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Dishwasher-Safe Nonstick Cookware Needed

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Hi all,
I am looking for advice. I want a quality set of non-stick pots and pans that are dishwasher safe, even if they do not recommend using the dishwasher. Our stove is a glass/ceramic top that works well with our current cookware.

A little background: When my wife and I combined our households a few years back we had more than enough cookware. I had All-Clad and she had Circulon. Since she hated the all-clad and loved her non-stick cookware, her set became the everyday cookware. I still use my All-Clad but she refuses. Alas my wife's preference for the dishwasher for all clean-up has finally taken a toll on the Circulon. (I hand wash the all-clad and knives) It held up well but the time has come to retire it and replace it. This is where you come in.

Does anyone out there have experience, preferences, advice about a non-stick set of cookware that is dishwasher safe? I have already tried to talk the wife into all-clad LTD2 at Williams Sonoma, but I agree we already have a good set all-clad (even if it is not dishwasher safe). I also agree that we would have to take out a mortgage to buy all-clad ltd2. I have looked at several lines; e.g. Anolon Titanium and Circulon Infinite among others. They both advertise dishwasher safe and non-stick, but I have heard that Costco's brand, Kirkland, has a good set that some clean in the dishwasher despite the warning not to do so.

Any thoughts on the Anolon Titanium or Circulon Infinite or your favorite dishwasher safe cookware?

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I could not help but notice that this member's question was never answered. A casual search indicated that there is really no such thing. I'm helping a friend look for a new set of cookware, as her Calphalon Anodized is showing it's age. She's considering All-Clad, but I have seen reviews stating that the Copper Core is a very thin layer of copper and not worth it. My feeling is "how bad can it be?".

The requirements for the new cookware are:

Not Heavy - no wrist-breakers.

Reasonably easy to clean - like the present set of Calphalon.

Quality pieces - Even heating.

What do you like?

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Before I get to my suggestions, a couple of full disclosures.

(1) As you may know, I used to sell cookware on the net, and still do sell some on eBay.  I sell exclusively commercial grade stainless cookware; it is very well-priced and heavy.  It is made in China. It is intended for commercial use, not household.  It is induction-ready.  It is offered with non-stick only in the fry pans, which do not have lids.  It has a very good non-stick coating (Excaliber -- Google it).  I use it myself and wash it in the DW.  It will last for a while, but like all non-stick eventually it fails.  There are several brands of it out there that are identical.  I happen to sell the Update brand.  You can find it at restaurant supply stores.  Other brands include Winco, Royal, Adcraft, and others.  Lincoln and Brown have similar lines.

(2) I am very much out of the mainstream in my thoughts about consumer cookware.  I read lots of threads like this one, particularly on Chowhound.  Everybody talks about the same consumer brands.  They are all way more expensive than you need, rip offs basically, with All-Clad in the lead of the parade.  IMO it's ridiculous to pay those prices to get something to cook in; there is no improvement in performance that justifies the obscene prices.  Costco stuff is apparently more reasonable than others, but I haven't actually ever used it. Tramantino (sp?) is another lower priced brand.  Personally, if you haven't guessed by now, I would not ever buy any of them (but then I'm cheap).

I have two suggestions, very non-mainstream.  (1) Go to a restaurant supply store and buy some half decent sandwich-bottom stainless cookware (aluminum won't do well in the DW).  One of the brnds I mentioned above.  Try it out.  The sandwich bottom spreads the heat.  You should be able to get, e.g. a small pot or pan for $35 or so, and many other sizes and shapes. You can also buy it on Amazon and many other web retailers.  (2) Go to a big Asian market like Super H.  They will have several brands of Korean-made aluminum cookware (lightweight) that is fully coated, inside and out (so no dishwasher problem), with a speckled non-stick coating they call "nano-particle" or "marble" or something like that depending on the brand.  Be sure it is speckled.  Joycook is one brand you may see.  Sorel is another. This stuff cooks and cleans up like a dream, and even large pieces go for around $30 or less.   Buy one or two, take them home and try them out.  Unfortunately, no lids, and no pot shapes but the wok shapes do the job of pots nicely, as well as other jobs.  This stuff doesn't last forever either, but it's so cheap you can toss it and go buy new.  Actually the fact that no non-stick coating lasts very long is the biggest argument against expensive non-stick cookware.

