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View Full Version : I have an... issue with normal pans, are there many options?


wonky
04-20-2011, 07:42 PM
I've gotten rid of most of my stuff and am gleeful at the opportunity to get new pots and pans. I've been saying I was going to buy glass because, well, I have an issue with stainless steel. Touching it, washing it, letting a metal utensil touch it... Ack. Yes, this goes for stainless steel appliances, too. I can handle normal table ware, but that brushed surface on appliances and pans makes my skin crawl.

So, I was thinking glass. But are there other, better, options for pans with very smooth, non-cringe inducing textures? Will I regret glass?

TriPolar
04-20-2011, 07:51 PM
The only choices that come to mind are Stainless, Cast Iron, Aluminum, Glass, and Ceramic. I assume all the metals are out, so that leaves glass and ceramic, and their major drawback is that they break. So unless you are a klutz, go for it.

Larry Mudd
04-20-2011, 08:03 PM
... so that leaves glass and ceramic, and their major drawback is that they break. So unless you are a klutz, go for it.I find heat retention a much bigger drawback with glass, particularly for sauces. Don't go for glass if you want fine control over temperature.

Morgyn
04-20-2011, 08:05 PM
You could get cast iron enamelware. Smooth ceramic surface, cast iron disperses heat well. Le Cruset is one of the most familiar brands, although there are plenty of others.

I'm working my way to replacing most of my cookware with Prizerware. It's difficult because they haven't been made in decades, but man, do I love them. They may be heavy (hell, no maybe about it, they are heavy), but they cook like a dream.

wonky
04-20-2011, 08:18 PM
The only choices that come to mind are Stainless, Cast Iron, Aluminum, Glass, and Ceramic. I assume all the metals are out, so that leaves glass and ceramic, and their major drawback is that they break. So unless you are a klutz, go for it.

I am... not gifted in the grace department. At all. Not even a little bit.

TriPolar
04-20-2011, 08:20 PM
I forgot about copper. Very expensive. Is that a problem too?

wonky
04-20-2011, 08:30 PM
I forgot about copper. Very expensive. Is that a problem too?

Honestly, I don't know. I've never touched copper pans, so I don't know if they are a smooth surface or a brushed one.

I hadn't even thought about enameled cast iron, Morgyn. My sister had some La Creuset and I don't remember ever being bothered by the texture, though the weight definitely makes them more of a challenge to move around. Thanks for reminding me.

Has anyone ever heard of this sort of cookware? Bialetti Aeternum 2-Quart Covered Sauce Pan (http://www.amazon.com/Bialetti-Aeternum-2-Quart-Covered-Sauce/dp/B0046RDVRM/ref=pd_sim_k_4). They're saying it's aluminum but ceramic-coated on the inside and silicone on the outside. Sound nutty?

Dewey Finn
04-20-2011, 08:53 PM
So the problem is that you don't like or have an aversion to the brushed finish of most stainless steel as used on appliances? Have you considered getting cookware with a shiny finish? I think it's available in either stainless steel or aluminum.

wonky
04-20-2011, 08:59 PM
So the problem is that you don't like or have an aversion to the brushed finish of most stainless steel as used on appliances? Have you considered getting cookware with a shiny finish? I think it's available in either stainless steel or aluminum.

The pans I currently have are very shiny, they just have a very similar texture to the non-shiny ones.

I have been hand washing dishes for the past 16 years and just the sound of a scrubby dish sponge against stainless steel sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me. I associate that texture with that sound, now. I'm not claiming this is normal. :D

Dewey Finn
04-20-2011, 09:04 PM
OK, then as someone else said, the other options are aluminum, cast iron (with or without enamel), glass and ceramic. Except for the aluminum, these options tend to be heavy. I'd recommend wandering around a good housewares store (e.g., the Cellar at Macy's or Williams-Sonoma) until you find something you can bear to be around.

Or just hire someone to cook and do the dishes for you.

runcible spoon
04-20-2011, 09:29 PM
Er, what about crappy nonstick pans? Most of mine have a slightly dimpled, black something-or-other exterior (what, you think I know what that stuff is? I didn't buy them, they just appear) and teflon inside, neither of which have the same texture as steel. Granted, some do have steel exteriors, but not all.

Now, I'm not saying they're the pinnacle of cookware or anything, but they work pretty well, they're cheap, light, hard to break, and they're non-icky.

Implicit
04-20-2011, 09:37 PM
The pans I currently have are very shiny, they just have a very similar texture to the non-shiny ones.

I have been hand washing dishes for the past 16 years and just the sound of a scrubby dish sponge against stainless steel sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me. I associate that texture with that sound, now. I'm not claiming this is normal. :D

Get a dishwasher. Otherwise, cast iron with ceramic is your best option for functional cookware.

Renee
04-20-2011, 09:54 PM
The enameled cast iron is expensive, but it's awesome to cook with. I love mine, and the texture is completely unlike stainless steel. I'd personally go with a combination of that and some non-stick pans that are painted-slick on the outside and teflon on the inside.

