Compact nesting storage
Handles don’t store easily
Slight discoloration after cooking
We purchased the Magma Products 10-Piece Gourmet Nesting Stainless Steel Cookware Set so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
If you live in a studio apartment, RV, or boat, storage is probably in short supply. However, you still need pots and pans to make basic meals—that’s where the Magma Products 10-Piece Gourmet Nesting Stainless Steel Cookware Set comes in.
This product stands out among other stainless steel cookware sets thanks to its innovative nesting design. It includes an impressive 10 pieces, including two lids, and all of the items are supposed to fit together nicely for storage, taking up less than 1/2 cubic foot of space. But is it too good to be true? We put this cookware set to the test to find out—read on for our take on whether it belongs in your kitchen.
Design: A well-planned, compact cookware set
The Magma cookware set isn’t your typical collection of stainless steel pots and pans—it’s specifically designed for the limited space of an RV, boat, or small apartment. How so? Well, the pots and pans nest inside each other for easy storage and even come with a bungee cord to hold everything together. Plus, the set includes two detachable handles that can be used on all the pieces except for the stockpot, which acts as a storage container for the rest of the items with the frying pan as the lid.
Once everything is tucked away inside the stockpot, the whole collection takes up a tiny 12 x 12 x 8.5 inch space. A few years ago, we lived in a camp trailer for three months while we finished building a house, and we can’t help but wish we had this cookware set back then! You really can't beat the compact storage of the Magma set, but it’s worth mentioning that the handles don’t fit inside the stockpot.
Because this set is designed for compact storage, it does make some compromises when it comes to functionality. For example, the stockpot is only 5 quarts and has relatively low sides in comparison to a full-size 8-quart stockpot. We cooked for a family of six, and 5 quarts simply isn’t enough to make soup for that many people. However, it would probably be big enough if you're only cooking for two or three people.
The sides of the three saucepans are almost all the same height—it's only the diameter that changes between the 1-1/2, 2-, and 3-quart saucepans. The frying pan, which acts as the lid when all the pots and pans are in storage, has a 9.5-inch diameter, and there’s a lid that fits on both the fry pan and stockpot, as well.
During our testing, all of the pots and pans worked well. They're made of 18/10 stainless steel and heat quickly and evenly. The pan heights, however, took some getting used to. They're lower than your average cookware, so we had to be careful when cooking things like soups and stews. Some of our favorite dishes got awfully close to the top of the stockpot, too.
However, we did like the height of the frying pan, which is taller than most frying pans we've used. It was great for sautéeing vegetables and meat for stir-fries, as the high sides kept everything inside neatly.
With a six-person family, we make a lot of pasta, but we found the 5-quart stockpot to be too small to cook our average serving of spaghetti. It worked great for the spaghetti sauce and meatballs, but we had to boil the pasta in our own 8-quart stockpot. Would it do in a pinch? Of course, but you have to watch it carefully to make sure the water doesn’t boil over.
We were thoroughly impressed with the handle design, which slides into place from underneath and stays locked, allowing us to carry the pans by the handle without worrying about them coming loose. Our only issue with the handles was the fact that they can’t be stored with the pots and pans. They float around loose, which makes them easy to misplace, and we ended up playing a little hide-and-seek with them at one point during the testing process.
Material: High-quality and durable
Stainless steel is a classic material choice for cookware, as it’s durable and heats quickly and evenly. Plus, if you're working with an induction cooktop, stainless steel is often magnetic and can be used on these cooking elements. However, sticking can be an issue with uncoated stainless steel, and we did experience this with the Magma cookware. (More on that in a minute.)
The set’s handles are made of heavy stainless steel and plastic, which makes them hefty in your hand. In fact, we found the pots and pans to be heavier than expected. However, part of that may be due to the fact that they’re magnetic and can be used on an induction cooktop.
The cookware reached temperature quickly and evenly distributed heat, and we didn’t find any hotspots or have to wait around for them to warm up.
