The Joys of Good Cookware

Apparently, people like to eat.

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Nath
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Nath » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:52 am UTC

Googling 'Habonim' doesn't seem to yield anything relevant. What is it? A brand name?

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:49 pm UTC

Nath wrote:Googling 'Habonim' doesn't seem to yield anything relevant. What is it? A brand name?

I'll check the name on the bottom of my large wok tonight. To be fair, it is not a thin plate steel wok that heats up in a tenth of a second. It is a 5mm thick wok that spreads the heat from a small, powerfull flame over the entire surface, so no point gets heated overly much.

Edit: it was Habonne
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby bessie » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:35 pm UTC

I received a pressure cooker for Christmas. It has been sitting on my counter unused for two weeks because I can't figure out what to do with it. The instruction manual tells me that I can cook things quickly but what is the advantage of cooking vegetables in 4 minutes instead of 10, when the saved 6 minutes will be spent taking the pressure cooker apart and cleaning it? Does anyone have a suggestion for something to cook that will actually take advantage of the features of this device? I'm just not sure how it is different from cooking on the stove top or in an oven.

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:18 pm UTC

I have done lots in my pressure cooker, and quite like it. If you check out "instant pot" recipes you will find a huge variety. My instant pot does beautifully as a rice cooker, especially of multigrain mixes. I have made stew in about an hour and chili in 30 minutes.
Getting an electric pressure cooker up to pressure can take a while-it's the hidden downside to using it. I like to use mine for braises. The high pressure helps break down tough cartilage and tenderizes cheap cuts of meat. I did a whole 6# chicken in under an hour, and it was falling off of the bones. I've made stock, too.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Nath » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:38 pm UTC

I've also used mine (the stovetop kind) for stewey and soupy things. It's also good for beans and lentils -- most Indian households use one for dal. Though you'll want to be careful with lentils -- some kinds can sputter and block the safety vent with lentil debris, so use a low fill level, and choose less sputtery lentil varieties.

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Liri » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:41 pm UTC

My parents always use a stovetop one for rice. It does make good rice. We also have an electric one that we use for chilis and stews. If you're working with dried legumes, it can be very handy.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Zohar » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:35 pm UTC

Once we move to a bigger apartment (probably in the coming year), I'll be on the lookout for some new cookware. High quality 9" pans and loaf pans and an instant pot, specifically.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Bakemaster » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:41 am UTC

Pressure cooker is great for cutting my pork butt recipes down from 6+ hours cooking time to 90 minutes.

Also nice for beans, stock, basically things that tend to take too long to begin with.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby sardia » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:34 am UTC

bessie wrote:I received a pressure cooker for Christmas. It has been sitting on my counter unused for two weeks because I can't figure out what to do with it. The instruction manual tells me that I can cook things quickly but what is the advantage of cooking vegetables in 4 minutes instead of 10, when the saved 6 minutes will be spent taking the pressure cooker apart and cleaning it? Does anyone have a suggestion for something to cook that will actually take advantage of the features of this device? I'm just not sure how it is different from cooking on the stove top or in an oven.
Bakemaster wrote:Pressure cooker is great for cutting my pork butt recipes down from 6+ hours cooking time to 90 minutes.

Also nice for beans, stock, basically things that tend to take too long to begin with.

This. Bessie, you're not thinking big enough or long enough for your recipes. What purpose does cutting 40% off your cook time serves? Stews, soups(stocks even), bbq etc etc. Think of the recipes that call you to cook overnight, become 1 hour affairs. Have you ever made bbq from scratch, and made it a 2 hour event with friends? Of course not because it would normally take all night. Same with stews with cheap cuts of meat. The whole point is the time savings, and the increased breakdown of tougher cuts of meat/veggies. They say there's a benefit from having a sealed container, but there's just not a lot of science to back that up.

