Cookware: 2012


Two of these things are not like the others. Two of these things just don’t belong. Can you tell which things are not like the others before I finish this song?

I hate questions like that; it depends on the critera. Two of them have breakable glass lids? Two of them can reasonably be used in the oven? Two of them can be stacked and used together? One of them comes in a set of two? What??

No, I think the real answer is, the “everyday pan” is the very same item as the dutch oven except shorter, cheaper to make, and lighter to ship. How about making it $35, hmmm?

So, carrying over from the last time these were offered, it looks like the handles and rivets on these pans might be aluminum, and yet they claim to be dishwasher safe.

If so, that dishwasher-safe claim might now be obsolete. Aluminum is no longer considered dishwasher safe without special considerations, which I’ll discuss below.

I haven’t confirmed 100% that the handles of these pans are brushed cast-aluminum and the rivets are aluminum, but they certainly seem to be (if anyone has information to the contrary, feel free to correct me). They are good quality pans though; heavy and well made.

EDIT: A later comment points out that the description of the everyday pan indicates it’s handles are stainless so there might not be any need to worry about the handles on those and possibly the others, just perhaps the rivets and the outside edge where the aluminum core is slightly exposed.

Additional background, which you can feel free to skip if not interested:
For those who haven’t noticed, dishwashers used to be able to clean aluminum just fine, up until a couple years ago when they mysteriously started ruining aluminum pans, making them pitted, and leaving them covered in a gray or black substance that gets on everything and generally makes a mess. Not only that, it seems like even without aluminum, dishwashers just don’t work as well as they used to in general.

So what changed? It was actually the detergent! Dishwasher detergent manufacturers reformulated their products nationwide to comply with new regulations in several states that banned phosphates from dishwasher detergent.

The problems with this are twofold. Firstly, the replacement chemicals simply don’t work as well. Food is more likely to remain stuck on dishes, often requiring a second washing. Secondly, the new formulas wreak havoc on aluminum, which means no more washing aluminum pans or baking sheets in the dishwasher unless you want them ruined.

You can work around the first problem (not cleaning as well) by actually adding supplemental phosphate to the detergent yourself, but that still won’t make the new detergents aluminum-safe.

The only real solution I’ve found is to go back to the old formula, and luckily, the regulations apparently don’t apply to commercial dishwashers, so all you have to do is buy commercial dishwasher detergent.

If washing a particularly dirty load of dishes, or if there is anything aluminum in there I use “Cascade Professional Line” which is available at warehouse clubs or online. It cleans better and doesn’t ruin aluminum. I even tried putting in an already black (from washing with phosphate-free detergent) baking pan, and after washing a couple times with the old-style detergent, the pan is actually usable again. The only real drawbacks are that it’s potentially worse for the environment (though that’s somewhat debatable since I often had to run dishes through twice with the new phosphate-free stuff versus once with the old style detergent), and that you sometimes have to buy 26 lbs of the stuff at a time since it’s mostly intended for commercial use.

I think keeping both types around and using “the good stuff” only when necessary is a reasonable compromise between showing some concern for the environment and actually getting dishes clean (and avoiding ruining them).

UUMMMM…all except 2 are from Regal Ware?

But I am guessing it was rhetorical… :slight_smile:

Why would you want to put a nice pan in the dishwasher anyway? It’s for dishes - hence the name - not cookware and cooking knives.

Oh I don’t know, perhaps because it explicitly says “dishwasher safe” on it?

I’m not sure it should say that, but it does, so I was trying to be helpful to the subset of customers who might take that statement at face value.

It also might be of interest to those who didn’t realize why their dishwashers stopped cleaning quite as well and started ruining aluminum in recent years. At first I thought it was because our new dishwasher had a stainless steel tub, or that it was trying to save water to the detriment of cleaning ability, but it actually turned out to be the new phosphate-free detergents that were the problem.

