If you are in the market for Revereware cookware because you remember how well it worked for your Mom, Aunt, Grandmother, my advice is that you look for used pieces (especially the copper-bottomed style) at garage or estate sales. Having recently purchased a new 12 inch pan made in China I found it to be of very poor quality in comparison to the Revereware I inherited from my Mother. The new cookware is thin, not made for any temps higher than low (it will pop and warp at medium heat) and not up to the standards of the antiques. And, if you go to the Revereware website, there's no way to ask a question, get customer service or get any information other than a sales pitch. While the new is shiny and bright, it's not even worth discount outlet prices. Beware of the new and search for the old cookware made in the U.S. decades ago.
Sadly so many of the great names of American manufacture are now just brands owned by conglomerates who stamp those names on cheap wares. The original Revereware stuff was revolutionary for its day and and is also very durable and fairly ergonomic. It was not super high-end but works well enough for most basic tasks and lasted lifetimes. Wile not comparable to modern high-performance cookware like a set of All-Clad saucepans and Mauviel skillets I do believe that a basic set of Reverware (or similar Farberware) stock pots and sauce pans complimented by a good cast iron skillet could serve a family well for a lifetime and accomplish most recipes quite successfully. I am pretty sure my great aunt could have cooked an amazing family dinner with a sheet of aluminum and a paint bucket - skill is more important than the tools. I have a bunch of the old stuff and could not ask for more as far as stock and soup pots but I do tend to reach elsewhere when searing or making delicate sauces.
I have all kinds of cookware and have several pieces of the old Revereware I like to use. I have some sauce pans my favorite being a squat 2 qt that I use to make caramel. It cooks the sugar very evenly and even though I have copper pans, I like this for caramel. These pans will follow me to the grave because they are lighter weight than many pans I have. The handles almost seem to be designed to be used if you have any type of issues with your hands. They are easy to hold and the stock pot has the bail handle with the helper handle that allows the weight to be distributed to both hands and give more control to emptying the pan.
The quality of Revere Ware has taken a turn for the worst. The amount of copper decreased by almost half as a cost cutting measure in the late 60s. Here are the things to look for if you want Revere Ware from the time when it was made with that full amount of copper. There might be a few variations here and there.
It should be marked on the bottom-
“made under process patent” or pat. pending.
If it has handles, they should have two rivets
You can buy replacement handles if they are too beat up but I just would just wait and buy one in good shape if I needed another piece of it.
It would be hard to know what went wrong for you. You could have pans that are 50 years old and could be the ones with less copper so will not cook as evenly. It could be for some other reason.
This is a video I uploaded awhile ago of this pan with the caramelized sugar bubbling away. In this case the burner is wide and the flame touches the pan about 1/2 inch from the outside but the sugar bubbles all the way across and turns brown in a very even pattern. It is very similar to cooking in my Baumalu 2mm copper pans.
That is great that you have a pan that works well for you.
Don't feel too bad. IMO, none of the Revereware was all that.
Before anyone flames me, I inherited quite a lot of it (50s-vintage) from my mother, and I have fond memories of many fine meals cooked in it. It worked, and it was very durable. But none of it was particularly thick or heavy. I keep looking for the supposedly "better" Revereware (I've researched all the various marks), and after handling 100s of pans, I've yet to find a single one I'd want to own.
I'm open to being shown otherwise, if someone has one of the elusive "better" RW pans.
Today's new Revere Ware is only a "legacy brand name". Essentially the rights were purchased by a manufacturer located - I think - in Indonesia.
They are not manufactured in the same fashion as your grandmothers pots and pans AT ALL.
If you really want to add to your RW collection, swing through thrift shops and flea markets or hit eBay. Diligently doing so for a few months will get you a set to make you the envy of any 1950s homemaker. I paid, on average, less than $7 per pot w/lid. (Pick up lids seperately for $1 to marry to pots & pans you WILL find later!)
<They are not manufactured in the same fashion as your grandmothers pots and pans AT ALL. >
I don't know about grandmother's reverse ware, but I know the reverse ware from 30 years ago were not that great anyway.
Fond memories can cloud judgement. I also had some real fond memories of Marie Callender’s Frozen Food. I bought a year ago. They were ok, but they were far from anything great.
True, CK. My mother used Revereware exclusively and when I think of what she cooked, it didn't require much from the pans. She boiled potatoes, she boiled vegetables, she stewed chicken, corned beef and pot roast. She made spaghetti, chili and soup. She never thought to sear any proteins or cook eggs in them. (We had fry pans with Teflon for that and she didn't sear anything anyway.) Delicate sauces weren't in her world.
She gave me a set of the same cookware when I got married. I cooked the same way.
Until.... Julia, Jeff, Jacques, and others came into my life. PBS was my go-to for learning new things. I couldn't get enough, and those pans from my mom didn't cut it for a lot of things. She thought I was over-thinking the whole cooking thing - until she started to eat my food.
She loved my cooking - although up until her passing, she still used her good old Revereware. That was name-brand quality to her and I never would think to change her mind.
I STILL don't know how to make her chicken fricassee.