My Emeril cookware
My wife bought me some Emeril stainless steel cookware for Christmas last year and I just wanted to say how happy I am with them. It's my first set of "decent" cookware and it's just incredible the difference between the cheap stuff and the stuff you pay for. Has anyone else got this set? What do you think of it? Having not had much experience with cookware, I'm unsure of just how "top of the line" they are.
I have a few Emeril saucepans, here's what I *don't* like about them: The sides are extremely thin. Although the bottom is copper clad, the diameter of the bottom is quite a bit smaller than the diameter of the entire pan. Unless you have a really small burner, the flames wind up heating the thin sides much faster than the bottom, resulting in scorching if you're not careful. Also, I was given the small 1 quart sauce pan at some point. The handle is so long & heavy in relation to the rest of the pan that it doesn't even stand up by itself when placed on a flat surface without anything in it to weigh it down.
I took a hacksaw & grinder to the handle to lighten it up enough that it no longer tips over. I noticed that the ones displayed in stores are always hanging on hooks to hide this "feature". I think they're the cookware equivalent of Anton Gusteau's frozen mexican food; something slapped together just to be able to sell it with the Emeril name.
I have Emerilware stainless too, and I love them. I lucked out and found the normally $200 set on the clearance shelf at Bed Bath & Beyond for $35, because the 14" skillet was missing. Since then I've added the saucier, the steamer insert for the 3 qt "casserole" (more like a small soup pot, and that's what I use it for), the 2 qt and the 1.5 qt saucepan. I found a couple of these pieces on sale at TJMAxx when I wasn't even really looking for pots and pans.
I've cooked with All Clad at a former boyfriend's house and I honestly prefer the Emerilware. They may not be as expensive but they have served me well in almost daily use for four years now. And call me shallow, but I love the look of the copper ring around the base.
The only kitchen purchase that ever made me feel more like a serious cook were my Wusthof knives.
I take Consumer Reports results with a grain of salt. They try to be everything to everyone. The one source of cookware information I do trust is Cook's Illustrated (America's Test Kitchen). I've used Emerilware and find it on par with Wolfgang Puck cookware. Both are made in China. Both have thin non-clad sides with a "disk" bottom. The thin sides are easily dented. That said, if you are looking for a 8 to 13 piece cookware set for under $200 Emerilware is fine. I would never compare them to fully clad ones such as All-Clad.
While on the topic of Emerilware, why do their cast iron pans/pots have a silvery sheen? While they are cheap (like all other Emerilware), I'd stick to my tried and tested Lodge ones.
Congrats on your first "decent" cookware. I had the stainless Emeril cookware for a couple of years and did like it overall. What moved me away from the stainless Emerilware was buying a few pieces of regular All Clad stainless. I was dubious as to if they would be that much better given the price difference. I have to say, for me, they have been.
The most noticeable difference has been how much more quickly water heats in the saucepans and how much more evently the heat is distributed in the pans. Plus the regular All Clad skillets do not seem to have hotspots or stick as much as my Emerilware pans did.
Other (read cheaper) triply stainless cookware may have the same advantages over the Emerilware as well, I'm not sure. I have a few Viking pieces and I like them greatly as well. I tend to prefer the All Clad MC2 line over the others in general. But the Emerilware were, for me, a great intermediate step between cheapo cookware and the All Clad/Viking/Demeyere stainless I now have. Hope you continue to enjoy them.