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Oct 20, 2010 09:19 AM

are lighter weight stainless cookware possible?

My very old Farberware has served me well over the years. I am in the market for new cookware. Stainless steel, as I don't trust non stick. DH doesn't trust 'Made in China'. Can I purchase cookware made in this country or another, just not China, that is lighter in weight, good quality, or is that impossible? I found ScanPans, and Man pans, Regal Ware, All Clad, but the Tri ply is very heavy with IMO- uncomfortable steel handles. Even the newer Farberware Classic was much heavier than the older pieces. Unfortunately I have an electric stove and too many ply-s make for a pan/pot that cooks too quickly even when set to low or warm. Any thoughts? I need bread crumbs to find my way out of this internet jungle. TIA! ~Nancy

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  1. Have you really felt All Clad? When I got mine, I actually was shocked that their 12 inch frying pan was as light as it was. I was even a little disappointed, until I cooked in it, and realized that heft isn't everything. (The triply saucepans definitely do have a significant heft, however).

    When I originally took it out of the box, I was expecting the heft and weight of the cheapo pans I had been using-- you know, the ones with the heavy metal disc bottom. The truth is that as cookware goes, stainless and aluminum are pretty lightweight. It's copper and cast iron are the heavy ones.

    Mr Taster

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mr Taster

      Mister Taster, as a guy, heavy for you isn't the same as heavy for me. ;-) I did find the Cuisinart to be lighter than the All Clad. I physically need something not so heavy. I will gladly pay for quality, well, not gladly, but the heft will make it too difficult for me to use. I will check the frying pans again, the sauce pans were very heavy for me. (bad feet issues).

      And I don't get the non stick anyway. get the pan hot enough, and know how to cook, and stainless isn't a problem, never has been for me.

      1. re: esetterlvr

        OK I certainly can appreciate the view as seen from your feet :) But yes, the All Clad saucepans are very heavy. The frying pans are not. (To be clear, I'm talking about the All Clad tri-ply stainless, not any of the other models-- the cheaper ones which I've heard actually are made in China)

        Also, bear in mind that the angle at which the handles are attached to the pan is very important for distributing the weight through leverage. A well proportioned/angled handle can do miracles in distributing the weight of the pan. Think about those absurdly stubby, non-angled handles on super heavy cast iron pans, and you'll see what I mean. Seriously, my Lodge Logic pan has a pouring spout built into the rim, but why? I'm a strong, big buy and even I have trouble holding that thing up long enough at a pourable angle.

        Mr Taster

        1. re: Mr Taster

          I swear by Cuisinart MultiClad: heavy enough to cook evenly and not slide around on a burner, but with a handle that makes lifting the pots bearable.

    2. I like Cuisinart Multi Clad pro as pothead suggested. It was my runner-up and I ended up buying All-Clad SS but I am still impressed by the quality. However, as far as I know Multi Clad Pro is made in China, which Nancy might not like.

      It is kind of difficult to come up with a good reccomendation in lighter weight SS NOT made in china because those are the main products these days made mostly in China.

      Nancy, maybe what you can do is to buy try-ply but with a small helper handle to support. I think AC d5 has those even for 3qt saucepan. the handle of d5 is much improved than the traditional SS line, too. Also, you might like a suateuse pan or a casserole pan with two small handles rather than a fry-pan or saute pan with a longr handle (and a helper handle).

      1. If you want stainless steel cookware and made in USA, then you may pretty much narrow down to All-Clad. Scanpans are made of PTFE (Teflon), same chemical you claim to want to avoid. Manpan. Not so sure, but it is not too forecoming. Anyway, it is an aluminum based cookware, not stainless steel.

        I don't think "too many plys will make a pan/pot cooks too quickly." If anything more slowly....

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          There is one other possibility. Get to a restaurant supply store and look at the Vollrath Tribute line. It's tri ply and still made in the US (I think). It also has soft grip handles that make it much easier to handle. If you go that route, though, be sure the specific pieces you take home have an absolutely flat bottom--I have some and I'm not convinced they are, but since I cook on gas it's not a big deal for me.

          Of course, it's NSF and made for restaurants, so it's utilitarian and not stylish.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            American Kitchen stuff is made in USA:
            Think you can get a whole set from Amazon for less than $200

            Marcus Cookware is made in the States as well. Checked out a few of their tri-ply pieces at Broadway Panhandler and quality looked very good:

            1. re: Pedr0

              Thanks Johnb and Pedr0. I think the original poster will find these information very useful. Thanks.

              1. re: Pedr0

                I find Marcus saucepans quite nice for the OP. Even 2qt sauepan has a short helper handle!! Also, the long handle looks more comfortable than ACs.

            2. If the most important factors for you are light (i.e., thin) and SS, why not vintage Revereware?

              I also urge you to rethink your statement that "too many ply-s make for a pan/pot that cooks too quickly..." If by "too many plies" you mean thicker/heavier, I think it's the other way around--you are going to be scorching and getting hot spots in very light/thin SS.

              1. I have yet to do the legwork but keep us posted.
                The SS pieces for my mother is definitely getting too heavy as she get's older.....
                I think I may end up going Target or Walmart and just find something lightweight....

                Not the ideal but as you get older, those pans sure feel like they are getting heavier...