Left my All-Clads with my ex

Batman or Superman?

  • Batman

  • Superman

  • Captain America


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... which may or may not have been incredibly stupid. He did have a habit of forgetting them on high heat and killed at least the small pot (my second favorite pan TT_TT).

So the real question is, if I were to piece together a home cooking Culinary Justice League of pans, what super powers would we want? This is honestly 51% for fun and 49% I need pans, and the last similar question Google was able to show me was in 2008 and didn't have a fun gimmick.
 
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Great question! I love the format. :)

The superpowers I would want in my cookware are as follows (in order of preference with price not being a factor):

1. Even heating, precision and response (all 3 are tied for #1);
2. Quality;
3. Durability;
4. Functionality;
5. Versatility;
6. Looks/appearance
7. Price
 

phatch

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A super team needs

  • Brick (super strength, toughness) = 12" cast iron skillet
  • Flyer =12" non stick, great for flipping and pan toss
  • Thinker/genius =12 qt stock pot, clad or disk bottom for simmering and brewing
  • Speedster = 14" carbon steel wok
  • Specialist = 2 qt sauce pan, clad, limited ability but does what others can't
  • Guest Star, pick from pressure cooker, steamer, sous vide.
Captain America because Marvel is better than DC.
 
113
52
Joined Apr 18, 2016
Great question! I love the format. :)

The superpowers I would want in my cookware are as follows (in order of preference with price not being a factor):

1. Even heating, precision and response (all 3 are tied for #1);
2. Quality;
3. Durability;
4. Functionality;
5. Versatility;
6. Looks/appearance
7. Price

Looks like the superman of pans there. So what does our Justice League frontman look like? For me it would definitely be a large, straight sided pan that can sear well, make a good sauce (using lots of acids or alcohol or both!), go from stovetop to oven or broiler, and knock out any bad guys.

I think I may be leaning towards the classic iron skillet. BUT I made the mistake of cooking what should have been a nice blueberry lemon pie in one, and it turned into a metallic mutant with black teeth (!!) and great blood chemistry. This knocks the classic down in versitility for me, and I think, maybe I should go with enameled iron.

As much as I like something lighter than that, I can do finicky flippy stuff in a frying pan. There seems to be two primary functions of pans, heavy and indestructible, and light and sensitive.

Any other ideas? Keep in mind I know about as much about cooking as I do comics (very little).

A super team needs

  • Brick (super strength, toughness) = 12" cast iron skillet
  • Flyer =12" non stick, great for flipping and pan toss
  • Thinker/genius =12 qt stock pot, clad or disk bottom for simmering and brewing
  • Speedster = 14" carbon steel wok
  • Specialist = 2 qt sauce pan, clad, limited ability but does what others can't
  • Guest Star, pick from pressure cooker, steamer, sous vide.
Captain America because Marvel is better than DC.

I love everything about this post.

EVERYTHING!

I really should have done "Kitchen Avengers." Now I can never unsee Bruce Banner as a Dutch oven...
 

phatch

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A clad skillet belongs in your repetoire as well. But it's not focused enough to get a role in a super team. It's like the police in comics. Important, everywhere and mundane.
 
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My Justice League is my private collection of tin and steel lined copper, including molds, fish poachers, stock pots, bowls and baking pans. ;-)
 
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Think of it as extremely fast cast iron. Cast iron holds its temperature beautifully but takes a while to get hot; carbon steel doesn't hold temperature all that well but it heats super-quick.
 
510
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Joined May 29, 2013
Sigh. Sorry if this post doesn't have much "Super" heroic panache. I'm just a bit too mundane lately.

boar_d_laze gave a general response in 2008 in "tri ply quandry": https://cheftalk.com/threads/tri-ply-quandry.52094/

Mebbe if we're also discussing who's up to the task of supplying the Batcave or the Fortress of Solitude (especially on a budget), in the past 2 months, I've been seeing All Clad (probably seconds) showing up at the TJX store chains (TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Home Goods). Yesterday, I bought an All Clad d5 2 quart saucier at a Home Goods store for $60. Earlier this past week, I bought a 10 inch All Clad TK ("Thomas Keller") 10 inch skillet with d5 technology for $50 and a d5 10 inch saute pan with lid for $60. I also saw (but passed on because I didn't need) an All Clad stainless 12 inch saute pan for $60. In the past 2 months, I've also seen 12 inch stainless line skillets for $60. I'm just guessing, but considering that corporation's business model, someone's selling off unwanted inventory, or All Clad is dumping its second quality stock.

GS
 
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BDL! Man, I miss that guy. In fact...

