Best cookware for home kitchen?

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by centaurita, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. centaurita

    centaurita

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    I will need to purchase new cookware soon and really want something that is going to last. We have a few old Revereware peices that we like, and thought perhaps we should find something similar. I also love my cast iron and cast/ceramic pieces, but not sure I will be able to handle them in later years (sigh). What about Calphalon tri-ply stainless? Does anyone have suggestions?

    I love the look of copper hanging from the pot rack but how practical are copper bottom pots? 

    Thanks for any helpful input!
     
  2. dillbert

    dillbert Banned

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    apparently all the in-house experts are on sabbatical, so here's my amateur opinion / experience:

    >old Revereware
    the stuff we have is thin stainless steel with a copper flashed bottom.  some it it is from parents/in-laws and is likely 60+ years old.  

    works great for boiling eggs / potatoes / etc.

    not so great for making a cheese sauce - poor conduction, hot spots, all the stuff of legend.....

    don't have any, but Tramontina has a good reputation in the price vs quality scene for stainless.

    do not go with any of the high cost non-stick and/or anodized (aluminum) stuff -
    non-stick only last a few months; anodized 2-3 years.  
    well, if used.  
    I exclude user reviews: "I love this stuff and I use it at least once a month . . . "

    18/10 stainless is the bench mark.  "ply" stuff can be a lot of marketing hype.  a thicker bottom - in stainless usually aluminum 'encased' in stainless - works for more even heat.

    "waterless cookware" - total BS - don't even think about it.

    handles are an issue if you like to finish stuff in the oven.  plastic "anything" will not hold up over the longer term.

    >>copper PITA
    yup.  copper is reactive and copper will / does 'tarnish' / discolor rapidly.
    how fast is rapid?  one use on a gas stove.  LP gas worse than natural gas . . .

    if you want it to look pretty on a pot rack, buy el'cheapo stuff that is lacquered, hang it up and _never_ use it to cook with - it's only good for display.

    if you're thinking copper bottom ala Revereware - copper is 2nd best at heat transfer, but at the thickness involved on Revereware - "true but meaningless" in reality.

    if you're thinking solid copper pots ala Bourgeat and similar - it's the best - it's absolute superb at its tasks - but keeping it polished and pretty is a full time job.  I have several pcs - I use it to cook with and really don't give a hoot that it's no longer shiny.

    the primary thing about copper benefits is the rapid response to temperature input change.  
    copper does not work on induction tops.
    electric coils respond many times slower than copper - no reason to use copper on electric coils.
    gas cooktops is where the benefits of solid copper show up; the heat output of a gas flame responds very rapidly when it is made bigger or smaller.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  3. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Forget All-Clad even though it's great quality. Just get yourself some restaurant quality Vollrath Tribute cookware from Katom. Built equally well but without all of the cosmetic glitz. Vollrath Tribute stock pot.

    :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  4. centaurita

    centaurita

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    Dilbert,

    Thank you so much for all the info! I knew this was going to more difficult than just getting what looks and sounds good at the store! 

    My Red KitchenAid nonstick pans lasted long enough to justify the $129 I spent on them, so I agree about not spending a lot on nonstick. 

    We are going to have a commercial gas stove in our new kitchen so Quality is definitely more important than looks or price! Our home for the past 15 years was all electric so I cannot wait to cook with gas again. 
     
  5. centaurita

    centaurita

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    kokopuffs,

    I will check out the Vollrath brand. We like to touch and feel before buying, so I will keep my eyes open for it when we are out shopping. thanks!
     
  6. sweetie pie

    sweetie pie

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    If you can swing it, go with All-Clad. I regret buying another high-end line of cookware. The cookware I bought is no where near as responsive as All-Clad. If I could start over I would buy All-Clad. I had dealings with their customer service and they were fabulous to me. i plan on adding pieces as the need arises.
     
  7. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    It's the Vollrath TRIBUTE line of cookware that you want to go with as it's made in USA using much thicker gauge steel than the Vollrath Optio that's made in China and very thin as far as the metal goes.
     
    harrisonh likes this.
  8. centaurita

    centaurita

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    Thanks for pointing that out-- Definitely don't want "made in China"!
     
  9. centaurita

    centaurita

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    Perhaps, I should think about getting single pieces and see what works best for us before investing in a matched set. Never even thought about that....duh!  
     
  10. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    That's the best strategy for equipping your kitchen. :)
     
  11. sweetie pie

    sweetie pie

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    *deleted*
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013