Cooking is such a huge part of everyday life, and the right tools for cooking can make all the difference. You’ll need a range of cookware if you’re just starting or building your collection. You may not have the budget for a high end set of cookware, but there are sets that can satisfy every budget.
Cuisinart is a well-known brand with many different types of cookware. Their French Classic harkens back to traditional cookware sets made so famous by French masters. Is this the cookware set that’s right for you? Let’s find out.
Cuisinart has been in business since the 1970s, bringing joy back to cooking ever since. While they’re most known for their iconic food processor and other electric kitchen tools, they offer an extensive range of both budget and higher-end cookware.
Cuisinart is easy to find in just about any store that sells kitchen things and also has an online store for those who need something not found in stores. Cuisinart is highly favored by a range of cooks and was originally endorsed by the one and only Julia Child, who wanted to bring the joy of French Cooking to the masses along with Cuisinart’s founder, Carl Sontheimer.
Cuisinart French Classic – The Details
The French Classic uses classic cookware design and excellent materials to offer a set in a mid-range pricing tier that performs well. It’s beautiful to look at but serves an even more important function, performance. Let’s look at the details.
Construction and Materials
The French classic uses something called Tri-ply in the construction. It’s a three-layer design with aluminum in the middle, sandwiched between layers of stainless steel. This allows the conductivity of aluminum to make cooking more efficient but uses the stainless steel to hold steadier temperatures. The result? Faster preheat times with fewer scorch or hot spots.
Cuisinart’s heat surround technology brings the entire tri-ply construction across the bottom of the pan and up the sides so that heating is more even overall. The pots are made to handle high heat without warping, and the materials are easier to clean.
The handles are also stainless and are riveted to the sides of the pots and pans for better stability. Rivets also last longer than welding, and you’re less likely to suffer an unfortunate accident while carrying something hot.
The lids are also stainless steel with plenty of room on the handles and rivets, as well. They’re all easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and come with a lifetime warranty. There’s no nonstick coating, however, which can be frustrating.
All of the pots and pans have a gently rounded bottom and side, making it easier to scrape food and stir. The stainless is bright and shiny, but the interior might get a little scuffed. Be sure to use only plastic cooking utensils to help minimize scratches.
The handles have a good weight to them and are long enough to stay cool during cooking. When you’re getting ready to move your pot, they offer a substantial grip with a rounded arc to help offset the weight of the pots and pans.
You get a classic mix of cookware, including frying pans, that help you successfully prepare a wide array of dishes. They’re designed to mimic the traditional design of French cookware with an upgrade in the materials.
The Tri-ply material is not only durable, but it provides excellent, even heating. There is rarely any temperature inconsistencies even when cooking in the largest pot. The pans can handle high heat without warping, but don’t take long to preheat.
You’re also able to use them on your induction stovetop if you need to, which is a nice bonus. Even if you don’t have induction now, you won’t have to worry about it if you upgrade in the future.
Stainless steel isn’t the greatest when it comes to a nonstick surface. You’ll have to make sure to use the right amount of oil or butter to keep your food from sticking, and you may have to deglaze the interior pretty regularly to get food off. Barkeep’s Friend can help you get rid of any of those lingering stains.
The pots and pans are all dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 500 degrees, so your cooking and your cleaning are both easier. The lids are oven safe up to 350 degrees and can also work on gas stoves.
Cuisinart French Classic – The Review
The Cuisinart French Classic is just a gorgeous set of cookware. The polished stainless steel is showstopping and goes well from kitchen to tabletop. They offer excellent heating and even temperatures while maintaining a fast prep time.
The collection includes a good range of pots and pans to help ensure you’ve always got the right tool on hand. They offer plenty of versatility without sacrificing storage space and blend classic design elements with new materials that stand up to heat.
The downside is stainless isn’t great with nonstick, and you are going to see some sticking when cooking. The best way to handle this is to preheat the pan gently and add your oil, completely coating the pan. Then add food.
The set has even temperatures and doesn’t scorch food, although, with electric ranges, it can suffer from some temperature inconsistencies when the heat is turned all the way up. They’re also oven safe up to 500 degrees, but be sure you don’t put the lids in for that high of a heat.
They’re really conveniently dishwasher safe, making clean up a lot easier. You may still prefer to deglaze the pan and hand wash to preserve the stainless steel finish. The lids and handles are riveted instead of welded for better security, and they have a nice feel when moving the dishes around.
What’s in the Set
The set comes with several standard cooking tools, including two different skillets. The collection is all the essentials with nothing out of place, and everything stores nice and neatly.
- 8″ and 10″ French skillets.
- 2-qt. saucepan with lid.
- 3-qt. sauté pan with lid and helper handle.
- 4 1/2-qt. Dutch oven with lid.
- 8-qt. stockpot with lid.
The saute pan has straight sides and is perfect for the main course, one-pot meals that require a bit more room with even heating. The two different skillets are ideal for side dishes or breakfast options.
You also get a dutch oven and stockpot for cooking larger dishes and easier oven cooking. They have taller sides and reinforced handles. The mix of tools is good for a starter set and may even satisfy highly seasoned cooks.
Get the French Classic if:
- you want a durable, stainless steel set
- you might change to induction cooking
- you want something dishwasher safe
Stay away from the French Classic if:
- you want something nonstick
- you’d rather invest in high-end cookware
- you need a more significant set than what’s offered.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I care for my French Classic Set? – Luckily, stainless steel is pretty low maintenance. It’s dishwasher safe, so you don’t’ have to worry about the cleanup for the most part. It might be helpful to deglaze the pan before you put it in the dishwasher.
- How do I deglaze a pan? – While the pan is still hot, pour a little bit of liquid such as wine into the pan and gently begin to scrape up the proteins with a plastic tool.
- How do I remove staining from my stainless steel finish? – Boiling vinegar and water in the pot or pan can help remove minor oil stains. Barkeep’s Friend is also a great way to keep stainless steel shiny, but be sure to use sparingly, so you don’t ultimately scratch your finish.
- How do I use stainless steel Tri-Ply pans? – It’s best to preheat your pan before using it to help keep things nonstick. Put your pan on medium heat and allow it to get hot. Put your oil in the bottom and then add your food to the pan.
A French Classic
The French Classic set is a good option for stocking a kitchen for the first time when you have a slightly larger budget or as a refresh for your old cookware. It offers steady heat, the option for induction cooking, and reliable construction that won’t warp or crack.
Unfortunately, it won’t provide much nonstick protection, but if you take the proper precautions, you should still be able to cook without too much trouble. The makeup of the set is a classic style with plenty of tools to cover a variety of cooking tasks.
Overall, it’s a good option for those who want to set up a kitchen, and it provides reliable performance in the kitchen. It has plenty of versatility, and the materials are a good option for multiple cooking tasks.
Editor Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
- Price: $$$$
- Weight: 4 out of 5
- Performance: 4 out of 5
- Materials: Stainless steel and aluminum
- Construction: Tri-Ply “heat surround”
- Handles: stainless steel, riveted
- Warranty: Lifetime guarantee