Saladmaster Cookware...worth The Price?
Q: I'm a somewhat new subscriber to this newsgroup so I hope this topic hasn't been previously discussed to the point of tedium. Specifically, I'm looking for some persons who have had experience with saladmaster cookware or who are knowledgeable about cookware in general to comment on the quality of saladmaster cookware and whether it is really worth the price. For the benifit of those who have not heard of saladmaster let me give you a brief summary. Saladmaster, out of Dallas, makes numerous pieces of cookware from pots and pans to electric skillets to grinders and knives. Their big selling features are the TP304 surgical quality stainless steel (which doesn't release harmful metal particles into the food and is therefore healthier than other cookware) and the five inner layers of aluminum alloys which give uniform heat. The electric skillet also has a liquid inner core which eliminates "hot spots". As far as I can tell the cookware is excellent quality and I would even consider getting a set if it weren't for two problems. The first is that it is not sold in stores but by sales people who operate "house parties". The house parties consist of the host couple inviting over a number of couples(4-8 depending on how many your dining room table can hold) for a free meal put on by the saladmaster representative. The salesperson cooks the meal infront of you all the while discussing the merits of saladmaster over other cookware. Their big emphasis is on health and they perform various "experiments" to prove that this cookware doesn't hold food particles from previous use and doesn't release harmful metal particles into the food (such as teflon pots can). At the end of the meal they have each couple choose the pieces they would get if they could and then proceed to try to sell them one of various packages. It is really a high pressure sales pitch and customers are told that the special deals are only good for that night and if they wait until the next day they won't get the same deal, etc, etc. The host couple gets a free gift for having the party and I believe another gift for each of the couples who actually purchase a set. The second problem is the price. These are not cheap and bought individually are *very* expensive. Their aim is to sell packages which start at about $2200.00 (Can, includes taxes) for a 15 piece set to about $5000.00 for the largest set. While 15 pieces sounds like a lot they count each pot and lid seperately. Also, in each set they include little used items such as an egg poacher which includes the base and four egg holders each counting as a seperate piece. They also give you free gifts from a given list for buying that evening, but again the offer is only good that evening. So the question that begs to be asked is whether or not the saladmaster cookware is worth the money. I tend not to think so, but I'm not an expert on cookware and may be overly skeptical. Also, what type of cookware do professional cooks use and what is the price range? Thanks in advance for you responses.
A: You'd be better off spending your money on widely available commercial cookware either from a restaurant supply house or through retail channels. For aluminum encased in stainless steel, All Clad and Chantal both have very good offerings. For copper encased in stainless steel, Cuisinart also has a great set of pots and pans. You can often buy these in sets, but open stock is available. I like open stock because you can purchase only the pieces you need. IMHO, $5000 is an insane amount to spend on cookware. You can get a commercial stove for that much! Spend your money on a reputable company with quality products. Don't go for a pressure sell--you'll most likely end up a loser. I've been through this sort of pitch once before, when a salesman tried to convince a neighbor he needed one of their $100 smoke detectors in each room and hallway of his house. You can be sure they are trying to sell you several times more stuff than you need at several times what it's worth. Comparable or superior cookware can be found in any department or restaurant supply store. In particular a single guy doesn't need that much to start getting serious about cooking, unless he's planning to throw some very large dinner parties. The same goes for those gadgets you see on TV infomercials
I will argue the other side. I am a chef/restaurant onwer and I only cook on the saladmaster line. My parents purchased a set 30 years ago at the fair and it still looks the same as it did beack then as it does today... It also comes with a 20 year warranty which means you wont be buying any new cookware for a long time. The real benefits are in the high grade stainless steel that its made of. Much better than 18/10 whuch leaves a bitter taste and can leach significanly more amounts of trace metals. Also, you can cook without water and oil, yes I steam my vegetables in the pot without water, which means I'm not washing off the vitamins into the water in the bottom of the pan. There are other nivce features like stack cooking and extremely even heating, where you dont have to stif your foods as they warm. Mostly even burnt stuff comes right off the bottom after a little soak since the metals are not porous. I come from the train of thought that you get what you pay for. FYI it seems you can buy many items used on ebay for a deep discount, and the quality means if you buy it used it should be just as good as new. My latest set is 3 years old and looks like the day I bought it after daily cooking. Just don't try to cook in them as if they were a nornal set of cookware, or else you will lose many of the benefits of having the set... To good health and cooking!
I have to argue with Gabe. The cookware I have is Saladmaster. I purchased it about 5 years ago and thought also that it was a bit too high, but my wife really wanted it. It took a minute to really adjust to cooking with it, especially with out the water. But once we learned, it was pretty simple. We still use our electric skillet for almost all our cooking and I can say that I feel that we made a good investment. I am happy with it, especially after paying it off. I do think that if you are being pressured to buy then dont. Our guy didn't pressure us at all, he put everything out there and ultimately I established that the choice was going to be mine and not his, but he was a good guy. Grant it, he was doing his job as a salesman, but there was no pressure. Who doesn't have some sort of buy right now factor with us as consumers. If they don't I ask, what do I get if I choose to buy right now"?
Millie Rice said:
I have a grader that my father bought my mother in late '60 or early '70 Still looks and works like new
rob ronish said:
Saladmaster unlike many kitchenware products only uses titanium 316....not stainless steel. The benefits are this titanium is entirely heat conducting, unlike other products wher an aluminum pkate is only inthe bottom to conduct heat. Also, this metal isntreactive to heat in terms of flaking off or leaving poor flavors into foods (thats the point of their world famous baking soda test). Baking soda isnt used to show ways to prrserve baking soda, but bc its chemically similar to the salts ane minraks alk vegetabkes naturall have. While protecing flavor of veggie ANE vitamins ane minerals, thays an advantage of ti316. To determine if the cost is worth it to you, how ofteb do u cook? How often do u buy cookware? How imporant is orrserving time and nutrition to you? Can u afford ti buy them? If you fi with any of those questions, ive fiund my salarmasterbset is norethan worth it, hkweveir if u only use cookware for an occasional mac and chz or top ramen, u can live wo. I do reccommend seeing the dinner show w an open mind as many factira wilk be addressed, and fron there seeing if it fits ibti ure life and budget goals.
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