I confess right up front, I am not a gourmet cook. But, I have labored in the kitchen for more than 30 years and I know my way around. When I was first married, my mother gifted us with copper cookware. Being raised in the era of Julia Child, I thought this was the way to go until I belatedly realized how much work they are to keep shiny and workable. I had a full time job and just did not relish the idea of polishing all those darned pots.
After that, came the era of the aluminum, coated pans. These seemed ideal as they cleaned up really well. Unfortunately, they cooked really poorly. They are too light weight and also there have been recent health concerns about cooking with aluminum, especially after the coating starts to wear off (which is rather quickly; these are throw-away pots and pans).
Then, a wonderful thing happened. I started watching cooking shows and noticed that most of the professional cooks on television use stainless steel pots and pans. Now, my mom had a stainless steel pressure cooker and it lasted her a lifetime. I remembered that. So, I purchased a good starter stainless cookware set and began my experimentations.
The first thing I discovered is that they cook really beautifully, whether on a gas or electric stove top. The heat is distributed evenly, allowing for lovely browning, sauces, etc., without the turmoil of a burned skillet bottom.
The next thing I noticed was that the food tasted better…really! I suppose it has a lot to do with the chemistry of how a really good stainless cookware set is made.
Then came the test of clean up: well, guess what? They clean up really well using just a soapy sponge and hot water! And they keep their shine without hours of polishing (a plus for me).
I have since added to my starter set and both my husband and I use these pots and pans daily. We are adventuring into truly gourmet cooking at a level we never would have attempted before, primarily due to the encouragement we have gotten from our successes. It is easier to be brave with food when you have a string of notable meals behind you.
The most recent success was our family Thanksgiving meal. We used all stainless steel pots, pans, lids, etc., to cook a very special holiday feast. All who attended noted how wonderfully everything turned out and there were no disasters. I would highly recommend any new or experienced cook consider switching to all stainless steel cookware as it will provide a lifetime of memorable (for good reasons!) meals and easy clean up.