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Best pot's...for me

 
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SuperGood



Joined: 03 Dec 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:21 pm    Post subject: Best pot's...for me Reply with quote

I never thought I would be this interested in reading about cookware before I found this site,you guys/girls have a passion for food and the proper vessels to cook them in.I'm starting to cook a lot more lately and am getting rid of my scared teflon set and starting over.I just drafted my #1 pick out of texas via ebay A 12'' cast iron pan and because of all the info here it's almost nonstick after only a few meals.I've been looking at Tromontina,specifically the 3 quart TriPly-Clad Stainless Steel Saucepan.I found this one for $40 http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5716482&findingMethod=rr and this one for $99 http://www.realpricesavings.com/tramontina-3-qt-tri-ply-clad-sauce-pans-with-lid.html and this sterling II for $65 http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=141913&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thefind.com%2Fkitchen%2Finfo-tramontina-stainless-steel-sauce-pan,is there any real advantage/need to buy the more expensive tools in this case.I'm also open to suggestions on brands of equal or better quality for around the same price but am liking the $40 pan.Thanks.
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cbread



Joined: 05 Jan 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't give an experience based answer on your possible choices in particular, but in general, your needs depend upon what sorts of food you make, how fussy you are (and how fussy you will be after you learn more about cooking), what sort of stove you use - gas, electric, induction, radiant..., how hard you beat your equipment, what place kitchen aesthetics play in your scheme of things...

I bought several piece of cookware a few years ago, and would have bought dufferent had I known what I want now. I bought a couple of Tramontina pieces with the heavy alumnum disc on the bottom. I believe your selections are better than the ones I bought.

On mine, the disc diffuses heat properly on the bottom, but at the outside corners of the pan, there is what others have called a "ring of fire". Anything that burns easily, burns at the perimeter of the bottom of those pans. The center is fine. I cook on gas and I suspect the hot gasses rise up and wrap around the corners of the pan and overheat the unprotected stainless beyond the disc. I'm annoyed with the limitation that puts on how I cook, so I'm getting ready to upgrade my cookware. If I cooked with electric or induction, that might be less an issue than it is for me now.

If I understand the sites you link to, your chosen pieces look like they have an aluminum cladding all the way up the sides. That tends to be desirable since heat will even out and surround the food and not do what my pans have done. You may want to do more checking around the net to confirm your choices.

C
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cooking on most gas stoves gives that "ring of fire" because the gas burner design is faulty almost throughout the industry. Real commercial restaurant stoves (NOT famous name "made for home" knock-offs) have better designed burners. The only "home" gas stoves that don't have that problem are the Thermadors because their burners are "5-pointed star shaped", rather than being the crummy round ring present on other manufacturers $5000 "premium" cooktops. The star shape delivers heat so the entire vessel gets heated evenly. Look up their stoves on their website, you'll see what I mean.

http://www.thermador.com/kitchen-appliances-cooking_cooktops_gas_professional.html

Some of the restaurant stoves, have "8-pointed star" shaped burners, or other shapes that deliver heat evenly to the pan. A round ring CAN'T apply heat to a pot or pan evenly. The star shaped ones do.
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cbread



Joined: 05 Jan 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GaryProtein wrote:
Cooking on most gas stoves gives that "ring of fire" because the gas burner design is faulty almost throughout the industry. Real commercial restaurant stoves (NOT famous name "made for home" knock-offs) have better designed burners. The only "home" gas stoves that don't have that problem are the Thermadors because their burners are "5-pointed star shaped", rather than being the crummy round ring present on other manufacturers $5000 "premium" cooktops. The star shape delivers heat so the entire vessel gets heated evenly. Look up their stoves on their website, you'll see what I mean.

http://www.thermador.com/kitchen-appliances-cooking_cooktops_gas_professional.html

Some of the restaurant stoves, have "8-pointed star" shaped burners, or other shapes that deliver heat evenly to the pan. A round ring CAN'T apply heat to a pot or pan evenly. The star shaped ones do.


