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Cuisinart vs. All-Clad vs. XXX Cookware


lzrandall
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Bumping this up for a good deal alert -

I saw boxed sets of Sitram Profiserie at HomeGoods yesterday for $99.99. They were 11 pieces, so I think they're the same ones they have through costco.com. I was really wishing that I knew someone who needed a cookware set - I have recently purchased a couple of pieces of Sitram Catering, so I'm all set.

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I've been reading this thread with interest because I own a Sitram 10" saute pan that I purchased at Bridge Kitchenware sometime in the 1960s, after reading about the store in Craig Claiborne's column. I remember entering a small store on the east side of Manhattan (the original location, I think), crammed with hundreds of pots and pans of every shape and size, French omelet pans hanging from the ceiling, tools and accessories filling every nook and cranny in the shop. I was mesmerized by this new world.

Behind the counter was the late Fred Bridge himself, the old curmudgeon, sniffing at customers he felt weren't "serious" about cooking, but being as helpful as could be to those he instinctively felt passed his test. I asked for recommendations -- I had just moved into my first apartment after leaving home -- and he suggested I purchase the above saute pan and a Wusthof chef's knife. The saute pan was from what is now called the Catering line (copper bottom sandwiched between SS) but I don't recall it having a name back then. These were pretty expensive items for me at the time (I think the pan and lid were about $50, about half a week's pay), but I took the plunge and bought them.

Decades later, I have thrown out many cheap pans and knives, but those purchases are as good as the day I bought them and I literally get great joy in using them (and telling this story :wink: ).

I am now in the market to replace some cheapo pans and was pleased to read chrisamirault's review of the Profisserie line. There are no Homegoods or Costco stores around here, so I did a google search to see if anyone else has the $99 deal that annarborfoodie mentioned. To my shock I found several different Sitram lines that I had never seen before -- clearly not the Catering or the Profisserie lines -- and some were really cheap. I was skeptical that these were really made by Sitram. So I checked Sitram's website, which confirms they now have many different lines of cookware. I find this very disappointing ... as if they dumbed down their product line and will soon be at Walmart. Has anybody here heard about any of these lines or used them? An inquiring mind wants to know.

Ilene

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I have a couple of Sitram saucepans; I guess they're the "Profiserie" variety, although I certainly don't remember that name being used when I bought them about five or six years ago. They're very good pans, and I haven't regretted getting them, but one thing that's very annoying about them is the shape of their lips. When I wash one by hand in the sink, the shape, angle, size, whatever of the lip makes it a dead cert that when I turn the thing over to rinse the bottom under running water a great stream of said water is deflected upward all over the front of me. Anyone else have this problem? I've actually gotten myself so wet this way that I've had to change clothes. Just another reason to throw them in the dishwasher, I suppose, but sometimes you want to use the pan again right away.

I see that the "Cybernox" stuff is greatly disparaged by slkinsey in the Q&A to his course, but he never says why he thinks they're "useless crap" (at least not that I can see). I have the 9 1/2 and 11 inch frying pans and I totally love them. I use them for a number of tasks such as stir-frying, pan-frying, and braising (non-tall things), and they're my absolute go-to for risotto. The surface is so smooth that my wooden spatula just effortlessly glides across it in risotto making; it's really a joy.

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I confess!! I have a Cybernox frypan ... and I love it!

Admittedly, between the lower price *and* the discount at the time (2004 - I went back and looked) and factoring in the proportion of the Amazon.com $25 off an order of $125 or more, I only paid about $10 more than the Profiserie model of the same size would cost.

I got a beautiful crust on my burnt offering du jour last night - with no added fat, and the sacrifice just slid right out of pan. The microscopic residue that was left (I didn't deglaze, btw) swished out with hot water.

Has the nice thick base, and like its Profiserie cousins hanging out in my Cabinets With Too Much Stuff, it also works on my induction burner.

To each his or her own, I guess. :smile:

I have a couple of Sitram saucepans; I guess they're the "Profiserie" variety, although I certainly don't remember that name being used when I bought them about five or six years ago. They're very good pans, and I haven't regretted getting them, but one thing that's very annoying about them is the shape of their lips. When I wash one by hand in the sink, the shape, angle, size, whatever of the lip makes it a dead cert that when I turn the thing over to rinse the bottom under running water a great stream of said water is deflected upward all over the front of me. Anyone else have this problem? I've actually gotten myself so wet this way that I've had to change clothes. Just another reason to throw them in the dishwasher, I suppose, but sometimes you want to use the pan again right away.

