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Apr 10, 2009 07:22 AM

ideal cookware set
thought this would be of interest to many.

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  1. Yep, that about covers it. IMHO, you just can't beat the All-Clad SS for performance and ease of care.

    1. Not that there's any thing wrong with those selections but IMO that's a far cry from an "ideal" set. At least for me.
      All-clad has become a bit of a disappointment with their price point. Even in their lowest priced line a small sauce pan is $100-150 and the quality is only marginally better than other brands far less costly. By the time you get to All Clad LTD or copper core The price structure is almost laughable. For a few dollars more you can buy copper from Mauviel or others that will not only perform far better but will last a lifetime.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Fritter

        Well, maybe "ideal" wasn't the best word - perhaps "foundational" or "core" set. Certainly I could happily cook in my kitchen for a long, long time with what is in that list. Personally, my ideal cookware set would have all the All-Clad SS AND a set of Mauviel along with a butler to polish it for me. Not to mention the All-Clad SS 14 inch pan (which I love) and an oval Le Creuset 9 qt. dutch oven as well...but I digress.

        Regardless of what brand you prefer - CI takes price and performance into account when rating their cookware - and I generally agree with them.

        1. re: Fritter

          Agreed. In my view, you can buy
          cookware that's as good as All-
          Clad for one-third to one-half
          the price. AC ranked quite
          a ways down the list in Consumer
          Reports testing.

        2. De gustibus non disputandum est. We have built our own "ideal set," piece-by-piece, over a period of 38 years, selecting each piece according to need, and, along the way, discarding some pieces that we thought we needed when we bought them, and later found that they were gathering dust. Putting aside brands, looking just at pan sizes and types, we overlap the Cook's Illustrated "ideal set" in only 1½ pieces -- the 2 qt. saucepan (ours is a 1.9 liter Mauviel Induc'Inox), and the 12-inch cast iron skillet(ours is an 11-inch Griswold, and we DISCARDED a 12-inch Lodge skillet that we had been using for 25 years when we acquired the 65-year-old Griswold beacuse the Griswold was so much superior). How can one have an ideal set in which te SMALLEST sauce pan is 2 qt? We have two saucepans smaller than the 1.9 liter one, and they get more use than the 1.9 liter saucepan does. And where is the Kuhn-Rikon pressure pot that allows the cook to perform feats that could not be performed with any of the pots in the Cook's Illustrated set? (The Kuhn-Riken 2 liter sauté pan in our "set" gets more duty as a plain pot than it does as a pressure cooker; just because it CAN be used as a pressure cooker does not require that it MUST be used ONLY as a pressure cooker. )