Try these recipes, they come with quick instructions.
http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/09/pres ... cipes.html
Spoiler:
Colombian Chicken Stew With Potatoes, Tomato, and Onion
Quick and Easy Dairy- and Fat-Free Colombian Vegetable Soup (Ajiaco Negro)
Pressure Cooker Corn Soup
Quick and Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken, Lentil, and Bacon Stew With Carrots
Quick and Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken and Black Bean Stew
Pressure Cooker Thai Green Chicken Curry With Eggplant and Kabocha Squash
Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Masala
30-Minute Pressure Cooker Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)
30-Minute Pressure Cooker Chicken With Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Chorizo


Zohar wrote:Once we move to a bigger apartment (probably in the coming year), I'll be on the lookout for some new cookware. High quality 9" pans and loaf pans and an instant pot, specifically.

What do you own right now? Cheapo pots that are all warped and scratched?

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby bessie » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:11 am UTC

Thank you all for your helpful posts regarding my still wrapped in plastic pressure cooker! PAstrychef, I was afraid to use it for meat, because I always equate short cooking times (or even regular cooking times with cheap cuts) with making meat tough. Nath, I never even thought of using a pressure cooker for lentils and beans. I researched this a little on line, and this could be a great benefit for me, because way too often I intend to cook beans but I forget to soak them the night before so it doesn’t happen. My husband has been pushing me to use it (something about not letting this turn into another useless decoration taking up counter space and gathering dust) so I have vowed to cook something this week, and since sardia has been kind enough to post that link I will select something and see how it goes.

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Moo » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:54 pm UTC

Aw man, I really need to find the pressure regulator thingy for my electric pressure cooker.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Quercus » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:21 pm UTC

Three words. Pressure cooker risotto. Doing risotto in a pressure cooker turns it from half an hour of constant attention to 10 minutes set and forget. Got an instant pot for Christmas and risotto has already become my go-to "look how great these things are" showing off dish. Good recipe here (plus how to convert the ratios on other recipes): http://www.hippressurecooking.com/press ... -7-minutes

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby kalira » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:29 pm UTC

bessie wrote:My husband has been pushing me to use it (something about not letting this turn into another useless decoration taking up counter space and gathering dust)...


I vote for telling your husband he's perfectly able to use it as well :P

My things:
  1. I have a large cast iron pan, but I've literally never used it. I see people raving about them, but I'm just not sure how to do all the seasoning and such, and even then, what would I cook that would make it worth it?
  2. I have also heard amazing things about pressure cookers, especially recently the Instant Pot. I find myself slightly terrified about the possible dangers of them, though (I have seen pictures of ranges completely destroyed by pressure cooker explosions, lid embedded in the ceiling, etc.). How worthwhile do you find them? I saw Nath mentioning beans and lentils; how worth it are they for a more-vegetarian-than-not household? (For knowledge's sake, I am not currently vegetarian, but my boyfriend is, so I try to lean somewhat more in that direction when he's here.)
  3. Any suggestions on knives? All of mine are dull and perhaps not worth trying to sharpen. I think my bf has one of those pull-through sharpeners, but I have heard they're actually just horrible for your blades. In any case, we're looking at getting some decent knives. Suggestions have included Wusthof and Victorinox. Thoughts? I've seen ceramic knives as well -- is that more of a gimmick, or are they worth it? Better idea than straight metal knives?
  4. I feel like all my large pans either come to me warped, or are warped by my range. I have an electric flat-top range (the type with the glass top), and I feel like I've had to get rid of at least two large (~12-16 inch?) pans because they won't stay flat. Only problem is I can't remember if they came that way (i.e., were built for a different type of range) or were screwed up by my range. They get kinda bowed(?) in the middle, so when you put them on the range, they tilt to one side or the other so one side is touching the eye while the other is a little bit lifted off the range. Do you think my range is causing this? If so, is there anything I can do to prevent/minimize it?

Apologies for too many questions at once.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Liri » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:55 pm UTC

Cast iron skillets are ace for scrambling eggs. We use cast iron pans for making cornbread.

The Instant Pot is essentially a computer that can cook. Just do what it says. Don't forget to add water etc.

I have a ceramic knife for reed-making, but I don't know if I'd use it for culinary purposes. The weight of a hefty steel knife is part of what makes them effective. Wüsthof knives are good. I have a nice shirt from Victorinox. A lot of kitchen store places will actually sharpen your knives for you if you bring them in.

