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Best pots/pans?

I searched and did not find a thread on this (post-2005), so I apologize if this is a dupe. That said, simply put: best pot/pan set for the value? Cuisinart? All-Clad? I'd prefer something with clear lids, but that's not a must. Also, non-stick vs. regular, copper vs. stainless steel, etc? Thank you.

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  1. I'd say that is too broad — there is no "best" for the "value." For one thing, different people can have greatly differing opinions of value, depending on how much money they have to spend on cookware. For another, different people cann cook different things in different ways, which would lead to a different conclusion of which cookware is "best."

    1 Reply
    1. re: GH1618

      concur with GH1618, AND
      even for myself, as i get older, the things that i like/want in a pan are different than the things i liked decades ago.

      pans that i loved way back when are too heavy/unwieldy for me to handle/control/lift now

      i find i no longer bake AT ALL, so pans that i used to like because they worked well for both baking and cooking are not as desirable now.

      i tend to eat lighter fare now, such as roasted vegetables and no longer eat meaty stews at all. this changed my cookware preferences.

      and on, and on.

    2. Hi Magnolia,

      The serious cook/hobbyist will be looking at All Clad, Le Creuset, and Staub as high end models to compare against at a place like Williams-Sonoma. That would be a terrific start. If you can't go there and walk around--go online, which might be the best place to start anyway. Then try a good department store like Macy's, then low cost alternatives at Target--or Walmart. The experience should be an eye opener.

      Once the alternatives are clear, consider buying just one piece at a time while thinking through your energy source: gas, electric, or induction. Make some dishes that feature your new cookware piece and pieces, and start building your personal solution. It should be a wonderful adventure.

      Good luck.

      drrayeye

      1. The term "best" can be kinda vague. Some of my "best" pans are yard sale cast iron pieces... Griswold/Wagner stuff that cleaned-up and re-seasoned just fine... and only cost a dollar or. IMO, "best" for non-stick is Calphalon. Treated correctly, lasts a long time. It's NOT big bucks AND C will repair/replace for just the cost of you shipping it to them... NO receipts required.

        Unless you just HAVE to have all the same brand, I'd also pass on buying a set and opt for picking up a piece or 2 at a time.

        1. Fair answers thus far and I guess I didn't leave enough detail. Here's what I'm looking for:
          I have a 30" Bertazzoni gas range - quite powerful compared to what I was using, and also an impetus for me to replace my T-Fal (!) pans. I have a few cuisinart pots as well as a nice wolfgang puck skillet, but that's it. Otherwise, what I'm looking for is something:
          *complementary to this unit - high BTU resistance, cooks well on gas.
          *non-toxic. We have a newborn and now this is even more important than it was previously.
          *cleans fairly easily. obviously there will be elbow grease involved and though I'm partial to copper, I see that in nearly every review they are absolutely demanding to upkeep and I really won't have the time or that level of dedication to keep them gorgeous.
          *non-stick? I would assume that's ideal but from what I can tell they are actually subpar for cooking, outside of eggs. Is that correct?

          I'm leaning toward Cusinart but this Analon Nouvelle caught my eye:
          http://www.amazon.com/Anolon-Nouvelle...
          Any reports on this?

          Otherwise, looks like Cusinart or All-Clad. Thank you again.

          4 Replies
          1. re: MagnoliaGardens

            Taking your bulleted items in order:

            complementary — everything works on gas. I don't think there are many pans which will melt on a high BTU range, but you should be careful not to overheat nonstick coatings or to warp or delaminate a pan by letting it boil dry. Even an ordinary range can damage a pan this way.

            non-toxic — there is no need to worry about toxicity from any cookware sold in the US or Canada. I advise that you don't use aerosol cooking spray (or any other aerosol). My infant daughter would start coughing within seconds when we used a cooking spray, even though she was in another room. We stopped using it, of course.

            cleans fairly easily — most pans do, except those that have bare aluminum surfaces. Copper needs polishing to look sharp. All stainless steel is easily cleaned with Bar Keepers Friend. Nonstick is easy to clean by hand. I would never put it in the dishwasher even though some claim to be dishwasher safe.

            Non-stick — I am one who thinks Teflon-type nonstick is ideal for eggs, but there are those you prefer plain (seasoned) steel pans. Although I have and use a couple of nonstick skillets for other things, I wouldn't use nonstick for everything.

            I have seen Anolon Nouvelle but haven't used it. It looks like one of the best lines that you'll find in a department store. It comes in a stainless version and a nonstick version, so you can mix and still match, if that's important to you.

            1. re: MagnoliaGardens

              Hi, MG:

              You've gotten a lot of good advice so far, so I'll keep it to a point no one's addressed--"demanding" upkeep for copper.

              I have about 50 pieces, maybe 15 of which I use regularly. I only polish 2-3x/year. This is the bright, mirror polish, and this *is* some work, if you must have that look.

              However, you can attain about an 80% effect with very little effort using Barkeeper's Friend. If this "lightly-brushed" look is acceptable to you, don't give upkeep another thought. You still must hand wash, though.

              "Best" usually carries with it some extraneous concepts, e.g., convenience, aesthetic, status, etc. If you focus exclusively on performance, it's hard to go wrong choosing thick copper or very thick aluminum.

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

              1. re: MagnoliaGardens

                By the way, the stainless steel version of Anolon Nouvelle is available from Overstock.com for only $300. I would call that a "value" if that's what you decide you want. You could then supplement it with a couple of Nouvelle nonstick skillets.

                Note that Overstock has erroneously described this set as being "nonstick."

                1. re: MagnoliaGardens

                  Here's a link to a review of one of the Anolon Nouvelle SS pans (3 qt sauté):

                  http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ar...

                2. I'm not sure there is a "best bang for the buck" when it comes to cookware. The really great cookware comes with a really great price (assuming you are buying new). A more appropriate question might by what's the best $500 9 piece set of cookware, or $1500 9 piece set. I think you can find a thread on the best $200 set of cookware, the point is these are totally different answers.

                  As long as you are not on an induction range, thick (2.5 - 3 mm) copper is the best for sauté pans and skillets, because of the even heating. But new copper of that thickness is very expensive. Next would likely be thick multiply, typically SS/Al/SS combinations with 3 to 7 layers. These conduct heat very well and are usually induction compatable. But here's where bang for the buck gets really tricky, does a $250 Demeyere Proline cook better than an All-Clad or an even much less expensive Cuisinart French Collection, or and even less expensive made in China pan of similar construction? With this type of cookware, thicker is almost always better.

                  Then there are disk bottom cookware, and these too run the price gamet from over $350 for a Demeyere sauté to $59 for a Calphlon. This technilogy is also used in many sauce pans as well. The emphisis is on even heat on the bottom of the pan.

                  Clear lids, is another issue. Most of the higher end cookware does not utilize a glass lid. The obvious advantage is that you can see in without lifting the lid. Since you don't see these on "high end" cookware such as Mauviel, Demeyere, All-Clad, etc. I think one can determine the disadvantages outwheigh the advantage.

                  If I had to pick a best bang for the buck right now I would say the Cuisinart French Classic collection: http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-FCT-1... This is a really great deal right now. I've seen and held the pots and pans and the quality looks to be there. They aren't the thickest available but thicker than most low cost cookware. And they are made in France.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mikie

                    I agree with everything mikie wrote, except for one little thing. He did well to advise heavy copper and thick multi-ply clad like the Demeyere. Here's where we part - if you're going to purchase any of the clad stainless pans, I would not buy anything, even the Cuisinart FC, that is thinner than All-Clad tri-ply. I just don't think the value is there, in the long run. I used to, but now I know better.

                    I've recently purchased some thick (same as or better than AC) clad sauté pans and sauciers. They are performing leagues beyond my old Calphalon Tri-Ply, which was pretty comparable in thickness to Cuisinart FC. There is simply no comparison. On your range, I think you will especially appreciate the responsiveness and control you get with the thicker pans.

                    I'd recommend AC if you like the handles and flat rims. You should definitely handle- test them first. Otherwise, I'd recommend Mauviel M'Cook/M'Elite, Zwilling Spirit Stainless or Williams-Sonoma Thermoclad.

                    Mauviel and Thermoclad are thicker than classic AC. The Zwilling is about equal. Also consider Demeyere Industry5/Zwillling Sensation, which are 5-ply clad clones on par with the Mauviel and Thermoclad.

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

                    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/mauviel...

                    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/zwillin...

                    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/zwillin...

                    http://www.surlatable.com/category/ca...

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      We don't really depart there as I agree thicker is definately better. Compared to "standard" Cuisinart that was mentioned in the OP, I think the French Classic is a better deal than most, and if one is looking for bang for the buck, this is a fairly good bang for a very small buck.

                      I think my Demeyere saucier and Viking saute, frying pan, and sauce pan are thicker than either All Clad or Mauviel M Cook. But, since I don't have the other two and measurements on this type of surface is difficult to do accurately I'm only speculating based on my visual determination. Personally I would buy the thickest cookware I could afford and/or lift comfortably. These options are not always within the budget restraints or available. If one is copper phobic (afraid of copper maintaince) heavy ply like Demeyere is probably the next best alternative.

                      1. re: mikie

                        <I think my Demeyere saucier and Viking saute, frying pan, and sauce pan are thicker than either All Clad or Mauviel M Cook.>

                        No question. Yours are definitely thicker. Of this I am certain. And the 11" Demeyere skillet, when it's on sale, is a killer deal.

                        <Personally I would buy the thickest cookware I could afford and/or lift comfortably>

                        I bought a couple of Mauviel M'Stone HAA pieces when I went induction, because I do have weak wrists. I was thinking that the aluminum would give me the response I want with a lot less weight, and they do.... but they're nonstick (ceramic) and thus not right for everything. When it comes to stainless, I do like nice thick pans. I used to be a dedicated pan shaker, hardly ever even using a spatula or spoon for pan frying and sautéing. I've learned to use utensils and leave my pans sitting on the hob, but can't say I like it. *sigh*

                        1. re: DuffyH

                          I have a Demeyere Frying pans 5* (Atlantis) and a conical sauté pan (Atlantis). Not exactly cheap, but they will probably last a long time and I love them both.

                  2. In my husband's and my opinion, All-Clad is the top of the line. We got a set of copper core for our wedding. It's fantastic, but you really don't need the copper core in every piece, if you need it in anything at all. The copper core is helpful for the likely 1-2 pans you will use at times when having a very evenly and consistently heated cooking surface makes a difference.

                    We also have a couple of Cuisinart "green" non-stick pans. My husband likes them, but the non-stick part is scratched up, which, I think, means they aren't safe to use anymore.

                    Cooking on a stainless steel surface instead of non-stick takes some getting used to, but now that I am used to it, I greatly prefer it. I am concerned about toxins, but I also prefer the way food turns out. I couldn't successfully cook an egg until I watched a youtube video about how to do it without sticking. (Hint: the pan has to be sufficiently heated BEFORE you add oil/butter/whatever in order to get that nonstick effect.)

                    So, I think All-Clad is probably the best value for that caliber, i.e., there are a few other brands (what's the French brand that begins with an M?) that are of similar quality but much more expensive. But these are the top of the line. You can also check Williams Sonoma for their D5 collection - we have one frying pan that is D5 that is really nice and more affordable than All Clad's other collections.

                    PS - I make our baby's food in stainless steel and glass only, except for the food processor because I haven't found one without mostly plastic parts.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: MyKitchen

                      We really enjoy our All Clad too, mostly tri-ply. Chose that for the lighter weight. Picked up my first Ina Garten book a week or so ago; she wrote she likes All Clad pans and roasters, Le Creuset dutch ovens, cast iron skillets and half sheet pans. That is almost identical to the cookware I've settled on over the last few years through trial and error, sans roaster. There will always be something new, some better, but at this stage what I have works well and I enjoy cooking with it.

                      1. re: Cam14

                        Hi Cam14,

                        I've got two All Clad d5's, 10", one nonstick and one traditional--one beautiful globular lid for the two of them. Maybe not quite Demeyere 7 clad, but I'm probably not good enough to appreciate, nor rich enough to afford the difference: my two 10" d5's and one lid cost me about $140 on EBAY. For saucepans, I've gone 3 pli: 1 1/2 qt Thermoclad, 2 1/2 qt. Dansk Kobenstyle SS, 3 1/2 qt. All Clad tri pli.

                        I'm about to use my d5's right now!

                        Ray

                        1. re: drrayeye

                          Hi Ray,

                          Did you see the WS sale on the d5? They've marked down the 4- and 6-qt Essential pans. The 4-qt is $99.95, the 6-qt is $149.95.

                          I don't know if that's an item you've had your eye on, but what kind of ChowBud would I be if I didn't alert you? :-)

                          Duffy

                          ETA - A link would be nice, Doofus (she says to herself). Here you go: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                          1. re: DuffyH

                            Thanks, Duffy,

                            but for anything above 2.5 qts., it's Le Creuset or Staub for me. I've got three four qt. Staub pans: the perfect pan, the braiser, and an oval 4 qt. I've also got a 4.5 qt. Le Creuset with an old fashioned lid. Likewise four pots in the 5-6 qt. range.

                            Don't ask me why . . . .

                            Ray

                            1. re: drrayeye

                              <Don't ask me why . . . .>

                              No need. I've seen the photos. There are meds for that, y'know?

                              :-)

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                And aficionados like Ray are why the dueling braintrusts at Fresnoy-le-Grand and Truckheim ought to be offering a lot more sizes, every shape in 2cm increments...

                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  Hi Kaleo,

                                  They'd never figure me out: I can't even figure out myself!

                                  Enameled cast iron can make a design statement similar to the Kobenstyle of the Scandinavian Modern 70's. Stainless provides the backbone, with Le Creuset cherry and Staub grenadine highlighting the red theme, echoed in the crocks, stoneware, and cooks tools. Le Creuset, by itself, tends to be a bit too light and cheery, and Staub, by itself, can look somber and dark. The color balance allows the complementary basil pieces in the nook to stand out. Right now, it's a happy place to cook, snack, and relax, everything at one's fingertips.

                                   
                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                    "Right now, it's a happy place to cook, snack, and relax, everything at one's fingertips"

                                    most important your kitchen makes you happy

                                2. re: DuffyH

                                  Duffy,

                                  I've got "purpose" pots: bouillabaisse, big bird, little bird, piggy, paella, roaster, wok, braiser, veggie, steamer, big casserole, little casserole, big souper, little souper, loaners 1-4.

                                  I've used 'em all--but some only once or twice.

                                  Ray

                        2. re: MyKitchen

                          So, I should add - in case it's helpful - what we actually have and use. We got a 7-piece set of All-Clad copper core, which I already described. It's amazing but we don't need copper in every piece. It was a gift, but it was also on sale at the time for about $600, so getting an extra piece or 2 was worth it. We have the following:

                          Kuhn Rikon duromatic pressure cooker: 2, actually, in 2 difference sizes. I LOVE these just as pressure cookers, but, as a bonus, without the tops, they are just good, heavy duty pots. When my husband and I both cook, we find we need more pots, so we love that the pressure cookers do double duty. Granted, we don't cook much meat (just fish), but I ditched my old el cheapo slow cooker and have not felt the need to replace it with these babies around. They are top-of-the-line and I use them all the time.

                          Staub Dutch oven. We use these a LOT when it gets cold out, especially for roasting brussels sprouts and the like. They're heavy, but they do a fantastic job.

                          Cast iron pan and griddle. I use these less than I used to, but I'm glad I have them from time to time. They are quite heavy though, and a bit tough on my wrists after a while.

                        3. It's hard to judge a "set" of cookware as the best at any one thing

                          I would shop in terms of best pan for the job - think about it like tools - w rubber mallet works differently than a framing hammer.
                          my ideal cookware set would at a mix of seasoned cast iron skillets (preferably vintage)for searing, frying, and times when heat retention is important, Enameled CI Dutch ovens or casseroles for when you want the retention with a non-reactive surface, thick French copper for sauté and sauces where even heat and responsiveness matter and some good disk bottom SS stock pots for big stove top simmers, soups, pasta, etc.

                          if you are looking for one general purpose set then the multi-clad options outlined are all good - for my experience All Clad is marginally better than most of its competition but not THAT much better to justify the price (except the made in USA part might do it) While I own some I rarely use it in favor of pans like I mentioned above - except for the thick French copper which I don't own instead I have thick American anodized aluminum, the old calphalon stuff, which I like quite better than the tri-ply but hey if I could trade up to copper....

                          1. the best?

                            I've tried pretty much all the medium & high end brands - stainless and anodized - with and without the 'nothing sticks' country fair hawkster claims.

                            I have a couple old old old Griswold cast iron pans. I sandblasted the crud off and seasoned them by cooking bacon & sausage until they got non-stick. they never get washed; wiped out & put away. I don't use them for acidic & liquidy / watery stuff - and I can flip eggs over easy in them - no spatula - just toss the eggs in the air and catch them on the other side.

                            I have a raft of old Revereware thin stainless that work nice for boiling and as a steamer bottom.

                            I keep a PTFE aka Telfon fry pan - useable life about a 12-18 months - then I toss it a buy a new $10 ten-inch pan.

                            if you're using gas - the best stuff (imho) is stainless lined sold copper. there actually is a reason so many pundits say "It's the best but . . . "

                            ...........the "but" bit involves cost. which is quite true - but one can build a very nice collection over a few lists to Santa.

                            copper is the most "reactive" to heat input. heats fast, heats even, cools fast. all metal means cooktop to oven to broiler to bake to whatever - no problem.

                            I'd recommend two pieces to start - 2.5 or 3.0 mm solid copper thickness (3.0 is hard to find anymore)
                            a fry pan - 8 or 10 inch
                            a sauce pan - 3 quart / 16 cm dia

                            these will make the 'fry/saute even' and the 'slow heat' a thing of rejoice. whether it's a roux / white sauce / cheese sauce or heating canned baked beans or a beef stew.

                            and, you'll find that gas has power and power is good and power is frequently too good - so you'll need flame tamers - I got some from BellaCopper - pricey but the best.

                            resist the temptation to buy an expansive set of, ahhh, errrr - anything. you wind up with lots of stuff you don't use and it winds up 'in the way' when it comes to storage. I will however temper that advice with the fact that time-to-time you may find a 'set' at a fire sale price where you can buy the set, throw away the odd-ball junk, and dollar wise come out ahead....

                            you've already been taken to task on the "toxic" thing. stop believing every nut case with a web site / blog. and yes, we raised three kids - so I understand your concern. just be aware there's no danger to cast iron, stainless, glass, porcelain, etc., except for the danger to your pocketbook from the quacks wanting to sell you some "cleanse" or some $20,000 per pan 'magic nonsense' stuff.

                            1. Not a fan of sets -- you want different materials & design for different pieces.

                              For my money, nothing comes close to carbon steel for skillets and crepe pans. Mine are all de Buyer, but a friend has some older Paterno that's pretty good too. Having a single stainless saute pan or skillet is good for acidic foods. I think Sitram is best value, Demeyere is just best (and worth it if you are only buying one).

                              For pasta / stock pot, cheap stainless with a heavy disk bottom is good, so long as there's a lot of liquid in the pot. I also have an enameled dutch oven for when I'm making a stew not a soup. Mine is Staub, picked up on craigslist.

                              Saucepans good to have in stainless clad -- I like Sitram Catering.

                              I've owned a number of all-clad pans, and still own some. Every one was not worth the price I paid, IMO. Not that they can't be worthwhile if you find them at the right price. But with what I know now, they are no longer on my shopping list.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: seattle_lee

                                <For my money, nothing comes close to carbon steel for skillets and crepe pans>

                                I love my deBuyer pans, especially the crepe pans. I've got two of them, one is Force Blue for my fried eggs, another is Carbone for all kinds of grilled sandwiches and other flat things. I've also got a pair of Carbone frypans that see much less use, but I do like them, and am pleased that they're among the rare 'lifetime' pans that truly are.

