Thread Number: 74677  /  Tag: Recipes, Cooking Accessories
Looking for a cookware set, not sure where to start!
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Post# 984883   3/1/2018 at 20:30 by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

Well, the time has come. I've noticed our nonstick pots and pans have been looking pretty tired recently, but the final nail in the coffin happened tonight while making tapioca pudding... Black pepper looking specks in the pudding. Currently using a set of Silverstone nonstick from Kmart, $79.99 soecial (about 10 years or so ago...) And have been happy for the most part. Not sure what is good and what isn't, looking to spend no more than $150. Looking for a heavy bottom for even heating, must be nonstick and absolutely must be dishwasher safe. Would prefer glass lids (although I think most come with them now?). We have an electric stove, so don't need induction capable, just smooth bottoms. Not too picky on color or style but nothing that looks cheap. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! We have most typical stores here in town, Walmart, Target, Meijer, JC Penney, Kohl's, Younkers, Bed Bath and Beyond, Sears. No more Kmart here. Also have Sam's club.

Post# 984888 , Reply# 1   3/1/2018 at 20:49 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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If you buy another set with nonstick coating eventually the coating on the new set will start to peel off too. Why not get a nice saute pan with a good non stick coating for omeletes,ect. Then get a reaonably priced vintage Farberware set. I have been using my Farberware for 20 years now. It goes in the dishwasher, and the handles are oven safe up to 350 F. I've never had a problem with major sticking and I use an electric coil top stove. With the Farberware stainless steel you donít have to worry about anything harmful leeching into your food. And if ytou opt for an new Farberware Classic set I believe they have glass lids, which you like.

Its also nice to have a good cast iron frying pan too, every cook should own one.


Post# 984889 , Reply# 2   3/1/2018 at 21:24 by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        
Build the set using the best of vintage pieces

Dustin92... I have a collection of every type of cookware imaginable. Sets of All-Clad, Le Creuset, Manuviel copper, Saladmaster and on and on. ( I am not trying to sound haughty, pretentious or braggadocios, you will see why I name dropped below)

I really find myself going back to my simpler vintage cookware such as a properly seasoned Griswold cast iron skillet it is as non stick as any Teflon or similarly non stick coated skillet.

The Pyrex and Corningware pieces we have been discussing the past few weeks, in another thread, are, in my case, used so much more frequently than all of the aforementioned, expensive and fancy pieces.

These vintage pieces are always available on EBay or other second hand venues and I promise you, they will last many lifetimes.

Teflon and other non stick coatings are worrisome to me. I really have never seen one hold up for years upon end. I could be wrong.

I would look for the best pieces in whatever catagory you are needing and mix and match accordingly from proven vintage classics.

I realize the aesthetics for a set of cookware is preferable to my suggestion of pieces from various manufacturers and vintages... however, you will not be replacing cookware again, ever if you maintain the pieces properly. You want durable, dependable, even heating, long lasting cookware... vintage.

Post# 984895 , Reply# 3   3/1/2018 at 21:57 by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

It certainly isn't my choice to have nonstick, I don't personally care for it. My mom also cooks (about half the time) and she thinks anything that isn't nonstick will stick. We do have a decent crop of frying pans and skillets, which most of them are in good shape. Nonstick, aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, and one of those as seen on tv copper pans (love it). We also have a cabinet full of corningware and pyrex of all different shapes and sizes. I may look into just getting a few saucepans and a 5-6 quart pan... Those are the ones that really need replacement. Although it might be nice to have a matching set, I do think it makes more sense to just replace what's worn out and get some more miles out of what hasn't.

Post# 984897 , Reply# 4   3/1/2018 at 23:13 by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Check out the offerings at Sam's club, they often have a pretty decent selection of cookware at any given time, usually a lot for the money. Costco has a couple of sets in stores, if you have one nearby.

Post# 984900 , Reply# 5   3/2/2018 at 00:45 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I too

Have all kinds of cookware, All Clad, etc, What do I use most of all, Club Aluminum or Aristo Craft stainless from the 60s,

Post# 984907 , Reply# 6   3/2/2018 at 02:55 by thomasortega (Los Angeles - CA)        

Start by Le Creuset, PERIOD. LOL

Post# 984909 , Reply# 7   3/2/2018 at 03:41 by mieleforever (SOUTH AFRICA)        

We have a set of Brabantia cookware for more than 13 years now and it looks just as new, given it is not non stick, it does have a nice solid bottom, but not too heavy like Le Creuset, to me they (Le Creuset) are just too heavy and not really dishwasher safe according to our local Le Creaset shop. I have baked caseroles, bread and almost anything in it, its dishwasher save and it has a 20 year guarantee. You also do get some none stick pots and pans from Brabantia, and I can confirm that we have a large non stick frying pan that goes from stove to dishwasher without any problems. And they will still look the part as well.

