Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

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coalcracker
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Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by coalcracker » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:09 pm

My wife and I love to cook. We have a solid All-Clad stainless steel set (the Subaru of pots and pans) from our wedding 15 years ago, as well as a large Le Crueset dutch oven and a nonstick two-burner griddle. Over the years, we've cooked many delicious and some impressive meals in what we have.

However, I'm wondering if our somewhat limited cookware selection is holding back our cooking from that next-level deliciousness, or at least making things more difficult or time consuming. For example, we don't own any nonstick pans for making that perfect over-easy egg, or a saucier pan for the perfect...sauce? We don't have any copper cookware either :greedy

If we were to upgrade our kitchen and add a half dozen additional pots or pans, what should they be? Please include specific brands if applicable. Something else apart from cookware?

Dottie57
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:15 pm

Sorry Ican’t help since you have my fantasy cookware.


Easy over eggs - do the in nonstick ans. I think a well seasoned iron. Pan would work well.

I don’teven know what a saucier pan is.

I think you just need to cook more and try more. Analyze thesasonings. And cooking directionns. Add your own touch to a recipe.

I would lve a gas stove.

DesertDiva
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by DesertDiva » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:21 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:15 pm
Sorry Ican’t help since you have my fantasy cookware.
Ditto. Take cooking classes? Study at Le Cordon Bleu? Take a culinary vacation?
Bon appétit!

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lthenderson
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by lthenderson » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Our kitchen ware consists of what you have already. For the eggs, we buy non-stick skillets and treat them as usable items to dispose of eventually. We buy the winner of America's Test Kitchen which is T-Fal. Other than that, we have a few seasoned cast iron pans for various dishes as well.

Probably the best thing we did to upgrade our cooking game was get a gas cooktop and expand our kitchen to include a large island to work on. It makes prep so much more enjoyable with elbow room.

willygreen
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by willygreen » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:30 pm

I would buy (not invest) in a nonstick pan. I buy tramontina's (top wirecutter pick) for $20-30 and replace them every 4-5 years. I use them only for eggs which allows the pan to last longer. I would not recommend a high end nonstick pan; none of them last long enough to justify the expense.

I would also recommend a carbon steel pan - truly a workhorse and easier than cast iron. Use it for pan roasting things all the time. I have had a Mauviel for 5 years; I like the shape and the handle.

There are also many new direct to consumer brands (such as made in) that are offering some compelling prices on high end cookware. If i was buying anything, I would look at them. .

Between what you have and these few additions, you should be able to make just about anything. A few good knives are very important too; I like the Mac knives and they rate well too.

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coalcracker
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by coalcracker » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:34 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:22 pm
Our kitchen ware consists of what you have already. For the eggs, we buy non-stick skillets and treat them as usable items to dispose of eventually. We buy the winner of America's Test Kitchen which is T-Fal. Other than that, we have a few seasoned cast iron pans for various dishes as well.

Probably the best thing we did to upgrade our cooking game was get a gas cooktop and expand our kitchen to include a large island to work on. It makes prep so much more enjoyable with elbow room.
I should have mentioned we do have a six burner gas range. It has made a big difference.

Topic Author
coalcracker
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by coalcracker » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:36 pm

willygreen wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:30 pm
I would buy (not invest) in a nonstick pan. I buy tramontina's (top wirecutter pick) for $20-30 and replace them every 4-5 years. I use them only for eggs which allows the pan to last longer. I would not recommend a high end nonstick pan; none of them last long enough to justify the expense.

I would also recommend a carbon steel pan - truly a workhorse and easier than cast iron. Use it for pan roasting things all the time. I have had a Mauviel for 5 years; I like the shape and the handle.

There are also many new direct to consumer brands (such as made in) that are offering some compelling prices on high end cookware. If i was buying anything, I would look at them. .

