"Restaurant style" SS cookware that can be had for ~$100 or less per piece
Need new cookware, considering "restaurant style"** items and wanted to make sure that I have all my options open before continuing to research.
Here are a few that qualify in my mind as "restaurant style", but don't meet the $100 per piece criteria. To keep things simple, I will quote the approximate price of a ~3 quart saucepan if I can find it pretty easily. I understand that some don't include lids, and that I'd have to buy them separately:
Fissler Original Pro (3 qt.) - $170; love it, but too expensive
Sitram Catering (3 qt.) - $105
De Buyer Affinity
Paderno World Cuisine
Matfer Bourgeat Tradition (2.1 qt.) - $87
Here are the ones that qualify on both accounts:
Vollrath Optio (2.75 qt.) - $41
Vollrath Intrigue (3.25 qt.) - $39
Vollrath Tribute (2.5 qt.) - $75
Sitram Profiserie (3 qt.) - $44
Matfer Bourgeat Excellence (2 3/8 qt.) - $58
What other possibilities am I missing? I just want to know all my options before I compare them to my criteria.
** My definition of "restaurant style" is something you likely won't find in a department store and would have to buy from a kitchen supply store. Brands like De Buyer, Sitram, Vollrath, Fissler, Paderno, Matfer Bourgeat and others that I don't know about. Finding out about those others is pretty much the point of my post.
Well, I just ordered three pieces of Vollrath Optio from Food Service Warehouse:
2.75 qt. saucepan w/lid
4 qt. saucepan w/lid
12.5" fry pan
$85 and change with shipping...not too shabby. The value is undeniable. Hopefully I like them just as much when they arrive. I may be taking my Demeyere Industry5 3 qt. saute pan back if I like this stuff. Number one, it's pretty heavy and my wife had a bit of difficulty with it. Number two, the Optio 4 qt. saute pan with lid would be $34 versus the $120 for the Industry5 (although that is still a really good price for the Demeyere). One day I may splurge on a copper/stainless chef's pan like this (http://www.copperpans.com/falktrymepi...), but for now, I think the Optio stuff will work quite well. And if it doesn't work out in the end, it's only $85. Comparably sized All-Clad Tri-Ply at Williams-Sonoma would have been $555, not including shipping.
The Vollrath Tribute is nice but, after cooking in Tramontina Triply I don't think I would spend the extra money.
I have a set of Spring (Swiss) Dr. Weil cookware that is 5-layer clad stainless steel. The 10 piece set was sold at Dillard's for ~$450 and I got mine on a whim when it was closed out for ~$220. It is really heavy and cooks exceptionally well. This set will be handed down through the generations - it is that well built.
You already have the right idea...go to a restaurant supply (brick & mortar or Internet). The pans they have are certainly "restaurant style"...no question about it.
Don't worry too much about brand. If you're at a physical location, you have the opportunity to look at the pan construction and feel it in your hand. Use that information to make your choice. Brand doesn't matter too much. A commercial pan is typically manufactured to last for years in a harsh environment.
The "brand name" pans that have the commercial "look" do not perform any better...they just cost more.
I dunno. I was thinking like you.."commercial"...piece by piece.
Then I found Tramontina 18/10 Stainless Steel TriPly-Clad. It's an "all clad" knock off that performs with the best. I got the 10-Piece Cookware Set all for less than $225 delivered.
Includes 12 qt stock pot and all pieces have lids.
I'm set now. Done.
If I want a specific specialty "commercial" piece for the fun of it, I can now afford to get whatever I want.
I also got the Tramontina 6 qt enameled dutch oven for less than $60. It's a Le Creuset copy that is my favorite single piece, and has changed my life :/
Most commercial kitchens use inexpensive aluminum like Winware
This Update International stainless is a little step up. I'm not sure if a lid is included.
Tirbo Pots were popluar in one kitchen I worked in for their speed of getting water to boil.