What Cookware Is the Best?

 

Spilling over from Susan’s post on Kamala’s recent cookware purchases is a minor debate on what cookware works the best, for what purpose, and at what price. @doctorrobert, @kedavis, and @jimmcconnell have already commented. But what do you think? I suppose I started the digression with this comment:

I confess to you, I have one of these. I’ve only used it once to fry a single egg. I told my wife before l’affaire Kamala that she might as well start using it — we’re not getting any younger.

Mauviel Copper M'200 CI Fry Pan

Mauviel Copper M’200 CI Fry Pan

Select : 12″

$435  (It was much cheaper when I bought it.)

Williams-Sonoma many years ago. Up ’til now it’s just been too special to use.

What is your favorite skillet, chicken fryer, or saucepan?

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 186 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery Thatcher
    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery
    @JosePluma

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    FWIW, the rule is no moisture ever left behind. Light grease left on it is fine (ideal, really). Never washed, just wiped. (Grease cooked into the iron pores is the basis of seasoning.)

    Preach it, brother!

    • #61
  2. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    BDB (View Comment):

    I have a cheap Lodge cast iron, which I keep trying to season with avocado oil (highest smoke point). I am seduced by my sub $100 Target set of Farberware, which has two great points in its favor:

    • It never hoses my bacon and eggs
    • I once left the saucepan going for an hour with all of the instant soup already consumed. NO DAMAGE, no fumes. This treatment has destroyed pans in my family. Somehow, the $19 Target pan held up and still makes Knorr’s instant onion soup just fine.

    Do you have a moment to talk about Hatch green chile?

    I just cook every day with the cast iron and it seasons itself in no time. Use a bunch of butter and make omelets, fry eggs, cook sausage, chorizo, saute onions, etc… 

    That’s another reason why not to clean it with soap I guess. 

    • #62
  3. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    BDB (View Comment):
    which I keep trying to season with avocado oil (highest smoke point).

    Counter-productive.  A seasoned pan has grease/oil that penetrated the pores of the iron (yes, metals do have “pores” at their grain boundaries) and polymerized there.  That latter part requires approaching or slightly exceeding the smoke point.  Unless you are cranking your heat up way past 500°F, you aren’t going to polymerize the avocado oil.

    Deep frying and cast iron seasoning have distinctly different optimizations.

    Consider seasoning with bacon grease or some other pork fat.

    • #63
  4. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan in Seattle (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Calcephon stainless steel and Lodge cast iron.

    We also have several non-stick skillets of various brands, still trying to find one that keeps its coating . . .

    Have you tried All-Clad non-stick? They’re not too expensive and seem to hold up pretty well.

    I’ll give it a shot.

    • #64
  5. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Limestone Cowboy (View Comment):
    @eherring actually, the reason people used to avoid washing cast iron cookware with soap was that the old lye-based soaps would remove the seasoning layer. NO modern dishwashing liquids are lye-based and are safe to use. I use them all the time on my cast iron. I just don’t soak them. Apply soapy water, clean, rinse, then dry. No problemo!

    Same here.  We wash our cast iron stuff in Dawn, and only have to reseason them maybe once a year.

    Update:  However, you must dry them immediately after washing.

    • #65
  6. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Flicker (View Comment):
    What’s Hatch green chile?

    Only the best canned green chiles you can buy.  My wife orders the 28 oz cans by the case . . .

    • #66
  7. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):
    which I keep trying to season with avocado oil (highest smoke point).

    Counter-productive. A seasoned pan has grease/oil that penetrated the pores of the iron (yes, metals do have “pores” at their grain boundaries) and polymerized there. That latter part requires approaching or slightly exceeding the smoke point. Unless you are cranking your heat up way past 500°F, you aren’t going to polymerize the avocado oil.

    Deep frying and cast iron seasoning have distinctly different optimizations.

    Consider seasoning with bacon grease or some other pork fat.

    So my understanding is that as you say, you want to be just about at the smoke point.  A higher smoke point oil will supposedly be tougher to chemically “bust”, more resistent to menaces such as tomatoes and so forth.  Still, I’ll take your suggestion — the old-timers managed it with bacon grease — so can I!

    Sigh.  Time to take it down to bare metal again with the stainless scrubbie.  Never put good paint on top of bad paint.

    • #67
  8. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Stad (View Comment):

    Limestone Cowboy (View Comment):
    @ eherring actually, the reason people used to avoid washing cast iron cookware with soap was that the old lye-based soaps would remove the seasoning layer. NO modern dishwashing liquids are lye-based and are safe to use. I use them all the time on my cast iron. I just don’t soak them. Apply soapy water, clean, rinse, then dry. No problemo!

    Same here. We wash our cast iron stuff in Dawn, and only have to reseason them maybe once a year.

    Update: However, you must dry them immediately after washing.

