Recommendations For Cookware Requested
Q: I am far from a professional cook, in fact, I am really just beginning to enjoy cooking. I want to buy some cookware that will last, cooks most things well, and is relatively inexpensive. Just looking around there are SO many types of cookware. Aluminum, stainless steel of various grades, Copper coated?, anondized aluminum? It is quite overwhelming. The prices of the above are all fairly close together, and I am not sure what to get. Any suggestions on knives would be much appreciated as well. Btw, is there a cooking FAQ around? Many many thanks in advance for any help
A: My advice is to avoid aluminum and copper-coated, and look for anodized aluminum or stainless steel (preferably with a copper core). The latter, stainless steel with copper core, is my personal preference. (I can go into all the reasons for this recommendation if you want, but, essentially, it boils down to aluminum reacts with some foods and copper's hard to care for.) I'm also against sets. I prefer a few carefully chosen singles. Since I usually end up buying fewer pieces than come in a set, I don't lose the "savings", either. (Thouhg I did end up buying a nonstick "chicken fryer" and skillet from Berndes that cost $10 less than just buying the fryer alone would've...very strange promotional deal they got going! This was at Crate & Barrel, FWIW.) Other than that, I recommend (as usual) that you think about how you cook, what kinds of things you do most often, and shop with that in mind. For example, a good large pot to boil pasta in is almost essential to me -- right now I use a dutch oven that's probably due to be replaced. The second most essential pot for me was the abovementioned large, deep skillet. I use one or the other (or both) of these almost every day. Next in importance for me was a wok (wok-buying is a whole 'nother post), and a large soup pot. I don't have any brand name recommendations -- I'm still trying to figure that out. My impression that's beginning to form is that different lines do different things well, so being eclectic is no sin.
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