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Stainless Steel Cookware

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Who here uses all stainless cookware? All Clad, Calphalon, Cuisinart, and the All Clad Emeril brands are what we are looking at with the 3 ply technology. We are making the leap from non-stick.

 

Who uses stainless. What are the pros and cons and any brand better than the other?

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Who here uses all stainless cookware? All Clad, Calphalon, Cuisinart, and the All Clad Emeril brands are what we are looking at with the 3 ply technology. We are making the leap from non-stick.

 

Who uses stainless. What are the pros and cons and any brand better than the other?

 

I know it's not top end or hi tech, but due to the fact that "MY MOM USED IT" and my unk worked for them we have always used Revereware after going thru the green aluminum Teflon coated crap after we wer married. The copper bottom is a pain (cleaning) if you hang them, but if you don't not a problem. Stuff sticks, but boiling water in them before cleaning resolves that. PAM helps.

Bottom line...

My wife never complains about them.

They work.

They are cheap.

 

We bought a Calphalon saute pan. If you don't fry at high temps, they are fine. But at hi-temp frying the coating does not last long. Same for any non-stick surface I guess. Can't speak for the rest.

 

Good question.... :D:wacko:

 

ETA:

FWIW...Stainless is a terrible conductor of heat! Metal guy here and I know from where I speak. There has to be a clad on the outside or a core on the inside to conduct heat evenly and effectively.

Edited by rocknrobn26

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So my wife and I have this discussion all the time. I hate non-stick because the tools you need to use with them don't allow me to be anywhere near as precise with my movements and I like using metal tools to cook with. She hates the cleanup associated with traditional cookware. So we compromised on the Calphalon One line. You can use metal tools and it has a quick release coating that isn't sprayed on like traditional teflon or other non-stick. If you deglaze a pan (something acidic like vinegar or wine) to release anything stuck on then cleanup is pretty simple.

 

Here's the most important thing about cookware, how does it transfer heat and does it cook evenly. Everything else is just personal taste. I like the hefty look and feel of the Calphalon stuff. I'm not a big fan of the stainless steel because over time it shows the srcatches of metal utensils more than the cast stuff. I also feel that the cast stuff transfers heat better. I have no proof of this other than my personal feel when working with the products.

 

All the products you mentioned will do the job well. Buy for your tastes and budget. Remember, a successful dish will seldom be made or ruined by the pots used to cook it in.

Edited by Kid Cid

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So my wife and I have this discussion all the time. I hate non-stick because the tools you need to use with them don't allow me to be anywhere near as precise with my movements and I like using metal tools to cook with. She hates the cleanup associated with traditional cookware. So we compromised on the Calphalon One line. You can use metal tools and it has a quick release coating that isn't sprayed on like traditional teflon or other non-stick. If you deglaze a pan (something acidic like vinegar or wine) to release anything stuck on then cleanup is pretty simple.

 

Here's the most important thing about cookware, how does it transfer heat and does it cook evenly. Everything else is just personal taste. I like the hefty look and feel of the Calphalon stuff. I'm not a big fan of the stainless steel because over time it shows the srcatches of metal utensils more than the cast stuff. I also feel that the cast stuff transfers heat better. I have no proof of this other than my personal feel when working with the products.

 

All the products you mentioned will do the job well. Buy for your tastes and budget. Remember, a successful dish will seldom be made or ruined by the pots used to cook it in.

 

Again my metals background comes in handy here.

Copper-by far the best conductor of heat (After Gold and Silver, but I don't think they use those in cookware)

Aluminum-Good second place

Cast Iron-another good conductor

All 3 can transfer small amounts of the parent metal to the food. (read the article below)

Stainless-is by far the worst and that is why a cladding or core of copper or aluminum is necessary.

Here's a decent article on making or at least helping a decision...

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I was always a fan of All-Clad MC2 because, early in my career, I was fortunate enough to work at a restaurant that completely stocked the place with it. However, it's expensive as hell. Recently, based on favorable reviews and price, I bought some Cuisinart Stainless for my new restaurant and it's holding up great. Keep in mind, in the 4 months we've been open they've probably seen nearly a lifetime of home use. Consider that they get used, banged around, soaked, and scrubbed 5-6 times a day, 6 days a week. Further, they see BTUs much higher than most home ranges both underneath and, even a bigger deal, at adjacent burners. That last bit is important because many budget stainless pans have a really thick, reinforced bottom but thin sides. If you have a burner on next to a pan, you can burn your food from the sides if you're using thin one.

 

I wouldn't hesitate to buy these pans again.

 

Mind you, for saute pans, we use old-school carbon steel fry pans sort of like these they're easy to season, are durable as hell, and pretty non-stick. In fact, if you're good, you can cook eggs in them.

