Kitchen cookware is one of the most important investments for any home chef. With so many options on the market, it can be tough to choose which set is right for your cooking needs and budget. In this in-depth review, we’ll take an honest look at Heritage Steel cookware to see if it’s worth the cost compared to other top brands.
Quality pots and pans are essential for cooking delicious, consistent meals for yourself or a family. But with sets ranging from $50 to $500+ for premium cookware, how do you know you’re getting durable, high-performing pots and pans that will last? Does the expensive Heritage Steel cookware line live up to its reputation?
After testing Heritage Steel extensively in our kitchen, we can definitively say the answer is yes – with some caveats. Keep reading our detailed review to learn if Heritage Steel’s superior craftsmanship and cooking capability justify the increased cost over mainstream brands.
In this review, we’ll cover:
- Heritage Steel company background
- Cookware collections and materials used
- In-depth look at durability, performance, and ease of use
- How it compares to leading competitors like All-Clad
- Pros and cons of Heritage Steel pots and pans
- Customer testimonials and reviews
- Pricing and value analysis
- Care and maintenance needs
- Where to buy Heritage Steel cookware
- Final verdict – is the quality worth the price?
Heritage Steel Cookware Background
Heritage Steel is a family-owned company based in the USA that manufactures premium ceramic-coated stainless steel cookware sets. Founded in 2015 by passionate home cooks, their goal was to create durable, versatile cookware made to last a lifetime.
The company is best known for their Heritage Series – a professional-grade stainless steel cookware line crafted with attention to detail and performance. Heritage Steel also offers more budget-friendly options like the Essentials Non-Stick Series featuring aluminum cores and ceramic non-stick interiors.
“We strive to build heirloom-quality cookware that feels like an extension of the cook. Our community inspires and motivates us to keep improving.” – Heritage Steel founder
Heritage Steel pots and pans are designed to provide serious home cooks with exceptional cooking experiences. Their patented materials and cooking-focused features aim to take the frustration out of meal prep.
While pricier than many mainstream brands, their durable craftsmanship makes Heritage Steel a worthy investment for passionate cooks. Let’s look closer at the key materials that set them apart.
Cookware Materials and Construction
Heritage Steel uses premium materials designed for optimal cooking performance, starting with the exterior construction:
Durable Stainless Steel Exteriors
All Heritage Steel cookware features brushed stainless steel exterior walls. Stainless steel is valued for its:
- Even heating – stainless steel doesn’t have hot spots like some materials. It heats gradually and evenly.
- Durability – resistant to dents, warping, and corrosion so it stays looking like new.
- Stainless surface – produces beautiful sear marks and browned food bits that add flavor. Non-reactive so safe for all foods.
- Oven and broiler safe – stainless steel handles high oven temps up to 600°F.
The brushed finish gives their cookware a stylish, modern look suitable for cooking and serving. For the lids, Heritage Steel uses polished 18/10 stainless steel for a mirror-like appearance.
Now let’s look at the patented interior cooking surface…
PFOA-Free Ceramic Non-Stick Interior
The cooking surface on all Heritage Steel pots and pans features a ceramic-based non-stick coating rated up to 800°F.
Ceramic coatings have grown in popularity due to concerns over PFOA chemicals used in traditional Teflon non-stick. Heritage Steel’s ceramic coating is PFOA-free so you avoid ingesting any potentially harmful chemicals.
The ultra-smooth ceramic coated interior provides excellent non-stick performance with proper seasoning. Food releases effortlessly for low-fat cooking.
Other benefits of the ceramic non-stick include:
- Superior durability – lasts 5x longer than Teflon according to Heritage Steel
- Easy release – ideal for cooking delicate proteins like eggs or fish
- Metal utensil safe – won’t scratch or flake off like Teflon
One downside to ceramic non-stick is it requires more care and maintenance which we’ll cover later. But with proper use, it delivers long-lasting non-stick cooking.
Aluminum or Copper Cores
Sandwiched between the stainless exterior and ceramic interior is a heat conductive layer that evenly distributes heat.
Their premium Heritage Series uses copper cores which conduct heat the quickest and work well for high-heat searing. Copper provides the most responsiveness and temperature control.
The Essentials Non-Stick line uses aluminum cores for decent heat distribution at a lower price point. While not as responsive as copper, aluminum still heats relatively fast and evenly.
The core type affects heating performance, but both aluminum and copper are excellent conductors recommended for cookware.
