What Kind Of Cookware Should I Purchase?
Q: In the not-too-distant-future, I plan to purchase a new set of cookware. I do not plan on spending another penny on CRAP that won't last a year. However, I am not wealthy. What I want is some GOOD to GREAT cookware, and I'm willing to pay for it - as long as it's not thousands of dollars. - but I want some stuff that will last me a long, long time. I'm interested in opinions... If anyone can tell me what they use, and how they like it, and how well it's stood up to time, that would be immensely appreciated. I've heard that Calphelon (I know I spelled it wrong) is good, what about T-Fal? Thanks for any help!
A: i LOVE my cast iron frying pans. weigh a ton, heat evenly, a breeze to take care of, about as nonstick as a 1 yr old "nonstick" pan, which is pretty good, puts iron in my diet, makes for a good weapon, and cost me ~$10 a pan. i have two skillets, 1 griddle (thanks shankar!), and am eyeballing some smaller frypans. seasoning it is a breeze, and i couldn't ask for any better bang for my buck. Even if you were not budget conscience I would not recommend purchasing cookware by the set. Choose a few individual pieces that you know you will use often (they do not need to match) and continue to add more as you discover the need. About half the pieces contained in a typical set rarely if ever see any use. Often times one can find sales on individual pieces of quality cookware. Spend for better quality on the pieces that will see the most hard use, sautes, skillets, stew pots, etc. Spend less for pots used for boiling pasta water and stocks. You can easliy spend several hundred dollars for one large (8-10+ qt) 'professional style' stock pot when a $30 'no name' water heating pot will do just as well. You should have a few cast iron pieces, generally very inexpensive and should last your lifetime plus a few others. The only non-stick pieces you should ever consider are an omelet pan (spend as little as possible), and a good quality roasting pan, the best you can afford. In all instances buy only oven proof pots/pans, none with plastic/composition handles or knobs. Some may like the look of anodized, I don't, and see no purpose in it. As far as I can tell anodized is just a look, and often requires maintenance, it stains. After years of acquiring and cooking with many brands of cookware, I've recently discovered "PIAZZA", the very best by far, and not at all expensive compared to any other 'professional style' cookware touted in todays market. Where to obtain PIAZZA cookware, in the US, not easy. The only place I know of is Williams-Sonoma, where I purchased mine, but their selection is extremely limited. Just yesterday I had a long phone converstion with one of the principals at Professional Cutlery Direct. They are very impressed and will be looking into acquiring the PIAZZA line, hopefully shortly. If anyone is interested, PIAZZA is located in Italy, GSE - FRATELLI PIAZZA EFFEPI s.a.s., but they have a website where you may view their products and read about the company. They've been in the cookware business a long time, I think about 50 years. http://www.piazza.it./ I have no business affiliation whatsoever with either of the above named companys, I'm only a satisfied consumer.
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