Stocking stuffers are easy, but showstopper holiday gifts require careful thought — and a chunk of change.
When you're going to drop a significant amount of cash on a "big" present, you want to be sure that it's worth the price. It's also got to be a guaranteed hit, something that will stand the test of time and has real purpose. So what fits the bill? This lovely bundle right here: The All-Clad Essentials Nonstick 10-Piece Set.
AOL reviewed the set, which is available on Amazon Prime and consistently receives 5-star ratings. First and foremost, it looks great: The pots and pans are aluminum with gleaming stainless steel handles, and they easily stack together for easy storage. (And who doesn't want to see a huge wrapped box under the Christmas tree?)
All-Clad is a highly-reputable brand with products designed for advanced or everyday cooks. We fall into the latter category, so we had to try it out to see how well they function in amateur hands. There are seven different pots and pans: An 8.5" fry pan, 10.5" fry pan, 4 quart sauté pot (and lid), 2.5 quart sauce pan (and lid), 7 quart stockpot (and lid), strainer insert, and a 13" square pan.
The verdict? Having instant access to all the different-sized equipment was a real game-changer. (Previously, we just used one big pot or one big pan for pretty much everything.) A seared filet mignon with rosemary came out beautifully on the square pan, and for a pesto pasta night, the big stockpot handled the noodles while the little frying pan toasted the pine nuts. (A solo stockpot can set you back more than $100, which just goes to show how good a deal the 10-piece set is.)
Perhaps most importantly, cleanup is super easy. Any residue just slid right off. The items are dishwasher safe, but if you're going to hand wash, it won't take more than a few moments.
At $399, the All-Clad Essentials Nonstick 10-Piece Set is a bigger purchase, but it's available on Amazon Prime and has free returns if you're really second-guessing. (But honestly? You won't.)