A little advice on cookware

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by cssamerican, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. cssamerican


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    This is my first time posting here. I am not a professional chef just someone who like to cook at home, so if my questions seem pretty basic you know why.

    I recently bought the Emerilware Stainless 1-Quart Saucier for 20 bucks as a way to try out the Emerilware line before spending any real money. I must say I really was impressed by the quality, especially in such a low cost line; however, I do have a concern that I hope some people here could address before I make any additional purchases.

    I am currently living in an apartment that has an electric range; however, in the near future (2 to 3 years) I plan on building a house with a gas range. The one thing I noticed about the Emerilware line is that the sides of the pans are quite thin, and I am concerned that when I switch over to a gas range this could become an issue. I am almost sure that I would avoid purchasing the larger Sauciers because there would be a large area of the thin side that would be exposed to the flame which seems like it would create some serious hot spot issues. I was so sure that this would be a huge problem I started searching the web for conformation, but so far no one has mentioned this as a problem. Is this concern unfounded?

    I have also noticed many people prefer Le Creuset style pots for stews, soups, and roasts. These pots are quite expensive and I was wondering if someone here could explain to me the benefits of using this style of pot. I was curious because I planed on purchasing a 7 to 8qt pot sometime in the near future for making things such as spaghetti sauce, gumbo, and jambalaya. And I would rather spend the money and get the best equipment for my intended application, but at the same time I don't want to spend more money than needed for the same performance.
  2. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Professional Chef
    I can't give you any advice on the Emerilwear as I have never used it, but I am not a big fan of most cheap cookware. It is just too thin and will tend to scorch things too easily. For my cookware, at home, I use Allclad. I love the stuff, and find it perfect for most of my cooking. Along with my cast iron, the Allclad gets used the most. As for Le Crueset, yes you are going to pay dearly for it, but it is well worth the investment if you do a lot of cooking. Le Crueset is enameled cast iron so you get the benefit of even heat and lots of heat retention (great for stews and braises) while the enamel keeps foods (especially acidic foods) from reacting to the cast iron.
  3. redace1960


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    cooked over gas most of my life. heavy, good cast iron is the only way to
    go on gas imho.
    le creuset is really good stuff. it's only drawback is that if the pan is
    crackin' hot the vitreous coating can spall off it if, say, a bit of cold water splashes on it.
  4. mangilao30


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    I Just Like Food
    You can get great old seasoned cast iron pans from places like Goodwill and Value Village, they are the best for searing steaks, pork chops and lamb chops before popping the whole pan in the oven to finish off.

    For high quality pots and pan I use Calphalon and All Clad, some Calphalon pans have handles that get hot and this bugs me so that is why I switched to All-Clad. Buy the most expensive pan you can afford, you will have them forever. Being Asian I have a cast iron wok and use this the most, it is thin and light but has never had hot spots and over the years has become non stick. Thin does not mean hot spots at least not with my wok. For stews, the heavier the better, they retain heat and cook evenly. I sunscribe to Cooks's Illustrated and they test kitchen stuff every issue and has been a great resource. Good luck.
  5. andy m.

    andy m.

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    I understand what you mean about the thin sides of the pan. It is a problem. Gas flames can extend beyond the disk on the bottoms of Emerilware and burn your foods.

    That's why I switched to tri-ply stainless. It's the easiest to care for and is impervious to most anything.

    Supplement that with some LeCrueset and cast iron and a steel wok and you'll be all set.