Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

Essential Pots & Pans

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Essential Pots & Pans

Old 02-09-06, 12:09 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Reviewer Emeritus
Thread Starter
 
FunkDaddy J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 3,226
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Essential Pots & Pans

Okay, all you cooks out there, I need some advice on the essential pots and pans I need to equip a great kitchen. I find myself getting more and more interested in becoming a good cook, and as I wander through cookbooks, I'm developing a slow understanding of the cookware I need, but I thought I'd see what you guys think.

Last night, I picked up a nice nonstick Calphalon 12" omelet pan. And I already have good 12" and 15" frying pans, as well as 2- and 4-quart sauce pans.

What are some other essentials? What to look for, what to avoid, brand names to consider/avoid...
Old 02-09-06, 12:12 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Vibiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Posts: 14,310
Received 45 Likes on 30 Posts
A good square griddle will serve you well. I prefer the teflon coated kind, but my mother, God rest her, swore by cast iron.

Just don't buy your pans at the dollar store and you should be fine. Even Wal Mart carries good ones -- but they won't be the cheapest on offer.

For baking and casserole use -- enamelware like Mikasa is always great. I've had my set for over 20 years.

Oh -- Pyrex is also good, and if you can find a good metal set with glass lids, grab it. It's nice to see what's going on under the lid while you're cooking.

Last edited by Vibiana; 02-09-06 at 12:15 PM.
Old 02-09-06, 12:12 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: not CT
Posts: 9,618
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Something wok-shaped.
Old 02-09-06, 12:16 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Reviewer Emeritus
Thread Starter
 
FunkDaddy J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 3,226
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
We have a standalone wok that serves us well. The square griddle is an excellent idea.

What does everyone think of Calphalon as a brand?
Old 02-09-06, 12:18 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Vibiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Posts: 14,310
Received 45 Likes on 30 Posts
I think Calphalon is one of the best. I know I can't afford any of their stuff. LOL
Old 02-09-06, 12:36 PM
  #6  
~M~
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 468
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Just a warning. Teflon is toxic. How toxic, no one knows yet. Here is an MSNBC Article about DuPont being fined from the EPA about failing to disclose the dangers of Teflon.

So, you probably better off with cast iron or stainless steel.

~m~
Old 02-09-06, 12:39 PM
  #7  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di Salò
Posts: 32,985
Received 27 Likes on 11 Posts
I'm an All-Clad guy myself.

A 3-quart saute pan is very useful. I also have a 6-quart, whuch is also great for casseroles and stews. You should also have a stock pot (or two). Le Creuset makes excellent ones.

I've always had at least one wok, but that's me.

Why a 12" omelette pan? I have one, but I use my 10" ones (I have 3) much more often.
Old 02-09-06, 12:54 PM
  #8  
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 98
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Give me a Le Creuset any day.
Old 02-09-06, 12:58 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Pressplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,448
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I prefer enamel to metal or Teflon coated pans. I have a thing for Le Creuset pots and pans because that's what my mom used and I learned to cook using them. They go from stovetop to oven in a flash and are really easy to clean. Here are my must-haves:


I have this one in two sizes - big and crazy big - and they are perfect to make roasts, stews, or a big pot of chili.


The perfect skillet to make omelets or a quick sautée.


This one is getting a lot of use while I wait for BBQ season to come back.

I also have a small saucepan and ramequins in the same brand that I use a lot. The only other pan I use is a big T-Fal skillet.

Last edited by Pressplay; 02-09-06 at 01:02 PM.
Old 02-09-06, 01:06 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 12,985
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Get yourself one nice cast iron pan, whether it be from a yard sale or not. You might not use it much but it's great for frying or going from the stove to the oven or anything that requires good heat managment.
Old 02-09-06, 01:39 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Reviewer Emeritus
Thread Starter
 
FunkDaddy J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 3,226
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by wendersfan
Why a 12" omelette pan?
I make big fuckin' omelettes.

But that brings up a question. Do you use your omelette pan exclusively for omelettes? I find myself doing all kinds of other things in there, too--any egg dish, grilled cheese for the kids, etc.
Old 02-09-06, 02:15 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Pressplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,448
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I use my omelette pan for pretty much anything: veggies, frittatas, pancakes... I just keep it well-seasoned so it's ready to go when I need it. I also use the grill pan like a panini press with another heavy pan on top of the to-be-pressed panini.
Old 02-09-06, 02:16 PM
  #13  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di Salò
Posts: 32,985
Received 27 Likes on 11 Posts
Originally Posted by Jason Bovberg
I make big fuckin' omelettes.

But that brings up a question. Do you use your omelette pan exclusively for omelettes? I find myself doing all kinds of other things in there, too--any egg dish, grilled cheese for the kids, etc.
Well, like I said - I have three. One tends to get used almost exclusively for eggs, the others multitask.
Old 02-09-06, 02:20 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: BV VA
Posts: 6,071
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Pressplay
IThis one is getting a lot of use while I wait for BBQ season to come back.
Wait for BBQ Season?

I never knew it goes out.
Old 02-09-06, 02:32 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Pressplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,448
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by kantonburg
Wait for BBQ Season?

