De Buyer Affinity S/S cookware: first impressions
Hi there -
I recently asked this forum for input on stainless cookware. After I decided on what to buy, I was informed of an unofficial rule here to post a review on stuff that the helpful members helped me choose. This seams only fair and the courteous thing to do, and I said I would, so......
I initially had criteria that I felt was important to me. Keep in mind I am just an everyday middle class guy who prefers to buy things that last. I'm not a chef or pro. We just like to eat good food and drink great wine. I wanted high quality; it could not be made in China, I wanted edges that were rolled or designed for drip free pouring, the handles had to be comfortable and raised / angled in a way that they would not interfere with over pans on the same cook top, and I also wanted welded handles. I gave up on the welded handles after finding out there just isn't many choices for that option. Demeyer was my first choice, but it was just more money than I wanted to spend. So at any rate, the DeBuyer Affinity was suggested, I checked them out on line and liked what I saw. They are also reasonably priced when considering they are 7 ply construction. Just keep in mind that the prices on most of the pieces does not include lids. You have to buy them separate. Fortunately, De Buyer did make several pieces the same diameter, so you don't really 'need' to buy a lid for every piece. I bought the following pieces.
"DeBuyer Affinity 12.6-Inch All Frypan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer Affinity 3.17-Quart Saute-pan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer Affinity 1.8-Quart Rounded Saute-pan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer 9.4-Inch Stainless Steel Lid, Fits both Affinity and Copper"
"DeBuyer Affinity 1.2-Quart Saucepan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer 7.9-Inch Stainless Steel Lid, Fits both Affinity and Copper"
"DeBuyer 5-1/2-Inch Stainless Steel Lid, Fits both Affinity and Copper"
"DeBuyer Affinity 9.4-Inch All Frypan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer Affinity 3.17-Quart Rounded Saute-pan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer Affinity 3-1/2-Quart Saucepan, Stainless Steel"
We have not used many yet. Just a fry pan actually.
The exterior is polished and looks way too good to use really. The interior is a brushed finish. I need to figure out a way to clean them without scratching them in the sink, as the fry pan has some blemishes already. I think bar keeper's friend will take care of that. Oh well, they are tools after all. I'm not terribly worried about it. I did effectively burn some spices on the fry pan and left a heck of a mess in the pan. A splash of wine and some rubbing with a wood spoon took it right off though. I need to learn how to cook with SS cookware I believe. I'm not a big oil user. I might try some non stick spray....
The pans themselves are not as heavy as I thought they'd be. They definitely have some heft to them, but I don't find them overly heavy. I am a 195 pound fella that's been weight training for thirty years though, so they may be heavy for smaller folks. The balance seams perfect to me.
The handles are a polished cast SS design. They are not too long or too short, just right. They have a rectangle shape of sorts with rounded edges and the underside has some reliefs machined into them for fingers. If your hands have oil on them, I'm pretty sure these finger reliefs will help keep the pan from slipping out of your fingers. Time will tell I suppose. All in all, I find the handles to be quite comfortable.
I bought a couple of the rounded saute pans to give that type of pan a go. I think they will be my favorites. They are just slightly taller than the same sized saute pan, so I think they'd work great for flipping food around in them, although I have to admit that I have yet to acquire that skill. I tend to fling food across the kitchen whenever I try it.
I'm not a reviewer of cookware and don't really know what else to say. If anyone has specific questions, I'd be happy to do my best to answer them. Take measurements, pictures, whatever. Just let me know.
Thanks to everyone who helped me make up my mind.
re: tanuki soup
Sounds like you have made quite an investment in good cookware. Enjoy the new tools !
A few helpful suggestions to consider, if I may:
1. Clean and dry your new stainless steel cookware, followed by a few drops of Olive oil or Grapeseed oil rubbed into the inside of each pan each time. This serves to keep the pan appearance clean, sparkling, and shiny like new, remove chloride stains and dishwasher heat marks, and readies the pan for cooking the next time you use it.
Just a few droplets only, rubbed in well with a paper towel, and not a spoonful.
2. On the subject of oils, Extra Virgin Olive oil is accepted as healthy for most to us to cook with, and fits the description of the oil droplets to use above. However use it on medium to low temperatures only, or it will burn and stick your food when really hot in a stainless pan.
For higher temperatures like flashing or searing meats, fish, and foods, my wife and I learned in Italy to use either Grapeseed oil, or Lite Olive oil, both of which are sold in North America. You can sear and seal meat, fish and shrimp with that oil without burning and sticking.
Just keep a small bottle, or a spray- mist pump bottle of both on hand, or in the cupboard nearby
3. One can avoid scorch and pit marks caused by salt on the bottom of pans by waiting for the water or cooking liquid to boil well first before adding any salt. I have seen expensive new stainless pans with pit marks caused by salt added directly in and onto the stainless steel pan bottom. The owner, a neighbour thought a materials defect. Alas, it wasn't.
And that type of damage, easy to discern, might not be covered by your warranty.
Salt, espcially sea salt crystals can damage stainless steel quite fast if left directly on the surface.
4. Finally, Destroying a Stainless Pan made easy:
Left over Tomato or Pasta sauce, sitting in a sink full of water overnight with all that acid and sugar floating around on the stainless steel material inside and outside the pan, can prove ruinous very quickly. Even when liquid soap has been added..
Rinse off and out as much as you can first, then soak it if needbe, but soap it, clean it out, rinse it well, dry it, and oil it within the hour.
My pleasure Mike.
Some helpful photos:
After I sent you the email last night, I found that the dishes & dishwasher were waiting for me. As we steam our meals often, I used a low Bräter, or roasting pan that includes a dome lid and steam insert, all stainless.
