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Mauviel M'Cook SS worth it?

Hello people-

I just ordered the Mauviel M'Cook SS 5 piece Item number 5210.05 from cutlery and more at a very very good price(at least that's what I think it seemed like). Do you think its worth it (or more) in its dough?
Here's the link: http://www.cutleryandmore.com/mauviel...

I almost bought the All-clad before this. bought this one as scouring the few sites I read seemed to suggest, this would be better than the All-clad's.

PS this is my 1st real dab into the SS cookware. I am currently using the Circulon Hard anodized non stick set. I was pretty happy with them, but wanted to- get into healthier cooking methods, and invest in long lasting cookware...long lasting as in life long-lasting :) This one is a 5 piece set, will probably add more later over the years. In the name of SS I have a Tramontina saucepan, every-thing...I mean EVRYTHING sticks. I usually just make tea, or make rice in it. I know, I will have to relearn my cooking techniques, but would it really be that bad?

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  1. I really like my Mauviel M'Cook saucepans. They are thick and heavy, but also very responsive. They work great on induction cooktops. The non-drip pouring edges are a nice touch. The handles take some getting used to (thin and flat -- I prefer tubular handles), but All-Clad isn't known for having particularly comfortable handles either. The pans feel very solid, like you could pound in nails with them.

    9 Replies
    1. re: tanuki soup

      Woohoo....Thankyou so much Tanuki

      Anyone else with any advice...pro/cons..??

      BTW, I can still cancel my order and get something else till its shipped out. I know I know...just want to feel I did the right thing, is what I mean.

      1. re: JrsyGal

        BTW, what do these #'s at the end of the cookware name mean? I mean the item name...mine's is 5210.05...I am sure, it signifies the quality and all, but does someone know what exactly?

      2. re: tanuki soup

        Hi, tanuki, Happy New Year:

        Do you know much about the layers' thicknesses? Are all pieces fully clad? I infer from the link that layers 2 and 4 are insubstantial bonding layers, and what we really have here is (perhaps excellent) SS-Al-SS tri-ply. Is this the case?

        Remember, this is the line that replaced Induc'Inox (the ill-starred, but induction-cult-followed SS-carbon steel-SS triply). Any idea how it compares with Demeyer Apollo?

        Aloha,
        Kaleo

        1. re: kaleokahu

          Hi, Kaleokahu,

          Happy New Year to you too!

          Everything I've read indicates that all of the Mauviel M'Cook pieces are fully clad. I'm not sure about the thickness of each layer, but I did find the following description on the web:

          "1.6mm of aluminum plus 1mm of stainless steel for a total of 2.6mm thickness".

          I don't have any Demeyere pieces, but they describe their 7-layer material as follows in their online PDF catalog. (BTW, as you probably recall from an earlier thread, their frying pans are fully clad and their saucepans and stockpots are disk bottom.):

          7-Ply material is a unique technology consisting of 7 alloys including stainless steel and an aluminium core. The layers are formed over the bottom and the side of the products. This technology guarantees that the heat is spread evenly over the whole surface of the pan right up to the rim. The total thickness of the 7 layers is designed with the necessity in mind to obtain the right temperature for the typical cooking process for which the product is used.

          Adjusted thickness:
          - For woks: 2.3 mm/0.09”
          - For conic sauté pans, simmering pans, grill pan, and
          4-star frying pans (skillets): 3 to 3.3 mm/0.12” to 0.13”
          - For the 5-star professional frying pans (skillets): 4.8 mm/0.19”

          Hope you find this information interesting.

          Tanuki Soup

          1. re: tanuki soup

            Thanks, tanuki:

            OK, so if it's .5/1.6/.5, the cladding on M'cook is *extremely* close to A-C, which is .46/?/.46. 1.6mm of aluminum core...hmmm, I would have expected more.

            Re: Apollo, I've looked at the cutaways VERY closely, and only three of the claimed 7 layers are thick enough to be seen, but the aggregated core looks thicker than 1.6mm. Then again, Apollo is a more expensive than M'cook.

            Yes, your information *was* interesting. Thank you.

            Aloha,
            Kaleo

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Hi again, K:

              After reading so many catalogs and websites, I've been wondering about the ideal thickness of real-world cookware.

              Sure, thicker cookware always seems impressive, but there has to be a point where adding thickness doesn't just reach a point of diminishing returns, but is actually detrimental to cooking performance.

              As an absurd example, I can't imagine that a frying pan with a 6-inch-thick base would work very well no matter what it was made of (steel, aluminum, or copper).

              It seems to me that in multilayer cookware you want an internal layer of a good heat conductor that is thick enough to transfer the heat quickly out to the edges of the pan, but is also thin enough to minimize heat storage and thus improve responsiveness to changes in the cooktop's temperature setting.

              Of course, weight and cost are also important considerations.

              Just throwing out some random thoughts here.

              Tanuki Soup

              1. re: tanuki soup

                Hey, tanuki:

                Yes, of course you are right about diminishing returns. I'd even say there are tipping points toward counterproductivity out there somewhere. But do we know where those points are?