SO hope that it can assist you in making your choice, btw thay do have an online shop as well, I think it is a Dutch owned company.


Post# 984924 , Reply# 8   3/2/2018 at 07:19 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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"Teflon and other non stick coatings are worrisome to me. I really have never seen one hold up for years upon end. I could be wrong."

You're not wrong.

With aggressive use (metal implements and dishwashers), the Teflon coating doesn't last too long at all.

With plastic implements and sink dishwashing, the Teflon lasts longer.

Let's face it, in this day and age, most folk will want to fling everything into the machine and go off and do something else. I know I do.

Post# 984929 , Reply# 9   3/2/2018 at 08:00 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Only one way to be sure

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Given your requirements:

Looking for a heavy bottom for even heating, must be nonstick and absolutely must be dishwasher safe.


It's easier to say what won't work for you than what will. I'd suggest you focus on the specific size and type of cooking vessel, individually, and chose the product (new or vintage) which comes closest to fitting your needs rather than looking for a matched set.

Example: The copper (it's a ceramic) coated dishwasher safe aluminium square skillets are lightweight, stiff, extremely hard to damage, non-stick and survive even the worst 'chefs' who cook in our kitchen in the holidays.

But to boil water? Overkill. A regular teflon coated large pot will do just fine for that.

Saucepan? Here you do want some mass, preferably a sandwich bottom and one of the ceramic non-stick coatings (including the copper).


Personally, I'll stick with my 19th century cast iron skillets and my magnesium-aluminium alloy Model 40 pressure cookers. I've never burned even the most delicate egg sauce in one. But to each his own and neither type belongs anywhere near a dishwasher.


One side advantage of 'induction compatible' pots and pans - the extra mass in the bottom can make for a more even heating vessel on resistance stoves.

Post# 984941 , Reply# 10   3/2/2018 at 08:22 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Does anyone know if

the ceramic coatings wear like the ptfe coatings do? I haven't tried any yet.
I have a hybrid Calphalon set going on ten years now. The two non stick skillets it came with are showing wear. I never put them in the dishwasher, as the T Fal set I had before and did wore faster.
I got two new anodized off brand aluminum like Calphalon pans last year at a deep discount. I like them.
I found a Scan Pan skillet for searing at a Sal. Army store for $10. These are made in Denmark, sold at Sur Le Table kitchen stores, and are expensive.
My mother in law told me they are considering moving to a senior living facility in 2 to 3 years. They have a central dining room. She won't have to shop, cook, or clean up. Some apartments have full kitchens, and laundry. My father in law can barely toast a bagel. He is not yet willing to give up their large condo with his wood working shop in the basement. He has evrey tool imaginable. One of us helps deep clean every two weeks.

Post# 984944 , Reply# 11   3/2/2018 at 08:39 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
The ceramic coatings

panthera's profile picture
Wear much better. They can be ruined, but it takes some effort. PTFE lasts one day in our kitchen as I won't use it if it's damaged and my husband insists on cutting and scrapping in the pan with steel implements. We've had some ceramic for two years before he destroys it.

Post# 984947 , Reply# 12   3/2/2018 at 09:22 by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
I mostly have Classic, classic Farberware

and food rarely sticks.

I do have ONE piece of Teflon, and it is by All-Clad.

Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country set me wise to it...LIFETIME Warranty! Send it back when the finish is damaged, and they send a new one!


This post was last edited 03/02/2018 at 15:03
Post# 984950 , Reply# 13   3/2/2018 at 09:44 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I think it all comes down to what you cook, and how you cook.....but there are a number of pots/pans everyone should have.....

with proper care, most will last a lifetime....

Cast Iron and Clad Aluminum types.....everyone should have some....seriously durable...stove/oven, grill, campfire

Vintage Revere, well vintage now, but purchased brand new some 35+ years ago, has held up really well....bought as a starter set, and added more pieces as needed...

I like Calphalon cookware.....from fridge/freezer, to stove top, to oven, to dishwasher....very versatile.....

about the only thing I have in nonstick are some cookie sheets and muffin pans....but have found bigger commercial pans my all time favorites

I always seem to find better cookware and utensils at our local restaurant supply

Teflon and other Nonstick pans are just about disposable.....

Post# 984952 , Reply# 14   3/2/2018 at 09:55 by washerboy (Little Rock Arkansas)        
Sam's Club

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Someone above mentioned checking Sam's. I'm not a fan of non-stick but I got a full set of the Markers Mark from Sam's about 13 years ago as a Christmas gift. They have gotten a lot of service and still are not peeling or scraped up. Overall I've been pleased.

Post# 984966 , Reply# 15   3/2/2018 at 12:10 by Joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Infinite Circulon

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All metal construction, nonstick inside and out, induction-ready, dishwasher safe. I have 9 year old pieces that havenít flaked, peeled or lost their nonstick properties.

