Made In Cookware Reviews and Buying Guide
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WHAT IS THE PRODUCT LINE UP?
While Made In cookware offers ‘kits’ i.e. pre-made sets in their product offering, their focus seems to be on an ala-carte selection, almost encouraging consumers to ‘make your own cookware set’.
I don’t know about you, but I have several pieces of cookware that i didn’t need but have them because they came with the set. So I can really appreciate this modular approach.
The current line up for Made In includes:
- 8”, 10” and 12” Stainless Steel Fry Pans
- 8”, 10” and 12” Nonstick Fry Pans
- 4 Qt Stainless Steel Saute Pan
- 2 Qt and 3 Qt Stainless Steel Sauce Pans
- 5 Qt and 8 Qt Stainless Steel Stock Pots
WHAT ABOUT THE LIDS? IS THERE ONE FOR EACH PAN?
I always wonder why cookware manufacturers don’t make it clear as to which lids fit which pan, pot or fry pan so you can make an informed decision to buy or not to buy….
Wait… Made In cookware does!
Firstly, the lids are an optional add-on! Meaning you choose to buy or not to buy a lid andyou pay accordingly. According to the owners, they sell the lids at cost with no mark-up, which is pretty much unheard of in this industry.
Secondly, and this is what won me over, they have a separate section for just the lids on their website and they clearly state which lids fit which pan and which lids are interchangeable. No more having to hunt for that information and guessing what will work.
So from their lid line-up, turns out they have lids for all the pans and pots except for the 8” and 12” fry pans.
The lids themselves are made of a solid, rust-proof stainless steel and fit snugly on the pans without creating a vacuum.
WHAT IS MADE IN COOKWARE MADE OF?
Made in Cookware is 5 ply stainless steel cookware with an aluminum core. If you’re not familiar with ply, it means layers and more specifically layers of different metals bonded together. This means the layers run throughout the cookware (base and sides) rather than just on the base. ‘Ply’ cookware is generally a more premium quality than cookware that has aluminum only on the base.
In the case of Made in Cookware, the inner and outermost layers are high grade American stainless steel which sandwich 3 thick layers of premium aluminum. The inner most aluminum layer has additional properties that add to the overall structural strength of the cookware.
HOW DO I KNOW ITS GOOD QUALITY?
This is something I cover in great depth in the article Buying Stainless Steel Cookware? Read This First. Specifically there are 3 things that you can use to gauge the quality of a stainless steel cookware (short of walking around with calipers). Let’s measure Made In cookware against each:
1. The grade of stainless steel. Made In Cookware is made of high grade American Stainless Steel. The inner layer which touches the food is 18/10 304 series stainless steel which is rust and corrosion resistant and doesn’t warp easily. The outermost layer is magnetic stainless steel which allows all the pans to be induction friendly.
2. The weight of the pot. The first thing I noticed about the Made in Cookware pans was the ‘heft’ – these are heavier pans which feel solid in your hands. They are not overly heavy like cast iron, rather they have a comfortable and well balanced weight.
A heavier pan is a sign of quality since it means more metal was used to produce, so it costs more to make. It is also less likely to warp with usage and provide more even heating without hot spots.
Add the fact that the pans are made in America from source to finish, you know you have a good quality pan, given that America is known for premium metals and premium craftsmanship.
3. The material used in the core. We all know that stainless steel on its own is a poor conductor of heat and needs a middle layer of another metal to improve its heat conductivity.
How well a stainless steel pan performs depends on how evenly the pan spreads the heat across the cooking surface, without creating hot spots. This in turn, depends on the thickness of the middle layer: the thicker the better.
Made in Cookware has not one but three layers of thick aluminum sandwiched between the outer layers of stainless steel. This means quick, even heat and no hot spots in the pan.
According to the company, this cookware is designed to outperform and outlast other cheaper cookware!
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
They say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover but when it comes to cookware, I beg to differ. Premium cookware is bound to have a premium look because of the quality of the metals and the superior craftsmanship.
Made In cookware is no exception. The pots and pans were definitely not ‘meant to be hid in a cabinet’, to quote their website. They have a brushed finish which is the result of first polishing and then brushing the cookware.
According to the company, the extra step creates a smoother and prettier finished brushed product.
*Bonus*: this industrial-chic finish also hides scratches and thumbprints!
WHAT ABOUT THE HANDLES?
The handles on these pans feel incredibly secure and comfortable. They’re stainless steel with a sleek design and are riveted to the pans. The company claims that the long handles (on the sauce pans, fry pans and saute pan) are designed to stay-cool, even when the pan is hot.
I tested this by boiling water in a saucepan and letting it boil on medium heat for an hour. The handle did, indeed, stay cool to touch!