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Demeyere vs Wolfgang Puck cookware

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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.

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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

        1. 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.

          1. 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.)

            1. The consensus seems to be that the WP is a really good set, but your original question asks why the Demeyere is so much more expensive. The answer is that they are imported from Belgium, so the currency exchange rates have the effect of raising the price, in addition to the different construction and materials, which are more expensive. I am not saying that WP is not great cookware, and my comments about my old Revereware were meant to encourage you to buy the WP if you like the set. I am saying that there is a visible difference and and a technical difference in construction as well as a difference in place of manufacture. Not everyone cares about or appreciates that difference. For example, the handles do not seem to get hot on the Demeyere even though they are not the insulated variety, so that may be one place where the differences are apparent. I have found that some handles get hot on other kinds of expensive pots, like Mauviel, which is high end copper, so it really depends on design and construction as much as materials and place of origin, rather than just the price.

              1. Wolfgang Puck' cookware has a 4 mm aluminum disc bottom, while Demeyere has a 5mm+ disc bottom.

                1. As many others have said, the Puck stuff is very good for the price. I have a fry pan that cost $20 and is still in daily use 5 years later, no worse for wear. The difference between it and Demeyere depends somewhat on the particular line of Demeyere you're talking about: the higher-end Demeyere lines (Sirocco, Atlantis) are aimed at people who want cookware that's beautiful to look at as well as to cook in. A few of their lines also have copper disc bottoms rather than aluminum, that increases the price.

                  I'd say the price difference mainly comes from the labor cost of manufacturing (Demeyere is made in Belgium in smaller numbers, Puck most likely made in China on a massive scale) and the materials. Personally I don't see a reason to spend the exorbitant price on Demeyere.

                  The other advice I'd give you is not to buy a set. Just buy the pieces you actually use. Have you looked at other inexpensive cookware lines besides the Puck stuff?

                  1. I just saw the Puck set at Sams club and it looks very nice and I almost bought it until I noticed that the rivets looked a little funny. I looked a little closer and realized that the rivets are made of aluminum!. I decided against them because even though it is just the rivets, it will still leach a lot of aluminum into acid foods. I can't believe they could not use stainless rivets on such nice looking cookware.
                    Has anyone else noticed this?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kcbeave

                      If the pans are stainless, I can virtually promise the rivets are not aluminum and if the pans are made of aluminum, using SS rivets would probably cause more problems than it's worth (SS being much harder, they'd end up chewing up the aluminum around the hole they're put through and Al rivets on a SS pan would probably break off rather sooner than later because they're much softer than the pan they're supposed to be supporting.)

                      But as for the aluminum, if you're thinking Alzheimer's, that's basically always been an urban myth. 25 years ago there was some SUSPICION that it might be involved but never any "evidence", and even the suspicion proved to be baseless almost 20 years. There are foods that aluminum will discolor and vice versa, but there are no known health risks (and as for unknown, that's true for everything.)

                      1. re: MikeG

                        Thanks for the reply. I am 100% sure that the rivets are aluminum, they may be some type of aluminum alloy but they are definately aluminum. I do not know about the studies you mention on aluminum not being a possible cause of Alzheimers but I have seen studies that show higer than normal aluminum levels in the brains of Alzheimers victims compared to similar aged people who died of natural causes.
                        My main aversion though is to any metal or plastic that may leach anything into the food we eat. It's already enough to worry about chemical reidues in the food already without adding to it, and it has been proven that aluminum cookware will leach aluminun into food and especially when acid is present.

                        Now with all the recalls on stuff from China you can not be sure that the steel in all these cheap cookware sets are even safe. Think of all the other things that come from China, like deoderants, perfumes, food, cups, glasses, dinner ware and I am sure there is a lot more.
                        A toy targeted to little chidren "Aqua Dots" has put some children in a comma.
                        I think I will be putting a pause on purcashing items made in China for now. The cheap prices are not worth your health.

