I don’t know if you are at the same stage I was: I wanted to avoid the potential perils of non-stick coatings and yet felt a little apprehensive about using Stainless Steel. There are some very negative reviews for similar products, along the lines that they don’t cook anything “right” and a jackhammer is required as standard cleaning equipment. You’ll be pleased to know that neither could be further from the truth in my experience using this set (the Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set). While I don’t deny that a select few may have had a negative experience, I hope this review will put your concerns to rest.
I am a first-time Stainless Steel user. I am not a prize-winning chef. I have recently switched to cooking whole-foods from scratch; and I mean recently. So I am not only behind on my cooking skills, but I’ve never used such high-quality equipment before (dollar-store plastic utensils, anyone?). The turning point came when I found little black bits of non-stick coating in my fresh batch of home-made refried beans. Very frustrating. I can’t fault the coating because it was over seven years old. At the first sign of a scratch, non-stick cookware is supposed to be replaced. That’s one reason why I was looking for a long-life, heavy duty cookware set with NO COATINGS TO SCRATCH. I read one study that said the fumes from non-stick coatings at high temperatures have killed birds in a lab. Nice. So I threw my “toxic” refried beans in the trash and let my hubby know I couldn’t cook with the pot anymore. A week later he bought this set for me (at my recommendation)! I guess he likes my refried beans!
If you want to use this set proficiently and aren’t used to stainless steel, you’ll have to adjust–not lower–your expectations. It stands to reason that if this cookware is designed differently and made of different materials than the set you are used to, it is going to behave differently. If you want to produce the same results that you’re used to, you’ll have to adjust your cooking methods. It’s actually not hard to do at all. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking and cleaning. Watch a couple videos on the web about how to preheat a pan and how to determine it is at the right temperature for pan-frying, etc. It will only take you ten minutes of watching/reading but it will save you from potential disappointment. If others use these sets with no problems, you can too; you’ll have to be willing to learn and do what they did. It is exciting to learn a new skill! This is the perfect set for that; because the inner core extends all the way to the top of each pan, they heat up evenly, making it difficult to burn food; a good thing for a novice to know!
These pans look beautiful. The glass lids from my old set fit the pans perfectly, so now I have two sets of lids; I can use glass lids (from my old set) when I want to keep an eye on things, and stainless steel lids for oven cooking. I smile every time I pull these pans out of the drawer; they gleam at me every day! Who said diamonds are a girls’ best friend? He/she obviously didn’t cook!
I’ve used all the pans in the two weeks I’ve had them. I’ve pan-fried battered fish, salmon, scrambled eggs, taco meat, burgers, home-made Italian sausage, hard-boiled eggs, home-made spaghetti sauce, and dosas with no issues. I’ve made cream-of-garlic soup, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, and chicken noodle soup in the stock pot. I’ve used the little pot with the steamer insert for broccoli, green beans, and baby carrots (it’s so nice to have brightly colored vegetables that are hot and still a little crisp). They all work brilliantly!