I honestly don’t know. Between a trans-Atlantic move and storage locker theft, I’m starting over. My kitchen was made of hand-me-downs, gifts, & sales. Now I want to figure out a cohesive set of cookware for the rest of my life. What brands & items would you recommend for the following?
I don’t cook for more than 4. It’s usually just my son & me. I do not need, for example, a great big spaghetti pot with built-in strainer. I don’t want chemical non-stick coatings on anything, and electric devices are a whole ‘nother post. I’d much prefer time-tested standards that can be used multiple ways over gadgets and 1-hit wonders that have one very specific use. I love well thought-out tools like my OXO Mandoline set.
I use the oven mostly for baking—cookies, bread, pies & cheesecake, as well as quiche, spanakopita and the occasional thing like rolltini. I cook mostly on the stove—soups, couscous/quinoa, pasta, stir-fry, curries, omelettes & pancakes. Meat and casserole are not a thing. One day I’ll succeed with rice & beans and baba ganoush, I just know it!
I still have great-grandma’s iron fry pan, other grandma’s pie dish & aluminum rolling pin, my LC mini cocottes, Zwillinge knives, a batter bowl with lid, tons of cookie cutters, and appropriately-sized stockpot and lasagne dish with lid (Midwestern upbringing!).
This is for a kitchen with open shelving and hanging storage, so looks count, but they aren’t everything. Copper pots & pans are beautiful, but I don’t want things that will need to be cleaned for just existing in air (ie tarnish). Is there good copper cookware that doesn’t require regular polishing? The raggedy 1- and 2-quart saucepans with thin copper coating I’m currently using (heavily!) need to be replaced & the stockpot is showing its age too. I might want a smooth-bottomed Dutch oven to put on the stove, maybe small enough to take bike camping, but know nothing about brands. I loved the curve of grandma’s ceramic mixing bowls, want some with lids (or should I just use “shower caps”?) Is there a difference in quality of pizza stone or should I replace my Pampered Chef 1:1? I’m not sure what else.
Please suggest where I should start looking. I can’t say “money is no object”, but quality is a bigger concern than budget. If a solid x costs y, is worth it, will perform for years & has a guarantee, then that's what it costs. I can shop in Germany, where I live, or in the US when I visit family.
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