Great first-time experience with stainless steel cookware

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!

5 stars for the All-Clad stainless steel cookware

I use the All Clad 10″ and 12″ Tri-Ply Frying Pans frequently for a variety of cooking, braising and browning. I gave up on non-stick because it doesn’t last very long and it also is reported to release teflon into the food. So, my comments on All-Clad are to address some of the issues that I find among the reviews. The purpose of this technology is to provide even, efficient heat. Given that, the amount of heat I find that is best delivered to the pan, is provided by a low medium setting on a gas flame (3.5 out of 10). The conduction properties of the pan will dictate that the heat also conducts on all sides of the pan, so it is reasonable to expect that food splattered onto the sides of the pan will cook and maybe even stick, making it more problematic to clean, compared to a non-stick pan. After cooking, I set the pan aside with 1″ of water and a mild detergent to soak for about 15 minutes and then wipe it with warm water, using a small dish cloth and it comes clean in most cases. If necessary, I finish the cleaning with a small amount of Barkeeper’s Friend to get the most stubborn baked-on food off the sides and bottom.

So far, I have not experienced staining of the pans, nor burning, which I attribute to the use of low, moderate heat. I gave the product 4 stars, because I think the handles could be more comfortable. Since it’s “Professional” cookware, I assume that All-Clad has a reason for the handle design, but I can’t think of why it can’t be a better fit for my hand. Also, I am somewhat xenophobic about manufactured products, so if it’s good and U.S. manufactured, I prefer it to other products. It’s also a bit pricey, but for me, at least, quality determines value, so I pay the price and cringe a little. I expect it to last a long time if I take care to follow the manufacturer’s directions for use and cleaning, so the price issue fades after I use it a few times.

Husband bought a Rachael Ray cookware set

rachael ray cookware

My husband bought this set of pots and pans for me as a surprise because they were on my wish list. I liked them and wanted to give them a try. I have been using them now for about a month and I have to say I am completely happy with this product. This set is very durable and I think that they will last a long time. I think the porcelain sets are nicer anyways and the color is amazing and vibrant. I got the purple set. I never put these in the dishwasher because I just want them to last longer, so I just wash the by hand. The handles are easy to grip and use. They cook food evenly and I have never had anything stick to the pans. So far I haven’t had any problems with this product and hopefully it stays that way. I would recommend this brand to anyone looking for a new set of pots and pans, I actually have already recommended them to a few people.

Beautiful and awesome set. The colors are as displayed in the picture. The pots and pans come wrapped and secured to the max, which is kinda annoying for unwrapping but therefor you can be assured it comes in without any scratches or damages. The pots are regular weight (not too light or too heavy) and you can tell they are good quality.

Warmth gets through very quickly so water boils up very quickly. The handles are made out of rubber/ silicone type material which is very comfortable to hold on to and keeps you from burning your fingers. And in addition they put the same material on top of the lids to pick them up. I love it. Another awesome feature is the cleaning. No scratching and scrubbing (and cursing) necessary because everything comes right off and out. I really love this set and recommend it 100%.

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Guide when selecting your cookware


Cookware consists of different types of pots and pans that are used for specific purposes. Some of the pieces of cookware can be substituted for a type you may not have and still accomplish the type of cooking you need to perform. Pots and pans are available in different sizes and made of different types of material. Some materials are better than others when used for specific cooking methods.
When selecting the cookware for your kitchen, you should take the following points into consideration:
Budget – How much can you afford to spend on the pots and pans you purchase? You should purchase the best quality that you can afford. It will be well worth it in the long run. Otherwise, you will find yourself replacing them in a short time.
Cooking Habits – How much will you be cooking? Do you eat out a lot and buy convenience food or do you like to prepare meals from scratch? Will you be entertaining a lot?
Cuisine – Will you be making a lot of pasta, soups, or stir-fries? There are special pots and pans that assist in preparing these types of food.
Quantity – Will you be cooking for 1, 2 or several? Having the right size cookware will be important when preparing your food.
Cookware Materials
Cookware is made from many different materials. Understanding the differences will assist you in making the best choice for your needs. Some of the most common cookware materials are shown below with a description and pan care instructions for each. (Full article here)


What types of cookware SHOULD you be using?

We love our sturdy second hand cast iron cookware (and use it daily!), but it’s not for everyone.

