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S/S cookware input please

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Greetings -

I have spent several hours searching this sight, taking notes, and following up on what I have read. I think I'm about ready to place an order for some cookware, but would appreciate some input from those of you who have more experience with the better (higher quality) cookware options.

I have not spent much money on cookware. I always figured it was disposable after a few years, and I'd just go buy whatever set happened to be near me at whatever chain store I happened to be in whilst the mood struck me. After a decade or better, I have accumulated a bunch of junk. I recently splurged a bit and bought my other half a Le Creuset sauce pan. She has several of their cast iron pieces, and really likes them, so I figured I'd buy her a nice pan. This has essentially ruined me. I now know why folks buy quality cookware. I then figured I'd just buy some more of the same LC stuff, but much to my dismay, their SS line is made in China. For various reasons I'd rather not get into, I would simply rather buy products that are not made in China, when it is practical to do that at any rate.

I really liked the look of the Demeyere stuff you see on the cooking channel. After checking into that stuff, and surviving the sticker shock, I then started looking at other cookware. I just can't fork over several thousand in cookware (and after I get everything we use, it will be a couple grand).

I like the idea of welded handles, but rivets are not a deal breaker. There are not many options for cookware with welded handles, sadly.

We tend to make large portions so that we can heat up 'left overs' during the week. We both work long hours, so that's just the way it is..... Having said that, I've come to appreciate drip free, or almost drip free pouring into a storage container. Funny how that was not an issue before, but now it is.

We do not have access to any stores to visit so that we can fondle the cookware. We live in a remote area. I have however handled some All Clad stuff and the one thing that I recall is just how much I hate the handles. I don't understand how they could even remotely consider them ergonomic. So All Clad is definitely not a contender.

I was then drawn to the SLT Industry 5 Demeyere line, but they don't seam to have very many options. I do like them though, at least by looking at them on the web.

I was also looking at the M'Cook line from Mauviel. A couple things that concern me with this line; 1) the handles look like they might be a bit uncomfortable. They look fairly thin and I'm wondering if they might bight into the palm??? 2) They look quite shiny and I can't help but wonder how difficult it would be difficult to keep them that way??

I also like the look of the SLT line of cookware, but they do not appear to have rolled edges. That pouring aspect again....

I think I've narrowed my choices down to the M'Cook stuff or the Demeyere line SLT sells. I may end up buying a few of the Atlantis line to augment, but then I'd have some shiny with some brushed. Not a big deal, but nonetheless, something to consider.

I have a budget of $1000 US to get a head start on this project of wholesaly cookware replacement. I'll buy more as we figure out what we want. I want to buy good quality stuff that will last a decade or better.

We use saucepans, so I'll buy a couple of those.
We use large saute pans quite a bit, so a couple of those will be needed.
We tend to use large stock pots for boiling pasta, potatoes, making soups, ect.
We don't fry much of anything, but occasionally we will use a 12" fry pan. Sometimes I'll cook an egg. But generally speaking, I do not allow any fried foods.

I might also add that my partner (not sure what to call a 8 year live in girlfriend) did spend a year at a cordon blue school in the UK, so there does not seam to be enough cookware on the planet for her to use when she makes a meal for guests. We have two cabinets and a hanging pot rack loaded with the stuff and she'll use most of it before the night's over.

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom....

Mike

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  1. I think you pretty much narrowed down to what you like. The M'Cook you were looking at is likely the 5-ply version. The Demeyere Industry is also 5-ply with a similar construction scheme. M'Cook is noticeably thinner. I think you pretty much know all these.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I know they are both 5-ply, but no, I did not know the M'Cook line is thinner.

      1. re: akmike

        <They look fairly thin and I'm wondering if they might bight into the palm>

        I see. I thought you were talking about the pan thickness being thin, but now that I read again, you might have talked about the handle.

    2. Cuisinart's French Classic Tri-Ply line is worth taking a look at. It's made in France. The construction and weight is comparable to All-Clad.

      I own 2 pieces which I have not had a chance to use yet. I can't really say how well their interior SS lining performs against AC.

      1 Reply
      1. re: unprofessional_chef

        I did actually look at these. I almost bought a set, but they do not have a rolled edge for pouring.