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I agree with johnb about non-stick skillets. Buy the heaviest inexpensive ones that you can find at Marshall's or TJ Maxx, and just replace them every couple of years. There's no reason to use non-stick coating on anything other than skillets. Saucepans, dutch ovens and stock pots do not need to be non-stick. I have a slightly different take on All-Clad than johnb, however--I love mine (the stainless ones), use them daily, put them in the dishwasher. On the very rare occasion that something burns or sticks in one of my All-Clad pots, I soak it with baking soda in water brought to the boil and then the heat shut off, for 15-20 minutes, and then whatever is stuck washes off, and any discoloration can be sponged away with Barkeeper's Friend cleanser.

All-Clad cookware can be acquired at significant discount online, and also at the Williams Sonoma outlet at the Leesburg Outelt Mall. They periodically have sales at the WS Outlet, where their All Clad pots are marked down 30-40% below their regular discounted prices.

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This isn't non-stick, but I want to give shout-out to Tramontino. I thought it was made in the US (the website seemed to imply that, but it is made in China). It is a cheaper alternative to Le Creuset enameled cast ironware. I found a beautiful red pot w/lid that works wonderfully for risottos, paellas, etc. for about $70 +/- online. I don't put any of my pots and pans in the dishwasher; however, I got tired of buying non-stick cookware and then having to toss it after awhile. I followed America's Test Kitchen and bought a T-Fal non-stick skillet and it has held up very well. That doesn't go in the dishwasher, either, but is so easy to clean up, well, why would you?

My everday sauce pans and pots are stainless steel by Cuisinart, KitchenAid, and Calphalon. They are all fabulous and I bought all of them online at various sales for not a great deal of money.

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I have a slightly different take on All-Clad than johnb, however--I love mine (the stainless ones), use them daily, put them in the dishwasher. On the very rare occasion that something burns or sticks in one of my All-Clad pots, I soak it with baking soda in water brought to the boil and then the heat shut off, for 15-20 minutes, and then whatever is stuck washes off, and any discoloration can be sponged away with Barkeeper's Friend cleanser.

Okay, Einstein, maybe you can help me with a question.

I boiled a pot of water in an All-Clad LTD pasta pot (a big, multi quart model). And, I left it on the burner overnight.

Needless to say, the next morning, the water wasn't only gone, but the metal at the base of the pot (only on the interior!) had bent and bubbled in strange ways.

1) Is this fixable? (I assume no, unless I could find a trained elephant who can balance its weight on one hoof)

2) Is this safe to use? (I suspect maybe)

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1) Is this fixable? (I assume no, unless I could find a trained elephant who can balance its weight on one hoof)

2) Is this safe to use? (I suspect maybe)

I'm not Einstein.  But a few less-than-Einstein thoughts.  Maybe Einstein (Zora) knows better.

From your description, it sounds as if the interior layer of aluminum bubbled or something like that, and the bond between it and the surface layer of SS was broken, allowing/causing the SS to separate and deform.  Is it fixable?  Forget it.  Is it unsafe?  Probably not.  Will it work anyway?  I don't see why not.  So a definite maybe.  I'd just boil some water in it and see what happens.  As long as the SS layer is intact, it ought to be OK from the safety standpoint.  OTOH, we'd all hate to lose you.

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The LTD line, if I recall correctly is stainless on the inside and matte finish dark grey aluminum on the outside. I agree with johnb that you have managed to delaminate the layers of different metals, but as long as the stainless steel layer inside is intact, though deformed, it is probably safe to use. OTOH, the heat won't be transferred evenly from the fire to the pot to the contents of the pot because of the warping you describe. Any braise or stew or saute will cook unevenly and probably stick and burn in places. It might take longer to bring a potful of water up to the boiling point. But as long as all you are going to do is boil water in it, I say go ahead and use it. And set a timer that you will hear, the next time you cook something. I don't always remember to do that myself, and I have had my share of disasters, too.

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followed America's Test Kitchen and bought a T-Fal non-stick skillet and it has held up very well. That doesn't go in the dishwasher, either, but is so easy to clean up, well, why would you?

