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All-Clad Cookware...Recommendations

dixie_'s picture

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Stainless Steel - Regular or Nonstick
LTD Anodized - Regular or Nonstick
Master-Chef Pure Aluminum
?????
I have a gas cooktop, never owned any all-clad, so would appreciate any recommendations/suggestions. Thanks

KEN's picture

(post #53723, reply #1 of 34)

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dixie,

I feel the choice between any "regular" and any nonstick pan is a personal one, based on the type of foods that one cooks and who washes dishes. Nonstick, although it has come a long way, still requires some TLC and is, therefore, not quite as robust. I think that if you are going on a buying spree that I would recommend buying the "regular" pans first and pick up the nonstick pieces as you discover the need for them.

My personal preference is for the stainless steel models but it is just that, a personal preference. I own a couple pieces of the LTD and Master Chef varieties and cannot see performance differences. All-Clad is excellent cookware and it will be with you for a long time. Buy the type that appeals to your eye.

Ken

Steve_'s picture

(post #53723, reply #2 of 34)

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I wouldn't get non-stick on anything other than a skillet (I have a 10 & 12" non-stick LTD and love them both.) Not only do I feel that non-stick requires more TLC as Ken mentioned (though I've had no problems with mine), I like the ability to sear foods and get the bits of flavor that I don't think you get with non-stick. I am also amazed how easily my All Clad cleans--even the regular seems non-stick. My LTD does show some scratches, but I prefer the look--don't think it performs noticeably different than the other versions (at least not for my needs.) My All Clad purchase has been one of the best additions to my kitchen and I am extremely satisfied.

My final advice echos Ken--if you cook, have someone else clean up--this is the best form of non-stick!

Steve

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #53723, reply #3 of 34)

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I used to say to people considering buying (gasp) T-Fal or something, that "non-stick is for people who don't know how to cook." The truth is, one or two GOOD QUALITY pieces of non-stick (Such as All-Clad) can be very useful in the kitchen of the professional or avid home cook.

I swear by my le creuset, although people complain it's heavy.

So - for the majority of your pots/pans, stick with (no pun intended) a stainless steel interior (non-reactive) - and include one or two pieces (preferably pans) of nonstick.

Happy SHOPPING in any case.

:)

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53723, reply #4 of 34)

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Get the stainless. I have a set and love it. Then go to a commercial kitchen supply store and buy one or two Lincoln Wearever non-stick for 35-45 dollars each. When the wear out, which they will, throw them out and buy some more. Do not subject them to very high heat nor metal utensils.
Also buy a cheap thin stainless pasta pot. Thin and inexpensive means the water will boil much faster. All you are going to do is to boil water in it.
Then buy a large Lodge cast iron fry pan (about $20.00). It will become your favorite pan, but it has limited uses.

Paula_'s picture

(post #53723, reply #5 of 34)

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I would information about an expresso machine. My
husband I both don't care for expresso itself, but like the milk-based coffee drinks. Any suggestions? Thanks

Rebecca's picture

(post #53723, reply #6 of 34)

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Hi Paula, Try posting a new topic for your question...It is buried here & you many not get much advice. BTW, I don't know anything about espresso machines. Sincerely, Rebecca

Mary_Sarber's picture

(post #53723, reply #7 of 34)

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Dixie, I bought a set of All Clad Copper because I loved the way they looked..also because my husband said I would NEVER keep them polished.. I showed him I polished them after every use. Five years later I bought a set of LTD I still use the copper, but love the LTD's not as much care as the copper, but to get the best performance out of ANYTHING, give it a lot of TLC. That includeds your husband. Kat

dixie_'s picture

(post #53723, reply #8 of 34)

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MC - I have two cast-iron skillets I inherited from my grandmother - no logo on the bottom, but indeed are two of my favorite pans. She was 96 when I received them. The are seasoned perfectly. I just bought a 10" Lodge Cast Iron Griddle and am having the devil of a time getting it properly seasoned. The surface seem to be different from the skillets, more porous. I have been working on it for a couple of months, but cannot get it like the frypans. Any suggestions? Maybe by the time I am 96 it will be okay? However, it does bake rustic bread really great.

dixie_'s picture

(post #53723, reply #9 of 34)

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Kat, Good Performance, TLC, husbands -- been married for 34 years. What can I say?

Carolina's picture

(post #53723, reply #10 of 34)

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Dixie,

Cast iron is a rather porous material by nature. It is all that seasoning that fills in the pores and makes for a smooth, non-stick surface. Just keep using your griddle and eventually it will be like your grandmother's skillets.

Samantha_Zistatsis's picture

(post #53723, reply #11 of 34)

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I would like to pursue the cast iron thread. The question is, do you or don't you use dish detergent to clean them. If using hot water only, are you running a bateria contimation risk? I understand that you season them with oil....any particular type? The article I read said to rub surface with cloth soaked in oil. Then, heat in 350 oven upside down for 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave pan in place until cool. Does this sound right?

