Pots and Pans

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Joined Oct 8, 2018
Hello fellow cooks and Chefs,

I'm currently in the search of finding good pots and pans. Really, I'm looking for Restaurant supply stores with reliable products, but I'm first in search of pots and pans to start this venture so I hope that this search leads into new supply stores to be looking at.

So, the details?
I'm a professional line cook. I've been doing this for four years now, and I went to culinary school for a certificate. I've also been given a chance to trial at Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, Ca. Yes, the one with a michelin star. I'm actually looking to go for my masters degree in culinary but that's not a story to tell here. I need to get back to the point.

I'm a big fan of All-Clad, Thomas Keller actually has his own series of their pans... so I know it's a good brand. I also want to look at my other options, including international options. I'm trying to start a popup restaurant & Supper Club project with a few fellow cooks. I'm also looking to take on private chef work. So, I need pans that will be able to work with Coil top stoves, Induction Stoves, and Gas stoves. I need that versatility because even though all restaurants will have Gas, you never know what a home owner for a private chef gig will have in their kitchen.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
There are members in this forum from all over the US and Europe. I'm not sure what sort of help we can provide in terms of restaurant supply stores that you will be able to use. Restaurant supply stores are a dime a dozen. You should have no problem finding several in the region where you live.

As for pots and pans, knowing what sort of food you intend to offer would be helpful as would knowing what sort of budget you have. Otherwise, Stainless steel with aluminum or copper cores (preferably copper) made of at least 3 ply would be my choice for any specialty dishes that require precision control.

Otherwise, the typical and economical aluminum pans would be my choice for my workhorses if I were just starting out in my own venture. Once established, you can always upgrade.

Good luck. :)
 
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11
1
Joined Oct 8, 2018
There are members in this forum from all over the US and Europe. I'm not sure what sort of help we can provide in terms of restaurant supply stores that you will be able to use. Restaurant supply stores are a dime a dozen. You should have no problem finding several in the region where you live.

As for pots and pans, knowing what sort of food you intend to offer would be helpful as would knowing what sort of budget you have. Otherwise, Stainless steel with aluminum or copper cores (preferably copper) made of at least 3 ply would be my choice for any specialty dishes that require precision control.

Otherwise, the typical and economical aluminum pans would be my choice for my workhorses if I were starting just starting out in my own venture. Once established, you can always upgrade.

Good luck. :)

I appreciate the info. Yeah, I figure there are a lot of different people here who have different brand favorites and as expensive as it would get, I wouldn't mind importing European equipment even to achieve my goals. Sadly, I cannot pin point anything specific for needs cause between the two projects its really a matter of what we decide to cook that night, and I think once we get GOOD workhorse gear, we can start looking into.... well, what's the best to do Hollandaise without double broiling pots.... what's the best for a Pittsburg? but yeah for now I'm just focusing on good workhorse stuff that will hold up for a few years and make me feel like i got my moneys worth when they finally retire for new thing.

I do want to ask about copper pans. I know more upscale places love them, but I've always been told there's a fear of them due to something with acidity eating the pan and poisoning people? Something I heard once in culinary school and just assumed, whatever.... that's why they're multi-ply with copper in them
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
A lot of it will depend on what you intend to cook and what your budget is. It's not really a blanket answer as for my personal experience I have learned over the years not to focus so much on maintaining an inventory of a specific brand but piecing together a collection based on my needs and preferences. I would suggest you first find out what you want to do with the pans (What you will be serving, how much, cooking methods, etc.) and then look for items that fit those needs instead of reversed. Hope this helps and good luck to you.
 
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Joined Oct 8, 2018
A lot of it will depend on what you intend to cook and what your budget is. It's not really a blanket answer as for my personal experience I have learned over the years not to focus so much on maintaining an inventory of a specific brand but piecing together a collection based on my needs and preferences. I would suggest you first find out what you want to do with the pans (What you will be serving, how much, cooking methods, etc.) and then look for items that fit those needs instead of reversed. Hope this helps and good luck to you.

