07/19/2024

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Today, there are countless direct-to-consumer (DTC) cookware companies. From frying pans that claim to do it all to discounted Dutch ovens, you can buy almost any pot or pan you need with the click of a button. So when I heard that Abbio cookware was fighting for money for the ever-popular brand All-Clad, I needed to know: Is this cookware worth the hype? I tested the non-stick pans, and this is what I found.

Specs
Abbio is an online-only DTC cookware brand designed to make professional-caliber pots and pans more accessible to home cooks. It offers only five basic pieces: a stainless steel stockpot, pan and frying pan, and an 8-inch and 11-inch nonstick frying pan (the one I’ve been testing). You can purchase these pieces individually or in different combinations, with prices ranging from $80 to $355 for the entire collection. All purchases come with silicone heat mats to protect your counters and table tops during meals.

The cookware features a fully clad stainless steel and aluminum triple layer design, which means the entire pan, not just the bottom, is made of metal layers. The benefit is that fully clad cookware resists warping, won’t react with ingredients, and heats and cooks more evenly. Abbio’s non-stick coating is PFOA-free and all components are cooker-independent, so you can use them with gas, electric and induction ranges.

According to the brand, the cookware is dishwasher safe, although I am a) not dishwasher safe b) morally opposed to dishwasher pans, so I can’t vouch for that.

Pros.
This pan is very light and compact. I can lift and wield it with one hand, unlike any full clad I’ve used – they are shockingly heavy, as are cast iron pans. I also found Abbio’s round, slightly angled handles to be ergonomic and comfortable to grip.

The nonstick factor is nothing to scoff at, either. It requires very little oil and releases food easily. It’s moderately easy to clean: it doesn’t require heavy scrubbing, but it doesn’t wipe down as easily as some of the ceramic nonstick pans I’ve tried. The trade-off, however, is that the slightly textured surface allows for good caramelization and browning (hence the flavor).

I found that the pan heats up quickly and evenly with minimal hot spots. It’s oven safe up to 450°F, and the stainless steel design won’t hurt if you decide to finish cooking the omelet in the oven. (TBH, some of the more “aesthetically pleasing” options on the market will eventually discolor when you expose them to high temperatures.)

In the “small but important details” category, my skillet comes in minimal cardboard packaging with no extra peanuts or plastic pieces, and I appreciate the sustainability efforts.

Disadvantages
The “large” nonstick skillet, while large enough, is not the standard 12-inch skillet. It has an 11-inch diameter rim, but the actual cooking surface is only 8.5 inches wide. In contrast, the cilantro skillet’s sides are steeper, allowing for a larger surface area. This isn’t a big deal, but it means that any 12-inch lid you get from other cookware won’t fit the Abbio pan, and it’s slightly less versatile than a larger skillet.

The only other complaint I hate to admit is that I’ve noticed surface scratches on the non-stick coating. (My husband – bless his heart – did cook dinner a few nights before the scratches appeared, and I can’t guarantee he’ll abide by the “no metal utensils on non-stick surfaces” rule.) Abio says minor surface scratches won’t’ affect the performance of the pan, but you should probably stick with silicone and woodware to extend its life.

Takeout
Stocking your kitchen with the necessary pots and pans can cost thousands of dollars. If your budget allows for the most luxurious options, I admit I’m envious. But for new cooks, small kitchens and anyone who likes to save money in their checking account, Abbio cookware has everything you need at a good value. It has all the benefits of high-priced brands (like oven-safe, stovetop-independent and non-toxic) and cookware that looks unrecognizable from triple the price tag. I’m curious to see how my non-stick cookware performs after a year, but so far it’s a worthwhile rip-off for those $300 pans I can’t lift with one arm.

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