questionslooking at replacing pots and pans... suggestions?

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Calphalon Unison pans are my favorite pans. They are nonstick, but unlike Teflon, can also sear food and are dishwasher safe.

Enameled cast iron are probably the best from a pot standpoint. Lodge Logic makes some great lower-end ones, and Le Creuset makes very nice higher-end ones. I am sure that the Calphalon Unison pots are satisfactory as well.

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I have slowly acquired high-quality pieces over the years. The better quality pots and pans last for much, much longer. One of my favorites is an All-Clad stainless steel saute pan that is my go-to pan for reducing sauces. I have a couple different sized Calphalon Commercial Hard-Anodized pots, though mine are from when they were still made in Ohio and I've been told the quality has suffered now that they are made in China. I have a well-seasoned and much-loved Lodge cast iron skillet that puts a lovely crust on anything. And a couple other odds and ends. I've tended to make do with fewer pieces, but better quality. After all, you can only use so many pots and pans at one time.

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I think the best is Allclad d5, but that could run you a pretty good amount of dollars. I just bought a set of Kitchenaid hard annodized pots/pans on uber clearance at BB&B for like $60 with a coupon - I think original MSRP was like 200ish. I would recommend them very much, with the caveat that I've only been using them for 6 months or so.

I would avoid teflon coated nonstick and go towards a hard annodized (or stainless) finish, both are more durable and you can use metal tools. And the teflon will never flake off.

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Similar to Calphalon, I own some Circulon and use it everyday. I've had it two years and it's replaced all the bits and pieces I used to have. The non-stick is amazing, I hardy ever use oil and clean up is a snap, I hand wash since I don't have a dishwasher.

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Le Creuset pans are amazing. They genuinely produce better cooking results. I can tell the difference when the same cook prepares the same recipe on Le Creuset vs another pan. They are expensive, but if you have a factory outlet store in your area you can save money.

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Calphalon for me, with a handful of faberware thrown in for flavor. And there are always good deals on them through amazon or cooking.com. Good luck with your search. New kitchen stuff is almost as much fun as new tech. :)

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All-Clad Stainless got top honors in Cooks Illustrated Magazine (aka "Americas Test Kitchen") I love this magazine because there are no ads and all the testing is done with no brand bias.

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I have a set of teflony calphalon that I loved love loved but have owned them for almost 20 years and they've seen better days. They're actually about to head by the wayside.

I have a couple of Le Cruesets that I also love and I'm sticking with.

Every household also needs a well seasoned cast iron skillet, you can pick up a great Griswold on ebay that should suit the need.

However, I'm about to take the life long plunge and buy a 14 pc set of All Clad copper core. I cooked with it once and have wanted them as a replacement ever since.

Marshalls, TJ Maxx etc carry firsts and seconds of all of the above brands if you don't mind cobbling your cookware together piece by piece. Also, http://www.cookwarenmore.com/ offers All Clad seconds and if you order 4 pcs or more you get 20% off and free shipping. They also have good prices on 1st quality, just not a large selection.

I agree with the other posters, avoid teflon...it won't last.

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Calphalon here as well, got a great set and have added 2 stainless pans to cook certain foods to get a better sear. The main pans (not the stainless) I use the most are starting to show wear on the finish. I only handwash and I only use either wooden/bamboo or silicone cooking utensils in them but they're still showing wear and I've only had them going on 4 years. That sounds pretty short but they are still in great shape and I also cook a lot so I'm completely happy with them.

I also second @yrguide in saying the need for a quality iron skillet. I have my mother-in-law's grandmother's skillets (2, large and medium) and I use them often (tonight). DO NOT wash them in the dishwasher or with soap, it will ruin the seasoning in the pan. Rinse with hot water, wipe with sponge and set on burner to let the water evaporate (I just dry them by hand). These things are from the late 1800's and they still rock.

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I have a basic set of Revereware that my parents got me when I graduated from college. They're nothing fancy, but they work well, weren't crazy expensive and have lasted almost 14 years with no problems. I expect them to go at least another 14 years or more. I would recommend them for non-foody types who aren't incredibly picky about their cookware.

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I like having some cast iron pieces on hand also. I always use a cast iron skillet to fry chicken or make southern style cornbread. Something to think about.

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I got a full set of pots and pans several years ago at Sam's Club. I believe they were the Sam's Club store brand. They are very nice and heavy weight. They are on par with the higher-end Calphalon stuff. The full set was a little under $200, which I still think was a great price for this level of quality. They offered sets that were non-stick as well as uncoated. I bought the non-stick set and they have been great, but the finish on my most used items is starting to wear out. If I had bought the uncoated ones they would still be going strong.

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1) Cast iron. If you have a good think pan you have to try really hard to mess them up. The good ones have a thick bottom and curves, not corners. i have two from my mother's mother's mother, and they're still great. Got them all grungy from sauce burned on the outside? Turn the fan on, turn the burner on high, and ten minutes later you have a clean pan. Just cool, clean and reseason.
2) Stainless steel. Again, like women and cast iron, you want thick bottoms and smooth curves. If it's not full of water you don't go over half heat, and never heat an empty pot. I have a set from ten years ago and it's still going strong, but they're getting replaced. Seems that a couple of in-laws are tired of watching me cook with the cast iron, and bought me a new set of stainless for Xmas. Same
set.

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I like cast iron since it works with magnetic induction cooktops. Also, better cookware is generally a little pricier for a reason, like any good tool. Personally I buy pots & pans individually as I need them. Costco seems to have consistently good pricing on above-average sets, particularly hard-anodized.