Large enough for family cooking
Each lid fits two pieces
Should use silicone or wooden utensils
Should hand wash
We purchased the Equal Parts Cookware Set so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Cookware seems so basic, but there are plenty of pitfalls when buying a new set. So, it was important to give the Equal Parts Cookware Set a rigorous test in the kitchen. Since it’s a nonstick set, I bought a coop’s worth of eggs, plenty of cheese for messy grilled cheese sandwiches, and ingredients to make soup in the stockpot. With breakfast, lunch, and dinner covered, I was ready for testing—and for cleaning up afterward.
Read on to see how this cookware set performed.
What's Included: Well-thought-out
The composition of this set is just about perfect. The smallest pan, the 8-inch frying pan, is perfect for cooking single servings, toasting spices, and other small tasks. I particularly loved it for making a single egg, and it gave me plenty of room to flip the egg over to cook the second side. It was a great size for an omelet that cooked evenly and flipped neatly out of the pan onto the plate, and it was equally good for scrambled eggs.
The 10-inch Essential Pan, which is basically a sauté pan, is great for sauces, for frying larger quantities of food, for casseroles, and for baking. It was a good size for making a pasta sauce, then adding the pasta to finish cooking. It was also a great size and shape for braising chicken thighs in a sauce. While I don’t typically use cookware for baking, this pan worked well for baking some biscuits and would make a great pan for a large batch of gooey cinnamon rolls or sticky buns. I also used it for cooking grilled cheese sandwiches. When the cheese melted and met the pan, cleaning it up afterward was a breeze.
The generously sized 3 1/2 inch saucepan, larger than those found in many small cookware sets, is family-sized, but not crazy large. It was perfect for the soup I made, and it’s also the ideal size for sauces or chili for a family dinner, with leftovers. I used it to cook half of a box of pasta that I added to the sauce in the Essential Pan. I was able to adjust the cooking temperature easily so I didn’t have any boil-overs, and had plenty of space for the pasta. The pot was also perfect for steaming broccoli using my favorite steamer basket, and it would be great for boiling potatoes for mashing or for potato salad.
Altogether, this set includes every pan that a cook will actually use and no extras that would collect dust in the pantry.
Last, the 8-quart stockpot is larger than the ones found in many sets, but it’s still easy to store. I used it to make soup stock and for boiling a larger batch of pasta. The large size is also great for making large batches of chili or soup for a party, or for making large amounts of food for the freezer. While a large stockpot might not be the most-used piece of cookware in the kitchen, I feel that it’s essential since there are so many times when a saucepot just isn’t big enough. I even used the pot for some sous vide cooking with my favorite sous vide device.
The two lids that come with this set are also worth noting because each lid fits two different pieces of cookware. The smaller lid fits the saucepan and the frying pan while the larger lid fits the stockpot and the Essential Pan. I particularly liked that I could set the lids at an angle when I wanted to vent steam, and the lids stayed in place.
Altogether, this set includes every pan that a cook will actually use and no extras that would collect dust in the pantry. While cooks might eventually want to add a cast-iron Dutch oven, a wok, or some other specialty piece of cookware, this set covers the basics handily.
Design: Functional and pretty
Not only is the set well-thought-out, but the pans themselves are designed for serious use. The handles are very sturdy and stay cool during cooking. They do get warm or hot right next to the body of the pot when cooking for a long time, but the ends remain cool enough to lift or move the pots. Even the loop handles stay cool enough most of the time, although mitts are a good idea when the pot is full or it’s been cooking for a while. The top button-style knobs on the lids are easy to grab even when wearing mitts, and the understated look is attractive.
Hanging holes on the ends of the long handles mean these can be hung on a hook, but the other ingenious part of this set is how it’s designed to stack compactly. With the Essential Pan on the bottom, the stockpot comes next, with the lid inverted. The frying pan comes next with the saucepan on top of it. It might take a deep shelf to fit all of them at once, but the easy stacking is much better than pots that don’t stack at all. To avoid marring the surfaces, a kitchen towel or other soft material can be placed between the pots, pans, and lids.
Because these pans heat quickly, I often found myself turning down the heat rather than turning it up.
For those who value color, this set is available in five: black, navy blue, red, light blue, and cream. With those varied choices, it’s a sure bet one will be a perfect fit for any kitchen’s décor. All of the cookware has a creamy white interior that pairs well with the exteriors, while the handles are stainless steel that looks clean and sleek. The overall look is high-end while retaining just a touch of fun.