      2. Here's a link to goods that are still made in the USA

        http://www.stillmadeinusa.com/kitchen...

        1. Morning.

          An interesting post.

          Since your girlfriend has the formal cooking experience, I'd suggest ( my wife will love this when she wakes up ) you simply gift her the cash and let her decde what she needs.

          With that kind of investment, she can purchase sets, or individual pieces from a variety of manufacturers.

          As you requested opinions, after many decades of cooking and collecting cookware, we are partial to Rösle multi-layer stainless, surgical grade. Not inexpensive but you can beat them to death, bake, saute, steam, and even use it on the BBQ, and they do not change. The pots and pans hold their shine, and despite my dropping a pot and a pan lid on our granite floor, they remain intact and invincible. Clean by hand or in the dishwasher, the choice is yours.

          You can buy individual pieces, or sets online from Germany, such as those in the attachments.
          There is a Helsinki line ( glass lid ), the Multiply or multi-layer line (all metal), and the Teknika line ( full alu layer throughout ). We have a mix of Multiply and Teknika. The Brater or oval roasting pan includes a stainless steaming rack insert, and we use this more than any of the pans. Attached is the EBAY.DE specific link.

          http://www.ebay.de/sch/Töpfe-Pfannen-...

          Even adding box shipping of multi-set units ( 30 Euros shipping ) both of you are still ahead. Then you can start on a good collection of 200 or so good kitchen knives.

          Bonne Chance

           
           
           
          2 Replies
          1. re: SWISSAIRE

            specifically states that the iron pan is made in Germany

            http://www.kitchen-universe.com/Rosle...

            Rosle Iron fry pans have been redesigned and now comes with a higher rim. Manufactured in Germany.

            11" ss pan's origin is not revealed

            http://www.kitchen-universe.com/Rosle...

            It seems as though Rosle is moving all manufacturing over to China.

            http://inthekitchentoday.com/tag/rosle/

            To be honest I never paid attention to the origin of my tools until some customers started asking about the country of manufacture. My friend’s can opener is made in Germany whereas mine is made in China, I compared both and saw no difference whatsoever. However my curiosity did not end there, thus I started inquiring to Rosle headquarters about this situation; well … they are moving their entire factory to China and they have been doing it little by little; they also have assured that quality won’t be affected since they have appointed engineers and managers to Chinese factories, quality control is not a concern for Rosle.

            1. re: SWISSAIRE

              Thanks. I'm the researcher, she gets the deciding vote, but she really couldn't care less about the little details. That's my job. As soon as I get the manufacture figured out, I'll sit down with her to figure out exactly which pieces to buy.

            2. I don't know if you're interested in hard-anodized cookware, but I've had mine (Calphalon pans, roaster, pots) for over twenty years and they are still the best pans I own. Some of the pans have become so well-seasoned through use that they are virtually non-stick. They're not bright and shiny like ss, but they are workhorses.

              Calphalon has brought back their Commercial Hard-Anodized Cookware. I think that they're charging a fair price. And, yes, they are made in USA.

              http://www.cutleryandmore.com/calphal...

              3 Replies
              1. re: Vidute

                The non-stick pans I have are Calphalon. Probably ten years old. Some are still doing great, others not so good. I looked at their SS line, but I'm pretty sure it's made in China.

                1. re: akmike

                  The SS from Calphalon is from China, but the anodized ones are mostly from US.

                  1. re: akmike

                    I've never been a fan of the coated non-stick pans. From noxious gasses to peeling to not being able to use them in an oven, all negatives that I can do without. As I mentioned, I'm very happy with the Calphalon anodized and, believe it or not, copper-bottomed Revere. I still use my mom's 50+years Revere pots. The copper is still there and they serve their purpose, well.

                2. I thought I'd respond quickly and perhaps help you a little.
                  My husband and I are in a situation at the moment that we were able to buy all Demeyere cookware. Buy it once and make it count.

                  Anyway as much as I love how it all cooks, cleans and looks, it really is simply over kill to warm up a can of baked beans in the Atlantis saucepan, but then when it's time to cook rice or make caramel on the stovetop, having a thick bottomed saucepan is wonderful to work with, no scorching and prefect fluffy rice.

