Monday, June 22, 2009

Pots and Pans

Hello everyone. I had a great weekend this past weekend. Melissa and I went to Disneyland with both Mike and Bailee AND Mike and Shannon. It was an absolutely delightful time. I was concerned that having two Mikes in the group would be confusing, but it really wasn't (Mike Smith adopted the nickname Captain Space Beard early in the day, so that helped). We go to Disney a lot, but this was easily one of our best trips.

But that's not why I'm here. Melissa and I, after much convincing from friends and co-workers, started watching Top Chef Masters, which has led us to try and catch up on Top Chef, the proper one. It's fantastic. I'm usually not one for reality shows, but I like that this competition is between people who are already professionals and are really good at what they do. Plus, you know it's cooking, so Chef Eli loves it. It has really rekindled my love of cooking, and my desire to learn how to do it better. I'm in awe of these people's ability to create meals without following recipes, and I'm determined to learn how to do it myself. Which is where you come in.

Loyal readers, my mishmash of pots and pans is starting to show its age. I have a lot of non-stick coated aluminum stuff that's served it's purpose and I'm ready to upgrade. Not long ago, a friend of Melissa's gave us her old Circulon fry pans. These, which were old when we got them, still hold up and release food better than any other pan I own. When our wok started sticking and the non-stick coating flaking off last week, we bought a Circulon wok to replace it. So far, so good. But what about the rest of my pots and pans?

I'm having a hard time deciding between hard anodized aluminum and stainless steel (with an aluminum or copper core). Right now, I'm leaning towards the anodized, since that's what Circulon is and I've had a good experience with it. However, hard anodized still has a non-stick coating that can come off, and I'm concerned about the possibility of toxins. Plus, stainless steel is durable and looks so classy. So what do you think? I'm hoping there are readers out there with more experience in this than I (Dale, if you're still reading, Mike says I should be looking at you). So should I go stainless or hard anodized? I'm looking forward to hearing what you guys have to say.


p.s.- I know cast iron is great, and every time I try to have this conversation someone thinks they need to tell me this. I just don't have the patience to season it or take care of it. I may buy a cast iron skillet at some point, but that's not my focus right now.


  1. You'll want to keep some non-stick, for eggs and the like. Dad just got an enamel coated cast iron dutch oven type thing (it's red, and really, really heavy), and he likes that for braising, and sauteing where you he wants to "scape up the brown bits". Sometimes I think the "mish mash" policy works well for pots and pans!

  2. Though I love the enameled cast iron (like La Crueset), I have been swayed by the cooking shows to the extent that I'm wanting stainless steel pans. I'm not as particular with the base metal as I am with the thickness of the base and quality of handle, as well as a glass lid.

    Try checking out restaurant supply websites to compare prices. Believe it or not, I also found that Sears has an outstanding set that is private labeled for them. Forget about Target or IKEA. Home Shopping network has some nice packages as well. I can suggest as a great source of comparative informaton