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Jun 11, 2011 01:56 PM

"New Revereware"

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.

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  1. 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!)

    14 Replies
    1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

      <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.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        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.

        1. re: breadchick

          I inherited my Mom's Revereware set that she received as a wedding present more than 60 years ago. Back then it really was considered top of the line quality cookware. It's held up well, and I still make my Mexican (NOT Spanish) rice in the 10 inch skillet, and it still comes out perfect every time.
          I've added a lot of "better"/pricier stuff over the years, including Le Creuset and All Clad, but I still revert to the Revereware for many things that my Mom taught me how to cook, using those pots and pans. I guess it's part nostalgia, part intuitive cooking.
          All of mine, being from so long ago, have the copper bottoms. I'm going to have to shine them up, though. After looking at California Joseph's pictures, I'm ashamed of how cruddy the bottoms of my stuff look. It doesn't have anything to do with how well it cooks, but if I get them all pretty again it will remind me of all the good stuff my Mom cooked while I was growing up.

          breadchick - My Mom, like yours, thought that Revereware was the "ne plus ultra" of cookery and that anything else (more expensive) was just a frivolous waste of money. We did have a few cast iron skillets, though, that her mother gave my parents for a wedding present. They had been used by Grandma for decades, so were well seasoned. They gave my Mom a sense of nostalgia cooking on them, just as I now get when I use her Revereware. I sure wish I knew where Grandma's CI pans went, though!

        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

          I've read your feelings on the matter CK and respect your opinions.

          Maybe grandmother's wasn't great... That being said "it's not the same" = (still) "it's not the same".

        3. re: CaliforniaJoseph

          I see you have both the pre and post-1968 Revere Ware. Many say that the post-1968 a very different. How do they compare in your experience?

          1. re: Angelus2013

            There is no comparison really. New shiny offshore made junk versus substantial even cooking quality made cookware. Lesson learned based on money ill spent on the new skillet that warped and scorched after/during first use at medium heat. I would (and have) gotten better results using heavy duty aluminium foil instead of the new garbage. Don't throw your money away.

            1. re: Jengland

              Oh, that I know on the out of country stuff, but how about the stuff from 1968-1999 when they were still made in America? We had two Revere Ware pieces from around the late 80s to early 90s and they work well but they're still thinner than the original pre68 pieces. It makes me think that the overseas stuff is now even thinner. Basically what I mean is, what's the difference between CaliforniaJoseph's Revere Ware from the 60s and the Revere Ware that he has that look like they're from the 70s to 90s? I can see the difference because the pre68 pieces have two screws on the handles and the stuff from the 70s and later have full plastic handles.

              1. re: Angelus2013

                The copper which had been around 0.5 mm and maybe more if the piece was bigger according to the patents, was cut in half

                1. re: wekick

                  Yes I know that, but I was asking if there's a difference in cooking between the pre1968, 1968-1999 and the Indonesian versions of the cookware. I've seen reviews and discussions where people act like everything made after 1968 was terrible. Yet multiple Amazon reviews have people stating that even the stuff from the 80s and early 90s are better than the current Asian made Revere Ware.

                  1. re: Angelus2013

                    All of the above could be true. The new ones are barely flashed with copper. No one has responded that can compare the pre and post 1960s reduction in copper but some have pans "from the 60s" that do not seem to perform well while as you can see from the video I posted, the earliest pans seem to have pretty even heat. I think as they got lighter in weight they got a little tippy too.

                    1. re: wekick

                      Ah yes, your sugar video. I thought it was pretty nice to watch. Think you can do other cooking videos with the pans?

                      As for their thickness, I don't think the copper is only 0.5mm thick even in the original pans. If the pictures of the Revere Ware blog is true, then that means in total the original pans were only about 1mm thick including the stainless steel and the post68 pans being 0.5mm thick in total. That seems rather thin even for the post68 pans. The 3/4 quart saucepan that my mother uses doesn't seem that thin. But then again it could be due to the size and thickness ratio.

                      1. re: Angelus2013

                        Pre-68 it was 2mm. Post 68 1mm. (US made, the Korean stuff rubs off)

                        1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                          Thanks Jospeh. I figured that the original had to be at least 2mm thick.
                          Also thanks for your input on the omelette pans.

            2. re: Angelus2013

              The pre-68 stuff seems sturdier. The pans I use the most often, my two omelette pans, are post 68... And they produce lovely 2-egg omelettes.

          2. Hi, Jengland:

            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.


            3 Replies
            1. re: kaleokahu

              I wouldn't bother trying - preferences are preferences.

              1. re: kaleokahu

                Howzit Kaleo,

                Are you over here on the Big Island (Hilo side)? If so I can loan you one of my Mom's 1950's pots or pans to give it a try. As I said below, I'm not sure about the innate quality of the pans, I just know that they work well for me, when making some dishes. I use different brands, sizes, makes and models for different things. I wouldn't use Mom's Revereware for risotto, for example, but she did.

                I haven't researched any marks, just know that it was a wedding present she and Dad received in 1952. :-) What do the "better" ones look like?


                P.S. I also have some mid-80's RW that I was given when I moved from Kailua to Wai'anae for work and needed something to cook with/on. I couldn't talk my Dad into letting me take a couple of Mom's pieces with me, so he hit Liberty House and bought me some of my own. I prefer the 1950's stuff, but I think some of that is purely sentimental. ;-)

                1. re: KailuaGirl

                  Shoots, kailuagirl:

                  'Ole, I'm in Seattle. Can you measure and weigh a saucepan for me?

                  Pololei, this older RW was thought to be dakine in the 1950s, so your parents' makana was very generous. I couldn't get rid of my makuahine's for a long time.

                  Aloha Kaua,

              2. 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.

                2 Replies
                1. re: wekick

                  You must be a miracle chef. I had numerous old Revere pans years ago, but I always used a very thick West Bend pan a relative bought for me from a door-to-door salesman to cook any type of syrup or candies. Revereware was an "instant scorch" for me.

                  1. re: Cam14

                    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.

                2. Rivereware is very difficult to cook in. Even water burns in those pots:)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: zackly

                    Cookware doesn't burn water, people burn water: you have mad skills!

                  2. 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.