Cooking pots and pan help :)

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by aaron mckeown, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. aaron mckeown

    aaron mckeown

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    Culinary Student
    Hi guys, im looking to get a few new bits of cookware, at present i mainly do most dishes in a non stick 12'' skillet. currys, bolognese Etc and ive recently started using metal spoons Etc when cooking and as you can guess the pan is not non stick no more,

    ive been looking at Cast Iron, >

    and for anything like eggs / pancakes Etc >> 

    i just wanted to get some advice on what you guys would do in my position ?? what pans would you get ?? im based in ireland but can order online thats not a problem, i also have a TK Maxx close to me which do some good offers when decent stock come in :)

    any advice is really appreciated :)

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2014
  2. dario


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    At home cook
    Not an expert but will reply since nobody else has. 

    Since you're a culinary student, what do you like? What works best for you? What do you teachers use at home? I would ask. 

    Cast iron is fine for some things. Many people like it for browning and few other things. They don't work well for sauces or anything acidic. I find them fussy to maintain and not convenient to cook with. I prefer carbon steel pans to stainless for  a few reasons (seasoning the steel, shape of the pan, better  handles). Some of the same issues, but more benefits. Some people line enameled cast iron for general purpose cooking. 

    For your non-stick, I would suggest going with an inexpensive aluminum pan from a cooking supply store. In my experience all non-stick coating wear out, so I consider those pans disposable. Nothing wrong with that LeCruset pan, but I would look for something less expensive in a non-stick. 
  3. chicagoterry


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    Home Cook
    I have cast iron, stainless and non-stick 12 inch skillets. The one I use most is the stainless. It's non-reactive and its lighter than the the CI pan. Even with that, though, I use non-metallic utensils for the most part, as it is a Cuisinart Multi-clad pro which Cuisinart says not to use metal on. The only pan I use metal utensils on is the Cast Iron one.

    I rarely use the 12 inch non-stick.

    I keep a smaller non-stick skillet just for eggs. It's a Calphalon, but I still don't expect any non-stick pan to last forever like I do my CI and SS pans. I bought it at a discount at TJ Maxx. I'd never pay a lot for a non-stick pan.

    I never make pancakes, but if I did, I would probably use my cast iron skillet.
  4. andybbq


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    Home Chef
    I recently had the chance to use a vintage Griswold cast iron pan to sear some steaks at a friend´s place and I loved it.

    My advice is to find a Griswold in reasonable condition, no cracks, flat and little or no rust, if it is severely caked with grime all the better then the surface is likely well protected.  Strip it with oven cleaner and remove all traces of carbon buildup until you have only the bare metal. do a final wash with very hot water and soap and quickly dry with a paper towel.  Then begin the seasoning process.

    I use flax seed oil which I apply liberally and then remove as much as I can with paper towels.  Then bake it for an hour and a half at about 110degC, let it cool and repeat the process.  Then repeat the process two or three times at 220degC After that fry bacon a few times then do some eggs and you will find a friend for life.

    I also have some carbon steel pans which when using over an induction burner are incredibly responsive, like a sports car on the stove. I want to get my hands on a De Buyer sometime soon.

    For general browning when I want to make a pan sauce, I use an All Clad, no worry about stripping the pan´s seasoning when deglazing and it offers a lot of control over any heat source but it is not as responsive as the carbon steel pan.  This is the pan I would recommend based on what you are currently doing with a non stick.