Made In, an American startup that sells their wares online, could be the answer to overpriced cookware sold in bulky sets.
Last year, I looked over the sad collection of cheap, mismatched pots, pans, and skillets I'd collected over four years of college. And while I eyed new sets from luxury retailers, I mostly kept running out to Target every six months or so to replace a battered nonstick pan or build up my set of kitchen essentials.
Graduation had come and gone, and I sure as heck didn't bite any $100 bullet for a single All-Clad stainless steel pan—I figured I'd have to wait for a really special occasion to upgrade.
Enter Made In, the Austin-based cookware company that quietly slipped into the market last September.
Made In solves a problem that many home cooks face: They offer beautifully crafted cookware that isn't shoddy, at lower prices than you'd find at a brick-and-mortar store. And, Made In's products are all, well, made in the United States. The company's founders told Fast Company in March that the brand is gunning to capture the attention of millennial cooks, among others, who care about products designed with ease and usability in mind.
So it's not a total surprise that Made In offers a personalized quiz for curios visitors, to help them customize recommendations. And the best part is that you can shop Made In's collection one piece at a time—no need to buy the entire set at once. Novice cooks who may be moving into their first kitchens, as well as those who are growing into a new home and changing needs over time, can purchase individual items as needed.
There's been plenty of hype around Made In's affordable price points, but when we got our hands on a full set of Made In products here at Cooking Light, our editors were eager to test the product to see how well they stand up. The site explains that their cookware is made from five layers of aluminum laced with nickel and covered in a stainless steel finish, to help evenly spread heat without creating hot spots.
We first made a hefty corn chowder in the brand's stock pot. The stock pot was impressively hefty, able to sear and crisp up a medley of fresh veggies. It wasn't too long before the soup came to a roiling boil, and on a low-heat burner, Made In's stockpot held easily held a simmer. After using a steel slotted spoon to mix the chowder itself, we didn't notice any wear and tear on the interior of the pot itself.
Another editor tested the $59 stainless steel skillet. We were immediately impressed by the balance of the pan's weight—it feels sturdy without being overly heavy. Like a lot of mid-range pans, the handle's bolts sit on the interior of the pan itself, which can make it a little tougher to get at bits of food and grease that collect there.
But it held heat well enough to really searing a nice steak, and though nonstick is almost always easier for something delicate, like eggs, the pan did a fine job of frying a couple over-easy, and went through the dishwasher without a problem.
For the nonstick pan, we whipped up a three-egg omelette with a pile of fresh veggies. The long handle allowed it to stay touchably cool, despite the pan being on high heat. It became hot fast, and a splash of olive oil brought chopped green peppers and mushrooms to a sizzle in a few seconds.
Adding the eggs to the pan, I was able to easily flip the omelette on its side without any sticking. A splash of water and soap cleaned the pan instantly, and all I was left with was an impressively browned breakfast that came together very easily.
Across the spectrum of our test Made In products performed as well—if not better—than more expensive cookware.
Home cooks looking for a great craftsmanship to add to any arsenal of cookware: Made In can help you execute the dishes you want to put on the table for your family and yourself—regardless of experience, and at one heck of a price.