What's the Best Mid-priced Cookware Type/brand to Buy?

Updated on June 16, 2009
T.J. asks from Oak Forest, IL
12 answers

I'm looking to buy a new set of cookware, and I don't know where to start! I want something mid-priced (maybe around $100 for a 7pc set). I really just need a couple saucepans and skillets. I don't know whether to get stainless steel, non stick, aluminum, etc. What type is best for everyday cooking? Do you have a set that you love? Are there some brands that you would highly recommend? Or some brands that you would NEVER buy?

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answers from St. Louis on

I've had a set of T-Fal for 9 years now and think it's great. My Mom & Sister buy Circulon, but I'm pleased with my T-Fal and don't see any reason to pay the extra money for Circulon. My mother-in-law got us a set of cookware for Christmas a year ago and I don't like it at all. Sorry, I wish I could remember the name. I've found that my T-fal heats more evenly than the cheaper brand (you can definately feel that the T-Fal has a greater weight) and that the non-stick functions just as well on the T-Fal as it does on the 8 year newer set. If I ever feel the need for an additional pice, like a grill pan or Chicken Fryer I'll buy T-Fal every time.

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answers from Chicago on

I strongly urge you and others NOT to buy pans with teflon and to get rid of the ones you have. All sorts of studies are showing how teflon coating in pans is being released while cooking and getting into humans and our drinking water:

here's an article about how teflon is connected to infertility in men http://wvgazette.com/News/200903040154

Here's an article about how teflon is connected to infertility in women: http://wvgazette.com/News/200901280628

LADIES - please look at this article - showing map of where PFOA one of the chemicals released by teflon - was found in the drinking water - yes, that's in Chicago, Illinois:
How much was in the water - 2.7 to 3.4 parts per billion. What does the EPA recommend - that people reduce consumption of water that contains more than 0.4 parts per billion of C8, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. Yes - that's .4. Chicago drinking water has 7 times the amount the EPA recommends as allowable.

The EPA has filed suit against DuPont - one of the makers of teflon - saying that it hid information it had about PFOA and other teflon-related chemicals leaching.

Please, please, for your health and that of your children's and for the environment, do not buy teflon pans anymore. When you buy them you support the demand for companies to keep creating these products, and you risk harming your family and the environment.

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answers from Chicago on

For mid-range I would go for Revere Ware in stainless steel, if you want to go a little higher and nicer then go for Cuisinart in stainless. I would only get one or 2 nonstick pans for eggs and such. I have both the Revere and Cuisinart and I use them heavily. Calphalon makes good pans but beware as they have different levels of quality, Target stuff is not the same as you would purchase at a good kitchen store. If you go Calphalon then get the anodized aluminum.



answers from Chicago on

I have a calphalon set from Target that is probably about 6 years old and just now is starting to show signs of wear. i think it was pretty reasonable and all pieces came with lids too.



answers from Rockford on

I recently found myself needing a new set and with my research, I found this helpful tool from Macy's
I think that it will help you with your choice. If you do choose to go with nonstick, don't forget to change your utensils to plastic/wooden. I bought the Tools of the Trade 14 pc Hard Anodized set and I really like it!

Please be advised of the advice of Revere Ware. It is not made the same as your mom's set. I found and bought some at Kohl's about 4 years ago. It is not the same quality as the few pieces that my mom gave me from her's and my grandma's set (Over thirty years old). Hence why I had to replace my pots and pans



answers from Chicago on

I agree with Cindy to get the Revere Ware in stainless steel. then get a few nonsick skillets for omlets pancakes etc.Do not get Calphalon. it is so over priced . I had the non stick when we first got married. I hated it and it was a fortune.



answers from Chicago on

Wolfgang Puck or anything from Farberware. Both feature great stainless steel and work well. Some of my friends always buy "no-stick" pans, but they can cause problems down the line. Just remember when cooking what a famous chef said..."hot pan, cold oil...NO STICK", when you are cooking and it is truely no stick.



answers from Chicago on

Well, for health reasons..corning wear is best and is priced reasonably..Because it is tempered glass it can go from freezer to oven to table and you can also boil water or cook on stove top...Calcaphony(Sp?) is one of the best teflon pan set and there is lots to be said about the ease of conventional pots and pans with handles and non-stick coatings. Avoid CHEAP teflon! for your health and durability...YOu don't want to be feeding your kids flecks of teflon with their mashed potatoes...
I shop TJMAX (Esp the one on 159th and Harlem in
Tinley, IL), Marshalls or Home Goods for good deals and often clearance items in this area...Or scan Carsons for what you want and use coupons on sale days...



answers from Chicago on

I'd like to suggest the Pampered Chef's cookware. It has a lifetime guarentee and is available in non stick and stainless. If you host a show in August you can get a set of pans for 60% off. (Plus earn free products too!) Check out the products at www.pamperedchef.com

I am an independent consultant and would love to help you find the right pans for your needs.



answers from Peoria on

We received the Paula Deen 6-piece set for Christmas and the teflon on it has done really well. The set is around $100 at Walmart, I think.



answers from Chicago on

Ok, this is going to sound ridiculous, but I LOVE my Wolfgang Puck Stainless cookware. I've had it for about 9 years and it has held up great. I cook a lot and it survived one toddler so far. You can find it on hsn.com. IMO, always go stainless. Better conductor of heat and no cancer causing chemicals like with nonstick. Good Luck in your search!



answers from Chicago on

I have a non-stick Calphalon set from Macy's that I got as a wedding gift a few years back. I really like it but it was pretty expensive. About a year ago I needed a new skillet. I decided to get the Target line Calphalon. I am just as happy with the much cheaper Target line as I am with the Macy's line.
Good Luck!

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