The phone rang today. A sweet lady was wondering where she could get handles for her set of stainless steel pans she’d purchased in the early 1960s when she got married. “I’m an old women now, but I”m still using my pans and they are still good.”
We get calls from people wondering if it is a good investment to spend $1,000, $1,500 and even more on a set of home-party-sold cookware. The answer is: that depends. If you plan to use the pans for the rest of your life and if you want to be able to find the manufacturer when you need a replacement handle, then go ahead.
Such multi-plied product isn’t for everyone. They aren’t typically non-stick. They are fairly pedesterian in appearance. (On the other hand they won’t go out of style.) They come in one color: polished stainless steel.
I have a set of Vita Craft product which my grandmother purchased sometime in the early 1950s. They still cook just fine. Yes they aren’t totally flat on the bottom (not an issue unless you have a glass top stove), and their black bakelite handles are more vintage than retro-cool, but they are still fully functional and do a good job. In fact the egg poacher insert is the only way to do a half dozen poached eggs at one time!
Sadly some of these fine types of cookware are being “knocked off” by imports which may or may not be as good a product as that made in the U.S. It’s probably a good bet though that the producer of the product won’t be found if fifty or sixty years down the road you need a replacement handle, however.
So is it for you? Only you, as a consumer, can really answer that question. But for those who spend wisely and make things last, it’s still an incredible product. What else in your home can last as long and perform as well?