                                My Force Blue crepe pan has never seen any fat except butter since it was first seasoned. I keep it that way so that my eggs always and only taste of butter. Because, well, butter.

                                1. re: seattle_lee

                                  Certainly a crêpe should be made in a plain steel crêpe pan. It doesn't have to be de Buyer, though. The best value is a generic French crêpe pan which can be had for just a few dollars.

                                  1. re: GH1618

                                    So true, especially for low-med heat things, like eggs and crepes.

                                  2. re: seattle_lee

                                    Sitram Catering. Hands down best for the money for everyday cookware. I mean you can get a killer cast iron skillet for $20, or a carbon steel pan for about the same, but I think if you are looking for a small set of something that will give you excellent responsiveness, QUALITY stainless, and last forever you go with Sitram. In fully clad, check out Spring Brigade Premium multi-ply. It's hard to find but high quality fully clad with welded handles at a reasonable price. Not really available on this side of the pond though. Fissler has gotten pretty expensive, and I don't see what the advantage is over the Sitram lines.

                                    One other quality line for the money is Mauviel M'cook stainless. I am partial to the ones with cast iron handles, if you can find them, but the steel ones are probably perfectly fine.

                                    I don't understand the fetish some people have with glass lids. When the food is cooking you normally can't see much with the steam. Plus they are heavy, not as safe in the oven, and a pain to store.

                                  3. The best pots and pans are the ones that you feel comfortable with and have comfortable handles and will use with confidence. If you can visit a Bed Bath and Beyond, a Macy's, as well as other stores, you can get a feel for fit and finish and go from there. Companies like Chefs Catalog and Sur La Table offer a wide variety of cookware at reasonable prices.

                                    Non-stick is good for some applications, but not necessary. Hard anodized aluminum has a strong following as does multi clad stainless. Cuisinart has been around a long time and has some good multi clad cookware.

                                    Cast iron will last a lifetime if you do your job. Although the older you get, the heavier it feels. We have and use Lodge cast iron but not frequently.

                                    We use Scan Pan Fusion 5. It was made years ago and is 5 ply stainless but was discontinued some time ago. We also have our original Westbend LustreCraft waterless which is 3 ply and 40+ plus years old (yes, that will raise some blood pressure around here) and they see use as well. We also have Magnalite Magnapro hard anodized and the odd assortment of non-stick. They all have a purpose and work well. But there are no favorites and I would be hard pressed to call any one of them "best".

                                    1. What are best to make omlettes- nonstick or regular? Is teflon coatings hazardous to health? I read the "swiss/diamond" pan is still teflon. Also people in the house use metal utensil forks on the pan. Does this completely damage nonsticks?

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: csh123

                                        Swiss Diamond and other modern nonstick coatings contain PTFE, which is what is used to make Teflon. PTFE is not hazardous to human health. Modern nonstick containing diamond or titanium are harder and more resistant to damage than the early Teflon coatings, but I still won't use metal utensils in mine. There is no reason to.

                                        1. re: GH1618

                                          How long does your non-stick last?
                                          What's difference between non-stick& putting oil on regular pan?
                                          Can you recommend a cheap one? (I have earthpan).

                                          1. re: csh123

                                            I have three pieces of T-fal Encore 2 from 1993. The large skillet was damaged by abuse, but the two small frying pans survived by being little used in their early years. For the past few years I have been using them nearly every day, but only for eggs and only with a silicone spatula or nothing. They show no signs of wear and I expect them to last much longer if handled carefully.

                                            I also have one Scanpan Classic skillet which is almost new and which I use only for omelets. This has a titanium ceramic surface (with PTFE) and I expect it to last longer than I do as long as no one else touches it. I store it in its original box.

                                            The Scanpan Classic works very well for an omelet but I wouldn't call it cheap.

                                            1. re: csh123

                                              For an inexpensive set of omelet pans you might consider this deal from Sur la Table:

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

                                              These have a modern nonstick coating, but note that they are not induction compatible. Made in China, as so many inexpensive pans are. I have seen these at SLT but have not actually used them, so cannot vouch for them, but they are certainly inexpensive.

                                              Having a set of two is good because frying an omelet works best if the pan is the right size. The smaller pan is perfect for a three-egg omelet and the larger pan for five.

                                              1. re: csh123

                                                Hi csh123,

                                                With your Earthpan, I'm wondering why you're looking for a cheap nonstick. I thought they were well regarded among the new ceramic nonsticks.

                                                FWIW, I've found that going cheap may not always be the best bet. A heavy well made pan will be less likely to warp, and will be most likely to reward you with a long-lasting surface. A moderately priced pan will often have more layers of nonstick coating than a cheap one, or use a higher quality coating.

                                                Also, if used properly (medium heat, proper utensils, no cooking sprays, etc...) you'll get a lot of years out of your pans. A good, moderately priced pan might cost twice as much as a cheap flimsy pan, but last 5-10 times longer. That makes it the better buy, with proper use and care.

                                                Duffy

                                          2. I agree with many about not liking sets. I prefer getting pieces one by one. Last week we just had our 14 yo electric stove replaced with our (my) dream stove a Bluestar, and to celebrate I bought my first copper pan. A Mauviel 250 11' fry pan.

                                            First the burners on the Bluestar are amazing and has made any of our pans better. I still don't like the feel of our AC that much.

                                            Now after using the Mauviel and the Bluestar, I must say that what we were doing on the old electric stove was not really cooking. My wife thought I was crazy for choosing the Bluestar and then buying Mauviel, but after she used it this last weekend she was amazed with the differences. but there are some give and take, as it is really heavy. I think i want the 8' now to which will be lighter. I have used AC, LC, and several other lower brands, but the Mauviel is noticeably better. You can control the heat, and it is dispersed evenly.

                                            My next thing I get to do is Season my new wok, so I can try it out. I am sure my 20$ wok will be better then the Mauviel for its purpose, as the griswold will be better for some things and i could not imagine needing a copper stock pot or wanting to move one.

                                            This is why for me a set doesn't work. On a side note, I bought the Mauviel from Bed Bath and Beyond and got another 20% off, which made the price a little more palatable.

                                            MT

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: MTBright

                                              I also prefer to buy cookware individually and have many diffetent types of potts and pans, but the OP asked about the "best ... set for the value."

                                                1. re: MagnoliaGardens

                                                  I've used that site several times and never had any problems. It's one of my "go-to" sites.

                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                    Hi GH1618,

                                                    Agreed. I just ordered a 3 1/2 qt. All Clad tri clad from them (delivered to my door) for $112!!!

                                                    Ray

                                              1. Hi, Magnolia,

                                                I have read through the responses you have received, and you have gotten some very good advice. I was in your shoes several years ago. In addition to finally having the money to put into good cookware, I had the additional limitation that whatever I got would probably have to do me for quite a while.

                                                If you think about it, there are two basic functions that you do on your stovetop: pan frying or sauteeing in a wide shallow pan, and simmering or boiling in a deeper, narrower pan.

                                                If I were you, I would get one of each of these pans, in the sizes that suit you best, and in the materials that seem best for you. Use them well for a while, then go forward with your purchases. If you decide that your choices don't work, you won't be out a lot of money. (Personally, for example, I have discovered that Sitram doesn't work in my kitchen--based on the purchase of one pan used for about a year.)

                                                When you do get cookware that makes your heart sing, it is worth it.

                                                And if you are interested, I do think that the Cuisinart French Tri-ply is worth a try.

                                                1. Another consideration is if you want to be able to put your pans in the dishwasher. This is important to some.

                                                  1. Ive got lots of pots and pans from over the years... i know not everyone will agree with me, but i have come down to using mostly cast iron, either old griswold-types or Staub for many of my cooking needs. However, I do have a non-stick (ceramic) egg pan and have used stainless over the years as well..

                                                    It sounds like you might be looking for a set rather than buying one-at-a-time. I know a lot of folks work like that (not me- can't barely think ahead for dinner, let alone what pans I'll be needing down the road!) and if I was to start all over again at this point... i would seriously look at the new line Thomas Keller has out. I think they are very thoughtfully designed. Williams-Sonoma has them, I know. Not sure about other retailers. Not glass lids, but perhaps you can overlook that! My $.02...

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: rmarisco

                                                      That All-Clad set is a W-S exclusive. Here's a thread, including some comments from people who've seen them up close and personal. As usual, reactions are mixed.

                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9837...

                                                    2. There is good advice here. Cuisinart French is a great value. All-Clad is very good. You can still find a few pieces of the SEVEN ply Viking online, and in my opinion that is wonderful. Demeyere is awesome...and made the 7 ply Viking. If you have the means to acquire Viking and Demeyere you will not regret it. (The later 3/5 ply Viking is not in the same class.)

                                                      18 Replies
                                                      1. re: brooktroutchaser

                                                        Hi, BTC:

                                                        I'm curious, what's your basis for saying the 7-layer is superior?

                                                        My recollection is that the 7- differs mostly in having two silver "layers" which are there only in order to stick together the 3 other interior layers. The cutaways I've seen don't indicate any overall increase in the conductive layers over plain 'ol triply.

                                                        Viking holds a patent for a *carbon fiber* layer, the use of which allows far more heat conduction laterally than vertically. It really works, but unfortunately these pans had a tendency to come apart.

                                                        Aloha,
                                                        Kaleo

                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                          Hi Kaleo,

                                                          There is a special Demeyere 7 pli advantage for induction. With Atlantis, Demeyere has an outer layer that, in effect, demagnetizies the pan at very high temperatures to prevent runaway overheating. The silver coats control for metallic impurities to prevent spotting and staining. I don't have a clue how the magnetized heat is transformed across multi layers to spread the heat evenly, but I believe that Demeyere has found an overall optimal solution.

                                                          This all hold for Atlantis fry pans/skillets only. Conductivity in pots and pans use different processes. The roles of different layers are different for other product lines. For induction, Demeyere Atlantis clearly has competitive advantages. Unfortunately, price is not one of them.

                                                          For my purposes, the two 10" AC d5's (nonstick/conventional) with one lid that I purchased off EBAY for a total of about $140 delivered to my house are probably more than I need at my skill level. When I get good enough to make a great omelette with my conventional d5 pan on my Vollrath unit, maybe I'll get snooty enough to rethink Demeyere.

                                                          Ray

                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                            Hi, Ray:

                                                            I was aware of those features, called ControlInduc and Silvinox. However, they could just as well be included in triply and 5-layer. Again, I'm challenging anyone to convince me 7 layers are any better than 3 or 5.

                                                            Aloha,
                                                            Kaleo

                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                              Hi Kaleo,

                                                              Good challenge!

                                                              Even if there is a difference, it's not much, and there is a tradeoff with weight.

                                                              For all of my saucepans, I have chosen 3 pli, including an AC 3 1/2 qt. that I just purchased.

                                                              Ray

                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                Hi Kaleo,

                                                                You're probably going to have to go to the secret archives of the manufacturers, as this appears to be top secret. Typically there are two reasons to keep something secret, it's all smoke and mirrors, or you have something that really works and don't have a way to protect it. I've worked at places that patent and places that keep secrets because they don't believe they can enforce a patent. I would think the number of layers would be rather easy to determine, but there may be some magic in the thicknesses and composition that's not obvious. Or it could be all marketing smoke and mirrors.

                                                                1. re: mikie

                                                                  Hi, mikie:

                                                                  One of the first things they teach law students about patents is that if you write the application narrowly enough, they're both easier to obtain and likely worthless. In other words, a very narrow process patent makes for good advertising ("Patented!") and that's about it.

                                                                  The thing that amazes me about the secrecy of pan makers is the witholding of the thickness specs of the layers. You'd think it's a matter of national security, when in fact, all a competitor would need to do is saw a pan to find out. The better bet is they don't want anyone publicizing to consumers how little good stuff they put inside their wares.

                                                                  Aloha,
                                                                  Kaleo

                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                    many moons ago I tripped across a blog that did "saw the pans in half" (after a number of other tests...) and then used a surface grinder to move layer by layer thru the material.

                                                                    what they found was that other than outer and inner shells of stainless, perhaps a measurable copper or aluminum 'core' - the rest of the billions and billions of layers were just 'flashings' needed for joining the dissimilar metals. molecular level thicknessi......

                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                      "The better bet is they don't want anyone publicizing to consumers how little good stuff they put inside their wares."

                                                                      Hi Kaleo,

                                                                      The trouble I have with that theory is that in multi-ply cookware, the "good stuff" is usually the aluminum, and aluminum is typically less expensive than CRES (corrosion resistant steel), aka SS. So few companies attempt to add copper ($$) that it's not hardly worth discussion. (Only talking multiply here not disk bottoms.) I would speculate the secrets are in the bonding and in the case of more than 3 plys, the use of some other conductive material or alloy in an attempt to either improve the cooking ability, ie heat transfer or improve the bonding, or possibly just get around a patent. It wouldn't seem to me, that there would be any advantage from any aspect to add more SS than is needed to protect the aluminum and provide structure and durability to the pot or pan.

                                                                      1. re: mikie

                                                                        Hi mikie,

                                                                        This whole idea of more than 3 layers has me wondering, is it possible any of the aluminum alloys used for bonding are more conductive than plain aluminum?

                                                                        I recently purchased a 5-ply pan that is thinner than my 3-ply Vollrath Tribute pan. Tribute is exceedingly thick, besting AC D5 and Mauvial M'steel for thickness. Is it possible they could be more responsive, despite being thinner, depending on the composition of their chosen alloys? What do you think?

                                                                        Duffy

                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                          Hi, Duffy:

                                                                          Yes aluminum alloys vary widely in conductivity. That's a big reason for all the multi-layer stuff. I gather that pure aluminum does not bond well to SS, whereas some alloys do bond well to both. IMO, this is also the real reason why some multiclad lines have silver interleaved in them.

                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                            Hey K,

                                                                            <I gather that pure aluminum does not bond well to SS, whereas some alloys do bond well to both.>

                                                                            Would this mean that good 3-ply is really so-called 5-ply that doesn't feel the need to brag?

                                                                            D

                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                              Hi, Duffy:

                                                                              I think it only means really good triply, e.g., W-S Thermoclad, uses a higher-conductivity alloy which will bond. W-S brags that its alloy is "up to 30% more..." Makers exaggerate *up*, not down,
                                                                              when it comes to layers.

                                                                              Everyone thinks all aluminum is the same. However, I think most alloys in clad fall short of plain 'ol cast aluminum, as used in Guardian, etc.

                                                                              Aloha,
                                                                              Kaleo

                                                                          2. re: DuffyH

                                                                            You didn't ask me, but I think thicker is better and five or seven plies doesn't mean much over three-ply, if anything.

                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                              Hi Duffy,

                                                                              I think Kaleo has answered about as well as can be expected, given the amount of information that's available. I'm not a metalurgest, but I do have some formal training in metal technology. Certianly, depending on what the aluminum is alloyed with, there could be better conductivity, it's just that we don't know what alloys they are using. It's also possible that some alloys are less conductive than pure aluminum. These are the challenges and secrets that the manufacturers don't want to share. The best conductive material in the world is worthless if there is no way to bond it to protective layers. What if nothing would stick to copper. You couldn't use it to cook much of anything because it can be toxic. There have to be trade offs between bonding and conductivity and protective layers. We, just don't know what they are.

                                                                              1. re: mikie

                                                                                GH, K and mikie,

                                                                                Thank to you all. I don't know any more about pan plies than I did when I posed the question, but I feel better about not knowing, secure in the knowledge that I'm not meant to know.

                                                                                It seems that, absent data from secretive makers, the best indicator of good aluminum-core clad cookware is still pan thickness, as GH suggested.

                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                  What I know would fill a half teaspoon, so don't feel bad. We do know that alloys of metals change many of the properties, for example if you alloy Aluminum (Al) with 20% Antimony (Sb), you raise the melting point by 190°C, but if you alloy with 20% Copper (Cu) the melting point is lowered 50°C. An alloy with 20% Iron (Fe) raises the melting point by 365°C. I don't have a lot of thermal conductivity data, but it typically goes: silver, copper, gold, aluminum, . . . iron.

                                                                                  So as a cookware manufacturer do you lower performance by alloying with Fe to get a better bond to the SS and then alloy Al/Cu to get better performance, thus increasing the number of layers as the process continues. Do you layer in some silver, how much would it take to actually change the overall composite of the plyed layers? Questions we will probably never know the answer to.

                                                                                  1. re: mikie

                                                                                    On the plus side, it seems to be getting easier to find out the overall thickness of a pan. Demeyere and a few others publish the data, and CS departments are getting better at answering the question in emails. So there's that.

                                                                  2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                    Just saw this. The seven ply was made in Belgium. It is my understanding the others were made in Indonesia.

                                                                    There are still a few 7 ply saute pans, a couple of skillets, and sauce pans for sale online. The 3 quart saute pan, which I love, is $215. BTW, I have not actually measured capacity, but suspect it is a tad more. It measures about 11 x 2 inside.

                                                                2. The thing I have learned over the years is that there is not One Best anything.

                                                                  Especially not when it comes to cooking. And even the best of the best do not come in "sets".

                                                                  The threads here are very instructive. You need to go out and buy, separately, the Lodge skillet, the Le Creuset casserole, the Mauviel sauciers...

                                                                  A home cook's kitchen comes together over time.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                    <The thing I have learned over the years is that there is not One Best anything.>

                                                                    I must respectfully disagree. I feel certain that there is a One Best everything. I spend enough time looking for it, I'm pretty sure it's out there. Implicit in the concept is the personal nature of the thing. There's a One Best everything for everybody.

                                                                    When it comes to cookware, I have, from time to time, seen the One Best, but sadly, never in my kitchen. Then someone came along and made a new One Best that was better than the last. I don't own that one, either. I do own one pan that I feel pretty sure is a Second Best.

                                                                    <A home cook's kitchen comes together over time.>

                                                                    That is an absolute truth.

                                                                  2. In my kitchen I have at least 5 "the best". I use them all. Wouldn't want to be without any of them. Which I use at any particular moment is as often a matter of whim as application, tho, of course, application is the overriding factor for any legitimate qualification.

                                                                    Use as many things as you get an opportunity to -- cook with friends, take classes. Buy a few things at a time. In time you'll nail the right batterie for yourself. Bet you'll end up with at least 5 "the bests" too.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: rainey

                                                                      And always have a bottle of wine to share with loved ones while you do it.

                                                                    2. I'd recommend not buying a set. You'll end up with stuff you don't use, and unless you're paying at least several hundred dollars, you are likely to get mass-market junk. Buy good stuff one item at a time and have no hangups about mixing brands. Chinese Cuisinart (most of what they sell in the States) I avoid. You can find the much better French-made Cuisinart pans, like my lidded 12-inch saute pan, if you look on Amazon.com, and they are finely made multi-clad and a bargain. The best steel woks you can buy, including fine U.S.-made ones in several configurations, are at wokshop.com, a highly regarded San Francisco Chinatown store, for excellent prices. The best lidded saucepans for the money are used thick (made in Toledo, Ohio) anodized aluminum Calphalon on eBay or Etsy. The best enameled cast iron for the money, in like-new condition if you shop carefully, is on eBay and Etsy also ... I bought a bunch of vintage Belgian Descoware, and Danish and Swiss Copco Ware, that way. Descoware is as good as Le Creuset (which bought out Descoware decades ago) and I believe Copco Ware is better made than Le Creuset. I don't like nonstick coatings for general use, but for eggs and pancakes, I bought two new smaller Kirkland-brand nonstick skillets, Thai-made, from Costco because they were high-class heavy anodized aluminum with stainless steel handles and the kind of high-end, extra-durable nonstick coating you usually pay a lot for. They were $22 for the pair. I bought a cheap (under $10) and cheerful supermarket flimsy aluminum six-inch skillet with glass lid and nonstick coating solely for frying eggs in. I would never pay big bucks for any nonstick ware because I've yet to see a coating, even on high-end stuff, that is indestructable. I also won't buy used black cast iron pots and pans because some have held hazardous substances such as lead, commonly melted at home by divers, model boat builders and do-it-yourself ammunition enthusiasts.

