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Calamity Kris

Cookware - A Question For Our Chefs

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I just invested in my first set of descent cookware.  I was tired of the less expensive ones warping when used or the finish peeling when washed. 

 

I have a glass cook top with one induction burner, which I seldom use. 

 

I take pretty good care of my cookware.  I don't take them off the hot burner and immediately immerse them in water, nor do I turn the burner on high and walk away with nothing in the pan.  Putting them in the dishwasher is out of the question.  Still, I have managed to warp nearly every pan I have had.  Granted, they were either garage sale finds or very inexpensive sets from a mass retailer. 

 

My question is, what can I do to keep the pans from warping? 

 

Thanks as always.

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-09-07 at 1.45.16 PM.png

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17 minutes ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

Is your question “What can I do to keep cheap pans from warping?”

 

don’t overheat them.  Other than that I don’t have a clue.

 

What can I do to keep my new pans from warping?  I plan to treat them as well as I did the cheap ones.  I was wondering if there was something I was missing.

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You seem to have the basics.  As long as they are heavy bottomed you should be fine.

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Heavier gauge metal should be less susceptible to warping.  My wife has a set of heavy duty stainless steel cookware that has lasted for 15 years and still looks good.  

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What Joe sez.  Heavy bottoms - especially multi-layered ones - tend to be much less prone to warpage...

 

As an aside, I've followed a lot of cooking experts over the years.  One of my favorites was Narsai David, who used to broadcast from San Francisco, before the place went totally insane.  Anyway, one of his pet peeves that I adopted is people stirring a pot or pan with a metal spoon, then banging the utensil on the edge of the pot.  

 

Don't do that!!!  :angry:

 

It dings the edge, and is truly a mark of an amateur or "care-not."  Wood or plastic, maybe... but definitely not metal.  :(

 

My personal favorites are my cast iron, and a set of "Emerilware" that I bought about 18 years ago.  Basically, it's All-Clad, with Emeril's signature.  I love it, 'specially the glass lids.  I have questioned All-Clad's departure from glass tops; much more difficult to see through the steel lids.  :rolleyes:

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Buy a good set even if you can only buy them piecemeal, just one at a time.  This is the stuff you use to prepare the food you eat.  Be nice to yourself, splurge, treat yourself!  

The same goes for items such as knives and cooking utensils.  

I normally go for stuff that has a real lifetime/no questions asked warranty.  Expensive but worth it.

 

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15 minutes ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

What Joe sez.  Heavy bottoms - especially multi-layered ones - tend to be much less prone to warpage...

 

As an aside, I've followed a lot of cooking experts over the years.  One of my favorites was Narsai David, who used to broadcast from San Francisco, before the place went totally insane.  Anyway, one of his pet peeves that I adopted is people stirring a pot or pan with a metal spoon, then banging the utensil on the edge of the pot.  

 

Don't do that!!!  :angry:

 

It dings the edge, and is truly a mark of an amateur or "care-not."  Wood or plastic, maybe... but definitely not metal.  :(

 

My personal favorites are my cast iron, and a set of "Emerilware" that I bought about 18 years ago.  Basically, it's All-Clad, with Emeril's signature.  I love it, 'specially the glass lids.  I have questioned All-Clad's departure from glass tops; much more difficult to see through the steel lids.  :rolleyes:

 

I don't use metal utensils on any of my cookware and do my best to make sure Uno doesn't either.  I go all kinds of crazy when I see him pull a fork or spoon out of the drawer and move towards my pots on the stove.  :blink: 

 

Metal lids is why I didn't buy All-Clad or Calphalon.  This is a Circulon set.  We'll see how things go.

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Im not a chef.

 

It looks like Circulon is aluminum.  In my experience aluminum is more susceptible to warping than stainless steel.

 

Here’s hoping your new set proves me wrong.

Edited by J-BAR #18287

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1 hour ago, Calamity Kris said:

 

What can I do to keep my new pans from warping?  I plan to treat them as well as I did the cheap ones.  I was wondering if there was something I was missing.

California

 

Texas Lizard

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1 hour ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

What Joe sez.  Heavy bottoms - especially multi-layered ones - tend to be much less prone to warpage...

 

As an aside, I've followed a lot of cooking experts over the years.  One of my favorites was Narsai David, who used to broadcast from San Francisco, before the place went totally insane.  Anyway, one of his pet peeves that I adopted is people stirring a pot or pan with a metal spoon, then banging the utensil on the edge of the pot.  

