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- Up until recently, pots and pans were primarily sold through department stores, which piled on middleman markups.
- A new generation of direct-to-consumer kitchenware companies is challenging legacy brands like Le Creuset, All-Clad, and Staub.
- We recommend these 12 dynamic startups, including Made In, Field Company, and Our Place.
Cooking is not a skill that we simply enter the world knowing. We learn how to cook from a variety of sources — cookbooks, classes, parents, friends, cooking shows — but it can still be complex and confusing.
That’s how most of us initially shop for and use cookware, too: bumbling around, trying to make sense of different materials and the purposes they serve, and collecting tools from parents and roommates that have seen countless kitchens before our own. Sure, you can throw out your old pots and pans and start from scratch, but if you want high-quality, well-constructed cookware and dinnerware, you often have to pay up first, spending hundreds of dollars on name brands.
You’re not alone in these struggles, and in just the past few years, new companies have emerged to lend you a helping hand in the kitchen, with many offering products for half the price of traditional brands like Le Creuset, All-Clad, and Staub. These startups understand that the joys of cooking and eating become even sweeter when your kitchenware lasts a lifetime but doesn’t take a lifetime to pay off.