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Cuisinart 12-Piece Cookware SetI got the Cuisinart 12-Piece Cookware Set after living with crappy cookware for way too long. The net is full of glorious reviews for this set and they didn't lie; it really is fantastic cookware and a great value. They're stainless steel with a thick aluminum core for even heat distribution. The Multi-Clad Pro set is very similar to the American-made (and much more pricey) All-Clad cookware. Some reviewers actually prefer these to the All-Clad.
What I like about the set:
Very even heating. Liquids heat without "spot" boiing. Even heating on the frying pans greatly reduces burning and sticking so everything cooks better with less hassle. This cookware actually requires less energy (lower heat) than cheap cookware because it heats evenly and retains the heat.
Long, comfortable handles. The handles don't get too hot, and they are pretty easy to hold when lifting full pots.
Tapered edges for easy pouring.
The insert steamer encourages me to to steam more healthy vegetables. It also makes a handy colander.
The set comes with 5 lids, in 4 different sizes. The two large ones fit the large pot, the large saucepan and the large frying pan. The next size down fits the small frying pan and the steamer. The mid-sized and small pots each have their own lids as well.
The handles on the lids are set pretty tall so they stay cool. Plus, you won't burn the back of your hand when you lift off a hot lid.
The lids are easy to clean since they don't have any little nooks & crannies you can't get at. Years ago I owned Chantal cookware with glass lids. The clear lids were nice but the metal frame around the lids attracted gunk that was impossible to get completely clean.
The lids fit securely but are not too tight. With a lid in place you can turn a pot almost 90 degrees before the cover slides off; they're very secure. Yet they are loose enough that they "breathe" easily when something boils underneath. You don't have to worry about building pressure inside from a sealed lid.
As with all cookware, observing proper care will guarantee you years of happy use with the Multi-Clad Pro set. Never use metal utensils with good stainless-steel. The mirror surface will lose its non-stick quality. Use wooden spoons, silicon spatulas or food-grade plastics. These are a little harder to clean than my old cheap steel cookware, but not much. The previously-reviewed Bar Keepers Friend with a non-metal scouring pad seems to restore the finish nicely.