Are you searching for new non-stick cookware and wondering if Gotham Steel is any good?
In this review, I break down the pros and cons of Gotham Steel cookware. You’ll learn about its design, construction, performance, price, and more.
Plus, I’ll show you how it compares to its top competitors and reveal its major flaws.
Keep reading if you’re considering Gotham Steel cookware but need an unbiased review to help you decide if it’s worth it.
Use the links below to navigate the review:
- Cookware Collections
- Gotham Steel vs. the Competition
- What Others Say About Gotham Steel Cookware
- FAQs About Gotham Steel Cookware
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy Gotham Steel Cookware?
Gotham Steel features six collections, and designs range from hard-anodized aluminum to polished stainless exteriors.
In this section, I’ll highlight the design features of the fry pan from the Original Collection since it’s one of the top-selling products from Gotham Steel.
I’ll compare it to other Gotham Steel cookware so you can gauge the variety of the brand’s offerings.
Now, let’s explore the design elements of the Gotham Steel Original 9.5-inch fry pan.
The exterior of the Gotham Steel Original fry pan is constructed from aluminum. It has a gray hue, which provides a nice contrast against the copper-colored interior.
The base of the pan features a stainless steel ring, but the rest of the exterior is gray aluminum. The body of the pan is rounded.
The logo is centered on the bottom of the pan, etched into the aluminum.
At first glance, you might think it’s copper with a heavy aluminum base, but when you lift it, you’ll find it’s surprisingly lightweight.
This can be a pro or a con. On the one hand, if you struggle with lifting heavy pans, this one will be easy to handle. However, with such thin walls, durability is an issue. Customers often complain that the pan warps easily.
Additionally, depending on the collection, the exteriors are wildly different:
- The Original Collection also features red and purple exteriors.
- The Pro Hard-Anodized Collection has a darker gray exterior.
- The Stainless Steel Collection boasts a polished stainless exterior and an induction plate.
- The Hammered Collection has a hammered finish that makes the cookware look more expensive.
- The Cast-Textured Collection has a glossy black or copper-colored exterior.
- The Stackmaster Collection boasts a glossy copper-toned exterior.
Fully-clad cookware distributes heat more evenly from all sides, while an impact-bonded base heats first and then delivers heat to the rest of the pan, resulting in uneven heating.
One of the unique features of the cookware is the interior cooking surface.
Although it’s not made of copper, it has a copper-colored hue that’s slick and glossy. Of course, if the cookware was crafted with copper, it would be much more expensive.
There are protruding rivets on each side of the pan. They keep the handles steady, but it also provides places where food can get stuck, making it difficult to keep clean.
The pan has curved sidewalls that make it easy to stir food or slide it out of the pan, such as an omelet.
The slope of the pan lets steam escape, allowing you to get a good sear on meat or vegetables.
The flared rims make it simple to pour liquids without causing a mess.
Looking at the interiors of other Gotham Steel collections, you’ll find that there are many differences in the non-stick coating:
- The Ti-Cerama non-stick coating is a blend of titanium and ceramic (Pro Hard-Anodized, Stainless Steel, and Oceans Series).
- Many collections utilize a triple non-stick coating (Original, Cast-Textured, and Stackmaster).
- Ti-Cerama is infused with diamonds (Original Collection).
- Some coatings are infused with diamonds and granite (Hammered Collection).
- The textured titanium diamond coating features a sparkly appearance (Cast-Textured Collection).
Interiors vary between the collections, but all are ceramic non-stick. Some are just more durable than others.
Although Gotham Steel claims the cookware is metal utensil safe, I always recommend nylon, silicone, wood, or other non-abrasive utensils for increased longevity.
The handle is polished stainless steel. It is flat, thin, and features a divot that runs the length of the handle for your thumb to rest.
Even though the pan is lightweight, the thin handle makes it uncomfortable to hold. Plus, the handle gets extremely hot when using it on a stove.