I see that the "Cybernox" stuff is greatly disparaged by slkinsey in the Q&A to his course, but he never says why he thinks they're "useless crap" (at least not that I can see). I have the 9 1/2 and 11 inch frying pans and I totally love them. I use them for a number of tasks such as stir-frying, pan-frying, and braising (non-tall things), and they're my absolute go-to for risotto. The surface is so smooth that my wooden spatula just effortlessly glides across it in risotto making; it's really a joy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Quick report back on that Sitram Profisserie stuff I got. I have noticed that, with the switch from electric to gas, I have to be thoughtful about the pan's tendency to singe right off the edge of the base, where the aluminum stops and it's just a layer of stainless. It's taking a bit of time to figure it out, but in general I still love the stuff.

Oh, and if you're getting stainless anything, stock up on Barkeeper's Friend. It's a godsend.

edited to fix a link -- ca

Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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A brand that I rarely see mentioned is the Cuisinart Everyday Stainless line. It features stainless inside and out, with a copper disk on the bottom. The hollow stainless handles are large and really easy to grip, much easier that All-clad and Capthalon.

I'm not a fan of the Cuisinart skillet that I have. The handle is too big (gets in the way of anything else that's on or near the cooktop) and the steep upward angle makes it a bad choice for sticking under the broiler or even just in the oven. I also vastly prefer, when using a skillet, something that has an integrated design -- either all from one conductive metal or a full sandwich of metals -- over a disk bottom, because the disk doesn't really provide even heat out to the edges. Calphalon has various handle designs, by the way. I don't like the All-Clad style handles that Calphalon has been copying on some of the newer lines, but pretty much my favorite handles are the ones on the Calphalon Professional Non-Stick II skillets, which are much like the Cuisinart handles but not as steep or bulky.

So how is the Caphalon One non stick pan?

I know there are other discussions out there, but I can't find them at the moment, so I'll ask here. Is the All Clad Copper Core line signifcantly better than the All Clad Stainless Steel line? As I add pieces to my collection, I'm wondering about whether I should move to the Copper Core line.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I'm not sure I agree with that, Richard. The use of copper in All-Clad's Cop-R-Chef line is cosmetic. It is nothing more than a thin outer layer of copper on a cooking vessel in which the real thermal material in the core is aluminum. All-Clad's Copper Core line, on the other hand, has just that: a thermal core of copper instead of aluminum. Now, we don't know how much copper is in the core, and without that data it's hard to make any assumptions about it's thermal performance versus All-Clad's other lines. My best guess is that the core is somewhat less than 2 mm of copper. If price were no object and I had my heart set on All-Clad, I'd probably go with Copper Core over Stainless, but still might choose MC2 over either one. But, with money being a factor, I can't see spending 60% more for Copper Core versus MC2.

--

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I'm not sure I agree with that, Richard.  The use of copper in All-Clad's Cop-R-Chef line is cosmetic.  It is nothing more than a thin outer layer of copper on a cooking vessel in which the real thermal material in the core is aluminum.  All-Clad's Copper Core line, on the other hand, has just that: a thermal core of copper instead of aluminum.  Now, we don't know how much copper is in the core, and without that data it's hard to make any assumptions about it's thermal performance versus All-Clad's other lines.  My best guess is that the core is somewhat less than 2 mm of copper.  If price were no object and I had my heart set on All-Clad, I'd probably go with Copper Core over Stainless, but still might choose MC2 over either one.  But, with money being a factor, I can't see spending 60% more for Copper Core versus MC2.

My error. I confused the lines.

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  • 1 month later...
Quick report back on that Sitram Profisserie stuff I got. I have noticed that, with the switch from electric to gas, I have to be thoughtful about the pan's tendency to singe right off the edge of the base, where the aluminum stops and it's just a layer of stainless. It's taking a bit of time to figure it out, but in general I still love the stuff.

Oh, and if you're getting stainless anything, stock up on Barkeeper's Friend. It's a godsend.

edited to fix a link -- ca

I have two Sitram Catering evasees (9 1/2 " and 11 ") and now an 11 inch Sitram Profisserie 4.3 liter (5 qt.) saute pan. The aluminum disc on the saute pan is almost sharp edged, so I will try smoothing it slightly with steel wool. I also note that it has four spot welds on the handle, in contrast to eight on the Catering. Some room for debrie to accumulate between the welded plate and the pan, but this may not turn out to be a practical problem if it washes out easily. I chose the thick aluminim disc of the Professerie for the saute pan, based on Sam's idea that it would hold heat better than the copper disc of the Catering version, and that the latter is not really needed with an electric stove.