Pot warping is likely more of a pot issue than a range issue.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby ahammel » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:05 pm UTC

kalira wrote:I have a large cast iron pan, but I've literally never used it. I see people raving about them, but I'm just not sure how to do all the seasoning and such, and even then, what would I cook that would make it worth it?
They're not difficult to maintain, IMO. If it's black it's seasoned. The only special treatment I give mine is to store it in the oven so it stays dry.

Any suggestions on knives? All of mine are dull and perhaps not worth trying to sharpen. I think my bf has one of those pull-through sharpeners, but I have heard they're actually just horrible for your blades. In any case, we're looking at getting some decent knives. Suggestions have included Wusthof and Victorinox. Thoughts? I've seen ceramic knives as well -- is that more of a gimmick, or are they worth it? Better idea than straight metal knives?
My favourite knife is a $350 Zwilling and Henckels. America's Test Kitchen is really fond of a Victorinox that costs a fraction of that, though.

Not that sold on ceramic knives. They tend to chip in my experience.

I feel like all my large pans either come to me warped, or are warped by my range. I have an electric flat-top range (the type with the glass top), and I feel like I've had to get rid of at least two large (~12-16 inch?) pans because they won't stay flat. Only problem is I can't remember if they came that way (i.e., were built for a different type of range) or were screwed up by my range. They get kinda bowed(?) in the middle, so when you put them on the range, they tilt to one side or the other so one side is touching the eye while the other is a little bit lifted off the range. Do you think my range is causing this? If so, is there anything I can do to prevent/minimize it?
Aside from using your big cast-iron pan? ;)

I think warping is usually caused by the pan going from hot to cold too fast. Are you in the habit of pouring cold water into hot pans to clean them? If not, the pans themselves might just be thin or poor quality. I doubt if it's the range.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Quercus » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:17 pm UTC

kalira wrote:I have also heard amazing things about pressure cookers, especially recently the Instant Pot. I find myself slightly terrified about the possible dangers of them, though (I have seen pictures of ranges completely destroyed by pressure cooker explosions, lid embedded in the ceiling, etc.). How worthwhile do you find them? I saw Nath mentioning beans and lentils; how worth it are they for a more-vegetarian-than-not household? (For knowledge's sake, I am not currently vegetarian, but my boyfriend is, so I try to lean somewhat more in that direction when he's here.)


I'm mostly vegetarian, and my partner is mostly vegan, and we find our instant pot extremely useful. Main uses we've found so far are:

  • Making stews and stocks quickly
  • Risotto as I mentioned above
  • Eliminating overnight soaking, and substatially speeding up the final cooking of, dried beans and pulses
  • Extra-quick cooking of rice

(most of these have been mentioned above, but I thought a list in one place, from a vegetarian cooking perspective, might be useful)

Basically, I would say that a pressure cooker doesn't really allow you to do anything that you couldn't do without one, but it allows you to do a wide variety of things quicker and with less tending. If you can afford to spend a lot of time cooking a pressure cooker probably won't make too much difference to you, but otherwise it can make a much greater variety of food compatible with a busy life.

Edit: The instant pot also seems very safe - it has multiple independent safety mechanisms to stop over-pressure/over-temperature
Last edited by Quercus on Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:23 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Zohar » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:19 pm UTC

If you like pretty high-end stuff, LeCreuset has wonderful (expensive) pots and pans that will last you decades. As for knives, we were introduced to this company and got a couple of their Gesshin Ginga knives. They're ridiculously sharp, be extremely careful with them.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Nath » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:36 am UTC

kalira wrote:[*]I have a large cast iron pan, but I've literally never used it. I see people raving about them, but I'm just not sure how to do all the seasoning and such, and even then, what would I cook that would make it worth it?

