good, decent pots and pans on a budget...

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Hi. I need to get some new pots and pans. We recently moved and it took a year to sell our old house, needless to say I am on a strict budget but really need some new pots and pans. This new house has one of those electric ranges with the flat glass top, I can't stand it. I am a cook, and I am so used to gas. But I cannot afford a new stove right now. This electric stove tends to be uneven and tends to burn so I do want non stick. I am familiar with Calphalon, but dont think budget can handle two saucepans, and two to three different skillets.
Can anyone reccomend a brand and place of purchase for me? I really appreciate it. Thanks so much and enjoy the rest of your weekend! Flowerlou

DFW area, TX(Zone 7b)

Hi - have you checked out QVC ?

On the banks of the , VA(Zone 7a)

You might check E bay. I've done quite well there with the Le Creuset. I like buying individial pieces rather than a whole set because then I can get the ones I really like to use and not the ones I don't.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

?Mahnot, what brand on QVC? thanks!

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Luna, I have a few Le Creuset ,, but how do you like the non stick? thanks, flowerlou

On the banks of the , VA(Zone 7a)

I have one non stick pan I use very occasionally for crepes. I just don't like to use non-stick.

Other than that, I have cast iron my husband came with, his grandmother's, so they are works of art, really, and a couple of the Le Creuset pieces...two different sized Dutch ovens, four or five small sauce pans.

I also have one big stainless stock pot sized thing with an insert I use for pasta.

What I've decided I need with this new range is a water bath. I didn't need it before, my old stove was electric and wimpy, now I have a gas stove and it's HOT.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

We love the Crofton set we bought at Aldi Foods of all places. It was $59. They are stainless steel with nice, thick bottoms, strongly-riveted handles, clear glass lids with metal handles, and non-stick interiors. We got them in 2004: http://davesgarden.com/place/t/421372/

This message was edited Jan 14, 2007 8:02 AM

Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

Look into the Meyer brand non-stick skillets and pots. I believe Target carries them. American made and a very good value for the money.

Missouri City, TX

Surprisingly, a restaurant supply store will have what you want without all the hype in the price.

We prefer electric and love what everyone else hated - corning's visions - takes some getting used to, but works in oven, rangetop, and microwave - and because it was not popular is now discontinued. We are very careful with the collection we have.

But, also have non-stick commercial small skillet for eggs, and several cast-iron skillets, too.
DW recently found a glass top Caphalon 2 qt saucepan at Tuesday Morning - $6 or 7. We check every week ot two to see if they get more in. It is great.

If cheap is the primary motivation - T-Fal is serviceable for a while, but the non-stick coating will scratch and flake if metal implements are used. It is very light, so temperature variation can occur and potentially warp the bottoms. We have one T-Fal oblong pan with loop handles on both ends - great for camping and river running, but kind of a waste at home.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

There's a Tuesday morning not too far from where I work . I need to check that place out.

I've heard that about T-Fal. Is Corning Visions the clear glass cookware?

We got my MIL a small novelty skillet with a pan the size of a slice of bread. It has a pig molded into the handle - she likes pigs. Anyway, she loves that thing because the egg spreads out and cooks to the perfect shape for an egg sandwich. :)

Missouri City, TX

Yes, Visions came in brown and blue. Ours is the brown (amber). The 5 qt lid fits our 10" cast iron skillet perfectly. We have a small chip in it and were looking for another a few years ago when we learned it was no longer made. Gotta check some garage sales, I guess. With our luck, someone will have the pot, but lost or broke the top.

T-Fal came from France originally. Theory is that they expanded the aluminum so that the teflon is bonded into it. Maybe, but we have ruined a couple of pans - maybe the camp stoves or fires were too much for them LOL. Only place I can find the one we liked is at the outdoor & camping exibition shows.

I like the novelty pan with the pig handle - sounds cute.

Our son had an electric sandwich maker when he was in grade school that would fry a perfect square egg. He loved making "egg-n-toast" for breakfast.

Rehoboth, MA(Zone 5a)

Cooking and backing for 60 years I have used every pot and Pan since I started with aluminum stuff, thhe revere ware with the copper bittom, the danish ones I forgot the proper name of it, on and on till the T-vall came that did not last found out it is not particularly healthy, I threw it out. I also have used for a few years now Le creuset, this is just super and very easy to clean., also decided to invest in all-clad, worth every penny. Have only one Caphalon for crepes.

