Brushed Stainless?

nmemerApril 2, 2007

My fiance and I are trying to decide on cookware. I've read a number of reviews and wandered through the cookware section of our local Macy's four times now. We decided to go with stainless, as well as a couple of non-stick skillets. WE're not Sam's members and we can't have people going to TJ Maxx looking for random pieces so we are limiting the search to what's at the big department stores. I compared the Emeril Stainless, All-Clad Stainless, Calphalon Contemp. Stainless, and Calphalon Tri-Ply. I had decided that the Calph Contemp. Stainless was the best bet. Glass lids seem fun, the pieces look sleek, they're supposed to perform well, and (this is important!) lids are shaped to be smooth on the bottom/inside so that they are easier to clean than others. BUT...Fiance and I would both prefer shiny to brushed. He's worried about it not cleaning up well, and I notice the fingerprints all over the samples at the stores. It smudges easily. Are there any benefits to a brushed finish that we are missing? Is this going to matter at all? I agree with others that the All-Clad handles are really uncomfortable, so I had ruled that out (plus, it's so expensive). Thanks!

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I caution you not to lose sight of the fact that this is cookware you are picking out not silver serving dishes. You will put stuff in them and put the pots over a fire, and occasionally you will burn something and have to scrub it out....In 5 years it won't matter how much something shows finger prints or not...Pick what pleases you.
However I don't like glass lids. They are havey and difficult to store....and mostly when I am cooking something steam and boiling potatoes or whatever obscures the view inside. If I could trade my glass lids for stainless, I would.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 12:42AM
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After checking out a lot of pots, I decided on the Calphalon Contemporary Stainless. I LOVE the brushed. I do not think it shows fingerprint nearly as badly as shiny. I also love the glass lids and the shape of the pots -- they look good and the curve where the sides and bottom meet makes it easier to throughly stir a pot -- no corners. The weight of the pots is just about right for me .. I love LeCruset, but it's just too heavy, Both Contemporary and Tri-ply have an aluminum core which continues up the sides of the pots and I prefer that to the disc in the bottom -- better heat distribution and retention. I have a tri-ply skillet and I find that the brushed is easier to clean. I clean mine (including burnt-on food) with Barkeepers Friend and a Doby pad. Besides all this, it doesn't cost nearly as much as All-Clad, which will be important when you decide to add the piece or two you need but didn't get. There are several pieces with two loop handles that look good enough to go from oven to the table.
I am very happy with mine. Congratulations and best wishes.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 10:17AM
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The Calphalon Triply is much less than the Contemporary, and looks nicer. It looks like classic cookware. I find the Contemporary styling too contrived, and hokey looking, and the cookware is also too lightweight. The price on it is almost as high as the All-Clad. Also, you might want to get in induction burner down the road and the Calphalon is not compatible where the All-Clad stainless is. Go with the All-Clad. It's the standard, has a history of holding up well, and is induction capable. It will also last you a lifetime if cared for properly.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 9:47AM
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good point about the induction cooking. My Calphalon isn't, but I'll probably never get an induction stove ... Funny thing about taste, I do not like the All-Clad because it is shiny and is shaped too much like old fashioned cookware. Guess I'm getting avante-garde in my old age.

one word of caution: Be sure you check out and specify the All-Clad Stainless collection. I do not believe their other collections (including Emril) are magnetized for induction cooking. I just rechecked the web site and they mention induction ONLY in describing the Stainless line.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 11:32AM
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Thanks for the replies. Induction cooking was not remotely on my radar! Is that common?? My main problem w/ the All-Clad is the horrible handles. It hurts my hand just picking up the empty pots in the store.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 2:16PM
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Induction seems to be slow catching on in this country ... I see lots of references to induction cooking and cookware as I surf the net in England and the ECU... I like the idea of the stove top not getting hot, but if you don't like the look and feel of All-Clad I wouldn't buy it because its magnetized.
Recently Calphalon has been beating All-Clad in tests (such as American Test Kitchen) ... they said the Calphalon roasting pan cooked just as well as the All-Clad but chose the Calphalon because its handles were more comfortable.
I have always preferred cooking with cast iron, but quit using it when we got a smooth top range. I did a lot of research and visited a lot of stores before I made a decision. I only bought one piece -- the 6 1/2 qt "simmer down" soup pot. I liked the way it cooked so I haunted Amazon for specials and ebay for really good buys and have an almost full compliment of pieces now. I haven't paid full price for a single one. I would never buy a set, because the pieces in the sets donot match the way I cook.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 2:31PM
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I have shiny stainless cookware. It is possible to leave fingerprints on it too. (In fact, my MIL refuses to touch mine because she's afraid she'll scratch it. Because it's "so pretty and shiny". Nevermind that I've owned it for 7 years and it's not scratched up and I'm not a particularly careful person.)

But here's something to think about... who is going to be fingering your cookware??? You take it out, you cook in it, you wash it, you dry it - at this point it is fingerprint free. Put it back in the cabinet. repeat. Any figerprints you manage to get on it during the cooking process will either result in burnt fingers or large smudges of tomato sauce on the outside of the pot :)

It will remain fingerprint free because unlike in the store, no one is going to be fingering your cookware. The finish is just a non-issue really. How it feels in your hand is much more important.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 4:24PM
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Agree with Jena on the fingerprints in the above post. My MIL doesn't mind fingerprints on the cookware at all, but I do. You can imagine what it's like in the kitchen.
Why not try Cuisinart on It's a much cheaper set, and it will last you a long time if you don't abuse it.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 12:27PM
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