Seasoning and maintaining them is actually pretty simple (Two minute video). Is it worth it? Depends on what you cook. It's more non-stick than stainless steel, but less than Teflon. It's a poor conductor of heat, but it's very resistant to temperature drops when you add food. I use it when I want to give a good sear to a large quantity of food. Since most vegetables aren't super prone to sticking, I find it most helpful for things like steaks, though we did make some nice charred Brussels sprouts in a cast iron pan last night.

kalira wrote:[*]I have also heard amazing things about pressure cookers, especially recently the Instant Pot. I find myself slightly terrified about the possible dangers of them, though (I have seen pictures of ranges completely destroyed by pressure cooker explosions, lid embedded in the ceiling, etc.). How worthwhile do you find them? I saw Nath mentioning beans and lentils; how worth it are they for a more-vegetarian-than-not household? (For knowledge's sake, I am not currently vegetarian, but my boyfriend is, so I try to lean somewhat more in that direction when he's here.)

Most Indian vegetarians I know use theirs about as much as most Indian non-vegetarians I know. But then, they eat lentils pretty much every day.

kalira wrote:[*]Any suggestions on knives? All of mine are dull and perhaps not worth trying to sharpen. I think my bf has one of those pull-through sharpeners, but I have heard they're actually just horrible for your blades. In any case, we're looking at getting some decent knives. Suggestions have included Wusthof and Victorinox. Thoughts? I've seen ceramic knives as well -- is that more of a gimmick, or are they worth it? Better idea than straight metal knives?

The thing to be careful of for brands like Wusthof and Henckels is that they have a few different lines of knives, with vastly different price points and quality. A low-end Wusthof knife is going to be more comparable to a similarly priced knife from a different company than to a high-end Wusthof knife.

If you want a simple knife that cuts reasonably well and you don't want to fuss with it too much, I'd say get a Victorinox or Dexter Russell stamped blade ('Dexter Russell', not just 'Dexter'; the latter is their cheapo line, made differently.) If you don't want to sharpen it by hand, get a pull-through. It'll gradually damage the blade, but for $25-$40 bucks, you can just replace it every few years.

If you want to invest a little more time and money, you'll want to do a little research into knife styles and construction. I did so, and ended up choosing a Tojiro DP for about $50. For only a few bucks more than the cheap stamped blades above, the Tojiro cuts noticeably better, and is more pleasant to use. The downside is maintenance; I don't like the idea of using one of those pull-through things on this knife, so I sharpen it on a stone, which takes a bit more time. Or you could send it to somebody else to sharpen, which takes a bit more money, and some places just use a sharpening wheel anyway (also not great). One other issue with the Tojiro DP is that the shape is a little different from Western-style chef's knives -- better for up-and-down cutting, less so for a rocking motion. But that's a matter of preference; there are similar quality Western knives for not much more money.

There's also some super cheap knives that cut surprisingly well, such as Thai Kiwi knives. They cost < $10, and keep their edge pretty well. The ergonomics kind of suck, so I wouldn't want to use one for a long time, but they're a good option for paring knives and utility knives and such.

I wouldn't go with a ceramic knife, because they are fragile.

kalira wrote:[*]I feel like all my large pans either come to me warped, or are warped by my range. I have an electric flat-top range (the type with the glass top), and I feel like I've had to get rid of at least two large (~12-16 inch?) pans because they won't stay flat. Only problem is I can't remember if they came that way (i.e., were built for a different type of range) or were screwed up by my range. They get kinda bowed(?) in the middle, so when you put them on the range, they tilt to one side or the other so one side is touching the eye while the other is a little bit lifted off the range. Do you think my range is causing this? If so, is there anything I can do to prevent/minimize it? [/list]

Yes, using a pan way too big for your range can warp the pan. This doesn't affect thick heavy pans as much, but they still won't perform as well as they would on an appropriately sized burner, because you'll get hot spots. This is especially a problem for cast iron or unclad steel pans, because they are lousy conductors. If you really must use a pan too big for your burner, your best bet is probably a heavy stainless steel pan with an aluminum layer in the base -- it should be sturdy enough to resist warping, and the aluminum will alleviate the hot spot problem.

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Thesh » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:59 am UTC

ahammel wrote:
Any suggestions on knives? All of mine are dull and perhaps not worth trying to sharpen. I think my bf has one of those pull-through sharpeners, but I have heard they're actually just horrible for your blades. In any case, we're looking at getting some decent knives. Suggestions have included Wusthof and Victorinox. Thoughts? I've seen ceramic knives as well -- is that more of a gimmick, or are they worth it? Better idea than straight metal knives?
My favourite knife is a $350 Zwilling and Henckels. America's Test Kitchen is really fond of a Victorinox that costs a fraction of that, though.


