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BTD Forums  /  Cook Right 4 Your Type  /  What Kind of Cookware is Best and Economical?
Posted by: 107 (Guest), Wednesday, January 3, 2007, 2:17am
What kind of cookware is the both the best and least expensive?  I want a new set, but I don't want to spend hundreds.  I really want a steamer with it as well.  

I need an economic brand or kind, but also I want a healthy kind.

Posted by: Lola, Wednesday, January 3, 2007, 2:19am; Reply: 1
glass wear is safe.
Posted by: koahiatamadl, Wednesday, January 3, 2007, 9:32am; Reply: 2
Economical might not be economical - a decent set of pots and pans will keep you going for decades so it is worth spending money on...if you cannot afford a full set of quality pots & pans at the moment you could replace your current set one at a time...
Posted by: 1495 (Guest), Wednesday, January 3, 2007, 3:10pm; Reply: 3
I like cast iron.  You can get it pretty cheap if you buy the no-frills Lodge Logic line.  I think I paid, at most, $30 for a cast iron skillet from them.  I probably paid significantly less than that, I can't remember.
Posted by: KimonoKat, Wednesday, January 3, 2007, 5:14pm; Reply: 4
This topic comes up every once in a while.  

In my opinion, the type of cookware to avoid is non-stick.  Remember PTFE, or TFE is the chemical name for Teflon.  Don't be "fooled" by a company saying there is no "teflon" in their product but it is ALSO non-stick.  If it's non-stick, it has PTFE/TFE in it.

A similar example would be acedomediphin(sp?) and tylenol.  They are exactly the same thing.

(Sicentists/researchers are finding a byproduct of teflon in the environment.  There's no place that they can't find it.  Now, is it from the manufacturing, or is it from using the product? They haven't come to a consensus on that yet.)

From there, I guess it then depends on your preference whether you like cooking with glass, stainless steel, iron or hard anodized aluminum.
Posted by: Victoria, Wednesday, January 3, 2007, 7:02pm; Reply: 5
Economically speaking, you could probably find some decent stainless steel cookware at your local discount store.  I bought a small set of Revere stainless about 10 years ago, which includes one skillet with lid, one smaller soup pot, a 1 qt and a 2 qt saucepan with lids.  It was less than $100 for them all at that time.  ($80 I think)
Posted by: Rodney, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 4:42am; Reply: 6
Cast iron skillet, cast iron dutch oven and for sauce pans stainless steel with tri-clad bottom. the bottoms of the stainless pans need to be heavy and thick IMHO they are great for sauces, rice, oatmeal ect. don't waste you money on thin bottom pans they warp and burn food to easy.
I am always keeping my eye out for good stainless pans at estate and yard sales but not much luck. I also saw a nice set at Costo {stainless} for a couple hundred bucks. I resisted because I really do everything I need with my cast iron and 2 stainless pots one is a quart or so and the large one for pasta, steaming vegies, ect holds a couple gallons of water.
good luck on you search Tina
Posted by: OSuzanna, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 7:24am; Reply: 7
I'm a lifelong fan of Revereware. I can often find nice cheap old pieces at Sal's Boutique (Salvation Army) & other Goodwill-type 2nd-hand stores. No fancy care, and my mom still uses the same set she got around 1953!!!!! And after 6 kids playing "music" (the way only a 2-year-old with a wooden spoon can!) on them, too!
The only pieces I've found to be vulnerable were the poor tea kettles burnt up when nitwit significant ex-others turned on the stove without checking for water in the kettle. Now I keep the kettle off the burners so you are forced to pick it up, therefore finding out whether the kettle's empty or not. No brain required, arm muscles doing all the calculating.
Posted by: HKD1974 (Guest), Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 12:48pm; Reply: 8
I love Calphalon, you can get it at several different price ranges.
Posted by: Drea, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 4:43pm; Reply: 9
Quoted from Rodney
Cast iron skillet, cast iron dutch oven and for sauce pans stainless steel with tri-clad bottom. the bottoms of the stainless pans need to be heavy and thick IMHO they are great for sauces, rice, oatmeal ect. don't waste you money on thin bottom pans they warp and burn food to easy.
I am always keeping my eye out for good stainless pans at estate and yard sales but not much luck. I also saw a nice set at Costo {stainless} for a couple hundred bucks. I resisted because I really do everything I need with my cast iron and 2 stainless pots one is a quart or so and the large one for pasta, steaming vegies, ect holds a couple gallons of water.
good luck on you search Tina


