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Best stainless steel pots & pans set for $200-$250?

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I'm looking to upgrade to a really nice set of all stainless steel pots & pans that will last me many many years. My budget is $200-$250 (or cheaper if there is a great closeout deal)

I went around to my local stores, Kohls, who sell Cuisinart, Bobby Flay & a couple of others, Target has two different Giada De Laurentiis stainless steel set & they seem pretty nice. Price is $200 for regular set & $250 I think for the Tri-something or other kind.

Any help on what to get? Is the Giada set worth it or is there a better quality option? I've heard mixed reviews on Cuisinart & Chaphalon sets so I'm really confused.

I'm not opposed to ordering online to get a better deal/higher quality for my budget or less. In fact I would rather do something like that to get the best bang for my buck. I'm in no rush so I can wait for the shipping.

Is anyone have a closeout sale or a really good coupon right now?

I want an all stainless set with no coating on the handles so they can all easily go in the oven. I guess I want metal lids over glass? I don't know if I have a preference for that really.

Thank you!

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  1. If you can spend $100. more, I'd suggest All Clad (made in USA) 5 piece set for $350. look at the http://www.surlatable.com catalog. sur la table also has made in France sets. or look at Amazon. I am partial to Le Creuset, heavy but great on stove top or oven.
    I also love plain old cast iron, Lodge is made in USA, inexpensive, can go in oven, lasts forever.
    Do you have any outlet stores nearby? TJ Maxx or Marshalls sometimes has good cookware if any stores are near you.

    1. It depends the size of the set you are looking for as well. At your price your range, the Calphalon Triply (8-pieces) set is a good one. It is slightly more than your price range, but not too much more.

      http://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-Tri-P...

      The Cuisinart MultClad set (12 pieces) is also good:

      http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-MCP-1...

      Finally, the Tramontina Triply 10-piece set from Walmart is a highly praised set.

      http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-...

      The Calphalone Triply, Cuisinart MultiClad and Tramontina Triply sets are fully triply cookware set.

      This also begs the question that do you want a fully triply cookware set or a disc bottom cladded cookware set?

      For example the Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis are disc bottom. Disc bottom cookware are usually less expensive due to ease of construction. They are not inherently worse. Demeyere makes some of its best cookware in disc bottom format. However, neither Bobbly Flay nor Giada De Laurentiss stainless steel cookware looks particularly good and seem overpriced.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        I appreciate everyone's input.

        I will have to say even though the price is high, I'm almost sold on the idea of buying a set of All-Clad pan by pan because they are American made. I know the quality of stainless they use is probably the best.

        So the "norm" is full Tri-Ply, but what about their D5 lineup? I assume this is a much more expensive set than their Tri-ply? Is the 5 layers really needed? What is the benefit, just quicker heating?

        Also I see they offer a copper Clad Tri-Ply - would this be a better option than the aluminum core?

        I will have to say the Cuisinart set is really nice & the Tramontina price point is a really BIG attraction to the quality for the price of $200.

        I'd say the 10 piece Tramontina has everythign I would need.

        I assume Tramontina & Cusinart both are made in China? I just don't know if I trust chinese metals to not be "pot metal" & actually a high grade SS.

        I almost want to go american made. All-Clad offers a lifetime warranty correct?

        Does Tramontina & Cuisnart also offer the same? This may help sway my vote in one direction or another.

        1. re: johnnyscience

          Hi, Johnny: "[W]hat about their D5 lineup? I assume this is a much more expensive set than their Tri-ply? Is the 5 layers really needed? What is the benefit, just quicker heating?"

          A-C is clever in their ad copy, and not very forthcoming with facts and figures regarding D5. Basically, all that distinguishes it from Tri-Ply is that they've split the Tri-Ply aluminum core in half and put a third layer of steel between them.

          IMO, no, the extra steel layer isn't needed. A-C espouses the theory that this middle layer of thermally sluggish steel somehow blunts heat from passing vertically and the (half-thick) conductive layers on each side push the heat laterally, making the heat more "even". I don't really believe them. and I don't believe they heat any quicker than the other lines.

          What I *do* believe in their ad copy is that this construction makes D5 pans less likely to warp than Tri-Ply and Copper Core. If you go to their site and read closely, you'll read how A-C falls all over itself about the "stability" of this line. they're not talking about cooking characteristics, but *dimensional* stability.

          The Copper Core has always been their top line, and deservedly so. But remember that CC isn't tri-ply. It, too has layers of aluminum on either side of the copper. Good luck finding out how much copper and how much aluminum is really in CC--proprietary. But if you can measure the total thickness, subtract 0.82mm for the outer steel cladding, and you should deduce the thickness of the Al-Cu-Al core. My short-odds bet is that there is substantially less than 2mm of copper in CC. Also, don't be fooled by the petty copper band--the way the pans are formed, those bands are *nowhere* near the actual thickness of the copper where it matters.

          Aloha,
          Kaleo

          1. re: kaleokahu

            Thanks for the info. If I decide to go with All-Clad I'll just make sure I get their basic Tri-Ply line & not worry about the copper or D5.

            I'm still up in the air about the Cuisnart or Tramontina pots over the All-Clad. Clearly price is the biggest factor here where I can get a whole set for $200 where I'll be lucky to get 2-3 pans of All-Clad.

            I assume Cuisnart & Tramontina are both made in china?

            How is the quality of Cuisnart vs Tramontina - is one better than the other?

            1. re: johnnyscience

              Hi, Johnny:

              Don't get me wrong--I think A-C is a solid brand.

              In the where-it-comes-from game, I differentiate between Far East and everywhere else. If I can't find best-quality stuff that is USA-made, I have no compunction buying European-made.

              I'd also recommend rethinking buying a whole similarly constructed "set" within your max budget. A powerful case can be made for sinking your whole budget into 2 or 3 excellent pans instead, and filling a few holes later when you have the scratch and know what will work best for you.

              Tramontina is made in Brazil.

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

          2. re: johnnyscience

            Johnny,

            <I'm almost sold on the idea of buying a set of All-Clad pan by pan because they are American made>

            Well, if you want to buy American-made, then it is certainly the top contender.

            <So the "norm" is full Tri-Ply, but what about their D5 lineup? I assume this is a much more expensive set than their Tri-ply? Is the 5 layers really needed? What is the benefit, just quicker heating? >

            The triply has been All Clad's bread and butter for a long long time. The D5 is something new. Triply was a difficult technology and not many companies can do it. I believe All Clad was the first (or close to the first) company making triply cookware. Today, every decent cookware manufacturers can make triply. D5 has been discussed many times on CHOWHOUND and I will provide a link or two for you to read.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/677714

            It is a more expensive line, but not significantly more, about 10-20% more expensive. The 5 layers are stainless steel-aluminum-stainless steel-aluminum-stainless steel.

            http://www.cookswarehouse.com/skin/fr...

            The benefit is not quicker heating. Rather, All Clad claims that this provides further even heating and reduce hot/cold spots.

