Cookware Brands & Manufacturers
In this article, I have compiled a list of the most trusted cookware manufacturers on the market along with a little history and info on the types of products they offer.
Cuisinart was founded in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer, who had recently graduated from MIT and had a love for French food. Sontheimer unveiled his now-legendary food processor at a 1973 Chicago trade show. That appearance, along with a mention in Gourmet magazine, really launched the company.
The company did well in the 70s and early 80s when it fell on difficult times. After they filed for bankruptcy in 1989, Conair bought the company for $27 million. Cuisinart has dozens of products including ceramic cookware sets, stainless steel cookware sets, bakeware and griddles, but it is still most popular for its food processor line.
When the company hired designer Marc Harrison to design a number of new kitchen appliances, he improved upon existing products and created his own in the model of Universal design. Therefore, many of their products are accessible and available to people with disabilities and blind individuals.
Calphalon offers several lines of nonstick cookware, as well as many other kitchen essentials such as knives, toaster ovens and many more. Interestingly, the company was begun as a simple metal spinning company in Ohio in 1963 and created basic aluminum cookware.
Today, they are one of the most recognized brands on the market with several very popular lines and types of products such as frying pans, ceramic cookware sets, stainless steel cookware sets and more.
Throughout the 60s and 70s, the company honed their cookware technology and continued to have success in the marketplace. In 1992, they premiered their non-stick line to great acclaim. They branched out to utensils and bakeware in the 90s and were bought out in 1998.
Calphalon's parent company is Newell, who also owns such brands as Sharpie, Coleman and PaperMate. In the 2000s, under their new parent banner, they continued to unveil new products.
This business was founded by a metallurgist named John Ulam, and it was originally in the business of bonding metals. They got their start making coins for the U.S. Mint and making ballistics.
The company has changed hands many times since 1967 and has eventually found itself in the hands of the French company Groupe SEB. In 2000, All-Clad paired with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse who created a line of cookware. In 2014, they paired with chef Thomas Keller who also created a line of bonded cookware.
This company only turned to cookware by accident! The founder, John Ulam, originally manufactured metals and made a pan for his personal use. He established the brand to sell this new cookware, and Bloomingdale's picked it up two years later.
Let Creuset is a French company best known for its colorful cookware made of enameled cast iron. These "French ovens" are also called "cocottes" or "casseroles," but the company also produces other items like fondue sets and raclettes.
The company was founded by Armand Desaegher and Octave Aubecq, two Belgian specialists in the field of casting and enameling. They opened their foundry in 1925 and debuted their first oven later that same year.
The founders, and those who have run the company since, made sincere efforts to advance casting and enameling technology, and they specialized in introducing vivid new pigments for their pieces from the get-go. Their signature color, Flame (orange), is still offered today, and all the cast iron work is still performed in their original location in Fresnoy-le-Grand, Aisne, Picardy
Duxtop is a brand that is off the beaten path a bit, and it might be more difficult to locate various pieces because it is a smaller company. Another factor is that Duxtop designs and manufactures induction ranges and cooktops, so its cookware is complementary to that type of technology. You might not consider purchasing Duxtop cookware unless you had an induction stove, although people do use them with electric or gas stoves as well.
Chefs who use induction tops rave about this brand, however. Duxtop cookware is made by the Secura Company and is manufactured in China. They use "whole-clad" technology, which allows for even heat distribution throughout the pan's cooling surface and extends the overall life of the pot or pan itself.
GreenPan was founded by two schoolyard chums in Belgium named Jans Helskens and Wim De Veirman. They learned that the marketplace was flooded with non-stick pans that emitted toxins when overheated and were convinced that there had to be a better way. They wanted to create a better alternative and started several GreenPan ceramic cookware lines.
The pans are made out of ceramic and have a non-stick element to them, as well as a sleek design. The coating is 100% free from PFAS, PFOA, cadmium and steel, and the pans are extra thick at the base.
GreenPan is committed to innovation and continually tries to develop even better ways to craft and coat their pans.
T-Fal has an interesting backstory to its name. Also spelled "Tefal," it's a combination of the TEF in Teflon and the AL in aluminum. It is a French cookware and small home appliance manufacturer company that was founded in 1954.
Marc Gregoire had developed a non-stick application for his fishing gear, and his wife asked him to treat her cookware with the same application. They knew immediately it was a smash success!
Today, T-fal produces several lines of pots and pans including ceramic, stainless steel, nonstick, hard-anodized and others.
Fun fact: The company tries to revolutionize every category it competes in, and recently introduced the world's first cordless iron!