Between what you have and these few additions, you should be able to make just about anything. A few good knives are very important too; I like the Mac knives and they rate well too.
Thanks, this is exactly the type of info I was hoping to get :sharebeer

NewMoneyMustBeSmart
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:37 pm

I bought a set of Mauviel copper pans and skillets. I rarely use it. I like the Calphalon better practically. It's awesome for omelettes. Copper is beautiful and conducts heat so much faster but with our gas range, Calphalon works. Also copper is harder to clean than teflon, so there is that.

YMMV

MrBobcat
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by MrBobcat » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:38 pm

If you don't have one get an induction stovetop. I know, not cookware, but my All-Clad loves it.

For non-stick frypans, just go with carbon steel and season it. I love the De Buyer line, have 3 different frypan sizes as well as the crepe pan and both sizes of the country chef pans. The 12.6" frypan gets the most use:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... =UTF8&th=1

I do also have quite a few pieces of their stainless pans, similar to all-clad, but ever so slightly inferior. I use this size all the time:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... =UTF8&th=1

As far as my All-Clad that I use all the time:

The 3 quart saucier pan"

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1

And the D5 3qt and 6qt saute pans. IMO the D5 is fantastic.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1

Also, like this for my steamer as it fits on top of the bulk of my All Clad pans.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1

Edit:

I also love this pan:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1
Last edited by MrBobcat on Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:38 pm

They don't use all-clad in the fancy restaurants and their dishes turn out just fine.

I reached a point where I was going to splurge and buy some fancy pots. So I went to the store and was ready to buy a set of the second-most expensive. And they explained to me that I shouldn't put them in the dishwasher.

So I passed on the pots. I now have some fairly ordinary stuff that works well.

Read Anthony Bourdain for some advice on cookware. And knives. You need only two, but they should be good ones.

megabad
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by megabad » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:45 pm

I didn't see that you had a cast iron pan? I think that is a key item. My Lodge works fine and is a staple and cheap. If you want the highest end and supposedly the best, Le Creuset also makes an iron pan that is supposed to be incredible. A cast iron pan will be the only piece of cookware you have that has character and gets better with age. I love them.

I don't use true non stick anything. Butter/grease/oil was invented for a reason. Never had any problems other than my impending heart attack. I know what Iron is. I know what butter is. I know what grease is. Oil, etc. I don't have any clue what Teflon really is and don't really love the idea of ingesting it. Similarly, I don't love the idea of ingesting chromium and nickel. Not a doctor though, just my own personal paranoia. Not familiar with "carbon steel", but I have heard good things and it seems pretty close to cast iron.

MrBobcat
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by MrBobcat » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:01 pm

coalcracker wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:34 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:22 pm
Our kitchen ware consists of what you have already. For the eggs, we buy non-stick skillets and treat them as usable items to dispose of eventually. We buy the winner of America's Test Kitchen which is T-Fal. Other than that, we have a few seasoned cast iron pans for various dishes as well.

Probably the best thing we did to upgrade our cooking game was get a gas cooktop and expand our kitchen to include a large island to work on. It makes prep so much more enjoyable with elbow room.
I should have mentioned we do have a six burner gas range. It has made a big difference.
I missed this the first go round. When you get ready to replace the gas range, get an induction.

beehivehave
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by beehivehave » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:01 pm

A sous vide machine for fork-tender dishes and an old fashioned crock pot for soups. Slow cookers also make great spare ribs.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:08 pm

MrBobcat wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:38 pm
If you don't have one get an induction stovetop. I know, not cookware, but my All-Clad loves it.
More than a month ago, my 48” propane cooktop sprung a leak. I wanted to go with induction for replacement, and picked the only range I could find that would fill a 48” hole in my kitchen. I don’t really need the full 48”, Nor a range, but didn’t want to start piecing together fillers and such. Our new Aga Mercury arrives Friday!

I had to donate a bunch of cookware because it wasn’t induction friendly. I will refer to the above list as I fill in the pieces. I’ve got some Le Creuset that will work in the interim.

