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Q&A -- Understanding Stovetop Cookware

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...They offer a 1.0 quart stainless lined heavy copper saucepan from Mauviel for 208 dollars whereas a 1.6 quart stainless lined heavy copper saucepan from the American distributor of Falu Culinair is only 115 dollars....

That "1.0 quart" Mauviel sauce pan is actually a 10.1 quart. That's not a misprint even if it looks like one. I've seen these huge sauce pans listed on several French web sites. Hard to imagine handling something like that with just the one handle! I'd personally go for a two-handled pot in that size if I needed one.


Edited by esvoboda (log)

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The only thing I find inconsistent, so far, is that A City Discount lists the curved sauteuse evasee, 9.5 inch diameter, as "2.5mm copper". The serial number is 6625. However, the same pan at artcopperware.com, same serial number, is stated to be "2.0 mm copper".

The other thing I find confusing is that A City Discount says that pans are shipped "direct from the manufacturer". This is confusing. The pans come from a facility in Atlanta, do they not? Are they actually shipped from Normandy? Seems impossible.

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...They offer a 1.0 quart stainless lined heavy copper saucepan from Mauviel for 208 dollars whereas a 1.6 quart stainless lined heavy copper saucepan from the American distributor of Falu Culinair is only 115 dollars....

That "1.0 quart" Mauviel sauce pan is actually a 10.1 quart. That's not a misprint even if it looks like one. I've seen these huge sauce pans listed on several French web sites. Hard to imagine handling something like that with just the one handle! I'd personally go for a two-handled pot in that size if I needed one.

:laugh: Bwah! :laugh:

Right you are. I stand corrected.


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The only thing I find inconsistent, so far, is that A City Discount lists the curved sauteuse evasee, 9.5 inch diameter, as "2.5mm copper". The serial number is 6625. However, the same pan at artcopperware.com, same serial number, is stated to be "2.0 mm copper".

Yes, exactly... It's things like this you have to watch out for.

I won't discount the possibility that they're 100% above board, but I am wary of them given my past exposure to their personnel. Also, I think you have to be naturally a little suspcious of someone who is claiming to sell a 10 quart pan for only 80% more than a generally-accepted great price for a 1 quart pan. It just seems too good to be true, and that makes me naturally suspicious. I'd give them my business after a trusted eGulleter or two reported back a positive experience with their copper -- but I wouldn't want to be the first person.


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I haven't used it, but you can see some nicely detailed specifications here.

Thanks Sam, that's how I found out about Scanpan Steel. :wink:

The important ones, to me, are:

  • Aluminum wall-to-wall base disk
  • 5 mm encapsulated aluminum disk
  • Optimum sandwich base thickness of 6.8 mm
  • 1.2 mm pan body

These are very good, if not great specifications.  In general, top commercial lines like Sitram Profiserie and Pagerno Grand Gourmet feature a thicker aluminum base and a heavier body.  That said, if you feel it is important to have an absolutely edge-to-edge disk bottom (which I don't feel it vital in most applications) then this line might be very attractive if the price is right.

I am happy to read that you approve of Scanpan Steel. :biggrin:

You think Paderno Grand Gourmet is expensive?  I think it's one of the most reasonably priced lines available.

The reason why I think Paderno Grand Gourmet is more expensive is because I plan on buying about 10 -13 pieces. So a set would be the best way to go. And Paderno GG doesn't come in any sets. Therefore, in order for me to aquire any, I have to buy them individually. And they will cost a lot more since I need lids :wub:! I do prefer glass lids more but none of the good stainless steel cookware w/out riveted handles come with glass lids.

Demeyere is very, very interesting cookware but personally I don't think it's worth the astronomically high prices they charge.

Same here, that's why I have given up on Demeyere. Though if I somehow win the lottery...... :raz:

I am surprized you found bad reviews about Sitram Profiserie.  I think it's a quality line at a very reasonable price.

Yes, I was sad to read it, too. Since I have read your cookware guide and additional info I found on eGullet, I feel that I can forget about those bad reviews.

