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Old 03-08-2007, 11:35 AM   #11
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Different metals and surfaces have different cooking qualities. Copper heats and cools fast, it is also an expensive metal. heavy aluminum steel clad or anodized transferes heat well. The process to make the aluminum non reactive is not cheap. Cast iron is slow to heat and holds heat well. It is very porus and rusts; enameling the interior at least makes a fine cooking surface. Any of these can be cheaply made, but the really good pots are made by artisans and metal crafters with years of experience, using top grade metals and finishes. It is not cheap. If you want American made or European made, you will also pay for expensive labor. But these pots will last a lifetime and beyond, perform as advertized, and have multi uses...stove top to oven to broiler etc.

But if you want a pot to boil water, toss in the diswasher, wipe clean with a towel, and cook skillet dinners, eggs and bacon, whatever...the 1K set may be overkill.

You can get a reasonable set of pots that will perform ok at most retailers of kitchenware for under $500. But really top quality ware allows you to control the cooking process completely.

Personally , I love to cook, do so professionally once in awhile, have chef training, and am a pot and pan junkie. I have French enameled cast iron, Belgian commercial grade copper, and collect Griswold cast iron (Erie PA). I know I've spent several $K on pots and pans over the years.
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:48 AM   #12
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A set of Mauviel Copper Cookware, for example, can easily run over $1000.

I have one small saucepan that was a gift and I would die to have a set. It's incredible stuff.

But I'd also like to have a Porsche.

Do I need either? No. IMO it's important to buy good quality cookware because it really does perform better and makes it easier for you to be a good cook. But an excellent quality collection of cookware that'll last a very long time can be had for less than $500.
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:35 PM   #13
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Thank you jennyema, for making my point clearer.

Sorry that I can't remember who made that set, but I should have been clearer about why I thought it over the top:

I know the difference that quality tools make - my wood and metal working tools didn't come cheaply, and many years ago I bought grown-up cutlery - wusthof - and really appreciate it (the Thermador rangetop is also appreciated).

My head-scratching is the $1000 price tag - all-clad, and almost every other line I saw run MUCH less - I suspected a very nice, even heating, built to last 3 generations, etc., could be had for 300-400 for an equivalent set (and yes, I do prefer buying open-stock - as a single, I really can't imagine using a 3 qt sauce pan, let alone a 6 qt. stock pot).

By contrast, King Arthur (which, I surmise, does not sell junk), lists a
"Gourmet standard Cookware - 9 Piece Set"
for $330 (Gifts, newly married). They do not identify manufacturer, but I'm guessing this set could handle 99% of nearly everybody's needs.

So - once we get the triple-ply, nice conductivity, even heating, and great build quality, what more could anyone improve enough to justify that kind of price differential?

Thanks again.
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushy
$1000 for a set of cookware - can this be justified?
To whom must you justify it? I, too am 58 years old and single, and I answer to no one. I buy what I want, when I want. All that I ask myself is "is the price reasonable for what I am about to receive?"

I personally own the Le Gourmet Chef equivalent of All-Clad tri-ply. It is the same construction, and contrary to what some have said, the same weight, piece for piece, as the All-Clad. (Yes, I actually got a kitchen scale and weighed them at the outlet mall, then went to Bed, Bath, and All That Other Junk and weighed the All-Clad pieces. I was tired of people alluding to the inferior quality of my cookware!)

Now I started out with their 7 piece starter set as a birthday gift from my former S.O. back in 2002. The set consisted of a 1 quart saucepan with lid, a three quart saucepan with lid, a 6 quart stock pot with lid, and a 10-inch fry pan. (BTW, the lid for the dutch oven works great on the frying pan if you like your eggs basted! ) Now, again, contrary to what some people in here and other forums profess, there is nothing in that starter set that anyone can possibly say "I'd never use that," and it was substantially cheaper than buying each piece individually. They also come with a lifetime warranty, and I did have arivet come loose in the handle of the 10-inch frying pan, and they replaced it with new frying pan, no questions asked.

Since then, I have added the 4 quart stock pot, the 5 quart saute pan, the 10-inch teflon coated fry pan, the 12-inch fry pan, two 8-inch fry pans (one with teflon, one without) and a 6 quart stainless steel scola pasta. The only thing I feel I am missing is the 12 quart multi-cooker, which I will get with the next gift certificate or gift check I get.
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine
To whom must you justify it? I, too am 58 years old and single, and I answer to no one. I buy what I want, when I want. ...
I am not addressing the matter of person choice/preference - it's your money, by all means use it as you see fit. I have a bunch of stuff that has to be considered toys (as in: The difference between men and boys is the size and price of their toys, or "he who dies with the most toys wins".

