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Mar 12, 2013 08:28 PM

What kind of cookware should I buy? I mean full set or different pieces?

I have been checking out Demeyere online and sur la table, especially Industry 5 as it is slightly cheaper than Atlantis. The problem is I do not know whether I buy the entire set or just different pieces as and when I find it on sale. Another problem is mostly I cook Indian food and right now I have cheap aluminum cookware from India that MIL brought. I really want to upgrade and convince them that Demeyere is worth it and better than Indian cookware. It needs to be scrubbed by hand to make it shine, dishwashers make them gray. They are against stainless steel, thinking that food gets stuck and burnt easily on it. I want cookware that is beautiful as well as bliss to cook with and clean, something that I am very proud to show when guests arrive, not hide it from them. Every day I make rice and two vegetables or some gravy. Please suggest what size and type (saute pan/saucepans etc)? I had to give up my birthday gift (Macbook pro) in order to bargain for Demeyere! I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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  1. Please don't go the cookware set route, I tend to think you'll be so much more satisfied if you buy individual pots and pans of different manufacturers, but on a piece by piece basis. That's what I did, and I have a huge hodgepodge of wonderful cookware (actually way too many, but that's how I roll) that I really love. And I keep my eye open, too. I recently bought a DeBuyer egg pan and it blows me away with its incredibleness. Uh, I meant to say, get in touch with your inner cookware geek, if you need to have a matched set, so be it, but for me it wasn't the right solution. Mazel Tov.

    1 Reply
    1. re: EWSflash

      I didn't really think of that...that's a great idea. Thanks so much.

    2. Buying individual pieces is better than buying pieces you won't use merely because they make up a set. But if you want each individual piece in a set, in preference to alternatives, then a set might be a good choice.

      By the way, SS is easy to keep shiny with Bar Keepers Friend.

      3 Replies
      1. re: GH1618

        I'm assuming you are looking at the seven-piece set, which is four pans and three lids. Certainly you will use the sauté pan, but is 3-qt large enough? I have a 3-qt, and sometimes wish it were four. The saucepan is a useful size. The skillet is a convenient size, but will you want a SS skillet rather than an aluminum or nonstick surface? Depends on what you will cook in it. And the Dutch oven — do you want tri-ply rather than enameled cast iron? I am suggesting you consider each piece with regard to how you will use it.

        1. re: GH1618

          I have a cast iron skillet which I love. and I also have a 9" Non stick skillet from oneida which is very good. so therefore I will not need the skillets to be stainless steel. I do want a dutch oven, but le creuset is probably too expensive for me right now, May be some other less expensive brand. Thanks for your reply. Is it more practical to buy larger pieces (just in case) rather than small , as we are only two in the house?

          1. re: SilentS

            For size, it depends. I cook for two, and my 3-qt sauté pan is usually sufficient. It is only occasionally that I want to make a larger batch of something, and wish I had a slightly larger one.

            I agree with the suggestion of ellabee. If you mostly cook Indian food, then it makes sense to get the one pan which is best for that, rather than spreading your budget across several pans, some of which may not be necessary or which can be had for less. The one pan you will use the most is where you should put the most money. Perhaps not the particular one suggested, but whatever you think is best suited to your purpose.

      2. I definitely suggest you to buy different pieces. There are only a very few exceptions which I would suggest a full set. One major reason is that different materials are good for different cookware. If you want to sear a piece of steak at high heat, then a cast iron pan is better. If you want to stir fry Chinese food, then a carbon steel wok is better. If you want to cook the most delicate eggs, then a nonstick Teflon pan is great. A set will almost always limit to use one cookware scheme.

        <Industry 5 as it is slightly cheaper than Atlantis.>

        By the time you are considering Demeyere, then you should buy what you want, not what is the cheapest. I am not saying that you shouldn't save money. I am just saying that buying Demeyere is not a money saving route anyway. Industry 5 and Atlantis have different cookware designs, make sure you understand and then select.

        <It needs to be scrubbed by hand to make it shine, dishwashers make them gray. >

        I agree.

        <They are against stainless steel, thinking that food gets stuck and burnt easily on it.>

        Food gets stuck? They are not entirely wrong. This is indeed a common challenge for stainless steel surface cookware. This is especially a challenge for meat, but a much lesser problem for vegetables. Even for meat, there are many methods to work around this problem -- like waiting for the pan to heat up before adding oil and good, using a bit more cooking oil, don't force turn the meats....etc.

        So if you are not meat eater, then it is not as bad.
        Burn easily? Partially true, but that is the result of food getting stuck.

        <something that I am very proud to show when guests arrive>

        It really depends who you want to impress. I am not going to comment on cookware, but kitchen knives (just to be a bit further away). I am more impressed by someone if I see an array of knives from different manufacturers as opposed to a set of knives. Now, I know many people are the other way around. However, for me, an array of knives from different makers shows that this person actually has given some thoughts about what to buy and what not to buy. A set of expensive beautiful knives are good, but it only proves the person has money. It does not suggest the person has culinary understanding. This is not to say this person does not, but it sure does not suggest the person does.

        1. Since you mostly cook Indian food, the Demeyere piece that I think would be most useful is the two-handled simmer pot -- it's very similar to a kadhai:

          It's awfully high-priced, but it will be a pleasure to clean, and it will stay attractive. I have a smaller version with one long handle from Demeyere's mostly-discontinued Apollo line, which I got so I'd have a pan of that shape that will work on induction.

          I honestly don't think that any of the other Demeyere pieces are worth the money -- there are much less expensive alternatives for saucepans and skillets.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ellabee

            Thanks for the link... I might try that out, it's expensive but I know I will use it a lot.

          2. Cookware made from different materials will give you more cooking flexibility than if you buy in a set.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chuckl

              This is good advice. Consider carbon steel for frypans (and a crepe pan if you make roti or pappadum), enamaled cast iron for long simmering, and stainless-clad material for acidic foods. If you want a sauce pan, that's where I'd consider copper (though Demeyere proline is a great saucepan, I'd expect).

              The Demeyere you are considering are in this last category. They are great pans. I have the same Industry5 saute pan that you have, and an 11" Proline skillet. For most frying tasks, though, I reach for my de Buyer Carbone Plus pans. They clean up so easy.