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Old 10-05-2019, 01:17 PM
 
319 posts, read 103,812 times
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I'm looking to replace my pots and pans. Have considered both stainless steel and forged aluminum. Should I look at sets made from other materials, such as anodized aluminum, or those with copper plated bottoms, etc.? Teflon coated or not?


Do any posters have recommendations?


Any input is appreciated.
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Denver 'burbs
21,985 posts, read 23,472,862 times
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Love my stainless. Make sure it's good quality triple clad though. Don't buy cheap stuff then wonder why people like stainless..
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:45 PM
 
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I also love my stainless. I suspect the cheapest "good" stuff is the Tramontina tri-ply, which is what I've been using for the past ~5 years.



No one really has issues with Pots, all the complaints I've ever seen always revolve around pans (skillets, what you'd use to cook an over-easy egg). I do this nearly daily without sticking issues by A) preheating (normally I'm reheating some bacon I previously baked 90%) and B) using some fat (bacon grease, but butter, olive oil, spray oils, etc... all work fine). You don't need much, just enough to barely coat the surface.



I've used AllClad pots/pans after owning the Tramontina, and while they are a little nicer, cook maybe a little better (haven't done back-to-back on the same cooktop), they are not 2~3 times better, which is the price different.
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
23,159 posts, read 15,105,409 times
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Buy good quality stainless cookware that have thick bottoms (tri ply is nice but not a must have, IMO) and comfortable handles designed to stay cool. Especially important is the chef’s pan. It needs to be responsive and sturdy. This is the pan you might well use daily. For other pots, buy one or two in the sizes you would use. I have always found use for a small, lidded saucepan.

Think about buying a good quality iron skillet. You will find many uses for it.

Consider buying one non stick pan for eggs and similar. Be prepared to baby it, and still not get that many years of use from it.

Stainless skillets are frustrating for most people to use. Some people like carbon steel skillets, but I simply found carbon steel to be demanding and difficult.

In my experience, you need cooking vessels made from several materials. You choose the best material for the purpose it is intended.

Invest the most in a chef’s pan. Don’t buy a big set of pots because you will end up with things you don’t use. Buy very good quality stainless, but not as much of it as you might think you need.

You might also look into buying a pressure cooker.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:35 PM
 
13,661 posts, read 18,232,437 times
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I have gotten away from pretty sets no matter which maker and moved to use.

Some stainless, some Le Creuset, some old cast iron and the best non stick I could afford (sticker shock but after almost ten years and dishwasher safe worth it for the daily breakfast burrito filling). Christmas sales are coming and a lot of stores offer bait as I call it - small pans for a fraction of the normal price. A good way to test drive.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:47 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,221 posts, read 7,210,459 times
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I'm with Threestep on mixing it up. Stainless, I have All-Clad but I got a great deal, there are plenty of good quality ones for less money. Le Creuset for rice and grains and a couple Swiss Diamond non-stick for eggs and such. If you have a good thrift shop nearby check there too, I have bought good pieces for next to nothing.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:53 PM
KCZ
 
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Agree with buying individual items and not a big set. If you think you'll ever make the jump to induction, buy compatible cookware now, like tri-ply stainless or cast iron.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
9,492 posts, read 8,746,303 times
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I have a random mixture, having a matched set is not important to me.

I have Le Creuset for baking dishes, my pots are a mixture of older Revere copper bottom and newer Kirkland stainless with the three ply bottom. My frying pans are vintage Griswold cast iron, and I have newer cast iron for a wok and a Dutch oven.

I have had a collection of Teflon pans over the years, some cheap, some quite expensive. You do get what you pay for, as the expensive ones last a lot longer. None of them have serious staying over though, which is why I went to quality cast iron.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:20 PM
 
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I have 3 sets of Belgique stainless cookware, which is exclusive to Macy's. I don't know where you budget for pots and pans is, but I have been happy with these and I do A LOT of cooking. However, that's not all I use. I have numerous sizes of cast iron skillets and grill pans that see my burners and oven frequently and several Le Creuset enameled cast iron pots as well as Le Creuset braisers and gratin dishes. I've been building this over a period of years and I am not finished.

My point is, I don't use a single set of anything, so while stainless cookware is good and I am really happy to have it I also think a cast iron skillet and perhaps some enameled cast iron should be on your shopping list too. There are much less expensive options than Le Creuset. Happy shopping!
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
9,307 posts, read 3,184,775 times
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I have had my four, heavy-duty stainless steel pots for more than two decades and am very pleased with them. They are two-quarts, three-quarts, six-quarts and twelve-quarts in size. They all have aluminum heat disks on the bottom and have Pyrex lids so I can see what's going on inside them. I have copper-bottomed pots from an earlier time, but they aren't nearly so good.
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