When I got ready to send my son to College I wondered what he needed to set up his first apartment. It was overwhelming until I broke it down to simple items. Deciding the BEST College Apartment Pots and Pans was high on the priority list.
Products discussed in this post were given to me from Anolon. My opinions and experiences are all my own. Affiliate Links may be included
I'm a checklist kind of Mom! So a College Dorm Checklist just makes sense. Let's start with the kitchen! With 5 other roommates there is no telling the miss matched items that will show up and better yet, what they will be without. So let's start with the basics. A Quality set of Pans!
Not all pots and pans are the same
As a mom with a college student I can tell you that I have tried and tested MANY brands of pots and pans. I have found what lasts, even when the kids use them as drums and what pans have handles that fall off and break or non stick coating that coats more of your food than it does the pan. I'm an expert!
Pots and pans are priced accordingly.
- Low for your budget minded consumer just wanting something that holds water to make your favorite Mac and Cheese.
- Moderate for your hopeful home cook but working on a budget and looses sight that more is better. More pieces in a set that is.
- High for your individual who knows they want to cook quality meals and use a pan that will help them do it successfully.
Of course within each price range you will find a variety of products and even prices. It's to be expected. But here is what I can tell you.
On the Low end, pots and pan use very thin metal and unfortunately heat is not distributed evenly when cooking. Non stick pans will begin peeling within the 1st month of use. It's discouraging for sure especially when you have once again burned a grilled cheese sandwich.
Smack dab in the middle is the Moderate level of quality and priced pans. Now, I have used just about all the brands that I consider to fall in this category and have had success. I was very much swooned by sets with an extra pot or pan or extra lids. More just seemed better.
In time I figured out I never used all the pans and I had my favorites. In hindsight I would have done better to focus my spending on a higher quality pan set with less that I used more.
So with that we fall on the High end Pot and Pans. I currently use the Anolon Accolade 10 piece set. Let me tell you, I LOVE them! They are beautiful but of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The set boasts (as taken from the Anolon Website)
- FORGED DURABILITY: Constructed from hard-anodized aluminum using patented Precision Forge technology for ultimate durability
- REINFORCED NONSTICK: Sapphire-reinforced, triple-layer nonstick is metal utensil safe, delivering enhanced durability and luster.
- FAST HEATING: Thick bases, thin walls, and ultra-tough rims provide incomparably fast and even-heating without warping or twisting
- UNIFORM SURFACE: Dual riveted, cast stainless steel handles are flush with pan interiors for a Unity Surface free from protruding rivets
- EVERYDAY CONVENIENCE: Anodized cookware set is dishwasher safe for fast and easy cleanup
So it was easy for me to to introduce my son to a set of his own when moving him into his first apartment.
Let me tell you about my son Brad. As a Computer Science Major you can easily assume he is a "Computer Geek" and you would be right. The kid is brilliant, and I don't just say that. It's true. He fortunately also has a personality and likes a variety of extra curricular activities from playing drums in a Drumline to Cooking in the kitchen. I suppose he is my son, and does appreciate good food.
Now moving into your 1st college apartment is exciting but space is extremely limited. You know what you want to bring with you but what will your roommates bring and how will you fit it all into such a small space?
These are all questions we considered but the choice seemed easy. Especially after I read a Press Release about the Smart Stack Set
"Anolon SmartStack is crafted in heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum – a
material that is twice as hard as stainless steel, and excels at conducting heat quickly and evenly. The cookware’s Infinity Slide™ System features sapphire-reinforced, triple-layer nonstick for optimal performance that lasts more than 16 times longer than typical nonstick cookware and more than 80 times longer than traditional ceramic cookware. The premium, PFOA-free nonstick cooking surface is metal utensil safe and offers enhanced durability, luster, and effortless food release."
These are all qualities of my own set that I value and appreciate. So why would I want to send my son to College with any thing less? Well, I didn't want to and fortunately my friends at Anolon helped make it happen!
Do they really stack?
The SmartStack Cookware from Anolon really stack in a small space. I was blown away. With limited cupboard space the entire pan set including lids fits neatly in a small cupboard shelf as seen here.
The pans are designed to stack, they can withstand scratches when stacked and boast that they will last 16 times longer than typical nonstick cookware. The set is also oven save up to 400 degrees and backed by a Lifetime Warranty.
Now, let me tell you. My son is THRILLED! I mean who wouldn't be? These are quality pans. I didn't own a set like these well, for a very long time. At his age I was lucky to have a set that matched.
Brad uses his pans to make simple college meals of Macaroni and Cheese but he also makes a mean Chicken Stir Fry with a Homemade Teriyaki Sauce. But he specializes in Mexican Burritos filled with a Spanish Rice and Savory cuts of beef or chicken. They are REALLY GOOD! In fact, this recipe for Shredded Chicken Tacos is inspired from him.
His room mates report that when he cooks they all stick around because his meals always turn out so well! I laugh and hope they all aren't putting on the traditional Freshman 15. Regardless, Brad reports that using these SmartStack pans from Anolon make all the difference.
Review from College Student
Brad reports the following review when asked what he likes about the Pot and Pans.
- Good feel in his hands
- Cook really well. The heat surface has an even temperature
- Stacking pans is ideal and necessary for College Living
- Lids fit nicely on pots
- Steamer basket ~ Did you know you can steam Corn on the Cob? You totally can and it was really good!
As a mom, I'm sold. This set should last my son for years to come and as he continues to grow in his culinary skills this SmartStack Pan set will set him up for success.
If you wish to purchase your own set, here is a link to help you see all of their products from Anolon.