Gotham Steel is a relatively new brand on the scene and has gained fame by being in the infomercial world, as well as being sold as kind of a gimmicky product. However, the 9.5" debut pan has received exceptional reviews for its capabilities, and the pot they introduced also has decent ratings..
Gotham Steel is the name of the brand, but the material itself is a combination of several things. The pan is aluminum and it has a handle made of stainless steel. The non-stick coating is both titanium and ceramic.
This pan set is developed and promoted by Emson Inc, located in New York, USA. However, the parts are manufactured overseas.
One of the oldest and largest manufacturers of kitchen knives, cookware and flatware is a company called Zwilling J.A. Henckels and based in Solingen, Germany. Founded in 1731, it's safe to say that this company has a successful business model and a remarkable line of products.
The brand itself has the reputation of an old and revered knowledge in the culinary ways and carries with it a certain type of sophistication and air of high quality. The good thing is, the products really deliver as well!
Zwilling uses a high-carbon, rust-resistant stainless steel with a Rockwell Hardness level of 57. They also offer ceramic cookware sets.
GreenLife was founded and developed with one goal in mind: to bring healthy cooking within everyone's reach. They strive to offer affordable, eco-friendly products that also are extremely functional.
What began as a storefront has now evolved into a successful online business in recent years, and now their products are available on many popular delivery sites. GreenLife uses Thermalon, a trademarked natural non-stick component to their cookware, and people rave about the results. Their non-stick interior is free of PFAs, PFOA, lead and cadmium.
They offer bright and exciting colors on most of their ceramic cookware lines. GreenLife pans are even dishwasher safe!
Lodge Manufacturing Company was founded in 1896 by Joseph Lodge and is based in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Lodge is one of the oldest and most revered American manufacturers of cast iron and is still owned and operated by the Lodge family.
Joseph originally learned and honed his craft traveling barefoot around the country over 100 years ago, and he set in motion a successful and quality business enterprise. In 2019, Lodge unveiled seven new lighter weight cast iron products proving that the company is still developing after all this time.
Although it's completely modernized and available on many online platforms, Lodge is a 5th generation family company with impeccable values and customer service.
Founded in 1911 by Valentin Tramontina, this company produces quality cookware, cutlery and home appliances. Although cooking accessories were it's first first into business, Tramontina has always looked for ways to expand and now produces 17,000 different items intended for various market segments.
Although Tramontina is still run by a member of the original family, Clovis Tramontina, the company has been based largely out of Brazil for many years (and also has distribution and sales offices all over the globe). In fact, Tramontina is one of the most important manufacturers in Brazil with ten factory plants in the country.
They are famous not only for their products but for their avid support of a number of Brazil's soccer teams. Tramontina's product line contains frying pans, nonstick cookware sets, stainless steel cookware sets and many other types.
By 1919, Italian metal worker Alfonso Bialetti had spent over ten years honing his skills in the industry and had set up his own shop making aluminum products in Piedmont. After another ten-plus years, Bialetti had designed and honed a number of pieces and lines, always focusing on innovations. He created his own brand in 1933, focusing on manufacturing the popular Moka pots.
The company continued on in the family name as Alfonso brought his son into the business, and they continued making cookware into the 40s and 50s. They branched out and began manufacturing coffee makers and small kitchen appliances into the 60s, 70s and 80s. Upon falling on harder times, they merged with Rondine Italia in 1993.
Rachael Ray is an American celebrity chef and TV personality who has been on and starred in numerous cooking shows and lifestyle programs. She has also hosted 11 seasons of her own critically acclaimed show "30 Minutes Meals" on the Food Network. She's won numerous Emmy's for her work.
Ray is the author of over 20 cookbooks for all types of audiences, including children. She has branched out via her commercial success and created home interior lines and cookware products for sale in stores worldwide
Rachael Ray's cookware line has had great reviews, and many people complimented the ability to achieve an even sear on cuts of meat and fish. The cookware is enamelized and nonstick, and sets come in bright colors and various pot/pan combinations.
In 1889, Paolo Ballarini began a business using his metalsmithing experience and made bird cages to sell. In addition to these small metal objects, Ballarini also made quality metal kitchenware and products, all of which were a hit and were sold under his umbrella company and based in Mantovano, Italy.
The company continued to evolve and make different kitchen items, including utensils, for nearly a hundred more years. In the 1960s, they focused primarily on non-stick cookware, and this continues to this day. The majority of their market is in the UK and mainland Europe.
Ballarini continues to offer quality cookware sets and a variety of pans that are both durable and professional grade. One of their main sellers is an aluminum frying pan with a non-stick element to its surface.