I am not surprized you found bad reviews about Sitram Cybernox (Sitram's "not-quite-nonstick" line).  It's not very good.

Maybe those bad reviews listed under Profiserie is actually for the Cybernox line. I will avoid them.

I still can't tell what the real difference between them are.

The differences are explained fairly well in the eGCI class section on different pan designs. Here they are in order from least expensive to most expensive:

  • Sitram Profiserie: disk bottom design with a heavy SS body and 7 mm aluminum base -- least expensive
  • Paderno Grand Gourmet: disk bottom design with a heavy SS body and 7 mm aluminum base (slightly heavier/more reinforced body, heavier lids and more ergonomic handles than Sitram Profiserie)
  • Sitram Catering: disk bottom design with a heavy SS body and 2 - 2.5 mm copper base
  • Demeyere Apollo: disk bottom design with a heavy SS body and 5 mm aluminum base
  • Demeyere Sirocco: casseroles, sauté pans, saucepans and stock pots are an encapsulated disk bottom design with a heavy SS body and 2 mm copper base; woks, “conical sauteuses and simmering pots” and frypans are straight gauge pans of aluminum fully clad with SS havind an aluminum layer of 2.3 mm, 3.0 mm to 3.3 mm , and approximately 3.9 mm respectively.

See the eGCI class for more details. Sitram Cybernox is useless crap and you should avoid it IMO.

Thanks for the list, but I was referring to the differences between Profiserie and Cybernox since Sitram's website is not available. Yes, I will avoid Cybernox at all cost.

One bad point I read is that the lids are light and useless. Is that true?

3. And how are the lids of the Paderno and Demeyere Apollo brands?

How heavy do they need to be in order to be useful? I think the whole "lid fit and heaviness" thing is a marketing ploy used by some companies to justify higher prices. A heavy and/or tight-fitting lid is only important in things like enameled cast iron casseroles.

Most pans do not require a lid anyway. I prefer to buy my pans without lids, as I already have lids that fit most any pan and would rather not pay the additional money for yet another lid. That said, Paderno Grand Gourmet lids are my default "all purpose" lid. But, Amy... no lid is worth an additional hundred bucks.

I agree, I will never spend more than $15 on a lid. Again, I DO use lids! I wish all pans come with lids. That's why I am skeptic about Sitram Profiserie's lids since one of the reviews say their lids are very thin and bends easily. But I will trust you if you tell me otherwise.

And how are their frying pans?

As stated, stay away from Cybernox.

Personally, I prefer a straight gauge frypan over a disk bottom frypan. That leaves out Sitram, Paderno and Demeyere Apollo. Demeyere makes good ones for the Sirocco line, although extremely expensive. For that money, you might as well get copper. For less money you might also seek out a good deal on an All-Clad MasterChef frypan. Or, really, think about getting a nice carbon steel or black steel frypan if you don't think you'll be putting a lot of acid into it. You can't beat it for the price.

Ummm, I was actually referring to Sitram Profiserie's frying pans. Should I stick with non-stick frying pans? I will mainly use it for eggs.

Thanks so much for your explainations. Even though I am an amature cook, I still would like to have cookware that I WANT to use, not HAVE to use. And I want them to last as long as possible and not warp!

Is it possible to add additional info about lids and handles on the cookware guide? They are determining factors on selecting cookware. NO?

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I haven't used it, but you can see some nicely detailed specifications here.

>snip<

These are very good, if not great specifications.  In general, top commercial lines like Sitram Profiserie and Pagerno Grand Gourmet feature a thicker aluminum base and a heavier body.  That said, if you feel it is important to have an absolutely edge-to-edge disk bottom (which I don't feel it vital in most applications) then this line might be very attractive if the price is right.

