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New All-Clad Handles... About Time.

Finally, there's a new and completely different handle on All-Clad. But there's a catch. It's a mixed group of Stainless, D5 and Copper Core bodies. The frypans are D5, the saucepans, saucier and saute are Copper Core and the stockpot and rondeau are stainless.

You can't get a 12" frypan at all.

Still, it's a new handle, and that's a start.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/shop/c...

ETA - All the pans have rolled rims and brushed finishes, which I really like. And universal lids, which make me nuts.

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  1. Definately an improvement, even the loop/helper handles look much bigger than the old design which had such a small opening as to be useless when holding w oven mitts.

    But, too late for me. Got rid of all my All Clad SS years ago because the handles bothered me so much. Replaced them with a mixed bag of Mauviel Induc'Inox (discontinued, I guess replaced by the M'Cook line, but had those great old school cast iron handles), Paderno Grand Gourmet (best loop handles evah), Demeyere Sirroco (discontinued 'designer' line with the funky lid handles), Demeyere Atlantis, Mauviel/Bourgeat copper, deBuyer cs, Sitram copper disk.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jimonyc

      That's a damn fine mixed bag, jimonyc.

      1. re: jimonyc

        I'm with you. Day late and a dollar short.

      2. Definitely an improvement. However, it seems All Clad only changed the handles for the Thomas Keller's series. In other words, this suggests that it was Thomas Keller's idea to change the handles. Moreover, All Clad does not believe anything is wrong with its handle design

        For example, Shun cutlery had a partnership with Alton Brown and launched the Alton Brown Shun knives which have an angled handle:

        http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v71...

        This is a request by Alton Brown because he believes an angled handle is better. This does not mean Shun cutlery believes it is the best. The Shun Classic line along with other series did not change their handle angle.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Hi CK,

          Yeah, the new handles are only on these pans. Which is a bit of a pity. But we know how wedded A-C is to their handle design. It's iconic! If by iconic you mean designed to instill hatred in half the cooks in the U.S.

          If these new pans sell like hotcakes, A-C is likely to attribute sales to Keller's popularity, the rolled rim or the brushed finished, anything but the handles. TPTB might even think they sold well *in spite of* the new handle design.

          In the video, Keller does say he chose the handles because they're "comfortable", which makes me think maybe he's not so keen on the "iconic" A-C handle.

          Duffy

          1. re: DuffyH

            Hi Duffy,

            I'm mostly with you, but for reasons of design, not ergonomics.

            I made the decision to start my entire pots and pan collection over from scratch when I went induction about a year ago. From a design point of view, I liked the clean lines of A-C, and appreciated their system wide ergonomic solution for handles: they could be used as-is, or easily adapted with soft grip insulators. My 10" copper bottom Revere didn't work with induction, and the 8" was warped. I went with d5 and two 10" pans--one conventional and one nonstick. I preferred the simple d5 handles to the Reveres with their molded plastic built in handle covers.

            I moved on.

            My objection with saucepans was not ergonomics--it was price: I just couldn't accept paying more than $100 for a 2 qt. A-C saucepan with cover, brushed or reflecting. I didn't. I bought the more stylish Dansk Kobenstyle SS Tri Clad 2 qt. (which turned out to really be 2 1/2 qt!). It had a rounded handle similar to the W-S Thermo-clad. A few months later, I added the 1 1/2 qt. Thermo-clad because it was more stylish than the A-C d5, but it was a close call.

            Even though ergonomic comfort was never an issue for me, we both would choose the same saucepans, I think.

            1. re: drrayeye

              Hi Ray,

              <Even though ergonomic comfort was never an issue for me, we both would choose the same saucepans, I think.>

              Yes, we would. Or I would now. When I bought my induction cookware, I decided to save money on saucepans. I chose Vollrath Optio, with thick disk bottoms. They work well, but I've had to give up my 6 quart sauté because the disk began to lose it's seal to the pan body. This was always the fear that kept me from disks before.

              I like my saucepans, don't get me wrong. The thick base cooks beautifully. They're also cheap enough that most people would probably replace them if they delaminated. If my saucepans go the way of my big sauté, I'll go back to clad, likely a very thick 3-layer clad like Thermo-Clad, Vollrath Tribute or Zwilling Tru-Clad, or else one of the 5-ply pans, like Mauviel.

              I'm hoping my sauté was a freakish one-off, but I'm not buying any more disk bottoms pans.

              My bottom line is that with shapes and dimensions I really like, I'd have been cooking with All-Clad years ago, if weren't for those awful handles.

              Duffy

        2. Hi, Duffy:

          My reactions:

          1. This is an homage/submission to Demeyere's concept of different constructions for different purposes.

          2. The "copper" pieces seem to be the same construction as A-C Copper Core, i.e., not a lot of copper. They omitted the deceptive copper band and altered the shapes a bit.

          3. The others are d5 (except the stocker), reshaped. What happened to d7? If it is All That, why wasn't it put into the mix?

          4. Given the mix+match/purpose concept, a buyer could amass basically the same batterie with the existing A-C lines. Other than allowing you to pretend to be Keller, I'm not quite sure these are significantly different from A-C's other lines. Consumers are likely to be even more confused by the choices.

          5. For what appears to be a premier line, they seem to have scrimped a little with the covers, attaching handles with only 2 rivets, etc.

          6. I personally don't mind lollypop covers, but there're going to be many unhappy campers every time they spill condensation on their cooktops.

          7. Some of the shapes and sizes are odd. IMO, the smaller sauce pots, sauteuse and rondeau are all too tall. The 8" fry pan is quite small.

          8. The handles look quite short. Tossing in the sauteuse may be awkward. Handle comfort TBD, but could they possibly have made things worse? The loop handles still look undersized to me.

          9. Even though they're expensive, IMO they should have either priced this line higher or the other lines lower.

          10. The brushed finish is a good idea. Time will tell how popular this "industry" aesthetic is.

          Aloha,
          Kaleo

          1 Reply
          1. re: kaleokahu

            Hi Kaleo,

            1. I had the same thought, but didn't want to clutter up my OP.

            2-4. There is no "seem to be" about it. A-C is right up front that these pots are exactly the same composition as their existing CC, D5 and Tri-Ply lines. They say so on the photo.

            5. All-clad doesn't use 3 rivets on anything, AFAIK. I agree that lollipop lids are cheap. They could have used D5 lids.

            8. Take a look at another picture, the handles appear to be the same length as other A-C handles. Not short at all.

            9. Seriously? We're analyzing where they fit into A-C's pricing?

            10. Brushed finishes are my preference, too. No water spots or fingerprints and minor scratches don't show at all.

            Duffy

             
          2. I think it's a TK handle made by A-C rather than an A-C handle. The lids seem goofy to me, and probably more expensive. But the cost doesn't matter, because this is for Keller. No doubt there will be people who want his collection at any price.

            I don't see it as important because there are already a lot of alternatives for people who are particular about their handles. Why does it have to be All-Clad?

            I happen to like my original A-C handles, especially on my small saucier. But even if I wanted a different handle this wouldn't work for me because the collection doesn't seem to include a small saucier. The right pan in the right size is the main thing, not the handle.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GH1618

              Hi GH1618,

              <I think it's a TK handle made by A-C rather than an A-C handle.>

              Tomato-tomahto. A-C stamps "Emeril" on their other celeb line. This handle has the same "All-Clad" stamp as their eponymous lines.

              <I don't see it as important because there are already a lot of alternatives for people who are particular about their handles. Why does it have to be All-Clad?>

              Yes, there are other alternatives, which makes me happy. I see this line as an alternative to some of the others. In the past, All-Clad was out of the question, because of the damn handles. I passed up some pans I really liked. Now it's an option, however limited. That's a good thing, isn't it?

              The saucier is 2 qts. On a small pan, 1-1.5 qts, the A-C handle doesn't bother me. But when there's weight, that's when they hurt.

              Duffy

            2. This was helpful. In trying to look up more information on this line I discovered an All-Clad sale, and took the opportunity to add a 2-qt MC2 saucepan. With the original handle, of course. Thanks for the prompt.

              1. I am too cheap to replace perfectly good All-Clad with Demeyere Industry5, but I sure love the Demeyere handles. Haven't tried to TK AC, but the handles do not *look* to be as good as Industry5.

                9 Replies
                1. re: mwhitmore

                  mwhitmore,

                  I like the I5, too. Very much. Those shot blasted handles are pretty easy to hold on to. They could be a trifle less flat, but that's a minor quibble. Zwilling Group put the same treatment on the Zwilling Sensation line, which is essentially an I5 clone, IIRC.

                  Am I correct that I5 is exclusive to SLT?

                  1. re: DuffyH

                    Don't know, but that's where I saw it.

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      It would appear to be so, Duffy.

