Just for the uninitiated: Yes, you can live without nonstick pans. Two things that made all the difference for me (and wish I’d known years ago) are (a) knowing that steel/iron is slightly porous which means you should preheat the pan slightly and add a touch of oil before any other cooking to get a less-sticky cooking experience, and (b) when you’re all done, a little splash of water will deglaze all the burned-on shit, which you can scrape into your compost or trash to get it ready for light cleaning either by hand or machine. Oh, and bar-keeper’s friend will take off the outline of those burgers or pork chops in the bottom of the pan. Simple stuff, man. Would have saved me three decades of ingesting little particles of scraped-shitty-nonstick-pan debris.
@blaadnort really, the only thing that is better to cook in nonstick pans is eggs. Everything else cooks better in stainless steel because there isn’t a gap between the metal and the food. Eggs aren’t fussy about that and tend to be messy… So save non sticks for eggs and only eggs.
That great flavor that comes from browning food is the result of the Maillard reaction. When food browns and some of it sticks to the bottom of the pan, that’s called “fond,” and it’s highly valued by chefs because it’s pure flavor. Add a little liquid to “deglaze” the fond from the pan, and you have a super-flavorful sauce.
(If your food is burning to the bottom of the pan instead of browning, you’re using too much heat and/or too little oil/fat.)
If you’re using nonstick cookware to brown most foods, you’re losing all that flavor from the fond.
The sales pitch on this one actually convinced me. This is the perfect excuse to finally get rid of those handful of lingering piece of shit pots and pans with plastic handles and scratched nonstick coating I still have left over from college but never got around to upgrading. Vive la difference
These sets always frustrate me - I have a couple pieces already of each kind, and I really really really like the glass lids, which only come with the “good” set, and I really really really like the double handled sauce pans that come with the other sets but have SS lids.
A good thing about CSA is the lids and pan sizes are consistent so you can mix and match, but I can’t afford to buy two sets.
The lids on the “Multiclad Pro” and the “French Classic” look like they would have me hauling out the carbide bits and coolant to bore vent holes in them, because they appear to be of the snug-fit-inside type that can easily lead to a complete conversion of the water in the pot to steam in an explosive manner. No thanks. Been there, done that, narrowly avoided the massive second-degree burns that would have resulted from just being near the stove when it blew.
@werehatrack I have one of the SS lid pans from Cuisinart, and the seal is not tight enough that you’d risk having a stove-top IED, so you can safely steam food without having to pry the lid off the ceiling.
If you’ve never had a set of “triple ply” cookware, you should leap on the “better” or “best” versions of this deal.
Your grandma’s cheap cookware may have been simply a thin layer of stainless steel, possibly with a copper wash on the bottom (old RevereWare, for example). The thing is, stainless steel actually sucks at conducting heat. Those old pots get hot spots and burn food easily.
Modern cheap pots often have a disk of copper or aluminum attached to the bottom to help spread the heat. These are somewhat better, but the sides are still stainless steel. The disks can also separate from the pot, causing hot spots.
“Triple ply” pots are made from a sandwich of three layers: an aluminum core layer with stainless on the inside and outside. The aluminum layer conducts heat evenly through the whole pot, even up the sides. It makes a big difference.
(Why not just make the whole thing out of aluminum? Aluminum reacts with acidic foods and with automatic dishwasher detergent. Cladding it with stainless steel solves those problems.)
The “better” and “best” sets have other very desirable features:
The lids and the handles are metal, which means they can be used in the oven up to 500°F, unlike glass lids and plastic handles. (Don’t worry, the handles don’t conduct enough heat to burn you when used on the stovetop.)
The handles are attached using rivets, not screws, so they’ll never loosen up or fall off.
If I didn’t already have a full set of All-Clad, I’d be all over this deal.
$18.49 for a professional quality 8" pan at GFS. I love 'em for everything that I don’t cook with my Big Lots or garage sale cast iron pans, and I don’t feel guilty when I throw them away after a few years. They might not be loved by reviewers, but when people who cook professionally use the heck out of them, I’m okay that.
I just invested in some quality ss pans and sauciers and have been very happy. As someone else mentioned- I decided I didn’t want to continue ingesting forever-polymers. As long as you take some time to read up and watch a couple videos on how to use them, you’ll find that they cook and clean up much better than non-stick, and will last forever. I’ve had two of my mother’s stainless steel stock pots from the set she got when she married 40 years ago, and they are still fantastic.
@blaadnort@f00l@sillyheathen there are lots of great traditional English cuisine. The stereotypes in America about bad English food started with GI Joes visiting Britain during heavy rationing during WWII and the years after WWII when getting some foods imported were hard, there was a bit of a lost generation.