My question, again, is: can any set be considered twice as valuable (utility, utility, utility!) as the All-Clad et. al.?
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine
To whom must you justify it? I, too am 58 years old and single, and I answer to no one. I buy what I want, when I want. All that I ask myself is "is the price reasonable for what I am about to receive?"

I personally own the Le Gourmet Chef equivalent of All-Clad tri-ply. It is the same construction, and contrary to what some have said, the same weight, piece for piece, as the All-Clad. (Yes, I actually got a kitchen scale and weighed them at the outlet mall, then went to Bed, Bath, and All That Other Junk and weighed the All-Clad pieces. I was tired of people alluding to the inferior quality of my cookware!)

Now I started out with their 7 piece starter set as a birthday gift from my former S.O. back in 2002. The set consisted of a 1 quart saucepan with lid, a three quart saucepan with lid, a 6 quart stock pot with lid, and a 10-inch fry pan. (BTW, the lid for the dutch oven works great on the frying pan if you like your eggs basted! ) Now, again, contrary to what some people in here and other forums profess, there is nothing in that starter set that anyone can possibly say "I'd never use that," and it was substantially cheaper than buying each piece individually. They also come with a lifetime warranty, and I did have arivet come loose in the handle of the 10-inch frying pan, and they replaced it with new frying pan, no questions asked.

Since then, I have added the 4 quart stock pot, the 5 quart saute pan, the 10-inch teflon coated fry pan, the 12-inch fry pan, two 8-inch fry pans (one with teflon, one without) and a 6 quart stainless steel scola pasta. The only thing I feel I am missing is the 12 quart multi-cooker, which I will get with the next gift certificate or gift check I get.

I also have several pieces of Le Gourmet Chef and they perform well. They do everything you expect from a tri-ply SS cookware.
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:16 PM   #17
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yes, if you want your pots made of 2.5mm red copper with a .02mm stainless lining, it is going to cost more than AllClad...copper of that quality and thickness costs more than aluminum. How much better does the pot cook than the AllClad? Same question as how much better is a Wolf than a Thermidor? or how much better is a Mercedes than a BMW? Eye of the Beholder? I know AllClad is really good, and I've used it quite successfully. I think my Falk and Mauviel is just a scrinch better for many tasks. NBD
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:23 PM   #18
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I'd just like to say not to sell yourself short by not purchasing a set. I had a set given me 20 years ago that I'm slowly replacing piece by piece and I used everything in that original set. I have no reason to replace the items that aren't worn out yet and I may not go with what I've been buying recently, but it was nice to have everything in that set and I'm assuming at less cost to the purchaser. Even the humongous stock pot comes in handy when I want to cook some live lobsters


Robo, Erie's my hometown. Griswold pans run in the family
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
A set of Mauviel Copper Cookware, for example, can easily run over $1000.
I thought that was the heaviest cookware I ever handled.
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:53 PM   #20
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I was thinking along the line of jpmcgrew.

We put our cookware set together over many years, a piece or two at a time. And it is still a quite eclectic collection.

Some of the best stuff we picked up at an economy restaurant outlet.

And recently picked up a Calphalon item on sale.

But some folks like sets, to each his own.

But to bushy, sounds like you are fairly new to cooking. Were I to decide to take up golf, something I would never do having played a few rounds to be polite, I would not go out and buy a $500 driver (I have no idea if prices on those go that high) because it might wind up in the same closet I keep a lot of other items I never use.

I would probably purchase an inexpensive, probably used set, and see if I liked the sport. OK, I know I would not get the pleasure from the included driver that I might from one that sported a tungsten-carbide-aluminum head gizmo and a shaft made from Moon rocks, but I am sure that driver will give me an idea of how the game is played. And without having to leave an expensive set of clubs that my heirs can dig out of that closet and describe on Ebay as hardly used.

Were I in your situation, as you have described it, I would probably buy a small collection of decent pots and pans and give it a go. You can always add later on.

And if you like the sport of cooking (it is one to me since the outcome is in doubt until the last garnish has been lobbed onto the dish and the sated gallery has a chance to applaud) than go for the higher priced cooking utensils. Then you will have an idea of what you might want.

Just my take on things.

And if anyone thinks cooking is not a sport, put together a Thanksgiving dinner for twenty. It will burn more calories and use more muscles than chasing a little white ball around a course in a golf cart any day.

Oh yeah, and in cooking there are no Mulligans.

LOL, and take care.

Edited for grammar, I hate when I have to do that.
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