What kind of cookware should my wife buy?

Jonesville, SC(Zone 7b)

We are going to buy a set of pots and pans after we get our taxes back. We are looking for a really good set to replace the relatively cheap set that we have been cooking with. What are y'alls recommedations? We can't spend $300 dollars, but we want a really good set for a good price! Also, where can we buy them? Thanks for the responses.

Saugerties, NY(Zone 5a)

I use cast iron frying pans, I have 3 different sizes and if taken care of properly, they will last you a life time.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I agree, I've got cast iron skillets as well (along with a cast iron kettle), and I LOVE my cast iron. It is so easy to care for, non-stick, and you can do anything in them, from frying eggs and pork chops to baking a cake... yeah, I've actually baked a delicious chocolate cake in mine, (in the 12" skillet) and it slid right out! =) (and it didn't taste like pork chops either, heehee).

For pots, I've got Flint stainless steel, a set which was given to me by a previous neighbor before she moved. Those are the best pots I've ever used; they come clean very easily and distribute heat very well (no "hot spots" or "stuck spots" in my food). I've got a set of several (not sure of the sizes) and they all nest together neatly, too.

I hope this helps. =)

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I have purchased 90 dollar fry pans for 30. 50 dollar for 15-20 dollars at Marshalls. For sure you will not find a complete set but will find a few from one set and great and practical sizes. I love cast iron too but have trouble with the weight -- a shame because as others have said --- great all around pots/ pans. Marshalls will have cast iron, stainless and non stick - and high end products. It is hit and miss but you can piece together a great variety for your needs at a reasonable cost.

Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

you might consider T-Fal as a mid priced, decent quality 'typical' product.

you can do quite a bit of research at Amazon. (you don't have to buy from them, though prices are often great)

you can set a price range, search for free 2-day shipping, search by brand or for top-rated or most popular items, etc.

Clay Center, KS(Zone 5b)

A good set of stainless cookware and a couple of cast iron skillets would be ideal. I have a set of Cuisinart stainless that I've used for over 25 years and they still look good. I have cast iron skillets that were my grandmother's and I've had them since 1960, no clue how old they are, but again like a good set of stainless they don't show their age. I do buy a "coated" skillet or two for their quick and easy clean up, but they have been replaced time and time again over the years.
Just Google Cuisinart pans, the price range is pretty wide, but some of it would depend on what pieces you prefer.

Mexico City, Mexico

I agree. A couple cast iron pieces, and the rest stainless steel.

I moved away from all things teflon after my Dads doctors told us of the health risks (he passed away two yrs ago to lung cancer, non smoker) . I actually threw them away, didnt even donate them because I didnt want someone else eating the flakes of teflon that scrape off if someone using a teflon pan doesnt cook carefully.

I love cast iron though, and also have an iron pan (very similar to cast iron, see the thread on iron pans) .

As for what cast iron pieces to get, I would recommend (depending on family size)
-A reversible griddle:
-A large skillet 12" or more
-And a dutchoven

They also make round one burner griddles if you dont like the ones for two burners (I love it, and with the griddle marks on one side you can do steaks inside. With the flat side: pancakes, eggs, french toast, pita bread etc anything!)

If you guys arent used to stainless steel and are transferring from a non stick like teflon, it will take a bit to get used to. no worries,in no time you will be pros! Cast iron ispretty much the same (as teflon) as far as non-stick qualities as long as you care for it correctly.

And I agree, Amazon is unbeatable in how helpful it can be for deciding what product you want - millions of reviews with some on each side (for and against eqch product). Maybe set aside 120 for three good cast iron pieces (although it shouldnt add up to be that much?) and then 180 ish for the stainless steel set.

I think there is an Emerilware stainless steel set for around 200$ . Emerilware is owned by All-Clad (which is a more expenvie but well liked brand) , and I have read that his set can be compared to the All-Clad as far as quality (since they are the same company) . I do not own a set though, just did my research awhile ago before deciding to stick with the stainless I have for now (a mix mash of AllClad and Cuisinart).

If you really want to waste more time on the internet, another link over on chowhound on All Clad versus Emerilware

(I checked on amazon and cant find the link to a set! I saw the set of Emerilware "proclad" for around 200 at a nebraska furniture mart (in KS) .

This message was edited Jan 17, 2013 8:49 PM
Edited to fix link and holy runon sentence batman!

This message was edited Jan 17, 2013 8:52 PM

Mexico City, Mexico

Wow, I am so sorry. Just read more carefully that you DON'T want to spend 300$ ! That will teach me!

I still stick with the cast iron recommendations. There is surely a set (i do like the cuisinart pieces I have) that you can get for less than what I posted about. Although honestly? The reason I decided against buying a whole set is because I like mixing and mashing several typesof cookware.

Really you can do most any food with:
-A cast iron skillet (large)
-A second cast iron skillet (smaller) - could also be a stainless steel instead
-A cast iron dutch oven
-A larger stock pot (stainless steel) - large enough for making soup or spaghetti sauce
-small stock pot (stainless steel)

The two sided griddle is nice (for reasons mentioned) but you could get by without it.

I do recommend having two skillets, depending on the meal you are making you may need two skillets at once. I also like to have a smaller pot to boil a small amount of water in or small batches of sauce, I guess those are also called stock pots?

The best way to think about it - what kind of food do you guys often make? That should help guide your decision.

the Mountains, CO(Zone 4a)

I have no recommendations, but only praise for the fact a MAN is wonderful enough to be asking on Dave's Garden what pans his wife should buy. It's honestly great. We need more men like this in the world. LOL :)

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I purchased a wonderful set of stainless steel pots from Macy's at a good price. Watch for their sales.

I also own cast iron skillets. They will last a lifetime, but you have to treat them correctly or they will rust. The rust can be removed, and the pans brought back to look like new.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I LOVE my Calphalon pans. I had to do some cooking for a church function........their pans were so crappy I took my own stuff to do it. I told someone I was a "pan snob". LOL Cast iron...........wouldn't have it if you gave it to me. Just a personal thing, I guess I am the only person in the culinary world that is anti-cast iron. :>)

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Calphalon -- that is what we have. Hubby bought the set. Great pans but would have the cast iron if I could lift. Never saw a flake on the calphalon but the ouside are prone to stain and be harder to clean as compared to stainless. the ouside looks like stainless more brushed/ duller than highly polished stainless.

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