I never knew it goes out.
In winter, it gets too cold and windy on my 3rd floor Montreal balcony for me to use my crappy BBQ. I've tried and tried, but the light always goes out. Can't wait for spring.
Old 02-09-06, 03:01 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Olathe, KS
Posts: 454
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Does a "well seasoned" pan = not cleaned?? It just sounds scary and unhealthy.
Old 02-09-06, 03:05 PM
  #17  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di Salò
Posts: 32,985
Received 27 Likes on 11 Posts
Originally Posted by Tygan
Does a "well seasoned" pan = not cleaned?? It just sounds scary and unhealthy.
It's not. The surface just becomes carbonized* through repeated heatings.

* I'm sure there's a more accurate term for this.
Old 02-09-06, 03:15 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
FantasticVSDoom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: No longer trapped
Posts: 11,610
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Second the cast iron skillet...And it doesnt have to be expensive at all. In fact a used one may be better if it is seasoned. Also, stoneware is a great surface as well as it gives great over all heating and makes it harder to "burn" things in.
Old 02-09-06, 03:51 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Pressplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,448
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
From this site: http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/...on_skillet.htm

A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet requires little oil for cooking. That means it is up to the task of preparing light and healthy meals. The more you use a cast-iron skillet, the more non-stick the surface becomes. The reason is, cast-iron is porous and when it's heated, it absorbs some of the oil, protecting it against future moisture. When a cast-iron skillet is bought new, it must be seasoned before you can use it. That means, it must be cleaned, dried, oiled and heated. Follow the simple directions below for a well-seasoned skillet:

* Rinse under warm soapy water.
* Dry skillet well.
* Rub the skillet with a generous amount of oil.
* Leave skillet on a burner turned to low heat for no less than an hour OR*you can also bake it in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours.
* Let skillet cool, then pour out any leftover oil.
* Repeat this procedure several times before using the skillet.
Old 02-09-06, 04:37 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,894
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
This is my summary based not so much on personal experience but researching cookware for a couple of weeks this summer:

- There is no one type or brand of pot or pan that will solve all your needs. Otherwise, you need to adapt to the pros and cons of each type of pot or pan (teflon vs. iron vs. copper vs. All-Clad vs. etc. etc. etc.).
- The following brands are considered amont "the best": All-Clad, Calphalon, Le Creuset, possibly others. I personally use Faberware and T-Fal (mid-range stuff) and it seems to work fine although I don't really cook often.
- Never EVER ever EVER buy this stuff in stores. You can get it for 50% off or more online. Amazon's a good place to start.
- Iron is considered the all-around best, however, it's a bit of a hassle to get it up to the point where it's usable. Why no one sells pre-seasoned iron cookware is beyond me.
- Teflon may or may not be bad for you.
Old 02-09-06, 06:04 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Cool As Ice
Posts: 18,483
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by The Bus
- Iron is considered the all-around best, however, it's a bit of a hassle to get it up to the point where it's usable. Why no one sells pre-seasoned iron cookware is beyond me.
i believe Lodge sells pre-seasoned cast-iron cookware but it's uncoated.
We have Le Creuset, and we swear by it, but it's an expensive hobby.
I got great deals on Amazon and e-bay back in the day.
Old 02-09-06, 06:13 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,894
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Cool Kitten
i believe Lodge sells pre-seasoned cast-iron cookware but it's uncoated.
We have Le Creuset, and we swear by it, but it's an expensive hobby.
I got great deals on Amazon and e-bay back in the day.
Yes but Le Creuset is bakeware. How do you make eggs? Stir-fry?
Old 02-09-06, 06:20 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: In the woods
Posts: 1,020
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Jason Bovberg
Okay, all you cooks out there, I need some advice on the essential pots and pans I need to equip a great kitchen. I find myself getting more and more interested in becoming a good cook, and as I wander through cookbooks, I'm developing a slow understanding of the cookware I need, but I thought I'd see what you guys think.

Last night, I picked up a nice nonstick Calphalon 12" omelet pan. And I already have good 12" and 15" frying pans, as well as 2- and 4-quart sauce pans.

What are some other essentials? What to look for, what to avoid, brand names to consider/avoid...


First tip, no teflon. A little research brings up warning signs galore. Trust me.
Second tip, Calphalon makes good stuff but they have several versions. Calphalon pots and pans made outside the country, i believe in china, are known for basically being a knockoff. Much lower quality. If you have Calphalon, make sure its made in the USA, i believe Ohio.

Amazon has good deals on pots and pans, be patient, and dont fall for their cheap Calphalon deals as they are the knockoff I mentioned earlier.
Old 02-09-06, 06:24 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Shackled
Posts: 35,372
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by The Bus
Yes but Le Creuset is bakeware. How do you make eggs? Stir-fry?
Really? That'll be news to my Le Creuset frying pans




Also, I keep non-stick (Circulon) for eggs, etc...
Old 02-09-06, 06:31 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
tommyp007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Kingsport, TN
Posts: 5,774
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by Jason Bovberg
We have a standalone wok that serves us well. The square griddle is an excellent idea.

What does everyone think of Calphalon as a brand?
My wife swears by it. We have the anondized stuff that comes in a green/white box. Paid $200 for a 10 piece set (6 items/4 lids).

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.