Cuisinart is one of the most recognized kitchenware brands in the world, best known for food processors, blenders, coffee makers, and other small appliances.
But the brand offers an extensive range of stainless steel and non-stick cookware, too.
If you’re in the market for new pots and pans, you might be wondering whether Cuisinart is any good.
In this in-depth review of Cuisinart cookware, I reveal its pros, cons, and everything you need to know.
- How the cookware looks and feels (with lots of pictures)
- How it’s made
- How it performs
- How it compares to its biggest competitors
- How much it costs
- And much more
By the end, you’ll have all the facts necessary to decide if Cuisinart cookware belongs in your kitchen.
Use the links below to navigate the review:
- Cooking Performance
- Heat Conduction Test
- Heat Retention Test
- Cuisinart Cookware FAQs
- Bottom Line: Is Cuisinart Cookware Good?
The first thing you’ll notice when researching Cuisinart cookware is its classy and functional design.
It’s not the flashiest cookware, but it’s not dull and boring either. It’s the type of cookware that goes well in any kitchen and could be mistaken for a premium brand like All-Clad or Made In.
Cuisinart offers several collections, all with unique design elements. But in this section, I give you an up-close look at one of their most popular collections, the Cuisinart Professional Series.
I’ll also give you an overview of the other collections’ designs, so you’ll get a good idea of the Cuisinart cookware brand as a whole.
The brilliance of the stainless steel on the Cuisinart Professional Series is a showstopper, and as photogenic as this fry pan is, its polished exterior looks even better in person.
It features the Cuisinart PowerBond base, which is a heavy-duty disc on the bottom of the pan. The impact-bonded (cladded) disc makes the cookware induction compatible and keeps the pan completely flat and stable.
While the PowerBond base is thick, the pan’s sides are thin (one-ply) and do not conduct heat as efficiently as the bottom (more on this in the next section).
The Cuisinart logo is etched into the center of the disc, which looks nice but can be hard to keep clean over time (without oven cleaning spray, as Cuisinart recommends to keep the exterior clean).
Other collections, including the Hammered, Copper Tri-Ply, Chef’s Classic, Black Stainless, and Mica-Shine, offer a mix of textures, tones, and colors to switch up the aesthetic on your cooktop.
For example, the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic comes with a dark hard-anodized aluminum exterior.
And, if you’re looking to make a statement, the Hammered collection features an elegant textured steel exterior.
The pan’s interior features high-gloss stainless steel with a fine, ingrained ripple pattern.
The sides of the pan have a gradual slope that builds out to a significant flare and tapered rims, excellent for pouring without making a mess.
Some Cuisinart collections feature interior measurement markings and strainer holes for more efficient cooking and overall convenience (you can stop searching for that colander or measuring glass).
The non-stick interiors are made from proprietary coatings: Quantanium® (traditional) or Ceramica® XT (ceramic) non-stick. I’ll share more about these non-stick coatings in the Cooking Performance portion of the Cuisinart cookware review.
The handles are polished stainless steel and riveted to the sides of the pan. The long cast stainless steel handle is contoured and designed to stay cool on cooktops.
The helper handle is angled for an easy grip and features the Cuisinart logo.
Although this fry pan does not come with a matching lid, there are similar options with lids, such as the Chef’s Classic skillet or the upgraded construction of the Multiclad Pro 12-inch skillet.
The lid handles on stainless and non-stick collections are stainless steel (some wrapped in silicone) and feature a rectangular shape with rounded corners.
The side grips, helper handles, long handles, and lid handles on other Cuisinart cookware collections are similar if not identical in shape and construction. They use a mix of stainless steel, heat-resistant silicone, or a stainless/silicone combination, such as the Cuisinart Advantage collection.
The Professional Series collection comes with oven-safe (up to 350°F) tempered glass lids trimmed in stainless steel.
Cuisinart also offers stainless steel lids as a part of other collections that are also oven-safe (up to 500°F).
Cuisinart lids (stainless and glass) are designed to fit tightly, creating a seal that locks in flavors and moisture.
Cuisinart offers a solid lineup of cookware collections, each with the versatility to handle the modern home chef’s needs.
You have a choice of non-stick for delicate foods like eggs and stainless steel for searing, browning, and overall versatility.