 

Don't do that!!!  :angry:

 

It dings the edge, and is truly a mark of an amateur or "care-not."  Wood or plastic, maybe... but definitely not metal.  :(

 

My personal favorites are my cast iron, and a set of "Emerilware" that I bought about 18 years ago.  Basically, it's All-Clad, with Emeril's signature.  I love it, 'specially the glass lids.  I have questioned All-Clad's departure from glass tops; much more difficult to see through the steel lids.  :rolleyes:

I loved my cast iron, but got rid of all of it except for my favorite 12" skillet.  There's some really good advice above, but "baby" your cook ware is the main thing.

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I have decided that cast iron and heavy bottomed stainless are the best for me. No more non stick stuff.

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1 minute ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

I have decided that cast iron and heavy bottomed stainless are the best for me. No more non stick stuff.

 

Some day I hope to cook with gas again, then I can pull my cast iron out of retirement.  Until then, heavy aluminum it is.

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I have one inexpensive sheet steel pan with a long handle that I love.  I did warp it by setting it on some coals alongside a campfire, had to deal with something "urgent" that our reenacting unit commander insisted on dealing with.  Got back and the bottom was glowing.  Still cooked fine.  And I was able to hammer it back (almost) flat and reseason it.  It is one of my favorite pans as now it is almost nonstick.

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I prefer stainless to non-stick pans (I have one large anodized skillet). Also have a selection of cast iron, pyrex casseroles (various) and more. I'm a pretty serious cook.

 

Main item is heavy bottoms, a layer of copper in the bottom helps even heating. The set you posted does not look bad (as in junk-cheap), but they are inexpensive. Still, that set should last many years. I would not put them in the dishwasher even if the instructions say it is OK.

 

More likely than overheating (pan killer!) is dropping them off the counter loosing bottom flatness and hurting lid fit. If the bottom is not flat (or your burner is not flat), the pan will have hot spots (copper helps with that). And lid fit really matters most for your rice pan; that one has to fit right.

 

I do prefer glass lids, but those are subject to breaking from falls and also from leaving them too near a burner. For that last, ask me how I know :lol:.

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I bought good Analon and Calpalon twenty years ago and their still doing fine. The pot I use most has most of the none stick finish warn off but it is as non stick as it was the day it was new. They are heavy and heat evenly without warping. 
I also have a full set of cast iron that gets used constantly. I have a very expensive set of stainless that I never use. 
Buy good and treat them well and they won’t let you down 

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All-Clad !!!!    You get what you pay for.  Copper Queen has about 6 pieces. Been using them for at least 20 years. Still as good as new. Her original ones have copper on the bottle. Won't work with induction stoves. They make ones with a ss bottom over the copper. I keep offering to buy her new ones to add to the set but she says Why?? These are still like new and I don't need another size.  She takes very good care of her utinsels. As a cook they are like tools. Buy the best, take care of them and you get the best results. No metal utinsels in them even though they don't have non-stick coatings. Clean up super easy. (we have a dishwasher but it hasn't been used in over 20 years. Actually never turned on since being installed)  I am the dishwasher. She does have a 20 quart commercial stock pot with a huge aluminum bottom. Must weigh 10 pounds. Also a couple of those French porcelan coated cast iron casseroles. Uses the All-Clad pans every day for the past 20+ years.

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I have one of these (picture from Sur la Table website - where I bought mine, and too much trouble to dig it out and take a picture.)

 

I love it!  Five quart capacity, and perfect for the pumpkin soup recipe below.  Although I can, I've never cooked the soup in this thing; I always use the heavy Emerilware/All-Clad 6-quart stock pot and transfer when done, then serve from the pumpkin.  ^_^

 

                                     2817625_01i_0917s.jpg?sw=1350&sh=1000&sm=fit

 

This is VERY tasty.  I only allow folks one small bowl at Thanksgiving; it's always popular and I've seen people never make it to the turkey.  :rolleyes:

 

PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients

6 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 teaspoons salt  (I sometimes forget the salt… )

4 cups pumpkin puree (cooked pumpkin. Canned, baked, steamed, nuked ~ it’s all good, although I like to do one from the garden)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

1 cup chopped onion

1 chopped shallot

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1+ clove garlic, minced  (I think I used about the equivalent of 2 and a bit more…)

5 whole black peppercorns

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream  (Oops… I used a bit over a cup – Darn! And Yum!!)

Directions

Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, shallot, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Oh heck… put it all in the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.

Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender. Or do like I did and do it all in the pot using an immersion blender – MUCH easier!!

Bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley. (I sometimes don’t bother with the foliage)

 

:)

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Not a fan of Calphalon.  ALL non-stick eventually flakes & I don't want to eat that.  I went to stainless pans years ago.  I have a 10" cast-iron skillet I bought at Woolco when I set up housekeeping & two of Mama's smaller skillets.  Also cast aluminum from my MIL.  Everything I have goes in the dishwasher except the cast iron.  I'd hate to have to hurt somebody over that cast iron.  You want to keep it - and the cast aluminum - so you can slide an egg out of it?  Get yourself some Buzzy Wax.  And the previous poster was correct about lid fit on your rice pan.  I have a lid with a vent hole for cooking jasmine rice, which tends to bubble a bit more than regular rice.

