Hi -- I'm a cooking newbie and in need of good basics... does this set look reasonable? Does Emerilware make good quality cookware? Should I look at something else (in the mid-price range... I don't want real cheap stuff and I don't want to pay an arm and a leg). Thanks for your advice!
Here's another set I'm looking at:
How do I compare them?
I'd go Emerilware over that other set.
But I'd also consider just getting some high-quality pieces one-by-one.
Like maybe start with the 12" Gourmet Standard saute pan (rated just below the All-Clad by Cook's Illustrated).
Add a stock pot.
Add a dutch oven.
And so forth.
I've found I use my saute pan and stock pot most often. (though I'd rather use an enameled dutch oven---it's on my list.)
I definitely recommend the Emerilware set for the price...you can't go wrong cause it's made by All-clad. There's definitely a difference in quality but worth it all the way.
My Emerilware 4qt chefs pot only has the aluminum/copper core on the bottom. The sides are kind of thin so this can occasionally burn your food if your not careful.
On the flipside, you may want to wait for those huge after the holidays sales. I'm sure the All Clad Set will be available for a deep discount.
Also pick-up a couple of non-teflon (there could be negative longterm affects with teflon coated cookware) non-stick;
SITRAM CYBERNOX FRY PANS...THERE PRETTY AMAZING. Made in France.
The Swiss Diamond line of fry pans is excellent as well.
That isn't necessarily ideal, depending on what and how you're cooking. In a saute pan, the bottom is usually the only part that touches the food. A conductive sandwich up the sides of a pan conducts heat not only to the interior of the pan, but also the exterior, where it does nothing but heat up your kitchen.
I respectfully disagree. A saute pan is routinely used for braising - high heat to build up the flavor, deglaze, lower heat and finish over time - where even heat from all sides is exactly what you want. Stainless steel walls with no heat conductivity are a sign of cheap cookware.
I have an emerilware set that my parents gave me as a gift and I really like it. I don't have much experience with super-high quality cookware but for your first set you really can't go wrong with the quality and price, like the previous poster mentioned.
Of course, I do like the recomendation that you buy as you go. There will always be pieces in a set that you'll never use...
I'm also a buy as you go recommender because there is usually a piece or two in a set that you'll never use.
Emerilware is made by All Clad but is their entry-level cookware and is not "all clad."
You might nose around at Cookware and More's website. They sell consmetically challenged All Clad and Emerilware at very nice discounts. Chances are you can buy better cooware for not that much more $$ there.
I would buy a smaller set of All Clad rather than spending money on a naming licensed product. Like good cast iron, cookware like All Clad can last your lifetime and be given to the next generation to use, if properly cared for. I treat my cookware like an investment and pay a bit more for long lasting quality.
I agree with you about buying a small set of All Clad. After all, a few of the pots/pans in the larger sets are useless. Better off adding a couple Sitram Cybernox non-stick non-teflon fry pans. The stainless like surface is impermiable to metal cooking utensils.
Also pick up a couple of cast iron pans at target for $10 each. Why buy expensive cast iron fry pans when you can find them for peanuts at target.
The Mario Batali Enameled 6qt Stock Pot is available for $60 on Amazon.com.
why buy expensive cast iron over the cheap made-in-china stuff like what Target sells???surely you jest. in the first place, old cast iron is not necessarily expensive, unless you get into the rare collectors pieces. you will pay a lot more for lots of stainless steel junk cookware. if you have not ever cooked in the old cast iron, i would recommend that you find someone who has an old skillet , hopefully from the 1930's or before, and try it. you will then understand the difference. have fun.