I am happy to read that you approve of Scanpan Steel. :biggrin:

Well... I wouldn't say I'm 100% behind it. The specifications are interesting, if not first rate. But whether or not it is worth it largely depends on price. Looking at price, we see that Amazon is selling a 2.5 quart Scanpan Steel saucepan with lid for 80 bucks on sale. Bridger Kitchenware sells a 2.3 quart Paderno Grand Gourmet saucepan without lid for 64 dollars and a 6.25" Paderno Grand Gourmet lid for 15 dollars for a grand total of 79 dollars. So they're around the same size and around the same price.

So, what are the pros and the cons of the two pans in terms of functionality? The Scanpan pan has an aluminum base that is the same diameter of the pan, supposedly covering the entire base of the pan (although this is technically impossible, as I explain in my eCGI class in the sections on disk-bottom designs). On the other side of the coin, the Paderno pan has a heavier body and a significantly thicker aluminum base at 7 mm opposed to Scanpan's 5 mm aluminum base. Furthermore, if you already happen to have a 6.25" lid, or if you don't think you'll need to use a lit on that pan, you can save yourself 15 dollars on the price of the pan.

Personally, for this pan I'd choose Paderno Grand Gourmet for the heavier body and thicker thermal base. That said, the prices and specifications are close enough that choosing Scanpan Steel here wouldn't be a terrible choice.

You think Paderno Grand Gourmet is expensive?  I think it's one of the most reasonably priced lines available.

The reason why I think Paderno Grand Gourmet is more expensive is because I plan on buying about 10 -13 pieces. So a set would be the best way to go. And Paderno GG doesn't come in any sets. Therefore, in order for me to aquire any, I have to buy them individually.

You want to replace pans you already have but are unsatisfied with, right? I gathered from your earlier post that you were not currently entirely without cookware. Assuming this is the case, I would caution you against buying a set and trying to replace everything at once. This is for several reasons:

  • There is no one cookware design that works best for all cooking applications. If you buy a set, you will effectively be spending big money on a couple of pieces that aren't the best design. For example, if you get a set of Scanpan Steel, you'll end up with a disk-bottom frypan.
  • If you replace all your cookware at once, you won't have the opportunity to examine your cooking needs and practices to determine what the best kind of cookware might be for each specific cooking task you want to perform. For example, many sets come with a 9.5" sauté pan. You may find that you don't really use a sauté pan much (most American home cooks don't). Or, if you're like me, you may find that a 9.5" sauté pan is too small to be particularly useful. In these cases, you have wasted money on that pan.
  • Most of the time, you don't need to have high-end cookware for every pot and pan in your battery. For example, inevitably you will find that some saucepans are used mostly for boiling water, steaming vegetables and that kind of thing. There is no reason to spend money on a piece of cookware used for these purposes.
  • You will end up missing out on some of the big sales where you might get some great high-end stuff at a ridiculous discount. For example, a 1 quart All-Clad Stainless saucepan for 17 bucks, or if you want more aluminum, you can get the same size saucepan in ALl-Clad LTD for 20 bucks. Or maybe you want a frypan... you can get a 7.5" All-Clad LTD frypan for 20 bucks. Want something bigger, maybe in nonstick? You can get a 12" Calphalon Commercial Nonstick frypan for 20 bucks -- 85% off the retail price.

This, to me, means that cookware sets are not the great deals they appear to be.

And [Paderno Grand Gourmet pans] will cost a lot more since I need lids :wub:!  I do prefer glass lids more but none of the good stainless steel cookware w/out riveted handles come with glass lids.

Actually, compared to Scanpan Steel, this does not appear to be the case.

I'm curious as to why you prefer non-riveted handles and glass lids. I couldn't care less whether the handles are riveted, and find that most of the heavier cookware does have riveted handles. As for glas lids, I think they're asking for trouble in the long run. I know I've never dropped a metal lid on the floor and had it break into a million pieces.

And how are their frying pans?

Personally, I prefer a straight gauge frypan over a disk bottom frypan. That leaves out Sitram, Paderno and Demeyere Apollo. Demeyere makes good ones for the Sirocco line, although extremely expensive. For that money, you might as well get copper. For less money you might also seek out a good deal on an All-Clad MasterChef frypan. Or, really, think about getting a nice carbon steel or black steel frypan if you don't think you'll be putting a lot of acid into it. You can't beat it for the price.