            <Also I see they offer a copper Clad Tri-Ply - would this be a better option than the aluminum core?>

            The short answer is no. Not really.

            <I assume Tramontina & Cusinart both are made in China?>

            Cuisinart is made in China as far as I know. Tramontina is a bit mixed I think. Some of them are from China, but some are made from Brazil or other countries. I cannot remember. You should read up about Tramontina. It has some nice reviews.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5375...

            < All-Clad offers a lifetime warranty correct? >

            Yes, but lifetime warranty does not mean your lifetime. It means the lifetime of the cookware. It is a flexible numbers. For example, a company may claim that the lifetime of its cookware is 50 years or 20 years or 10 years. If you are interested, then you should call and ask All Clad about its Lifetime warranty.

            "Lifetime warranty is a confusing term that means only what the manufacturer defines it as. In other words, every lifetime warranty can be different and can be specifically defined by the manufacturer of the product, seller of the warranty, or producer of a service. "

            http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-lif...

            1. re: johnnyscience

              Go to the cookware and more website for great deals on All Clad

          3. Cuisinart, Calphalon and Tramontina are all made in China. But there are 2 sets of Tramontina out there. The stuff sold at Wal-Mart is Chinese made and induction ready. Some of their non-induction fully clad cookware is made in Brazil, or rarely you'll find some made in USA. Confusing, but there it is.

            As for warranty, I've no knowledge of Tramontina's, but if you buy at Wal-Mart, you'll be getting a pretty generous return policy. I've recently had a very good experience with an 11 year old Calphalon lid that broke. It was replaced immediately, at the expense, no need to mail in the broken lid. I can't speak to Cuisinart's warranty.

            I would suggest you physically check out as many lines as possible, because the handles will be a big factor in overall comfort. BB&B should have everything you're considering, except the Tramontina.

            Lastly, if you like non-stick frypans, I'm a big fan of Tramontina's heavy aluminum Professional Restaurant line. The Teflon coating is as good as anyone's, and the skillets are a very nice, heavy weight, yet because they're aluminum, still easy to handle, especially when pan-tossing food. The silicone grips feel great and keep the handles cool. You'll know them by the polished look and the silicone sleeves. Mine are USA-made.

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

            3 Replies
            1. re: DuffyH

              "Lastly, if you like non-stick frypans, I'm a big fan of Tramontina's heavy aluminum Professional Restaurant line."
              DuffyH- do you happen to know if these are induction suitable?

              1. re: bevwinchester

                bev -

                I wish they were. I've bought them for years. They last me about 3 years using metal utensils, and the thick aluminum makes for even heat with quick response. Well, not so quick on my POS radiant, but they were terrific on gas!

                Did I mention they're cheap? Check out BB&B:
                http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store...

              2. re: DuffyH

                just to clarify - the Calphalon stainless is Chinese manufactured... The hard anodized stuff is still made in my honmetown - Toledo, OH, USA baby! And that stuff is amazing!

              3. The Cuisinart French Classic (FCT-10) set is a nice fully tri-ply ten-piece starter set made in France. Retail seems to be $499 but I picked up a set from Bloomingdales a few months ago for $249. It appears Amazon sells it, as well, currently $330. Prices and sources fluctuate, so check!

                http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-FCT-1...

                8 Replies
                1. re: Susangria

                  I was just going to mention that line. I have the skillet with helper handle and it's just as nice as my All Clad (but with a better handle.)

                  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004YV5Z3S/r...

                  1. re: breadchick

                    I really like the fact it's made in France & not china. I would def be ok with that set. It has everything I want/need other than a 1 or 1.5qt sauce pan which I see can be bought separately on amazon.

                    I'm still undecided if I want to spend the extra money for All-Clad. I like buying something like this american, but that French made Cuisinart set is really a top contender. I'm going to see if I can snipe a couple of nice pans for cheap on ebay or tjmaxx. I called tjmaxx today & they do carry All Clad from time to time, but they didn't have any right now. I'm wondering how much they are at tjmaxx.

                    I'm looking for basically enough pans to make a 10 or 12 piece pan set with everything this French Cuisinart has + the small saucepan

                    I hate making choices, it's so hard lol

                    1. re: johnnyscience

                      In looking at the box for my Cuisinart French Classic set, it is the FCT-13 with 13 pieces and not 10. Originally $499 or so, it seems to be on close-out a few places, which is sad. I'm very impressed with it so far. The handles are nicer than the All-Clad. So far I've added a 12 inch french skillet to the set. I bought a 13 inch All-Clad french skillet on sale but returned it because the lid was made in China. Apparently only the pans are made in the US.

                      1. re: Susangria

                        This 13 piece set is even better, gives me the 1.5qt sauce pan I want and also a really nice pasta strainer.

                        If I can find a really killer deal on the 13 piece set I will probably jump on it.

                        I am still highly considering All-Clad though.

                        1. re: johnnyscience

                          If you are not in a hurry, then you always try to shop at HomeGoods or TJ Maxx. All Clad cookware show up there from time to time at about half price.

                          1. re: johnnyscience

                            Hi, Johnny: "I am still highly considering All-Clad though."

                            You are funny (in a good, totally understandable way). You obviously want the All-Clad. Unless you hate the handles, get it. It's at least as good as the other lines being discussed here, maybe even better. If you do, you'll never regret *not* getting it. If you *don't*, I sense that you will have regrets.

                            But again, I urge you to be realistic about how many pieces you really need. If you go to cookwareandmore.com or watch the clearance outlets, Amazon and ebay, your original $250 budget isn't too far out of whack.

                            Get it, chiefly because it will make you happy.

                            Aloha,
                            Kaleo

                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              I totally agree with Kaleo's last comment; we all have our different preferences in the kitchen, and there are so many choices. Go somewhere where you can look at and feel the product (its shape, wgt.- the texture even)- if it suits you, go for it!

                        2. re: johnnyscience

                          I've picked up a 10" skillet in tri ply AC for a family member for $59.00 at TJ Maxx. They sometimes have a stack of them. It's a good starter piece to try out. One of my most used pans. I have a piece of D5 too, it's thicker, therefore a little slower to heat up. Not enough difference to be concerned about especially if you are budgeting. Be sure to grab some bar keepers friend and don't cook higher than medium heat. Watch some you tube videos on how to cook with stainless, it will save a lot of frustration.

                    2. I'd be wary of celebrity chef brands without closely checking reviews. That said, I recall a friend some ten years ago telling me that Emerilware (Emeril LaGasse) was great and basically close to and made by All-Clad.

                      If the aesthetics of a matched set are important to you, then ignore this comment, but: consider just scouting good deals on individual pieces. The problem with sets is that they tend to be (or are maybe always) the same material. But in fact, a cook wants a bare cast iron skillet here, some enameled cast iron there, a cheapo pasta pot there, a quality stainless skillet here, a non-stick pan there, a great stainless 3qt saucepan there, etc.

                      Cooks Illustrated published once a list of a la carte cookware, but it would be pricey:

                      http://www.amazon.com/Cooks-Illustrat...

