Author Topic: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime  (Read 1882 times)

Steeze

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Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« on: May 15, 2019, 06:52:57 PM »
I want to invest in a set of pots and pans that I never have to replace. Current set up is a mash of Free sidewalk scores and stuff roommates left behind over the years.

Sell me a set that will last forever.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2019, 06:55:19 PM »
PTF our $250 Calphalon set is starting to lose its nonstick. I've heard good things about All Clad but damn, pretty expensive. We have a 12" cast iron skillet. What else is a good idea?

PoutineLover

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 07:24:20 PM »
I really like my paderno pots, going strong for 10 years and they still look new. They often go on sale, and many models have lifetime warranties.

NorCal

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 08:06:09 PM »
I'm having very good luck with the Kirkland/Costco Stainless set. 

It's reasonably priced, and stainless lasts much longer than non-stick (assuming you don't plan to ingest teflon).

Steeze

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 08:20:29 PM »
I'm having very good luck with the Kirkland/Costco Stainless set. 

It's reasonably priced, and stainless lasts much longer than non-stick (assuming you don't plan to ingest teflon).

My beloved nonstick pan is starting to flake, not to mention it is warped very badly. Unfortunately I worked in a restaurant for many years that used Costco Teflon coated griddles, we would wear the Teflon right off them and keep going until they died. A little Teflon in your pancakes canít hurt right? I have probably eaten an entire Pans worth of Teflon because of that.

... had a friend recommend cast iron, but DW hates the extra weight. I like the idea of the durability and versatility of cast iron though.

Malkynn

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2019, 03:10:28 AM »
Literally any stainless steel pots will last forever, the quality doesn't really change the lifespan, it changes the cooking quality, the distribution of heat.

For pans, cast iron is the way to go. You can find cast iron pans extremely cheap, just make sure to read up on how to season them properly and how to clean them.

Restaurant supply stores are the best bet for cheap but sturdy cookware.

Cranky

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 04:12:49 AM »
The weak point for a lot of pans is actually the handle, so pay close attention to that. Avoid plastic - eventually the screws come loose.

We have a Revereware 2qt pan from my dhís childhood home that must bec60 years old.

tyler2016

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 05:02:22 AM »
Cast iron. A cast iron dutch oven can double as a pot.

chemistk

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2019, 06:00:18 AM »
I have to say, the backbone of a "lifetime" set of pans is always going to be cast iron.

Your spouse may hate the extra weight, but cast iron is going to outlast every other implement in your kitchen. You could bury a well seasoned cast iron pan for 60 years, dig it up, scrape off the muck, season it again, and get cooking.

There's no "set" that's going to last you. All-Clad or other similar high end stainless pans will get you far but even those can wear out.

You could have an incredibly versatile kitchen with the following:

(1)8" - 10" cast iron pan, (1) 12"-14" cast iron pan, (1) 10"-12" dutch oven, (1) small to medium carbon steel wok, 2-4 stainless sauce pans (of varying size), (1) stainless stock pot, and 1 high quality (Caphalon or similar) teflon skillet.

If you never do any type of stir fry or just don't have use for a wok you could easily justify a stainless skillet in its place.

Note: I am not a professional chef or cook, but I try to cook all manner of cuisine and the above is basically what I use anymore. 

habaneroNorway

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 06:14:04 AM »
Any kitchen must have a cast iron pan. I also like to have a griddled one as they are great for steaks etc when the BBQ is not an option. Well maintained (oiled, heated gradually) and of good quality they should last a couple of generations.

