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Dec 16, 2013 12:23 PM

Cookware suggestion - high heat, affordable, dishwasher safe

I'm looking for a nice saucepan for my mom. Basically, I'm looking for all-clad without the all-clad price. My mom has seen me use and abuse my 3qt all clad pan. I cook on high heat, I've boiled it dry, I always put it in the dishwasher...and it looks and performs great. It's never warped, it cleans up good with barkeepers friend, it's awesome.

My mom right now has disk bottom revere ware, she's afraid the disk is going to come off. She won't cook above medium heat. She won't even boil water above medium heat which is just painful to watch and wait for. The reason why? The documentation that came with it said not to use it above medium heat and she's a rule following gal. I need something that does NOT prohibit cooking on high. Preferably with a lifetime warranty (even if the exclusions mean it's actually kind of a joke), and I need it to be affordable because I can't spend 3x everyone else's xmas gift price on won't go over with the wife.

I've looked at Cuisinart multiclad pro...the price is right, but the first thing in the documentation says not to use it on high heat (it sounds like it's just because you'll burn your food...which is just plain stupid). Also, I've heard negatives about their customer service.

I've looked at Sitram, and would be happy to own it myself...but my mom worries about the bottom of her revere ware popping off. If I give her essentially the same pan and say "It's guaranteed to 1000 degrees! It won't come off or warp, it's commercial quality!" I don't think it's really going to make any difference to her, she'll still be nervous.

I also need something that's got a decently thick inner layer of stainless. She's boiled her pans dry numerous times and she has a tendency to just throw them away because she thinks they are ruined. I need something that I can just hit it with some sandpaper and clean it out, polish it back up and give it back to her good as new. I've heard that one of the brands was very thin inside and someone posted about scratching through the inner clad surface. That won't work.

Clearly the easy solution is just to buy her what I have, because it's proven. Maybe there's another alternative though?

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  1. I don't know how you could know the thickness of the layers. It's better to learn to clean SS pans without sandpaper, I think.

    Try this:

    It's so inexpensive that if it's destroyed, you won't worry about it.

    1. Or, the Cuisinart French Classic for something more stylish and in tri-ply construction.

      1. I'm just going of what someone else posted about thickness, they stated that they had gone through the inner layer of their pan with the metal spatula. Upon second look, it was a different line, but still not confidence inspiring. It does look like cuisinart does not recommend metal utensils with the caveat that it's kind of ok in the french classic line.

        I found a link:

        That pan you linked has a disk bottom and wouldn't be any different for her than what she already has unfortunately. I'm looking for something that'll really change how she cooks.

        It's rare that I bust out sandpaper, but if the metal is significantly discolored there's no reason not to try some 800-2000 grit. If that doesn't work, go down a bit and just do only enough to remove the discoloration. I've done it once in 6 years to my pan. It's just an abrasive like any other, barkeepers friend is an abrasive as well.

        4 Replies
        1. re: NathanJK

          There is a huge difference between the grit of BKF or Bon Ami and sandpaper. For burned-on crud, soak in ammonia water first. Foe mere coloration from overheating, ignore it.

          The second pan, French Classic, is not disk bottom.

          1. re: GH1618

            I stand by it...there's no harm in fine grit sandpaper very occasionally when necessary. I myself ignore discoloration. Mom think's it's poison or something ;).

            I'm liking the french classic, I'm going to go check it out in the store right now actually. Thanks!

            1. re: NathanJK

              I have the French classic tri-ply 3 quart saucepan. (I couldn't deal with the handles on my AC 3 quart, and gave it to my daughter.) I'm just as pleased with it and also purchased the 12 inch skillet in the same line. Handles are so much better.

              I don't use high heat - it's not necessary with the clad products unless searing protein and even then I don't use it beyond 7 mark or so. When it gets a bit discolored, I use Barkeeper's Friend - which works just fine.

              As far as metal utensils go, I use this pot a LOT for potatoes, and use my handmixer to whip up mash. It has only very tiny scratches from mixer use, which doesn't bother me a bit.

              (A little OT here... Yes, I went back to my mother's method with mashing. Joint issues prevent me from using my ricer anymore, and she was right. The mash is done in a minute. HOWEVER - she had an old mixer with the thick blades and I think they would really ding my pan. I have the Cuisinart mixer with very thin blades so that may be why I have little issue with scratches.)

              Anyway, I wanted to give the French line a shout out.

          2. re: NathanJK

            Discolored pans can usually be fixed with BArkeepers Friend

          3. Right now you might be able to find some crazy deals on nice clad cookware. I know Williams Sonoma has a 25% off all cookware deal today, and Sur La Table is doing some daily deals that have been incredibly enticing. You might be able to snag an All-Clad piece for around 75 bucks before tax/shipping.

            If you're willing to look for good deals check out eBay and particularly craigslist. You might even be able to get new items there are reduced price.

            Then there's HomeGoods. If you haven't tried HomeGoods yet you should, they have tons of nice and cheap cookware. Every once in a while you even find All Clad at crazy affordable prices.

            I'm not sure cheap, quality clad pieces exist. Normally budget multilayered cookware is disk-bottomed which sounds like a deal-breaker for you. You're probably going to find a hard time finding ANY cookware where the instructions don't prohibit cooking on high heat. My All-Clad fry pans definitely came with that warning - just because the pan might be able to handle abuse doesn't mean the manufacturer wants you to abuse the pan. Plus it covers them in terms of liability.

            1. <high heat, affordable, dishwasher safe>

              Stainless steel full cladded or stainless steel disk bottom cookware.