OP, great idea for a topic.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

runner3081
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by runner3081 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:15 pm

Someone else to clean all of the dishes :)

WhyNotKnow
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by WhyNotKnow » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:28 pm

Favorite website https://www.seriouseats.com/

Cool cookbooks

The Food Lab
J. Kenzie López-Alt
ISBN-10: 0393081087

Salt,Fat,Acid,Heat
Samin Nosrat
ISBN-10: 1476753830

I have Griswold and Wagner cast iron pans from my grandmother. Well worth it to me to find the old school pans for cast iron.

MrBobcat
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by MrBobcat » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:31 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:08 pm
MrBobcat wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:38 pm
If you don't have one get an induction stovetop. I know, not cookware, but my All-Clad loves it.
More than a month ago, my 48” propane cooktop sprung a leak. I wanted to go with induction for replacement, and picked the only range I could find that would fill a 48” hole in my kitchen. I don’t really need the full 48”, Nor a range, but didn’t want to start piecing together fillers and such. Our new Aga Mercury arrives Friday!

I had to donate a bunch of cookware because it wasn’t induction friendly. I will refer to the above list as I fill in the pieces. I’ve got some Le Creuset that will work in the interim.

OP, great idea for a topic.
Oh... I looked those up and now I'm jealous.

Anyway, this is a great tea kettle for the induction.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1

jdb
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by jdb » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:05 pm

MrBobcat wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:31 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:08 pm
MrBobcat wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:38 pm
If you don't have one get an induction stovetop. I know, not cookware, but my All-Clad loves it.
More than a month ago, my 48” propane cooktop sprung a leak. I wanted to go with induction for replacement, and picked the only range I could find that would fill a 48” hole in my kitchen. I don’t really need the full 48”, Nor a range, but didn’t want to start piecing together fillers and such. Our new Aga Mercury arrives Friday!

I had to donate a bunch of cookware because it wasn’t induction friendly. I will refer to the above list as I fill in the pieces. I’ve got some Le Creuset that will work in the interim.

OP, great idea for a topic.
Oh... I looked those up and now I'm jealous.

Anyway, this is a great tea kettle for the induction.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1
We also just upgraded our range to induction. Our adult daughter gets almost all our cookware which does not work on induction. But luckily for us I have accumulated a collection of Lodge and Le Creuset dutch ovens and cast iron skillets of various sizes which work great on induction, we now do almost all cooking with cast iron. Who knew that a cast iron Tagine makes great rice on an induction range? But my wife does fuss sometimes about the weight so I end up doing more of cooking on range, OK with me. She can stick to baking which is beyond my ability. Good luck.

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hand
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by hand » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:58 pm

A lot of cookware is personal and very dependent on your intended use.
It is unlikely your all-clad is holding you back - most restaurant meals are prepared with cheaper cookware.

From a pots and pans standpoint, there is likely opportunity to optimize:
Get rid of all-clad you don’t use regularly
Replace multi-clad with simpler / lighter disk bottom pans where it works against you (stockpot, whatever you use for pasta, steaming veg)
Perhaps a more responsive pan for sauces (copper or heavily copper clad


Not pot related:
Chef knife of quality steel and DIY or paid sharpening to keep it super-sharp – I love my thin Japanese knives
Induction burner for additional flexibility / warming / quick boil


Additionally I’d echo some of the above:

Cast Iron pan for searing, bacon and perhaps eggs
Slow cooker (though perhaps redundant with your dutch oven)
Sous Vide (cheap & small) for chicken and lots of other uses

MrBobcat
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by MrBobcat » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:42 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:08 pm
MrBobcat wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:38 pm
If you don't have one get an induction stovetop. I know, not cookware, but my All-Clad loves it.
More than a month ago, my 48” propane cooktop sprung a leak. I wanted to go with induction for replacement, and picked the only range I could find that would fill a 48” hole in my kitchen. I don’t really need the full 48”, Nor a range, but didn’t want to start piecing together fillers and such. Our new Aga Mercury arrives Friday!

