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Goner Message Board / Food & Drink / cookware sets?
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 1:31 pm
Any recommendations as far as material/brands? We've got a $200 gift card to Linens & Things (of all places) burning a hole in our pockets and want to upgrade from the cobbled together assemblage of misc pots and pans we've been using since college...
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 7:00 pm
i hear calphalon, but $200 won't get you much
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 7:55 pm
cast iron is the way to go.
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 8:10 pm
Yeah... cast iron is awesome. A little more maintenance is required, but it's super worth it.

There's a company called (I think) Lodge that makes good cast iron stuff, and anything you find at Linens + Things will be pre-seasoned, which I'm not too crazy about, but it makes things a little easier.
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 8:22 pm
We got a set of stainless steel/copper bottom pots & pans at Target last night to replace our non-stick items. It has 5 pieces plus lids and it only cost $90. The items seem pretty well-made. My wife already scalded the side of the small pan, though. She didn't read the instructions that say to cook on low-medium heat and not to put water in the pan while it's still hot. It now has a dark "burn" mark thing on the inside. I'm soaking it today, but that thing doesn't look like it'll be coming off. The big downside to stainless steel and cast iron are all the care and cleaning rules. I suppose it's the price you pay for not cooking with toxic substances.
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 8:26 pm
if you are looking for a great, standard set, AllClad makes a brushed stainless steel one. Cast iron skillets and dutch ovens are neccessary, but you will easily need a stainless steel set as well. The All Clad cleans very easily also. Don't get the kind that has the copper exterior or you will be polishing your life away.

We paid around $325 for an All Clad set at Crate & Barrel--one small skillet, one medium skillet, one small sauce pan with lid, one med double handled pot with lid and an XL double handled pot with lid.
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 8:45 pm
Fiery/Joe, do you know if there's anyway to get those burn marks off a stainless steel pan? I imagine Comet would get it off with some scrubbing, but the instructions tell you not to use that.
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 8:50 pm
Hmmmm...I have no idea. Is this specific to the copper ones? Ours have taken some abuse. We just got a calphalon copper/stainless saucier so I'll watch it...Joe may know and Ryan too. I'll ask him to check out the post when he is around if he knows.
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 8:53 pm | Edited by: fierydrunk
More Google fun:

there are a few ways to do it:
1. Soak it in bleach overnight and pray for the best.
2. Take about a tablespoon of baking soda and sprinkle it over the bottom of the pot. Pour some vinnegar in. Let it sit for a few hours and then scrub the hell outta the thing. (this is what I am attempting now…)
3. Cut a lemon in half and rub it on there. Then scrub it like no tomorrow.

I personally would not put BLEACH in any pan, but the rest seem safe.
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 9:22 pm
Is this specific to the copper ones?

Only the bottom of the pans/pots are copper. The rest is stainless steel. It's like a scorch mark on one side of the inside of the "wall" of the small frying pan. It doesn't seem to be a food-based stain. I think it has something to do with excess heat used over the gas flame.

I'll try the lemon and baking soda methods and hope for the best. I'm sure it's just a cosmetic thing, but who wants scald marks on a brand new pan!
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 10:27 pm
Yeah- I'm not really sure... I've not had much experience with stainless steel/copper pans, but I think it's just cosmetic. Pretty hard to keep those pans looking brand new. That's why I try to stick to cast iron- black is black is black.
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 10:30 pm
I would use cast iron all the time if the pots and pans weren't so heavy. I have one cast iron pan, but I don't use it much for that very reason. And can you cook a fried egg on cast iron pan? Wouldn't something like that just stick like crazy?
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 10:52 pm
I have some of that paul revere copperware, handed down from an uncle (best christmas present that year), and i've really tarnished the skillet. weird thing -- copper is good for savory food but nothing sweet.

I know lotsa goner girls who rock the le crueset... that stuff seems addictive!

once you get your potware, you gotta get a potrack! i have one in my kitchen above a steel industrial shelf (no room above the stove as there's a range hood and a cabinet there) and I love it!!!
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 11:05 pm
go here if you wanna see pics of my kitchen before and after renovation:
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 11:07 pm
I used to use nothing but the cast irons, then my shitty teflon...then we got the All Clad. It is heavy ass stuff--like industrial kitchenware, not like the thin Revere stuff. It kicks ass. I cannot imagine scrambling eggs in a cast iron without drying the heck out of them. Sautes and cream sauces are infinitely better in the stainless too. Plus you can put them in the oven too, like a cast iron. Braises and steaks and roasts and biscuits=cast iron.

Another Krza opine: Le Crueset is gorgeous, but can be limited. I think you really need a mixed bag to do it up right.
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 11:27 pm | Edited by: No Big Thing
Hey Fiery, is this the AllClad set you were talking about?

http://www.lnt.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1361631&cp=1331607.1331 948.1334460&parentPage=family

The $200 gc is just a starting point as far as $...we want to make this a one-time purchase and would rather get stuff that we know we won't be thinking about replacing in a few years.

Our biggest concern is making sure we choose a good material...is 100% stainless steel the way to go? We've seen stainless/aluminum, stainless/copper and Calphalon (which I assume is some sort of propietary teflon-type material) and are just tearing our hair out trying to figure out which one is the best idea...

