Why The Rub? Was Re: Cookware Recommendations Wanted
Q: Well, along those lines, everything I and my parents have ever owned which was 'non-stick' lost it's non-stick coating very quickly in spite of being treated with excessive care. Has anybody got any ideas on either prolonging the non-stick coating or a type of non-stick cookware which doesn't lose it's non-stick-ness?
A: I just bought a set of Scanpan 2000 pans. There is a life time guarentee on the non-stick coating (apparently the coating is a layer of titanium bonded to the cookware). The claim is that metal untensils are ok, etc. I've had the stuff for about a month and so far I'm pretty pleasedZani pans are sold at some cookware stores (Plate and Platter in Dallas, at least) and at Nieman-Marcus. I wish they were more common. the pans are similar in some ways to the "Grande Cuisine" pans Williams-Sonoma carries, but the handles are more like the handles on Chantal (like, they're "loops" of metal). The handles are spot-welded onto the outsides of the pans (like the Grande Cuisine pans). The pans have a metal "lip" around the rims, and for some reason I really like that. The design is such that a pan of a certain size, say 20cm, works perfectly as a lid for a pan of the next size up (22cm). This is a minor feature, but kinda nifty; they sell shallow "braising" pans that are sorta like skillets without a long handle. It's nice when making a stew to be able to brown meat and vegetables in the lid, transfering batches to the big stockpot, and then just flip the lid (and all the toxic fat and drippings; yum) over onto the stockpot. The normal lids are domed and fit very well. They're reasonably heavy (a feature I like, and i contrast to the Calphalon lids). The shape of the lids makes them sort-of a problem to store. The pans aren't cheap (in fact, they've gone up a bit relative to other cookware since I first bought mine back in about 1985), but they're not outrageous. If you're looking for quality stainless cookware, they're at least good for comparison. It's probably the case that All-Clad is comparable; anything made of heavy stainless steel should be pretty damn durable. (The Williams-Sonoma stuff is probably OK too, but for some reason that store irritates me.)
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