Report to come after a little experience with the saute pan.

(I should add that the Sitram lines are a bargain on Amazon due to the free shipping and frequent $25 off purchases of $125 or more. All in all, the saute pan cost only about $40.)

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i bought the profisserie set mentioned in this thread around the first of the year. i am trying to love the pans, but find that i seem to build up quite a bit of carbonized gook on the sides of the pan as i saute. not fond---it's just kinda burn-y blackness that has to be scrubbed and scrubbed (even with barkeepers friend and dawn power dissolver.) so far, i like my all clad a lot better. am i doing something wrong?

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

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Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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i bought the profisserie set mentioned in this thread around the first of the year. i am trying to love  the pans, but find that i seem to build up quite a bit of carbonized gook on the sides of the pan as i saute. not fond---it's just kinda burn-y blackness that has to be scrubbed and scrubbed (even with barkeepers friend and dawn power dissolver.) so far, i like my all clad a lot better. am i doing something wrong?

Heating the sides of the pan directly should be the only reason for burned food. If you have gas burners, just watch that the flame does not go past the disk and up the side of the pan. If electric, avoid having the pan on a burner larger than the disk.

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I must confess that I do own a full set of Bourgeat stainless steel cookware. In my defence, we don't have All-Clad and Calphalon here (well--the shop where I bought my pans is now starting to stock All-Clad, but I bought this 2 years ago). At the time, I wasn't familiar with many European brands, and picked my pans out by looking at and picking up the selection in the shop. I've been very happy with it. It's super-heavy, foods brown well without scorching, and it's fairly easy to clean (another recommendation for BKF; I get it when I visit my parents in the States). That said (while you all laugh at my naïveté) it wasn't that much more expensive, I think, than All-Clad would have been in the US. 28cm frying pan is currently priced at £62.50 inc VAT.

I've had Calphalon before and would be cautious about getting it again. Do NOT put it in the dishwasher; my mother ruined one of my saucepans that way. Do not overheat the pans, or worse, put a very hot sauté pan in cold water; it will warp and cause no end of grief on your ceramic cooktop. (My mother again. In fact, don't let my mother near your kitchen. :) )

My parents currently have All-Clad--not sure which series, but not copper. I've been pleased enough with it when I've used it and would seriously consider buying one of their sauté pans as the largest Bourgeat one I have is 28cm and rather deep as opposed to the shallower American ones. (Nisbets catering sell the 32cm frying pan, but 28cm appears to be the max for the sauté pans.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am looking to add a few pans to my collection. Does anybody have either of these brands? I guess my questions are: are the handles on the catering uncomfortable? is the cost of the catering justified versus the profisserie? bridge kitchen ware seems to push the catering line. several other vendors push the profisserie line. unfortunately i don't live in n.y. and can't put my hands on either. thanks for any info.

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I love the Profisserie line that I got through the mail from Bridge on a sweet deal -- and then I found the same package at HomeGoods for $99, which I bought for my parents who also love it. Click here for the discussion uptopic.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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The no-stick surface on my current pans is starting to go (lifetime guarantee my a$$!) I am also interested in starting to pick up some better quality stuff, and the Sitram professerie series seems to fall in my price range. However, I have lately seen some interesting pots and pans at the local TJMax called "Aubecq". Not much on Google, but their website, www.aubecq.fr reveals that it is the Sonate line. I don't know French, but it appears to be stainless with some sort of Teflon Platinum? The pans didn't look non-stick. They appear to be 18/10 stainless steel, and appear to have a separate disk on the bottom, but I'm not sure what metal it is. The pans have weight to them; my wife almost dropped one when I handed it to her! They seem to run $18-35, which seems like a great price. Bearing in mind that many times "you get what you pay for", has anyone had any experience with this stuff? Or does anyone have any better info? Their site isn't very helpful at all.

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i bought the profisserie set mentioned in this thread around the first of the year. i am trying to love  the pans, but find that i seem to build up quite a bit of carbonized gook on the sides of the pan as i saute. not fond---it's just kinda burn-y blackness that has to be scrubbed and scrubbed (even with barkeepers friend and dawn power dissolver.) so far, i like my all clad a lot better. am i doing something wrong?