                      The thing is, those things can be found cheaper at times, and near-to-as-good items can also be found with some research. Tramontina, in particular, makes stainless and enameled cast iron that will save you a bundle over, respectively, All-Clad and Le Creuset/Staub.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Bada Bing

                        Hi, BB:

                        Cooks Illustrated included *3* 12-inch skillets out of a total of 7 pans? Wow.

                        You know, if you substitute another brand for the tremendously-overpriced LC oven and got rid of the A-C skillet, the total cost of the other 5 isn't that bad.

                        Aloha,
                        Kaleo

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          I'm not sure that's the actual CI list: it just came from some Amazon lister, but seems about right. I'd just get a 3 qt saucepan rather than a 2- and a 4-quart one.

                          But of those skillets: one is cast iron, the other non-stick, and the other stainless. I myself have all those, except that my stainless one is a sautoir rather than a skillet (straight-up sides, sometimes useful, as it evaporate differently). I'd add that a ten-inch non-stick pan might be better for starters, if you were to have but one non-stick pan.

                          But all my skillets/sautoirs are worth their cost and real estate. (I have space, so I have 8-, 10- and 12-inch non-stick pans, according to what I'm up to.)

                          Starter set from my viewpoint, with budget in mind, and leaving lids out:

                          --3qt saucepan, stainless and at least with a heavy sandwich aluminum bottom. If possible, get a steamer insert for it.
                          --12" cast iron Lodge skillet
                          --Cheapo 6 qt or so thin steel (like Revere-ware) pot for boiling pasta
                          --10-12qt stock pot with sandwich aluminum bottom
                          --12" stainless skillet
                          --10" non-stick skillet (T-Fal Professional is good; don't mix up with other T-Fal lines--I had to order mine on Amazon)
                          --Enameled cast-iron, round, lidded pot of 5-8 quarts. Tramontina is okay, or whatever that brand they sell at Sam's Club might be. (Le Creuset and Staub are the good high-end ones.)

                          1. re: Bada Bing

                            The list is close to dead-on, but the CI recommended 12" non-stick skillet is your favorite T-Fal Professional. The sole omission is a roasting pan.

                            1. re: DuffyH

                              Yeah, roasting pan is important. My own is the CI-recommended Calphalon Contemporary Stainless, and it's great.

                              But I did go many years before shelling out for a really good roasting pan. Two cheaper items were my mainstays:

                              (1) that old-fashioned enameled thin-metal oval roaster, such as made by Graniteware, which works great not only for turkeys but I've made big batches chicken cacciatore and the like in them. Findable even in hardware stores. And

                              (2) one or two good half-sheet pans ("jelly-roll" pans), preferably with a fitting flat rectangular rack, which is great for roasting things when you want maximum heat circulation.

                              You could buy these things for way less than half the cost of a quality stainless roasting pan.

                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                +1, you've hit it exactly right. I have the same CC roaster and it is nice. But I'm moving to induction next year and will need to replace it. It won't go on the stovetop, you see. I have no room for an item that big that won't work on the cooktop.

                                I was pleased to find (thanks to another 'Hound) that those enameled steel pans are magnetic. So my son gets the big-ass roaster, I'll pick up a pair of cheap ones, WITH lids, and everyone wins.

                                If I were equipping from scratch today, I'd go with an enameled steel roaster and the jelly roll pans with racks, as you suggest. I use my jelly roll pans/racks WAY more often than the big roaster.

                            2. re: Bada Bing

                              Hi, BB: "But of those skillets: one is cast iron, the other non-stick, and the other stainless."

                              Sure. But 3, 12-inch skillets out of a total of 7 pans? I can see listing both the Lodge and the non-stick, but not the stainless one. Or shake up the sizes a little. There's too much commonality to include these 3 pans on a short list, IMO.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                I agree: I'd favor a non-stick in 10" or even smaller size first, depending on how many eggs I'm typically cooking, which is what I mostly value non-stick for. A 10" size though is more useful that 8" for cooking some delicate fish filets, another thing that non-stick excels at. Also, I'm glad my 12" stainless is a sautoir rather than a flared skillet. Variety is good.

                                1. re: Bada Bing

                                  Yup-yup. My most-used non-stick is always the 10", because of the fish, scrambled eggs, and more. 8" is close behind, for frying eggs and tortillas. The 12" is hardly ever used.

                          2. re: Bada Bing

                            < That said, I recall a friend some ten years ago telling me that Emerilware (Emeril LaGasse) was great and basically close to and made by All-Clad.>

                            Yes. Emerilware is made by All Clad. There are a few lines within Emerilware, but its ProClad set is similar to All Clad stainless steel. Much nicer handle design too:

                            http://www.emerilware.com/cookware_de...

                            <The problem with sets is that they tend to be (or are maybe always) the same material.>

                            I agree wholeheartedly. Generally speaking, buying a whole set is a very limited way to go. I think the only stainless steel cladded set I have recommended to buy is the Tramontina triply set. Simply because the entire set (5 pieces of cookware or 8 pieces) is only $130. The total price much cheaper than some high end single piece cookware.

                            <But in fact, a cook wants a bare cast iron skillet here, some enameled cast iron there, a cheapo pasta pot there, a quality stainless skillet here, a non-stick pan there, a great stain....>

                            I agree with the general idea.

                          3. Whichever set of try-ply SS pans you buy, make sure it includes a 12" skillet. In many of the sets, the largest skillet is 10" which is not large enough in my opinion. If you wish to saute just 8 ounces of mushromms for instance, the 12" pan allows them to spread out.

                            If it were me, I would buy the larger Tramontina set.

                            http://mobile.walmart.com/m/phoenix#i...

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: John E.

                              i wish i could find a 12" with a non-stick coating and glass lid....i love the size for so many things.

                              1. re: alkapal

                                I would not spend a lot of money for a non-stick skillet. Even America's Test Kitchen has switched to T-Fal as indicated by DuffyH in a post just above this one.

                                http://www.amazon.com/T-fal-E9380864-...

                                I don't know about the glass lid. I've found that they fog up enough so that the see through advantage doesn't work all that well anyway. I've bought SS lids for little money (less than $3 at Goodwill or another thrift store.)

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  I have a 12" glass lid which I bought separately from my 12" T-Fal Professional non-stick pan, but it fits fine on the non-stick pan, too.

                              2. The All-Clad line of Emerilware is made in China though correct?

                                Someone mentioned to go with the All-Clad if I like the handles - is there anything different about them that are off putting? They stay cool to the touch right?

                                I called a local Tjmaxx that has a HomeGoods in it & the lady said they do see All-Clad from time to time but didn't have any right now.

                                I'm not in a hurry to get an entire set persay, but I really need to get at least a 3qt saute pan & a 2 or 3qt saucepan ASAP. I'm looking for a good deal online & will keep my eye out in town.