    I watched a strange YouTube video about a strange person who collects and “restores“ old cast iron pans. I followed his instructions, and got good results. He first left the cast iron pan in an oven while it went through a self-cleaning cycle. Any residue on the pan simply flaked off after it cooled. I didn’t let the self-cleaning cycle complete, just went through about two hours.

    The next step was to coat the pan very lightly with Crisco. Then leave it upside down on the middle rack in an oven preheated to 300° for about an hour and a half. Let cool. Since then all that was necessary was to rinse it clean, dry it thoroughly, and coat with a very light film of Crisco. BTW, that is all I ever do with Crisco.

    • #68
  9. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Stad (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    What’s Hatch green chile?

    Only the best canned green chiles you can buy. My wife orders the 28 oz cans by the case . . .

    Are the particularly hot?

    • #69
  10. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    What’s Hatch green chile?

    Only the best canned green chiles you can buy. My wife orders the 28 oz cans by the case . . .

    Are the particularly hot?

    You can get them in mild, medium or hot.  Even the hot is well-behaved.  Chile (the vegetable techically a “berry-fruit”, whateverrr) can be quite spicy, but it’s not mean spirited like some japalenos (or all habaneros).  It is the spice of life — it cures the cold, improves the flu, and probably prevents COVID.

    • #70
  11. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Huge advantage (back to the ahem, topic) of cast iron & other all-metal cookware is the ability to go right from burner to oven.  Sautee or othwerwise sear/fry on top, then add the rest and into the oven.  One pan, just need a hot toucher.

    • #71
  12. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    BDB (View Comment):
    It is the spice of life — it cures the cold, improves the flu, and probably prevents COVID.

    I have it by a good source, habeneros, seranos, and ghost peppers will kill covid.  And the Carolina Reapers kill, everything.

    • #72
  13. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):
    It is the spice of life — it cures the cold, improves the flu, and probably prevents COVID.

    I have it by a good source, habeneros, seranos, and ghost peppers will kill covid. And the Carolina Reapers kill, everything.

    Including the people eating them.  :-)

    • #73
  14. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Limestone Cowboy (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    I love to cook single eggs in a small cast iron skillet I inherited from my great aunts.

    Cast iron has stood the test of centuries. And it’s not uncommon to find a used cast iron skillet that is a hundred years old. About your eggs: Scrambled or fried?

    And do you wash it with soap? Just curious.

    Noooooo!

    @ eherring actually, the reason people used to avoid washing cast iron cookware with soap was that the old lye-based soaps would remove the seasoning layer. NO modern dishwashing liquids are lye-based and are safe to use. I use them all the time on my cast iron. I just don’t soak them. Apply soapy water, clean, rinse, then dry. No problemo!

    As an aside I have a Wagner skillet that I bought used at a Toronto thrift store around 1970 for as I recall, about a dollar (poor grad student). The particular makers mark style was discontinued around 1920… so about 100 years old. In those days Wagner milled the cooking surface ultra smooth, and its now got a 100 year layer of seasoning. In my 50 year share of its cooking lifetime it’s been easily nonstick enough for eggs any style. Whenever I use it (which is frequently) I think appreciatively of those craftsmen of a century ago who made it and the previous owners who used it and cared for it.

    Best dollar I’ve ever spent.

    I will use soap if I have no choice but will then dry and wipe down with cooking oil.

     

    • #74
  15. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Stad (View Comment):

    Limestone Cowboy (View Comment):
    @ eherring actually, the reason people used to avoid washing cast iron cookware with soap was that the old lye-based soaps would remove the seasoning layer. NO modern dishwashing liquids are lye-based and are safe to use. I use them all the time on my cast iron. I just don’t soak them. Apply soapy water, clean, rinse, then dry. No problemo!

    Same here. We wash our cast iron stuff in Dawn, and only have to reseason them maybe once a year.

    Update: However, you must dry them immediately after washing.

    I dry then wipe with oil

    • #75
  16. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Django (View Comment):

    BTW, that is all I ever do with Crisco.

    Do you make homemade biscuits?

    • #76
  17. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    BTW, that is all I ever do with Crisco.

    Do you make homemade biscuits?

    No. I did make them once, but the instructions called for butter instead. Not bad, but not worth the trouble.

    • #77
  18. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):
    It is the spice of life — it cures the cold, improves the flu, and probably prevents COVID.

    I have it by a good source, habeneros, seranos, and ghost peppers will kill covid. And the Carolina Reapers kill, everything.

    Including the people eating them. :-)

    I’ve seen people mince scotch bonnet and then wipe their faces and swell up.  I never touch them so I just smile in sympathy.

    • #78
  19. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    BTW, that is all I ever do with Crisco.

    Do you make homemade biscuits?

    It’s easier making biscuits than bread, that’s for sure.  (For me, at least.)  And you can made a sandwich out of them, too, if you make them big enough.

