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In a time when we’re all paying much closer attention to what goes into our food, the founders of Made-In Cookware are paying attention, instead, to what our food goes in.
Made-In is a cookware brand founded in 2016 by close friends Jake Kalick, whose family has been working in kitchen supply for over 100 years, and Chip Malt, who brings extensive e-commerce experience to the team. The company philosophy is simple: bring professional kitchen tools to the masses with an emphasis on high quality and the utmost transparency. And since the company's business model relies on selling directly to consumers, this high-quality merchandise is available at a much lower price point than many other similar products on the market today.
*Editor's note: We no longer recommend PTFE based nonstick pans. For more environmentally friendly and healthier nonstick options, see our clean cookware guide. That said, we still highly recommend Made In's professional grade stainless steel and carbon steel options.
A Vast Product Range
In addition to top-quality knives sourced in the French knife capital of Thiers, Made-In produces several lines of cookware: stainless steel, carbon steel,
and nonstick, which we feature in our guide non-toxic cookware.
The stainless steel line is made with an aluminum core and five-ply stainless. From frying pans to saucepans to stock pots, this line is a great kitchen workhorse that can be used for all of your everyday cooking needs.
Carbon steel, meanwhile, is a great, lighter alternative to cast iron. With time, these pans slowly build up seasoning that make them even more pleasant to work with.
“Be patient with it,” counsels Malt. “There’s a discoloration that happens in between getting your pan out of the box before it’s fully seasoned, and a lot of people freak out halfway through that kind of intermediary step."
The company sells a carbon steel seasoning wax to help consumers protect their pans and help them stand the test of time.
The brand's nonstick line, meanwhile, uses three layers of a proprietary Made Slick coating made from PTFE for a pan that keeps its non-stick nature for years. The American-made coating is applied in Illinois under Made-In’s supervision by a company that had already removed PFOAs from its formulation before the FDA required it in 2015.
"We chose to go with PTFE because it is a much higher performance material than ceramic,” says Malt. “Ceramic degrades every use and wash... and quickly. You may love your ceramic pan out of the box, but you'll need a new non-stick ceramic pan within a year or so.”
The company sells its pots and pans in kits, but consumers can also purchase any item à la carte, something that Malt notes is a great way to make the slightly more expensive cookware attainable for the masses.
“We fully welcome and encourage people to build their kits over time,” says Malt, noting that the company's free shipping policy, zero percent APR financing, and lifetime guarantee also incentivize these decisions.
“We’re trying to encourage people to invest in good stuff, that will last them a lifetime.”
For Malt, transparency and authenticity are the tenants that truly make Made-In stand out. He and Kalick take care to choose only the best makers and materials to produce their cookware lines.
“First and foremost, we need to make the best product in the world," he says. "We make the products in partnership with manufacturers that have generational expertise in what they're doing.”
And that information is available to consumers, with on-site videos showing the people, places, and methods behind each product – something that is non-negotiable whenever the team starts to work with someone new.
“It's a prerequisite of ours to show the manufacturing process, to be transparent about it,” says Malt. “People who are buying the products know that a fifth-generation knife-maker from Paris, France from a family that's been doing it for 500 years is literally hand-crafting that knife."
This doesn't just reassure a consumer that they are truly investing in the very best cookware. For Malt, an essential element of this choice is creating an emotional attachment between the consumer and the cookware they use at home.
"That's what we really don't see in the market today," says Malt. "Everything is just a commodity. We want people to fall in love with a product.”
And for consumers focused on quality and transparency in food, it's a natural next step.
“They're putting so much focus on ingredients,” he says. “And at the end of the day, they're going home and just cooking it in a hand-me-down pan that's non-stick, that's been scratched to hell and has been sitting in the cupboard for 20 years."
“You have to fall in love with your cookware just as much as you're falling in love with that marbled, grass-fed steak you brought home that day," he continues.
For Malt, that's what Made-In truly represents.
“The name Made-In means that the products are being 'made in' the best places in the world that make that product," he says. "And it's all kind of around the ethos of craftsmanship stories and falling in love with the actual tools, at the end of the day.”
Shop Made In Cookware
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