                                I would like an all stainless set, I understand people's suggestions about other materials for pots & pans, but I really want everything all stainless right now. Honestly that 13 piece French Cuisinart has everything I would eventually want anyways. So I may try piecing & parting an All Clad set together or if I can save up fast enough maybe buy the French Cuisinart. But I can at least get my 2 pans I need right now for less than $200 where the whole 13 piece set of French Cuisinart is $500 best I've seen so far - man I'd love to find this set for $250 some where!

                                54 Replies
                                1. re: johnnyscience

                                  <The All-Clad line of Emerilware is made in China though correct?>

                                  Yes.

                                  < is there anything different about them that are off putting?>

                                  Many people find All Clad's handles to be painful to use -- me included. Why don't you try to go to a store and hold on a few pieces to see for yourself, especially the large saute pan? All Clad has recently "improved" the handle and made it more comfortable/less painful, but many people still find the new handles to be uncomfortable, admittedly less so. Again, you should try to test for yourself.

                                  Two old threads about All Clad's handle. There are actually many more threads about the infamous handle:

                                  "Yes I knew that All Clad were heavy but the handles were actually painful! I tried a couple of different long handled All Clad pots, all with the same results- my palm was pinched by the V of the handle."

                                  "I SO wanted to love them, but concluded that they just weren't meant for me......I ended up with a set of Calphalon Tri Ply, which was much more comfortable"

                                  http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/...

                                  "and what really got me started was my absolute distaste of All-Clad handles. I think they are the most uncomfortable handle on the planet."

                                  "Strange coincidence. I was in Crate and Barrel yesterday. I picked up a heavy All Clad frying pan and thought to myself what a piss poor design the handle was. It was flat and sharp edged."

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/623123

                                  <They stay cool to the touch right?>

                                  Yes, but so do vast majority of the stainless steel cookware handles. I don't remember a single piece of stainless steel cookware handle I have used isn't cool to touch.

                                  <Honestly that 13 piece French Cuisinart has everything I would eventually want anyways.>

                                  You should also see the French Cuisinart in person before buying them. There are some complaints floating around which is why you don't get tons of recommendations of them.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    Good points, CK, although I have two of the French Cuisinart (gave my daughter the All Clad they replaced) and have had no problems at all. Just my experience.

                                    Regarding the AC handles: if someone can try them out in person, they may want to put some weight in that pan (place another smaller pot, or similar, in it) and then carry it for a few seconds.

                                    My AC 3 quart saucepan's handles, with the pan filled with veg and water, was so painful to lift it was worth it to me to pass it on to my daughter (no joint issues at her age!)

                                    1. re: breadchick

                                      <although I have two of the French Cuisinart (gave my daughter the All Clad they replaced) and have had no problems at all. Just my experience.>

                                      I actually have never used one, but I have seen them in a store. The complaints I read about wasn't able performance. They were about finish. They said the Cuisinart French cookware look unpolished and rough on the edges.

                                      <was so painful to lift it was worth it to me to pass it on to my daughter>

                                      :) That's not nice. Just kidding. Actually some people find these handles to be painful, while others find them to be comfortable.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        ":) That's not nice. Just kidding. Actually some people find these handles to be painful, while others find them to be comfortable." True dat.

                                        I guess I've been lucky with the finish on the two French pcs. I have. I hadn't planned on buying more, so I'll consider myself fortunate.

                                        My daughter is a paramedic/firefighter and has to lift a LOT of gear and, well, people. Since those pans will be around forever, she may someday need to pass them onto my grandchildren, but not TOO soon!

                                      2. re: breadchick

                                        I hate the All-Clad handles enough never to have bought a pan for that very reason alone.

                                      3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        Honestly, I think the lack of recommendations for the Cuisinart French Classic line are mostly due to the fact it was never a widely-available or heavily-marketed line. I had to spend a fair amount of time researching pans before I decided on them and an even longer time finding places to buy them at a price point I wanted.

                                        I have had zero issues with mine. I prefer them over the A-C try-ply and I have used them side by side. I can be pretty tough on my pans. I don't clean them with BKF each night, or even every month, and they still look new. I do put a half inch of vinegar in the large stockpot to remove water deposits from boiling pasta now and then.

                                        As breadchick notes, the biggest advantage is better-designed handles on the Cuisinart. I also prefer the fact the pots AND lids are made in France, vs. only the pots being made in the US by A-C.

                                        I have noted a difference in quality between the Cuisinart French Classic pots I purchased at Bloomingdales (A) and the set they have for sale at Bed Bath and Beyond (B-). It doesn't seem the same quality and the lids are glass and not stainless. While I love being able to see inside the pot or pan as I cook, the crevice between the glass and the steel frame was IMPOSSIBLE to clean completely. I much prefer the stainless lids for that reason alone.

                                        1. re: Susangria

                                          < I think the lack of recommendations for the Cuisinart French Classic line are mostly due to the fact it was never a widely-available or heavily-marketed line>

                                          That I think is partially true. However, the reviews I read of them were not outstanding, and my little inspection experience of them were not great.

                                          "I just got back from Bed Bath & Beyond, where I spent 45 minutes looking at cookware, comparing the French Classic line against other cookware they had on display. .....
                                          Conclusion: Made in France is only a showy gimmick. In the 8" Skillet you can either buy the French Classic line for $50 or any other brand tri-ply that is made in China but with a better finish for $30. The finish on the French Classic pots and pans will look like crap after a short while of normal use. Any abuse you put into the pots or pans will be visible immediately, unlike other cheaper lines/brands where it kind of blends in. ....I really wanted to like the French Classic line and was determined to buy the 8" skillet, but walked away empty handed. I would rather have All-Clad factory seconds."

                                          This was from gotsmack who were convinced to buy the Cuisinart French until she saw them in person.

                                          <As breadchick notes, the biggest advantage is better-designed handles on the Cuisinart.>

                                          While it is true that Cuisinart handle is better than All Clad's handle, I must say that 99% of the other handles are better than All Clad's handle too.

                                          <I have noted a difference in quality between the Cuisinart French Classic pots I purchased at Bloomingdales (A) and the set they have for sale at Bed Bath and Beyond (B-)>

                                          This may explain why gotsmack and I were not impressed with the Cuisinart French, so I take your words that these two sets are different. Thanks for providing this important information.

                                          I would still recommend the original poster check out All Clad and Cuisinart French in person before buying an entire set. It is a big investment afterall.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            This is a great thread! I appreciate everyone's input.

                                            I've pretty much made my mind up that I'm getting the All-Clad, but you guys have me a bit hesitant now because of the handles. I'm going to BBB tomorrow to see them in person. I'm a 31 year old male who's in shape so I don't know if I will see or have the problems with All-Clad handles that others seem to.

                                            Someone mentioned All-Clad redesigned their handles? Is this true & how can I tell? I will just make sure I get a brand new production pan so I get an even better experience with All Clad with their new handles.

                                            I'm not sure if BBB will have the Cuisinart french classic, but I'm really going to spend some time there tomorrow and look at all the sets. But I really don't want chinese made SS pans. As you say, this is a big investment & I am a serious cook/chef so I really want to get high quality. It's a shame I've waited this long in my life to get a good set of pans.