I do appreciate easy cleanup though, so I tend to put steak knives and non-coated stainless steel pots/pans in there, and they come out clean and shiny and no worse for the wear. I haven’t ever washed any of the Regal Ware pans or pots in the dishwasher because I’m afraid the handles and rivets are aluminum and could be damaged. If using the old-style detergent, they would likely be OK, but I suspect that a trip or two through there with the new phosphate-free detergent would be all it might take for the handles to turn black (and get black corrosion on anything they touch, including your hands). The same thing happens to aluminized steel baking pans/baking sheets like Chicago Metallic or similar if you make the mistake of using the new style detergent on them.

I’m all for cleaner waterways, but first of all, if every restaurant, school, cafeteria, etc are still using the phosphate-laden stuff then why do us consumers only get the kind that doesn’t work as well and ruins aluminum? And secondly, the biggest contributors to algal blooms, by far, are fertilizers and other chemicals in stormwater runoff that never goes through the sewage treatment system at all.

I purchased the Regal Ware everyday pan and it’s so-so. It is fairly thin and has hotspots so things tend to stick in certain areas of the pan. I was so hoping that this would be the quality of Tramontina, but alas it is not. If I am not mistaken Tramontina took over the RegalWare factory but I could be wrong on that…

A little difficult to clean. Used a bit of Bar Keeper’s Friend on this to clean up after making jambalaya.

It’s serviceable but I wouldn’t recommend for $40. There are better pans out there.

Your use of the commercial, phosphate-laden detergents is probably causing a number of environmentalists out there to gnash & grate their teeth right about now…

Well, this is what the everyday pan says about the lid handle, which appears in the photo to be the same as the handles on the pot itself:

“Precision-fit stainless steel cover features easy-grip, stay-cool, commercial-grade stainless steel handles.”

Thanks for the dishwasher det source info, however.

If your assumption that they are the same is correct, and if it’s true of all the pans, that would be great. I’ve asked a couple times on previous sales and never gotten a definitive answer about what the handles and the rivets are made out of. From the feel/weight and hardness of the handles on the fry pans I was guessing they are aluminum but would love to be wrong. I very strongly suspect at least the rivets are aluminum, but would love to hear otherwise about those as well.

I put everything in the dishwasher if I can get away with it. The only things that don’t go in are things that would be ruined by them. I appreciate the information provided that commercial detergent still contains phosphates, because I have problems with food sticking on glass and flatware and knew about the new detergent formulae not working as well (my mother called a repairman about her dishwasher, and that’s what he told her).

I don’t know diddly about pans, but I replaced my peeling Teflon piece of junk with this 10" one and am quite happy with the trade. I will use it a few times per month, and hand-wash. Works for me.

I looked at few more Amazon reviews of various Regal Ware products and I think I’m satisfied that the handles on most of them must be stainless steel, however there are still indications that the rivets are aluminum. The following review in particular, and another response to it seem to highlight this:
So just be aware that you might get a little corrosion on/around the rivets and at the outer edge of the pans if you run them through the dishwasher. I’m still happy with mine overall, except for one moderate annoyance, which is the size. For example, the 12" pan in the 10"/12" set isn’t quite 12 inches in diameter. It’s a little smaller than my other “12 inch” pans so the lids for those other pans are too big and won’t fit on it. It seems like most other pans described as 12 inch are almost exactly the same size, while this Regal Ware is a little smaller at 30cm (11.8 inches). Otherwise, they seem good quality, heavy, and cook pretty well. I’d say worth the price. I also have the covered pan and 8-quart pot.

In case anybody’s interested, the Marcus Samuelsson pan is $65 on Amazon, free shipping w/prime. It only has one review, which is a 5.

I appreciate all the info! Thanks for taking the time.

You have to admit there is something fun sounding to ordering a big ole bucket of sodium tripolyphosphate from thechemistrystore and adding it back to your detergents. this is also the reason your washing machine doesn’t work as well.

Come and take it. What dude your guns? no my STTP.