Hello. I'm doing a much needed upgrade on my cookware, and I was hoping for some advice. Mostly I cook for two, though we occasionally entertain some guests (2, 4 at most). When entertaining I always cook several different dishes, so I don't really need huge pots. We're mostly vegetarian (occasionally I cook fish, but never meat), and I like to try a bit of everything, from my native mediterraean cooking to asian, mexican, whatever. I use a gas stove, and electric oven, and I live in Europe, which makes some commonly recommended brands stupidly expensive or simply unavailable (allclad, even cuisinart).
Anyway, right now I have two 20cm (3.2 l) saucepots, that I use for pasta, risotto, chili, stewing, some sauces, boiling stuff, whatever. I have a 28 cm (7 l) saucepot when I need to boil spaghetti, make soup, or cook stuff for larger groups. These three are aluminum with nonstick covering, and the smaller ones are in dire need of replacement.
I then have a 1 liter saucepan (don't think I ever used it) and a 2 liter one, that I use for boiling eggs. They're cheap ikea stuff that I don't really trust for anything else (I tried them for sauces, but I immediately regretted it).
Regarding frying pans, I have a 32 cm nonstick (when I need large quantities), a 28 nonstick (for eggs and delicate stuff), and a 28 SS (Ikea sensuell, for everything else, including stove to oven).
To start with, I need two general use saucepots, to replace the ones I use all the time. No way I'm choosing nonstick this time, I learned my lesson. I was thinking to get good quality disk bottom stainless steel (paderno, for instance), in a couple different sizes around 3 to 5 liters, for easier storage. Alternatively, I could go for clad, if I find something not too expensive and equally good. Demeyere is 30% off from its spanish store, but still is on the expensive side. I will probably get a smaller saucepan, too, or even a saucier, for sauces and stuff. Would it be better to go fullclad on the saucier? Is the paderno fullclad any good (centurylife.org doesn't rave about them)?
Now, regarding my 7 l nonstick pot... it's in good shape, and I never use it for high temperatures, so I guess I could keep it. On the other hand, I've been tempted to get a dutch oven. Never had one, but everyone seems to rave about them, including for vegetarian cooking. If I got a large one (around 6 l or so) I could use it for soups, and for the rare ocasions when I need to cook large quantities, effectively replacing my existing pot, plus for whatever a dutch oven is used to. I'm afraid such a size would be overkill to someone who mostly cooks for two, though. On the other hand, if I got the DO I would use it for baking, too. So, which size would be better for bread (when I bake bread, I usually go for 500 g floor)?
Now, about the skillets. I'd like to get a 28 cm (or even smaller) castiron skillet. Never had one of those, and I think it could be useful to "grill" vegetables, vegetarian butrgers, and high temperature stuff. Guess I could get a 32 instead, and replace my large nonstick, but I suppose that would be a bit overkill, overweight, and take forever to get hot. Or, I could get the 28 cast iron, keep the 28 nonstick, and replace the 32 with a large saute pan (either palermo, palermo-like, or fullclad) for extra choices. The IKEA stainless steel is working so and so, and I don't see the point in replacing for something unless clearly better (this is where those 30% off demeyere may be a temptation... the industry pan gets to 104, and the proline 160 €).
So... Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance,
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