Today we are going to check out another promising ceramic cookware set, the Flavorstone Gourmet Set. This is one of the cookware sets currently on offer from Flavorstone, with the “Essential” and the “5 Star” being the other sets they currently sell. The Gourmet Set seems to be the best value for money, so after a few weeks of testing we were ready to give our verdict. Read on to find out more.
Flavorstone is a relatively new arrival in the USA, and the cookware has been featured quite heavily on many tv shows and publications in recent months. The name sounds quite familiar to the popular Stonedine range of cookware, so we suspect they are trying to cash in on the popularity of Stonedine by releasing an imitation product. There is nothing wrong with that, as competition in the market will drive down prices and increase quality, so everyone wins at the end of the day.
The set we are looking at is composed of the saute pan, grilling pan, casserole pan, 6.3″ sauce pan and a 11″ deluxe pan. Included are two vented lids, and a silicone insert which you can use to steam food.
Also included is a nice little recipe guide which is well laid out and easy to use. The “Five Star” set includes a bunch of extras such as cookie sheet, and a hand blender, but we felt these weren’t really necessary additions so we opted to try out the cheaper set.
The cookware itself is made out of lightweight alloy, and the base is made out of stainless steel. This allows it to be used on a range of cooking surfaces such as gas, electric, induction and ceramic stove tops. The non stick coating is the interesting part, as it claims to use a “Sapphire” non stick coating. Stonedine claims to use crushed stone as part of their coating, but there is no mention of any crushed sapphire in this particular set. The coating itself does look fantastic however, and we will post our test results a little later on. This particular cookware set is designed to be used at lower / medium temperatures due to the superconductive base. A good thing to mention is that the entire cookware set is certified to be 100% PFOA free. This basically means it is entirely free of the harmful chemicals found in some of the cheaper non stick coatings a few years ago.
The handles feel a little bit flimsy, but they can be tightened by using a philips screwdriver to make them a bit more stable. This is something that should have been done properly when they were assembled, but it is only a minor annoyance as it is an easy fix.
We mentioned earlier that the cookware should not be used at a high temperature, specifically not over 445F or 230C. This isn’t really an issue for stovetop applications, but unfortunately it does mean that the entire cookware set is not oven friendly. Stonedine sets can be used in the oven at medium temperatures, so this is definitely a disadvantage for the Flavorstone set. One of the reasons for this is that the handle cannot withstand the temperatures, so this is a bit of a letdown.
Like most other nonstick sets, this one will need to be seasoned before use, and every few months if it is used frequently. This is a basic procedure and involves putting a teaspoon of oil in the appropriate pot or pan, then spreading it over the entire surface with a kitchen towel. This oil will be absorbed into the coating, and should last a few months. Cleaning it is very simple, and a wipe with a kitchen towel should be enough to get it clean. If you do wash it with water and a sponge, then keep in mind that this will deteriorate the “seasoning” you have applied.
Now we will talk about the performance. After seasoning up the frying pan, we decided to make a pancake to see how evenly it cooked, and how well it slides out. The good news is that it cooked very evenly, and slid right out with no hassles. Next up we decided to fry a steak in the same pan straight afterwards. It came out beautifully, browning up very nicely. It tasted fantastic, and the lack of oil really helps to keep all the flavor sealed in. To give the nonstick coating a real run for its money, we then grilled a bit of cheese which we left for a while so it would get burnt. The burnt cheese didn’t slide out like the other food we had cooked, but it did slide out once we had given it a gentle nudge with the spatula so there was no real issue there. The coating seems to do the job very nicely, although the question still remains of how long it will last. Some nonstick coatings tend to wear off after a year or two of use, and this Sapphire coating seems to be ok after 8 weeks of daily usage. We should mention that you should only use plastic utensil while cooking with this set, as metal will cause damage to the coating.
We were quite impressed with the cooking capabilities of the Flavorstone set, and it has stood up to all our test so far. The coating looks to be very strong, and food slides right out without any sort of oil or butter. It is easy to clean, and the entire set looks really nice with the blue coating. This Gourmet set costs about 25% less than the Stonedine set which is quite a saving, however the fact that it isn’t oven safe is a bit of a letdown. If you don’t intend to use it in the oven this won’t be an issue.
The Flavorstone set comes with a respectable 5 year warranty.
- Competitively priced
- Looks good
- Great cooking results
- 5 year warranty
- PFOA free
- Handles may need tightening
- Not oven safe
Overall this is a good set of cookware from Flavorstone. It may be lacking some features the Stonedine set has, such as being oven friendly, and only having a 5 year warranty (versus 12 years on the Stonedine set), but it is a bit cheaper so you may be able to overlook those flaws. You can find this set for sale on Amazon, otherwise if you are looking for a similar product with more features, you can read our review on the Stonedine set over here.