Author Topic: recommend some Pots and Pans  (Read 1308 times)

Offline pinnah

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recommend some Pots and Pans
« on: January 23, 2014, 06:45:38 AM »
Well I realize a lot of you spend some time in the kitchen.
I am in the market for a new set of pots and pans, and thought I might ask you brewers about recommendations.

I really don't have much in the way of criteria,
-maybe no teflon. 
-don't need the mega set that comes with the fondu can, but a nice assortment would be great.
-getting to the age where I can pay for quality, so I am willing to part with some coin if required.

So, if it were you...what pots and pans would you buy yourself and why?

Offline dkfick

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 07:35:37 AM »
If I had everything to do over I would make sure my pots and pans were all ferrous metals (magnets will stick to them) so I could use them with induction.  I bought an induction cooktop to try brewing with.  The 1500W model I bought wasn't powerful enough to quite boil 10-15 gallons of water (though it could get it to about 205F).  I was going to return it but then I used it with some of my cookware that did work with and and it was awesome.  I just wish I had more cookware that would work on it.  I think my next stove will have an induction cooktop and I'll force myself to get new pots and pans.
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Offline geek_chaser

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 07:39:08 AM »
I have had the Emril collection for almost 10 years now and it works great for me.  I also like that diamond plated stuff for skillets. I dont think these are too expensive (all gifts) but they have lasted me quite some time and still sturdy.
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Offline brewmichigan

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 08:02:02 AM »
Some things to note:

-Stainless steel will pretty much last a lifetime and can clean up real nice with a little bar keepers friend. I love my non-stick skillet but would never want a whole set.
-Make sure you get ones that have the aluminum sandwiched in between the stainless. It will regulate heat much better.
-Hold them in your hand and make sure you like the comfort level of the handle, balance, and weight of the pans.
-Don't cheap out. You don't have to go spend a $1000 on all clad but if you spend a good amount of money on a good set, they'll last a long time.

My wife and I got a set of calphalon stainless for our wedding and I really like them. They have glass lids which I prefer to stainless (aka, can't see through) and I like them. About half the price of All Clad but still very nice.
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

Offline riverrat

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 08:20:42 AM »
A decent set of stainless with aluminum core are good.  But what I use most are my cast iron skillet and griddle.  The skillet is an oldie found at a flea market.  The griddle is newer Lodge.  If you buy new, plan on sending about 20 lbs of bacon through it before it starts to work the way cast iron should.
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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2014, 08:23:45 AM »
A decent set of stainless with aluminum core are good.  But what I use most are my cast iron skillet and griddle.  The skillet is an oldie found at a flea market.  The griddle is newer Lodge.  If you buy new, plan on sending about 20 lbs of bacon through it before it starts to work the way cast iron should.

+1 to cast iron.  I've got a seasoned old Lodge Dutch Oven and Lodge 12" skillet that I wouldn't trade for all-clad ever.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 08:29:36 AM »
In order to answer this question appropriately, we would need to know what you cook and how much.

In my own kitchen, I don't need several sizes of skillets, 5 different pots, and a varied amount of lids so buying a set was never in the cards for me.

I just use the following:
-Dutch oven. Excellent for just about anything.
-Tiny covered pot.
-Non-stick skillet
-Stainless skillet
-Stock pot

I only really use a few cooking utensils as well. High heat rubber spatula, plastic spatula, whisk and wooden spoon.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 08:34:36 AM »
I would skip any set. they almost always have stuff you don't need. go piecemeal. you might pay a bit more for each piece but you'll only have to buy what you use.

I like SS with aluminum inside and cast iron. what I have, and I use almost all of them regularly:
12 inch pan clad with straight sides and matching lid
12 inch pan clad with sloped sides
7 inch pan clad with sloped sides
medium clad sauce pan with lid
medium clad French sauce pan that shares the above lid.
small clad French style sauce pan (no lid but I wish I had one)
12 inch cast iron 'fry pan' (lodge by the way, maybe ~25 bucks new and 'preseasoned')
9 inch cast iron fry pan
big cast iron two sided griddle that covers two burners on a normal sized cook top. flat grill on one side ribbed grill on the other ( I love this thing it stays on the stove most of the time. Crank the heat up under it, go and do something for a couple minutes and it get super hot. you can turn the heat off and cook on it for a good 15 minutes after)
A cheap SS 2 gallon pot for pasta and soup. it's the kind with the glued on disk on the bottom for more even heating. this is a big part of why I avoid sets. you don't NEED a 200$ pasta pot. it's going to boil water, maybe soup.

I also have a nice big cast iron wok but I don't use it a ton. it's nice but I think a steel one for half the price would have done just as well and it's heavy. seriously heavy.