                                            Next is a high quality knife set so I'll be looking here for great advice on one of those too! (But in a different thread lets keep this one on topic.)

                                            1. re: johnnyscience

                                              < I'm going to BBB tomorrow to see them in person>

                                              Or Macy or whatever. :)

                                              <I've pretty much made my mind up that I'm getting the All-Clad, but you guys have me a bit hesitant now because of the handles.>

                                              Good because you shouldn't just buy an entire set of cookware without actually seeing the cookware in person or with thorough investigation.

                                              <I'm a 31 year old male who's in shape so I don't know if I will see or have the problems with All-Clad handles that others seem to.>

                                              I was about your age hen I first considered All Clad and still in great shape. It is a matter of discomfort for me, but you may find the All Clad handles to be perfect for you.

                                              <Someone mentioned All-Clad redesigned their handles? Is this true & how can I tell?>
                                              I mentioned that. Yes, All Clad about 2-3 years ago slightly updated their cookware, so most of the cookware you see now already has the newer and slightly improved handles. These handles are slightly rounder and slightly fatter, so they feel slightly better. However, they are still less comfortable to me than most other brands. Your experience will be different.

                                              <I'm not sure if BBB will have the Cuisinart french classic>

                                              Actually, I don't believe BBB carries them anymore

                                              < I am a serious cook/chef so I really want to get high quality.>

                                              You should considering go to a restaurant supply store to look at the inexpensive aluminum cookware. High performance cookware is not the same as expensive. Your average restaurant supply ugly aluminum pans are just as good if not better than many high end stainless steel cookware.

                                              <Next is a high quality knife set >

                                              Looking forward, but I will give you the same advice (in fact more so). Please don't buy a set of knives. Buy them individually.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                Yes I will check macy's tomorrow too, good thinking. Both are at the same mall.

                                                Good to know that the handle redeign has been in place for a while.

                                                Hmm I don't know I think I want to go SS over aluminum for pots & pans.

                                                Knives individually - never thought of that! I like the block sets usually lol

                                                1. re: johnnyscience

                                                  <Knives individually - never thought of that! I like the block sets usually lol>

                                                  I will give you the full argument why it is even more critical to buy knives individually than pots and pans, but that is for another day -- when you set up your next post. Good luck. :D

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                    lol! I look forward to it!

                                                    It's a shame All Clad say's chinese lids are a cost saving approach, at their prices you either buy their line or not and a little more for a 100% made in USA product is something I think people wouldn't mind paying a slightly higher price for. The reason to buy All-Clad to begin with is because of American made high quality SS. Then they drop the ball with chinese lids. Unbelievable!

                                                    1. re: johnnyscience

                                                      Well, you can always buy made in USA Calphalon aluminum cookware (not Calphalon stainless steel) though I don't know if their lids may also be made in elsewhere.

                                                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                      So a little update today, I spent A LOT of time going through Macy's & then BBB & then back to Macy's lol

                                                      I see what everything is talking about with the All-Clad handles. It really isn't the best design especially because of how heavy their thick Tri-ply pans are. All of the weight from the pan is pushed right into your hand by the two small sides on top of the handle.

                                                      I didn't really like them and as I browsed around I wasn't too hot on many of the other handles either, Cuisinart or Caphalon.

                                                      The handles that I think were the BEST were on pans by Belgique & have attached a pic. You can see how they're curved and where you grab the handle it is thick & contoured/sloped to your hand. And it's a solid handle, not hollow. Really felt great.

                                                      I think a lot of problems these pans have with the handles is that they are so heavy when true Tri-ply. And All-Clad is clearly much thicker & heavier than them all.

                                                      With that said after looking at all of the pans at both places I really love the quality of the All-Clad enough to look past the handles because my plan is to make sure I only buy pans that have the 2nd loop handle to help carry the pan. I tested this out in the store & it was totally fine on my hand.

                                                      I want to get the 3qt Saute pan & 3 or 3.5 saucepan that has the 2nd loop handle on it.

                                                      The 8" & 10" frying pans were also tolerable on their own because they aren't as heavy as the 3qt saute.

                                                      The 16qt stock pot was AWESOME and will be part of my set one day! The quality of All-Clad just seems second to none. I'm going to start hunting for some good deals!

                                                       
                                                      1. re: johnnyscience

                                                        Good to hear that you can manage the handle. That is good news. Just keep in mind that your pots and pans will get heavier after they have foods in them. Regardless, it is not horribly painful. The helper handle (loop handle) will help, and as I have mentioned to someone before, you can always warp a thin towel around the pot handle.

                                                        <All of the weight from the pan is pushed right into your hand by the two small sides on top of the handle. >

                                                        ;) Just remember these are the improved handles. Wait til you try their original handles which are even less comfortable.

                                                        < The quality of All-Clad just seems second to none.>

                                                        Some may say that Demeyere and a few other brands better. They are even more expensive.

                                                        http://www.amazon.com/Demeyere-Atlant...

                                                        <The 16qt stock pot was AWESOME and will be part of my set one day! >

                                                        My first response is that stock pot does not require the same quality as a fry pan. A fully triply stock pot is not a good design in my opinion.

                                                        This, of course, touches my previous point -- it is better not to buy your knives individually instead of a set.

                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                          I'm debating if I even want to get any of the All-Clad pots with long handles. I think I could just do with loop handles for both sides on both a 3qt style saute pan & a 3qt sauce pan. I mean why not? I don't see any real issues with going this route do you?

                                                          These things are so heavy on their own & then you're right with food in them, it's not like I'm going to be trying to hold them tilted on their side to dump/empty food out. It's almost a different approach to cooking. I'll have to get more used to scooping food out then an easy dump.

                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                            Maybe like a Casserole:

                                                            http://www.estore.all-clad.com/Collec...

                                                            Or a Sauteuse:

                                                            http://www.estore.all-clad.com/Collec...

                                                            1. re: johnnyscience

                                                              I have that AC 4 qt. sauteuse and LOVE it. Perfect size for a small braise or to make a meat sauce for pasta, etc.

                                                              I specifically didn't want their regular sauté because at the time it came with a flat - not domed - cover, and of course, the handles.

                                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                              Do the loop handles on the All Clad pots, stocks & casseroles also stay cool to the touch like the longer handles or are mitts needed with the loop handles?

                                                              1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                Let me answer your three previous posts.

                                                                <I'm debating if I even want to get any of the All-Clad pots with long handles.>

                                                                I thought you want a set, no?

                                                                A long handle cookware gives you a certain control over the double loop handles cookware. For example, it is tougher to "saute" if you don't have a long handle. Here is a short 3 min video. Notice how he jerked and tossed with the pan:

                                                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO3lxK...

                                                                Another short video:

                                                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw4JPX...