                  My most favorite piece is the Atlantis 4qt sauté pan. It's built like a tank, and allows me to easily brown meat, braise for hours on the stove top, stir fry and who knows what else in the future.

                  My suggestion to you is to replace your most used cookware pieces as you are able to. But ideally the pieces that you use at a higher temperature would be more beneficial then a saucepan that you boil potatoes in.

                  I think 2 or 3 high quality pieces would keep you and your significant other content.
                  Have fun deciding anyway.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: snax

                    Thank you for the response. Good advice. I have put together a little spread sheet, identifying each piece of cookware offered by Demeyere (both Atlantis and I5), as well as the M'Cook stuff. Surprisingly, prices are not that different between each comparable piece of cookware. I think what I am going to do, is buy the most appropriate piece for the intended application. IE: buy all clad pieces where they are best utilized and the same for the encapsulated bottom Atlantis. I think the M'Cook and Atlantis might compliment each other from an appearance aspect as well.

                  2. Two other brands of stainless steel cookware you might want to add to your list:

                    Fissler Original Pro -- Thick aluminum disk bottoms, pouring lips, welded tubular steel handles (no rivets), nice lids, made in Germany.

                    Viking V7 -- 7-ply construction, comfortable handles (riveted though), pouring lips, made in Belgium by Demeyere.

                    PS. I have two Mauviel M'Cook saucepans and like them fine. It took me a while to get used to the high, arched handles, but it was more of a "balance" thing than an "uncomfortable" thing.

                    PPS. IME, a light scrubbing with Bar Keeper's Friend will keep any stainless steel cookware looking like new.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: tanuki soup

                      I did look at the Fissler, but can't get past the handles. I would rather have a handle that flairs up a bit, verse straight.

                      I did not spend much time looking at the Viking cookware as I do not believe the pans have a rolled edge. But the price point is very attractive. I like the handles too. They seam like a heck of a bargain. I better put them back on the list.

                      Does anyone know if the Viking V7 cookware has a pouring edge or not??

                      1. re: akmike

                        My Viking V7 frying pan has a nice pouring edge, but my V7 6-quart casserole pan doesn't. I assumed that the saucepans would have pouring edges, but now that you mention it, I'm not sure that they do.

                        PS. Although the V7 saucepans are attractively priced, you should note that the lids are extra-cost (and rather costly) options.

                        PPS. Actually, I think that De Buyer cookware has the best handles. I forgot to mention their very nice Affinity line: 7-layer stainless, pouring lips, great handles. Here's a link:

                        http://www.amazon.com/DeBuyer-Affinit...

                        1. re: tanuki soup

                          -Not sure if the prices are always like this, but the Viking site has a sale on their stainless cookware:

                          http://www.vikingkitchenware.com/cook...

                          1. re: tanuki soup

                            After looking at the Viking cookware a bit more, the V7 pans have a straight edge. It looks like all the V3 stuff has pouring edges though. The V3 is made in Indonesia, so it's not the Demeyere manufactured stuff like the V7.

                            I had no idea DeBuyer made cookware. Based on the pictures, I like their handle better than any other that I've seen. Thanks for the link! I need to check into them some more. I was about to place an order for some M'Cook pieces today, so that was really good timing.

                      2. Might I also suggest the Apollo line of Demeyere, particularly for their sauciers and their multifunction pan.

                        I also like the USA-made American Kitchen by RegalWare, especially for the pots that one would use to, say, heat up a can of soup, which as a previous poster pointed out, is overkill for the Demeyere.

                        1. If you can stomach it Walmart has Tramontina tri-ply s/s cookware thats a fraction of the price of All-Clad. Check out this review http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/08/eq... . I just bought a set with; 1.5qt and 3qt stock pot, 3qt saute, 8 and 10 inch skillet and 6qt stock pot for $140 with tax and free shipping. No pour spout but the handles, at least on the Better Homes and Gardens (ugh, maybe I'll polish the logo on the handle ;) seem to be pretty comfortable.