                                                                      1. My parents are installing an induction cooktop in their kitchen. My father is going to miss his 8" nonstick skillet in which he makes his fried egg, because it is not induction compatible.

                                                                        As a suitable alternative, I tried to convince him to use a plain stainless fry pan and even showed him a youtube video showing how (preheat pan, then add oil/butter) to avoid sticking, but he's not convinced.

                                                                        So I've been looking for PFOA & PTFE free pans. I've concentrated on All-Clad and Mauviel stainless steel nonstick pans that are induction compatible. There is so little information out there about the "new" titanium and/or ceramic coating nonstick skillets that replace teflon coated nonstick pans.

                                                                        Confusingly, Mauviel has three lines that are induction compatible but each line has a different temperature tolerance:
                                                                        M'Cook: "oven safe to 680° F"
                                                                        M'Stone2: "oven and broiler safe to 500°F."
                                                                        M'Collection de Cuisine: (exclusively sold at "Sur La Table"): oven safe and dishwasher safe, but no published safe oven temperature rating.

                                                                        Any recommendations for nonstick stainless/induction compatible skillet for cooking fried eggs?

                                                                        173 Replies
                                                                        1. re: paly

                                                                          Hi Paly,

                                                                          I use two All Clad d5 10" fry pans, one traditional and one nonstick: the nonstick came with a very nice domed lid (which may not be available any more from Williams-Sonoma). I bought the nonstick because I'm not totally convinced I'm good enough to use my traditional omelette pan--but I'm learning. I got the pair of mine separately on EBAY in competitive bidding for about $140. If you can afford them, you can't beat DeMeyere Atlantis for induction.

                                                                          Ray

                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                            Thanks, Ray.

                                                                            But yikes! $240 for an 8" nonstick Demeyere fry pan?!

                                                                            The nonstick All Clad d5 is almost cheap by comparison.

                                                                            1. re: paly

                                                                              Hi Paly,

                                                                              It's the best. You can do a little better than that:

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

                                                                              If you're patient, you might find it on EBAY for $150

                                                                              I'd love to have DeMeyere as a gift, but for my dime I'm thrilled with All Clad d5 10".

                                                                              Ray

                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                    Hi Duffy,

                                                                                    It's not bare metal either. They consider their finish better than nonstick.

                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                      Hi Ray,

                                                                                      Better how? It's pretty clear that paly wants cookware to which an egg won't stick. Demeyere, wonderful though it is, doesn't meet the specified criteria.

                                                                                      "I tried to convince him to use a plain stainless fry pan and even showed him a youtube video showing how (preheat pan, then add oil/butter) to avoid sticking, but he's not convinced."

                                                                                      Demeyere makes no claims about Silvinox being nonstick, or better than nonstick. They compare it to stainless steel that hasn't been treated.

                                                                                      http://www.demeyere.be/default.asp?SL...

                                                                                      I had a short love affair with Demeyree, but then reality set in and I realized it was good, but it wasn't what I wanted. My experience with Silvinox was a big "meh". It didn't make the pan easier for me to clean, didn't prevent water spots, it was just a big nothing to me. Others love it and can't say enough good things about it. That's how it goes sometimes.

                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                            2. re: paly

                                                                              Hi paly,

                                                                              I'm a big fan of the Zwilling Henckels Spirit. It uses a Thermolon ceramic coating that is oven safe to 500º. I've got the 3 quart sauté and after 6 months it looks and performs like it's still day one. The pan itself is a nice thick 3-ply, about the same thickness as All-Clad. I'm very impressed with the performance. http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store...

                                                                              I would also recommend the All-Clad you mentioned, because it has such an outstanding warranty, or the Mauviel M'Cook. M'Collection de Cuisine is the same thing, only exclusive to SLT.

                                                                              I've got some Mauviel M'Stone, and although it's nice, it isn't recognized as easily as the stainless pans are. Because of this, it is slow to heat, and I sometimes feel like I need to use a higher setting with it.

                                                                              FWIW, there's a silicone sleeve that fits the Mauviel handles very well. It's the Update International handle cover. I used a little mineral oil on the pan handle to ease it on. It's nice and snug and gives an excellent grip. http://smile.amazon.com/Update-Intern...

                                                                              Duffy

                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                Hi Duffy,

                                                                                Keep in mind that paly is looking specifically for an omelette pan that will transition from a heat generating source to a magnetic source. Demeyer and All Clad both went to multi clad solutions specifically for such induction applications. Why? Because one could not both capture and spread temperature evenly up the sides of the fry pans--unless they had another magnetic layer. Demeyer added still another safety layer to demagnetize the pan above 500 degrees.

                                                                                Used for sauteeing, your tri ply is fine; also for sauce pans. For fry pans and skillets--and omelettes, one pays a magnetic induction penalty compared to multi clad fry pans.

                                                                                You get what you pay for.

                                                                                Ray

                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                  Hi Ray,

                                                                                  I've used clad pans with a thick aluminum layer, and I've used a Demeyere Proline 7-ply skillet, supposedly optimized for induction. I can say from my own experience that a clad pan with a thick aluminum core will spread heat quickly and evenly on an induction hob. The difference, if any exists, between various thick-core pans is negligible, at best.

                                                                                  When my dude used the Zwilling sauté for it's first outing, he crowded the pan with breakfast sausage patties, edge to edge. After flipping them, he called me over to see how evenly browned they were. That they were so even as to warrant a shout-out "Hey! Come look" is pretty telling. This is a good pan.

                                                                                  I have a 5-ply clad Bonjour saucier that while excellent, does no better than my Zwilling sauté or my 3-ply Vollrath Tribute saucier, in which the aluminum is 3mm thick, which IIRC is almost as thick as Demyere's core.

                                                                                  "You get what pay for" isn't always true, not even in the world of induction cookware.

                                                                                  Side note - The Demeyere Proline (Atlantis) doesn't have the heat limiter you mentioned. That's only available in the ControlInduc line, at an extra cost. It's probably overkill for an omelet pan that won't be used at high heat and won't be left unattended.

                                                                                  The man wants to fry an egg. IME, it's not necessary to spend a lot of money to do that, and do it very well, on an induction cooktop.

                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                    Hi Duffy,

                                                                                    After reading your post, I am now very intrigued by Zwilling Spirit Stainless Steel cookware.
                                                                                    Could you tell me more about them?
                                                                                    For those inside lining are 18/10 SS, are they not?

                                                                                    I am a newbie to SS cooking and have been practicing with cheap Cuisinart SS pan (just the disk on the bottom, not clad) for awhile and I now feel comfortable enough to invest in a slightly better cookware set.
                                                                                    Reading this thread opened my eyes to the outside of AC and CA.
                                                                                    Thank you.

                                                                                    1. re: tokyogirl123

                                                                                      Hi tokyogirl123,

                                                                                      The Zwilling Spirit is available in both nonstick and uncoated versions. The uncoated (stainless steel cooking surface) are indeed 18/10. The exterior is magnetic steel for both.

                                                                                      I'd suggest you buy a skillet from BB&B or another store with an excellent return policy, in case you find it's not for you. If you want the bare steel, be sure it doesn't say "nonstick" or "Thermolon" anywhere in the description.

                                                                                      Zwilling has a number of lines that are all virtually identical. I wrote to Zwilling to ask about construction and was told that Spirit, Sol, and Tru-Clad are all identical pans, with different handles. Some are also nonstick. Prices are all quite similar. If you like the pan, but not the handle, you can try another.

                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                        Thank you, Duffy.

                                                                                        I am quite sold on Zwilling Spirit (uncoated) now. I happened to like the glass cover and also the stay-cool handles are must for a klutz like me.
                                                                                        Didn't realize that they have a several lines that are identical (except the handles). Very good information to have.

                                                                                        Now I am debating whether to get piece by piece or buy a set...

                                                                                        What made me hesitant towards Cuisinart MCP Pro set (Not French line) was the fact more new purchasers seem to have a pitting issues with a set; especially with pots... some of them suspect the material used in newer sets but CA representative are not very forthcoming with the details. One representative actually told me that pure SS and 18/10 SS are the same thing.
                                                                                        Another rep sent me email saying "Each set can be made up of both 18/10 and 100% stainless steel cookware pieces, The only way to tell if a piece of cookware is either 18/10 or 100% stainless steel is to look on the bottom of the cookware itself. If the cookware says 18/10 then it is 18/10, if it does not say 18/10 then it is 100% stainless steel"
                                                                                        I don't know if it is an accurate statement even tho it comes directly from CA customer service since I own older CA SS pot that doesn't state 18/10 on the bottom but magnet doesn't stick to it at all... that led me to believe that it is not a pure SS but 18/8 or 18/10?
                                                                                        I understand that to be compatible with induction cooktop, newer pots/pans need to have 18/0 on the outside but it will be nice for manufacturer to clearly states what is used for interior of the pots/pans. For some reason, CA is doing very poor job on that.
                                                                                        I just gave up on getting a straight answer from CA and came here to find out there are a lot more choices than only AC or CA.
                                                                                        After studying this thread, I am taking Duffy's advice to look into the ones with thicker clad construction than that of CA which I never gave a thought before coming here.

                                                                                        Thank you again for your insightful posts.

                                                                                        1. re: tokyogirl123

                                                                                          Hi tokyogirl,

                                                                                          You're welcome.

                                                                                          Much has been made of the various grades of stainless steel. The metal heads here on Chowhound taught me that 18/10, which I used to look for as the best quality steel for cookware, can legally be as low as 18/8.3, making it (potentially) no different than 18/8.

                                                                                          So I ignore such things, figuring words like "Surgical", "pure" and so on are just marketing hype.

                                                                                          About buying a set, my opinion, FWIW, is that if most of the pans are in the shapes and sizes you want, in the material you want, a set can make sense. Before buying, check the open stock prices for just the pieces you want in that line. If the set is less than that, it's a good buy. If it's more, walk away. No sense paying for pieces you don't want.

                                                                                          Look out for small pieces. Very often, sets have smaller pans, perhaps a 1 qt and 2 qt saucepan, and an 8" and 10" skillet, when you may need larger ones for your family. Beware the shiny things, let your needs guide you and you won't go wrong. Happy cooking!

                                                                                          Duffy

                                                                                    2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                      Hi Duffy,

                                                                                      Your Zwillig saute may be made by Demeyer (Zwillig owns Demeyer). They also make thermolon. You're right about the demagnetizing controlindic for Atlantis Proline. It's not on that model.

                                                                                      I don't think that Demeyer would argue against the power of aluminum spreading at the base--they actually make saucepans with a disconnect between the base and sides. The claim is that the 7 pli spreads evenly right up the sides (which may matter for an omelette); you're just testing the bottom.

                                                                                      I'm just going by tech reports and super glowing reviews--which I believe. After all, I chose All Clad d5 based on similar reports. I've never seen or used a DeMeyer product. If I bought one, it would have to have controlindic--and cost in the range of a comparable AC d5 on EBAY--and I'm not looking. I've only used AC d5 with induction myself--with very positive results. I use tri clad with saucepans.

                                                                                      It's possible to get a decent to outstanding magnetized omelette pan of Chinese manufacture for peanuts. Paly has so far been looking at high end European products and All Clad for his dad.

                                                                                      I posted an Atlantis 9.7" proline sale item for $150 for paly (Zwillig--today only)--if he's interested.

                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                    3. re: drrayeye

                                                                                      Hi Ray,

                                                                                      <Demeyer and All Clad both went to multi clad solutions specifically for such induction applications. Why? Because one could not both capture and spread temperature evenly up the sides of the fry pans--unless they had another magnetic layer. >

                                                                                      I'm not sure what you mean by a "another magnetic layer."

                                                                                      Are you saying that the middle steel layer on the AC d5 is magnetic? And that Demeyere has a similar setup?

                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                        Hi Duffy,

                                                                                        Sometimes manufacturers patent processes, and sometimes they just keep quiet. We don't know exactly how those multiple layers work for any energy source, but with magnetic based energy, the multiple layers will act differently. We also don't know how perfectly the magnetic SS layer in contact with the induction source is performing, let alone how, or if the magnetism is transferred across layers, but we can guess.

                                                                                        It's interesting that the two companies that explored induction the most both came up with multi clad solutions that have aluminum strips surrounded by stainless steel, isn't it?

                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                          Interesting, yes, but probably not for any reasons related to induction fields.

                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                            I don't know how would even define what is perfect performance of an induction layer, let alone measure it. But the basic design of a tri-ply induction compatible pan is straightforward: the bottom is a type of stainless steel which will be heated in the field of an induction cooker; the cooking surface is stainless steel because many people prefer to cook on a clean, shiny surface; there is an aluminum layer between the SS layers to spread the heat more evenly to avoid hot spots. I don't see what is the interesting part in the basic design.

                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                              Hi GH1518,

                                                                                              We know that those who have focused attention on induction have gone to 5 and even 7 cladded layers of metal.

                                                                                              In what way would it be beneficial for induction to have the aluminum layer split in half by a layer of stainless steel?

                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                The center layer of steel--so the theory goes--is there to *slow* the heat vertically and "spread* it laterally. It is not intended to be induced to generate heat two or more layers above the true heat source. If that were the case, the bottom layer of aluminum would be misplaced.

                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                  Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                  I'm not asking about heat from a conventional source, I'm asking about heat in the context of magnetic energy. I'm especially asking in the context of Demeyere researchers, in particular, who came up with their cladded approach in their exploration of induction heating. You think it's coincidence?

                                                                                                  Ray

                                                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                    Coincidence? No. Specifically related to induction? No.

                                                                                                    The only Demeyere technology I'm aware of which specifically relates to induction is ControlInduc. This is a nice feature, but the Herr Docktor Professors in YouTube lab smocks aren't winning any Nobels for it, since certain steels (actually, a lot of them) go non-magnetic at the upper end of cooking temperatures. CI, like Silvinox, isn't even used on all their pans.

                                                                                                    When Demeyere says their pans are "optimized" for induction, I take that to mean they picked an alloy for a single lower layer that is efficiently induced.

                                                                                                2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                  I happen to have a piece of All-Clad LTD2 which has that design. The center layer of SS is supposed to slow the conduction of heat in the direction orthogonal to the surface, which should result in more even heating. I don't know if there is anything to it or not. It's irrelevant to the way I use the pan. That isn't the reason I bought it.

                                                                                                  In general, I think most of the high-tech features of high-end pots and pans are just there for marketing. Cooks can do well enough buying pans for those characteristics which laymen can easily understand and appreciate.

                                                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                    <We know that those who have focused attention on induction have gone to 5 and even 7 cladded layers of metal.>

                                                                                                    So have many others. Off the top of my head, Cooks Standard, USA Pans and Berghoff, to name three. I wouldn't say any of them are thinking particularly of induction, beyond making the exterior of magnetic steel.

                                                                                                    Mauviel has a 5-ply line, yet you don't claim they're "exploring" or "focused" on induction. Rather, you kind of dismissed them, saying they're known for copper.

                                                                                                    Frankly, I don't get it. Conductivity is still about aluminum and copper, and how much of it is used. Cook on several different thick clad pans and you'll see there's not much difference in the experience. Once you've got a nice fat conductive sandwich, the differences are largely in pan shape, fit and finish, and handle design. That's esthetics, not performance. I am convinced that if you stuck a Mauviel handle on a d5 pan, I'd find it a joy to use, probably quite similar to my Vollrath pan.

                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                      Duffy,

                                                                                                      Have you explored exactly how many funded scientists are working on induction at Cooks Standard, USA Pans, and Berghoff? There are many scientists not involved in the cooking industry at all who are interested in the complexities of induction. None of the cookware companies go much beyond tokenism to the science behind their products, they're small, and many of them have been bought up, like Demeyere.

                                                                                                      If you think that the type of quotes you find on company websites is sufficient to explain the underlying science behind induction and conductivity, don't worry, stay happy.

                                                                                                      I know what I don't understand. At the same time, on a practical level, dollar for dollar, I'm thrilled with my AC 10" d5 fry pans, both nonstick and bare metal, but prefer tri clad for saucepans. For the one pot dishes I'm shifting towards, everything is mostly Staub and Le Creuset, oval and round, up to 7 1/2 qts.

                                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                        Hi Ray,

                                                                                                        <Have you explored exactly how many funded scientists are working on induction at Cooks Standard, USA Pans, and Berghoff?>

                                                                                                        No. I don't care. Nor should I, as you pointed out when you wrote <None of the cookware companies go much beyond tokenism to the science behind their products,...>. We agree, they're adding layers to sell pans. Not because additional layers make the pans inherently better. It may be better to have more layers, but we don't know unless we cook on it, because they're not giving us hard data to back up their claims.

                                                                                                        <If you think that the type of quotes you find on company websites is sufficient to explain the underlying science behind induction and conductivity, don't worry, stay happy.>

                                                                                                        Quite the contrary. I think all the hype on company websites is hype. I supposed that you had taken some of it to heart when you wrote <Demeyer and All Clad both went to multi clad solutions specifically for such induction applications. Why? Because one could not both capture and spread temperature evenly up the sides of the fry pans--unless they had another magnetic layer.> That read an awful like you'd gotten drunk on their Kool-Aid.

                                                                                                        In my experience, a thick aluminum core frypan will transfer heat very nicely right up the side of the pan. It happens on my induction range several times a week. That's the point I've been trying to make.

                                                                                                        Is a 7-ply Demeyere or Viking better than a 3-ply Calphalon pan? Absolutely. No question. Is that 7-ply pan better than a Vollrath Tribute with a 3mm aluminum core? Well, that's debatable and worthy of testing.

                                                                                                        D

                                                                                                3. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                  It appears Demeyere's magnetic layer is strictly on the exterior.

                                                                                                  From the website:

                                                                                                  "Details of the 7-ply

                                                                                                  stainless steel at the inside of the pot (1)
                                                                                                  A thin coat of pure aluminium for perfect adhesion (2)
                                                                                                  A layer of aluminium alloy for heat conduction (3)
                                                                                                  A thin coat of pure aluminium for perfect adhesion (4)
                                                                                                  A combination of three special alloys (TriplInduc) with magnetic properties for optimal use in combination with induction cooking (5-6-7)"

                                                                                                  And although All-Clad has a central steel layer, they don't claim that it's in any way related to induction:

                                                                                                  "The patented stainless core significantly improves stability to prevent warping and maximises the thermal conductivity of aluminum"

                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                    Sure, Duffy,

                                                                                                    I've read it too. Does it all make sense to you? How does that magnetism seep across all those layers? How and when do we measure that magnetic transformation that turns d5 or Atlantis into a hot fry pan? Why multiclad? Isn't that a huge waste of money?

                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                      <Why multiclad? Isn't that a huge waste of money?>

                                                                                                      Not really. Aluminum is cheap. Given the premium that can be charged for increased layers, if it adds $10/pan in cost, it's a bargain.

                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                        Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                        Why can a premium be charged for increased layers?

                                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                          <Why can a premium be charged for increased layers?>

                                                                                                          Because people will pay more if a pan has five layers rather than three. They'll do it because the marketing department tells them 5 is better.

                                                                                                      2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                        Magnetism doesn't seep. The alternating waves propagate through all the layers equally. The field quickly falls off as a function of distance--the inverse of the square root.

