What are the best type of pots & pans to cook with? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 06-16-2008, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What are the healthiest type of pots & pans to cook with?
Are copper pots & pans healthy?? Free of lead & other unhealthy
components....Thank you
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#2 of 21 Old 06-17-2008, 02:34 AM
 
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It really depends on what you are cooking, and how you are cooking it.* Copper is the best for heat transferability, but pure copper can not be used to cook acidic foods.* The copper must be lined with either tin or aluminum. Really the best all around cookware is good old cast iron. It can be used in the oven, on the stove top, under a broiler, on an open fire grill, pretty much anything. It can be some upkeep, and they are heavy. If you want non-stick, look for anodized aluminum. This is a baked on treatment, not sprayed on like the old teflon.

And also, like many other things, pay attention to price. If you buy cheap, lighweight pots and pans, they aren't going to last. It is really better to invest in something that will last a long time, preferably a brand with a good warranty.
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#3 of 21 Old 06-17-2008, 02:52 AM
 
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My preferences are cast iron, copper-bottomed stainless, glass, ceramic.

Cast iron gets the most use around here, I use stainless or glass for things that require boiling (water, stock, sauces, etc.). Glass or ceramic for baking mostly, but I do also have silicone muffin pans and silpat sheet pan liners.

I know lots of people like stoneware, but I don't. Enameled cast iron (Le Creuset) is also a favorite around here, with the heat stability of cast iron, but the versatility of stainless... I just haven't found the money to try it yet.

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#4 of 21 Old 06-17-2008, 10:09 AM
 
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I use my cast iron for most things, then have a few stainless steel pots for pasta, rice, and other stuff that requires boiling water... for bakeware I have mostly glass and some cast iron
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#5 of 21 Old 06-17-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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We use a combination of cast iron, stainless steel, glass and silicone depending on what we're cooking / baking.
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#6 of 21 Old 06-17-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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We use a combination of cast iron, stainless steel, glass and silicone depending on what we're cooking / baking.
Ditto. I use my stainless steel more than anything else, though, glass coming in second.
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#7 of 21 Old 06-19-2008, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What type of pots & or pans do you use with what?
What do you bake with?
What do you make a stew with? Pasta? Rice? Boil water?
what do you use when making stir fry? A steak? A grilled fish?
thank you


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Originally Posted by countryangels View Post
What are the healthiest type of pots & pans to cook with?
Are copper pots & pans healthy?? Free of lead & other unhealthy
components....Thank you
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#8 of 21 Old 06-19-2008, 04:24 AM
 
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I inherited a decent collection of LeCrueset, and I love it. I have a good sized soup pot, and 4 smaller ones. I also have a few Revere pots that I use mostly for pasta. I have a 10 and 12 inch cast iron skillet, and a 10 inch griddle.

I have 2 commercial aluminium baking sheets, and I use them with silpat liners. I have a few Pampered Chef baking pans, and a few pyrex ones. I want to get the PC stoneware loaf pans.

I also have 2 non-stick mini muffin pans, and 4 stainless steel muffin tins.
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#9 of 21 Old 06-19-2008, 09:19 AM
 
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Ok, here goes:

For baking, I have mostly glass, with the exception of stainless steel cookie sheets & cast iron muffin pans and a pizza pan.

For making pasta/rice/boiling water we use stainless steel pots.

For cooking sauces, sauteing, etc, I use cast iron.

For soups I either use a cast iron pot (chili's and other 'thick' soups, mostly), or a big ol stock pot (for chicken noodle, watery-type suops, broth, etc, mostly).

Grilling we mostly do outside, on the grill, but if I do it inside, I use cast iron. I have a round, think its 10" griddle that I use for most of that sort of stuff (pancakes, cheese sandwhiches, tortillas, etc).

Hope that helps!!
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#10 of 21 Old 06-19-2008, 11:49 AM
 
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I have a huge supply of All clad stainless, and various other pieces. I have the largest sized oval shaped dutch oven in white from Le Crueset and love that. I can actually roast two chickens in it or make several quarts of bolognese/any sauces, etc.

I am a huge fan of Williams Sonoma and I love everything there except non stick
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#11 of 21 Old 06-19-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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Another Williams-Sonoma junkie here, but I don't buy my All Clad there. I actually buy factory seconds from Cookware-n-more.

It depends on what I'm cooking, but I usually use my AC for pasta, sauces, etc. I have the 7oz and 12oz stock pots/steamer/pentolas, the asparagus steamer (eh, save your money), a small saucepan, and a saute pan. I could not live w/o my saute pan!