Heating the sides of the pan directly should be the only reason for burned food. If you have gas burners, just watch that the flame does not go past the disk and up the side of the pan. If electric, avoid having the pan on a burner larger than the disk.

I have the Chefmates with the metal disc bottoms and have been learning to cook with gas. One thing I've learned, is to cook lower and slower in stainless pans. I have learned to turn the heat to mid/high or mid so the flames stay away from the sides of the pan but even still when checking the pan temp with an IR thermometer I find the side temperature to be significantly higher than the bottom. I attribute that more to the thick metal disc on the bottom that is taking longer to heat up.

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OK, so I have been using these pans since last January and I am, suprisingly, totally satisfied. They were purchased after a bunch of internet research and were a compromise between quality and price, heavily leaning towards the quality factor.

They cook well, the handles are superior grade, and the stuff cleans easily. Basically, after 3 months of heavy use, they still look like new and have shown no signs of warping and the stainless seems to take a pretty good beating without scratching noticeably. I like them. I have never been a "set buyer" but in this case I needed all of this stuff and the price was right.

To me this proves that there are some alternatives out there that are well made and will do the job well.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Those are nice-looking pans, Brooks. Makes me wish I needed new ones. Are there things you don't use them for? Gumbo, for instance? Or are they heavy enough for that?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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They're heavy. Though for gumbo I use this one almost exclusively this one:

gallery_10237_0_27351.jpg

It's really old and really, really does what I want. It was my grandmothers.

I have really been impressed with the quality of that stainless stuff. It's held up well both on the stovetop and in the oven. The other night a bunch of different folks who cook for a living were putting them through their paces and everyone commented on the quality and the heft of the things-they are very heavy duty.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I am looking to add a few pans to my collection. Does anybody have either of these brands? I guess my questions are: are the handles on the catering uncomfortable? is the cost of the catering justified versus the profisserie? bridge kitchen ware seems to push the catering line. several other vendors push the profisserie line. unfortunately i don't live in n.y. and can't put my hands on either. thanks for any info.

I have pieces of both -- sauteuse evasees in catering and a saute pan in the Professerie. The handles on the Professerie line are more comfortble, but the Catering handles are okay once you get used to them. I often grab the Catering handles with a towel.

The Catering reacts more rapidly. While many say that you don't need copper on an electric range, I have found that it gives me the only real control I have over the heat level in a pan.

I got Catering lids because they had larger handles than the Professerie. But when they arrived I saw that they also have a very small vent hole, and not sure I like that -- okay for stock pots, but....

As an alternative, I suggest people also check out the Vollrath brand disk bottom and tri-clad pieces you can find in restaurant supply stores such as Ace Restaurant Supply. These include heavier, sturdier disk bottom sauce pans and they have great lids for about half the cost of the Catering. I see a sauce pan in my future. And serious tri-clad fry pans, too.

I love the Profisserie line that I got through the mail from Bridge on a sweet deal -- and then I found the same package at HomeGoods for $99, which I bought for my parents who also love it. Click here for the discussion upthread.

Yikes! Now that's a deal, Chris. Is there a website? Toll-free phone number?

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OK, so I have been using these pans since last January and I am, suprisingly, totally satisfied. They were purchased after a bunch of internet research and were a compromise between quality and price, heavily leaning towards the quality factor.

They cook well, the handles are superior grade, and the stuff cleans easily. Basically, after 3 months of heavy use, they still look like new and have shown no signs of warping and the stainless seems to take a pretty good beating without scratching noticeably. I like them. I have never been a "set buyer" but in this case I needed all of this stuff and the price was right.

To me this proves that there are some alternatives out there that are well made and will do the job well.

Sam's also has good deals on non-stick fry pans. Also a 22 QT stock pot with ss, rather than glass, lid($50 US, I think). They practically hide them in a back corner of the store reserved for restauant supplies...not on the cookware aisle.

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I love the Profisserie line that I got through the mail from Bridge on a sweet deal -- and then I found the same package at HomeGoods for $99, which I bought for my parents who also love it. Click here for the discussion upthread.

Yikes! Now that's a deal, Chris. Is there a website? Toll-free phone number?

Here's HomeGoods's website, but it doesn't provide on-line ordering. You can find stores in your area, though -- and there are a few in Texas, Ricardo.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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