Ummm, I was actually referring to Sitram Profiserie's frying pans. Should I stick with non-stick frying pans? I will mainly use it for eggs.

Right... that's what I was saying. I wouldn't recommend any of the Sitram frypans, any of the Paderno frypans or Demeyere Apollo frypans because they employ a disk bottom design. I think a straight gauge (i.e., same thickness and deployment of thermal marterials on the entire piece of cookware) design is best for frypans.

If you want a pan mostly for cooking eggs, you could do a lot worse than the Calphalon Commercial nonstick pan I referenced above. That said, 12" may be way too big for your use. If you want a smaller pan for eggs, I would recommend picking up a carbon steel or black steel omelette pan. They are sized according to the number of eggs they are designed to cook (i.e., a 2 egg pan, a 3 egg pan, etc.) and are cheap enough that you can easily afford to have one or more of these pans reserved exclusively for egg cooking.

Is it possible to add additional info about lids and handles on the cookware guide?  They are determining factors on selecting cookware.  NO?

I don't think that the lid or handle designs contribute meaningfully to the performance of the pan (except in special cases such as an enameled cast iron casserole, and in those cases there is no meaningfull difference between manufacturers).


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Hi Sam,

After over a week's thinking and re-thinking and calculations and making lists. I have decided to take your advice and carefully select the pieces that I need instead of buying a set. That way, I can still try out different brands.

[*]If you replace all your cookware at once, you won't have the opportunity to examine your cooking needs and practices to determine what the best kind of cookware might be for each specific cooking task you want to perform.  For example, many sets come with a 9.5" sauté pan.  You may find that you don't really use a sauté pan much (most American home cooks don't).

Yes, you are correct. So what exactly will call for a sauté pan? I have a Circulon Wok that I pretty much do all my main cooking on. I just need to replace my saucepans and stockpots and frypan which are either warped, useless or teflon is coming off, respectively.

I'm curious as to why you prefer non-riveted handles and glass lids.  I couldn't care less whether the handles are riveted, and find that most of the heavier cookware does have riveted handles.  As for glas lids, I think they're asking for trouble in the long run.  I know I've never dropped a metal lid on the floor and had it break into a million pieces.

Non-riveted handles is for sanitary reasons. Food can get stuck under the rivets. Also, I hate to bump into the rivets when I wash the pots. I guess we are just used to no rivets. But I can live with rivets on the fry/omelette pans and wok. :smile:

If you want a pan mostly for cooking eggs, you could do a lot worse than the Calphalon Commercial nonstick pan I referenced above.  That said, 12" may be way too big for your use.  If you want a smaller pan for eggs, I would recommend picking up a carbon steel or black steel omelette pan.  They are sized according to the number of eggs they are designed to cook (i.e., a 2 egg pan, a 3 egg pan, etc.) and are cheap enough that you can easily afford to have one or more of these pans reserved exclusively for egg cooking.

I have never used carbon or black steel pans. And I don't think I will feel comfortable using one. So I will stick with your Calphalon recommendation. Or a Scanpan non-stick.....also.

Sam, what's your take on this http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...0DER&st=kitchen Sitram Universal SS Steamer? Does it work well?

Thank you for your time. I really appreciate your input. More are most welcome.

Amy

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If you replace all your cookware at once, you won't have the opportunity to examine your cooking needs and practices to determine what the best kind of cookware might be for each specific cooking task you want to perform.  For example, many sets come with a 9.5" sauté pan.  You may find that you don't really use a sauté pan much (most American home cooks don't).

Yes, you are correct. So what exactly will call for a sauté pan? I have a Circulon Wok that I pretty much do all my main cooking on. I just need to replace my saucepans and stockpots and frypan which are either warped, useless or teflon is coming off, respectively.