Post# 984973 , Reply# 16   3/2/2018 at 13:28 by RevvinKevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        

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I have a number of Le Creuset (enamel coated cast iron) pieces, but use Calphalon non-stick most of the time.    I always wash (the non-stick) by hand and NEVER put it in the dishwasher.  Aluminum / teflon are a big no-no in the dishwasher..... that is if you want it to survive a long time.


Personally, I feel that having a non-stick coating in anything other than frying pans, skillets and saute pans is completely unnecessary.   When heating or cooking anything with a large amount of liquid (soup, water for pasta, etc) there's no reason that I can see for a non-stick surface.


=   =   =   =   =   =   =   =  


I just saw this on a website: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Nonstick Cookware


1. Cooking over high heat.


2. Using nonstick cooking spray.


3. Failing to season your pan.

(I never knew about this one!)


4. Using sharp or abrasive objects anywhere near your nonstick pan.


5. Cleaning nonstick cookware in the dishwasher.

"True, many nonstick pans claim to be dishwasher safe, but the super hot water and harsh detergents aren't good for the nonstick coating. Over time this will cause the pan's coating to deteriorate much faster than washing by hand."

Post# 984982 , Reply# 17   3/2/2018 at 14:47 by Kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Iím not sure I buy the idea that a dishwasher is really deleterious to non stick coatings. Yes the detergents are harsh but haloflourocarbon plastics are quite impervious to most chemicals. And if the heat of the dishwasher is bad, best not put that coating in a pan used for frying!!

Personally Iíd avoid non-stick always. It just doesnít hold up and I worry about leaching. If you must you only need it in the fry pans as Kevin mentioned.

Your heat source makes a big difference in what you choose. For electric stoves something very flat and conductive is best. If you are cooking over fire the cookware is far less critical. For induction then you best be able to stick a magnet to the pan.

Post# 984985 , Reply# 18   3/2/2018 at 15:51 by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

We must be easy on cookware, we have done everything on that list regularly (except #4, we are pretty careful to use only wood or plastic), and still got 10 years out of a cheap set! All pieces have gone in the dishwasher since new (and truthfully, I'm not sure they were ever supposed to...)

Post# 985036 , Reply# 19   3/3/2018 at 03:36 by Chachp (Conway, AR)        
Non Stick for frying

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I have a couple of non stick pans I used for frying things like eggs. But not the kind of nonstick that is a coating. I have a couple of frying pans that are made out of some material that isn't coated on the pan and nothing sticks to it. But mostly for everything else I use the Enamel over Steel pans.

My husband wants to cook everything on high. I don't know why and he actually (I thought) ruined one of my enamel pans but I read an article where they said a little Peroxide and some baking soda will remove any food residue and I was shocked. I let the peroxide heat up, put a few tablespoons of baking soda in and let it fiz. When the fiz was gone so was all the residue. The pan was like brand new on the inside. I was really surprised.

I don't put the enamel pans in the dishwasher because I think they dull over time and I like them to stay shiny. Le Creuset makes an Enamel pan cleaner that helps but for me, I wash them by hand and they stay beautiful. A little bar keepers friend will do wonders on these and now on a really tough stain I'll use the peroxide and baking soda.

I don't know why that works and don't really care it's just nice to know I have this in my back pocket when Joe decides to turn up the heat.

Post# 985047 , Reply# 20   3/3/2018 at 06:43 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I have one Farberware aluminum chicken skillet with teflon and a matching deep saucepan.  I only use these for making candy or slow cooking something on the gas range.  Otherwise I bought myself a new Tramontina stainless set that's also induction friendly so I can use it on my induction top.  I have one ceramic coated frypan for eggs and such that is also induction's a couple of years old and still works well.

Post# 985053 , Reply# 21   3/3/2018 at 07:45 by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Vintage stainless steel is my cookware of choice.  We have quite a bit of vintage Revere Ware (pre 1968), and Rena Ware.

Post# 985065 , Reply# 22   3/3/2018 at 09:33 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Teflon in the dishwasher

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Well it's common sense it is going to peel off - especially when some enterprising ninny has gone and scraped and scored the bloody stuff, by using metal implements!

Post# 985067 , Reply# 23   3/3/2018 at 09:57 by Joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Dishwasher safe nonstick cookware . . .

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. . . was originally engineered and tested back in the days of phosphated dishwasher detergent which had a fairly neutral pH balance. Non-phosphate detergents are usually more caustic or acidic. Tablets are said to be the most corrosive.

Except for a very short period, Iíve stuck with phosphates, most recently in Bubble Bandit powder.

Spiking a non-phosphate detergent with STPP might make it more damaging because the hard water minerals wonít be buffering the caustic or acidic boosters.