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

                      BTW, is Demeyere pronounced duh-MY-ruh, as I have heard?

                      1. re: Jay F

                        The skinny Belgian Dr. Someone and the younger Demeyere say duh-MY-er.

                        But younger Demyere sometimes seems to almost add a D, to make it duh-MY-der, but not quite. As though he's semi-rolling the R.

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYJhD...

                          1. re: Jay F

                            Damn, it hate typing this, but ROFL.

                        1. re: Jay F

                          Duh my err

                          or

                          duh meyer

                          Dep on which of the first two guys in the video you wish to believe. I think the first has more euro/French influence, while the second is better at English, so lessens the rolling R.

                          1. re: danlind3

                            I imagine that the one guy is Belgian and the other from the (evil) Zwilling Group in Germany. Don't ask me which one is which. There are also several dialects within Belgium, so that could account for the variant pronunciation.

                        2. re: DuffyH

                          Yes, SLT exclusive. The handles are nice -- like them better than my Atlantis handles (which I love aesthetically, but don't love the angle).

                      2. By the way, I just want to point out that All Clad actually has subtly improved its handle design a few years back. The previous version was worse. I just came back from Sur La Table and held the All Clad cookware. They are less painful than they once were. Still not great.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          I did the same thing, CK, when they first came out. I was able to check them side-by-side at WS, along with the new (at least then) WS Thermoclad line.

                          The new AC handles were a subtle improvement, but not nearly enough to turn this hater around.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            It depends on the line. I just received my new 2-qt MC2 saucepan, and the handle seems to be the same as on my older MC2, but a little wider than that on my 1-qt saucier. What is the subtle improvement to which you refer?

                            1. re: GH1618

                              GH,

                              The current All Clad handle design is not nearly as sharp as the the All Clad handle design from 10 years ago. The older handle has a narrower surface area contacting the hand -- therefore greater pressure and therefore feel sharper.

                              Of course, a youngster like you may not know what I am talking about. :P

                              Here is a photo.

                              http://www.only-cookware.com/images/A...

                              If you walk into a a store and find today All Clad handle to be painful, then you have no idea what pain was just 10-15 years ago.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Thanks. That's a helpful picture. There is also a difference in the curvature at the connection to the pot. My saucier has the thinner handle and my new saucepan has the newer handle. My large saucepan also has the wider handle. My French skillet has a variation of the newer handle with a slot near the pan and guard underneath.

                          2. A pox upon you, Duffy!

                            Up until now, I've always been able to avoid the siren song of All-Clad cookware basically because I hated the handles.

                            No matter how many times I've been tempted, whether at a store like WS, a "sale" on some website, or some evil person posting on a forum such as this trying to tempt me, every time I perused the lineup I would see or feel those damn skinny handles and come to my senses.

                            Add to that my aversion to Celebrity Endorsed anything. I always have said that a celebrity endorsement adds to the price, because some of the proceeds from each sale go back to the celebrity, who doesn't need the money. And in most cases, said endorsement adds no value to the product, either.

                            Now it seems A-C has nearly broken down the last of the barriers. Sure, if I had kids I have to sell one of them to be able to afford any of the pieces. But since there are no crumb snatchers in the house I may even be able to justify purchasing a "starter piece" because it's "on sale." Okay, there still that Celebrity Endorsement thing, but this time TK's input seems to have improved the breed.

                            Hmmm… Maybe if I say I bought it *in spite of* TK's endorsement, rather than *because of* it…

                            The sirens are getting louder!

                            48 Replies
                            1. re: al b. darned

                              Hi al b. darned,

                              Don't blame the messenger, my friend. Blame WS, they're the rat bastards who tossed the ad into my inbox.

                              Here's a thing. If people don't notice that the handles aren't typical A-C, you won't have to explain the whole celeb thing (it gives me the willies, too). Not that I'm advising you to be duplicitous or conceal things from friends. I would never do that. I'm just putting the option out there. Between co-conspirators.

                              Duffy

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                On my dear messenger! If it weren't for thee, I probably never would've known about these. About the only time I frequent the WS website is when someone dangles a carrot such as this. And since the WS store is in The Mall, which I avoid like the plague, I would never stumble upon them there either.

                                If I *were* to purchase one or more of these, they would hide in the cabinet along with the rest of my mixed set of pots and pans. I'm not one of those who hangs all the pots out for everyone to see, and make sure everybody knows what I've got. Besides, most my friends wouldn't have any idea what the big deal about AC is.

                                For me, that one and a half quart saucepan is the perfect size for lots of things, and a tri-ply really works best my burners. So far, I haven't found a tri-ply than I like. That's about the only way I can "justify" spending 185 Big Ones on a small saucepan. The jury is still out, but the sirens are getting closer.

                                1. re: al b. darned

                                  <So far, I haven't found a tri-ply than I like. >

                                  What are your parameters for the small saucepan you want? Perhaps I can help. After all, I get personal mail from WS and introduced you to the joy that is All-Clad TK. Who knows what wonders I can lead you to? Or something like that.

                                  1. re: al b. darned

                                    There are a lot of small multi-ply saucepans available for less money. What is the difficulty that makes it hard to find one you like?

                                2. re: al b. darned

                                  Hi, al:

                                  If you find the TK set tempting, tie yourself to the mast before you click here: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                  A-C really is showing itself to be shameless. Now we have them hawking the same Copper Core stuff (including the terrible handles!) under the Pantheon names of Bocuse-Boulud-Keller.

                                  Anyone want to bet ANY of this Trinity cooks with this stuff at home or at work?

                                  Aloha,
                                  Kaleo

                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                    You're right, K. This is completely shameless.

                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                      And they are practically giving them away! At $1,400 they leave you plenty of money left over to by the missing saute and a stocker.

                                    2. re: kaleokahu

                                      Hi Kaleo: It's clearly not the same thing, they don't have the copper cut out at the bottom. And they have the funkey lids. How do you do toung in cheek when you write a response?

                                      1. re: mikie

                                        Hi, Mikie:

                                        I believe it's the same metal sandwich, with the decorative/deceptive exterior band omitted. I didn't mean to suggest they are identical in every non-functional respect.

                                        How do I do it? Years of professional writing practice, I guess.

                                        When will the Escoffier and Carême lines be coming from A-C?

                                        Aloha,
                                        Kaleo

                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                          Soon I would guess ;) Demeyere pulled it off with the John Paulson line. Not much different but the handles and the price tag. Has A-C decided there best bet is to move upscale and leave the midrange cookware battles to the other guys?

                                          1. re: mikie

                                            Hi, mikie: "Has A-C decided there best bet is to move upscale and leave the midrange cookware battles to the other guys?"

                                            IMO A-C's been stuck in an untenable position. Like Le Creuset's, A-C's wares have, in modern times, always been midrange, yet they've branded and priced themselves as upscale. With the proliferation of good midrange clad made globally, it's been harder and harder for them to compete on branding (or in LC's case, colors) alone. Patriotic brand loyalty only goes so far when the choice is between $399 and $179.

                                            I'd be really interested to learn the business terms of the "exclusives" W-S strikes with the pan companies. Perhaps ultimately we'll see an evolution more towards what Alessi has done with its lines and designer/MOMA aesthetics.

                                            Aloha,
                                            Kaleo

                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                              Spot-on analysis here. I would even add that there is more availability of upscale cookware with outfits like BBB selling Demeyere and Sitram online, etc. There are perhaps fewer companies making truly great cookware, but a handfull of upscale brands available at bourgeois box-top stores has to hurt. Also, the proliferation of information changes the game significantly.

                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                Obviously I meant "big box store," not "box-top."

                                                1. re: randallhank

                                                  <Obviously I meant "big box store," not "box-top.">

                                                  But "box-top" store provides a better mental picture. I like it. :-)

                                                2. re: kaleokahu

                                                  Hi Kaleo: "IMO A-C's been stuck in an untenable position. Like Le Creuset's, A-C's wares have, in modern times, always been midrange, yet they've branded and priced themselves as upscale."

                                                  Au Contraire, my friend. A-C and Le Creuset have broadened in both directions. With d5, followed by copper core, followed by Tom Keller's TK, and other limited offerings, they've challenged the higher end quite successfully. Even on EBAY, A-C products are hard to find at any real discount prices--even an out of box demo.

                                                  For the middle market they import Emeril from China, with their older Tri Clad line still holding on here in SOCAL.

                                                  Le Creuset has been importing and selling more and more stoneware from China and Thailand, while introducing a SS tri clad line mixed in with other innovative metal products. At the same time, they are forcing retailers to hold list price on most products, adding in a few costly collector pieces as well.

                                                  I don't see any evidence of the "untenable position" you describe here in California, but I don't have any access to industry sales trends, year by year: locslly, nationally, or globally. either.

