Stainless cookware questions, again

mqdsaApril 16, 2005

Has anyone compared Sam's Members Mark Tri-Ply to Costco's Kirkland 5-ply and the Sitram Profiserie? I'm looking to buy a set, switching over from Calphalon hard anodized. I know only the Members Mark set is tri-ply up the sides, but I've read great things so far about the Costco sets. Any thoughts?

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I have the Sam's Club/Member's Mark tri-ply clad and it's terrific. I have used a friends All Clad as a comparison and there is no difference in the performance. I find my Sam's cookware handles a bit more comfortable for my hands, though. The price of the Sam's Club is less than $130.00, whereas the All Clad runs in the $500.00 neighborhood. I understand that All Clad is manufactured in the US and Sam's Club in not (but it is designed in the US). Sam's Club is manufactured by Tramontina, which is a very reputable cookware manufacturer. As far as the construction, I can find no discernible difference. My "All Clad friend" said that she would have purchased the Sam's Club had she been aware of it's existence. She belongs to Costco and wasn't thrilled with their selection. The Costco/Kirkland does not currently offer a tri-ply clad with stainless/aluminum/stainless. It's only bottom-clad, of which I am not a fan. IMHO, spending $500.00 vs. $130.00 for the same construction, same quality, same results, just not a high end brand name is conspicuous consumption. If you are a savvy shopper, ask questions, do research and comparisons you understand that there are many alternatives to spending alot of money "just because".

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 9:33AM
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Thanks for the response. What effect does the bottom clad cookware have in the cooking process versus the all-clad? I've heard it primarily matters with frying pans or wok-type pans where the whole pan needs to be really hot.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 9:30AM
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Actually it matters least in frying pan/skillets since the heat is coming from the bottom.

It matters most in Dutch oven type cookware in which foods are typically braised/stewed/roasted for long periods of time and are enhanced by the heat coming from all directions.

Woks are a whole other thing and no one recommends fully clad woks -- don't even know if they are made. Some like traditional Chinese woks; others use cast iron and others stir fry in large nonstick skillets based on the advice of Cook's Illustrated.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 11:39AM
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I have been researching the all-clad and the members mark cookware, torn between top quality and expense. What I have found out is that the only differences are that members mark uses aluminum rivets with stainless steel caps, they are not made in the USA, Sams Club says they give you a 1 year guarentee on top of the life time warranty (by all-clad) and the cost is less. I have decided to try the members mark, I will let you all know what I think if your interested.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 4:42PM
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I too have been looking at Member's Mark. I currently have a couple skillets that are caphalon professional series - they have a no stick finish. I remember years ago my mother had revere ware and everything stuck to the skillets. You couldn't even scramble eggs in those shiney skillets. How do you feel the stainless skillets perform? Much sticking problem? I'm happy with the couple I have but need new saucepans and since they don't appear to be sold separately I guess I'll be adding a couple new skillets. Thank you.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 2:48PM
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harwood4...I would like to hear how you like your Member's Mark pots/pans. To me, the fact that they have aluminum rivets/stainless steel caps doesn't matter. I wash my pots/pans by hand and dry them thoroughly, so they're pampered :o) The warranty is really good and Sam's Club stands by their products. I've been a member for over 10 years and have had returns on occassion. They have never given me a hassle and returned my items with no problem, which is really important to me.

