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Costco Kirkland hard anodized cookware

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A 15 piece set of Kirkland 18/10 hard anodized non-stick aluminum cookware with titanium bonding is available now for about $150 at Costco . They are comparing it to the Calphalon Unison line.

They also have a similar offer on a 18/10 stainless steel set. I am very used to non-stick and am afraid of the adjustment to stainless steel, but this could also be an option for me.

I am in need of a new cookware set and I am tempted to by this one. Does anyone own Kirkland cookware or this type of set in particular, and what do you think of it?

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  1. Stainless steel will last a long, long, long time not matter what brand it is, assuming the handles don't fall off or something similar, and it is always dishwasher safe. Very versatile; can handle high heat and a good bit of abuse. Those are the advantages of stainless.

    Non-stick will wear out very quickly by comparison. It is simply not going to last for decades no matter how many big fancy "titanium bonding" words they throw into the title. With every day use you might get 5 years out of it until you've realized the non stick coating has been slowly worn away. Very often it is not dishwasher safe (anodized aluminum isn't dishwasher safe either) and needs special tools to keep the surface in good condition. I would never buy a set of non-stick cookware.

    I buy one cheapish non-stick pan from Walmart or Bed, Bath & Beyond every 4 or 5 years for delicate fish or delicate egg dishes. It's costs me about $20 or $25. Otherwise it's carbon steel and stainless for all my cooking needs.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Shaw Oliver

      "titanium bonding" is a bunch of nonsense if you ask me.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        What?! You think "18/10 hard anodized non-stick aluminum cookware with titanium bonding" is just a bunch of nonsense buzzwords to try to get you to buy something? Nooooo...!

        Ha! j/k

      2. re: Shaw Oliver

        Stainless steel WILL last a long time... ...long enough for you to want something better and then spend a 2nd--or 10th--time.

        1. re: kaleokahu

          Huh? How do you spend a 2nd?

          1. re: Shaw Oliver

            I meant you have to spend again after you get smart and throw away the SS. Some people keep buying new sets of clad from different makers and just hope it won't be mediocre again (hence the 10th). Some of them even drink the KoolAid and talk themselves and other snooks into believing it's quite good--it's hard to admit that you've been repeatedly cheated and duped (Just ask any Republican who works for a living). And if the set you just paid for-- again--is less crappy than the one before it, maybe you ARE happy in a sad sort of way.

            My mom (as many moms did) bought a big set of Revereware clad, I think in the 1950s. I'm not sure when, because I discovered this set pushed to the back of the highest cupboard when I cleaned out her house after she passed. This was quite a surprise to me then, because I can only remember her cooking in much older cast iron, enameled steel and aluminum in the 40+ years I'd been watching her cook.

            It took me awhile trying out these beautiful, unused (no, strike that--2 had scorches that no amount of sandblasting could remove) pans for myself to realize that they're TERRIBLE for just about anything in the kitchen. Hot spots, yet slow to heat. So thin they won't sit flat on a hob, droop toward the handle, even when full. Will burn food at nearly any hob setting. Slow to cool food left in them, but won't retain even heat like cast iron. No wonder Mom put them away. Her only mistake was not throwing them out entirely.

            My point for consumers is: If you buy a good set of cast iron or copper, or to a lesser extent thick aluminum, you'll get a lifetime of use and enjoyment out of your set, can acquire specialized pieces, and only spend ONCE.

            1. re: kaleokahu

              I have some of the Revereware sauce pans, the oldest ones with rivets in the handles, and they are great and heat very evenly. I don't care for the skillets though. I know newer ones are not as good. They are also much lighter and I like the handles better than my all-clad ones.

              1. re: kaleokahu

                I can't remember what my mom cooked with when I was young, but then the really big deal was when we went down to Clinton, IL and she bought Revereware at the outlet there.

                When I got married back in 1981 I bought Revereware because I thought that was the ultimate in cookware. Wow, was I wrong. I still have all of my stuff from 1981, but I grab my AllClad now.

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  "So thin they won't sit flat on a hob, droop toward the handle, even when full. Will burn food at nearly any hob setting. Slow to cool food left in them, but won't retain even heat like cast iron. No wonder Mom put them away."

                  Well that's the problem; the aluminum core was too thin, making it next to useless for its intended job. Are you sure it was "clad" AKA "tri-ply"? I've never heard of tri-ply cookware so light that the handle makes it tip. If it was really tri-ply, not all tri-ply cookware is made that way. For example, I have old Saladmaster tri-ply stuff from the late '60s / early '70s and they are quite heavy, and they work great. I don't have a micrometer to measure the wall thickness, but they are around 1/8". The 11" skillet feels almost as heavy as my 10.5" Lodge cast iron skillet.

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    There is an unbelievable variety of Revere Ware. The only was to tell the original heavily copper clad is the mark and the rivets in the handles. All of my saucepans sit flat.

                    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeoywo4/th...

                    1. re: wekick

                      So in the context of old Revere Ware, "clad" refers to a copper bottom?

