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Made In vs. Heritage Steel: 9 Key Differences Explained

If you’re looking for quality stainless steel cookware, Made In and Heritage Steel are two of the best options.

Both brands are fully clad (5-ply), induction compatible, and oven-safe up to 800°F.

So what’s the difference between them? Which is better? How do you choose?

In this comparison of Made In vs. Heritage Steel, I answer these questions. You’ll learn how they stack up in terms of materials, construction, design, performance, price, and more.

I also reveal which brand conducts and retains heat better (based on my tests).

Key Takeaways

Product Offerings: Heritage Steel focuses solely on stainless steel cookware, offering two series: Titanium and Eater. Made In offers a wider variety of cookware types, including stainless steel, non-stick, carbon steel, copper, and enameled cast iron, but only one stainless steel collection.

Materials: Heritage Steel’s Titanium Series pans have a 316Ti stainless steel cooking surface, which is more durable and resistant to pitting than the 304-grade 18/10 stainless steel used to make Made In and Heritage Steel’s Eater Series.

Size and Shape: Made In’s 12-inch frying pan has a larger rim-to-rim diameter (13 inches) and cooking surface (10 inches) compared to Heritage Steel’s pans (12.5 inches and 9 inches, respectively). Made In’s pan also has slightly taller walls and weighs a few ounces more.

Exterior Finish: Made In and Heritage Steel’s Eater Series have a brushed exterior finish, while the Heritage Steel Titanium Series has a polished finish. Although the polished finish looks nice, fingerprints and smudges are more visible.

Handles: Made In and Heritage Steel’s Eater Series handles are flat on top and bottom. The Heritage Steel Titanium Series handle is more rounded and gets thinner towards the end.

Rivets: Heritage Steel’s rivets protrude more from the pan’s surface than Made In’s.

Heat Conduction and Retention: Based on my testing, the Made In pan heats up the fastest and retains heat the longest, followed by the Heritage Steel Eater Series and then the Titanium Series. However, all three pans perform well in real-world cooking situations.

Where It’s Made: Heritage Steel manufactures all its pans in its own factory in Clarksville, Tennessee, USA. Made In partners with manufacturers around the world, and its stainless steel pans are currently made in Italy.

Price: Heritage Steel’s Titanium Series is the most expensive, followed closely by Made In, while Heritage Steel’s Eater Series is the most affordable option among the three collections.

Should You Buy Made In or Heritage Steel?

Go with Made In if you prioritize performance and don’t mind paying more. Heritage Steel’s Titanium Series is the most durable and resistant to pitting, but its rounded handle is not as secure. Heritage Steel’s Eater Series offers similar quality and performance to Made In at a lower price point. Plus, buying Heritage Steel supports a small, family-owned, USA-based business. Ultimately, all three options are excellent choices.

Read more reviews and compare current prices at the links below:


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Comparison Chart

Made InHeritage Titanium SeriesHeritage Steel Eater Series
Price$$$ (Made In)$$$$ (Heritage Steel)$$ (Heritage Steel)
Where It’s MadeItalyClarksville, TNClarksville, TN
Materials5-ply stainless steel (aluminum core)5-ply stainless steel (316Ti cooking surface and aluminum core)5-ply stainless steel (aluminum core)
Exterior FinishBrushedPolishedBrushed
Total Diameter (in)1312.512.5
Flat Cooking Surface (in)1099
Wall Height (in)21.91.9
Weight (lb)3.22.92.8
Thickness (mm)333
Handle Length (in)8.17.78.0
Oven Safe Temp800°F800°F800°F
Induction CompatibleYesYesYes
Time to Boil 2 Cups of Water (m:ss)2:213:152:53
Water Temp After 10 Min106°F98°F99°F
*Specifications in the table are based on each brand’s 12-inch frying pan

Difference 1: Product Offerings

Heritage Steel is solely focused on producing high-quality stainless steel cookware. They don’t offer non-stick or other disposable cookware (they don’t believe in it).

