There are no moving parts, they're pretty basic, and how on earth do manufacturers justify charging that much ? It's a completely legitimate question whether you should spend the equivalent of a few car payments outfitting your kitchen, and the answer is a bit complicated.
Let's talk science, cooking, and how you should really go about buying those pots and pans. Cheap pots and pans are typically made of a metal that's either reactive or non-reactive.
How Stuff Works explains it like this: if you're cooking something acidic (think tomato sauce or foods with lemon), a reactive pan is going to, well, react with your ingredients to ultimately change the taste of the food. They're made in such a way that they're good heat conductors, and that makes a huge difference.
Let's use a quick example: you're sautéing garlic, and we all know there's that sweet spot between just right and too much. According to Fine Cooking, well-made pots and pans also tend to be thicker, which leads to a more even heat that's applied to your food.
It's a saying that's been around so long because it's absolutely true, and part of the reason high-quality cookware costs so much is simply that it's made better. That's a big deal because for starters, you're not going to need to replace them as often and over the lifespan of your pan, the costs could very well even out.
Anthony Bourdieu probably put it best when he talked about just what makes a good sauté pan in Kitchen Confidential. ... A proper sauté pan, for instance, should cause serious head injury if brought down hard against someone's skull.
Enameled cast iron, for example, is great for slow-cooking and braising because of the way it heats up. It also looks stylish enough to double as a serving dish, and it'll still impress at the most high-pressure dinner party.
Copper pots and pans can get damaged and dented pretty easily, too, so if you don't have a place to store these where they're not going to get banged around, they might not be for your kitchen. Not even the most expensive tools are perfect, so it's important to do some serious research before you start spending.
More expensive pots and pans might be high-quality and more durable than cheaper alternatives, but in the end, they're only as good as the care you give them. Those can be put in the dishwasher, says Consumer Reports, but you should never use kitchen sponges that are even the slightest bit abrasive.
Cast iron is going to take a lot of care and seasoning, and there's still a chance it'll rust. Fortunately, following the manufacturer's care instructions will prolong the life of your pots and pans so your single investment might be one that you also make for future generations of chefs.
When shopping for cookware, you’ll notice that prices range significantly between brands. The factors that have the most significant impact on price include the materials, how it’s made, where it’s produced, and the brand’s reputation.
Fully clad (or multi-clad) cookware is expensive because it’s made with multiple layers of bonded metal. Cookware made in Europe or the United States is the most expensive due to higher labor costs, stricter regulations, and quality materials.
The prestige that comes with trusted brands like Le Crest, All-Clad, and Marvel carries a hefty price tag. The company is famous for its fully clad stainless steel cookware, and one of their most popular (and expensive) collections is the Copper Core.
Each pot and pan features an elegant copper ring around the exterior’s lower half. Three-ply construction is standard with stainless steel cookware, but the additional layers in this five-ply collection add to its durability and uniform heat transfer.
Important to note: All-Clad sources all of its materials and manufactures its cookware in the United States. The stainless steel interior with a starburst finish offers stick resistance and easy maintenance, making the cooking experience a breeze.
However, if you’re looking for something non-stick or don’t cook recipes requiring advanced techniques and skills, this might not be the top choice for you. Marvel has been making premium cookware in France for nearly 200 years, and its craftspeople still use traditional techniques during every production stage.
The company values heritage and traditions, which is evident in its stunning design and exceptional craftsmanship. However, if you prefer cookware that does its job but blends into the background of your kitchen, this collection isn’t worth the high price.
As for performance, the copper has exceptional thermal conductivity, giving you precise temperature control. Also, keep in mind that the copper exterior will tarnish, so to keep it looking beautiful, it needs to be hand washed and polished regularly.
This family-run company has been at the forefront of sustainable and innovative stainless steel cookware since 1908, and Atlantis is the brand’s most sought after collection. This cookware features unique and patented components, including its InductoSeal base and Silvio surface treatment.
You’ll get quality results from both, but the 7-ply construction (which includes a copper disc) is thicker, more resistant to warping, and absorbs and retains heat better. The InductoSeal base is made with a copper disk for superb heat conduction.
Unlike most cookware with rounded bottom edges, the InductoSeal base stays flat, stable, and warp-resistant. It helps maintain the silver matte finish, resists fingerprints, and is easy to clean.
If you are looking for versatile, well-constructed cookware from a brand that’s been trusted for over 100 years, Demeter Atlantis is worth the money. Made in Italy, the Roughing Symphonic Capra collection is the epitome of luxury.
The triple-layer construction includes an aluminum core, a copper exterior, and a bonded stainless steel interior. This gourmet collection combines Italian copper craftsmanship with incredible culinary performance.
The combination of copper, aluminum, and stainless steel provides excellent heat conduction, durability, and versatility. So, whether you’re searing a steak, simmering a sauce, or stir frying vegetables, this collection is up to the task.
With a 2.5 mm thick copper exterior, it provides quick and even heating, and performs similarly to the Marvel and Roughing collections. One thing I don’t love about this cookware is that the handles are a bit bulky and unattractive.
Then again, Matter Bourges has been one of the top French cookware brands for centuries, so apparently others don’t agree with me on this point. Le Crest Enameled Cast Iron is some of the most expensive cookware in the world.
The company is best known for its bright-colored Dutch ovens, but they offer saucepans, skillets, and many other items, too. Le Crest is famous for its cast iron Dutch ovens that they’ve been perfecting for over 100 years.
With Le Crest, you can cook hours in advance and enjoy time with your guests without worrying about the food getting cold. It’s most popular, best-selling color is called Flame; the orange gradient pays tribute to the molten cast iron hue created during the manufacturing process.
Le Crest also has other cast iron items such as raisers, skillets, grills, roasters, and more. You can’t watch a cooking show, browse a wedding registry, or walk the aisles at fancy kitchen supply stores without running into Le Crest.
The thick walls retain heat better than most, the heavy, form-fitting lid traps in moisture, and the enameled interior creates a non-stick surface that offers exceptional food release. If you’re looking for the best Dutch oven or enameled cast iron cookware, Le Crest is the brand to buy.
Although it’s more expensive than the competition, Le Crest is worth it because you’re getting high-performing French-made cookware from a brand that’s been at the top of the industry since 1925. The company’s mission is to create innovative cookware with a strong emphasis on the finer details.
Heston Copper Bond is Italian hand-crafted quality cookware, available in many sizes and product offerings, with incredible beauty and performance. Each piece is made with a 5-ply bonded construction, 100% pure copper, and a wrap-around stainless steel base and interior.
The stainless steel handles and lids feature a shiny, polished finish. This cookware also has reinforced stainless steel rims for drip-free pouring and a large surface area, 20% bigger than traditional pots and pans.
Besides quality construction, you’re paying for the brand’s reputation and the skilled craftspeople behind each piece. If you’re looking for innovative, high-performing, and elegant cookware from a brand that has an obsessive attention to detail, then Heston Copper Bond is worth the money.
The stainless steel base is warp-resistant and compatible with all cook tops, including induction. On the other hand, this cookware might not be worth the money if you don’t have time to maintain it properly.