2017-02-07_175914

Great All Clad cookware set to get you started

2017-02-07_175904

I was reluctant to pull the trigger and buy this set. I kept telling myself that my cookware more than adequate. However, when I upgraded my cooktop to induction, some of my best stainless steel cookware was not compatible. My old set was a very nice (expensive) stainless steel set imported from Portugal. I had it for 10 years and I loved it. When I cooked my first meal on the new All-Clad set, I fell in love all over again. On the induction, they heated quickly and evenly. I was able to cut down my prep time and get my dinner on the table faster.

2017-02-07_175914

I chose this set because of the sizes of the pans. If you look at other stores (Williams Sonoma etc) many of the pans of the “same” set are different and hence the price difference. My favorite pan is the 3 qt saute pan with lid. This is my go-to pan for everyday cooking such as Chicken Marsala or any other skillet dish. The size is perfect for a couple. The 1 1/2 qt sauce pan is perfect for rice and the 3 qt sauce pan works very well for pasta. I cooked scrambled eggs this morning in the 10 inch fry pan and they turned out great. They are not non-stick, so you really have to know how to cook on stainless steel. It is very different than non-stick.

 

The pan must be heated before adding the oil or butter. This creates a very thin layer of oil and prevents food from sticking. Many people also make the mistake of trying to turn the food too quickly. If the meat does not release easily from the pan, it is either not ready to turn or the pan is too hot. If you are cooking on the highest temperature, you are doing it wrong. If you have never cooked on stainless, there is a bit of a learning curve, but once you master it, you won’t want to use anything else.

2017-02-07_175914

Madame Rose and her stainless steel cookware

In my book club, there is this French lady whom we always longed to visit–Madame Rose–not because she was very analytical in literary discourses, no, but because of her sumptuous cooking and tastefully decorated kitchen. Madame Rose always had this inimitable way of preparing delectable dishes whether it was just a cup of coffee with tiny snacks or a large meal to feed a village. Her kitchenware on the other hand were always spick and span with a glamour that was unparalleled. And since none of us in the book club was bold enough to ask her the question that was in everyone’s mind, Madame Rose never got the chance to explain to us how she made such delectable dishes or how she kept her kitchen in such a tasteful condition. Years later (after the cowardly book club had long died), we meet in a supermarket and she told me about her favourite stainless steel cookware that was the secret to her excellent cooking.

As you can guess, I was exhilarated beyond words to hear this. Little had I guessed that this could be the reason to the ambiance of her kitchen or the high quality of her finger-licking meals. Rose told me that rather than use non-stick cookware, she preferred stainless steel cookware which was easy to clean, durable and ensured even heating. Since it is dishwasher safe, Madama Rose told me that she even at times delegates cleaning utensils to her children. With aluminum, copper and steel alloys, the best stainless steel cookware set had a high responsiveness to heat cooking the food thoroughly and nicely. A high polished outer coating ensures that the cookware remains shiny. That to me explained the glamour and the glim in Madame Rose’s kitchen. The well riveted insulator handles on the other hand protects the cook from burning while the content cooks completely.

I was amazed to find out that such simple steps could make a kitchen so amazing. Instinctively, while I was at the store, I picked up a stainless steel cookware set for myself. Lets see how this works out for me.

stainless-steel-cookware-set
Voila, My Very Own Stainless Steel Set
2017-02-07_175914

Excellent quality of pots and pans to buy

T-Fal’s nonstick cookware is the best for the price. You can pay a lot more for nonstick pans: they’ll be heavy and the nonstick feature is the same. If you’re thinking that buying more expensive nonstick pans will make the nonstick finish last longer, you’d be wrong. That’s what I thought. I have several expensive nonstick pans and the nonstick will peel off of those just as quickly as any other nonstick pan. What really makes the difference with nonstick is HOW YOU TREAT IT. Read the Do’s And Don’ts when you get your pans. Never heat above medium. It’ll take longer to bring water to a boil or to stir-fry, but it WILL get hot enough. Never wash your nonstick in the dishwasher and wait until it cools to hand wash. Always use plastic or wood utensils: never use anything that will scratch the surface. Don’t use spray release cooking agents as you don’t need them and they can cause a film to develop on the surface. Never let your pots boil dry – use a timer to remind you.

Thinking of stainless steel? Forget it. It’s a headache to cook and clean with as everything sticks to it’s surface – unless you want to add a lot of fat to your cooking. Leave that for the professional cooks and save yourself the headaches.

I can still remember my Grandmother showing me a T-Fal pan that she bought and saying it was the best pan she ever owned. I just bought this set for my son who is moving into his own home and that’s the confidence that I have in it. This is the quality and price point you’re looking for.

When I first opened the set, I thought there was something wrong with it: there are little holes in the lids with no cover or vent. That’s how it’s supposed to be! Those tiny holes let a little steam out so that your pots won’t boil over as easily. But, if you turn it up high enough and ignore it, it can still boil over. If it does, at least the outsides of these pans are constructed to withstand food stains. You’ll love this set. If you treat it right, it’ll last many years.

For a large family, I would buy some additional pieces: a large frying pan with high sides and a lid – for large meals, frying chicken and stir-frying and a 3.5 qt saucepan for making large amts of rice, popcorn, chili, etc. I also bought a splatter cover for the large frying pan in the set because it is a regular fry pan with low sides and you’ll get some splatter on your stove if you don’t use a cover.

Further information: What’s the deal with non stick cookware