Author Topic: Good Cookware  (Read 4654 times)

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Offline Tony R

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Good Cookware
« on: July 22, 2011, 01:16:34 pm »
Ok, so I am moving into an apartment for school next year (moving out of the dorms :) ) I will be living with 3 other guys, but I'm afraid none of them have good cookware. I am kind of a cookware snob, and I enjoy cooking, I like to buy things once and not have to buy them again (or at least for a while.) However I'm on a limited college budget. so a 500USD set is off limits. I got a nice set of knifes from Ginsu, so I don't need to worry about them. But I'm interested in pots and pans mostly.

So here is what I would like:

*Budget is no more then 200 (but less if at all possible, under a 100 is preferred)
*A medium to large sauce pan (or both)
*two skillets of different sizes
*Sauté pan
*and a stockpot
*Can take some abuse (living with 3 other guys)

The following is optional
*I would like to be able to put the skillets in the oven (so a handle that can tolerate that is nice)
*Stainless steel
*Cookie sheets, bread, and muffin pans would be nice
*Dishwasher safe

I am willing to compromise on what kind of pans are included, but not the price. I am looking for a set that will last though college and beyond by a year or two. I am not expecting professional sets by any means

So what I'm looking for from you guys is pointers of things to look for, what you think is most important, good brand names and possible sets.
Tony R.
Computer Engineering Student
Focus: Embedded Assembly Programming, Realtime Systems,  IEEE Student Member
 

HLA-27b

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 02:05:10 pm »
I hear that cast iron skillets are very good for SMD reflow, rectangular ones being more practical than round ones...
 

Offline ipman

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2011, 03:46:20 pm »
You may want to consider  those approved for induction heating cooking. They have a nice big iron bottom (iron is sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel), which retains and spreads heat nicely, your food will not stick to the bottom easily.
Wife hates words like Fluke, Ersa ...
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2011, 04:55:54 pm »
I have always been very happy with plain old aluminium non-stick pans. I pick a decent weight and quality (say $20-$30 a pan) and use plastic or wooden utensils. I find for almost all of my cooking requirements they work as well as anything much more expensive. They conduct and spread the heat well, they are lightweight to handle, they are easy to clean, and (of course) the food doesn't stick.

I have one design with a hard anodized outer surface and metal handles (no plastic parts), so the pan itself would tolerate being put in the oven. (However, I suspect the glass lid is not oven safe.)
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2011, 01:38:14 am »
Four guys, one apartment? Hire a cleaning woman.
I delete PMs unread. If you have something to say, say it in public.
For all else: Profile->[Modify Profile]Buddies/Ignore List->Edit Ignore List
 

Offline Tony R

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2011, 06:56:48 am »
I hear that cast iron skillets are very good for SMD reflow, rectangular ones being more practical than round ones...

Very possible, so are toaster overs from what I hear; however, the university provides facilities to do such things.

Four guys, one apartment? Hire a cleaning woman.

LOL one is a neat freak and he will keep things clean...
Tony R.
Computer Engineering Student
Focus: Embedded Assembly Programming, Realtime Systems,  IEEE Student Member
 

Offline Sionyn

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2011, 07:17:29 am »
depends i really love my home made induction cooker
eecs guy
 

HLA-27b

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2011, 07:37:34 am »
Tony

I start to fear that you are serious...
 

Offline Flavour Flave

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2011, 09:06:22 am »
If Auguste Escoffier did SMD reflow he would use a Le Creuset. Obviously accompanied by nice glass of pinot noir.  ;D
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2011, 09:13:02 am »
Hire a cleaning woman.

And a solicitor, a dietitian, a collections officer and a forensic scientist.
 

Offline timbert

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2011, 09:30:23 am »
In effort to be helpful. I will suggest that you check out local restaurant supply houses. Just like no one here would try to buy their electronic test equipment and tools at the local big box store, you shouldn't try to buy 'real' cookware from them either.

They tend to be moderately priced as a professional kitchen will need dozens of these items. They don't come in sets so you pick what you need and supplement later if needed.

They tend to handle abuse very well, useful for when Gordon Ramsey visits the kitchen. Four guys in a dorm won't even begin to approach the abuse these things can handle.

They have to dishwasher safe and almost always are stainless.

Skillets and pans tend to be all metal so cook-top to oven and back is not a problem.

My wife is a professional cook. We have some high-end Le Creuset cookware, but day-to-day we use the ol' crappy no-name cookware we got from the restaurant supply house.
 

Offline Conrad Hoffman

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2011, 12:53:12 pm »
The stuff is expensive, but I wouldn't want to be without my Lifetime saucepan. I think there's a pretty good trade in used Lifetime products on eBay. It really is lifetime as we've had our set for maybe 20 years or more and it's good as new.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2011, 11:24:19 pm »
If you're going to college, I suggest you just get functional stuff from Ikea or similar.  Nearly all college students I know lose much of their stuff, its damaged by your roomates, or its stolen.  It will not attract attention too for theft.  Also, when you move, which is inevitable, its easier to dump the functional gear and buy better things when you can afford it, and basic metal cookware is fully recyclable so there is no guilt.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 11:27:09 pm by saturation »
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline westfw

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2011, 01:36:27 pm »
Quote
Dishwasher safe
IMO, there is no good cookware that is dishwasher safe.  A dishwasher will ruin the "seasoning" on any plain metal pan, or the non-stick coating on non-stick pans, isn't good for the anodizing on anodized Aluminum, and won't actually clean cooked-on stuff off a stainless pan that isn't non-stick.  :-(

You said stainless, which means your tastes are different than mine.  (I like non-stick Aluminum, like "Circulon 2")

Figure out which of your pans need to be "good", and which you can get away with cheaper varieties.  I'm pretty picky about my 12inch skillet/saute pan, because it gets used a lot.  Having a high quality saucepan is less important, and I'm not sure whether the "quality" of a stock-pot makes much difference at all.  Stroll through a thrift store and see what you can pick up that is "acceptable" for reall cheap...

Watch the sales.  Major department stores (Macy's, etc) regularly run cookware at 30 to 50% off.  Sometimes more.  Online shops have sales too, but unless you already have a specific brand that you like, I'm not sure I'd trust the description...

And yeah, I think I'd consider a set of pans/etc used in college to be pretty much "disposable."
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2011, 12:54:42 am »
While it might blow your budget, I use no other frying pan now that I've purchased a Scanpan.  It was $80 well spent.  :)

As with many good tools, my motto is: buy once, cry once, use forever.
 

Offline img

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Re: Good Cookware
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2011, 10:41:59 pm »
Stockpot and saucepan can be of average quality, not much can go wrong there.
Saute pan and skillets should be of above average quality, but no more than that because there are 3 guys living with you who might have very different views on how to handle cookware.
I suggest that you don't buy a set, and get your stuff individually - I like timbert's suggestion best.

You are a 'cookware snob' because you cook sophisticated dishes or because you simply like to always buy quality stuff? I ask because if you are an accomplished chef, then it's a fact of life that some dishes come out extremely well in some specific cookware and no other. This 'magic' cookware can be cheap or expensive, that doesn't play a role.

And what about utencils - have you go them already?

Finally, a joke...
A photographer gets invited to a nice dinner party and brings along some of his photographs to show. The lady of the house says: 'Oh, what beautiful photographs, you must have a very expensive camera!'.
After the dinner, when leaving, the photographer says to the lady: 'What a wonderful dinner, madam, you must have very expensive saucepans'.
 :P



 


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