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I've got some all clad, and plenty of cast iron, even a copper and a non-stick. Aside from price savings, i don't understand buying a huge set of any one kind. I'd rather put together a blend and be prepared for a wider range of applications.

 

BTW, my SS / clad are just Sur La Table's line. Quality seems good and they put their own lines on sale much more often.

Edited by Seattle LawDawg

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I was always a fan of All-Clad MC2 because, early in my career, I was fortunate enough to work at a restaurant that completely stocked the place with it. However, it's expensive as hell. Recently, based on favorable reviews and price, I bought some Cuisinart Stainless for my new restaurant and it's holding up great. Keep in mind, in the 4 months we've been open they've probably seen nearly a lifetime of home use. Consider that they get used, banged around, soaked, and scrubbed 5-6 times a day, 6 days a week. Further, they see BTUs much higher than most home ranges both underneath and, even a bigger deal, at adjacent burners. That last bit is important because many budget stainless pans have a really thick, reinforced bottom but thin sides. If you have a burner on next to a pan, you can burn your food from the sides if you're using thin one.

 

I wouldn't hesitate to buy these pans again.

 

Mind you, for saute pans, we use old-school carbon steel fry pans sort of like these they're easy to season, are durable as hell, and pretty non-stick. In fact, if you're good, you can cook eggs in them.

 

So, it seems that this set doesn't have the aluminum core up the sides, just on the bottom. That doesn't seem to be a problem and far as conductivity?

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So, it seems that this set doesn't have the aluminum core up the sides, just on the bottom. That doesn't seem to be a problem and far as conductivity?

I think I would chalk it up to bells and whistles that cost more but may or may not matter all that much. The only thing that matters to me about the sides of my pans is that they're thick enough so that food doesn't get scorched by an adjacent flame (or, in the case of a small pan, from flames from the burner the pan is on going up the sides).

 

I'm sure there's an additional advantage to having the whole pan with aluminum core, but at what cost? If I was a pan salesman, I'm sure I'd make a big deal about the fact that All Clad has it throughout and Cuisinart only has it on the bottom, if for no other reason than it sounds good.

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We bought Emeril's stuff (all-clad) from Macy's last year and love it. The stainless has held up really well to cooking and the dishwasher. We bought two non-stick pans in addition to the stainless and one hasn't held up that great. The bottom is beginning to discolor a bit but the other one still looks brand new. It's weird. The non-stick business end of the pans is still fine. Love the stuff. We went from basically all non-stick cookware to the stainless and it took some getting used to, but it cooks way better IMO.

 

I'd buy Emeril's stuff again. We bought the set...which is a nice starter set...and found a few other large pans at Macy's on the discount rack for about 70% off. Everytime we go to Macy's now, we swing by and hope to get lucky.

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Ended up buying the Calphalon Clad. We got a great deal and was only $40 more than buying the Cuisinart with just the aluminum core. Cooks Illustrated supported Detlef in their tests and saw no better cooking results by having the aluminum core up the sides vs just the the bottom, and the performance was mainly due to the heaviness/thickness of the stainless--like det said.

 

But... one thing I have noticed is the stainless pots take a long time to cool down so things still cook while they are in the pan--kind of like leaving pots on an electric burner. This is kind of a drag and something I don't remember seeing in any review. I would think without the aluminum core on the walls of the pan it would be even worse. I'm glad I got the clad design which means they would cool down faster with the alumimum core--am I right?

 

We are happy with them. After pan roasting meat, it does take a long time to clean the inside of the pan, but clean up otherwise has been easy. Our handblender really scratched the inside of our pot--thought that would be a benefit over non-stick to be able to use it in the pot. I may decide to buy and try an iron skillet for pan roasting.

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Ended up buying the Calphalon Clad. We got a great deal and was only $40 more than buying the Cuisinart with just the aluminum core. Cooks Illustrated supported Detlef in their tests and saw no better cooking results by having the aluminum core up the sides vs just the the bottom, and the performance was mainly due to the heaviness/thickness of the stainless--like det said.

 

But... one thing I have noticed is the stainless pots take a long time to cool down so things still cook while they are in the pan--kind of like leaving pots on an electric burner. This is kind of a drag and something I don't remember seeing in any review. I would think without the aluminum core on the walls of the pan it would be even worse. I'm glad I got the clad design which means they would cool down faster with the alumimum core--am I right?

 

We are happy with them. After pan roasting meat, it does take a long time to clean the inside of the pan, but clean up otherwise has been easy. Our handblender really scratched the inside of our pot--thought that would be a benefit over non-stick to be able to use it in the pot. I may decide to buy and try an iron skillet for pan roasting.

You can buy these small pieces oh hard plastic which is a good way to scrape the pans without hurting them. I am not sure what they are called but are in most cooking stores. I use mine a ton.

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