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Old 07-01-2008, 07:25 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Question Waterless Cookware: Lifetime VS Chef's Secret...

Hi everyone,
I recently went to a Lifetime Cookware "pot party" where a representative cooks a complete meal (+cake!) in their waterless cookware and tells you of all the health benefits (retaining more nutrients, plus no leaching of metals into your food because of the surgical steel construction of the pan), the speed of cooking, and energy efficiency of it all because you never use high heat and can stack cook.

I was very impressed with the whole thing but the price was over $3000 for a decent set, so I went online to do some research on alternatives that were comparible.

I found a lot of different sets and lots of different surgical steel with various plys and elements and all the other terminology until my head was spinning.

I found a "12 element Stainless steel" 22 pc cookware set by Chef's Secret that was about a 10th of the price of the Lifetime. Now I'm wondering what the differences are between the 2?

Lifetime quotes their "Exclusive 12 Element Solar Cap (R) Construction", while the Chef's Secret gives "12 Element" as well, but with a different composition. Does it matter what layers are inside, as long as the outsides are the surgical stainless steel? How many ply would be the minimal for even cooking?

There are also cookware sets with thermal control knobs, and some with whistles to tell you when it's up to temperature. Any ideas on what's best here?

Anyone have any experience with waterless cooking, and if you really "get what you pay for"? Basically I'm just wondering if the higher priced Lifetime cookware is worth the money when compared the the much cheaper Chef's Secret sets?

Thanks in advance!


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Old 07-01-2008, 07:37 PM   #2
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Hi, nuthinflat. Welcome to DC.

In my opinion, $3000 for a set of cookware is criminal. It's much much more than it's worth and not the best choice for cookware.

First of all, surgical stainless steel is a marketing term. 18/10 stainless steel is the accepted worldwide standard for stainless cookware.

Think about how you cook now and compare that to what you saw the demonstrator do? Are you prepared to change the way you cook just to get the most out of $3000 worth of cookware?

If SS cookware is what you want, look at All-Clad, Cuisinart, Calphalon, and LeGourmet Chef for quality at a small fraction of the price. Wharehouse stores such as Sam's Club and Costco also have store brand clad SS that are excellent.

For construction of the pans, look for tri-ply construction, sometimes called clad construction. That is two layers of SS with a layer of aluminum in between.

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:46 PM   #3
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To continue on, looking at the website I see that the multi-layer construction is limited to the bottom surface of the pan. If you look at other sets, their tri-ply or clad construction is for the entire body of the pan, promoting better heat distribution and less chance of scorching foods.

Any quality line of cookware will have tight fitting lids that keep in moisture.

No SS pan will leech nutrients out of your food.

Lifetime's phenolic knobs are safe up to 350 F. A quality SS cookware with all stainless knobs is safe to a much higher temperature and they won't crack or break.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:30 PM   #4
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and you can cook quite waterless in silverstone lined aluminum pans very well for much less $$$$$$$$$$, if that's the way you want to cook.
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