Since I love to cook and bake, I am inclined to buy anything new for that purpose, lol

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Can't have too many tools, right Maria? :)

Rehoboth, MA(Zone 5a)

in total agreement Kimberly!!! :-))

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Tuesday Morning will have pans? I've not been in that store but their hyped Christmas commercials were enticing. Guess I should wander in.

Sam's Club always has a pan set in for a great price...but always non-stick I think. Bed Bath and Beyond is always having a major sale on cookware to.

I've been wanting a flattop stove myself! I hate the old style electric...sick to death of cleaning those burners....grrr. But people keep telling me GAS GAS GAS is best. I'm a lil' concerned about the flame aspect so I've not tried...plus this house wired electric.

Congrats on the much needed sale of your home. We're trying to sell right now. Such a slow market in the winter.

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

I picked up a really nice skillet at Sams Club. (no name brand) The selling point for me was that it was so large, which is what I was looking for at the time. It's very heavy, is a really nice skillet, and it's held up well for me for over a year so far. I think I paid 25.00 for a 14" skillet. They have the smaller sizes too, at smaller prices, I never think to pick up more when I'm in there, but keep meaning to. It is non stick, and it still looks as good as it did when I bought it.

Here is a link to it, though in my local sams, they have more than the 14 and 8" ones available.
http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=336231

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, I dont belong to Sams, maybe I should join? I am already a member at Costco though, and haven't found any there. Seems like I should be able to find a sale somewhere this month. Have a great week, flowerlou

Katy, TX(Zone 8b)

After reading all this talk about pots and pans I checked the pans I use each and every day. DDH says we go them at Walmart, I say we got them at K-Mart before they left town. Anyway it was quite a while ago - 12 + years, I would say - probably more like 15. They are marked Taste of Home. They are heavy black, non stick w/ cushiony handles and tops w/a good sized glass top/metal top w/a cushiony heat proof handle on top. There is a 2-1/2 qt, 3-1/2 qt w/a metal steamer insert each w/it's own lid but both the same size, a 5 qt dutch oven and a 12" skillet w/one lid that covers both, plus a 6" skillet that the sauce pan lids cover. These are remarkably easy to use and clean and the non-stick surface may scratch a little but not thru and have survived my using metal tools in them (as the directions said you could do) and dishwashing and can be used in the oven up to about 325* or so. You can be sure they weren't expensive wherever they came from. They are very well balanced, also.
A recent purchase that I made was a Henckel's soduko (atrocious spelling) 7" knife. I've been satisfied w/high carbon steel stainless knives for years but everytime I use them they need resharpening. This knife is wonderful - cuts thru anything, I think, w/no resistance, and is so well balanced. Even great for cutting thru frozen bread and getting the rind off hunks of cheese. Which further reminds me that tonight I'm cooking Swiss Cheese Fondue - always make my own - and the fondue pot must date from the 70's. It was from Montgomery Ward's, is electric and non stick Teflon or some such. That thing has done yeoman duty in all these years. They just don't make them like that any more. Can't count the times it has been thru the dishwasher and been poked w/fondue forks.


Ann

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Ann, you have me drooling over that knife. I really want a Santoku knife (I always have to look up that word - sounds too much like that numbers game, LOL!). Is yours like this? http://www.amazon.com/Henckels-7-Inch-Santoku-Knife-Hollow/dp/B0000DDVFV

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

I have a cheap set of Wolfgang Puck Bistro..18/10 stainless steel, encapsulated bottom (big plus with me) oven safe to 400 degrees, dishwasher safe but they recommend hand washing. And comes with manufacturer's lifetime limited warranty. Original set was 10 piece I think (we've added to it over the years now we have 21 pices) and paid 99.00 when we bought it but I think you can get a starter set for cheaper now.

I know some will poo poo the brand but for the price the quality can't be beat and I've had it for 7 years now. Heats evenly, has held up well, sears and browns better than some of the higher priced allclad I've used and clean up is easy.

Katy, TX(Zone 8b)

The knife I got was on Amazon for less than $50 w/no shipping fee. Oh, I love that knife!!! Gardenwife, no that is not the knife I got. I really hate serrated knives Mine is not serrated.

Ann

This message was edited Jan 17, 2007 7:50 AM

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

What is so special about these knives?

Katy, TX(Zone 8b)

These knives are sharp and stay sharp a long time. They are good German steel. Well balanced. A bargain for the money. Many knives as good as this can cost you hundreds of $$. If you have a chance to use one and are serious about your knives and their ability to cut easily and well, try it. You will see "what is so special about these knives", believe me. Ask any good cook (or any bad one, for that matter).

