Kitchens are the heart of a home, and every good cook knows that having quality pots and pans can make all the difference when preparing delicious meals. But with so many cookware brands on the market, how do you know which is right for your needs and budget? If you’re looking for affordable nonstick cookware sold exclusively at Target, Made by Design may have caught your eye. But how does this budget-friendly line really stack up?
In this unbiased Made by Design cookware review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about these low-cost pots and pans, including:
- An overview of the Made by Design cookware line
- The pros and cons of Made by Design based on customer experiences
- Cost comparisons to similar brands
- Key features and benefits of top-rated Made by Design pans
- Recommended cookware sets that offer the best value
- Care and maintenance tips to make your pots and pans last
- And most importantly – whether Made by Design is ultimately worth buying compared to other budget-friendly or higher end cookware.
By the end of this in-depth 3000+ word review, you’ll have all the details you need to decide if affordable Made by Design is right for your kitchen.
Overview of Made by Design Cookware
Made by Design is a line of pots, pans, and other kitchen essentials created exclusively for Target. Compared to premium brands like All-Clad or Le Creuset, Made by Design aims for an affordable price point while still offering decent performance and durability.
The Made by Design cookware line includes:
- Nonstick frying pans and pots made from lightweight aluminum with a speckled ceramic-based nonstick coating. These are the most budget-friendly Made by Design pieces.
- Stainless steel cookware like stock pots, sauce pans, and frying pans made from 18/0 stainless steel. More expensive than the nonstick line but much more durable.
- Ceramic nonstick frying pans made without Teflon or PFOA chemicals. A bit more expensive than regular nonstick.
- Bakeware like muffin tins, cake pans, and baking sheets.
- Kitchen accessories like serving utensils, prep bowls, and more.
Made by Design cookware comes in contemporary colors like black, white, grey, and navy blue with brushed stainless steel handles. The aesthetic is modern and minimalist – perfect for stylish starter kitchens.
When it comes to price, Made by Design pots and pans are very budget-friendly:
- Nonstick frying pans start at $10-15 for an 8″ pan up to $25 for a 12″ skillet.
- Larger nonstick pan sets with pots and lids range from $40-60.
- Stainless steel cookware is pricier but still affordable, with saucepan sets costing $100-200.
Overall, Made by Design targets beginner cooks or those outfitting kitchens on a tight budget. But how does it actually perform? Let’s look at the pros and cons.
Pros of Made by Design Cookware
Affordable pricing is the biggest draw of Made by Design pots and pans. Here are some other benefits based on customer experiences:
- “These Made by Design pans have a nice minimalist style that looks great in my modern kitchen. Much nicer design than old nonstick pans.”
- “There are a wide variety of frying pans, pots, bakeware, and utensils to choose from. I was able to get a whole cookware set.”
- “I got a Made by Design 10-piece nonstick set for my son when he went to college. Perfect for a starter kitchen and so affordable!”
- “The lightweight construction makes these easy to maneuver and lift compared to my old stainless steel pans.”
- “I like that the handles stay cool while cooking. I can move the pans easily without an oven mitt.”
- “This Made by Design skillet heats up quickly and cooks food evenly. Great performance for the price.”
- “The glass lids allow me to monitor food while it’s cooking without lifting them.”
For the budget price, Made by Design cookware offers nice features like lightweight design, stay-cool handles, vented glass lids, an aesthetic appearance, and decent cooking performance for everyday meals.
Cons of Made by Design Cookware
While Made by Design pots and pans have a lot of positives, they aren’t without some drawbacks. Here are common downsides to be aware of based on customer reviews:
- “The nonstick coating started peeling and flaking after a few months of use which was disappointing.”
- “Food sticks more easily when cooking compared to my old stainless steel pans.”
- “The aluminum is so lightweight, it warps easily. My frying pan is no longer flat.”
- “Scratches showed up on the nonstick after using metal utensils.”
- “It’s not oven safe over 400°F, so you can’t use these pans for certain recipes.”
- “The lids don’t seal tightly which lets moisture escape when cooking.”
- “Durability is not great, especially for the price. My pots and pans are already warping and degrading.”
- “The lifetime warranty only covers defects. Normal wear and tear or accidental damage is not covered.”
- “I don’t think this cookware will last more than a year or two with frequent use.”
The biggest complaints about Made by Design pots and pans are their questionable durability and tendency to warp, peel, scratch, or degrade quickly with regular cooking. They also may not distribute heat or release foods as evenly as better quality cookware.
