Cuisinart is a household name, but did you realize they had so many different sets for different cooking needs and preferences? Whether you’re looking for something to stock a brand new kitchen or replacing old pots and pans that have outlived their usefulness, Cuisinart may have just the set you’re looking for.
Eco-friendly cookware is getting more popular, and the GreenGourmet set could satisfy that desire if you’re looking for something healthier and kinder for the planet. Let’s take a look at what comes in the set, what to expect if you invest in Green Gourmet, and discover if it’s the right one for you.
Cuisinart began with the humble food processor. In 1971, Carl Sontheimer founded the company, striving to bring the conveniences of professional French kitchens to regular people everywhere. Thanks to his vision, we have a wide range of convenient kitchen tools designed to make everyday cooking less of a chore and more of a joy.
Cuisinart has expanded far beyond the food processor and beyond even electric appliances. They have a wide range of cooking tools, including sets of pots and pans, designed for performance and available to a wide range of budgets.
Cuisinart products are available through both retailers and online. They offer bundles to make stocking your kitchen easier and are often highly rated throughout the cooking world. One good thing about Cuisinart is that you’ll never have to worry about whether you’ll be able to find the products.
Cuisinart GreenGourmet – The Details
The GreenGourmet is a set designed with an eco-friendly idea. It features materials that are kinder to both you and the planet without sacrificing performance or costing an arm and a leg. Let’s take a look at what comes in the set.
Construction and Materials
The GreenGourmet set uses a hard-anodized material that adds durability and stability to standard stainless steel. Both the interior and exterior feature this material and sandwiched in between is a layer of aluminum alloy. Aluminum reduces the amount of time it takes for the pan to preheat and provides more efficient heat conduction.
The non-stick coating is a ceramic-based material, Cuisinart’s Ceramica. Ceramic coatings provide better protection against stuck food without the potential carcinogens of Teflon. It’s petroleum free and is a water based coating rather than using a solvent to make it happen.
It’s also PTFE/PFOA-Free non-stick surface. PTFE hasn’t been officially deemed unsafe like its original Teflon counterpart PTFO, but we still aren’t sure of how the chemical responds to our health over time. It’s also a poor environmental choice. PFOA has been labeled as dangerous and is both a health and environmental concern.
The handles are stainless and made of 70% recycled steel – better for the environment and featuring a stay-cool material. The lids are well fitted and also feature a stainless material. The handles on each are riveted instead of welded for better stability and to reduce the chance of a handle breaking during use.
The main draw for the GreenGourmet line is the non-stick process. Instead of using petroleum, Ceramica is a ceramic non-stick material that uses a water-based process to adhere to the pan. The temperature needed to apply is half what conventional non-stick coatings use, so overall less energy is wasted during the process.
You also get a better cooking performance with less heat. Recycled materials make up the bulk of the finish, reducing waste materials and providing a better system for the planet. Even the packaging is mostly recycled and uses soy-based ink.
The set comes with most conventional pieces, including two saucepans, a saute pan, a skillet, and a stockpot with a pasta insert. The lids are not interchangeable, but the set does store reasonably easily.
Ceramic non-stick surfaces rarely outperform their toxic cousins, unfortunately, and this holds true with the GreenGourmet. The non-stick coating requires that the pots and pans be handwashed, never put in the dishwasher.
Even with careful handwashing, the surface is likely to begin to show wear and tear soon after starting to use the set, possibly in mere months. While you can avoid these consequences by using plastic cooking utensils and never metal, you might still notice some food sticking later on.
The heat from the layers of cooking materials might also cause hot spots. If you combine lower temperatures with a watchful eye, the heat could be a convenient way to reduce the energy you use while cooking. However, it does tend to scorch areas of the dish, especially if you’re cooking something like soup or sauces. Stir frequently.
If you keep an eye on the temperature and use the right cooking utensils, however, you’ll get a fair performance out of this basic set. It’s not going to blow you away, but for a beginner kitchen, the pots and pans heat fairly quickly and require less energy to get the job done. Just be careful of the handles.