Non-stick pans just don't last forever. My favorite so far has been Woll (German high-quality manufacturer). They are a bit on the pricey side, but they have lasted way longer than the others I have tried. They come in various sizes, with lids and with detachable handles which are handy so you can put the pan in the oven, remove the handle and just reattach it when taking the pan out. The lids are also oven-proof.

zoochadookdook

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2019, 07:34:27 AM »
On a side tangent-how the heck do you guys keep the bottons/sides of your pretty nonstick cookware clean? Mine from a year ago has built up this unbreakable barrier of grease heat treated spatter and I have no idea how to best clean it (no dishwasher)

JLee

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2019, 07:37:09 AM »
On a side tangent-how the heck do you guys keep the bottons/sides of your pretty nonstick cookware clean? Mine from a year ago has built up this unbreakable barrier of grease heat treated spatter and I have no idea how to best clean it (no dishwasher)
This stuff - https://www.barkeepersfriend.com/

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2019, 07:43:07 AM »
DW and I got a set of stainless Cuisinart set for our wedding 16 years ago, and it has held up very well.  In fact, DW just got another saucepan because sometimes we need three at the same time :) 

Agreed on avoiding plastic handles.

Several years ago we started using cast iron, and I love it.  Yes, it's more work to clean, and yes, you need to pay more attention in order to keep things from sticking, but it's great to cook on.  One thing I've noticed is that modern cast iron is sand-cast (a cheaper process), which means it has more texture, which I find undesirable (food sticks more).  I used my orbital sander to smooth it out, and it has helped noticeably.  A few years ago I bought a much older (second-hand) cast iron frying pan, and the bottom is super smooth, and it's much better to cook on.

On a side tangent-how the heck do you guys keep the bottons/sides of your pretty nonstick cookware clean? Mine from a year ago has built up this unbreakable barrier of grease heat treated spatter and I have no idea how to best clean it (no dishwasher)
That's seasoning :)

seemsright

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2019, 07:47:58 AM »
I bought a full set of cast iron pans, four different sizes of skillets and a dutch oven in 1998 and they are still going strong. I figure I will pass a skillet or two down to DD when she goes off to on her own.

I decided I was only buying one set of pans when I bought them. But man there was a learning curve to cooking in them. Figured it out pretty quick.

Dogastrophe

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2019, 07:48:06 AM »
I really like my paderno pots, going strong for 10 years and they still look new. They often go on sale, and many models have lifetime warranties.

Paderno's quality has slipped over the years and is getting worse now that Canadian Tire bought them. 

brute

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2019, 07:52:11 AM »
Non-stick: buy cheap stuff from a restaurant supply store, replace frequently. Non-stick isn't meant to last.

Cast-iron and carbon steel for everything else. Enameled cast iron is pretty and also handy for acidic dishes. I have a gorgeous set of Le Creuset we got for our wedding. It works exactly as well as something cheaper.

Cranky

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2019, 08:05:56 AM »
I donít really stress too much about the outsides of my pots and pans, honestly.

GuitarStv

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2019, 08:11:12 AM »
This is a bizarre thread.  Most* pots and pans will last you a lifetime, or damned close to it.

1.  Don't buy non-stick pans.  They're disposable junk, and designed to fail.  They're also completely unnecessary.  If you don't want things to stick, grease the damned pan.  As people have done for thousands of years.  This isn't a secret.

2.  I've been using the same stainless steel pots and pans that I bought from a thrift store after university for the past 15 years.  I don't really see any reason they wouldn't last another 20.  At which point I guess I can splurge on another 50$ worth of no-name pots and pans if necessary.


As an aside, I've noticed that most of the people in my life who have very expensive cooking/baking ware, also tend to eat out the most and rarely cook with them.  Cooking and baking are fucking easy.  A pan is not a complicated thing, and you don't need to spent much money to get something that works great.  In my life I've used aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, enamel coated cast iron, pyrex, and various teflon coated cookware.  Anyone with a modicum of experience in the kitchen will be able to cook just about anything perfectly well on any of them.


*Excluding the very cheapest junky crap that you can find

nereo

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2019, 08:27:19 AM »
Agree with GuitarStv - besides the obvious junky items and teflon-coated items (which I avoid anyway) - most pots will last at least a few decades, if not your entire life, with proper care. Avoid pans that are so thin the flex when you push on them (except carbon skillets, which won't last forever but are cheap and a staple of restaurants for very good reaosn) Cast-iron and stainless are generational choices. I love copper but unless its heavy and costs a fortune it's almost certainly a thin copper layer bonded to cheap aluminum (avoid!).

