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Alternatives to AllClad?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I will slowly be upgrading my kitchen.  First I plan to replace an old oven/microwave combo with a double oven.  Convection on top, conventional on bottom.  After that I would like to replace my old electric range top.  Gas would be difficult since it is not available in my neighborhood.  I would have to put in a propane tank and convert the gas range to that.  However, some posts on this forum have me intrigued with going to an induction range.  Cost would be comparable but I would have to replace most of my pots and pans.  They are stainless but not magnetic.  The problem is the cost.  I mean $200 for a 4 qt casserole, $100 for three metal mixing bowls, from AllClad, c'mon.

Does anyone have any suggestions for induction compatible, reasonably good quality cookware that one of us peons can afford?

Rich

ps: The oven should be installed soon, I've got the cash set aside.  I'm having some difficulty finding a local contractor that will take out the old unit, modify the cabinet and install the new unit.  It seems unless you're doing a complete multi-thousand dollar remodel, no one is interested.
post #2 of 20
Get thee to WalMart and purchase the Tramontina 3-ply (about $150 for a set of basic pans with lids).  The sizes are a little weird but the quality is amazing for such a low price.  Cooks Illustrated did a comparison with All Clad and could barely find a difference. 

Even if you're a WalMart hater, it is worth compromising your principles...
post #3 of 20
I'm a little confused by your comment about gas not being available.

Maybe natural gas isn't. But, unless there are local laws (or restrictive covenents) against it there's no reason not to go with propane. It's a simple installation, and any gas stove or cooktop can be adjusted to work with it. It's a matter of adjusting the venturii valves, is all, because of the differences in pressure (natural gas is a low pressure system, LPG is high pressure). Some makes and models can be factory-ordered already set for propane. If not, your installer can do the conversion in about ten minutes.

I use a two-tank system. Each is 100 lbs, and they're on a gooseneck. That way, when one tank runs out I just turn on the other, call the gas company, and that's that. Never run out.

So, if you prefer gas, you might consider something like that.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
KY,

I was under the impression, perhaps mistakenly, that LPG gas stoves were very tempermental and in need of frequent servicing.  I'm willing to be wrong, after all that's a natural state for me.

Perhaps, I should have another thread about the pro's and con's of gas vs. induction?  Some of the more recent threads seem to indicate that gas is being replaced by induction.  Based upon my limited knowledge and experience, I think I would still prefer gas if only for the option of having a grill surface plus I like the idea of having a visual on the heat source.  Hmmm, now that I think about it, my stove/oven on the sailboat is propane and it's worked rather well.  I guess I'm just looking for an alternative to the rinky dink electric resistance coil type cooktop that I have now.

Rich
post #5 of 20
Tramontina (out of Brazil) makes a good fully clad pan and pot. Walmart carries some of their stuff if you want to take a look and there are many web vendors.

Also Vollrath. Mostly restaurant supply houses carry these and the ones I have I like.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 20
I know nothing about induction, Cabo, so can't help you there. I just prefer gas, and anytime we move and it's not installed it's the first thing we do.

Heat source is less important to me in an oven. But on a cooktop I want gas.

Keep in mind that with any grill surface you must have a high-capacity exhaust hood or you're going to smoke out the place.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 20
Tramontina (out of Brazil) makes a good fully clad pan and pot.

I've got one Tramontina item, an eight-inch skillet. Qualitywise I'll stack ita against any similar item I've ever owned. 

However, I'm not particularly happy with the handle design, and that could be an issue. It is for me, which is why I only have the one.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaboSailor View Post

KY,

I was under the impression, perhaps mistakenly, that LPG gas stoves were very tempermental and in need of frequent servicing.  I'm willing to be wrong, after all that's a natural state for me.

Perhaps, I should have another thread about the pro's and con's of gas vs. induction?  Some of the more recent threads seem to indicate that gas is being replaced by induction.  Based upon my limited knowledge and experience, I think I would still prefer gas if only for the option of having a grill surface plus I like the idea of having a visual on the heat source.  Hmmm, now that I think about it, my stove/oven on the sailboat is propane and it's worked rather well.  I guess I'm just looking for an alternative to the rinky dink electric resistance coil type cooktop that I have now.

Rich

I used to service them. Propane doesn't require any more service than Natural Gas.

You might be thinking about Fuel Oil, which is used in some furnaces and water heaters, but not for cooking, is very dirty and requires regular service.

Terry
post #9 of 20
Yeah, what Terry said.

I've used my current set up for 20-odd years, with nary a lick of trouble.

There's no reason why LPG should be more or less tempermental. Other than the valve they are the same units.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 20
If you have a Tuesday Morning near you I highly suggest checking it out.  I have picked up some great items at good prices!

I bought a Tramontina 4qt covered sauce pan there and while I agree with KY about the funky handle (and it's a bit heavy)...it has turned out to be perfect in size and quality for pasta/meat dishes...I'm really diggin' it. 

I also found a nice copper stock pot, a 9 qt Chantal stock pot (enamel on steel) (for $60 bucks) and a 1.5 qt. Chantal sauce pan (covered)...they even matched.  So far I have used all of them and am loving them.  However, the one item I got that I must need practice on is the SS skillet.  I just love my cast iron...it's somehow familiar and easy to me.

Good luck!

