advice SS cookware--kitchen aid 5 ply vs the contenders!

elenalApril 14, 2006

Hi: I've been researching SS uncoated cookware, and I think I've read all the threads here on the subject. Unfortunately and typically, I'm still confused. My story in brief: I'm starting from scratch with cookware, though I've always been an avid cook. I'm a month away from finishing a big remodel. Before we moved our furniture into storage I got rid of all my junky cookware and knives. Nothing junky in my new kitchen.

I was originally planning on All Clad SS as my big splurge. However, now that I've looked at it several times in the store and used it once at a friend's home, I've decided against it. I really hate the way the handles feel. I just don't know how such an expensive product could be so non-ergonomic (if that's a word). And really, it seems terribly overpriced, and I just can't justify it (even though I like that it is US mfgd).

I've read about Tramontina and checked out their site. (I don't have access to Sam's Club, so Members' Mark is out of the question.) I've been reading about Kitchen Aid Five Ply in various places, though there is not one store in my state that has any that I can see. From what I've read, I'm leaning strongly toward the Kitchen Aid product (via, mentioned in another thread here). Users seem to think that it cooks as well, if not better than AC. The handles are apparently comfy, the lids good, the pouring spouts a handy feature, and the handles stay pretty cool, from what I've read. Am I missing anything as far as the Kitchen Aid 5 ply?

BTW, since I am pot-and-pan-less, I was planning to go for a set, and then fill in with extra pieces that I can't live w/o (like a saucier, 1 qter.).

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Cooks Illustrated tested the Kitchenaid saute pan, and skillet. They said the handles got hot near the base, and the pan sauted too fast, which means it burned things at the same heat the other pans sauted evenly. They downgraded the skillet for being awkward to handle and for having not much bottom space. It's beautiful cookware though, and you can't really go wrong with it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 2:44AM
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Tramontina is the manufacturer of Sam's Club/Member's Mark. If you go to the Tramontina website, you can see the lines/types they offer and the construction. You can pick up Tramontina pieces at TJ Maxx's or Marshall's. Also, if you have a Sam's Club near you, sometimes they offer a one-day guest pass. I have the Member's Mark triple-ply cookware and love it. And I agree with you about All-Clad's handles...duh! What *were* they thinking?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 10:03AM
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Thanks very much for the responses. I let my subscription to CI expire a few years ago, so I appreciate Blondelle's filling me in on what those folks had to say. And mrsmarv, thansk for the user-opinion on the Member's Mark. I definitely want to check it out, and thanks for the advice on how to find the cookware. I'm wondering if you know if there is any difference in quality between the Tramontina cookware sold thru Sam's Club, and that sold directly from the Tramontina website directly? I know there is another thread going right now where people are talking about Tramontina, so I'll also see if those folks know.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 10:53AM
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