Costs of Made by Design Pots and Pans
Here is an overview of typical Made by Design cookware costs:
Made by Design Nonstick Frying Pans
- 8″ nonstick frying pan – $10-15
- 10″ nonstick frying pan – $15-20
- 12″ nonstick frying pan – $20-25
Made by Design Nonstick Cookware Sets
- 6-piece nonstick pan and pot set – $40-50
- 10-piece nonstick set with lids – $50-60
- 15-piece nonstick set with utensils – $70-80
Made by Design Stainless Steel Sets
- 6 qt stainless steel stock pot – $40-50
- 3-piece stainless steel saucepan set – $75-100
- 10-piece stainless steel cookware set – $150-200
Comparable Cookware Costs:
- AmazonBasics Nonstick Pans – Similar price range to Made by Design nonstick. Basic aluminum pans start around $10-25.
- Rachael Ray Nonstick Sets – Comparable quality but slightly higher prices around $80-150 for a 10-15 piece nonstick set.
- All-Clad Stainless Steel – Higher end but costs $700+ for a 10-piece cookware set. Significant step up in quality and performance.
Made by Design aims to offer basic nonstick cookware and stainless steel pots and pans at very wallet-friendly price points. For the low costs, they offer a decent value. But spend a bit more, and you can get better durability and performance from other brands.
Features and Benefits of Made by Design
Here are some of the main features and benefits of top-rated Made by Design cookware:
- Aluminum or stainless steel construction – Lightweight but can heat unevenly. Durability varies.
- Nonstick speckled coating – Provides easy food release when new but wears down over time.
- Vented glass lids – Let’s you view food while cooking but don’t seal tightly.
- Brushed stainless steel handles – Stylish and stay cool while cooking on the stovetop.
- Silicone handle grips – Added on some pans for easier handling without gloves.
- Oven safe at 400°F – Safe for most baking but not very high heat cooking methods.
- Dishwasher safe – Makes cleaning convenient, but harsh detergents can degrade nonstick over time.
- Even heat distribution – Aluminum and stainless pans heat up quickly but may develop hot spots.
- Affordable pricing – The biggest benefit is the low cost for outfitting a kitchen.
Made by Design cookware offers decent performance for daily cooking tasks. The nonstick makes cooking simpler, while stainless steel provides more durability for the price.
Best Made by Design Cookware Sets
Based on reviews, these Made by Design cookware sets provide the best value:
Made by Design 10-Piece Aluminum Nonstick Set
This budget-friendly starter set includes 7 nonstick frying pans and pots plus 3 plastic utensils for around $40-60. Suitable for a first apartment.
Made by Design 7-Piece Stainless Steel Pot and Pan Set
For around $100-150, this set is a step up in durability with stainless steel pots and pans. Great for those who cook more frequently.
Made by Design 10-Piece Ceramic Nonstick Set
If you want nonstick without chemicals, this ceramic set is PFOA-free. Costs around $80-120 for frying pans and pots.
Look for sets with vented glass lids and silicone-gripped handles when possible for easier cooking. Avoid the very cheapest thin aluminum pans.
Should You Buy Made by Design Cookware?
So is Made by Design high-quality cookware worth investing in? Or should you consider other brands?
Made by Design is best for:
- Those wanting basic cookware on a tight budget
- Outfitting a kitchen for the first time
- College students or young adults
- Households that don’t cook frequently
Consider upgrading to name brands like Calphalon, Rachael Ray, or All-Clad if:
- You cook daily meals at home often
- Want cookware that will last for many years
- Need to sear meats or cook at very high temps
- Prefer heavier-gauge cookware for even heating
Made by Design offers decent quality for budget pricing, but won’t last as long with regular use. Starter cooks will appreciate the low costs. But frequent cooks may want to spend a bit more for performance and durability.
Care and Maintenance of Made by Design Pots and Pans
To get the longest lifespan out of Made by Design pots and pans:
- Avoid metal utensils to prevent scratches
- Don’t overheat empty cookware as it can quickly warp pans
- Allow pans to cool before washing – thermal shock can damage
- Wash by hand instead of the dishwasher to preserve nonstick
- Use low-to-medium heat when cooking – high heat degrades nonstick
- Avoid drastic temperature changes like pouring cold liquid in a hot pan
With proper care, Made by Design can offer a decent value. But manufacturing defects or mishandling may lead to quicker degradation.
The Final Verdict: Is Made by Design Worth Buying?
Made by Design cookware will outfit a new kitchen nicely on a tight budget of $40-200 depending on the set. The nonstick pots and pans cater more to beginner cooks given the shorter lifespan with frequent use.
More experienced cooks may want to invest just a bit more for Rachael Ray or AmazonBasics nonstick, or go higher-end with brands like Calphalon or All-Clad stainless steel. But they will pay double or triple the price.
At the end of the day, Made by Design offers an affordable, stylish option for budget home cooks. Just don’t expect top tier performance or longevity. With some care and maintenance, these lightweight pots and pans can be a solid buy for the price.