I recently decided to upgrade my cookware. I asked a friend of mine who’s a chef for recommendations. Here’s what she had to say:
I like All-Clad stainless, I’ve had good luck with it.
I also have some copper cookware that Williams Sonoma got from a French company, but I don’t believe they carry that exact brand anymore. Copper conducts heat really wonderfully; it gets a patina which some people don’t like, but I don’t mind. I never polish it and I don’t think that affects its performance.
I dream of also owning some Le Creuset cookware, at least a Dutch oven to make braised meats and stews.
Calphalon is a brand people like a lot, too, but I haven’t personally worked much with it.
Re: nonstick, it won’t hurt to have one nonstick pan for certain uses, but keep in mind the lifespan of nonstick is not very long because the nonstick surface gradually wears away.
There is also cast-iron, which can be a great option and not very expensive. It conducts heat well. But you have to take care of it; you shouldn’t really submerge it in water, and you need to rub it with vegetable oil to keep it conditioned/seasoned. Very respected among cooks.
The 8-year old in me snickered since that’s the first time I’ve heard the phrase “dutch oven” used in a serious manner. Anyway, I wound up purchasing this All-Clad Stainless 6-Piece Set and so far it’s great. Made some hash browns this weekend and got some crispy onion action that I never achieved with my previous pans.
Related: Lodge cast iron [SvN]