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Old 03-08-2007, 05:41 AM   #1
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$1000 for a set of cookware - can this be justified?

OK - at age 58, I've decided to see if I can do more and burgers, frozen dinners, and fast food.

So, I'm browsing grown-up tools, and, even though I know the value of having quality tools, the idea of anyone shelling out $1K for 6-7 pots and pans (yes, I know they have real names, but I still haven't learned which is what) seem overkill.

The question to the group:

Exactly WHAT are you doing that requires this kind of gear, as opposed to stuff in the $300 - $500 range?

Thank you for your continued patience with my dumb questions.


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Old 03-08-2007, 06:55 AM   #2
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Back in January my wife and I bought a 10 piece set of Calphalon Infused Anodized from Bed Bath and Beyond. Granted we had a 20% off coupon, 100 gift certifcate and other incintive to buy these pans the total came out to be around 350 to 400 i think.

I knew these pans would be different than the $50 walmart special i received as a gift when moving out of my parents place but ****, these pans are amazing they truely make cooking enjoyable.

Now I have no clue what set you are considerng for 1k but to me that is a lot of money, my rough guess might be Al-Clad. I just know for 1k it better come with one **** of a warrenty.

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Old 03-08-2007, 06:56 AM   #3
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Why so much for some cooking equipment.

My pots cost about $50 (about £25) for 4 pots. They are non-stick all have lids, and have so far lasted 1 year.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:11 AM   #4
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Ibought a set of waterless (?) cookware, think it is Astro, 39 years ago for $350, still looks new and I use them all the time. I feel no need to buy anthing else.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by redrabbit
Why so much for some cooking equipment.

My pots cost about $50 (about 25) for 4 pots. They are non-stick all have lids, and have so far lasted 1 year.
I used to think that way too, infact I am very frugal person and if it werent for the gift card, 20% discount and the $50 gift card that came with the purchase I wouldnt have bought the set.

But the truth is, if you buy cheap you generally always buy twice. I was a professional motorsport photographer and to this day I will not buy a cheap camera or lens, I have around 20k in camera equipment that has never failed on me. The same can apply for cooking.

If you're thinking the skill of the chef or the eye of the photographer is the most important thing, you're right I won't disbute that for a second. But sometimes your equipment does come in to play. For camera equipment it could be something that would allow you to take the shot while its pouring rain or something to hold your lens steady.

But in cooking its different, the way a pan cooks is a lot. I am not trying to sound like a 20 year veteran chef because i am not, but the first time I seared chicken on these new pans it was like I was new to cooking all over again. The way the meat browned and cooked was awesome. The feel of these pans is another thing as well. When you hold any one of these pans or skillets you can feel the quality, yes it has some weight to it but it doesn't feel like something that will fall apart in a couple years. And with proper care it should last a lifetime.

So to me it was a choice to buy something higher in price that should last me the rest of my life possibly (btw i am 24) or buy the special and hope I can get another 5 years out of it.

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Old 03-08-2007, 07:19 AM   #6
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You can get a car for $12,000 and you can get one for $120,000. They both will get you were you are going.

The more expensive pans are usually constructed better and with better materials which (depending on the function of the pot or pan and the material used) will eliminate hot spots so your food does not burn among other things.

If you are just looking to boil water than any pot can do that. If you are looking to get a nice even sear on a piece of meat and then go from stove top to oven and then back to stove top to make a sauce then a good quality pan will be important.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:24 AM   #7
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There is a wealth of cookware info in the cookware forum. Take a few minutes to browse there and you'll be able to gather a lot of relevant information.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:46 AM   #8
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I've cooked with my share of inexpensive-but-serviceable pots and pans, and also some top-of-the-line pans.

Inexpensive pans tend to have disk bottoms, which may or may not cover the whole heating surface. A tiny rim of burned/overdone food at the edges is a giveaway. You need lots of stirring with something that will get into those edges.

Also inexpensive pans are thinner and tend to warp. Meaning that the pan doesn't sit flat on the stove, and the food cooks unevenly.

My biggest complaint though--and it has happened to me--is that sometimes a handle will come loose. If it happens just as you are lifting a full, heavy pot of hot food, you are in deep trouble.

I'll spare you the details, but that's what finally made me give up cheap pots and pans forever. I'd rather have 2 or 3 top-of-the-line pans than a kitchen full of cheap pans.

And I wouldn't buy a set. I'd buy just the sizes and shapes I need. (And in my kitchen, there are about 3 pans that do most of the day-to-day work!)
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:11 AM   #9
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Why buy the whole set when you will only use certain pans on a regular basis.I think buying what you use the most is more logical.
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:26 AM   #10
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I'd spend $1k if they were magic pots and pans... otherwise never. Even the really expensive 3-layered stainless steel with copper cores wouldn't cost that much in a set.

Don't overspend on cookware, because at the end of the day, its not the $200 saute' pan that will make a great meal, it's the cook.

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