Cookware startup Sardel makes some of our favorite pots and pans — they heat evenly, clean easily, and are made with durable stainless steel and aluminum

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  • Sardel is a new online kitchen brand that has impressed us with durable, versatile, and affordable stainless steel pans.
  • We tried a number of Sardel's pans in our own kitchens, where they've become new favorites. Their ergonomic handles are one of the standout features that makes them especially great to use.

As much as I love cool kitchen gadgets and testing high-tech sous vide machines and blenders that can cook soup, I still have to say that a solid stainless steel pan will always be the cooking tool I can't live without. 

New kitchen brands have realized the importance of the essentials and are making it easier to buy good ones without blowing your budget. At online startups like Made In and Potluck, you can find durable and versatile pots and pans at more affordable prices than equipment from big-name brands like All-Clad or Calphalon. 

Sardel is the newest online cookware company to enter the fray and impress us. Founded by three brothers who wanted to cut down the clutter of poorly made kitchenware, they created the cookware collection they've always wanted for themselves — inexpensive, unintimidating, and made with high-quality materials. 

The six pieces are made in Italy and all have a five-ply construction of stainless steel at the top and bottom layers, and an aluminum core, which provides them with great heat distribution and retention capabilities, as well as lifelong durability. If you're unsatisfied with the quality, you have 30 days to return for free; if there are defects in manufacturing under normal use, you can take the brand up on the limited lifetime warranty. 

The designs are as classic as cookware gets, and that's the point. There are no gimmicks, merely the promise that the pieces will perform for all kinds of cooking tasks and won't cost a fortune. Each pan is priced between $80 and $145, but there are also discounted bundled options if you're thinking of overhauling your existing cookware set. 

We tried a number of Sardel's pans in our own kitchens, where they've become new favorites. Read on to find out how they performed. 

The pans we tested: 

  1. Saucepan (2-quart), $85, tested by Sally Kaplan, senior editor 
  2. Skillet (10-inch), $80, tested by Sally Kaplan, senior editor
  3. Nonstick Skillet (10-inch), $90, tested by Ellen Hoffman, executive editor 
  4. Skillet (12-inch), $95, tested by Connie Chen, senior reporter
  5. Sauté Pan (4-quart), $130, tested by Connie Chen, senior reporter 

Testing heat distribution and retention:

"After years of working in professional catering kitchens, I've come to appreciate the importance of heat distribution — particularly when you're working with a large pot or pan over a small flame. I used the 10-inch skillet on a few differently sized burners just to see how well the pan held its heat, and from my tests, I came away with perfectly crispy and evenly cooked latkes, vegan Beyond Sausages, and sauteed broccolini — even when cooking on the tiniest of burners. The two-quart saucepan is just as excellent." —Sally 

"I've never made more evenly cooked scrambled eggs in my life. The Nonstick Skillet's heat distribution is excellent; the edges of the pan cook at the same rate as the middle. It's a marvel of engineering". —Ellen

"Does the pan cook food quickly and efficiently? Does it retain the heat necessary to do so? These are simple tests that immediately distinguish the good from the bad, and Sardel passed with flying colors. Cooking with the Skillet feels effortless while cooking with the large Sauté Pan is also surprisingly easy due to the effective combination of stainless steel and aluminum." —Connie 

Upgrade your kitchen setup with all six of Sardel's products: a nonstick skillet, two skillets (10- and 12-inch), sauté pan, sauce pan, and stock pot. You get a free 30-day trial, a lifetime limited warranty, and free shipping with your order.

Shop all cookware at Sardel  

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