With so many cookware brands on the market making big claims about quality and performance, how can you know if Chefs Foundry is worth the higher price tag? After extensive testing and research, we found Chefs Foundry delivers exceptional cooking results and durability that rival luxury brands like All-Clad, but at a more affordable mid-range price point. Read on for a comprehensive look at what makes this newcomer brand stand out.
Overview Of Chefs Foundry
Chefs Foundry was created in 2018 by husband and wife co-founders Mark and Angela, who shared a passion for cooking and were dissatisfied with the cookware options available. After years working in Michelin star kitchens as a chef and in manufacturing as an engineer, Mark and Angela set out to design professional-grade cookware accessible to home cooks.
The Chefs Foundry brand has quickly grown to offer four collections: stainless steel, nonstick, carbon steel, and cast iron. Their patented TriCore technology combines an aluminum core between stainless steel layers for rapid, even heating. Chefs Foundry also prides themselves on eco-friendly manufacturing processes and proprietary Titanium+ nonstick coatings free of harmful PFOAs chemicals.
Based in Austin, Texas, their cookware is hand-finished by American workers. Chefs Foundry has earned glowing reviews from both professional chefs and home cooks for bringing commercial-quality equipment into the kitchen at reasonable prices.
We tested several pieces from their stainless and nonstick line and were blown away by the performance. Keep reading for our full evaluation of Chefs Foundry’s quality, durability, cost, and how they compare against top competitors.
Construction Of Chefs Foundry Pots And Pans
Understanding how Chefs Foundry pans are engineered gives insight into why they cook so impressively. Here we break down the key materials and technologies used across their product lines.
Durable Stainless Steel Cookware
Chefs Foundry stainless steel cookware features an extra thick aluminum core measuring up to 4mm sandwiched between layers of 18/10 stainless steel. 18/10 refers to the percentage of chromium and nickel which make stainless steel resistant to corrosion.
Their patented TriCore technology maximizes heat conductivity through the aluminum, while the stainless exterior provides durability and allows for beautiful sear marks. The pan walls are tapered for even heat distribution up the sides.
Stainless steel alone conducts heat poorly, so an aluminum core is critical for performance. Many cheaper brands use a thin disk of aluminum at the base rather than a core encompassing the pan walls. Chefs Foundry’s substantial core ensures efficient, uniform heating no matter what stove type.
The stainless interior will remain stick-resistant as long as you preheat properly with a thin layer of oil. Cleanup is easy by hand or dishwasher. Oven and broiler safe up to 600°F. Stay-cool cast steel handles riveted for durability and tempered glass lids to monitor cooking.
“I love cooking with Chefs Foundry stainless steel. The TriCore aluminum heats up fast and you can really sear and get that nice fond. Way better than my old Calphalon pans.” – Chris S., home cook
Innovative Nonstick Cookware
Many cookware companies import generic nonstick coatings, but Chefs Foundry develops their own proprietary Titanium+ coating designed for maximum durability and easy food release. The nonstick is applied in 3 layers and reinforced with a titanium-ceramic matrix, creating a textured surface ideal for sliding eggs around with no sticking.
Their Greblon-style nonstick is PFOA-free and environmentally safe, even at high temperatures. The nonstick holds up impressively to metal utensils and abrasive sponges with no scratches or flaking in our testing. Chefs Foundry clearly takes pride in their nonstick technology.
Beneath the nonstick is a 1mm thick aluminum core with stainless steel plate above it to better retain heat after the burner is turned off. Again this allows for fast, even heating without hot spots. The titanium-infused nonstick provides natural protection from oxidation and graying.
The handles are coated in soft-touch silicone for comfort and stay cool on the stovetop. Dishwasher safe but hand washing is recommended to prolong the nonstick. Oven safe to 420°F. One of the most well-constructed nonstick pans we’ve used.
