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Mr. Creosote's Diner Fried, boiled, smoked, seared or sautéed, this is the place we discuss our favorite foods and their preparation. Grab a knife and fork and dig in!

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Old 04-04-2008, 04:21 PM   #1
stogieburner
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cookware suggestions

I'm looking into buying a new set of cookware. A good set not a QVC Rachel Ray set.
Does any one have a suggestion?

Thanks, Dan in IL
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:29 PM   #2
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The first piece of advice I'd give you, Dan, is to not buy a 'set'.

I've spent many years assembling an arsenal of cookware and the needs I have for each piece isn't represented in a 'set'.

There are several criteria for assembling an arsenal of cookware, and those are dictated by the needs of the cook. For instance, a 10" non-stick frying pan will do fine for a chef that isn't going to use it for things like stovetop-searing followed by oven broiling (like you'd do with steaks in the kitchen).

I can give you a list of the pieces I use, but those are tailored to what I use them for. Of course, my range of needs might be a bit wider than yours. If you'll post the sorts of things you want to be prepared to cook, I'll be happy to tell you what you might best need. Yeah, I could come up with a list of the absolute 'basics', but I'd get my ass shot off by folks that have no intention of frying chicken, but want to make a perfect crepe every time.
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:53 PM   #3
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:54 PM   #4
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You make steaks in the kitchen? I didn't know you could do that!

I agree with the large round one's sage advice.
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:59 PM   #5
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Second what Jason said. Stay away from the sets and buy individual pieces you actually need. Watch the handle material if you need something to go from the range to the oven. Also, higher prices don't always mean better service - some of my best pieces are old, carbonized cast iron that are pushing 20 to 30 years old. Online soures such as America's Test Kitchen (http://www.americastestkitchen.com/testinglist.asp) or even old Alton Brown can provide a little insight on different brands and how they perform in real world environments.
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:15 PM   #6
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I cannot understate the value of vintage, heavy, seasoned, cast iron as the foundation of any chef's arsenal.

It has all of the best of a non-stick pan, the heat-retaining properties of a clad, but stainless surface, and an all-purpose quality that new cast iron would die to have.

I've already got dibs on my grandparents' cast-iron cookware when my parents are through with it.

My grandmother died in the last six months and there is an auction of her mother's cast-iron chicken-frying rig going on within the family. Great-Grandma Workman's fried chicken was legendary. Cheese and crackers, that frying rig is going to be mine and I don't give a fig what it costs to get it. Proceeds go to charity, so it is deductable to boot.

Nobody...and by that I mean NOBODY, could fry chicken like my grandma.

(But, since I know her secrets, and will have her tools, I will soon be as good as she ever was!) BWWWAHAHHAHAHA!)
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:18 PM   #7
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if I can offer an idea, regarding pots, my wife always thinks too small. she never gets the right size mixing bowl out, she never gets the right size pan, on and on...

DON'T buy a dutch oven/stewpot/roasting pan/skillet, whatever, that isn't big enough for you. Like jason said, buy what you need, once.
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigO
I can give you a list of the pieces I use, but those are tailored to what I use them for. Of course, my range of needs might be a bit wider than yours.
Jason,
If you wouldn't mind can you post what pieces you have and what you cook in each piece.
Even though I know most would not need all of your cookware, I am certain we could pick and choose what we could use most and that list would differ among us all.
I am also in the need of new cookware but I truly wouldn't know what piece of cookware has the best success with which foods.
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:22 PM   #9
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BigO knows what he is talkin about, if you can take him up on his offer for advice, but its depending on what your needs/wants/budget are.

we simply got This Set from Costco. Was a decent price, looked solid, and its from Costco, so warrantied forever. We by far aint chef's, but it does the job in our little home.
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:24 PM   #10
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All Clad I love mine I bought the pieces I need piece by piece.
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