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Kirkland stainless pans - yea or nay?

Thinking about buying a set of Costco's Kirkland stainless-steel pans. I know the non-stick were rated pretty highly in Consumer Reports, but that same article didn't even mention the stainless ones. Anyone here have any experience with them? Are they a good value?

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  1. I bought the set about 3 months ago. I guess I would say I'm pretty pleased. I miss having a big fryer and a nonstick so I need to go purchase those. It's much different cooking with them than the dark anodized nonstick I've been used to. Things tend to stick unless you use lots of oil. For me, it's virtually impossible to do potstickers and have them come out in one piece. With meat you have to let it sear and then wait for it to release itself. If you try to turn too soon it will stick. They can be a chore to clean on the outside. The inside, you just soak for a few minutes and it's pretty easy, but trying to maintain that mirror finish outside is a task. The biggest pan, to my liking, doesn't have near enough cooking space, but then I cook large quantities. They do retain the heat pretty well though. I have a gas cooktop so between the heat retention and the gas, the lowest setting is even sometimes too much for "low heat". I had done a lot of looking while trying to decide on this set. I almost went with allclad but they were so expensive. The thing with this set is that with Costco, save the receipt and even a year down the road if you're not happy, they'll take it back and give you a full refund. That's what my son has done with his Ipod because it's died a couple of time. Can't beat their return policy. If you have any specific questions let me know. Hope that helps.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mrsmegawatt

      That's just the info I was looking for. Thanks!

      1. re: mrsmegawatt

        I have used Barkeeper's Friend Stainless Steel Cleaner in the liquid form to remove cloudiness from the inside of the pan and polish the outside. I bought it at Bed Bath Beyond

        1. re: Hapa Dude

          Thanks hapadude. I'll look for that!

          1. re: mrsmegawatt

            I've just discovered Kleen King, a metal polish/cleanser like Bar Keeper's Friend that actually works better. It's at Bed Bath and Beyond, too.

      2. I bought the Kirkland set about 2 years ago, and it's holding up well. I really need to use my barkeerper's friend though . . . my 10-in saute pan is showing it's age! I debated all-clad too, but just couldn't justify the price. I haven't had any problems, and the pans/pots are WAY BETTER than the random assortment I used to use! I would definitely recommend.

        1. really? you have to use a lot of oil when using these pots and pans? I don't know if I like that. I was thinking about buying them from costco...
          anybody has any idea about not using too much oil?

          2 Replies
          1. re: joey0920

            I bought a set of stainless Cuisinart and they are great. I also use the Barkeepers cleaner and it works well. I've used All-Clad too, and I agree, too pricey for me, and the Cuisinart works just as well.

            I don't have a sticking problem. I use a tiny amount of oil to get a good sear. I do have both a 10" and 12" non-stick pan, but I hardly ever use them.

            1. re: joey0920

              You do not have to use a lot of oil if you heat your pans BEFORE adding any ingredients, including oil. This also makes the pans virtually nonstick.

            2. Stack8, which Cuisinart set did you purchase? I am considering both the Kirkland 13-piece 5-ply set and the Cuisinart Chef's Classic 10-piece 3-ply set. I have been reading a lot of (surprisingly) good reviews about the Kirkland, but have not found much at all about the Cuisinart Chef's Classic.

              1 Reply
              1. re: humble

                Hi Humble, I think my set is the Chefs Classic. I've never used the Kirkland cookware before but I have a buddy of mine that has top of the line Al Clad. The only difference I can see is that my cookware was made in Korea and his in the US.

                If you get the Kirkland, let me know what you think of them. My sister could use some new stainless.

              2. I have bought odds and ends pieces to add to my all clad set. Love them! My favorite is the paella shaped pan. Just bought the roaster a few weeks ago...

                1. The Kirkland is stainless steel only. Stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat relative to aluminum and copper. I'd get something that is aluminum sandiched by stainless steel instead. It'll get hotter, hold heat better, and you can control the temp better.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: bbqme

                    I just came home from Costco. The Kirkland is NOT stainless steel only. It's got a 5-ply bottom (2 layers of stainless with an inner core of copper surrounded by aluminum. The pans are very heavy and, although lacking any sandwiching on the sides, ought to be very, very good for conducting heat. You can't beat aluminum AND copper unless you go to cast iron.

                    I just bought the 13-piece set of 5-ply Kirkland for my daughter, who's setting up an apartment. It's a really useful combination of pots and pans - no unnecessary never-to-be-used pieces, like many sets contain.

