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If you were choosing one of these cookware sets...

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...which one would you get? And why?

(And also, thanks in advance for your patience w/me!)

I'm using some rewards I earned w/my health insurance to redeem cool stuff, and I'm thinking about upgrading my current stuff. I cook pretty often and really enjoy using good products. I want to take into consideration durability, ease of clean-up, and overall performance.

I have 32,000 insurance bucks to spend, so the numbers below reflect what these sets. For the point value, which set will serve me best?

30,176 -- All-Clad Stainless 9-Piece Cookware Set

25,676 -- Swiss Diamond Cast-Aluminum Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set

21,176 -- Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel 13-Piece Cookware Set

15,882 -- Emerilware Hard Anodized 14-Piece Cookware Set

15,830 -- Cuisinart MCP-12 Multiclad Pro Stainless-Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

13,182 -- Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 17-Piece Cookware Set

10,588 -- Calphalon Commercial Hard Anodized 9-Piece Set

10,535 -- Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 14-Piece Cookware Set

10,058 -- Anolon Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Titanium 10-Piece Cookware set

9,791 -- Circulon 2 10-Piece Set

9,690 -- Kitchenaid Gourmet Essentials Hard Anodized 12 Piece Cookware Set

9,529 -- Anolon Professional 12-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set

9,529 -- Cuisinart Chefs Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set

9,209 -- Circulon Total 10-Piece Cookware Set

8,999 -- Circulon Classic 14-Piece Cookware Set

7,939 -- KitchenAid Gourmet Essentials 10-Piece Hard Anodized Cookware Set

Okay, I'll stop here! There are even more options, but I figure the lower the point value, the worse the set will be.

Advice? Thoughts? Feedback?

Thanks soooo much for helping me pick out a great set!

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  1. Of the choices, i'd definitely put all of your eggs in one basket and get the All-Clad 9 piece stainless set. As I'm sure many people will echo, I'm not a fan of sets as I find that some pots/pans/lids just never get used. But, in this scenario, it sounds like a set is the way to go with the rewards points. Unless there are serious possibilities for other gear with the leftover points, there isn't another set on this list that I think keeps up with the All-Clad for durability, ease of cleaning and flat out performance in cooking. Have fun!

    1. I have the Cuisinart MCP-12 set. It's really great bang-for-the-buck. The fully cladded construction is VERY similar to all-clad for a fraction of the cost.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kennon

        I also have the Cuisinart Multiclad set. I've had it for 3 yrs and it serves me well. Good value imo.

      2. I have a set of all clad consisting of about six pots and pans. A couple of years ago, I was searching for a 10 qt. stock pot but didn't want to spend all the money for an all clad one. I bought a Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel one off amazon for about $60. In my opinion, it cooks just as well as all clad. It heats up just as quickly and the heat stays nice and even. I am incredibly impressed with this line, and recommend it to everyone who asks. Actually, I think I reach for my calphalon pots more often than the all clad. I'm really picky about cookware and bakeware and can't stand cheap inferior products. All clad is the prestigous one, so people tend to choose that line.

        1. Any other votes or advice?

          5 Replies
          1. re: nicoleberry83

            I've never used All Clad, and have one very large Swiss Diamond nonstick skillet that I love, and have cooked with my mother's caphalon which I've not been thrilled with. However, based on everything I've read on these boards, in this case, unless there is something else that you are dying to do with those points, I'd spend them on the All-Clad - you don't need all those pieces of non-stick. If there are pieces you won't use, you can always give them away!

            The other thing worth thinking about perhaps as well is - are the pieces in each set more or less the same?

            1. re: MMRuth

              I don't buy sets. I buy the pieces I know I need and will use. I don't care if they all don't match. That is a non-issue. Functionality is the priority

              1. re: Candy

                Yes. But in this case the OP has a particular situation that would seem to mean he/she is going to end up with a set.

                1. re: ccbweb

                  Hi there!

                  Hands down, I'd pick the All-Clad stainless. It cooks wonderfully and will last you a lifetime,

                  Good Luck!

                  -Mary
                  www.BestinKitchen.com

                  1. re: ccbweb

                    Right - I agree with you Candy, and I don't either, but here she has the chance to use these points etc. ...

            2. Nicole, I think the key word in your original post is "rewards". I suggest you go ahead and get the All-Clad and reward yourself. I don't think anyone will dispute the quality or durability of All-Clad; bang for the buck where most All-Clad arguments start, and this is where you have a distinct advantage with your insurance rewards. Wow, I wish I had your dilemma. Whatever you choose, enjoy.

              1. All-Clad. Once you go All-Clad you never go back. I have a twenty-five year old Master Chef set that my mother-in-law left me when she died. It's still perfect.

                1. I was kinda hoping everyone would recommend one of the other sets so I could use my reward points to get other stuff in addition to a set, like a KitchenAid 5 qt. mixer, a really nice toaster oven, a heavy-duty blender... :o)

                  Thanks for the feedback!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: nicoleberry83

                    Well - you didn't mention those desires (grin)! That might change people's analysis.

                    1. re: nicoleberry83

                      In that case, go for the Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel 13-Piece Cookware Set, and get the 5qt mixter too.. What a deal, maybe I should change my insurance carrier!!!!