                                                                Can it be done with a loop handle cookware? Yes, but it will be tougher. I suppose it really depends on your own cooking style. If you don't see yourself ever jerk, toss, or saute with your cookware, then a double loop handle cookware is fine. For me, I use these technique way too often to forsake the long handle cookware

                                                                As for the All Clad handle potentially being painful, it is personally. Many people have said that they don't have any problem at all. I happen to be not one of them.

                                                                <Or a Sauteuse:>

                                                                As mentioned above, these double loop handles cookware will hinder your ability to jerk, toss, and saute food in them. Therefore, your decision will depend on your cooking style.

                                                                <Do the loop handles on the All Clad pots, stocks & casseroles also stay cool to the touch like the longer handles>

                                                                In short, the loop handles will not be nearly as cool as the a long handle.

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                  Agree, CK, about being unable to jerk and toss food without a handle. I usually do that with a skillet, so in getting the Cuisinart French line with the better handle I am still able to jerk and toss, toss and jerk.

                                                                  1. re: breadchick

                                                                    If need be, that skillet will come in handy when you want to toss a jerk. ;)

                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                      LOL, you've got that right, sister!

                                                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                I think I want the 3 qt casserole to be my 3 qt saucepan replacement with two loop handles.

                                                                The best I found was $160 on amazon for just the pan

                                                                http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-5303-S...

                                                                And $180 for the 3 qt casserole & steamer - for an extra $20 I'd be stupid to pass this over just the pan I think.

                                                                http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                                                Oddly enough I found a D5 3 qt casserole for $150 on cuterleryandmore.com

                                                                http://www.cutleryandmore.com/all-cla...

                                                                The D5 is the best deal but I just might want to get all the same set.

                                                                Anyone know where a regular stainless 3 qt casserole can be had for cheaper?

                                                                 
                                                                1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                  <I think I want the 3 qt casserole to be my 3 qt saucepan replacement with two loop handles.>

                                                                  As I have gently alluded earlier, I think it is a poor choice to try to replace a 3 qt saucepan with a 3 qt casserole. First of all, the handles are very different and therefore you will lose a lot of function of a saute pan. Second, the dimensions are very different. Just because they are the same volume, it does not mean they are the same dimension, see this. Same volume, very different dimensions.

                                                                  http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/images/p...

                                                                  The All Clad casserole is 8 inch in diameter with a much taller side (3.5 inch). The All Clad saute pan is 10 inch in diameter and 2.5 inch in height. One is pot, and one is pan. These are not small difference. One is designed for dry heat fast cooking, and one is designed for moist slow cooking.

                                                                  There is nothing wrong to get the casserole, but to try to use a casserole to completely replace a saute pan is like trying to replace sedan with a SUV. They are not that similar.

                                                                  At the end, of course, you have to do what you think is right, but I personally would do it differently. Good luck.

                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                    No I plan on getting the 3 qt casserole to replace the 3 qt SAUCEPAN - these pans seem to be identical other than the 2nd loop handle the casserole pan has.

                                                                    For SAUTE I am really considering a Sauteuse which comes in 4qt as my main workhorse pan:

                                                                    http://www.zappos.com/all-clad-stainl...

                                                                    But they seem to be $260 and I can get a 3 qt saute pan from Macy's right now for $99. So I think I may just get the 3qt saute pan for now.

                                                                    I also plan on getting the 8" & possibly 10 or 12" frying pan for saute. The 3qt saute is going to be more of a browning/cooking everything/workhorse type of pan.

                                                                    Does that make more sense now?

                                                                    1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                      I see. That makes sense. Sorry for the confusion.

                                                                      <But they seem to be $260 and I can get a 3 qt saute pan from Macy's right now for $99. So I think I may just get the 3qt saute pan for now.>

                                                                      Just get the saute pan, if I were you, you can always use two hands and hold it like the two loop handles sauteuse. I cannot remember these will be your first stainless steel surface cookware or not. If so, try to just get one cookware to see if you like stainless steel cookware. Not everyone likes stainless steel.

                                                                      <I also plan on getting the 8" & possibly 10 or 12" saute for true saute.>

                                                                      Do you mean fry pan as oppose to saute pan? The All Clad saute pan is described in quarts, and the 3 quarts is 10 inch diameter.

                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                        Yes I meant fry pan for 8 & 10" sorry.

                                                                        Ya the 3 qt saute pan for $99 at macy's is a steal right now

                                                                        Do you think the $160 on amazon for the 3 qt casserole is the best deal or can I find it cheaper some where else?

                                                                        1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                          Or you can get the D5 casserole for $150
                                                                          http://www.cutleryandmore.com/all-cla...

                                                                          or D5 casserole + lade for $160
                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-Brushe...

                                                                          At this moment, these prices are probably the best you can get for now.

                                                                      2. re: johnnyscience

                                                                        May I offer a suggestion? I urge you to buy one piece, the one you think will be the most awkward w/o a long handle, and live with it for a bit, just to make sure what you're planning will work for you.

                                                                        You are, to some extent, trying to fit round pegs into square holes. As Chem mentioned above, if you normally jerk, toss or otherwise use your pan to manipulate the food inside it, what you're attempting will require a major overhaul of the way you cook.

                                                                        There are a number of good cookware lines that offer quality with comfortable handles. If you don't want Chinese goods, you might consider some of the European lines, they're very well regarded. For example, the Thermo-Clad line from WS is comparable in price to AC with equal or better build quality.

                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                          <trying to fit round pegs into square holes>
                                                                          Here:

                                                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCN4rD...

                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                            LOL! That's one smart kid.

                                                                          2. re: DuffyH

                                                                            Yes for now I'm going to get the 3 qt SAUTE pan from Macy's for $99 & then the 3 qt casserole for around $150-$160. These two pans should do just about everything I need for a while & will add a 1qt sauce pan & 8" fry pan to really round the two bigger pans out.

                                                                            Now I just can't decide if I want to go Stainless or D5 lol as that's a good deal on the D5 & I'm sure having the added extra weight on something like a casserole would be nice to keep it in place on the stove. Plus that ladle is a really nice one for a bonus with the D5.

                                                                            But then the matching D5 3qt saute pan is like $200 UGH! The 3qt D5 sauteuse is the same as the 4qt stainless sauteuse @ $260

                                                                            1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                              Hi Johnny,

                                                                              <if I want to go Stainless or D5>

                                                                              Considering the casserole is cheaper for the D5, I would go for D5. Based on the past posts, everyone who bought and used the D5 like them the same or better. This does not prove D5 cookware are actually better, but it is unlikely to be worse.

                                                                              <I'm sure having the added extra weight on something like a casserole>

                                                                              Despite that D5 has 5 layers of metal instead of 3, the weight does not increase with the numbers of layer. In fact, some people have noticed the D5 being lighter.

                                                                              Here is an example:

                                                                              The All Clad (regular) 2-qt and 3-qt saute pans are 4lbs and 6lbs, respectively
                                                                              The All Clad D5 2-qt and 3-qt saute pans are 3lbs 10oz and 5lbs 2oz.

                                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                          This All-Clad 5 piece set for $349 has everything I need for now, but I would like a set with a 2qt saucepan instead of the 3qt. Do they have other 5 piece sets or can you build your own from any where?