The helper handle is also flat. It has a slight upward curve to help with gripping. For some reason, it is not directly across from the main handle. It’s slightly off-center, which is an odd design. So far, I can’t see a benefit in terms of placement.
In other collections, the long main handles are flat or round and hollow to reduce heat transfer.
The stainless steel handles on lids are identical across the collections. They offer plenty of space for you to grab them with an oven mitt.
All lids are designed to recess into the pots and pans. They are made from tempered glass and trimmed in stainless steel.
The lids are either round or square with rounded edges.
Most lids have slightly domed glass, although the Stackmaster Collection is designed with flat glass to make it more stackable.
Gotham Steel features six cookware collections. Besides pots and pans, the brand also offers bakeware, grills, fryers, oven crispers, electric appliances, and kitchenware, such as knives and cooking utensils.
Let’s look at each cookware collection.
Gotham Steel Original Collection (view on Amazon): Although it’s not technically called the “Original Collection,” it is the brand’s featured collection and original offering. Gotham Steel’s best-selling fry pan is a part of this collection and features an aluminum body with Gotham Ti-Cerama non-stick coating. The coating is free of PTFE, PFOA, and PFOS — it has improved from its original design and is now infused with diamonds for increased durability. The collection features fry pans with blue, brown, purple, or red color choices.
Pro Hard-Anodized Collection (view on Amazon): The cookware in this collection features a dark gray hard-anodized aluminum body. It’s a step up in construction from the Original Collection. The interiors are made from Ti-Cerama, a titanium and ceramic blend used to create a PTFE-free non-stick surface. Some pieces have strainer lids with twist and lock handles.
Ocean Series Collection (view on Amazon): The cookware in this limited edition collection features a cool, blue exterior. The interior cooking surface is made from Ti-Cerama and comes in a light gray instead of the standard copper-colored hue. The aluminum body gives the cookware a lightweight feel, and stay-cool stainless steel handles make it easy to flip and turn food in the frying pans. The collection is suitable for induction due to its magnetic steel base.
Hammered Collection (view on Amazon): The standout feature of this collection is the hammered look. It’s reminiscent of pricier hammered copper pans, but there is no copper in the construction. It is made from aluminum and features an induction-compatible base. The long handles are Y-shaped as a stay-cool design. The pan interiors are made from copper-colored non-stick Ti-Cerama, which is also infused with diamonds and granite for extra durability.
Stainless Steel Collection (view on Amazon): The Gotham Stainless Steel Collection features a polished stainless exterior and a tri-ply, impact-bonded base that is induction-compatible. It’s a more robust offering than the Original Collection but features the same titanium-ceramic non-stick cooking surface (Ti-Cerama).
Cast-Textured Collection (view on Amazon): The collection boasts a shiny copper-colored or black exterior. The aluminum construction is sturdy yet lightweight. The interiors of this collection feature a triple-layer, black, non-stick coating that is textured and infused with diamonds. The titanium-diamond coating has a sparkly appearance, making it stand out from other Gotham Steel offerings.
Stackmaster Collection (view on Amazon): This induction-compatible collection boasts a space-saving design that allows pots, pans, and lids to nest. It has a glossy copper-colored exterior and a dark non-stick interior. The triple-layer coating is made from Ti-Cerama (titanium and ceramic) and reinforced with diamonds. All handles and lids lay flat for easy storage.
In the As Seen On TV commercial, celebrity chef Daniel Green claims using Gotham Steel is “Like cooking on air. Everything slides right off.” He says you won’t need butter and oil as you do with stainless steel pans.
He also claims it’s “Stronger than ever” and can handle metal utensils without scratching.
Are these claims valid? How does Gotham Steel cookware perform?
To find out, I put it to the test. I cooked everything from eggs and vegetables to meat and fish.
The first thing I noticed is that the cookware is lightweight. It doesn’t have the heft of thicker, more expensive pans. The advantage is that it’s easy to maneuver from stove to oven and agile enough to flip eggs or pancakes with little effort. The downside is that it feels somewhat cheap and prone to dents and warping.
