forum: Food & Drink

#1 Tue 13 Mar 07 10:46pm


From Texas, USA
Member since Sat 03 Jun 06


I'm just starting my personal collection of cook ware/baking ware and I'd like to know what the basics are. I'm more into baking than cooking simply because I can get my head around the idea of a petit four but when it comes to roast chicken my mind goes "--------------". I'm working on that though and trying to broaden my cooking horizons. So, any advice on cookware, baking ware, utensils.... anything you can offer would be well appreciated. Thanks so much,


ps. I just made 3 cakes today. I was on a baking rampage!  wink

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#2 Sun 18 Mar 07 10:23am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04


I just buy aluminium pans from the supermarket (though I have inherited a few), when they get too belted up i just throw them out and because they were cheap i don't worry about it. I don't think you need expensive gear to make good cakes. A hand held set of beaters is just as good as a fancy kitchenaid mixer, i have a kenwood mixer and most of the time i use the hand held ones i have because it's less work to get it all out. I use pyrex bowls as mixing bowls because they go in the dishwasher. I've found that some of the cheapest utensils i have are my favourites. Mr rabbit has a favourite wooden spoon that was part of the three pack from a supermarket.

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#3 Sun 18 Mar 07 5:16pm


Forum super champ
Occupation Chief cook and bottle washer
From Northern California
Member since Sat 10 Feb 07


I believe in investing in good cookware.  It will last a lifetime and serve you very well.  A few good knives are essential.  A good chef's knife, a paring knife and a good serrated knife.  I also have a boning knife that I use quite often.
Also, several sizes of mixing bowls.  I have a set of stainless steel that I've had forever.
Since you're into baking, you should get some silicon spatulas.  They're great when you're dealing with any sort of hot liquid as they won't melt like rubber or plastic.
I prefer nonstick cake pans, too.  They're not that expensive and will last a long time if you don't scratch them.
For baking sheets I have a jelly roll pan and a couple nonstick cookie sheets that I use alot as I can't get enough cookies.  (If you ever saw me you'd agree smile )
Ofcourse, you needn't buy everything all at once.  I've accumulated lots of things over the years.  Some I bought myself and some I got when I dropped lots of hints around my birthday and Christmas.

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#4 Sun 18 Mar 07 7:46pm


Member since Sun 18 Mar 07


Hi there everyone,

I have just bought a tefal non-sick silicone cake "tin" and guess what my cake stuck. I was wondering if anyone else has used them and have any tips or might have a suggestion as to what I did wrong? help

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#5 Mon 19 Mar 07 6:20am


Occupation Student, Chef on the side
From Philadelphia, PA, USA
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04


The most economical method is generally to go to the nearest restaurant supply shop and pick up what they sell.  It might not be the most attractive gear,  but it will work like a charm and hold up as well as the most expensive brands.  All my non-stick frying pans come  from my local guy.

As for other things... It really depends on how much you want to spend  and how much of a control junkie you are.  Copper saute and  sauce pans work phenomenally, but will blow up your wallet when you buy them (US$ 400 for an 11 inch saute pan, no lid).  The next level down is cladded  stainless steel.  These pans work very well at conducting heat, and are fairly responsive while still maintaining high enough density to sear well, but again cost can be a factor (I know I'm harping on it, but the whole poor student thing is a ever present fact of  life at the moment).  One more step down the cost ladder is Stainless steel with an aluminum or copper 'sandwich' welded to the bottom of the pan.  These tend to  perform admirably, though if you do fancy sauces/other things prone to scorching the reaction time  might be too slow.  Most of my cookware falls into this category as I find it to be a good balance between cost and function.

If you have time or are a traditionalist cast iron is phenomenal.  It holds heat like nothing  else,  and will deliver a sear like no other substance on earth, and its cheep to boot.  The downside is that you need to take  care  when cleaning it, and season it relatively frequently.  If that is problematic and you have some extra funding lying around enameled cast iron is great (staub and le crusiet are the purveyors I am most familiar with).

As for baking supplies, I will admit to being a near inversion of you when it comes to cooking, so all I have are a few half sheet pans from the restaurant supply shop, a silpat (saves from having to replace  nonstick pans too frequently, and a 10 inch loaf pan.

As for knives, go to a brick and mortar place first to give them a test run.  Only buy what feels comfortable in your hand.  This is one place where I would advise laying out a bit more money; if you buy a good set you will only ever need one set.

Hope there was something of value in  this mess.


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#6 Mon 19 Mar 07 6:44am


Forum super champ
Occupation Mother of 2 working more than full time
From Wallerawang, Oz
Member since Wed 29 Jun 05


A friend of mine has had her Crown Cookware for almost 30 years, it still looks & works great! (she recieved it as a wedding present) but i think they are about $3000.oo these days for the whole lot.

My set was about $150.oo and Im well on my way to destroying it, (2 pans are missing handles & another has no lid as I dropped it when it was hot & it shattered) but I will have to wait to win lotto to get the Crown set.

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