                I come at the thickness issue from the perspective that the makers use as little as they can get away with. I have yet to see any credible review or knowledgeable person fault a pan or line for having *too-thick* conductive layers; the best it gets is that they opine that thicker conductive layers are a waste of material (or energy if you subscribe to the "heating your kitchen" theory). If, as you gleaned, Demeyere is putting 4.8mm of effective thickness in their 5-star frypans, I think they must be doing that for culinary reasons

                Clad is an odd animal IMO because it folds in another oft-ignored factor--the cladding itself can tend to first impede and then lock in the heat. So responsiveness suffers regardless. If you locked in an inch-thick slab of aluminum, it would be less responsive than the same inch of bare cast aluminum. Assuming you could calculate the *perfect* thickness of conductive metal for a straight-gauge pan, what are you going to do to it when you clad it? Will it be thinned to compensate for the weight or the bonding technology? And then what will you have? In the case of thick-steel-thin-aluminum clad, you have the worst effect given the rough equivalence (e.g., 1mm of SS:1.6mm of aluminum in M'cook, and that's GOOD clad).

                Cost and weight are factors, sure. Much more so for copper. My friend alarash has two VERY cool Mauviel hammered aluminum pans on eBay right now that are 4.8mm thick. I'm not sure that they weigh a lot, or that the metal in each pan cost Mauviel a lot more than rendering them thinner. An unknown (to me anyway) factor is the technological/IP hurdles to cladding such truly thick layers. THAT may be the real reason why you don't see thicker clad.

                Your random thoughts are always insightful and welcome. I learn something from you always.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Thanks for the interesting comments, K.

                  Given the realities of business, I'm sure that you're correct in assuming that manufacturers tend to put in too little "good stuff" rather than too much. As for deciding how much is "good enough", I guess that's for each person to decide. I've also never run across any complaints that the conductive layer is "too thick", although I have read a number of comments that a pan is "too heavy", which is really another way of saying the same thing.

                  I'd guess that for thicknesses up to 1 cm or so, more is probably better. Since no manufacturers that I'm aware of approach that limit, I suppose we can conclude that more IS better (keeping in mind the tradeoffs in terms of weight and cost).

                  Our mutual friend Chemicalkinetics may have some insights to share regarding this issue. He's always impressed me with his technical savvy.

                  TS

                  1. re: tanuki soup

                    Hi, tanuki:

                    Re: "good enough" being subjective, yes that is true. I find two interesting things here:

                    (1) It is situational: My 1mm nonstick pan is good enough when I'm carrying it for miles on my back with 50 other pounds; my 12-pound saute would be "too thick". I just know that, at home, the former is too thin, and the latter is not too thick.

                    (2) Opportunities to change our judgments are limited. The market presents us with many choices, but the range of those choices is more limited than we think when it comes to thickness. With the exception of explorers like you, most folks are going to use what they have, learning workarounds, turning out dishes that make them happy, and stop there. This can result in confirmation biases like the "cast iron evenly conducts heat" falsehood. It is relatively hard work--and somewhat pricey--to seek out (reach back into the past, mostly) thicker cookware with which to make comparisons. IMO, unless someone who has cooked on dreck all their lives actually tries something better, it's hard for them to understand or appreciate the benefit OR the diminishing return. And when they *do* replace the dreck, as long as the replacement is just a little better, it's likely to be touted as "good enough"--anything $1 more expensive or 4 oz. heavier is likely to be considered a waste.

                    I really think that there ought to be some way, besides cooking classes, to put trial pans in the hands of shoppers, such as a "lending library" or a local culinary club. We might even be able to do that here on CH, if the powers approved. But the way things are now, most folks are left to go by hearsay, some informed, some the opposite. There is a need for something like this, as witnessed by the success and popularity of Cooks Illustrated's limited and non-technical (and IMO semi-corrupt) gear reviews.

                    Enough. It's nice musing with you.

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

      3. Looks like a nice set at a great price. We have the M'Cook roasters and love them. They too are very heavy. No experience with the pots and pans but have looked at them at the Sur La Table and they seem very substantial. Regarding the handles, I prefer the curve of the Mauviel over the stick of the All Clad. Enjoy.

        1. Hi JrsyGal:

          I have some Mauviel, but not this line. Mauviel is generally traditional and conservative, in the if-it-aint-broke-don't-fix-it sort of way. In shape, this line's models are all time-tested, and the rolled lip is a nice touch.

          I'm not usually a proponent of buying sets, but since you are already ordering the 3-pan mini set (5pcs), I would suggest that you go in for a pound and get the 5-pan (9-piece) set for $260 more. I suggest this for two reasons: (1) It is an even greater value, measured against list prices (42% vs. 39% savings); and more importantly (2) It gives you a second saucepan (and a better size spread to boot) and an extremely versatile "stockpot" (unfortunate descriptor in this case).

          Aren't I good at spending other people's money?

          Aloha,
          Kaleo

          1. Good solid nice cookware. $300 for 3 pieces of cookware (with 2 lids). So it is a more expensive set than those from Calphalon, Cuisinart and Tramontina. However, the Mauviel M'Cook does look much more polished, so I see this as a good investment.

            1. But is the OP going to have problems with sticking? She isn't happy with the Tramontina SS, and currently using non-stick. Is all this talk about multiple layers ignoring the crucial usage issue?

              1 Reply
              1. re: paulj

                Good point. The OP would probably want to take a look at this recent thread:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/825480