When I got married 5 years ago, my husband had a set of Circulon non-stick cookware and I didn't replace it. I like it. It's easy to clean, heats up quickly, retains heat well and cooks evenly. It's decent.
But, almost a decade after its first use, the non stick surface is wearing off and I have heard this is really, really bad. If I'm being honest, it has been wearing thin for a year or so and I've continued to use it, even though I KNOW I shouldn't, particularly with kids that I'm cooking for. (Not that they ever eat anything I make, but it's the point.) It's time for new cookware at my house.
I like the non-stick nature of my Circulon, but I don't like that it has a seemingly limited life span. It's annoying to pay big bucks for cookware and know it won't last all that long. Call me crazy, but I expect my cookware to last 20+ years with proper care. I also don't like that non-stick finishes have such a bad reputation in general, even when NOT peeling or thinning out.
I'm torn on what to buy next, but whatever it is has to come from Macy's because my mother-in-law works there and she can get me a KILLER deal. So! Please educate me with your first-hand experiences. Let's look at options, shall we?
I like how they count the lids as individual pieces in this set. A lid? FOR SERIOUS, MACY'S?
This is really a 3-piece set and I think I'd need another sauce pan and maybe another skillet to meet my needs, which will inflate the price. I am hesitant to venture into Le Creuset (or similar) territory primarily because cast iron is hand wash all the time AND it's a bit dainty in that if you don't take care of it properly you can ruin it. It's also heavy as hell and I think getting it in and out of my cabinets would be like doing a weighted squat. (Perhaps not a bad thing?) I have heard good things about cast iron's natural non stick properties, but I am not sure I believe it. Maybe? Anyone have experience with that?
I know that I can go to a camping store and buy Lodge cast iron pans for way less but let's be honest: they are not as pretty. I like pretty.
These look pretty slick, right? I like how there are lots of pans and they don't have a non-stick finish. They're just simple and classy and they won't rust if I leave them in the sink. If a cooking reality show popped into my kitchen as a surprise I would look like a total pro with this set! (It could happen.)
I have one All-Clad pan already, and I like it, but it's kind of a pain to clean and I don't use it very often. I can't put it in the dishwasher and things DO stick to the bottom and require a bit of elbow grease to clean. On the other hand, I already made the decision to forego a non-stick finish in the name of good health and value over time. I think elbow grease will simply be required more often around here.
Plus, this set has a bonus offer right now: an All-Clad Lasagna pan, some oven mitts and a cookbook. I am not so hot on the oven mitts or cookbook (they just scream "re-gift") but the lasagna pan is neat. I like lasagna.
Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 13-piece Cookware Set $449.99
This is too many pots and pans. I am not running a restaurant, Calphalon. Who actually needs this many pans to make dinner?? Who has enough cabinet space to actually store this many pans?
If we can get over the abundance of product, these ALSO look quite slick. They are made in America, even! They are dishwasher safe. I've never owned a Calphalon product though, so I'm a bit leery. I don't know anything about this "tri-ply" hootenanny.
This set comes with two bonus offers right now: a dutch oven (OMG ANOTHER PAN? That's NINE PANS.) and a utensil set, making it quite the value compared to the All-Clad set.
What do you think? What direction should I go? Le Creuset, All-Clad or Calphalon? Or, something else I didn't find? (Remember, it has to come from Macy's.)