Hello gang, I'll try to keep this as concise but detailed as necessary. I'm an engineer by trade, slight ocd lol, and keenly aware of the law of diminishing returns, so I want higher end, but not willing to pay 3x more to move from 95% to 99% of the best there is. I've been reading up on Cookware a lot in the past months, and it's confusing! I've read and understand the engineering materials links in these forums, what I have less experience on is actual cooking! I've read up on the different shapes and functions of cookware as well.
- Newly single (left everything to ex), so I have nothing besides some nonstick pans and a creuset Dutch oven.
- Don't cook much but want to start more. I enjoy bbqing, and have one.
- I have some time to cook, but will not spend hours to make speciality sauces as I prefer to use free time to be active and other hobbies (I added this for the unlikelihood of needing the hyper control of pure copper for tedious desert sauces or other such things). I do have a soft spot however for a good even temp cooking surface, and use ring stovetop elements so I need good diffusivity at least in the pans.
- Budget is not unlimited but can be convinced to spend if value proposition is there. I won't flinch at anything below $1000, but higher needs real good justification for my needs. I can also go lower too if I'm simply not there yet in my cooking life. Won't hurt my feelings to be told as much, you'll be saving me$$!
- Longevity is worth extra $$ for me. Big fan of buying higher quality once and using for a while (example I bought a NA made Weber bbq en lieu of cheaper brands; but not willing to buy a Kalamazoo hybrid grill for 4x more). To this point, I expect my pots to last to if/when I eventually find someone again and she'll possibly (hopefully lol) enjoy cooking together and may need more temp control than I.
- Lastly, for all my research, I get bogged down and indecisive, and even when I do purchase, buyers remorse is usually waiting in the wings as you'll read below...
From what I see, sets aren't to usually the best bet, I see a lot of advice to get one piece at a time, but since I'm in the uncommon position to have nothing on hand, and some decent money to spare, perhaps it is best...?
My research suggests alu or copper clad could be best for me as well? Giving me solid temp control without the mauviel or Falk price tags.
To this end, I actually bought a 12 piece 5ply ss-alu-cu-alu-magSS lagostina set for $700. From what I can tell, alu is 0.5mm each layer, copper 0.6mm. The set includes the following:
(link updated, edited # of pieces)
So, should I keep it, buy individual pieces, or go for a better brand set? I should note they feel solid and look nice too, which for me is nice. For this price, comparable AC set is much more expensive. Was looking at zwilling true clad too, they go on sale for $400 ish.
Thanks in advance for the advice!