As others have said, avoid plastic handles.  Never use any metal objects (knives, forks, metal spatulas) when cooking - buying a set of wooden spoons and silicone-coated tongs will do more to prolong the life of your pots than most anything else.  If a particular dish is acidic, transfer it out of the pan once you are done and clean the pan.  Barkeeper's Friend (used occasionally) can make the bottom nad sides of SS pans sparkle like new again.

My parents still have the All-Clad frying pans they got as wedding gifts over three decades ago. I've been working on the same set for over a decade. Ditto for two Lodge skillets. But I'm not saying those are the only brands - there are dozens of others which can be considered BIFL.

sol

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2019, 08:29:19 AM »
This is a bizarre thread.  Most* pots and pans will last you a lifetime, or damned close to it.

I can think of a few exceptions, but in general I agree that the price you pay for stainless steel pots and pans is mostly irrelevant to how long they will last.  Even if you get ones without any plastic on the handles, sometimes the handles are poorly secured and can come loose eventually.  We've been rocking a set of tri-ply Tramontinas (from Walmart of all places) that America's Test Kitchen rated as equivalent to the All-Clad line at less than half the price.  They do crazy shit, though, like use them to pound nails.  Yes they'll last a lifetime, but they're probably overkill for home kitchens.

Quote
1.  Don't buy non-stick pans.  They're disposable junk, and designed to fail.  They're also completely unnecessary.  If you don't want things to stick, grease the damned pan.  As people have done for thousands of years.  This isn't a secret.

In addition to being so fragile as to be disposable, non-stick coatings on pots and pans are the leaded paints of our generation.  In the past few years the health risks and environmental consequences of those non-stick coatings has really started to clear up.  At this point, you couldn't pay me to cook on one.  I'd rather put asbestos insulation in my attic than cook eggs in a non-stick pan.

OtherJen

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2019, 08:38:03 AM »
This is a bizarre thread.  Most* pots and pans will last you a lifetime, or damned close to it.

1.  Don't buy non-stick pans.  They're disposable junk, and designed to fail.  They're also completely unnecessary.  If you don't want things to stick, grease the damned pan.  As people have done for thousands of years.  This isn't a secret.

2.  I've been using the same stainless steel pots and pans that I bought from a thrift store after university for the past 15 years.  I don't really see any reason they wouldn't last another 20.  At which point I guess I can splurge on another 50$ worth of no-name pots and pans if necessary.


As an aside, I've noticed that most of the people in my life who have very expensive cooking/baking ware, also tend to eat out the most and rarely cook with them.  Cooking and baking are fucking easy.  A pan is not a complicated thing, and you don't need to spent much money to get something that works great.  In my life I've used aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, enamel coated cast iron, pyrex, and various teflon coated cookware.  Anyone with a modicum of experience in the kitchen will be able to cook just about anything perfectly well on any of them.


*Excluding the very cheapest junky crap that you can find

All of this.

We have a mix of stainless steel and cast iron (both enameled and not) pots/pans. One of the pieces is a stainless steel Calphalon stock pot bought on clearance 18 years ago. It still works as well as ever, and I canít foresee any reason why I would need to replace it. Even the heavy-bottomed stainless steel sauce pan from Target has lasted far longer (10+ years at this point) than the Calphalon nonstick it was bought to replace.

Another Reader

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2019, 08:45:47 AM »
I have my grandmother's 100 plus year old cast iron pans...

Cool Friend

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2019, 09:00:36 AM »


In addition to being so fragile as to be disposable, non-stick coatings on pots and pans are the leaded paints of our generation.  In the past few years the health risks and environmental consequences of those non-stick coatings has really started to clear up.  At this point, you couldn't pay me to cook on one.  I'd rather put asbestos insulation in my attic than cook eggs in a non-stick pan.

Uh oh :(

nereo

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2019, 09:17:44 AM »


In addition to being so fragile as to be disposable, non-stick coatings on pots and pans are the leaded paints of our generation.  In the past few years the health risks and environmental consequences of those non-stick coatings has really started to clear up.  At this point, you couldn't pay me to cook on one.  I'd rather put asbestos insulation in my attic than cook eggs in a non-stick pan.

