I feel like I’m going through a pot and pan set every 2-3 months. I’ve been buying cheap non-stick ones because I figure nice ones are going to get wrecked anyway so why pay a lot.
Are there any kinds of pans that people recommend that are more durable but easy to clean and will look good for longer? I don’t mind paying more if it lasts longer. I was thinking stainless steel is more durable, but it’s really hard to clean, especially if someone doesn’t know how to cook with it and burns something that needs to be chiseled off.
Garage sales and deceased estates. So over buying quality things that aren’t looked after!
Do you have an Ikea in your area? Their 365 nonstick series has worked the best for us. They are heavier metal so they hold up better than lightweight cheaper ones, and they aren’t too expensive.
I went through three other well known brands that didn’t work well at all before I found these. Also tried stainless and cast iron but those were an immediate failure - I’m not a fan of non-stick but it seems to be what people know how to cook on.
If you’re in the states, then I would recommend Tools of the Trade stainless steel cookware by Macys. I use Easy Off oven cleaner to clean them easily if guests make a mess and burn food in one of the pots.
Stainless steel isn’t hard to clean at all. And if someone burns something onto it, you don’t need to chisel it off. A product called BarKeeper’s Friend, if you cover the burnt area with it and add a bit of water and let it sit for awhile will take off most burnt stuff, and it if that doesn’t do the trick, oven cleaner will.
Quite honestly, if I were a guest and only found non-stick cookware, which is poisonous, available, I’d be quite bummed out.
Look for vintage copper bottom Revere ware. It lasts more than a lifetime! If the bottom isn’t warped buy it and shine it up. It’s indestructable. When our Str set of cheap non stick looks terrible, I will get Revere ware. I only bought it because I’d forgot where I’d put my Revere stash.
For MY kitchen, I have a YUGE RevereWare collection, including the Bicentennial Paul Revere omelette pan, copper but lined with stainless steel. I’ve got steamers and double boilers in 2 sizes, small and medium skillets, even a tiny one for melting butter.
Most was inherited, but I still find good Revere stuff at garage and estate sales, where I have bought all of the pans that are in the B&B. You need to check the stamp on the bottom and only buy the pots made in Illinois — quality dropped like a rock when they moved production to Indonesia a few years back.
It’s not unusual to find that the smaller Revere pans are well used, but the larger soup pots often don’t get used at all.
I’ve got teflon skillets, large and small, a couple of Corning Ware casseroles, and a one quart Teflon pot in the B&B and ALL the cooking utensils are either bamboo or silicone, so they can’t scratch the pots.
If guests don’t want to cook in teflon, I’ll loan them a cast iron frying pan or Revere pot, but I don’t keep them upstairs. They stay in my kitchen where the 3 cast iron skillets get the most use.
As a Personal Chef, I professionally use Saladmaster brand stainless-steel-titanium pots and pans, but I would not make them available to guests. Not when the 10" oil-core skillet is $175! Likewise I would not provide guests with cast iron cookware, they would no doubt wash it with soap and water, totally ruining it!
For guests, I suggest ordinary stainless steel; which is, of course, not stainless, just stain resistant. And Barkeepers Friend for your cleaning efforts as well as the guests. And ScotchBrite brand green scrubber pads.
Buy your cookware at a restaurant supply store. Every town has at least one, and they are more than happy to sell to “civilians” as well as The Trade. You’ll get the best value for your money and items made to take abuse.
I would provide an 8" or 9" omelet pan, a 12" skillet, a 1 quart and 3 quart pot with lids. While you’re at it get a couple large stainless steel serving spoons and ‘pancake’ turners. and some of the inexpensive white plastic-handled kitchen knives – a 3-4" paring knife, a 6" general purpose “steak” knife, and a 10" Chef’s knife.
A couple years ago, I asked this forum a similar question about cookware. After @KenH and other’s feedback I purchased stainless steel set: 8 & 10 in fry pans, 2qt &4qt pots 8 qt Dutch oven. Then added two nonstick fry pans. The nonstick fry pans must be replaced every year (I buy when on sale at Costco).