                                                                                                        The efficiency comes with picking an alloy within which the field will generate a great deal of friction, manipulated for skin effect, and putting it as close to the bottom of the pan as practicable.

                                                                                                        You will note from the YouTube vid that the skinny Belgian departs from the script, and admits that the 3 steel layers are there first and foremost to prevent warping.

                                                                                                        They're also there to make the line perform similarly on induction and non-induction hobs. Demeyere learned the painful lesson of Mauviel's InducInox line, which was superb on induction, but utter crap on anything else.

                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                          Hi K,

                                                                                                          See, this is way more science than I'm comfortable with, and I'm a science-y kind of girl. But I'm glad you're here to explain it. I just skim along, note your reference to the skinny Belgian (who is nerd-hot in a weird way, but that's oversharing,I know) and nod my head with the music.

                                                                                                          You know what I'm about. Pan's got fat layers of aluminum? Got a magnetic exterior? Bring it on. It'll likely perform like a dream. Hell, I'd even get one with copper if anyone would bring the price down so I could justify it. But please, don't hit me with marketing spin. I don't want to hear it.

                                                                                                          Duffy

                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                            The people here who have Chantal Copper Fusion seem to like it. It's enamelled steel with a copper core. Swinging prices on Amazon & eBay, but ugly colors IMO. My bitch with them is they won't say how thick the core is, but they're heavy.

                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                              "You know what I'm about. Pan's got fat layers of aluminum? Got a magnetic exterior? Bring it on. It'll likely perform like a dream."

                                                                                                              Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                              I could see where you were going there. Sort of. Then you said:

                                                                                                              "But please, don't hit me with marketing spin. I don't want to hear it."

                                                                                                              I would have sworn that you started your comment with marketing spin.

                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                Hey Ray,

                                                                                                                <I would have sworn that you started your comment with marketing spin.>

                                                                                                                The thickness of the aluminum core can be measured. It's easily seen on most pans. The marketing team can try to spin it, but I have a tape measure in my kitchen.

                                                                                                                Magnetic exterior goes along with dimensions and capacity. They're need to know details.

                                                                                                                Duffy

                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                  Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                  Aluminum thickness can be measured, but not purity. Thermoclad claims that they have special capsules that are 30% purer.

                                                                                                                  A better test IMO is whether or not you can get your money back. If I put the two AC d5 10" I bought about a year in a half ago for sale on EBAY, I could get my money back--or even make a profit. Now, if I tried it with my Tramontina's, I'd get nothing--and, as much as I love them, they're both showing wear already: one has chipped, and both of them have lost their glossiness.

                                                                                                                  Ray

                                                                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                    Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                    <A better test IMO is whether or not you can get your money back. If I put the two AC d5 10" I bought about a year in a half ago for sale on EBAY, I could get my money back--or even make a profit. Now, if I tried it with my Tramontina's, I'd get nothing--and, as much as I love them, they're both showing wear already: one has chipped, and both of them have lost their glossiness.
                                                                                                                    >

                                                                                                                    I wouldn't say resale value is a test of quality, but rather that quality drives resale value, for well-known brands. Take a less common label and see what happens. It may outperform a well-known brand in the kitchen, and still not hold resale. Which do you care most about?

                                                                                                                    You're right that not every claim made can be measured. WS claims their aluminum, by virtue of it's purity, provides better heat distribution. That's the kind of claim that we can only test in our kitchens. HOW MUCH better does their aluminum distribute heat? They don't say. Maybe it's only 5% improvement. Maybe less.

                                                                                                                    They also claim "up to...." 35% better conductivity. "Up to" is the weasliest of the weasel words. If their Thermo-Clad has .001% better conductivity than just one other brand, their claim is true. So it's meaningless to me and I ignore it.

                                                                                                                    Duffy

                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                      . . . claims their aluminum, by virtue of it's purity, provides better heat distribution.

                                                                                                                      if you go to a materials engineering site and look up the heat transfer coefficient(s) of pure aluminum vs various alloys you will find that common alloys are about 50% as good a 'pure' aluminum.

                                                                                                                      so....you might not have to go too far up the scale in purity to see a measurable difference.

                                                                                                                      ...........as if you can call them up and they'd tell you what alloy they are using.............

                                                                                                                      1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                        Hi PSRaT,

                                                                                                                        <common alloys are about 50% as good a 'pure' aluminum.>

                                                                                                                        Now that's interesting. It lends some credence to my RW experience showing that more plies don't help.

                                                                                                                        Duffy

                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                          It also spotlights why there can be 3 adjacent layers of aluminum in multi-layer clad: High purity aluminum doesn't bond well to other metals, but it can be bonded to aluminum alloys that do.

                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                            my suggestion would be to abandon all hope on learning the truth about "plies"

                                                                                                                            the people who do "marketing" would likely say a pot has X+2 plies because it's inside a polyethylene bag when shipped....

                                                                                                                            here's the ueber basic deal:
                                                                                                                            there's two properties that come into play regards how a "pan" performs

                                                                                                                            thermal conductivity - how 'fast' heat moves through the materials. sometimes alluded to as "even heating" - but the "even" bit only happens because it conducts a lot of heat energy rapidly . . .

                                                                                                                            thermal 'content' - how much heat is required for a material to increase its temp by one degree. this is aka how much heat it absorbs / gives off aka "this pan hold heat well" - conversely, "preheat required"

                                                                                                                            thermal conductivity is directly related to the cross section of 'they layer' - i.e. "thickness"
                                                                                                                            silver is the best metallic heat conductor, but iffin' you're thinking a 0.002-0.003 inch thick flash layer aka 'ply' (of anything) brings any real value to the party,,,,, that would be an 'oops!' people of the solid copper persuasion debate whether 2.0 mm is even worth buying as it does not perform as well as 2.5/3.0 mm thick copper.....

                                                                                                                            heat content aka specific heat aka a few dozen other terms is measure in heat energy per mass - i.e. BTU per pound. aluminum actually holds heat much better than cast iron; but everyone loves cast iron because it 'holds heat' - why is that? simple: for a given pan size, the cast iron has mucho more mass than the typical aluminum construction.....

                                                                                                                            someone recently mentioned they had a old Brand X solid aluminum pan that weighed in at 3 pounds. my ten inch cast iron weights about that - but mebets that aluminum pan will put a seriously more better sizzle on a steak than my cast iron.

                                                                                                                            bottom line, one has to take all these things into consideration. focusing on plies or thickness is not going to produce a magic "best"

                                                                                                                            and 'plies up the side' - oh dear. that's another issue.

                                                                                                                            this is why one seeks out people who have used these things and can offer some real world experience. it is simply not possible to do an exacting engineering analysis for the obvious reason that manufactures will not tell you how thick, what alloy, etc and el barfo.

                                                                                                              2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                "Magnetism doesn't seep. The alternating waves propagate through all the layers equally. The field quickly falls off as a function of distance--the inverse of the square root."

                                                                                                                Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                please explain the difference between magnetic based propagation and radiant based propagation. You can start with gas if you'd like

                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                  I think you can easily find primers on how induction fields work at sites like Wikipedia.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                    Aloha, Kaleo,

                                                                                                                    As a user/expert, you've got to do better than that. You've actually cooked a great deal with induction and gas and have some technical understanding of the physical processes. I'd place you way way above WIKI--which usually gets things wrong at the most inopportune times.

                                                                                                                    What needs to be explained are the differences in energy transmission (induction vs. gas) in something close to real time for a multiclad (say AC d5), a tri ply (say classic AC tri-clad), and straight magnetic metal (say Dansk Kobenstyle enameled steel) specifically focused on cooking food. Then give some practical cooking examples of tradeoffs both ways between the approaches in your real world experience,

                                                                                                                    I think that I'd learn a great deal.

                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                      Hi, Ray:

                                                                                                                      Your previous posts indicate some confusion or unfamiliarity with how induction works, and why pans are constructed the way they are. I think you could benefit from some outside research, beyond the makers' ad copy. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to serve it up to you on order.

                                                                                                                      The Kobenstyle pans and salad bowls you mention tend to be efficient performers on ALL hobs. Yet they are poor performers by most meaningful measures. The single virtue of thin, low-conductivity pans heating quickly is not a virtue which is desirable in isolation, IMO/E, unless your cooking is limited to boiling water and steaming. Such wares tend to exacerbate uneven hobs and promote scorching. Unless your paella pan is quite small, it should be a case in point. If it is much larger than your hob, I think you already know what I mean.

                                                                                                                      Aloha,
                                                                                                                      Kaleo

                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                        Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                        I read up on induction for about three months before I made the plunge, and it was fascinating. At the practical level, I'm doing fine, supplementing my induction with two radient hobs for warmup, or, boiling. In addition, I have convection ovens and a microwave.

                                                                                                                        On the science level, I'm baffled by the comments I'm reading in Chowhound, especially about the role of cladding. I'm not a specialist in this area of science, but you don't need to be a weatherman to see which way the wind blows. Things here are as clear as mud.

                                                                                                                        I'm indirectly familiar with Kobenstyle cookware because it complements the Danish Dansk teak and rosewood furniture I used in my own personal interior designs years ago. Kobenstyle cookware was part of the modern displays I relied on for inspiration.

                                                                                                                        I now know that Kobenstyle was made primarily in France with an enameling process still occasionally used by Le Creuset (i.e. in their stockpots). Thirty and forty years later Kobenstyle cookware is still being used and exchanged--and not just for exhibition--and in other parts of the world as well. Induction is making this rebirth into a renaissance of sorts, and Lenox/Dansk is actually reissuing copies of previous designs, some with proper cladding, out of Thailand.

                                                                                                                        My 13" paella pan only has about a 10" round base that actually contacts the induction surface. One cooks from the inside out. There is clearly a multi-ethnic cooking culture supported by this cookware.

                                                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                          Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                          You're saying that the adoption of induction is driving a renewed interest in KS cookware. Not necessarily. Because both things are happening doesn't imply a causal relationship.

                                                                                                                          Setting that aside, and accepting your initial premise, it's still a logic leap to conclude that the *reason* KS is gaining popularity is because it is better than clad on induction.

                                                                                                                          Maybe there's a market for it simply because it works on induction, where copper, most old clad and bare aluminum pans don't. Induction took off in Europe, people needed pans, and remembered Auntie's stuff in the attic. Word spread. Occam's razor.

                                                                                                                          Enameled steel works well on induction. No question, because in normal parlance "works" means it heats quickly. That doesn't mean it's more responsive or even than clad goods.

                                                                                                                          A few days ago you mentioned enamel's poor conductivity, by way of telling me why ECI is so crappy for a skillet, but naked iron is good. So it's bad over iron, but good over steel?

                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                            Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                                                            I think you're on the right track. I think the "resurgence" Ray is seeing may be thoughtfully aesthetic and that's about it. The Danish Modern, MidCentury look appeals to many people who also like the minimalistic look of black Ceran cooktops.

                                                                                                                            It pleases some folks to feel "modern" simply for modernity's sake. Witness the Alessi and MOMA phenomena. It falls to Luddites like me to point out that performance and this aesthetic only occasionally coincide in the kitchen. Example: Taverna by Georg Jensen.

                                                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                              Figured this was as good a place as any to post pictures from our recent visit to the Alessi store in Manhattan. My wife does their PR.

                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                Hi Randy,

                                                                                                                                Was that a fun day, or did it just make you want?

                                                                                                                                D

                                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                  I drove the little 'hound into the city to meet my wife at work, and we walked over to the store. He LOVES daddy's pots and pans.

                                                                                                                                  Everything is very pretty there, and there are more than a few things I wouldn't mind having. However, despite a considerable discount, we only have the iconic coffee brew pot. I did take a few measurements...

                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                  1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                    Randy,

                                                                                                                                    Hey, both!

                                                                                                                                    BTW, that is one adorable Chowpup you've got yourself.

                                                                                                                                    D

                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                      Thanks, Duffy. Thank God he got my wife's looks!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                      Gypsy woman told my mother
                                                                                                                                      Before I was born
                                                                                                                                      You got a boy child comin'
                                                                                                                                      Gonna be a son of a gun
                                                                                                                                      Gonna make pretty women
                                                                                                                                      Jump and shout
                                                                                                                                      Then the world wanna know
                                                                                                                                      What this all about

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                        Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the musical interlude, I think.

                                                                                                                                        So, as for the rest, are you not interested, being coy, or do you already know?

                                                                                                                                        Randy

                                                                                                                                        1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                          Your son will break hearts is what I meant.

                                                                                                                                          Hawai'ians say of particularly beautiful children (and loudly): "Keia keiki i ka pupuke!" Literal translation is "That child is ugly!", but it's only said because in old Hawai'i beautiful children were sometimes stolen.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                          Also, somewhat unrelated, but hung out with Steve Bridge today for about an hour. He had some really interesting insights on what is happening in the cookware industry.

                                                                                                                                          - R

                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                              The Alessi? It's proprietary. ;). Take that for whatever it's worth!

                                                                                                                                              My conversation with Steve will have to wait until tomorrow. I am wiped, and frankly it's kind of depressing.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                "frankly it's kind of depressing."

                                                                                                                                                That's ok--if you buy used, what matters is what happened in the cookware industry yesterday (or last century)!

                                                                                                                                                Count me as interested as well.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                  Let me anticipate.... Corporate mergers and acquisitions, dumbing down of the masses, lowering quality, raising margins, fewer choices.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                    Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                    You pretty much hit the nail on the head. Specifically dealing with corporate mergers he mentioned Demeyere. He questioned how much of their product is still made in Belgium. I don't, as I think it's pretty clear, but we both agreed the direction didn't look promising. In any case he said he once carried Demeyere but once Zwilling took over they wouldn't give him the time of day.

                                                                                                                                                    As for acquisitions, he told me Sitram had been purchased six months ago (I didn't know that), and the first thing the new owners wanted to do was get rid of the Catering line! Supposedly Steven was amongst those who talked them out of it. In his words, "Sitram IS Catering." I guess he is right.

                                                                                                                                                    He says he has never let All-Clad walk through the door, and never will. Confirms that for the first 50 years of business not a single restaurant ever tried to place an order for it.

                                                                                                                                                    He definitely was feeling that we will lose more of the quality small European manufacturers, that companies like Silga and Falk will go the way of ICM and others. Falk specifically he said wasn't going to make it. But he said it wasn't the greatest product anyway, and gave Mauviel a much higher endorsement.

                                                                                                                                                    That's all I can think of at the moment. Not to be too dramatic but my thought: Buy it while you can!

                                                                                                                                                    Randy

                                                                                                                                      2. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                        Alessi makes some superb stuff. It was so difficult to find rivetless 18/8 or better 24cm+ steamer baskets, until I came across a pair of A Di Alessis. They have some pretty fun designs as befits the pedigrees of the cookware designers.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: CenturyLife

                                                                                                                                          No doubt they have some amazing things. Actually I realize we do have some other Alessi stuff, but just not cookware.

                                                                                                                                          The cookware seems to generally be of very high quality, though I believe some of it is now made in China. I'm really curious to see how it performs, but I am pretty stocked up in the stainless department, and at the same time not sure if the Alessi copper ware is what I would purchase as my first piece of solid copper cookware.

                                                                                                                                          Randy

                                                                                                                                    3. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                      Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                      It is what it is. When we were first using Kobenstyle cooking as part of Dansk design displays (now called "Danish Modern"), we often did it with induction tops in the 70's (in Laguna Beach): it was how we sold real estate. Induction was always there in our minds as a concept. I never did any cooking with Kobenstyle, but I've got a good idea what foods were prepared, because I was raised Swedish.

                                                                                                                                      Kobenstyle cooking never went away--passed on from generation to generation. Induction just gives it an extra push.

                                                                                                                                      It's not the enamel that has the conductivity spread problem--it's the cast iron part when used as if it were cladded SS.

                                                                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                        Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                        My mistake. Looking back, I see it was Caroline1 who wrote that.

                                                                                                                                        <There is a place for the Staub perfect pan to do stir fry, because 1) it does change temperature at the high end rapidly>

                                                                                                                                        <They (LC and Staub) are both terrible for induction. To be somewhat responsive they need some liquid inside, like the perfect pan, a saucier, or a braiser. The liquid helps spread the heat.>

                                                                                                                                        See, when you write "stir fry", I think it applies to dry stir fry, too. That's me reading a broader meaning than you had in mind.

                                                                                                                                        If that's how you're looking at using enameled steel, well, sure, it can be "somewhat responsive". But that's not what I call a responsive pan. Response to me means that the contents of the pan will drop from boil to simmer when heat is reduced. Right away. That's downward response. Steel and iron are no match for aluminum and copper in that regard. Not even on induction.

                                                                                                                                        That's why I went with induction in the first place, to take advantage of pans that are designed to offer that quick response. Using my old radiant range was like cooking everything in cast iron or carbon steel. S-l-o-w response.

                                                                                                                                        I suspect part of our disconnect may be the way we cook. I think you do a lot more moist cooking than I do. Braises and such, right? Probably 80% of my food is dry fried in a sauté pan or skillet. Pan sauces and pasta tosses rule, along with the dry stir fry. I don't even own an ECI dutch oven. I don't need one, because I only use my DO on the stovetop. I think we're coming at cooking from two different perspectives.

                                                                                                                                        Duffy

                                                                                                                      2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                        I suspected the "stability" aspect and am glad you found it and mentioned it. The notable characteristic of my LTD2 French skillet is that it is extremely light for a large pan. I expect there is unstated goal here. Because the pan is thinner than the earlier version, it would be unstable without the extra steel layer. There may be a cost savings to using less total material with a more complex manufacturing process.

                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                          There is no reason that anything but the outer layer of any pan should be heated by induction, and a reason why other layers should not be. If an inner layer were heated by induction there would be no point to the intervening layers.

                                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                            Makes sense to me, GH. Given that the goal is generating heat, if a middle layer can be heated with an induction coil, we don't need the exterior layers.

                                                                                                                            Duffy

                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                              ...and we'd need even more layers of aluminum on top to prevent the dreaded doughnut hotspot.

                                                                                                                              Maybe 17 layers?

                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                Sure. 17, 18, whatever it takes. Since the pan is optimized for induction, we don't have to worry about decreasing response with increasing thickness.

                                                                                                                              2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                Why not just the magnetic layer? Have you tried stainless mixing bowls? If you put the enameled steel Kobenstyle of the 70's on induction, they work just fine. So fine, that an underground users group "forced" Dansk/Lenox to bring them back. I have an old Kobenstyle paella pan, and a cladded version of the beloved trivet topped sauce pan.

                                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                  Hey Ray,

                                                                                                                                  <Have you tried stainless mixing bowls? >

                                                                                                                                  I have! I was surprised, and a little bemused when my thin, cheap mixing bowls heated up really fast. So fast, they're nearly useless on the cooktop. Kaleo explained it as the "skin effect".

                                                                                                                                  I do melt butter in one (over low heat!) when I make croutons. Then I add the garlic and cubed bread, and toss. Easy peasy. Takes about 30 seconds to melt a stick. Faster than the microwave.

                                                                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                    Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                    Go to EBAY, type in Kobenstyle. You will discover pots and pans being traded that go back and back: enameled steel mostly--Kaleo's "skin effect."

                                                                                                                                    Hundreds of thousands of mostly Scandinavian people have been cooking on these pots, and passing them on as heirlooms for more than 40 years.

                                                                                                                                    I've got a 13" paella pan.

                                                                                                                                    Interesting?

                                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                      Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                      Sure, Kobenstyle are interesting. Any vintage cookware interests me. Heirloom cookware is nice, precisely because it's cookware, and was (hopefully) frequently used over the years. I imagine they'd be treasured the in the Scandinavian countries the way many people here love Grandma's old black skillet. I find it more interesting than heirloom china or silver. It seems to me to have more life. I like old everyday things, not the fancy "company" stuff. Cookware tops my list of cool things to inherit. Well, behind cash, of course. One has certain standards, you know.