Uh oh :(

Earlier & cheaper non-stick pans use PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene).  In recent years PFOA ( Perfluorooctanoic acid, )has come on the scene and DuPont has begun a phase-out even though it says publicly that they are 'safe under proper use'. The UN is proposing a complete ban on PFOA after it has been linked to low birthweight and other developmental problems.

galliver

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2019, 09:39:50 AM »


This is a bizarre thread.  Most* pots and pans will last you a lifetime, or damned close to it.

Corollary: you can destroy any pan if you treat it badly enough. Except maybe cast iron...which you can make hard to restore (eg if it has pitting)

My bf overheated one of our SS pans and now it has a lump on the bottom. My guess is cladding warped. Still works, but maybe not as well (less even heat, etc). On the flip side, our nonstick is holding up much better now we use other pans for high heat cooking.

I get the love for cast iron and SS, and I recommend them, but it's not universal. Meat and veg are fine as long as you preheat, but I can't use them to pan fry starchy things (pot stickers, noodles, rice, potatoes) and get nice crispy bits without sticking. I don't think I've managed sunny side eggs, though scrambled is fine. Fish is hit or miss, particularly if you dredge it. (Note: I've also been stuck with electric ranges and shitty range hoods in our past 2 apartments, that might play a role.) We keep two nonstick pans for this stuff: a 13 or 14" ceramic-coated saute pan, and an 8" skillet for eggs.

Weight can be a serious issue for older people, or people with chronic injuries, arthritis, or neuromuscular disorders. That would rule out cast iron for them.

TLDR: there are good options in each category, but you have to take care of them.

doggyfizzle

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2019, 09:54:35 AM »
All-Clad stainless.  We got our set for our wedding (pooled some Williams-Sonoma gift cards and had a 25% off coupon).  10 years in and still like new with proper care.  Spendy, but you get the added benefit of the cookware being made in the USA where the factory has to conform to US and state environmental standard, unlike a lot of cookware that comes from China.

Another Reader

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2019, 10:16:16 AM »
All-Clad stainless.  We got our set for our wedding (pooled some Williams-Sonoma gift cards and had a 25% off coupon).  10 years in and still like new with proper care.  Spendy, but you get the added benefit of the cookware being made in the USA where the factory has to conform to US and state environmental standard, unlike a lot of cookware that comes from China.

Most All Clad is made in China now...

dcheesi

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2019, 10:50:32 AM »
In addition to non-stick coatings, the other thing to watch out for is plastic handles and accessories. Basically anything that's not pure metal (or *maybe* glass) is going to limit the usefulness and lifespan of your pots/pans.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2019, 10:55:23 AM »
The garden-variety Revere Ware stainless steel pans with copper bottoms that I got in 1984 for my wedding are still going strong. Cast iron will last more than a generation. 

Teflon is bad for us and should be avoided - if you do use it, throw the pans out once they get some wear. A ceramic coated frying pan is less toxic than teflon if you really need a nonstick pan.

One precaution about cast iron - while it's great for most people, about 1 in 200 people has hemochromatosis - a genetic condition where they accumulate too much iron in their bodies. Cooking in cast iron adds iron to the diet and must be avoided by people with this predisposition. If you've had any genomic testing like 23andme or ancestry.com you can run your raw data through Promethease.com for $15 and look for the hemochromatosis genes. If you don't have that you should at least get your ferritin and iron levels checked before committing to cooking in cast iron for the rest of your life.

CupcakeGuru

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2019, 10:59:04 AM »
All-Clad stainless.  We got our set for our wedding (pooled some Williams-Sonoma gift cards and had a 25% off coupon).  10 years in and still like new with proper care.  Spendy, but you get the added benefit of the cookware being made in the USA where the factory has to conform to US and state environmental standard, unlike a lot of cookware that comes from China.

Most All Clad is made in China now...

