I decided to wait for a while to write this review as I wanted to use them for at least a few weeks prior to rating and reviewing. Keep in mind this is my first set of stainless steel cookware I''ve ever used so I can''t really compare them to other stainless steel sets....
I decided to wait for a while to write this review as I wanted to use them for at least a few weeks prior to rating and reviewing. Keep in mind this is my first set of stainless steel cookware I''ve ever used so I can''t really compare them to other stainless steel sets. I''ve only used numerous types/styles of non-stick sets. Teflon, ceramic, "green pan", copper chef, etc. (I''ve never actually BOUGHT a set of cookware until I bought these, all of the others have been gifts of some sort).
I was trying to decide between these or a set that Calphalon were heavily discounting at the time (a set with copper on the outside, stainless on the inside, aluminum core), but out of all the comparisons and other reviews, I chose these instead mainly because the copper would most likely tarnish and get unevenly ugly. Also America''s Test Kitchen tested sauce pans. The winner being All-clad of course was WELL out of my price range. Their next recommendation though was the Cuisinart Multiclad unlimited, and I figured those should perform similar to these.
Stainless steel - with care will last a lifetime and more
Heats very evenly and quickly
The tapered rim really does make pouring MUCH easier and practically drip free (I always have a paper towel handy regardless)
Cooked eggs without sticking (yeah, you read that right)
Cooking is much more predictable
The cookware do "stain" but can be removed
Must be very diligent with proper preheating and not overheating
Parts of the cookware is a high mirror polish (more on why I put this as a con later)
Could be sensitive to temperature shock (but then again, MOST if not all cookware is)
First, I''ll tackle the cons
"Stains" can occur on the cooking surface, especially if you get some stuck food (some food sticking is normal, it''s called fond, don''t be discouraged by it). After giving it a good soap and water bath with a plastic scrub sponge I''ve noticed light colored "whitish" marks on the cookware. Honestly this isn''t a problem, but it does trigger my OCD to want the pans to look clean. Nothing a little Bon Ami/Bar Keepers Friend can''t fix. Just don''t really recommend doing this often as these are minor abrasives. This leads me to...
Mirror like finish in spots. I honestly wish all of the surface had the brushed look to it. Once you use Bon Ami/Bar Keepers friend on the upper parts of the cooking surface or elsewhere, you''ll get swirl marks. This is just once again my OCD of wanting to keep my brand new set looking brand new. They WILL scratch and get swirls and other stuff. But the mirror finish only makes it that much worse. It obviously won''t change the performance of the cookware.
Preheating/overheating. These pans can heat up QUICK (ymmv depending on your stove type, mine is electric with exposed element), even on medium. Because of this you really need to make sure you aren''t overheating the pan while preheating. Overheat can/will lead to badly stuck/burned food. This is going to be typical of pretty much any multiclad/all clad stainless steel cookware. If you don''t like this, stick with hard anodized or something of the sort.
Temperature shock. Honestly this should go without saying, but really the last thing you want to do is go from cooking to putting this under cold water. I''ve seen reviews (from pros using this specific cookware) where they have done this and the pan was fine. But really, you seriously run the risk of warping ANY cookware doing this. Just.....don''t do it.
Time for the pros
Stainless steel - Really, there''s not much to say here. Because the outer and inner surfaces are stainless steel, as long as you''re not abusing the pans, they''ll last forever. There isn''t a non-stick surface that slowly turns turns into a reason for throwing it out.
Heats evenly/quickly - The fact that these have an aluminum core sandwiched by stainless steel really helps these pans heat up quick and even. I''ve made frittata and numerous other things and get a pretty consistent cook throughout the entire thing (it would help if my stove top were more level but there''s little I can do about that without replacing the entire top, the whole stove is level).
Tapered rim - I''ve poured out sauces, soups bacon grease, etc. It all pours out really easy and smooth. I can''t 100% comment on it being drip free as I always have a paper towel or something handy to wipe the edge. Force of habit.
Cooked eggs without sticking - Yeah I''ve read numerous reviews saying that eggs stick like crazy to these. It''s the one thing that made me wait 2 weeks prior to even think about cooking eggs, let alone over easy eggs on these. I can safely say that eggs swirl around on these pans just as good as any perfectly new non-stick pan. Granted you need to make sure you heat the pan just right and prep it. I haven''t tried putting eggs in with JUST butter yet but I would imagine it would work. Usually I''ll put a about an 1/8th of a teaspoon of canola oil in the pre heated pan and use a paper towel to cover the surface and the sides, let it sit for a few seconds, then put a little butter in the bottom. I have yet to have any eggs stick at all. In fact, I threw out my old 8" non-stick I kept around specifically for eggs.
Cooking predictable - Because the pans heat evenly and they''re super conductive, cooking because so much more predictable and you use much less heat. On my old pans, I''d usually cook most things on medium high. I''ve found medium with these has been equivalent. Polenta, rice, etc all cook really nicely because you can just set the heat to low and just let it go. At first I was a bit worried about the lids not being see through (as I''ve always had glass lids) but now I''ve come to not care.
All in all every single time I cook with this cookware, I always find myself saying "I Love these pans!!!". I have yet to have food "stick" to them. At least to the point where it''s destroying the food. The only thing I haven''t tried are fish and pancakes, but I would imagine pancakes would stick regardless. If you''re having a problem with all your food sticking, you''re doing it wrong. You''re most likely over heating the pan. Watch some youtube vids about proper use of stainless steel cookware and you should be able to figure it out.