What are the + and - of Le Creuset versus high-quality stainless steel cookware?

erztan

James

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Any differences (such as ease of use, cleaning, dishwasher safe, etc.) are helpful. We don't plan to buy cookware a lot of times. We're considering a Le Creuset 9-piece enamel-over-iron set versus three-ply stainless steel (Emeril Pro-Clad, Cuisinart Multiclad Pro, Marcus Samuelsson, Le Creuset) and...

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    Alexander 2017-05-19

    I have a set of Cuisinart clad-bottom stainless steel cookware and I love them. They are of great quality but not as expensive as All-Clad so I can cook like the pros without spending the money they do for their cookware.farberware is really good

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    Aria 2017-07-04

    I believe it really is a personal preference. All of the brands you have mentioned are top-of-the-line. It really depends on what you're cooking, though. I would use Le Creuset for cooking risottos or stews or for braising meats. I would use my All Clad for everyday cooking, such as sauteing. Caphalon is usually non-stick-- easy clean up. I personally think everyone should own an All Clad set AND a few staple Le Creuset pieces (such as a braiser, and/or Dutch Oven. Good luck!It all depends upon what you want to use it for! I would not own 1 set for every pan, because some are better for certain cooking methods than others. For example: Le Crueset makes an awesome dutch oven, great for browning, soups, stews, and deep frying. All-Clad and Calphalon: better for frying pans and stock pots. Anodized will turn white in the DW, tho, so prepare to hand-wash. As far as 2-3 qt pots, I find Revere ware great. They have a copper bottom to help distribute heat evenly but are DW-safe. I also like Kitchen Aid brand of nonstick skillets. Nice and big, thick and heavy, and affordable, esp. at places like TJ Maxx or Tuesday Morning. Buying sets is more economical, yes, but select the best pot for the cooking method you desire.

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    Daniel 2017-05-17

    It depends on the pan and the use. Consult cooksillustrated.com or consumerreports.com for their reviews. If you are going for a set you need to decide if you want all non-stick or no non-stick. If you go with all non-stick, you will not be able to get a good 'fond' or browning, both on the meat and in the pan. That browning on the pan adds alot of flavor to pan sauces. I like to have a large and small skillet of both non-stick and regular. Sauce pans and stock pots do not need to be non-stick generally. Also hold the handles, check the feel in your hand and go by that as they are all very good. I have a set of JC Penny's house brand that are very good and much cheaper than All-Clad, etc. I fill in with a pan here or there of the nicer stuff. Good luck.I've collected a few Le Creuset pans in various sizes and colors. The 2 quart french oven that I've had for years is used the most and I wanted another pan that was larger but not as large as my soup pot. This one filled the bill perfectly. It has a flat bottom making it easier to use for roasting or browning than my soup pot. The sides are high enough to use it for stews, soups, rice or frying and I really like the Linen color. The handles on this pot are larger than my older french oven so it's easier to get a good grip. All in all, it's a very versatile size and shape. I expect to depend on it for many years. http://amzn.to/1pE5rAl

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    Madison 2017-06-09

    I love cast iron because once you season it it will be a non-stick surface and will last forever as long as you take care of it.Try a restaurant supply company for equip. Kitchen Aid makes great mixers but don't go cheap on them. They do not make such great pans. Everyone should have a 10 or 12 inch cast iron pan. Copper is a waste of money and hard to clean. I'd go with a heavy aluminum with a stainless steel inner lining. I have been using the same 9" saute pan like that for 20 years and it is still like new. I think it is a Chefware. The French cookware made with cast iron and coated with enamel is really great but oh so pricey-- like $75 a pan or more. If you can go used that is pretty amazing stuff. I forget the name off hand though... Also :Avoid cookware with hollow handles, they heat goes up the handles and they get hot. I only use pans with a metal handles that are riveted to the pan.

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    Gabriel 2017-06-20

    Read the Consumer's Report and see how they stack up one on one.I have a Paul Revere set ,with the copper bottom on the outside, it is a good set, I think it is guaranteed for 25 yrs or life, not sure. I would recommend something with the copper bottom on the inside and a layer of stainless on the outside, basically you want something that will conduct heat well and with the copper on the inside,copper is a soft metal and requires special handling and washing..Cast iron is an excellent choice, but you cant cook acidity foods in them, but it will last long after you are gone..Try to stay away from "Teflon" type products as it will wear off and get into your food...Another thing to look for is the thickness of the metal if it says on the box, the thicker, the better, The heavier the pots and pans, the better too....Hope this helps.....If you want to get the best use of your pots etc, wash them by hand as a dishwasher is too hot for the handles and too harsh on the metal.