Victorinox is what the meat cutters I used to work with years back liked; I have a couple Forschner knives, a chef's knife's and a cimeter, that work pretty well for the price.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Moo » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:14 pm UTC

Additional benefit of a pressure cooker: you need less salt and seasoning, and it preserves delicate flavours much better.

My lamb shank braised in red wine is pretty good in the slow cooker or oven, but it doesn't come near the one I do in the pressure cooker; same for my minestrone-esque type soup. These two dishes are the ones I tasted the difference in the most. The flavours seem less "boiled to death"? Iunno. I noticed.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby sardia » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:16 pm UTC

Moo wrote:Additional benefit of a pressure cooker: you need less salt and seasoning, and it preserves delicate flavours much better.

My lamb shank braised in red wine is pretty good in the slow cooker or oven, but it doesn't come near the one I do in the pressure cooker; same for my minestrone-esque type soup. These two dishes are the ones I tasted the difference in the most. The flavours seem less "boiled to death"? Iunno. I noticed.

I think the preservation of flavors due to sealing seems more old wives tales than scientific. Maybe there's a mechanism where there's a limit to how much aromatics can be generated, but I'm skeptical.

Protip about soaking beans:
Pressure cook them for 60 minutes, instantly soaks/soften and cooks the beans. No more overnight soaking!

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Moo » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:25 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I think the preservation of flavors due to sealing seems more old wives tales than scientific. Maybe there's a mechanism where there's a limit to how much aromatics can be generated, but I'm skeptical.
When you say "sealing", do you mean browning the meat beforehand? Because that's not what I'm talking about. I don't seal minestrone.

I'm talking about minerals and flavour compounds not being destroyed at the same rate as other cooking processes, due to a combination of shorter cooking times, less water, and less evaporation.

Pressure cooking is the best cooking method to preserve ascorbic acid and beta-carotene in spinach and amaranth

Pressure cooking is one of the best methods to preserve certain health-promoting compounds in broccoli incl vit C

Etc.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:09 pm UTC

Serious Eats did a compare and contrast of recipes on the stove/oven, in a slow cooker and in a pressure cooker. Different types of foods had better results in each method, and they had some hints on how to figure out which would do best where. I just can't find the article at the moment.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby sardia » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:13 pm UTC

I'm referring to the idea that if you smell the food in the kitchen, then it's not in the food. " Food stewing all day is muted and one noted compared to the richer flavors of pressure cooked food" or something like that.
That's good to know about pressure cooking preserving vitamins. I'll need to read their methods to see if the control is over cooking food, or something. Seems weird that 10 minutes in a pressure cooker doesn't destroy more than the equivalent cooking.

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Thesh » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:26 am UTC

sardia wrote:Seems weird that 10 minutes in a pressure cooker doesn't destroy more than the equivalent cooking.


Not really. Different mixtures of chemicals have different reaction rates, which will vary with temperature and pressure.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Moo » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:08 am UTC

sardia wrote:Seems weird that 10 minutes in a pressure cooker doesn't destroy more than the equivalent cooking.
More like "only 10 minutes in the pressure cooker destroys fewer nutrients and flavour compounds than the required 30 minutes equivalent cooking to achieve the same dish".

I know one data point does not a fact make but I've definitely noticed more robust and complex flavours in certain dishes from the pressure cooker than the same dish done other ways.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Moo » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:41 am UTC

How do people feel about ceramic coating for non-stick frying pans rather than teflon or whatever? Worth it?
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Liri » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:46 pm UTC

sardia wrote:https://www.twokitchenjunkies.com/ceramic-vs-teflon/


Regarding oils:
Consistently cooking without these ingredients can help you lose weight and enhance your appearance!

