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all-clad cookware and sur la table brand

  • h
  • HH Jan 3, 2005 03:45 PM
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hi

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

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  1. 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 ...

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        Link: http://www.hsn.com/cnt/dept/default.a...

        1. 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.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mod'ern

            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.

          2. 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.

            1. still no good answer. i'm looking for a reliable fry pan. anyone own a sur la table skillet?

              3 Replies
              1. re: sasserwazr

                I had a 10" SLT skillet. It's since been replaced with a copper skillet but it performed fine and I had no complaints with it. Used it for 2 or 3 years with it being using at least once a week. Heated evenly, no hot spots, handle stayed cool.

                1. re: ziggylu

                  Besides the obvious upgrade to copper, would you have stuck with it for a few more years?

                  1. re: sasserwazr

                    Sure. I had no real complaints about it. My husband actually bought me a small set of SLT cookware as a gift several years ago. I"ve since replaced most of it(I work in a kitchen store so I get frequent opportunity from mfgs to try things out which is the reason I've upgraded more than anything else). I was happy with most of it except for the pasta insert I bought. Poor design that I believe they have since fixed. I still have a 2qt saucepan I use all the time as well as the steamer insert that fits said 2qt pan.

                    Seems to be pretty comparable to AC. Made in China though, not the USA if that's an important factor for you.

              2. SLT put up a new store near us so we ventured on over to it. I had been looking to get a SS 12" and looked and compared the AC to the SLT. The SLT with the 20% sale they have going was half the price so I figured I'd give it a try. I am very typical of the "you get what you pay for" but I am also a big fan of REI (outdoor stuff and Seattle based as well).
                I believe part of the AC price is that it is top of the line and a desired product and gets marketing money. I tend to think that SLT is putting requirements in to the over sea manufacturer and will stand behind their product.
                I am a home enthusiast cook and don't have any AC pans so I can not compare the cook factors from each. I will say that I'm very pleased with the 12". It is producing beautiful fond and heats up nicely and appears evenly. I cooked up pork tenderloin medallions last night and they browned wonderfully from the ones on the outer edges to the ones sitting in the center. Not only is it cooking nicely but it cleans up very well.

                1 Reply
                1. re: spinblue

                  You're paying an awful lot for the all-clad name. Compare all-clads stuff with something Vollrath's Tribute stuff. it's also heavy-weight, well-made, three ply stuff, made in USA, of first class quality. It's one-third to one-half the price, because their primary market isn't yuppies, but actual commercial kitchens, where price and performance are a lot more important than brand names.