I am always skeptical of expensive cookware, especially when it’s non-stick. If you’ve seen any of my other reviews you probably know that I don’t think non-stick pots and pans last very long. It’s very difficult (in both my experience and the experience of anyone I’ve ever met) to make a non-stick cookware set last for more than five years.
Admittedly, I’m not 100% sure of the sciencey reasons behind this. I know that Teflon maintains its non-stick properties indefinitely, but it chips and flakes off after several years of use. On the other hand, most ceramic non-sticks will stay firmly attached to the pan. This doesn’t mean they last longer, however.
Instead, they’ll slowly lose their non-stick properties. At about the same time that Teflon would start to flake off, your Thermolon (or other ceramic non-stick) pan will stop working as a non-stick pan. It’ll become harder to cook food on a decaying ceramic non-stick surface than it is to cook on plain stainless steel.
As a result, I’m not usually a fan of spending lots of money on non-stick cookware. Instead, I try to get a cheap set that I won’t mind replacing in about two years. If it lasts longer than this, great. If not, I’m not disappointed when I have to run out and buy a new set. Cheaper cookware is still of surprisingly good quality these days, especially from brands like Anolon and Calphalon.
Eurocast’s cookware does NOT fit this mode, at least for my budget. Each piece is quite expensive, to the point where I could probably buy two or three budget sets for the price of a single Eurocast collection.
Is it worth buying despite this?
Does Eurocast break the mold with exceptional performance or longevity, making the cost totally justified? We’ll try to examine the features that make Eurocast special and discuss whether or not it’s worth picking up a Eurocast set for your kitchen.
The Sales Pitch: Eurocast’s Big Advantage
Most cookware brands have a specialty. All-Clad specializes in multi-ply pots and pans, for example, while Anolon is most famous for its anodized aluminum cookware. Eurocast’s specialty (at least in the United States), is the sales pitch.
While other cookware brands are content with word-of-mouth advertising and the occasional TV commercial, Eurocast trains people to go out into stores (mostly Sam’s Club) and other places and give live demonstrations of their cookware. You’ve probably seen one of these, either live or on YouTube, if you searched for this page. If not, you may want to go watch one. They’re impressively choreographed pitches that go over a wide range of “special” features that Eurocast’s cookware possesses.
Of course, if you have a bit of knowledge of cookware, you’ll start to notice holes in these pitches. While they’re very well written and carefully planned out, many of the demonstrations would work perfectly well with any other set of non-stick pots and pans. You could probably do others with a stainless steel pan and a bit of practice.
Getting a pancake to slide off of an ungreased pan by simply tilting the pan isn’t an impossible feat that’s unique to Eurocast pans. Instead, it requires that you use the right amount of heat, the right kind of pancake batter, and the right amount of cooking time. After a couple of tries, I was able to replicate this particular feat on a 7-year old T-Fal pan with a very worn down ceramic coating that can’t really be described as non-stick anymore.
I wouldn’t go as far as to call the pitches “disingenuous,” but they’re not particularly fair comparisons to other cookware brands. I personally maintain that you should be able to replicate every demonstration (sans the ones involving the removable handles) with any new non-stick cookware line. In other words, Eurocast’s cookware really is that impressive, but so is everything else.
Eurocast’s Unique Features
Okay, so, other than the sales pitch, what makes Eurocast pots and pans special? Let’s go over the important features that make Eurocast cookware unique.
Eurocast’s pans use an interior cooking surface that’s made of something called Ferno-ceramic. They use a titanium-infused ceramic non-stick that’s free of PTFE and PFOA. It’s very effective at being non-stick and won’t chip or flake off. Eurocast is fairly open about the fact that their non-stick will scratch, which is a breath of fresh air. Honestly, it handles metal utensils much better than several brands which claim to be “scratch resistant.”
I will say that “Ferno Ceramic” and “titanium infused” aren’t words that you should pay much attention to. Ceramics are “infused” with various amounts of different metals by definition (ceramic just means “a mix of metal and non-metal”). As far as I can tell, the ceramic used by Eurocast is quite comparable to Thermolon and other modern ceramic non-sticks.
One particularly scary point that cookware manufacturers don’t like to advertise is that ceramic non-sticks are heavily and permanently damaged by misuse.
They’re fantastically effective at preventing food from sticking under proper use conditions. If you use high heat for a long time or cook food without any moisture at all, you’ll prevent the non-stick from doing its job effectively and cause the food you’re cooking to stick. When you finally remove that food, the non-stick will be slightly less effective. Forever. This can cause your pots and pans to quickly become unusable after a very short period of use.
Now: in fairness to Eurocast, this isn’t a problem that’s unique to their pots and pans. They also allude to this problem somewhat in their pan care instructions. It is worth noting, however, that they explicitly mention that this type of wear voids their warranty.
This feature is actually really, really cool, both in the figurative “neat” sense and in the sense that it literally reduces temperature. Eurocast cookware has rubberized handles that are totally safe to manipulate, even if you’ve been simmering something for hours. These handles come with a big downside, however: they’re not oven safe above about 300 F. In order to enable their cookware to be used in the oven, Eurocast has made sure that all of these handles can be quickly detached.
The handles themselves fit nicely into a slot in each pan. They slide in from the bottom, meaning that even if you don’t screw in the handle all the way, you’ll still be able to easily hold and maneuver your pan. Screwing in the handle takes only a few turns and can be done in a matter of seconds. The handles aren’t going to come off accidentally, either. Even if you noticed that a handle was loose, you could simply twist it back in with virtually no effort.
