When it comes to stocking your kitchen with versatile, durable pots and pans that perform well, is Cooks Standard cookware a smart buy or should you splurge on pricier premium brands?
Cooks Standard offers quality multi-clad stainless steel and nonstick cookware at budget-friendly prices that deliver excellent cooking performance rivaling premium brands like All-Clad, making them an excellent value option perfect for the home cook on a budget.
Cooks Standard is a housewares company that specializes in manufacturing affordable, high performing stainless steel and nonstick cookware, bakeware, and kitchen tools.
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Cooks Standard aims to produce professional-grade cookware using commercial-quality materials and cooking technology at consumer-friendly price points.
The brand is best known for their stainless steel Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad cookware line which features an 18/10 stainless steel exterior, aluminum core for rapid heating, and a polished stainless steel cooking surface.
They also offer Cooks Standard Hard Anodized nonstick pots and pans with a PFOA-free ceramic-based nonstick coating.
Both the stainless steel clad and nonstick product lines offer oven and dishwasher safe pieces that are compatible with all stovetops including induction.
In this extensive cookware review, we’ll cover:
- An overview of Cooks Standard’s product offerings and materials
- Key pros and cons of their stainless steel and nonstick cookware
- How Cooks Standard pots and pans perform for cooking tasks
- How Cooks Standard compares to premium cookware brands like All-Clad
- Detail on their warranty and customer service
- Best selling Cooks Standard cookware sets to consider
So you can determine if this affordably priced cookware is a smart investment for kitting out your kitchen with high quality pots and pans that perform well and last.
An Overview of Cooks Standard Cookware
Cooks Standard offers two main cookware product lines:
1. Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless Steel
The Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless Steel line is their most popular and is constructed using:
- Exterior layer of polished 18/10 stainless steel
- Inner aluminum core layer for excellent heat conduction
- Interior cooking surface of polished 18/10 stainless steel
This tri-ply clad construction allows the aluminum core to quickly and evenly distribute heat while the durable stainless steel exterior resists corrosion and is easy to maintain.
The polished cooking surface is stick-resistant for searing and sautéing while avoiding food sticking and burning.
This line features a variety of cookware pieces including:
- Fry pans
- Saucepans with lids
- Stock pots
- Sauté pans
- Casserole dishes
With some sets also including handy extras like a steamer insert or pasta pot.
2. Cooks Standard Hard Anodized Nonstick
For those looking for quality nonstick pots and pans, Cooks Standard offers their Hard Anodized Nonstick line.
The cookware features a hard anodized aluminum exterior that’s highly durable and quick heating.
The interior boasts a PFOA-free ceramic based nonstick coating claimed to be long lasting and scratch resistant.
Some key pieces in the line include:
- Nonstick skillets
- Casserole dishes
Let’s now dive into the pros and cons of these two popular Cooks Standard cookware lines.
Pros of Cooks Standard Pots and Pans
Durable Construction and Materials
Considering their budget-friendly price, Cooks Standard cookware is impressively well made using quality materials and construction methods.
The tri-ply clad design of their stainless steel line with the aluminum core and 18/10 stainless steel exterior and interior is engineered for durability, longevity and cooking performance.
This tried and tested clad construction method is found on far more expensive cookware from premium brands like All-Clad.
For their nonstick line, using hard anodized aluminum again adds to the durability and performance, with the anodizing process helping make it harder and more corrosion resistant than untreated aluminum.
Excellent Cooking Performance
The use of aluminum is key for Cooks Standard’s fantastic cooking performance with both their stainless steel and nonstick cookware.
The aluminum core in their clad line and overall construction in their hard anodized nonstick provide excellent heat conduction allowing for fast, even heating.
This gives you superior temperature control when cooking, allowing you to perfectly sear meats, fry eggs, and boil water rapidly.
Reviewers repeatedly praise how Cooks Standard cookware rivals far more expensive brands in terms of cooking ability.
“This cookware is every bit as good in the cooking ability as my Emerilware and my Calphalon.” – Becky H., Verified Buyer
The aluminum also allows the cookware to be used successfully on all cooking surfaces including induction stovetops which many reviewers pointed out worked flawlessly.
