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Old 18-11-2014, 03:59   #1
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Better lids for Cuisinart/Magma nesting saucepans?

I believe the stainless nesting cookware from Magma, Cuisinart ("Stowaway") and from the Welcome Aboard "chandlery" are all the same product. The saucepan cover is a fits-three-sizes affair, adequate but not great.

I now believe Cuisinart's 16, 18, and 20cm covers (lids) for their Chef's Classic line, either stainless or glass, will fit the 1˝, 2, and 3-qt nesting saucepans.

Can anyone confirm that?

Our set came from Welcome Aboard, almost 20 years ago I think, and some of their marketing at the time including reference to Cuisinart (something like "made by the same folks..."). I had a link recently to what I believe is the real manufacturer... but can't seem to find that, just now...

As it happens, our current set isn't the newer induction version (of course), and at the same time, our much older home set of cast aluminum cookware is giving up the ghost. (Actually, it's mostly the handles, which don't seem to be replaceable.)

So I'm thinking to bring the boat set home, get a new induction-capable set for the boat... just in case we at some point replace our electric cooktop with an induction cooktop.

But better saucepan covers/lids, at least for home, would be a great improvement!

Has anyone else already solved it?

Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
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Old 17-12-2014, 05:55   #2
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Re: Better lids for Cuisinart/Magma nesting saucepans?

Answering my own question… probably more than anyone wants to know.

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless covers do fit our set of nesting cookware that we purchased from Welcome Aboard either mid-‘90’s or perhaps as late as Fall, 2000.

I’m not able to tell whether our pot/pans are really Cuisinart products, or perhaps manufactured (or partially manufactured) in the same factory, or just very similar… but the Cuisinart lids do work well in any case. There was a time when Cuisinart did market their own “Stowaway” system that appears from pictures to be exactly the same components we have. Still, there are some very slight dimensional differences around our rims versus the current Cuisinart rims, and the bottom perimeter (where the steel-encapsulated aluminum lives) on current Cuisinart products is finished differently, I think more elegantly, tapering up toward the outside edge, whereas ours is simply a round steel/aluminum plate attached to the underside of the pan.

The detachable handle system on ours is from Fribo International, but their website is a bit slim and I’m not able to tell whether they do all of the manufacturing, or install the handle system on existing un-handled pans, or if they simply hold the patent on the handle system. I can’t tell from pics on the Magma website whether their current product is the same, but it looks like it is… and in any case is likely close enough so details here should apply.

Our thought had been to move our nesting boat set to our home (replacing our good but 40-year old set of cookware with failing handles), and replace the boat set with an induction-ready version just in case we might eventually (have to) replace the electric/glass ceramic cooktop we have now. OTOH, the flat 3-size lid that fits all three saucepans is only OK; leaks too much steam to suit us for long-term home use. Hence my original question.

We borrowed a current Cuisinart steel lid for the 1˝-qt saucepan, did a “boil test” – and the Cuisinart cover “leaks” less steam than our flat 3-size lid. We’ve also since compared using a new glass cover – on both our nesting 1˝-qt pan and a new Cuisinart 1˝-qt saucepan – and it leaks much less steam than our flat 3-size lid, slightly less steam than the Cuisinart steel lid, but approximately the same amount of steam from each of the two pans. I suspect the flat lid passes more steam on smaller pans because of the design (which is necessary for the nesting feature, though), the Cuisinart steel lids do better because of their slightly different lip design and the way that mates with the pan rims, and the glass lids do a bit better than that because of their even more pronounced lip design and also because they’re heavier. (I’m not talking about more steam than one would see from otherwise comparable pots and pans at comparable temps, though; I’m just observing a relative comparison of steam versus our available lids on these sets.) So far, we like the glass lids better, and especially the see-through feature, for most uses.

And then economics entered the picture. The appropriate Chef’s Classic Stainless steel lids are product numbers 71-16C-1, 71-18C, and 71-20C for 1˝-qt, 2-qt, and 3-qt saucepans, respectively. The glass lids originally from Cuisinart’s Chef’s Classic non-Stick Hard Anodized line also fit, and those model numbers are 61-16CV-1, 61-18CV-1, and 61-20CV-1, respectively. Note 16, 18, 20, etc. are the pan diameters in centimeters, and the first two numbers (71, 61, etc.) are the series designators. A 24-cm lid covers our outer stockpot perfectly.

Cuisinart asks $30, $35, and $40 respectively for the 16, 18, and 20cm glass lids via their Customer Service system, and they’re apparently not available as separate open-stock items at most retailers. The saucepan/cover combos – but with steel lids -- are $20, $40, and $50, respectively. Not feeling the value, here. That would have been $105 for three glass lids… so instead, yesterday I bought a new 11-piece set of Chef’s Classic Stainless cookware – which is the only Chef’s Classic Stainless set they offer with glass covers -- for $135 (after deducting a retailer’s 20% discount coupon but counting local sales tax.

Since we wanted to augment our home cookware with a new 8” and 10” skillet, ideally with covers, and since storage space in our home kitchen isn’t all that much of a premium anyway, it made much more sense to just buy that whole new set. And we got 4 assorted glass lids out of it, AND a nifty steamer insert, too.

So the boat set goes back to the boat. And we can deal with that whole induction idea sometime in the future, if necessary.

The glass lids are nifty for watching progress in a pan, but they also have a couple issues: one is that drying (after washing) takes a bit more care because water can concentrate under the lid lip, and the other is that they’re oven safe only to 350°F. Neither is a big problem. That temp limit isn’t often a problem in an oven anyway, and acquiring a couple spare steel lids in likely sizes (available through retailers) for higher oven temps is an easy fix. Cover storage is more of a big deal. The handles are bulky. We have a rack system and that works well enough, but it’s a big change from our nesting system.

FWIW, I think Cuisinart’s French Classic Try-Ply Stainless line would be the counterpart to induction versions of the Magma sets. Probably the same dimension info applies.

All this, just in case anyone else was wondering…

Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
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Old 19-02-2015, 16:46   #3
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Re: Better lids for Cuisinart/Magma nesting saucepans?

After ten years or so with the current boat pots and pans, we have just ordered the Magma 10 Piece Nesting cookware, due to arrive Monday.

I will check the lids and get back to you
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