                          Good luck

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: dybaduk

                            Shopko has their Gourmet Living 13-piece cookware set on sale for $129 (reg. $299) this weekend w/free shipping, in either SS w/copper bottoms or hard-anodized aluminum versions (my local Shopko Hometown only has the SS version, though). Haven't yet seen any reviews of that brand, although I'm guessing it's intended to be comparable to the Tramontina SS @ Walmart.
                            Otherwise, Calphalon has a double-bonus sale going on (also @ Cooking.com): spend at least $399 on Calphalon cookware, and get both a free utensil set and a free 12" nonstick lidded "everyday pan" (frying pan-shape, but loop handles on both sides, and ovensafe to high temps).

                          2. Thanks to everyone who have taken the time to help me with this. I'm almost done.

                            I just ordered some De Buyer Affinity pieces.
                            - 9.4" fry pan
                            - 12.6" fry pan
                            - 1.2 qt saucepan
                            - 3.5 qt saucepan
                            - 3.17 qt saute pan
                            - 1.8 qt rounded saute pan
                            - 3.17 qt rounded saute pan
                            - lids to fit the above

                            Now I just need to find a really big saute pan (preferably one with two short handles). We tend to use a particular POS non-stick pan that is roughly 12" wide by 3" tall. Any recommendations for a pan of this size?? Preferably SS. There really is no way to describe what we cook in this pan, as it varies widely. It's sort of our catch all pan for cooking large portions of a variety of things. It would be ideal to just set this one on the kitchen table too.

                            I'll look for stock pots later, after I pay for this stuff that is......

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: akmike

                              Demeyere's multifunction pan: http://www.demeyere.be/default.asp?CI...

                              Just so you know, the fee for all this free advice is the oath that you return to the forums with a review of your purchases and updates as to how they are working out for ya'.

                              1. re: E_M

                                LOL.... I would be more than happy to do that E M.

                                1. re: akmike

                                  E_M was not joking. There is, in fact, an unspoken rule that if a person (in that case) get advises for purchasing cookware here, then he or she will need to write a review here. :D

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    Well unwritten or not, it seams only courteous to do that, and I'm quite happy to do so. And seeing how I'm most likely going to need additional input on other stuff, and there seams to be quite a huge and generous knowledge base at this sight (and also friendly), I'll be around for a while.

                                    I ordered the De Buyer pieces from Amazon, so it might be a couple weeks before I get it. I haven't found that multi purpose pan EM suggested yet. Amazon has one, but it's too big.

                                    1. re: akmike

                                      Try looking at 125west.com; call them if you don't see it on their website.

                                      1. re: E_M

                                        They had one, and the lid.... Damn lid cost $130. More than half the price of the the pan. Apparently, they drop ship Deneyere from Belgium just about anywhere for free. Told me to expect it in about three weeks.

                                        Thanks again.

                              2. re: akmike

                                Here's one option for the two-handled rondeau/sauteuse, by Matfer. It's 11" x 3.5", with a thick aluminum base, encapsulated in magnetic stainless so that it's induction capable. http://www.previninc.com/shop/Matfer-...

                                Maybe a bit plain and functional for setting on the table, but that's a question of personal taste; the only cooking pots that appeal to me as serving dishes are enameled cast iron.

                                The similarly made Sitram Profiserie line is excellent, but doesn't have a size below the 7qt (the line is aimed at commercial kitchens).

                                1. re: ellabee

                                  Thanks for the tip ellabee. I have that sight bookmarked for a future source of high capacity stock pans. Shipping to where I live was going to be $140 on the pan, so I went with the one EM suggested.

                                  1. re: ellabee

                                    OM Goodness, ellabee, I LOVE that pan you linked to !!!
                                    Do you have it ?
                                    Do you like it ?

                                    1. re: oooYUM

                                      I don't have it, so can't speak for the 'finish' and quality of that particular pan, but can say for sure that it's a very useful shape and size. I have a saute pan of the same dimensions that I use often and wish were two-handled (instead it has a long pan handle and helper handle)-- it would take up much less room on the stovetop and in the oven.

                                      The rivetless handles and overall smooth design of the Matfer pan make for quick cleanup, too (there I'm speaking from experience with the similar but larger Sitram pan).