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  #1  
Old December 11th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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Any home chefs out there?

After my wife made the comment that we really need to invest in new cookware, the old light bulb went off in my head about a Christmas gift for her... I know, not too romantic, but we both like to cook and I would love to get a "good" set of cookware. So after perusing Williams Sonoma I realized there was no way in hell I was dropping $400-$2500 on pots and pans! So now I am thinking "alright" cookware
I was wanting to go stainless steel for the bling factor, but have read bad reviews about food sticking? So it looks like I will go anodized or non-stick. Wanting to stay in the $2-300 range for a set. Anyone have suggestions on brand?
I know, not a very manly post, but I am sure there are a few cultured amature chefs out there...

Thanks, Burke
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  #2  
Old December 11th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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hey

if you are serious about cooking, aluminum will not do. neither will non-stick for anything other than omelettes.

get some cast iron, or that enameled cast iron stuff. that is really the s**t.

there's a dep't store line called "tools of the trade" that uses SS with heavy bottoms welded on. I like my TotT skillet. Have a big sauce pot too. You really don't need THAT much stuff to produce some good cookin...

btw, $400-2500 is a huge range. I bet you could peice together a good set of eesentials for $3-400. But not a *full* set. spend a little money and get good stuff that will last you a lifteime. you don't need the whole set right off, if you get a $2-300 full set you will be in the same position in 3-5 years.

dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke
After my wife made the comment that we really need to invest in new cookware, the old light bulb went off in my head about a Christmas gift for her... I know, not too romantic, but we both like to cook and I would love to get a "good" set of cookware. So after perusing Williams Sonoma I realized there was no way in hell I was dropping $400-$2500 on pots and pans! So now I am thinking "alright" cookware
I was wanting to go stainless steel for the bling factor, but have read bad reviews about food sticking? So it looks like I will go anodized or non-stick. Wanting to stay in the $2-300 range for a set. Anyone have suggestions on brand?
I know, not a very manly post, but I am sure there are a few cultured amature chefs out there...

Thanks, Burke
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  #3  
Old December 11th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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Hey I like the peice together thing. I had not thought of that, just looking at sets. I am digging the All Clad stuff. Thanks for the feedback!
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  #4  
Old December 11th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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If you cook a lot (and not Shepherds pie kind of food) better grade pots and pans (particularly skillets) are worth it. Rather than buying a large set of cheapo pots and pans from a department store, maybe try a restaurant supply company. Also, you can always pick one or two pieces at a time - especially those that you use frequently and make a difference in food quality. Almost anything you already have will work for boiling water, but searing or sauces can be improved. With a cast iron skillet (cheap) or dutch oven, a large saute pan, and a few pots of odd sizes, there aren't too many meals you can't cook.

Now is probably a bad time, but at some point in the year W-S runs a special. Talk to the store manager.
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  #5  
Old December 11th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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What are your thoughts guys on SS cookware as far as food sticking and cleaning?
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  #6  
Old December 11th, 2007, 12:41 PM
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You might want to read this, it couldn't be said any better. (The MATERIAL section especially)

I'm a fan of All-Clad. Since you were at W-S, I'm sure you must have seen it there. Check out Amazon, All-Clad can be had for a far better price than at W-S.

I agree with Dave, buy the essentials for now and slowly build up your set, you'll be happier in the long run.

