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is EmerilWare good?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am getting new cookware this weekend, my family is buying it for Christmas due to a sale, but I don't know what to get. At first look, stainless EmerilWare is what I wanted, and may still be. Thought about Calphalon One too. Apparently All Clad makes Emerilware and the stainless version may be the same as their copper core stainless lineup with a different stamp on it, I'm not sure. It sounds like I shouldn't get a full lineup of no-stick, but I really don't like using a ton of oil for health reasons so at least a stick-resistant setup would be nice. I have a stainless fry pan right now and it just sticks like crazy, but it was a cheap pan and All Clad may make better stuff. Anyway, I've never cooked on high quality stuff so advice would be nice. I have read some of the articles but am still lost. Basically I just want something that lasts, something that doesn't stick too bad, and something that will look awesome when hanging from this 48" commercial pot rack in the middle of my kitchen.
post #2 of 15
What health reasons?

For starters, almost all cooking oils are predominantly polyunsaturated, (such as vegetable), or monosaturated fats, (such as olive). These fats, particularly monosaturated are associated with lower cholesterol and possibly lower blood pressure and cancer prevention.

And if you're concern is weight, heating the oil to the proper temperature minimizes the amount absorbed by the food and thus the amount you consume. Moreover, you don't need "a ton" of oil but merely a few tablespoons for most searing and sauteing tasks.

Emerilware is a lighter version of All Clad.

If you can afford it, spring for the extra bucks and get All Clad.

Mark
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response, I'm a newbie wannabe cook. I guess I have grease-o-phobia and try to stay away from vegetable oils but I'm sure I don't know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I talked to the manager at Bed Bath and Beyond and he seemed to be into this kind of stuff, and explained some things, so no, I guess EmerilWare isn't what I want.

However, I really like the Calphalon Contemporary stainless steel set. Any opinions on that? The guy at the store explained the triple layer construction and stuff like that, it sounded alot better, plus the brushed look will match my other kitchen items like my pot rack really well. Most of the other stainless stuff I have seen is the mirror finish.
post #4 of 15
If you can swing it, get yourself one piece of regular All-Clad- not the non-stick, but the regular stainless. You'll be spoiled for anything else. I have a set of Emerilware nonstick that I use some of, but I learned that regular All-Clad (when cared for correctly*) is GREAT. I'd stay with the nonstick for cooking eggs, but I won't try to saute meat or even vegetables any more in anything but the stainless.

(*Limit use of metal utensils; use a bit of Barkeeper's Friend to bring back the polish; don't use rocket-hot temperatures. That's it!)
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post #5 of 15
Calphalon Contemporary Stainless pieces often rank as Cooks Illustrated's "Best Buy" option. No, they don't quite compare to an All-Clad, but it costs about half as much for nearly the same results.

(also, at the risk of sounding like a complete shill for other websites [I swear I'm not!], I'd look to Amazon for any Calphalon purchases - they're much cheaper than BB&B).

Though, like everyone else has said, you may not need an entire set. For the cost of one set of Calphalon, you could get one or two pieces of All-Clad. This way, you wouldn't crowd your pot rack with lots of pieces you never use.


-dan
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, we got a set of the Calphalon Contemporary Stainless. I thought we got a pretty good deal. They were $500, but first of all Linen's and Things was having a family and friends weekend for 25% off the entire store. I went there first but they were idiots. The manager at Bed Bath and Beyond was extremely helpful, and I explained the situation with Linen's and Things, so he gave me a 20% off one item, so I could get that set for $400. But on top of that they already had a deal going on where if you bought $300 worth of Calphalon stuff you get a $50 gift card, and if you got $400 worth you get a free Calphalon stainless corn/pasta cooker with an insert, I think it was 8 quart but it may have been 12. I turned around and got a bunch of stainless tools and two bamboo cutting boards. So yeah, for $400, I got all kinds of stuff and from what little I know it's fairly high quality even though it may not be "the best". The danged brushed finish was an extra $100 though, that kind of sucked, but I like it, it matches everything else, I don't like the mirror finish.

As for crowding my pot rack, that's the least of my worries, my pot rack is a triple-bar 48" commercial rack with 18 double sided hooks for a total of 36. I'll still have almost 30 hooks left.

I did talk to the manager about the All-Clad normal stainless stuff. It was an extra $90 and I was already pushing my luck since theoretically this was a Christmas present from my folks. He said that for this particular model, there really wasn't much, if any, of an advantage. He said that the All-Clad LTD line and another one that has magnetic stainless steel would perform better, but that the normal stainless wouldn't buy you any more performance.

They did have an All-Clad frying pan that I liked, it was stainless on the outside and no-stick on the inside, would be nice for eggs or whatever. Calphalon makes one that matches, it's the Contemporary line, but it is only a 10", and the All-Clad is a 12". May not be a big deal, I'm not sure. The All-Clad is an extra $50 though, Calphalon's is $100 and All-Clad is $150.
post #7 of 15
I can finally comment on this from a user's perspective.

I've decided to get the All-Clad stainless as my main set of pans and so I bought two Emerilware pans to get me ready for using stainless steel in everyday cooking: the one quart saucier and the two quart saute. Both are nice, heavy pans that heat evenly. The one problem that I have so far is with the saucier, and I've heard this other places as well: the handle is a bit heavy for the pan. It likes to tip when it isn't full. Haven't had the problem when I'm cooking, but I set the thing on the stove when I was done and it tipped right over.

