Cookware opinions? | FerrariChat

Cookware opinions?

Discussion in 'Drink, Smoke, and Fine Dining' started by Nurburgringer, Jan 16, 2013.

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  1. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

    Jan 3, 2009
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    Although a self-proclaimed home "chef" I do not own a good set of cookware (except for two ancient and wonderful cast-iron frying pans courtesy of my and my wife's parents), to my everlasting shame...

    Every year or so I drop ~$20 on a new 12" non-stick saute pan (usually from Marshall's/TJ Maxx etc). Perfectly capable IMO of making top quality grub with but even using only wood or plastic spatulas eventually the coating starts to flake off and I'm sick of buying replacements. We make do with cheapo pots from SS 1/2/3 qt all the way up to aluminum 8qt.

    I'm not prepared to spend $500++ on a full set of Thomas-Keller restaurant quality equipment but what do y'all use as a go-to 12" saute and maybe 2qt sauce pan?

    As detailed in another thread we have a 5-burner gas range from 5k to 15k BTUs.

    My aunt has some old (i.e. pre-1990's, made-in-the-USA heavy) Revere Ware copper-clad pans I'm trying to get her to give up, anyone still use these?

    thanks!
     
  2. wax

    wax Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Revere Ware & Lodge are amazing, aren't they?
     
  3. nerd

    nerd F1 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2003
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    We have All-Clad Stainless in both of our kitchens (one electric & one gas). Keep in mind the expensive non-stick pans require hand washing or you will suffer the same delamination and warranty voiding as with the $20 pan.
     
  4. ScuderiaWithStickPlease

    ScuderiaWithStickPlease F1 World Champ

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    No sensibly priced nonstick can touch a good cast iron pan that's been stripped bare, then seasoned with linseed oil (the only downside is cast iron's reaction to acids, but that's not as big an issue with a well seasoned pan.)

    The Simply Caphlon nonsticks are great to work with. The 10" comes with a glass cover, while the 12" distributes heat fairly well for a pan that size that shouldn't be pushed past med-high.

    As for standard pans, you can't go wrong with All Clad.

    Their copper line, the one with the copper line around the rim, makes pros weep, both because they're so good and sooo expensive.

    Their standard line is excellent for the home enthusiast.

    The one drawback with these, besides price, is that contrary to what All Clad claim, they don't work that well with induction cooktops; they'll do OK, but they will not heat up as much as they should, won't respond as wekk or as quickly to temp changes.

    Of course, you can always do what 90% of restaurants do: Get a 3/4" gas line in and buy a stove top whose burners as so powerful, it won't matter what sort of pans you use . . .

    I hope this helps.
     
  5. Face76

    Face76 F1 World Champ
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    I would agree with the cook top type comment. Many of the nicely designed cook tops (flat, induction) can really limit your search. Nothing beats cast iron on gas.
     
  6. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    #6 Nurburgringer, Jan 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
    Thanks for the input.

    All-clad is beautiful and would probably outlast me, just wondering what else might be almost as good and not cost $130 for a 12" fryer:
    http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-5112-Stainless-12-Inch-Fry/dp/B00005AL5F/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1358391170&sr=8-2&keywords=all+clad+fry

    The Simply Calphalon (non stick, and deeper which I don't see as having any downside except flipping thinks in the pan without a utensil maybe?) version with a fitted lid is $50:
    http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Calphalon-Nonstick-12-Inch-Jumbo/dp/B001ASBBSG/ref=sr_1_4?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1358391836&sr=1-4&keywords=calphalon+12%22+everyday+skillet

    The metal/rubber handle seems a bit goofy though. Not that I put pans in the oven often, maybe only for a minute under the broiler, but I'd prefer all metal like All Clads.

    My brother is an exec at Macy's, maybe he can score me a deal on this set:
    http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/calphalon-simply-nonstick-cookware-10-piece-set?ID=371637&PseudoCat=se-xx-xx-xx.esn_results

    Non-stick sure is nice (I never use the dishwasher on any pots/pans), but on NY's Eve when I was searing some big fat scallops (came out perfect, G. Ramsay would have approved) I was wishing for a nice, heavy, restaurant style pan to get the "brown bits". Or is that overrated?
    For things like eggs (at least 25% of what I use the range for. Lately I'm hooked on James Bond style scrambled eggs) I see no reason not to use a non-stick.
     
  7. wax

    wax Five Time F1 World Champ
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    I picked up a Hamilton Beach 12" Fryer last year for dirt cheap at Kitchen Collection. No delamination & each type of dish has cooked very well. As a bonus, the lid seats well on 2 other 12" pans and a wok.

