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Hard Anodized\Enamelware Questions! What is toughest!
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Joined: 19 May 2006
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if your looking for excellent quality and life time use then tinned copper, cast iron, stainless clad and enamel cast iron are the choices.

Personally I would go with tinned copper for frying pan's, cast iron/enameled cast iron for over wear and stainless clad for pots plus one or two heavy stainless class or cast iron frying pans.

Of course if you went with what I suggest you will be going for a bank loan just to get it hehehe

aluminium is crap for long term, it'll work for a few years and work well to but eventually it will need replacing.

Tinned copper does need special care though, never EVER put it in a dishwasher (its hell on the copper and tin) don't polish the outside, over the years it will develop a nice patina and you will need to get it retinned every few years or every year depending on how often you use it and when you use it, heat the pan with oil/butter/water/stock/what ever already in the pan or you can damage the tin lining and need it retinned. To clean you just wipe it out with a cloth and rinse under water.

Cast iron once again NEVER goes into the dishwasher, you wipe it out using a little bit of mild detergent rinse and dry in the oven (as the oven cools down) cast iron can rust, however if well looked after, dried properly and keep somewhere ventilated it wont and will last many life times.

Cast iron thats enameled shouldn't be put in a dishwasher either, you should treat it much like normal cast iron but be happy knowing it will never rust.

the clad stuff, well, if its stainless I just shove it in the dishwasher, use abrasives on it, toss it about, let it have the crap beaten out of it and it still goes wonderfully but then I have demeyer cookware which is built like a brick you know what and it only needs a little love every now and then to work well!

erm thats all I can add to the topic really... everyone can pull my opinions apart now hehehe
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Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My collection of cookware grows!

I have slowly been tossing out the garbage and replacing with better quality favorite sources...E-bay,Tuesday Mornings, and Bed Bath and Beyond's scratch and dent table......

In any case I have found something interesting I have one "Calpalon One" piece that is supposed to be the "end all, be all" Calphalon. It's crap...I also bought some old school Calphalon Commercial on was even used and showed some slight stacking wear around the largest stock pot is also the no longer made "calphalon commercial" line........why why why did they mess with this? They hold up great you can beat them like a bad step child and they still work well and love on ya, seldom stick, and just work why does the last generation of calphalon work better then the current generation of overpriced space age garbage? If you can find some calphalon commercial BUY IT!

Tri-Ply......Tramontina is a wonderful thing and is on sale cheaply at Tuesday Mornings fact the ones here have a huge batch right now........nuff said. this is becoming the bulk of what Ilike to use.....throw it in the dish washer; fire and forget.

Enameled Cast Iron.......all of my pieces would be cast iron if i could hlp it and afford it, and I'd have a better set of biceps to show for it......I accidentally got several Le Crueset pieces for free!...Yup free! my cookware search I mentioned it passingly in front of my mom, she said yes she didn't like that enameled cast iron because it was too heavy in fact my dad had bought her a bunch that was collecting dust and never been used from like the 70's......(gulp) really? "Sure.,.....want it? " Oh if only I could find more that way.....was only about three pieces.....never been used, and as an added bonus they were in a blue that matched our kitchen.

Cast-Iron......just good old plane cast iron......wether it's making corn bread, frying okra, or fried chicken.....cast iron is still central to good southern cooking.......have one pan that's older then me, have another I just bought after properly seasoning it, they are indistinguishable, completely non stick......and can't be beat.......the only material I know that gets "better" the more you use it. Lodge for the win.

Enameled steel........still looking....(frown).... I still only have one Le-Creuset pot...and sadly I still cannot find any decent thick gauge enameled's either so thin it's cheap...or old and one seems to making good enamel on steel outside of two pieces by Le Creuset now.....I hate it.....I hear Japanese still use it quite a bit, and plan on hitting the asian markets to look for some, perhaps some larger asian markets that carry asian cookware will have it.

As to why I like Enameled steel.,.......for making tomato sauces, and other acidic soups, and sauces (and my love of tomato based foods, and habeneros, thai peppers etc means quite a few acidic items).......there is just no better's glass after all really, it's pyrex basically..(pyrex did make some awesome pots fo awhile by the way...but silly ignorant regulations against glass in kitchens stopped their production)..... glass and is as non reative as you can possibly get, even good stainless will give a metallic taste after a few days in the fridge with chili in it........but the enameled steel takes harsh punishment, metal utinsils, is the most non-reactive surface you can have, it's light, it conducts heat well but has some lag not as bad as enameled cast iron....but you want lag there...(doesn't mater in soups, or heavy tomato sauces) it is in my mind also the best bang for the buck, and you used to get good stuff cheaply........the problem is it got replaced by non stick as the "in thing" years when you do find it the steel is paper thin making it useless and also leading people to have a poor view of enameled steel. The "chipping" people talked about I have only seen in "cheaply" made pieces.......any good enameled wear will not chip easily, and because it is lighter then the enameled cast iron it's less prone to get the hard falls and hits that make chipping likely.....

Like I said My mom has heavy gauge enameled steel pots that are older then me (34), they still make the best spagetti, and soups, seldom stick....I don't know who made them........only that a circle with a S in the center is stamped on the bottom. I really wish someone would start to make this again....if anyone can clue me in on where I can get some good enamelware pots let me know.

I approach my cookware, like I approach my power tools.....they must be tougher then I need them to be, and they must be more professional able then I will ever be able to match......but brand name, and what's popular , and looks doesn't mean a best 1/2 inch drill is old and ugly beaten up, and found in a pawn shop, but it's a Milwaukee and has a motor that puts others to shame.
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