I haven’t been this excited about anything so shiny since I bought my car

Welcome the new additions to the family:

shiny new pots

After moving into my first apartment, the only room I felt I knew how to outfit appropriately was the kitchen. I had 3 rooms to furnish, and ended up spending over half of the money I’d saved on the kitchen alone. By the time it came to pots and pans, I just didn’t have the money or the cooking desire (at the time) to afford spending $500-700 on a set of All-Clad stainless steel pans from Williams-Sonoma.

So I turned to the tried and true: T-fal, the pans I grew up with. I got an 8-piece set (2 skillets, 2 sauce pans, and a dutch oven) for around $50. Miraculously these little aluminum nonstick pans have lasted over 4 and a half years, but they’ve also started to show their age. Since Stephanie and I have been having a lot of fun cooking lately, I decided it was time to see about upgrading.

The only problem is, All-Clad and their Williams-Sonoma brethren still cost an arm and a leg. So I consulted the excellent resource that is A Cook’s Wares: Choosing Pans. I spent a lot of time rereading their recommendations and poring over their benchmark pans—when I happened to take a gander at what they considered a best buy: The Chef’s Classic Line by Cuisinart. Which happens to offer a very shiny 10 piece stainless steel set for $150! Lord have mercy.

But oh, it gets better. So I had to hold myself back from just buying them on the spot. I worried they might be too shiny (as if there could even be such a thing). For no apparent reason (probably to read buyer recommendations), I looked to see if Amazon had them. They did! For $112! With free shipping! With 5-star recommendations! And if I spent $125, I’d get $25 off! Me shopping for pots online at 2am involves a lot! of! exclamation marks! So in the end I ordered an additional nonstick 8″ frying pan ($25) to complement the set which with their discount I essentially got for free. I placed my Super Saver Shipping™ order (saving another $25) for this 20lbs box around 2am Tuesday morning. The pots arrived today at lunch! I carried the box home on my shoulder from the bus stop!

And most importantly, the inaugural meal: tortilla soup, courtesy of a spice mix that Santa left in my gigantic stocking.


That’s a great deal! Last year I picked up the 12″ Skillet with Helper Handle in this same line, and it’s been perfect. It was about half the current price then…this seems to be a good time of year to hit amazon’s kitchen store in general, but it’s interesting how much the prices fluctuate. This is a really outstanding price.

Speaking of kitchen equipment lust, if you’ve been eyeing those Le Creuset French Ovens, you might want to consider this cheaper alternative. Love mine.

I like you, Justin. You should have me over for some food.

Fully 50% of what I own (excluding my car) is kitchen stuff. It always seems like the right place to invest in the real stuff. Inflatable bed-Tangerine Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. Ikea couch-fine china and silver. You have to eat on the floor at my place, but the eating is very good. :)

terrie, another blog, and WordPress no less!

Those Batali pots are attractive. I should take a picture of the beautiful handmade casserole I have from Mark Hewitt, a potter in North Carolina. Attending one of his kiln openings would probably be the only reason I’d go back to visit. Maybe for my next bday.

Speaking of that casserole, any trouble keeping the lid clean?

csg, the outside or the inside? Actually I think I’ve only used it once or twice. Not too many casseroles happening in my life, though I think there’s a baked pasta in my future…

Inside, with cheese topping, to be specific. The inside of mine is unglazed and a bit difficult to wash.

Sounds like my pizza stone. Perhaps it needs to be seasoned (coated with oil and baked) like a cast iron pot?

It really is refreshing to see that there’s someone else out there equally as neurotic about their kitchenware as I am.

I’m about to embark on a new spree myself on kitchen appliances. It’s one of the perks of moving from Australia to the U.S.A. I get new gadgets.

Katie M.

I got a very fine le creuset grill pan for christmas, to complement my carolina blue cocotte I got last year, and they’re perfect, I particularly love roasting in the cocotte: steam keeps meat moist.
Wait for Paris to buy le creuset: it’s much cheaper. And if you’re looking for bonnes addresses in food over there, read Clothilde at Chocolate and Zucchini. She’s very very good and lives in my old neighbourhood. She recommends Dehillerin for cookware.
She also recently gave up her day job as a software designer in silicon valley to write cook books. Very Justin.

Justin, yes, that’s a WordPress blog…and I’m working on converting PointReyes.net to WordPress also. (I considered Mephisto, just to see what it was like…but have been so happy with WordPress I couldn’t give it up)

I’ve never cooked anything in handmade pottery…do you have to do anything special? I guess it can take pretty high heat, given that it’s already been fired.


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