Good cookware on a budget?

mara_2008August 27, 2009

[cross-posting from the 'Cooking' forum]

I bought a Kitchen Aid stockpot w/steamer insert not long ago at a local warehouse store; got it for a great price. It's big, 8-quart size, and I love using it for lots of things -- soups, stews, chili, boiling large quantities of most anything. And I really like to steam broccoli and other veggies in it.

The bottom is aluminum encapsulated with stainless steel, and the pot and steamer are also stainless steel. It cooks like a dream. Heat conduction is so awesome, a full pot of water boils in less than 5 minutes! And it sits absolutely flat on my smooth cooktop.

I would really like to have a set of cookware just like it, including a few medium and large saucepans, at least one saute' pan, and a 12-inch frying pan (which I realize I may have to buy separately).

I've been searching high and low online, at the KA website, at different store websites -- Kohl's, Sears, J.C. Penney, Macy's, etc. But I cannot seem to find a set like my stockpot.

Does anyone have a suggestion? I cannot spend a fortune. $150 - $200 would be the very most I would want to spend, and of course I'd love to spend less if I can.

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Still haven't decided yet?!?

I have 2 sets of tri-ply stainless steel plus various cast iron cookwares (plain and enameled) that I use for non-stick purposes.

One of my SS set is Calphalon and the other one is Concord/Leisureman (a German company). Both of these sets are made in China but still of good quality. My exact Concord 10-piece set is no longer available online. I got it through eBay which was a little cheaper than at However, has a new similar 10-piece set at your price range, (link below). I believe the price has been reduced also.

Each piece of the Concord, as also the Calphalon, is made of one whole piece of the tri-ply stainless steel material. In other words, it cooks more evenly. The heat distributes and maintains not only at the bottom but at the sides as well. These cookware is also heat conducting in case that's what type of stovetop you have.

The only thing with this set is that it has a 10-inch covered saute/fry pan instead of 12-inch which you can purchase separately as you've realized already. I like this saute/fry pan better than the more traditional frying pan. Just recently, I made some meat spaghetti sauce. After I sauteed the meat, I added the tomato sauce into the pan. It worked great since it is deeper than the traditional frying pan. The lid that comes with it, allowed me to simmer food.

While you're at the link below, you may want to read my reviews (entity). It has more information on how to use and clean stainless steel cookware.

Hope this helps your decision.

Here is a link that might be useful: Concord/Leisureman Cookware Set

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 4:28PM
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