For years, they only made one option: the Titanium Series. But in late 2023, they released a second offering in partnership with Eater.com: the Eater Series.

Heritage Steel Titanium Series frying pan and Eater Series frying pan
Heritage Steel Titanium Series (left), Eater Series (right)

The Titanium Series is slightly more expensive than the Eater Series. It features a polished exterior, rounded handles, and a 316Ti steel interior, which offers superior corrosion resistance and durability than the 304-grade 18/10 stainless steel used in the Eater Series.

Made In offers a wider variety of cookware types, including stainless steel, non-stick, carbon steel, copper, and enameled cast iron. However, they only have one stainless steel cookware collection.

Made In stainless steel fry pan
Made In stainless steel fry pan

For this comparison, I’ll focus on how Made In’s stainless steel cookware compares to Heritage Steel’s two stainless steel series, as they are the most similar in terms of material and intended use.

Difference 2: Materials

Made In and Heritage Steel stainless steel pans are both 5-ply (made of 5 bonded layers) with a magnetic steel bottom layer and a triple-layer aluminum core. However, the steel they use on the interior differs.

I mentioned briefly that Heritage Steel’s Titanium Series features a 316Ti stainless steel cooking surface. This alloy is reinforced with titanium and molybdenum to make it more durable and resistant to pitting.

Heritage Steel Cookware Interior
Heritage Steel Titanium Series Interior

Made In and Heritage Steel’s Eater Series use the industry standard 304-Grade 18/10 stainless steel for their cooking surfaces. While this is a high-quality material, it doesn’t offer the same level of corrosion resistance as 316Ti stainless steel.

Made In frying pan and Heritage Steel Eater Series frying pan
Made In (left), Heritage Steel Eater Series (right)

That said, if you take proper care and avoid adding salt to cold water in the pan, pitting shouldn’t happen with Made In or Heritage Steel cookware. In the several years I’ve used Made In, I’ve never had a problem with pitting or corrosion.

Difference 3: Size and Shape

At a glance, Made In and Heritage Steel pans appear to be the same shape and size. But when you pull out the measuring tape and look closer, you’ll notice some differences. Let’s use both brand’s 12-inch frying pans as an example.

Although these pans are advertised as 12-inch frying pans, they’re actually larger due to their flared rims.

Diameter of Made In 12 inch frying pan
Diameter of Made In 12 inch frying pan

The Made In pan has a rim-to-rim diameter of 13 inches, while both Heritage Steel pans (Titanium and Eater Series) have a total diameter of about 12.5 inches.

Diameter of Heritage Steel 12 inch frying pan
Diameter of Heritage Steel 12 inch frying pan

Made In’s cooking surface is also larger at 10 inches. The cooking surface of both Heritage Steel pans is approximately 9 inches.

Diameter of Made In frying pan cooking surface
Diameter of Made In frying pan cooking surface
Diameter of Heritage Steel frying pan cooking surface
Diameter of Heritage Steel frying pan cooking surface

The walls of Made In pans are slightly taller, measuring 2 inches from the counter to the top of the rim. Heritage Steel’s pans are just under 2 inches tall.

Heritage Steel and Made In side wall height
Heritage Steel (left), Made In (right)

Although the difference is subtle, Made In’s taller walls allow you to fit more ingredients that pile up high, like kale and spinach.

Since the Made In pan is slightly wider and taller, it’s also a few ounces heavier at 3.2 pounds. Both Heritage Steel pans weigh 2.9 pounds.

Difference 4: Exterior Finish

Made In and Heritage Steel’s Eater Series pans have a brushed exterior finish, which provides a modern, matte look. The Heritage Steel Titanium Series has a polished exterior finish.

