Everyone needs a good set of cookware in their home.
The commercials on the TV look magical enough but when you go out to shop, you will probably be stunned by the wide range of prices when it comes to simple pots and pans.
Moreover, the cost of some pans can run into hundreds of dollars.
So what’s the big deal? They’re just pans, right?
At the end of the day, all they do is heat up or cook some food. So why do some manufacturers cost so much more than others.
In this guide, we will talk about the “magical” cookware you see on TV commercials, what makes them so overpriced and whether or not they are even worth it.
Famous Ads About “Magic” Cookware
If you are a person who regularly watches TV, some of the commercials about cookware seem downright breathtaking and designed to hook the customer.
For example, take a look at Le Creuset’s ad about their Dutch Oven.
The commercial unveils a new Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary Dutch Oven, which retails at a shocking $250.
Le Creuset has also joined forces with Disney previously to launch another Dutch oven that was $100 more expensive!
The cookware featured a Mickey Mouse appliqué around the pot and stainless steel knob.
The newer version was even more sophisticated, featuring Mickey’s iconic outline in the pot’s three-ring lid.
The cookware looks so cute and magical that you will be hard-pressed to cook in it and would probably just like to buy it as a collector’s item.
In the same vein, Le Creuset also teamed up with the Star Wars brand and came up with some of the most inspiring and exciting pots and pans in the galaxy of cookware.
The super-cool commercial featured the Star Wars x Le Creuset Collection which channeled the fun and exciting culture of Star Wars and included pieces like Han Solo™ Carbonite Signature Roaster, R2-D2™ Mini Cocotte, C-3P0™ Mini Cocotte, Death Star™ Trivet, Millennium Falcon™ Trivet, and Darth Vader™ Round Dutch Oven.
The ad itself takes you on a journey to a galaxy far, far away.
Aside from Le Creuset’s captivating advertisement, manufacturers like All-Clad have also released commercials with some truly otherworldly claims and names.
All-Clad D3 Armor Pans are made of what they call “Patented Selectively Bonded Matrix,” consisting of an upper layer of stainless steel, a middle layer of aluminum, and lower layer of induction stainless steel.
The pan also has “Thermal Control Zones,” a circle of raised dots that serve as a non-stick feature.
For a simple pan, the ad seems very high-tech and guaranteed to grab the attention of anyone who is looking for ease in cooking.
Are They Overpriced?
Le Creuset, All-Clad and other premium cookware can make quite a dent in your pockets.
If you have shopped for cookware lately, you will see a drastic difference between the prices.
You may be able to get a complete set at just $30, while other brands will be selling cookware at over $2000.
The price difference is outrageous but there are several factors that influence it. Here they are:
The biggest difference between high quality pans and cheaper options are is that high-quality pans are made with non-reactive material.
Some materials become unstable under high temperature and can leach into the food, reacting with it, and causing changes in its states and color.
Non-reactive material consists of stainless steel and ceramics.
Reactive material consists of aluminum, steel, copper, and iron, and they may or may not have an adverse affect on your health.
Not even the most expensive brand can change the chemical properties of reactive material.
However, they can add features like a protective coating to prevent the metal from reacting with the food.
The more high-tech the coating, the higher the price of the cookware.
Heat conduction means how easily your cookware transfers heat from the burner to the food.
Copper, aluminum, and stainless steel are all excellent conductors of heat.
Copper are the most expensive type of pans and the material cooks very evenly.
However, this metal is also reactive and if you cook anything acidic in it, like tomato, they will darken your food.
However, food that is non-acidic can be cooked very well in copper pots.
However, if you can’t afford copper but still need even cooking, you will have to resort to other material.
In this case, how the pan is constructed can impact the price a lot.
Cookware that is made of multiple metals can also be more expensive. As we saw in the commercial of All-Clad.
The pan was made with a top layer of stainless steel, a middle layer of aluminum, and a bottom layer of induction stainless steel.
This combination of metal means optimal heat induction to food, without the risk of reaction with the food, which would have been the case if the pan was all-aluminum — hence the higher price.
Like the ones shown on TV, some cookware is better constructed than cheaper options.
They do not have wiggly handles and if you drop them, they are less likely to dent or crack.
Most expensive cookware is also better balanced so you can handle it easily.
Other Reasons for Higher Price
Premium brands like Le Creuset and All-Clad are quite expensive and many of them, with the exception of coated non-stick variety, make last you for decades even.
Another reason why they are so expensive is that they are made in the United States or other countries that follow strict regulations.
For example, the All-Clad brand is made in the US; however, it also makes the Emerilware line by Emeril Lagasse.
This line of cookware is much cheaper since it is made in China.
Why Are They So Heavily Marketed?
Expensive cookware brands are so heavily marketed because their companies have the money and resources to do so.
However, another major reason for their commercial-heavy promotional campaign is that they want to spread awareness about the kind of cookware people should use.
The world is become more environmentally-conscious and each day and more and more information is available about the safety, quality, and durability of the products we use in our homes.
This is a very good thing and these commercials help us to make more informed buying decisions when buying cookware.
Many pots and pans manufacturers use substances in their cookware that can be hazardous to human health.
Unfortunately, the very real dangers of certain types of cookware — like Teflon-coated pans — are not very highlighted in mainstream media.
These products are not safe for people, but they continue to buy them because they have a lower price and because they are unaware of the dangers.
These pans may be leaching toxic chemicals into our food, which can lead to various illnesses, including cancer.
This is why it is always essential to buy high-quality cookware. Although premium cookware can cost you quite a penny, it will also last you a long time.
More importantly it will help you stay safe, since high-quality brands do not use harmful material in their products.
Why Should You Buy Your Cookware Online Or In Physical Stores?
Although there are many brands that can serve you well even if you buy them online, it is always a good idea to buy cookware from physical stores, especially if you have never used that brand before.
There is something to be said about examining a piece of cookware by taking it into your own two hands, without the filter of a camera.
There are many cookware brands that photograph well and look great on blog posts; however, you cannot judge their quality just from a simple picture.
In fact, some low-quality brands are photoed in such a way that the picture hides their shortcomings.
For example, a nice, rounded deep-bottomed pot may look sturdy and shiny on its website, but once you order it, you may find it has a paper-thin bottom, which is terrible for cooking.
This won’t be a problem if you take a look at them in a physical store.
However, if you do decide to buy your cookware from the physical store, it is a good idea to go to the manufacturer’s website and check the details of the pots and pans you are interested in.
Good quality cookware, like Calphalon, has websites that display comparison charts for their different pots and pans.
This can help you make an informed decision and know about the price of each product before you set foot in a store.
Buying cookware from a physical store gives you another advantage; you are exposed to other brands that offer similar products, as well.
Sometimes, you may change your decision and decide you want to buy another comparative brand because they are offering you more features than what you get in the brand that you saw online, for a similar price.
That’s why it is always good to check your product in-store, even if you decide to buy it later online.
Having said that, if you do not have the time or inclination to go to a store, you cannot go wrong with buying cookware online from a high-quality brand.
So the answer is that TV cookware is the real deal if you buy from premium brands.
Admittedly, a complete set of fancy cookware is quite expensive and not everybody can afford it.
But don’t be disappointed. You can also buy products from these brands a piece at a time.
That way, you won’t make a big dent in your wallet and overtime you can collect different pieces to make an entire set.
It works because premium cookware brands are highly durable and can last for several years.