@andymand@blaadnort@f00l@sillyheathen well Britain was interfering all over the world for centuries so has been importing and eating food from all over the world for years…Brits have been eating curries and asian or African inspired cuisine for centuries… “Chicken Tikka Masala” for example originated in Britain and is a British take on the Indian curry. It’s actually the most commonly eaten non fast food restaurant meal in the world.
But, if you want to stay with strictly locally grown fare there are lots of good pastry based dishes/pies which are great. British pastry dishes are normally made with the flakey crispy multilayered puff pastry rather than the more solid single layer pastry you find in the US
Cornish Pasties. Steak and Potato pie or steak and onion pies. Pork Pies. Sausage Rolls (think good quality savory sausage meat wrapped in flakey puff pastry.
Then there are the Flans which is the British take on quiche (not like Mexican Flans… The a is pronounced as an a not an o). Flans tend to be more meat based than the French quiches. Salmon flan is amazing if you like seafood.
Speaking of the French, as anglophones call the French “frogs” the French call the British Rosbif, or roast beef because of the traditional British dish of roast beef served with all roasted vegetables. Nothing is more British than an oven roasted meat served with oil or butter glazed roast veggies. If one dish is the traditional British dish it is this.
Often made with a bread called “Yorkshire pudding” which is not a pudding but a bread… The recipe is essentially the same as pancakes but is baked instead of fried and raises up like a loaf. Usually baked under the roast to catch the meat drippings for extra flavor. One variation called “toad in the hole” is baked with sausage directly in it.
The French also call white sauce “the English Sauce” because a lot of British sauces are dairy based… You’ll find a lot of traditional dishes with light creamy cheese sauces.
What America calls Shepherd’s pie is actually really Cottage Pie. True Shepherd’s pie is actually made with lamb (hence Shepherd) which is a much more flavourful meat although some people do have reservations about eating. Lamb and mint sauce another.
Then there is fish and chips (which is actually a lot better than what you find in America. The batter is crispier and flakier than the style here.)
I mean could go on forever… A thousand different breads and bread roll type creations and all sorts of deserts. It’s an old country with lots of regional diversity. No one eats tough boiled meat as is characterized by stereotype.
Now, bad food from pubs and restaurants is a fair criticism. Traditionally, Britain’s hospitality industry is abysmal at best … but get a home cooked meal from someone’s Grandma and it’s a different story.
Oh, and I’ll end with an amusing one… lasagna.
The earliest recipes for Lasagna comes from Britain… They predate Columbus in the new world and the European discovery of tomatoes, so it’s very different from what the Italians have popularized… The earliest lasgnas were various cheese,onions, veggies and seasoning between layers of flat pasta. (Yeah, modern lasagna is better)
@andymand@blaadnort@f00l@OnionSoup I’m not sure what any of what I said has to do with English cuisine. He’d only be cross because he’s a Yorkshire lad and they’re “frugal”. He’d be mad if I spent money.
And they actually do have good food there. Braised lamb shank with roast veggies, pork and apple pie from a proper pie shop, full English breakfast, Yorkshire puddings, pasties, shepherds pie, toad in the hole, curry houses galore etc. it’s sad that Americans think their food is bad. Id say I’ve had worse meals in the states than I ever did when I lived there. Every country/place has its fair share of rubbish food.
Black pudding is top of my wtf list (essentially made of congealed blood).
The Cornwall region gave the world the scone which is good, but they also invented the Stargazer Pie. Essentially a fish pie cooked with the whole intact fish inside it with the heads poking up out of the pastry. I can’t eat a pie that looks back at me when I eat it.
@andymand@blaadnort@f00l@OnionSoup yeah stargazer is not my favorite for sure. There are lots of influences from way back in Roman Saxon Celtic times. If you think about stargazer and pickled fish etc., this is still heavily based in colder Nordic regions. I know growing up in south Louisiana, I grew up trying all sorts of food that most people would think is weird or strange. It’s more to do with what you grew up with. Americans think it’s strange that other cultures eat cats, dogs, insects etc but we eat cows which Hindus consider sacred. Ultimately food is about survival. It’s just nice that we’ve evolved to make it taste amazing. Well some of it anyway
When I was a kid the only Japanese food most people in the US knew was “sookieyaky” and maybe teriyaki. If I said my mother was Japanese they’d say "Euw, do you eat raw fish? And seaweed?!"
Is the only difference between the 12 piece and French 10 piece (in terms of quality, not quantity) is that the 12 is “imported” and the 10 is made in France? I am assuming “imported” means made in China.
@rlux “better” is a better choice anyway. I have some already and like them a lot. Not All-Clad, but not All-Clad price either. Since only one in this set is a duplicate I pulled the trigger. They will replace ancient pans which really should have been tossed years ago. One down note is that these tri-ply pans can warp if you run up the heat. Warped pans and modern glass or induction ranges don’t go together.