This is good information... It really is, I should've put that I'm not worried about a budget. I'm actually doing exactly what you just said, but I only know of 1 really crappy brand everyone I know uses.... and one really good brand. So, I'm just in general trying to find good brands to help get an idea of what companies produce good quality equipment to add to the list. So when i sit down with my partering cook we can look at it just the way you said. Well... this brand makes a good saute pan, and in 2 out of 3 sizes we're looking at..... and so on.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
I do want to ask about copper pans. I know more upscale places love them, but I've always been told there's a fear of them due to something with acidity eating the pan and poisoning people? Something I heard once in culinary school and just assumed, whatever.... that's why they're multi-ply with copper in them

There are two main types of copper cookware: steel lined copper and tin lined copper. Both tin and steel serve the same purpose which is to form a barrier between the food and copper, because exposure to copper, like you said, is not healthy. Both are non reactive which means neither will react with food, especially acidic foods. Tin lined copper is the more fragile because tin is a softer metal. That means no metal utensils and lower max temperatures. For instance, you can't put a tin lined copper pan on a stove or in a hot oven and let it get rolling hot like you can with other pans because the tin lining will literally melt. However, the trade off is that tin is the original non stick surface and the temperature control and even heating abilities are matchless. Steel lined copper has good temperature control and even heating characteristics as well, but, IMO, not as good as tin lined copper. Some would argue this point. But, its just my opinion. :)

Where tin and steel lined copper differ is the longevity of the lining. A steel lined copper pan will last longer. But, unlike tin, if the steel lining should be damaged or corrupted and the copper shows through, the pan is useless and should be thrown out. A tin lined pan, however, can be re-tinned at a reasonably low cost as compared to the cost of replacing the pan.

Pan manufacturers like All Clad make 3 and 5 ply cookware with copper cores because copper is a much better heat conductor than steel which allows the pan to heat more evenly and provides superior temperature control. That also makes these pans every bit as expensive as copper cookware made by manufacturers such as Mauviel or Ruffoni.

For my money, if Im going to spend $300 on a pan or a pot, I may as well get an actual 2.5mm copper pot or pan, steel or tin.
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
I love copper pots and pans so I'll throw in a couple of additional notes about copper.
First, bare copper pots are good for sugar work. Sugar has no acid so reactivity with the copper isn't an issue. A well made plain copper bowl is good for egg whites because the reactivity with egg whites makes them fluff easier.
Second, a 2.5mm thick commerical copper pan, lined with tin or steel can be very heavy when empty and tough to handle when full of food. I haven't found them to be good for saute pans if you expect to be tossing or flipping unless you have exceptional wrist and fore arm strength. But if they will simply sit on the burner, then weight isn't so much an issue.
I should mention that I have a collection of copper intended for home use I use at home all the time and several commercial grade copper pans I have used in a restaurant. The home style are lighter because they are thinner with brass handles. The commercial grades are quite heavy being thicker with cast iron handles. There are Korean, Swiss, Brazilian and French pans, possibly one or two others but all located, not surprisingly, near a copper mine. The French make the ones most often for the commercial market.
If you have the time and patience, you can buy them on Ebay and in antique stores used for much less than new but be sure to understand what you are buying. Remember that a thick, high quality copper pan with cast iron handle will outlive all of us if cared for so second hand isn't a dirty word. Should the tin be worn out, I think the current price is about $3 per inch, measured as across the bottom and up the sides. There are three or four companies in the United States who can re tin them for you.
The main problem with copper is that it darkens so the shiny pretty surface doesn't last or requires maintenance to keep up. Personally I don't care about the appearance. As sgsvirgil noted, you can't leave them to get screaming hot but then again you don't need to. They heat so evenly your food browns beautifully, you get nice even cooking and use less gas.
As Julia Child noted, they don't make you a better cook, they just inspire you to cook.
Okay, now I feel the need to go cook something.
 
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Joined Oct 8, 2018
I'm really digging all the information I'm getting here. Now I want a copper pan just for the house! My girlfriend has a shit ton of cheap walmart pans. They're total garbage and this is why when I start buying my work gear, I'm getting good grade totes to store my stuff til needed for a service, Dinner, or if I plan to cook at home.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
I'm really digging all the information I'm getting here. Now I want a copper pan just for the house! My girlfriend has a shit ton of cheap walmart pans. They're total garbage and this is why when I start buying my work gear, I'm getting good grade totes to store my stuff til needed for a service, Dinner, or if I plan to cook at home.
I found an 8 inch, 2mm, tin lined copper fry pan with a cast iron handle at Marshall's of all places. It was in the kitchen section on the bottom shelf buried behind a bunch of crappy pans. The price was $14! I asked if they had any more of them and sadly, they did not.

Go to flea markets, antique stores and garage sales and I promise that sooner or later you will find some good copper. Sometimes, people have no idea what they have and sell it for far less than what it's worth. Right now, I have a woman who owns an antique store call me whenever she gets any copper pieces, including molds, baskets, utensils etc. She has no idea what copper is worth these days and Im not about to tell her. :)
 
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