I'll second the T-Fal nonstick skillet. I used one daily for at least 2 years. It was put in the dishwasher probably at least 2/3 of those uses. The inside of the pot is still pristine, but the red outer surface faded a bit and the side on which I'd slide my omelet out developed an oil stain I couldn't remove.

Okay, Einstein, maybe you can help me with a question.

I boiled a pot of water in an All-Clad LTD pasta pot (a big, multi quart model). And, I left it on the burner overnight.

Needless to say, the next morning, the water wasn't only gone, but the metal at the base of the pot (only on the interior!) had bent and bubbled in strange ways.

1) Is this fixable? (I assume no, unless I could find a trained elephant who can balance its weight on one hoof)

2) Is this safe to use? (I suspect maybe)

My wife has been there, done that. It was a 2qt pot we used for pasta cooking 90% of its uses. It worked perfectly fine despite a couple of bubbles on the bottom. The company said we were SOL if we wanted to fix it.

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And set a timer that you will hear, the next time you cook something. I don't always remember to do that myself, and I have had my share of disasters, too.

Amen.  I'm usually walking around with an iPhone in my shirt pocket but yet most of the time too stupid to take 10 sec. to set a timer on it, and have suffered many a burnt preparation as a result.

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I agree with johnb about non-stick skillets. Buy the heaviest inexpensive ones that you can find at Marshall's or TJ Maxx, and just replace them every couple of years. There's no reason to use non-stick coating on anything other than skillets. Saucepans, dutch ovens and stock pots do not need to be non-stick. I have a slightly different take on All-Clad than johnb, however--I love mine (the stainless ones), use them daily, put them in the dishwasher. On the very rare occasion that something burns or sticks in one of my All-Clad pots, I soak it with baking soda in water brought to the boil and then the heat shut off, for 15-20 minutes, and then whatever is stuck washes off, and any discoloration can be sponged away with Barkeeper's Friend cleanser.

All-Clad cookware can be acquired at significant discount online, and also at the Williams Sonoma outlet at the Leesburg Outelt Mall. They periodically have sales at the WS Outlet, where their All Clad pots are marked down 30-40% below their regular discounted prices.

Thanks for the tip on the WS outlet, Zora! You noted that you put your stainless All Clad in the dishwasher. May I ask if you have noticed any changes to the appearance of the pieces from the dishwasher?

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Thanks for the tip on the WS outlet, Zora! You noted that you put your stainless All Clad in the dishwasher. May I ask if you have noticed any changes to the appearance of the pieces from the dishwasher?

I'm not Zora.  :(  However, I've been using All-Clad stainless cookware since about 1998.  I can't say enough good things about it.  I use mine almost daily and have always cleaned it in the dishwasher, with no ill effects at all.

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I'm not Zora.  :(  However, I've been using All-Clad stainless cookware since about 1998.  I can't say enough good things about it.  I use mine almost daily and have always cleaned it in the dishwasher, with no ill effects at all.

Ditto. :)
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One more (final) observation from the sparsely-populated All-Clad skeptic corner of the ring.

Maybe this has changed in recent times, but AC's frypan handles are very skinny and thus difficult to grasp firmly.  Whether this matters depends on how one cooks.  If one  flips and otherwise manipulates the things being fried/sauteed by using spatulas and turners, no problem.  But if one wants the option to use what might be called the "line cook" style, by occasionally flipping and shaking the entire pan, then that skinny handle, combined with the weight of the pan itself, make it a non-starter; there have been entire threads devoted to this topic on other food boards.  I have an AC fry pan that is relegated to the bottom of the drawer, largely because, for me anyway, that handle is so useless--the pan would be improved by having only loop handles.  But admittedly, this would likely be an issue for only a small subset of home cooks.

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One more (final) observation from the sparsely-populated All-Clad skeptic corner of the ring.

Maybe this has changed in recent times, but AC's frypan handles are very skinny and thus difficult to grasp firmly.  Whether this matters depends on how one cooks.  If one  flips and otherwise manipulates the things being fried/sauteed by using spatulas and turners, no problem.  But if one wants the option to use what might be called the "line cook" style, by occasionally flipping and shaking the entire pan, then that skinny handle, combined with the weight of the pan itself, make it a non-starter; there have been entire threads devoted to this topic on other food boards.  I have an AC fry pan that is relegated to the bottom of the drawer, largely because, for me anyway, that handle is so useless--the pan would be improved by having only loop handles.  But admittedly, this would likely be an issue for only a small subset of home cooks.

