360 Cookware: high-end stainless steel pans and pots
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3.5-Quart Saute Pan with Cover
The 3.5-quart Saute Pan from 360 Cookware is a superb all-rounder that can perform multiple tasks, meaning you can have superb versatility without having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on numerous pans.
It comes complete with the 360 Cookware lid that enables ‘waterless cooking’ by creating a vapor seal to seals in the meats and vegetables’ natural moisture for delicious, healthy, and efficiently cooked food.
While this pan isn’t cheap, it offers the best value for money of the 360 Cookware range thanks to its enormous versatility.
Who Are 360 Cookware?
Established in 2004, 360 Cookware is a family-owned company born out of a frustration that more and more American cookware businesses were moving their factories abroad in the continual pursuit of profit.
An increasing number of American jobs were lost as a result, and the quality of cookware went downhill.
With over 30 years of experience in the cookware industry, the Hurley family resolved to rectify that situation and opened their factory in Wisconsin to make high-quality cookware, employing a large number of workers who were veterans of manufacturing pans.
360 Cookware’s mission statement is to produce high-quality, American-made cookware at a more affordable price using a direct to customer business model. Quality cookware isn’t the only thing important to this family-run business; they’re also a Zero-Carbon Footprint brand trying to do their bit for the environment.
360 Cookware incorporates what they call ‘Vapor Technology’ to ensure that their product stands out from the crowd in a saturated market and cooks deliciously healthy food.
What is ‘Vapor Technology’?
You might be forgiven for thinking that the only way to cook using pots, pans, and skillets is using additional ingredients such as fats, oils, or water; however, there is a method of cooking food called ‘waterless cooking.’
Using specially designed cookware, you’re able to cook food using only the natural moisture found within your ingredients. Not only is this an incredibly healthy way to cook, as your food retains a larger proportion of its vitamins and minerals, but it’s also tremendously efficient.
A ‘Vapor seal’ ensures all the moisture stays within the pot or pan to maintain an optimal temperature to cook your food. Not only does this speed up the cooking process, but you also cook at a lower temperature, so you’re using less energy for a shorter period of time than you would with traditional methods.
Design and Construction
At first glance, the cookware to come out of the 360 factories might look like a simple stainless steel pot or pan; however, a great deal of innovative thought has gone into the design and production of this cookware.
Made from 5-ply stainless steel, these pots and pans are not only incredibly durable, but they also have fantastic heat distribution and retention thanks to three different primary metals.
The outer layer is constructed from T-400 stainless steel, which has a lower nickel content and higher carbon steel content, for improved interaction with induction cooktops.
The central layer is made from aluminum, which, according to 360 Cookware, ‘ensures superior heat conduction,’ as stainless steel isn’t the best alloy for conducting heat.
Finally, the interior layer consists of T-304 stainless steel, a surgical-grade metal that won’t leak nasty contaminants into your food.
To top them off, quite literally, the pans come equipped with specially designed lids that create a ‘Vapor seal’ to keep all of the heat and moisture inside the pan for more evenly cooked foods in a more efficient way.
So confident are 360 Cookware in their products that each unit comes with a lifetime warranty.
What Types of Cookware Do 360 Cookware Sell?
Long story short? Almost all of them.
But here’s a closer look at the many shapes and sizes of pots and pans available from 360 Cookware.
- Saucepans: There are four sizes of saucepans available. 1-quart, 2-quart (with or without a lid), 3-quart, and 2.3-quart casserole pan with cover.
- Frying Pans: There are four sizes of frying pans available. 7-inch, 8.5-inch, 10-inch, and 11.5-inch. Both the 10-inch and 11.5-inch pans have variations that have two side handles instead of a traditional handle. You can also buy an 11-inch square griddle.
- Stock Pots: There are five sizes of stockpots available. 4-quart, 6-quart, 8-quart, 12-quart, and 16-quart. All these pots come complete with covers. You can also buy a 6-quart gourmet stockpot, which can be used as part of their slow cooker range. All these pots come equipped with a cover.
- Saute Pans: There are two sizes of saute pans available. 2-quart saute pan and a 3.5-quart pan (which is available with either a traditional handle or two side handles. You can also buy their 3-1 roasting from the saute pans section.
- Sets: 360 Cookware has bundled together different combinations of all the pots and pans we’ve already talked about (though the Breakfast set comes with a square griddle and a jelly roll pan). Which rather bizarrely, offer no discount compared to buying the items individually.
