Pots & Pans - best bang for the buck
I'm in the market for some new pots and pans as well as a set of knives. I just want something reliable, but kitchen stuff is expensive. I noticed Costco has several 13-14 piece sets of pots/pans ranging from $90 (Bialetti) to $150 (Circulon?). They also have an decent-looking knife set by J.A. Henckels. Anyone know anything about these? If not, what should I get?
My vote is for All-Clad...solid, durable, but pricey. Pays for itself in the long run, though as a short-term expenditure it's expensive. See link below for a good way to order.
Good knives are also worthwhile, I think, and Henckels is good. Sets tend to be ripoffs, I think, since you're buying knives that you may not need, but if the price is right, it's fine.
I think you can find some on-line reviews of the Costco sets. Generally, I think they got great reviews and are considered a good value. They have the Kirkland brand of cookware which is supposedly made by All-Clad (I'm not sure of that).
I love my Wustof's Classic knives. They are not cheap.
My best advice is to research cookware and cutlery reviews on the internet (e.g., feedback on Amazon.com) and then go touch/feel stuff in a convenient store to see what feels right to you.
I feel differently about sets than most other people do. I think, in general, each piece in a set costs less than if you bought it individually to the point of, well, what the h.... Might as well get them all. I like having different kinds of stuff available for me to choose what I want when I want to. I got a whole set of knives for the price of two because I bought a set on sale.
Also, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and who-knows-where-else has cookware and knives at unbeatable prices, especially when it is reduced for clearance. Now is a good time to buy it, because they are clearing out a lot of their stuff to make way for spring merchandise. They are usually not in sets, but that way you can get the things you will use most often for the best possible price.
Just as an idea of price difference, I bought a "special" set of All-Clad stainless steel (a 7" fry pan and 1qt sauce pan, no lids) for $13.55 for the set !! at Bed-Bath-and-Beyond. The set was a special deal for $39.99 during X-mas (I think the 7" pan alone is about $70), then reduced to $19.99, and now 30% off that. I also got a 14" All-Clad non-stick fry pan the same way, reduced from $149.99 to $55.
And TJ Maxx "fugetaboutit" (smile). I've gotten a bunch of clearance Calphalon pots and pans for $15 - $20. And a set of Wurstof steak knives for $18. Look 'em over and make sure they are in good condition (be wary of scratches and dents), and if you can live with what they are, you got yourself an "expensive" pan for cheap. My mantra: never pay as much as you possibly can for anything. (another smile)
This website used to have an outlet right in my town. (Closed last year - major bummer.) They have sales about 3-4 times a year where everything is roughly 40% off, including wusthof and henckel. I think you can get onto a mailing list that notifies you when the sales are taking place.
from the research i did costco's kirkland brand of pots and pans are highly regarded. I bought the Sam's Club "Member's Mark" brand and I absolutelyLOVE them! 21 piece set for 179.00. I don't mind the idea of a set of pots and pans. Around the holidays I need all the pots I can get my hands on. I've got a global santoku and 8 inch chef's knife and I don't find that I need any other knife. (although I do have a paring knife on my wish list) :)