                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                    Hi, drrayeye:

                                                    I meant "midrange" in terms of performance, "upscale" in terms of price.

                                                    The bind A-C is in is that there is now a plethora of clad out there that is at least as good, and priced far lower.

                                                    Yes, yes, both A-C and LC have diversified as a survival strategy. I would not characterize Emerilware as middle market, but opinions vary. I see the TK and the Boulud sets as part of that strategy. We'll see if they crimp Demeyere's or Mauviel's style in higher-end lines, but I would not bet on it.

                                                    Aloha,
                                                    Kaleo

                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                      Hi Kaleo,

                                                      I think that A-C has survived the challenge of lower cost higher quality Tri Clad imports much better than even they expected. W-S, which had removed them from their displays in favor of copper core and d5 only are bringing them back on display. They're selling like hotcakes on EBAY.

                                                      My recently introduced and purchased Dansk Kobenstyle SS Tri Clad 2 qt. sauce pan (made in Thailand), which I really love, is not being picked up by Chef's, Cutlery and More, W-S, or even Macy's--and Dansk/Lenox did everything right. You'd even like their handle!

                                                      I see All Clad as playing more to their potential in high end induction rather than specific competitors: that's where they do the best. Neither Demeyere nor Mauviel have enough marketing clout to make much difference here in the USA anyway. The biggest threat might be from an energized L-C, but it hasn't happened yet.

                                                      Ray

                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                        Hi, Ray: "Neither Demeyere nor Mauviel have enough marketing clout to make much difference here in the USA anyway."

                                                        With estimated annual sales of just over $12 million, All-Clad is a tiny player worldwide. Stanley Cheng's Meyer may sell more pans in a week than All-Clad sells all year.

                                                        A-C has gotten by for a long time on its branding and by giving up profit margin to W-S.

                                                        Aloha,
                                                        Kaleo

                                          2. re: kaleokahu

                                            Kaleo,

                                            Of course not. The guys (and the cover/handles for that matter) are among many marketing tools for trend setting: a high risk game.

                                            This particular one has fingerprints of W-S, not A-C all over it. W-S was already able to introduce d5 as an exclusive, alongside their own Thermo-Clad line. This current package seems more focused on the $1000 barrier and bridal registries than luring professionals in the industry. With their typical W-S 20% discounts and a special offer price, this package may convey prestige without being "that" expensive.

                                            1. re: drrayeye

                                              Hi drrayeye;

                                              I'm intreagued by the prestige comment. I address ths to all, so how much cookware do you think is sold based on prestige and how much on actual cooking prowes?

                                              When we were shopping for Kitchen appliances, the sales guy pointed to a SS range with red knobs and said essentially that this was a prestige buy. We didn't even go over and look at it or any of the other appliances in that area. As I've aquired new cookware, it's been about a lot of things, handle comfort, thermal conductivity, lower maintaince, performance, etc. I guess I wouldn't know prestige in cookware. To me prestige would be either to have no pots and pans, just dine out, or have a staff to take care of the cooking and I couldn't care less what their cookware looked like, as long as it was clean.

                                              1. re: mikie

                                                Hi Mikie,

                                                It starts with design and performance, of course, but there are some tests.

                                                To me, it's the lifetime warranty and the potential to get your money back (or make a profit) on EBAY. I own mostly Le Creuset, Staub, and All Clad, bought mostly on EBAY, and I think that I could make a profit if I sold them back. Try to see how much you could get for Lodge, Cephalon, or Martha Stewart used on EBAY.

                                                Ray

                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                  Haha, my Viking pieces have a lifetime warranty, but the pots and pans, alegedly made by Demeyere, are no longer in production, so what are they going to send me? I guess I don't put much faith in lifetime warranties. I've only paid full price for one of the 4 Satubs we have and one of the 4 Viking pans and picked up the Demeyere at the outlet store. Thank goodness for sales!

                                                2. re: mikie

                                                  Hi mikie,

                                                  I think to many young cooks, especially those with good incomes, prestige means All-Clad. It's a name they know, and you can't walk into Walmart or Target and pick it up. Just as LC likely means prestige in terms of cast iron to them. They're just beginning to cook and are unfamiliar with nuances of construction and performance.

                                                  Their previous experiences are likely to be with whatever the parents have (kid may not even know what that is) and whatever they used on their dorm room hot plate.

                                                  This is a gross generality, but it's what I tend to see and hear. My guess (and that's all it is) would be that about half the premium cookware sold is based on prestige and half on performance.

                                                  The bulk of all cookware is sold based on price, looks, celeb name, brand familiarity or other factors that have absolutely nothing to do with prestige or performance.

                                                  IMO.

                                                  And then there are Chowhounds and our ilk. We have a whole different set of criteria, based on performance, utility, perceived value, and a whole lot of other minor factors that affect the big three above. I've heard that some of us have even been know to make charts. Not that that's a bad thing. We're a strange breed, but we have the best cookware. Maybe not the most prestigious, but it's almost always what's best for us.

                                                  Duffy

                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                    Hi Duffy,

                                                    Who on earth would make a chart or spreadsheet for cookware. Oh, er, uh, I resemble that remark. Well it was very helpfull. As usual, you may have nailed it, AC and LC seem to be very well known. I guess prestige to me would be new 3mm copper from Europe, but that's because I wouldn't spring for it.

                                                    1. re: mikie

                                                      Hey mikie,

                                                      I'm still waiting for that winning lotto ticket. Prestige means a personal chef. Who only works for us. No freezer meals for me, thank you very much.

                                                      FWIW - don't you think (hope) Zwilling would pony up some new Atlantis to replace your Viking? It wouldn't be the same for your saucepans, but it should be equivalent in skillets and sauciers. Or maybe Zwilling Sensation for saucepans, or more Staub. This should be buyer's choice. It would be wrong of them to say you're SOL.

                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                        Duffy, you have to buy a ticket to win ;) haha

                                                        1. re: mikie

                                                          I don't think so, mikie. I've bought tickets before and not won. And I once bought a membership to a gym. Paid my monthly fee and everything, but I didn't feel any more fit and didn't lose any weight.

                                                          I'm pretty convinced they just pick random names from the phone book. And I'm 60 now, so I'm just coming into prime lotto winner age.

                                                    2. re: DuffyH

                                                      I agree with the "gross generality" remark, but not much else here.  People who aren't buying their cookware at Target (because they want something better and can afford it) aren't just buying a name they've heard of.  They have computers and an interner connection and are capable of doing thorough research to decide what they want.

                                                      I won't try to figure out how others choose their cookware, but I will say how I came to buy my All-Clad:

                                                      1. I wanted better cookware because my old stuff is literally falling apart and because I am cooking more now and able to afford an upgrade.

                                                      2. Made in USA is a plus for me, when the quality is there, although not a requirement.

                                                      3. A reputable brand name is a plus, but a celebrity name is a disqualification.  If someone other than the maker wants his name on my cookware, he should pay me.  That's not going to happen.    

                                                      4. I like utility without frills. So I like A-C MC2 because it has enough aluminum and a stainless steel liner, but no SS exterior cladding (which is superfluous). As far as I know, there is no alternative with this construction.

                                                      5. A-C is sometimes too pricey, but I generally find what I want at a discount.

                                                      6. A-C does not have an exclusive deal in my kitchen. I do not have or want an A-C set and I have many other brands as well.

                                                      7. The handles are not an issue for me, as I have written before. I like them better than on either my de Buyer Mineral pan or my Calaphalon Commercial pan (new or old).

                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                        Hi GH,

                                                        <They have computers and an interner connection and are capable of doing thorough research to decide what they want. >

                                                        I've seen a little evidence of that here, but only about half of the time, and not at all in the RW. Again, this is especially true of young adults buying their first batterie, IME. But hey, I've been wrong before and cheerfully admit I'm being entirely subjective based on a small sample.

                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                          I like MC2 too. I can buy that sales pitch. D5, I don't understand. Copper core, how much copper? But MC2 is the under-rated cousin. But up from there is the Demeyere Atlantis/Proline. That is some seriously thick aluminum! Wow.

                                                          1. re: danlind3

                                                            Familiar w/ Demeyere, but never heard of Proline so just out of curiosity, checked Amazon.

                                                            List = US$338/Discount Price = US$270 for an 11" skillet.

                                                            .....for a SS skillet.

                                                             
                                                      2. re: mikie

                                                        Hi, mikie: "...so how much cookware do you think is sold based on prestige...?"

                                                        I think the word 'prestige', at least when it comes to cookware, carries within it several other concepts besides name and price, like branding, design aesthetic, endorsements, and yes, even performance.

