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Nov 30, 2012 07:39 AM

Building All-clad & Le Creuset cookware set (wedding registry) - what am I missing?

I've always used hand-me down pots and my fiance and I have been excited to upgrade to high quality pots that will last us a lifetime. We love cooking and want to have a versatile pot collection that doesn't have too many extras (I mean those pots that won't get much use because other pots could easily be used instead).

Just a little blurb on our cooking - right now our 2 qt sauce pot, 5 qt casserole pot, and frying pans are probably the most used pieces in our kitchen. The choice of pots may partially be reflective of what we actually own though - We don't have a saute pan (we make do with a larger frying pan), but this would probably be well used if we had one. We don't do much roasting of large chunks of meat or whole turkeys or chickens. However, this may change as we grow our family and have more space to host dinner parties, holidays, etc. We love trying new dishes and cooking fairly elaborate meals (when time permits).

I wanted to register for a pot set since there does seem to be quite a discount for the pots through this mechanism, but I don't want to register for a very expansive set since these can get expensive and it is hard to expect one person to get us a gift of that magnitude. Instead I figured I would register for a smaller set and then register for the pots I feel I need a la carte.

Also, I was going to register for Fissler Pro-collection pots but decided on All-Clad because I wanted to 'buy local' and I like that they have more pot options.

Okay, so here is what I have registered for:

All-clad bd5 cookware, 7 piece set brushed stainless steel, which includes:
-10" frying pan
-1.5 qt covered saucepan
- 3 qt covered saute pan
- 8 qt covered stockpot
(I listed alternative set options below - in case you want to look)

A la carte
- All clad bd5 13" covered french skillet
- Le Creuset 5qt enameled cast iron braiser
- Le Creuset 7.25 qt signature round French oven

Have and will keep:
- decent small non-stick skillet (maybe 6" that we use for eggs)
-Lodge 10.25" Cast Iron Skillet

I'm wondering if 1) There are things on this list that maybe don't have much added value, specifically 2) will the All-clad 8 qt stockpot be of much value since I am registering for a 7.25qt le creuset french oven? (maybe I should find another pot set? but of course there are only so many options here) or should I get a different size le creuset? 3) Are there pieces that I am missing that are necessary in a well stocked kitchen?

Thank you all in advance!

Here are alternative sets (some are d5 and some are brushed d5) that I see as potential options, let me know if you think one of these would be better:

1. All-Clad small capacity 7-piece
2. All clad 5-piece set
3. All clad d5 7 piece set (different version)

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    1. I think your Le Creuset choices are solid. I have both of them ( along with a bunch of other pieces) and those two are among my most used. As far as the All-clad d5, I think that is a nice set although personally I'd rather have a 12 quart stockpot, but you can get one later for under 100 dollars. That set is well rounded.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rasputina

        Thank you. I appreciate your response - I can't tell you how much time I've spent researching deciding on pots and changing my mind. It is sort of crazy!

        I was thinking that I might be better off with a larger stockpot. Maybe I should register for one of the 5 piece sets that don't have a stock pot and register for the stockpot separately.

        There are 2 five piece sets I can find they aren't too different from each other
        1. 10" fry pan, 3-qt. covered sauce pan, and a 3-qt. covered saute pan, $449.99 (brushed d5)
        2. 9" French skillet, 2-qt. saucepan with lid, 3-qt. sauté pan with lid, $399.99 (not brushed)

        I'm think I'd go with the first and register for a small sauce pan and stock pot separately. Would this be better than the larger set?

        1. re: aspiringcook

          I don't know. I'm like you I go over the options so much it drives me nuts, when I'm shopping LOL.

          If I was going to do sets, I'd probably choose the 10 piece d5 because it covers all the core basics in both saucepans and sauté/fry pans. Although I agree with Rick I'd rather have the 12inch ( I own the d5 12 inch with lid) but I think it's probably the best set size wise and it's only 100 more than the 7 piece set.

          My other choice would be the 7 piece small capacity set you list in your first post. The 4 qt soup pot easily doubles as a saucepan ( I own it ).

      2. I'd want a 12" pan in addition to or instead of the 10". I'd also want one nice 12" non stick pan, really like the Calphalon Unison. A friend gave me an all clad dutch oven that I really like but wouldn't consider it essential. I have both of the Le Creuset pieces that you have listed (I might have a 3.5 quart braiser, not sure) and I think they are an excellent choice. I also have a 40 year old Belgium made enameled dutch oven that's probably 14 quart and I have to say it's very nice to have when making a huge batch of something, but also wouldn't consider something so large essential.

        Keep in mind Marshall's and TJ Maxx often have Le Creuset pieces, especially the ones you have listed. I bought both of my Le Creuset pieces from Marshall's for a combined total of $200 or so in the clearance aisle. All Clad pops up once in a while there but not nearly as often as the Le Creuset. Maybe you can pick up the Le Creuset on your own and instead put some nice knives on the registry instead.

        1. I think we have similar cooking styles -- most the time just 2 of us, but host small groups (4-6) of family and friends frequently.

          Like the others, I would recommend a bigger stock pot. I think you will find the stock pot in the set a bit redundant with the Le Creuset, although it would be nice for cooking pasta (not as heavy to handle and easier to get into the dishwasher). Tthe 10" fry pan may be redundant with your CI skillet. I have the 13" french skillet and use it all the time. I would add a 3 qt sauce pan to this mix.

          1. I think the WS 10-piece is a near-perfect selection--8 and 10 fry, 2 and 4qt sauce, 4qt saute and 8qt stock, though I would prefer 10 and 12 for the fry pans.. T'aint cheap though.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mwhitmore

              Thanks. It isn't cheap and I don't think I can ask someone to spend that much - my grandparents always buy the pot set for the grandkid's weddings and while my grandma said she'd get what I want I don't want her spending that much (my grandpa recently passed and my grandma doesn't get his pension) that is why I'm looking for a smaller set. I will supplement the set with an additional saucepan - the 13" skillet probably is pretty close to the 12" frying pan though.

              1. re: aspiringcook

                Agreed. The two problems are: A> A set is a big chunk o'money. B> Even one pan you don't use negates any 'savings', and I think with some LC, you won't need the AC stock pot. So I would go with individual pieces, and here are my choiced: 1a. AC 4qt saucepan. 1b. Steamer insert for 4qt. 2. AC 2qt saucepan. 3. AC 12inch frypan. Combined with the LC 7.25, your cast iron skillet, and a non-stick egg pan, you should be set. A luxury addition might be a good roasting pan (I like AC flared) and a Saute Pan, such as AC 3qt or 4q, or for ultra-luxury, Falk or Brooklyn Copper 11inch Saute. BTW have a great wedding and happy future!