Eurocast has patented this feature, so it’s not likely to show up in other cookware. Honestly, I wish it would — it’s easily my favorite part of this set.
Light, Durable Construction
Eurocast’s cookware is made with lots of aluminum. Each pot and pan has a ferrous magnetic base that allows it to be used on induction cooktops. There’s not a lot of information about the exact metallic makeup, but this cookware is very light and strong. This usually means that the cookware itself is made from mostly aluminum, which is incredibly standard. It’s a bit weird that Eurocast isn’t up front about this. Instead, they say that the pans are made with “ceramic and titanium,” which is true, but not what you want to know.
And no, the pans themselves are almost certainly not made primarily of titanium. Titanium is over twice as heavy as aluminum and about thirty times as expensive. Eurocast’s pots and pans don’t weigh enough for titanium to be a major component in their construction, and while they’re more expensive than other brands, they’re not thirty times more expensive.
Berghoff Eurocast Professional Series Reviews: Specific Sets / Pieces
The above information will apply to every Eurocast cookware piece on the market. Here are some reviews of specific pieces to give you a better idea of how this brand compares. These Eurocast reviews will apply to both sets you can buy online and sets you can buy in-store.
As far as I can tell, the in-store price is more-or-less the same as the price you’ll pay online, even if the guy giving the demonstrator says he’s giving you a “discount” or several “free” pieces. In other words, there’s no advantage to either buying method.
This 10-piece set gives you all of the cooking surfaces you’re likely to need. All of these pots and pans have the signature Eurocast ferno ceramic non-stick. It’s effective and safe. These pots and pans are made without any PFOA, PTFE, or other toxic chemicals.
As I alluded to above, one of the primary advantages of Eurocast is oven safety. This cookware is oven safe to 500F without the lids, or 400F with the well-fitting glass lids still on. In order to achieve this level of oven safety, you’ll have to remove the comfortable, removable rubberized handles on your Eurocast pans. This process is fast and easy, so it’s not too much of a headache.
I talked about nonstick above for quite a while, but I’ll still review how things work here. This cookware set performs very, very well, but it’s not going to be dramatically better than most other ceramic non-stick sets on the market, especially sets from reputable brands. It’s also not going to last forever. Given the cost of this set, this last part is a fairly big downside.
How long will it last? Truthfully, we don’t really know. This Eurocast line was introduced in 2014, so my “two to five years” rule hasn’t been thoroughly tested. User reports indicate that Eurocast cookware seems to hold up pretty well with proper use, but only time will tell for sure.
The lids on this set look a little bit goofy. They’re made from glass, however, so you can easily see what’s going on inside your pots and pans. They fit very well and have thoughtful straining holes that let you drain your food without using a colander. This is a very nice touch that makes this cookware set a little bit more enjoyable to use.
Overall, I think you’ll have a lot of fun with this cookware set in the kitchen. It’s easy to clean, food doesn’t stick to it, and it distributes heat very well. The biggest downside is the cost. I’m cautiously optimistic that this Eurocast line will prove to be long-lived enough to be worth the money, but we can’t know for sure. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s probably best to pick up a cheaper non-stick set for a couple years and check back in on this line then.
We’ll have some slightly better answers about how these pots and pans hold up. If you can afford it comfortably, however, the extra amenities (like detachable handles and strainer lids) make this a very nice cookware set that’s quite nice to own.
The big difference between this cookware set and the one above is the pieces that are included. This set has an additional high-sided saute pan with a lid. Otherwise, it’s pretty much identical. If you want an extra pan, this set is definitely the one to choose.
The particular pan that’s included is an extremely versatile piece that you can use to cook just about anything you want. On the other hand, you might not need an all-purpose pan if you’re buying a whole cookware set anyway.
This square high-sided saute pan is one of my favorite styles of pan, especially as far as adding a single pan to a set goes. Remember, like other Eurocast cookware, it’s oven safe to 500 F.
This means that it’s effectively a square cake pan or baking pan when you want it to be (and you can really take advantage of the non-stick sides. The glass lid and high sides make it great for simmering liquid, while the wide surface area means you can sear steaks or cook pancakes in this pan, too.
The pan itself is very non-stick, quite light, and conducts heat very well. It’s also surprisingly good at searing meats. Usually, it’s difficult to get fond or high cooking temperatures in a non-stick pan. Modern ceramics (like the one used by Eurocast) nullifies these disadvantages somewhat, meaning that this is a perfect pan to cook steak in.
Honestly, this is probably the best way to try out Eurocast cookware if you’re not totally sold. You’ll be able to use this versatile pan with pretty much every type of dish, so you can really put Eurocast’s claims to the test.
This is a more traditional smaller egg pan. While you can still cook meat in it fine (or even sauce, if you’d like), it’s not quite as deep and doesn’t come with a lid. This limits its use to more traditional frying recipes.
I think that this is an excellent egg pan as far as use is concerned. It’s quite fun to use. As with other Eurocast cookware, the only real downside is the cost. Personally, I’d pick up a cheaper disposable egg pan and use the savings to get the square saute pan above, but that’s me. If you think you’d get more use out of a smaller frying pan, choose this instead.
Is It Worth It?
My final verdict is one of cautious optimism. I don’t necessarily think that Eurocast grossly outperforms other ceramic non-stick options, but it does seem very user-friendly, well designed, and reasonably durable. We may very well find out that it’s an incredibly long-lasting non-stick over the next couple of years.
That’s not guaranteed, however, so if you can’t afford to replace your Eurocast cookware within two two five years, you should look for a cheaper set instead.