$250 to spend to update cookware--what would you do?


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$250 to spend to update cookware--what would you do?

boxocereal | | Sep 24, 2012 09:28 PM

Apologies that I lack the kitchen vocabulary to do this post justice. Love to cook, but don't *study* cooking. You know?

I have hand-me-down pots--non-stick Anolons that I've had for YEARS (maybe close to 20 years?). Time to do some updating. I have a stockpot, a 10-inch and 12-inch pans, a couple of saucepans/lids.

I have some cheapy Costco non-stick plans that have sloped sides (vs. the 90-degree-angle sides my Anolons have) (again, apologies... I know there are skillets and saute pans, and just don't know the right lingo). They are worn.

I have a 5.5-qt. Le Creuset oval oven, and two All-Clad tri-ply stainless skillets (10 and 12-inch, I believe) without lids that I splurged on in the last year.

There are some random things in there... a Calpalon big 14-inch saute pan with lid, some cast iron.

So as I am a grown-up now, with kids to feed and a true enjoyment of cooking, it is time to update my everyday Anolons (well-worn, ill-fitting lids, plastic-y handles that prohibit oven use). I clearly have a hodge-podge of stuff, and it would be nice to streamline a bit, ensure I have decent quality work-horses, and maybe a few pieces to aspire to. I have a newer electric stove (alas, no gas line where I live).

So if you had $250 (give or take) to spend, how would you spend it? Do you have go-to, can't-live-without pieces that you use regularly? I know cookware sets often have lame sizes, so it could be that I pick and choose the right pieces.

I have a husband and two boys that will soon enough be three hungry men, so while bigger isn't always better, it is a consideration. I work full-time and know some pans will make their way into the dishwasher, despite any effort to keep them "handwash only."

Do you like stainless? Non-stick? Is one flat-out more versatile?

I would love your opinions, as I assume you are all far more seasoned in this arena than I am. :)

Really, really appreciate your consideration and thoughts.