If you are looking for a good quality, inexpensive stainless steel cookware set, the Cook N Home 10 Piece Stainless Steel cookware is a great buy. Numerous reviews online attest to its quality and ability to deliver well cooked food at a very reasonable price. And if you are like me, you will love the fact that you can stack the items (nest) within each other saving valuable space.
Most owners are happy they bought the set even though they were not sure what kind of quality they would get at such a low price.
The real challenge in choosing a good quality, low price set is that this company actually offers two similar sets – a 12 piece set without silicone handles and this 10 piece set with them. I’ll get into the detail for this smaller set and help you understand how to choose between the two.
Bottom and Sides
Like all good quality stainless steel cookware, this set is comprised of three layers on the bottom. Stainless steel, aluminum and then another layer of stainless steel.
Having a layer of only stainless steel on the bottom would cause food to heat unevenly because stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat. To overcome this, aluminum or copper is sandwiched between the two outer layers to ensure that the heat is evenly distributed.
Aluminum conducts heat well and so does copper, but copper is expensive and is normally found only in top of the line cookware. Some stainless cookware extends this layering, which is also called tri ply, 3 ply and clad, up the sides of the pots.
The layering on the set is limited to the bottoms but food still cooks evenly and very well. Aluminum also helps food heat quickly and water to come to its boiling point quickly. This means less time needed to cook food well.
One of the reasons it is so affordable is the very construction itself. The most particular cooks would ideally want cookware that had an inner core of something other than stainless steel that went all the way up the sides.
The Cook N Home set only has the extra core layer in the bottom of the pots and pans. That makes manufacturing and the cost of materials cheaper.
Are you prepared to spend a hundred or two for a set that has triple material layers in the sides as well as the bottom? Or are you comfortable buying a lower cost set knowing that you’ll still have the health benefits of cooking with stainless but perhaps not quite the optimum heat distribution you would in something like All Clad?
For those who cook only for their families and aren’t looking to practice the skills they learned in a top culinary school, this set will certainly suffice.
The items are compatible with induction cooktops, too, a trending method of cooking appliance that heats food by magnetic induction instead of flame. That means the bottom area of the cookware must be magnetic and not all cookware has this ability. This requirement affects stainless steel grading. The typical 18/10 grading (how much chromium and nickel is in the metal to resist staining and corrosion) has given way to 18/0 at the bottoms. This lower number indicates that the material has magnetic properties. Most brands are doing away with using the 18/10 ratings to avoid confusion. Some brands are using the special induction symbol on cookware to easily show its compatibility with induction stoves.
These handles are different from the Cook N Home 12 piece set. They are wrapped in silicone. Silicone handles have a reputation of being very comfortable to grasp which is very good for those who might have weakness in their hands or who need a steady grip in order to lift items.
Another reason to like these handles is that they stay cool; however, they do have some issues. Silicone handles cannot withstand very high heat. Some silicone handles on some brands are safe to use inside ovens up to temperatures of 350 degrees others cannot tolerate heat that high and Cook N Home does NOT recommend using this particular set inside ovens.
The handles do have rivets which means they are connected to the item with small pieces of metal and this makes them very durable.
If you like to watch your food as it cooks without having to lift the lid, then this is a good set for you. Not only are the lids glass enabling you to see what’s cooking, they have small steam vent holes that allows steam to escape from the pot. Pressure is, thus, restrained and preventing boil overs and causing food to spill its contents onto the stovetop.
The lids are made of tempered glass, the same type of glass used in cars and bulletproof windows. This glass is very tough and can withstand high heat as well as being dropped without shattering.
But certain precautions should be considered when handling glass lids like not placing lids directly on top of heating elements or under the broiler and not handling a hot glass lid with a wet cloth.
Even the handles on the lids use silicone wrapped around them both for comfort and to keep the handles cool to the touch.
The weight of pots and pans plays an important role in how well food will cook. Heavier pots and pans conduct heat very well. This set is medium weight. It’s heavy enough to do a very good job of cooking evenly, but it definitely isn’t heavy.
Even though its weight is not as thick as many medium weight sets like Cuisinart, it is not thin cookware. You want to avoid cookware that is too thin because food tends to burn when the metal is too thin.
Brushed or Mirror (Polished) Aluminum
The set is a beautiful and shiny mirror polished stainless steel that will keep its appearance if cared for properly. It is safe to use in the dishwasher or it can be hand washed. It is easy to clean using mild dish washing liquids.
To remove particles of food that stick to the pan, you can add a little vinegar to water and wash gently. To avoid sticking problems, take a little time to learn how to cook with stainless steel.
This generally means attaining the proper heat temperature of the cookware before adding the butter or oils and then the food.
Also, avoid using very high heat so the pans don’t get a rainbow-like pattern on the inside, but if they do, try the vinegar treatment to restore its shiny, unmarked appearance.
What’s Included in Set
The Cook N Home Company is located in California and their sets are made in China. Items that come with this one are:
- 1 quart saucepan with lid
- 2 quart saucepan with lid
- 2.7 quart casserole with lid
- 5 quart stockpot with lid
- 10 inch fry pan with lid
Both the 12 piece and 10 piece sets include a 10 inch frying pan but everything else in this one is just a little smaller than the 12 piece. The larger set has a 5 ½ quart stockpot while this one has a 5 quart. All of the other pots are a size smaller, as well.
The 10 piece set also has one fewer saucepans than the 12 piece. Both count the pots and lids as separate pieces so a 10pc set is really 5 cooking pieces and 5 lids compared to the 12pc set with 6 cooking pieces and 6 lids. This smaller one seems better suited to a small kitchen, an individual, or a family of two.
The items are small and other than the frying pan and 5 1/2 quart saucepan, they don’t hold a large quantity of food. The set is geared more towards a family of three of four persons.
I love the fact that you can stack the items within each other. This is great when you don’t have a lot of shelf or closet space.
- Very good reviews online
- Food heats evenly
- Well constructed and good quality
- Each piece has its own lid
- Pots nest within each other (stackable)
- Handles stay cool
- Stackable within each other
- Easy to clean
- Dishwasher safe
- Safe for Induction cooktops
- Low Price
- Cannot be used inside oven
- Only one frying pan
- Most of the pieces are very small
Reviews are very positive and reviewers say they would recommend it as a purchase. Most owners speak of its excellent job of heating food evenly and quickly.
The set’s shiny appearance and medium weight suggests that the quality of the stainless steel is very good. The pieces are well crafted and molded. The set is compatible with gas stoves, electric stoves, glass and ceramic cooktops. It can also be used on Induction cooktops. The pots can be stacked within each other saving valuable space. This is a huge benefit if you are short on shelf space.
The Cook N Home 10 piece set is a good choice as a beginner stainless steel set or for a small family. The number of pieces you get for the price is excellent. I am sure it would be appreciated as a gift for an individual who cooks often but isn’t a serious cook.
It also gets you a good alternative to non stick cookware which is unhealthy. For the price, you are getting a good deal so you aren’t likely to go wrong in choosing it as a purchase.
However, I feel the Cook N Home’s 12 piece set is a better deal. You get two casseroles and a slightly bigger stockpot in the 12 piece set. I would only recommend the 10 piece over the 12 piece if you prefer to have silicone handles. It’s an inexpensive set, but adequate for an individual or a couple.