Morgyn
04-20-2011, 09:54 PM
I hadn't even thought about enameled cast iron, Morgyn. My sister had some La Creuset and I don't remember ever being bothered by the texture, though the weight definitely makes them more of a challenge to move around. Thanks for reminding me.They can be hard to move around, yes. But damn, if you want a pan that Will Not Move on the cook top, they're aces. When I'm using them, I can use a spatula or something to stir things without having to use my off hand to hold the pan still. Sometimes having that extra hand free is very, very useful.

rowrrbazzle
04-20-2011, 10:25 PM
I have been hand washing dishes for the past 16 years and just the sound of a scrubby dish sponge against stainless steel sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me. I associate that texture with that sound, now. I'm not claiming this is normal. :DEarplugs are a lot cheaper. :)

TexasDriver
04-20-2011, 10:30 PM
I'm not the neighborhood's best cook, but 33+ years ago I decided I liked Corningware (http://www.corningware.com). Goes from the freezer to the stove top to the oven to the microwave to the dining room table with out flinching. Works on electric, gas, or glass stove tops. Goes in the dishwasher. Doesn't rust. For stubborn stains, Bon Ami (http://www.bonami.com/) cleans it right up. I guess it is medium heavy. Not as heavy as cast iron, but heavier than some cheap stuff. I broke one pot in the last 33 years, otherwise they look near new. Corningware does a horrible job on frying an egg, but we have a little metal and Teflon frying pan for that.

Postariti
04-20-2011, 10:43 PM
If you're clumsy, don't get glass. I second TexasDriver's suggestion for Corningware. I am incredibly clumsy, and I've never broken Corningware by dropping it. I have exploded it, by putting the wrong kind on the stove burner. So if you're like me, only buy the ones that are stovetop safe.

needscoffee
04-21-2011, 12:38 AM
But wouldn't Corningware sound like scratching on glass when it's scrubbed?

Several places have nice knock-off versions of Le Creuset that look awfully tempting.

allice
04-21-2011, 02:38 AM
I would go for iron or copper, they are quite different from each other, but both have a lot of advantages. I have both and use them a lot.

Pai325
04-21-2011, 07:41 AM
I have exploded glass pans, too, although I babied them like crazy. It was about 30 years ago, so maybe they are sturdier now. That is what makes me avoid glass now. Cleaning up that hot chocolate wasn't fun!

GythaOgg
04-21-2011, 10:07 AM
But wouldn't Corningware sound like scratching on glass when it's scrubbed?

Several places have nice knock-off versions of Le Creuset that look awfully tempting.

Lodge (http://www.lodgemfg.com/) - known for their cast iron - has a line of enameled cast iron that looks and cooks just like Le Creuset and at a third of the cost. I've got several pieces of it and I'm delighted.

If you can manage to get to their factory outlet store in South Pittsburgh, TN, you can get excellent deals, too. We make a point of stopping there every time we're in the area.

congodwarf
04-21-2011, 10:17 AM
Earplugs are a lot cheaper. :)

Ain't that the truth. I keep forgetting to get some so when I need something out of the chest freezer, I have to put on my noise reducing headphones and turn the music up really loudly. I am completely revolted by the sound of the frozen things in the freezer touching and rubbing against the sides. Seriously - it makes me gag. It's about 1000000x worse than walking on crunchy snow and even that makes me wince.


Anyway, I can't stand cooking with glass. It's heavy, it doesn't sit firmly on the burners, it doesn't hold heat well, and it occasionally explodes.

Enameled cast iron sounds heavenly. We currently only have 2 cast iron pans. I'd love to get more. I can handle the weight if they don't cook like shit (like the glass).

Motorgirl
04-21-2011, 10:27 AM
Honestly, I don't know. I've never touched copper pans, so I don't know if they are a smooth surface or a brushed one.

I hadn't even thought about enameled cast iron, Morgyn. My sister had some La Creuset and I don't remember ever being bothered by the texture, though the weight definitely makes them more of a challenge to move around. Thanks for reminding me.


If weight is an issue, look into enameled steel, like this pot (http://www.amazon.com/Imusa-Enamel-Stock-Quart-Turquoise/dp/B00164W8C2/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1303399250&sr=8-9). It's very light weight, though that means it doesn't heat as evenly as cast iron, aluminum or copper pans.


Has anyone ever heard of this sort of cookware? Bialetti Aeternum 2-Quart Covered Sauce Pan (http://www.amazon.com/Bialetti-Aeternum-2-Quart-Covered-Sauce/dp/B0046RDVRM/ref=pd_sim_k_4). They're saying it's aluminum but ceramic-coated on the inside and silicone on the outside. Sound nutty?

I haven't worked with enameled aluminum, but one of the advantages of aluminum is that it heats evenly and retains heat. I have aluminum-core cookware that is covered in stainless steel, which makes it heavenly to cook with (though heavy) and dishwasher-safe, which I require of everything in my kitchen.

