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Old 08-27-2006, 04:19 AM   #41
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The thing about All-Clad is, though possibly better brands may come and go,
AC will always be in the 95th percentile, till the end of time. Until they figure out how to put a silver core into pans. Also, their design is very basic and thus compatible with the most number of people, on average.


Here's an example. About 5 years ago I began gathering pieces of Kitchenaid 5 ply clad cookware, a few pieces at a time. KitchenAid cookware was similarly priced alongside All Clad and in some reviews at the time KitchenAid was rated superior in quality. It was very high end and expensive, just like AC.

Right now, I have almost all Kitchenaid cookware. It is indeed great. However lately I have grown to somewhat dislike the handle design. Although it's functional, I think the All Clad handle design works just -slightly- better. Also, the AC handle design seems -slightly- easier to clean.

So now, occasionally, I think to myself, "maybe I should have gotten All-Clad instead".

Compare this to my older brother, who was interested in cookware years before I was. He bought 3 pieces of cookware while he was still in college, more than 10 years ago. He got a 3qt stainless All Clad saucepan, a 3 qt stainless saute pan, and a 10 inch LTD skillet. He still uses them to this day, they work just as well as the first time he ever used them. And he has never ever thought to himself "hmm maybe so and so brand is better".

If you are on a budget, there are better deals to be found out there. For example new brands and models come and go every year with 90% of the functionality of All Clad at half the price. I guess you could say All Clad makes you pay a lot for that last 10%.
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Old 08-27-2006, 09:38 AM   #42
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All Clad stainless is induction ready and dishwasher safe. Other All Clad cooks as well and has various different looks but has neither of those two qualities.
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:43 AM   #43
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I started my independent housekeeping (years ago!) with one cast-iron skillet and one old-style farberware saucepan (stainless steel with the heavy non-clad aluminum bottom) "borrowed" from my mom's kitchen. Added to it with some tri-ply stuff from Sears. Tri-ply was a disaster--thin pans, warped bottoms.

Eventually dumped that, tried some Sitram commercial-style pans. Encapsulated bottom was thick and heated well, but didn't cover the whole bottom surface. Lids were very flimsy, and didn't fit well after being dropped a few times. Pans, aside from the bottom plate, were also very thin.

Finally dumped that, got some excellent Analon (nonstick anodized aluminum). When I had recurring pneumonia almost all winter a few years ago, a nurse suggested I avoid cooking with non-stick pans. Finally sprang for some All-Clad stainless!

The All-Clad stainless is sturdy, heats very evenly (similar to cast iron in the eveness of heat) and goes in oven and the dishwasher. It is heavy enough to resist the casual dents and bumps of everyday life in my kitchen. The handles are sturdy and don't deteriorate over time, as those with plastic/rubber/whatever on them do. I only wish I'd had the chance to start out with this cookware years ago.
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:16 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexanFrench
I started my independent housekeeping (years ago!) with one cast-iron skillet and one old-style farberware saucepan (stainless steel with the heavy non-clad aluminum bottom) "borrowed" from my mom's kitchen. Added to it with some tri-ply stuff from Sears. Tri-ply was a disaster--thin pans, warped bottoms.

Eventually dumped that, tried some Sitram commercial-style pans. Encapsulated bottom was thick and heated well, but didn't cover the whole bottom surface. Lids were very flimsy, and didn't fit well after being dropped a few times. Pans, aside from the bottom plate, were also very thin.

Finally dumped that, got some excellent Analon (nonstick anodized aluminum). When I had recurring pneumonia almost all winter a few years ago, a nurse suggested I avoid cooking with non-stick pans. Finally sprang for some All-Clad stainless!

The All-Clad stainless is sturdy, heats very evenly (similar to cast iron in the eveness of heat) and goes in oven and the dishwasher. It is heavy enough to resist the casual dents and bumps of everyday life in my kitchen. The handles are sturdy and don't deteriorate over time, as those with plastic/rubber/whatever on them do. I only wish I'd had the chance to start out with this cookware years ago.
I like my All-Clad pieces, too. But it's funny that you should emphasize their handles. Apparently, many people (at least several on the GardenWeb cooking forum) despise them, saying that they are extremely uncomfortable.
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:47 PM   #45
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Yeah, they are uncomfortable if you do bare-handed lifting, but if you use a mitt/soft potholder, that center groove is exactly right for your thumb, and it's "adjustable." If you're small, like me, you can grip the handle closer to the pan, where the groove is smaller and the dynamics make the pan lighter.

Now that I've figured that out, I actually like them better than my former Analon Titanium pans--I mourned when I had to give them up!
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:54 PM   #46
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As much as I like my All-Clad, I have to say I don't care for the shape of the handle. I know it's suppopsed to prevent the handle from heating up quickly among other things, but I find it difficult to control a heavy skillet filled with food, with the handle provided.
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:21 PM   #47
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You don't want any one brand of pans for ALL the things in your kitchen! I find All-Clad's saute pan much too shallow for my taste (kept the Sitram for that--a lone holdover).

I can't really "flip" with a cast iron skillet, anyway. Too heavy! Those light "flipping" pans they use commercially for crepes are often plain ol' steel--lightweight, cheap, quick-heating, definitely don't go in the dishwasher. No comfort handles, either.

I do have a weird requirement for my kitchen pans. A saucepan has to be heavy enough to stirfry a little onion (and sometimes herbs) in the bottom --evenly, without burning-- so I don't have to switch pans in the middle of a recipe! And it ought to go in the dishwasher, since I'm my own assistant.

I admit to having a few non-dishwasher pans, but when time is short and hungry mouths are waiting, they are not the first things I'll use.
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:08 PM   #48
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I have a variety of brands as well. I have a large and small saute pans and neither are All-Clad. One is Kirkland (Costco) and the other Calphalon SS.

I haven't tried to flip with a CI skillet but I do with the All-Clad.

Your requirement isn't weird at all. You should be able to perform basic procedures in all your pans.
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:05 AM   #49
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i went to a le gourmet chef's store tonight, and finally got to play around with many of their tri-ply line. it was good quality for 1/2 the price of all clad, but it was just a mm or two lighter. to tell you the truth, i wish all clad was even heavier. like stainless steel with the weight of cast iron.

anyway, we went to bloomie's (dw's contractual obligation with lucifer) and i think i've convinced her to get me the 13 piece ss all clad set, that comes with several bonus gifts, either for my b-day or christmas.
i may have write something down in my blood, but the 13 piece all clad, ahhhhglghlghlghghglgh
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:53 AM   #50
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Sounds like great holiday season coming up! Enjoy!

You're right about the Le Gourmet Chef cookware. It's lighter than A-C. However, I have had no problems cooking in the stuff as I would in my A-C. I can attest that the sauce pans are OK in this respect. I don't have any skillets or sautes from the LGC line.
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