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i like cast iron - old ones work best , well seasoned and treated with love 

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2 minutes ago, watab kid said:

i like cast iron - old ones work best , well seasoned and treated with love 

You're not wrong.  Before SIL was SIL, I caught him eyeing my 10" pan so I bought him one for his birthday.  There was a lady used to come to the flea market with reseasoned pans.  She said she never sold a pan she hadn't reseasoned & cooked in.  To this day (they married in 1990) NOBODY but him & me are allowed to use that pan.

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Don't overheat it!!!!!

 

duffield

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After years of various non-stock or otherwise coated pans I switched back to stainless steel with thicker bottoms

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19 hours ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

I have decided that cast iron and heavy bottomed stainless are the best for me. No more non stick stuff.

 

I agree with Bob, I love my cast iron! 

And contrary to popular belief, cast iron WILL work on a glass top range, you don't have to use it on only a gas range!

 

IMG_20200809_153815.thumb.jpg.f72b9f7cda65853081417ce8a4a1d4d1.jpg

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Induction stoves require  ferrous (iron containing) material in contact with the stove top. That is why cast iron, Stainless steel, etc. work fine. Copper and aluminum do not work.

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I use my Cast Iron on my Glass Cooktop all the time.  Just don't slide it around.  I really like Calphalon.  Don't overheat any cookware.

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Cast iron will last generations.  I cook my breakfast almost every morning in the same cast iron skillet.  I cook with lard. Clean out about once a week. Just heat it up, pour off the old lard and wipe down with paper towels. And start with new lard.  Never "let it soak"!

 

Sawmill Mary respects my skillet. She has her own she can mess up all she wants.  

 

We have a glass top electric range.  It gets no special consideration. 

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+1 on the Alanon non stick pans.  I try not to get them much over medium heat and I use a mister/sprayer with real olive oil.  I also never use metal utensils in them.  If I need higher heat, I use one of my cast iron pans.  As stated before, if you are careful, they work on any cooking surface.

 

I have cooked my entire life (a short while in restaurants) and I enjoy it.  My wife is very happy to have me grocery shop and cook.  Maybe that's why I've managed to keep a beautiful woman happy for 43 years. 

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Cast Iron ones work great for me.

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I don’t have the temperament for cast iron, it needs a certain amount of and kind of care that is just not in me.  
 

I had many all-clads but when I had to downsize I took my 4qts and 2qts with me, including 1.5 & 2.5. I found I really needed a 6 and an 8. I searched eBay and found calphalon.

 

i also have a 17 qt and a 14 qt from a different maker that I use for making my competition chowders and a couple slow cookers.

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I will pass along what my wife's cancer doctor told her.

Never, ever, use aluminum cookware.

Use stainless steel, or cast iron.

 

He told her the majority of the metal, he found in a body, after an autopsy, is aluminum.

He took her off anti perspirants, baking soda with aluminum in it, aluminum pots and pans, cooking with aluminum foil, etc.

He did not specifically say it causes cancer, but he took her off all aluminum products as part of her treatment.

He took her off of pork too.  Yeah, yeah, I know...some would rather die than be without that.

 

She had stage 4 uterine cancer, diagnosed in 2016. She had the operation, but refused to take chemo. Radiation was not offered in her case.

We did the research, and went with non-approved cancer treatments, and she is almost cancer free now.

 

So....

Just passing this on, as to her experience with aluminum..

Take it or leave it.

 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

I don’t have the temperament for cast iron, it needs a certain amount of and kind of care that is just not in me.  

 

If you're putting work into cleaning cast iron,  you're doing it wrong. Just fish out the cooked food and put a lid on it.  Keep using it. 

 

I change out the lard about once a week. I heat it up until grease flows and dup it out. Use paper towels to clean up any wet spots or crumbs.  The black coating is an indication that it's seasoned.  Add new lard and keep cooking. 

 

Fried apples tend to carmelize and tends to require the cleaning method above. 

 

I never wash, scrub or scour my skillet. 

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On 9/8/2020 at 8:31 AM, Dutch Wheeler said:

 

I agree with Bob, I love my cast iron! 

And contrary to popular belief, cast iron WILL work on a glass top range, you don't have to use it on only a gas range!

 

IMG_20200809_153815.thumb.jpg.f72b9f7cda65853081417ce8a4a1d4d1.jpg

 

Dutch, that's a magnificent collection!

 

May I ask how you have the "black iron pipe" rack secured to the wall?  There's some pretty serious avoirdupois hanging there....   :rolleyes:

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