The thin handles were the next element that stood out. Unlike most cookware which has rounded handles, Gotham Steel’s are flat. Flat handles make it easy to tilt the pan (it won’t rotate in your hand) to pour liquids but make the grip uncomfortable and awkward when you’re wearing oven mitts.
Gotham Steel cookware heats up fast Because of its thin walls. While this saves time, it’s easy to mistakenly burn or overcook food — which I learned the hard way during my testing.
At first, nothing stuck to the non-stick coating. Ingredients slid around with ease, just as the brand promised (see it in action in this quick video). The first dozen eggs I tested in it came out perfect — zero sticking whatsoever.
After about two months, the non-stick properties started to wane. The pan was still easy to clean, but more and more bits of food began to stick over time.
After about six months, the non-stick coating lost most of its slickness, making it difficult to fry an egg without the yolk breaking apart. I’m not surprised by these results because ceramic non-stick cookware is notorious for breaking down within the first year.
I discovered another negative during testing. When I poured oil or cracked an egg in the center of the pan, it immediately moved to one side and wouldn’t stay in the center.
Warping in the middle of the pan is not an issue unique to the cookware I tested; several other customers have the same complaint.
Overall, I am not impressed with the performance of Gotham Steel cookware. It heats up fast, but the non-stick coating breaks down after a few months, the handle is uncomfortable, and the cooking surface warps in the center.
I mentioned that Gotham Steel cookware heats up fast, but how does it compare to the competition?
I conducted a simple test to measure its heat conduction. In other words, how fast and evenly it heats.
First, I poured two cups of cold water into the Gotham Steel pan. Then, I set it on the stove and turned the burner to the highest setting.
While the water heated, I observed how evenly dispersed the bubbles were across the cooking surface. Fortunately, Gotham Steel heated evenly, with no hot or cold spots.
The first bubbles appeared after one minute and 58 seconds, and the water came to a full boil after two minutes and 32 seconds.
So, how does that compare to the competition? I conducted the same test with several other brands. As you can see in the results below, Gotham Steel ranked in fourth place, only behind Made In, Misen, and Anolon. Because the construction is relatively thin, heat transfers quickly to the cooking surface.
|Pan||Time to First Bubbles||Time to Boil|
|Made In fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 21 seconds|
|Misen fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Anolon fry pan||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 27 seconds|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||1 minute and 58 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||1 minute and 47 seconds||2 minutes and 36 seconds|
|Hestan fry pan||1 minute and 52 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|Circulon fry pan||2 minutes and 7 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|Calphalon fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 40 seconds|
|All-Clad skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|Ballarini fry pan||2 minutes and 15 seconds||3 minutes and 12 seconds|
Heating up fast makes quick meals more convenient, but the best-performing cookware can retain heat for long periods. Heat retention is important for several reasons.
Most notably, you don’t want the cookware to cool down as you add cold ingredients. For example, if you put a cold steak on a hot pan and the pan loses its heat, it’s tough to get a proper sear. In general, cookware with poor heat retention won’t cook food as evenly.
So, how well does Gotham Steel cookware retain heat?
After recording the results of the heat conduction test, I removed the pan from the heat and set it on the counter.
After five minutes, the water temperature measured 113°F.
I waited another five minutes, and at that point, the water measured 95°F.
Again, I conducted the same test with Gotham Steel’s competition. As you’ll see in the results below, Gotham Steel ranked second to last in heat retention. Again, I’m not surprised by these results; thin cookware heats fast but doesn’t absorb and retain heat as well as thicker cookware.
|Pan||Temperature After 5 Minutes||Temperature After 10 Minutes|
|Made In fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°F|
|Misen fry pan||118.6°F||103.4°F|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||126.3°F||102.7°F|
|Circulon fry pan||133.3°F||102.0°F|
|Calphalon fry pan||112.8°F||101.1°F|
|Ballarini fry pan||120°F||99.9°F|
|Hestan fry pan||114°F||98°F|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||113°F||95°F|
|Anolon fry pan||112.7°F||90.9°F|
Overall, Gotham Steel is an affordable cookware brand. It’s a popular choice of home chefs on a budget or people who are new to using cookware and aren’t ready to invest a lot of money.