                    2. re: kaleokahu

                      I just finished internet researching anodized aluminum and cast iron cookware. The anodized aluminum is not diswasher safe and chemically reacts with organic compounds-putting you at risk. The iron is saturating your blood. After 8 years of teflon coated pots and pans and a stainless steel pot we are suffering from various cancer and thyroid conditions. The saladmaster titanium stainless steel line is mission driven and providing us with hope.

                      1. re: Rommy2012

                        Can you post real scientific data to support your claims?

              2. The post you wrote suggests the cookware set has a 18/10 exterior surface, a hard anodized aluminum core and a nonstick interior surface -- which does not make sense to me.

                Are you talking about something like this?

                http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product....

                where the 18/10 stainless steel is only for the handles and the lids, right?

                If not, please send us a link because I am not sure what your cookware look like.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Yes that is it exactly. All of the pieces are useful to me, so it is just a question of the quality of the Kirkland brand. I always hand wash pots/pans, have never ever put one in a dishwasher, so that is of no concern to me. My concern is that the non-stick doesn't scratch easily or start flaking, the pan is heavy quality and heats well and easily, and does not warp.

                  I don't really know what titanium bonding or even hard anodized mean in much depth, but since they are quality markers, I presumed that meant: nice pot not crappy will get messed up easily pot. I know what the 18/10 part means, and I am not sure that is even relevant in a non-stick, but it does mean it is the good stuff.

                  1. re: luckyfatima

                    Hi Fatima,

                    I don't have the set, so I will only say a few generalized statements. The 18/10 stainless steel is a relative poor heat conductor, so this keep the handle relatively cool, The silicone insert on the handle should make it more so. As Shaw stated, anodized aluminum is usually not safe for electric dish washing because most machine dish liquids are much more aggressive than hand washing dish liquids. It should not matter to you as you do hand washing. Aluminum is a great heat conductor, so you will get good heat response and good heat evenness. To answer your question. Anodized aluminum is basically oxidized aluminum, so these cookware have an exterior layer of oxidized aluminum. Bare aluminum is fairly reactive, but the anodized aluminum surface is relatively more stable and harder.

                    Most of the reviews on the webpage suggest this cookware set is pretty good, with a few negative reviews. One negative review states the cookware warped. I know the website states they are made of heavy gauge (thick), but that is nonspecific. If you can check them in a store, you can check for the thickness. The thicker they are, the more difficult it is for them to wrap. It is possible that this reviewer was being particularly rough on the cookware by heating and cooling very fast. Another negative review states that the exterior black color came off after using Easy-off oven cleaner. Well, Easy-off is very strong and will remove the anodized aluminum surface and reveal the bare aluminum underneath, so I really won't count this against the cookware set. Another one suggests the handles get very hot, but I will only take it as a grain of salt, because the long handles are made of 18/10 stainless steel with a V-sharp attachment and have silicone insert cover. If I have to bet, I bet they are good handles which stay cool.

                    Ultimately, I think the weak link of most nonstick cookware is the nonstick surface. It is usually the first thing to go, not the anodized surface, not the handle. Hopefully, someone has real experience on this cookware and can give you a good feedback on it. Nevertheless, it is a good sign that none of the reviews complain about a weak nonstick surface.

                    Best wishes.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Thanks for the thorough response.

                2. I would never buy a 15 piece set of any cookware!

                  I agree with Mr. Oliver, the 'hard anodized' products from Calphalon and others are usually fussy about cleaning - dishwasher hostile indeed.

                  I get the most use out of 1 and 4 qt s/s high sided pots, 3 qt enameled cast iron 'dutch oven' and 10" cheap aluminum non-stick pan (latter from Sams Club, NSF cert). My 8 qt s/s pressure cooker doubles as a stock pot. I need a 2 qt s/s sauce pan to fill out 'my' set.

                  My All Clad 12" skillet is rarely used. Takers, anyone :-) ?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: DiveFan

                    I use my AllClad 12" skillet with the copper core all the time!!! If you wanna send me yours, I'll give you my address!!! :)

                    1. re: DiveFan

                      My anodized aluminum (not non-stick) Calphalon doesn't go into the d/w but is ridiculously easy to wash by hand - just need to give pots/pans a hot soak if anything is stuck, and it glides right off. Have had the pans for more than 10 years.

                      1. re: iyc_nyc

                        My two most-used Calphalon anodized pans have become virtually non-stick after over twenty years of use. Just as I don't put my kitchen knives in the dishwasher, I also don't put my pans in one.

                    2. I've had a Calphalon set for 6 years. Cooking for the first 4 yrs. was a breeze. However, some of the best parts about cooking are diluted by non-stick. For example, when pan searing a steak there is little fond residue (which is the best part!). The dishwasher issue is also huge for me. It drives me nuts. Every night I hand wash my pans with a grudge in my heart. They can't be stacked, thereby taking up a lot of space. (I won't even go into non-stick health & environmental issues.).

