I’ve been in the food industry for about fifteen years now. I used to work as a line cook in a few different restaurants, and now I manage restaurants and cater brunches and parties on the weekends. I LOVE cooking for my friends and family, and I know there’s nothing like the communal act of sharing a meal together.
I’m a firm believer that the right food and the right restaurant can bring people together and heal wounds we didn’t even know were bleeding. All of this is to say that I know my way around cookware — and based on this extensive body of knowledge, I wholeheartedly recommend Gotham’s set of Hard Anodized Cookware.
Maybe you’ve seen an ad for Gotham cookware on TV or online, so you kind of know what I’m talking about. I can guess what you’re thinking: There must be dozens of high-quality cookware lines made for professionals. Why would I recommend Gotham?
Here’s the quick pitch: It’s the perfect blend of accessible and professional. It hits right in that sweet spot of high-quality, durable, affordable, and “gets the job done.”
Would I recommend my sous-chef at a Michelin-starred establishment buy these? No. Would I recommend any amateur cook, anyone who does catering, or even just anyone who enjoys cooking for themselves every once in a while buy a set? 100%.
Do I own a set myself? Absolutely.
Let me walk you through what I love about these pots and pans so much and why I recommend them so highly.
As the name implies, the cookware in the Gotham Steel Hard Anodized line is made of hard-anodized aluminum. If you aren’t familiar with this material, picture it as the vibranium of cookware. It’s extremely durable, scratch-resistant, nonporous, and highly conductive to heat. AKA, it has all the properties you need to cook efficiently and will last you a long time before needing to be replaced.
Actually, forget vibranium: Maybe the Holy Grail is a more apt metaphor. If anyone is looking for an affordable and accessible cookware brand, Gotham Steel is EXACTLY what you want.
For professional chefs, a high-quality pan is one that quickly and evenly distributes heat to cook food without under or overcooking one part of it. You need to get through as many meals as possible, but you also want those meals to be cooked well. So, you need a pan to heat up quickly, stay hot, and not be too hot at the center of the pan.
For many high-heat dishes, the absolute gold standard is the cast iron pan. Cast iron pans warm up and conduct heat well. They’re also a pain in the butt to maintain and clean, and they aren’t the best choice for a hobbyist hoping to cook a few times a week or host dinner parties every once in a while.
The hard anodized skillets I’ve bought from Gotham are the closest thing to cast iron that I’ve been able to find as far as efficiency and conductivity go, and they’re way better suited to the casual chef. They feel just as durable and scratch-resistant, and they cook just as well.
I use mine to make stir fry, sear meats, cook eggs, and even make toast. They’ve been able to do all of this and do it well — including eggs, which I can’t cook on a cast iron skillet since it’s not nonstick, and the cleanup always ends up being a total disaster.
That’s another thing I love about Gotham Steel: Everything is nonstick. If you cook with pots and pans even once a day, you know that cleaning up without nonstick pans can be a total nightmare.
You have to let the pans soak, scrub them with a sponge or perhaps even steel wool, or even scrape away at dried-on gunk with a fork or knife. Not only is this incredibly labor-intensive and annoying, but it can damage your pots and pans. Plus, if you have roommates, you know that explaining how these pans can’t soak overnight can be a tricky conversation — that somehow seems to keep happening again and again.
Ever since I bought my own set of Gotham pots and pans, it’s been such a relief not to deal with this sort of messy, tiring cleanup. My stock pots, saucepans, skillets, and fry pans are all non-stick. It doesn’t matter if I’m making a blueberry compote from scratch, frying eggs, or baking a sticky salmon dish; it all slides right off the pan with a quick rinse.
This has been a total game-changer for me. As I mentioned earlier, I love cooking for the people in my life. It feels like such a wholesome way to express love and show gratitude. Still, I’m not always up for getting back in the kitchen after a long day of running kitchens or catering, especially if I know there’s going to be a long, arduous cleanup process afterward.
Ever since I started using these pots and pans, it’s been so much less tiring to get back in the kitchen. Cooking for my partner has become fun again, and I don’t have to deal with the guilt of leaving pans soaking in the sink for multiple hours because there’s literally no other way to get them clean. So, yeah, that nonstick factor has been huge for me.
The 13-piece pro set, which I definitely recommend, has everything that an amateur chef needs to run their kitchen like a pro. It includes two saucepans, a stock pot, a saute pan, a chef’s pan, a skillet, and two fry pans, all with matching lids.
Everything is made from that hard anodized aluminum with a nonstick coating. I’ve also found the handles to be super ergonomic; they don’t heat up to a million degrees, so I don’t have to worry about burning my hands. The pans themselves are super light and compatible with every type of stovetop, as far as I can tell.
They’re also oven-safe up to 500 degrees, which is just about as hot as you would ever need them to get at home.
I can think of another reason to recommend these pots and pans, although I personally wouldn’t ever take advantage of it: You can cook with WAY less oil and butter.
As a former line cook, the thought of not using butter or olive oil in every dish is personally offensive to me. (Everything tastes so much better with oil or butter!) Still, if I were trying to lose weight or were keeping an eye on my cholesterol, I might be telling another story.
The nonstick coating means that you can fry up and cook food without dousing the pan in oil first, which would make a huge difference for anyone hoping to shed some pounds. If that sounds like you, definitely check out Gotham’s cookware.
Overall, I have to say I have yet to find a comparable cookware brand as far as quality, accessibility, and price point goes. If you buy the 13 Piece Pro set like I did, you’re getting just a phenomenally good deal on products that are likely going to last you a lifetime.
Again, if you’re shopping for your New York City fine-dining establishment, maybe this cookware isn’t for you. For pretty much everyone else, take advantage of this brand before they (rightfully) jack the price way up.
You aren’t going to find a better non-stick, high-quality line of cookware at this price point — I can tell you that for sure.
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