A friend asked me recently to recommend a good set of cookware for a holiday gift. Given that I’ve been working up somewhat of a gift guide here, I thought I would include my ideas here.
I think that all things considered the 7-piece All-Clad Stainless is the best bet. I’m a big fan of the All-Clad pots and pans.
These are GREAT pans. The best thing about them is the heat distribution (your food will always cook evenly as long as your stove is level….which mine is not, sadly) as well as their ability to heat fast. You can heat pasta water so much quicker in one of these bad-boys. they retain heat better your average pots and pans.
I thought a lot about the set that has a copper core as well as aluminum, but I think that’s really only “necessary” if you are a real chef of some kind or a SERIOUS home cook. Copper is nice, but I think it’s money you don’t need to spend (it’s twice as expensive) to get a good set of pans for home use for peeps who like to cook. I have one copper pot in my kitchen and honestly, I don’t like it any more than i like my All-Clads. it’s not like I wish I had more copper. So, save the dough.
As for a non-stick option……
I am willing to bet that if you get yourself some good All-Clads, you will use them more than you think—even for things you usually rely on the tephlon for. I use mine for nearly everything, you just have to adjust how you cook a bit. Granted, you still need a non-stick for eggs and what-have-you. All-Clad makes them, too.
I am sure they are GREAT pans, but I would advise not to spend that much dough on a non-stick. The bottom line is they are great while they last, but they don’t last. Not even the “good ones” as far as I know, anyway. All tephlon peels and breaks down at some point. Hubby bought me a REALLY nice one a few years ago and it’s looking pretty shabby now. So, I recommend spending less because they will need replacing at some point. Get yourself (or whoever is on your list in need of new kitchen gear) a good Calphalon or 2. They are great pans and will totally serve you needs.
There you have it! Happy Shopping!