Originally Posted by bandnerd1892
Hello everyone! I'm in the market for pots and pans but I can't really afford All Clad. Are there any alternatives that anyone could suggest? Thanks a lot everyone!
I have some experience to speak from here so I'll put my two cents in. First off, I'll say that I am not a professional chef, and the only training I have if from my Mom who is a "natural" and can make anything taste good. I have an induction hob, so ferrous cooking vessels are all I can use. Third, I am fortunate enough that I can afford whatever cookware I want, but still don't see the need to throw money away.
I have several All-Clad SS pieces (saute pan, fry pans regular and non-stick, several sauce pans) that are wonderful except for the handle - not really an issue most of the time, however because I have strong hands (most know the issue with All-Clad handles is that they fit somewhat awkwardly in the hand and there is little mechanical advantage afforded based on this design - they are however aesthetically pleasing and stay cool).
Several have mentioned Calphalon SS and Cuisinart, neither were suitable for my needs as neither are magnetic - I have handled both and both look like they are of reasonable quality.
I wll have to say that one of my favorites is the All-Clad's Emerilware ProClad line (a fully-clad design as opposed to bottom only). Looks good, has a great handle - better than the US made All-Clad flagship line if you ask me - and performs without any drawbacks that I have identified (I have a 1qt. and 3qt. saucepan and 12" frypan). This line is exclusive to Bed Bath and Beyond stores and is about 50% of the price of regular All-Clad. There is also Emerilware Stainless which is a clad bottom only. I have a 1qt. open saucier and 8 qt. stockpot - both are adequate and look fine, but the thiness of the sides of the vessels (only the bottom is clad) gives it somewhat of a cheap feel - again, I have no problems with the two pieces I have but they really aren't used for anything important - again about 1/2 the price of regular All-Clad.
I also have a LeCreuset 1.5qt. saucepan on on order that I got fairly cheap as a "try-me" piece, but I haven't laid eyes on it yet. Besides, this line is premium priced as is All-Clad, so it really should not factor into this discussion. I also have some experience with Berndes and Viking, again both very nice but also premium priced.
One little note I have to kick in is that the BB&B store here allows customers to use their ubiquitous and plentiful 20% off cupons on anything in the store despite the disclaimer that it can't be used for All-Clad among others, so I have purchased almost all of my stuff there for that nice discount.