When you are ready to switch to stainless steel cookware, you want all the facts and details you can get so you can choose the best quality set that fits your needs. This review is to help you make your decision.
The Cooks Standard NC-00232 12 Multi-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Set is a good choice. It features multi ply layers along the sides and bottoms of the pots and pans. This means aluminum is sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel to increase its ability to provide even distribution of heat so that your food cooks uniformly and doesn’t have some areas well cooked while others aren’t.
The set not only performs well but looks classy, too. It’s construction is solid with thick layers which make the pots and pans very durable The insides only are made of 18/10 grade stainless steel. The 18 refers to the amount of chromium that is in the metal. Chromium helps prevent corrosion. The 10 refers to the amount of nickel in it to prevent rust.
A lot of cookware companies today produce their wares without these percentages as they did in the past. That is because they want them to be compatible with induction cooktops. Induction heating elements will not work with a high amount of nickel and thus the percentage is lowered to about 18/0. Here are some features to know before making your decision.
Bottom and Sides
This set is one of only a few affordable multi-ply sets that rivals the popular but very expensive All Clad brand. Multi-ply refers to the layering of the metals. Although the set is stainless steel, that metal does not distribute heat evenly among cooking ware when used alone because it is a poor conductor of heat.
Thus, good quality stainless steel cookware is encapsulated with a “helper” metal, usually aluminum or copper. Aluminum and copper are both great conductors of heat.
In this set, aluminum is sandwiched between the two layers of stainless steel. The result is that your food will cook uniformly avoiding those annoying hot spots.
Most sets have the extra layers just on the bottom, but with this one, they extend up along the sides as well. This provides triple power heating capacity that is distributed throughout the whole cookware.
When limited to just the bottom, the cookware relies on the heat from this area spreading up to the sides, but with multi-ply construction on the sides, too, the heat comes directly from the aluminum on the sides.
Cooks Standard has developed an air flow technology design that lets the handles stay cooler than the handles on some sets. It lets air flow through a V-shape design near the riveted area of the pot.
The arch shaped handles on top of the lids can get hot, though, because they are so close to lid, but since both handles are made of stainless steel alone, they are not likely to ever get excessively hot. The long handles are riveted and secure which ensures that the handles won’t separate from the pot or pan.
The lids are made of stainless steel. Unlike glass lids, you will have to lift the lid in order to see your food while it cooks which is a minor inconvenience. The lids fit tight and seal in nutrients that are important to health.
Rims that are flat make it hard to pour anything liquid from one pot to another and it can get messy when trying to do it this way. But these pots and pans have nicely rounded edges which makes pouring easy without spilling the contents.
The material is thick and durable. Weight of the items are in the medium heavy category. This is a good weight to have because it is not thin which is the worse type of cookware to have if you don’t want your food to burn.
But it also isn’t very heavy which would make it hard for anyone with lifting problems to lift the items. You want cookware that is heavy enough to be durable and performs well but at the same time, you don’t want it to feel like you need an extra set of hands to move it about.
Some cookware can be so heavy that just transferring it from the stove top to inside the oven takes a lot of effort to prevent the contents from spilling. The best description of the Cooks Standard NC-00232 is that it is a good, medium heavy weight set.
Brushed or Mirror (Polished)
These are shiny mirror, polished pots and pans which makes them beautiful to look at. This type of finish is what often draws people to this metal in the first place. The metal is so shiny that you can easily see your reflection when standing close to it which is why it is often referred to as mirror polished.
It is compatible with induction cooktops, glass cooktops, gas stoves and electric Stoves. Since the lids are stainless steel rather than glass, the whole set can go into the oven up to temperatures of 500 degrees. The set is also safe to go into the dishwasher but many owners prefer to give their cookware extra care to help maintain its shiny appearance, by hand washing.
This cookware is a brand of the Cook N Home franchise located in California. The set is made in China and gets great reviews. The items and sizes included are very good as to variety. The saucepan is often the workhorse of cooking ware.
I am a fan of the 3 quart size as it holds an ample amount of food for a medium size family. The addition of a 5 quart, 11 inch deep saute pan with lid, is a real bonus. It has a “helper” handle on the opposite side of the long handle to make it easy to pick up and move around. You can do a lot with this pan from cooking whole meals as in casseroles, to frying meats. The steamer can be used for steaming vegetables without the need for a separate steamer insert.
- 1.5-Quart saucepan with Lid
- 3-Quart saucepan with Lid
- Universal steamer insert with Lid, fits both 1.5-QT and 3-QT
- 8-Quart stockpot with Lid
- 8-inch open skillet (frying pan)
- 10-inch open skillet (frying pan)
- 5-Quart 11-inch Deep Saute Pan with Lid
- Tri-ply construction extends to sides
- Durable, well constructed
- Medium weight
- Handles stay cool
- Easy pour lids
- Good selection of pots and pans
- Compatible with Induction cooktops, glass cooktops, electric stoves and gas stoves
- Frying pans don’t have lids
- Limited lifetime warranty
The set gets very good reviews. Negative ratings pertain to food sticking to pans but those comments happen across the board for stainless steel cookware. This is because owners do not heat the cookware correctly.
When used on an induction cooktop, you sometimes get is a brief buzzing sound until it heats up. But this happens when using most induction stoves
There is a noticeable Logo on the lid which may not be attractive to some. Owners who really love the set say they chose this brand over a similar brand with multi-ply layers because they like the design of the handles which stay cool and are very comfortable. They also like the variety of pieces included in the set, especially the 11 inch deep saute pan.
The price is moderate. It’s a great buy for serious cooks who want to have the best possible tri-ply layering on the sides and bottoms without resorting to purchasing an expensive set like All Clad. The 12 pieces included are a great variety that would work for a medium size family. When considering it contains a 5 quart 11 inch deep versatile saute pan, you are getting a very good buy.
If you want to spend a little less and still have a good variety of pots and pans with tri-ply layering along the sides, Cooks standard offers a similar set with 10 pieces that you can check out here.
However, if you are just an occasional cook or just want something that is stainless steel without paying a lot of money, there are good sets available by the same company that will meet your needs like this one