Ann

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

I love my knives...makes cooking so much easier, yes the upfront cost wasn't cheap but it's a once in a lifetime buy if you take care of them.

Thumbnail by araness
Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

I just never really considered a special knife, although Iwould put my cooking skills against anyone, guess I should try one.

Saint, we have the same countertop LOL


This message was edited Jan 17, 2007 7:32 PM

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

Ok, so what is the difference between the Pro S, the 5 star, the 4 star, twin signature, international classic? I'm assuming that these are their grades? And the most expensive is the best?

At a glance, the knife Kimberley posted above and this one look the same, though there is a big difference in the price?

http://www.amazon.com/Henckels-Classic-7-Inch-Santoku-Hollow/dp/B00068J2A0/sr=1-2/qid=1169080724/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/102-0092143-0882534?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

Lou,
I found these skillets on Amazon, KitchenAid brand, I love my mixer and food processor, though I've never tried their skillets, but a really good price for 2 of them. Not sure what size you're looking for most. Amazon has this "one click" button on the top of the page, and it's so hard to control my click finger!


http://www.amazon.com/Kitchenaid-Gourmet-Essentials-Anodized-Skillet/dp/B0009U5MZY/sr=1-24/qid=1169081513/ref=sr_1_24/102-0092143-0882534?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden



This message was edited Jan 17, 2007 8:00 PM

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

Hey watch for Amazon deals on friday's they have super deals...and they LOVE to have KitchenAid deals! I love my KitchenAid stuff..have the stand mixer, hand mixer, coffee pot, bean grinder and mixer...been looking at the food processor but it has a plastic body and not real thrilled with that.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I, too, have used numerous brands of cookware over the years and my favorites are Calaphon anodized, Le Cruset, and All Clad. One of these pans of the right size will last all your life and longer. For non-stick, I go to Sam's and buy their restaurant supply pans. I think the brand name is Tremontinas. One way or the other their non stick coating lasts very well and the pans are pretty thick. Frankly, I don't use non-stick very often. Another thing about those Sam's pans is that you can buy huge fry pans -- 14 inches. I don't use them often, but when I need to fry a whole lot of chicken they are wonderful.
I agree with others on this thread that cheap pots and pans aren't generally worth it. They scorch your food and the handles usually aren't well attached. After a short time the handles fall off.
For knives, my hands down favorite is Global. It holds an edge better than any knife I have ever seen. I also have Sabatier and Henkels and Wostof, but from where I sit, the Globals are the best. Good knives should never be washed in the dishwasher.
I say watch garage sales, Tuesday morning and Ebay. I haven't looked for pots and pans on amazon, but maybe I need to try it.
Sad but true, good cooking tools are expensive. I haven't tried it but the restaurant supply store sounds like a good idea. Restaurants can't afford cheap pots that will wear out on them.
I buy my pots and pans one at a time. I don't like to buy whole matched sets because they often have pots I can't use -- too small or wrong shape. I have bought my pots and pans one at a time and they don't match. Doesn't matter to me because I only care how they cook.
Buy the brands I mention and they will never wear out -- except for the non-stick on which the non-stick substance eventually disappears, though these days they last a whole lot longer.

Katy, TX(Zone 8b)




Good going, paj. My kitchen is a working kitchen and if nothing matches, so what. I don't do colors or cute. If it collects dust, grease or is in the way, out it goes. My knives are good enough for the most part and I know how to sharpen them and I do because if you've ever cut yourself on a dull knife, you know that that will bruise the skin as well as cut you. Pans certainly don't match or need to. They are for cooking not for "show". I actually have a few gadgets culled from the many gadgets that I have received from family and friends. I need something to lift jar lids enough to be able to unscrew it and in a pinch a "church key" will do the job or pounding the square on the counter will loosen it w/one whack but I have a special tool for that and love it and so does my DDH. I use a pastry blender to cut up mushrooms and hard boiled eggs. I have individual measuring cups from 2C down to 1/4 C and others of bigger sizes that kind of stack together for larger amts. Various collanders and strainers for different things that make my life a lot easier. My cookware we bought together because it was a good buy and I use all the various parts all the time. Cast iron skillets in 3 sizes, soup pot, huge pot w/spigot for boiling crawfish and crabs in season. Also, I have other things I use intermittently and they are stored out of the way. Scissors are a necessity (and nobody better mess w/those or move them out of place) to cut plastic shrink wrap and such that defy the strongest man... Scissors are probably the unsung hero of the kitchen and as necessary for many things as are good, sharp knives. Also, I have an ice pick and I use it almost daily for various things but not ice. Also have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, Cuisenart Food Processor and a blender that has been delegated to the back of a cabinet. These things have been collected over the past 50+ years and replaced as needed. There are lots of other things I use in the kitchen and what is heavy like the mixer go on the counter so I don't have to be lugging it out of the cabinets or pantries everytime I want to use them. I do love non-stick cookware and cast iron cookware which is also non-stick. I think I lucked out when I bought that "set" of no stick as it has really held up.