maggie5IL...for the times I cook foods like eggs or fish (which always seem to stick no matter what), I have a few non-stick anodized skillets. When using stainless skillets, there will be a slight amount of sticking, but as long as you remember to preheat the pan on low/medium and don't add the food until it's finished preheating, you should have no problem. Let us know if you decide to go with the Member's Mark and how you like it.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 1:32PM
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I must confess that after purchasing my members mark I was still curious about the all-clad so I went online and purchased the two piece set (small saucepan and frier). I have been using them both and even though the members mark is sufficient I have found they are different. First, the interior of the pans are not the same. Members Mark is shinny in and out, All-Clad is shinny on the outside and a brushed stainless steel on the inside. The Members Mark has scratched on the inside, All-Clad has not. Members Mark has discolored on the inside, All-Clad has not. Now, I don't think these minor things effect cooking, but they are present. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with the Members Mark cookward - for now - I'm just not convinced they will last long term. In my opinion the Members Mark is just fine for the average cook, but if you love to cook and can appreciate them, then I would suggest the All-Clad. I found the All-Clad two piece set for only $39 (or so) when they ran $144 regular price) and I think I am going to continue looking out for great deals. Eventually I will have the pans I want.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 7:40PM
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Has anyone on here use or have info about the Sitram Profiserie set that Costco carries? I just bought a Circulon set there and opened the box and looked at the directions just to read that they are not dw safe, so back to Costco they are going.
I'm a light cook, so I'm looking for something decent, but not the top-of-the-line All Clad - although they sure are purty!!! :)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 4:29PM
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I have followed these posts with great interest since I will soon be purchasing another set of pots and pans. I currently have one set of Calphalon (Hard), and one set of Emeril with the non stick. I have liked both of these sets. We will be building a winter home and I need to stock my kitchen. I was thinking of All-Clad and have looked at the Costco set. I would really be interested to know if someone has compared the Sam's Club and the Costco brands. I realize Costco's set doesn't have "up the side" ply. What I want to know is---does it REALLY matter?
What exactly would I notice when cooking. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 2:25AM
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Re tri-ply & the bottom disc performance: I bought the Costco set (bottom disc) two years ago, and can't say there has been a time when I thought, "This cookware just isn't cutting it." The set works very well for me, especially for temperature-sensitive cooking like candy & jam making.
I think the Sam's set is lighter in weight; the Costco set is very heavy.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 9:32PM
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I have the Sitram Profiserie set from but haven't had a chance to use it yet since my kitchen won't be finished for another 6 weeks. The price of $150 seemed a bargain for induction capable and oven safe professional quality cookware. One thing to note is that it has a brushed finish inside and out.

I have complemented the set w/ induction capable commercial non-stick pans and large stock pots made by Johnson Rose and a commercial non-stick try-ply griddle pan made by Vollrath, as well as a carbin steel wok and some Lodge Logic cast iron pieces. I acquired the commercial pieces from restaurant supply huses on the web for far less than All Clad or other top line consumer pieces. The Lodge I got new on ebay for a song.

If you're willing to spend some time researching on the internet, there are some great bargains to be had.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 5:56AM
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I have the Sams Club set and they work fine. I have used All Clad and I see no benefit of the added cost other than the nice look of the All Clad finish. I bought the set from Costco and returned them. They were just too heavy. I didn't want someone to drop one with a load of food in it adding to the weight.

With the cost of only $128 for the Sams Club set, I bought a cast iron skillet and dutch oven, set of three non stick skillets from Sams club, a splatter screen, and a universal lid as well as some untensils and still spent less than the All Clad set I was looking at.

I feel I now have a complete set for anything I want to make. Think about what you actually cook and what you need. Just get a set you'll actually enjoy to use and inspire you to cook more.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 3:17PM
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That Johnson Rose stainless appears to be Paderno Grand Gourmet, relabeled. If so, it's really nice stuff, at a very good price.

How does an individual go about buying from Johnson Rose? They appear to be set up to sell to restaurants and dealers.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 7:24PM
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I got my Johnson Rose on-line from Instawares (see link below). Their web site isn't the easiest to navigate and their order tracking is non-existent (I ordered and heard nothing until things showed up about 10 days later), but they delivered exactly what I ordered and the prices are astonishingly low compared to the usual reatil stuff. In my case, I got some JR Crowne Select pieces and they are beautifully finished.

Here is a link that might be useful: Instawares Restaurant Supply

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 9:39AM
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Thanks for the pointer! "Astonishingly low" doesn't begin to describe their prices for compared to the same, exact product through normal, brand-named, retail channels.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 12:22PM
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I have Sitram, but its 3 layers are steel, copper, steel; its another level up from the one Costco has. I've had these for about 30 years. They cook beautifully, have stayed shiny, and still look like new. I bought them when only one place in the US imported them from France: the Bridgestore in NYC.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 1:50PM
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I've looked more closely at the Johnson Rose cookware compared with the Paderno. I don't think that they're actually Paderno Grand Gourmet, so I'll retract that identification so that I don't lead anyone astray.

Still, the spec's on the Johnson Rose Crown Select are excellent, and appear to be quite comparable to the Paderno and Sitram, at a "what have you got to lose?" price.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 1:14AM
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