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Outfitting the home kitchen: cookware

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I thought it would be interesting to discuss what you consider to be necessary for a well stocked home kitchen. Things like materials, places to save money versus spend more, etc are important points to make.

For this thread, let's discuss cookware choices.

Here is what I consider important:

1 large stockpot, Al or stainless, 12 or 16 quart
1 small stockpot, Al or stainless 8 quart
1 cast iron dutch oven, 4 quart
1 cast iron skillet, 12 inch
1 stainless saute pan, 12 inch or so
2 or 3 small sauce pans, 2 quart, I usually use Al
1 braiser pan (real wide but low pot), Al, I use this to roast all kinds of stuff, mine is from a restaurant supplier, and it will hold a normal sized turkey. Also great to roast bones and veggie trimmings to make stock.

A grill pan can be nice too.

I'm horrible at baking, so I don't really know what to suggest as far as loaf pans, cake pans, etc. Suggestions would be good.

Also, is a copper sauce pan worth purchasing?

Anything else?
post #2 of 41
I am looking into buying some decent stuff. What are some of the nicer brands of the cookware world?
post #3 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianVarick View Post
I am looking into buying some decent stuff. What are some of the nicer brands of the cookware world?

All-Clad
Le Creuset
post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
Personally, a lot of the stuff (stockpots, braising pan, some of the sauce pans) are from restaurant supply stores. No idea what brand they are, but they take a beating.

Lodge makes good cast iron. All Clad makes good sauce pans, saute pans, etc, but, I find their handles to be a bit awkward to hold. I've noticed a lot of consumer brands seem to be competing with All Clad by having better handles.
post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomestar View Post
All-Clad
Le Creuset

I was hoping for some quality stuff that is less expensive but still a good buy.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomestar View Post
All-Clad
Le Creuset

these are good, I've had my all clad ltd's for about 15 years. Always thinking about getting Mauviels (very good copper pans) but the all clads do their job fine and it would seem wrong to gte rid of them after so many years.
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianVarick View Post
I was hoping for some quality stuff that is less expensive but still a good buy.

I still recommend these, but don't buy the 27 piece set. A big pot, a little pot, and the 2/$50 Calphalon non-stick fry pans from Bed Bath and Beyond will get you quite far.
post #8 of 41
Yesterday, I saw a 10 piece set of Calphalons at Bed Bath and Beyond for like $199.
post #9 of 41
stuff that i actually use, ALL of the time: 1. cast-iron griddle (round...flat bottom [non ribbed]) 2. enameled cast-iron dutch oven (~5qt) 3. cladded stainless steel saucier/chefs pan 3qt. (chefs pan is a curved sauce pan) 4. cladded stainless steel sauce pan 3qt. 5. cladded stainless steel 12qt saute pan. all have similar material handles so all are safe to go in oven no need for aluminum or non-stick anything. i have big stock pots, other dutch ovens, woks, etc, but if i had to re-stock a kitchen from scratch that is how i would start
post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
^I'd be pretty lost without a stockpot of some sort.
post #11 of 41
Check out the Saveur Top 100. They've got a bunch of recommendation for cookware and kitchen tools. It's interspersed among various other culinary favorites so you'll have to look through the 4 pages, but there's definitely some great recommendations in there.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milhouse View Post
^I'd be pretty lost without a stockpot of some sort.

depends on your household size i suppose.

i only use stockpot (5 gal) for making stock... which is 1/month; and beer... which is 1/2*month

i get away with using the sauce pan or saucier for soups and boiling up to triple servings of pasta. all stews and such the enameled dutch oven handles
post #13 of 41
because of my job, i have probably "de-accessioned" more stuff than most cooks have bought. i think your initial list is spot-on, though i'd add a couple of restaurant-supply nonstick skillets, a gratin dish and a roasting pan. one thing i have learned is that quality lasts and it's always a good idea to buy the best you can find. This stuff isn't that expensive (in the bespoke clothing line of things) and it will, literally, last a lifetime. I've tried lots of pots and pans and nothing comes close to all-clad. my saute pan is 25 years old with almost daily use and will easily last another 25. that said, buying all-clad stockpots is a waste ... plain aluminum from the restaurant supply is fine. be sure the smaller one comes with colander and steamer. shop carefully and pick them up a piece or two at a time (NEVER buy a full set of pans or knives ... you' just end up storing half of them). i've found good buys on all-clad on ebay (the stainless steel is plenty good enough ... brushed stainless if you can find it is even cheaper, though i believe it's been discontinued). Le Creuset i've found at Marshalls, and also at Tuesday Morning, if they have those wehre you live. haven't priced them on ebay. i imagine shipping would be a ton.
post #14 of 41
FWIW, Williams-Sonoma has a big All-Clad stockpot with pasta and steamer inserts for $149. The outside walls aren't the thick 3-layer deal, just the bottom. Hence the major price difference.
post #15 of 41
uhm, at the risk of wearing out my welcome here (and i do hope someone will pm me if this is inappropriate), i just happened to do a piece last week on gifts of kitchen equipment for beginning, moderate and advanced cooks. i intended it as the start of a conversation (argument?), so feel free to ridicule. just nobody make fun of my One Shoe.
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