Six Small Cookware Brands Every Home Cook Should Know About
You've been cooking a lot lately, treat yourself to some new tools.
A new skillet or griddle or pot might not make cooking family meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner any less monotonous, but they do make it more rewarding. At the very least, a few new pieces of fresh cookware will make the act of preparing that 101st grilled cheese a little more enjoyable; at best, though, they'll inspire you to expand your dinner repertoire.
Whether your go-to weeknight meal is a one-pan pasta or a skillet cake the entire family can share, pots and pans have to do their designated job, but the good ones do so much more than stand up to the heat. The best cookware feels just right in your hand, looks good on the stove or countertop, and puts a smile on your face. Here are six of our favorite small cookware brands that will do all that. Go ahead and treat yourself—after all, you've been cooking a lot lately.
"Let's make it a pizza night" might be the best phrase in the English language and Smithey's flat top griddle ($125, food52.com) will help you achieve the perfect pizza every time. Designed and made in the U.S., it heats up evenly and consistently, and the flat top makes cooking and cleanup so easy. The company also sells heirloom cast-iron skillets in various sizes, as well as a Dutch oven. Their cookware works on induction, electric, and gas stovetops, and all of their pieces are oven safe.
Cook more with less is the ethos of this San Francisco-based company, which only launched in November 2019. They offer two American-made pieces: a 12-inch skillet and a seven-quart pot, as well as a lid that fits both as a set, in either stainless steel or carbon steel ($379, proclamationgoods.com). Whichever style you choose, know that your brand-new piece of cookware was designed to be your kitchen workhorse. And while you can use them alone, we love that you can hinge them together to create a Dutch oven. When you're not cooking, save space in your cabinets by nesting them together along with the matching lid. Not that you needed another excuse to try Proclamation Goods, but the pans come with a 30-day trial and a lifetime warranty.
From kitchen utensils to a cutting board, sauce pots, and skillets, Karibe will help get you either stock your first kitchen or upgrade some of your seen-better-days pieces. The New Jersey-based brand is the work of a team of BIOPIC engineers, and their STEM background is apparent in all of their beautifully designed yet sturdy goods. Not only is the Stainless Steel Sauce Pot ($49.99, karibe.com) lightweight, but it also looks good enough to leave out on your stove even when not in use. Their cast-iron skillets are also a crowd favorite with well designed handles that don't feel as bulky as other cast-irons pans on the market. Did we mention they offer free-shipping?
These eye-catching ceramic-coated aluminum pans from Caraway look just as good sitting on your kitchen counter as they do on Instagram. The direct-to-consumer brand sells a fry pan, sauté pan, saucepan, and Dutch oven that you can purchase individually or as a set ($395, caraway.com). They also offer a line of accessories including reusable totes that will brighten up trips to the farmers' market or grocery store. The ceramic coating, which makes them nonstick (hello, easy cleanup), is made without the chemicals found in traditional nonstick pots and the pans can be used on induction, gas, and electric cooktops or in the oven (just stay under 650 degrees). Like Proclamation Goods, the pans come with a 30-day trial.
Cast-iron skillets are a favorite of our test kitchen team—they use them for everything from searing salmon to quickly heating up quesadillas, and recommend that every home cook has at least one. Based in Portland, Finex is a small team putting out classically made ironware like that cast-iron skillet with a lid (from $200, williams-sonoma.com) and also griddles and grills. What sets them apart from all the rest is their signature modern design. Use the cast-iron skillet on your stovetop, in the oven, or on your grill for everything from cookies to that salmon.
Whether you're a pro in the kitchen or a more of a pro at ordering take-out, direct-to-consumer brand Equal Parts has the tools you need to take your home-cooked meals up a notch. The company's ceramic pots and pans work on gas, electric, and induction stoves, and they also offer utensils to meet the needs of chefs at various levels. The set of three mixing bowls ($45, equalparts.com) sits pretty on your counter when it's not in use. Each Equal Parts purchase comes with access to a cooking coach you can text for kitchen tips and techniques.