    • #79
  20. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Some homemade biscuits and fried chicken and stuff:

     

    • #80
  21. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    BDB (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    What’s Hatch green chile?

    Only the best canned green chiles you can buy. My wife orders the 28 oz cans by the case . . .

    Are the particularly hot?

    You can get them in mild, medium or hot. Even the hot is well-behaved. Chile (the vegetable techically a “berry-fruit”, whateverrr) can be quite spicy, but it’s not mean spirited like some japalenos (or all habaneros). It is the spice of life — it cures the cold, improves the flu, and probably prevents COVID.

    Flagged: Please report to the CDC authorities for deprogramming. 

    • #81
  22. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    My wife swears by cast iron.

    • #82
  23. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I made pancakes this morning using an 8″ Martha Stewart pan that was also a dumpster rescue from Phoenix, it works great.

    • #83
  24. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    My wife swears by cast iron.

    It’s very good.  It just takes so long to heat, though.  But it’s cheap, durable, and non-stick.  Perhaps I’ve been using too thick a skillet.  Cast iron is certainly the best for dutch ovens.  And cauldrons, but who uses them anymore.

    • #84
  25. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    My wife swears by cast iron.

    It’s very good. It just takes so long to heat, though. But it’s cheap, durable, and non-stick. Perhaps I’ve been using too thick a skillet. Cast iron is certainly the best for dutch ovens. And cauldrons, but who uses them anymore.

    When I was doing my Jacque Pepin omelet-making impression this morning, I used an 8-inch non-stick Le Creuset pan. Even though it’s non-stick the booklet that came with it suggests “seasoning” it every 15 or 20 uses. Anyway, it does a good job. 

    • #85
  26. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    My wife swears by cast iron.

    It’s very good. It just takes so long to heat, though. But it’s cheap, durable, and non-stick. Perhaps I’ve been using too thick a skillet. Cast iron is certainly the best for dutch ovens. And cauldrons, but who uses them anymore.

    Witches.

    • #86
  27. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Django (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    My wife swears by cast iron.

    It’s very good. It just takes so long to heat, though. But it’s cheap, durable, and non-stick. Perhaps I’ve been using too thick a skillet. Cast iron is certainly the best for dutch ovens. And cauldrons, but who uses them anymore.

    When I was doing my Jacque Pepin omelet-making impression this morning, I used an 8-inch non-stick Le Creuset pan. Even though it’s non-stick the booklet that came with it suggests “seasoning” it every 15 or 20 uses. Anyway, it does a good job.

    You shake a Le Creuset?!  Anyway, I never understood seasoning enamel.  Have you tried it?

    • #87
  28. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    My wife swears by cast iron.

    It’s very good. It just takes so long to heat, though. But it’s cheap, durable, and non-stick. Perhaps I’ve been using too thick a skillet. Cast iron is certainly the best for dutch ovens. And cauldrons, but who uses them anymore.

    When I was doing my Jacque Pepin omelet-making impression this morning, I used an 8-inch non-stick Le Creuset pan. Even though it’s non-stick the booklet that came with it suggests “seasoning” it every 15 or 20 uses. Anyway, it does a good job.

    You shake a Le Creuset?! Anyway, I never understood seasoning enamel. Have you tried it?

    This one isn’t enameled. It’s an old looking little thing, seems to have some sort of ceramic coating on it.I think it’s heavy gauge aluminum with a steel plate in the bottom to make it work with induction cooktops.

    • #88
  29. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    My wife swears by cast iron.

    It’s very good. It just takes so long to heat, though. But it’s cheap, durable, and non-stick. Perhaps I’ve been using too thick a skillet. Cast iron is certainly the best for dutch ovens. And cauldrons, but who uses them anymore.

    We do have a crane on our fireplace so Lynda can cook over the fire.  I guess she’d use a cauldron.  I don’t guess it’s like having a cauldron out in the middle of the heath.  And there’d only be one of her.

    • #89
  30. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Django (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    My wife swears by cast iron.

    It’s very good. It just takes so long to heat, though. But it’s cheap, durable, and non-stick. Perhaps I’ve been using too thick a skillet. Cast iron is certainly the best for dutch ovens. And cauldrons, but who uses them anymore.

    When I was doing my Jacque Pepin omelet-making impression this morning, I used an 8-inch non-stick Le Creuset pan. Even though it’s non-stick the booklet that came with it suggests “seasoning” it every 15 or 20 uses. Anyway, it does a good job.

    You shake a Le Creuset?! Anyway, I never understood seasoning enamel. Have you tried it?

    This one isn’t enameled. It’s an old looking little thing, seems to have some sort of ceramic coating on it.I think it’s heavy gauge aluminum with a steel plate in the bottom to make it work with induction cooktops.

    But you shake it?  I can’t shake it and scrape it at the same time.  I feel like I’m having a seizure coming on.

    • #90
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.