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Need your assistance choosing new pans!

And just when I thought things were clearing up for me, I went ahead and stumbled upon a store that sells Debuyer blue steel pans. I am still inquiring to whether they also have the black steel versions.

How are those pans for frying a steak? And how are they for everything else? What are the down sides of blue steel or black steel carbon pans? Can I actually only have pans of this material for pretty much all common uses? (again please note I use a reasonable amount of oil no matter what I cook and that I don't care about dishwasher). Are they oven safe? Do they work with induction?

Jun 21, 2012
ngross in Cookware

Need your assistance choosing new pans!

Frank - rest assured I can cook properly even with a $10 aluminum pan. My grandfather had a drill-driver he bought in the 70s and tube amplifier he bought in the 50s, both still work well (the amp works better than most modern amps IMO). But these are different times, the quality from cheap things is mostly gone today, things made in the US or western Europe are usually significantly more expensive, and even then some of them aren't built to last (had a Woll pan that lost its nonstick properties after 2 years). I want something that is as time proof as possible, no coatings, and without the health hazards of aluminum.

Tim - ill try to see if those are available here, never seen them. All the stores here are filled with coated pans, even ss cookware is not so common. The word "tin" kinda makes me uncomfortable though as it usually is not sign of quality and long lasting :) Are calphalon tri ply copper as good?

Sid - i live in Israel, which means there's no ground shipping. Sadly shipment should be very expensive due to weight and size. Shipping a cast iron pan should at least double the costs :)
unless there is some website that ships internationally free or flat fees (like japanesechefsknife).

Jun 20, 2012
ngross in Cookware

Need your assistance choosing new pans!

Of course skill and ingredients matter just as much, if not more, than the tools used. I don't expect to learn how to cook online, I rather enjoy doing so in the real world and sometimes by trial and error :) But having the right tools for the job does make your life easier, and I started looking into cast iron after eating at several places where that is what they used, and notice steak comes out pretty consistently just as it should - nice sear outside, red and juicy in the middle :)

Okay, looks like I will get serious with Calphalon. I'll start with that tall-edges pan, and if it works out go on and buy more of their pans. They're really expensive here, so gotta do it step by step :( Judging by Calphalon's price here, it's probably good we don't have All Clad, they would probably cost around $300 at least per piece :(

Jun 20, 2012
ngross in Cookware

Need your assistance choosing new pans!

Thanks again. It is not too much, I read quickly and am very interested in getting the full picture before committing into a line of cookware.

Are there any cons to the infused anodized line compared to tri-ply? What about differences between tri-ply and contemporary lines, other than looks, handle and slightly the price? Should I expect any difference in performance?

Also, have you any experience with Zwilling tri-ply style pots and pans?

And as for your opinion, when you cook a steak, which pan do you use? You seem rather experienced, so your opinion does matter, although I appreciate managing to stay objective for me :)

Jun 20, 2012
ngross in Cookware

Need your assistance choosing new pans!

First of all, thanks a lot for the quick and thorough reply.

As for cast iron, it is a pan that I will use solely to sear steaks. All that's important to me in that regards is that steaks will come out perfect . So, if the best solution to that, pan-wise, is cast iron, the rest doesn't matter :)

As for the rest of my cookware, I'd like to hear your thoughts about Calphalon. Sadly, Demeyere isn't available in my country either. Tramonita isn't very widely available which makes me concerned about warranty and such. Other companies I have seen here, in no particular order: Henckels Zwilling, Lacor, Ibili and Arcosteel (chinese). We also have Woll but I haven't seen anything tri-ply-ish from them. Then so far, it still seems the best solution is Calphalon. I was also pretty sure Calphalon is what I want, until I saw Scanpan, and their products seemed solid too in the store, though that doesn't mean how they will be 10 years onward. So it's important to me to hear your opinions about Calphalon tri-ply pans, pros and cons etc, and whether or not you think performance gets worse as time goes by.

Also would like to hear your opinion about the differences between tri-ply and Infused Anodised - which would be better for all-around cooking and long-lasting pots and pans?

Jun 20, 2012
ngross in Cookware

Need your assistance choosing new pans!

Hello all,

I have been reading posts in this forum for a while, staying in the shadows. I think I am a bit lost choosing new pans for myself. I am an amateur cook and do work on getting better, cooking a variety of dishes in all kinds of styles, and so on.

At the moment I am in an urgent need for two kinds of pans: A steak frying pan and a large pan with tall edges that I can use to make sauces (mainly pasta sauces).

My problem is I live in Israel, so certain brands are not available there (the most important one being All Clad). Therefore, if possible, I would appreciate if you name several brands and order them from best to worst, in your opinion.

As for my needs and priorities regarding both pans:
1. Even heat distribution - if there is something I hate, is uneven heat distribution. It is unacceptable to me. Number one priority
2. Health issues - Needless to say, I don't want anything unhealthy coming off the pan and into my food. Sometimes I leave the pan to heat up on medium heat for 10 minutes and sometimes I like to put onions in oil in low heat for an hour or more before starting to cook. I want to be able to do anything I like with the pan, within reason (not going to put it in a microwave or cook with it on an open fire), without worrying about chemicals going out of the pan into my food.
3. Longlasting - I do not mind spending top $$ if it's a pan that will last me a good amount of years. I would like to stress that unlike some people, my interpretation is that a good pan should last at least 10 years, without the need to use the warranty. A pan that I have to replace every two years, even if its with warranty and doesn't cost me, is not a longlasting pan in my book.
4. Non stick & ease of cleaning - I don't care much about it, since in most of the things I do, I use a generous amount of oil. I cannot think of anything I ever cook without using oil at all. Of course, if a pan is so sticky that even with oil the food sticks, I don't want it. But I don't believe reasonable amounts of oil make you fat or are unhealthy (although that's a whole other discussion) and either way I don't care about it. I like oil and will use it.
5. Price - like said above, I'm willing to spend top $ for something that will last me a good while and even after 5 years will be just as good as it was the moment i bought it.
6. Dishwasher safe - don't care about it, I handwash all my pots and pans (and knives).

I would also like to stress that it is important to me the pans will be oven-safe as some of the things I do require moving things to the oven, and that I would prefer pans that will work on induction since I might move to that in the future.

After reading a lot, I have come to the conclusion that the popular opinion is that for steaks, the best is cast iron pan. i'd like to know if all of those pans are pretty much the same since all are made from Iron, or that there is a difference between brand and make. I've also come to the conclusion that the best pan for sauces (considering my priorities) is the tri-ply style (which to my understanding means three layers: stainless steel - aluminum - stainless steel). In that department I have checked out two companies in particular: Scanpan and Calphalon, both feel very comfortable to me, I like their weight, and they feel like something that will last a good amount of time. Sadly, in my country, there is no such thing as to return a used product, so I can't try them myself before buying or anything like that.

Again, since I always see people replying to these post with "All Clad." and nothing else, I will stress that this brand is not available here, at all.

I would appreciate any help and information you can spare!

Jun 19, 2012
ngross in Cookware