If you can live with (or even like) the commercial kitchen looks, you can't get better than Vollrath Tribute 3-Ply. They aren't cheap, but aren't All Clad prices either. They would certainly be my choice if I were buying stainless now. You've got to go through a restaurant supply or Knife Merchant. At least so far, Vollrath seems bilssfully unaware that home cooks might want to use real cookware too. Ace Mart seems to have very good prices. Watch out though, not all Tribute is 3-Ply.

Generally, it's probably most cost effective to buy your core group of cookware as a set -- which lets the Vollrath out because it's not sold that way.

That said, it also works well to buy whatever stainless you need to deal with recipes that have a lot of highly reactive ingredients like tomato and wine and mix up the rest of your pots and pans with aluminum (cheap and responsive), carbon steel (great skillets -- and you NEED a carbon omelette pan), and cast iron. You already seem to have the cast iron pretty well covered, so that's a start.

I'd add a couple of multi-ply stainless skillets or maybe one skillet and one saute (aka chicken fryer) shapes -- 10" and 12"; plus two or three stainless sauce pan shapes in the most common sizes -- including a Windsor or sauteuse shape.

From there, an inexpensive stainless "Pasta Set" with a strainer and steamer insert. Maybe a larger, inexpensive, stainless stock pot (if you need something bigger than the Pasta set comes with -- and that's it on stainless.

Then an 8" carbon skillet (for fried eggs), a 10" carbon skillet for omelettes and general saute use, and a 12" carbon skillet or saute pan/fryer because it's an incredibly useful size for cooking for more than two. If you actually do fry a lot of chicken, a 14" aluminum or preferably plain cast iron chicken fryer would do you proud.

Finally, fill out the sauce pans (if there are any gaps) with inexpensive commercial aluminum -- like Vollrath or Lincoln.

You've already got the enamel over cast braising pieces.

So there you go. Dream set.

Fugly but effective.

BDL

Wow that's... like one universe worth of X-Men or something...
 
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Not at all.

Many of the pieces I inherited from my grandmother that are over 100 years old. So old, in fact, the stamp from the copper smith who made the cookware is barely visible. Most I still use.

Others I collected from various places over the years. While others are sets that I bought back when copper wasn't so expensive such as a beautiful Ruffoni set that I bought back in the late 80's when I was in Northern Italy. But, I rarely use them. They're just too beautiful.

The copper that I mainly use are made up primarily of Mauviel sets of both tin and steel lined 2.5mm copper that I've added to piece by piece over the years. There are 1 or 2 "mutts" in the collection that I have found in antique stores, flea markets and garage sales. In fact, I once found an 8 inch tin lined copper fry pan (2mm) buried in the back of the bottom shelf at Marshall's that was priced at $15. I almost fell over. But, I managed to remain calm and quietly asked if they had any more. lol! They didn't.

I see a lot of old copper at garage sales and flea markets. About 5 years ago, I bought a 12 piece tin lined Mauviel copper set (2.5mm) at an estate sale for $250. It cost me $350 to have the set re-tinned. I sold the set a few months later for $2,200. ;-)
 
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Damn, I almost fell over too! Lots of estate sales in the Sound area. Also a lot of "yuppie home cooks" to drive up the prices tho. I'm envious!

For the lulz, if I were to pick a pan to "discover" in copper, which would best showcase its superpowers? Frying pan? Sauce pan? Is there a French Avengers chapter??
 
1,341
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
Damn, I almost fell over too! Lots of estate sales in the Sound area. Also a lot of "yuppie home cooks" to drive up the prices tho. I'm envious!

For the lulz, if I were to pick a pan to "discover" in copper, which would best showcase its superpowers? Frying pan? Sauce pan? Is there a French Avengers chapter??
There's a French chapter, an Italian chapter and once upon a time, there were German, Austrian and an English chapters, too.

If you were going take your first foray into the world of copper, an 8 or 10 inch fry pan, steel or tin lined, would give you a good dose of copper superpowers.

If you are adept at making delicate sauces or candy and never used copper before, a copper sauce or sugar pot would probably give you the most "wow".
 
113
52
Joined Apr 18, 2016
There's a French chapter, an Italian chapter and once upon a time, there were German, Austrian and an English chapters, too.

If you were going take your first foray into the world of copper, an 8 or 10 inch fry pan, steel or tin lined, would give you a good dose of copper superpowers.

If you are adept at making delicate sauces or candy and never used copper before, a copper sauce or sugar pot would probably give you the most "wow".

Marvel has such an intricate and insane universe.

Thanks for the reccomedation! Copper may not be necessary for my real life, but it's definitely super. Maybe one day... if I get really lucky at a Woodenville estate sale...
 
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Joined Apr 18, 2016
I hope I didn't space out a find this here, but here's a really cool post about this topic (minus the heros) AND the science behind the materials: Understanding Stovetop Cookware. I finally understand why less conductive metals are more prone to hot spotting than more conductive ones.
 

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