The brand owes its affordable pricing to its online-only sales, thin construction, and manufacturing in China, where labor costs are less expensive.
Prices will vary by collection. For example, you will pay more for a frying pan from the Stainless Steel Collection than one from the Original Collection. Even so, all collections are budget-friendly.
For current pricing, check out the following price table:
|Gotham Steel 9.5-Inch Frying Pan||Amazon|
|Gotham Steel Hammered Copper 10-Inch Frying Pan||Amazon|
|Gotham Steel Hard Anodized 2-Piece Frying Pan set||Amazon|
|Gotham Steel 12-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Gotham Steel Hammered Copper 15-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Gotham Steel Stackmaster 17-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Gotham Steel 20-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Gotham Steel Hammered Copper 20-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Gotham Steel Aqua Blue 20-Piece Set||Amazon|
Before buying Gotham Steel cookware, you need to know the downsides. Here are the main reasons you should think twice before picking this brand.
Since the pan walls are so thin, they do not retain heat as well as thicker-walled pans.
Thin walls heat quickly. If you are using high heat, you can scorch or burn food before it has a chance to cook completely.
Also, thin pan walls are prone to warping. There are many complaints in online reviews about Gotham Steel pans warping.
Although the brand claims to offer cookware that lasts, ceramic non-stick has its pros and cons and historically does not last as long as PTFE-based non-stick. Ceramic non-stick coating is self-sacrificing, meaning the cookware’s effectiveness degrades upon every use.
Gotham Steel cookware starts degrading after months, while higher-end non-stick cookware brands can take years to show signs of wear.
Gotham Steel claims its cookware is metal utensil safe, but I suggest using wood, nylon, or other non-abrasive utensils instead. The interior surface scratches much easier than the brand claims.
While one of the promotional videos shows celebrity chef Daniel Green using a hand blender on the interior, that isn’t advised. Rough treatment will degrade the surface faster.
The exterior also scratches easily and picks up stains that are hard to remove.
The cookware is prone to producing burnt food that then sticks to the surface, leaving a permanent stain. Not only does that take away from the beauty of the cookware, but it also makes it harder to maintain a non-stick surface.
This is a complaint about hard-anodized cookware in general. For more information on keeping your pans clean, check out my cleaning guide for hard-anodized cookware.
The handles are thin, making them uncomfortable to hold. The helper handles are not aligned with the main, long handle. It’s an awkward setup, although it doesn’t impact performance.
All Gotham Steel cookware is manufactured in China, where quality standards are often not as high as in the United States. The main focus is keeping costs down at the expense of stringent quality control. For the best alternatives, check out my article on cookware not made in China.
If you are looking for a customer service experience that leaves you with in-depth information about Gotham Steel products, you will likely be disappointed.
Gotham Steel is a direct-sales brand focused on selling a high volume of affordable products, so don’t expect excellent customer service. When I called and asked a few questions about the cookware, the representative could not answer them and could only assist with purchasing.
What Others Say About Gotham Steel Cookware
Now that you know more about the brand, I’d like to share some insights on what reviewers and home publications are saying about the brand.
You won’t see it listed as the “best non-stick pan” from the likes of the New York Times, Food Network, Bon Appetit, or America’s Test Kitchen. Yet, it’s regarded as an affordable choice rather than a high-performance cookware option.