I had to donate a bunch of cookware because it wasn’t induction friendly. I will refer to the above list as I fill in the pieces. I’ve got some Le Creuset that will work in the interim.

OP, great idea for a topic.
Here's a pic of the DeBuyer pans (left obviously) after they've been used and seasoned for a while. I used to love plain cast iron for frying but these are really good to cook with. They are lighter (but still have a heft to them) than traditional cast iron and are not as thin as other carbon steel (lodge) that I've used in the past.

Image

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unclescrooge
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:46 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:15 pm
Someone else to clean all of the dishes :)
That someone else was me, so I recently threw out all the pans and got dishwasher-safe Hexclad pans.

My wife commented that for someone who rarely cooks, I was really excited to get new cookware. :mrgreen:

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mfswatz9
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by mfswatz9 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:29 pm

All clad is so easy to clean, you don't need to put it in the dishwasher. Just use a plastic scrubbie, some dish soap, and you're all done.

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Bogle7
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by Bogle7 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:06 pm

Best stainless steel cookware is https://www.zwilling.com/us/demeyere/cookware/atlantis/
Best cast iron is https://www.lecreuset.com/

But, a good cook can make an excellent meal with any cookware.
Ask me how I know. AirBnB.

Dottie57
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:08 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:38 pm
They don't use all-clad in the fancy restaurants and their dishes turn out just fine.

I reached a point where I was going to splurge and buy some fancy pots. So I went to the store and was ready to buy a set of the second-most expensive. And they explained to me that I shouldn't put them in the dishwasher.

So I passed on the pots. I now have some fairly ordinary stuff that works well.

Read Anthony Bourdain for some advice on cookware. And knives. You need only two, but they should be good ones.
FYI- I find cooking pleasureAble when using my all clad. The pans don’t have hot or cool spots. Cooking goes more s oothly.

MrBobcat
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by MrBobcat » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:33 pm

Bogle7 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:06 pm
Best stainless steel cookware is https://www.zwilling.com/us/demeyere/cookware/atlantis/
Best cast iron is https://www.lecreuset.com/

But, a good cook can make an excellent meal with any cookware.
Ask me how I know. AirBnB.
If you've had a chance to compare, how does the 5 ply demeyere compare to the atlantis line?

Just curious because this seems to be a pretty good price right now, especially with the coupon.

https://smile.amazon.com/Demeyere-5-Plu ... ast_bbp_dp

jayjayc
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by jayjayc » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:39 am

I suggest getting a cast iron skillet. Very versatile and nothing beats it when it comes to searing meat. I even like to roast a chicken in my cast iron skillet.

Since you seem willing to splurge, get a Field cast iron skillet. The most common cast iron skillets you find today are heavy and have a bumpy surface. Field's skillets are lighter and have a smooth surface. Back in the old old days, that's how cast iron skillets were made, but not anymore. Field skillets are expensive, but funny enough they're about the same price as the old Griswold and Wagner skillets you can only find in secondhand markets.

https://fieldcompany.com/products/field ... 5741354077

andypanda
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by andypanda » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:31 am

We're very pleased with the All-Clad TK set we bought a few years ago. We liked the handles better than the regular All-Clad lines. Since then we've added some pieces - on sale of course. If you wait and search you can get up to 40% off on sets.

In addition, there's a family-owned company in Pennsylvania that sells factory seconds with a full warranty. Their idea of an All-Clad second is having one rivet 1/64" too high or too low. www.cookwarenmore.com/all-clad-irregulars

I have two generations of family cast iron. Heck, I have some old irons that my father's mother used to heat on her wood cook stove. She had a new electric range but preferred using her large multi-level wood stove. Fwiw, the electric range was for canning during the summer when running the wood stove all day wasn't practical. They had 1500 apple trees and plenty of mountain forest for fuel. The local sawmill would take down the played out apple trees for the wood and return the slab wood/bark cut to stove length.

I also have my mother's 1950-ish Revere Ware.

