Curtis Stone is a famous Australian chef who’s made dozens of TV appearances on many channels. You’ve probably seen him as a judge, guest, or even a host on one of dozens of programs, including America’s Next Great Restaurant and Top Chef Masters. His blend of personality and expertise has earned him a lot of respect from viewers and professionals alike
Like other chefs (including Paula Deen and Guy Fieri), Stone has endorsed a line of non-stick cookware. His Dura-Pan pots and pans blend low-cost construction, tasteful aesthetics, and effective non-stick. Here’s a rundown on how Curtis Stone cookware compares to other options.
This 5-piece cookware set comes with a Curtis Stone cookbook, giving you the opportunity to make some of Stone’s best dishes. The primary draw is still the Curtis Stone Durapan nonstick pots and pans that come with the set. You get a medium-sized frying pan (perfect for eggs), a saucepan for rice and pasta, and a large pan that’s great for both stews and big dishes.
When it comes to non-stick cookware, the first thing you want to ask is “is it really non-stick?” In the case of Curtis Stone Durapan, that answer is yes. The PTFE-based non-stick coating is very effective, enabling you to cook just about anything without worrying about flipping it over or cleaning up your pan afterward. This means you can cook eggs over-easy without paying any attention at all, melt cheese directly in the pan and remove it with a spatula afterward, or flip over a chicken breast as often as you like. You don’t need to bother with oil or butter, either.
I used the word “PTFE” to describe the non-stick, which might confuse some people. PTFE is a class of chemicals that includes DuPont’s Teflon. While the acronym stands for a long, scary science word, it’s totally safe. There was a bit of a scare several years ago when some activists found out that a toxic chemical called PFOA was involved in making PTFE. These days, however, there’s nothing toxic used at any stage. This means any PTFE you find in this Curtis Stone cookware is totally PFOA free.
If you’ve owned a Teflon pan in the past you probably know that PTFE will eventually separate from your pan. It’s especially liable to chip off or get scratched when you use metal utensils. While modern Teflon is a bit more durable, we haven’t solved this issue entirely. Most professional chefs treat their non-stick pans as if they were disposable. This includes both genuine Teflon, off-brand PTFE (like the stuff on this Curtis Stone cookware), and ceramic non-stick coatings. Most home users will get a couple years out of their Curtis Stone pots and pans, but people who use their cookware frequently or are especially rough in the kitchen might only get a single year or even a few months. In other words, don’t expect this set to last you for the rest of your life.
To be totally clear, this is an issue with ALL non-stick cookware, not just Curtis Stone. A super expensive non-stick frying pan from a top brand like All-Clad will still wear out and lose its non-stick coating. Because of this, many professional chefs and kitchen experts (myself included) deliberately choose cheaper non-stick cookware. This means that I’m a lot more likely to recommend this Curtis Stone set to a friend than a pricey All-Clad nonstick set.
How about performance on the stove?
These days, most non-stick cookware is made from aluminum, giving it excellent heating characteristics. The pots and pans in this set heat up very quickly, and heat will quickly flow from the center of each pot and pan to the outside. To me, these are the most important things to look for in any pot or pan. Curtis Stone cookware definitely gets top marks as far as heating is concerned.
This particular set features tempered glass lids and metal handles. While I faintly prefer composite handles on my non-stick cookware, there’s nothing wrong with the stay-cool metal designs featured on these pieces. The handles are riveted on strongly to prevent any wobbling while you maneuver your cookware, while the design ensures that heat flows through them as slowly as possible. You’ll still need a potholder when you adjust the big pot after simmering something for a while, but you can definitely fry an egg or two without needing to protect your hand.
Overall, the low cost of this set means it’s definitely worth considering. While it doesn’t have very many pieces, this can be a good thing. It’s a perfect option for anyone who has a smaller kitchen (with less cupboard space) or someone who wants a few non-stick pieces to complement a more durable stainless steel set. It’s also a great way to replace your most-used pots and pans when your primary non-stick set is beginning to wear out. It won’t last forever, but it will tide you over for a little bit while you save money for a bigger set.
When you want something a little bit bigger, consider upgrading to this large 13-piece set. It’s got the same low cost and excellent performance of the small set above, but you also get a variety of extra pieces that make a wide variety of cooking jobs easy.
The set above comes with only a saucepan, large pot, and a single frying pan. This set gives you a square griddle (perfect for breakfast), a larger covered frying pan, an additional saucepan, and even a special egg poacher that makes eggs benedict surprisingly simple. These extra kitchen tools will allow you to cook more recipes without breaking a sweat.