Cuisinart Green Gourmet – The Review
The set is not going to wow you with performance. It tends to overheat in certain spots, and the Ceramica coating is delicate no matter what precautions you take to make sure it stays in place. However, for an eco-friendly, budget line, it has good bones and offers functionality without toxic fumes or nasty pollutants.
You’ll have to learn just how much heat you need to cook without scorching your food and be aware that you may have hotspots in any soup or sauce you make. You can avoid this with more frequent stirring and getting to know your stove’s heat settings well.
The lids are oven-safe, as is the rest of the cookware, offering convenient cooking options. The set itself comes with standard sizes and cookware types that should cover a range of dishes, although it would have been nice to have some interchangeable lids.
It’s probably not for you if you’ve been cooking for a while and need a high-performance set. However, for a budget set with materials that are better for the environment, it’s not a bad option. These are best for people who are just getting started in the kitchen and aren’t ready to make the jump to full high-end cookware just yet. If you’re a seasoned cook, you might be a little disappointed in the performance.
What’s in the Set
The ten-piece set covers all the basics for cooking, including some good sizing options. There’s a slightly larger 12 piece set as well.
The ten-piece set comes with:
- 1 qt. saucepan with cover
- 5 qt. saucepan with lid
- 3 qt. sauté pan with lid
- 6 qt. saucepot with lid
- 8-inch skillet
- Pasta insert (fits 6 Qt. saucepot)
The 12 piece set comes with:
- 8” Skillet
- 10” Deep Fry with cover
- 5 qt. Saucepan with lid
- 5 qt. saucepan with lid
- 3 qt. Everyday Pan with lid
- 6 qt. Dutch Oven with cover
- Steamer Insert (fits 2.5 qt. Saucepan)
The saucepan options in both sets are excellent for everyday sides, soups, and sauces. They’re intended for cooking those sides efficiently without wasting a lot of space during the heating process. The eight-inch skillet is excellent for breakfast and smaller one-pot dishes.
The saute pan in both sets features straight sides and a lid, perfect for cooking one-pot main dishes without risking spilling out what you’re cooking over the sides. In the larger set, a deep fryer and a dutch oven option are excellent for experimentations while the standard ten-piece set is suitable for classic dishes.
Get the GreenGourmet if:
- You want a budget-friendly, eco-choice
- you’re just starting out in your kitchen
- you’re willing to hand wash your cookware
Stay away from the GreenGourmet if:
- you want something dishwasher friendly
- you’re a seasoned cook
- you’re ready to upgrade to a higher-end set
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I care for my GreenGourmet pots and pans? – Ceramica is more delicate than traditional non-stick or Teflon surfaces, so you’ll have to take some precautions. First, be sure to use only plastic cooking utensils, never metal, to help protect the surface as you’re cooking. Second, handwash your pieces to prevent damage from the dishwasher. It’s best to wait until the pieces are cool enough to handle but don’t leave food on long term. You can also deglaze the pans before washing.
- What’s the difference between Ceramica and traditional non-stick surfaces? – Ceramica is Cuisinart’s proprietary ceramic non-stick coating. It’s gentler on the environment because it’s a water-based coating and not petroleum. It uses no solvents and is both PTFE and PFOA free.
- Why is GreenGourmet an eco-friendlier option? – The coating isn’t the only thing better. The materials themselves use recycled steel in aspects of the construction. The packaging is also recycled and uses soy ink. Little environmental steps all around.
Environmentally and Beginner Friendlier
The GreenGourmet won’t blow the higher end brands out of the water, but when you’re shopping for your first kitchen and don’t have an extensive budget, it’s a good choice. The pieces will be a better option for both your health and your earth consciousness.
If you’re ready to upgrade to higher-end cookware, this isn’t going to be a super satisfying purchase. The mid-level performance won’t impress most true seasoned cooks, but for an early kitchen stocking, this kit does have some perks.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
- Price: $$$
- Weight: 4 out of 5
- Performance: 3 out of 5
- Materials: Aluminum and Stainless Steel, Ceramica coating
- Construction: Hard anodized stainless with a ceramic-based non-stick surface
- Handle: 70% recycled stainless, riveted
- Warranty: Lifetime