All Clad is not made in China. It is made in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

GuitarStv

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2019, 11:00:08 AM »
All-Clad stainless.  We got our set for our wedding (pooled some Williams-Sonoma gift cards and had a 25% off coupon).  10 years in and still like new with proper care.  Spendy, but you get the added benefit of the cookware being made in the USA where the factory has to conform to US and state environmental standard, unlike a lot of cookware that comes from China.

Most All Clad is made in China now...

Al Clad is not made in China. It is made in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

90% true - https://www.metrokitchen.com/where-is-all-clad-manufactured

CupcakeGuru

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2019, 11:02:12 AM »
All-Clad stainless.  We got our set for our wedding (pooled some Williams-Sonoma gift cards and had a 25% off coupon).  10 years in and still like new with proper care.  Spendy, but you get the added benefit of the cookware being made in the USA where the factory has to conform to US and state environmental standard, unlike a lot of cookware that comes from China.

Most All Clad is made in China now...

Al Clad is not made in China. It is made in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

90% true - https://www.metrokitchen.com/where-is-all-clad-manufactured

100% of the cookware is made in PA. Electronics and other items are made in China, France and Italy.

Telecaster

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2019, 11:07:50 AM »
I hate cooking on Teflon.   The food doesn't brown properly, and of course Teflon pans are disposable junk.   Even the good ones are junk because the metal is too thin.

Every kitchen should have one cast iron pan.   Stainless works fine.   I have some Wagner aluminum sauce pans my mother gave me which have got to be 60+ years old, and I imagine will outlast me.  Some people don't like to cook in aluminum because they believe it is linked to Alzheimer's but I've never seen any evidence that is the case. 

SimpleCycle

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2019, 11:10:20 AM »
Don't do sets.  We have the following:

-10 and 12 inch cast iron skillets
-an enameled cast iron dutch oven
-a ceramic "nonstick" sautee pan (I expect this will only last 10-20 years, but way better than teflon)
-a 2 qt revereware sauce pan and a 4 qt pasta pot (we've had these for two decades already, still going strong)

We cook a TON and that is plenty for us.

Rosy

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2019, 02:21:30 PM »
Stainless is my weapon of choice - a complete set of the slightly heavier kind.
Got a set on clearance about twenty years ago - made in Italy. It has style and turquoise accents plus well fitting glass lids.
Came with a small double boiler for chocolate etc plus a colander which fits into one of the pots (space saver) and can be used to steam veggies too.
The only drawback, it came with just one frying pan - 10 inches.

So I picked up a heavy duty 12 inch, much deeper frying pan - Wolfgang Puck:) - at a discount store. Perfect.

Then I added a medium size oval dutch oven - cast iron and enamel and the last addition was a stock pot, also cast iron and enamel. I do hate cast iron because it hurts handling such a heavyweight pot (arthritis) and I never figured out how to properly season and re-season a real iron skillet. I finally gave up on that. The enamel coating works just fine.

Definitely not a fan of alu either. Tends to burn the food yet hasn't cooked it through in the center. Cheap junk!
There is something about a good heavy pot that can hold its heat and perform beautifully on low heat over an extended period of time - improves the flavor a thousand fold. 

Oh, and of course there is a Teflon type skillet set about to be replaced once again - ugh - used primarily for omelets. The good news is that I've figured out how to make pancakes in the stainless steel pan without sticking as I am really not happy about using any sort of coated pan.
I can't easily lift a cast iron skillet, it is too cumbersome and hurts my hands and wrists. I cook pretty much every day, twice daily on the weekend.

I just leave the bright red dutch oven on the stove - it looks nice and intentional. I rarely move it but I've figured out how to maneuver it (and rest it in between) if I want to put it in the fridge overnight for instance.
Mr. R. got a taste of how painful maneuvering such a pot can be when he recently had back surgery and wasn't allowed to lift anything heavy, much less tackle the refrigerator double doors while holding the pot - I showed him how I do it and how I rest it on the shelves until I maneuver it into position.

Anyway, TMI:). Bottom line I am a fan of stainless, but you can't beat a cast iron enamel pot for stovetop cooking a roast or a whole chicken. It is like a slow cooker, only much better, infusing flavor and browning up beautifully.