And we do have some All-Clad non-stick. It's all about what you need. I was a Boy Scout, I don't need much, but I'm getting too old crouch around the fire in the cold. :)

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blueblock
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by blueblock » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:23 am

Get a carbon steel wok and make yourself some wonderful Chinese dishes. A ginger/bok choy stir fry makes a super fast and delicious vegetable dish. Throw in some leftover meat and make some rice for a lovely cooked lunch.

We use our sous vide and Instapot ALL THE TIME.

(I echo getting a non-stick pan for eggs... so much easier.)

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lthenderson
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by lthenderson » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:27 am

MrBobcat wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:01 pm
coalcracker wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:34 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:22 pm
Our kitchen ware consists of what you have already. For the eggs, we buy non-stick skillets and treat them as usable items to dispose of eventually. We buy the winner of America's Test Kitchen which is T-Fal. Other than that, we have a few seasoned cast iron pans for various dishes as well.

Probably the best thing we did to upgrade our cooking game was get a gas cooktop and expand our kitchen to include a large island to work on. It makes prep so much more enjoyable with elbow room.
I should have mentioned we do have a six burner gas range. It has made a big difference.
I missed this the first go round. When you get ready to replace the gas range, get an induction.
Unless you like to char peppers or tortillas for certain dishes to enhance flavors. Induction also doesn't do well with foods cooked in rounded bottom pans like a wok or with foods that you need to lift the pan up to continuously flip the food. Conduction works well for heating something up fast but when making good food, it usually isn't about speed.

michaeljc70
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:35 am

I agree on having at least one cast iron pan. It holds heat much better than tri-ply pans and is better for searing, particularly if you don't want to use a lot of fat. It can also double for baking/roasting things like paella, pizza, chicken, cornbread, etc.

Though I have a good number of pans of various types (cast iron, enameled Le creusets, tri-ply, non-stick) and various sizes and shape, I've come to the conclusion that cooking is much more about skill than equipment. Of course you have to have the basic equipment.

onourway
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by onourway » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:47 am

Agree it’s all about the skill, not the pans past a very basic set of good equipment.

I too prefer carbon steel or cast iron because it cooks beautifully and is super easy to clean up, lasts forever, and there are no chemical coatings to worry about.

Cycle
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by Cycle » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:48 am

I recently got rid of all my cast iron pans (still have a couple Le cruset cast iron enameled pieces). Non stick (in good condition) works best for my needs (t-fal). I can't transfer the t-fal pan from stove top to oven, which I would do for fish, but not the end of the world . I cook every night, but having been a short order cook in college I'm extremely fast.

I recently moved from a 42" gas range with extreme air hood to an electric range in a galley kitchen w/o venting to the outside. So far the change has had no impact on the quality of my meals or ease of prep. A lot of these luxuries are just that, luxuries.

One key thing is having a grocery store a block away. If I forget an ingredient, I yell b back in 5, and then I'm back in business. This can be really handy when people are over for dinner, not such a big deal to omit cilantro from guac when it's just the usual customers.

Mark bitman will tell u, you really don't need much equipment to be an excellent chef.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

GmanJeff
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by GmanJeff » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:41 am

I use demeyere (all lower case letters is how they spell it) Atlantis line pots and pans. They heat very evenly, retain heat well, and have no rivet heads inside the cooking surfaces where food detritus can accumulate and which are hard to clean completely. The absence of exposed rivet heads within the cooking surface is difficult to find in other brands at any price point.

The drawbacks are that they are relatively heavy and they are expensive. Their performance, however, leaves nothing to be desired and they show every sign of lasting indefinitely.
Last edited by GmanJeff on Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

carne_asada
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by carne_asada » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:07 pm

I picked up a 5 Qt Le Crusuet braiser on discount ($50) at the outlet store(The $350 list is insane). https://www.lecreuset.com/braiser. It's incredibly versatile and is now an every day workhorse for me. The steep sides give you flexibility to deep/shallow fry and also bit extra surface area compared to a frying pan of the same size. The enameled surface is a bit non-stick and way easier to clean compared to a stainless steel plan. It's also it's great for any stove top to oven dish with allot of sauce or liquid. It's also lightweight compared to lodge cast iron and easy to handle.

