Q: What do you all think of that West Bend Kitchen Craft or Lustre Craft cookware that is stainless steel and supposedly vapor-lock for waterless cooking that sells at fairs and through home parties? It costs over $1,000 for the basic set. Is it a scam?
A: It has been my experience that ALL home party/county fair merchandise is grossly overpriced. In addition, when you get it home, a LOT of it isn't the same quality you saw demonstrated. I estimate that of the $1000 price for the cookware, half ($500)goes to the demonstrator, another 25%/$250 goes to the multi-level marketing pyramid people for commissions, and you are left with $250 worth of cookware which still has a built-in profit margin over the manufacturing cost. It looks nice and is pretty heavy duty, but you could buy a LOT of specialized, expensive pans for your specific needs and still have money left over! Don't know that I'd call it a scam, but I sure wouldn't spend $1K on a set of pots and pans -- you'd be better set to buy the pieces you need by the manufacturer of a particular piece that catches your fancy; i.e., not necessarily a "matched set" of pots and pans. I have pieces by Wearever (cheap teflon-coated skillet), Revere (4-quart saucepan), All-Clad (3-quart saut? pan), cast iron small skillet and griddle, store brand 1-quart saucepan, Farberware (9-10" skillet). Just got the All-Clad a month ago -- on sale and with a friend's store discount, for $80. I resisted the All-Clad for a very long time and decided to spring for a piece. Yowsers! It's a fine pan!! Mighty fine!! JMNSHO.
We(my wife and I) have had a set of Lustre Craft bought at a county fair 20 years ago. Yes it cost a lot. If you check ebay you can buy a $2500 set for about $1500 to $1700 dollars. Our set has held up like a tank. It works very good. You do have to learn how to use it and the demonstrators who cook with it at shows are experts. I don't know if the cookware made today under this name is as good as the older stuff or not. At trick to cleaning burnt or stuck on food in this type pans is to wipe out the bulk of the food and then fill pan with water about 2 or more inches over the food. Then cook the pan on the stove top. After about 30 minutes of simmering the water will cook the stuck and burn food off into a soup. Take the pan off the stove and when cool enough to handle easly pour off the soup of burn food. Take a plastic scraper and workover the bottom inside of the pan. Later a good scrubbing with Bar Keeper Friend cleaner ( a very fine power) will the the pan looking like new. I alway use this trick and it has never failled.
My other in law gave my wife a very complete set of Lustre Craft cookware when we got married in 1964. My wife is a great cook and has used it almost every day since 1964. We raised 6 children and now have 12 grandchildren all of whom like to visit on Sundays for dinner. The cookware was worth every penny that my mother in law paid for it. It was pretty expensive back then too.
I have been using my set of Lustre Craft cookware almost daily since 1959, and have never regreted the high price I paid for it. As Jerry said in his/her comment, I don't know if the newer cookware is the same quality, but the older stuff still cooks like new.
My Lustre Craft set was given to me in my hope chest at age 16. I'm 47, so I've been cooking with my set 31 years! All still looks brand new, slight fading of the handles, but no defects. I LOVE my Lustre Craft. It's truly an investment and I'm going to get both of my daughters a set when they marry. You will NEVER need to purchase cookware ever again.
I have to disagree with the original answer posted. My Mom received a set of Lustre Craft before I was born (over 30 years ago!) which she has used nearly every day ever since and it still looks great and she has not had a single part break, warp, or chip. The set is extremely well made and the heat distributes evenly. In the past I have owned Farberware, Caphalon, and Tools of the Trade and complained to my Mom that I wished I could get a set like hers. Since I never saw them in stores I assumed they were no longer made. After a quick Google search I was excited that I could get a set of my own. I was able to get a brand new complete set on Ebay for a steal! I am very pleased with Lustre Craft products and am convinced they have made me a better cook!
Helen Neil said:
I have used my Lustre Craft cookware every day for 32 years. It was well worth the money.
Carol Smith said:
I have been using my set of Lustre Craft since 1963. It is still as good as new, and still outcooks any other cookware I have tried! I wouldn't sell it for any price.
John-Personal Chef said:
I married my wife in 04 & she brought her set of Lustre Craft pans into the home.She has had this set for more than 20 years & still perfect pans. WELL WORTH THE PRICE.(I DISAGREE WITH THE FIRST POST BY JMNSHO ABOUT OVER PRICED.He or she must not know much about cooking & quality.) I was skeptical to use these because I was a personal chef & I use nice saute pans & professional grade cookware. I also use Calpholon pans because of the convenience of non stick. We have returned the Calphalon twice because of peeling& we no longer use those. We use our Lustre Craft everyday. What's especially convenient is they are magnetic so you can use with induction heating.
Eva C. said:
use and still looks great after 54+ years!
Kate L. said:
I have only had my Lustre Craft since 2008, but it is worth every penny! I can't count the number of cheap pots and pans I've thrown away! I wish I'd purchased it sooner! I will be passing it on to my daughter, if she'd like it.
Kevin K. said:
I inherited my mothers set of Lustre Craft cookware that she recieved as a wedding present in 1958. It's still cooking strong! American made,American quality, back then you bought it once and it was supposed to last a lifetime, this cookware has stood the test of time and I will be passing it on to my kids...
Sherry C. said:
I received a set of lustre Craft as a wedding present 40 years ago. I've replaced all but one piece because the bottoms have warped. They didn't last my lifetime.
Bert and Sylvia said:
Wife bought her set before we married 42 years ago. They still work great and look great. Wouldn't use anything else.
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