I know that there are a lot of negative opinions about All Clad on this board, but for those who have and love theirs, which of their lines would you choose--the stainless or the copper core? Also, what do you think of their non-stick fry pans as I need a new 10 inch and hate my Calphalon?
Also, has anyone tried the Sur la Table copper fry pans? $99 seems like a good price
I have been slowly but surely replacing some of my pans with All Clad over the past several years. I use the stainless line and am really happy with it. I have 2 of their non-stick frying pans and really like them. I used to buy inexpensive non-stick knowing I would replace them every few years with more inexpensive pans, but I took advantage of some sale several years ago and got an All Clad non-stick and it lasted really well so I got another. My favorite pan is the 3 qt. saute pan in stainless (NOT non-stick). I have a couple of sauce pans in various sizes and find they clean really well and, of course, cook really well, and I cook alot! That said, I would never replace my Le Creuset dutch ovens which I have had for at least 20 years.
re: Pat Darnell
I have the AC 5qt stainless saute - couldn't possibly live without it for 4 sometimes 5 adults (pan-seared chops, steaks, various patties - items that can be started on the top and finished in the oven, or that I want the fond for sauce). But I do use the cheap restaurant grade non-sticks I buy at the rest supply store @ $20 for most of my actual saute needs. I've had the last one for over a year with virtually daily use. My experience with expensive non-sticks has been that the coating eventually wears off. I have never had an All-clad non-stick, but my last two were a Cuisinart (a gift) and a wonderful evasee from Bourgeaut - the evasee was my ideal pan (nice high sides) for everything from gravy to stir fry, but the coating just gave up... not worth $80.
re: josh L
I just took a look at sitram pans and they look great and are much cheaper than All-Clad. I love All-Clad, but it's very expensive, so it's hard for me to buy new pieces. Would anyone happen to have any experience with Sitram's braising pots?
Also, is there a difference between catering and professional lines?
Thanks for this wonderful tip on less expensive s/s cookware :)
re: Pat Darnell
I'm glad so many people are happy with their All-Clad stuff - as expensive as it is, it'd be a shame if they weren't! I have a big stainless sauté pan that my wife gave me, and while it's a handy size and shape I've never found anything it was especially good for. In spite of the fancy sandwich construction it still has bad hot spots, and lean meats seem to weld themselves instantly to the surface - you can bust'em loose by deglazing, but I don't always want to do that. And though she thought it'd work as a substitute for a wok, it doesn't heat up hot ENOUGH overall for that, and the flat bottom needs too much oil.
Knowing what kind of money she spent on this I've never uttered any complaints about it, but while I use both the cast-iron pans and my cheap & cheerful BB&Beyond 5-qt. nonstick pot every day, the All-Clad mostly just sits at the back of the bottom pots & pans drawer with a bunch of other seldom-used items stacked up in it.
I love my All-Clad pans. I like the stainless steel for the simple fact that these can go in the dishwasher. One of my favorites is actually one that came in a set and I wouldn't have bought on its own - the 3 qt dutch oven. I know thats not what its actually called but thats what it looks like. Perfect for small batches of soup and sauces. I also regularly use the 12" frying pan.
We keep a kosher home so I have the excuse to have two sets of pans: I have all clad stainless and like it a lot but the handles get hot and as of now I dont have the non-stick frying pan.
I also have classic calphalon and I am slowly destroying it as we have put it in the diswahser - a no no. When it dies, I wont be unhappy.
I also recently purchased a ScanPan saute pan and it is the BEST of the three: reasonably priced, non-stick, diswasher safe and with a molded plastic handle which doesnt need a cover.
I use the stainless stuff all the time and love them, but don't have the nonstick fry pans. I use Faberware millenium or calphalon ones instead. They do the job and were a better value when I bought them.
I'll tell you what I told my sons when they graduated from college and went out on their own. Hell, I did more than just tell them, this is what I gave them for starters:
LeCreuset 5 qt casserole/dutch oven/pot -- whatever you call it, it performs myriad functions.
8 & 12" cast iron skillets
6 & 10" restaurant non-stick saute pans with instructions to toss them when the finish wears off
3 qt Corning Ware saucepan for re-heating starchy foods in the microwave. No novice needs to have their confidence bruised trying to not scorch beans or rice on the stove.
A 10" Sabatier chef's knife (carbon steel)
A 1 yr. subscription to FINE COOKING and copy of all my favorite recipes that they could reasonably tackle.
Five + years later, both boys are the principle cooks in their families.
I don't think accumulating a set of anything is a good idea because every piece of gear has a different function. There is NO perfect material that does each separate function well.