Not Martha


I’ve been waiting very patiently and last week it finally happened — we ruined a pan so badly it’ll have to be replaced. I’m ready to start buying grown up cookware but the stuff I bought in a set at Target 10 years ago just wouldn’t kick it. But now, gloriously, I am in need of a small saucepan. I’ve been keeping an eye on items like this on at The Kitchen: investing in new cookware, where All-Clad is recommended. I got a catalog the other day that compares the various All-Clad lines and think I want to start flirting with the Stainless line. Look at those straight sides and, swoon, they can go in the dishwasher! The catalog in question, Chefs, is even offering the 1.5 quart saucepan for $75 (it is also at Amazon for the same price). I kept the catalog next to my bed last night, opened to the All-Clad page. That price is just about right for a first date of dinner and the movies. Since I’m not breaking up with Scott anytime soon I might as well spend the money I’m saving on first dates with cookware, right?

Should I do it? Do you have cookware you love and recommend? Any advice for a cookware noob?

· comments [82] · 06-14-2007 · categories:food · the home ·

82 responses so far ↓

  • 1 britt // Jun 14, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    cookware opinion yes calphalon is amazing, but I have noticed that if you are looking for “random” (as in not a whole set) pieces my local TJ Max has some amazing cookware for way cheaper than i can find in catalogs, just suggestion

  • 2 martha in mobile // Jun 14, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    I have the all-clad 1, 2 and 3 quart (with steamer) stainless saucepans and the domed chef’s pan. My saucepans are about 15 years old and they look and cook like new. I loves them, I does. And barkeeper’s friend should be your friend, too.

  • 3 Liane // Jun 14, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    I have Emerilware, it is a branch of All-Clad–not as fancy as the real stuff but i like it because I can bash it around (put it in the dishwasher) and not worry about dropping it. I save my $ for my Le Creuset pots. There is a Tuesday Morning near the Goodwill by Alderwood Park and Ride. There is another next to Trader Joe’s on Everett Mall Way in Everett. Have fun shopping for a new pot, it’s so much fun, isn’t it? I think the looking around and deciding is the best part.

  • 4 MamaLana // Jun 14, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    I’ve always adored Le Crueset, but when I hit a certain age :::cough:::cough::: it got too heavy for me!! Darn!! I can still lift the Calphalon. LOL

  • 5 Bean // Jun 14, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    I absolutely love my Calphalon, too. You might check out Marshall’s or Ross if you have them in your area, they have GREAT deals on fabulous cookware. My last Calphalon saucepan only cost me $20 :)

  • 6 Gwen // Jun 14, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    I only have two All-Clad pans & I adore them!!! We are going to buy a couple more pieces at a time so we have a set. They are easy to clean & I’ve done some of the best cooking in my life with them. Yeah for All-Clad!

  • 7 Carla // Jun 14, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    I love my All Clad pans, but I find that Calphalon is just as good, and you can get two for the price of one All Clad :) I have a mix of both All Clad and Calphalon, just buying whichever is on sale (usually at Bed Bath and Beyond, though used to have a yearly All Clad sale!)

  • 8 kim // Jun 14, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    You totally want the All-Clad stainless. You wanted to be in Pittsburgh last weekend though, buying it at their factory sale, held twice a year (june and december). I have picked up my pieces, a little at a time, all at the sale. You’ll stand in line but the prices are worth it.

    I also second the Lodge cast iron recommendation.

  • 9 bfmomma // Jun 14, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my all-clad. But I’d recommend going with a set bought at BB&B or Boston Store, or online–they’re a GREAT deal and then you can fill in with individual pots. My mom started with a single pot and got hooked, but then the sets (better deals) had pots similar to what she already had.

    Also, Williams Sonoma always has a piece or two at close to 50% off–it rotates what’s the special priced item.


  • 10 Miss Sassy // Jun 14, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Hi Megan, I have hard-anodized Calphalon and love it. However, It is very heavy. A small saucepan is fine but bigger ones are pretty tough (such as ones to boil noodles or make sauces). Good luck!

  • 11 Pru // Jun 14, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    My favorite small (1 qt) saucepan is an inexpensive “anodized” non-stick one (about $20 I think it was) made by “Analon”. It seems to be indestructible. My 2 and 3 qt pans (also in constant use) are Chantal enamel on steel pans bought at a discount at Marshalls. I’m very fond of them. I also still have the 2 and 3 qt pans Revereware pans I got as a bride in 1963. They seem to last forever.