I'm with Rodney. I use cast iron for most things; the one drawback is that the pans are a wee bit heavy to hold in the air for too long (like when scraping out the last of the stirfry onto the plate). We have a cast iron chicken fryer, a ci pan, a ci skillet, and a ci wok. Contrary to popular belief, these can all be used on a ceramic topped stove, if you are careful; just make sure you don't drop the pans onto the surface.
Posted by: Drea, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 4:46pm; Reply: 10
Quoted from osuzanna

The only pieces I've found to be vulnerable were the poor tea kettles burnt up when nitwit significant ex-others turned on the stove without checking for water in the kettle. Now I keep the kettle off the burners so you are forced to pick it up, therefore finding out whether the kettle's empty or not. No brain required, arm muscles doing all the calculating.


My mom got me a cordless electric kettle for New Year. It's nice to not have the kettle taking up a burner space, and since we have a lot of counter space, it's not in the way of other tasks. It shuts itself off after the water comes to a boil, so there's never a worry about it burning up. Plus, I'm the only one in the house that likes warm beverages, so I'm the only one who uses it.
Posted by: Victoria, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 5:18pm; Reply: 11
Quoted from Rodney
Cast iron skillet, cast iron dutch oven and for sauce pans stainless steel with tri-clad bottom. the bottoms of the stainless pans need to be heavy and thick IMHO they are great for sauces, rice, oatmeal ect. don't waste you money on thin bottom pans they warp and burn food to easy.


Yes, thick bottoms are important when cooking with "real food" as most of us do.  The Revere ware that I have is aluminum clad.  This means that the surfaces that touch food are all stainless steel, and a thick layer of alulminum is added to the outside of the bottom.

I also have a few of my Mother's old set of Revere pots.  These are stainless with copper bottoms.  I like them best of all, but don't have lids that fit them.  
Posted by: 1058 (Guest), Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 5:25pm; Reply: 12
"Cast iron skillet, cast iron dutch oven and for sauce pans stainless steel with tri-clad bottom."

I've been using cast iron for a while but am not having much luck keeping them in good shape.  What oil do you use to season yours?  Do you wash it between uses or just wipe it clean?  If you wash, do you use soap?  Do you scrape it?  Do you dry it on the burner or in the oven to prevent rust?  How often do you season it?
Posted by: Alia Vo, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 5:40pm; Reply: 13
I believe high quality 100% stainless steel is always a safe and economical cookware option.

ETA: I also believe 100% stoneware and earthenware are safe cooking options; they more challenging to come across than the commonly found stainless steel cookware varieties.

Alia
Posted by: Drea, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 5:51pm; Reply: 14
Quoted from Stephanie_Jackson
"Cast iron skillet, cast iron dutch oven and for sauce pans stainless steel with tri-clad bottom."

I've been using cast iron for a while but am not having much luck keeping them in good shape.  What oil do you use to season yours?  Do you wash it between uses or just wipe it clean?  If you wash, do you use soap?  Do you scrape it?  Do you dry it on the burner or in the oven to prevent rust?  How often do you season it?


It took me sometime to season my cast iron well, but here's what I did. Whenever I use it (cook in it), I use a liberal amount of ghee for sauteeing, and leave the pan 'dirty' on the stove, sometimes overnight. When I clean it, I use only warm water and no soap, with a green scrubby or wire brush. Then I reheat it on the stove and add just a bit of olive oil back into the pan with a paper towel and store in the cupboard for the next use. The only time I'll wash it out right away is after I've used it to dry roast pepitas or nuts, adding tamari at the end. It's been my experience that the salt content in the tamari really takes off the seasoning of the cast iron.

