New pots and pans question

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  1. I am again looking to replace my cheap set of pans that have finally outlived their use after a few years. I always buy cheap sets and then replace them after 3-4 years but I am wondering if I should step up and maybe invest more. I only cook for me.

    If I upgrade to one of the nicer sets like from a Rachel Ray or Paula Deen for about twice the money, does anyone find they get more years out of them or is it just a name you're paying for?

    I don't mind investing in a nicer set if they stay nicer longer but I'm not a home chef that gets caught up on the particulars of performance either so All Clad is not for me.

    Any opinions on sticking with the Oster/Farberware/TFal brigade or would you recommend it's time to move on up?
  2. I've never tried Rachel Ray or Paula Deens' cookware, but I don't think I'd waste the money on their lines. I think you'd just be paying for the name. I'd stick with an actual cookware brand, and if budget is a concern, you can just buy the individual pieces you use most instead of investing in a full set at this point.

    All I basically use are my staub dutch oven, lodge cast iron pan, farberware pots (from my mother), a nonstick pan, and a stainless steel saute pan. It doesn't matter to me that they don't match and aren't all high end.
    LauraTracy likes this.
  3. Thank you! I just realized I am also going from a gas to electric cooktop so new cookware was going to be a given anyway. I'm finding the more I look that individual may be my way to go too. Thank you for the help!
  4. You don't necessarily need different cookware for gas vs electric, but do stay away from the sets. They have pieces you'll never use. You're better off investing in fewer, but better pieces.

    I do love All Clad, but if you don't want to go to that price point, I would pick Farberware and a TFal non stick over a name from the Food Network. Like the poster above, I get a lot of use out of my Lodge Cast Iron and Le Creuset Dutch Oven.
    LauraTracy likes this.
  5. I love my All Clad pots, and I've been using them for nearly 15 years, ever since I moved out! I think others have a good idea, which is to pick a few that you really need and go from there.
    LauraTracy likes this.
  6. Thank you both! All Clad is out of budget but I think I've settled on a well reviewed stainless steel set that I may pull some pieces from.
    shast911 likes this.
  7. Most nonstick cookware is all made by the same company- Meyer Corporation. It’s then rebranded as Cooks Essentials, Rachel Ray, Pampered Chef, Paula Deen, etc. So yes mostly you are paying more for the name and/or designer color. There’s little need for an entire set of nonstick cookware quite honestly, think about the way you cook. You most likely only need a nonstick fry pan for eggs. No one needs nonstick for boiling water, searing a steak, etc. I’d suggest a nonstick fry pan from TFal or Emeril (that cookware is made by All Clad) and TFal & All Clad are both made by the same company btw. Their warranty is nice and they make quality cookware. Then pick out stainless steel or cast iron for your other needs. I personally love AC and Le Creuset and it can be found at TJ Max or Marshals for less. Lodge makes great cast iron, and Farberware makes great stainless steel. These items should last you a long time, with the exception of nonstick as that will need replacing eventually no matter what brand you choose.

    Yes, I am a cookware nerd & used to work for a huge retailer handling vendors which is how I found out who makes what.
    LauraTracy and shast911 like this.
  8. Thank you so much! I think I did exactly what you suggested. I have a stainless steel set on the way and I am looking for a non-stick pan like you suggested to add to it for eggs. I was just at Homegoods the other day and will probably go back to pick up one of the two I saw there at a good price. I figured that was the best way to go with everyone's suggestions and I thank you very much for your help. :hbeat:

    It makes me feel so much better that I invested wisely and stainless should last me longer. I have a BIL who is an amateur chef and he said stainless too hands down. I love Le Creuset but I don't think I could handle it around a glass top. It's just too heavy and I'm too short. It's beautiful though! I'll need to up my weight at the gym and see if I can get there. :lol:

    Now if you know anything about flatware, lay it on me. That's my next hurdle to climb. ;):lol:
    jeep317 and shast911 like this.
  9. I’ve learned to stay away from flatware that requires polishing & any that have additional decorative elements on them, such as colored plastic handles or inlays. They only look good for 10 minutes then they fall apart. I finally went with Oneida stainless steel from Target. It’s simple, easy care, and still looks new 5 years later.
    LauraTracy likes this.
  10. Thank you! I had a couple sets in my hand that I felt would do exactly what you said including one with an antiqued finish. I wasn't sure their design elements would hold up and Oneida is actually tops on my list to just grab locally like you said. They've had a few that would work just fine and if they don't no big investment at all.

    Thanks again!
    jeep317 likes this.
  11. I love my luna flatware from pottery barn. it's got a nice heft, which was important to me.
    LauraTracy likes this.
  12. I will check it out. Thanks!