Tell me about your favorite European cookware brands
January 10, 2015 2:48 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to start replacing the hodgepodge cheapo pots and pans I've collected over the years. I cook on gas and don't really want non-stick or ceramic excepting one pan I expect to replace as needed; I'm more interested in stainless steel, aluminum, carbon, enamel and copper. And being in Italy, I am more interested in the European brands. Le Cruset, Staub, mauviel, De buyer are the immediate results for googling European cookware - what else am I missing?
posted by romakimmy to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
With regards to stainless steel, I find Ikea's thick-bottomed pots surprisingly good.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:01 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

For enameled cast iron I'd look for vintage Descoware from Belgium. I have some of my grandmother's pieces that must be at least 60 years old and it's fantastic; the stuff my mom has kept looks brand new.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:26 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

I have several Hackman cast iron pieces that are great. Very sturdy.
posted by neushoorn at 3:46 AM on January 10, 2015

From Denmark you get Eva Solo/Eva Trio and (my personal favourite above all else) Scanpan. If I had a choice, I'd have Scanpans and nothing else in my kitchen.
posted by kariebookish at 4:32 AM on January 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

Silit - I think still all German made. Bit pricey.

Amoretti Brothers for beautiful copper cookware - not technically European as they are based in USA, and products are made in Mexico, but the owners are from Northern Italy.
posted by travellingincognito at 4:54 AM on January 10, 2015

posted by knapah at 5:26 AM on January 10, 2015

Emile Henry.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:27 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Seconding Scanpan. I have one Scanpan and I use it to the near-exclusion of every other pan in my kitchen.
posted by pemberkins at 6:24 AM on January 10, 2015

Well, I will throw in a link:

Tramontina vs. All-Clad

In any case, here are two European based makers, Mauviel and Demeryer, both firms produce very nice equipment.
posted by jadepearl at 6:34 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

For Swedish cast-iron ware there are Skeppshult and Ronneby Bruk.
posted by misteraitch at 6:50 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Kuhn Rikon has the best pressure cookers.
posted by Infernarl at 6:58 AM on January 10, 2015

Zillioning Scanpan, which is actually pretty reasonably priced given its quality.

If you can stand the weight (and price) of copper Falk from Belgium is indestructible. I know they are indestructible since I've had a set of seven pieces since 1996, and some days I really, really wish I didn't have to sling copper. That said, for certain things like a saucier or a stew pan where heat control is essential, you can't beat copper's insulation and rapid heat tuning abilities with anything else.
posted by digitalprimate at 8:09 AM on January 10, 2015

Oh! and bonus - I just saw on their Dutch website (but not the English version) you can ship your pots and pans to them for retinning when like mine after 18 years they could use a new shine.
posted by digitalprimate at 8:15 AM on January 10, 2015

WMF a German tableware manufacturer. They make some of the best pots and pans you can find over here, including Sillit. Very expensive but is supposed to last you a lifetime.

Their website is unfortunately only in German.
posted by ipsative at 12:14 PM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Le Creuset cookware will last you until the heat death of the universe. It's unkillable.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:39 PM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

I've been trying out some cheaper products recently, and it was a BIG mistake. Le Creuset, WMF, Mauviel, Scanpan, Staub, Eva Trio, Emile Henry - these are all great and I truly believe they last a lifetime. I've inherited products from these companies that are over twenty years old and seem all new. The cheaper new stuff (including IKEA) I've been tempted to buy has already begun to rust and buckle after two years and I have regretted it. Cookware should last your whole life, and in that perspective, the price is less important.

If you are selecting among these top products, it is a matter of taste, I think. And also lifestyle. I use Eva Trio, Mauviel and Le Creuset because they have products that match my cooking style, the food I cook on a regular basis. I also have a Chinese hammered wok and a similarly hammered Swedish skillet, both of which I use a lot. And for shellfish, I have my grans old huge enameled pot - I've only seen pots that big in professional stores. Gran maybe used it for laundry as well as lobster…
posted by mumimor at 2:32 PM on January 10, 2015

I have a lot of cookware of varying quality. I wish that ever piece that isn't Le Creuset were Le Creuset. I have literally picked recipes because they'll give me a chance to use one of my LC pieces.
posted by Itaxpica at 12:20 AM on January 11, 2015

We discovered good copper cookware a few years back, and now wouldn't use anything else. New stuff from French manufacturers like Mauviel is great but can be very expensive, however you can get some very good old stuff on Ebay, or even in junk shops and antique markets. We got three heavy, 3mm copper Leon Jaeggi saute pans off Ebay for under £75 each that are amazing, and have since picked up a number of other smaller pieces.

Good points: almost indestructible, nothing to fall off or break, provide the best simmering and even heat distribution we've ever found, look really good, useful for fighting off burglars.

Bad points: very heavy, need cleaning to keep looking good, need retinning every couple of years, and you can melt the tin coating if you heat them too fiercely.
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 1:44 PM on January 11, 2015

Response by poster: Oooo so much kitchen porn. This might be a dangerous undertaking. Thanks to all for the suggestions; they are leading me down a rabbit hole of Euro cookware. For example, it seems Falk makes the bimetal for Mauviel and others.

I'm having a hard time figuring out from Scanpan's website if their CSX line is just stainless steel or if it has their non-stick layer as well. For those that suggested it, any ideas?
posted by romakimmy at 12:19 AM on January 12, 2015

You need exactly one nonstick pan in your kitchen and that is for cooking eggs, because it makes life simpler.

The rest should be all-metal, so you can go from stove to oven and back.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:21 AM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

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