“After my cheap nonstick skillet peeled after a few months, I upgraded to Chefs Foundry and the difference is insane. The nonstick is so slick and nice to be able to cook eggs without oil. Worth the money for nonstick that actually lasts.” – Alicia C., home cook
Testing The Cooking Performance
Word of mouth about Chefs Foundry’s cooking abilities is what first piqued our interest. We rigorously tested how their stainless steel and nonstick cookware performed across various cooking tasks compared to our other favorite brands.
Heating Speed and Conductivity
This was one of the most noticeable strengths in testing Chefs Foundry pans. That thick, wrapped aluminum core does an amazing job conducting heat quickly and evenly. Turn on the burner and a Chefs Foundry pan comes up to high searing heat faster than anything else we tried. No annoying cold spots.
We love how water beads across the entire stainless cooking surface once hot, indicating it’s ready for the perfect sear. Great heat distribution up the tapered sides as well. Soups and sauces simmer evenly without requiring you to stir or rotate.
The silicone handles and tempered glass lids stay cool enough to handle comfortably when the pan itself gets extremely hot. Overall Chefs Foundry cookware heats incredibly fast and efficiently.
Searing and Browning Capabilities
The TriCore aluminum construction allows Chefs Foundry stainless pans to reach scorching temperatures needed for the ultimate sear. We achieved deep brown fond on steaks and thick pork chops better than most other stainless pans.
Chicken breasts got beautifully browned and crispy skin on salmon came out perfect. The metal spatula glides smoothly across the stainless surface once heated with oil. If you love to pan sear at high heat, Chefs Foundry delivers.
Nonstick Slickness and Release
We all know the pain when eggs and other delicate foods stick stubbornly to cheap nonstick. That’s never an issue with Chefs Foundry’s nonstick pans in testing. Their titanium-reinforced coating lives up to its slick and scratch-resistant claims.
Eggs slid around the pan effortlessly without oil and flipped cleanly with a silicone spatula. Pancakes and fish fillets also released perfectly intact. The nonstick performance rivals our favorite GreenPan but comes at a lower price point.
After weeks of use with metal utensils, the nonstick maintained its integrity with minimal scratching. The textured surface also gives food an appetizing browned sear not always possible on nonstick. Overall extremely impressive nonstick abilities.
“I can finally make perfect omelets thanks to my Chefs Foundry nonstick skillet. The eggs never stick like my old pans. I use it every morning!”
- Lucas F., home cook
How Durable And Easy To Maintain Is Chefs Foundry Cookware?
While cooking ability is most important, we also assess durability of materials and ease of care. Quality cookware should withstand daily use for years. Here’s how Chefs Foundry holds up.
Durability – No signs of warping occurred despite rapid heating and cooling during testing. The stainless and nonstick both proved resilient against scratching and scuffs during our typical usage. We expect many years of service life from Chefs Foundry with proper care.
Cleaning – Food residue wipes away cleanly by hand with minimal elbow grease needed. We prefer hand washing to dishwashers for nonstick, but stainless cleans great either way.
No need for special maintenance products – just hot soapy water and soft sponges. The stainless develops a nice natural patina over time. We encountered no challenges cleaning Chefs Foundry by hand or machine.
Overall Chefs Foundry earns high marks for durability and ease of care thanks to quality engineering. The only downside is some food stains setting into the stainless interior if you don’t clean promptly after cooking.
How Chefs Foundry Compares To Other Popular Brands
We know shoppers want to see how Chefs Foundry stacks up against top competitors like All-Clad, Calphalon, and Made In. Here’s an overview of how Chefs Foundry’s performance and value compares.
All-Clad – The renowned All-Clad is the gold standard for stainless steel, with 5-ply construction and similar aluminum core to Chefs Foundry. All-Clad edges out slightly in heating speed. But Chefs Foundry offers nearly equivalent cooking abilities at 30-40% less cost.
Calphalon – A long-time budget favorite, Calphalon pans are thinner aluminum construction not built for high searing heat. Chefs Foundry blows Calphalon away for fast heating and browning. You pay more but the cooking experience is noticeably better.
