Demeyere vs Wolfgang Puck cookware
After years of using cheap cookware, I am looking to get some good cookware. I have seen the Wolfgang on HSN and find it hard to believe that real good cookware can be that inexpensive.
I would like to know what is the big difference in Wolfgang Puck's cookware and
Demeyere cookware? Just 1 piece of Demeyere costs more than an entire 22 piece set of Wolfgang Puck cookware. It also looks like the Wolfgang pans have a thicker base than the Demeyere.
Is there a justification for spending that much more money on cookware?
Thanks for any and all advice on this subject.
The only celebrity chef cookware I can personally recommend is the Jamie Oliver multi-ply clad line from T-Fal. (I am not a fan of anodized cookware and haven't tried this version.) The metal surface version is excellent and the nonstick frypans are positively brilliant.
Don't be put off by the T-Fal label. This is unlike any other T-Fal product - it's in an entirely different quality realm. Be sure you buy it at the "50% discount" price that is usually available from one retailer or another. A set is about $300 in Toronto (which, I can say - smiling - is now about $330 US). It's available here at The Bay and Sears. You probably have more sources in the US, and it will likely be cheaper. The Puck cookware is not nearly as good.
I can't say anything bad about Demeyere, but there isn't any reason to spend that much money.
I checked out Wolfgang's stuff at Sam's out of curiosity. Decent, basic starter set that looks pretty. Nothing wrong with it, but after all these years I have raised my standards from the basic sets because I can wear pots out and sometimes they just don't perform as well as I would like. I have a few Demeyere pieces. They are heavy, professional grade cookware that is sometimes multiply stainless and sometimes clad, depending upon the pot. No comparison between the two. No need for a set, either. I am sure my daughter will be able to use my Demeyere pieces because they are so heavy and well made that they will last a lifetime.
As for the bases -- thick bottom is good for most applications, but the sidewalls need to be substantial too. Some Demeyere pots have silver in between the layers for super conductivity -- better than copper. Where it is made and the exchange rates are also a factor.
I started out using cheap Revereware with the copper bottom many years ago (the whole set was on sale for something like $60) and banged out some very memorable meals over the years, so a good cook can manage with almost anything. A fussy cook, however, especially one with means, goes for the good stuff. You get precision and heat control that you just can't get with the others. Also, if you have ceramic or glass cooktop, the Demeyere has one of the truest and best flat bottoms out there. They don't warp and maintain constant and even contact with the cooking surface. Many cheaper pans warp and can literally be spun around on the flat top surface -- a hazard as well as a disadvantage. So, choose depending upon your budget, cooktop and your priorities.
Years ago Puck's cookware got a great review in Consumer Reports so I spent a couple of hundred and got a large set. Dollar for dollar I would have to say it is great. I have a bunch of Calphalon etc and use the Puck more regularly and I came out of the F&B world.
Great bang for the buck
I bought my daughter a Wolfgang set for Christmas last year and she just loves it. I checked it out and it's a tremendous deal IMO. It gets the job done quite nicely.
I upgraded from the Revereware that I had had for 35 years to the Sam's Puck collection. The first difference I've seen is that the saucepans heat much better-more evenly over the entire bottom of the pans. I still use some Revereware for fast heating of stock, but for real cooking, it's the Puck collection.
The one negative is that I've gotten used to the handles being insulated and not conducting heat (thirty five years does get one in a rut) and the Puck handles seem to conduct heat a lot faster.
I never thought I'd use the huge fry pan, but it's the only pan I have that I can use for fresh whole river trout.
(And I do supplement these with my Le Creuset miscellaneousy.)