Here is a snapshot of what others are saying:
Consumer Reports recently named the Best Non-stick Cookware Sets for $100 or Less, and the 10-Piece Original Gotham Steel cookware set made the cut. Reviewers called the set “well-priced,” and it performed well in most tests such as even cooking, boiling, and simmering. It did not fare well in the food release test with eggs, as it took extra work to get them out of the pan. Although the handles stayed cool while cooking, they weren’t sturdy.
Food & Wine dedicated an article to Gotham Steel cookware, pointing out its popularity on Amazon. Amazon shoppers praised the Original 9.5-inch fry pan, calling it an affordable option that delivers on cooking performance and longevity. For many, it is an excellent “go-to” everyday pan.
New York Magazine’s The Strategist pointed out the Best Cookware Sets on Amazon and chose the Hammered Collection 10-Piece cookware set as the best copper cookware set. Although it is made from aluminum with a copper color, there is no copper in the construction. However, the set got high marks for even cooking, being easy to clean, affordable, offering good food release.
Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about Gotham Steel cookware.
It depends on the collection. The cookware exteriors are either aluminum, hard-anodized aluminum, or stainless steel. The interiors are made from titanium and ceramic, and in some cases, are infused with diamonds and/or granite.
Gotham Steel’s non-stick coating is free of PTFE, PFOA, and PFOS. It falls into the category of ceramic non-stick cookware.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic non-stick coating that provides excellent food release and cleanability. It’s safe to use, provided it is not overheated or scratched.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate acid (PFOS) were used to make PTFE before 2013. Now they’re banned in most countries.
No, Gotham Steel only uses a PTFE-free non-stick coating. Teflon is one of the most known brands of PTFE, but Gotham Steel’s non-stick coatings are not made of Teflon.
All Gotham Steel cookware is made in China.
Yes, ceramic non-stick cookware is safe to use. It is a more natural choice than PTFE-based non-stick. Just be sure to follow instructions for proper care.
Yes. You can use it in an oven up to 500°F.
Yes, but be aware that a dishwasher will degrade the non-stick coating much faster than washing it by hand.
It depends on the collection. The following collections offer induction-compatible cookware: Ocean Series, Hammered, Stainless Steel, and Stackmaster.
Now that you know more about how Gotham Steel cookware looks and performs, it’s time to decide if it’s right for you.
In this Gotham Steel cookware review, I’ve covered the pros and cons to give you a balanced view of the brand.
Given what you know, should you buy Gotham Steel cookware?
Here’s my recommendation.
You should buy Gotham Steel cookware if:
- You are on a budget and need an affordable non-stick pan.
- You prefer ceramic non-stick over PTFE-based non-stick.
- You like the idea of handling lightweight cookware.
- You have an induction cooktop and want a choice of induction-compatible cookware.
- You are low on space and looking for a stackable cookware option.
- You want cookware that is free of PTFE, PFOA, and PFOS.
- You are excited by design features like a hammered finish or a choice of exterior colors.
You should not buy Gotham Steel cookware if:
- You want long-lasting non-stick cookware.
- You prefer PTFE-based non-stick because it offers better food release.
- You want cookware that offers copper construction instead of copper coloring.
- You like cookware with good heft and thick walls for better heat retention.
- You prefer cookware that is scratch-resistant and not prone to scorching or burning food.
- You want handles that offer a comfortable grip.
- You prefer American-made cookware.
- You need a highly-responsive customer service experience.
Bottom Line — Gotham Steel Cookware is extremely affordable but lacks the durability and performance you get with more expensive brands. The pots and pans have thin walls with poor heat retention.
The lightweight pans feel flimsy, and with such an uncomfortable handle, it can make using them unenjoyable. Plus, the ceramic coating is prone to sticking, defeating the major “healthy non-stick” selling point of the pan.
Other affordable options offer better quality, such as Calphalon, Misen, and Anolon. Yes, they cost more than Gotham Steel’s offerings, but when you consider how much longer they last, they’re a better investment.
While non-stick pans won’t last forever, I recommend spending a little more on a higher-quality pan so that you can get a few years of use, as opposed to six months or a year.
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