Curtis Stone Cookware Review 2021 – A Tougher Take On Non-Stick?

When you’re preparing a big meal the last thing you want to be thinking about is the washing up!.

Enter true non-stick cookware, with a coating designed to make food slide onto plates – and leftover muck slide into the bin.

Curtis Stone is far from the only celebrity chef to launch a cookware set (see Paula Deen, for example), but the promise here is a durable, high performance, yet affordable collection.

In my Curtis Stone cookware review I’m going to cover the chef’s Dura Pan non-stick range in depth.

(If you want to explore more of my cookware content, take a look at the home cookware guide I have on the site.)

About Curtis Stone Dura Pan

Curtis Stone pots and pans are designed to be affordable, while still outperforming competing non-stick brands.

The Dura Pan brand uses aluminum as its base material, which provides outstanding heat retention and very even heat distribution. Stainless steel discs on the base make the set induction compatible, along with all the other most common stovetop types.

The Curtis Stone Dura Pan non-stick coating consists of five layers, which means it can withstand significantly more punishment before you’re forced to replace your set.

It’s also, of course, endorsed by Curtis Stone himself!

Who’s It’s For?

If you’re looking to buy a non-stick cookware set that performs better than most, and is designed to last longer than the competition, Curtis Stone is a very good option.

It’s solidly constructed, the non-stick layering makes cooking and clean up easy, and it won’t break the bank either.

Who’s It NOT For?

If you’re looking for a set that will provide a lifetime of service, this is not the cookware range for you.

That’s not a particular criticism of the Curtis Stone Dura Pan brand by the way, it’s just the nature of working with non-stick layered cookware. They all flake or chip eventually, which means you’ll need to buy a fresh new set of pots and pans.

You might want to consider a stainless steel cookware set like the All-Clad Copper Core or the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro instead. You need to work a little harder with pre-heating to prevent the food from sticking, but this material lasts a lot longer.

Pros

  • Comprehensive sets for kitting out any home kitchen.
  • Double riveted handles stay cool and provide stability.
  • Aluminum cookware provides rapid heating and even heat distribution.
  • Tough tempered glass lids make it easy to check on progress.
  • A handful of colors to choose from with the 17 piece set.

Cons

  • Although advertised as metal utensil safe, you really should buy a wooden or silicone set along with this cookware.
  • Sold as dishwasher safe, but it’s always better to hand wash non-stick cookware.
  • Lighter colors are prone to discoloration, particularly if you rely on the dishwasher.
  • If one item in the set becomes damaged, it can be difficult to source a replacement.

A Closer Look At Curtis Stone Dura Pan

There are two commonly available sets in the Curtis Stone Dura Pan range: an 11 piece set and a 17 piece set.

Here’s what you get in each case:

Curtis Stone Dura Pan 11 Piece Set


Curtis Stone Dura-Pan Nonstick 11-Piece…

  • SET INCLUDES: 1.3 qt. Saucepan with lid; 2 qt. Saucepan with lid; 12″ Frypan with lid; 4.8 qt. Stockpot…
  • MADE OF FORGED ALUMINUM WITH STAINLESS STEEL DISC BASES AND REINFORCED PAN RIMS: Provide even heating…
  • DURA-PAN TITANIUM NONSTICK COATING: Specially formulated 5-layer nonstick coating adds strength and…
  • 1.3 Quart Saucepan + Lid
  • 2 Quart Saucepan + Lid
  • 12 Inch Frying Pan + Lid
  • 4.8 Quart Stockpot + Lid
  • 12 Inch Oval Pan
  • 11 Inch Square Grill Pan
  • Steamer Insert

Curtis Stone Dura Pan 17 Piece Set


Curtis Stone 17-Piece Dura-Pan Nonstick…

  • SET INCLUDES: 6″ Frypan with buffet handles; 8″ Frypan with buffet handles and lid; 9.5″ Frypan with…
  • MADE OF FORGED ALUMINUM WITH STAINLESS STEEL DISC BASES AND REINFORCED PAN RIMS – Provides even heating…
  • DURA-PAN NONSTICK COATING – Specially formulated 5-layer titanium nonstick coating adds strength and…
  • 1.3 Quart Saucepan + Lid
  • 2 Quart Saucepan + Lid
  • 12 Inch Frying Pan + Lid
  • 4.8 Quart Stockpot + Lid
  • 12 Inch Oval Pan
  • 11 Inch Square Grill Pan
  • Steamer Insert

(This article includes affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.)