Pros: We love the way cast iron leaves some foods nice and crispy, or with a caramelized finish. It offers superior heat distribution and retention when cooking. This material can easily and safely go from stovetop directly into the oven. A nicely seasoned cast iron pan will last forever and food won’t stick to it. Cast iron pans don’t need to be washed, only gently scraped, rinsed, or wiped clean after each use. We have purchased all of our cast iron cookware second hand at great prices. If you can find older brands, like Griswold, you’ll get all the benefits of cast iron without all the weight. Cooking on cast iron can even add extra iron to your diet, which is helpful for people deficient in this mineral. We recommend finding used cast iron or obtaining a family heirloom piece – these will most likely already be well seasoned and ready to use!

Check out this article for more of our thoughts and tips on using cast iron in your kitchen.

Cons: Many people don’t need extra iron that cast iron cookware will leave in your food. This includes men, people with a condition called hemochromatosis, and women who are not menstruating and losing blood every month. Our bodies don’t eliminate iron naturally (unless donating blood or menstruating regularly), and it can accumulate to toxic levels in some people. However, the iron in this material leaches more into acidic foods and is also dependent on how well seasoned a pan is. Well seasoned pans have a thin coating that makes them less reactive with foods.

In addition to the iron issue, if cast iron is not seasoned properly it can make foods stick, resulting in more difficult cleanup. It can also be very heavy to work with and will rust if left wet for a period of time.

Enamel Coated Cast Iron
Pros: Enameled cast iron doesn’t add iron to foods like non-enameled cast iron pans. (This is only a benefit if you belong to one of the groups of people who doesn’t need extra iron.) These pieces are great for using on the stovetop or the oven. They offer better heat distribution and retention than other types of cookware and don’t react with acidic foods like uncoated cast iron. If properly cared for, enamel coated pieces can last for generations. They don’t need to be seasoned like plain cast iron pans and food won’t stick if the interior has a nicely polished finish.

Cons: These are also heavy since they’re made with cast iron. The finicky enamel finish can be hard to care for. Metal utensils will scratch it, and it will discolor and lose its luster if exposed to extreme temperature changes. (Like boiling something and then immediately running cool water over the pan.)

Some enamel coated pans are made with cheap enamel that wears out and stains easily, and can also crack or chip off and end up in food. If enamel chips the pan is unsafe. For this reason we recommend spending the extra money on a piece from a reputable company like our favorite here or this other well known brand, and researching to make sure yours has a warranty before purchasing. That’s the other con – a good quality enamel coated cast iron piece may come with some sticker shock.

Stainless Steel
Pros: Stainless steel is inert and will not react with food or alter the flavors of your dishes. They’re very durable and any type of cooking utensil can be used on stainless surfaces without worrying about scratching or ruining a finish. They’re lighter than cast iron pieces and easier to stack and store since there’s no risk of scratching/chipping surfaces. Stainless can be heated to high temperatures, placed in an oven, scrubbed/scraped hard to clean, and the inside surface doesn’t contain harmful carcinogens. They can also be washed with soap or run through the dishwasher.

Cons: They’re not completely non-stick, and need a little fat or liquid added when cooking to prevent food from sticking. Cooking results are highly dependent on the thickness of the metal. A thicker or bonded stainless steel pan will cost you more up front, but is more durable and will last longer. (We have a few pieces from this line that we love. Continue reading here

More: Four ways to cook in cast iron skillet

Food Processor or Stand Mixer

I get confused sometimes when machines function overlapping each other. Like the function between food processors and blenders, they seem rather similar when performing their function. But if you research more, you will realize there is a small difference to them and that blenders are more suitable for soft and liquid foods.

So, you don’t have to regret buying the best food processor because they are different from blenders. Keep them in your kitchen and you can do all your boring repetitive tasks such as slicing onions and mincing garlic. You can process them once a month and saves you a lot of your cooking time.

When come the time when you want to make a cake, then you will ask the question of whether to use a mixer or the food processor. Both can mix well and I think mixer is more for heavy duty and for those who is serious on an everyday baking. I don’t think a food processor will be able to stay alive for long if you keep on mixing the cake mixer or mixing dough on frequent use. They are more suitable for chopping, mincing, shredding and grinding.