If precise heat control is your concern, the Cuisinart Copper Tri-Ply collection features a copper exterior, aluminum core, and steel cooking surface.
Since copper has high thermal conductivity, this cookware heats up fast and responds in seconds when you adjust the temperature.
Many home cooks don’t need this level of control, but it’s useful for recipes like fish, sauces, risotto, jams, caramel, and chocolate.
Fully-Clad vs. Impact-Bonded Performance
Cuisinart offers two types of stainless steel cookware: fully-clad and impact-bonded.
Fully-clad cookware, such as the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro collection, is produced with bonded layers, making the cookware thicker and more conductive.
Impact-bond cookware, like the Cuisinart Professional Series collection, features a cladded disc on the bottom of the pots and pans, but the sides are single-ply (one layer of steel).
What’s the difference?
Fully-clad cookware boasts more even heat distribution due to its construction: a heat conductive core with layered metal throughout the entire pan.
Impact-bonded cookware delivers even heat on the bottom but not up the sides.
If you’re looking to get the best performance from a stainless steel set, go with a fully-clad option like Cuisinart Multiclad Pro (but expect to pay more). If you want stainless steel at a lower price, opt for an impact-bonded option like Cuisinart Professional Series.
Cuisinart coats many of its non-stick pans with Quantanium, a PTFE-based non-stick formulation reinforced with titanium for longevity and durability.
Its other pans are coating with traditional PTFE-based coating that’s not reinforced with titanium. Both are PFOA-free, metal utensil-safe, and require little or no oil to prevent sticking.
Cuisinart also offers ceramic coating (PTFE and PFOA-free) on the Ceramica XT and GreenGourmet collections.
Ceramic non-stick pans are advertised as healthier, but the reality is that the coating easily breaks down and loses its non-stick powers quickly (learn more in this guide to the pros and cons of ceramic non-stick cookware).
So, if you’re looking for more durable, higher-performing non-stick cookware, go with a Cuisinart collection coating featuring Quantantium or traditional PTFE coatings. The top collections in those categories are Chef’s Classic, Advantage, and Contour Hard Anodized.
Most Cuisinart cookware collections are oven-safe up to 500°F. If you decide to use the lid, the glass covers are oven safe to 350°F, and the stainless lids can withstand up to 500°F.
A handful of Cuisinart collections are broiler-safe, including:
- Cuisinart Multiclad Pro
- Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless
- Cuisinart Professional Series
- Cuisinart French Classic Tri-Ply
Induction Compatible Cookware
If you have an induction cooktop, you’ll be happy to know that Cuisinart offers several induction-compatible options, including:
- Cuisinart Ceramica XT Nonstick
- Cuisinart Elements Pro Induction Nonstick
- Cuisinart Multiclad Pro
- Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless (even the copper option)
- Cuisinart French Classic Tri-Ply
- Cuisinart Professional Series
- Cuisinart Hammered Collection Tri-Ply
The bottom line is the performance of Cuisinart cookware varies by collection.
If you want the best heat conduction, go with a fully-clad stainless steel collection rather than impact-bonded.
If you want the most durable non-stick cookware with easy food release, choose one of the collections that features a PTFE-based non-stick coating rather than ceramic.
Heat Conduction Test
So how does Cuisinart compare with other popular cookware brands as far as heat conduction and retention?
To find out, I ran a simple test.
First, I poured two cups of cold water into the Professional Series 12-inch fry pan. I placed the pan on a gas burner on high heat and set a stopwatch to measure how long it took for the water to boil.
I conducted the same test with GreenPan, HexClad, All-Clad, Calphalon, and Misen pans.
Below are the results:
As you can see, the Cuisinart pan heated the slowest of all of the pans I tested.
Also, the bubbles were not uniformly distributed, which indicates uneven heat conduction.
The largest bubbles were near the sides (where the walls are thin), and there were noticeable spots near the center of the pan with minimal bubbles.
All other pans, except Calphalon, produced evenly dispersed bubbling.
The key takeaway is that Cuisinart, at least its impact-bonded Professional Series, heats up slower and less evenly than the brand’s top competition.
Heat Retention Test
After recording the results of the heat conduction test, I poured out the boiling water and set each pan aside on a countertop. Five minutes later, I pressed the palm of my hand on the cooking surface to test its heat retention.
The cooking surface of the Cuisinart fry pan was barely warm, and there was zero heat remaining in the sides of the pan.