                                                        At one simple level, prestige brands become a shorthand for good performance. This is really a handy short*cut* for uncritically-thinking consumers. Through adroit and expensive marketing and branding, many consumers will never believe anything OTHER than A-C or LC is the finest cookware on the planet, no matter what you put in their hands. And the stuff is good enough that the post-purchase reality doesn't shatter their self-congratulation over having spent so lavishly.

                                                        One sad side of the cookware coin is that most folks *don't* research cookware performance (sorry, but reading Amazon reviews doesn't count, IMO). So I think brand familiarity, eye-pop, and CLAIMED performance rule, regardless of whether the consumer is shopping at Neiman Marcus, W-S or WallyWorld. I view price--within middle-class budget limits--as merely a tiebreaker

                                                        The other sad side is that precious few people actually compare *for themselves* any alternatives before grabbing that pan which appeals most to them. Color me heretical, but this applies quite strongly even here on Chowhound ("Exhibit A, Your Honor, the strong disinterest in the proposed Lending Library"). When people find something they like, good luck opening all but a few minds to the possibility there's something better.

                                                        I know this all comes across as cynical (among other things), but look at it from a different angle: If pure performance ruled, and prestige was taken completely out of the equation, thick straight-gauge aluminum wares from resto supply houses would own a dominant share of the home market. In a strictly utilitarian universe, a strong case can be made that--other than for cleaning convenience--clad should not exist.

                                                        So, my answer to your question is: "Prestige, a lot; performance, not so much." YRMV.

                                                        Aloha,
                                                        Kaleo

                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                          <I think the word 'prestige', at least when it comes to cookware, carries within it several other concepts besides name and price, like branding, design aesthetic, endorsements, and yes, even performance.>

                                                          Exhibit B - Rachel Ray cookware, or virtually any celeb brand. They use it on their show, so it must be good. That's good enough for me. Well, not *me*, but you know. The idea that product placement has everything to do with sales and nothing to do with quality never occurs to the average viewer as he or she watches their favorite kitchen guru.

                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                            Great points, Duffy,

                                                            but sooner or later, reality sets in--for a few. You "really" liked that colorful Dutch Oven as well as the meal inside, or you noticed all those SS pots and pans, ovens and frig's when you peeked into that restaurant--or while you were working there, or you stepped out of Walmart into W-S by accident one day at the Mall . . .prestige changed meaning in your mind.

                                                            Then an L-C Dutch Oven appeared under that Christmas Tree--and you were hooked. For all that extra money, it had to do a better job. You become more discerning and demanding. You become a better cook. You buy more cookware--try new things: you become a Chowhound.

                                                            Ray

                                                            1. re: drrayeye

                                                              Hi, Ray:

                                                              Here's a comment I had in an earlier post on "new Revereware." This mentions the influence that high-end cookware (pretty hoity toity) sponsoring early 80's PBS shows had changed my cooking/life. I also finally understood, many years later, that function and practicality mattered more to me, so I supplemented the "elite" cookware with resto equipment, online shopping for carbon steel, multi-clad lines, and other less expensive wares.

                                                              "My mother used Revereware exclusively and when I think of what she cooked, it didn't require much from the pans. She boiled potatoes, she boiled vegetables, she stewed chicken, corned beef and pot roast. She made spaghetti, chili and soup. She never thought to sear any proteins or cook eggs in them. (We had fry pans with Teflon for that and she didn't sear anything anyway.) Delicate sauces weren't in her world.

                                                              She gave me a set of the same cookware when I got married. I cooked the same way.

                                                              Until.... Julia, Jeff, Jacques, and others came into my life. PBS was my go-to for learning new things. I couldn't get enough, and those pans from my mom didn't cut it for a lot of things. She thought I was over-thinking the whole cooking thing - until she started to eat my food.

                                                              She loved my cooking - although up until her passing, she still used her good old Revereware. That was name-brand quality to her and I never would think to change her mind.

                                                              I STILL don't know how to make her chicken fricassee."

                                                              The end. :)

                                                              1. re: breadchick

                                                                Hi Breadchick,

                                                                I was primarily Revereware myself--until induction came along. Even then, I tried to hold firm with my 2 Revereware fry pans, but my 10" Copper clad didn't work at all, and my 8" was warped.

                                                                My two 10" A-C d5's were a revelation.

                                                                Ray

                                                                1. re: breadchick

                                                                  Hi bc,

                                                                  Excellent point, one that never occurred to me. You are quite right, we're no longer all about "meat and potatoes" and tater tot casseroles anymore. As cooking shows have exploded beyond PBS we're changing the things we cook and the ways we cook them, which demands better cookware.

                                                                  Duffy

                                                                2. re: drrayeye

                                                                  I agree, Ray. A lot of people do move beyond the lower quality stuff that is usually covered in a single layer of cheap nonstick. I credit Costco and Sam's club with some of that, too. The outbreak of WS and Pottery Barn in every mall. People are seeing a lot more quality goods in more places than ever before.

                                                                  Duffy

                                                            2. re: mikie

                                                              Prestige vs. cooking prowess?

                                                              Prompted me to think about my own cookware purchasing motivations over the years.

                                                              For me it was mostly prestige, as defined by whether the cookware was something I perceived as being used in a high-end professional kitchen. 'Cooking prowess' will always take care of itself because a pro kitchen would insist on using the best performing tools, my thinking went.

                                                              By my definition, cookware doesn't have to be expensive to have prestige. A DeBuyer carbon steel skillet (which went for under $20 when I purchased mine) is as prestigious to me as a $400 professional grade copper pan.

                                                              The real appreciation for relative performance advantages usually came after the purchase through use, rather than research.

                                                               
                                                        2. re: al b. darned

                                                          I hear you on the celeb endorsed cookware. It sort of cheapens it. It's like wearing a "pro" glove with a player's signature on the inside. You know the real mlb guys might use very similar, if not the same, glove, but they don't have Roger Clemens' fake signature on the inside.

                                                          I relegated my truly awesome Michael Chiarello Signature cookware to the bench in favor of Demeyere, largely because I wanted a larger saute (and a few other shapes), but also perhaps because a part of me cringes every time I grab those handles with Chiarello's name on it. The quality is unquestioned but as someone who has spent significant time in the industry, I just felt like a complete poser every time I picked the stuff up.

                                                          1. re: al b. darned

                                                            Well, the Finance Committee approved my request for the purchase of a 1 1/2 quart saucepan (sans lid!) even though the price has now gone up to $190. But my Practical Side kept saying, "It's nuts paying that much for a small saucepan… And you don't even get a lid!"

                                                            So I perused around, and right under my nose on Amazon I found a very nice Cooks Standard tri-ply 1 1/2 quart saucepan *with lid* for just over 40 bucks. Okay, it's made in China, not the US, but most of my other cookware is also made in China and has held up well and hasn't poisoned me yet. Sure, I had to sacrifice a couple layers and a famous chef's endorsement, but I think I'll adjust.

                                                            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004...

                                                            The pan came came the other day, and it is just a shiny as the AC I could've spent nearly 2 C Notes on. It has a comfortable handle, is well-balanced, has a nice solid feel, and the slightly domed lid fits snugly. And it cooks just as nicely as expected.

                                                            Since I was so resourceful, I think I should be able to spend the $195 "change" ($150 "saved" on the pan plus $45 "saved" by not having to buy the lid) on something else shiny, but so far DW isn't buyin' it.

                                                            1. re: al b. darned

                                                              Calvin Trillin called that "Alice's Law of Compensatory Cash Flow:

                                                              http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/enter...

                                                              1. re: al b. darned

                                                                Hi al,

                                                                First, kudos to your practical side. I think you absolutely made the right decision. It's a saucepan, how critical is conductivity and all the other things we obsess about?

                                                                Second, you should absolutely be rewarded for saving so much money. Has the Finance Committee Chairwoman never heard of a bonus? ;-)

                                                                I feel your pain at this rejection, I've faced it myself from time to time.

                                                                Duffy

                                                                1. re: al b. darned

                                                                  Hi Al b.,

                                                                  I don't know if it would have changed your mind, but a 1 1/2 qt. W-S Thermo clad, w/lid could be purchased today for $79 minus 20%--about $64 at the store or online. If you didn't like it, you could get your money back or exchange it.

                                                                  I've got one. I love it. It's from a small custom factory in Italy--so it probably doesn't communicate well in Chinese.

                                                                  Ray

                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                    Hi, Ray:

                                                                    +1 on the Thermoclad triply. I was comped one of the skillets to evaluate, and it's a solid line. 2mm aluminum core, and very ergonomic handle. W-S claims the aluminum alloy is higher conductivity. Excellent value.

                                                                    This is obviouly house-branded W-S, but it is made by Meyer's Hestan division at their factory in Italy.

                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                      After looking at both pans, I still think I would've gone with the one I chose because I like the angle of the handle better. Also, by not buying this one instead of not buying the A-C I would only have $14 in Compensatory Cash to spend on another shiny.

