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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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Old 09-27-2006, 12:13 PM   #11
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Personaly, I think you should check out Maccy's. They have cookwhere for everybody. Just tell the sales person what you are looking for. Then wait for sale time. I've bought a lot of pots and pans there and really like them. Tools of trade is my favorite. But they have a lot of good stuff. Not so long ago I went there to replace one pot, came home with set of 4 and plus one non-stick one. The price was just too low to pass
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
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.
I have three C1 pans and, like JDP, have also had no problems whatsoever. Were these issues you mention with C1 regular or C1 nonstick?

That said, I think that they are a bit pricey considerering rede2learn's personal info.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:19 PM   #13
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I don't recall the details. There was an issue with the newer pans made in a different country from the originals. The old one vs. the new ones were differently marked - one with an X and the other with a Z. There was a long thread on it a while ago if you care to search.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:19 PM   #14
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I haven't found a set I like better than my Calphalon Hard Anodized set - but it's the OLD set they don't make anymore - there is NO coating of any kind inside these. If I had to replace them I would start with a SS set from Sam's - their Member Mark set. It's in your price range.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
I don't recall the details. There was an issue with the newer pans made in a different country from the originals. The old one vs. the new ones were differently marked - one with an X and the other with a Z. There was a long thread on it a while ago if you care to search.
Andy M, I do vaguely remember that thread. But it referred to Scanpan, not C1.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by kitchenelf
I haven't found a set I like better than my Calphalon Hard Anodized set - but it's the OLD set they don't make anymore - there is NO coating of any kind inside these. If I had to replace them I would start with a SS set from Sam's - their Member Mark set. It's in your price range.
I have some Calphalon One anodized infused (not nonstick), and it has no coating. You can use metal utensils without a problem. It does a good job with searing and browning and is a slightly easier to clean than SS.

That said, I actually do prefer SS. My favorite pan is my AC copper core large saute pan, but I won't be adding more of that line to my kitchen anytime soon.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzyQ3
Andy M, I do vaguely remember that thread. But it referred to Scanpan, not C1.

Oh Oh! I goofed! Thanks for keeping me honest, suzy.

Sorry, everyone.
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Andy M.
Oh Oh! I goofed! Thanks for keeping me honest, suzy.

Sorry, everyone.
Hey, no problem. At least I didn't start searching for X's or Z's on my Calphalon pans.
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:46 AM   #19
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I'm doing what many are suggesting... I buy a decent pan every now and then, and eventually I'll have a great, if mis-matched set. As of now my good pans consist of a 1qt. Emirril Saucier (which if I am not mistaken, is made by All-Clad), an 8" All-Clad SS skillet which a friend gave to me as a Christmas present last year, and a 10" Calphalon "egg pan" which is non-stick (I don't recall the line it is from, but it was $30 at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and has the number 1390 stamped on the bottom). I am always very careful not to use anything metal in this pan, and so far I love it. I also just got a Le Crueset 7qt. Doufeu Oven for my birthday. Slowly but surely my cookware is getting better and better.
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:21 AM   #20
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Hi Rede2learn,

I prefer stainless to anodized, because frankly I don't like pans that won't go into the dishwasher (unless it's that very heavy (and expensive) stainless-lined European copper, of which I have exactly one pan, bought in the days when the euro and the dollar were on an equal footing).

I'd suggest you make a list of the sizes/types of pans you want, and check out the local shops to see the various lines in person. Try the handles, check the lids, feel the weight. Don't go for anything flimsy. When you've decided what you want, go on-line and check out the specials at Amazon.

I also suggest you try the multi-ply stainless (usually layers of aluminum sandwiched between stainless layers) rather than the disk-bottom type. Multiclad heats much more evenly, and there are no "edges" to the temperature.

I believe KitchenAid, All-Clad and Cuisinart have certain lines that are this style. If you decide on All-Clad, the best place for good prices is at their on-line outlet store:

http://www.cookwarenmore.com

It's better to have just a few pans you like, rather than loads of pans that frustrate you. I'd suggest starting with one each of a good-sized saucepan and skillet.

Have fun!

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