Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Here are the basic tenets of pots and pans:
- All Clad Tri-Ply is the best cookware money can buy. It just is. Especially their MC2 line. It also costs $90+ for each pot/pan.
- Although, 'Tramontina' Tri-Ply (only sold by Walmart) are apparently the absolute next best thing, followed by the Calphalon Contemporary stainless steel line (also Tri-Ply; notice a pattern yet?). All for considerably less.
- The most affordable way to acquire high end All Clad lines are through Cookware 'N More who happen to sell 'seconds'.
- Also, All Clad happens to be made in Canonsburg, PA so if you live nearby you might be able to visit the outlet or find local sales.
- All Clad also makes a not-made-in-America All Clad Emerilware line.
- Emerilware is actually affordable (buy a set from Bed Bath & Beyond when on sale/coupon).
- It's made in China, not Pennsylvania.
- "Emerilware line has a thick heat conducting bottom and thinner sides, while the All-Clad high-end lines conduct heat on the bottom and sides of the pans. Emerilware is made in China." (source: Instapundit - have AdBlock on for that link, ooooh boy).
- It's not so great for use in the oven (whereas all stainless steel All Clad should be)
- FYI: all stainless steel cookware cooks waaaaaay hotter than your run 'o the mill teflon whatever from Target.
- Be careful of chemical coatings on nonstick cookware (mostly when overheated...or old and flaking). Cast iron or a well-used carbon steel wok might serve you better (if correctly seasoned).
All this is how we ended up with this situation:
The going away giveaway party included all our Teflon-scratched pots and pans except 3: the cast iron, my preserving workhorse giant soup pot, and a generic 1.5 qt stainless saucepan. A person cannot succeed in Blue Apron for long with that set up. And with a very generous gift from my parents, we were able to augment those random bits with a very substantial collection.
So we ended up buying Emerilware Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set (by All Clad) from Bed Bath & Beyond during Columbus Day, with a 20% off coupon and the weekend special included a bonus Emeril 5 qt saute pan with lid. We went with this set for several reasons: (1) stainless steel so there's no non-stick PTFE, (2) this set avoids repeats of the cookware we saved from Pittsburgh, (3) we'd like real All Clad, but hundreds of dollars on one pot is rough, and (4) the pans are quite pretty. This set has 4 stars on BB&B, and without exception all the 5 star reviews remind readers to use lower heat as stainless steel is highly conductive and all of the sub-par reviews complain about burning. We have had success treating what would be a 'medium' heat on our stove (i.e., 5/10) as EXTREMELY HIGH.
We might slowly replace worn pieces with legit All Clad (from Cookware & More's seconds). I've got my eye on the lidded French skillet for if we ever melt one of our frying pans. But for now we're just enjoying having lids for almost all our pans!