Decent cookware on a budget? Belgique?
Hi there. I'll be moving soon, and I need to outfit the kitchen. I love to cook, so I'd like to get a pots and pans set that will last. I spotted the Belgique copper bottom set on clearance at Macy's the other day, and the pieces seem perfect (nice big stockpot, good assortment of sizes, etc.). Does anyone have experience with this line? I've heard mixed things on other boards--some people said the bottoms of the pans melted (???!!!) and others claim the pans take forever to heat up (an hour to boil water for frozen corn, apparently). Do these claims sound familiar? Are these people perhaps not using the pans properly (I noticed the pans say not to use them above medium heat) or should I steer clear of this set and try another? Are there any suggestions for an alternative? I'd love All Clad (of course!) but I don't have the money for it. I'm hoping to spend less than $300 on a set.
Thanks for your help!
Good mid range stainless lines are the Multiclad Pro from Cuisinart, and the Triply Stainless from Calphalon. Both are fully clad up the sides, and come in sets and several open stock pieces. Also Gourmet Standard, and the Kirkland sets have compared favorably to All-Clad, and even look a bit similar.
If you do a search you will find lots of posts on the last two. There are plenty of reviews on Amazon.com on the Cuisinart, and the Calphalon ones I mentioned.
At home I use and love All Clad & my lovely and wonderful and expensive French copper, but I didn't want to invest that much in our vacation house kitchen. After using really old Revere Ware and other misc. cast offs from my younger, poor days, I was in KMart (the closest big store to our vacation area) and saw the Martha Stewart pots and pans. I do not like Martha personally (although I have never met her), but this stuff looked so good, heavy and well made and sooo cheap that I bought a set for about $90.00. It has two frying pans, 10" and 12" , a couple of pots and lids - possibly more, but I'm not there and I forget exactly how many pieces were in the set. I have been using them for about 2 years now and love them. They compare favorably to All Clad (which I use daily at home) and clean up easily and look great. I have bought a few extra pieces as well, including a larger soup pot. Right after I bought the set, they had it on sale for $60.
I recently bought a great M.S. saute pan for $29.95, heavy and again, well made. I was talking to a salesperson at Wms. Sonoma and he said that he too prefered the Martha Stewart stuff from KMart (not the more expensive stuff at Macy's). I haven't used or wanted to use any of her other products, but my cooking utensils are first rate - not just because of the cheap price.