Considering the quality materials and cooking performance, Cooks Standard pots and pans provide amazing value for money.
The multi ply clad stainless steel cookware in particular offers similar durability and cooking abilities as premium brands like All Clad but at a fraction of the price.
A 10-Piece Cooks Standard Clad Set costs around $250 while a similar 10-Piece All Clad Set will run you $1,000+!
For nonstick, their hard anodized line again offers performance and durability on par with brands like Calphalon but at 50% or less of the price.
Cooks Standard pieces are very frequently on sale making them even more budget friendly. So for shoppers wanting quality cookware on a budget, the price point is a major perk.
“Top quality for WAY less than the over-priced, over-hyped brands. I am beyond pleased with this set!” – Melissa D., Verified Buyer
Cons of Cooks Standard Pots and Pans
While Cooks Standard offers excellent value for money, there are a few downsides to weigh:
If you’re looking for sleek, contemporary style cookware to accent your kitchen, the styling of Cooks Standard may underwhelm.
Their clad stainless steel has a plain brushed finish and their nonstick is only available in black.
There are no special colors, textures or modern styling offered.
So if high-end aesthetic appeal is important, you may want to consider brands like All-Clad that offer polished and striking designs.
Limited Size Options
Another downside is Cooks Standard offers a more limited range of pot and pan sizes compared to other major cookware brands.
There’s less choice in smaller and larger sized pieces. So you may need to supplement their sets with additional pieces.
Warranty Could Be Better
Cooks Standard offers a limited lifetime warranty that covers manufacturer defects.
However, many reviewers noted dealing with their customer service team for claims can be difficult.
Also, the warranty does not cover normal wear and tear which more generous warranties from brands like Cuisinart do account for.
While Cooks Standard cookware should last for many years with proper care, the warranty coverage could be improved.
How Does Cooks Standard Perform for Cooking?
Putting Cooks Standard’s cookware to the test for common cooking tasks shows how its performance stacks up:
The stainless steel skillets heat up rapidly and evenly allowing you to get an excellent sear with a golden brown crust on steaks, pork chops and chicken breasts.
The slick stainless steel surface helps prevent thin cuts like pork chops from sticking while thicker steaks will release after getting a nice fond.
For more delicate proteins like fish fillets, the nonstick skillets allow you to cook fish and get a lightly crispy skin without sticking.
Turning out picture perfect over easy eggs is no problem in Cooks Standard’s nonstick frying pans.
The ceramic nonstick surface makes eggs and omelettes slide right out of the pan and allows you to cook with little or no oil.
The multi clad saucepots are excellent for simmering sauces like marinara allowing you to build depth of flavor cooking for hours.
The included lids lock in moisture and flavors.
Bringing water to a rapid boil when cooking pasta or vegetables is speedy in both the nonstick and stainless stockpots.
The aluminum construction results in fast, efficient boiling. A major plus for pasta night!
Browning and Braising Meats
Sear meat first in a skillet then transfer to a Cooks Standard braiser or dutch oven to braise slowly in flavorful liquid for fork tender stews, beef bourguignon and coq au vin with delicious fond.
Cooking for a Crowd
The large stock pots make cooking for big batches easy allowing you to boil lobster, make jambalaya for a crowd or can homemade soups and stews.
Both the stainless and nonstick are up for big batch cooking chores.
So in summary, Cooks Standard cookware allows you to tackle just about any home cooking task effectively thanks to its excellent heat conduction and quality construction.
How Does Cooks Standard Compare to Premium Brands Like All-Clad?
The biggest competitor of Cooks Standard is definitely All-Clad which offers premium quality tri-ply clad stainless steel cookware made in America.
But how does Cooks Standard stack up? Here’s how the two brands compare:
Performance and Cooking Ability
The performance between Cooks Standard tri-ply and All-Clad is very comparable with both offering fast, even heating results.
They both heat rapidly, sear well, and are highly responsive to temperature adjustments.