Pots and pans are nothing but tools, get good ones that work for you and how you prefer to eat and cook. I doubt I'd buy a used pot, but you can find good deals on clearance online and in the stores.
I gave away the nice electric wok Mr. R. had - not my thing, I just don't cook that way. Although I did change my style of cooking when I met Mr. R. since he has different likes - I never owned anything cast iron much less a dutch oven before I met him.
It's not like one couldn't fix the roast in the oven, but it is admittedly much easier to monitor, add seasoning and ingredients along the way when it is accessible right there on your stove top. 

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2019, 05:23:38 PM »
I do my fair share of cooking. Knowing what I know now, most pans go bad because you're not using them properly. Non-stick is really meant to be cooked in low to medium heat for things like eggs, pancakes, fish, etc. Anything involving high heat cooking is stainless steel, cast-iron, or carbon steel. If I had to do it all over again that would cover all types of cooking, I would get: a medium non-stick pan (optional), a medium cast-iron pan, a medium carbon steel pan, an enameled cast iron pot (6-8 qt), small and medium stainless steel pan, a medium carbon steel wok, and a small and medium stainless sauce pan.  Learn how to season your cast-iron and carbon steel pan and know how to properly use your stainless pans so the food don't stick. The only thing you'd need to replace every several years would be your non stick and that's even if you decide to get it. All others should last a lifetime if you know how to take care of them. To this day I've still yet to replace them except for the non-stick.

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Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2019, 06:17:32 PM »
If you are starting from scratch, a good set does make sense as it will save you the most money. Unless you get lucky and find a set on Craigslist.

I got this stainless set from Cusinart 3 years ago: Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXPS6U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_9RF3Cb9PQ58DJ]https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXPS6U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_9RF3Cb9PQ58DJ] Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXPS6U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_9RF3Cb9PQ58DJ.

The whole set is riveted and oven and fridge safe. Bar Keepers Friend is all that is needed to keep them looking brand new.

Go find in YouTube videos on how to cook properly on stainless. Long story short: make sure pans are hot and use plenty fat/oil.

I also own a Lodge cast iron just because of the size and for camping.


Another option is to follow Wirecutterís advice: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-cookware-set/

calimom

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2019, 06:57:35 PM »
On a side tangent-how the heck do you guys keep the bottons/sides of your pretty nonstick cookware clean? Mine from a year ago has built up this unbreakable barrier of grease heat treated spatter and I have no idea how to best clean it (no dishwasher)
This stuff - https://www.barkeepersfriend.com/

+1 on Barkeeper's Friend. It really works!

And I'm a fan of Le Crueset. I have a couple different sizes of Dutch ovens, a grill pan, a medium saucepan, all in different colors. All purchased at an outlet store. Love the heat transfer and the ability to go from stovetop to oven. It's an investment but they will last forever.

Cgbg

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2019, 07:24:19 PM »
We still have our Revere ware copper bottomed set of pots that we got as a wedding gift back in the mid 1990s. Iíve picked up a few more at goodwill. The new line was crap 5 years ago when I looked at it.

Pans are all cast iron. Various sizes of fry pans and griddles plus a couple of Dutch ovens. And one beloved le creuset smaller Dutch oven. 

Before we got married, we would buy a new cheap nonstick pan each year. Then I learned to cook with cast iron on a gas stove.

Steeze

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2019, 09:19:32 PM »
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-Stainless-Steel-Tri-Ply-Clad-Cookware-Set-8-Piece/19581112?selected=true

Anyone have any opinions on this Tramontina set? keep seeing great reviews. For the price seems like a good value. Would add a wok and cast iron skillet elsewhere.

Am I being too cheap?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 09:23:20 PM by Steeze »

sol

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2019, 08:00:55 AM »
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-Stainless-Steel-Tri-Ply-Clad-Cookware-Set-8-Piece/19581112?selected=true

Anyone have any opinions on this Tramontina set? keep seeing great reviews. For the price seems like a good value. Would add a wok and cast iron skillet elsewhere.

Am I being too cheap?

