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Sep 29, 2012 03:45 AM

pots and pans that will last a life time

Hey hey, I've been lurking for a little while but I decided I'd finally join since I'm genuinely getting interested in cooking and I have a ton of questions.

recently I've picked up a couple of cast iron skillets which are amazing. It's really nice to know that they could last my whole life if I take care of them.

Now I'm looking for something similar for a nice sized pot. Not cast iron, but Is there a type of pot out there that that I can easily boil water in at high heat, cook soup in, make stocks.... without worrying about chemicals and wear & tear?

I'm really looking for pots that'll that I'll be able to use for the next 50 years. Is stainless the way to go?
what are some good sizes that'll come in handy over the years for a small family?

are there any other types of pots or pans that i should think about getting?

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  1. I have reported your topic so it gets moved to Cookware, the appropriate board. Get a cast iron Dutch oven - enameled will be more versatile than non, since naked cast iron reacts with acids.
    Put a towel into your sink if you don't have a vinyl-coated rack in it, hand-wash the pot, don't bang it around, and it will last forever.

    Stainless steel or hard-anodized aluminum also fit the bill but I think properly cared for cast iron is more durable. Make sure that pots and handles are oven-safe up to at least 400 degrees. Eventually you will want to braise and/or oven-finish stovetop recipes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious

      Oh, I totally agree with fact, I just took off the stove a potful of Chicken Mole that cooked in a cast-iron enamelled 4-qt casserole that must be 25 years-old. I bought it second-hand at the Chicken Barn near Ellsworth ME in 1998 and it is my best kitchen-pot-pal.

    2. One large stock pot will serve many purposes. I use mine for soup, I also can in it, and make large batches of foods like spaghetti sauce. I purchased a Tramontina at Walmart's many years ago, it is still in perfect condition. I wish that I would have bought the next size down, that's how much I like it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Ruthie789

        still using my mom's 8 quart cast iron and enamel le creuset pot, got to be about 55 years old and her old cast iron skillet.

        1. re: teezeetoo

          oh wow, I just looked at those on amazon. They seem reasonably priced

          1. re: teezeetoo

            I think my mom has one, maybe I can borrow it for a week and test it out.

            do the enamel cast irons do well on electric stoves?

            1. re: paulpaul

              <do the enamel cast irons do well on electric stoves?>


              1. re: paulpaul

                I don't see any difference in how they cook. Cast iron is not known for responsiveness anyway and do best at a maintained heat.

          2. I recommend All Clad for your pots. I have had my original set for over 25 years and it is still going strong. I occaisionally find pieces at TJ Maxx and Marshall's and the All Clad factory sale here in Pittsburgh but even at full price it is worth it. Just buy a piece at a time if you need to. I would start with a 4 qt saucepan with helper handle and a 6 qt stock pot. Most of my pieces are the original stainless and I have a couple of D5 pieces. BTW I also love my cast iron skillets.

            6 Replies
            1. re: nadiam1000

              I'll second the All Clad recommendation. I've had two different sized stock pots for more than 15 years now, and use them constantly...They are still in great condition. The downside is the price, but I'm lucky enough to live near the factory in Pittsburgh and can take advantage of their factory sales. Even without the factory sales I would gladly pay the price for the quality.


              1. re: Burghfeeder

                Considering the high price of All-Clad pots and pans, I would expect a decent pouring lip, which they lack. Aesthetically, the rimless edge looks sleek, but it is annoying that they drip and run when one pours out the contents. My Calphalon hard-anodized pan has the same lousy lipless edge but it's a shallow pan in which I rarely cook things that will be poured out.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Another thing that bothers me with All-Clad is the handle. It is the most uncomfortable pan ever to lift and pour from. I sell A-C along with a number of other brands. I am in the midst of trying to get a new store open in 2 weeks. I did not help with pan selection, I am going to try to convince my boss to get Chantal Copper Fusion in. Those are my favorite pans. They should last for ages and another feature is that they are excellent for use on an induction burner (my next house, in a couple of years will have an induction cook top. All Clad has recently seen the light and put out a pan that is induction friendly. It has a brushed SS finish. I still hate the handle. The Chantal is so energy efficient that even on my gas cook top food cooks more rapidly.

                1. re: nadiam1000

                  I'm considering a nice clad pot. It's pricey but I do like that it's american made and high quality.

                  1. re: paulpaul

                    That's a great choice that should last for years. Check to make sure it's induction capable.
                    Also, if you are just starting out, the All Clad 6 qt or 8 qt, are lower/wider and can double as a dutch oven. Great for browning a large roast and aromatics and then tuck it in the oven for braising, (or stovetop braise). Depending on how many you cook for, they should be sufficient to whip up a large batch of chili, soup or stew, stocks, or boil up a batch of pasta. Dual purpose is always handy.

                2. I have a 12 qt multi-pot ( the Cuisinart stainless one) which I use for most of the things you mentioned, when I need to size. I have a 20 qt pot for canning and various enameled cast iron dutch ovens.

                  1. Any metal pot without a nonstick coating will last a life time, if you handle it with care. Even a good pan with a nonstick coating can last until your tastes change.

                    The first 2 pots that I bought (as a grad student) were a stainless Revereware sauce pan and an 8" iron skillet. We used the sauce pan regularly until a house guest scorched it, and replaced it with another stainless sauce pan. That's been retired (but not tossed) in part because it is not induction compatible; but also because I now have other sauce pans that I prefer (other sizes, etc). It did not ware out.

                    I still have the skillet, but don't use it much. Lately I have used it as a small baking dish, since it fits in the toaster oven.

                    It doesn't bother me if I have to retire a nonstick pan if I've gotten 10 years of good use from it. It does bother me if I buy pan that doesn't work for me (for reasons that have nothing to do with durability). The handle might be too long, or heavy; the area might be too large for my burners; the lid might not fit well; the sides might be too high; etc.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: paulj

                      I am quite happy using the revereware set my mom got as a wedding gift in 1963. I have every reason to believe the will keep giong indefinitely. I suspect my cast iron will outlast my willingness to use it if I get arthritis.

                      1. re: calliope_nh

                        Same here except my mom got her's in 1956. I prefer my all clad but still use that old Revere Ware.