I have all this nice stuff because my family and my wife's family were ridiculously generous with wedding gifts. most of the then are al-clad and I think those are fantastic products but calphelon is as well and I suspect there are even less expensive brands that will hold up just as well. look for riveted on handles and clad aluminum

ooh yeah, +1 to the dutch oven, a great and useful pot although not in my everyday lineup
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Offline blatz

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2014, 08:50:04 AM »
i pretty much have what mort has - albeit copper clad cuisinart, which one of my brew buddies gave me when my exwife took all our cooking stuff and my buddy had recently switched to induction cooking.  I really like this set a lot - thankfully, my le creuset dutch oven and well seasoned cast iron Lodge skillet were not casualties. 

set looks like this I think:  http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CTP-7AM-Tri-Ply-Stainless-Cookware/dp/B00FDKLKB0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390492119&sr=8-1&keywords=copper+cuisinart

though i have some other pieces not in that set.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2014, 09:12:08 AM »
I do a lot of cooking at home and my pots and pans are an assortment of pots and pans. I have a small set of stainless steel pots and pans my brother gave me when he got a nice set of calaphon pots and pans for his wedding (I gave him most of them). I also have a few smaller sauce pans my wife had before we got together. We also have a cheap three piece set of non-stick skillets. Then I also have a wok, a stovetop skillet and a dutch oven. It's probably overkill but out of everything I have I only paid for the skillet. Everything else was a gift. Those non-stick skillets don't last forever so I've gone through a few of them over the years. I do use everything I own.

What you cook, how often you cook and how complex you tend to cook will make a difference in what you need and how you cook. I generally agree with the advice that you should piece together what you need or want unless you really need everything in the set.

I'd say pick a good brand that sells by the piece locally so you can expand as needed. You could probably get by starting with a 12" and 9" slopped-sided skillets (with lids), a 1 or 2 quart saucepan, one large non-stick skillet and a large 1-2 gallons anodized aluminum dutch oven. A large dutch oven like that can be used stove top instead of buying a separate 1.5-2 gallon stock pot that usually comes in the set but you can also use them in the oven up to 500F. That avoids the need to buy separate cast iron pieces for use in the oven, if you ever need it. Yeah, people say it doesn't cook as well in the oven as the ceramic or cast iron dutch ovens but it's what I have and I've been very happy with the results. The aluminum dutch oven also isn't nearly as expensive as a large dutch oven that is oven safe up to 500F. Most of the cheaper ones have plastic handles and/or are known to crack about 400F.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2014, 10:02:26 AM »
I have had the Emril collection for almost 10 years now and it works great for me.  I also like that diamond plated stuff for skillets. I dont think these are too expensive (all gifts) but they have lasted me quite some time and still sturdy.
We have these as well.  There was nothing in the set that we don't use.  They are very robust as well.
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Offline Delo

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2014, 11:04:41 AM »
I bought the Emeril cookware for my mom years ago when she desperately needed new pots and pans. It was a really good buy for the price. She still has them and they are as good as when I bought them. I think they are made by Allclad.

We were gifted an Allclad set for our wedding and I like them a lot. They heat even, are easy to clean, and are durable.  I dont use non-stick so the easy to clean stainless steel and cast iron is all I use.  I would also recommend only buying what you think you need and I would look in Marshalls, homegoods, TJmaxx or whatever store has kitchenware because they do sell “name brands for less”.  Marshalls by me lately has had a lot of Lodge, Le Creuset, Calaphon stuff for about 50% off plus there’s usually a bunch of other kitchen gadgets that you can wonder how to incorporate into your brewing.

Offline Alewyfe

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2014, 12:04:37 PM »
i pretty much have what mort has - albeit copper clad cuisinart, which one of my brew buddies gave me when my exwife took all our cooking stuff and my buddy had recently switched to induction cooking.  I really like this set a lot - thankfully, my le creuset dutch oven and well seasoned cast iron Lodge skillet were not casualties. 

set looks like this I think:  http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CTP-7AM-Tri-Ply-Stainless-Cookware/dp/B00FDKLKB0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390492119&sr=8-1&keywords=copper+cuisinart

though i have some other pieces not in that set.

I have a set of these as well, though different pieces, and they are my favorites bar none. I have a professional range that is very high BTU and I have walked away from the stove and forgotten something on high. (more than once I am sorry to admit) I thought sure the pans were goners...any others would be for certain. They cleaned up beautifully with just a hot soapy soak and a stainless scrubby. I have some anodized calphalon, non sticks, analons, cast iron, enameled stainless, all clad...you name it. The stainless/copper heat evenly, clean up easily and are a pleasure to use. My set is probably 20 years old...looks used, but performs as well as when new. I do not obsess over the look of the tarnished copper. I keep the bottoms fairly clean and do the outside of the pans no more than a couple times a year. They go in a drawer, they are not show pieces.

Buy one really good pan and use it. (abuse it?) If you still love it...go get some more. We cook hard, entertain a lot and really get out moneys worth out of anything in our kitchen. These and my all clad are the only ones that pass the "still love it" test.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2014, 01:06:53 PM »
I have stainless kettles but all my cherished pans are cast iron (Lodge, I live an hour away from the factory outlet). There is nothing better than cooking on 1) Gas and 2) Cast Iron. The non stick surface is simply unbeatable.

I have a 9 in round, a 17 inch round, a square (not sure the size on that one but 4 square pieces of sandwich bread) and even a wok.
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Offline dkfick

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Re: recommend some Pots and Pans
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 02:10:51 PM »
I have stainless kettles but all my cherished pans are cast iron (Lodge, I live an hour away from the factory outlet). There is nothing better than cooking on 1) Gas and 2) Cast Iron. The non stick surface is simply unbeatable.

I have a 9 in round, a 17 inch round, a square (not sure the size on that one but 4 square pieces of sandwich bread) and even a wok.
I actually prefer my cast iron on the induction burner to gas... but I agree on cast iron for sure :D
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