In terms of colors, you have the option of Cherry Red, Black or Royal Blue with the most popular 17 piece set.

The 11 piece set is only available in Black at the time of writing this review.

There’s also a selection of individual cookware items that you can explore, although for the purposes of this review I’ll be focusing on these Dura Pan collections.

Materials & Design

Aluminum is a fantastic cookware material to work with. It heats up very quickly from the base of the pan and then spreads that heat just as quickly out towards the sides.

The end result is very even heating, and a collection of pots and pans that react quickly to temperature adjustments too. That’s always handy when you’re working on more intricate dishes.

Curtis Stone cookware is made from heavy duty forged aluminum, and has reinforced pan rims too. These provide extra strength and durability, which means you’ll get a little more long-term use out of them.

In terms of the design, this is about as standard as cookware gets!

There’s a nice speckling finish on the outside though, and at least a few colors to choose from if you opt for the larger set.

Stainless Steel Disc Bases

One other notable thing about these Curtis Stone pans is that each item features a stainless steel disc base.

This both adds protection and – crucially – ensures that the cookware is compatible with induction cooktops.

The stainless steel provides a magnetic surface, which in turn activates the heating element.

It’s compatible with every other stovetop type as well, whether you have a ceramic cooking surface or an electric radiant ring.

Here’s the full list of compatible stovetops:

  • Ceramic
  • Electric Glass
  • Electric Radiant Ring
  • Electric Solid Plate
  • Gas Burner
  • Halogen
  • Induction

Dura Pan Non Stick Surfacing

This section is a little longer as there are a few things to explain about the Dura Pan non-stick cooking surface applied to Curtis Stone cookware.

Both of these sets use a non-stick surface coating called Dura Pan Titanium.

This consists of five non-stick layers in total, which provides more protection than you’ll find on other non-stick pots and pans. In fact, Curtis Stone claims it’s up to four times more resilient than the competition.

PTFE & PFOA

There’s also the issue of using non-stick coatings altogether.

A few years ago, there was a controversy over non-stick coating materials containing something called PTFE. Specifically, another chemical used alongside it – PFOA – was found to be toxic at the manufacturing stage.

As with just about every other non-stick brand on the market these days, Curtis Stone cookware is entirely PFOA-free.

Some still prefer to avoid non-stick cookware altogether, but if you’re fine with using non-stick surfaces, there are no issues with these sets.

Non-Stick’s Limited Lifespan

It’s also important to be aware that whatever non-stick coating you choose, it all wears off eventually. Even the most expensive non-stick set will lose its effectiveness after a few years.

It’s much better to think of these sets as convenience cookware items that you’ll need to replace eventually. It’s all part of the trade-off between non-stick convenience, and materials that are harder to cook with and clean.

About Using Metal Utensils

Although the Dura Pan non-stick cookware range is advertised as being metal utensil safe, I really do recommend investing in a set of wooden or silicone utensils.

Non-stick coatings only last a few years, and the easiest way to reduce that lifespan further is to introduce scrapes using a metal utensil. We all make mistakes in the kitchen, and you really don’t want to slice anything in the pan using a metal knife!

A good set of silicone or wooden utensils won’t cost the earth, and it’s a sensible investment along with new cookware.

Tempered Glass Lids

Each cookware set features a tempered glass, domed lid design. As a result, they’re as oven proof as the pots and pans themselves. A maximum temperature of 400F / 205C applies here.

The nice thing about having glass lids on your cookware set is that it’s much easier to see how things are going on the hob. They will fog up after a while, but Curtis Stone lids feature vent holes which allow excess steam to escape.

These versatile lids are also interchangeable, so if a lid fits one size of pot it’ll also fit another of the same size. That keeps costs down, and also makes storing your set easier if you don’t have a lot of spare space in your kitchen.

Double Riveted Handles

I would never buy a cookware set with screwed-in handles. They’re the first part of a pan to wear down and send you straight back to the shops.

The Curtis Stone range uses double-riveted stainless steel handles instead. These rivets not only help keep the pan together for longer, they also make for a more stable pot.

