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Old 11-24-2007, 08:37 PM   #11
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Interesting, I never been to France, or Belgium for that matter. So, I have to admit that I am wron, I guess. But anyway let me recomend Tools of Trade from Macy's. Very afordable and very nice SS pots.

You are what you eat.
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:54 PM   #12
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Hi Scott,
A very good question. After working in a cookware shop, which had about ten different brands, I learned there are different pots and pans for different methods of cooking, i.e. metal for saute, enamel coated cast iron from braise, nonstick for eggs, etc. I have some copper pieces, mostly for presentation. Copper is the best heat conductor, but the maintanence and price are prohibitive for many people. I selected All Clad Stainless Steel (without the nonstick surface) for myself. First, they are triple ply, which conducts heat well. The stainless steel line can be put into the dishwasher. Many other brands, and the other lines of All Clad cannot be put in the dishwasher. One of my experts on the subject is Cooks Illustrated. Whenever they test cookware which they do frequently, All Clad always comes out on top.

Your cooking is as good as your equipment. Before you purchase individual pieces, look at the sets. You can save money, and there are basic sets available.

Good luck!

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Old 11-25-2007, 09:45 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by culinarytechie View Post
Your cooking is as good as your equipment.
Good luck!
I don't quite agree with this.

Good cookware is only a better tool for preparing meals.

Go into the kitchen of many of the best restauants and you will see that they use basic aluminum pots and pans both plain and nonstick. No tri-ply or even encapsulated bottoms.

Many of the home cooks in this area use really cheap cookware such as Mirro and turn out great meals.
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:43 AM   #14
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I don't believe there is right or wrong with any answer on this topic.
We all reply based on our unique personal experiences and economic situation.
I agree with you on the Tools of the Trade recommendation. A friend of mine owns a SS Belgique set with rounded shape that works and looks great.
Note: I don't clean pots in the dishwasher, I clean them by hand so I can't say this material is better/worst for cleaning in dishwasher.
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are" Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
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Old 11-25-2007, 12:00 PM   #15
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I am strictly a home cook and I don't own a single All Clad. I cannot justify spending that kind of money. If you are starting out and want something that will last you for a while you can get a lot of good stuff without going all out. Again it's your money so you can spend it anyway you like but I think in order to prepare a good meal and be a good cook you don't have to have the highest end stuff - nor appliances, nor cookware. Try to go middle of the road.

Calphalon - The variety that goes from stovetop to oven. You can get great deals at stores like TJ Maxx and they last forever with proper care

Tfal - Nothing wrong with this brand. It works perfectly well for making stews, eggs and everything in between. It's non-stick and easy to wash and clean

Members Mark or generic brand triply stainless with an aluminum core : Works well and has a place in the kitchen. I don't like to use stainless for everything but for some stuff it works better than calphalon and non-stick

I don't have any cast iron because of it's weight but it's not expensive and you can use it over an over again for years

The most expensive item in my kitchen is my pressure cooker that I use religiously. It cost me 200 dollars and it's O.K. because I use it practically every day. It's made by a French company SEB and is extremely heavy and durable.

Copper Cookware - I think it's more a wow factor than anything else. We sold our copper utensils in India (we had a lot of them and it was very common in India and did not look pretty since no one took time to rub and scrub and shine it) and got big bucks for it because the west was crazy for it and they took our stuff, dissolved it and reused it to create high end stuff. The only thing we use copper for was to fill water. It used to be pretty and the water gets the copper metallic taste and in India old wives tales say that drinking a glass of water that sits in copper container all night is good for the body.
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:46 PM   #16
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I'm an All-Clad fan, and much of my cookware is from the MC line. Cookware & More sells AC seconds at a discount, bringing them close to the price of the knockoffs. Also, if you work in a restaurant kitchen, they will give you an additional 20% off. That being said, there are some pieces that don't benefit from the fully clad design. Stockpots, IMO, should not be. I prefer a disk bottom for these; the bottom provides good heat conduction, while the thinner sides allows some cooling and better convection--more motion in the liquid and better absorption from the solids. For stockpots I use Sitram. Although I do have AC skillets, I tend to use cast iron for most things. Although AC makes dynamite non-stick, I opted for the Farberware Millenium. Costs less and works very well and got great reviews from the frugal people at Cook's Illustrated. In the end, though, you have to determine what works best for you. For example, the performance of copper is excellent, but the maintenance is a definite issue. Likewise, in a different way, for cast iron. All this is, of course, just my opinion. Others have also given good advice, but your intention of buying one or two pieces at a time is, I think, a good plan. Not only will you find out how you like a certain type of cookware without having to buy an entire set, you will end up buying what you need and will use.
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:37 PM   #17
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Pan advise

Hi scottwild,
I have been cooking with stainless steel for many years now and find that it's one of the best materials to use for cookware. It is very versital and can be used on top of the stove or in the oven. It cleans up easily and can be purchased in sets or individually in most cases.
I hope that you have many happy days in the kitchen with your new cookware!
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Caine View Post
Every time you buy an All Clad item, you are paying not only for yours, but for the ones all the celebrity chefs get for free from All-Clad to use on their television programs.

You can get the same quality, and the same guarantee, as All-Clad from Le Gourmet Chef and their tri-ply is about 1/3 the price of All-Clad. You can shop on line or visit one of their stores in an outlet mall near you. I have every piece in the set shown, and then some, and I guarantee you will use every one of the items included in that set. If you only want to buy a few pieces at a time, or if you want to add more pans later, they have a fine selection of individual pots and pans.
I know I'm not the one that started this thread, but thank you Caine, I found what I wanted.

Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Covered 5 Qt. Saute

The brand I have is no longer made, and I don't want some cheapy thing. I've been looking for a second dutch oven type. This isn't necessarily a dutch oven, but it's perfect for what I wanted it for. And it can go in the oven as well. And I love the fact that it has a long handle, making it easier for transfer in and out of the oven. Thank you so much. :-)
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Old 11-26-2007, 01:34 AM   #19
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the Tramotina tri-ply they have at Walmart is just as good as AllClad..they even have a few pieces open stock
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:46 AM   #20
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When we bought this house I did need all new pots, and my DH spotted a set on display at the grocery store. Upon further investigation, I ended up with a large set of nice, heavy, copper encapsulated Stainless steel pots and 2 Non stick pans. My brother then got me that Christmas a small Emeril non-stick saute pan by All-Clad. I love them all. The set is CopperLux by Heritage Mint.
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I only need a cover for my biggest frying pan and I think I never need another thing!
OK maybe a 2nd dutch oven. (Which does just fine in the oven BTW)
Oh and Sam's club had a nice stock pot, Tramontina, which I love and it was only $30 I think?

Not that there's anything wrong with that.....
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