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    Addison 2017-06-23

    Wearever - priced reasonably and last forever. Suggest buying one or two of the pieces you really need as opposed to buying a whole set that includes pieces you may never use. Also buy one or 2 and if you like buy more.I have Wolfgang Puck and I love it. I got mine at Sam's for $100.00.

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    Matthew 2017-07-14

    I have Lagostina. They aren't the most expensive but I've had them for years and I think they're wonderful. You can also buy open stock and add to it as the years go buy, don't have to buy it all at once.Pampered Chef. =) I sell it and I actually sell a lot of it. It cooks great and has great reviews. Prices range but having a show can get it for half the price.

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    Natalie 2017-05-04

    If you want good cookware, get CALPHALON Hard Anodized. It is non stick but it is the best....Great SS cookware without spending the Big bucks? We got ours at "Ikea" In Chicago. Heavy pots and pans plus no non stick. Also no bolted on handles or glass lids to break. Lots to choose from. WWW.ikea.com or call for a catalog

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    Daniel 2017-07-06

    If you enjoy cooking and cook often, buy the All Clad. Nothing else even comes close. I have Caphlon and like it very much. It distributes heat well and is easy to clean.I would recommend buying All-Cad as they long last. You can buy them at unbeatable price at http://www.hotelcookware.com/Stainless-S...

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    Jaxon 2017-06-23

    I got a set of Calphalon for Christmas last year. Never cooked with stainless before, but I LOVE this set.amw

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    Mia 2017-07-06

    If you want the All-Clad don't buy a set. Buy individual pieces that you will use. Think about what pieces you really need then get them. Most sets contain pieces that you will rarely use. I have found great pieces of good quality stainless steel at resale shops as well. Wait for sales, Bed Bath and Beyond is a good place for sales and everyone has a coupon... Macy*s also has good sales and Carson's (also goes by other names) You also might want to check http://www.cutleryandmore.com they also have sales get on the email list. You are right that it does take a bit of a learning curve to use stainless steel if you have been used to non stick. Just have to remember not to "fiddle" with something and try to turn it until it is ready to be turned.I have had a set of Lagostina for 15 years and it's fine. I have a couple of pieces from Ikea's 365+ line and they're fine too. The regular price of a set of Lagostina is around $600, but I see it on sale fairly often for about $200. So look for a sale price, and don't worry too much about the brand. As long as it has a 3 ply bottom, you can't go too far wrong

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    Michael 2017-05-21

    I bought all my cookware from Smart & Final because they look just like the ones all the restaurants use. I've had them for over 10 years and still going strong.Look for sales or discounts, Paderno is nice, Cuisinart, All Clad is fine even Langostina, they can be bother some to clean, I have a few, mostly restaurant grade aluminum pots and pans, a few non teflon/non stick pans also, I have a Le Creuset Dutch Oven I bought at yard sale, 8 qts and got it for $20 as it had a scratch, the lady got it as a wedding gift, and it weights a ton, look at glazed cast iron to for certain items.

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    Jayden 2017-06-08

    I have cooked with stainless for years and never had a problem cleaning it. I've had a couple of those "no-stick" teflon-coated pans - never again. The damn teflon comes off too easily and makes a hell of a mess of the pan, and who needs bits of friggin' teflon in their food? At this point, after being the family cook for over thirty years, I mostly cook in cast iron. It's inexpensive, lasts forever, and nowadays you can buy it pre-seasoned. Ya just gotta pay attention to proper cleaning of cast iron - never use detergent and never a metallic scrubbing pad.i assume one of the prior answerers has worked as a dishwasher before...that can be true, but its not really, most jobs where I have been the cook in the kitchen, I also wash my own dishes. I find they can even be easier to wash, especially once the coating starts getting little dings and scratches in it, then little pieces stick, and oils will cling and get all tacky, and it slowly loses its nonstickiness. I am more a fan of cast iron and aluminum/stainless. if treated well, and well "seasoned" it will work better than and a non-stick in most cases, even the best nonstick will lose its finish, but a cast will do quite the opposite, they get better with age

