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Old 04-06-2013, 12:04 PM   #1
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What do you use for dinnerware and cooking?

What do you ladies use for dinnerware and cooking? What do you use for your kids? We ditched all plastic even though it was all bpa free i found that the alternatives are not all that great. I have some plant based bowls and cups from baby sprout that we use and love for the kids and we have an old old old cheap walmart ceramic set that is falling apart (literally had to throw away one of the bowls after the chip thats been there forever cut my hand) and we will likely replace it soon, i am leaning towards an all glass set. Is all glass safe? The brand is gibson and they claim to be lead free. My other option is an all white corelle set but i cant figure out if that contains harmful stuff or not. Our pots and pans are also in dire need of being replaced,whats the safest material for those?


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Old 04-06-2013, 12:38 PM   #2
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Re: What do you use for dinnerware and cooking?

Well I do use bpa free plastic for storage (am only just now fully switching over to bpa free). And I have some gibson dinnerware that I picked up at goodwill *shrug.* There isn't really any 100% neutral product b/c even safe enamel glazes are made of *something* that could in the wrong amounts or combined with the wrong additives have some sort of health effect. I kept meaning to buy some glass storage containers, but I always read too many reviews about containers randomly exploding in the users' hands to really be comfortable about that; apparently the ingredients in pyrex (and pyrex-like) containers have changed enough that there is a higher risk for that now.

Re: cooking, I use enameled cast iron the most. The downside is that it is heavy which can be a consideration if you have a muscle condition as I do (I would like to ebay a couple of pieces of chantal enameled steel, although I have concerns about steel's cooking performance based on a cheaper kobenstyle piece I have). There is also a slight learning curve to cooking with enameled cast iron. I've worn my enamel down a bit learning. [The short of it is: use some oil over a medium low to medium flame--no higher. It can brown beautifully on these lower temperatures. You also need to turn it down (or off, since iron will retain heat for a while) as it gets more nearly cooked. And you cannot reuse just reuse the pan as soon as one item is cooked in it. It really needs a quick wash in between different uses.]

Stainless steel is a pretty safe cooking surface but not so much for really acidic dishes. Likewise, salty dishes shouldn't soak in stainless steel before cooking nor be stored in the cooking pot. Essentially you don't want things to eat away at the stainless steel too much, but with that in mind, it's really pretty intuitive. I had picked up some old school copper-bottom Revereware that I use but have since learned that if stainless steel has been scrubbed like mad over the years, then it starts to become a slightly less safe cooking surface (more is able to leach from really worn stainless steel). So maybe someday I'll get a chance to replace those. If you have a severe nickel allergy, you could have a reaction to stainless steel (but if that is the case, you would probably already be reacting to your silverware).

There is a brand called Silit that sells silargan covered steel. This is nearly as heavy as cast iron. I'd love to have a piece from them, but they are pricey (and I already shot my budget on the enameled cast iron).

The main thing you want to stay away from is nonstick surfaces. Cooking directly on aluminum or copper with no intermediary layer may also be a bad idea.

To maximize the bang for your buck, since it is going to be expensive, I would suggest getting pots and pans that are as multipurpose as possible. For instance, I am a fan of Le Creuset braisers. The handles on both sides make the weight less awkward, and they can function both as a frypan and as a stew/paella sort of pan. For my largest pot, I got an oval shaped le creuset that can, on account of the shape, double as a roasting pan in the oven. I also bought that one in "seconds" quality; once a flaw is noted, the seconds are given one less layer of enamel than the full price pieces, but since that is the pot I will use the least often, I thought that would be more than sufficient. I've done pretty well with eBay, but that takes some patience.

The type of range you have counts for something too--especially if you have (oh, goodness, the name is escaping me....) one of those really modern magnetic induction ranges. Not all pots are magnetic, and some of the heavy ones can potentially cause the glass in the surface of those ranges to break if you are in the habit of sliding them from spot to spot instead of lifting them.
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Last edited by debcita429; 04-06-2013 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
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Re: What do you use for dinnerware and cooking?

we eat off white Corelle dishes, drink out of glass (pint glasses for adults & jelly jars for the kids. We cook in cast iron pans & stainless steel pots. I'd love to have some enameled cast iron, but they are too $$ for us right now.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:11 PM   #4
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Re: What do you use for dinnerware and cooking?

White Corelle, vintage Pyrex, mason jars, stainless pots and cast iron skillets. I do keep one non-stick skillet on hand for delicate things that might stick but I don't use it very often, less than once a week.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:07 PM   #5
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Re: What do you use for dinnerware and cooking?

I recently purchased a pot and pan set from They are ceramic that doesn't leach ANYTHING into your food. We have been happy with them, though they are pricey. $269 for 4 different sauce pans and pots.
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Old 05-09-2017, 08:29 PM   #6
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Re: What do you use for dinnerware and cooking?

Love using cast iron for pans and you can pick them up reasonably, and even get a ready-seasoned one at a thrift store sometimes. We also use some stainless pots and pans. We also have a lot of mason jar glasses.. we, too, have tried to get rid of plastic, even the bpa-free, as from what I read, the replacements to the bpa may not be completely safe or desirable, either... just hasn't made it on the health radar yet...
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:41 PM   #7
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Re: What do you use for dinnerware and cooking?

My mil just sent us some sort of pan for our grill that is coated with xylan. I have never heard of this. Is it even safe to use?

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Old 05-16-2017, 10:31 AM   #8
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Re: What do you use for dinnerware and cooking?

I'd go to thrift stores to buy plates pots and pans n such. You can find older stuff but they'll last forever. Cast iron pans are the best! I bought a couple All Clad pots, they are $$ but they're pretty good.
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