    $15.97 = bargain
    http://www.kitchencollection.com/Temp_Products.cfm?sku=00145774&RankThis=Y&Searched=chicken%20fryer&
     
  8. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ

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    All clad is what we have

    Cuisine art has some nice ss aluminum pans.

    Restaurants usually use poor quality aluminum pans that last a long time but are really junk. The also react to acids pretty badly.

    Kelley's set of all clad is what we have but they are expensive but if you are really into cooking home you'll see why as the heat control is very good.
     
  9. Scotty

    Scotty F1 Veteran
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    True copper (not All Clad) is fantastic, but requires special care and is very expensive. Two versions--real copper that is tinned, and has to be re-tinned, and stainless lined copper (95% copper with a thin stainless lining). A Belgium company has the patent on this, but several other companies (in France) get the material and also make pots. They are fabulous for their even heat (for making caramel, for example) or other sauces.

    For everyday, I have old Magnalite stuff that still works great. Cast iron, properly seasoned, is the bomb for certain things as well. For non-stick, we tend to buy cheap stuff, and replace it frequently before it starts to degrade.

    Truthfully, what you cook with depends on what you are cooking. A quick omelette? A complex sauce? Boiling water for tea? Searing Ahi inside on the stove? Stir-fry?

    There is not a simple answer.
     
  10. darth550

    darth550 Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Calphalon Unison. You'll dig it the most.... :)
     
  11. sct4a

    sct4a F1 World Champ
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    I have the all-clad copper core for most stuff which are my workhorses. They have taken alot of abuse. I also have a bunch of mauviel copper that is really nice but a huge PITA to use as it must be hand washed and then polished after each use. I'd def go with the all clad copper core stuff to start. Its well worth the money.
     
  12. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    #12 Nurburgringer, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Holy hell the All Clad I linked above isn't even copper core!
    $1300 (or ~$350 for a 12" pan alone) for the "SS lined" Scotty described
    http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-Copper-Core-10-Piece-Cookware/dp/B000MI3BD8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358426144&sr=8-1&keywords=all-clad+copper+core

    My latest "el cheapo" pan is a T-Fal just like that, with a nice fitted lid. Been doing well but it's thin and has less even heat distribution than I'd like.

    Good point. Of course restaurants use pans approximately 5000% more than I'd use mine... and have a dishwashing staff on hand (my wife doesn't like to be called that).
    Reactivity is also important to understand.

    What is "Kelley's" All-Clad?

    Another good point (probably the key one).
    What's important in a pan for the home kitchen? For me I see:
    1) even heat distribution
    2) heat retention (since I don't have 20k BTU restaurant burners)
    tie for 1&2) durability. Tired of tightening the screwed-on handles of my pathetic 1/2 to 3 qt pots
    3) clean-up
    4) looks
    wildcard) price

    All else being equal (i.e. heat dist), for what dishes does a non-nonstick pan really make a difference? Scallops (and probably browning fish and maybe beef/pork medallions) where the pan is deglazed for a sauce?

    I'll use the cast iron for rioux, indoor steaks, baked corn pone, even for smaller pizzas to get the crust nice and crispy.

    Nonstick is perfect for all eggs. Also works fine for bacon, scrapple, pork roll, french toast, and Hamburger Helper (yes, we'll whip up a box when we're on a tight schedule and the fridge is bare lol. Goes nicely with a boxed Merlot :p).

    Also really need to get a wok.

    Interesting. For ~2.5x the price of their "Simply" line looks like these are "Tri-ply" for better heat distribution and have a fancier 2-part non-stick coating.

    Ok time for some pics.
    Here's my small collection of "lifetime" cookware: copper/tin Cataplana from Lisbon (that I will use someday.), small copper/SS from Paris (used a few times, with reverence), Le Creuset cast iron pan from my parents and a smaller, deeper, unmarked, primitive cast iron pan from my wife's dad (nothing sticks but the surface is a bit uneven. Any CI experts advise on if I should strip it "bare" with a copper scrubber, re-season, or just keep using as is?):
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  13. David_S

    David_S F1 World Champ
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    I love my Le Creuset 12" enameled cast iron skillet. Has the heat retention of the cast iron & ease of cleanup of an enamel surface.

    Believe it or not, for $20, I'm pretty darn happy with my Ogreenic nonstick pan from Wally World. Sure - you have to hand wash it, but it is surprisingly sturdy for the price & seems to work just as advertised.
     