Durability and Lifespan
Build quality for both is excellent with All-Clad likely having a slight edge for maximum durability thanks to being made in the USA.
But well cared for Cooks Standard should still last many years of regular cooking making it a smart long term investment.
Styling and Aesthetics
Hands down All-Clad wins for beautiful styling and available colors. Their polished and brushed finishes are very stylish.
Cooks Standard has a plain brushed look that’s not anything special.
No contest here, Cooks Standard is the clear winner for budget friendly pricing at half the cost or less than All-Clad.
A 10-piece All-Clad set will run you $1,000+ while a similar Cooks Standard set costs around $250-$300.
All-Clad offers a lifetime warranty that covers defects and normal wear and tear.
Cooks Standard has a more limited lifetime warranty that just covers defects.
So in summary, for shoppers wanting excellent cooking performance without the premium price tag, Cooks Standard compares very favorably to All-Clad and is a great budget-friendly alternative.
Cooks Standard Warranty and Customer Service
Cooks Standard provides the following limited lifetime warranty on defects in materials and workmanship:
- Covers stainless steel and nonstick cookware
- Valid for as long as you own the original product
- Warranty only applies to original owner and is not transferable
- Proof of purchase required for any claims
- Customer responsible for all shipping costs related to returns
The warranty does not cover:
- Normal wear and tear
- Damage caused by abuse or misuse
- Stains or discoloration
Many customer reviews mentioned dealing with Cooks Standard customer service for warranty issues can be difficult and time consuming.
Response times can be slow and providing proof of purchase and photos is required.
The warranty would be improved if normal wear was covered and the service streamlined.
So while Cooks Standard cookware should last for years with proper care, be prepared for potential issues if you do need to make a warranty claim.
Best Cooks Standard Cookware Sets
Cooks Standard offers a few preset cookware sets that make great choices depending on your needs and budget.
Here are two of their best selling sets that make smart buys:
Cooks Standard 10-Piece Multi-Ply Clad Cookware Set
This quality clad stainless steel set is their bestseller and includes:
- 8” and 10” fry pan
- 1.5qt and 3qt saucepans with lids
- 3qt sauté pan with lid
- 8qt stockpot with lid
The set has all the essential pans and pots the home cook needs. Durable, oven and dishwasher safe, and excellent for cooking on any stovetop.
Cooks Standard Hard Anodized 11-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set
A complete nonstick starter set featuring:
- 8” and 9.5” frying pan
- 1qt and 2qt saucepan with lids
- 2qt casserole pan with lid
- 5qt stockpot with lid
- Steamer insert
Everything needed for nonstick cooking and all oven safe to 350 F. Highly affordable quality.
Is Cooks Standard Worth Buying?
For shoppers wanting high performing tri-ply clad and nonstick cookware at budget prices, Cooks Standard is absolutely worth buying.
While premium brands like All-Clad may edge out Cooks Standard when it comes to maximum durability and style, Cooks Standard deliver similar cooking abilities at 50% or less of the cost.
Their pots and pans offer professional grade cooking results to meet all your cooking needs whether searing meats perfectly, frying eggs, or boiling water rapidly.
For stocking a kitchen with versatile, quality cookware without breaking the bank, Cook Standard delivers excellent value. Their clad and nonstick sets make for wonderful housewarming or wedding gifts too.
Just be prepared for potential warranty claim issues and lack of flashy styling. But for reliable daily cookware that performs like the expensive stuff, choose Cooks Standard.
Conclusion and Recommendation
In summary, Cooks Standard cookware provides impressive durability, cooking performance, and affordable pricing making it a smart buy for the budget conscious yet quality focused home cook.
While the styling is plain and their warranty lags behind premium brands, their combination of quality materials and construction with the value pricing make Cooks Standard pots and pans a recommendable option worth investing in.
For shoppers seeking the absolute best in visual appeal or maximum lifetime durability, then brands like All-Clad may be worth the splurge.
But for beautifully searing steaks, whipping up silky sauces, and turning out perfect eggs on a budget, Cooks Standard cookware will meet all your everyday cooking needs while being gentle on your wallet.