Ann











Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Ann, that's a great idea to use a pastry blender to cut mushrooms and boiled eggs.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

plantladyhou,
Non-stick pans have really improved over the years. The non-stick really sticks to the pan and not your food in the newer ones.

And amen to the kitchen shears. I went without them for years and was amazed how much I used them once I got a pair. I, too, use a large Cuisinart and a small one ( one or 2 cups). The small one handles chopping of garlic and fresh herbs. The large one for everything large. I rarely use the blender anymore. Only for pina coladas and other foo-foo drinks.

I can sharpen my knives but I am not that great at it so every now and then I take them to a neighborhood in-home knife sharpener. He charges 50 cents per inch and does a fabulous job. If they aren't sharp, knives make the work of chopping and slicing very hard. With sharp knives the work is a whiz.

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

I love my kitchen shears and have threatened the DH with removal of Mr. Happy if they get used on anything outside of the kitchen! Ohh and my castiron...he keeps wanting to wash my cured skillet! We play tug of war after every use cause he thinks he has to wash it!

Arlington, VA

I didn't read all of the responses, but I second the suggestion of cast iron if you want non-stick. If you are open to stainless steel, I have a $35 set from Metro that is perfectly fine. It's about 8 pieces with lids and pans. I have a full range of brands, and that Metro one is as good as anything else that I have for general household use. Available at department stores.

If you are determined to have top-of-the-line pots, estate sales with copper are actually well priced relative to new ones. When shopping for copper I found that people who could afford the absolute best didn't use them much. You can get an old-but-new set for a very good price. I got a set that had been hanging on a rack for show.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

I got a Santoku knife from eBay--wasn't a name brand but I believe I paid about $18 plus about $5 s&h and LOVE it. It's well balanced and got great weight to it. I've yet to have to sharpen it and I've had it about 2 years. I like to cook but I am not able to buy alot of high end kitchen gear so for me to spend $24 on one knife was not easy:LOL: I got a great deal and that is the first knife I reach for in the kitchen so it ended up being a great bargain:)

My next big splurge is going to be a nice enamel pot. I've wanted one forever and they seem to be great investments.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I picked up a set of "As Seen on TV!" knives on clearance at CVS. They're actually somewhat decent, though a few in the group are too thin-bladed and cheesy. The bread knife and steak knives are great, though. They're wicked-sharp, somewhat serrated. Yeah -- these: http://www.rkdm.com/miracleblade/index.htm I got the whole set (no block, though) for $9.99 on clearance.

Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)

Just popping in on this thread to see if the original poster
was able to find something within her budget.

If I were you, based on what I know now, I would select one
or two items here and there instead of plunking down a big wad
all at once.

I use a few pots and pans exclusively while the rest just hang
on the rack. This was after buying not one but two sets over the
years, and I wish I had purchased individual pieces instead. I
don't care if my pots and pans match, it is the usage I'm concerned
with, even though they hang out in the open.

Hope you were able to find something.

:-) KM

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

I often find good individual pieces at places like TJ Maxx and Tuesday Morning for discounted prices. I've found alot of fairly high end housewares items at both of these stores.

I don't care about matching sets either. I've actually bought some on really good sales and given away the pieces I know that I won't use and just kept what I wanted.

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

I saw one of the Soduko knives in Macy's the other night, their brand, for 9.99. I didn't get one, but I did look at it!! Macy's also has Calaphon pots/pans on sale.

I should have checked back in, I ordered one of the Henckel's knives from amazon, and I do like it, it feels really good in my hand, if that makes sense.

GW, I bought a set of knives off of TV a few years ago, much to the chagrin of my husband, but I really do like a lot of the knives in the set, and he still teases me mercilessly about it too.

Rehoboth, MA(Zone 5a)

Am just catching up to this thread, Plantlady, the Santoko knife Gardenwife pointed out is NOT serrated, only bread knives are, I have several of the what is called hollow-edged, this being the reason why the blade's edge is very sharp and stays that way for quite a while.. I have several of them, the one I use mostly is the 17cm classic Wusthof Santouko, many of my other knives are. of that brandand I would not want to be without any of them.

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