                                                                                                                                      The shapes and colors don't wow me, but that's just my taste, and not important. And I've no great passion for cooking on enameled steel. It's more limited in scope than clad stainless or even better, anodized aluminum. Still, I'm the cook who stubbornly uses her grandmother's rolling pin, despite the fact that an unfinished closet pole would work far better. So yeah, when it comes to treasuring the purely functional, I've got no cred at all. I fall for sentimentality every time.

                                                                                                                                      It's neat stuff, and right in your wheelhouse, fitting well with the way you're cooking lately. Are you planning to collect it?

                                                                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                        Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                        Not only collect, but use. As I mentioned, I've got a 13" paella pan that I've already used and a SS tri pli reproduction saucepan that is competitive with my thermo clad and AC saucepans. Look at the stylized handles and shape. My point, though, is that non cladded enameled steel has been used successfully in home cooking for decades and is showing a resurgence partly because of induction cooking.

                                                                                                                                        Given the "hot spot" criticisms of enameled steel, this usage should have died out long ago, but au contraire . . .

                                                                                                                                        And after 30 years, you can still get your money back on EBAY.

                                                                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                          Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                          <My point, though, is that...enameled steel...is showing a resurgence partly because of induction cooking.>

                                                                                                                                          How did you come to this conclusion?

                                                                                                                                          Duffy

                                                                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                            Back to the discussion about cookware recommendations, I will mention another brand:CIA.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: brooktroutchaser

                                                                                                                                              Hi, btc:

                                                                                                                                              This is intetesting. Please educate me--beyond what's in the description on the linked site?

                                                                                                                                              I confess I'm jaded when I hear of copper core sandwiched 'twixt aluminum--it conveys scant copper.

                                                                                                                                              Who actually makes CIA? I presume it's jobbed out to one of the major makers, e.g., Meyer. Do you know?

                                                                                                                                              Genuinely Interested,
                                                                                                                                              Aloha,
                                                                                                                                              Kaleo

                                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                Hi K,

                                                                                                                                                I found some real info on CIA. You'll want to alert the media and sit down, they give some numbers.

                                                                                                                                                "CIA Masters Collection Cookware was designed from the ground up by CIA certified master chefs to be a high performance cooking tool that will provide years of service. The 7-clad construction features a core of copper (.6mm) sandwiched by a total of .8mm of aluminum. The cooking surface of the CIA cookware is 304 18/10 brushed stainless steel so it's non-reactive, very hard and durable. The exterior of the CIA cookware pans are 436 magnetic stainless steel so they are compatible with any cooking heat source, including magnetic induction. For those CIA pans that come with lids, the lids are a sturdy 1mm thick 305 18/10 stainless steel tooled just for the piece it's made for."

                                                                                                                                                If I'm reading this correctly, they've got some damn thin layers there. The copper and aluminum combined is 1.4mm... In 7 layers.

                                                                                                                                                1.4mm with likely another 1mm of steel isn't a very impressive 7-ply pan. Well, it's impressive that they've got 7 layers in ~2.5mm. To be fair, they're priced like AC, not like Demeyere.

                                                                                                                                                IIRC it is made in China. Likely Meyer.

                                                                                                                                                Duffy

                                                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the data. At least they're honest.

                                                                                                                                                  Honestly underwhelmed.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                    <Honestly underwhelmed.>

                                                                                                                                                    I hear that. The deeper I drill down into construction on some of the premium labels, the more impressed I am by the rugged simplicity of Vollrath Tribute.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                    If I recall, it is indeed Meyer. I think it's nearly identical to the old BonJour line.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                      Hi Randallhank,

                                                                                                                                                      It is close, but sadly for CIA, Bonjour has more copper in the same thickness. Only 5 layers, for those who are counting.

                                                                                                                                                      "2.6 mm total thickness; 5-ply clad construction; Interior layer-0.4mm 18/10 stainless steel; bonding layer-0.3mm aluminum; core-1.0mm copper; bonding layer-0.3mm aluminum; exterior layer-0.6mm magnetized steel"
                                                                                                                                                      http://smile.amazon.com/BonJour-Coppe...

                                                                                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                        That is sad. Frankly, for a measly 1mm of copper I am not too high on the Bonjour. Meyer is capable of making great cookware, but they just don't. I feel like if you combined two or three of their lines you'd really be cooking. I've raved about the stainless line they made for Michael Chiarello, but the "Hestan" stuff they made for Williams Sonoma is really average, from what I've heard. Likewise for Bonjour, which is made at the same factory in Italy. Ironically, the old Costco set they made in Italy got rave reviews. So maybe expectations have something to do with it. My Chiarello pans have about the thickest bottom I've ever seen and cook as evenly as anything out there. Plus they have really functional, comfortable handles, set at the perfect angle, and the best pouring lips I have ever used (see photo). That whole set (6 pans, 4 lids) sold for just $600, and closeout was at $300! That just shows you how the All-Clads of the world take advantage.

                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                          Hi, randallhank: "Meyer is capable of making great cookware, but they just don't."

                                                                                                                                                          The borderline between *good* and *great* is inherently subjective (for instance, I don't consider wares that contain less than 2mm of copper or 4-5mm of aluminum "great"). The vast majority of the markets Meyer targets and serves isn't asking for--and won't buy--your or my definition of "great". Your Chiarello set is a perfect case in point; I suspect it sold like cowpies.

                                                                                                                                                          The Thermoclad line made for W-S by Meyer's flagship Hestan division is very good clad, IMO. It contains a bona fide 2mm of high-conductivity aluminum alloy, and I consider it at or very near parity with anything Demeyere or All-Clad makes. I submit that, for all but cookware geeks like us, these are exemplars of "really good" if not "great".

                                                                                                                                                          Another point. Meyer, as the largest distributor in USA and 2nd-largest worldwide, has its tentacles in just about everything. To be completely conversant about everything Meyer makes (over 100 lines in 30 countries, some of which aren't available in USA), licenses and produces as private labels (for purveyors like Sur la Table, Williams-Sonoma and Macy's) is truly daunting. I know no one who has encyclopedic knowledge of everything Stanley Cheng's empire produces. So, without such knowledge, saying "they just don't [make great cookware]" also risks missing things.

                                                                                                                                                          Have you measured the overall thickness of the Chiarello bottoms? Do you know the specs for the layer thicknesses? It would be interesting to know.

                                                                                                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                            Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                            You asked for it:

                                                                                                                                                            One description put out by NapaStyle says the pan has “a pure copper core that extends through the bottom of each pan, sandwiched with high-efficiency aluminum and 18/10 hygienic stainless steel. Five bonded layers in the sides maintain superior conductivity all around.”

                                                                                                                                                            The original NapaStyle press release says “For maximum conductivity and even heat distribution, a pure copper core extends through the bottom and sides of each pan, sandwiched between high-efficiency aluminum and 18/10 hygienic stainless steel. Seven bonded layers in the base eliminate hot spots and scorch marks. Five bonded layers in the sides maintain even heat throughout."

                                                                                                                                                            Clear as mud, right?

                                                                                                                                                            Our friend “Franz,” from Centurylife.org, describes the cookware as “Aluminum/Copper disc base of unknown thickness. Cladded sidewalls with 1 mm aluminum core.” He generally raves amount the Chiarello cookware, saying that, “if you are lucky, you might find a design that has both a disc bottom AND thermally-conductive aluminum or copper sidewalls like the De Buyer Prima Matera, but with stainless steel exterior rather than copper. One example is the Michael Chiarello Signature line, which is made in Italy and has been discontinued, but pops up on craigslist or ebay or closeout stores from time to time.” However, in his section on copper cookware he suggests the copper layer in the base is a mere “wrap,” or foil saying “Many more companies use faux copper disc bottoms which are really just thin foils of copper wrapped around a thick aluminum disc base. That doesn’t necessarily mean they perform worse than genuine copper, so long as that aluminum disc base is thick enough. For instance, the discontinued Michael Chiarello Signature cookware line uses a thick aluminum base with copper wrapping and magnetic stainless endcap AND a very thin (2mm thick total) stainless-aluminum-stainless cladded vessel above the base.”

                                                                                                                                                            Franz points out in a different post that Anolon Nouvelle, by Meyer, has a very effective combination of just .6mm copper surrounded by 4mm of copper and a .5 stainless bottom, which he says is the most even heating cookware he has measured. He praises Meyer for being upfront about the thickness and says that

                                                                                                                                                            He may not have made the connection that I did that Meyer had made the Chiarello line. It took some sleuthing on my part to figure that out, and even once I did I had a hard time getting the folks at Meyer to admit that they had produced this line. After buying three of these pans at T.J. Maxx I was so impressed with the quality that I got really curious to see who made it. So I started doing Google searches based on the NapaStyle press release. What I came up with was a line made for Costco that had a similar construction, and had an identical story about being made in a “small factory in Italy" (the Costco line was later made in Thailand). There were also physical similarities with Anolon Nouvelle construction and the Costco line, as well as remarkably similar stamps on the base of the pans. It didn’t take much more research to learn that the Costco cookware had been made by Meyer Corp, just like the Anolon. When I first contacted Meyer customer service they initially claimed the cookware wasn’t part of their product line (partially true). The cookware had been discontinued for quite some time so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. I then wrote them the following in an email:

                                                                                                                                                            “Please, if you would, double check with your colleagues and supervisors about this cookware line, as I am most certain it was produced by an affiliate of your company. The cookware was sold along with an "Easy Entertaining" book by Michael Chiarello. At the end of the book he thanks Stanley Cheng "for seeing that cookware is about the experience as much as the performance." Again, I am really just looking to find out what the "five bonded layers" in the sides are made of. If you could point me in the right direction I would surely appreciate it.” The representative responded, “I have forwarded your reply to our management team for further research and will notify you of the findings.” Finally, I got the following response:

                                                                                                                                                            “Thank you for your patience. The materials clad up the sides from inside cooking surface down are 18/10 stainless steel, aluminum, copper, aluminum and stainless steel. Impact bonded at the base of the cookware are an additional layer of copper and stainless steel.”

                                                                                                                                                            Anti-climactic, I know, but I didn’t have the chutzpah to ask about the thickness, especially when I don’t think they really know, or would tell me if they did.

                                                                                                                                                            What do I think? I don’t believe there is any copper in the sides of the vessel (nor do I think it matters much). I think the clad vessel is thick enough to provide a bit of thermal conductivity and overall stability, but too thin (about 1.2mm of aluminum visible) to have copper as well. And I think I would see it, since I can see the stainless and aluminum layers. (Incidentally, the aluminum layer isn’t all that much thinner than the layer on the one remaining piece of All-Clad stainless I own that has an aluminum layer noticeably thinner that 2mm). I think the Chiarello cookware is, as advertised, a “5-ply” vessel, with a multi-ply aluminum core surrounded by stainless; and a 4-ply base consisting (from top to bottom) of aluminum, copper, aluminum, and stainless. Hence, the “9-ply” marker on the bottom is the combined number of layers of the vessel and base. The overall thickness of the base is clearly greater than the Anolon Nouvelle, though we don’t know how thick each of the layers are. But obviously either the aluminum or the copper is thicker. My guess is that both layers are a bit thicker. The decorative engraved copper plate affixed to the side is just about as thick a dime (1.35mm). I wouldn’t be surprised if the copper core is that thick. Why would they bother with two different thicknesses of copper sheet? A thinner layer would have looked about the same on the decorative plate (I actually had to unscrew the bolts to even see the thickness of the plate). The Anolon Nouvelle base looks 8mm thick, but we know from Anolon that it is only 5.1mm thick. The Chiarello base appears 12mm thick, but I think it’s reasonable to assume that it’s only about 8mm thick (meaning that on both cookware lines the base curves just slightly around the bottom of the vessel). My guess is that the stainless layer on the bottom is the same (.5mm), so we have about 7.5mm to account for in the Chiarello. I can see there is about 3.5mm of base below the copper, so I am guessing that roughly gives us the thickness of the aluminum layers (3mm each). So, I am saying a total of 6mm of the base is aluminum and 1mm to 1.5mm is copper. My guess is the same as the side plate (1.2mm). Final answer.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                              This would jive with 18 gauge copper sheet, btw.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                Hi, randallhank:

                                                                                                                                                                Wow, impressive sleuthing. I think your deductions make a lot of sense.

                                                                                                                                                                The only ways to be sure about this stuff, though, are to saw one of the pans in half, or have the maker provide the layer specs or cutaways.

                                                                                                                                                                Demeyere used to supply its retailers with cutaways for Atlantis and Apollo, but virtually everyone else guards the thickness info like it's a state secret. I find this laughable, because someone who really wanted to know/reverse engineer would just have to buy one and turn on the bandsaw.

                                                                                                                                                                Your post underscores the need for a Lending Library.

                                                                                                                                                                Again, good work.

                                                                                                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                  I might be convinced to sacrifice the small saucepan. I love the idea of a lending library, except that I keep kosher, which presents some problems (and explains why I have so much cookware!)

                                                                                                                                                                  What we really need is to form a foundations (perhaps with government funding?). The least I could do is write a small check. But perhaps if companies knew we we going to saw their pans in half they might be convinced to release the information voluntarily.

                                                                                                                                                                  By the way, I have a couple more of the Nouvelle pans on the way. I scored the three piece bonus set for $18 on ebay in new condition:

                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.amazon.com/Anolon-82889-3-...

                                                                                                                                                                  I know, I have a gift. So far, I only have this one, another "bonus" piece, which I have been extremely pleased with:

                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.amazon.com/Nouvelle-Copper...

                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with Franz, though, that they are somewhat of a marvel at their price point, if you can stand some nonstick. They are a really good nonstick option for those who have electric stoves. I suspect the stainless version of these pans might not perform as well. Like the Chiarello pans, I think the hard anodized version benefits somewhat from having conductive sidewalls, even on straight-sided vessels. The stainless version has a distinctly cheap/tinny quality to them.

                                                                                                                                                                  Speaking of which, one reason for my deductions on the Chiarello set is that there are so many quality details, with the clad sides, thick base, cast steel handles, flared rims, and overall design that I somehow doubt that Chiarello went cheap on the conductive material (certainly the testing suggests otherwise). I think he had these made basically for himself, and as a response to complaints he had at the time with AC. He was one of the few who would dare to say that their cookware was not actually the gold standard amongst chefs; specifically, he thought the thickness/conductivity was lacking and could not forgive that they didn't have flared rims at that price point. I couldn't agree more. The only negative I can make about Chiarello's "Signature Clad" cookware is that the quality of stainless is not quite up to par with the Sitram and Demeyere I own. It seems to scratch a bit more easily, and is slightly more difficult to clean. These are minor gripes though, as overall they outperform 99% of what's out there. If there had been more pieces available I may not have ever gotten my Demeyere pans.

                                                                                                                                                                  Randy

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Randy,

                                                                                                                                                                    Love your deal! I'd like to see how the Nouvelle does long term; it seems to be pretty solid cookware. Some of it's reviews indicate it can last for many years. That's always a good sign. I was briefly interested in the Nouvelle when I began shopping for induction pans. My wrists aren't getting any stronger, and I thought HAA might be a good way to go. Still, I wasn't familiar with nonstick stuff beyond my egg pan. I'd just never owned any and wasn't sure about the whole nonstick thing.

                                                                                                                                                                    Well, I passed on the Anolon, But I have since picked up a couple of Thermolon ceramic-coated pans. I'm surprised by how natural they feel to me. Not that many foods need to build fond; for the rest, the nonstick is terrific. I say this as a cook whose idea of an easy dinner is sautéed chicken with a pan sauce, some rice/pasta and a veggie sauté or salad.

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm pretty gentle with my nonstick, the cheap Tramontina skillets I had lasted at least 5 years. So we'll see how the ceramic does. Mostly I wanted to mention that I'm finding nonstick is pretty decent for cooking. It isn't necessary, but it sure doesn't suck. And there's the whole cleaning thing. Can't beat that.

                                                                                                                                                                    Now someone will probably demand I turn in my Chowhound secret decoder ring. Did they take yours? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                    Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                                      I am not sure I ever made it past probationary status, and now I am afraid I will never get the decoder ring!

                                                                                                                                                                      The Nouvelle is sort of just for my own curiosity. For $18, why not? I bought the four quart "sauté pot" as something nonstick to make cream soups in, and boil the occasional bit of pasta in. But I've been impressed enough to do the occasional ebay search. I also have a few pans from the Anolon Allure range, with a "marbleized" exterior. All but one of those are sitting in storage (a 3 quart saucier that my wife uses for melting chocolate). Again, they are really solid, well made pans, and the easy cleanup is nice. They are very similar, but the Allure line is not quite as optimized for my electric coil, and is not induction compatible. Someday I may post pictures of the whole lot.

                                                                                                                                                                      I don't cook any meat in nonstick pans. I use Demeyere for most sauté, sauce, and grain applications on the meat side, with a couple of Calphalon One Dutch ovens (4 quart and 6 quart) for soup and most things I might throw in the oven. I also have the Calphalon One roaster in both large and petite size. Honestly the cookware I have at this point is all so good that I can really just cook by size and shape. I also have a 3.5 quart Le Creuset oval DO, and a 2.75 Staub oval that use for small batches of soup, chicken, reheating and service.

                                                                                                                                                                      I then have a small set of Sitram Catering (4 pans) for the dairy side. Its really underemployed on that side of the kitchen in terms of quality, but it gets used a lot in terms of frequency. I am trying to ruin my cheap nonstick egg pans so that I can get the good Anolon stuff from the basement, but it's slow going, especially since I now even cook eggs right on the stainless. I also have a 10.25 inch Swiss Diamond frypan down there that I'd really like to try out.

                                                                                                                                                                      The Chiarello is my meat cookware set on Passover, along with a couple more Calphalon One pans. Yes, I use it one week per year -- but it's a big week. Did I mention the Letang et Remy pans?

                                                                                                                                                                      It's all pretty ridiculous, but I've sold off quite a bit over the years as well, and given stuff to friends. Most of my Calphalon One pans are gone, and I have just a single piece of All-Clad left, a 2 quart pan with the ceramic double boiler. All-Clad is relegated to specialty cookware in my world. I've spoken nice enough about it in the past, but honestly I found that it didn't cook very evenly and the stainless was tough to clean and pitted easily. I've owned enough cookware (and used it in enough settings) that I think I can make that call with authority. It was the second most disappointing cookware I have bought.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                                        (Looks like I may be getting that decoder ring after all!)

                                                                                                                                                                        ;)

                                                                                                                                                                        - R

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi, Randy:

                                                                                                                                                                        Do you think Chef Chiarello actually commissioned Meyer/Hestan to do the Chiarello line, or do you think he licensed his name?

                                                                                                                                                                        The good reviews of this stuff make one wonder: why wasn't it more of a commercial success, at least in a niche market?

                                                                                                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I think Chiarello commissioned the line. They were sold exclusively through his website, Napastyle.com. I suspect that not many were produced, and it was mostly a vanity project that also promoted his site. It looks like they gave some of them away in various promotions:

                                                                                                                                                                          https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/vie...

                                                                                                                                                                          Most likely Chef Mike and Stanley ran into each other while sipping some of that good Napa Valley Cabernet. Seriously though, Chiarello had a relationship with Meyer at one point, and Anolon produced a "Michael Chiarello" collection:

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.latimes.com/food/la-pan_i6...

                                                                                                                                                                          That was back in 2004. The Signature Clad line was introduced in fall of 2007 and was discontinued and selling at $300 by June of 2008. I think they made a single run and that was it. My guess is that at $600 per 10-piece set (6 pans/4lids) that it didn't have nearly the type of distribution Meyer is accustomed to working with. That's why I said Cheng must have just hooked him up, perhaps with as little as a few hundred sets. I mean, they had people pre-order these, which tells us a bit about their expectations, and the cost of making them.

