Ever get peeved when your friend calls herself a "home chef?" We get it – and we're all for quibbling over semantics. But in the past twelve months, culinary school aside, we've all kind of become our own de facto chefs.
Date nights? At home. Boozy brunches? Also at home. That hangover egg sandwich craving you've managed to keep a secret from your partner til now? Home, home, home. Which means it's time to bust out the big guns and bring professional grade cookware home, too. And now you can, thanks to Made In.
Look, top-quality cookware is a no-brainer in restaurant kitchens, but the at-home kitchenware revolution is upon our doorstep. You care what's in the pan, so put as much care into the pan, too! (To find out more, check out our guide to non-toxic and safe cookware.)
Made In is one company we trust, founded in 2016 by two childhood friends has scoured the top culinary artisans around the world to source the very best professional-grade stainless steel, carbon steel, and copper cookware, not to mention, bakeware, tableware, knives, glassware, cutlery, and more. Cutting out the middleman means that these tools are within your reach (and your budget). Color us thrilled.
The Story of Made In
Jake Kalick's family had been working in kitchen supply for over 100 years when he teamed up with childhood buddy Chip Malt, rich in years of e-commerce experience. Together, they are bringing top-quality cookware into homes and restaurant kitchens across the globe.
Their philosophy? Quality first.
“First and foremost, we need to make the best product in the world," says Malt.
And this isn't hubris – it's a hard-won objective made real thanks to on-the-ground research seeking out true, traditional craftsmen.
"Our priority is working with artisans who have been perfecting the craft, material, nuance of their specialty for generations," says Malt. "These are family businesses that have been doing this for generations, just like Jake’s, and it creates a superior and responsible end product that everyone across our value chain would be proud to put their name on."
This means only the finest raw materials, active efforts to cut plastics out of the supply chain, and more.
“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 relationship ensures that the product is looked after and cared for from the beginning until the end."
You don't need to trust the Made In team's word on this, either. All of the information about Made In's artisan partners 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.
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.
“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."
Home cooks aren't the only ones digging this cookware. Made in has partnered with chefs like Grant Achatz, Nancy Silverton, Matt Horn, Tom Colicchio, and Jamilka Borges to create cookware that is truly of a professional, often Michelin-starred standard.
From the Organic Authority Files
"All of our partnerships are organic," says Malt. "Our chefs aren’t paid ambassadors, they’re actually paying customers who choose Made In for their restaurant kitchens."
Made In has also recently announced a partnership with Habitat for Humanity as part of its ongoing Made In Recycling Program. Opting in is simple; just tick the box at checkout, and the company will provide a shipping label so that you can send any old cookware (from any brand) to be collected and donated to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore location.
To find out even more about this company, its founders, and their philosophy, our Editor-in-Chief (EIC) Laura Klein sat down with them on IGTV. Check out the interview below:
Made-In Product Review
Once we’d heard Made In’s story, we had to see for ourselves if it lived up to the hype. EIC and trained chef Klein tested Made In’s products at home.
“One of the most important things I look at when considering cookware is the weight of the pan,” she says. “If a pan is light and flimsy, that’s an indication that it will have hot spots and won’t cook food evenly.”
Klein's carbon steel stood up to her high expectations: she uses it up to three times a day.
“I use it to sear my greens for my eggs in the morning. I use it to make crispy rice, sear my grass fed burgers, make caramelized onions, squash or sweet potatoes and then I’ll finish it in the oven.” She even tested the heat conductivity of the pan with a laser thermometer to test the pan’s heat distribution. It passed the test.
She isn't just over the moon for Made In's quality, but also for its transparency, a place where, she says, "most cookware brands fail."
“I love that this company is direct to consumer," she adds, "and they’ve eliminated the middleman.”
Made In Product Recommendations
If you're looking for one-size-fits-all cookware… it's time to ask yourself why. You don't expect your bath oils to work as a face serum; why would you expect the same from your pots and pans?
Made In offers a range of cookware in carbon and stainless steel, each of which has its place in the kitchen. (They do also offer a nonstick range, but if you're not comfy with the idea of PTFEs, opt for one of our other non-toxic, nonstick faves.)
Carbon Steel by Made In
Made In's carbon steel, made at an artisanal French foundry with over 300 years of experience, is the preferred high-heat choice in professional European kitchens. A lighter alternative to cast iron, carbon steel builds up a similar seasoning over time, making it even more pleasant to work with.
"We like to say that if cast iron and stainless steel had a baby, it would be carbon steel," says Malt.
Does this mean that you should be swapping your cast iron for carbon? Not exactly.
"While cast iron has its place, it’s heavy, it takes forever to heat up, and you can’t control the temperature once it is hot," says Malt. "Carbon steel on the other hand, retains heat like cast iron, but it is stamped from an iron sheet (not poured like cast iron), so it can have thinner walls. This makes it lighter and more maneuverable, and also it heats up quicker and you can control heat within the pan better by adjusting your flame."
Our top pick for the blue carbon steel pans is the 12” fry pan. The wide surface area combined with it’s lightness and speed makes it a top choice for high heat cooking and going from stove top to oven. You can even use this restaurant industry fave to cook delicate items (after it’s been seasoned well), like fish and omelettes. The rounded sides make it ideal for searing meats, rolling out omelettes, au jus sauces and more.
Stainless Steel by Made In
The stainless clad collection, on the other hand, is made via partnerships with American and Italian manufacturers. Each pan boasts an aluminum core and five-ply stainless: the perfect kitchen workhorse for your everyday cooking needs.
Our favorite product pick of the stainless clad line is the Stainless Clad Saute Pan. Made in Italy this 3.5 quart saute pan has a wide diameter cooking surface area of 10.5”. Combined with high, straight walls allows you to braise and make rich sauced based dishes like pastas and more. It’s perfect for any dishes that use acids like a tomato sauce (carbon steel is not ideal for that as the acids strip the seasoning). It comes with a lid and helper handle to assist you going from stove top to oven when needed.
Want to discover what cookware is right for you? Take our Home Chef Quiz for more personalized clean cookware recommendations.
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