Now, ain't that a purdy piture?
Cookware is something near and dear to my heart. The experience of cooking with quality cookware makes all the difference in the world. It's insane really. Rather than having to make do and resort to some pretty unconventional methods just to ensure a the right outcome, instead you actually get to focus on cooking and you can count on the result being consistent. The cookware behaves in a highly efficient and predictable way.
I have been looking for a set of professional grade clad stainless steel cookware for a while now and, to be honest, I wasn't sure it was ever going to happen. If you look to buy a professional quality set of cookware made by top brands like All Clad or Calphalon, the price of just a couple of pieces will run you a couple hundred dollars even shopping at bargain base prices. So like most everyone does these days, I decided to do a little homework on the internet and see if there was a comparable option available without having to spend $1200-$2000 for a set of professional grade cookware.
I read reviews (tons of them) and I looked at a number of plausible options and as it turns out, I didn't need to take out a second mortgage just to get a set of decent cookware. For the record, these were the criteria for the cookware I was looking for:
- Cookware with a copper or aluminum core (or both)
- The core needs to run up the sides of the pans, not just on the bottom
- The stainless steel should be 18/10 gauge (premium stainless steel that is resilient to rust and wear)
- Tight fitting stainless lids
- Oven and grill safe (up to 500 degrees F)
- Ok to use on gas or glass electric stove tops
- Dishwasher safe (although hand washing is always better)
- Strong riveted handles that would stay cool on the stove top
- Rolled rims for easy pouring
Sounds like a tall order and it was, but I quickly found this 12 piece set - Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless-Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set on Amazon and it met all of the criteria above. It has received rave reviews from independent research and consumer reports and has been reported as being every bit as good as the top cookware brands. A few people have made negative comments, but based on my read the problems they have reported are not anything unique to Cuisinart and were likely caused by overheating the cookware. Aluminum is an extraordinarily amazing heat conductor and it requires very low comparable heat to normal cookware. In fact, you would NEVER put this cookware on a High heat. Water boils on Medium-Low to Medium heat with no problem.
If I do run into any issues, you'll be the first to know, but I am very pleased with the look, the feel, the construction, and the price of this cookware. For $240, I really don't see how you could possibly go wrong.