A saucier is also great for anything that needs to be whisked. I have a calphalon 3 qt. I wouldn't say it's mandatory but It I found myself needing an additional 3 qt and went with the saucier over another 3 qt saucepan .

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Socrates
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by Socrates » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:32 pm

My wife and I love to cook. We have a solid All-Clad stainless steel set (the Subaru of pots and pans) from our wedding 15 years ago, as well as a large Le Crueset dutch oven and a nonstick two-burner griddle. Over the years, we've cooked many delicious and some impressive meals in what we have.

However, I'm wondering if our somewhat limited cookware selection is holding back our cooking from that next-level deliciousness, or at least making things more difficult or time consuming. For example, we don't own any nonstick pans for making that perfect over-easy egg, or a saucier pan for the perfect...sauce? We don't have any copper cookware either :greedy

If we were to upgrade our kitchen and add a half dozen additional pots or pans, what should they be? Please include specific brands if applicable. Something else apart from cookware?
What do you think of these?? They are $549 in case the price doesn't appear

https://www.costco.com/all-clad-tri-ply ... 18335.html

looking to get my wife a set for XMAS as she loves to cook too......

there is also this but its $1399

https://www.costco.com/all-clad-copper- ... 67502.html

she too loves Le Crueset
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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:02 pm

I own a small number of several brands.

In practice, for me, my All-Clad one- two- and three-quart saute pans are the most useful. They call their one-quart saute pan a saucepan, but it's the same shape as saute pans.

Stainless steel isn't so great for cooking eggs with minimal cleanup, so I use a hard-anodized aluminum pan for that.

PJW

Kennedy
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by Kennedy » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:27 am

I use my All Clad 13 inch french skillet with lid almost every night. I love it. I have other assorted pieces of All Clad, but I'm just as happy with my pieces from the Kirkland (Costco) collection as well.

https://www.all-clad.com/Cookware/Skill ... 8701004403

HereToLearn
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by HereToLearn » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:42 am

I have a 20+ year old set of All Clad stainless (I think?), three Le Creuset dutch ovens (including the massive 13 liter one that allows me to double a chili recipe), the large Le Creuset cast iron fry pan, and that's about it. Anything not used regularly was banished to a shelf in the basement. The All Clad electric pancake griddle comes to mind.

Other essentials: four favorite knives plus a bread knife, wood cutting boards, Vitamix, and an old Waring bar blender with glass jar for marinades or dressings. A couple of other kitchen tools that are used regularly are huge jelly roll pans (as large as can fit in your oven) and that little Oxo salad dressing shaker.

The only pot I have added in the past ten years is a non-stick one for cooking pasta. While I love the All-Clad stainless, they were a pain to clean if pasta stuck (ravioli explosion).
Last edited by HereToLearn on Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

EnjoyIt
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by EnjoyIt » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:44 am

Only thing I want to reiterate is cast iron.

I cook eggs in my cast iron including over easy or scrambled with cheese with absolutely no sticking. The cast iron is my favorite pan.

I use oil which I spread with a paper towel to make sure there is a very thin layer on an already well seasoned pan.

I would also recommend a good knife. My favorite is a Japanese knife made from Damascus Steel.

Barsoom
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by Barsoom » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:32 am

I just recently bought the Joule brand sous vide immersion cooker. It's small, powerful, easy to clean up, but needs a smart phone to operate (instead of on-device screens and buttons).

I initially used a spare Dutch oven to put it in, but found the round shape a waste of space. I eventually bought a rectangular container and rack to add some height to submerge the food in.

I've cooked steaks and chicken in it, and then just add a little sear on a hot frying pan or skillet to finish it off.