                                                          http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                                                          1. re: johnnyscience

                                                            It's either W-S or SLT that will let you buy the set, let you return the one piece you don't want, and the credit you a generous amount to apply to the open stock item.

                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                              What is W-S & SLT?

                                                              1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                One of it is already from your above link. They are Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table.

                                                            2. re: johnnyscience

                                                              Sorry, as far as I know this is the only 5 piece set. I also do not believe All Clad has "build your own" set. I mean you can build your own, but it would just be buying your own individual pieces.

                                                              For what it worth, the Amazon price is cheaper:

                                                              http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-Stainl...

                                                            3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                              It's really a shame All-Clad doesn't make their own lids. Doesn't make any sense why they would skimp out on that.

                                                              I assume the lids are made in china then?

                                                              1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                Maybe the store will allow you to return individual pieces, but not All Clad. Yes, I think most of the lids are made in China or some other countries. All Clad argument is that lids do not critically affect the cooking performance, therefore this is a cost saving measurement for All Clad.

                                                                I believe this is also true for most of All Clad utensils too, like this:

                                                                http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-870080...

                                                                1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                  Please bear in mind that "Made in China" is not synonymous with "Piece of Junk". Many manufacturers control their supply lines and are quite serious about quality control while taking advantage of China's low labor costs.

                                                                  I quite understand if you have economic or political reasons for avoiding Chinese made goods, but don't let concerns about quality deter you.

                                                                  Remember, almost all electronics sold in the USA are made in China, a great number of them made by brands noted for their quality. So it is with cookware.

                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                    Hi, Duffy: "... almost all electronics sold in the USA are made in China..."

                                                                    Plaintiff rests, Your Honor.

                                                                    ;)

                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                      Kaleo Deer,

                                                                      My original MacBook Air is still running strong. My iPhone has been tossed into the pool twice. I now keep a Ziploc bag of rice, just for drying it out. It runs perfectly. Our Panasonic 50" Plasma screen is 10 years old with no repairs or adjustments needed. Hunter ceiling fans. That's just what's in my immediate line of sight right now. Out of sight is my Chinese made 12-yr-old Calphalon Tri-Ply. Is that junk, too?

                                                                      And aren't a great many high quality carbon steel woks made in....wait for it.... China?

                                                                      Two can play this game.

                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                        Hi, Duffy:

                                                                        I've yet to handle an iPhone or any other smartphone that functions well as a phone... My friend's new 70-inch plasma now permanently displays the MSNBC banner on every channel.

                                                                        Is your Hunter fan electronic?

                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                          Kaleo,

                                                                          I'm sorry about your friend's plasma, but *mine* is still looking great 9 years later, as I said.

                                                                          45% of US cell phone owners have smartphones, as of early 2012 (cnn.com). Also, per the CDC, in the first half of 2012, over half of US homes either don't have or did not use a landline. I'd say that's a lot of smartphones we're using. Do you think we'd use them if they didn't work well as phones?

                                                                          The fan isn't electronic, it's electric. The remote is electronic and it works flawlessly, too. Both are made in China, though.

                                                                          Getting back to my original point (one you scoffed at), many quality items, *including* cookware, are made in China. Do you still laugh at the notion that quality cookware is made in China?

                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                            Hi, Duffy:

                                                                            I started with cells when they were analog and shaped like bricks (or 2 bricks, with a corded handset when they were hardwired into your car). IMO there has been a steady degradation in signal quality ever since. My first computers have lasted a very long time; I'd still be using one of them for many things if only the software wasn't intentionally rendered obsolete in order to sell more machines with newer OS versions, gaming power, etc.

                                                                            This isn't all the fault of the Chinese. They just want to do OUR business. But now there is double the # of levels of profit-greed, and we are being trained to buy pretty much everything they make as if they are disposable. Guess what? They are.

                                                                            Sure there are vestigal traces of US companies insisting on rigorous CQC in China and elsewhere in the Far East, and yes, much of our better production technology has been "borrowed" by our friends in China, but the crappification of the imports has basically remained the same overall IMO.

                                                                            If the Chinese are all that, why would companies like A-C have only their lids made there? Hopefully this nascent trend will continue with Apple, CAT and other US companies bringing the work back home. Shame on Hunter.

                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                              Kaleo,

                                                                              I don't believe I ever said or implied that Chinese products were "all that". Rather, I put forth the proposition that there are many quality products made in China.

                                                                              Your implication seems to be that if stuff is made in China, it's crap. I'd contend that many happy owners of brands like Tramontina, Cuisinart, Lodge, Le Creuset, Oxo, Calphalon, Cuisinart and a host of others would say you're wrong.

                                                                              I'd like to see more manufacturing returned to the U.S., but it's not likely to any large degree. Given that, I'm all in favor of supporting companies that make quality products anywhere in the world. I would rather buy an American made product, but as long as companies like AC put out stuff that doesn't work for me, I'll look offshore.

                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                It's not all crap, but so far all China has to offer is low labor costs.

                                                                    2. re: DuffyH

                                                                      Good point, Duffy. My husband's former employer had things manufactured in China. I only say "had" cause he's retired now and I don't know. But their quality control as well as "terms of engagement" were strenuous. So you're correct that MIC doesn't mean POJ. Painting with too broad a brush, IMO.

                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                        THANK YOU! I read a diatribe from someone on Facebook about "Made in China" and how it was all just total garbage and utter [STRONG LANGUAGE]... And almost peed my pants laughing when I noticed - and of course pointed out! - that the status was posted from her iPhone.

                                                              2. re: johnnyscience

                                                                check goodwill and thrift stores. you'd be surprised what you might find.

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  We have a Tramontina 5 quart saute pan with lid that cost $20 at Goodwill. Also two Calphon tri-ply 10" SS skillets $5 each, a 12" Cusinart SS with helper handle, $5 (this pan was really covered in crud), 3 quart Cusinart saute pan with lid, and a Cuisinart 8" SS saute pan, both for less than $5 each.

                                                                  We also have Ikea 365 SS 3 qt. and 5 qt. sauce pans that are surprisingly good pots. The 5 qt. kettle is the best popcorn maker we have ever had. They were $9 for the pair.

                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                    John E,

                                                                    You've got a fine collection of tools there, with kudos on scoring such good prices. Well done!

                                                              3. Well after deciding on a sauteuse I browsed around & found a new, Copper Core sauteuse (copper only seems to come in 3qt) without a box & some minor scuffs/scratches on ebay for $140 shipped so I think I'm really happy with that. These are easily $260 & up and really what I wanted after deciding I didn't need a long handle but on an 8" or 10" fry pan when I truly want to saute something. This sauteuse is going to be my main every day work horse along with the 3qt casserole.

                                                                I really like the domed lid on the sauteuse too, it really helps increase the volume of the 3qt pan.