Overall, the Emerilware line seems to be rather good for the money...copper bottoms heat well and even, stainless cleans nicely with soap and water, stuck-on food comes off easily with the scratcher of a sponge. For pans that you can get in a 10 piece set for under $200, they're great.

(Also, I know that you said that you got a set and I'm happy for you. It's a really great thing to have pans that you actually want to use. And, by the way, don't be squeemish about using oil. I tend to use olive oil as my main cooking oil and recently lost 16 pounds!)

As to the whole egg dilemma...I cook eggs on seasoned cast iron that's 60 years old. You can't go wrong with a good cast iron frying pan. A big one (12") will probably cost you around $50 and last forever.
post #8 of 15
Interesting. Sounds like All Clad is good stuff, and Emerilware is the "poor man's" All Clad. Good to know, as I was looking at Emerilware. Can't ante up the big bucks yet to get "the good stuff."

I think the answer to my question was implied above, but I want to ask it to be sure. What about electric heatsources and SS, CI, and the other cooking surfaces available? Being in a rental residence doesn't grant me ability to use gas since the management doesn't provide it. The implied answer I saw above was the Eware's bottom distributes the heat evenly across the surface. That said, that's a good thing for me (dang electric stove).

Also, that said, I'm investigating starting my own catering business, and said Eware would be the initial cooking surfaces I use. I certainly plan on getting something more substantial over time, and once the "big bucks" roll in . . . . :p

Going to keep a couple non-sticks around too! :)
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post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Granted, this is all theoretical since I haven't cooked on mine yet, but from my understanding, the pots such as EmerilWare will in fact distribute heat across the bottom just fine, but keep in mind that it's ONLY the bottom. The cheaper stainless steel pots and pans are mainly made out of stainless all the way around, then they tack on a thick layer of something like copper or maybe aluminum underneath it to distribute heat. The problem is that stainless is a poor conductor of heat so this extra add-on is necessary or else your pots/pans will be a total POS. The stainless All-Clad (not the magnetic) and things like the Calphalon tri-ply and contemporary stainless sets don't need this extra add-on because it's made out of 3 layers, a bottom layer of stainless, a middle layer of aluminum which goes all throughout the piece of cookware, then an internal layer of stainless again. Once I figured this out I wasn't interested in the EmerilWare anymore but I'm sure it's still fairly good stuff, it looks really nice and feels heavy.

From my understanding, the best metal for business purposes is aluminum, as it distributes heat tons better than most anything else, with the only drawback being that if you have something that is acidic that it may react with the aluminum and that will change the taste of the food. Second to aluminum would be copper, which distributes heat almost as well but has the added advantage of heating up and cooling down very fast, but it's also very expensive if you get solid copper.
post #10 of 15
i recently purchaced what i think is a real bargain... the tools of the trade Belgique line. i got a stainless 8" skillet and a 12" skillet thats solid copper clad for 40 bucks. they distribute heat just as well as the emerilware but are much heavier and comfortable to handle than the E-ware counterparts. gets screraming hot when u need it to and holds tons of heat because the copper layer is like 3/4 od a cm thick this is a real energy saver. even if its cheaper it distributes heat wery well and if you cant afford all clad or calphalon, these are great.
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post #11 of 15
I cooked an egg in mine with no problem. I made taco meat in my saute to day and it came out perfect. The heat was evenly distributed and the pan cooked the meat at a very nice, low temperature. I'm incredibly impressed. Not impressed enough to give up on my quest to own the regular All-Clad stainless, but impressed nonetheless. Impressed enough to tell both my grandparents and my boyfriend that they are the pans that they should have. The set is much better than anything else either has at the moment.
post #12 of 15
the best thing about getting married was the set of all-clads.

dont tell my wife i said that.

Erik.
post #13 of 15
Emerilware is made by All-Clad so it's decent, but it's the consumer version line, not the Pro line. It's not made of the same materials nor is it made in the same factory or country if I recall correctly.

Also, refer to the following thread for more on buying cookware:
http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6132

There are plenty of outlet stores and deals (ie: ebay) where you can get lucky and find All-Clad for less than retail prices. Look for them... It's an investment, but an investment you can pass along to your great grand children.
post #14 of 15
That's right, Mudbug. (Good to see you!)

I have a set of Emerilware non-stick. It's made in Korea, I believe. It's okay for what nonstick is good for: eggs and a few other things. However, the soup pot's surface is beginning to get roughened, and I do take care not to use too high heat nor use metal utensils.

If I had to do it over again, I'd get one 10" nonstick Emerilware and get the rest of the pans in the All-Clad stainless or MC2. I have an MC2 brasier pan, and I use it quite a bit. I recently got a 12" stainless fry pan, which is the best thing I ever invested in. I got a 1 quart stainless sauce pan as a special promotion at Williams Sonoma a few years ago. I use that often for sauces and gravies.

The All-Clad is pricey, but it's a good value, in my opinion.
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post #15 of 15
Calphalon tri-ply stainless steel, you can save some money if you but some that are made in China compaired to the US stuff. All-Clad also has some stuff made in china that cost less. The only Calphalon tri-ply stainless steel i have is the pans made in china which save around $50 - $100 a pan. 2 Omlet pans and 1 10" chicken fryer and 2.5 quart low profile pot which was $20. They work fine and you save money.
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