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Help! Lost in Cookware-land!

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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?...

Emerilware "All Clad" sets

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

Cuisinart Stainless Steel

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

Thanks a ton! My husband thanks you!

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  1. 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....

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

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

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

          1. 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...