  • 12 bene // Jun 14, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    I’m probably going to get called a heretic, but ah well. When i started out on my own, I went with calphalon and All Clad. And while the few I still have are very nice. I was much happier with the IKEA 365 stainless for everyday use — I don’t have stress about keeping them perfect, I can use steel wool when our hard to tame gas stove helps me burn something into em. The heat transfer is good for 95% of what I do (the heavy anodized Calphalon sauce pan and stock pot come out for candy making and stock making).

    Also, careful on the dishwasher safe some of them are only dishwasher safe with special detergents and silly things like that.

  • 13 megan // Jun 14, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Wow, thanks for all the feedback.

    I think that the current post in the line they (meaning various catalogs and stores) is the same sized pot I need right now so I might go ahead and get it to see how I like it. I realize that sets will be a good deal but I just don’t think I’d use some of the pots in the set enough to justify the storage space, so I’m going to go with the strategy of buying cookware as I need it, and trying to find it on sale when I do.

  • 14 Serena // Jun 14, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    I have the Emeril All-Clad series too. It’s a little embarassing because his signature is all over the handles, but otherwise I LOVE them. They were an amazing deal and the quality is excellent. Mine still look like new after 3 years – they are easy to clean. I would encourage you to consider glass lids if you are undecided. It’s nice to just be able to glance quickly to see how things are simmering without losing any heat. I replaced my hand-me-down enameled Le Creuset with these and my wrists thank me every day. Lordy those things were heavy!

  • 15 Nia // Jun 14, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    We have a mix of pans and really you can’t go wrong with All Clad and Le Creuset. The All Clad Sautee with lid is one of the most useful pans ever made. (A close 2nd the the LeC French Oven) I use Cameo to clean both the All Clad and the Le Creuset. I also put them in the dishwasher when I’m feeling lazy.

  • 16 Rachael // Jun 14, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Completely different to everyone else. I have Paderno. My mother in law also has it. It’s awesome, and we have slowly replaced everything. Now all our saucepans, frypans, dutch oven, casseroles, stockpots, saute pans and roasters and even our wok are stainless steel Paderno.

  • 17 Michele // Jun 15, 2007 at 1:05 am

    Ugh! I just did the exact same thing (ruined a pot) a couple days ago! I loved that pot! It was a revere ware saucepan that had pouring spouts and strainer holes in the cover (one side with small, the other with large). Anyway, I have no specific recommendations, but if you might use the pot for boiling stuff (eg. a small batch of pasta) the strainer in the cover feature is awesome.

  • 18 Chichmama // Jun 15, 2007 at 4:56 am

    I have the Emeril All-Clad as well and have been very pleased. It got top marks from Consumer Reports, I wanted the All Clad and hubby came home with that instead because of the consumer reports thing and I was annoyed at first, but it works just as well as my sister’s “real” stuff.

    I also love my Creuset pieces, I use those for stews and chili and such.

  • 19 melanie watts // Jun 15, 2007 at 7:09 am

    nothng like a little porn to look at before going to sleep:) My stainless steel pots are so old I can’t remember what they are called . However, they are fantastic and if you like to cook …..

  • 20 Michelle // Jun 15, 2007 at 8:08 am

    Everyone keeps referring to Calphalon as though it is one line of pans. There are so many different varieties of Calphalon (and All-clad and most other brands). We have one 12″ everyday skillet in the hard-anodized commercial line. And two non-stick/hard anodized omelet pans from the Simply Calphalon line. Other than a brief cleaning issue with the anodized we’ve been very happy with these pans for 2 years now. I haven’t bought any of the tri-ply for myself yet, but it has the all the qualities I’ve read to look for (stainless exterior, aluminum core, thick sides as well as bottom…).

    Recently we put together a “set” of pots and pans for my MIL from individual pieces on sale at Amazon. 6 qt stock pan, 3 qt saucier, 2.5 qt low & wide and 2 qt sauce pan, plus a 10″ non-stick everyday skillet from various calphalon lines (mostly the tri-ply) for just under $200. All the sets we saw were at least $300 on sale and had always had multiple pieces that would duplicate things she already owned and would not use.

