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Vollrath cookware anyone?

i
inkman Oct 24, 2011 01:30 PM

I am in the process of buying new pots and pans for my recently remodeled kitchen and haven’t looked at cookware in probably 25 years. My old stuff was crispy non-stick Circulon I got when my mom passed away. I was looking at Vollrath’s Optio and Intrigue lines. Does anybody know the difference? It looks like the Intrigue is very similar to the Sitram’s Profiserie line. The Optio is budget priced but has anyone have experience with either? I am looking for a good sauté pan, about 5 quarts, and I am not buying All Clad. I have looked at every line they have and I won’t pay for it. I am also not into sets. And what about aluminum? I cooked in restaurants when I was younger and we used Wear-ever and Leyse straight gauge aluminum pots and pans for everything. Do any of you use aluminum at home? I know about the aluminum reaction to acidic foods, but you know, about 99% of restaurant food in this country is cooked in aluminum so it can’t be all that bad. I have already bought a Debuyer steel pan, which I am in love with and a Tramontina non stick for eggs. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, with so many choices out there it is a bit confusing.

  1. m
    mpalmer6c Dec 6, 2011 02:36 AM

    I use nothing but aluminum, with the exception of
    one carbon steel pan for blackened dishes, and have found
    it works great. You're right to be suspicious of
    All-Clad. Yiu can by clad cookware from a
    restaurant supply outlet on the internet for
    literally one-fifth the price.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mpalmer6c
      Jay F Dec 6, 2011 07:26 AM

      mpalmer: "You're right to be suspicious of
      All-Clad. You can by clad cookware from a
      restaurant supply outlet on the internet for
      literally one-fifth the price."

      Links, please.

      1. re: Jay F
        w
        will47 Dec 6, 2011 05:28 PM

        I'm assuming mpalmer6c means "clad" as in clad (disk) bottom, not "fully clad", i.e., multi-ply. However, there are some good deals out there on tri-ply stainless / aluminum cookware -- maybe 1/2-1/4 of All-Clads prices, if not 1/5. For example, using a stockpot, which is probably going to be the most extreme example:

        All-Clad MC2 12 qt stockpot, $240-250
        http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-Master-Chef-8-Quart-Stockpot/dp/B00005AL4Y
        (I know the link says 8 qt; click the option for 12 qt to see the 12 qt price)
        Or standard stainless, $300+
        http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/3893740/?catalogId=83&cm_ven=Shopping&cm_cat=Froogle&cm_pla=default&cm_ite=default&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3893740
        vs:
        Tramontina @ ~ $80
        http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-12-Qt.-18-10-TriPly-Clad-Stainless-Steel-Stock-Pot-80116-517/5716479
        Vollrath Tribute @ ~ $90 (but without lid).
        http://www.katom.com/175-77521.html
        (I have one of these and like it. And yes, I've seen Vollrath Tribute used in restaurants, including restaurants that don't use induction).

        I think you'd have to buy a disk bottom pot to get it at 1/5 or less; at that price point, there are plenty of options around $40-50 with lid.
        http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/eurodib/hom482424/p371479.aspx
        http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/vollrath/3503/p361402.aspx
        http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/u...
        etc.

        1. re: will47
          Jay F Dec 7, 2011 01:07 PM

          Thank you, Will.

      2. re: mpalmer6c
        g
        GH1618 Dec 6, 2011 11:39 AM

        The 2-qt Volrath Intrigue saucier goes for $40 to $50 and seems to have only stainless steel on the sides, and aluminum in the base. The 2-qt All-Clad MC2 saucier is an aluminum pan with SS interior and sells for a little over $100. I have the 1-qt MC2 saucier (since discontinued) and I think it's worth the higher cost. It depends on the pan.

      3. p
        phreon Dec 5, 2011 06:57 PM

        I have several Optio items and I couldn't be happier. The line started with Lincoln, but passed to Vollrath when they were purchased. As far as I can tell, Optio became Vollrath's budget stainless line, but rest assured they aren't built cheap. I have a 18 qt. stock pot, 12 in fry and a 6 qt. saute. All are built like tanks are are holding up great. The value is outstanding. As my aging copper bottom sauce pans reach the end of their life, I'll likely replace them with similar items from the Optio line.

        Phreon

        1. m
          mpalmer6c Oct 30, 2011 11:20 PM

          After conducting rather extensive tests at home, I
          settled on Wear-Ever for frying pans. The standar d
          W-E non-stick didn't wear well at all, however. so I got the
          ceramic version, which is doing fine. For pots. I have anodized
          aluminum, which still looks good after 20-plus years. You'll save a lot of
          money, of buyingcourse by buying from a restaurant supply outlet.

          1. i
            inkman Oct 29, 2011 12:07 PM

            Wow…Thanks for the responses! I just happened to find this site while surfing and I think it's great. I'll be back often. I think I'll go with the Vollrath Intrigue. I can order it through a local supply house and not have to pay for shipping. They didn’t have any sauté pans in stock but the Intrigue fry pans were indeed built like tanks and are built to last.

            1. e
              ellabee Oct 29, 2011 08:52 AM

              Another suggestion: Matfer Excellence, a line of good-quality restaurant cookware in the stainless-with-aluminum-disk design. The 5-plus quart sauteuse (two-handled saute) pan is around $90., 11" x 3.5". http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/m...

              They probably make a regular long-handled saute pan in the same size.