                                                                      And what's with W-S and their "Suggested Price" and their "Our Price"? It's their brand, so who "suggested" the higher price?

                                                                      1. re: al b. darned

                                                                        Hi al,

                                                                        I've not seen the Cooks Standard cookware in person but have sure noticed that it gets some really good reviews. Can you tell me how thick it is? Maybe compared (as best you remember) to All-Clad?

                                                                        Duffy

                                                                        1. re: al b. darned

                                                                          Al b.,

                                                                          Sound like you found your solution, but I think that there probably were many additional possibilities. Here are some considerations other buyers of pots and pans might consider.

                                                                          The apparent difference in price between brand name and Chinatown may not be as big as you may think. I have been able to purchase almost any top brand at about 50% of the listed price in perfect condition, sometimes in box from famous retailers (like W-S). For example, I purchased a Wusthof "precision" paring knife ($140 list) for $29, a momentary reduction. It since has gone up to a still great sale price of $69. I use Amazon for reviews, and buy various products from them, but I can usually beat their price by a mile for cookware by Googling around. The really spectacular every day opportunities are on EBAY for All Clad, Le Creuset, and Staub--especially items for bid. My best "win" was a 7 1/2 qt. Le Creuset oval Bouillabaisse pot ($300) for $63 new in box. Get on lists. Take special sales seriously. Be patient. Be careful. but Shop around!

                                                                          Ray

                                                                  2. I wouldn't mind the universal lids if they dropped the pan's handle a bit more. As it is, the lid doesn't fit exactly the same all the way around (and that is my OCD coming out - I know. I also have issues with placemats being exactly even.)

                                                                    That said, at least A/C is trying to make an effort.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: breadchick

                                                                      Hey bc,

                                                                      I don't like the lollipops because I store lids on the pans they fit. When I pull them out of the cupboard, these lids would be slipping and sliding all over the place.

                                                                      I keep a ruler near my dining room. Thank goodness we seldom eat there.

                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                        My mom had these "waffled" vinyl placemats for the glass-topped table near the pool. They were square, and her table was round. I would drive her nuts because I would try to evenly place the squares within the round.

                                                                        My dining room is on hiatus with just the two of us now - except for the holidays. Which will be here before we know it.

                                                                    2. I just checked out the W-S website, and darn. I have such a soft spot for rondeau pans. I don't need it, but I really like it. It's so pretty.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: breadchick

                                                                        I like the handles on the rondeau. They're almost as big as the Zwilling Sensation loops. Easy to grab.

                                                                      2. I like the rolled rims.

                                                                        I dislike the rounded tops of the handles as that makes it harder to rest spatulas (etc) on top.

                                                                        If you just grab the old style AC handles, they hurt. But if you can get the cheek of your palm (fat part under the pinky) into the wider part of the handle and your thumb running up the narrower groove toward the pan, you get some decent comfort and some good control.

                                                                        The TK lids look ridic and I would never want to use them.

                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                        1. re: danlind3

                                                                          Hi danlind3,

                                                                          <But if you can get the cheek of your palm (fat part under the pinky) into the wider part of the handle and your thumb running up the narrower groove toward the pan, you get some decent comfort and some good control.>

                                                                          Are you talking about an underhand grip? When I tried that the edge of the handle cut into the fleshy pad below my thumb and HURT. The pan was empty at the time.

                                                                          Respectlfully, there's a reason so many people dislike All-Clad handles and I honestly don't think it's because we're holding them wrong.

                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                            I know I'm swimming against the tide, but I do think these grips can work pretty well - at least for my hands. The under grip, I do not get.

                                                                            These photos are two variants of what I tried to describe above: the palm cheek planted into the bigger depression at the top of the handle, and then trying different fingers in the depression towards the pan.

                                                                            The third photo, I think is the undergrip folks refer to. I agree - painful!

                                                                            As I said, decent comfort, good control. I'd be surprised if the rounded handle all around on the TK didn't want to rotate around while being lifted.

                                                                             
                                                                             
                                                                             
                                                                            1. re: danlind3

                                                                              Hi danlind3, thanks for the photos for clarification. I've been one of the many long time haters for the current handle design. Based on your examples above, I would be in pain trying to lift a loaded A/C pan. I grip handles fairly close to the rim of the pot/skillet (from underneath) to give me more leverage and better alignment with the handle. However, that means the more narrow part of the A/C handle's design - and invites twisting from one side to the other, possibly sloshing whatever is in the pan. I've given some of my A/C to my children and replaced the heavier pots with other multiclad lines. (Cuisinart's made-in-France line, for instance.)

                                                                              1. re: danlind3

                                                                                I think most people usually either grip on the side (kind of like how you should hold a tennis racket) or an underhand grip. I used to use the side grip more. I have gradually using the underhand grip.

                                                                                1. re: danlind3

                                                                                  Hi danlind3,

                                                                                  Thanks for posting pics of your grip styles. I appreciate the effort.

                                                                                  Can you lift the pan using the grips shown in pics 1 or 2? Are you holding it so far away from the pan just for for the photos, or is that where you hold it for lifting and (presumably) tossing?

                                                                                  I can't lift any loaded pan (and only a few empty ones) holding it that far from the pan. Not with any handle. Well, maybe a 6" skillet or 1 qt saucepan. Yeah, I've got weak wrists.

                                                                                  Anyway, thank you for the very good illustrative photos.

                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                  ETA - Take heart, I don't think you're swimming against the tide at all, except possibly on this thread. There are a lot of other threads where people sing the praises of their A-C pans. I doubt they'd do that if they didn't like the handles.

                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                    Hi DuffyH,

                                                                                    I can lift the pan (3.5qts, MC2) pretty well with it filled about an inch to the rim with water. And I think the palm cheek in the groove offers good control for pouring to one side or the other. I am not too good at tossing (though I can over easy two eggs by tossing -usually- in a non stick), but I just tried maneuvering a 3 qt MC2 sauté pan half filled with water, and I could maneuver it well. So if I had something flippable, and if I wanted to make some bets, yes, I could flip with it.

                                                                                    I know many like AC, and with decent reason, but liking the pan doesn't necessarily mean liking the handle. Or people may think that b/c they upgraded to AC, that the handle is better. And, for example, I'd say that the AC handle +is+ better than most copper pans (for example), which get hot, can rust, and can be hard to rest a spatula/stirrer on (b/c they rise so high).

                                                                                  2. re: danlind3

                                                                                    The third is not what I call an underhand grip. Since it is the left hand, you need to rotate the hand to the left so that the thumb and the base of the thumb lie along the left side of the handle. The fingers should point down into the recess along the top of the handle. That's how I hold my small A-C pan. My two large pans have helper handles. I pick them up with one hand only when empty or nearly so.

                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                      Hi GH1618,

                                                                                      I'm a righty, but trying that which you describe as best I can, the edge sticks into my fingers a knuckle or two down.

                                                                                      PS: not sure what that pic was, it's the best of images for what google revealed for whatever it was I searched for: All Clad grips or something. I assumed it was the underhand grip, which so many mention.

                                                                                      Thanks for the corrx, but it still seems too angular to me.

                                                                              2. I saw this in the WS flyer I get every so often, and put a reminder in my phone to check out clearance in about 3 months. This will soar or flop, and I want the discounts either way!

                                                                                1. This is for Kaleo and "prestige" vs. performance

                                                                                  Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                  Your analysis of the "newbie" American purchaser of cookware, trying to go upscale is extremely discerning. It starts with A-C and L-C, and user experience overwhelmingly supports the choice, even though the pots and pans chosen may not represent the best value or achieve the best possible performance.

                                                                                  However, optimum performance for any individual user is almost impossible to determine, or even adequately measure without both honing in on the energy source, and the types of cooking anticipated. Even were we able to make those determinations, ergonomic demands come forward. It seems clear to me, for example, that the classic A-C handles, a joy for me at 6' 2", might be experienced differently if I were 5' 2". Another aspect of ergonomics is consistency across pots and pans, which can relate back to performance and overall aesthetic satisfaction.

                                                                                  I noticed many of these for the first time last year when I switched to induction. Kaleo's improved responsiveness over A-C, using high end copper pans, could even be problematical for certain cooking applications using induction. On the other hand, managing that improved responsiveness might be possible with higher end induction hobs, with multiple rings of various diameters and alternative pulsing strategies.

                                                                                  For me, the initial focus on A-C and L-C, a great start, led me to other products of better personal value: two Tri Clad pots by Dansk and W-S, and many Staub cast iron pieces.