My girlfriends cousin is a chef, swears by Viking. Got into a 'discussion' one night after he made some joking/disparaging comment about my love for Defenders, I replied that I could whip up the same meal just as easy using camping cookware I found at Wal-mart cooked off my engine. His family and I thought it funny, we didn't talk much until he was over a few months later and saw the All-Clad in the kitchen. All of a sudden he has admiration for Defenders.
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  #7  
Old December 11th, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragland
With a cast iron skillet (cheap) or dutch oven, a large saute pan, and a few pots of odd sizes, there aren't too many meals you can't cook.
Good advice here .... personally we use all clad mc2 skillets and have been happy with them, we use a cast iron skillet that we've had for years ... get a decent one of those, and we have a creuset round oven that is fab for stews, winter dishes etc.
We bought an allclad mc2 set when we got married, but rarely use all the pieces in the set. skillets and one or two sauce pans yes. We got a large saucepan for boiling water (pasta/spuds etc) in some regular home store and it does fine. You are only boiling water in it.
For that sort of money you could get a good cast iron skillet, a decent size le creuset or similar, a few all clad pieces such as skillets etc, and you would have the makings of a well equipped kitchen. We have a few little Oxo pieces (little accessories such as peelers etc, that are great -- to add as stocking stuffers etc).
There is a good store in NYC thhat has lots of stuff www.broadwaypanhandler.com
They are not the cheapest but have a large range, so you can see what you want. You could always price comparison once you found what you wanted. Williams Sonoma has lots of things, I just found them to be more expensive. One other thing we use all the time, and that we got at BPH was a japanese mandolin. Once you use one, it is great for slicing veg etc.
We use a microplane a lot. Also one good all purcpose knife to start off. Tongs ... get some at restaurant equipment store .. very handy. Proper oven gloves always good.
Ok i'll stop .. i'm getting carried away ;-)
Good luck.
Karl.
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  #8  
Old December 11th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Good info guys. Ok Ade, I am leaning towards All Clad SS.....
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  #9  
Old December 11th, 2007, 01:07 PM
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All-Clad has some real good pots and pans. Another one i like is Calphalon - http://www.calphalon.com/

they are almost the same in terms of quality. I bought an All-Clad set for my mother a couple of years ago and she loves them. but some pieces of Calaphlon I feel are better for cooking with.
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  #10  
Old December 11th, 2007, 01:40 PM
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Wow, I knew we had come "cultured" folks here I found this set, looks like a decent deal for the key peices...

http://www.dillards.com/webapp/wcs/s...10736&R=HWP220

I am also checking on local cooking classes for both of us. Boy will I get the brownie points (better than dance lessons) Thanks again guys. As always good advice!!!
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  #11  
Old December 11th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Totally agree with the "dont buy a set" theory. My wife and I have a mix of calphalon hard-anodized, a few non-stick pieces of the same (its a lot easier to make risotto in a non-stick pan I think), some pieces of Le Cruset, and some random stuff we bought in Germany. Most of the stuff from the set goes unused, and the stuff we bought to fill a need are the items that get used all the time.
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  #12  
Old December 11th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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Buy a couple nice non-stick frying pans and a set of good anodized alum. Then add on, stainless has limited use but I like it for certain things.
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  #13  
Old December 11th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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I'd add that one of the best investments you can make is in your knives. You'll be surprised how much more enjoyable prep work is with the right tools.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij
Buy a couple nice non-stick frying pans and a set of good anodized alum. Then add on, stainless has limited use but I like it for certain things.
Dont listen to Ron, the only thing he uses his stove for is welding!
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  #15  
Old December 11th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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I'll weigh in again in favor of SS. no problem with stuff sticking. except for potstickers, but they stick to everything (duh).

that all-clad looks pretty good.

dave


Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke
What are your thoughts guys on SS cookware as far as food sticking and cleaning?
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  #16  
Old December 11th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
Dont listen to Ron, the only thing he uses his stove for is welding!
How does one weld with a stove???

Seriously, I cook a lot. Remember I was well over 3 bills for a while there.

The best thing to do is get different materials. Non-stick is great for eggs etc. Stainless for veggies. Anodized or cast iron for meet.
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  #17  
Old December 11th, 2007, 06:27 PM
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On that note, don't listen to Dave - he cleans parts in his pots!
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  #18  
Old December 11th, 2007, 08:13 PM
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Hey ladies...Le Cruset all the way...they are superior in all ways...My wife has more poured ino them than I have in my D90. They're solid, refined, with superior heat transfer. You can simmer...you can flame it, grill it, Wok it. All-Clad is great stuff too, however too much lovin' neede to keep them looking fresh.

The best cooking metal of all is copper. Copper is a Whopper$$$$

Fry on!

Kris
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Old December 11th, 2007, 09:41 PM
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guilty as charged

well, the kitchen sink and dishwasher, anyway. single life has been good to me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin
On that note, don't listen to Dave - he cleans parts in his pots!
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  #20  
Old December 12th, 2007, 10:03 AM
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Last night while whipping something up I checked out our favorite peice that we have used weekly for the last couple of years. It is a square grill pan that friends gave us as a gift. Sure enough, it was All-Clad. I am sold!
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