-B

politely
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by politely » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:06 am

I think you have plenty - but you can always add more for fun. We also have plenty, but add to our collection every so often. I also have the All Clad - stainless steel triply. I didn't buy the copper version because of various reviews that it may be worse than the tri-ply. Overall, I think cookware is a little helpful, but isn't a deciding factor... except maybe when frying eggs in a non-stick pan (and here, I suggest, throwing the pans out when the eggs start to stick, and thus not paying ridiculous amounts of money for these temporary pans). For example, my mom can make something amazing with a random terrible ancient pot - better than me with all my fancy new kitchenware.

If anything, a carbon steel wok would be a nice addition if you cook in that direction. As for cast iron - we have a couple of different Lodge models, and frankly, I hate them. They're harder to clean, they have to be oiled all the time, there's a historical odor, somewhat painful to clean (no dishwasher), they're heavy as heck, and the handles get super hot. Cast iron is great for frying or grilling, but I'd throw them away if I could - wife won't let me - it's like a cult. I think generally, there's a view that stainless can get the same or better outcome as cast iron, but that view doesn't seem to be getting any traction in my household.

michaeljc70
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:38 am

politely wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:06 am
I think you have plenty - but you can always add more for fun. We also have plenty, but add to our collection every so often. I also have the All Clad - stainless steel triply. I didn't buy the copper version because of various reviews that it may be worse than the tri-ply. Overall, I think cookware is a little helpful, but isn't a deciding factor... except maybe when frying eggs in a non-stick pan (and here, I suggest, throwing the pans out when the eggs start to stick, and thus not paying ridiculous amounts of money for these temporary pans). For example, my mom can make something amazing with a random terrible ancient pot - better than me with all my fancy new kitchenware.

If anything, a carbon steel wok would be a nice addition if you cook in that direction. As for cast iron - we have a couple of different Lodge models, and frankly, I hate them. They're harder to clean, they have to be oiled all the time, there's a historical odor, somewhat painful to clean (no dishwasher), they're heavy as heck, and the handles get super hot. Cast iron is great for frying or grilling, but I'd throw them away if I could - wife won't let me - it's like a cult. I think generally, there's a view that stainless can get the same or better outcome as cast iron, but that view doesn't seem to be getting any traction in my household.
Get a chain mail cleaner for cleaning cast iron. It is way better than a brush or whatever. You don't have to oil cast iron all the time. I rarely do. Once it is seasoned it only requires an occasional oiling. There is no denying they are heavy.

andypanda
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by andypanda » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:57 am

" Cast iron is great for frying or grilling"

I use mine a lot outside on a gas grill to fry chicken, pork chops, soft shells, crab cakes, etc. Feel like blackening something? Avoid the extra heat and aroma in the kitchen. Keep the splatter and the smoke in the yard.

EnjoyIt
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by EnjoyIt » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:27 pm

politely wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:06 am
I think you have plenty - but you can always add more for fun. We also have plenty, but add to our collection every so often. I also have the All Clad - stainless steel triply. I didn't buy the copper version because of various reviews that it may be worse than the tri-ply. Overall, I think cookware is a little helpful, but isn't a deciding factor... except maybe when frying eggs in a non-stick pan (and here, I suggest, throwing the pans out when the eggs start to stick, and thus not paying ridiculous amounts of money for these temporary pans). For example, my mom can make something amazing with a random terrible ancient pot - better than me with all my fancy new kitchenware.