Sauté pans are useful for... (wait for it)... sautéing. The sauteing process is where ingredients (usually in "chunk" form) are jumped around in the pan over high heat so as to brown them evenly on all sides. A sauté pan is also useful for times when you would like to fry something, then add liquid and a lid for a quick braising/reduction. I also like to use a sauté pan for making quick pasta sauces, because I can toss the not-quite-cooked pasta into the sauté pan along with the sauce to cook for the last minute or two. If you're happy with your wok (which is a pan that I personally don't care for over a standard residential heat source) then you probably don't need a sauté pan.

Sam, what's your take on this Sitram Universal SS Steamer?  Does it work well?

Seems like a standard steamer pot to me (which is to say, a pot that fits on the top of a pot of simmering water and has a perforated bottom to allow steam to pass into it). I don't do a lot of steaming, so I can't tell you exactly how it works. But it's not clear to me that an expensive steamer insert works any better than a cheapo folding steamer you can get in the hardware store for 3 bucks.


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If I may butt in here: I DO do a lot of steaming, and Sam is 100% right to question the need for an expensive pot. I've got both, and the collapsible steamer works just fine, thank you. And it has the advantage of fitting in a multitude of different size vessels. So you can use it partially closed in a regular saucepan, or opened out all the way in a dutch oven, not just to hold more food, but to hold plates (as in, steaming whole fish).

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Collapsible steamer baskets are number three on my list of cheap kitchen essentials, after wooden spoons and bench scrapers. Not only can you steam in almost any vessel, you can use them as strainers or cooling racks, and to immerse buoyant items in marinades and brines.

Plus, they are indispensible in the fabrication of Chicken Inventolux (scroll down about half a page). I can't believe Sam didn't remember this.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Plus, they are indispensible in the fabrication of Chicken Inventolux (scroll down about half a page). I can't believe Sam didn't remember this.

Great! Now I have to go home and hit myself in the temples with a ball peen hammer until I forget this again!

Seriously, though... although I do sometimes recommend fairly pricy stuff, I hope I am getting the point across that the very cheapest quotidian cookware is sometimes more than enough for what you want to do. Indeed, in the case of the folding steamer I think the case can be made that the cheapest piece of cookware is also the best. It would be interesting to hear from Suzanne, who owns both a folding steamer and a steamer insert, which one she uses the most and thinks is the most useful.


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i just bought this vintage copco enameled fry pan. couldn't resist its beauty, and it was only 6$. but what the devil can i use it for? decorative purposes only?


christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

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i just bought this vintage copco enameled fry pan. couldn't resist its beauty, and it was only 6$. but what the devil can i use it for? decorative purposes only?

Is it enamel over heavy cast iron or enamel over thin carbon steel? If the latter, then it is only good for decorative purposes. If the former, then you should be able to use it. Just imagine it is a cast iron skillet (i.e., not very responsive but holds the heat) that is nonreactive.


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oh, it's cast iron all right. and most copco is of a very fine quality, and beautiful, too. i've just been wondering about the thing you mentioned in your lecture: that when the frying pan is heated, the enamel will not expand at the same rate as the iron - which will cause it to loosen. meaning, as i understood it, that i won't be able to use it like i would use a "raw" cast iron skillet. i believe most enameled cast iron like, for instance, a french oven, is used for low/slow.

?


christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

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oh, it's cast iron all right. and most copco is of a very fine quality, and beautiful, too. i've just been wondering about the thing you mentioned in your lecture: that when the frying pan is heated, the enamel will not expand at the same rate as the iron - which will cause it to loosen. meaning, as i understood it, that i won't be able to use it like i would use a "raw" cast iron skillet. i believe most enameled cast iron like, for instance, a french oven, is used for low/slow.

?

Hard to say... I wouldn't use it for super high-heat cooking like you might a raw cast iron skillet. But I wouldn't worry about the regular medium and medium-high heat you would use to fry up some onions or chicken thighs, etc.

It is true that enameled cast iron is best for low/slow, but Le Creuset, et al. all make frypans that are intended for more speedy cookery.