                                                                                  Ray

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                    Bringing this back to the discussion on the All Clad Thomas Keller line, I just saw them today at WS not knowing at first what they were. I was drawn to them because of the brushed finish, specialty shapes like the rondeau and sauciers and the more practical design of the copper core (no troublesome polishing of the recessed outer copper band). I have worked in professional kitchens and own a fair amount of cookware, brands like Demeyere, Staub, LeCreuset, and DeBuyer. I'm not saying the TK line is for everyone but it does offer some very unique features and deserves a look in person. The most unique peices seem to be the 8 qt rondeau and the shallow copper core saucepan.

                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                      "However, optimum performance for any individual user is almost impossible to determine, or even adequately measure without both honing in on the energy source, and the types of cooking anticipated."

                                                                                      THIS

                                                                                    2. I had a dream last night I was cooking with this Thomas Keller cookware, and I couldn't get the lids off except by using my thumbnail, which led to my burning my thumb. Somehow, there were no potholders in the dream.

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                                                        Well, you have to wait for the Thomas Keller potholder collection...

                                                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                                                          Thankfully you did not use your Freudian "side towel"...

                                                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                                                            <Somehow, there were no potholders in the dream.>

                                                                                            No handles, either.

                                                                                            1. re: Jay F

                                                                                              That is pretty funny. Maybe the dream has a deeper meaning.

                                                                                            2. Saw this line yesterday. Although I had no interest in buying AC, I like this new design. The only drawback is the lids, I haven't used a universal lid before and not sure if I'll like it.

                                                                                              I was so close to purchasing the Fissler OP. I've been hesitating because of the weight and lack of rich browning that I've gotten with my pressure cookers.

                                                                                              Someone want to chime in on the lids that has experience?

                                                                                              48 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                The lids work pretty well for their intended purpose, either completely covering the top of the pan on smaller pots or stirring tightly inside the rim on larger ones with a close seal.

                                                                                                The only drawback I can see is that off the pot the lids are unstable to store due to the thin metal disk edge and heavy metal offset handles. To demonstrate this issue, go to WS and try to put the lid back in its wire display rack/holder without having it fall over sideways or roll out onto the floor. Basically other than laying the wet inside lid surface down on your counter it seems very difficult to put the lid down and not have it fall or drip moisture on your work surface.

                                                                                                1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                  Good to know the lid fits close on the stock pot! I'm going to go back and take a closer look at all the pieces.

                                                                                                  Does anyone know when WS does their cookware sale?

                                                                                                  1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                    LOL. I saw this line on Friday and I had the exact same experience with the lids. Part of the issue is also that WS is so eager to show the nesting capabilities that they tried to display everything on one tiny hightop. I think having universal lids for a set this nice is a mistake. How about simply have more pans with similar diameter?

                                                                                                    1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                      Good point about the lids. I wouldn't want to pull that rondeau out of the oven and try to balance that lid with the awkward handle at the same time. Imagine trying to put another pot in there if cooking more than one dish. Easier to buy a rondeau/braiser with dedicated lid.

                                                                                                      1. re: breadchick

                                                                                                        Yes I will go with my Staub shallow cocotte for the oven every time. Compact self basting lid that fits tight and is meant for oven use. If you check the 6.5 qt is just about the same capacity as the TK rondeau. Way cheaper too if on sale, try Cutlery and More for good prices.

                                                                                                  2. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                    Hi, coconut:

                                                                                                    mmanzi is correct that these flat covers (aka "lollypops") can be a challenge to store. All covers are, to varying degrees.

                                                                                                    IMO, the biggest drawback to lollypops is that they don't keep condensation in the pan--they tend to dump it on your cooktop. Mine like to do this every time I lift them, and then they all laugh at me!

                                                                                                    You must weigh the convenience of only needing a few lollypops against these disadvantages. Another minor advantage is that you can use lollypops to serve from, turn things out of molds onto, etc.

                                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                      One other aspect to note; since the lids work by sitting totally flush on top of the pot rim, if the metal disc got warped or bent in one area the seal would be compromised. Sine the lids are just a flat thin metal disc with no bends, crimps,folds or bands to reinforce their lateral strength, and since they are somewhat unstable to store, bending is very likely to happen. Theoretically any bends could be bent back out, but a regular pot lid seems easier to maintain. ...

                                                                                                      1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                        I just read the only review so far on WS the person reviewing said everything stuck to the cookware:( granted it's just one persons opinion, but now it's coloring my decision.

                                                                                                        1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                          They don't claim it is non stick, any stainless interior cookware will have some sticking issues but that I'd also what gives the "fond" or browning effect that is often desired and which non stock surfaces won't give. I suspect user error as primary cause for sticking issues. A s/s pan properly preheated will release foods fairly well.

                                                                                                          1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                            Yeah, it was likely user error, but you never know. They said they tried different temps, oils etc.

                                                                                                            So, I called WS and they have a 30 day return policy if I have problems with the cookware. Plus, I asked about additional pieces in the future and was told there are plans for additional pieces but they didn't know what pieces or when they would be released.

                                                                                                            1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                              I'm sure they will add pieces if the existing stuff sells. If not you could possibly buy it a lot cheaper in a year or so....you might want to check out the Demeyere Atlantis line, especially if you have an induction cooktop.

                                                                                                              1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                                I have a gas cooktop. I looked at the I5 at SLT you think there is much difference between the two lines? Isn't the I5 cladded and the TK mixed design according to function?

                                                                                                                1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                  Hi Coconut Cupcake,

                                                                                                                  The I5 is the same as Zwilling Sensation. All the TK is cladded, as is the I5. Where the TK is different is that it's a mix of Tri-Ply, D5 and Copper Core.

                                                                                                                  To add to the confusion, the D5 in the TK collection is steel-aluminum-steel-aluminum-steel. The I5 is Steel-aluminum alloy-aluminum-aluminum alloy-steel. In a nutshell, the D5 is made of alternating layers or steel and aluminum, while the I5 is steel surrounding aluminum. Some of us suspect the D5 will be a bit less responsive due to the extra layer of steel in the middle.

                                                                                                                  I would pretty much ignore anyone who claims everything sticks to stainless. As you noted, it's only one opinion, and unless you know what you're doing, everything sticks to stainless.

                                                                                                                2. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                                  Do you have any other recommendations for induction. I am about to shift to induction and will need new cookware. The tk line appeals to me because of the brushed stainless surface, the rolled edges and the right size of pans offered in open stock. (Especially want a 2 or 3 quart saucier). The lollypops are also intriguing since I have limited storage space

                                                                                                                  1. re: DarenL

                                                                                                                    Hi DarenL,

                                                                                                                    In addition to the 7-ply Demeyere Atlantis, check out DeBuyer Affinity Mont Bleu collection (with the coolest handle ever, supposed to be very comfortable) which is also 7-ply

                                                                                                                    http://www.amazon.com/BUYER-3753-24-C...

                                                                                                                    or with a standard deBuyer handle http://www.amazon.com/DeBuyer-Affinit...

                                                                                                                    note these do not include lids.

                                                                                                                    And the 5-ply Zwilling Sensation (sold as Demeyere Industry 5 at SLT) http://www.cutleryandmore.com/henckel...

                                                                                                                    ETA - CIA Masters, 7-ply, but no rolled rim, 2 and 3 quart available http://www.amazon.com/Culinary-Instit...

                                                                                                                  2. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                                    Maybe, maybe not. I think the whole point of this set is that it has everything you need. After seeing this set in person I can tell you that the best thing about it is that the pan sizes and dimensions relative to those sizes are done from a professional perspective.

                                                                                                                    I'll second the Demeyere rec if you have the cheese. If not, and induction isn't part of the equation, try Sitram Catering. More often than not, I reach for those for everyday cooking.

                                                                                                            2. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                              Hi, mmanzi:

                                                                                                              Really good point about these covers being dead flat. The best classic French lollypops have *some* dome or cone shape formed into the metal for precisely this reason--less likely to bend or crease. These TK covers are u-g-l-y.

                                                                                                              Aloha,
                                                                                                              Kaleo

                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                Aloha Kaleo;

                                                                                                                Yes as I said previously the TV lids seem pretty unstable from my experience trying to put them back in the WS display. I basically had to walk away from the display because I was afraid that I was going to be blamed for damaging the lids when they kept falling out of their rack. At the time I thought the display was ill conceived. The TK lid itself is a very fancy handle attached to a very basic flat aluminum disc.

                                                                                                                DarenL, for induction Atlantis is pretty much the best as each piece is designed and fabricated for its specific function. Basically the TK principle taken all the way with either 5 or 7 layer construction. Plus the Sulvinox finish stays bright. The pieces are heavy in weight though.

                                                                                                                1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                                  Okay everyone. I need to make some decisions and appreciate some help!

                                                                                                                  What would you choose and why if you were considering the TK (I was an AC hater until I saw these) Fissler OP, Zwelling Sensation, Demeyere I5, De Buyer Affinity or the Atlantis?

