I have a one bedroom one bath ski condo. About every other guest actually cooks in it. I need advice on cookware.
I have been buying cheap non-stick sets of pots and pans (2 small pots, spaghetti pot, 4 pans small to large). They last about half a year. Utensils scrape up the teflon coating, things get burned and they never look the same. Then I buy a whole new set to keep the place nice and provide functional cookware.
I don't mind the expense, but I am wondering if there is a more expensive option I should pursue that would last longer, and be more pleasing to guests. On the flip side, if a guest can destroy an expensive item it becomes a bit of a liability. I have never charged against a security deposit. Things that break and need replacing are cheap and I just count them as normal wear and tear.
I have seen hard anodized sets that are dishwasher and oven safe, but if you look carefully at reviews they do scratch, and it sounds like the dishwashing reduces the overall life span of them.
Has anyone figured this out? Any thoughts?
I buy the less expensive stainless steel cookware. One can often get stainless steel cookware that isn't too expensive at IKEA or some of the discount stores. I have some teflon or non-stick skillets, but as you say they do scratch and I don't like that.
Ive read that stainless will burn food quite easily if high heat is used. And of course guests will do just that. It seems like stainless is bad (easy to burn), non-stick is bad (gets scratched right away) and cast iron is bad (it rusts).
Has anyone had any luck then in the real world with guests and pots and pans?
Consider cast-iron. It's pretty much indestructable. Non-stick cookware is easily damaged (not to mention not good for your health in terms of toxins).
I also would not recommend cast iron cookware for use by guests. I have trouble keeping my own private cast iron cookware in shape myself (kept where guests can't access it) and I am making an effort. It would be all the worse with guests who are not making any effort -- I imagine the cast iron cookware would rust quickly.
Stainless steel items can get burned, yes, but as far as that goes, any cookware can be ruined. I think if you obtain less expensive stainless steel cookware you dont' have as much expense when an item does get burned and needs replacing.
Here is an update.
I got rid of my old teflon stuff and during this replacement cycle am experimenting with some stainless steel pieces and a single non stick pan.
I bought the Polerad combo from Ikea, it was $99 for the set. One pan and 5 pots, with 5 lids. I put 4 of the pots in my unit and the pan. I like that they have measuring marks on the inside and hope they will be durable and clean well.
Here is a photo of the pan looking worn from bacon cooking, but after some baking soda you can see the result, and after more baking soda it looks almost like new.
The nonstick pan I bought is Oumbarlig ($13), its a good size to make omelettes. I put a "hand wash" and "hot handle" sticker on the end of the handle.
I only have one metal utensil, a whisk, and will soon replace it with silicone. That will leave flatware but I hope that this set can last at least a year which would be a nice improvement.
Thanks everyone for the input.
You might be damaging your nonstick cookware without even realizing it. To cut the chase, nonstick pans like Anolon Advanced Bronze are an incredibly useful tool that require some care to maintain their nonstick coating especially in a vacation rental!
NO! NO! and NO!!
Cast iron is by far my favorite thing to cook on. I threw out everything but the cast iron in my place. And Yes, it's virtually indestructible. You can bang it around, expose it to extremely high heat, and it'll be just as good as before. But it will rust in absolutely no time, if you don't know how to care for it. And VERY few people actually know how to take care of cast iron. Go with stainless steel.
We believe in vintage. We like vintage design, we use vintage cookeware and crockery. It takes more time to collect but our guests prefer it and so do we.
We leave a cast iron skillet in each suite (we have two) and finish out the collection with revereware pots and pans, fire king baking dishes and a full set of dishes, serving ware etc. We have everything a guest needs, and probably a lot more. I don't think we spent more than $20. and the quality is excellent.
We used to leave one non-stick skillet for people who were afraid of cast iron but it's unhealthy and it got scratched. One day I realized, "we own this house - we decide what they get. We don't approve of non-stick" so I took it out. Everyone has been perfectly happy with everything ever since (me included.)
Don't be afraid of thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales and the like - you are not a hotel, people expect things to be a bit different in an Airbnb setting.
I woke up one day and realized what a huge amount of waste our overproduction of stuff causes as a society - it's appalling. We haven't bought a single new piece of cookware, not a single new dish, or anything else of that nature ever since and we're much happier for it. Our furniture is all vintage too and our guests, include some very high profile professionals in the arts, love it. (So do we)
We buy our appliances new, we put in new flooring, a new heating system, a new mattress and box spring and of course linens, towels etc are usually new although if I can find vintage sheets still in the package I will buy them because usually they are better quality than the ones they make now and I can't find patterns that match my decor as well as those that were made in the 1960's.
Fortunately we live in an area that is a bit of a destination for antique hunters so there is a lot of supply but still - everyone has a goodwill or a Restore or a thrift store of some kind, buy vintage. Spend the time and energy to clean it up so it gleams - people will thank you for it.
We have a set of multi clad stainless steel cookware and a set of non-stick fry pans as well....not the top of the line, but not the low end either. To minimize the scratching, I put in a set of Teflon and wooden tools - spatula, big spoons, whisk, etc. it still gets scratched, but not as quickly. Doesn't seem to matter whether it's an expensive set or not so I've resigned my self to replacing it regularly. Honestly, only one in three guests use it at all!
ive considered putting one of my vintage cast iron skillets back there but have resisted the urge....I doubt they'd take proper care of it.