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Pots and Pans

I am going to put together a registry soon and I was wondering what type of pans we should put on the list. FI and I don't cook too much, he makes pasta all the time though. I occasionally do a stir fry. I want good pans that last, but I don't know what to say. TIA
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Re: Pots and Pans

  • I'm in your shoes, although I want to cook more.  We ended up ordering a set of 10, that way we knew that we were covered for our basic cooking needs.  I think if you stay with getting a set you'll be in good hands.  Or if you prefer getting individual pans, just scan the ones that are in the set that our out individually, so you know you're still good to go. 

    FWIW, we ended up going with the Calphalon Contemporary.  A friend who cooks a lot uses them and swears by them.  I looked up the reviews on Macys and Amazon and they had pretty good reviews.  Honestly, not one pot/pan set that I looked up, no matter what the price, had stellar reviews, so I decided to trust my friend.
  • If you like to make stir-fry, your registry is a nice opportunity to buy a good wok.

    Also, regarding the non-stick... Pans with Teflon are the problem. If you buy good non-stick pans with the Dupont non-stick, you won't have the chipping problem like with Teflon.
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  • I'm confused Manybear.  DuPont makes Teflon so you're saying they make a different type of nonstick too?

    One thing with Teflon:  It shouldn't be heated without anything in the skillet & use a cooking oil if possible - and never heat it above medium.  Also, use only nylon, wood or silicone in the pan.  This is good for your health and the life of the pan.
  • All-clad is a very popular brand.
  • I have Kitchen Aid stainless steel pots and pans (with aluminum layers) and they're great. I don't use non-stick.
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  • I have 2 sets that I swear by.  My non-stick is Calphalon (which is anodized) and my stainless is Belgique.  When you buy cookware, don't waste money on the cheap stuff.  Spring for the good stuff because it does matter.  Weight is key.  Quality stainless cookware will last forever.  For non-stick, you really only need a few pieces.  Calphalon is not dishwasher safe, but you can rinse scrambled eggs off with a faucet, so don't let that scare you away from it.  I'd stir clear of T-Fal because the teflon does flake off.
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  • We have a set from JCPenney, and it's their general brand, and I don't like them. If you have a dishwasher, go for it, but otherwise I'd say no. I hate cleaning those!!!

    My favorite cookware & cookware that is guaranteed to last forever is cutco. You can check them out at cutco.com.
  • The calphalon contemporary non stick line has a lifetime warranty. So if for some reason the nonstick does start to chip and peel you can send them to calphlon and they will replace them. We registered for a set of the calphalon contemporary nonstick and tri ply stainless steel.
  • banana- apparently DuPont has "improved" their non-stick. On the nicer brands (Calphalon, Anolon, All-Clad...) the non-stick is called DuPont Autograph 2, not DuPont Teflon. No idea about the toxicity if you keep the pans for a hundred years or heat them to 1000 degrees, but it's better than the old stuff.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
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    We have All-Clad and love it (DH is a chef and that is what he requested).

     We only only have one non-stick pot/pan which is a small omelete pan from Te-Fal. DH rarely uses that pan, as he prefers non-stick pots.

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  • Hello,

    My sister has Technique - a QVC cephalon (sp)  type brand.  She loves them - and they aren't too pricey.  We are going to buy them ourselves.

  • Calphalon Contemporary

    I'm in love with this brand. I got a knife block and I'm ready to upgrade to everythign in this brand!
  • We registered for Calphalon Unison.
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  • I got a great set of Wolfgang Puck pots and pans as a gift when I graduated from college in 2002, and I have used them a lot because I love to cook.  They are still in excellent condition, and I love them.  The only thing I don't like is that the handles are metal and not heat-resistant, so I have to use a glove or potholder to pick them up after they've been on the burner for a while.  Just get a set of 10 or so pieces (with heat-resistant handles!), and that should cover all the basics for you.
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  • My fiancee and I registered for a Caphalon set which is what everyone is the family was recommending. I also read reviews online and they got great reviews!! And since you like to cook stir fry be sure to register for a wok  pan. I don't think that comes in any of the sets.
  • edited February 2010
    The brands aren't really all that different unless you go for All-Clad (very good, VERY expensive - probably not worth the extra dough unless you're a serious cook). 

    As far as types of cookware that will last you, steer clear of the non-stick coatings. 
    Stainless that is tri-ply will cook very evenly no matter what cook surface you have, as will anodized aluminum. Anodized is also inherently non-stick and doesn't really need the non-stick coating. Not worth the extra money to have that coating. The heavier the pot/pan, the better. (This means it can take more heat without scorching your food.)

    We spent probably 45 minutes at BBB agonising over the differences between the Caphalon (sp?) and Emeril sets. The Caphalon stuff felt slightly heavier, but not enough for us to justify the extra $100-200 for fewer pieces. It's a good idea to get a larger stock pot than most sets come with, esp. if you like to make pasta and/or soups and stews - they also make steamer baskets or pasta inserts for those, which you may find useful. Also a good idea to get a large sauteuse (overgrown fry pan).

    The little pans are good if you make sauces or dips or chocolate glazes, for which you don't need a big sauce pan, but if you don't do that stuff you'll never use them. Omelet pans are dumb. Just fold the eggs over in your regular fry pan, it's not that hard. Don't get suckered into having every type of pan out there - getting a good foundation set will cover you for just about everything. GL and happy shopping.
  • I'm a chef and can tell you I LOATHE all non-stick pans.  The heat conduction is awful and they never last.
    I swear by All-Clad's stainless steel pans.  Expensive but worth it. They are heavy, conduct even heat and last forever.
    I'll paraphrase Anthony Bourdain, if you hit somone in the head with your pan and there is any question which will dent, the pan or their head, throw it out.
  • The stores you're registering at should have someone who specializes in registries.  I know that the guy who helped me at bed bath and beyond was way above helpful.  They will ask about your cooking style and what you prefer based on what you currently like to cook, and then they will help you determine what you may want in the future.  I love to cook and thought I knew exactly what I wanted, but he was able to give me some really good pointers that did change a couple of items I was looking for.   These people are there to help you.  They (generally) don't make a commission off the sales, so they won't try to sell you something you don't need. 
  • I am an Executive chef and there is only one brand thta you should be looking at, not only for their longevity but also for their performance ALL CLAD! ALL CLAD! ALL CLAD! Hands down the best and LAST set of pots and pans you will ever recieve or buy!
  • All-Clad is a very good brand.

    I have some KitchenAid stainless steel pans. They are 5 layers, with 2 layers of aluminum for heat conduction between 3 layers of steel. I've had them a year and a half and I love them thusfar. I also have a Le Crueset cast iron skillet.
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  • My fiance and I received a set of 12 All-Clad pots and pans as an engagement present and they are hands down the best ever. I love them and while they are expensive, they are very, very high quality.
  • Ditto.  Avoid non-stick pans ... the coating (chemicals) comes off in your food, and eventually, your tummy.  Ich!  Besides, they're so doggone delicate (only use plastic utensils, etc.) and cooking isn't for sissies.  ;)

    I use Calphalon to cook every dayof the week (I used to have stainless steel sauce pans, but gave them away).  I also have a couple of cast iron frying pans and a cast iron griddle.  Just make sure you have enough 2qt, 3qt, 4qt to keep up with your daily demands.  You may also want to consider LeCrueset, if you want a pop of color in your kitchen.  Enjoy!
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