                                                                                                                  Keep in mind I have a gas stove with higher BTUs. Price is a small consideration but I'm really looking for value for the money I'm about to spend. I have limited cabinet space (one of the reasons I like the nesting feature of the TK).

                                                                                                                  1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                    Zwilling Sensation is Demeyere 5 ply with riveted handles instead of welded. Demeyere manufactures the Zwilling line. If prices of Demeyere I5 and Zwilling are similar I would favor the Demeyere as the welded handles make the pan interior easier to clean

                                                                                                                    1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                                      The counter argument is that rivets tend to give notice (get wobbly) before giving out, welds not so much.

                                                                                                                      I'm fine with either on quality cookware and have never had the least difficulty cleaning around rivets. If forced to choose I'd likely favor the Zwilling line. It's a personal decision.

                                                                                                                    2. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                      You might consider some Staub pieces as well for braising and things that will go from stove to oven.

                                                                                                                      1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                                        Hi, mmanzi: "...go from stove to oven."

                                                                                                                        You know, this phrase has always puzzled me when it comes to cookware choices. IMO/E, there's nothing about enameled cast iron that favors it over other constructions in this application. Yet the LC/Staub/Lodge crowd use it as a mantra, as if it is somehow superior for 1-pot meals.

                                                                                                                        I totally accept the idea that the *shape/proportion/capacity* of the stereotypical "French oven" is well-suited to many preps that do make it from hob to oven. But the idea that ECI ovens do it better I think is simply incorrect. This claim seems to me to be just another canard, much like "heats evenly".

                                                                                                                        I also understand that the pretty colors appeal to some as serving pieces, and ECI stays warmer longer, but these are different issues from suitability for stovetop-to-oven preps, don't you think?

                                                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                          I know it seems like a sketchy reason, but in all honesty if I don't need the quick reactivity of a multilayer s/s pan on the induction cooktop and am going to put the vessel into the oven then I'm going to use an ECI pan. Why? Because it's made for stove to oven and is way easier to keep looking good. On induction any baked on crud which gets on the outer surface can interfere with the conductivity which is what makes the pan work so well. My s/s pans stay looking like new and working great by staying exclusively on the induction surface because nothing burns on the outside. Again, Just My viewpont.

                                                                                                                          1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                                            Hi mmanzi1,

                                                                                                                            Your reasoning sounds fine to me. You're cooking the way you want to with cookware that works fine for the job. I say this as someone who sees no real need for an ECI DO.

                                                                                                                            I'd use one of my SS pans for that, but I'm not above using oven cleaner on my SS when it gets ugly.

                                                                                                                            Duffy

                                                                                                                            1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                                              Hi, mmanzi:

                                                                                                                              You can have any reason you like, so it's not sketchy. However, claiming that ECI ovens were somehow uniquely designed and best suited for stovetop-to-oven use (the implication being others were not so designed) is just counterfactual. Again, it's the classic marmite *shape* which makes for the versatility.

                                                                                                                              Your "easier to keep looking good" reason stands or falls on its own merit.

                                                                                                                              I also must ask: Have you really experienced a problem with induction because of a dirty bottom? This is the first time I've heard of this.

                                                                                                                              Aloha,
                                                                                                                              Kaleo

                                                                                                                            2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                              Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                              It's not the vessel alone, it's the elegance of Le Creuset and/or Staub coupled with induction that makes the difference. In the past, whether or not I cooked with gas or electric, enameled cast iron was only a tiny part of my cooking experience--mostly warming up and serving soups or beans. Things changed radically with induction. I could combine more and more functions in one cocotte. I began going from stove top to oven to serving all in one multipurpose vessels. They are so beautiful, I even leave them out as part of my kitchen decor.

                                                                                                                              Once warmed up, I get incredible temperature control. With my 7 1/2 qt. fish stew pot, I could go from warming to low simmer to high simmer to boil consistantly at 10 degree intervals with my Vollroth Cadet. No guesswork. In the oven, the heavy cast iron lids keep the meat moister, minimize the need for basting.

                                                                                                                              Your high end copper pieces can do much the same thing with gas, and you may be able to add special finishing touches with your intuitive artistry. Cleanup and maintenance may not be that much a problem for you. For me, it would be impossible, even if I could approximate your mastery. Induction needs predictable magnetism provided perfectly by my cast iron cocottes.

                                                                                                                              Given your commitment to high end copper, you may not need the convenience and beauty of my Staub grenadine or basil as it moves from stove top to oven to table, but induction makes it nearly irresistible for me.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                            Hi CC,

                                                                                                                            I'm not the biggest fan of disk bottom cookware. I did have one pan that separated, and another that was a PITA to clean at the seam. Neither of those things should be an issue with the Atlantis, but my bias is to clad cookware.

                                                                                                                            That said, I would choose the Demeyere/Zwilling stuff. Atlantis (Proline) for sauciers and frypans where the most heat control is desired. I'd choose the Sensation/Industry 5 or deBuyer for sautés and saucepans because thinner walls are fine for those pans.

                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                              Funny no one has favored the new AC:)

                                                                                                                              BTW I have LC and two de buyer mineral pans.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                                I have a mineral pan also and agree it works great for searing food on the stove top and finish cooking in the oven. That's a restaurant secret btw...many places use them. That perfectly moist heritage pork chop or fish you remember fondly at a good restaurant was probably cooked in a mineral pan....

                                                                                                                                1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                                  Who needs AC? I cooked perfect Chicken Saltimbocca tonight in my $25 Sams Club Bakers & Chefs 10" tri-ply pan. My large cutlets were draped slightly up the walls of the pan, but everything cooked evenly on my largest induction hob.

                                                                                                                                  It's made in Brazil, making me suspect it's a clone of Tramontina's excellent Professional line. It's almost as thick as the AC tri-ply at ¼ the price. The handle is MUCH better, with a snug silicone sleeve for an excellent, soft grip.

                                                                                                                                  The more I use commercial cookware, the more I like it. The Demeyere Proline skillet is superior to it, there's no question, but I'd pit my cheap commercial skillet against the AC stainless all day on my induction range.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                    LOL...you all are true cookware geeks! I just want a great set of ss pans:) I'll post an update when I have it figured out. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                                      Hi CC,

                                                                                                                                      I wait with bated breath to see what you choose, and more importantly, WHY you choose it. That's endlessly fascinating, at least to me.

                                                                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                                                      2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                        The lids are a disaster in a number of ways. You would have to find some real lids for at least a few of the pans. The braiser is one of the nicest pans in the set and you certainly aren't going to use the universal lid in the oven! Why not just make the stocker, braised and sauté all with the same diameter? The sauté, btw is also really nice -- 5 quarts with great dimensions, somewhere in between a regular low-sided sauté and a deep sauté. rolled rims, brushed exterior, I'd cook with it. But I don't need to.

                                                                                                                        1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                          Yes I agree about the lids and oven use. Awkward at best. See my post above, for oven use the Staub cocottes are ideal, about the same size as TK rondeau and can he bought on sale at good prices. Try Cutlery and More for sales on Staub

                                                                                                                          1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                                            I guess my suggestion about making multiple pans the same diameter is what most companies do to streamline the lid situation. But that would ruin the nesting capabilities of this set. Still, I think this was a terrible compromise. In restaurant style cooking you can skip the lid for many things because the cooktops are so powerful and no one seems to care about wasting energy. Maybe they are counting on anyone who can afford this set having a high BTU cooktop, but I think home cooks need lids.

                                                                                                                            1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                              You're right, randallhank. We do need our lids. Lids turn open pans into braisers so we can sneak cheap bottom round or flank steak into our stroganoff. Not that *I* would ever do that, but *some* people might want to slice it really, really thin and simmer it for about 15 minutes in a cup of beef broth. Just sayin'.

                                                                                                                              In all seriousness, AC does offer 3 graduated lids, but it appears corralling them is a challenge.

                                                                                                                              More to the point, though, how much nesting is practical? We've got to pull out 4-5 pans to get to the 10" frypan and sautuese. Those are likely to be two of the most-used pans in the set. I'm more likely to break that tower down into 3-4 manageable stacks. I imagine that would be a pretty common thing.

                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                After having a crowded cooktop yesterday, I ruled out all clad tk because of the lollipop lids. I can see them getting knocked over very easily. If they come out with regular lids before I purchase my cookware I'll reconsider. Too bad about the lids I really liked the pans.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                                  I can see that, sure. Just using two frypans this morning, I spun one of the pans a bit to get the handle out of my way. Adding more long handles can't be a good thing.

                                                                                                                                  I've got several pans that shipped w/out lids. My solution was to order Vollrath Optio lids for them. They come in many sizes and are nice stainless steel, with easy to grab handles. Because they have fairly wide rims, they fit a surprising number of my pans like they were made for them. And they don't cost much, either, which was a big selling point for me. I mean, it's a lid, right?