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It would be interesting to hear from Suzanne, who owns both a folding steamer and a steamer insert, which one she uses the most and thinks is the most useful.

I kind of alluded to the answer in my post:

I DO do a lot of steaming, and Sam is 100% right to question the need for an expensive pot. I've got both, and the collapsible steamer works just fine, thank you. And it has the advantage of fitting in a multitude of different size vessels. So you can use it partially closed in a regular saucepan, or opened out all the way in a dutch oven, not just to hold more food, but to hold plates (as in, steaming whole fish).
but to be more specific: I almost never use the steamer insert; the folding steamer is so much handier. Many more sizes, depending on to what degree it is opened. Easier to clean -- that is, takes up less room in the dishwasher.

For example, I'm cooking whole flounder tonight for dinner. I might do it Chinese-style with soy sauce, scallions, ginger, and a little oil: on a plate on the fully-unfolded folding steamer in my covered "chef pan." :wink: In which case I'll have to use the steamer insert for the green beans. But that will be a rare use for me of the insert. Mostly it lives on the bottom of the lower cabinet, all the way in the back corner, under the double-boiler insert and the food mill.

My whole-hearted endorsement goes to the cheapie folding steamer. BTW, I'm on only my second one in over 30 years, so it's a GREAT investment.

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I almost never use the steamer insert; the folding steamer is so much handier. Many more sizes, depending on to what degree it is opened. Easier to clean -- that is, takes up less room in the dishwasher.

And there we have it from a steaming expert! Er... an expert in steaming, that is! :smile: I thought this would be the case, but figured it was better to hear an explanation from someone who actually does this kind of thing. Thanks for the illustration.

For example, I'm cooking whole flounder tonight for dinner. I might do it Chinese-style with soy sauce, scallions, ginger, and a little oil: on a plate on the fully-unfolded folding steamer in my covered "chef pan."

Sounds tasty. We're all coming over, so make extra.

Mostly [the steamer insert] lives on the bottom of the lower cabinet, all the way in the back corner, under the double-boiler insert and the food mill.

Sounds like the home pasta extruder we finally got rid of. That thing must have had an inch of dust on it by the time I finally decided it was ready for early retirement. I actually use my food mill all the time. It would be interesting to hear which various items of cookware are the least used in people's homes. I ended up getting rid of my double boiler once I started building up a collection of good cookware that can spread the heat around. Sounds like it's the same with you.


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I haven't read the whole thread yet (it took me long enough to read the original "lesson" -- felt like I was back in college; now I remember why I switched from Astrophysics to Economics and finally to Political Science: less science, less math, less spontaneous brain freeze). Anyway, a couple weeks ago I emailed both Calphalon and All-Clad asking about technical details on their pans. Neither provides much insight on their website that I can find. Here's the annoying resonse I received from All-Clad (still haven't gotten anything from Calphalon):

Dear Mr. Zukin:

Thank you for your interest in All-Clad products.  The information that you

are requesting, is considered by All-Clad to be proprietary.  There are many

companies who are copying the design and construction that All-Clad's

founder (Mr. John Ulam) discovered and patented.  Therefore, the specific

information regarding material gauge and thicknesses is not offered as

public information.

All-Clad does continue to receive, on a very regular basis, top honors from

independent testing organizations and cooking/cookware-related publications.

This happens because the research done by All-Clad's designers, and

engineers, dictates that we use material gauges and thicknesses that provide

the best possible performance at greatest value.

I know that this is not specific, however I hope that it is helpful to you.

Sincerely,

Martha Martin

Consumer Service Representative

All-Clad Metalcrafters LLC

800-255-2523

----- Original Message -----

From: "Nick Zukin" <nick@zukin.net>

To: <info@allclad.com>

Sent: Monday, December 01, 2003 5:24 AM

Subject: Technical Information...

> What's the thickness of the various layers of metal on your:

>

> 12" Cop-R-Chef Frypan

> 12" Copper Core Frypan

> 12" MC2 Frypan

> 12" Stainless Frypan

> 12" Emerilware Stainless Frypan

>

> Thank you.

