The following originally appeared on 8/12/08 at Exit 51.
Despite my love of kitchen gadgets, I don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to have expensive specialized tools to have a well equiped kitchen. For one, that would cost a fortune. And, it would require vast amounts of storage space. I have neither.
So I try to get quality pieces of cookware that will last. And I work them hard to get the best value for my money. Hands down, the best tools I have in my kitchen are my Calphalon pots and pans. We first met after my wedding when we received these great 2 quart Contemporary Nonstick everyday pans with lids. The very first time I used them, I knew we’d be best friends forever. Not even the stickiest, gunkiest messes can defeat my pans. When it was time to replace the old, flaking, nonstick pans I had before we got married, I gifted myself some more pieces from the Contemporary Nonstick collection. But I didn’t go for any of the specialty pans.
We had also been given a reversible stovetop grill/griddle. It was nonstick over cast iron. And compared to my beloved Calphalon, it sucked. It was heavy (cast iron you know, not so light). And the nonstick surface, was less non and more stick. Marinated vegtables stuck to the grill ridges and it was impossible to do fish or meat on it. Chunks of whatever I was cooking stayed behind, burning, charring, and smoking their way to disaster. It also had no handles. So if I needed to reposition it on the stove, forgetting to grab a pot holder was painful (cast iron you know, gets hot) and remembering to grab one was somewhat hazardous (gas flame, meet oven mit). Even with all these performance issues, I was reluctant to let it go. It was a gift. But when we downsized our kitchen, I couldn’t justify finding space for it.
Doing without that pan wasn’t hard. It didn’t haunt my dreams or anything. But somehow as I strolled through Target looking for something else, this jumped in my basket:
And now the Calphalon Hard Anodized Double Grill and I are best friends.
I love that it has handles so I don’t have to worry about my oven mit catching fire if I need to scooch it around on the burners. And it doesn’t weigh a ton. Best of all, even after I’ve charred up some vegetables marinated in vinagrette or cooked off a beautiful slab of tenderloin, it cleans up like a champ. Even SFC, who typically handles clean up detail, says he loves it.
Now I’m not saying that you should send your current bff packing, but should you find yourself looking for a new one, this one is a true friend.