              1. Chemicalkinetics Oct 26, 2011 11:42 PM

                inkman,

                I think Vollrath is the real deal here. Vollrath's Intrigue line has the 18/8 stainless steel (interior?) for a more beautiful look (not much functional difference). Moreover, it is made of thicker steel for the side and appears to have a base of 1/4" 6.6 mm thickness. So I am guessing the aluminum is probably around ~4 mm thick.

                Tanukisoup pointed out something nice. If you want a fully cladded cookware as opposed to disk bottom cladded cookware, then Tramontina cookware is nice.

                1. al b. darned Oct 26, 2011 04:44 PM

                  You may also want to look at Carlisle's range of professional cookware. I just purchased a 10" aluminum nonstick "Select" fry pan for about $25. It is well balanced, heats evenly, and is made in USA. Google "Carlisle cookware." They have both aluminum and stainless lines.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: al b. darned
                    k
                    kaleokahu Oct 26, 2011 10:06 PM

                    Hi, al:

                    Thanks for pointing out this line; I learned something tonight! Carlisle looks like very serviceable stuff.

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

                    1. re: kaleokahu
                      al b. darned Oct 28, 2011 08:56 PM

                      oops! I noticed tonight while washing it..."Made in China." It's still a good pan, tho.

                  2. SanityRemoved Oct 25, 2011 09:24 AM

                    I have been very happy with Vollrath products but all of mine are made in the US.

                    1. e
                      ellabee Oct 25, 2011 09:11 AM

                      In a newly remodeled kitchen, and already using inherited pans, you're probably not looking for used.

                      But if you were... original All-Clad Master Chef (pre-2001) has the advantages of aluminum with a stainless surface, and is particularly good for a saute pan. The 4-qt size is 10.5 x 3.25 inches; the 6-quart is shallower (2.75") and more than 2 inches wider -- great for browning a lot of food at once without crowding, if you have a burner big enough for it.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: ellabee
                        k
                        kaleokahu Oct 25, 2011 09:28 AM

                        Hi ,ellabee:

                        To quote the OP: "I am not buying All Clad."

                        Aloha,
                        Kaleo

                        1. re: kaleokahu
                          e
                          ellabee Oct 25, 2011 09:36 AM

                          I took the OP to mean "new, current All-Clad". A used original MC saute pan can be had on ebay for $45-55.

                          I wouldn't buy new A-C, either, and not only because of the price. The MC2 line is "substantially re-engineered" -- which, given the difference in weight and thickness from the original, I take to be marketing-speak for "we made it thinner".

                          1. re: ellabee
                            k
                            kaleokahu Oct 25, 2011 10:16 AM

                            Hi, ellabee:

                            After re-reading the OP, I can see how you took it that way ("new" = unused, therefore All-Clad = new production All-Clad). My bad.

                            Aloha,
                            Kaleo

                            1. re: ellabee
                              Jay F Oct 25, 2011 11:37 AM

                              How do you distinguish "old" All Clad from "new"? (I never had any before 2009.)

                              1. re: Jay F
                                e
                                ellabee Oct 26, 2011 02:16 PM

                                I don't know how to tell the difference between any eras of All-Clad lines except MasterChef. Original Master Chef, stainless-lined aluminum, was produced from 1971 through 2000; in 2001 A-C introduced MC2, which is marked ' mc2 ' on the base. [with the 2 raised as in em-cee-squared].

                                When A-C began selling cookware, the Master Chef line was all they made. In 1974 they gave it the name. From that point on, it was marked on the base, engraved in a circular pattern: MASTER CHEF- ALL-CLAD METALCRAFTERS - CANONSBURG PA. The part # is in the center of the circle [112 for 12" skillet, 403 for 3-qt saute, etc.] At some point [probably the late 1990s, when they were paving the way for the future MC2 line], they changed the base markings to an engraved ' mc ' encircled with ALL-CLAD etc.

                                The stainless tri-ply line had no markings on the base, even of part #s, and I know of no way to tell what era any given piece is from.

                        2. tanuki soup Oct 25, 2011 04:22 AM

                          Not to take anything away from Vollrath, but you might also want to consider this nice Tramontina 5-quart covered saute pan.

                          http://www.amazon.com/Tramontina-Prim...

                           
                          1. BIGGUNDOCTOR Oct 24, 2011 09:09 PM

                            The only Vollrath I have are a couple of 13qt stainless bowls. Inherited one, and found the other in a thrift store. It is my go to bowl for potato salad--yea, I tend to make a ton of it, but my friends appreciate it when I do.

                            1. q
                              Querencia Oct 24, 2011 04:23 PM

                              I have a huge, maybe 30 quart, Vollrath soup pot that I picked up at an auction about 25 years ago. Has always done everything I have asked of it. No complaints.

                              1. w
                                wattacetti Oct 24, 2011 02:41 PM

                                Vollrath works great. I've got the Tribute primarily because I use induction.

                                1. k
                                  kaleokahu Oct 24, 2011 01:45 PM

                                  Hi, inkman:

                                  I don't think you can go wrong with Vollrath. It's like a CAT dozer or a John Deere tractor--well-engineered (and reverse-engineered by others), coin of the realm. Won't win any beauty contests, but are you cooking or trying for Architectural Digest?

                                  I think you have the aluminum thing in exactly the right perspective.

                                  You might also look for Magnalite and Guardian pans on eBay.

                                  Aloha,

                                  Kaleo

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