Can't decided if I want to purchase Paula Deen or Rachael Ray. Any suggestions? Thanks
The only suggestion that I can tell you is that, after recently looking over the internet to see what was the best to buy, I found that Stainless Steel was rated well over Aluminum. Paula's is aluminum, don't know about Rachel's. Aluminum was rated good on one thing - it heats up fast. But, it warps. This I know for a fact because I have had Wearever Aluminum and it did warp. Cookware costs so much these days that I wanted all the information I could find.
Put a search in Stainless Steel vs Aluminum cookware and see you find.
Don't go by looks or hype. Go by what is the best cookware you can afford. Unless you will use every single piee in a 'set', it's not worth the price. For the same amount of money you can get a few really good and necessary pieces. If someone is really interested in cooking, they won't buy the cookware because of the looks or color, but for the usefulness of the particular pieces.
That being said, I did purchase a set of cookware about 4 years ago from Sam's Club because it was a triple-ply stainless steel set, comparable to All Clad, for less than $130. To date, it's still one of the best purchases I've made. I couldn't have purchased a few separate pieces of good cookware for that price. Besides that set, I have at least 10 additional and varied pieces of cookware. You'll need different pieces for different tasks, as well. I caution folks from purchasing an entire set of non-stick cookware because non-stick is not the best surface for every cooking application, and if your entire set is non-stick you're limited as far as what the results will be. Two non-stick skillets, one small and one large, for eggs and fish, are all anyone should need in non-stick cookware. An enamel over cast iron Dutch oven for slow cooking and braising, a large stockpot for pasta, soup, etc., a large skillet for browning and one-dish meals, and a few small saucepans will serve your purpose. Those sets might look 'pretty' in your kitchen, but will they help you achieve the results you want? Probably not.
Thanks! Think I will look at Sam's club before deciding.
Unfortunately, Sam's Club no longer carries the tri-ply set. They have replaced it with a non-stick set ;o( I have heard that Costco carries tri-ply stainless sets. I don't know how current that info is, though.
Good luck with your choice.
Walmart (website) carries a Tramontina set of tri-ply stainless cookware that is very good at around $140. I bought it for our beach place and like it as well as the Surlatable triply set that I paid $300 for to use at home. I had tried to find the triply sets at Sam's and Costco that people have been so happy with but neither retailer is still offering those sets. BTW, the Kirkland triply set at Costco was made by Tramontina.
You will really like the triply, especially if you cook on gas burners as it distributes/holds heat very well and cools down quickly. I have a mix of triply, several LeCreuset enameled cast iron dutch ovens, two Lodge cast iron skillets, a LeCreuset enameled tall stockpot, and one non-stick skillet (for eggs) in my home pots & pans arsenal. I decided several years ago to de-clutter and only keep the items that I use on a regular basis now - gave away the rest to Goodwill.
Some would tell you to bargain hunt for All-Clad individual pieces at TJ Maxx, etc., buying only those pieces you really want, but you just can't beat (or meet) the $140 price tag for the Tramontina set and then you can just fill in around it with bargain hunting. I like the Tramontina because it's a bit lighter/easier to handle weight-wise than the All-Clad or comparable knockoffs like the Surlatable or Calphalon. It also seems to clean up better IMO. BTW, I throw all of my stainless triply in the DW for cleanup.
I have to agree with zoenipp about the Tramontina triply. The deal at walmart's web site can't be beat for a set and you can have it shipped to the closest store to avoid shipping charges. I almost bought the set myself after picking up the 12" skillet at Tuesday Morning (for $40). I already have a ton of cookware and decided against the set but would buy it in a heartbeat!