Exterior of Made In Heritage Steel Titanium and Heritage Steel Eater Series pans
Made In (left), Heritage Steel Titanium (middle), Heritage Steel Eater Series (right)

Although I appreciate the classic look of a glossy, polished pan, I prefer brushed because fingerprints and smudges are less noticeable. Also, polished pans, like Heritage Steel Titanium, tend to patina and look more brushed over time.

Difference 5: Handles

Made In and Heritage Steel’s Eater Series handles look almost identical, but Made In’s handle gradually widens as it extends away from the pan. Heritage Steel’s handle maintains a consistent width throughout.

Heritage Steel Eater Series and Made In handles
Heritage Steel Eater Series (left), Made In (right)

Also, Heritage Steel’s handle forks just before it meets the pan. This design disperses heat and keeps the handle cool.

Made In’s handle doesn’t have this forked design but I haven’t noticed a significant difference in heat retention between the two. Both handles stay cool on the stove.

When comparing Made In’s handle to the Heritage Steel Titanium Series, the differences become more apparent.

Heritage Steel Titanium Series and Made In handles
Heritage Steel Titanium Series (left), Made In (right)

Made In’s handle is slightly longer than 8 inches, while Heritage Steel’s handle is slightly shorter. As mentioned earlier, Made In’s handle widens towards the end, while Heritage Steel’s handle gets thinner.

Also, Made In’s handle is flatter, while Heritage Steel’s handle is more rounded on the bottom.

Heritage Steel Titanium Series and Made In handles
Heritage Steel Titanium Series (front), Made In (back)

Handle design ultimately comes down to personal preference, but I prefer Made In and Heritage Steel Eater Series handles because they’re more comfortable and practical. Their flatter design reduces the likelihood of the handle rotating in your hand, especially when our hand is greasy or wet.

The wider end of the Made In and Heritage Steel Eater handles allows you to keep your hand slightly farther away from the pan. With Heritage Steel Titanium, the end of the handle is too thin to grasp securely.

Difference 6: Rivets

Heritage Steel’s rivets protrude more from the surface of the pan than Made In’s rivets.

Heritage Steel frying pan rivets
Heritage Steel rivets
Made In frying pan rivets
Made In rivets

Food particles and grime can accumulate around the rivets over time, so the flatter, the better.

Difference 7: Heat Conduction and Retention

I’ve been cooking with Made In and Heritage Steel Titanium Series pans for years and the Eater Series pan since it came out in late 2023.

Salmon skin seared in a Heritage Steel pan
Salmon skin seared in a Heritage Steel pan

I’ve cooked dozens of meals in each pan and all three heat fast and evenly and retain heat well. Whether you’re searing meat, cooking pancakes, making a pan sauce, or even cooking eggs, both brands do the job well.

Cooking a pancake in a Heritage Steel Eater Series pan
Cooking a pancake in a Heritage Steel Eater Series pan

Based on head-to-head tests I conducted, Made In and Heritage Steel perform on par with All-Clad, a much more established (and expensive) brand.

Made In versus All-Clad chicken cutlets
All-Clad (left), Made In (right)

In addition to my real-world testing in the kitchen, I conducted two controlled experiments with both brands to see which conducts and retains heat better.

The first test measures heat conduction. I poured two cups of cold (55°F) water into the Made In and two Heritage Steel pans. One by one, I placed them on the same burner and turned the heat to high.

The Made In pan heated up the fastest. The water came to a full boil after 2 minutes and 21 seconds. The Heritage Steel Eater Series pan came in second, boiling the water at the 2-minute and 53-second mark. The Heritage Steel Titanium Series pan heated the slowest. The water in that pan started boiling after 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

I conduct this test with every pan I review, and below are the results:

PanTime to First BubblesTime to Boil
Farberware1 minute and 2 seconds1 minute and 29 seconds
All-Clad G5 fry pan1 minute and 17 seconds2 minutes and 4 seconds
Hestan CopperBond fry pan1 minute and 23 seconds2 minutes and 7 seconds
All-Clad Copper Core fry pan1 minute and 21 seconds2 minutes and 18 seconds
Henckels HXagon fry pan1 minute and 36 seconds2 minutes and 19 seconds
Made In stainless steel fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 21 seconds
Anolon X pan1 minute and 35 seconds2 minutes and 22 seconds
Misen fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 25 seconds
Caraway1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 26 seconds
Anolon Advanced fry pan1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 27 seconds
HexClad fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 30 seconds
Made In non-stick fry pan1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
Zwilling fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
T-fal fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Gotham Steel fry pan1 minute and 58 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Cooksy fry pan1 minute and 47 seconds2 minutes and 35 seconds
Rachael Ray fry pan1 minute and 47 seconds2 minutes and 36 seconds
Viking fry pan1 minute and 42 seconds2 minutes and 39 seconds
Calphalon fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 40 seconds
Sardel fry pan1 minute and 41 seconds2 minutes and 46 seconds
Pioneer Woman fry pan2 minutes and 2 seconds2 minutes and 46 seconds
Hestan NanoBond fry pan1 minute and 52 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
GreenLife pan2 minutes and 11 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
Our Place Always Pan2 minutes and 2 seconds2 minutes and 48 seconds
Ninja NeverStick Pan2 minutes and 7 seconds2 minutes and 49 seconds
Tramontina fry pan1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 52 seconds
Heritage Steel Eater fry pan1 minute and 57 seconds2 minutes and 53 seconds
Circulon fry pan2 minutes and 7 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad D3 fry pan1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad HA1 fry pan2 minutes and 12 seconds2 minutes and 58 seconds
All-Clad NS Pro fry pan2 minutes and 9 seconds3 minutes and 3 seconds
All-Clad D5 fry pan1 minutes and 58 seconds3 minutes and 4 seconds
Goldilocks fry pan2 minutes and 17 seconds3 minutes and 5 seconds
Demeyere Industry fry pan2 minutes and 3 seconds3 minutes and 10 seconds
Ballarini fry pan2 minutes and 15 seconds3 minutes and 12 seconds
Heritage Steel Titanium fry pan1 minute and 59 seconds3 minutes and 15 seconds
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan2 minutes and 11 seconds3 minutes and 25 seconds
Xtrema fry pan3 minutes and 41 seconds6 minutes and 7 seconds

After boiling the water, I removed each pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.

After 10 minutes, the water in the Made In pan was 106°F, the water in the Heritage Steel Eater Series pan was 99°F, and the water in the Heritage Steel Titanium Series pan was 98°F.

Heritage Steel Heat Retention Results After 10 Minutes
Heritage Steel Heat Retention Results After 10 Minutes

Of the 45 pans I’ve tested (results below), 99°F is the average heat retention score. So Heritage Steel’s heat retention is on par with most brands, and Made In’s score is well above average. That said, I haven’t noticed a major difference in the kitchen — all three pans maintain a steady temperature, even when you add cold ingredients.

