Post # 1
I need help with cookware. I don’t really know what to register for. I’m not a big cook so I don’t want to register for All Clad – too expensive and I don’t think it would really be worth it to me. Right now I’m leaning towards Calphalon stainless steel. Thoughts? Also, thoughts on Calphalon Tri Ply, Contemporary Stainless Steel or Simply Calphalon? There are also 8 piece, 10 piece and 13 piece cooking sets. I know I would register for the cookware separately, but how many pieces would you register for? Is more than 8 pieces necessary?
Also, does anyone have any suggestions on good bakeware?
Post # 3
9″ pie plate, 9-12″ springform pan (for cheesecake)
1 or 2 8″ or 9″ square pans (brownies, dessert bars, cornbread, cake)
2 cookie sheets (1/2 sheet size should be fine) (cookies, biscuits, other quickbreads)
pizza pan or stone (I like cooking on pizza stones for the heat distribution but the pan is more convenient for me) (pizza, calzones)
1 13″x9″ rectangular pan, optionally 2 9″ round pans (cake)
2 loaf pans (for bread)
I think that would make for a basic bakeware collection. You could add in some 4″ or 6″ ramekins for fancy things like lava cakes or individual souffles. Maybe add a couple 1 or 2 qt. casseroles and a roaster.
I like cooking in glass pans for pies, cakes and brownies but the triple-layer stuff that Calphalon is pretty good stuff.
I think getting individual pans are better than the sets; there are always a few pieces in sets that never get used. I think the below would be the smallest amount of cookware necessary; think about what you would need to put together a Thanksgiving dinner and get what you would need for that.
1 qt saucepan
4 qt saucepan
12″ saute pan
8″ saute pan
griddle for bacon, pancakes
Post # 4
Cuisinart makes cookware sets that are almsot as good as All-Clad, IMO. They heat evenly and hold the heat well. When my DH and I moved in together years ago, my stepmom gave us a 10-piece set, and it is awesome. I love it, and it’s held up really well – and I cook a LOT. The best part is that it is much much much MUCH cheaper than most top-brand cookware. But the quality is really great.
Post # 5
Don’t get a “set”, register for individual peices. Get a mix of stainless and non-stick.
Here’s what I recommend for essentials:
- Large non-stick skillet
- Large stainless skillet
- Medium saucepan
- Large stock pot
- Dutch/French oven
- Medium cast-iron skillet
- 9×13 glass or stoneware pan
- 2 cookie sheets
Post # 6
FWIW, if you’re not a regular cook you might find all stainless a pain. It takes a bit more work to clean in my experience. I would consider nonstick options (there are also teflon-free lines or enamel coated ceramic if that’s a concern) for frying/saute pans at least.
I like Anise‘s list, although I tend to not buy bakeware until I need it. Things I use almost every week:
Nonstick skillet (at least 2 sizes, 1 small 1 large)
Sauce pan (ours is 2q I think, stainless, good for heating soup, broth, etc. I’ve actually registered for one 3q one because sometimes I wish it was larger)
Stock pot (6q) – good for large batch stews and pasta.
A “work” pan – this is a pan with a lid that’s larger capacity (think about 12 inches) and oven safe to 500 degrees – excellent as a skillet but also for frittattas/casseroles/etc.
Stoneware baking pan (I have 1 8×8, 1 9×9, and one 9×13. If you don’t want to register for these, I actually scored my two smaller ones on discount at Marshalls/another store I can’t remember – they can go from freezer/fridge to oven to microwave, and I’ve had them for years. They were about $10 each).
Also, I know this isn’t about appliances, but if you don’t cook a lot I would recommend a slow cooker (my FMIL does a huge amount of her cooking in one, as she prefers not to cook) and a steamer/rice cooker (which will let you throw together healthy and tasty meals quite quickly).
Post # 7
Again, I know this isn’t about appliance, but I would add a toaster oven if you have the counter space. I got the Breville BOV800XL. It’s expensive, I love it. I can cook almost anything in it- frozen pizza, casseroles, toast, etc. It’s great to not have to heat up the entire kitchen just to cook dinner. Also comes in handy during holiday dinners when you just don’t have enough space in your regualr oven.
Post # 8
@KoiKove: Oh good call! Yes, def. a good sized toaster oven.
Post # 9
I would like to get a “greener” nonstick brand, however, the reviews seem to be mixed on most of those products. Things like the nonstick surfaces wearing off after six months or so.
Post # 10
I like Calphalon Tri Ply. I have had them for over a year and they work well, conduct heat evenly, are easy to clean, and DW safe. If you are getting the stainless steel set, get an extra stock pot(only comes with one and you will need more than one if you want to make say pasta and sauce at same time) and a set of 2 nonstick Calphalon skillets. You may also want a roasting pan and it may be a good idea to get a dutch oven (like Le Creuset).
Post # 11
I’d like to add if you get a 2qt Le Creuset enameled casserole, you can do no-knead bread in that!
Post # 12
FYI Simply calphalon is the cheaper version and doesn’t have the warranty. We actually registered for this because I was embarassed I wanted the more expensive version and didn’t want guests to think I was greedy. Stupid I know.
We love our regular calphalon pans, but they don’t seem to last too long. 7 years is about the max lifespan of them before the finish is gone. We’re heavy cookers though.
Post # 13
@Cem0930: None of the nonsticks are really going to last a really long time, so don’t worry about that too much if you want to try the ceramic nonstick.
Don’t forget to get ceramic or stoneware baking dishes for casseroles, veggie gratins, etc. Those do double duty as servingware if you get nice plain ones.
Post # 14
@Cem0930: I’ve heard that too. 🙁 I picked a few ScanPan items, that looked nice and seemed to do alright in reviews, and figured if someone gets them for us it will be a good reason to try them. But I know the cheapo NS pans I’m cooking on now have been in use about 14 months, and one is really worn through (I just noticed it the other day while making pancakes, and should really toss it… but I don’t want to buy another. Sigh.)
My work pan is “nonstick” anodized carbon (or something like that) – it’s not exactly nonstick, but does work that way for some things, esp if the meat is room temp, etc. But it’s not teflon coated.
Post # 15
@Anise: Great list. I would also add muffin/cupcake pans to the baking list. I use mine all the time. And a crock pot would be great (if you don’t already have one).
I agree with pp that Caphalon is an excellent brand. We registered for them. Copper is the best to cook with, but with that comes a steep price tag. We are saving our pennies for a nice copper set. It will be worth it since we are both chefs . If you register at Bed, Bath and Beyond they have some cool registry gifts when you register for certain items.