*Also Ross and TJ Maxx can have some great deals.
post #11 of 20
Wow did you do good at Tuesday Morning. After hearing their ads, and folks talking about them, we finally visited one. Frankly, I found it to be a poor-man's TJMaxx---more like an indoor garage sale than a store. There wasn't one thing I saw that had any quality to it; certainly no brand names like you found.

Good job!
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 20
No kidding! It was kind of bizarre because I had just joined this forum and finished reading Julie and Julia and my MIL dragged me to that store.  I just happened to walk down the cookware aisle and was shocked at all the nice cookware and the prices compared to what I'd been seeing online.  

This store must have more access to higher end stores because the bedding and towels are really nice too.

Worth checking out just to see:)
post #13 of 20
A lot of the stuff those stores carry are job lots, seconds, and slightly damaged goods. Doesn't mean anything is really wrong---I've probably examined hundreds of "slightly damaged" products without finding where the damage was. Or maybe there was a small scratch in an unobtrusive part of the item where it didn't count.

But, because of this, what you find in any particular store depends on what bargains the corporate buyers have found, and how much of it gets delivered to each location. In the case of Tuesday Morning, they also work on weekly special purchases of name-brand products. But each store only gets two or three of the item, so if you aren't there when the doors open, lots of luck.

So, sometimes you walk in and there are shelves full of useful, high-quality, name-brand things. Other times there's nothing but junk.

I'm not a shopper. I want to walk in, find what I want, and walk out. So those places really aren't for me, because you have to do a lot of browsing. And I bore easily.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #14 of 20
 Cast irons do work well on induction and most stainless steels  .Carbon steel should work aswell. You can test it by putting a magnet on it, if it sticks well it works. This is just info I got from reading and not actual experience. I tried to put magnets on my kitchen aid pans which came in a set for 170$( sale :D) and it worked so I think they should work on induction.
post #15 of 20
Cabo-
I would suggest you look at tank gas supplies -or - seriously research induction cooktops.

We've cooked for several years in an RV with a little propane stove with good results - but it's not a gourmet proposition.  KYH points out  that a tank setup is quite reliable if you want to make it your prime cooking-energy source.

Induction sounds intriguing.(sp?)  We don't have gas service in our condo, and we went with an expensive smooth-top GE electric cooktop.  Looks VERY cool

For actual cooking, it STINKS

Unfortunately, to replace our really cool-looking  electric  glass cooktop with an induction unit, we would need to replace half of our granite counter and six feet of custom maple cabinetry underneath the cooktop. So, we're stuck.  We have just bought a small induction burner from  Max Burton - on the internet for around $75, and we are learning to use it. Check this out, maybe do some experimenting.

If you don't go for that, then go with a tank or two-tank system. (The two-tank is what is standard in the RV's.)

And live happily ever after, probably.

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #16 of 20
 i have a fair amount of all-clad - none of which was purchased at full price. keep an eye out and be patient; you can find some real bargains out there. and start trolling TJ Maxx and Marshall's. they often get all-clad stuff in (usually seconds) and sell it at half the price. which still isn't cheap... but that stuff will literally last multiple lifetimes.
post #17 of 20
I will probably pick up a Tramontina stock pot in the near future as I continue to re-tool based on a stove change. I bought the Cuisinart MCP-12 set due to the consistently great reviews at Amazon where it sells for about $299 but patience pays off here too as I bought it for about 2/3 that price, it is tri-ply construction that is induction compatible.  You can see the price history at..
http://www.pricespider.com/compare-prices-cookware/cuisinart/multiclad-pro-12-pc-clad-cookware-set-stainless-mcp12-975363.html

I would prefer glass over the included metal lids and I can't give a personal recommendation yet as I'm making the stove swap this weekend. We are going from a coil stove to a Samsung Glass top. Personally I'd prefer natural gas but I'm not the only one in the family that needs to be happy, our retiring stove it a more than 33 year old Westinghouse. The wife started out wanting another coil top for canning but the current crop I looked at are junk so we moved to a glass top to get better quality. I seriously considered induction as it's the closest thing to gas for fast response but couldn't quite make the jump from the great deal I got on the glass top. The new convection oven looks to be a real upgrade.

One thing to keep in mind is that appliance warranties (at least by the manufacturer) don't cover surges so I installed a whole house surge protector at the junction box to protect all the "gee whiz" electronics. They are pretty cheap to do, between $100 to $200 for reasonable but not elaborate hardware. The junction box solution doesn't take care of surges that would be caused from devices inside the house on the same circuit, like motors starting and stopping so point of use surge protectors are still advisable as needed but stoves typically are on their own isolate circuits as are other heavy electricity users. - Gene


 
post #18 of 20
I got the new stove installed last night and tried out the small 8" Cuisinart MCP-12 skillet today. I'm sure some of it is due to the stove but I was suprised just how much better cooking up some plain old hamburger turned out, pretty impressive.
post #19 of 20
 CaboSailor

One factor to consider with the propane vs natural gas
Propane has about 2500 BTU's per cubic foot and natural gas has about 1000.
I have propane at home and natural gas at my place of work, neither one requires any real maintenance. My only problem is propane burns hotter so I have to adjust from home to work. The flame looks the same but my home burners put out more heat .Both stoves are commercial units. Propane delivery here in the mountains can be a problem in the winter, I had 14 feet total last winter.
 
post #20 of 20
That's why I have a two-tank system, BobbleHead.

I only use the propane for cooking, and a hundred-pound tank lasts me, variously, 5 to 6 months. So external weather conditions and acts of God are, basically, irrelevent in terms of gas availability.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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