    My favorite pan though is a 5-ply stainless/aluminum core 4 qt saucepan that Faberware made briefly around 1999/2000 found for $40 at an outlet store. I wish Faberware still made it, but now the line is thinner and all coated with non-stick :(

    Enjoy your pretty pretty all-clad.

  • 21 emily // Jun 15, 2007 at 9:17 am

    all-clad – all the way.

    save you money on cleaning supplies. don’t bother with the bar cleaner stuff. Use a little baking soda (the box is less than $.75), sponge, and water. I guarantee that your all clad will some out sparkling.

  • 22 Jennifer // Jun 15, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I found a great All-Clad stainless 12-inch saute pan at TJ Maxx. It was $99 and retails for something like $199. Under the end of the handle was marked an “S” for “second,” but I haven’t been able to find a single flaw in it. Works beautifully on my new induction cooktop.

  • 23 Cynthia // Jun 15, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Megan – look at all the excitement you generated amongst people talking about saucepans!! I love it.

    And, I love love love my All Clad Stainless saucepans, skillets and saute pan. Word to the wise…sets look like a great deal but you usually end up missing out on the one pan you need most and storing pans you seldom use. What I have done is slowly build my personal set by buying one piece at a time (or receiving them as gifts). I received that advice from a seasoned cook and I think I have saved money because of it. Also, check out Cooks Illustrated for advice on buying pans. I am sure they have given high marks to some of the less expensive lines (like Farberware). Oh – and you can’t beat a nice old cast iron frying pan. You just can’t. :-)

  • 24 m // Jun 15, 2007 at 11:37 am

    I second Paderno, I’m a pastry chef and all of my home pots are from them. I have everything from one tiny one for caramel to one big enough to make stew for 60! I love them. Plus the lids are interchangeable, so despite having about 20 pots I only have about 6 lids, no annoying panicked search for the precise lid, it’s either small, med or large!

  • 25 Delica // Jun 15, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    I’ve had my All-Clad stainless steel for over 10 years and they are still in incredible condition. I consider myself an excellent cook, so if you are really into cooking, they are worth the investment. The one thing I would have done differently was to buy one non-stick frying pan instead of both in stainless steel – we love omelets over here and the clean up would be so much easier. I also have the dutch oven, the small and large sauce pans, and the butter melter. I’ve never felt without with this set. If I were to splurge on anything extra at this point, it would be for the brassiere (sp?) and the roaster. Have fun shopping!

  • 26 Pieces // Jun 15, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    I did a lot of research before buying my latest pots and I went with the Emeril All-Clad. Very affordable and great quality. I have had them for a couple of years and have had no problems. I especially like the lids and the way they fit. Good luck!

  • 27 Erin // Jun 15, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    All I have in my kitchen is All-Clad. My boyfriend and I bought a large set when we moved in together. They’re amazing. We put them in the dishwasher all the time and it doesn’t effect them at all — which makes clean-up so amazingly easy. I’m absolutely dying to have the roasting pan. Maybe for Christmas. Definitely purchase at least one non-stick pan though. PS: We bought that stupid bar cleaner and I’ve never had to use it so don’t get sucked in.

  • 28 Virtual Frolic // Jun 15, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Hi there! Been reading your blog for a long time!

    I had the same problem awhile back – yes All Clad is hands-down the best, but I didn’t have too much money. In reading alot of reviews, I ended up getting the Sur La Table stainless steel 8 piece set or something like that – and I love it. It’s a great deal, only 200 bucks for 8 some pieces. Some of the pieces are a bit unbalanced, but once you have food in the pot, it’s not a problem. I’d highly recommend it. For a non-stick skillet, I love the cheap Caphalon essentials series from Target.

  • 29 lagusta // Jun 16, 2007 at 8:34 am

    I’m a professional chef and I’ve been using the same All-Clad pans for 6 years – they are super tough, unbreakable, and the best pans you’ll ever buy. I can’t love them enough!

  • 30 heidi // Jun 16, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    I love my All Clad copper core and I took to Australia with me as well! You can buy seconds (only minor scratches or discoloration) from That is how I acquired a lot of my pans and pots, etc. I also really love le Creuset, which is great for roasting!

  • 31 Mel // Jun 17, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Paderno! The exclamation point says it all. My family and I have used them for 25+ years with no complaints.

  • 32 Sarah // Jun 20, 2007 at 8:27 am

    I love logic like this!

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