Also, when you say "bake rustic bread" I'm assuming you put the skillet in the oven...true? I would like the recipie!

dixie_'s picture

(post #53723, reply #12 of 34)

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Samantha - My grandmother said never use detergent, so I don't. I wash them with hot water, dry and put them upside down over a gas flame for about a minute. When originally seasoning, I used a solid shortening (thick) and put them in oven like you said but not upside down. I also read a tip somewhere that if you cooked bacon in them for a week it would season. None of this has particularly worked on this one pan.

Yes, I do put the skillet in oven when baking rustic bread and I was referring more to shape than a recipe. I started with the Italian Herb Bread Recipe that came with my Zojirushi Bread Machine,and just add what I want, roasted garlic, parmesan, basil. Any Grain, French, Italian, or peasant bread recipe should work. Just take out of machine and shape like you want.

I hope this helps.

EM_'s picture

(post #53723, reply #13 of 34)

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I use my grandmother's cast iron skillets also...three of them and they are wonderful pans. They are so well seasoned at this point that I can scramble an egg in the 8 inch pan and simply wipe it out with a paper towel, heat it on a burner for a minute, and return it to the cupboard. The heat with the next use will kill any lingering bacteria. When she first gave me these pans I didn't appreciate them and almost ruined them cooking tomato based foods in them (acidity), and soaking them in soapy water. This was when I was young and didn't have good sense! Now I use them as freely and easily as I use the All-Clad saute pan. I made deep dish chocolate pecan pie in the large one last week and needed a little water for clean up, but still no soap. The old pans are a treasure! Recently bought new cast iron corn stick pans and am still struggling to get them seasoned. Next time I'll shop for cast iron at a flea market.

EM

Rebecca's picture

(post #53723, reply #14 of 34)

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I'm no expert but I think contamination comes from live germs that die when they dry out...So if you get all the food off (including grease) even w/out using soap, you should be safe.

Caked-on grease would get rancid, & any leftover food stuck to it would probably be unsafe to eat (not a dry envionment).

dixie_'s picture

(post #53723, reply #15 of 34)

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Rebecca, EM, Samantha - Found this after posting the reply

http://www.lodgemfg.com/

Good info on seasoning, caring for, etc. They say you can use soap and is interesting site.
I would have put this in so that it would have been "clickable" - don't know how.

EM_'s picture

(post #53723, reply #16 of 34)

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Thanks for the LODGE site. My corn stick pans are from that company so am one step in the right direction. I'll give it another shot on seasoning. BTW, my old cast iron skillets work every bit as well as the best of non-stick pans, so nothing clings to them to leave bacteria.

EM

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53723, reply #17 of 34)

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Cast iron pan care: Use hot water and a plastic scouring pad-no soap. Put cleaned wet pan on stove and heat to evaporate moisture and kill bacteria. When totally dry, wipe with paper towel dipped in crisco. You should not end up with excess oil; only as much as required to soak in to pan.

KEN's picture

(post #53723, reply #18 of 34)

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Cast iron pans are manufactured with both polished and non-polished interior surfaces. The polished ones tend to season a bit quicker. The non-polished cookware will season, it just takes longer.

Despite what the Lodge or Wagner instructions say, do not bother with oils; use lard or Crisco. The manufacturers are only giving in to the politcal correctness of oil versus saturated fat. Their old instructions used to say use lard or Crisco. Oils leave your skillets with a sticky residue

Carolina's picture

(post #53723, reply #19 of 34)

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Ken,

Please tell me about the polished and un-polished cast iron ware. This is something I would like very much to know more more about.

TIA, Carolina

KEN's picture

(post #53723, reply #20 of 34)

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Carolina,

Not too much to explain, the polished interiors have been ground to make a smoother surface. Once seasoned I find it to be more non-stick than a "natural" finished pan. The process of polishing reduces the effective pore size (wish I could attach a sketch). I try to obtain polished pieces if I can. However, a well seasoned cast iron pan of any type is a pleasure to work with.

I have only been able to find the polished surface in the skillets of today's manufacturers. Most of the cast iron that I inherited from my mother and grandmother had a polished surface, regardless.

ATVB, Ken

Carolina's picture

(post #53723, reply #21 of 34)

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Ken,

Thanks for the education. Proves you are never too old to learn. (My grandmother used to say, "When you get too old to learn, you might as well call the undertaker!) What brands should I look for?

Steven_I.'s picture

(post #53723, reply #22 of 34)

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I never use soap on my cast iron pans or on my wok.
b If
any bacteria are left behind they're history next time the pan gets heated up.

