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The Best High End Cookware are something else. Not only do they perform well, they have the flair and style to back it up. From the handle to finish, everything was done to perfection. While most people know of Le Creuset, other french manufacturer like Mauviel, Staub and Matfer Bourgeat are among the best in the industry. They use a variety of material like copper or cast iron to craft some best the best cookware in the industry.
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Best High End Cookware List
Below, you will find some of the Best High End Cookware Around. They come in different configuration and have different qualities. You should choose one that best suit your need.
Mauviel 250c (Best Overall)
Mauviel is one of the oldest French Cookware around. They specialize in copper cookware. They come in at a generous thickness of 2.5mm. This makes it responsive while at the same time beefy enough to sear anything you would need. This model comes with either a Stainless Steel painted black or a brass handle. I recommend the stainless steel one because it stays cool but it patina. The brass is more traditional but it gets steaming hot. It also has a stainless steel lining so that it wont wear down line tin. If you want the best of the best, Mauviel is the way to go.
All Clad Copper Core (Most Responsive)
All Clad is invented the Fully Cladded design. Their copper core line uses a copper interior to make it one of the most responsive cookware around. They heat up quick and also cools down quick. It is best for searing food and making sauces after. They do not have the mass of All Clad if you want a lighter weight pan. The main issue is the handle. It is known to cause pain for a lot of users. Some have even gotten rid of it because they do not like it.
Le Creuset (Best Dutch Oven)
While cast iron are poor conductor of heat, they do hold it well. There are two situation when you want this, searing steak and stewing pot. As such, their dutch oven is the best there is. You can go from stove to oven to table. Their iconic design and shape looks perfect on the table. They also have a wide comfortable handle. The base interior is also one of the largest in diameter. This lets you sear a lot of food in a single batch.
Best High End Cookware Design
There are a variety of things that makes a cookware good. Handle, Shape and Performance are all very important. The main thing that separate them from the rest is how well they do it and the amount of material that they use. For example, the thickness of lower grade cookware tend to be thinner. This results in the cookware warping or bending easily. You also cant get a good sear due to the lower heat capacity.
Shape is another thing that a lot of people over look. How a skillet is shape will affect how well it evaporate liquid or whether its easy to use. So many manufacturer get this wrong, even the top of the line model. Sometimes the side wall will be too tall making it difficult to flip and turn food. Other time they will make the sauce pot too narrow. This crowds and extends overall cooking time.
In terms of handle, a good handle will make the cookware feel light. They wont have excess burrs and corner that cut into your hand. Sadly, even the high end cookware have problem in this regards. One of the most notable issue is with All Clad. Although they are releasing some models that have a more comfortable handle.
Finally performance is measured in how well it conducts heat and how well it responds to heat. A pan that can hold a lot of heat but do not respond to changes in temperature is not a good pan. The same is true for something that gets hot fast but does not hold it. What you want is a balance of the two. You need it to be able to sear a steak, but you should also stop the cooking time when you need it. If you have an extreme in either direction, you will burn or steam your food. Both of which will ruin your dish.
Best Cookware Material
Not all metals are made the same. Depending on which one you use, it will have different heat conductivity. That is how well it transfer heat from one object to another. While most people think that cast iron are a great object for cookware, the truth is they are poor conductor of heat. On a scale, cast iron only have a heat conductivity of 46 while Copper has a conductivity of 231. That is 5 times worse than copper.
However, each metal do have their pros and cons. For example, while copper and aluminum are great heat conductor, they are also reactive. If you subject it to acidic food, it can impart a metallic taste. Neutral metal like cast iron or stainless steel will not do that. However, these are poor heat conductor and cause heat spots on the pan. To get around this, manufacturer will either coat it with another layer of tin or teflon coating. The problem with these is that they are wear item. Overtime, you need to get it fixed or toss the pan.
Luckily, advances in cookware technology let manufacturer bond different metal together. All Clad was actually the forefront of this technology. They sandwiched together stainless steel and aluminum to give it the best of different metal. It also give the cookware a uniform thickness making the heat even from the base to the top. This Fully Cladded technology revolutionized the cookware industry. Now all the high end cookware uses some form of this manufacturing.
One easy way to see how well a cookware is made is via the thickness of it. Metal cost money, while it may seem minute to us, a dollar saved will actually lead to millions for the manufacturer. As such, it is in their best interest to not waste any metal. Making it thicker does make it perform better but that also makes it heavier and more costly to ship. For that reason, manufacturer will not purposely make a cookware thicker if there is not a purpose.
There is also a caveat to this. The thicker your cookware is, the less responsive it is. You generally want to balance how thick the cookware is so that it can heat up fast but hold enough heat to sear a steak. How thick a pan is should depend on the cookware material as well. For example, a 2.5 mm thick copper will perform a lot better than a 2.5 mm thick aluminum. You need to make the aluminum pan several time thicker for it to perform the same.
So you might wonder, why not just make all pan copper? There is price and weight to consider. Copper is by far the most expensive metal. It also weights a lot. Which is why you do not see it that often in America. However, it is truly one of the best cookware material around. All Clad even put a thin layer in their copper core series.
Best High End Cookware Thoughts
Overall, these are some of the Best High End Cookware around. You should buy one that best suits your need. For the best of the best, Mauviel is the way to go. They are one of the oldest French manufacturer around. For a more responsive cookware, try All Clad. They are the most responsive cookware. Le Creuset is the most well known and loved by All. Their dutch oven is perfect for the oven to table presentation.
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