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Stainless steel--brands recommendations

 
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redrose



Joined: 28 Mar 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:23 pm    Post subject: Stainless steel--brands recommendations Reply with quote

I am thinking to buy a good set of stainless steel pots. I wonder if anyone will please give your comments on this type of pots. I am All-clad and Amway are good. They are kind of over my budget. Are there any other brands comparable to All-clad and Amway, such as Cuisinart Chef classic or Calphlon? Thanks for any opinion shared.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless series is pretty good. They perform almost as well as my All-Clad except they have glass lids (which I dislike because they are a bit more difficult to wash and no matter how well they are constructed the metal ring will eventually start to separate a little bit). I also have a piece from Farberware back when they still manufacturered their Millenium Clad line (which sadly they do not - I suspect they realized they were losing money on the series).

In any case, I recommend finding old All-Clad (or if you're really lucky clearance or going out of business sales) and cleaning them up with Bar Keeper's Friend or buying as many kickers as you can. A "kicker" is a pot or pan that a manufacturer sells at a discounted price to get you hooked on their product line. All-Clad's kicker is a 1 qt. sauce pan that sells for $30 or less. (What's the use of a 1 qt. sauce pan? Making sauces. I love this pan.) Only a year ago, you used to be able to get this pan for $20 or less. Guess prices have gone up.

Calphalon used to have two kickers but now it seems that only their Copper exterior tri-ply 2-1/2 qt. sauce pan is available around $30.

Keep your eyes open for deals at both online retailers and neighborhood stores. If your in a store, don't be afraid to ask if a particular line of cookware has a kicker - usually they'll be eager to let you know (or have already put them on prominent display).
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redrose



Joined: 28 Mar 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michale, thanks for the suggestion. I guess I don't have the guts to buy All-clad. I bought Cuisinart instead. But I have a question. After just one use, I see some strange dots at the bottom of the pot. They are like tiny dots. Some looks rusty. I don't understand why it happend. I used only middle heat. And it was same when last time I bought KitchenAid pot. That was like $300 set. The bottom shows up these strange things just after one use. I returned them since they were expensive. Now I am seeing similar things again. Is it something I did? All I did was use mild detergent to clean it and cook with water under middle heat. Do you see same thing with your pot? I am sure all-clad does not have that. What about others? Thanks very any suggestion. It is very frustrating since I do not want to return it this time.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry about it. If you're just boiling water and small while dots appear (about 1mm in diameter?) then it's probably just hard water (high calcium concentration in your tap water). If it's small rust colored spots then you've probably got high iron content in your water. Go to your local kitchen supply store or supermarket and by a can of Barkeeper's Friend (about $2.50). Pour a little of the powder onto a wet soft sponge and add a little water until it forms a wet paste. Use the sponge on the pot as if you were washing with detergent. Then rinse off and wash with detergent to get any of the excess abrasive off and your pan will look like new.

If however, the spots don't come out with Bar Keeper's Friend, then you may want to consider yet another brand of cookware...
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redrose



Joined: 28 Mar 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, you are super. I will try it out. Actrally I don't mind these things. All I worried if the stainless steel will come off after long time use. Like the pot I have used for 3-4 years, the inside color is kind of rust looking. I don't mind of using it unless it means the aluminum is exposed, could it be? I know all the stainless steel pot have aluminum core, then a layer of stainless steel. All I worried is if this old pot's steel is off and aluminum is showing up. How can I tell? I just don't want to put my family's health at risk. Thanks.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless the stainless steel is severely pitted, you won't be exposed to the lower layers. The rust may be from your iron rich water - try Barkeeper's Friend on those pots as well.
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Jay Francis



Joined: 14 Apr 2006
Posts: 11
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:22 pm    Post subject: Consumer's Reports or Cook's Illustrated? Reply with quote

If my memory serves me well, within the last few months either of these publications actually published information on a low cost but almost as good as All-Clad brand of cookware.

Reading your posting, I think you are just shopping for a stainless steel pot, not a complete set of cookware? I seem to remember that All Clad is offering a very promotional price on the stock pot at Williams Sonoma, like $99 for the stock pot with some inserts. But having said that, I'm actually a bigger fan of teflon coated stockpots.

I wish I knew then what I know now about cookware. I bought a set of Circulon cookware. Over the years I've decided that buying a complete set of anything is not the way to go.

If I had it to do over, I would buy a 2.5 or 3 quart stainless steel All-Clad saucier, a big Lodge cast iron fry pan (cast iron for high heat always....stainless steel discolors), Anolon brand teflon coated stockpot, Anolon ditto for a saucier, double boiler, and everyday pan. No teflon coated cookware for any high temp cooking.
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Bill Eaton
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emerilware is pretty good. It's made by All Clad, but it's cheaper. And it has glass lids, which I prefer to All Clad's steel lids.

Make sure you get some Barkeeper's Friend to help you clean your pots and pans without wrecking them.
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redrose



Joined: 28 Mar 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 12:08 am    Post subject: pots Reply with quote

I did not get Barkeeper's Friend  since can'tfind it anywhere. Could you please point me to a normal store such as safeway?Anyway, strangely, after cooking something, like rice noodle, the pots became shining as when Ifirst bought them. Iguess it is ok then.
So far, Ilove them and did not see any point of buying all-clad any more
Thanks for all your opinions though.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get Barkeeper's Friend at Bed Bath and Beyond, Linens 'N Things, or Sur la Table.
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