>

> Nick Zukin

>

One of the things I was interested in was the Emerilware. I always bypassed even looking at it because I figured it's overpriced due to paying for Emeril's endorsement. But I realized recently that it's much cheaper than the standard All-Clad lines, has a hunk of copper sandwiched on the bottom, and actually feels sturdy.

The schooling on metals was great, but if we don't know how thick and what metals are actually used, then we're just stuck like we were before with trusting a cacophany of opinions on specific pans. Has anyone created a table/spreadsheet/database on the technical specs of pota and pan lines. I'd love just a table that shows 12" skillets in a variety of lines from a variety of manufacturers showing their technical specs.

Now back to catching up on the thread...sorry for any duplication that may have occurred.

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The information that you are requesting, is considered by All-Clad to be proprietary.

Odd that they are not upfront about this, given that anyone, especially someone with an expense account, could buy a small saucepan from all of these lines and have the answer in a few days. On the other hand, they probably aren't interested in competing on mm of Al, but rather on how exclusive they can be. One thing I was surprised by was the apparent thinness of the sides on the SS saucepans. To me, it looks like they have a 5 mm Al layer throughout. If that's true, that's not even really as good as, say, Sitram. Interesting.

Walt


Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA

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Yeah, I thought the same thing. Proprietary? I mean, for anyone for whom it matters, it would not take long to find out such basic information. I'm not asking for the process they use to fuse the metals or shape the pan or whatever. Just thicknesses. Ridiculous. May just be someone lazy or it may be stupid corporate paranoia. I've worked for companies that were like this before.

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You don't use a food mill?

Oh, yes, of course I do. But it's on the top of that pile, and not that difficult to pull out.

Actually, I haven't used it in a while; I bought a ricer recently and have been playing with that instead. But I'm not happy with how it rices boiled plantains, so I'll go back to the food mill for them. The jury is still out on mashed potatoes. :unsure:

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Two things:

1. for steaming whole fish, I generally set up my big cheap roasting pan over two burners. It has a flat rack with four "feet" that I set up on shot glasses. 3/4 of an inch of water/tea/whatever and the fish goes on the rack, the (domed) lid shut, etc. It works well.

2. Re: copper cookware, I was at Fante's here in Philadelphia last weekend, and they have some stuff on sale. And I have nothing to do with them professionally or anything--it just seems cheaper than what folks have posted so far. If I weren't in fast reply I'd remember how to put the URL in, but it's here http://fantes.com/copper_cookware.htm

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"The information that you are requesting, is considered by All-Clad to be proprietary."

Odd that they are not upfront about this, given that anyone, especially someone with an expense account, could buy a small saucepan from all of these lines and have the answer in a few days. On the other hand, they probably aren't interested in competing on mm of Al, but rather on how exclusive they can be.

Yea. I think that's pretty stupid on their part. If I were ever to write a book or publish an article comparing the various lines of cookware, I would tell the manufacturers up front what specifications I wanted. If they decided they didn't want to give me the specifications I wanted, I'd simply buy a cheap piece, saw it in half and measure the layers myself.

The fact is that they must be aware that it would be ridiculously easy for any competitor to reverse engineer their product to this extent. And, really, they are hardly giving anything away to a competitor by disclosing the thickness of the stainless and aluminum layers they use. Personally, I think they don't want to give out those measurements because they don't want potential customers making direct comparisons between the various clad aluminum lines on the market today. It is interesting to me that I was able to get their materials specifications with nothing more than an email several years ago when they were the only game in town.

One thing I was surprised by was the apparent thinness of the sides on the SS saucepans. To me, it looks like they have a 5 mm Al layer throughout. If that's true, that's not even really as good as, say, Sitram. Interesting.

If you look at the data in my cookware class, you will see that I have the exact measurement for the aluminum layers in the fully clad lines (Stainless and Cop-R-Chef -- both around 2 mm) and the interior clad lines (MasterChef and LTD -- both artound 4 mm).


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