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Looking for a new cookware set

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Because my set that my dear husband purchased for me about 10+ years ago is slowly dying.  My Mom complains non stop that I have too many pots and pans but each one has their certain use for me and I am getting more and more frustrated that I don't have the ones I like any longer.

Sooooo, looking for a new set, reasonably affordable.  

I have awards programs that offer me discounts and two of the companies they offer are Emerils set or a Lagostina set.  

I've read the reviews on Amazon and they both look okay, but I wanted to check in with others and see what everyone has to say. 

I live in a very rural area of Interior Alaska so our store choices are limited to Fred Meyers, Walmart, and I think Sears may possibly have some cookware.  I mention this because I've seen some say on other threads to try out the grips, the feel of the pans/pots.  While that is great advice, it's not practical for me with limited stores to go to (which don't even carry most of the higher end companies like Le Creuset.  

I've been looking at spending around $250 to $300 for a set that can last me another 10+ years. I don't like non stick (I use very well seasoned cast iron for things like eggs, omelets, frittatas and stratas and bacon), I have strong need of a small sauce pan, a larger sauce pan, a good stock pot (I make my own homemade stocks and soups), and one or two larger saute pans. 


post #2 of 7
Are you replacing all those pans?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes, because they've all started buckling and popping on the bottoms. :( I think my stock pot is the only one somewhat hanging on and that is probably because it doesn't get daily use.  The others get used every day to every other day. 

post #4 of 7
I don't know if you really need to handle everything you get- within a spectrum of ok design i can only imagine a few horrible ones. I love All Clad - great pans, not cheap. Anything by vollwrath will last forever- that stuff is built to take abuse.
Everything I've held by tramontina felt super cheap, the Emeril stuff i haven't really seen.
I hope you can get stuff , but fred meyer has an ok selection, maybe they can order stuff in so you don't have to pay shipping.
My own cookware is a motly collection of Vollwrath carbon steel saute pans, a nice all clad sauce pot, a sur la table copper saute pan with stainless interior, and random bits and pieces. I've had the bulk of it for 10 or so years and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. The only things I've replaced are nonstick egg pans.

So: my personal advice, which may not suit your needs, is to go piecemeal. Carbon steel saute pans, if you are willing to take care of them, are cheap and durable, and available in a variety of sizes, although iwouldn't go over 10". Add on a large stainless pan if you need to cook reactive stuff. Buy good sauce pots when.you can afford them.
Failing that, anything by Vollwrath would have my recommendation. I saw in your other post that there is a restaurant supply store near you but that it seems geared towards fast foos. Restaurants use the cheapest pots they can get away with and run them into the ground; you should see what they will be willing to order in for you.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Good idea Grande.  I've just checked with A&W Wholesale (kitchen/restaurant supply store) here they can order in some of the pieces I would like.  Plus they have a few of the frypans so I can take a look and see what I think. 

post #6 of 7

Hi, Tamtbell.


I don't know if I'm too late with my response.  But, here goes anyway.


Anytime I am asked what type of pan I would recommend by friends, customers, employees etc., the first thing I always ask is what sort of cook are they?  Are they an average home cook?  Are they weekend warriors?  Are they a home chef with good technical skills?  The reason why I ask is because there are cookware sets out that suit all levels of cooking skill and experience.  For instance, I would not recommend a set of tin lined copper to someone who is just starting out nor would I recommend a set of Teflon coated pans to a seasoned chef.  So, knowing where you are at with your cooking skill and your style of cooking is one of the most important questions. 


Another important question to consider is what is heat source?  Electric?  Gas? Glass top electric?  Induction?  Some pans work better with certain sources than others while some pans can't be used on some heat sources at all. 


From the sounds of it, you seem to know your way around a kitchen pretty well and therefore, I assume you have a good, solid set of cooking skills.  Given your price range and location, I would agree with Grande's suggestion of buying a good set of stainless steel cookware.  Stainless steel is pretty much non reactive and rather indestructible.  Its a little more work in the clean up department, especially if you like to fry foods like meats and starches.  But, in the category of cost vs. length of use, stainless is about as good as your going to get.  So, having said that, I have had great experiences with Emerilware stainless steel.  In fact, a set of Emeril stainless steel was my first set of cookware many, many moons ago and I still have it all and use them rather often when I cook at home.  They are well made and the sets include a good number of pieces for the money.  They are versatile and can handle just about any style of cooking that your recipes require.   You can even use them over an open flame like a campfire. 


Stainless steel is probably the most universal when it comes to the issue of heat source.  It works reasonably well on all heat sources except, even induction. However, unless the stainless cookware is specifically made for induction stoves, its not going to work well at all.  


When it comes to stainless steel, there are certain factors that you should consider.  First, is what sort of core, if any, do they have?  Some of the better stainless steel cookware have copper or aluminum layers sandwiched between the layers of steel to improve heat conductivity.  Cheaper stainless steel cookware may not have any copper or aluminum at all and therefore, you will get hot spots and very uneven heat distribution. 


Emerilware offers a reasonably good 12 piece set of all clad stainless steel cookware (Aluminum core) for around $200 that is compatible with all heat sources, including induction. 


Good luck. 


I hope this helps.



"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
post #7 of 7

Hey all, Great listing!!!!
I am also thinking to buy this same since so many days but not able to save for this due to many reasons. :(

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