on October 4, 2014
My wife and I bought ourselves this set for our anniversary (you know you're getting old when you anniversary present to each other is cookware - but what can I say?) My son, who is an executive chef, looked at the options we selected and said this one - or a ceramic one we were looking at - would be our best choice. Since this had more pieces and the flat griddle, we went with it.
- Order arrived on time
- Seller experience was fine
- Really nice looking cookware
- Very non stick (after all these years of old cookware, it's hard to believe that "non-stick" really doesn't stick!)
- Even heat distribution of the pans using a system that's really cool (Hmm, that might be a wrong word for "heating" but I'm sure you understand)
- There's a red dot on each pan (or pot) and when it gets to a solid color, it's an indicator that the pan is ready. (We have a little trouble actually discerning when that happens due to aging eyes - but the concept is pretty good and I can't fault them because my eyesight isn't what it used to be. Jeeze! I am really sounding old, aren't I? Trust me, I'm not ancient.)
So, the only complaint so far is a big one, and we're waiting to see how that shakes out.
In a nutshell, the 7" pan is already losing its red paint on the bottom. It started to do so about 10 days after we got it. (The others are fine so far.) I didn't want to return the whole set to amazon (especially since we ditched our old stuff) so I called the customer service number. Yikes! that's when the fun started.
First of all, one of my pet peeves is east coast companies that forget there's an entire west coast out here. (Who knows, maybe you folks on the east coast have a similar complaint with some west coast companies.) So, not knowing this, I called them at 2:35 PT and found they were closed already. OK, no biggie, I'll call another time.
When I did, I had to wade through one of those annoying voice mail trees that has limited options but lots of information one does not need. I pressed the number for "cookware" and then finally the number for "warranty" and it said it would transfer me to an agent. Well, goody-goody, it takes me back to the main menu and makes me wade through that again. I repeat the same scenario and it does too. This happens three times until I finally get a rather unfriendly rep on the phone.
She wasn't rude, but you could tell she'd rather be doing something else. Who knows? Maybe she's on the other line trying to get her cookware returned? Anyway, I explain my frustration with the voice mail.
> crickets, tumbleweeds <
Since that didn't elicit anything, I explain the situation. She tells me exactly what the recording says, that I can send it in (at my expense) and they'll check to see if it's a warranty-covered repair. if so, they'll ship back a new one. If not, they'll return mine and give me a reason why they aren't replacing it. I reply that I knew that but mention, "This cookware is only a few weeks old. Are you telling me that on top of the cost I paid for it, I have to pay for shipping?"
She says if I can fax her the invoice, she'll decide if I need to pay for shipping.
"Fax?" says I. "I got rid of my fax machine about 10 years ago. Can't I just email you the receipt?"
"No, it has to be faxed."
Keep in mind that this is state of the art cookware (supposedly) and they don't have email?! (Maybe they should pull out their IBM selectric and type up a requisition or call someone on their rotary phone and place an order directly.) Anyhow, I take down the information and I tell her I'll find a fax machine and get it to her. However, as long as I'm sending that, I ask, "Would it help if I took a photo of the damage and sent that to you? That way, instead of us both shipping metal pots across the country, you could make a determination in advance and save us both time and money."
Uh, no, that's not happening either.
So, I have faxed the information. I shall await reply (by pony express I'm sure) and will update later.
on February 18, 2014
I bought the black 12 piece set. I have only cooked with them once so far and made eggs in one and cooked maple flavored sausage links in the other. Here is my impression of them. First, the final impression in short and to the point, then why I felt that way..
The cliffnotes (short) version..
Nice lids that fit on both, the pots and pans.. decent handles on the pots and pans, but not great.. easy to dent pots and pans.. very very cheap utensils.. Ok for single person, couple, or starter set.. Not great if you have kids (you know that they will get damaged 10 times faster with kids around) or if you like caramelizing things like meats to make gravies to stews.. OK for the price but not worth retail. Non stick works, but dont expect the slide around egg effect like you see on TV.. Made in china..
Full, Description version of my review...
The 3 utensil pieces (spoon, flipper, etc) do work, but I'll be honest, I have bought some in the past at the dollar tree, that were, yes you guessed it, a dollar, and they were made much better. The ones included do work but are not very strong, nor do I think that they will hold up to much use over time. But hey, you didnt buy this set for the utensils, you bought them for the pans, so what do you expect. they will work fine until you get to the store (or order off the net) to buy better ones.