One problem we can see arising over time is the bungee cord breaking down. Eventually, it will lose its elasticity, as all bungee cords do. However, we tested this set for two months and kept the bungee cord on all the time unless we were using the cookware, and it didn’t lose its elasticity or strength during that period. Plus, bungee cords are pretty standard fare at hardware and sporting goods stores, and they’re inexpensive to replace.
Heating Capacity: Fast and efficient
We used these pans for everything from boiling water for eggs to subtly simmering gravy. The cookware reached temperature quickly and evenly distributed heat, and we didn’t find any hotspots or have to wait around for them to warm up. We also thought the pots and pans also responded quickly to temperature changes.
Cleaning: Typical stainless steel
Stainless steel has some great characteristics, but one of its downsides is that it’s tough to clean. Uncoated stainless steel is known for sticking, and because the Magma Products Stainless Steel Cookware Set doesn’t have a nonstick coating, we did have numerous foods become caked onto the pans.
When cooking with these pans, you have to use butter, vegetable oil, or another oil spray, and even with those things, there will probably still be sticking. We cooked scrambled eggs, and despite butter in the pan, we had to do some serious scrubbing afterward.
Magma Products does recommend seasoning these pans with oil two or three times a year to help with this aspect of care, but at the end of the day, it’s stainless steel and sticking is simply part of the deal.
We cooked scrambled eggs, and despite butter in the pan, we had to do some serious scrubbing afterward.
These pots and pans need to be hand washed, and except when we cooked food that sticks easily, we didn’t have trouble getting the pans clean. However, there was some discoloration, even when we cleaned the pans right away. It wasn’t too noticeable, but we suspect that it will worsen over time.
Discoloration doesn’t bother us too much, but for some people, it’s a real issue. If you want cookware to look as good as it did the day you opened the package, this set might not be a good fit. However, you can buy a specialty cleaner to help remove stains and discoloration from stainless steel.
Price: Worth it if you’ll use it
The Magma Products 10-Piece Gourmet Nesting Stainless Steel Cookware Set isn’t cheap, retailing for around $250 at full price, but we think it could be a worthwhile purchase for anyone who lives in a small space. If you love to cook and do so regularly, this set will perform well and take up minimal space in your tiny kitchen.
However, if you only drag out cookware once or twice a year to boil some water, this set is definitely overkill. In that case, you could really get by with a pan or two.
You really can't beat the compact storage of the Magma set, but we were disappointed that the handles don’t fit inside the stockpot.
Competition: Other nesting options
T-Fal Ingenio New Grand Bleu Premier Set: The 9-piece T-Fal Ingenio New Grand Bleu Premier Set is similar to the Magma set, as it has a single detachable handle to use on its four pans. It rivals the price of the Magma Gourmet Nesting Cookware Set, but it doesn’t have as many pot and pan sizes. Plus, with only one handle, you’ll have to take it on and off while cooking if you use more than one pan. Still, if you’re less of a chef, this is another compact set that will save you some money.
Stansport Heavy Duty 7-Piece Stainless Steel Clad Cookware Set: For another option that sports a detachable handle, consider the Stansport Heavy Duty 7-Piece Stainless Steel Clad Cookware Set, which includes a single handle that can be used on four of the pots and pans. This set also nests inside itself for storage, but unlike the Magma set, it can’t be used on induction stovetops.
- Product Name 10-Piece Gourmet Nesting Stainless Steel Cookware Set
- Product Brand Magma Products
- Price $247.98
- Weight 13 lbs.
- Model Number A10-360L-IND
- Material 18/10 stainless steel with a ferromagnetic stainless steel base
- Warranty 1-year limited warranty
- What's Included 5-quart stock pot; 3-, 2-, and 1-½ quart saucepans; 10-inch skillet/fry pan; skillet/stock pot lid; universal saucepan lid; 2 removable handles; bungee securing cord