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The first thing I want you to know is that this is NOT a sponsored post. Gotham Steel did not pay me for this review of give me any free product. We did, however, get this set for free. Let me explain…
One of the perks of putting your life out there on the internet is that, occasionally, people will send you thoughtful gifts. It doesn’t happen too often. We check our PO Box once a week during the majority of the year. At Christmas time, we check more regularly. Our family gets a nice selection of holiday cards from around the world. My children love to see the postmarks and stamps from places from which we never imagined getting mail. It’s truly uplifting, and we appreciate everyone. I have kept them all.
But back to what I was saying… every once in a great while, someone will send us a package. They usually let us know something is coming and wait with eager anticipation to see our reactions on film or (if they prefer to be anonymous) get a meaningful “thank you” message online.
Recently, a viewer of our family’s YouTube channel sent us a VERY generous gift- a set of Gotham Steel Cookware. It was so very sweet, and we were so very thankful! We were so excited that we had to share a photo of our gifts on Instagram. We did not expect that everyone would be interested in our thoughts on the product. Some asked for us to share an unboxing. Others were interested in a review.
Because most everyone seemed genuinely interested in the product, we decided that it might be fun to do an unboxing and review video and share it with those who may be considering purchasing Gotham Steel. You can watch the video below. I also decided that I had to share my review here on the blog. Members of the Frugal Family Food Community are often asking questions about products in the kitchen, and we have dedicated a portion of the blog to kitchen tools for just that reason. So here you go!
What did I know about Gotham Steel before the unboxing?
Nothing. Nada. I had not heard of this product when we received it. Sure, I had been in the stores and seen all of the pretty copper colored versions of this product, but I did not know one from the other. I had not seen any infomercials. The only reason I know that there must be some is because very clearly on the box, it says “As Seen on TV.” When I opened the boxes, I has no idea what to expect in terms of quality or style.
What Gotham Steel items did I review?
I received the 10pcs. Aluminum Cookware set, which includes the 8.5″ fry pan, 10.25″ fry pan with lid, 1.5 qt. pot with lid, 2.5 qt. pot with lid, 5 qt. pot with lid, and a stainless steel steamer insert. I also got the 9.5″ Deep Square Pan, which includes the pan, the lid, a deep fry basket, a steamer tray. The box said I would get 95 free recipes included, but I will share more on that later. I was also sent a 9.5″ square fry pan.
How well were they packaged?
These packages were sent from Amazon in one large box. It was well wrapped, and there was no damage. The Gotham Steel packaging was actually very nice. I appreciate the handles on the boxes. Everything was very easy to carry and transport from the PO Box to our home. The one fry pan that came separate, however, was only wrapped in a little plastic. It could have been damaged if it were not for Amazon’s effort in shipping.
What were your first impressions of the cookware?
When I opened the boxes, I have to admit I was immediately impressed by the appearance of the cookware. It was attractive, and I did note that I felt it would appeal to a masculine customer. My boys both asked if they could take some with them when they move out. If you don’t know, my boys are 18 and 21, and they rarely take time to even remark on my latest kitchen gadget, much less ask to take it. It looks that good. I really liked the glass lids- so practical when you are cooking! The handles are convenient. I REALLY loved the deep fry basket that came with the 9.5″ Deep Square Pan. It is beautiful! The folding handle impressed me right away. High marks for first impressions.
How did it work? Did it really not need oil or butter?
OK. So, here’s the thing. When you open the box, the first thing you see if paperwork (more on that in a bit). Included in that paperwork is a “for best performance” statement, which says (essentially) that the product was designed to be used without oil or butter and if you choose to use oil or butter, you should only do so on LOW heat. It also says in large letters, NEVER USE NON STICK SPRAYS. It also says you should never use sharp objects on the inside or outside of the cookware, but you can use metal utensils. There were some other recommendations, but those were the important ones when it came to performance.