The lids to the set are pretty well made. they have plastic over the handles will keep you from burning your hands if you have to remove the lids and feel like it will hold up OK over time. there is a plastic, or silicone spacer between the handle rivets and the glass so that should help protect the glass from breaking due to the metal up against glass. Also, the lids fit perfectly on both, the fry pans and the pots, so you have a way to cover both without having to worry about splatter.. Just cant do both at the same time obviously.
Now for the pots and pans.
the handles feel decently made. Not great, but pretty good. On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being great, i would give the handles a 6.. maybe 7 if i was feeling generous. They feel like they will hold up to normal use with no problem, but dont try to abuse them or you may have problems. and it may not be the handles fault, it may be the pot or pan part itself.
The Nonstick coating works good from what I have seen so far. I cooked eggs in one, and did not need to use any butter to keep them from sticking. The eggs did not slide around like you will see them do on TV, but they did not stick either. They came right up with no problem and did not break the yolks either. The sausage links I cooked in the other pan never stuck either. I washed both out and dried them by hand and you could not see any kind of mark like they were ever used. so the coating did not peel at all, nor did cooking the food leave any marks.
Now for the bad.. the aluminum that the pots and pans are made from is not extremely durable. When taking them out of the packing, one of the pots hit up against the flat pan, and guess what.. It dented.. Yes, that little hit was all it took. I have other good quality pots and pans with non stick coatings that are made out of aluminum too, and they can get hit 5 times harder and not dent.. The aluminum in these is a bit of a softer aluminum, so you have to watch or expect a lot of dents in your pans. But on the positive side of that, because of they way and type of aluminum that they are made out of, they are also light.. it is kinda like comparing whipped cream cheese to brick cream cheese.. one is much softer and lighter.. that is these.
Another downfall, which I was not happy to find out, was that they were made in china. I did a search on amazon for american, or USA made pots and pans.. These were at the top of the list. Obviously I should have checked into it a little more and not trusted amazon to be accurate here, and for that reason, I did keep them, after all, they will work fine for what I want, but just to be clear.. China made, not American!!!
One things that I never see that I would like to point out though, especially for first time buyers of non stick cookware. Non stick does have its advantages, like not having to use any kind of grease or oils when cooking, but at the same time, there is one major flaw to non stick coatings.. you can not brown food.. I have heard it as browning, glazing, caramelizing, etc. These cook the food fine, but you know how you take a roast and brown or caramelize a roast so that it gets that nice brown glaze in the bottom which is really good if you plan on making home made gravy, or for flavoring the stock in a roast so the flavor goes into the other foods when you cook a roast.., From what I have seen, any non stick pan i have ever used sucked at giving any kind of that browning or caramelizing. It cooks the food with not problem, but you dont get that bit that makes good flavoring or gravy material. If you plan on it, get a pan that is non stick for that purpose.. then after you do the initial caramelizing of the meat, then put all that in these pots if you want. but that is one major draw back to non stick coatings on cookware.
Overall, they are not bad, but not great. They will work fine for a single person, or for a couple. For a decent first set, they are not bad either. If you are someone that gets their pans knocked around a bit (maybe put it in the sink then put stuff on top and clean everything later), then expect to get a lot of dents in these over time. Considering that you get these for under $10 per piece, they are not bad for the price, but i would say average priced for the set. I would not pay anywhere near the retail price for these because they are not worth that much, in my opinion at least. If they were more expensive, i probably would have given a 3 start instead of 4, but I tool price into consideration vs quality when I gave it 4 stars. In the end, it all depends on how you cook as to if these are good for you. Personally, I'll take my old club aluminum pots over these any day of the week.. but that is just my opinion. But also, luckily for me, these are for someone else, not for me, so i dont have to worry about it. :)
Update on info about them...
according to the manual, they are good for gas, spiral or solid electric, ceramic (radiant) and halogen rangetops.
also, the temp rating on them for the oven is.. 350f/175c with plastic handles or stainless steel handles with silicone inserts. 450f/230c for full silicone handles. 500f/260c for handles made completely out of aluminum or stainless steel. cookware with soft touch translucent portions is not oven safe. and never use them in the broiler.