Celebrities Are Obsessed With This Cookware—So We Put It To The Test
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There’s been a lot of hype around Made In cookware—and I now fully understand why.
Founded in 2017 by Chip Malt and Jake Kalick—a third-generation operator of a family restaurant-supply business—the direct-to-consumer company is all about producing high-quality cookware. The brand partners with artisans across the U.S. and Europe to craft its gear. They've also tapped award-winning celebrity chefs like Alinea’s Grant Achatz and Mozza Restaurant Group’s Nancy Silverton to perfect its products. The result: a range of pots, pans, bakeware, kitchen knives, and a handful cooking accessories made for both Michelin-rated chefs to home cooks.
I don't know about you, but I fall into the latter category and was eager to put these products to the test. I figured if Made In cookware works magic for the pros, it will probably help me in the kitchen, too.
Compared to other high-end cookware on the market, the lineup from Made In is relatively affordable. Each piece I tested topped out at $139 (minus the Stock pot, which was $229). The sets start at around $600 and include everything a home chef needs for almost any meal imaginable. I tested a variety of items from the company’s Stainless Clad, Non Stick, and Carbon Steel collections, as I was curious to see how these products performed during the cooking and cleaning process.
I tested the 6-Piece Starter Set and several other Made In cookware items. Here are all of the products in my order:
12-inch Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan (unseasoned)
12-inch Blue Carbon Steel Wok (unseasoned)
Blue Carbon Steel Roasting Pan with Rack (unseasoned)
The Stainless Clad items are 100 percent non-toxic, dishwasher-safe, and oven-safe for temperatures up to 800 degrees. The Carbon Steel styles are hand-wash only and not pre-seasoned, however they are oven-safe for temperatures up to 1,200 degrees and seasoning is included. Meanwhile, the Non Stick Frying Pan is hand-wash-only, 100 percent non-toxic, and oven-safe for temperatures up to 500 degrees.
How I Tested The Cookware
I prepared several meals over the course of two days. For the stainless steel cookware, I simply washed them all with warm water and soap; the Blue Carbon Steel items required a bit more prep. I followed the instructions to season the roasting pan, frying pan, and wok by preheating the oven to 450 degrees and washing them with dish soap and hot water. From there, I put the pans, pot, and wok on medium-low heat, dipped a dishcloth into the Made In Seasoning Wax, and spread it onto the items’ surfaces before baking them in the oven for one hour.
I kicked everything off with a roasted chicken from the classic Fannie Farmer Cookbook. This required the roasting pan, so I preheated the oven to 500 degrees, prepped the chicken, and placed it on top of the rack with a few potatoes. The chicken and potatoes cooked for 15 minutes at 500 degrees, then 15 minutes at 450 degrees, and finally spent an hour at 425 degrees.
As the chicken was roasting, I also got started on a cacio e pepe sauce and Marella’s Lanterne pasta. (I always have more fun in the kitchen when funky pasta shapes are involved.) I filled the 8-quart stock pot with water, a tablespoon of olive oil, and about ⅛ teaspoon of salt, and waited for it to come to a boil. Then I added the pasta and just eight minutes later, voila!
The 3.5-quart sauté pan was my go-to for the sauce, and I added 2 tablespoons of butter for some extra creaminess. After that melted down, I added in the classic trio: shredded Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Those were then stirred together on low heat for just about 6 minutes. To get some veg in there, I also used the 4-quart saucepan to boil three large spears of broccoli. I brought the pot (with salt, of course) to a boil and cooked the broccoli for about 3 minutes.
For breakfast the following day, I had eggs and bacon on the brain. I used the 2-quart saucepan to boil water for hard-boiled eggs, which cooked on high heat for 12 minutes. I also used the 10-inch Stainless Clad Frying Pan to cook a few strips of bacon for about 2 minutes before they sizzled to perfection.
That evening, I prepared a chicken and veggie stir fry with rice. I diced up the chicken and placed it into the non-stick frying pan, which was already heating up with a splash of canola oil, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a tablespoon of butter, and ⅛ teaspoon of salt and pepper. I let the chicken brown for about 6 minutes on medium heat. Then, I added the same amount of canola oil, soy sauce, and butter to the wok and combined the partially cooked chicken with chopped up peppers, broccoli florets, and snap peas. Stirred regularly on medium heat, this combination was ready to go within 15 minutes.
I used the 4-quart saucepan—again—to cook the rice. I added 4 cups of water and waited for it to come to a boil before adding 2 cups of rice into the saucepan, and let the rice cook on low heat over an open flame for 20 minutes. When I had completed the meal, I decided to do some meal prep for the following day using the Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan. I simply added a tablespoon of butter to the pan, then 1 cup of pre-cooked rice and one cup of the leftover chicken and veggie mix, a tablespoon of soy sauce, and two eggs. After letting the ingredients cook for about 3 minutes on low heat, I turned off the burner and added my fried rice to a reusable container. (I’ll thank myself for that move tomorrow.)
I was really impressed by how everything turned out—and that is not always the case with my cooking. I’m new to roasting chicken, and the bird was cooked thoroughly and enjoyed for several days afterward. My lantern-shaped pasta also fared well, and every piece was cooked al dente. The 3.5-quart sauté pan was ideal for preparing the cacio e pepe sauce, and its higher sides helped ensure there was no spillage or splatter. Ditto for the broccoli. Boiling is easy, but it was made even simpler with the easy-to-maneuver 4-quart saucepan.
When it was time for breakfast, the 2-quart saucepan was the best possible size for hard-boiled eggs, and I later used it to make a serving of Cream of Wheat. It’s a small but mighty tool that is great for single-serving portions. And when using the frying pan, I was amazed by how the bacon grease didn’t splash up and how the pan managed to get every piece so crispy and even.
I was eager to see how the Blue Carbon Steel pans compared to the cast iron pans I usually operate with. Made In says they offer the best of both worlds for stainless steel and cast iron fans, and I agree with that claim. The Blue Carbon Steel pans have the smooth texture of stainless steel and the durability of cast iron. As I was wiping and re-seasoning, Made In’s instructions reassured me that some color run-off is normal during the process. However, only a small amount of residue was left on my paper towel afterward.
One thing that really stuck out to me about all of these products was the length of the handles. They’re considerably longer than those on my other pots and pans, making maneuvering (and avoiding accidental spillage or splashing) completely seamless. And while they operated under seriously high temperatures and still cooked my food evenly, I never felt the heat on the handle. Yes, it was slightly warm, but I never had to reach for an oven mitt.
It is also worth noting how easy it is to clean these items. The “non-stick” claim is far from a gimmick. Any grease or grime quite literally slid off of the non-stick frying pan. I did need a bit more elbow grease for removing some eggy remnants left over from cooking fried rice and had to scrub a bit more than expected with some pieces of pasta left in the stock pot. But all in all, cleanup was a breeze—and that’s saying a lot for a 13-piece cookware set.
The Final Verdict
If Tom Colicchio likes it, why shouldn’t I? Indeed, these products look and feel worthy of a Top Chef’s kitchen. They honestly help you cook like the pros. By evenly distributing heat, having easy-to-maneuver handles, and being a snap to clean (yes, even when hand-washing is required), these products made me a Made In cookware believer.
This cookware is a great starting point for anyone looking to curate their kitchen gear. While it might feel like a big investment, these products are built to last. The Blue Carbon Steel line even comes with a lifetime warranty, and the company shares clear instructions on how to prep, clean and preserve your products. The brand also offers a 10-piece and 13-piece set with all of their most popular items, for those interested in purchasing a complete collection.
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