                      At the 3 yr. mark non-stick turned into less-stick. At 4 yrs. it clouded over, was a bit scratched and although not flaking it seemed worn away. I'm a bit of a foodie, but I'm also somewhat uneducated in the world of cooking. I thought spending $500 on a 6 piece cookware set meant that these babies were going to L.A.S.T., especially if I took proper care of them. Anodized aluminum sounds solid, right?

                      Now we come to stainless. I love the fact that my stainless will last for years and years. I use a good quality, 4 qt., stainless pot that my mother received as a wedding present (when LBJ was in the white house!) Food can stick at times, but a good soak remedies that. Best of all I can pop my stainless in the dishwasher and it comes out sparkling. For delicate foods, over easy eggs, etc., one non-stick pan is a must.

                      This being said, $150 for a set comparable to Calphalon is, imo, a great deal. Half of the15 pieces are covers for various pots, so I think this set will be adequate for regular cooking. If your heart is set on non-stick then this would be a great buy. Just don't expect them to last more than 4 yrs.

                      1. I have been cooking with the Kirkland anodized set for nine years. The frying pans and skillet are still in great shape and I still use them to fry steak and fish. The pots have worn out and the saucepan is flaking on the bottom so I put them aside. My set came with glass lids that are still in good shape but are sometimes hard to clean. My advice would be to buy the Kirkland anodized frying pan and skillet and to buy some stainless steel pots. I think Anodized coating is better for frying and stainless steel is better for heating liquid. The Kirkland cookware is wonderful and will last for many years.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JasonCookin

                          Great to know. I went ahead and bought the set and I really love it. My old Tefal was flaking, too. It was like 6 years old. The Kirkland is definitely a higher quality, and I use the large pots the most for my cooking. I am gonna buy the stainless steel as well for that and your advice reinforces that more.

                        2. IMO there's no reason any kitchen needs more than 2 pieces of nonstick cookware. In my kitchen I have 1 small and 1 large nonstick skillet and that's it, for cooking things that really need a nonstick surface (like eggs). I buy a decent 25$ ish pan so I don't have to worry about babying it - if it lasts 3 years I'm happy.

                          Everything else gets cooked in SS. It never wears out, you can be as rough as you want with it, and it'll last a lifetime. I just don't see why you would ever want, say, a nonstick stockpot, or even a nonstick saucepan. There's never a time when sticking will be an issue when you're making something in a stockpot or saucepan!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: joonjoon

                            I cook mostly Pakistani food. Large nonstick lid+pots are great for that. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that there is less babysitting a dish and worrying about a long simmered curry dish burning at the bottom. Just close lid and stir once or twice, the end. (imagine goat is the meat and needs to cook for 1.5 hours.) I know people who cook the same type of curries in cheap thin aluminum pots, even, but they have to keep stirring and adding water to avoid burning. The other thing with Pakistani food is that if you use regular pots you have to use a lot more oil to get the correct effect of browning off certain ingredients, with less oil it sticks and burns. The first tip for people who mostly eat Pakistani/Indian food and want to reduce the amount of oil traditionally used: go to nonstick.

                            1. re: luckyfatima

                              Ah, I see where you're coming from. Cheaper cookware will definitely have scorching issues but the burning of food isn't really an issue with a well-made pot. I make stews and curries all the time in my le creuset and i've only had the bottom burn once.

                              Having said that there's no way around the oil issue so for that nonstick is the way to go. In terms of the set to choose, you can't go wrong with Costco's return policy!

                          2. I believe the 18/10 stainless by Kirkland is Tramontina, which I love. It has been discussed in one of my other forums. It has been compared to All Clad, and has done very very well considering the difference in price. I have both, the All Clad was a gift from my kids, but I honestly can't tell the difference between the two. I bought my Tramontina on line at Walmart. I also love their line of cast iron enameled dutch ovens, also at an excellent price.
                            I have an equal number of SS and nonstick pans. My nonstick that I really like are Bendres, bought some online others I picked up at TJMax.

                            1. here's the cookware litmus test: the baking soda taste test. Fill your favorite pan with 2 inches of water and compare it with your new purchase. Then take a tablespoon and scope the water a taste it. the baking soda tastes like seawater and is a little gross. But man does that set off teflon! it tastes like battery acid! That is what you are cooking in. I cooked carrots in titanium stainless steel and was amazed. No boiling or steaming. I forgot how carrots were supposed to taste. My 1 year olsd daughter is new to the world and is a little "finicky" because her taste buds are acute. she was shoveling a plateful of saladmaster cooked food into her mouth, but rejected vegetables cooked in a teflon pot. If you can budget for it, I strongly recommend titanium stainless steel , made in America from American steel. Costco is great for some things, but it is nice to get a great product and support my country by purchasing American products.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Rommy2012

                                The answer to the original question is Tramontina

                                When I was in California recently, I bought a set at Costco for both of my sons, thinking it was a good value purchase. An amazing store !

                                The one living there uses some of the set, but the one in Genève did not take to them very well. I gave most of the pieces away, but I still have a few that I use. Here is the stamp on the bottom of one of the pots,