                                                                                                                                                                          As for why they didn't sell better? Well, let's just say I think this shows us a lot about the business of it. If you think Williams Sonoma is a tiny outfit, well where does that put Napastyle? Also there was no way to get reviews of the stuff, since it wasn't even sold through other online retailers, and NapaStyle doesn't have product reviews. What could they possibly have been hoping for?

                                                                                                                                                                          Chiarello went on to sell numerous Anolon products on Napastyle.com, but now sells almost no actual cookware through his website.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Randy,

                                                                                                                                                                            This may be the latest update on the Chiarello 10 piece set, now called Thermo-clad:

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

                                                                                                                                                                            The pots and pans are made in a small factory in Italy, the skillets are one size bigger, the bigger sauce pan is 4 qt. instead of 3 qt., the saute pan is 4 1/2 qt. instead of 3 qt., but they are only tri clad. The asking price is about the same. Customer reviews are very positive.

                                                                                                                                                                            What do you think?

                                                                                                                                                                            Ray

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                              Do you work for Williams Sonoma or something?

                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, presumably the "Hestan" (short for Helen and Stanley) thermoclad set is made at the same factory in Verdelino, Italy, but I wouldn't call it an update on the Chiarello. I actually think they are not nearly as as nice.

                                                                                                                                                                              They are fully clad, which is predictably geared toward American tastes, but they do not have a disc base, so the bottom does not benefit from the thick aluminum in the base, let alone any copper. Also, the rims have a much steeper rake, and were actually so sharp that they had to do a re-design after the first run. Likewise, the handles aren't shaped as nicely for the hand, but rather more engineered for a contemporary look.

                                                                                                                                                                              Typical Williams Sonoma. They got middling reviews (which have since disappeared), and are already selling at less than half price. I am sure they aren't bad, but nothing I would waste my time with at that price point. Too many other options out there.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                I have to agree that ThermoClad is only a distant relation to the Chiarelli pans. That thick base (almost 9mm) is the most important difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                I think the ThermoClad stacks up nicely against it's target competitor, the A-C d5 line. But I think I would place it behind Mauviel M'Cook, which is priced lower and is a very practical pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Randy,

                                                                                                                                                                                  It was a long time before I found a way to do business with Williams-Sonoma (my Scottish ways), but once I realized that everything would eventually be available at 20% off (or better), and that they had many things one could not get anywhere else, I found ways to benefit. I eventually made the beautiful Pasadena landmark store on Lake my "home store," and they treat me like family there.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thermoclad is an update of Chiarello in the sense that it is produced at the same factory with the same designated pieces, almost a decade later at about the same asking price. If one believes their claims, the pieces might even be better. They have a large number of user reviews that rate it just short of perfect (4+). My only experience is with the 1 1/2 qt. saucepan--which is superb (read my "pudding test" review if you wish).

                                                                                                                                                                                  If they are as inferior as you believe, it appears that for the American customer, bigger is far more important than better.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ray, dude, the lines have few similarities, aside from being made at the same Meyer plant. The Chiarello line is 5-ply, fully-clad AND disk-bottomed. VERY thick, as in at least 8mm.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I was comped a Thermoclad by W-S to evaluate. It's triply, the middle layer of which is only 2mm. The whole works is <3mm thick.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thermoclad is not an "update" to anything. Or are you going to blow more smoke about it being "tuned" for induction?

                                                                                                                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi, Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for your opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I strongly support your participation on this blog, warts and all.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi, Ray:

                                                                                                                                                                                        It's not my *opinion* that the Chiarello line and Thermoclad are radically different, or that the latter is not an "update" of the former. They're straight-up facts.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Where do you get this stuff? Do you read it somewhere, or are you just making it up?

                                                                                                                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                          Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                                          There are lots of ways to conduct an interesting discussion without confrontation. It's called "netiquitte." When I teach an online class, it's required.

                                                                                                                                                                                          You've interjected yourself into my responses to Randy with all sorts of unnecessary attributions and claims that do little to advance the discussion. Most of what you've said is no more than a repeat of things that Randy said better.

                                                                                                                                                                                          As an admitted hobbyist geek, with a strong gasser perspective, you interpret the value of products in ways that are clearly different from both explorers like me, and more traditional Chowhounds. As an explorer, I was very interested in Randy's research. I might have purchased at least some of the pieces of the Chiarello line if I could have seen them back in the day, and there is even a store in Pasadena where they could have been displayed. But a product line that both you and Randy admire didn't even proceed far enough to flop.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Why?

                                                                                                                                                                                          The recent much more successful marketing of the product line being sold now by WS may tell you things about both explorers and more traditional Chowhounders that you don't want to hear.

                                                                                                                                                                                          This is my last response on this topic--and only out of courtesy.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Respond if you wish.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                      Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                                      Not to beat a dead horse, but the Chiarello set retailed for $600, and was on closeout for $300 at the end. Williams Sonoma takes a cheaper product, retails it at $1,500 ????!!! (why not $15,000, as long as we are just picking random numbers?), and then sells it on "sale" for $600. I have found the occasional deal at Williams Sonoma (I got my little Staub oval for $45, and a few other things off the sale table), but this isn't one of them. I actually think the nonstick line with the copper (also on discount rack, btw) is a better value. At least it's really good, attractive nonstick.

                                                                                                                                                                                      There are a couple of reasons why WS doesn't sell anything with a disc base. One is the American perception that disc bases are "bad" (ditto for non-riveted handles). The other has to do with their specific clientele. In addition to striking out on the previous two counts, the Chiarello is way too heavy for most women (likewise for Demeyere). This is perhaps another reason the Chiarello wasn't offered in larger sizes.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I also have to reiterate that the ThermoClad line focuses much more on design than the Chiarello. I think the Chiarello set looks great, but was meant to appeal to people looking for function and performance. Even the decorative copper elements are at least meant to suggest a performance advantage, along with a slightly more rustic look. In combination with actual performance features like the thick base, wide flared rims, and truly ergonomic handles, they were geared for a slightly different crowd (even if, to some extent, they apparently didn't know it!).

                                                                                                                                                                                      So, in short, I see practically nothing similar about this cookware. I am also starting to suspect you work for Williams Sonoma - the expensive enameled cast iron, the D5 obsession, and now this. It's all starting to come together!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Randy,

                                                                                                                                                                                        I respect your perspective. I thought that the Chiarello set you investigated was neat--and the flop was unfortunate. That's why I did my own research.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The price points are a bit different almost ten years later, but I would have considered the two Chiarello sauce pans and two fry pans at less than $100 each--especially with your expert user endorsement. Side by side, at the same price, I would have almost certainly chosen the Chiarello set over the tri-clad WS Thermoclad. Right now, WS has a different marketing perspective for a different concept, maintaining the same price point almost a decade later.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The WS onsite video for Thermo clad lays out their design strategy and 2014 claims quite clearly: they are going after the Euro style multi clads with a better, lighter, sleeker tri clad. It seems to be a great marketing approach for them. It worked on me.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I came in to choose between an All Clad tri pli and d5 1 1/2 qt. sauce pans, with the Thermo Clad and Le Creuset as comparison pieces. I hefted them all, looked at them all, and,surprisingly, came down to a choice between the Thermo Clad and the d5. It was a tossup for me, so my partner actually chose the Thermo Clad. I later bought another as a wedding present.

                                                                                                                                                                                        It subjectively outperforms a 2 1/2 qt. Dansk Kobenstyle sauce pan with a disc base that I own on similar tasks: especially my "pudding test."

                                                                                                                                                                                        So much for sworn loyalties to All Clad d5 for induction.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I like to have the WS home store in Pasadena to help me problem solve, and I support them as much as I can, but . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                        I do almost all my buying online--often in competitive bidding on EBAY.

                                                                                                                                                                                        My best was a NIB Le Creuset 7 1/2 qt. bouillabaisse pot ($300) for $63.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                          "Euro style multiclads?" What on earth are you talking about?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Randy,

                                                                                                                                                                                            Demeyere, deBuyer, Mauviel M'Cook

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                              Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                                              I didn't realize this was a style! Each of those companies is better known for a different type of pan, none of which is what I think you are trying to describe. If what you are suggesting is that they each have at least one type of pan that is a European take on the distinctly American multi clad with riveted handles, then yes, two out of the three brands you mentioned have such products.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Mauviel is known for copper, but created in the M'Cook line a lightweight multi clad pan that (originally) mimics their classic French look (pan shapes and riveted cast iron handles). They have more recently added a more contemporary AMERICAN look to the collection.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Debuyer is best known for carbon steel and other non-stainless pans. The Affinity must be what you are talking about, but I hardly think Williams Sonoma targets customers that have a clue about this line of cookware (maybe this is why they are on hopping block already?). And Affinity is nicer than this stuff. The Prima Matera is in another league.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Demeyere? Known best for their disc-bottom pans with WELDED handles.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Who cares what the video says? All the talk of European styling just marketing TO customers, not really explaining their full marketing strategy. Most of the customers don't have a clue what European pans look like, aside from what they used to see at WS and SLT. The real strategy here is to end up on someone's wedding registry. That's it. That's the entire goal. And if you listen closely to the first video you'll hear that they focused on aesthetics and weight over performance. The second video I think reveals a bit more of their marketing strategy, which is to appeal to American female homemakers:

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

                                                                                                                                                                                              Who uses a big oven mitt to put a frypan in the oven? The handles feel great in the store, but to maintain the look and reduce weight the ergonomic part is only at the very end, while the balance of the pan is such that you really want to grab it a bit further up (but don't get too close to the fire, sweetheart!). But, since there is no food in the pan you won't notice this in the store.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, they managed to copy aspects of European styling while maintaining elements of American taste, offering housewives who don't like All-Clad because of the handles an alternative. But that is the main direction of the design: Shiny and stylish with the lid on, lightweight, with round handles that feel good in the store relative to All-Clad. And they perform better than your mid-century, design-based, made in Thailand Dansk cookware? Even with "pudding test"? Shocking! Nothing against the Dansk, but for $1,500? Really?

                                                                                                                                                                                              At this point I actually hope you are working for Williams Sonoma (I hear the store in Pasadena is fantastic!!!!!), because the alternative is beyond my ability to comprehend.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Randy

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Randy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like your style. It looks like you are the one that's working (or should be working) for Williams Sonoma. Your description of how they market makes a great deal of sense. It clearly works for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not so sure why WS should introduce and feature d5 and Thermo clad in their store to compete with each other. I think that the d5 is their direct answer to the European multi clads you describe, and Thermo clad is an alternative answer. They haven't taken on any of the tri clad stainless products introduced by Le Creuset yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Dansk reproduction I bought has been selling in one form or another for over 30 years, passed down from generation to generation. In it's tri clad form, it's fine, with that obligatory encased disk that you strongly prefer, but not up to the heat distribution performance of my Thermo clad with induction. They cost about the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The made in Thailand reproduction isn't that different in quality from the classic made in France Kobenstyle enameled steel 12" paella pan I have. Both work just fine with induction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                                                    <Not so sure why WS should introduce and feature d5 and Thermo clad in their store to compete with each other. I think that the d5 is their direct answer to the European multi clads you describe, and Thermo clad is an alternative answer.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                    d5 isn't a WS exclusive, not at all. It's everywhere. For this reason, I'm pretty sure WS didn't "introduce" it. I'd guess All-Clad brought it out all on their own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Perhaps you mean the TK line? That one is exclusive to WS. I don't think it competes with their own line directly. I see it more as an attempt to make housewives feel more "chefy" by presenting a deliberately mis-matched "set" and saying "This is how the pros cook". At least, that's my take. YMMV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                      d5 was introduced by WS. They played a part in the design. They still are the only source for the shiny version--not even listed on the All Clad site. I believe that All Clad introduced the "brushed" version so that other suppliers could sell it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Go to the Williams Sonoma site, if you want to check.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I went to the WS site and found no information about the finish, nor about their hand in creating it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also googled d5 history and found nothing there, either. I'll take your word about the polished finish being a WS exclusive, but that says nothing about it's creation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        With d5 widely available now, it does make sense for WS to brand it's own cookware. All they share is price point. Construction is different, handles, etc... all different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, Ray.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll believe that WS "designed" the polished line of d5. That video was released in 2011, which means nothing, I know. But it is curious that A-C lists 2009 as the release year for d5.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is it possible that WS, with it's exclusive polished d5 line, only "designed" that finish? I ask because WS isn't shy about touting the latest and greatest, so that 2-yr delay, coupled with brushed d5 being introduced in 2009 and widely sold, makes me think there's some puffery going on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You know this frequently happens when some store gets an exclusive on a color or shape of pan. But hey, maybe you're absolutely right and WS specified the parameters for d5, and A-C is just the builder. That story would be an easier sell if only WS carried d5, but otherwise... Well, not so much. Sorry, I'm trying to believe, but signs point to no. Show me something that fits all the facts, and I'll believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I really don't want to convince you of anything. You can (or can't) convince yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              You need to do much more thorough research before you post anything. Maybe wait a few days. WS introduced and helped design d5. They had a contract through 2012. Since then, AC contracted with other venders--but WS is still #1. It's much easier to find these things out than to suppose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm sorry for seeming so snappy, but this is really very well known and easy to explore. You don't seem to realize how major a role that WS plays in home furnishing as well as cookware through multiple companies. They are gigantic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                You're telling me what I'm required to do before I'm allowed to post here? Way to stay classy, dude.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                For something so well known and easy to "Explore", I'd have thought the information would show up on the A-C and WS sites (it doesn't) and that I'd be able to find some reference to it when I searched "who designed all-clad d5" (again, no). Not on the first 3 pages, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                What I did find were several blog entries from 2009 (the intro year) stating that A-C offered pans to the bloggers for evaluation. That's it, aside from a boatload of shopping info.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                So maybe before you get all snappy at me again, you'll consider that perhaps I do look things up before posting. I don't make WAGs based on what I suppose went on in some back room research lab.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't know who approached whom first, but I don't think it matters. W-S is so shameless in their puffery that if they asked All-Clad for exclusive rights to the polished version of d5, they'd claim that they designed it. If I were interested...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... I'd look to see who owns the patent for the stuff and what the date is. In this regard, I think it's more than coincidence that d5 is *not* a W-S house brand or exclusive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Thermoclad may be a slightly different story. It's very run-of-the-mill better quality triply with no exceptional characteristics, so what does "design" really mean aside from Meyer and W-S agreeing on the feature set? But they do have exclusivity becfause it's a house brand. Again, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My assessment is that W-S strives really hard to make it look like they're a driving force in various designs, when in fact they're just a big marketeer with little direct technical or manufacturing expertise. They "launch" and they have "exclusives", but does anyone seriously believe for instance that W-S "designed" the Le Creuset Heritage or Signature just because they got a special color or a jump on smaller retailers? If so, we better be prepared to say Macy's also designs cookware.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Let us not forget the special SKUs of VitaMix or KichenAid that are exclusive to WS. Nothing really special about them other than a color or combination of accessories you can't get somewhere else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think the end of this thread probably has more than a kernel of truth to it:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780021

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can only imagine the qualifications of WS's cookware "designers" ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Randy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Randy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Very interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This year (2014), only the shiny d5 was available in the WS brick and mortar store, both shiny and brushed d5 were available at WS Online, and only the brushed were listed on the AC website.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The AC/WS relationship has been repaired, but remains strained. There are loose ends related to the sale of AC to an international conglomerate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All this gives me a new perspective on WS and Thermo Clad. Nothing is as simple as it seems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Not so sure why WS should introduce and feature d5 and Thermo clad in their store to compete with each other."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, they have to sell something other than All-Clad, don't they? WS has made a conscious decision to make their "alternative" cookware line a house brand. Stanley Cheng can pump out whatever they want, at exactly the price point they want, and WS makes a huge profit margin, even at the "sale" price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "They haven't taken on any of the tri clad stainless products introduced by Le Creuset yet."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          And maybe they won't. Again, if they can sell a house brand at a higher markup, why would they? Who knows, though? They will probably bring something else in eventually (like when they offered the Ruffoni hammered stainless).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "In it's tri clad form, it's fine, with that obligatory encased disk that you strongly prefer, but not up to the heat distribution performance of my Thermo clad with induction."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's the thing, Ray: I don't "prefer" anything except cookware that performs well. Yes, I have found that some disc base pans are more efficient for my current cooktop, though I believe my current cookware will serve me quite well when I switch to a different heat source. Quite a bit of my cookware does not have a disc base though. My Proline frypan doesn't have a disc base, nor does my Spring Brigade Premium saute, nor my Calphalon One pans, nor the cast iron I own. I could go on. I pay attention to heat transfer qualities first, as well as other cooking properties like balance, shape, pouring rims, and handle and lid design, as well as other aspects like maintenance, durability and appearance. Most of the high performing cookware doesn't make you suffer too badly with the other stuff, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          You don't "problem solve" in a status store, dude. You do it in a kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://deadspin.com/5959212/the-hater...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://deadspin.com/the-2013-haters-g...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Randy