                    1. re: FlavoursGal

                      You just got your daughter a terrifc gift. I bought that set for us a couple of years ago and it has been nothing but wonderful. It's heavy, which is sometimes awkward, but, boy, has it been great for everything we've cooked! And, best of all, it goes into the dishwasher if I'm crunched.

                      The conduction of the heat is excellent. I'd recommend the whole set to anyone, and the price - I think I paid maybe $200, maybe $150 - can't be beat.

                      Made in France, too, which, for some strange reason, I find reassuring.

                      Use Bartender's Friend on it, though, not Bon Ami, as recommended. Much better result.

                      1. re: Atlantis

                        I'm delighted to know that I made a good choice. My daughter's away at university, and she and her roommates purchased some second hand crap when they moved in together. It's been bugging me ever since.

                      2. re: FlavoursGal

                        There is a pecking order in heat conductivity, and it goes like this: copper is way out in front, followed by aluminum, steel, iron, and finally ceramic, earthenware, and porcelin.

                        Cast iron will never beat copper and/or aluminum.

                        However,cast iron has better heat retention, and is great for casseroles, oven bakes or slow cooking.

                        The introduction of cast iron to the argument is just plain wrong. It's a different type of pan, for different uses.

                        1. re: jayt90

                          Thanks, jayt. You caught me on that one. I knew cast iron was better for something - but it is heat retention, not heat conductivity.

                          1. re: jayt90

                            Don't forget silver, if you're looking for real luxury :)

                        2. re: bbqme

                          Bbqme,- I recently bought the 13"piece stainless steel Kirkland set. According to the specs, the bottom is 3 ply with a thick piece of aluminum sandwiched between stainless steel. unless your set is different it does have aluminum in the base. I've only used it a couple of times, but browning is so much better than my non-stick. Also,Barkeeper"s friend Cookware cleaned very well. I never let pans sit long. Let it cool and clean and haven't had any real problem with keeping it clean.

                        3. I haven't used the Kirkland pans, but I do have a similar set, with the 5-ply bottom, but breally thin sides, and I get frustrated with the saucepans, because the sides conduct heat too well and whatever's in the pan will heat unevenly (faster on the sides).

                          Frankly, this isn't much of a problem unless you're making candy or something temperature sensistive, but it can be an issue.

                          1. While we're talking heat retention and distribution, what about anodized aluminum? It doesn't react with acidity and it's great for heating food from all sides. I've got a very heavy (for aluminum) anodized aluminum pot with heavy thick walls. Great for all small amounts of stock, soups and stews.

                            I bought it a couple of years back at (gasp) IKEA. I was between apartments and my furniture was still in a container some hundreds of miles away, so I needed a pot. I was planning to just keep it for a couple of weeks but it has become one of my favorite pots.

                            1. See latest Consumer Reports re these pans. They give them a Yay

                              1. I love my Kirkland pans - I also have Ikea pans, they're really good too. I have All-Clad, Cuisinart and Calphalon, Le Creuset too as well as Mauviel and Cordon Bleu France Aluminum -- I still use the Kirkland pans more

                                1. As mentioned above, I bought a set of the copper-core Kirkland stainless for my daughter. They are excellent pots and pans. Just be warned that they are extremely heavy (heavier than All-Clad) - not a bad thing, but strength is required - and, because they've got copper cores rather than aluminum, take quite a while to heat up. Heat retention is excellent; it just takes longer to get to desired temperature.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                                    Copper is a better conductor of heat than aluminum. Only silver is better than copper.

                                  2. Heat your pan for a couple minutes, then put in oil (if using), heat that then add food. I like using non-stick so I can see the 'fond' developing...I've burned too many batches of onion soup in a dark pot! I use a good non-stick for things like eggs or pancakes.

                                    1. I know nothing about cookware other than that I need new cookware. Can this set go in the oven? I couldn't find any info in the product description. Thanks!

                                      http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product....

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Jetgirly

                                        Yes. The set has good quality rivets, lids and bases, which should easily withstand 500F.
                                        Reading through the comments/reviews on the site, several people complain about staining, and others suggest a clean up with Bar Keeper's Friend or Brasso.

                                        1. re: jayt90

                                          I found staining problems. I returned and bought the Tramontina triply clad set from walmart.com. Much happier. The newer version of the kirkland set that I saw last week is lower quality, changes to the handles that make look ugglier/less easy to handle, and some of the pot sizes seem smaller. The only improvement seems to be that it does have nicer flared rims for pouring.