For the initial seasoning or when it becomes 'non-stick', I'll preheat the oven at 300 degrees F, coat the pan with a bit of ghee, both inside and out, and put it in the oven for an hour or more.
Posted by: Brighid45, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 6:06pm; Reply: 15
I use a mix of Revereware and cast iron--the stainless steel is mostly copper-clad saucepans and a few smaller skillets, the cast iron is two skillets, medium and large. I would love to have a sizeable selection of Le Creuset (enamelled cast iron from France) to use, but that will take a lot of penny-saving. Expensivo, but well worth the price!

I also have an excellent oval-shaped slow cooker that does a lot of work for me, especially in the wintertime, and a one-quart (one liter) slow cooker for making small batches of recipes or heating up soup or stew.
Posted by: Victoria, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 6:30pm; Reply: 16
Hey Brig!  :-)

What do you think is the smallest possible size roaster that is realistic for a small family of 2?

I'm saving for a LeCruset pot to do Roasts in, and I will always get the smallest little roasts I can find.
Posted by: 1058 (Guest), Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 6:52pm; Reply: 17
"I would love to have a sizeable selection of Le Creuset (enamelled cast iron from France) to use, but that will take a lot of penny-saving. "

My dream is to have a adequate but substantial supply of All-Clad stainless & Le Creuset enamel-over-iron.   I'd have to go into debt to make that happen, though.   I HAVE seen some on EBay, but the Le Creuset are so heavy that shipping alone will really set you back.

This stuff will last many lifetimes.
Posted by: k1204 (Guest), Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 7:22pm; Reply: 18
I love to use stainless steel. My mother always used cast iron but I read somewhere that this should not be used by women in menopause as they would get too much iron they could not get rid of in their monthly cycle. Thoughts?
Posted by: Don, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 8:48pm; Reply: 19
Quoted from k1204
My mother always used cast iron but I read somewhere that this should not be used by women in menopause as they would get too much iron they could not get rid of in their monthly cycle. Thoughts?

Donate blood to take care of any extra iron. That is what men need to do their whole life.

Posted by: Brighid45, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 11:55pm; Reply: 20
Donating blood is not only a good way to keep down iron levels, it's a great way to (temporarily) lower your blood pressure.

Victoria--I'd say if you're making fairly small roasts, you could get away with a one-quart pot or saucepan. It depends on how much other stuff you put in. If you add a lot of vegetables, then maybe a two quart would be better.
Posted by: Drea, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 11:58pm; Reply: 21
Quoted from Brighid45
Donating blood is not only a good way to keep down iron levels, it's a great way to (temporarily) lower your blood pressure.


AND it's a great way to give back to the community.
Posted by: Brighid45, Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 12:03am; Reply: 22
Yes, you're right Drea. I kinda left that out because I just figured most people were donating to help *chuckle* Never assume! :)
Posted by: MyraBee, Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 1:58am; Reply: 23
When I was in college, I was a nanny for a household that had Le Creuset .  If its the ccokware I'm thinking of--the inside was supposed to be white--but it seemed stained and almost crackled to me.  I never felt like I could get it clean---Is this Le Creuset?

Love,

The Happy Chef---now that I've mastered liver I'm unstoppable!!   8)
Posted by: cindyt, Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 11:25pm; Reply: 24
Is there any kind of tea kettle that will allow me to boil the water in it,  then make the tea in it, remove the tea leaves, and then put it back on the (electric) burner on low to keep it warm for several hours?  I used to do this with the Corning Ware teapots, but they stopped making them.  I hate having to reheat the tea in the microwave.
Posted by: KimonoKat, Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 11:29pm; Reply: 25
Quoted from cindyt
Is there any kind of tea kettle that will allow me to boil the water in it,  then make the tea in it, remove the tea leaves, and then put it back on the (electric) burner on low to keep it warm for several hours?  I used to do this with the Corning Ware teapots, but they stopped making them.  I hate having to reheat the tea in the microwave.


A 100% stainless steel tea pot? ??)  Or, a glass pot with a lid? ??)

We use a tempered glass pot with a lid to boil our water on the stove, but we don't keep a pot around all day.  We just make tea in the morning.
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