Motorgirl
04-21-2011, 10:30 AM
Enameled cast iron sounds heavenly. We currently only have 2 cast iron pans. I'd love to get more. I can handle the weight if they don't cook like shit (like the glass).

I have one Le Creuset pan which I love. I'd love to get more but blanch everytime I look at prices. The one I had was a hand-me-down from a friend. Someone gave it to her thinking it was the color of her set, but it wasn't. So I got it!

carnivorousplant
04-21-2011, 10:31 AM
I have exploded it, by putting the wrong kind on the stove burner.

Cool!
:)

I like Vision Ware. (http://www.classickitchensandmore.com/corning-vision-ware-lids-c-7.html)

panamajack
04-21-2011, 11:16 AM
Aluminum (hard-anodized or cast) would be a good choice if you're worried about weight. It may be a little hard to find without non-stick coatings these days. I think it also fell a bit out of favor due to the unfounded Alzheimer's scare.

needscoffee
04-21-2011, 11:20 AM
Do enamel-covered pans like Le Creuset or its knockoffs have any non-stick properties? Could you cook, say, eggs in them?

TruCelt
04-21-2011, 02:15 PM
I share your aversion to the touch of metal. Also the sound of metal spatula on stainless-steel pans. It just sets my teeth on edge. Ergh! And worst of all, trying to clean non-nonstick pans. Once you go teflon, you'll never go back! LOL! I also have a deep fear of shattered glass.

Re: Lodge I was almost in love - until I saw that the skillet weighs 9 lbs. No Way.

The Lodge skillet we’ve all waited for—enameled-coated cast iron—flawlessly crafted to braise or sauté your favorite cuts of meat.
11" dia., 1-3/4" depth, 9 lbs.

I recently bought a set of these: http://www.walmart.com/ip/T-fal-Thermo-Spot-Nonstick-Soft-Handles-10-Piece-Cookware-Set-Black/14977001

It was a cheap fill-in until I could find the perfect set. I think I may just buy a second set of these. They have the non-stick coating inside and out, so they clean like a dream. If you want to be able to make a black-and-blue steak, you might need a separate cast-iron griddle, and I'd still like a really big castiron/ceramic casserole.

But for the day-to-day grunt work, these are convenient, cheap, and I like the blue! ;)

Grrr!
04-21-2011, 02:40 PM
I keep seeing this 1-800 commercial that has pots and pans made of stone. For the life of me I can't remember the name of it tho'.

ZipperJJ
04-21-2011, 03:42 PM
Man, fuck cooking. Eat out! :D

Acsenray
04-21-2011, 03:51 PM
What are you scrubbing your pans with, steel wool? Use a soft scrubbing brush made of some kind of synthetic material.

medstar
04-22-2011, 07:53 PM
I keep seeing this 1-800 commercial that has pots and pans made of stone. For the life of me I can't remember the name of it tho'.

I've been watching this infomercial with interest and I believe the name is Orgreenix(sp).

astro
04-22-2011, 10:51 PM
A few notes -

I am not the most graceful cook and I have banged a pot or two together. Glass pans are straight out.

In my experience enameled cast iron (Le Cruset) is very pretty, but it is also very heavy in the larget skillet sizes, does not clean up as easily as you would expect it to, and (surprisingly) it can be scorched. Some people love them, but I am not a big fan of enameled cast iron cookware. Maybe other brands of enameled cast iron will perform better.

Coated pans are nice, but they wear out after a few years of normal use and scorch them once and you have to throw them away.

I like the non coated commercial hard anodized aluminum Calphalon pans (http://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-DS9DC-Commercial-Hard-Anodized-Cookware/dp/B0007KQZ3O/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1303529490&sr=1-1), They are durable, have good heat characteristics, are heavy enough and survive heat well enough that they are almost impossible to burn up. The super hard anodized surface is almost ceramic like, and a lot less "metallic" than you might think, take a look at them in your local cookware store. Possibly try a small pan.

As a side note you might also try a few pieces of cast iron in the medium and smaller skillet sizes. Thick, unenameled cast iron has a very different sound, feel, and texture compared to the bright metallic ring and finish of stainless steel that you find objectionable, and once such a pan is properly seasoned they are awesome! You do have to take some care not to burn them up, but even if you do they are relatively inexpensive to replace.

Morgyn
04-22-2011, 10:58 PM
I've been watching this infomercial with interest and I believe the name is Orgreenix(sp).Close. Orgreenic (https://www.orgreenic.com/?uid=EB017EF1BA9B769C0CAD33D0C74D3151). Seems a little too good to be true.

Silver Tyger
04-22-2011, 11:16 PM
When I lived with my sister we used her enamelware. They feel a lot like ceramic.

1. They're heavy. Very.
2. They're not non-stick, but if you burn something it'll come off without a chisel (I found letting it sit with a paste of baking soda helped)
3. They'll chip. All the ones my sister had were old and I don't think any of them weren't chipped. On the other hand they were older than the two of us.

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