If anything, a carbon steel wok would be a nice addition if you cook in that direction. As for cast iron - we have a couple of different Lodge models, and frankly, I hate them. They're harder to clean, they have to be oiled all the time, there's a historical odor, somewhat painful to clean (no dishwasher), they're heavy as heck, and the handles get super hot. Cast iron is great for frying or grilling, but I'd throw them away if I could - wife won't let me - it's like a cult. I think generally, there's a view that stainless can get the same or better outcome as cast iron, but that view doesn't seem to be getting any traction in my household.
Cast Iron is amazing. To clean, just get a stainless steal pad. They sell 3 for $1.99 in my supermarket. Clean it once very very well, season it, and then never add soap to it again. Just scrub it down with a steal brush and you're good to go. Takes less than 10 seconds to clean each time. I also cook all sorts of eggs in it, and nothing sticks including cheese. I would also like to point out, I don't use a ton of oil in it. I use a paper towel to just put a thin layer. I eat eggs about 4-5 times a week so non stick pans used to last me 6 month and who knows how much teflon I ate back then. My cast iron will last me a lifetime.

I will admit that it is heavy.

Starfish
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by Starfish » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:39 pm

I have cheap Tramontina cast iron pans (17$ for 2) and they are the best. They require almost 0 maintenance. I used them for years. No oiling, easy cleaning. Food comes out very good.
There is 0 correlation between the price of cookware and the quality of food coming out of it. I also find ridiculous the prices for cast iron or carbon steel on some brands. Steel is very cheap. Most people buy these pots for decoration, not to cook in them. Staub and Le Creuset can be found at garage sales for 5-10$, almost unused. People who really cook good food don't use fancy cookware, but the opposite, very cheap.

stoptothink
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by stoptothink » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:47 pm

Starfish wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:39 pm
I have cheap Tramontina cast iron pans (17$ for 2) and they are the best. They require almost 0 maintenance. I used them for years. No oiling, easy cleaning. Food comes out very good.
There is 0 correlation between the price of cookware and the quality of food coming out of it. I also find ridiculous the prices for cast iron or carbon steel on some brands. Steel is very cheap. Most people buy these pots for decoration, not to cook in them. Staub and Le Creuset can be found at garage sales for 5-10$, almost unused. People who really cook good food don't use fancy cookware, but the opposite, very cheap.
+1. I cook 99% of our family's food. We have one large cast iron pan that we got as a Christmas gift and a few stainless that we got from Ikea (for like $40 for the set), otherwise we buy a new non-stick pan for ~$25 every few years. I have used Le Creuset several times; the difference :confused . The numbers thrown out in this thread are crazy to me, but we all have our consumer vices.

Naikansha
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by Naikansha » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:43 pm

If you cook rice and other grains like wild rice, I recommend a Zojirushi rice cooker.

Bob Sacamano
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by Bob Sacamano » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:25 pm

big fan of hitting up kitchen supply stores. they sell a lot of stuff made for heavy duty use and i am a fan of a brand called Vollrath found at such stores.

deikel
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by deikel » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:36 am

coalcracker wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:09 pm
My wife and I love to cook. We have a solid All-Clad stainless steel set (the Subaru of pots and pans) from our wedding 15 years ago, as well as a large Le Crueset dutch oven and a nonstick two-burner griddle. Over the years, we've cooked many delicious and some impressive meals in what we have.

However, I'm wondering if our somewhat limited cookware selection is holding back our cooking from that next-level deliciousness, or at least making things more difficult or time consuming. For example, we don't own any nonstick pans for making that perfect over-easy egg, or a saucier pan for the perfect...sauce? We don't have any copper cookware either :greedy

If we were to upgrade our kitchen and add a half dozen additional pots or pans, what should they be? Please include specific brands if applicable. Something else apart from cookware?
The trick for the over easy eggs is not the non stick pan, its the use of the right oil - in this case coconut fat....try it, it works in any pan (pick one that does not smell much like coconut) - tastes awesome too.

I don't think a good kitchen needs anything more then a very sharp knife, a wood block and some pans and pots (and a gas burner I will admit), copper is nice...
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

LawyersGunsAndMoney
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Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:47 am

Get a big saucier (that can go in oven), a cast iron skillet, and a sous vide cooker attachment.

You don't need a slow cooker - you can use the le cruset in the oven (which I do and personaly trust far more than leaving an $85 piece of equipment on all day on my countertop).

And avoid anything else (cookware or utencil-wise) that has only 1 function.

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