Have you ever purchased (or received as a gift) cookware where you immediately have thought this was inferior performance wise, but the price was great or you simply bought it out if curiosity, and then the cookware surprised you in a positive by performing far better than you expected ?
When I still used carbon steel pans for high heat searing I needed a pan to finish the acidic wine or balsamic pan reduction sauce in and for that I purchased two Zwilling Pro frying pans. They are high sided frying pans, almost sauter like high while having a rounded saucier shape - so perfect for making a pan sauce in.
Naively I thought they were made by the Zwilling owned company Demeyere. They weren’t. They were made in China.
I began using the two pans and I was blown away by how great these two pans perform. I began using them for vegetable sautéing too and from time to time also seared poultry in the pans with great results.
They sear extremely evenly. They perform very very nicely.
The handle on them is very ergonomically shaped and feels sturdy in your hand. The 3-ply is 3.8 mm thick.
Not quite Demeyere Proline thick, but darn close to.
I paid $110 for both of them (20 cm and 24 cm)
on sale at 40% off.
These two pans continue to impress me.
What cookware has surprised you in a positive way ?
Years ago I was comped a Hestan Thermoclad skillet, then an exclusive at Williams-Sonoma. I tested it and used it a little, wasn’t impressed, and kicked it to the curb.
Somehow it must’ve ended up at the beach house, because Wahine had it out on the radiant cooktop there. I’ve been using it off and on or about a month now, mixed in with a Falk Coer.
In retrospect, it’s not a bad pan. It’s a good size (doesn’t overhang and fits in my sink). On radiant, it’s very even, it’s light, and the handle is nice. It preheats relatively quickly. The handle stays cool. It has its own personality when it comes to jumping food, but it works.
I have many cookware which I love, but I don’t know if there was any cookware that initially I think will be bad, and then end up great. I suppose the one example I have is a little different.
A friend of mine got me a Le Creuset pot. I never would have got it on my own because I was already moving away from enameled cast iron cookware, and I thought it will chip eventually. I have used it maybe only 3-4 times, but so far I have to say the enameled surface held up good. It does not stain as much and I don’t need to deep-clean often and the enameled layer is holding up well.
In short, I didn’t think it would suck, but I didn’t think it would be better. It ends up to be better than other enameled cast iron cookware I have had.
I have a Berndes small non-stick roasting pan that I dearly love - we are a household of 2, and it fits our needs. I have a silicone roasting rack I use in it to preserve the non-stick coating. We use it primarily for pork roasts and whole chicken.
Didn’t think I’d find much use for one, but split pea soup is so much easier now. I don’t want it completely smooth, so I hold back some of the cooked peas, stick-blender the rest, and then add the unpureed peas back. I used to use a manual crank egg beater for this. The stick blender is better!
When our ancient MIJ Cuisinart FP died we replaced it with a Magimix. It had the same quiet solidity and power that the original MIF CFP9 had, but its fittings were so much better designed. Short of buying a Robot Coupe it is hands down my top choice, and for smaller or more refined tasks it beats the Robot Coupe. I bought it just assuming it would be a good but not exceptional FP. My wife is the primary user, but I use it for very wet bread doughs.
When I bought my house it came with a leftover yellow Descoware enameled cast iron pot with a loose wood handle and an ill fitting lid that slides off when you pick up the pot. I fixed the handle and have come to realize that because the lid isn’t a tight seal it makes perfect rice for some reason. Allows just enough steam to vent, so I have been using it as my go-to pot for rice for years now.
I thought Chem’s premise was cookware we initially thought was inferior, but that later came to surprise us by performing better than we expected. Did any of the three lines you mention initially disappoint?
Revereware copper bottomed stainless steel pots and pans set. Got one for college. Still have most of 'em. A small pot, a larger one w/ double-boiler, a slightly bigger soup/stock pot, and a 10" frying pan.
With all three lines my already positive initial expectations from reading reviews and such were surpassed after having cooked with them. With copper it was immediate, like in the first 5 minutes or so. With the Paderno it took a few uses. With the Le Creuset it took much (much) longer, but here it also happened eventually.
(Keyrock the unfrozen caveman lawyer; your world frightens & confuses me)
Sorry, Sir Claus!
Hate to be a joy kill.
I’ve been as impressed by stuff as it should have impressed me (e.g. 5 layer all-clad or similar).
I have my parent’s Revere Ware (from the 40’s) in all sorts sizes and what I’ve added over 37 years has served us well, very well. When I’m done and gone, it’ll get used by the kid’s kids. Shoot, by then, some of the pieces will be approaching 80+ years of age. Besides cooking with, the saucepans and pots have been very helpful in bailing out flooded basements and scaring off bears.