I was surprised that the cooking surface lost most of its heat since it’s made with a thick aluminum base (aluminum conducts and retains heat well), but I wasn’t surprised the sides were cool since they’re made of just a thin layer of steel.
As a comparison, the five other pans I tested were all significantly warmer after five minutes, and the Misen pan was still warm after ten minutes.
Although the Cuisinart pan performs well when it comes to everyday cooking, several other options heat more evenly, retain heat longer, and deliver better performance overall.
Before you decide if Cuisinart cookware is suitable for your kitchen, you need to know its downsides.
I’ve cooked with many stainless steel pans at all price levels, and Cuisinart, although it looks great, isn’t on the same level in terms of quality standards as brands like All-Clad and Made In.
Right out of the box, I noticed several obvious dents and dings on the handle, something you never see with high-end cookware. Simply put, Cuisinart’s quality standards are lacking.
Uneven Heat Distribution
As my test results revealed, Cuisinart’s impact-bonded stainless steel cookware does not deliver consistent heat to the pan’s sides. Furthermore, its thin sides are more likely to warp.
Lightweight and Unbalanced Feel
Some Cuisinart collections feel too lightweight. The handles are hollow and made with thin metal, so most of the pan’s weight is in its base. That makes it feel unbalanced, especially when you’re transferring a full pan from the stove to the oven.
The stainless steel cookware is prone to staining, discoloration, and pitting. The polished stainless steel looks nice at first but shows fingerprints easily, requiring you to wipe it constantly to keep it looking good.
However, the non-stick cookware is easy to clean and doesn’t require much maintenance at all.
Almost all Cuisinart cookware is made in China. That explains the more affordable pricing, but it leaves some questions about the manufacturing standards.
One of the greatest advantages of Cuisinart cookware is its low price tag. It’s almost half the cost of All-Clad and, in many cases, significantly cheaper than Calphalon.
It’s important to note that Cuisinart offers a range of prices.
For example, the Multiclad Pro and French Classic collections are the most expensive collections made from premium fully-clad steel, while the Chef’s Classic and Advantage collections are two of the cheapest.
To see current prices on Amazon for Cuisinart cookware, please review the following table:
Cuisinart Cookware FAQs
Below are the most frequently asked questions about Cuisinart cookware:
Bottom Line: Is Cuisinart a Good Cookware Brand?
After considering what Cuisinart has to offer, it’s time to decide whether you think it’s a good choice for your kitchen.
Before I offer my thoughts, let’s do a quick recap of the pros and cons.
- Cuisinart is an affordable brand with a range of price points to suit most budgets.
- Cuisinart offers multiple cookware collections made of stainless steel, aluminum, hard-anodized aluminum, and copper. Its non-stick pans are coated in both traditional and ceramic materials, depending on the collection.
- All collections are oven-safe (including lids), and many are also induction-compatible.
- It features a classic design with the choice of different finishes and colors, depending on the collection.
- Some collections offer time-saving elements such as built-in measuring marks and strainer holes.
- Overall, there are some quality and production issues. Not all Cuisinart pans have imperfections, but there’s enough evidence of it that it’s worth considering.
- The impact-bonded base cookware, such as the Professional Series, doesn’t distribute heat or retain it as efficiently as fully-clad cookware.
- Some pans feel lightweight or improperly balanced (base heavy).
- The polished exterior looks elegant but smudges easily.
So is Cuisinart cookware good?
Cuisinart is a respected brand offering decent cookware at a fair price. It won’t last forever and won’t perform nearly as well as other more expensive brands, but it gets the job done.
If it gets damaged, discolored, warped, or the non-stick coating wears down, you can replace it without breaking the bank and upgrade when your budget allows.
However, if you are looking for top-quality, long-lasting cookware, I recommend brands like All-Clad, Made In, and Calphalon over Cuisinart.
You can compare prices and learn more about each of these brands at the links below:
- Cuisinart on Amazon
- All-Clad on Amazon
- Made In on MadeInCookware.com
- Calphalon on Amazon
If you decide to buy Cuisinart stainless steel cookware, it’s worth investing in a fully-clad collection, such as Multiclad Pro. And if you’re shopping for non-stick, choose a collection with Quantanium coating, such as Chef’s Classic. It will perform better and last longer than the others.