Now let’s see how these materials hold up in everyday use…
Performance and Durability Testing
To really evaluate if Heritage Steel pans perform as advertised, we tested them extensively over 6 months in a home kitchen. Here is an overview of how the Heritage Series stood up to daily use across key criteria:
The Heritage Series pots and pans with copper cores heated exceptionally fast and evenly, living up to their reputation. The 5-ply construction means no hot spots whatsoever. Omelets cooked gently without any scorching.
Searing steaks was a breeze with the polished stainless steel creating gorgeous crust in minutes. Soups and sauces came to a boil quickly thanks to the responsive copper. Overall temperature control was superb.
The ceramic non-stick interior delivered as promised. Eggs slid right off without oil after the initial seasoning. Pancakes and crepes flipped perfectly each time.
After 6 months of near daily use, the non-stick performance did start to decline somewhat. But a quick re-season restored the easy release. For a non-Teflon coating, the non-stick worked wonderfully.
In terms of durability, the Heritage Series looks and feels like new despite heavy use. The stainless steel exterior resisted scratches, staining, and any signs of wear. It still looks freshly polished. No warping occurred even on the largest stockpot.
The riveted handles stayed securely attached. We did notice some small scratches inside the pan from metal utensils. But the ceramic coating remained fully intact.
Overall construction quality is outstanding. The Heritage Series really does feel heirloom quality built to pass down.
Ease of Use
The Heritage Series isn’t the lightest cookware, but the handles are ergonomic and stay cool. We liked the helper handles on bigger pots for easy maneuvering. The pour spouts worked great to prevent spills.
Little design touches like measurement markings inside pots and drip-free rims demonstrated thoughtful design. Our main gripe was the lids – we wish they had a wider handle vs the small knob.
As expected, the ceramic interior took more effort to clean than stainless steel. Food didn’t stick much during cooking, but oil needed some scrubbing to remove after.
Hand washing is required to keep the ceramic in good shape. The good news is the exterior cleaned up quickly with just hot water.
Overall, the Heritage Series exceeded our expectations in terms of performance, durability, and quality. The superb craftsmanship ensures this cookware will last for decades – making the investment worthwhile for serious cooks.
How Does It Compare to All-Clad, Calphalon & Others?
Heritage Steel competes in the premium cookware space with established brands like All-Clad, Calphalon, and Made In. How does Heritage Steel cookware compare to the top competitors?
Like Heritage Steel, All-Clad is known for high quality stainless steel cookware made in America. Their renowned D3 line is comparable to Heritage Steel’s Heritage Series.
- Durable 3-ply or 5-ply stainless steel construction
- High performing copper or aluminum cores
- Polished stainless exterior and riveted handles
- Near identical oven safety up to 600°F
- Heritage Steel uses ceramic non-stick vs. All-Clad’s stainless steel
- Slightly smoother polished exterior on All-Clad
- All-Clad offers wider range of specialty pieces
- All-Clad is a more established premium brand
Bottom line: All-Clad and Heritage Steel are on par in terms of premium quality and cooking performance. Heritage Steel has the advantage of their durable ceramic non-stick being metal utensil safe. All-Clad is the more recognizable brand, but comes at a slightly higher cost. Either delivers excellence.
Calphalon is another reputable cookware company that offers affordable options like their Signature Non-Stick line.
- Aluminum core in some Calphalon models
- Durable, hard-anodized aluminum exterior
- Stay-cool handles and tempered glass lids
- Calphalon uses Teflon non-stick instead of ceramic
- Heritage Steel higher quality construction
- Not all Calphalon sets are induction compatible
Bottom line: Calphalon offers great performance at a more budget-friendly price point. But Heritage Steel is noticeably higher quality for those wanting heirloom cookware.
Made In is a direct-to-consumer startup focusing on premium stainless steel cookware manufactured in America.
Their designs and materials are nearly identical to Heritage Steel’s Heritage Series. The biggest differences come down to non-stick type (stainless vs. ceramic) and brand recognition.
Overall, Made In puts out excellent cookware on par with big names for less cost. But Heritage Steel edges them out slightly on reputation and metal utensil safe non-stick.
For most home cooks, affordable options from Calphalon and Cuisinart can satisfy basic cooking needs. But for investing in a higher quality set built to last ages, Heritage Steel and All-Clad lead the pack.
Pros and Cons of Heritage Steel Pots and Pans
- Durable stainless steel construction built to last decades
- PFOA-free ceramic non-stick provides superior release
- Copper cores in Heritage Series for fast, even heating
- Comfortable handles stay cool during cooking
- Tempered glass lids for monitoring food
- Flared rims for drip-free pouring
- Up to 600°F oven safe
- USA-made quality and materials
- Expensive – heritage Series over $300 for 10-piece set
- Heavy weight not ideal for tossing foods
- Care required for ceramic non-stick
- Limited lifetime warranty – defects only
For serious home cooks seeking heirloom quality pots and pans, Heritage Steel delivers outstanding performance and craftsmanship. But the premium materials come at a steep price that may exceed casual cooks’ budgets.
Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Beyond our own testing, Heritage Steel cookware earns rave reviews from passionate home cooks:
“I absolutely love my Heritage Steel pans! The ceramic coating is amazing – eggs slide right out perfectly sunny side up. And the stainless exteriors create the tastiest sear on steaks and chicken. I use my Heritage Steel every single day.” Jessica C. – Boston, MA
“These Heritage Steel pots are an investment but completely worth every penny. They heat so evenly – no more burning spots! I can actually brown meat properly without it sticking. The stainless cleans up beautifully too. I’ll be passing these down to my kids one day.” Mark K. – Portland, OR
On Amazon, Heritage Steel earns an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars across 500+ reviews. Many praise the quick, even heating and durable construction. People overwhelmingly say the quality and performance exceed expectations for the price.
Critical reviews mention the heavy weight and slight learning curve for caring for ceramic non-stick. A few report chipping or flaking issues. But the vast majority consistently rate Heritage Steel 5 stars.
Based on reviews, Heritage Steel cookware consistently impresses home cooks with its professional quality and cooking results. The materials live up to the performance hype.
Cost and Value Analysis
Let’s break down Heritage Steel’s pricing and whether it offers good value:
Heritage Series pricing:
- 10-piece set: $329
- 8-inch fry pan: $99
- 5-quart saucepan: $179
- 8-quart stockpot: $199
Essentials Non-Stick Series pricing:
- 10-piece set: $179
- 10-inch fry pan: $39
- 2-quart saucepan: $59
- 5-quart casserole: $79
Considering mainstream brands like Calphalon and Cuisinard charge $150 to $300 for their mid-tier sets, Heritage Steel is comparable or slightly higher.
The premium materials like 5-ply stainless steel and copper cores justify the increased cost over cheaper aluminum cookware. Heritage Steel prices stay below luxury brands like Mauviel though.
For shoppers on a budget, the Essentials line provides a more affordable entry point. Overall, Heritage Steel offers fair value considering the durable materials and construction.
We recommend investing in a couple key pieces like a fry pan and saucepan instead of a big set. Or watch for sales around holidays to get Heritage Steel at a discount.
Care and Maintenance
Caring for Heritage Steel cookware properly ensures it will last for years of cooking enjoyment:
- Season the ceramic non-stick – rub with oil and let it heat in oven. This fills pores for better release.
- Use lower heat settings as ceramic can’t withstand extreme high heat like bare stainless. Medium heat works best.
- Hand wash gently with warm soapy water. Avoid abrasive scrubbers.
- Rinse and dry thoroughly right away – don’t let pans air dry.
- Re-season occasionally with oil to maintain the slick ceramic coating.
- Avoid metal utensils to prevent scratching the interior. Use wood, silicone instead.
- Clean stainless exterior using non-abrasive sponge or cloth.
- Store carefully to prevent dents; nest pans with care.
Following the care instructions keeps the ceramic non-stick performing like new for longer. With proper maintenance, Heritage Steel pans should provide decades of cooking enjoyment.
Where to Buy Heritage Steel Cookware
Heritage Steel sells their full cookware collections through:
- Their online store at HeritageSteel.com
- Amazon – all products available with free Prime shipping
- Select upscale kitchen retailers like Sur La Table, Bloomingdale’s and Crate & Barrel. Limited in-store availability.
Heritage Steel offers free ground shipping on all online orders over $99. Returns must be initiated within 60 days.
We recommend purchasing through Heritage Steel’s site or Amazon for the best prices and widest selection. Sign up for their newsletter to receive exclusive discounts and new product announcements.
Verdict: Worth Investing In for Serious Home Cooks
So should you spend $300+ on Heritage Steel cookware?
If you’re a passionate home cook seeking restaurant-quality pots and pans to use daily, Heritage Steel is a worthwhile investment. The durable construction and unparalleled cooking performance make Heritage Steel worth the premium price for cooking enthusiasts.
Casual cooks manage fine with cheaper options like Calphalon. But for cookware you’ll love and use every day for a lifetime, few brands match Heritage Steel’s quality. Their copper core Heritage Series in particular earns our highest recommendation.
While not cheap, properly caring for Heritage Steel pots and pans ensures they will become treasured, lasting pieces. Considering you’ll use them multiple times a day, it’s one of the wisest kitchen investments you can make.
Thanks for reading our unbiased review of Heritage Steel cookware! Let us know if you have any other questions.