I’m relatively new to cooking (and completely new to this site), and I’m looking for some advice on which cookware would best suit my needs. I know that cookware doesn’t maketh the cook, but when I use good-quality pots and pans that will (hopefully) last me the rest of my life, I end up actually enjoying cooking, rather than seeing it as a chore.
I prefer to cook a lot of one-pot saucy dishes (curries, chilli, bolognese, chicken fajita sauce, etc.), but, if I’m being honest, I’m not sure what properties of cookware I actually need for these tasks (e.g. responsiveness, the ability to store large amounts of heat, clad vs disc). I’m a single guy who only cooks for one, but I also like to batch cook if possible.
Here’s the cookware I already own:
* All-Clad 6 quart tri-ply stockpot. This is my do-it-all pan, but I mainly use it for large batches of bolognese.
* Zwilling Sensation (i.e. Demeyere Industry / 5-Plus) 28 cm — a general frying pan for flipping meat and veg.
* Le Creuset 4.5-quart dutch oven — for long braises (mainly stews)
* (I’ve ordered, but still can return, although it would be a bit of a hassle, since I ordered it from another country): Demeyere Atlantis 3-quart sauce pot — a hopefully-versatile sauce pot for reheating sauces (I thought the copper would be good for responsiveness and evenness), as well as boiling pasta. I got the two-handled version because I’ve heard that the one-handled saucepan’s bottom tends to tilt during pouring. Do you think the handles would get too hot if I used it for boiling veg?
* (I’ve ordered, but still can return, although ...) Demeyere Industry 24 cm saute pan — for smaller dishes that I can’t batch cook.
I’m also seriously considering buying (though not necessarily all of) the following:
* Demeyere Industry (5-Plus) 18 cm 2L saucepan — for reheating 1-2 portions of food as quickly and evenly as possible (Which plays more of a role here, out of responsiveness vs heat retention?) Alternatively, the Fissler Original Profi high saucepan (16 cm, 2L, 1.29 kg). I might want to do rice in this pan, but, if necessary, I could also do it in the Atlantis.
* Falk Coppercore 18 cm 2L saucepan. Why not normal copper? Because I have a fear that future housemates might like the appearance of it, realise it’s expensive, and either steal it and sell it, or use it and damage it. The Coppercore hides the copper quite nicely. By the way, has anyone had any experience with people stealing their copper cookware? Is it a thing people are likely to steal? I know it’s irrational, but it’s a very convincing image. ( I realise that ‘I’m a single guy’ is looking a little redundant now)
* Falk Coppercore 24 cm rondeau — essentially a saute pan.
* Fissler Original Profi 24 cm low roaster — again, a saute pan (I don’t know whether I want the heat retention of Fissler vs the responsiveness of copper). Plus, I’ve heard it takes a long time to heat up and down— but how long are we talking? If it’s a few extra seconds, I’m fine with that, if it’s minutes, I’ll pass. I was thinking of getting two saute pans — one for responsiveness and one for evenness and heat retention (although I don’t know to what extent copper satisfies both of these criteria).
* 4-quart Fissler sauce pot — for boiling large amounts of veg/pasta, or a makeshift dutch oven if the situation calls for it (although, realistically, I’d probably just use my Le Creuset). But is this too big for one man?
* I’ve heard great things about the Fissler OP 7.2L roaster. I’m tempted to buy it, but can it do a lot more than my All-Clad can already do?
* (Any other recommendations? At the moment, I’m not looking for anything too niche, but if there are any obvious holes in my batterie, please let me know. Space is more of a limiting factor than cost, so I want to keep my collection at least somewhat minimalistic.)
I’m always looking for new recipes to try out, but I’m leaning more towards Indian/Thai cooking. I don’t sear big chunks of steak, so I don’t know what value the thick Fissler bottoms would be to me.
I’ve read a lot of Chowhound discussions on different cookware brands and models, but I feel no more confident in my decision-making than when I started (plus, I spend far too long making decisions in the first place, so I’m trying my best not to overcomplicate the process). I’m trying to adopt a more “‘good enough’ is good enough” mentality (so I’m not really interested if the differences between two products are minimal), but if one product is clearly superior to another, I want to know about it (unless the inferior product is one I can’t return).
FWIW, I currently cook on ceramic, which I hate, because food takes a long time to heat up unless I whack the power all the way up, which I daren’t do in case I warp my pans. I currently live alone, but my situation is such that, in a year’s time, I will most likely be sharing a place with strangers (hence my hesitation to getting obviously-expensive-looking cookware, like copper), and, in all likelihood, it will be a gas cooker (if experience is anything to go by — it could equally be an Aga).
What do you think of the cookware I plan to get, with respect to my needs? Does it seem reasonable? Is there anything you think I’m missing? I’d absolutely be open to copper, but, for the reasons above, I’d rather it not *look* like copper, unless it’s something that is likely to develop such a hideous patina that no thief would ever bother stealing it.
Any advice/comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
PS I’m in the UK, so the Demeyere are quite expensive, even on bestsale.be and berondi.de. Does anyone from the UK know of any other options? I feel sick knowing that the Proline frying pans and Industry sauté pans are three times the price in the UK than in the US. I don’t plan on flying to the US anytime soon, and, with postage and stainless steel tax, it probably wouldn’t be worth my while importing them.
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