                        Sorry about the rant but that is how I truly feel at this time. I am still looking at the Sitram and Demeyere stuff but can not get over the prices on the Demeyere. If something is really better, I do not mind paying more but I have to make sure it is really better first.

                        1. re: kcbeave

                          I don't really disagree with much of what you write in general, I just don't see some exposure to aluminum from cookware to be a huge issue. But I'm willing to say reasonable minds can differ about which sources they're more willing to avoid. As for "higher tech" stuff from developing countries intended primarily for export, I've avoided that when possible all along, and don't see China as being a particularly worse offender than some others, they're just a lot bigger and more productive at this particular point in history. Lower end Indian "stainless" steel for example isn't even a bad joke IMHO and if it's possible, the tools they export are even crappier than what's coming out of China at similar price points. (Both countries are obviously capable of much highe quality production, but that's not what importers are looking for and/or paying for..)

                          As for those Alzheimer's studies, are those at all recent? I remember those too, but my recollection is they were among the earliest and have long since been shown to be, let's say, less than relevant. If there's something more recent, I'd seriously be curious to read about it.

                    2. kc, I don't buy sets. Period. By trial and error, I've found some items that have more than justified their higher cost, while for other functions, lower-end options have been just fine.

                      So I do have a Demeyere Atlantis saute pan, and, for me, it's been better than any other saute pan I've ever had...and not because of aesthetics (though it's nice looking). It cooks well, cleans easily (both because of the cooking surface and because the handles are welded--no rivets, ridges, etc., to harbor grease and gunk), goes in the dishwasher and is versatile (stovetop and oven). I will get another one in a different size. I've also never found a stockpot that doesn't scorch easily, so I may consider Demeyere (Atlantis or one of their less expensive lines) for that.

                      OTOH, I wouldn't spend the money for Demeyere sauce pans for general use (simmering veggies, heating things). The old Farberware I got as a bride many years ago does just fine for those tasks. For roux-based sauces, I use my stainless All Clad stir fry, which works beautifully because of the rounded edges, so that's in the middle cost-wise.

                      In other words, no sets ;-) but whatever does each task best.

                      Whatever you decide, enjoy your new cookware!

                      1. I have been replacing my 20 year old Paderno Pots and Pans over the past few years. My main criteria was that the Pans not be made in China. I have bought Demeyere, All Clad and Falk Copper depending on my cooking method. For example if I am cooking on the stove top (Risotto) I use the Falk Copper, if I really don't want or need even heat distribution up the sides of the pan, I use the All Clad. The price of the 2.5mm Falk Copper is about the same as the Demeyere, and so if you want to buy Pots and Pans that will last a lifetime, I would recommend the Falk Copper. They are heavy, but the heat transfer using a gas burner is very uniform. I also use a Swiss Diamond non stick frying pan for eggs.

                        1. FWIW, Consumer Reports ranked Wolfgang cookware in the middle of the pack in its most recent ratings, so it certainly seems acceptable. Others in a similar price range that ranked a bit higher were KitchenAid Cook's Essentials, Emerilware Stainless, Magnalite Classic and Cuisinart Chef's Classic. And IMO, there's no reason to pay very high prices for cookware. It won't make your food taste any better. There's not necessarily any correlation between price and quality. For instance, CR ranked the expensive Viking line at the very bottom of the list.

                          1. Two considerations people have not mentioned are comparative weight and induction cooking:

                            1. The relative weight of these pots/pans: I have some of DeMeyere's Apollo cookware (one of their less expensive lines), and they are the best pans I have ever used, bar none, and they are about half the weight of AllClad. I am older and arthritic, and this is a big factor for me. I love these pans! If you don't mind the weight, Costco's Signature brand pans are a terrific value for the money. Both lines are induction-ready. DeMeyere is created specifically to be the best cookware for induction there is, and I think they have succeeded.
                            2. Induction: This is the coming hands-down technology for cooking. I chose it over gas after 40 years of longing for a gas cooktop, and won't look back. The combination of induction and Demeyere is the most pleasurable cooking experience ever.