Even the bottom of the pot has its own design—it sports the company logo, which looks like a squiggly spiral doodle. While few people will see the bottom of the pots, it’s a nice touch that brought a bit of a smile to my face when I was washing them. That logo on the bottom would also look interesting if the pots were hanging on a pot rack or a hook on the wall.
Materials/Heating Capacity: Aluminum heats quickly
The pots and pans are made from heavy-gauge aluminum and have a nonstick ceramic interior and a colored exterior coating. The pot and lid handles are stainless steel. While aluminum is a lightweight material—think of empty soda cans or disposable baking pans—these pans are thick enough that they are a bit heavy. They’re not as heavy as cast iron cookware, but they’ve got enough weight for efficient cooking.
Aluminum is a responsive metal, which means it heats and cools quickly, but that’s not the end of the story for this cookware. While the body of the pots is aluminum, a stainless steel base adds its own qualities to the cookware. Stainless steel retains heat better than aluminum, so it takes a little longer to heat and cool, and it heats more evenly. The two metals work together to create a pot that is less prone to hotspots, and it still reacts fast enough when the heat is raised or lowered.
Thanks to the stainless steel base, this cookware is induction compatible, so it can be used on any type of stove. It’s also oven-safe to 450 degrees. That’s not the maximum for most stoves, but it’s still high enough for just about any normal recipe. Higher heat wouldn’t ruin the cookware, but it could reduce the useful life of the nonstick coating.
Because these pans heat quickly, I often found myself turning down the heat rather than turning it up. The butter started browning while I was whisking eggs for an omelet because of the fast heating. I quickly learned that butter melted easily at the lowest heat, and eggs cooked well at low heat as well. I was able to brown foods on medium heat, which is a good thing since high heat can degrade the nonstick surface. Aside from boiling water, high heat shouldn’t be needed with this cookware.
Cleaning: Easy by hand
The interior of these pans is coated with a ceramic nonstick material that avoids the negatives associated with Teflon. It’s hard, but not impervious to scratches, so metal utensils shouldn’t be used, and harsh scrapers or scouring pads shouldn’t be used. While the pans can be washed in a dishwasher, the top rack is recommended, and hand washing is preferred.
Fortunately, the nonstick material makes these pots and pans very easy to clean. When I cooked eggs, nothing stuck to the pan, so I just had to rinse and wipe off loose bits and melted butter. No matter what I cooked, I did little more than wipe and rinse, even when I purposely set a pan aside overnight to let the food dry out. No need for even a scrubby pad—a sponge took care of cleaning every time.
While it wasn’t part of my testing plans, I accidentally incinerated some innocent dumplings in the Essential Pan. There was smoke spewing from under the lid and the bottoms of the dumplings were black. However, nothing was stuck to the bottom of the pan, and cleaning was just as easy as when I didn’t make charcoal. The pan didn’t appear to have suffered any damage, which was a pleasant surprise.
Price: Relatively expensive
Retailing at around $360, this certainly isn’t the most expensive cookware in the marketplace, but there are plenty of sets with more pieces at a lower price. However, I actually appreciate that this set doesn’t include extra utensils or pieces that would see little use. Every piece in this set has a different essential function, and in my tests, they all performed well. If someone is looking for ceramic cookware, I think this set is worth the price.
Equal Parts Cookware Set vs. GreenPan Lima Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set
Retailing around $250, the GreenPan Lima Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set, which I also tested, is a lower-cost ceramic nonstick cookware set option that includes more pieces than the Equal Parts set. However, some of the included pieces are less than desirable, like wooden utensils, and the pieces have smaller capacities. Overall, I'd prefer the Equal Parts set that includes fewer pieces of cookware, but all the included pieces are useful.
A great, inclusive option for a ceramic nonstick cookware set.
From the bright colors to its inclusion of all essential pieces to the easy-to-clean nonstick surface, the Equal Parts Cookware Set is sensible, durable, and desirable for any cook looking for ceramic nonstick cookware.
- Product Name The Cookware Set
- Product Brand Equal Parts
- Price $363
- Color cream, navy, light blue, red, black
- Material Aluminum body, stainless steel handles and base, nonstick ceramic interior
- Warranty 30-day, no-questions-asked return; 1-year warranty
- What's Included 8-inch frying pan, 10-inch Essential Pan, 3 1/2 quart saucepan, 8-quart stock pot, 2 lids