When there is a sale on (which at the time of writing, there was), the discounts on offer were meager at best. Even the most extensive sets (which retail at over two thousand dollars) only have a minimal discount when on sale.
If you want one of the sets, it’s best to wait for a sale or buy the pots and pans you actually like and create your own bundles at little to no extra cost, or if you’re on a tighter budget, buy the pans one at a time to spread out the cost over months and years.
We’re going to take a quick look at the most popular products in the 360 Cookware range.
1. 11.5-Inch Frying Pan
That said, frying pans are incredibly popular pieces of cookware, thanks to their versatility and their ability to cook delicious meat. The 11.5-inch pan we think is a sweet spot if there more than 2 people in your household.
The pan has a matte surface inside which gives it a premium look. In our opinion, this is one of the best-looking stainless steel pans we have tested. This surface is also much more scratch-resistant compared to other multi-ply pans.
Though you might find a small number of ingredients sticking to the pan when making foods like scrambled eggs, the high-quality stainless steel will wipe clean with ease.
It also comes with a helper handle which some people love but we would rather have without one. It just adds more weight and unless you often fill the whole pan with ingredients and have to transport it to the oven or countertop it is rarely needed.
This high-end frying pan comes at a premium price but it is still usually cheaper than an All-Clad D5 pan.
2. 2-Quart Saucepan with Cover
As with the frying pan, the 2-Quart saucepan is smack bang in the middle of the size and affordability in the saucepan range, which is the sweet spot that seems very popular with consumers.
It has a similar ergonomic handle to the frying pan too, but this saucepan has the ‘Vapor-seal’ lid, which enables waterless cooking.
The saucepan itself is excellent for making, as its name implies, sauces, stews, and soups. Though vapor technology means it can be used for cooking vegetables and rice with minimal fuss.
This pan is really efficient and has a large enough capacity to cook for between 2 and 6 people, depending on the contents.
Consumers are delighted with the quality and craftsmanship of this piece of cookware and also love having the ability to cook healthy meals.
3. 4-Quart Stock Pot with Cover
You can not only use the vapor technology to cook stews, rice, curries, enormous batches of vegetables, oats, or fish, but it can act as a ‘little oven’ to produce delicious small chickens and game hens to perfection.
If you have a 360 Cookware slow-cooker base, this pan can be used in conjunction with that too.
Consumers are thrilled with the large batches of food they can make in this pan and that they can use it as an oven. They’re also delighted with the quality of the cookware, which has the potential to last for decades.
It is a very expensive piece, though it has the lowest price point out of the entire stock pot range.
4. 3.5-Quart Saute Pan with Cover
Its popularity and enormous price point are probably due to the massive versatility and capacity this pan has to offer. This style of pan falls somewhere between skillet and saucepan and is an excellent all-rounder.
It’s no different from the other products in terms of ergonomic stay-cool handle and vapor-seal lid, but its dimensions mean it can tackle most jobs in the kitchen.
While there is a steep learning curve with the 360 Cookware 3.5-quart saute pan, consumers are in love with the all-round performance, longevity, and ease of cleaning this product has to offer. Though, one or two customers have expressed concerns regarding how easily this pan can scratch.
5. 15-Piece Cookware Set
While the ‘3-Piece Fry Pan Set’ is technically the most popular set that 360 Cookware has on offer (it’s also the cheapest), it is just three differently sized frying pans.
As we’ve already covered one of the frying pans, we decided instead to talk about the ’15-Piece Cookware Set’, which is the second most popular set and offers an enormous amount of versatility.
It’s also worth reiterating that unless you catch 360 Cookware with a sale on, this set’s cost is precisely the same as if you bought the pans individually. Though at the time of writing, the sale price offered one of the best discounts (yet still relatively small considering the mammoth price point) of all the sets.
The price point for this set is eye-watering, well into four figures. This blow is only softened by the gift of a free slow-cooker base and the knowledge that, in all likelihood, you’ll never have to buy another pan as long as you live.
360 Cookware produces superb quality, American-made cookware that their consumers adore, to an almost-cult like level. We rarely come across a product that receives unanimous praise, as do the pots and pans from this company.
The craftsmanship and ingenuity are a joy to behold. They’ll produce deliciously healthy meals and reduce your energy bill at the same time. Not to mention lowering your time spent in the kitchen too.
So, what’s the catch?
360 Cookware products are expensive. Even considering the reduction in price thanks to their ‘direct to customer’ business model, a set of these pans will cost hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of dollars.