Made In – This newcomer like Chefs Foundry prides themselves on American-made quality. Their 5-ply stainless is excellent but thicker aluminum core of Chefs Foundry heats even faster. Chefs Foundry gives better value at their lower prices.
GreenPan – For nonstick, GreenPan is top-tier with diamond-reinforced coating. But the cheapest GreenPan costs over 50% more than Chefs Foundry nonstick that performed identically in testing. Better value with Chefs Foundry.
For shoppers balancing performance and price, Chefs Foundry hits the sweet spot in both stainless steel and nonstick. Construction quality is very impressive for the moderate cost. They don’t cut corners like budget brands.
“After researching all the different cookware lines, I took a chance on Chefs Foundry because of the rave reviews. It was the best decision ever, I reach for these pans every day over my old Calphalon set.”
- Alyssa K., home cook
Pricing And Availability
Here is a look at price ranges across Chefs Foundry’s main product lines:
- Stainless Steel – Starts from $130 for 8″ skillet up to $470 for 10-piece set
- Nonstick – Starts from $55 for 8″ nonstick skillet up to $330 for 7-piece set
- Carbon Steel – Starts from $80 for 11″ carbon steel pan
- Cast Iron – Starts from $65 for 10.5” cast iron skillet
This places Chefs Foundry in an affordable mid-range, between budget options and luxury brands. You pay more than entry-level cookware but get superb performance for the moderate cost. Quality is on par with the most expensive brands.
Chefs Foundry frequently offers discounts direct on their website and for holiday sales events. Free shipping in the US.
Their cookware is also available at Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma, Amazon, and premium grocery chains. Stock can fluctuate so order from ChefsFoundry.com for the widest selection.
All purchases come with a 60-day money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied. Plus a limited lifetime warranty covering manufacturer defects – proof the company stands behind their cookware.
“I finally splurged on some nice Chefs Foundry pans using a coupon code on their website. I’m so glad I took the plunge because these are the best pans I’ve ever used. Worth every penny for cookware I’ll keep forever.”
- Madison C., home cook
Who Is Chefs Foundry Best Suited For?
Chefs Foundry aims to bring commercial-grade performance into home kitchens at reasonable prices. Their innovative engineering gives results comparable to the most expensive brands.
The Chefs Foundry customer seeks quality high-heat searing along with nonstick versatility. If you find yourself frustrated with hot spots or food sticking on bargain cookware, Chefs Foundry is worth the upgrade.
Their rugged build quality also makes it perfect for avid home cooks wanting pans to last a lifetime. While not cheap, they provide serious value vs luxury brands costing far more.
If you mainly steam vegetables or make simple meals, cheaper brands may suffice. But any cook who sears meat, fries eggs, or makes pan sauces will appreciate Chefs Foundry for the fast, even heating. Well-made American cookware designed for cooking enthusiasts.
pros and cons:
- Fast, even heating from aluminum core
- High-quality nonstick coating stays slick longer
- Allows for great searing at high heat
- Durable stainless steel exterior
- Cooks as well as more expensive brands
- Stainless steel can discolor if not cleaned promptly
- Nonstick durability diminishes over time
- Higher cost than entry-level cookware
- Some quality control issues mentioned in reviews
Final Verdict – An Excellent Investment for Home Cooks
After extensive testing and comparisons, we confidently recommend Chefs Foundry as a smart investment that outperforms traditional budget brands. Shoppers wanting quality cookware without overspending will be thrilled.
You’ll enjoy faster heating and better searing than cheaper options, with nonstick as slick and durable as the top brands. While not as renowned as All-Clad, Chefs Foundry provides nearly equal ability at much lower prices.
Given the stellar cooking performance, durable materials, and mid-range pricing, Chefs Foundry achieves an ideal balance of value. Their attention to detail and American-made quality is obvious in use.
If you desire fast heating, even cooking, and longevity in your pots and pans, Chefs Foundry delivers. This exceptional newcomer brand deserves a spot in your kitchen.