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Help! Lost in Cookware-land!

s
Sharkbait Mar 30, 2007 08:47 AM

I attempting to purchase a cookware set. I've hit analysis paralysis with all the info out there. I've searched this site and have found much helpful info. I've finally landed on some parameters, and I'm hoping you folks can help me narrow it down to the right set. (I do want a set. I know I'm lazy, but I don't have the budget to buy piece by piece and, frankly, I just want to buy a set to start and build from there.)

I'm just getting into cooking seriously, and I would probably do more if I had the right tools. I have a flattop ceramic stove. I'm stuck between getting the best I can afford right now and settling for something less expensive and getting more. I also want to get good quality that will last, but not buy over my needs.

So, I've got it narrowed down to three sets. Help me pick!

All Clad Stainless Steel 7 piece set

http://www.lnt.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1361631&cp=1331607.1331948.2544440&akURL=http%3A%2F%2FLNT.imageg.net&pageDisplay=family%2Ccompare&pageType=family&int_nextBucket=0&totalProductsCount=35&doVSearch=no&pageCount=5&pageBucket=0&pageNum=1&int_prevBucket=-1&page=2&page_bucket=0&showSizeSearch=false&hasPagination=false&parentPage=family

Emerilware "All Clad" sets

http://www.lnt.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1362881&cp=1331607.1331948.2544440&parentPage=family

Cuisinart Stainless Steel

http://www.lnt.com/product/index.jsp?...

Thanks a ton! My husband thanks you!

  1. Sam Fujisaka Mar 30, 2007 10:33 PM

    I think I take a different approach than many of those expressed above. I don't understand the desire for "top" brand names, the worries about where they are made (Thailand vs. France), how to keep them stain free, and the like. In addition to a well used set of German pots and pans, I have a lot of ChefMate and KitchenAid odds and ends made in China and purchased in Target or the like when I pass though the US. My stuff gets heavily used, has never been anything less than fully satifactory. Use ranges from wok like temperatures to delicate, complex sauces, to oven finishing, to poaching and braising. I keep seeing some brand names repeated like mantras--I don't get it.

    1. r
      renov8r Mar 30, 2007 02:43 PM

      I would strongly caution against "settling for something less expensive and getting more." -- if you find there is a particular size of cookware that you NEED I would suggest getting that from a value-priced line/manufacturer but get the BEST stuff you can for the CORE of your cookware. The 7 piece sets with two saucepans, a frypan and a casserole/dutch oven are essential.

      Of the one's you've listed the All Clad is head & shoulders better than the rest. I am tempted to go with the stuff from Viking as a small way to punish All Clad for making the the cheaper sets : http://www.distinctive-decor.com/viki...

      1. m
        mpalmer6c Mar 30, 2007 12:12 PM

        Note that Cuisinart has two lines -- one with an aluminum bottom, the other with aluminum all the way to the top.

        1. c
          Chimayo Joe Mar 30, 2007 11:14 AM

          I have the Members Mark set from Sam's Club. Very nice.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chimayo Joe
            f
            fooddiva Mar 30, 2007 10:13 PM

            ditto!

          2. f
            foodstorm Mar 30, 2007 09:46 AM

            Be sure that you know about the construction of each line. The All Clad SS's aluminum core goes all the way up the sides. This type of construction allows for a more even distribution of heat. I've heard that the Emeril has a disc bottom only. Don't know about the Cuisinart. Check where they are manufactured, if that sort of thing matters to you. And make sure you actually HANDLE the pieces. Your husband too, if he will be cooking also. The shape of the handles and the angles can make a real difference. They need to feel good in your hands (in addition to cooking beautifully and looking good). Good luck.

            1. weinstein5 Mar 30, 2007 09:16 AM

              Also check out Sam's Club and Costco - they both carry cookware picked by consumer reports as recommended but at a much more reasonable cost - (below $200)

              I have the costco set and love it -

              from Cosco
              http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11188568&whse=BC&topnav=&browse=&s=1

              From Sams Club
              http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navi...

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