Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jan 6, 2013 07:49 AM

Looking to get panned! [moved from Manhattan board]

It is time to buy new pans. Have done the high end lined copper, the aluminum, the Cephalon and a few of the ubiquitous non stick items. The high end cookware has been relegated to hanging kitchen decor. We are not careful enough in cooking or cleaning to deal with them. Could you suggest a favorite brand or type of cookware that is easy to care for and will tolerate our abuse?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I like Creuset cookware for certain dishes. I prefer cast iron uncoated , oil seasoned, frying pans though. The non- stick pans are easy but you won't get the same results. Non stick is good for omelettes for sure, not much else I like them for.

    1. Stainless All-Clad can go in the dishwasher.

      1. No one type of pan construction is best for all uses. I prefer a mix of pan types, each chosen for its merits for particular uses. It would be helpful if you clarified what you need.

        No pan should be subjected to abuse.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GH1618

          We are anti-abuse of all kinds including pan abuse. As you and others here have noted all pans are not good for all things. In this pan selection we are looking for a good all-round easy to use and clean cookware. I am sure your comments are quite correct, perhaps our best option is to by use a mix of the pans we already have retired and buy a couple we can use as daily fryers. Thanks

        2. I agree with GH 1618 that no one sort of pan is best for all sorts of cooking. In general, I find that stainless works best for pots. It goes into the dishwasher, and it can be scrubbed or scoured. It will show scratches, but if given minimal care, it should look good after years of service. It won't look great if it is burned, though. I wonder what sort of hard service you are giving your pans?

          For me, who depends on Mr. Sueatmo who is remarkably casual about cleaning pots, I think stainless is easiest. You can find very good stainless without breaking the bank, but the best stuff is pricy and probably worth it.

          I take charge of the cast iron I use, and with minimal fuss, CI can be used for decades.

          Non stick pans generally don't last long, especially if used on high heat. I'd keep only one for eggs, buying inexpensively and recycling when its surface stops being slick.

          I don't think you can find solid stainless pots anymore. But I don't recommend a solid stainless pot. I've seen too many old stainless pots that have warped bottoms. I'd choose pots with encapsulated or aluminum bottoms. The best pans will be built like tanks and quite sturdy. Choose pots with comfortable handles.

          And, consider becoming slightly more committed to caring properly for your investment. It isn't that hard to keep them cleaned. But you shouldn't have to dedicate your life to the job either.

          1. I reckon carbon steel pans are for you. You might not look after the seasoning as well as some seasoning purists might like but you won't hurt the pan.

            For pots, I can't go past enamelled cast iron but whether they are for you is something I'm less sure of. They are very robust and easy to clean but you need to be just a bit gentle with them. Keep the heat a bit lower than you think, stay away from metal utensils, and don't be savage in the washing up and you'll be fine.

            If you just want to abuse it, I think SS is best for your pots.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jhamiltonwa

              I agree that plain carbon steel is a good choice for a frying pan. These are easy to use and easy to clean, and a sturdy one (de Buyer Mineral) is difficult to damage.