Buying New Cookware

by Dave Schuler on July 19, 2014

We finally broke down and bought new cookware.

When my wife and I were married, I had a set of Le Creuset enamel-coated cast iron cookware which I loved. My wife pronounced it too heavy to use (something she only does rarely anyway) and, shortly after we married, we purchased a set of Calphalon anodized aluminum cookware. It has served us well for nearly 30 years.

Over the years the anodized surfaces of our Calphalon has worn away and their bottoms are sprung. Some days I feel much the same myself.

I approached deciding what we should buy the way I approach most things: extensive research. I read every review, customer comment, or blog post on stainless steel cookware I could put my hands on and concluded on what we should buy based on that research. As it turns out our timing was good.

We decided to take advantage of a very attractive sale, redeemed a number of Williams-Sonoma gift cards I’d received from my mom (you might recall that my mom died several years ago so we’ve had these cards for quite a while), and I’ve called in several of the IOUs from my wife that I’d received over the years for new sets of cookware, and purchased a brand new set of All-Clad D5 stainless steel cookware, our first new cookware in almost 30 years. It is not your mother’s Farberware.

When we got it home and took it out of the box, my wife declared it too beautiful to use. It is genuinely beautiful with attractive lines and mirror-bright finishes.

Two days later I have used two of the pieces: the 8-inch frying pan and the 8 quart stockpot. Its heat diffusion is magnificent. It is substantial but easy to handle.

I have found I need to adjust my cooking. The temperatures I need to accomplish certain effects are different from my old Calphalon although not as low as All-Clad’s literature might lead you to expect. So far it seems to clean up beautifully.

They say it is dishwasher safe, something I haven’t had the courage to try out.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

jan July 19, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Congratulations! May you enjoy many home-cooked meals with your new purchase.

Guarneri July 19, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Concessions to advancing age……

Lee July 19, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Love the Allclad. Can’t afford it. Have one small frying pan and it is fantastic. I would love to get a larger one…

steve July 19, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Good stuff. Wife has run ours through the dishwasher and it seems to hold up ok.


Andy July 20, 2014 at 1:16 am

We’ve had our Calphalon for about 12 years. It’s the non-stick version and its still holding up well, though the anodization is wearing off. The all clad looks nice.

Janis Gore July 20, 2014 at 3:08 am

Have you done the sear in the frying pan, and put it in the oven at 400?

That will tell if it cleans up.

Why are your frying pans sprung? You can’t put them until water until they’re cool. My boy didn’t know this.

Janis Gore July 20, 2014 at 3:31 am

I’d been taught that when I was about 8. But then I got into baking. Never mind.

Janis Gore July 20, 2014 at 3:36 am

I might say a lot of things about my mother, but she is responsible for who I am. I am a proficient homemaker, apart from the other things I do.

Janis Gore July 20, 2014 at 3:49 am

And my good host, I’m well beyond dazzled by stainless steel. Remember, my boy and I paid for it.

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