saacnmama | Aug 9, 202106:38 AM     76

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.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

Invite a friend to chime in on this discussion.

Email a Friend

More from Chowhound

The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving

The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving

by Kristin Donnelly | The best way to cook a stress-free dinner is to think ahead, which is why we've created this comprehensive...

19 Great Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pie
Food and Cooking

19 Great Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pie

by Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy | When the usual pie lineup feels boring and uninspired for your dessert repertoire, you've got to make...

An Ode to 5 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Better from the Package
Food Trends

An Ode to 5 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Better from the Package

by Kelsey Butler | Nostalgia is a factor not to be discounted when it comes to food, and these five holiday staples sometimes...

Better-Than-Homemade Goodies That Can Be Ordered Online

Better-Than-Homemade Goodies That Can Be Ordered Online

by David Klein | Mail order cookies, cakes, pies, and other sweet treats are better (and more prolific) than ever...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.