It is our most used pan, about 3 x per week if not more. This is a Rösle Bräter, purchased in 2001, and not De Buyer.
As expected the Bräter had heat marks coming out of the dishwasher, as did the Sauteuse pan. A few drops of oil, and they shine, ready for the next meal. A little sponge of Bartender's powder and water every 6 months, followed by a wash, and everything looks like new again.
To answer your question, as this is not a thread hijack, Germany.
The Silga manufacturing company iinterestingly enough is in Milano, Italy. This line is marketed through Rösle in the Teknika line. De Buyer and WMF all have something similar.
It is sold with a heavy domed lid, and a oval steam tray insert, with pull out handles. All robust surgical grade stainless. One can cook, steam, bake, and fry on it, but our family does not fry anything. It cooks on gas, electric, ceramic, halogen, and induction, and cleans in a dishwasher.
There is a low (niedrig) version Nr. 91112, and a high (hoch) version.Nr. 91114, for a ham, a ton of vegetables, or large meat cuts. I prefer the smaller version as it cooks faster, with less energy used.
A helpful hint: Our son works in California, and missing our cooking wanted one. The prices there were astronomical there with a 16 week wait included. I bought his online in Germany, and DHL shipped it there directly, which took two weeks.
I've noticed that EBAY.DE has the item new and used, one complete set going for € 50. If it were clean and in good shape, I would buy one.
The 91112 model was purchased in 2001, in Germany in DM, which was the German currency at the time. An equivalent price would be € 125.
The 91114 or high wall model was purchased here in 2009 for CHF 175.
Both sets include the dome lid, the steam insert, and the pan bottom (photo).
Currently, there are a number of these pans for sale on EBAY.DE, new and used. Some of the sellers will only ship to Germany, or in the EU (the German refund and return policies), which excludes North America, and yes, Switzerland, at times.
My solution is that I use a shipping service in Konstanz, Germany to receive for us there and then forward such items on to us here. I believe the charge is € 5 per item, or carton. My son also uses this service now for his items to be ordered online in Germany, and then sent on to California. We sent him a set of the Rösle Multiply series of 4 pots and lids, and the shipping was € 37.
I hope this is helpful.
Here are two WMF options - not quite the same, but just FYI:
http://www.broadwaycookshop.co.uk/WMF-Special-Roasting-Pan (roaster -- top can be used as low pan; doesn't appear to have steaming accessories)
Same pan at Amazon, currently only $150ish..: http://www.amazon.com/WMF-Stainless-Steel-Roasting-4-Inch/dp/B0091NTVW0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1348414200&sr=8-2&keywords=wmf+roaster
A rectangular version, meant to be a steamer but also a multitasker:
Swissaire, is the photo you posted above (9/21/12, 12:45 AM) the low or high version, and what are the dimensions? And is the WMF roaster I linked to the same you had in mind, or is there something else? Thanks!
Okay, now, I'm really hijacking this thread -- I guess we all get excited when we learn about cool new cookware! :-)
Good Evening lyc-nyc:
I think this is hopefully more of a thread information enrichment, than a hijack.
Answering your questions regarding the Rösle Bräter, or roaster:
1. Using my US tape measure, the Rösle low Bräter 91112 pan base is 13" x 3".
2. The Rösle high Bräter Nr. 91114 pan base is 13" x 5,5".
3. The dome lid adds 3 inches to the base measurement for both pans.( 6" & 8.5")
4, The handles add another 4 inches to the width measurement for both pans.( 17")
Yes, your link to the WMF Bräter pan is the one I mentioned. I have seen that pan set on display in Frankfurt, but have no experience cooking or steaming with the WMF pan. The pan I saw had a tray, and a few small containers for various vegetables, etc. to steam. It aslo included a thermal button atop the lid. All good quality in excellent material finish.
My wife and I cook steamed salmon or fish wrapped in spinach, or with bok choy, carrots, herbes, and potatoes, at least weekly. Our lake fish being small go in last, as they steam cook very quickly. More often is ravioli with vegetables that can also be easily steamed, illustrated by WMF, but using our Rösle pan and the steam insert oval. There are two models of steam insers with the Rösle Bräter pans, one with small and one with larger holes..
I favour the Rösle pans and lids as all is stainless steel. I have found that glass lids even when stated as "shatterproof", seem to magically transform themselves to "breakable" when I cook with them. My last experience 15 years ago with a very expensive Austrian pan oval glass lid became my last. Pots and pans with stainless steel lids only, nowdays.
In fairness in furthering the information level here, I should point out that Rösle has introduced a new line of affordable stainelss pans with glass lids, called the Helsinki model. Those should be available in North America: I would be interested to hear from any one having recent experience cooking with that line.
Two more photos and I'm calling it a night, as it is almost Midnight here.
Here are the Rösle Bräters side by side, with the dfferent stainless steel steam oval inserts inside. Everything is cleaned in the dishwasher, and oiled as described above before we put it all away for the night.
Of interest is that I used the large Bräter on the gas BBQ at Chrsitmas with a glazed gamon or ham. This is a technique I saw at a kitchen in Ireland.
I placed a sheet of silicone paper under the gamon in the Bräter and ladled the glaze that melted back over the ham as it cooked.The BBQ temperature was about 150 C/ 300 +F, and it was moist, well cooked, seasoned, and delicious.
As no glaze burned in the bottom of the pan, due to the silicone paper protection, is was a simple wash, risne, and dry.
Thank you so much for all your stunning photos and information. These are lovely pots indeed, how delightful to know that they cook as well as they look!
I appreciate the pricing information as well. Sadly, it means they are not in my immediate future. But it's very good to know!