Pots and Pans

Can anyone recommend a type of pot/pan for me? I purchased some Teflon ones a while back. I always put pots and pans into the dishwasher, and these became clean no matter how dirty they were. After a while the Teflon began to wear off, and I’ve heard there are some health risks from that so I got rid of them. Next I purchased a stainless steel set. The pans are more reliable, and heat more evenly, but the dishwasher cannot clean them. The box said dishwasher safe, but they’re never clean, so now I find myself doing them by hand. Also, food burns too easily in them.

Basically I want some pans that:

  • Are non-stick (like Teflon)
  • Won’t easily burn foods (like Teflon)
  • Come completely clean in the dishwasher (like Teflon)
  • Are more sturdy (like Steel)
  • Won’t fall apart (like Steel)
  • Heat evenly (like Steel)

What material should I look for?

Define “never clean”? I mean, you’re not supposed to put your good stuff in the dishwasher anyway, but I do (so sue me) and I’ve never had a hard time getting them clean. Maybe your dishwasher sucks.

That depends on what kind of “good stuff” you own. All-Clad, o

Sorry, baby on my lap.

All-Clad, for example, is perfectly dishwasher safe. Calphalon, on the other hand, will discolor if it is washed in the dishwasher. Putting any non-stick material in the dishwasher is an enormous waste if water since it doesn’t even require soap to get it clean.

We just bought new pans.
All-Clad stainless.
Not non-stick, but dishwasher safe.
Preferred them to Calphalon and others.
After a few weeks, we really like them.

I have a set of Farberware saucepans (stainless, with copper bottoms) that have been going strong for over 15 years. They aren’t non-stick, but they’re great for most cooking. I always washed them by hand, because I didn’t have a dishwasher, but I have one now, and they always come out clean.

I also have several Circulon pans, that anodized aluminum stuff, and it’s my favorite. I do wash the Circulon by hand, because IIRC, you’re not supposed to put it in the dishwasher. It’s non-stick and works great.

If food is burning easily, I would think maybe you have the heat up too high.

To add, I do have All-Clad. Plenty of people tell me that you shouldn’t put ANY good pans in the dishwasher. I tell them I work full time and value my free time. They get perfectly clean.

I mean, when you’ve got stuff on your pans when you cook, odds are that’s because then you’re supposed to deglaze.

Do yourself a big favor: forget item #3 on your list, and go for cast iron.

A well seasoned cast iron pan is essentially non-stick. they heat more evenly than anything else in existence, and will last practically forever if well taken care of (and even if not-so-well taken care of). Some of our pans are well over 50 years old, and will easily serve out the rest of our lifetime, our son’s, and his children’s.

The only thing that you can never, ever, ever do is put them in the dishwasher. In fact, you really don’t even need to use water to clean them at all…a bit of vegetable oil and some kosher salt, heat and wipe clean…

Don’t lose a lick of sleep over it. I logged a good many hours in professional kitchens when I was younger, and I can tell you that stainless is perfectly safe in any dishwasher. Those people are probably confused.

I tend to wash most of mine by hand, but that is only due to the fact that it takes up a lot of room in a dishwasher. When I have the room, I wash them in there. After many, many years they still look like they are brand new.

I am terrible at burning stuff in cast iron. It holds so much heat that if I set the temperature too high, there’s just no hope. So while I like cast iron, I just can’t deal with it.

If you’ve got stuff stuck to your stainless pans, you need to soak 'em before you put them in the dishwasher. Dishwashers just can’t get stuck-on food off.

My mom still has her Revere Ware, and I have a set too. I haven’t had any problems with keeping them clean.

For non-stick pans, I like the Kitchenaid line. You’re not supposed to put them in the dishwasher, but that’s fine. They clean very easily with a sponge. The non-stick should last a very long time as long as you don’t use metal utensils in them. The ones with the metal handles are also oven-safe to 500F, so they can be used to make frittatas, oven pancakes, etc.

I’d drop the Teflon requirement. It requires too much babying, and if you’re good at controlling the heat under your pans (good pans make this easier) you shouldn’t be sticking anything unintentionally.

I’ve got a heavy stainless set put out by Emeril that I love. I don’t care one way or another about the man himself, but I love these pans, which were much cheaper than All CladThey heat evenly but not quickly. Once hot, they hold the heat really well. There was a learning curve when we got them, especially since my stove is electric. They clean up beautifully (even in the dishwasher) and can take a good scrubbing when necessary (unlike Teflon). I haven’t had any problems with things sticking, and I don’t have to worry about what sort of utensils I use on them (unlike Teflon).

I have several of these. Tough, heavy, even heating, non-stick.

I too have a number of pieces of Emerilware. Not because of Emeril, but because they’re made by AllClad, for a fraction of the price. They work beautifully, and I use them every day. They come thru the occasional dishwasher cycle just fine as well.
I also have a couple of non-stick (teflon) fry pans. These I consider disposable; every couple of years they just lose their non-stickiness and need to be replaced. I don’t believe in buying expensive non-stick cookware.

Speaking as a lazy person, my preference is to use a non-stick pan and wash it by hand. This is one of those instances where being lazy will cost you in the long run. A new non-stick pan is very easy to clean, and will remain that way if treated right (no metal utensils, no dishwasher). If you put it in the dishwasher, the coating degrades and becomes harder and harder to clean.

Anolon does make non-stick cookware that are supposed to be dishawasher-safe. I’m not sure if I trust that claim though, especially since the small print says “must use approved gel detergent” or something similar.