PanTemperature After 5 MinutesTemperature After 10 Minutes
Xtrema fry pan142°F113°F
Made In stainless steel fry pan121.1°F106.6°F
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan122.0°F106.3°F
Made In non-stick fry pan120.2°F105.8°F
Ninja NeverStick Pan130.5°F104.8°F
Misen fry pan118.6°F103.4°F
Zwilling fry pan121.1°F103.0°F
Rachael Ray fry pan126.3°F102.7°F
Goldilocks fry pan122.0°F102.5°F
HexClad fry pan120.7°F102.4°F
Circulon fry pan133.3°F102.0°F
Tramontina fry pan118.5°F101.3°F
Cooksy fry pan117.9°F101.2°F
Calphalon fry pan112.8°F101.1°F
All-Clad D3 skillet111.6°F100.9°F
Ballarini fry pan120°F99.9°F
Heritage Steel Eater119.6°F99.4°F
Heritage Steel Titanium120.1°F98.2°F
All-Clad HA1 fry pan117.9°F98.1°F
Hestan fry pan114.4°F98.0°F
Sardel fry pan114.0°F97.8°F
All-Clad NS Pro fry pan116.0°F97.3°F
All-Clad D5 fry pan112.7°F97.3°F
Henckels HXagon fry pan113.5°F96.7°F
Our Place Always Pan118.0°F96.7°F
Demeyere Industry fry pan115.2°F96.6°F
All-Clad G5 fry pan115.3°F96.6°F
Caraway fry pan116.6°F96.4°F
Anolon X pan114.1°F96.0°F
Viking fry pan106.6°F95.9°F
All-Clad Copper Core fry pan117.7°F95.5°F
Farberware fry pan112.0°F95.4°F
GreenLife fry pan119.0°F95.0°F
Gotham Steel fry pan113.0°F95.0°F
Anolon Advanced fry pan112.7°F90.9°F
Pioneer Woman fry pan104.3°F90.9°F
T-fal fry pan108.7°F88.0°F

Difference 8: Where It Is Made

Unlike many cookware brands that outsource manufacturing to China, every Heritage Steel pan is made in their owned and operated factory in Clarksville, Tennessee. And it’s been that way since the company launched over 40 years ago.

Each pan starts as a flat disc that’s punched into shape by a forming press. After that, they trim the excess material around the rims. Then, it goes through a series of grinding and polishing to smooth the edges and surface and create the final finish. This hand-grinding and polishing result in noticeably smoother edges around the rims compared to most brands, including Made In.

Heritage Steel pan smooth edges
Heritage Steel pan smooth edges
Made In pan squared edges
Made In pan squared edges

Holes are punched for the handles, which are attached by rivets. Each piece is carefully inspected by hand, and if it’s not perfect, it doesn’t get sold.

A significant amount of skill, care, and hand-crafting go into making each Heritage Steel pan. It’s not a company that mass-produces thousands of pans per day. And by manufacturing in the USA in their own facilities, they have complete control over all the details and processes.

Made In partners with cookware manufacturers around the world to produce its pans. It doesn’t own or operate any manufacturing facilities. Currently, Made In’s stainless steel pans are made in Italy.

Interestingly, Made In used to partner with Heritage Steel. That’s right; Heritage Steel was the unnamed manufacturer behind Made In’s stainless steel pans. This explains the similarities between the two brands.

I have an old Made In pan from when the brand first launched, and the rivets protrude just like Heritage Steel’s do today. When Made In switched to an Italian manufacturer, the new rivets became flatter.

Difference 9: Price

Made In and Heritage Steel fall into the mid to high-end range of the cookware market. They’re not as expensive as luxury brands like All-Clad, Hestan, and Demeyere, but they’re also not as budget-friendly as brands like Tramontina, Cuisinart, Misen, and Goldilocks.

Among the three collections, Heritage Steel’s Titanium Series is the most expensive, followed closely by Made In, while Heritage Steel’s Eater Series is the most affordable option.

Check out the current prices of Made In on MadeInCookware.com and Amazon. View Heritage Steel’s prices on HeritageSteel.us and Amazon.

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Made In or Heritage Steel?

If you’re looking for the best overall performance and don’t mind paying a bit more, Made In is the way to go. It conducted heat the fastest and retained heat the longest in my tests.

If you prioritize durability and resistance to pitting, Heritage Steel’s Titanium Series is the clear choice. Its 316Ti stainless steel cooking surface is built to last, but its rounded handle is not as secure as the other options.

Heritage Steel’s Eater Series is the best value. It looks, feels, and performs like Made In but costs less. Plus, it’s made in the USA.

Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with Made In or Heritage Steel. Both brands are well-made, durable, high performing, and will last a really long time.

Read more reviews and compare current prices at the links below:

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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