Stainless steel vs. anodized -- buying first set, need advice

tmac96February 11, 2005

I am looking at two different sets that I want to get to start off with. Both are from QVC's Cook's Essentials line. One is the Stainless 500 and the other is the "Technique" Hard Anodized. Here are the facts/feelings on both:

- Love the look of the polished stainless much better!

- Love the shape of the stainless set! The curved bottom of the saucepans is so much nicer when you are working with a spoon.

- Heard anodized is better for heat distribution.

- The weight of the stainless is "medium-heavy", anodized is "heavy".

- Both oven safe to 500.

I really like the stainless steel set better, but anodized seems to be the rage right now. Is is really worth giving up the other things I like about the stainless? What do you think? Thanks for any input!!

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Stainless goes in the dishwasher. Reason enough right there. DWs ruin most anodized pans.

Stainless can also be cleaned with abrasives if necessary. Yes, it will scratch, but over time, it gets a patina from the scratches that looks lovely. Abrasives will ruin anodized pots. You won't want to use anything harder than a loofah on them.

Good stainless will last for generations. You don't and won't see any heirloom anodized pots and pans.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 10:14PM
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The QVC stainless 500 cookware is all non-stick. I don't feel you need all pots and pans to be non-stick. Much prefer the stainless inside and out with a few non-stick frying pans.

I really like the Cuisinart cookware line.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2005 at 7:23AM
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I own both anodized and stainless (high end) cookware. I prefer to use the anodized because, well, it performs better. Why is that?

Aluminum simply conducts heat better than stainless steel. Manufacturers of SS cookware will either sandwich a thin sheet of aluminum between two sheets of SS ("clad" or "Tri-ply"), or bond a thicker sheet of aluminum to the bottom of the cookware, in order to get the benefits of aluminum with the aesthetics of SS. These processes vastly improve the performance of the SS cookware, but solid aluminum will always provide superior heating properties.

And, that's why anodized is becoming the "rage". Purists and those that know and understand these properties prefer the performance of anodized.

But most of today's stainless steel cookware can boast very good performance characteristics, and for those who prefer the aesthetics of SS, are a good choice. If you love the look and feel of stainless, go for it. Both sets you're looking at should perform well. But it will be in YOUR kitchen, YOU will have to look at it, YOU will have to use it every day.

Easy, huh?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2005 at 10:53AM
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