I got the pans on clearance on Amazon Woot for less than $70 (I found the set later at a retail shop $180!!!).
Here’s a current clearance set. Includes bowls, measuring cups& spoon, knife set & TRI-PLY cookware!!! Limited quantity so link will expire soon.
Freedom 31-Piece Gourmet Cookware Set - $79.99 - Free shipping for Prime members https://home.woot.com/offers/freedom-31-piece-gourmet-cookware-set-6?utm_medium=share&utm_source=app
Walmart has a nice tri-ply stainless steel set by Tramontina that I purchased for my home.
I always hear this, but I’ve washed my cast iron pans with soap and water for 50 years. Had the same cast iron skillets all that time. Not “ruined”.
I hear you. I think the problem is when people don’t understand you want the blackened surface and they scrub it off or put it in the dishwasher
The ex-husband was a city boy and didn’t understand cast iron. I had a beautiful old skillet, perfectly cured. I gently hand washed it. One Saturday he proudly announces, he got that baked on “gunk” off my pan. It still pisses me off to think about it…
I am currently using my late parents’ copper-bottom Revereware cookware from 1953. It’s been through the wars and with Barkeeper’s Friend or oven cleaner, even the worst “learning to cook” messes from a mom, daughter, and 2 grandchildren have come clean.
I currently have a set in my garage from my 1978 marriage. PM me, @coolerkid, if you’d like to “make a deal” and I’ll ship them out to you.
Love barkeepers friend! Works like a dream. Soak extensively first!
My husband’s step mom did the same to my cast iron baby. Took Comet to it. Comet. I could have screamed. I haven’t let her in my kitchen since then. Maybe that is what she was going for
Might have been.
I used to think my cousin who messed everything up, was foolish. Over time people stopped asking/expecting her to assist with event preparation or clean up.
Now, she shows up, enjoys & leaves. In the meantime I’m helping with prep, ongoing cleanup and final clean up. I think she’s brilliant and I was foolish.
That sort of behavior was something that was talked about in a parenting course I took many many years ago. It was referred to as “Display of inadequacy”. If every time your teenager is asked to do the dishes they leave food and grease stuck all over them, they are angling for being relieved of that chore.
There really are some people who I would prefer don’t “help”. My best friend when I lived in Canada would always start washing the dishes after she came over for dinner. In her case, she wasn’t trying to get out of being helpful by doing a bad job- she’s just a really lax dishwasher and won’t put on her reading glasses, so can’t see what she’s doing. Every supposedly clean pot you go to use in her house is covered in grease.
At first I used to tell her not to bother when she started washing my dishes, that I’d rather she sit down and relax so we can visit and I’d do them in the morning. But that didn’t work, because she’d say, Oh, it’ll only take a few minutes.
So at some point I just had to tell her that her washing the dishes was a pointless waste of time, because I had to rewash every dish after she left.
Damn, the power of suggestion, and WHAM, I just ordered new pots. I already had a decent set of pans, which has typically gotten used (mostly for breakfast) much more so than the pots.
My guests typically don’t cook, but I’ve noticed of late, the Pandemic has changed people’s approach. Guests are staying longer and eating out a little less, although it is still more occasional cooking.
Since I don’t have a lot of cabinet space I opted for this stackable set to replace a cheap set of IKEA pots that I purchased when I starting hosting 3 years ago.
I agree. My guests historically breakfast & easy sandwich lunch at condo & go out for dinner. This past summer, very little going out to eat. This summer there were Lots of carry outs & cook your own.
HH_AZ Nice striped pots and pans!
We have a set of Magnalite in our home, they are truly indestructible. Ours get used night and day and still going strong 20 years. The b.i.l got them 1st marriage from a wealthy friend, then gave them away to Mk before we met, luckily we are into cooking!
And yes, I think everyone that comes is bringing take out or cooking just a teensy bit more… our 5 gallon propane tank lasted 1 year for the Tiny Tiki stove! (No oven)
Me2, I just ordered a 10 piece set of AllClad nonstick for my kitchen, replacing a Calphalon set from 2007 which has held up surprisingly well but still its time. Mine are being delivered today