all-clad cookware and sur la table brand
- HH Jan 3, 2005 03:45 PM
i was thinking about buying some stainless steel cookware and was gonna purchase 1 all-clad piece but at sur la table, they have a house brand which is considerably cheaper or i could get the sur la table set which has the piece i need plus a few extras, which would cost the same as the all-clad piece
they seem identical to me, both ovenproof, dishwasher safe, both 18/10 and have the aluminum core, but the sur la table brand is made in china
does anyone have any insights on which piece i should get? the all-clad looks better
I wonder if they will let you test drive the pan, since it's a house brand, and most (all?) Sur La Tables have kitchens in them. Not saying you should bring in your garlic and fish, but maybe they will let you boil some water so you can feel how it handles, see which one boils faster, difference in handle temperatures, see how tightly the lids fit ...
I love my All-Clad. I was given a starter set about 12 years ago and I've been adding to it ever since. The starter sets go on sale all the time so check them out for value vs. the SLT, which I don't know anything about. I've added AC pieces over the years when they've gone on sale or were specially priced at Bloomingdales and Macy's and even William Sonoma -- some of which has never even been out of the box! However, I was never able to bring myself to spend $200 (on sale) on the roasting pan. I got a Tools of the Trade one on sale from Macy's for $20 because I could not convince myself that I would be that much happier with one that const $180 more. Selective obsession I suppose.
I love the All-Clad pieces we got from our wedding registry.
However, a few months later, I saw a set of Wolfgang Puck Bistro cookware on Home Shopping Network and, in a fit of PMS, I had to order it.
Best thing I ever did. I love the saute pan, paella pan, fry pan and stock pot. I don't know if I'd buy a sauce pan larger than 2 qts, though, b/c it's only triple-layer on the bottom. For that, I use my All-clad.
But frankly, I love that the pieces are MUCH lighter weight than my all-clad, but conduct heat nearly as well and clean up amazingly well.
Don't kind yourself. Cheaper is cheaper.
The difference in performance is not in the ovenproofness, the dishwasher-safeness, the 18/10ness, or the aluminum core. All major brands have these. The difference is in how heat conducts--in how much control of it gives you. How fast does it get to the temp you want it? How evenly it heats? Hot spots are bad. How cool the handle feels (even after an hour)?
All-Clad makes top quality stuff and they're worth it. The thing is not to go ga-ga and get every pot around. Like knives, a few will do. Choose wisely.
Have you seen and hefted the S-la-T stuff? I've never bought any -- don't need any new pans after 40 years of cooking -- but if I did I'd *definitely* give them a try. I can't detect a qualitative difference from a first-hand inspection and the savings on the S-la-T are significant.
A recent Cooks Illustrated tested some cheaper and celebrity-endorsed versions from All-Clad and other top cookware brands. You might see what they said.