  14. Scotty

    Scotty F1 Veteran
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    Seasoned cast iron is great. I like doing scallops on "stick" pans--I like to sear and caramelize them, and I don't like getting non-stick that hot. Nothing (that isn't theoretical, anyway) will beat copper for heat distribution. I bought my wife two copper sauce pots for Christmas--looked at everything available, decided on Falk Culinair (the company that makes the copper for Mauviel and Bourgeat). This added to some other pieces (such as a crepe pan) she already had. My go to indoors fish/steak cooker is a Lodge square griddle pan (with ridges). Our wok is a cheap steel one that has been seasoned over the years. Otherwise, we have an assortment of stuff.
     
  15. David_S

    David_S F1 World Champ
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    Not that I could afford such a thing, but I've seen a hand-hammered silver skillet that would put copper to shame. :)

    But for real-world & not one off pieces, yeah - copper is the bomb.
     
  16. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ

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    Thomas Keller uses All clad Master series. its expensive, but good solid copper core, SS and aluminum clad.

    Mauviel is really nice, looks great, is traditional and super heavy. but its WAY expensive and cleaning is a pain.

    When i was cooking professionally in Switzerland, we used Mauviel and they were great, easy to modulate the heat, keep things just at a simmer or quickly heat up do a sear, and then turn down for a deglaze for a sauce.

    If properly seasoned you dont ever need a "non" stick pan. the technique i use to season a pan is to bring it up to high heat then add some peanut or canola oil - high temp oil, coat the pan then add salt - nice even coating covering the bottom. take pan off heat, and then scrub the salt and oil mixture with a large soft rag. what you want to do is to get the salt into all the nooks etc... get it godo and coated with the oil it should be past like consistency.

    the oil salt mixture will not burn but it is SUPER HOT so its easy to burn your self.
    the scrubbing takes a good 3-5 min. once done, brush out the salt oil mix, then wipe with a paper towel. the key to to not scrub the pan afterwards. just rince out and then re oil to store.

    you can do cast iron that way as well, if there is rust you will need more and more applications.

    DO NOT DO THIS WITH All Aluminum pans.

    Also Aluminum pans react with acids, they make a grayish white residue on the bottom of the pan... and you can tast a metalic sourness in food made in them.
     
  17. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ

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    Silver looks great, and heats up like crazy but is so soft it scratches and you get all kinds of Stuff stuck in it ... we used to use Silver pans to make Creps ...they look awsome, but what a pain.
     
  18. onocoffee

    onocoffee Karting

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    If I may, let's clear up some possible misconceptions about cookware.

    First off, Thomas Keller's kitchens may use All-Clad cookware but I seriously doubt he's paying anywhere near the price you or I will pay for the same cookware (and since he's being featured in their ads, it's likely that he gets his cookware for free). Bear in mind that when Thomas started TFL, he was using whatever cookware he could scrounge, and it was very limited (i.e. sauteeing in a sauce pan).

    While I understand that Nurburgringer is getting tired of replacing his $12 non-stick pans every year, let me suggest that this really is the best way to go. Regardless of manufacturer, the non-stick surface will scratch and start to come off. The difference with the All-Clad is that they have a warranty that I believe will replace the pan when this happens. But, you are talking about a $100+ pan - for that price, Nurburgringer can replace his pans for ten years.

    In my work, I run a very small kitchen, as well as do a lot of cooking at home. The cooking we do runs the gamut from open fire (on a charcoal grill when the fancy strikes), to electric to gas and also induction. I use a lot of cast iron in the form of Lodge, Le Creuset and an assortment of old cast iron that I picked up at flea markets for pennies on the dollar. Cast iron is great, easy to use (especially once you've developed the patina) and very long-lasting.

    For the rest, I use an assortment of cookware from a French company called Sitram. I buy these pans at a very reasonable price from an industry supplier in NYC called J.B. Prince. The people there are excellent and the products are top-notch. I use the Profiserie line of cookware:

    http://www.jbprince.com/professional-cookware/sitram-profiserie.asp

    Note: in adding this link I noticed that they've changed their website to "call for price." I don't know why they changed but the prices are very reasonable and affordable.

    For fry pans, I also use these carbon steel pans. Like cast iron, they do require a bit of seasoning but once seasoned they are a pleasure to use:

    http://www.jbprince.com/professional-cookware/fry-pans.asp?viewall=1

    JB Prince also has non-stick pans in the $30 range but I usually go to the local restaurant supply house and buy whatever is cheap - knowing that one day they are going to wear out and replaced.

    All of these suggestions are designed and used in professional kitchens and should give the home user a lifetime of service without the heavy-duty price tag of cookware like All-Clad. Of course, this is not to disrespect All-Clad since I do own a couple of saute pans but for the money and the quality, I find it very difficult to spend my money on All-Clad everything.
     
