Cookware--End of a Golden Era?

If I can cook a certain dish to perfection with my existing cookware, I wouldn’t need further innovation. Hard to improve a 100% score.

I do acknowledge that innovation can be useful in other things than cooking performance, like being dishwasher safe. Some pans I would use more often if they were dw safe.

And then the other area of improvement could be the environmental aspect as alluded to by @Chemicalkinetics, including making non stick linings completely safe to use.


If by ‘perfection’, you mean can’t-be-improved-upon, I think you’re on very thin ice. If only from a philosophical perspective, there is always room for improvement. Was Nadia Cominic’s 10 more perfect than Simone Biles’ best?

But there are actual historical examples in cookware. Do you “need” a precise and consistent modern coffee mill when you already own a mortar and pestle? Could a future mill model that sieves the grind and/or adjusts acidity provide a more “perfect” cuppa?

What I think you and Tim are really saying is that you’re satisfied with your existing cookware. I am too–mostly. Speaking only for myself, though, I won’t claim to have attained perfection no matter what I learn or buy.

I think in matters of food there is ample room for subjectivity and philosophy, but I think you can say confidently for a given dish that you would not change the recipe, you would not correct the seasoning, and the cook is exactly right for your tastes. Of course there will always be things beyond your control (the steak needed more marbling, the scallops had been frozen, the asparagus was a little tough), and recipes themselves often beg to be modified and evolve. So if you like the ingredients and the recipe as they are, perfection for you is achievable. Of course I like my lamb chops with a better sear than you do, but II still like a red center. I like my scallops seared dark but raw in the center. You like them crisp and cooked fifteen seconds past raw. So my ideal cook will not be perfection for you.


Well, there are many fans of sous vide who would disagree. I’m not one of them, but SV is a good example of innovation in the actual recipes, cooking and seasoning.

‘Perfection’ is a misnomer here. “Just the way I like it” would be a better fit.


Sous vide is fine for vegetables but IMO not proteins, most especially red meats.

I did not love the beef I did. At all. Ditto for the pork. I will not do proteins again.

Brisket and eye of round. Both looked a heck of a lot better than they tasted. I like my regular methods better


Here the “IMO” is the operative term. But lots of people love SV proteins, and cook them that way, especially steaks. The larger point is that home SV was an innovation that changed cooking for the better for many.

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I’ve gone back and forth on the sous vide for steaks. The major plus: extended hold time. You can get the meat to your desired temp and hold it there. If it’s rare, you have about a 30 min. window where it’s still considered safe (since rare temps are technically in the ‘danger zone’). If you go up to medium-rare or medium, you can hold them almost indefinitely. When everything else is done, you pull the steaks, give them a quick sear on your skillet, and serve immediately.

On the minus side, the fat never really renders at those temps, so it’s RIGHT THERE, in the steak. Which, depending on your taste, might be a bit much. Also, it allows no evaporation of moisture, so your sear will take longer to brown the outside, even if you pat it dry with paper towels.

Reverse sear solves the minuses, but it’s method is that while there’s more leeway that with the old sear-and-finish-in-oven method, it’s less forgiving then sous vide, and only works REALLY well if you happen to have a probe thermometer. At least, that’s been my experience. Without a continuous read probe set to go off at your desired temp, I spend the last 10 minutes checking temps with an instant read and losing heat in the oven every time I do.

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We’re of one mind in this. Again, I’m not a fan of much done SV.

I know many love it. I have had SV proteins prepared by purportedly excellent cooks and been very unhappy with the results.


That’s how I do reverse sear. With my friend the continuous read probe thermometer that squeaks at me when the steak has hit temp. Love mine. No more overcooking.

yeah. I got Thermopen Dot for the holidays. I <3 it so much. I want to use it to make peanut brittle and honeycomb.


I love them so much I have 2. Just in case I can’t find one of them. :joy:

I noticed such coming to the surface before the pandemic. I attributed it to the ‘everything now and done already’ convenience mentality. What I can’t figure out is: if we’re buying into all these convenience items to give us more time do do…what? Play on our phones? Get outdoors more?

i’m still catching up with 2000 year old technology, cooked my first wok-based meal two weeks ago.


Beyond the immediate 2020-2021 culinary concerns during early Covid, there are people who expect the age of Homo habilis is winding down to an inexorable, climate-change propelled end. Hard to invest in immortal LeCreuset cocottes, for example, if you don’t envision living long enough to retire.


I have a bunch of assorted cookware. Mostly copper of various brands and antiques, couple of Staub cocottes and a few All-Clad D5 that I just got.
I recently discovered Hestan which looks fabulous.
Overall though I think things in general are not manufactured with the pride they once were.
I’m constantly scouring estate sales and eBay.


I’ve bought commercially prepared sous vide and was disappointed. I was expecting it to be better than what I’d done at home.

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I recently tried a fresh SV pork breakfast hash from a grocery store that was good. I wish it had been a bit drier, but skillet-browning it mostly resolved the issue.

Under the right circumstances, I’d consider buying steaks or pork belly sold already SV’d.

Mine was basically a wet, mushy salt lick. I could see pork belly; haven’t come across any.

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