Post# 985068 , Reply# 24   3/3/2018 at 10:04 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Phosphated dishwasher powder detergents actually tended to be highly aggressive, alkaline products (sodium metasilicate) with chlorine bleach.

Chlorine based liquid dishwasher detergents were less aggressive.

Later came the milder biological formulations (enzymes, oxygen bleach).

Post# 985072 , Reply# 25   3/3/2018 at 10:15 by washman (Butler, PA)        
if you like stainless

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360 cookware is nice and USA made to boot.  Also you cannot go wrong with good old cast iron

I use Nordicware 10 inch skillet for my lone non stick.

Post# 985089 , Reply# 26   3/3/2018 at 11:44 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
I have one saucier,

by Kitchen Aid. Sandwiched copper between stainless. I have never burned a sauce in it.

Post# 985118 , Reply# 27   3/3/2018 at 14:44 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
Although we do have a set of cookware we also have numerous other frying pans and such that are non stick. Most of them have been sort of cheap and last only a few years before they're tossed and replaced. Lately though we've bought some of those advertised on tv Copper Chef or whatever they are non-sticks.
I have to say they do work well and nothing sticks. It's only been a few months so whether they really last is hard to say , but so far I like em..

Post# 985133 , Reply# 28   3/3/2018 at 16:37 by dylanmitchell (San Diego, CA)        

I'd look for the All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel or something similar from a Macy's sale. We have a ceramic/ glass electric cooktop and like the All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel that have become our go-to to cookware. Got them one at a time from Macy's sales and now the thin bottom, aluminum pans and non-stick pans rarely get used. Macy's is our got to for household goods since we can usually get good prices from sale and sometimes free shipping. If you ignore the sets and price shock and just look for a single pan in the style you want on sale you'll find a pan for under a $100. That seemed like and a ridiculous amount of money when I got my first one but it's been worth it and I think it will last a lifetime. Just make sure you handwash and keep out of the dishwasher.

We got ours one at a time and now have a fry pan, omelet pan, and saucepan all with glass lids. With these three pans we can cook pretty much anything from pan frying meats, making omelettes or pancakes, boiling pasta, sauteing fish, really just about anything and the rest we do on the BBQ. Only thing they don't do is defrost meat well like you can with a cast iron. Griswold cast iron or any cast iron will scratch the hell out of a glass top like ours. Not sure if you have a coil electric or glass top.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO dylanmitchell's LINK

Post# 985139 , Reply# 29   3/3/2018 at 17:11 by 48bencix (Sacramento CA)        

I agree on the Farberware for most cooking. We have ceramic coated fry pans for frying and it does seem to wear off. We have one copper colored fry pan and it seems to last longer, I really do not know what it is. The Farberware really lasts and is sturdy. The sauce pans have heavy bottoms and that makes them cook more evenly, they are not Teflon or otherwise coated, just stainless steel.

Post# 985148 , Reply# 30   3/3/2018 at 18:13 by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Petek, you had better luck with Copper Chef than I did. I bought 1 fry pan, used it only for eggs, only on medium low heat and the eggs stuck to the pan, even with a bit of oil. Not impressed with it at all. I then went and bought an iRock at is fantastic....eggs don't stick at all.


Post# 985150 , Reply# 31   3/3/2018 at 19:09 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
I bought this Cuisinart non stick saute pan at Linens and Things in 2000 and I use it primarily for omeletes or scrambled eggs. But Iíve used it for just about everything else I needed a frying/saute pan for. I usually wash it by hand, but it has also been in the dishwasher several times over the years too. It still has retained its non stick properties, I donít use metal utinsels in it, but it hasnít been babied either. I donít even know if they still make this pan, but Iíd sure buy one again if I needed a replacement.

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Post# 985375 , Reply# 32   3/5/2018 at 07:29 by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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My favorite everyday cookware is All-Clad I have had mine for over 18 years and held up very well and perform even better.

Post# 985713 , Reply# 33   3/7/2018 at 18:24 by man114 (Buffalo)        

If you plan to use it as instructed any of the waterless stuff. Lustre Craft, Vitacraft, etc. Had a lot of stuff and now 99% is vintage waterless, itís heavier than all clad and cooks more evenly.

Post# 985716 , Reply# 34   3/7/2018 at 18:56 by robbinsandmyers (Hamden CT)        

robbinsandmyers's profile picture
I refuse to cook on anything with a toxic non stick surface. I have 9 Griswold vintage cast iron skillets I cook most things from breakfast to pasta sauces in or I use my vintage stainless Revere ware stuff. I wont use anything with a machine made coating. Same thing with fridge storage. Nothing plastic. Its all Vollrath stainless containers from the 50's that were my grandfathers or glass containers. Better safe than sorry.

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