                            1. I have owned Towncraft Cookware, a very expensive line, and many other cheap types of cookware. This set I picked up is by far one of the nicest I have owned. It makes me regret spending the 1,500 on the Towncraft in the first place.

                              1. I had a set of Wolfgang Puck's cookware. I found it to be mediocre quality. Not poor, just mediocre. The lips of all the pots were thin and sharp and unfinished. I also do not like glass lids. Also not induction ready.
                                I gave the whole set away and bought Tramontina which I found to be of very high quality for less the cost and induction capable.
                                In fact everything I have bought from WP has been less than acceptable except the portable induction burner. It seems ok so far. Everything else I have um, er, ah...regifted. :-)

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: billieboy

                                  I agree that it's not great stuff, and I'd never compare it to Tramontina's better lines--let alone Demeyere! But it's sturdy and inexpensive, and to my surprise, I've been pretty happy with the pieces I bought for my weekend place. We have an ordinary electric stove there, so no point in getting cookware that's fully clad and/or induction-ready.

                                  1. re: Miss Priss

                                    Agree. I understand WP's new line is induction ready. I will never find out first hand. If it suits your needs....that's all you need :-)

                                    1. re: billieboy

                                      costco has a new induction ready tri-ply wolfgang puck spago set.

                                      http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product....

                                      179 bucks. looks nice. i missed out on the old kirkland/tramontina tri ply set a while back, im strongly considering this set.

                                      1. re: frank828

                                        They look like an improvement over what I had. No glass lids but rather stainless steel. Just take a look at the rims of the pieces when you get them. You can always return them.

                                  2. re: billieboy

                                    BB, I have just came from Sam's, and googled WP cookware and thus stumbled upon this discussion. The set that you own, must be an old one, since the one I saw at Sam's is "for sure" induction ready! I brought a magnet with me, just s I could check for "induction ready".

                                  3. I just checked that Demeyere stuff, and it seems nearly as expensive as Falk!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Soop

                                      Today, some of the Demeyere pieces were actually more expensive than Falk on one of the sites I checked. I supposed that the Falk will increase soon too, as I can't relaly believe that it will remain less expensive than the Demeyere for long.

                                    2. Sitram made in france, and paderno made in canada (not paderno world cuisene) are really high quality cookware, which are much cheaper than demeyare. I personnally have sitram and really like them, yea the sides are not as thick as the bottem, but I have not had a problem with it. It all depends on what you are looking for, if you are concerned with where it is made go with somthing from a developed country. But if you do not care it is made in china, I would say heck with the wolfgang puck stuff and go to your local restaurant supply store and get some Wilco, or Update cookware. I would second earlier posts as well in that a set is not really necessary, as you will likely never use all those pots and pans. Good luck, and remember do your research, why buy good ingredients to prepare them on junk.

                                      1. Puck cookware is pure crap. I bought a set a few years ago for a great price off HSN (yeah, I know - I'm an idiot). I cannot touch any of the pot handles while cooking - they get scalding hot. What a waste of space. How can an engineer design cookware that cannot be touched? Guess he or she went to a safety school.

                                        I ended up spending a few bucks and purchasing an All Clad set. The Puck stuff looks nice, but it worthless as cookware. All Clad is amazing. Also, I use Barkeeper's Friend powder to keep the stainless steel looking brand new.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Whoopingcrane

                                          i'm pretty sure the new puck tri-ply on costco is completely different from what you bought a few years ago from HSN.

                                          costco has that great return policy too.

                                          1. re: frank828

                                            I hate to say this, but I have to agree with you. Everything I have ever had of Puck's I gave away. Not at all pleased...However....just yesterday I was in Sears looking for some enameled cast iron and I saw Puck's new stainless steel cookware. I have to say it looks pretty good.
                                            God, I hate to say that :-)