  19. Hoodude

    Hoodude F1 Rookie
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    Check out tramontina line from wal-mart..works fine for us..lots,lots less than al-clad and nice heat distribution..helluva deal too.
    Peggy is a big LeCreuset fan..more than Staub.
    Your cast iron,the old one,looks good..just needs a couple of sessions of oven cleaner coatings in a plastic garbage bag. Go to chow-hound foody site for more info on cast iron care/rehab.
    Did you say there was no marking? Maybe after a good cleaning it will reveal itself...if its a Griswold,it's like gold.
    Cheers,
    RE
     
  20. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    #20 Nurburgringer, Jan 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Great stuff Spirot and Jay, thanks much.
    Will check more into those carbon steel pans, I like the look of them.

    I've always wanted to visit a restaurant supply place in Milwaukee but never got around to searching one out. Taking a drive downtown for lunch today (new restaurant in Milwaukee Rumpus Room serves addictive fried pig's ear and lovely scotch egg apps), will stop by this place and see what they've got:
    http://www.feinbrothers.com/

    RE: the cast iron pan only has the markings below.
    Accd to the wife it (first?) belonged to her great-grandfather, so that means at least late 19th/early 20th century.
    Briefly checked out Chowhound but didn't find anything about using oven cleaner. Sounds rather harsh?
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  21. Hoodude

    Hoodude F1 Rookie
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    Kurt,
    Can't id the number,but yours is bigger than a Griswold 8..Peggy has a 9 and it's smaller.
    Try googling 'seasoning cast iron skillet'..lots of info..
    But again,that's a nice pan..hold on to it.
    Cheers,
    RE
     
  22. ScuderiaWithStickPlease

    ScuderiaWithStickPlease F1 World Champ

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    #22 ScuderiaWithStickPlease, Jan 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
    As mentioned above, Wal Mart sells a well-reviewed clad sets by a Spanish company called Tramontina:

    http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=tramontina&ic=16_0&Find=Find&indexId=13c4ca1413cc&cdnHost=search-cdn.walmart.com&searchdropdowndiv=com.wm.module.305715.constraint&search_constraint=0

    According to Cooks Illustrated they're phenomenal. If I'm remembering correctly, the only down side is that they don't do well in ovens or broilers that are running over 450F or so (from memory.)

    Here's a chowhound thread on the subject. Also check CI's site (membership required, but you can sign up for a 14-day free trial):

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/537551

    The rubber handles on the Simply work fine for me. They can take some oven time, Calphalon claiming the Simply line can handle 400F (no broiling.)

    I hope this helps.
     
  23. Hoodude

    Hoodude F1 Rookie
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    Kurt,
    One other thing, a cool pan site is. Castironcollector.com
    ..and Peggy thinks your pan may be a Lodge,and thats good...
    Cheers,
    RE
     
  24. violetta

    violetta Rookie

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    Lol. I was not expecting this topic in the Ferrari forum. We use NordicWare and Le Creuset
     
  25. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    #25 Nurburgringer, Jan 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Thanks Scud, those look quite nice!
    Will definitely check them out next time I'm in Wally World buying big jugs of Mobil 1 for the BMW's next oil change, due up soon :)

    Cool, will check that out!

    lol if you spend 5 minutes looking around here I'm sure you'll find WAY stranger topics, for a Ferrari or any other car forum :)

    After a blissful lunch at the Rumpus Room (had a charcuterie plate with chicken liver mousse and duck confit in addition to the cripsy pig's ear and a scotch egg) visited Fein Brothers. Man I love restaurant supply shops!
    Bought all the stuff in the first pic for $68+tax.
    Had to try at least one "restaurant style" aluminum pan so sprung for the $24 10" Vollrath over a $13 no-name since it's heavier, has a rubber handle and is made in WI rather than China.
    They also had even heavier Vollrath SS coated AL for about double the uncoated AL's price and SUPER heavy carbon steel (China) for about the same that I almost couldn't resist. Also Vollrath nonsticks, ~$50 for 12" saute.
    Almost walked out with massive 1/4" thick aluminum stock pot, had them from 2 to 80 qts. And hand hammered carbon woks from 10" to ~36" that were tempting, but think they'd be used more for decoration than cooking (even my biggest burner is like a candle's flame compared to a proper chinese restaurant's wok burners). And cast iron. And induction-specific pans. And and and....
    Upstairs of the very cool old building was all used restaurant equipment. Fridges, sinks, deep fryers, those convection ovens where you pull one door and both swing open, salamanders, ice cream freezers etc etc etc.
    I spent over an hour in the place, incl about 20 minutes with the owner talking cookware.
    Highly recommend a visit if you're ever in Milwaukee.

    BTW this is my first uncoated AL pan. I understand that storing anything acidic in them is a no-no but I can deglaze with wine or squeeze a lemon into it right before serving without affecting the taste of the food, right?
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