Knowledge Base > Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Eric Wynkoop in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to co… Read More.



I am interested in All Clad “copper core” pots and pans. What do you think are the best brands? Is ceramic cookware good to use? For which dishes? Also, what are the pros and cons of non-stick pots and pans?

— Peggy Lucchesi


So let me first kind of pick off a couple of the the loaf hanging fruit here. You know, you're you mentioned All-Clad. Copper core pots and pans. I think those are great. I don't think you can go wrong with those. Regarding non-stick cookware. Okay, my position on non-stick cookware is that they are disposable cookware meaning that over time non-stick cookware at least the stuff that I've used. It might be some some new technology out there that that I'm unfamiliar with but by and large non-stick cookware will accumulate scratches over time and it may not be evidence. I call them micro scratches but with accumulation that non-stick surface becomes a little grippy and food stores to stick and at some point you may want to replace that pan, and that's why I think of them as disposable items and so my approach to the cooking where collection is to get. Ever cookware, you know you want as your your mainstream cookware and then supplement that with maybe one or two non-stick items that'll get you through some specialty cooking where that would be. Most beneficial. Okay, you ask about ceramic is that good to you? Sure, you know, I've I don't own ceramic pans, but I've used ceramic pants and they work they work fine. I can't comment on them from a lunge, you know, and so the longitudinal test perspective. I don't know how they hold up over many years, but you know other sorts of cookware like stainless steel and you know cast iron these things will last literally a lifetime or more. They're very Hardy. Now in terms of Best Brands, this is again a question that I'll kind of skirt. But you know, I'm a mention a couple of things one would be when it comes to drilling down to a brand of cookware that you might select take a look at product rating online and try to find sources that you trust whether it's Consumer Reports or some other hopefully objective source that you know, maybe isn't benefiting from these companies with three samples. For example, it's it's hard to tell but my point is you get to do the homework and you get to find sources that you consider reliable and read about the cookware itself. So you understand the specifications and and what that means. Okay. I'm a copper core, you know sandwich layers. Multi this and that sounds pretty neat but what is all that mean? Okay, and so do your homework so you understand that I'll give you you know, just a quick, you know, Insight most pans today. Yeah, we'll talk about stainless steel that has some sort of something bonded to it or maybe a core that's inserted. Most cookware has that today is considered pretty standard technology. And the point is that stainless steel isn't the best conductor of heat, but other materials like aluminum or copper or better it conducting heat evenly and in some cases faster. So these are bonded to stainless steel in some fashion in order to create a more even cooking surface, but with the durability of the steel and there are many companies many Brands to choose from and they range, you know in price and and this is where the decision becomes a personal and individual one and this is where you know, I I don't give advice to anybody. I'll give information and then encourage you to do, you know that the homework so to speak to make the choice as best for you, but you can find cookware sets that are I'd say if pretty accessible, you know at places like Costco and then you can kind of go out from there in terms of climbing the the price tier but again take a look at the reviews and read what the consumers are saying and read critically to see if consumers are talking about the same issues that are important to you. I like to start with the one star reviews at the other end of the spectrum if everyone's given five star reviews and the thing is good then there's nothing to worry about right but instead I like to start. One star reviews to hear about what the issues are what the possible you know friction points are that might be important to me as a cook and a lot of times. Those one star reviews don't mean anything to me because the person that wrote that review was was fussing over something that was irrelevant at least in my cooking world and so read those reviews critically and you know make that decision that's going to be best for your particular situation. Okay, and yeah have some fun take some time and if you can, you know, also even get your hands on some cookware that your friends might have or you know family members might be using in order to get a feel for a certain brand of cookware before you buy it. That's a good idea too. Okay, I guess the last thing that comes to mind is really one of construction quality and you know one thing that I like to do is if I'm if I have a pot with a long handle, I'm gonna try to see how easy that handle bends and look at that. That connection Point. Okay. There are some cookware reviewers out there that will say that you you got to get pans that have handles that are fastened with rivets and stay away from spot welds. Well, I disagree with that. There is cookware out there that is quite durable, you know with with both construction methods and I've also come across pretty flimsy stuff with both, you know handle attachment methods and so you gotta just take a look at it and see how robust this cookware feels in your hands and again try to try to bend it and And go from there, you know, you got you go. You'll have it full of food. Sometimes if you pounds of food and you want this stuff to last for years ideally at least in in, you know from my perspective, so, you know, give it a test and do some reading and go forth. Thank you.
Eric Wynkoop

Eric Wynkoop

Director of Culinary Instruction