That's the set I recommended above based in the review by America's Test Kitchen.  I bought it years ago, and have been very happy with it.

I prefer larger frying pans, for family cooking, so those pieces don't get used as much.  The pots are great, though, and you get three for the price of a single All-Clad pot that is indistinguishable.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2019, 09:19:39 AM »
Hey Sol, what do you use for your larger frying pan? We have a giant (16" I think?) Calphalon saute pan that we use for family dinners all the time, and it's warping. The pan we want to replace the most is that one.

big_owl

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2019, 10:11:12 AM »
I can't believe we ever cooked on those non-stick pots and pans.  After a few years they flaked off of course too.  One day I noticed flakes of it in my food, sweet, I was eating the stuff with my dinner!

Now we have copper pots and pans and a large cast iron pan and also a really small one for cooking eggs.  I use the cast iron for most things but I prefer to use the copper for sautťing because it heats up and cools down so much faster than the cast iron.  Sometimes I get annoyed waiting 5 minutes for the cast iron to heat up to a respectable temp.

I love the copper, they were really expensive but they are so precise compared to the cast iron.  In any case the copper (SS-lined) and cast iron will last longer than I will which is more than I can say for those stupid Teflon lined pans.

I never have a problem with anything sticking to either the copper or cast iron.  We also replaced all our metal baking sheets with just two stone baking trays.  Once those were seasoned I never have any sticking there either.

Steeze

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2019, 11:32:19 AM »
Thanks @sol for the tip. Just have to get DW on board.

dougules

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #44 on: May 17, 2019, 11:45:18 AM »
+1 on cast iron.  I frequently use my great great grandmother's cast iron skillet from the early 1930s.  Is that enough "last a lifetime" for you?

Just make sure to learn how to season cast iron. 
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 11:47:11 AM by dougules »

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #45 on: May 17, 2019, 11:50:50 AM »
I'm having very good luck with the Kirkland/Costco Stainless set. 

It's reasonably priced, and stainless lasts much longer than non-stick (assuming you don't plan to ingest teflon).

I have  a set of stainless steel  pots and pans that have aluminum cladding on their bottom that facilitates heat transfer from the stove's burner.

The whole set was so cheap that I didn't expect it to last very long but it has.

I think the brand is Tramontina.

Maybe it's junk.

I dislike cookware that has a Teflon coating.


sisto

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #46 on: May 17, 2019, 11:52:41 AM »
I have an All Clad set I got on sale at Macy's using gift cards acquired as Christmas gifts that I saved. They are 20 years old and still look amazing. I use bar keepers friend on them. I do like non stick pans for some things and have always just considered them throw away even the nice ceramic ones don't take heat well. All that changed when I found Hex Clad non stick. Not sure if they will last or not yet, but so far I have been very impressed with them and they are oven safe which is awesome.

ks135ks

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #47 on: May 17, 2019, 07:13:07 PM »
My favorite cookware that I don't ever expect to have to replace is American made AmeriCraft Waterless Stainless Steel cookware (https://americraftcookware.com).  I actually bought it at a state fair demo which is the weirdest place I can think of to buy cookware but it included all sorts of bonus pieces including a slow cooker and electric skillet.  It was pricey but has a lifetime warranty of the pans not the owner.  They can be used on gas, electric, induction, convection, etc stovetops.  They can be used in the oven as well.

Weird fun fact, you can make hard boiled eggs using only a wet paper towel in the bottom of the pan.

Edited to add, I augment this set with my grandmother's and great-grandmother's cast iron.  Talk about longevity.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 07:21:09 PM by ks135ks »

markbike528CBX

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #48 on: May 17, 2019, 07:17:27 PM »
Nice to see Cuisinart get cudos, we just got gifted a small set since our friends now have a induction stove.

YourMother

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Re: Pots and pans that will last a lifetime
« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2019, 12:22:05 AM »
Cast iron is excellent for long lasting. I'm using the 12" cast iron skillet that belonged to my Grandmother. My Mom gave it to me when I moved away for graduate school years ago. I bought myself an enameled dutch oven and 6.5" skillet, and they're still going strong.