However, for non stick I usually use my Lodge cast iron skillet. You can get those cheap, $20-25. I also have a Le Creuset grill pan that I LOVE (I want to marry it it!), and a Le Creuset dutch oven which rocks for soups, stews, and roasts (I use it instead of a crock pot).
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#12 of 21 Old 06-19-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
I use my cast iron for most things, then have a few stainless steel pots for pasta, rice, and other stuff that requires boiling water... for bakeware I have mostly glass and some cast iron
Same here!
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#13 of 21 Old 06-19-2008, 11:04 PM
 
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I have been thinking about getting some new pots too. We have few pieces of non-stick Capholon that we bought after our wedding. I really don't like them...for one, their non-stick but their just not that great. I just checked Consumer Reports and they said that Kirkland Signiture Costco brand is the best deal...it's anodized aluminum. They rated a bunch and said that some of the more expensive brands didn't perform better than the cheaper brands....

I was planning on adding some pieces because their so expensive but maybe I'll get a whole set from Costco....

Oh, and is anodized aluminum bad?

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#14 of 21 Old 06-20-2008, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If its non stick, does it mean they are made with teflon???
Thank you.

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Originally Posted by Gavin'smom View Post
I have been thinking about getting some new pots too. We have few pieces of non-stick Capholon that we bought after our wedding. I really don't like them...for one, their non-stick but their just not that great. I just checked Consumer Reports and they said that Kirkland Signiture Costco brand is the best deal...it's anodized aluminum. They rated a bunch and said that some of the more expensive brands didn't perform better than the cheaper brands....

I was planning on adding some pieces because their so expensive but maybe I'll get a whole set from Costco....

Oh, and is anodized aluminum bad?
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#15 of 21 Old 06-20-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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I think it depends on what it's made of. Most non-stick are made with Teflon. That's what we have and I want to get rid of them but we haven't had the money to replace them. Anodized Aluminum is supposed to be non-stick and capable of browning, etc like stainless steel. I have done tons of searches online and really don't find any conclusive evidence from reputable sources that claims that aluminum or anodized aluminum cookware is bad. I cannot stand media fear mongering and I would love a reason to splurge on the Le Creuset so if anyone can drag up some reputable info let me know....

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#16 of 21 Old 06-20-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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I have a real mishmash of pots and pans, and it's perfect for me. My fry pans are cast iron. One is Lodge brand, but 3 I got in a set from the Martha Steward line at Kmart. They're seasoning up great. I also have stainless Reverware sauce pans that I've had for years, plus a RevereWare stock pot and frying pan, both of which get used on occasion, but not very often. I have a very large pan stainless steel pan from Costco that is worth it's weight in gold. The workhorse of my kitchen is actually a Magna/Wagner dutch oven that belonged to my Mother. For baking I use aluminum cookie sheets, cast iron bundt pans, and glass baking dishes.

the AllClad and LeCruset are beautiful, but they're really expensive. I can't afford them, but frankly I'm really happy with my "mishmash." It suits my cooking style well.
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#17 of 21 Old 06-21-2008, 10:06 AM
 
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stainless steel & calphalon - love calphalon pots. Had looked into le crueset style, very pretty but too heavy for me.
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#18 of 21 Old 06-21-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin'smom View Post
I think it depends on what it's made of. Most non-stick are made with Teflon. That's what we have and I want to get rid of them but we haven't had the money to replace them. Anodized Aluminum is supposed to be non-stick and capable of browning, etc like stainless steel. I have done tons of searches online and really don't find any conclusive evidence from reputable sources that claims that aluminum or anodized aluminum cookware is bad. I cannot stand media fear mongering and I would love a reason to splurge on the Le Creuset so if anyone can drag up some reputable info let me know....

Best reason to splurge on LeCreuset? It is more energy efficient. I cook 2 notches lower on my temp dial with the heavy cast iron.

And it cleans like a dream. Even burned rice stuck to the bottom of the pan.
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#19 of 21 Old 06-21-2008, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good point,makes sense, if its energy efficient, it should be worth it, right?

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Originally Posted by catnip View Post
Best reason to splurge on LeCreuset? It is more energy efficient. I cook 2 notches lower on my temp dial with the heavy cast iron.

And it cleans like a dream. Even burned rice stuck to the bottom of the pan.
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#20 of 21 Old 06-21-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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Cast iron for sure. I hate the way eggs and potatoes stick to stainless steel.

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#21 of 21 Old 06-22-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Cast iron for sure. I hate the way eggs and potatoes stick to stainless steel.
gosh, that is my exact problem with stainless. i use it for pretty much anything, but eggs and potatoes ... argh! what kind of cast iron is good for that? LeCreuset style enameled cast iron or something else?

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