When you’re carrying a stockpot full of liquid around the kitchen, the last thing you want is any wobble. This construction design keeps things very stable.

The stainless steel handles are also designed to resist heat absorption and stay cool, making them safe to handle without oven mitts. You won’t be able to leave them on the hob forever, but for most jobs they’ll stay cool enough.

Ease Of Cleaning & Maintenance

I’ve read many reports online of people noticing a distinct discoloration after prolonged dishwasher cleaning of Curtis Stone cookware.

It’s advertised as dishwasher-safe, but I recommend hand washing non-stick cookware wherever possible.

When it comes to a non-stick set that has a limited lifespan, I think it’s better to roll your sleeves up and do the washing up.

The good news, of course, is that non-stick coatings are relatively easy to wipe off. As the surface coating is particularly strong, you have more leeway to exercise a little extra elbow grease too.

Alternatives

I wanted to finish this review up by including a few alternatives to the Curtis Stone cookware range.

T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized 17 Piece Set

T-Fal’s the original titan in non-stick cookware, and the name alone is synonymous with mess-free cooking.

Sale


T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick 17…

  • DURABLE NONSTICK: Hard titanium reinforced, scratch resistant and toxin free nonstick interior stands up…
  • THERMO SPOT INDICATOR: Ring turns solid red to show when pans are perfectly preheated and ready for…
  • RIVETED HANDLES & VENTED LIDS: Handles are designed for comfort and safety; Vented tempered glass lids…

Its Ultimate Hard Anodized set is available in 13, 14 and 17 piece editions. It’s the go-to brand when you want to kit out a kitchen without spending a fortune in the process.

One other bonus bit of tech you get with T-Fal is something it calls Hotspot Technology.

There’s a red circle in the center of each surface, which solidifies once a suitable cooking temperature has been established. There’s no one correct temperature for every food type, of course, but it’s a handy visual guide.

All-Clad Essentials Nonstick 10 Piece Set

All-Clad makes some seriously hard-wearing cookware, and its Essentials range includes 4 and 10 piece versions.


All-Clad Essentials Nonstick Cookware Set,…

  • Set includes: 8.5 and 10.5-inch fry pans, 4-quart saute pan with lid, 2.5-quart sauce pan with lid,…
  • Made from heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum covered with 3 layers of a safe and durable PFOA-free…
  • Compatible with gas, electric, and ceramic cooktops and safe to use in an oven and broiler (up to 500°F)

They’re smaller sets, but they do a good job of covering the most common tasks, hence the Essentials branding.

That high-performance, high durability construction comes with a higher price tag, however.

Final Verdict?

Compared to other nonstick cookware sets, the Curtis Stone range offers excellent performance at a relatively low cost.

I think the Dura Pan range represents the best Curtis Stone cookware sets currently available.

The forged aluminum core will heat up quickly, and respond well to minor temperature tweaks. Both the sets I’ve highlighted present a versatile cookware set suitable for any home kitchen.

Click here to read more Curtis Stone cookware set reviews, and see how owners of these collections have been getting on.

Frequently Asked Questions

Finally, I thought it would be helpful to add a section to my Curtis Stone review that answers some of the most common questions people have about this brand.

Where Is Curtis Stone Cookware Made?

Like many other manufacturers in this space, Curtis Stone cookware is made in China.*

(*Correct at the time of publishing this article.)

Are Curtis Stone Pans Oven Safe?

Talking specifically about the Dura Pan non-stick range, Curtis Stone cookware is oven safe up to a temperature of 400F / 205C.

Is Curtis Stone Cookware Dishwasher Safe?

Technically the answer to this question is yes. With that said, I recommend washing your Curtis Stone cookware by hand.

The speckled finish in particular is prone to damage over time, and with everything we all have rattling around in our dishwashers I think it’s too much of a risk.

I believe it’s better to invest in this brand with the assumption that you’ll be hand cleaning it.

What Is Curtis Stone Cookware Made Of?

Curtis Stone Dura Pan cookware is made of heavy duty forged aluminum.

You’ll also find a stainless steel disc on the underside of each pot and pan. This makes the cookware compatible with induction stovetops.

The non-stick coating used here is something called “Dura Pan Titanium”. This consists of five separate coating layers and is PFOA free for safe cooking.

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