I’ve owned and tested plenty of cookware over the years, so I was more than ready for the Hestan NanoBond Titanium Ultimate Set when it arrived. I used the 10-piece set for all of my daily cooking, from simmering soups to toasting dried peppers to searing meats, and I even used it in the oven. I cooked some delicious food and burned a few bits and pieces too. I washed a lot of pots, pans, and lids, over and over. Now that I’m comfortable with this high-end set, I have plenty to say about it. Keep reading for my honest thoughts.
Design: My favorite kitchen jewelry
Right out of the box, I was oohing and ahhing about the look of this cookware. It looks like it earned its price tag, with a unique titanium gray finish, elegant handles, and flush rivets that hold the handles securely in place. Like fine jewelry, it’s both understated and enticing. This set would be the crown jewel on anyone’s stove, but without being gaudy or flashy. And it would fit well with every type of décor, from industrial minimalist to farmhouse chic.
The handles are made from bright stainless steel and have the Hestan “H” that looks more like a monogram than a company logo. On the underside of the long handles is a bump that encourages a perfect grip for great balance.
The lids are bright stainless steel and fit perfectly on the cookware. In fact, the fit is so good that if a lid is left on a pot as it cools, it can create a vacuum that sucks the lid onto the pot. It’s not a problem, though; all it takes is gently heating the pan to release the lid.
While there are no pouring spouts, the cookware’s rims are designed for easy pouring. When I emptied soup from the stockpot, there was no spilling, and when I poured a pan sauce from the skillet, I didn’t leave dribbles on the outside of the pan.
The flush rivets inside the pans not only look good, but they make cleaning easier because there’s no bulging rivet to clean around. There’s still a little crease, but it’s minimal.
Material: Layers upon layers
This pan has an aluminum core surrounded by stainless steel. But the secret sauce is the proprietary nanobond finish that’s a blend of alloys, including titanium. There are thousands of nanolayers that create a finish that’s harder than stainless steel, non-reactive, non-porous, and darned pretty, too.
When cooking, the finish can darken or start looking a little blue, which doesn’t affect the cookware’s performance. It’s not the cookware itself that is changing color. Instead, it’s a haze left by the food, and it’s easy to remove using either a gentle cleanser, the company’s stainless steel cleaner, or even cut lemon. On the other hand, it doesn’t absolutely need to be removed right away if people don’t mind a little patina on their cookware.
When it comes to heat, I was pleasantly surprised by the high heat the cookware could withstand—up to a whopping 1,050 degrees in the oven.
The nanobond finish isn’t nonstick, but it’s said to be less sticky than plain stainless steel. When I sautéed vegetables, I started by warming the pan, then adding some oil before adding the vegetables. They didn’t stick at all as I constantly flipped and stirred them in the pan.
When I cooked potatoes that I wanted to brown and get a crust, they initially stuck to the pan, then released when they were browned. I had the same result when I cooked meat for fajitas—initial sticking until the food got its nice brown crust, and then it released easily. Speaking of a nice brown crust, the pans did a great job browning a variety of meats, and I also got a lovely brown crust on bread that I baked in the stockpot—similar to baking in a Dutch oven, but much roomier.
Heating Capacity: Responsive
This cookware was much more responsive than I expected. When I was cooking my spaghetti sauce that needed to come to a boil then reduce to a simmer, I was surprised how quickly the food went from boiling to simmering when I lowered the heat. It was like it heard my instruction, took a breath, and responded. I found it just as responsive no matter which pan I used and no matter what food I was cooking. It didn’t matter whether I was shallow-frying potatoes or simmering a tomato sauce—the temperature changed almost immediately when I raised or lowered the heat.
When it comes to heat, I was pleasantly surprised by the high heat the cookware could withstand—up to a whopping 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. I couldn’t test that since my home oven can’t hit that mark, but I did use the large stockpot to bake bread, and it handled that task with ease. While my oven won’t push the limits of this cookware’s heat tolerance, it’s comforting to know I can crank the heat as high as I like without any worries.
Besides being heat-safe, the cookware is also induction-compatible, so it will still be useful if a future stove upgrade includes induction or if a standalone induction burner is brought into the kitchen to handle extra cooking tasks.
Cleaning: Dishwasher is okay
These pans are dishwasher-safe, but the finish can dull with continued dishwasher use. However, the finish can be renewed using the company’s stainless steel cleaner. Still, with cookware this expensive, I’m more likely to wash it by hand.
For hand-washing, the company recommends using warm, soapy water and a Scotch Brite pad, although steel wool can be used for really stubborn, stuck-on food. When I was cooking foods that don’t normally stick—soup, pasta, stock—all I had to do was swish with a soapy sponge. To clean stuck-on foods like fried potatoes, I just let the pan soak for a few minutes and scrubbed lightly. For more aggressively stuck-on food, like burned-on residue, I needed a little more scrubbing or a little longer soak. I never felt like I needed to get aggressive with steel wool or anything harsher than the scrubbing side of a sponge. Still, it’s good to know that if I need harsher options, they won’t ruin the pan.
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