After J and I started cooking regularly, we bought ourselves a nice set of upper-tier non-stick Calphalon cookware. But, that was a number of years ago. Since then, arguments to the contrary, I’ve become increasingly worried about Teflon ending up in our bodies, especially since the non-stick lining of many of our pans was starting to degrade.
(FYI, on an episode of America’s Test Kitchen that J and I recently watched, they indicated that non-stick pans can inadvertently get up to extremely high temperatures, especially when empty, and thus release chemicals into the air; they recommend that when using non-stick pans, never heat them without fats or food in them.)
With some birthday-gift assistance from friends (thanks M and T!) and family (thanks Mom, Dad, and J’s mom!), we upgraded our cookware to American-made All-Clad stainless steel this past weekend. It’s the top choice at my favorite review aggregating website, ConsumerSearch—head here for the details, plus an alternative recommendation if you want to buy a well-reviewed stainless steel set for much less cash than All-Clad.
We got to break in a few of the pieces this past Sunday when we did our cooking for the week. They are truly remarkable, though it’s going to take a bit of adjustment to get used to pans that so evenly distribute heat—sort of like it might take some time to get accustomed to driving an extremely well-engineered luxury automobile after upgrading from a decent, mid-priced model.
Shopper’s tip: J and I picked up the 8-piece set at Bed Bath and Beyond, which came with a bonus gift of a lasagna pan (bottom center in the photo), Italian cookbook, and a pair of potholders. (Our friends T and M bought the piece and lid that turns the 8-piece into the 10-piece set.) The lasagna pan alone was worth buying our set at BB&B. I used it to make a fantastic recipe for Sicilian-style roasted cauliflower and pasta that we love from The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook, and things cooked sooooooo much better in this pan than my previous attempt at this recipe with the cheapo 9×13 from Target. Even better, two separate cashiers informed us that, despite fine print to the contrary, BB&B will accept their 20% off coupon for All-Clad purchases, which ended up saving us a whopping $120. Since the pans come with a lifetime warranty, we expect to be enjoying them for many years to come.