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    Aubrey 2017-05-28

    Stainless is NOT hard to clean at all.Professional chefs don't always use stainless steel. Most restaurants use aluminum, too. Every restaurant that i know that serves breakfast all use non-stick for their eggs and omelets. Restaurants don't care how easy they are to clean. The cooks aren't supposed to be burning the food, anyway. So the pans usually aren't that hard to clean. Besides, they hire dishwashers whose job it is to wash dishes for 8 hours a day. If a pan won't come clean, they just throw it in sink, fill it with water and let it sit for awhile. There is a reason for using stainless steel in some cases. Sometimes foods react with metal. More example, when making bechameal sauce, aluminum will react with the milk and discolor the sauce. You also don't want to make cheese in an aluminum pan. Personally, I don't let a a piece of metal get in the way of being creative or cooking good food. Lots of restaurants have really crappy pots and pans, but thats OK. You can spend the money on All-Clad if you want. They are very good. The choice is up to you really. The non-stick pans always wear out quickly. Stainless or aluminum last a long, long time. You might want to check out some restaurant supply stores. There stuff is usually fairly inexpensive.

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    Grayson 2017-07-03

    Stainless and Cast Iron is best...Besides being an ideal heat conductor, cast iron heats evenly and consistently, it is inexpensive and will last a lifetime (actually several lifetimes) with proper care, and it is an old-fashioned way to cook fat free.I definitely like the stainless steel best. Buy good quality ones with a copper base which will spread the heat more evenly. They are pretty easy to clean and stay looking good for years. I also have 1 fairly large non stick frying pan. I like the choice.

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    Daniel 2017-06-15

    Stainless steel requires more elbow grease to take care of but it is terrific for it's ease in transitioning from the stove top to the oven without having to worry if the handles are going to melt etc... It also has a better heat distribution and cooks more evenly and at lower heat settings. Nonstick eventually begins to peel and the handles are usually not conducive to being placed into the oven and often fall off with wear and tear. For aesthetic purposes though there is a greater variety.Stainless steel will never rust. I have a set of stainless, that includes the handles so that I can slide the pans in the oven safely to finish off dishes, like seared salmon. I start it on top of the stove and finish it in the oven. You can use any utensil and will not have to worry about it scratching, not to mention the flaking that often happens eventually with most all teflon pans. I think you get better pan sauces with stainless and you can whisk them without worrying about your pans finish.

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    Mila 2017-07-07

    If you are an avid chef, you will be happier with cookware that is constructed differently than WP or Emeril. Both have a thick disk of aluminum fused to the bottom, coated in stainless steel. A disk doesn't go up the sides of the pan, so it can't distribute heat up the sides of the pan, which makes a huge difference in how it performs, particularly for finicky French sauces, etc. Up-the-sides-of-the-pan construction is how All-Clad is made and why it performs so well. They take a flat sheet of aluminum sandwiched between sheets of stainless steel and form that into the shape of a pan, so that the sandwich effect of the aluminum goes all the way up the sides of the pan. (This technique is called cladding.) What you want is something constructed like All Clad for much less money. I recommend a brand called Le Gourmet Chef. There are other brands out there with this construction. They should be bragging about the 3 ply or 5 ply construction, show a cross section diagram of the layers on the box, perhaps use the word 'clad' somewhere. A much fuller discussion of what makes for good cookware construction can be found at eGullet.org, Search for "stovetop cookware." You can also search this site for my past rants on this subject.Really, the more expensive ones are the same ones as the cheaper ones.. They're just more expensive. With the emeril line, you're paying for the label, not the merchandise. It's like buying Roots or Gap as opposed to Wal Mart brands.. They're high quality names with low quality merchandise. I always buy my teflon and stainless steel cookwear from places like Kitchens Plus or Walmart. They range from about 10 dollars to 50, but they are well worth it.

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    Audrey 2017-06-12

    I personally prefer the Wolfgang Puck line versus the Emeril line. Both are great quality pans but Wolfgang Puck pans clean up so much nicer than Emeril's in my opnion. Just a little water and a rag cleans them up nicely.Seems like stuff with someones name on it would cost more for lower quality. Check out Farberware Millenium Series, they have stainless and aluminum cookware that lasts a long time. I just got an aluminum saute pan that I love.

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