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- Up until a few years ago, quality pots and pans were prohibitively expensive, partly because they were mostly sold through department stores, which piled on middleman markups.
- The new generation of direct-to-consumer kitchenware companies challenges traditional legacy brands like Le Creuset, All-Clad, and Staub with high-quality construction, clever design, affordable prices, and streamlined shopping experiences.
- If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen tools without breaking the bank, we recommend these 12 dynamic startups, including Made In (cookware, knives, kitchen accessories), Field Company (cast iron skillets), and Our Place (modern dinnerware and drinkware).
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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.