John,

I love my AllClad LTD pots and pans, but you just hit on my Number One complaint about them. Especially when dealing with pots full of hot stock/sauce.

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That's great news about putting the AC SS in the dishwasher with no problems!! That will be quite the selling point. But, I will advise her to check the handles for comfort, or lack thereof. We are aware of the folly of purchasing any non-stick that is premium priced as it will, as others have advised, have a finite shelf life.

Unless you're like my parents. My sister and I joke that we needn't worry about clogged arteries since we probably consumed a lot of Teflon in our younger days since they never replaced anything.

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Any new thoughts on nonstick cookware?  I don't think we need dishwasher safe, but looking to replace some well-used Calphalon skillet pans.

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Any new thoughts on nonstick cookware?  I don't think we need dishwasher safe, but looking to replace some well-used Calphalon skillet pans.

I recently acquired a big covered skillet in the "Thermolon" line of Zwilling J.A. Henckels. You can see the stuff here. I was surprised by how thoroughly non-stick this pan is. It has a ceramic surface that I expected to be merely "stick-resistant" like most pans that don't use the Teflon-style polymer coatings. Because this stuff is ceramic, it's oven-proof to 500F and can be heated empty on the stove to prepare for searing. It's dishwasher-safe, but the manufacturer recommends hand washing. I'm not sure why. It has a much more eco-friendly profile than the polymer stuff. If I were in the market for a pan for omelettes, which I will be soon enough, I would absolutely buy one in this line. It's even nice-looking.

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I just retired two Circulon pans that had become sticky, and, because I hate to invest a lot in something I know won't last, I bought a TFal pan at TJ Maxx for $12.99.  This thing is amazing.  It's the slickest non-stick I've ever used.

Edit:  It also balances on the stove well, something the older, more expensive pans did not do.  This one lies flat when empty.  I hope it lasts!

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I followed the recommendation of America's Test Kitchen as well, and I have a wonderful T-Fal nonstick skillet, which I love. I use it almost every day, although I have never put it in the dishwasher. It is well-designed, and has held up for a year, so far. The handle is easy for me to grasp, and oven-proof.

ATK never found out the point at which the nonstick surface would start to fail--they gave up long before it showed any signs. It's not that expensive, either. I recommend it.

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^ I didn't know they recommended TFal, I was in a bit of a bind (Mr. lperry cooks eggs every morning around 4:30 and needs. a. pan.)  I feel pretty good about that $12.99 now.

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(2) Go to a big Asian market like Super H.  They will have several brands of Korean-made aluminum cookware (lightweight) that is fully coated, inside and out (so no dishwasher problem), with a speckled non-stick coating they call "nano-particle" or "marble" or something like that depending on the brand.  Be sure it is speckled.  Joycook is one brand you may see.  Sorel is another. This stuff cooks and cleans up like a dream, and even large pieces go for around $30 or less.   Buy one or two, take them home and try them out.  Unfortunately, no lids, and no pot shapes but the wok shapes do the job of pots nicely, as well as other jobs.  This stuff doesn't last forever either, but it's so cheap you can toss it and go buy new.  Actually the fact that no non-stick coating lasts very long is the biggest argument against expensive non-stick cookware.

Seconded on the Korean marbled aluminum cookware. We've got two "Dolce Marble-Coated frying pans" by Seshin (a 10" and 12") that do in fact clean up like a dream. I toss them in the dishwasher every so often, they don't care. And they are most definitely non-stick.

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A related question: I lent my All-Clad LTD (anodized, black on the exterior) cookware to someone who must have been using them in the dishwasher, as there is a very firmly entrenched, chalky white substance on the black exterior now. Does anyone know what this is, and if it's removable? It doesn't affect the performance, but it sure is ugly.

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I can't imagine there is anything that Barkeeper's Friend won't take off a pot if you're willing to scrub. I wouldn't use it on the nonstick surface itself, but if it something on the hardened exterior, I bet it would be fine.

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