Registry and Gift Forum

Cookware - Hard anodized vs Stainless steel

Hello! We are getting ready to make our registry and I have been reading up on different types of cookware - having an aluminum core on just the bottom or up the sides also, etc. Where I'm stuck is the difference between hard anodized and stainless steel (other than being different materials lol). What are your opinions/preferences for the two? Any brand/type recommendations? All-Clad is a little pricey for us, as we'll be just regular at home cooks. We will probably register at Bed Bath & Beyond and Target; possibly one more place.

One other add-on question: for a stock pot, if I would mostly use it for pasta/potatoes, will it be fine to just pick something with an aluminum core bottom? Or is there another piece of cookware that would be better and pull double duty?

Re: Cookware - Hard anodized vs Stainless steel

  • I would recommend stearing clear of stainless steel.  From what I've heard, it stains quite easily, and also you don't get the non stick feature.  It would suck to have to spend time scrubbing pans after making a meal. 
    JerseyBeachGal22
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    It depends on your own preferences. I'm lazy, so I mainly use hard anodized cookware because it cleans up nice. I have stainless steel on hand in one or two skillet sizes incase I need it. In general, non-stick cookware should be considered as something that will probably be replaced because the coating can wear off, especially if you mistreat it.

    I have thus far been able to get away with either my cast iron dutch oven or my 8qt hard anodized stock pot has been enough for pasta and potatoes. If you use it a lot though, I would go balls to the wall for a good stock pot. Because why not?

    Consider
    For a slightly less expensive full aluminum core

    and 

    For aluminum encaplusated bottom.

    image



    Anniversary
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We have All Clad.  If you heat the pan and oil/butter properly you should not have any sticking.    We do have 2 non-stick frying pans.  


    Ours are not hard to clean.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    emmaaa
  • Great cookware (and knives) will last a lifetime. Don't skimp here, I'd advise. 

    Also, look at Amazon to register. Makes it easy on everyone.
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    jnhroller said:
    Great cookware (and knives) will last a lifetime. Don't skimp here, I'd advise. 

    Also, look at Amazon to register. Makes it easy on everyone.
    Agreed. We have Emeril's line of stainless steel. The key is to heat it up properly (until the "pores" are closed) and use oil, butter, spray, on the pan. Then you put whatever you are cookin gin and it shouldn't stick. Once I learned the "let it heat up all the way" secret, I haven't had an issue.

    klk111415
  • emmaaa said:
    jnhroller said:
    Great cookware (and knives) will last a lifetime. Don't skimp here, I'd advise. 

    Also, look at Amazon to register. Makes it easy on everyone.
    Agreed. We have Emeril's line of stainless steel. The key is to heat it up properly (until the "pores" are closed) and use oil, butter, spray, on the pan. Then you put whatever you are cookin gin and it shouldn't stick. Once I learned the "let it heat up all the way" secret, I haven't had an issue.

    Ahhh, wish I knew this before ruining my set of stainless steel pots/pans!! FI and I will be registering in the coming months and I was going to steer clear of them for that reason, but now I might reconsider. Good tip!
  • The type of cookware you register for should also take into consideration what type of stove you have/will have.  Some cookware is not compatible with an induction stove.  Especially if you rent your home and do not own the stove, it is something to remember, as your stove situation will change. It does not hurt to talk to someone at William Sonoma or Sur La Table about the differences between cookware collections.  My FI and I are within a 5 minute drive to the All-Clad factory.  My family has used All-Clad for years, and my FI and I have already purchased most of our cookware (thanks to wonderful sales).  The All-Clad staff has taught us to use their cookware properly.  They even have a special wash to keep them looking beautiful.

    We struggled at first with our first skillet, but it was a result of not using enough oil/butter.  Scrubbing right away, and using a brillo pad occasionally, our cookware still looks great.  We have skillets from several collections (stainless, d5, and copper core).  We love how quickly everything heats up with an aluminum or copper core.  Our only complaint about the copper-core is that it's the only one that isn't dishwasher safe.  The only piece my parents have had to replace is their non-stick, which any kind you get will need to be replaced.

    I do agree that cookware is not something to skimp on.  Registering on Amazon is a great way for guests to get the best deal on your set. My FFIL still has the le creuset cast iron skillet he received as a wedding gift 30 years ago, which my FI drools over.  Great cookware will last your lifetime, and is a great heirloom to pass on.
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