Just like the small set above, this cookware set is covered with a special Quantimanium coating that’s incredibly effective at keeping food from sticking. Again, this coating will last for a couple years with normal home use. This means that when you choose this set, you’re effectively trading the extra durability you’d get from a stainless steel set for a lot of extra convenience. You can cook without oil, fat, or butter (to keep calories down), you don’t have to watch your food carefully and wait for the right time to flip it, and you don’t have to control your temperature anywhere near as carefully. Even if you accidentally burn something, it’s a piece of cake to simply slide it off with a spatula.
The cookware itself is made from 3mm thick forged aluminum, just like the set above. Aluminum is very light, fairly cheap, and does an absolutely fantastic job of taking heat from your stove’s burners and delivering it to the food you’re trying to cook. This makes it an ideal choice for cookware. This Curtis Stone set will perform very well with regards to heating. You won’t notice a huge difference between it and a non-stick set from a brand like Ballarini.
There are a few people on the internet that would have you believe that aluminum cookware isn’t safe. As far as we know, this isn’t true, especially in the case of a set like this one. There’s simply no easy way for aluminum to come in contact with your food. A layer of non-stick coating (Quantimanum) covers the entirety of the cooking surface, while the exterior has a nice painted finish that also covers the base metal. Even if this wasn’t the case, governmental safety organizations recognize that aluminum is a perfectly safe material to use in kitchen products.
While this set is a bit more expensive due to the extra pieces, you get lots of pots and pans for the price. It’s a great way to give yourself all of the cookware items you’ll need for just about every recipe you can think of. If you want to pick up easy-to-use nonstick pots and pans for an affordable price, you should absolutely consider this Curtis Stone set.
If you don’t actually own a grill, this double burner grill pan is a great way to emulate the backyard experience on your stovetop. It’s a multi-purpose tool that works as both a roasting pan and a stovetop grill, giving you lots of ways to prepare your favorite foods. The DuraPan nonstick keeps cleanup incredibly easy, too.
One quick thing to note: this grill pan isn’t flat with a removable wire rack. Instead, it’s always bumpy. This means it’s not the tool you’d want for frying pancakes across two burners. Still, it’s great for all sorts of meats, both in the oven and on the stove.
Like other non-stick products, this grill pan should not be used under a broiler or at prolonged high temperatures. PTFE releases a chemical that gives people headaches and kills birds at temperatures above 450 F or so. It’s perfectly safe at medium heat, of course, and you should be fine to roast most meats in the oven. The only thing to be wary of is high heat.
The convenience of having a nonstick grill pan and roasting pan cannot be overstated. This Curtis Stone product makes cooking virtually every type of meat incredibly easy. Cleanup is a complete joke, meaning you’ll probably start looking for more excuses to cook for yourself instead of eating out.
This innovative product is both a large pot and two frying pans. It’s a multi-quart pan with a lid that doubles as a totally functional grill pan, complete with ridges. Both the pan and the “lid” are coated with DuraPan’s Quantimanium non-stick and made from the same aluminum as the cookware sets above. This means that this is both an excellent way to try out Curtis Stone cookware and a unique, innovative kitchen tool.
Just like the products above, this is not a pan that will last forever. That said, the incredibly easy clean-up afforded by PTFE is more than worth the price of having to buy another pan after several years of use.
The unique design will be sure to attract comments from friends and guests alike. It’s not just for show, either. Instead, you get a lot of extra functionality from the pan-lid. You can start a recipe that needs a lid, for example, and then take the lid off to grill some peppers or brown some meat to add to your primary pan.
I love the innovation shown by Curtis Stone here with this unique product. It’s a brilliant take on a kitchen classic that gives you plenty of power. You’ll enjoy the non-stick surface, great heat distribution, and very special design features.
Curtis Stone: How Does The Cookware Stack Up?
Overall, I think that Curtis Stone cookware is pretty comparable to other low-cost non-stick options. I’d absolutely choose this brand if it was on sale or lower priced than brands like Tools of the Trade, Paula Deen, or Guy Fieri. The pots and pans combine great performance and incredibly effective non-stick without being incredibly expensive.
If you want something that will last for more than a few years, however, I’d strongly recommend that you choose something WITHOUT non-stick. Brands like All-Clad and Demeyere make more expensive options that will last for the rest of your life. If you don’t want to spend a lot, be sure to check out Kirkland Signature, Cuisinart, and Ballarini. A proper multi-ply set will last for many times longer than non-stick cookware from any brand, even Curtis Stone.