Lol

I'd go for ceramic. Use wooden spatulas (which you should do already). I hated my housemate's teflon pans (they were fairly cheap).
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby speising » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:53 pm UTC

They claim that ceramic is sensitive, while teflon is durable - the complete opposite of what is the usual lore. Teflon coatings will abrade over time, unless you are extremely careful. Ceramic coatings, as far as i've seen, can stand some rough handling.

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Moo » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:13 pm UTC

Thanks all for the advice and link.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:15 pm UTC

speising wrote:They claim that ceramic is sensitive, while teflon is durable - the complete opposite of what is the usual lore. Teflon coatings will abrade over time, unless you are extremely careful. Ceramic coatings, as far as i've seen, can stand some rough handling.

It's the opposite now because of the March of technology. The new formulations are tougher.*

*Assuming this isn't propaganda from DuPont.

Full disclosure, I prefer cast iron or steel pots. Thought I do have 1 Teflon pan for scrambling eggs.

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby freezeblade » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:42 pm UTC

All of these types of "nonstick" pans I have owned throughout the years have worn though in time (less than a year), no matter how carefully I have handled them (only using a non-abrasive sponge with no scrubber side, only using silicon spatulas, etc), and have needed to be replaced. There may not be scratches you can see, but food will begin to stick more and more. I have since moved to a mixture aluminum core stainless steel pots/pans, and cast iron (both enameled and not) for my cooking, and am much happier for it. YMMV of course.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Thesh » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:01 pm UTC

Have you had that experience with anodized nonstick? The cheap ones that flake off over time I would not use.

Also, the silicon utensils might be the problem - silicon is a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby speising » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:33 pm UTC

Note: sanding down Teflon: not recommended

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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby freezeblade » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:36 pm UTC

I have, and I find it tougher, but less non-stick than my seasoned cast iron pans, and in general, less high quality manufacturing than my aluminum core stainless steel pans.

All non-stick instructions I have seen suggest wood or rubberized silicone cookware, I have seen someone scratch a Teflon pan with a bamboo spoon before (it was really old and splintery), so I stuck to the rubberized ones.

edit: ninja'd, this was in response to anodized cookware.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Zohar » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:53 pm UTC

Speaking of cast iron, it is my understanding a big difference between a lot of modern cast iron and older ones is new ones don't get polished and so seasoning a new one will never be as effective as seasoning an old one.

Is this true? And, is there a way to polish a relatively new cast iron to be smoother?
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby freezeblade » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:03 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Speaking of cast iron, it is my understanding a big difference between a lot of modern cast iron and older ones is new ones don't get polished and so seasoning a new one will never be as effective as seasoning an old one.

Is this true? And, is there a way to polish a relatively new cast iron to be smoother?


Pretty much. Old cast iron was machined smooth unlike new pans (from lodge or the like), which is why you should always be on the lookout for older cast iron cookware in thrift shops, etc. You can machine a new cast iron smooth using an angle grinder if you're comfortable using one, then season from scratch. You can also buy one from a boutique seller who does machine flat, such as Finex.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Moo » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:27 pm UTC

Thanks again, all. I do have a really good set of stainless steel/aluminium core pots, but I do find nonstick pans still preferable for things like eggs and pancakes. So while my proper pots are last-a-lifetime stuff, I buy a few cheaper nonstick pans every few years. It's time to replace mine and I was wondering if the ceramic was any better. Looks like they are, although perhaps marginally so, and not as cheap as I was hoping.
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Re: The Joys of Good Cookware

Postby Liri » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:54 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:
Zohar wrote:Speaking of cast iron, it is my understanding a big difference between a lot of modern cast iron and older ones is new ones don't get polished and so seasoning a new one will never be as effective as seasoning an old one.

Is this true? And, is there a way to polish a relatively new cast iron to be smoother?


Pretty much. Old cast iron was machined smooth unlike new pans (from lodge or the like), which is why you should always be on the lookout for older cast iron cookware in thrift shops, etc. You can machine a new cast iron smooth using an angle grinder if you're comfortable using one, then season from scratch. You can also buy one from a boutique seller who does machine flat, such as Finex.

My dad found the cast iron skillet we use 3/4 buried in the ground on a camping trip in the mountains when he was in his 30s. It is pretty great.
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