bought my sauté pan, then a year or so later finally replaced my old SS (1-ply) saucepan with the broken handle with a modern saucepan.

    There are many sauté pans to choose from. Look at cutleryandmore.com for some good deals and a large selection.

    1. Get a saute pan or a frying pan first. If you cannot afford All-Clad, then try to look for Calphalon, Cuisinart, and Tramontina.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        I always recommend the Tramontina stuff on the Wal-mart web site.

      2. I should add that there are so many variations that you should first try to narrow down what you want as far as size and materials. I would not want a cast iron sauté pan, but there are those who think that cast iron is right for everything.

        First, decide what size you need. A very large sauté pan can be heavy. One which is too small can be frustrating. I get by with my 3-qt, but sometimes wish I had the 4-qt.

        For materials, aluminum with a SS cooking surface is what I use, but many have nonstick lining. Most have SS on the outside, but this is cosmetic unless you need magnetic SS for induction heating, My sauté pan is just plain aluminum on the outside, but anodized aluminum (which gives it a dark tone) is more common for pans which do not have SS on the exterior. Copper is nice as a base material, but not something you would likely consider on a budget.

        Happy hunting!

        1. Ok well you already have a great dutch oven. So ... what you really really need - IMO - is one 10" cast iron skillet. Or ... two 10" cast iron skillets.

          I have the 10, 12, and 6 quart dutch oven from lodge. The top for the 10" also fits on a dutch oven BUT - you already have the latter. The 10" is my use EVERY day pan. But ... I usually just cook for two.

          The 12" is great but I have no use for it unless we have guests or I'm cooking a big batch of stuff to take over to friends. I don't have the cover for the 12" - I just use foil if I need.

          So ... I really strongly do recommend one 10" with cover. If you like SEEING your food, then get the 10" without cover and buy someone else's glass cover.

          Please do scrub them clean and then season them at LEAST twice before using them. yeah I know they "come preseason'd". It's NOT good enough. Give it 2-3 more treatments and you won't worry about it rusting at all.

          If I need to do 2 qt, 4qt, etc ... I just use my 6 quart dutch oven. You already own one so ... I'd save that money. There is almost nothing that I can't do with 1 crepe pan, my 10" skillet and my dutch oven. I should seriously get rid of most of my cookware.

          Warning: the 10" lodge is heavy ... but I really like that - it doesn't try and slide around on me while I stir with one hand and not holding the handle.

          Enjoy!

          1. Maybe there's a WS outlet near you.
            http://www.williams-sonoma.com/custom...

            During holiday season and sales, I managed to get a D5 9" French skillet for $30 something and a Copper-core 12" for $90 from the outlet. Not bad ;-

            )

            Some members here get their All-Clad irregular from http://www.cookwarenmore.com/. I don't have any experience with it, but people here seem to be happy with it.