                      1. re: Mother of four

                        All-Clad is the King of all cookware. You will have it a long time. You can even put the stainless pots in the dishwasher if you are feeling lazy one night.(Not the case with other pans). I always tell my customers to use a medium heat only because the pan conducts the heat so well. It is worth it to go with a better brand of cookware than to get more stuff. Also, if you are cooking chicken or some other protein, always heat your skillet ot saute pan FIRST, before putting anything in it. Then you have a hot pan and cold meat=no stick. When you bring both items up to temp at the same time you get a sticking mess. Now with Nonstick, the situation is different. Sorry to ramble on, you probably know all of this, sometimes I find myself in work mode. Good luck!

                    2. Here's what I have on my wish list, as well as the number of points each one costs...

                      1,853 Black & Decker CHV1400 14.4-Volt Cyclonic DustBuster
                      2,647 Calphalon Tri-Ply Copper 3-Quart Chef's Pan with Stainless Lid
                      4,235 Calphalon Tri-Ply Copper 12-Inch Everyday Pan with Stainless Lid
                      4,235 T-Fal OT8085002 Avante Elite Convection Toaster Oven
                      6,353 Füri Rachael Ray Coppertail 3-Piece Knife Set
                      7,941 KitchenAid KFP740CR 9-Cup Food Processor with 4-Cup Mini Bowl, Chrome
                      10,586 Henckels Twin Signature Stainless-Steel 11-Piece Knife Set with Block
                      12,124 KitchenAid K5SSWH Heavy Duty 5-Quart Mixer, White

                      I've left out the cookware sets mentioned in the original post. As I mentioned, I'd love to mix-and-match some stuff. For example, I'd really love to have the KitchenAid mixer, the food processor, and the toaster oven, for a total of 24,200 points. I could then throw in one of the sets that doesn't cost as much. Then again, Henckels knives would be really nice...

                      So, if YOU were spending my insurance bucks, what would you get? :o) I can't wait to order this stuff!

                      I appreciate everyone's help; I know I'm in good hands.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: nicoleberry83

                        It's beginning to sound to me that you know what you want you're just waiting for someone to validate it (re: your last two posts). O.K., get the kitchenAide mixer, the toaster oven and the food processor with one of the lesser quality cookware sets. . . I think it's a good call.

                      2. Okay...

                        Now, considering I'm a wanna-be Chef (I can cook, and well, but on my own creations and family recipes...and waiting for school to start next year to be on the way to becoming a"real" chef)...

                        I would say that if you are wanting decent results but a lower end set...the Kitchenaid Gourmet Essentials would be a decent way to fit in a lower end set. You have a choice of a 10 or 12 piece...and without knowing the product totally, the different is probably either in the lids, OR maybe an extra saucepan or so.

                        I'll admit...I'm a budding chef with champagne tastes and a water (notice I didn't even say beer...haha) salary...so that's how, whether I had this amount in money OR rewards points...I'd swing it.

                        1. DEFINITELY get the All Clad and buy the other stuff as you go along. It will make you a better cook, which not many of the other things on your list can do.

                          All Clad is quality cookware that will last forever. It is a world apart for a lower end set. If you want a lower end set go to Costco or Sams Club.

                          You won't need the toher pans on your list. You can buy the KA mixer and the blender on sale practically anyday of the week.

                          You don't need 2 knife sets, really. Buy one set then add pieces as you go.

                          But a top quality cookware set will be something you'll never regret buying.

                          1. I'd recommend this:
                            1,853 Black & Decker CHV1400 14.4-Volt Cyclonic DustBuster
                            4,235 T-Fal OT8085002 Avante Elite Convection Toaster Oven
                            7,941 KitchenAid KFP740CR 9-Cup Food Processor with 4-Cup Mini Bowl, Chrome
                            12,124 KitchenAid K5SSWH Heavy Duty 5-Quart Mixer, White

                            I'd either get the above gadgets you want or the All-Clad set; whichever will make you happier.

                            I'd advise against the both knife sets. I wouldn't buy Rachel Ray anything or a big block knife set...but if you must, go with the Rachel Ray, b/c all you really need is three good knives (chef's/santoku, paring & a serrated utility, IMHO).

                            I wouldn't get a huge piece cookware set. It's not likely you'd ever use them all. And I wouldn't get the non-stick sets either; those coatings wear out in my experience. If you really want a cookware set that's not All-Clad, then go to Costco.com for some good buys. I've recently purchased a small knife set (http://tinyurl.com/338m7j ) in addition to my Globals, and I absolutely love the Komachis.

                            I started off with a 7- or 9-piece All-Clad set years ago and have added on through the years. I love them and have no regrets. They're absolutely beautiful and I adore using them.

                            But again, do whatever makes you happier (avoid non-stick sets & the knife block!) Sounds like you have some fun decision making. Good luck!

                            1. My vote goes to
                              15,830 -- Cuisinart MCP-12 Multiclad Pro Stainless-Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
                              I have a MCP covered sauce pan and I found it solid. It heats evenly and doesn't stick when I make rice in it.
                              As for All Clad, I set one fry pan side by side with a Circulon multi-clad and I won't be able to tell the difference. Will All Clad cook better than Circulon multi-clad? I don't know as I haven't tested it yet.

                              1. Thank you to everyone for your help. I ended up going w/the All-Clad, as there's no way I'd spend upwards of $600 on it outside of this rewards program. All your feedback was invaluable, and I look forward to using my awesome new cookware. :o)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: nicoleberry83

                                  You will love it. Good choice. I am assuming you got the staniless steel aluminum core- You can clean it with regular dish soap. When you want it to look spankin brand new again, use barkeepers friend. The dishwasher does a great job too. It is nice to spend $$ when it is a gift so I always say go for the good stuff.