A good cast iron skillet definitely figures into our plans.

BTW, nice renovation Andria.
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 11:32 pm | Edited by: fierydrunk
It is that one but we got brushed steel, not shiny. We did the same thing--we used about $250 in gift certs from the wedding and then paid $$$ for the rest. It was easily the best purchase of the year.

I have heard bad things about Calphalon--but we got a stainless/copper blend by them that isn't anything teflon-y at all. Ours are 100% stainless and seriously, they are tough. I love em. You can cook anything in it and even the most severe mess cleans up.

Our Lodge dutch oven is killer too. It actually was so good, I sold my Le Crueset at a yard sale.
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 11:41 pm
OK, Calphalon is a brand, not a material...what kind of bad things have you heard about it? We're kinda scared by non-stick materials in general...does anyone know anything about stainless/aluminum combos like this:

http://www.lnt.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2128469&cp=1331607.1331 948.1334460&parentPage=family

We're not gonna choose a set based on finish, but would definitely prefer brushed to polished and since we we're stuck with L&T, was thinking about that one...
Posted: Feb 20, 2006 11:45 pm
Yo peeps- the trick with cast iron is MAINTAINING it properly. If you do that, it will develop the bombest non-stick surface known to man. Also, with stuff like eggs, the trick is lots of butter.

I like Le Crueset a lot. It's enamled cast iron, so it's got some non-stickness built right in. Another good trick is to buy your shit at the local restaurant supply places. That stuff is meant to stand up to heavy daily use, thus lasts quite a while when used non-commercially.
Posted: Feb 21, 2006 12:00 am
thanks, No Big Thing -- Doug Easley, Harlan T, and Tim Prudhomme did the majority of the work. I'll put some more renovation photos on flickr tonight if i'm bored...

if I ever get married, I'll definitely ask for kitchen stuff. most of mine is handed down from mama/various relatives, or bought at the williams-sonoma outlet, and I have a real catch-all of supplies. nevertheless I'm pretty happy with most of it, even the rusty baking sheets i have to cover with parchment paper to use. and I love all the old-school corning ware etc casserole dishes I have!

who on here uses a roasting pan? I use my brownie pan for chickens, and it does just fine, although aesthetically speaking I would feel more like a chef to have a fancy, stainless roasting pan.
Posted: Feb 21, 2006 12:05 am
who on here uses a roasting pan?

i used one for a pot roast that was soaked in jim beam for a day. xmas 2000. i know it was used again for a bird but i had nothing to do with it.
Posted: Feb 21, 2006 12:18 am
I don't like my scrambled eggs with that greasy, buttery taste; I use the minimum when scrambling eggs so they stay moist, not greasy--that is why the scramble has to go in the stainless.

Now, bacon and fried eggs? Cast iron indeed.

I will not be converted, Joe, I am into diversity in the kitchen!!!!
Posted: Feb 21, 2006 12:23 am
Diversity is overrated!

No, I dig... to each her own. I don't use only cast iron, either- my cookware set is a Frankensteinian amalgam of shit I've stolen from former employers (shit, maybe Food Dude's reading this- I mean BORROWED from former employers) and/or inherited from family. I've bought ONE pan myself- a 10-inch cast iron skillet that I love to death.

My dad gave me a fancy All Clad for Christmas a few years ago, but due to the high level of rommate-inflicted pan abuse that goes on around here, it's still in the box.
Posted: Feb 21, 2006 4:40 pm
Wait til you score that cheap house in Memphis where you can finally live alone and unpack that All Clad, my brother.

Get the hell outta here. We are right behind you--I think. Just gots to pay some bills.
Posted: Feb 22, 2006 3:08 am
No shit! Real estate down there is CHEAPO! I saw a completely restored 3 or 4 bedroom Victorian-esque bungalow in Cooper Young (like, 4 blks from Goner) for $170k! You couldn't get a single at Janzen Beach for that.

I probably wont get down there for about 2 years though- I'm driving from here to NY this summer, and we'll swing through the south, but then I think I gotta get outta this country for a while. Like a year. But then, watch out Memphis!
Posted: Feb 25, 2006 9:31 am
Le Creuset is the best ever. And they are making it in pink for the fall!
Posted: Feb 25, 2006 5:00 pm
Le Creuset is the prettiest ever! It gets pretty low ratings for some of their stuff (saute skillets etc). I wish it was as good as it looks. I think it is good for casseroles or other things that have to cook for a time in an oven; for the stovetop, I have had no luck at all compared to stainless steel.

And Joe, 2 years would be it for us too. I will need a career change. I am so sick of social work (this week) that I wanna run off to Mexico.
Posted: Feb 25, 2006 7:57 pm
I know it... GOTS to git out! And you know... Mexico is cheaper than Memphis.
Posted: Feb 27, 2006 3:53 am
Le Creuset is good looking, and it works well. I have my mother's set from 1975. It's that crazy marigold color. It's got a 100 year warrenty. It's the Coach of cookware.
THe secret is using less heat, cause you can burn shit really fast.
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