For those buyers looking to purchase an attractive, quality set of cookware that doesn't have a non-stick finish, I feel the Anolon Nouvelle Copper 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set would be an excellent choice. My wife and I have been using it frequently ever since it arrived, and on the whole we are quite happy with it. We find it very similar to an earlier set we own, the Anolon Nouvelle Copper Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-PieceSet. This is a more expensive non-stick version, but the pots and pans are more or less the same style; only the set for this review comes in brushed-stainless steel. It is currently about fifty bucks less, so if you prefer the look of stainless steel to the dark grey finish of the non-stick version, then this is a better choice.
The cooking experience is similar between the two sets, so for further information you can reference my previous review. If anything though, we've found cooking in the copper-ringed stainless steel set to be as good or better, as far as even heating/cooking and boil goes. Clean-up is a snap and the lids fit well. Pasta cooks evenly and quickly in the big pot and the pans are excellent for sauteing vegetables. Like with the other set, the lids are stainless steel and not glass, so you cannot see what you are cooking unless you lift the lid. The handles for the pots, pans and lids stay cool enough to handle with your bare hands unless they have been on a high heat for a while. For the most part, they are easy to clean and there is a good mix of sizes and styles to accommodate most culinary needs.
Not all is perfect, however. For bacon, meat and similar foods, you may want to stay with non-stick pans or iron skillets as meats tend to stick to the bottom--leaving a sticky, messy residue. Unexpectedly, the copper ring around the 5-ply base has already faded on one frying pan (see customer photos above). We expected some copper tarnishing, but not all-out fading. It appears a very thin copper coating serves as the ring, though it's hard to tell. My wife tried to bring back the copper finish with polishing cleaner (like she has successfully done with other copper cookware), but to no avail. Cooking dynamics remain unaffected, but cosmetically it doesn't look as nice, especially when hanging from a rack. I will be contacting Analon to inquire about this and will post an update if they provide me with applicable information.
This is a great set of cookware well worth its premium price. It is heavy-duty, has easy to grip handles and heats evenly, cooking food uniformly across the hot surface. I've used this set for less than a month, but it is holding up well and if it is anything like it's more expensive non-stick sibling, then it should last quite a while under normal use. It isn't perfect for all cooking situations and has some copper finish issues, but is still superior to more basic cookware (like the Emeril Cookware Set which I have also used).
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