A total of 3 reviews of this product on Reddit.
Pots benefit a huge deal from a fully-clad design.
Having a core that goes from the base to the lip means heat is evenly distributed throughout the pot, so you don’t overheat the base and potentially have issues, like burning a big pot of tomato sauce, and water boils faster due to the whole pot being hot.
Cooking with gas, it’s the best way to go: it just gets wrapped in the heat.
Steel/aluminum isn’t the only way to go there, though: when I grew up, my mother used a big cast aluminum pot, for similar reasons.
I’d also say get steel lids over glass lids: easier to clean, easier to handle, looks “more pro,” etc.
This is the set I use but I picked it up for $120 a year ago: I have no idea why it’s $300 used as of this posting, but you should be able to find an acceptable clad set for $100-$150 that will last a lifetime (though as I browse, it does seem prices have gone up).
Kirkland makes a knockoff All-Clad 5-ply, with copper cores, that is pretty great looking, but they are crazy heavy (haven’t used them but I’ve handled them): but for $200 – 10% the price of the All Clad set – it seems like a great deal, if you’re OK with really heavy gear.
Nobody makes better baking gear than Williams Sonoma and their Goldtouch brand.
I cook with a Cuisinart fully-clad steel set I have no complaints about but when it comes to baking, I go for nonstick copper that is durable enough to take some abuse.
Beyond the materials, Goldtouch’s design is top-notch: for example, their cake pans have perfectly squared corners, not rounded, making for superior results.
The only other to have are T-Fal Airbake cookie sheets and a set of Pyrex baking dishes.
The base of your cookies will be better than the tops: they’re amazing pans.
And the Pyrex will be one of your biggest workhorses (plus you can serve in it).
For baked goods, I use my two Goldtouch 10″ round pans and my two Goldtouch 9″x13″, unless it’s cookies – for anything else in the oven, I usually use Pyrex or aluminum, if I am worried about damaging my good stuff.
My choice of aluminum that is affordable and still good quality (but not non-stick) is NordicWare: Target has the best prices on that, from what I generally see.
I love my 8-Piece Cuisinart Multiclad set that I picked up brand new on Amazon for $130 a year ago.
I use it daily and it has not disappointed me.
The rims of the pans/pots are particularly nice: I can pour a thin stream of liquid without it dibbling all over the outside of the pan/pot.
For what I paid, I really have no complaints.
The best deal I’ve seen on a set of it, lately, is a 12-piece from Bed Bath and Beyond, because you can get $60 off the $300 price tag with a 20% off coupon, bringing the total down to “only” $240.
I’m glad I got mine a year ago.
That said, take a look at this $200 Kirkland set that’s a knock-off of the formerly-$2000-until-that-Kirkland-set-came-out-and-now-it’s-$1300 All-Clad set.
I have held it but I haven’t used it: if I didn’t already own my Cuisinart set, I’d buy that (though it’s really heavy).
Actually, I’ve had to stop myself from buying it, despite owning my Cuisinart set.
Pound for pound, that Kirkland set is probably the best deal on the market right now as long as you can accept the lower oven temperature tolerance of 380F compared to All-Clad’s “broiler-safe” claim.