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've seen it. It's real cute. There is just way too much cast iron there, IMO. Why all that cooking mass? With relatively low output from your electrics you could have really benefitted from more efficient vessels that would have worked great on induction, the electric cooker and in the Breville. You could have replaced both your ThermoClad and the cast iron with a few Demeyere casseroles (or something cheaper like Sitram Profisserie) and been all set, while probably burning about half as much electricity. Also, skip the stoneware and get yourself a set of old school nesting Corningware pyroceram that goes from freezer, or refridgerator, straight to the electric cooktop or roaster (or microwave, btw) and you are all set. You would have so much more space!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              What I see is an amazingly inefficient bunch of cookware in a small space. You deserve credit for the organization of it all, but it just seems like so much overlap and non-efficient vessels, both in terms of raw energy and versatility.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              My advice? Sell it all and start over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              And don't show this to Kaleo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Randy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's a project, entering stage 2. The enameled cast iron is primarily a response to induction: I only had one piece before. It leads me in the direction of one pot meals: hence, the specialized pots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It also allows me to cook for friends, bringing the dish in one of my pots--or my Corningware (I have three right beside the microwave). I served three families with my bouillabaisse "leftovers."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think I could sell the EC and get my money back, but I won't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It may all be part of a doctoral project on sustainability: we'll see.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Your Corning products are not pyroceram Corningware. The bottom one looks like French White collection, and the other two look like more contemporary versions from Target. None of them is stovetop safe. I am talking about the original stuff. They just starting making the stovetop safe lines again. This is what you need. It's not particular good to cook with on the stove, but they cook quite nicely in the oven and you can warm things up on the cooktop as well, without having to wash another pan. And they are lightweight. I am considering ways you can declutter. If you replace 1/3 of your cast iron and all of your stoneware with pyroceram, then get rid of another 1/3 of your cast iron all together (and rely on your stainless vessels for cooking), you will be on your way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Induction or not, you seem to have created a shockingly inefficient cooking system for yourself, and deprived yourself of room and prep space in the process.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Randy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm an old corning ware fan. These came from Macy's and fit into my color scheme. I use them to warm things up in the microwave or convection oven. Pyroceram products sound interesting, but, to me, what you call clutter is at the heart of my functional design concept: everything beautiful; everything a fingertip away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Especially with the Staub, each piece is a work of art.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Okay, ...where angels fear to tread...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "The enameled cast iron is primarily a response to induction: I only had one piece before. It leads me in the direction of one pot meals..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "It also allows me to cook for friends..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What is it about ECI, do you think, that "leads" you better toward one-pot meals or "allows" cooking for friends?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or, put another way, why wouldn't any induction-compatible pans "lead" and "allow" you just as well?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Example: Staub Coq au Vin pots allow me to make Coq au Vin--or chicken Parisean. Sitting in my kitchen with little roosters on top, they are decorative--beautiful finish--can be brought to the table for serving--easy to clean up. After the meal, I can transfer leftovers to smaller pot(s) and give it to friends-ready to serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Before, I would transfer from pan to pot, and have a serving bowl--all washed, cleaned, and stored away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My Staub crepe pan is great for Swedish pancakes--my old cast aluminum doesn't work anymore. Love the wooden handle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I still have 2 d5 10" clad pans, and three sauce pans. I transfer contents from them the old way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I guess that a lot of it comes down to decoration and functional design. I want everything at my fingertips--one reach away--and I want it to look good while it is sitting there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi, Ray:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I get it, you prefer ECI because you feel it presents better at table, and you like the look of it in general. I totally respect that--your tastes are your own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Your use of 'allows' implies that you couldn't achieve the same one-pot preps in pans of different construction, or that ECI somehow does it better. It's this implication that I find counterfactual.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        After looking at the Staub "Coq" pans, I believe that--aside from decoration--its only mildly remarkable feature is its cover. It's rimmed/rebated to make it resemble a classic daubiere or doufeu whose lineage goes back to hearth cookery, but I'll bet you're not filling it with coals or ice. As for the basting spikes, they're an OK idea (and certainly a Staub claim to fame), but I'm unconvinced they make much difference. "Self-basters" like these have been around for a long time. IME, I get moister results in braises/daubs from placing parchment atop the food or sealing the cover with dough than I do from the crenelations in the covers. When you consider that what you're "self-basting" with is just scented water, I don't think there's a lot of benefit from making it rain inside the pan. The pot liquor is where it's at.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If your budget allows, and you want eye candy at table, you might consider a braiser like this one: http://www.kitchen-universe.com/de-Bu... Or like this: http://lnx.rameria.com/en/product/26/... (which I think they may offer with an induction-compatible bottom disk). You might be pleasantly surprised by the performance, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would not have gotten involved with enameled cast iron without induction, and enameled cast iron Dutch Ovens used with induction lead me to one pot cooking. It's different from anything I ever did before, and I have many possibilities to explore. The products I've embraced are heavy casserole style pots, round and oval, from 1 1/2 to 7 1/2 qts. I see limited value in ECI skillets, fry pans, sauce pans, or other designated pans with handles, though I do have one Staub 11" crepe pan for Swedish pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One purchases Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens for life, so one takes steps to get maximum benefit from their unique qualities and strengths from the getgo. They should be warmed up slowly, especially with induction, before being exposed to settings of 350 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Otherwise, their super responsiveness to magnetism could become harmful to the pot. After being warmed up, they are best used over a range of temperatures from about 150-400 degrees. They are now very responsive to changes in temperature over that range.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I bought the Staub 5 7/8 qt. oval coq au vin pot in the hope that I could make Chicken Parisian in one pot. I've made it successfully in multi pans and pots, w/gas and/or electric heat for my whole life, so making delicious Chicken Parisian was not the challenge. My new Staub Dutch oven met the challenge perfectly. Now, more recently, if I want to make Chicken Parisian one pot, I have more options. I can use my low wide round 6 qt. for more braising area, or my 4 qt. or even 2 1/2 qt. oval for smaller quantities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Building on the unique qualities of Le Creuset and Staub Dutch ovens, used within clear boundaries, one begins to consider more one pot possibilities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Could someone else do it just as well or better with other pots and pans--or energy sources? I guess I probably could myself--if I wanted to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            <After being warmed up, they are best used over a range of temperatures from about 150-400 degrees. They are now very responsive to changes in temperature over that range.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This has not been my experience. Granted, my experience is limited. Perhaps if the pan is only held there for a few minutes it will work. Or if a goodly amount of liquid is added to bleed off some heat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After slowly cooking 4 slices of bacon, then caramelizing onions in the bacon grease, the pan would not cool down for the cream cheese that followed. Although it was all cooked on low heat, around 200º-250º, the elapsed time was over 20 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I believe the pan simply had too much stored heat after being over a low temp hob for so long. As I said, maybe if it were only at heat for a few minutes it would respond. Or a cup or more of liquid added. For whatever reason, ECI is ill-suited to the pizza sauce I was making. It lacks the downward response the sauce needs. I think a roux would also be difficult.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've made the sauce three times since, in clad stainless, with much better results. The cream cheese doesn't burn, but slowly melts, as it's supposed to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't use either Le Creuset or Staub pans with handles. If I were to use a fry pan with a handle, it would be old fashioned cast iron (Lodge, Griswald), properly seasoned. To me, both Staub and Le Creuset fry pans and sauce pans are noticeably inferior to cladded products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I use Dutch ovens for oven like cooking, esp. casseroles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, there's the thing. "Properly seasoned." We have only one such, a very young Lodge. It is properly seasoned, no question. It is not in any way WELL seasoned. Attempting to make almost any of my sauces in it would (did) strip the seasoning right off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kaleo's LC pan, OTOH, is slick as can be and completely impervious to acids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that, in skillets, bare CI is great, but ECI is inferior. Do you brown the meats for your one-pot meals in your d5 or bare CI skillet, then move them to your DOs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi, Ray: "One purchases Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens for life, so one takes steps to get maximum benefit from their unique qualities and strengths from the getgo."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your mind is truly unique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Do your larger ECI pieces fit into your countertop oven and/or roaster? If you're only using these on the stovetop, I think you're cheating yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In your photo thread about your kitchen project, it appears you have a lot of duplication. Why, other than you collect ECI?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Every Dutch oven I have can fit in my convection oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have both oval and round for each size. My 4 qt. Staubs have three different levels of curvature. The only apparent real duplication is Staub vs. Le Creuset, but I use them for slightly different purposes: my Staubs more for braising, my Le Creusets more for sauteeing/simmering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For design, the Staubs are darker, Le Creusets lighter and cheerier: they complement each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not working after all. This is what you get for being nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tell Jiminy to buckle his spats, pick up his hobo pack and hit the road.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hey K,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, no wonder I'm always wrong. I thought it was the cooktop leading our friend to the ECI. Instead it's the ECI leading him to one-pot meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Things are so much clearer now!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We Explorers are nothing if not inscrutable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This feels more like therapy. But it appears to be working.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If this is your idea of 'working', I think you need therapy. 0:-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also, not sure if you have the room, but I would have gone with something like this in the middle, for eating and prep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/pro...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Then you could skip the proteak thing for your "prep bowls."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And if you must keep the microwave, at least put in on top of the fridge. You can't be wasting floor or prep space with that beast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Randy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I prefer sitting in my director's chair and acting like an octopus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, when I think of European stainless clad cookware I think of Spring (Switzerland), Fissler (Germany), Demeyere (Belgium), Sitram (France), and Silga (Italy). All four of those companies is known specifically for extremely high quality stainless cookware with multi-clad base.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Incidentally, I now think the Chiarello has the following makeup /layers in the base:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aluminum (4.0mm)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Copper (0.6mm)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aluminum (3.5mm)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        18/0 Stainless steel (0.6mm)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        These are the specs from a similar line sold as "Raymond Blanc by Anolon". The overall thickness of the base is the same and they look identical. The only difference is that the Raymond Blanc doesn't have a clad vessel, just stainless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        A measly .6mm of copper may seem disappointing, but on the other hand with a whopping 7.5mm of aluminum in the base (plus a clad vessel) I can't believe it matters. As I have pointed out before, brands like Demeyere and Sitram don't mess around with aluminum to "enhance" a 2mm copper core -- it doesn't need it. Likewise, when Demeyere wanted to increase heat retention in its clad vessels, it didn't bother including copper. The copper doesn't hurt, and may even help upward conduction a tiny bit, but ultimately it is inconsequential.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi, randallhank: "A measly .6mm of copper may seem disappointing, but on the other hand with a whopping 7.5mm of aluminum in the base (plus a clad vessel) I can't believe it matters."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I mostly agree--I don't think evenness gets much better than this. Responsiveness is a little different; IMO, straight-gauge or bi-metal Hotel-grade copper is going to strike the best balance between responsiveness and evenness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Demeyere and Sitram don't mess around with aluminum to "enhance" a 2mm copper core -- it doesn't need it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Reasonable minds can differ on this. Demeyere *claims* that if increasing the copper thickness past 2mm would help, they'd do it, and they have a video which they contend proves their point. Personally, I don't think 2mm is enough (2.5mm is excellent but a little scant, too, IMO).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The stark fact is that no one is going to hit a commercial home run selling 3-4mm-thick copper pans in quantity and at a profit comparable to thin clad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "I mostly agree--I don't think evenness gets much better than this. Responsiveness is a little different; IMO, straight-gauge or bi-metal Hotel-grade copper is going to strike the best balance between responsiveness and evenness."

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of course. The one non-performance part of the Chiarello that I should point out for honesty's sake, it that it is fairly idiot proof, and obviously not optimized for responsiveness. This doesn't necessarily mean it isn't good for sauce work though, just a bit slower to get to temp. That thick base is somewhat overkill on the sauce pans. The 8 quart "stock pot" is really more of a Dutch oven, and has a wider diameter than the sauté. So, the small(isn) size of the sauté isn't really an issue if you really need to cook volume.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Reasonable minds can differ on this."
                                                                                                                                                                                                            True, I suppose. Most copper designers and aficionados I have spoken with (or read) say that 2.5mm is the magic thickness. Presumably it strikes just the right balance between responsiveness and even cooking. Clearly there must be a point where responsiveness is affected negatively by mass. If you prefer 3mm with the way you cook, though, I am not going to argue with it. You certainly have more experience with copper than I do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't think that Demeyere would disagree that 2.5mm would be better than 2mm in a pure copper vessel. But I think they would say that in a clad setting that extra bit of copper wouldn't increase evenness (and we know it won't increase responsiveness). Pure copper is different because it's so responsive to the heat source that you actually need a bit more thickness to ensure even cooking, especially with a pan that is significantly wider than the burner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "The stark fact is that no one is going to hit a commercial home run selling 3-4mm-thick copper pans in quantity and at a profit comparable to thin clad."

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, but Demeyere and Sitam both only clad the base. And they could easily augment with relatively cheap aluminum if they thought it would matter. That was what I was really getting at. I know you are not sold on the steel cladding making a difference, but it seems both Sitram and Demeyere think that extra bit of mass from the steel layers is just enough to accomplish whatever is lacking in the copper layer. Hence they don't add any aluminum. Both of them could add more, like the Chiarello, but they must think adding more (non-copper) mass would negate the advantages of the copper. I think the Chiarello is just the opposite. They know the copper is thin enough that it MUST be enhanced by aluminum to cook properly. They are essentially creating an aluminum base (like Profisserie) that is (perhaps) enhanced by a little copper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Sitram and Demeyere are both noticeably more responsive than the Chiarello (especially the Sitram), and they are nearly as even heating (especially the Demeyere). Overall we are talking about three slightly different cooking experiences. The lack of responsiveness in the Chiarello prevents it from being truly elite. The Demeyere is probably just as responsive as the Sitram, but that 4.2 quart sauté is so heavy that I can't pull it off the heat easily enough to take full advantage. I am curious how my perception would be if I still had a gas range. The Sitram is not only responsive, but light enough that I can move it around easily. It is also just 3.2 quarts, which is a good size for true sauté work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Randy

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I agree. And I did know that Meyer made Chiarello; in fact, Meyer is the first manufacturer I suspect whenever I see a new high-end small brand, because they do so much contract manufacturing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree with everything you wrote above and below. It's too bad I had no little for the Chiarello because I prefer bigger saute pans. I have not encountered anything quite like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The reason why you can't just use thick layers of pure aluminum is due to how aluminum cools down; you get unsightly wrinkled metal bumps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pure aluminum is more conductive than aluminum alloy, true, but I'm skeptical anyone really uses thick layers of pure aluminum in clad cookware. Whatever Williams Sonoma Thermoclad is made of, the proof is in the testing. Nothing can fool thermal imaging. Thermoclad is, at best, equal to All-Clad Stainless in even heating on electric/induction. On gas perhaps it's shaped differently or whatever but it does do somewhat better on gas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have an entire section devoted to metallurgy on my website that goes over this. Just one of many pages: http://www.centurylife.org/2013/10/17...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, about plies... I have seen so much misinformation all over the place. The short story is that some manufacturers exaggerate the number of "plies" (layers) that are in their cookware. How? By counting the microscopically thin bonding layers. If All-Clad did that, then they could call their All-Clad Stainless line 5-ply. But they don't. So you wind up with situations where All-Clad Stainless is called 3-ply and Zwilling Sensation5 is called 5-ply even though they are built exactly the same. I may have to write a post just on this topic alone...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Speaking of which, if anyone wants to guest-write an entry at my site (*cough cough* like say you and Kaleo and others *cough*), send me a message; I'd love for there to be more TRUTH on the internet and less MARKETING FLUFF. :) Also, if there is an interesting (emphasis on interesting) brand of cookware someone wants me to cover, I'm taking requests; just message me. I'll do it if feasible. I have a little more free time now that my son's age is measured in months instead of weeks. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CenturyLife

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, this must be Franz! I admire your posts on Century Life a great deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Do you have the equipment to do thermographic video? I think it would be fabulous to start a listing of vids of specific pans showing a standardized heating and cooling cycle. That, and having cutaways showing actual thicknesses and layers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      For the former (only), I'd be willing to send you some pans for thermographic testing. I like your A-B-C measure, but the visual of the same pan(s) heating up and cooling down would be instantly understood, especially running two pans together for visual comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      As to the latter, my hungry bandsaw awaits any pan donations...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      FYI, a recent poster on eGullet has proposed a master database of specific pan thicknesses. You might want to bring him into the conspiracy. I have already pointed him toward your excellent work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Let me know how I might help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kaleo yes, I greatly admire your deep well of knowledge of cookware as well! Particularly antique copper. I don't visit CH much but when I do, you always seem to give succinct no-bs advice and not something like "well I use All-Clad and think it's the best because it works for me"! Not that there's anything wrong with All-Clad, it's good stuff. Just not "the best" which is probably thick copper, as you know. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interesting you mention heating and cooling cycles. I used to wonder how to incorporate that data before giving up on it. There IS no standardized heating and cooling cycle. Each cookware takes a different amount of time to heat up and cool down, and I didn't want to penalize cookware that took longer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I know you already know this but I'm writing for the sake of others too, so bear with me: Responsiveness and even heating are often at cross-purposes. I decided that even heating took precedence for the simple reason that it is usually preferable to wait an extra minute or two for a thicker pan to preheat. E.g., a 4.8 mm Demeyere Proline takes longer to preheat than a 3 mm All-Clad Stainless pan, but the All-Clad also cools down faster when you toss in a steak, which isn't good for obvious reasons. I mean, heat capacity is one reason why cast iron is so popular.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        IMHO getting even heat is harder to do (involves thicker materials or more expensive materials like copper and silver). Responsiveness is easy--use paper-thin material with no disc bottom. (I can see the advertising copy now... "world's most responsive cookware! 0.001 mm thick silver!")

                                                                                                                                                                                                        However, complicating this is how you can artificially modify both evenness and responsiveness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        On the even heating side, you can use thick slabs of copper or aluminum (or even thick iron flame tamers) on top of burners to artificially increase the burner size. I've tried doing that before but it got so inefficient (long preheating times), messy, dangerous (large superheated slabs of metal are especially dangerous for little kids), and unsightly (oil/food does drip sometimes and then bakes on unless you vigorously scrub and clean), that I stopped. Also, there is no practical way to use thick slabs on induction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        On the responsiveness side, there's no easy way to speed up the preheating of a pan other than to crank up the heat, but that just means less even heating because you have a greater temperature differential than if you used gentler, slower heat. (Furthermore it is often less important that cookware takes longer to heat up, than to cool down. E.g., you can destroy chocolate by not being able to cool it down fast enough if it gets overheated. But if temperatures drop too far and you need to get up to melting temperatures again, does it matter if it takes 10 seconds vs 20?) In contrast, it's pretty easy to get quicker temperature drops: lift the pan off the burner (a stir-frying method). Or set it on top of an unused burner. Or if that's still not fast enough, set it on top of a thick slab of copper/aluminum that sits on top of a burner. (That's what I wound up doing with my slabs. Great for quicker defrosting, too.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Such modifiers aside, I think ideally you want a balance between the two, hence the proliferation of ~2 mm (copper) and ~5 mm (aluminum) disc bottoms, which seems reasonable for typical stovetop cookware base diameters. (I think that ideal thickness is proportional to size: a 6" copper pan doesn't need to be as thick as a 12" copper pan because the burner underneath isn't as undersized relative to the diameter of the pan. In fact, Sitram's Prestige Pro line is built this way: the smaller-diameter pieces have thinner aluminum disc bases than the larger-diameter pieces.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        But like I said, I'm interested in hearing other opinions about this. It's an interesting topic to me because of the cross-purposes where it's possible to make cookware that is "too" even heating (takes an hour to preheat) or "too" responsive (0.001 mm silver foil).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        RE: Video: I use a FLIR professional thermal camera which is software-locked from being able to record video (it's actually done via linking to a laptop and using proprietary FLIR software; to upgrade to the video-capable version costs something like $500 last time I checked). Unfortunately a lot of companies do this artificial crippling thing to try to wring every last penny out of customers, ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        So instead, I take photos every 10 seconds (cookware doesn't change temperatures THAT fast on medium-heat settings). I suppose I could run them through software to create an animated GIF, but that would take a lot of effort--we're talking multiple thousands of images. I'm not even sure how to make an animated GIF anymore, it's been so long since I made one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        RE: Thickness. I already started building a master database of pan thicknesses, but mostly stopped for the following reasons: 1) if cookware is thicker than usual, the maker will usually advertise it, because it's a point of differentiation (e.g., I've seen some brands loudly trumpeting 5 mm thick aluminum in their nonstick pans or disc-bottomed pots--so it's not just companies like Demeyere and Mauviel that publish their thicknesses); 2) true thickness isn't always apparent (e.g., thin copper foils wrapped around disc bottoms to make them look thicker); 3) there are different grades of metals with different thermal conductivity/diffusivity characteristics so it's technically incorrect to assume that 1 mm aluminum in one pan is the same as 1 mm aluminum in another, though in practice most companies use 3003/3004 alumnum so you CAN guesstimate like that.. but then you have varying thicknesses of other layers like steel, too...); 4) there are a LOT of brands out there so it'd be incredibly time-consuming; and 5) IMHO, what really matters is performance, not thickness. If the performance is there, I couldn't care less what the thickness is. So I've never band-sawed anything yet since I could thermally image it instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        As much as I like the old eGullet article on cookware, it didn't tell me anything about specific pieces of cookware and how they performed relative to each other in real life, and I don't think it took into consideration the different grades of metal, either, such as some aluminum alloys being more conductive than others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        RE: Guest writers. It would be great if people wanted to guest-write about anything remotely lifestyle/nutrition/cookware-related or even send in cookware they wanted thermally imaged. My wife is a scientist in the food/nutrition industry. I've been trying to get her to guest-write posts, but she's shy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My email address is CenturyLife (dot) org, at the email service run by Google. (Was that convoluted enough to throw off the spambots collecting emails? I hope so!) Or there is also the "message me" box on-site: http://www.centurylife.org/about/abou...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CenturyLife

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi, Franz:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great post. Sorry it's taken me this long to respond--I hate trying to post intelligently using a smartphone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "There IS no standardized heating and cooling cycle."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, arbitrary as setting one might be, who better to pick one than you? I agree that there may be no ideal cycle for all applications, but IMO there is still a need for some gross measure of how fast or slowly pans heat up and cool down. I think what's called for is some repeatable protocol, maybe the same as you chose for your evenness tests, under which you time and temperature-map a run up from ambient to a certain temperature anywhere in the pan, and then down to some lower temp. The beauty of your FLIR imagery is that the viewer can *see* evenness along the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Each cookware takes a different amount of time to heat up and cool down, and I didn't want to penalize cookware that took longer."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sure. You'd probably want to run skillets vs. skillets, and saucepans vs. saucepans, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've already done some tests on saucepan time-to-boil and -cool for various constructions, posted here somewhere. For saucepans, it would be highly informative to see the FLIR of sidewall temperatures

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Other than running a fair race, I think you just let the chips fall. Folks are smart enough to understand that the pure responsiveness of a thin pan must be balanced against evenness. Things that bear illustration, though, include showing that thick aluminum really can (or can't) compete with cast iron for "holding heat", or showing the thickness of aluminum which is the best functional equivalent (or not) of 3mm copper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I sort of assumed that Fluke would charge a pretty penny for the privilege of actually filming thermographically. I think snapshots every 10 seconds would probably do the job, but I can appreciate what a PITA this would be to stitch together a gif.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Awhile back, I proposed a "Lending Library" of pans to be traded around for testing and shopping, but it didn't get much interest. As many people who get rid of (or ruin) pans, it would also be nice to have a "Pan Morgue & Museum", where pans can be measured and autopsied. I think if any *good* system of evaluation caught on (like yours, but unlike some of the "purveyors" here), makers might just donate a pan or two for testing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                  Hi paly,

                                                                                                                                                                  Something was nagging me about your post, so this morning I re-read it. You want teflon-free nonstick. Sadly, All-Clad is not. They're still using PTFE nonstick, although I'm not sure what designation it is.