With that in mind, I decided to use the 9.5″ Square Fry pan to experiment and see if you did not need butter or oil. The first thing I chose to do to test this claim was to fry an egg. You can watch the experiment as it unfolded on the video, but (spoiler alert) it did work. I was was able to fry an egg (well, really scramble, but that was my fault) without oil or butter. It worked beautifully. It is also worth mentioning that, for this experiment, I used a plastic spatula, and it was fine.
But then, I tried something risky.
I know the pan wasn’t designed to be used with butter or oil, but sometimes a dish requires oil or butter, not to keep it from sticking, but to add to the flavor. Could you make those dishes in these pans? I decided to try making a grilled cheese- with a metal spatula.
I know. Danger is my middle name.
Again, you could watch it unfold on the video, but here’s the short (ish) version of it. I started on the lowest heat as recommended, but it did nothing. A grilled cheese really needs a good “sear.” In order to get that “browning,” I had to keep turning up the heat. I did it ever so slowly, stopping around a medium low. It did eventually brown the sandwiches, but it took some time. It may just take some getting used to, but it did the job. One note, the butter just beaded up on the pan. It was kind of weird. See the video for more details.
What issues (if any) did I have with the cookware?
There were a few things about this cookware that I took issue with and, of course, it is important to say here that you can find fault in anything if you are looking; I am just sharing for those who may want to purchase it. First, there was a “plastic-y” smell when I first used the pan. It could have been some burn off with the first use. It could have been the plastic spatula. I also would probably not choose to make any dish that needed butter or oil on this cookware if I had an option. It would be far more simple just to grab a pan, cook, and not worry about it. One other thing that gave me pause right away was the stack of paperwork that came with an arbitration agreement. It did not exactly make me feel positive. And I never did get 95 recipes. There was a scanner included that said you could use it to get 50 recipes, but it was a pain. I didn’t use it. Very disappointed about that one.
What did I like about the cookware?
I LOVE everything about the 9.5″ Deep Square Pan and the items that come with it. Before I even knew about the price (more on that below), I was convinced that I would want to buy it. It is, to me, perfect in every way. The steamer and other accessories are impressive. The rest of the cookware is also very nice. Another great bonus- it is very easy to clean. We don’t have a dishwasher so this is a BIG plus for me. I am definitely happy with and plan to use the Gotham Steel cookware regularly.
Would purchasing this cookware be worth the cost?
Since I received this cookware as a gift and was unfamiliar with it before we got it, I had no idea what to expect as far as cost goes. I found the 10 pc. cookware set to be priced on sale at $92.44, regularly $199.99 on Amazon (it’s even cheaper now! affiliate links below), which is very similar to what other comparable cookware sets cost. Is it a great bargain? No. It is equal to the cost? I think so. I would not pay $200 for it, though. The 9.5″ Deep Square Pan is definitely worth the cost for me. It was on sale on Amazon for $26.36, down from a regular price of $99.99. Frankly, I would have thought it worthwhile at the regular price, though not a bargain. At the sale price, I think you all should be running to get it! That is a steal! The 9.5″ square fry pan was also a good deal, on sale for $13.50 from $20.99. Again, the regular price is not unreasonable to me for a good, basic pan. At the sale price, even better.
I have been to a lot of weddings lately, and I think these would all be great wedding/housewarming gifts. If you are like me, and you have older children getting ready to leave the nest, it would be perfect for them, too- less worry about them setting an egg on fire. As for your everyday mom, I think she would appreciate this cookware. If you really want to impress, get the 9.5″ Deep Square Pan. I feel confident than anyone would love it as much as I do.
You can check out the full video review here:
Amanda is a wife, mom, and all around frugal lady. She shares her family and faith on The Fundamental Home and Fundamental Faith YouTube channels. She also blogs at thefundamentalhome.com There, you can find her blog series, “How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 Every Month.” Amanda is co-creator of Frugal Family Food and, as such, is dedicated to helping families eat well on a budget.
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