                                                                I'm not sure how well the copper ring holds up as far as esthetics, I've read you can keep it looking nice, but not sparkling with Barkeepers Friend. I wanted an all stainless matching set, but I guess I really don't care as long as they're all, All-Clad and I get all of the pieces for a really good deal.

                                                                I tried finding a copper core 3 qt casserole for a good price, but the D5 with ladle on amazon seems to be the best deal still.

                                                                On another note I was informed by a seller on ebay that as of 2012 the entire stainless steel line (and ONLY the SS line) is 100% produced in the US, including the lids - can anyone else confirm this?

                                                                I was browsing Cookwareandmore.com & see they do really have a lot of good deals on "irregulars" but what does this mean exactly? Is the pan out of spec where the lid won't sit tight or it's warped & won't sit flat on the stove or just that there is minor scuffing/scratching?

                                                                Sorry for all the questions, but thanks in advance!

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                  I'm late to this discussion, but if American made stainless steel cookware is what you are looking for in the $200-250 price range for a set - have you looked at this:

                                                                  http://www.regalware.com/

                                                                  If I was getting my first cookware set, I would seriously consider this cookware. It looks like good solid stainless cookware and they have some nice sets.

                                                                  1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                    Also the copper core is dishwasher safe right? Wasn't sure if the copper rings are a problem in dishwasher.

                                                                    And what is the warranty with a boxless pan I bought off eBay? Does All-Clad still back their pans or do I lose out on the warranty?

                                                                    1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                      <I really like the domed lid on the sauteuse too, it really helps increase the volume of the 3qt pan.>

                                                                      This is false in most applications. A domed lid does not increase cooking volume -- it isn't like you can fill above the line. There are a few exceptions of course.

                                                                      < for $140 shipped so I think I'm really happy with that. These are easily $260 & up >

                                                                      You ought to evaluate the the cookware based on their performance and not the market price. Market price is meaningless and can be very misleading. An cheap cookware which you cannot properly use is still "costly".

                                                                      < I've read you can keep it looking nice, but not sparkling >

                                                                      If you want to keep your cookware sparkling clean, then you will be disappointed. They are cookware, not mirror. They truly shine when they are properly used.

                                                                      <is 100% produced in the US, including the lids>

                                                                      I believe this is false. I have seen Made in China way before 2012. However, you should contact All Clad just to be sure.

                                                                      <I was browsing Cookwareandmore.com & see they do really have a lot of good deals on "irregulars" but what does this mean exactly?>

                                                                      Usually, it means there are defects, but the cookware are functional. Again, you should call Cookwareandmore to find out for sure.

                                                                      <Also the copper core is dishwasher safe right? Wasn't sure if the copper rings are a problem in dishwasher. >

                                                                      The copper ring will tarnish. Quote:

                                                                      "Copper-Core’ can be put in the dishwasher but it may result in some tarnishing of the copper band around the exterior. "

                                                                      <Does All-Clad still back their pans or do I lose out on the warranty?>

                                                                      I think you lose the warranty. I know some manufacturers do not honor eBay cookware especially the "Seconds", but again, you should call All Clad to find out for sure.

                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                        I realize the domed lid isn't going to help with sauces or anything like that, but you can easily pile & mound things up in the middle more or cook a larger piece of meat that is taller than the sides & still cover it where as the flat lid you're really limited to the height of the pan either way if you want to put the lid on.

                                                                        And I'm going to use the sauteuse for general browning, cooking, braising etc. I will get a lot of use out of it for sure, I know I will. It should work out really well. I realize you base a price on how a product works, but I'm happy overall with the price I guess to get what I want based on how much the product usually costs.

                                                                        I think I'm still going to pick up the 3qt SS saute pan for $99 at Macy's before the sale is over, just seems like too good of a deal to pass up even though I'd be doubling up on an almost identical pan.

                                                                        I'll contact All-Clad to get some definite answers.

                                                                        Thanks for the help.

                                                                        1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                          <I think I'm still going to pick up the 3qt SS saute pan for $99 at Macy's >

                                                                          This is a good price, but don't forget that you can always get some good deals from TJMaxx and HomeGoods. Therefore, you may not want to buy everything in one shot. Good luck.

                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                            Yeah that's true, good advice thanks.

                                                                            1. re: johnnyscience

                                                                              I have to laugh at this entire thread as I sit home from the office today preparing a labor day feast and watching some episodes from seasons 1 and 2 of Julia Child's "The French Chef" on TV. She has many many pots and pans... and no two match! There may be a lesson there for all of us!

                                                                              1. re: Susangria

                                                                                "Horses for courses" - she used what she deemed best. But while what you saw did not match, she most certainly had matching copper - you may go see them on display at the Smithsonian.

                                                                  2. Except for the seller, there is little reason to buy a set of cookware regardless of brand. Each configuration and use begs an optimum material. I would buy one piece at a time, the best of its type I could rationalize spending.

                                                                    I am, personally, an All-Clad junkie. I love it. I have never had a cooking failure due to the pan. The workhorses in my kitchen are the 6 qt. deep saute pan, 8 qt. stock pot, 2 qt. saucepan, 3 qt. saute pan. Others I use and love. But these are my "reach for"s.

                                                                    Add a cast iron frying pan or two and a lightweight pasta pot and you're pretty well set.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: mangeur

                                                                      I agree. Good stainless steel , a few basic cast iron , and one good quality non stick skillet. A variety of cookware for varied uses.

                                                                    2. You've likely made your purchase by now, but if not, how about the Emeril Pro-Clad by All-Clad? They're on Amazon for $150, might be a close-out, because when BB&B had them in-store, they were about $100 higher. You'll get most of what you need, with money left in the budget to add some nice Wearever or Tramontina nonstick aluminum.

                                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Emeril-All-Clad...

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                        I did buy a couple of All-Clad pans & very happy with them. I will expand the set in the future to suit my needs.

                                                                        Thanks.

                                                                      2. pre-1968 copper-clad Revere Ware is my cookware of choice. With a budget of $250 you can absolutely CLEAN UP at thrift shops, flea markets, garage sales and eBay. From there you can add pieces that are oven-safe.

                                                                        Horses for courses - no one needs a set, but matching is some coolness.

                                                                        In the mean time, go with the Tramontina and start buying Farberware, Corning Ware, Revere Ware and Wagner Ware at flea markets, thrift shops and the like.

                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                                                                          I'm still using the copper clad Revere Ware set that my late Mom got for a wedding present over 60 years ago. I also have Circulon and Le Creuset sets, and love them, too. There are some things that I make in the Revere Ware more out of habit than real preference - I learned how to cook with my Mom using those pots and pans so they bring back great memories.
                                                                          The Le Creuset are heavy, but absolutely wonderful! I use my LC Dutch ovens several times a week during the cooler months for braises. The lids are so tight and heavy that you have to lift them off now and then just to get that great aroma spread around the house. :-)

                                                                        2. I have to agree with most of the other posters on here: why buy a set? I would just buy individual pots and pans. I do like the old Revere Ware pots I have, though. Also like the aluminum core Cusinart steel pans - cheap and good.