Which Cookware should I get?
Soon I will be moving out on my own and would like to get a good cookware set under $200. I love cooking and cook for my family all the time. My parents have the Paula Deen Cookware Set and I like working with it, but it's not really my preference (other than the nonstick). I see all my favorite chefs cook with Stainless Steal and have been leaning towards getting myself a set. The real issue is I don't know WHAT to get. Should I get all stainless steal, then get a couple Hard Anodized Aluminum skillets for eggs and what not? I really do want a Cast Iron Skillet, but that will be down the road.
In summary, what is a GREAT COOKWARE SET for the hobby cook that loves to adventure out to try new food? Thanks all!
Why do you want to buy a particular "set"? You may be better off selecting different brands of cookware for different pieces. My cookware collection has evolved over time to encompass a variety of materials -- e.g., I like anodized aluminum (Calphalon) for high heat applications like sautéeing and frying, but prefer stainless steel for boiling and steaming, so I've got Calphalon skillets and a sautée pan, but stainless saucepans.
For $200, I'd choose about three or four pans, and get better quality. You probably don't need a set, and will get one or two pans you don't use that much.
If it were me, I'd want some sort of iron or stainless saute pan, a small saucepan, a med or small non-stick frypan, and maybe a stovetop grill pan. But you need to think about what sort of foods you like to make, and choose your pans accordingly.
I'd spend the most money on the best quality saute pan you can afford. You will use that pan so often! The only non-stick pan you want is a relatively inexpensive non-stick fry pan, for eggs mainly. And a good quality small saucepan should not cost the earth. I added the grill pan because I use mine constantly, but you might feel you would use another pan more often, so feel free to brainstorm what you would use.
Most of us on this board don't recommend sets. Aside from getting pans you don't use that much, some sorts of pans are better for some things and vice versa. I recommend visiting BB &B and/or Home Goods to handle pans. Try to handle the best quality at BB&B (or Williams-Sonoma, for really top of the line pans) and work your way down the price points. I also like picking up the pans at Home Goods. You'll be able to tell which ones are made better, have better balance and comfy handles.
Also, at Home Goods you can find inexpensive non-stick frypans, usually in abundance.
Good luck and happy hunting.
Thank you! :) I am so new to equipping the kitchen. I normally just use whatever my parents have. The foods I normally eat/cook are Italian, French, English, and Chinese style food. So, a Stock Pot is essential. And the suggestion of the grill pan is wonderful. I definitely would want one.
I don't think a set is a good idea, particularly since you have mixed feelings about the type of construction you prefer. Decide what you most need to cook, then decide what pan to get for that. Then do the same for the next thing, which might call for a different pan construction.
For example, if you want to make omelettes, get a pan with that in mind. If you never make omelettes, but just want two eggs fried or scrambled, a different pan would be better.
Usually, a set is not the best approach as others have stated. That being said, the Tramontina set is so inexpensive that they are good bargain even if you use 3 out of the 5 cookware.
Now, you still have to decide if stainless steel surface cookware are the kind of cookware you want. They have some advantages and some disadvantages. You will have to do a bit research on your own -- like looking up the older posts here or other forums.
<The real issue is I don't know WHAT to get. >
This is something you will have to decide. It may seem simple if I just say to get it or not to get it, but that would be a unhelpful advice -- because I don't know you. It is like buying truck vs a seda. Some people get better use of one over the other, but only the person of interest knows.
I had a chance to handle really good Tramontina at Home Goods recently and had to restrain myself from buying pieces, even though I didn't need any. Just super quality.
I own a good piece of Tramontina, not as fine as the stuff I went gaga over. So, I'm agreeing. Tramontina is good. If you had to have a set, then that's a good way to go. Does a stock pot come with their sets?