                                                                                                                                                                  Still, if your father has a tendency to overheat his nonstick pan, this might be a good choice, based on AC's warranty service, which is stellar.

                                                                                                                                                                  Similarly, Vollrath Tribute uses PTFE, so I couldn't recommend it to you. Further, their nonstick warranty is abysmal, because commercial cooks routinely use nonstick over high heat.

                                                                                                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                                    This is from the All Clad Website:

                                                                                                                                                                    All-Clad's nonstick surfaces do not have harmful PFOA gases. The quality of our cookware eliminates hot spots that can damage nonstick and cause the surface to burn and flake off.

                                                                                                                                                                    When used responsibly, nonstick cookware poses no threat to people or animals and can be useful in creating a healthy and well-balanced diet.

                                                                                                                                                                    To prevent damaging the surfaces of your nonstick pans:


                                                                                                                                                                    • Always cook on a low or low-medium heat.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Never use a nonstick pan under a grill.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Never leave any pan unattended on top of the stove or in the oven.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Do not use metal utensils.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Do not use abrasive cleaners or metallic scrubbing pads or brushes.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Do not use aerosol spray oils on your nonstick cookware.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Do not put your nonstick cookware in the dishwasher.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Clean any cooking residue with a mixture of baking soda and water.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                      you've fallen into the marketing trap.

                                                                                                                                                                      PFOA and PTFE are two different compounds.

                                                                                                                                                                      and, fwiw, multiple studies by multiple countries have not found any measurable PFOA in finished hard goods with PTFE coatings.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the suggestions Duffy and Ray. I was unaware of the Zwilling option and will look into it. I think it might be manufactured in China--something I've been trying to avoid, however. I like the fact that the Mauviel M'Cook is rated for 680F which is overkill for frying an egg but provides some margin of safety in the hands of my potentially distracted father. ;-) If All Clad is good about replacing pans despite normal wear maybe getting an All Clad is more financially sound. Didn't know its coating contains PTFE, however.

                                                                                                                                                                        PSRaT, when you write that PFOA and PTFE are different compounds are you suggesting All-Clad's claim of no PFOA gases is misleading by omission? Then you mention no measurable PFOA in finished hard goods with PTFE coatings. But isn't it high heat, 500F sometimes that triggers the off gas?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paly

                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Paly,

                                                                                                                                                                          If an induction surface reaches a temperature much above 450 degrees, it automatically shuts down, so 500 degrees would already include a safety factor. Mauviel specializes in copper, which means gas, not induction is their specialty. Demeyere is the one company that has really focused on induction, their surfaces are sometimes made available to non European manufacturers--especially through Zwellig, their parent company. All Clad has followed their multi clad lead, with d5 and copper core.

                                                                                                                                                                          The high end companies take extra effort to protect the user, both through application of the product, and through the warranty. They are expecting to sell lifetime products:

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtB8C2...

                                                                                                                                                                          Ray

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't heard this before. The pan detector will trigger auto shutoff if no pan is present (30 seconds on mine) I have had parchment paper under a pan turn burn black, but not ignite into flames. I don't know parchment's upper limit, but think it's not very high, maybe 400ºF.

                                                                                                                                                                            Last night our wok showed a temperature of 650º with food in it. It only contacts the cooktop in a 1" circle, though, with about another inch being very close to the glass. So it might not trigger auto shutoff. But I can't find anything in my owner's manual about this feature, either.

                                                                                                                                                                            Perhaps this is a feature that varies by the maker?

                                                                                                                                                                            Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe there are some induction cooktop models that turn off the cooktop when the temperature of the glass reaches above 500F, the heat diffusing from the pot towards the induction rings below the glass. This would imply the pan can reach temperatures at or above 500F as you found. I assume "boost" mode on an induction cooktop would allow 10 minutes of high heat, but I suppose there is a way for the manufacturers to put a cap on the max temp, too.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paly

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi paly,

                                                                                                                                                                                Sure, I can see that. Some induction cooktops do cycle down from boost mode after a given time, no reason there couldn't be heat limiters.

                                                                                                                                                                                With electronic controls, the makers have a whole new set of options. Some have boil-over limiters. I've no idea how they work, but I do wish my cooktop had this feature. Sadly, my pasta water boils over with annoying regularity.

                                                                                                                                                                                Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: paly

                                                                                                                                                                            short version:
                                                                                                                                                                            PFOA is a compound using in getting the PTFE onto the pan substrate. it is a bad actor to health and environment. depending on country, it's been outlawed or voluntarily withdrawn. the PFOA used in hard goods does not linger - it's gone before the stuff leaves the factory - PFOA is not in/on the pan to begin with so 'out gas' is totally non-applicable. it's the workers and careless handling in and about the manufacturing sites that is the issue. PFOA 'release' in any form was never a factor in PTFE/Teflon wares.

                                                                                                                                                                            companies still using PFTE aka "Teflon" saw the published PFOA dangers as a marketing ploy to sell their wares made with 'substitute' i.e. non-PFOA technologies to kinda-sorta-imply 'no Teflon'

                                                                                                                                                                            a lot of people have not made the effort to understand PFOA free does not mean PTFE free. the statement is in fact a big tip off that the non-stick properties are PTFE based.

                                                                                                                                                                            "...All-Clad's claim of no PFOA gases is isleading by omission? " yes, if that statement got you to thinking it's not PTFE.

                                                                                                                                                                            it is PTFE itself that starts out gassing at roughly 400'F - immediate danger to birds in the house - and in the 600'F range decomposes further releasing gases more toxic to humans.

                                                                                                                                                                            if you see temperature limits of 400-450'F it's due to one of two reasons: either the coating is PTFE or the plastic knobs/handles won't take higher temps. an all metal pan with all metal handle will not have a temp limit except for the PTFE issue.

                                                                                                                                                                            oh, edit to add temp limits do apply to tinned cookware....

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paly

                                                                                                                                                                              Hi, Paly: "[W]hen you write that PFOA and PTFE are different compounds are you suggesting All-Clad's claim of no PFOA gases is misleading by omission?"

                                                                                                                                                                              You need to be a Teflon historian to appreciate the full answer, but here's the shorthand version:
                                                                                                                                                                              PFOA is a perfidious chemical that Dupont and 3M once used universally in the making of Teflon/PTFE. But it's NOT PTFE.

                                                                                                                                                                              They poisoned an entire town in West Virginia with PFOA (contaminated the aquifer). The townspeople sued, then the Feds sued, and a consent decree was entered years ago, and a huge fine paid. In the consent decree, Dupont and 3M agreed to *phase out* use of PFOA over a LONG time. This deadline has passed, but was extended at least twice, and as far as I know, PFOA is still being used to some small extent.

                                                                                                                                                                              So now, at the end of 2014, the chances of All-Clad using PTFE which was made using PFOA is small, and I would trust that if they claim their wares are PFOA-free, they are. I am less sanguine about pans made outside the USA.

                                                                                                                                                                              Now then, the very fine combustion product particulates that result from pyrolization of true PTFE are still quite hazardous--a slivver of the stuff in a cigarette can kill. Dupont's own tests have shown that PTFE begins to thermally break down at temperatures around 470F. For comparison, an unattended frypan on an 8" electric coil set on high can reach temperatures approaching 900F in just a few minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                              So you are wise, IMO, to focus on the newer ceramic coatings which have a much higher heat tolerance, and perhaps no PTFE *at all*. Especially if your dad is easily distracted.

                                                                                                                                                                              Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                              Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the history of PFOA. I hope the victims of the poisoned aquifer received help commensurate with their needs.

                                                                                                                                                                                I did end up purchasing the Mauviel M'Cook stainless frypan with nonstick cooking surface for my father. The 8" frypan was not available at the time so I obtained the 9.5" pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                However, after my parents installed their new induction cooktop, I noticed the Mauviel fry pan still in its box. My father told me he heard 'Teflon is unsafe' so he dug up an 8" cast iron frying pan from the basement and was trying to fry an egg in that instead. He was unsuccessful.

                                                                                                                                                                                He only fries eggs. Not sure why he has become so health conscious all of a sudden. I think he likes the smaller pan size of the cast iron as it more closely approximates the non-induction ready nonstick fry pan he used to use without worries about Teflon safety. I reminded him that this Mauviel pan is different from prior Teflon and that it should be safe if he uses right cooking setting.

                                                                                                                                                                                We'll see.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: paly

                                                                                                                                                                      Scanpan has a nonstick surface which I find works very well for eggs. I use the 8" Classic, which is not induction compatible. The IQ model is the induction-compatible equivalent. It is currently available in eight-inch size for about $100.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. I use all clad d5 pots and pans and they perform great. but stainless can be a bitch to clean. I have a few really well made bourgeat and mauviel copper with stainless lining but I seldom use them now. I have a xomin pan that's light and easy to clean and I prefer that over the lodge pans I have. The one pan I almost always reach out for is my 10" skillet blue steel de buyer. this is light, easy to clean and heats up fast. I cook with a gas stove but my friend who has a new GE Profile induction borrowed it and absolutely fell in love with it.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kybourbongal

                                                                                                                                                                          Hi, kybourbongal:

                                                                                                                                                                          This is another one of those "blog" sites that is very unbloggy. All the reviews appear to be of lines that the reviewer is helping to sell through Amazon. If it's like all the other such sites I've looked at (there's another one posted yesterday), the reviewer gets paid a commission for all sales.

                                                                                                                                                                          They also don't list all that many pans in any category, which causes me to think they already know who the "top" selections are.

                                                                                                                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                            Hey Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                            First of all...just wanted to say thank you to you and other fellow frequent chow contributors. I'm a long time reader of this forum and first time poster. Your comments helped a lot when I first started buying nice cookware. I finally broke down to register this week bc I was looking for some authentic user feedback on sou vide machine, which can't seem to be found anywhere. Anyhow that's another story.

                                                                                                                                                                            I totally agree with you re most of those blogging sites with affiliate links. I personally don't mind these sites with links and ads, as long as they provide valuable info, which very few do. I also visited that review site by chefsan yesterday. I think it was you who commented that it only has info that can be found on the manufacturer site or package box. 100% agree! I personally can't take a site seriously if they list Calphalon as best stainless steel cookware.

                                                                                                                                                                            That cookware insider site on the other hand seems like one of the few sites that have info and tips that are useful; hence I posted it instead of writing something long and windy. I'm not saying I agree 100% with that insider site either (for example I don't think All-Clad pans or Lodge dutch oven should be on any "best of" list, which they have listed) and agree with you that they need to show more review items.

                                                                                                                                                                            Bourbongal

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kybourbongal

                                                                                                                                                                              Hi bourbongal,

                                                                                                                                                                              That was me (on the "best" 2014 thread) comparing the information on davieb's site to what's on the box the pan came in. I agree that cookware insider provides slightly more useful info than davieb's site, about the same amount we'd see in a CI review. It may give shallow reviews, but at least it doesn't make every pan sound like the best new thing in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                              It would be nice if they had an "About us" page so we could decide how much weight to give the reviews. Without that, it's all out of context, isn't it?

                                                                                                                                                                              Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kybourbongal

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi, Bourbongal:

                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, the site you linked to contains better information than the "Hey, Guys and Gals" one of 2 days ago. In fact, your link is pretty much nonsense-free.

                                                                                                                                                                                An attribute most of these share is that they only run a few affiliated brands/models in the race.

                                                                                                                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                          2. No way I'm reading through this entire thread.....

                                                                                                                                                                            You did not mention budget. That's kind of important.

                                                                                                                                                                            I recently upgraded my collection of junk pots and pans that I've bought over the years. Mostly kits that I would buy at the big bulk stores....

                                                                                                                                                                            I wanted Stainless Steel, multi-ply. I did not want anything made in China. Pots had to have rolled edges for pouring. I wanted some with non-stick.

                                                                                                                                                                            Ended up with mostly DeBuyer SS pots and pans. They are 7-ply SS, made in France. Price point is less than the German stuff you see mentioned all the time. Probably about the same price point as All-Clad, but the handles are soooooo much nicer (I cannot stand the All-Clad handle style). Only problem I have with The DeBuyer stuff I bought, is it has a polished finish. You have to dry it immediately, or it will look like crap. It also scratches, which can be a traumatic experience I suppose, if you buy pans to look at and not use......

                                                                                                                                                                            Amazon has some pretty good prices on the DeBuyer stuff.. Here's one for example.

                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: akmike

                                                                                                                                                                              Hi akmike,

                                                                                                                                                                              Do you find the handles a little bit on the short side?

                                                                                                                                                                              Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                Nope, not at all - but I don't like long handles anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: akmike

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi akmike,

                                                                                                                                                                                I did a similar upgrade for induction.

                                                                                                                                                                                You mentioned budget. I was very interested in the Belgian Demeyere, the top competitor with DeBuyer but I couldn't justify the cost. If all things were equal, I might have chosen either over All Clad. Instead, I bought slowly, piece by piece, and gradually assembled my solution--sometime as a bidder on EBAY.

                                                                                                                                                                                For frypans/skillets, I bought 2 10" All Clad d5's w/one domed lid for a total of $135, about the same price as one nonstick DeBuyer 9.4 without lid from Amazon. The d5 handles are a bit different from other All Clad handles, and they have definitely not been an issue for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                I held the line at an average of $100 per sauce pan for 1 1/2, 2 1/2, and 3 1/2 qt. but accepted tri clad. My 1 1/2 is WS Thermo Clad at $80, a Dansk Kobenstyle 2 1/2 at about $85, and an All Clad 3 1/2 at $110.

                                                                                                                                                                                You may well have purchased better products, but mine have so far served me well at my price points with my induction unit.

                                                                                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                                  I initially started looking at the Demeyere, mostly because they have welded handles that are also very comfortable for me. They look cool too.... But, wayyyyy too expensive for me. I have not seen the D5 All Clads, I should like into those. I do have a couple other All Clad pans. I also picked up a couple Mauviel M'Cook pots that are very nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I would not say the DeBuyer are better than All Clad, or any other really. But when you look at the construction and so forth, they are a pretty good deal. The other gripe I have with the DeBuyer, is the handle attachment point. Dumb design that is touch to clean if you get burnt oil on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: akmike

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi akmike,

                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree that the DeBuyer pans are top quality. What has changed the most for me, since I switched to induction has been my use of enameled cast iron Dutch ovens of all sizes and configurations, and my interest in one pot meals in which one braises, sautees, simmers, and serves from the same pot. I've looked to both Le Creuset and Staub, and have come up with an interesting collection, mostly found on EBAY. See pictures.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                              3. Hi Everyone,

                                                                                                                                                                                I just found Mauviel 8 Piece M'cook Cookware Set With Stainless Steel Handles for $425 plus promo code that deduct $40 from that at:
                                                                                                                                                                                https://us.venteprivee.com/main/#/signup
                                                                                                                                                                                They have many other Mauviel cookware deals until Monday.

                                                                                                                                                                                In case anyone is interested..

                                                                                                                                                                                1. You might want to take a look at the Vollrath or Sitram lines.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sitram is French and is ubiquitous in professional kitchens over there.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Otherwise, this is the real deal (none better being made anywhere):

                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.dhandm.com/Copper_Cookware...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chas1Stan

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi, Chas:

                                                                                                                                                                                    The new Duparquet is none other than Jim at East Coast Tinning.

                                                                                                                                                                                    These are excellent pans, but I wonder if he is really importing and/or assembling them.

                                                                                                                                                                                    There *are* new 3mm tinned pans being offered, e.g., Mazzetti,Soye some Mauviel, and some other artisan makers. Our friend TJ can probably name some French makers who have them currently. And if Brooklyn Copper Cookware comes through as planned, there will be more...

                                                                                                                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. WOW I could use help. I purchased a great Pampered Chef set many years back it wasn't the top of the line advertised one but I did buy 2 of the Professional 12 in Skillets supposedly lifetime guaranteed but now ironically they cannot find my purchase GO FIGURE!!! Anyway I picked up some pans I think at an auction a Wolfgang puck 9" Omelet pan works great for sauteing mushrooms and onions a 10" Crepe Pan and a really nice Wolfgang Puck Wok. What I really need is a few good frying pans of multiple sizes nonstick and a nice 2qt pan for rice (which I make almost daily) a nice Deep Fryer non stick preferably I saw Paula Dean has a 12" Everything so something similar with high quality ( I don't know if hers are or aren't) I tend to use it for ground beef for tacos and even pasta sauce with sausage I use a 12" skillet with a lid most of the time but My Pampered Chef ones need replacements too I am extremely disappointed in that venture. My Circulon non-stick 12" Chicken fryer needs replaced it's literally been burned 4 times due to my hubby not paying attention it hasn't warped but I need a new one. Any help is appreciated as I can see getting a set woudn't be worth it for me. Thanks SO MUCH!!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: avonzet

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi avonzet,

                                                                                                                                                                                      My best bet for your deep fryer is a 10" sauté pan. I know you wanted 12", but a sauté pan has almost vertical walls so the floor space will be the same as or sometimes more than you get with a 12" pan. I'm suggesting the sauté pan because of one pan, the T Fal Professional Total Nonstick, which won Cook's Illustrated's nonstick test. It's reviews are nothing short of amazing, especially for a nonstick pan. http://smile.amazon.com/T-fal-Profess...

                                                                                                                                                                                      If you really prefer a 12" deep fryer - Simply Calphalon 12" Jumbo Fryer http://smile.amazon.com/Simply-Calpha...

                                                                                                                                                                                      For other skillets, it's the T Fal again http://smile.amazon.com/T-fal-Profess...

                                                                                                                                                                                      For rice, do you want a nonstick pan? Frankly, if you're really mostly using it for rice, would you consider a rice cooker? I just made the jump, after cooking stovetop rice for many many years. My rice cooker is simple, but makes perfect rice every single time. It's only an 8-cup (cooked) version, but that's plenty for us. It's pretty small and very lightweight, so it's easy to keep out (takes up little room) or stow away (easy to retrieve). http://www.walmart.com/ip/Aroma-8-Cup...

                                                                                                                                                                                      Duffy