                                                                                                                                  http://www.staples.com/vollrath+optio...

                                                                                                                                2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                  Weird mixing of commercial (lid) and home (nesting) features AC chose for this line. Probably some marketing persons call for distinguishing the line from others.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                                                    Hi mmanzi1,

                                                                                                                                    Trying to make us feel like we've "gone pro" when we use them, perhaps?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mmanzi1

                                                                                                                                      I don't suppose A-C chose the features. More likely, Thomas Keller chose the features.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                        I doubt that Thomas Keller is concerned with space saving in the kitchen so doubt he was the one pushing the nesting feature.

                                                                                                                              2. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                I wouldn't want those lids. I only have three sizes of A-C lid anyway. Finding a lid is not a problem. In a busy commercial kitchen it might be more important to minimize the time spent picking the right lid.

                                                                                                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                  I worked in high end restaurants for a long time. I never remember chefs or cooks using those types of lids.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                                    They probably didn't exist. They appear to be Keller's innovation. I don't think they'll catch on.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                      <I don't think they'll catch on.>

                                                                                                                                      Because they are not functional or because they are not attractive?

                                                                                                                                      To me: while these lids look to be very functional, I just think people want the traditional lids which fit nicely to a particular pot.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                        First, because they're ugly. Second, because they take up too much room in the storage drawer with those long handles. They aren't universal anyway. There are three sizes of lid shown. I only have four All-Clad lids in three sizes as it is.

                                                                                                                          2. BTW, the handles are still pretty lousy. Too rounded on the top edge.

                                                                                                                            1. I love the idea of only three lids, I don't find them ugly, and I have the perfect storage space, but not sure how functional they are if they can easily be bumped or moved. I also noticed in the videos TK didn't use the lids in the oven.

                                                                                                                              1. Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                I just purchased a 3 1/2 qt. tri pli AC saucepan, new--from stock. It exemplifies everything you've complained about for years. My other two saucepans are already like All Clad TK, so how can I "update" my brand new saucepan handle?

                                                                                                                                No problem (and this is why I've never seen a problem with All Clad handles). Just go to EBAY and search for "saucepan handle covers." Almost instantly an uncomfortable All Clad handle is converted to meet almost any ergonomic concern: rubberized silicone sleeves slide over the handle:

                                                                                                                                http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-SILICONE-...

                                                                                                                                http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-ZING-SILICO...

                                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                  Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                  Have you tried one of them? I'm a fan of silicone handle covers, but I don't feel as thought I've got a secure grip unless the silicone fits snugly.

                                                                                                                                  My Vollrath Tribute saucier came with a covered handle (Tri-Vent). I purchased a sleeve for my Mauviel sauté that fits so tight I had to use dish soap to attach it. I agree that they're absolutely game-changers.

                                                                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                                                                  Note - I later learned that a tight handle cover will slide right on if you run it through the dishwasher and slide it on while it's still warm and pliable. It will then shrink-wrap itself onto the pan handle.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                    Great comments, Duffy,

                                                                                                                                    I haven't tried them, yet. I just got my All Clad 3 1/2 qt. last week, and all my other saucepan handles are great.

                                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                      I hope you ordered ones that fit well. If they don't, they can be dangerous. I have a brass-handled frypan that sports one, and it is a hand saver.

                                                                                                                                      IMO, A-C handles are like shaking hands with some practical joker who you know wears a buzzer. Making them wear a glove is better, I suppose...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                        If those don't fit, the one I use on my Mauviel pan might work. It's a tight squeeze, but just might work for A-C, too. The only point of concern for me is the tip of the handle, which is more or less round. It might have trouble fitting over that, making the whole thing a non-starter. Maybe one of the Lodge or LC sleeves would work.

                                                                                                                                        A handle cover would be a game changer for me, no question. Thanks for thinking of it, Ray.

                                                                                                                                  2. Thanks to all for cookware suggestions the past few weeks. I finally made a decision and bought some pieces of ....drum roll......Demeyere I5. I got to cook with two pans today and they are awesome! I'll be adding more to my collection, hopefully i can pick them up on sale. So far i have the:

                                                                                                                                    8 & 9.5 skillets
                                                                                                                                    3.5 saucier
                                                                                                                                    4qt saute (a new piece they added to the line)

                                                                                                                                    I never got to handle the Atlantis in person (probably a good thing:) but I decided against it due to the weight of the pans. The AC TK really appealed to me but the universal lids killed it.

                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                                      Hi Coconut Cupcake,

                                                                                                                                      I'm glad you're enjoying your new pans. You've got some nice ones. Watch for sales on the 11" skillet, you'll see it on a really good deal about every 6 months or so.

                                                                                                                                      When it comes to lids, if you're ever in need, check out commercial cookware. I've bought several Vollrath Optio lids for some of my lidless buys, including a pair of Mauviel pans. One of them fits the Mauviel stewpot, a thick aluminum nonstick skillet I picked up at TJMaxx, a Bakers & Chefs 10" clad frypan and one of my deBuyer pans. Very versatile! Commercial SS lids are an excellent, cheap alternative to overpriced name brand lids. Added bonus - they look good on almost any pan. Also, in the popular 10" and 12" frypan sizes, Calphalon and Cuisinart lids can commonly be found under $20.

                                                                                                                                      Happy cooking!

                                                                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                                        Great decision,

                                                                                                                                        Demeyere is a great value decision, and may pay further dividends if/when you switch to induction.

                                                                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                          Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                          What is up with the popularity of induction? I love my gas stove.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                                            Hi Coconut Cupcake,

                                                                                                                                            <What is up with the popularity of induction? I love my gas stove.>

                                                                                                                                            Induction is for people who love gas ranges, but don't have a gas hookup. I spent 3 years burning food on my electric range, so out it went.

                                                                                                                                            With induction, I've got the response of a gas range, my kitchen stays much cooler than with gas or electric, and it's easy to clean.

                                                                                                                                            If I ever bought a house with a gas range again, I'd likely leave it be, make sure I have a killer hood and install a big-ass ceiling fan. But if it's electric, well, induction is a no-brainer.

                                                                                                                                            Duffy

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                                          Cupcake, how do you feel about the look of the pans? I'm trying to decide between the Demeyere I5 and the new Tk All Clad. Overall I like the Demeyere more (especially the welded handles) but everytime I go to both stores to compare them in person I am disenchanted with how te Demeyere pots look. I like the rough handle style but the pots look very cheap to me. Function is the biggest priority but having an open kitchen with open shelves means that style has some factor in the decision (especially at this price).

                                                                                                                                          After visiting 3 sur la table locations each set I have seen appear very tattered looking -- how are they fresh out of the box? Did the finish ever bother you or make you reconsider your decision?

                                                                                                                                          Sadly the TK line just looks sexier to me. I love that brushed look and the minimalist lines (if there were more options in the line and the handles didn't have rivets I'd be sold)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: DarenL

                                                                                                                                            Hi DarenL,

                                                                                                                                            How do you feel about Mauviel M'Cook? They've got rivets, but functionally should be almost indistinguishable from the TK and I5 lines. There are a lot of pieces in the line in classic shapes. The long-handled pans can have cast iron handles if you want them. Bronze handles are available on saucepans, too.

                                                                                                                                            Duffy

                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                              I love the look of the cast iron handles against the stainless but I'd really prefer a welded handle and after having polished cookware for over a decade I really want something that is more matte or brushed (and will hide small scratches and everyday wear-n-tear)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: DarenL

                                                                                                                                                I'm neutral on the subject of rivets, but do share your preference for brushed finishes. I don't display my cookware, but water spots piss me off.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: DarenL

                                                                                                                                              Hi Daren,

                                                                                                                                              I had the same reservations about the I5 looking haggard. They are perfect out of the box and for whatever reason they look better in my kitchen than in the store. It could be the lighting and/or the silvernox finish making them look off. How they look after a lot of use, i won't know for a while, just got them yesterday.

                                                                                                                                              I made dinner tonight and had two pans going with lids and i realized if i had the tk universal lids they would have overlaped on the stove. Plus, the condensation would have been running all over the place.

                                                                                                                                              The performance has been night and day better than what i was using before. I made jam yesterday and it reduced beautifully in the conical sauce pot.

                                                                                                                                              I agree that the TK is sexier, if they had regular lids I would have purchased them. I really wanted to buy American too, feel a bit guilty about not keeping it in the family. That said, I wasn't thrilled about the look of the I5 but since trying them at home I've changed my mind and think they look nice. I love the clean up too!

                                                                                                                                              Just buy a pan of each and test it out maybe that could help you with making a decision.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Coconut Cupcake

                                                                                                                                                Thanks Cupcake! Its great to hear that someone has similar concerns/feelings and is happy with their purchase.