Steven

chris_allen's picture

(post #53723, reply #23 of 34)

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A seasoning method that I read in Cooks magazine:
heat the clean cast iron skillet until drop of water sizzles. Dunk a wad of paper towels into (liquid) vegetable oil and thoroughly wipe the interior until coated lightly. Let the pan cool down. Do this every time you use a new pan, and in about a month (if you use it frequently) it will be black and shiny. It does work, I seasoned a new skillet this way and it looks like its been in constant use for 25years, not 2.

Full-fledged's picture

(post #53723, reply #24 of 34)

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ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto! I got so made at my new 10 inch, I filled it with oil, stuck it in a cabinet and punished it for a month. Dumped, hot water, dryed then fried shrimp in it. She be-behaving now. By the way, I just checked on it for the size and found my bread machine cord hanging in the pot. Do you have a french bread recipe similar to the taste of Riesing's, Ludenheimer's or Zip's?

BobbyG's picture

(post #53723, reply #25 of 34)

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I like the stainless. brushed looked old after 2 wahsings
The stainless bounces back after a little Bon Ami paste and a nylon pad.
All-Clad is the best pots just remember use less heat to avoid blueing!

traybo's picture

(post #53723, reply #26 of 34)

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I have both a set of cast iron and All-Clad. I stayed away from the brushed All-Clad. I thought it might show wear and tear more easily. I have a basic set of stainless. Besides a boyfriend who threatens to scour them, they are very reliable pans. From experience though, they work much better on gas than electric. And watch your heat. I actually have four sets of pans. All-Clad, cast iron, copper bottom Reverer Wear and Four Club Aluminum. Each has a place in my kitchen. The cast iron holds a special place in my heart. It is somewhat limited though, especially at first. I nearly ruined a dutch oven cooking a tomatoe bases sauce before it was properly seasoned. Remember the lids...the pan survived to cook many batches of slow cooking chili...

noChefAtAll's picture

(post #53723, reply #27 of 34)

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Finally a subject I know something about. But I hate to tell you this is not the right forum. Try posting/hanging out for a couple of days at http://www.deja.com/group/alt.coffee, all they really talk about there is espresso and they love being asked open ended questions and you'll get more information than you'll know what to do with.

But very briefly, it depends on whether you want to buy a steam toy or a pump machine, whether you make coffee for 1 or 2 people or a larger group. Then the next question is how much you want to spend and how nuts you are about coffee, because real espresso is a pain, you have no idea how much. There are real and noticeable improvements all the way up to $1000. You can spend more too, of course, and many will make the case for it. You can see machine reviews by customers at http://www.coffeekid.com/reviews/ , read carefully at http://netnow.micron.net/~bogiesan/ and lots lots more sites if you need, but you'll have to e-mail me or start another thread.

Krups machines are quite reliable, both the steam toy and the pump machines. Avoid Braun. Look for 'solid feel,' espresso is a punishing process on machinery. The Gaggia machines are a lot better, you can get very respectable ones (e.g. the Gaggia Coffee ) for about $250 (at Zabars, online or in person), and it gets more interesting when you climb into the higher prices.

If you're intending on making coffee based drinks for lots of people at parties, forget the whole thing unless you're willing to spend over $800.

Again, any questions you can email me or start another thread.

noChef

Wolverine's picture

(post #53723, reply #28 of 34)

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No Chef - how long will the $250.00 model last? As you say, espresso is tough on machines. If it will last for at least 3 years with twice or 3 time weekly use, I would buy it.

noChefAtAll's picture

(post #53723, reply #29 of 34)

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I think that 3 years of light use should not be a problem, I would expect 2 or 3 espressos a day for those 3 years. Still, espresso machines, even good ones, are trouble prone, so make sure you have access to somebody that can take it apart and do a little work.

Something I neglected to mention in my previous post is that no home espresso machine is any good without getting good coffee that is ground to just the fineness that the machine needs on a regular basis. A decent grinder would probably cost you another $150 and up.

Also, getting good espresso out of any machine requires a certain obssessiveness and perseverance - something that many people on this forum evidently have in considerable measure.

Take care, noChef

Doug_Greenlee's picture

(post #53723, reply #30 of 34)

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You might look at the Nespresso (TM) system from Nestle. We had one in Switzerland while living there and found them at Williams Sonoma on our return. They have a web site. Try http://www.nespresso.ch/.

They perhaps do not compete with the very best machines in skilled hands, but they are foolproof. Coffee comes in individual aluminum canisters in at least 8 blends/roasts, including decaf. You order the coffee by telephone or online. Comes 2-day UPS. About 45 cents/cup, but far better than most restaurant "espresso" in the U.S. and much of it in Europe.

We don't use the steamer much, but it is the standard Krups system and seems to work well. They range in price from about $199 with no automation (The one we have had for 4 years of 2 - 6 cups/day and are very happy with.)up to about $600.