That's what I have, the Thermador, with the star burners, just as you describe, and for me the "ring of fire" still happens. the "ring" may be an effect of the particular pots I use, or of the way I cook, but I strongly believe that a fully clad pot will rid me of it and make for less burning at the edge - really no burning at the edge. Perhaps I would suffer much worse had I the ring shaped burner more common in the industry.

I can't take any creedit for having scoped out the benefits of the star shape burner, since I was fixated on other features at the time I was buying. Thermador was the only cooktop I counld find that had a built in wok burner and stayed in my price range, and had what promised to be genuine low intensity warming capeability. The stars were and accidental plus for me.

In retrospect, the wok burner hasn't quite the power I had hoped, but otherwise the cooktop is rather good. I had wanted to get the super power of a low end commercial burner, but it's not there. 30K isn't enough. Regardless, the Thermador is basically good cooking. The low intensity burners are great. I use that feature all the time. In the showroom, the salesperson said you could put a paper plate on the low burner, and melt chocolate on it without burning the plate. I have never tested that claim, but with a couple of years or so usage, the claim is entirely credible.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1006
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>>ring of fire

interesting 'glitch' given the star design....

thermodynamics sez heat (energy) 'flows' through materials. some materials prompt heat flow more better than others - the 'heat conductivity' thing.

so there's this here pot with a marvelously conductive "disk" in the bottom. regardless of _where_ the heat is applied, the heat is evenly distributed throughout the 'disk'

so when the situation is reached where there's more heat going into the perfect distribution disk than going out of the perfect distribution disk, where does the heat energy go?

is it a boundary effect" aka ring of fire? the disk is as hot and as distributed as it is going to get, the excess heat that cannot transfer through the bottom to the pot contents has to transfer from the disk to the pot side walls - it's the only path of escape . . . since the pot side walls don't conduct / distribute heat as fast as it is arriving at the high(er) resistance junction, walla - hot spot, or ring.....
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dilbert wrote:
>>>ring of fire. . . . .is it a boundary effect" aka ring of fire? the disk is as hot and as distributed as it is going to get, the excess heat that cannot transfer through the bottom to the pot contents has to transfer from the disk to the pot side walls - it's the only path of escape . . . since the pot side walls don't conduct / distribute heat as fast as it is arriving at the high(er) resistance junction, walla - hot spot, or ring.....



That's all well and good, but the ring doesn't happen on an electric stove, so it has to be a function of the burning flame and burner design.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1006
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>> function of the burning flame and burner design.

perhaps not. an underlying assumption of my prior diatribe was:
"more heat going in than going out to the contents"

an electric burner may not have the btu/hr to produce that effect,,,,?

just theorizing here - open to any ideas. I've got some copper pots on a knock off natural gas circular burner cooktop - and you really have to make a concentrated effort to burn stuff. well, I amend that - in ten+ years using copper pots and gas burners I've not managed to burn, uhhh, anything.... rings or not.... so I'm not sure how much effort it would take.
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cbread



Joined: 05 Jan 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe it is a combination of two things: 1. a certain amount of hot gas and heat rising up and flowing around the pot thus 2. contacting the "unprotected" area just past the disc. Absent either the gas flow or the unprotected ring surrounding the disc, the problem should be nil.

An electric or induction should be better with a disc than gas.
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cbread



Joined: 05 Jan 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best discussion of materials for cookware

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=25717&hl=cookware

enjoy
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chefjeff



Joined: 09 Jan 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I get the cheap stainless pans w/clad bottom at Costco and I like them. Also, after 50 years of cooking, I have to say, I prefer electrc stovetops and a genuine Chinese propane wok cooker. I have to use it outside, it's got an enormous amount of BTU's and sounds like a jet engine. Very nice!! chefjeff
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Blue Pilgrim



Joined: 03 Sep 2007
Posts: 25
Location: Ilinois

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some pots I have don't heat very evenly -- then I use a piece of aluminum about 6"x"6" and 1/16" thick (scrap I had lying around) between the burner grate and pot, which seems to work well enough (although I'd prefer it a bit thicker, or of copper). It spreads not just the heat, but also the flame when it's turned up high. Just don't leave an aluminum sheet on the flame without a pot for too long or it could melt.
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