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Old 09-27-2006, 08:17 AM   #1
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Which to buy?

I tried searching threw previous threads to find the answer to my question, but it seems that the site really wants an introduction before I can do anything. So, HI.
I am interested in replacing my pieced together hand me down cookware set. I don't want anything that comes non-stick. I have done some research on hard-anodized cookware and stainless steel. I know about thickness and even heating, but I really want to know which is going to last the longest, which companies really back up there claims, and how hard it is to cook with stainless?

Thanks for any help you can give me!

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Old 09-27-2006, 08:36 AM   #2
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There are lots of brands that are really great and many offer lifetime warranties. What is your price range?

SS is not hard to cook with at all, once you learn a few basic things. That will come with practice. Two very important things to learn are to use enough heat and to use enough fat.
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:13 AM   #3
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One non-stick pan would not be a bad thing to have. And how much do you want to pay? All Clad and Calphalon and Le Creuset all have lifetime guarantees and I have heard many times of them backing them up. I have never had a pan "fail" so would not need to question the warranty.
And when talking about SS, it definitely needs to have a "sandwich" bottom or it develops hot spots and will burn food.
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:48 AM   #4
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Thanks for the answers. I have been able to search now and read all the other posts. Being a teacher in the south the amount I can spend is limited. Both skillets I have now are rever non stick that have been flaking for over a year, which drives me crazy. I've found cheap set of calphalon commercial hard anodized for under 200, which is affordable to me. If I could find a good stainless set near that price I think I'll lean that way. Again thanks for the help. I'll continue searching all the old posts that speak to these questions.
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:54 AM   #5
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One thing to consider...maybe you don't need to buy a set. Often times the sets come with pieces that you really do not need. If you think you really will use every single piece and need them all right away then the sets offer a savings usually, but if there are pieces that you really do not need then it is better to buy them one at a time.

Another reason sets are not usually the best way to go is because it is good to have different types of materials in your arsenal. Non stick is good for some things (eggs for example). SS is great for things in which you want to make a pan sauce. Cast iron is great for searing. Carbon steel is excellent for things like woks.

Think about what you cook and which pieces you really need. That will help you determine if a set is the best way to go or not.
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:32 AM   #6
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I faced the same delima last year that you are facing now. I decided to try a Caplhalon One saute pan that I picked up as a second (small scratch on underside of pan) at a TJ MaXX store for $29. After trying it I was very impressed with it. If you wait til November you see a number of these pans showing up in the stores and you can put together the set of pans you need. I was able to put together a 10 pc set of pans I use regularly for about $250.

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Old 09-27-2006, 10:55 AM   #7
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A number of our members have had repeated serious problems with Calphalon One pans. There are issues with the coating bubbling up. They replace the defectiv pans for free but it keeps happening.
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rede2learn
Thanks for the answers. I have been able to search now and read all the other posts. Being a teacher in the south the amount I can spend is limited. Both skillets I have now are rever non stick that have been flaking for over a year, which drives me crazy. I've found cheap set of calphalon commercial hard anodized for under 200, which is affordable to me. If I could find a good stainless set near that price I think I'll lean that way. Again thanks for the help. I'll continue searching all the old posts that speak to these questions.
Sam's and Costco have these sets for about $149. I have had the Calphalon knockoff for 6 or more years and I LOVE it. The SS is very comparable. Costco used to sell Wolfgang Puck's line.
You might look on QVC for Wolfgang's.
On another board I frequent these have received high praise from people who use All Clad. One person bought it for their small restaurant and said it worked very well.
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:22 AM   #9
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Thanks for the heads up on the Calphalon One Pans. I have not had any problems yet.

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Old 09-27-2006, 11:44 AM   #10
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rede2learn,
Why don't you buy a replacement for the pan you use the most? Try it in stainless, or anodized and see how you like it. Then replace you second most used pan/pot with the other type. Then you will get a good assessment and not spend the money on a whole set.
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