I am about to replace my entire range of non-descript disk stainless steel gear because it is coming to the end of its natural life after 25 years (delaminated bases, tired of gas burn rings up the side of the saucepans etc), plus I never liked that the handles got hot. I have been reading your many rich and varied posts on the subject of cookware with great interest, across a number of threads but I am going to ask again; if you started from fresh and an open budget (within reason), what would your ultimate collection of pots and pans look like if you take into account what my family cooks (see below)?
I have one black oval cast iron cocotte - a Danish Morsoe 4.5l which does a very good job of baking sourdough bread but not quite big enough for meat stews, sadly. I also have a 2l and a 2.5l copper saucepan but they have 2 small handles that get very hot plus I prefer stick handles for pouring so they are not ideal.
We are a family of 6 - probably the equivalent of 5 adults, based in London. We cook dishes such as:
Vegetarian and meat-based stews and curries, slow cooked meat (stove or oven), risotto, ragu (bolognaise),
Boil pasta (600g), chicken soup (from whole chicken) and other soups
Fry steaks, brown meat, quesadillas, eggs, stir-frys
Boil various vegetables & rice.
I am pasty chef so also make the likes of crème anglaise, syrups & caramel, choux, and melt chocolate.
We cook on gas, probably always will. I look after my pans but my husband and the children do not particularly (will gladly cook tomato sauces in seasoned iron pans, repeatedly!) I don't run pans through the dishwasher but someone else could (I have more or less won the war on kitchen knives in the dishwasher but there could be a breach of the peace any moment).
I think we need:
Two Pans - large and medium
A saute pan
A stock pot for pasta & soup
Dutch oven or similar with larger than 4.5l capacity
One or two sauce pans
One or two conical sauce pans
I have just bought a Fissler 7.2l pot which has not yet arrived but based on your various recommendations, it’s got to be good!
Handles must be cool and comfortable. I am really not sure whether to get disc sauce pans or clad sauce pans, or just get various sized clad conical sauce pans to do all (boil veg, rice, crème anglaise, caramel sauce). This will generate heated discussion no doubt :-).
I like the sound of Atlantis, Mauviel and Falk copper. I am uncertain about the handles on Mauviel in respect of heat and comfort.
I am very much looking forward to hearing your suggestions for the ideal arsenal. Many thanks in advance,
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