You’ll learn about its design, materials, performance, and how it compares to popular cookware brands like All-Clad and Made In.
Use the links below to navigate the article:
- Key Takeaways
- Materials and Construction
- Sardel vs. the Competition
- FAQs About Sardel Cookware
- Bottom Line: Is Sardel Cookware Worth Buying?
Sardel Cookware Review: Key Takeaways
Below is a quick overview of the pros and cons of Sardel cookware. Throughout the full review, I provide a much more detailed analysis and share photos I captured during testing.
- Thick Construction (Stainless Steel): The stainless steel cookware has 5-ply construction with 2.7 mm thick walls, an optimal thickness for balancing heat retention and weight.
- Even Heating: With a triple-layer aluminum core, Sardel pans heat fast and evenly. The performance is reliable and consistent.
- Flared Rims: The stainless steel and non-stick pans feature flared rims for drip-free pouring.
- Sealed/Rolled Rims: The rims are rounded and sealed, eliminating the risk of delamination or sharp edges, a common problem in other brands.
- Long Handles: The handles on stainless steel and non-stick cookware are 9 inches long, and carbon steel handles are 10 inches. Many other brands like Made In and Goldilocks have 8 inches handles. The extra 1-2 inches allow you to keep your hand further from the heat.
- Lightweight Carbon Steel: The carbon steel pans have thin 1.9 mm walls, making them light and highly responsive to temperature changes.
- Efficient Non-Stick Coating: The non-stick coating allows food to glide off effortlessly, requiring only a little oil for cooking.
- Slippery Handles: The rounded shape of the handles on the stainless steel and non-stick pans can cause the pan to slip when you tilt or pour, especially with wet or greasy hands.
- Honeycomb Pattern: The honeycomb pattern on the non-stick pans traps food and oil, requiring more scrubbing, which, over time, will degrade the coating faster.
- Unseasoned Carbon Steel: The carbon steel pans arrive unseasoned (most brands offer pre-seasoned carbon steel cookware), so you need to season them before the first use.
- Online Only: Sardel cookware is only available on SardelKitchen.com or Amazon. You can’t pick up and hold these pans before buying them.
- Unproven Brand: As a relatively new brand (launched in 2019), Sardel doesn’t have a long history or track record. It’s a small start-up company with limited reviews outside of its own website. When I called their customer service line to ask a question, no one picked up. Will this brand be around in a few years? We’ll see.
Sardel is a start-up cookware brand that performs as well as established names like All-Clad and Demeyere. It has thick walls, a wide cooking surface, and an attractive polished exterior. If you’re okay with the round handles, Sardel is worth buying. The best alternative is Made In (MadeInCookware.com). It’s made in Italy and features the same construction. However, the handles are flatter, and the exterior has a sleek brushed finish.
Sardel makes three types of cookware: stainless steel, non-stick, and carbon steel. Here’s an up-close look at the design of each.
Sardel stainless steel and non-stick cookware both have the same exterior. The sides have a polished mirror-like stainless steel finish.
The bottom has a brushed circular pattern with “SARDEL” and “Made In Italy” printed in the middle.
The rim is rounded and sealed. Why does that matter? With a sealed rim, the layered construction isn’t exposed, reducing the chance of delamination or sharp edges, a notorious issue that landed All-Clad in legal hot water.
Sardel’s carbon steel cookware arrives unseasoned. Seasoning carbon steel pans involves coating them with a thin layer of oil and heating them to create a non-stick surface (learn the best method in this guide). It’s a crucial first step before you start cooking.
Because it’s unseasoned, the initial appearance of the exterior is gray. But as you season and use the pan, you’ll notice the finish darkening; over time, it will take on an almost black hue.
As the pan darkens, it’s normal for some areas to be darker than others. As the seasoning develops, the tone will become more consistent.
The interior of Sardel’s stainless steel pans has a circular brushed finish. The walls of the frying pan slope gradually and finish with flared rims for drip-free pouring.
The 12-frying pan measures 12 inches from rim to rim, but the diameter of the flat cooking surface is 9.5 inches. These dimensions are similar to brands like All-Clad, Made In, and Goldilocks.
The large surface provides plenty of room to sear two large steaks or four chicken breasts.
Sardel makes its non-stick cookware by applying a non-stick coating to the cooking surface so the shape and size are identical.
However, the non-stick pans don’t have a traditional smooth texture. Instead, they feature a honeycomb pattern. Sardel claims this unique pattern “creates a highly effective and durable non-stick surface that’s also incredibly easy to clean.”
I was skeptical about the durability claims, so I reached out to Sardel, and they said, “It is more for the food release than durability. It helps create more surface area in the pan, allowing the non-stick properties to work better.”
However, in my experience, Sardel’s food release is no better than a typical smooth non-stick pan. And if anything, the honeycomb pattern might make the surface easier to scratch because it traps food bits and oil and requires more scrubbing to clean.
It reminds me of Circulon’s TOTAL Non-Stick System — a raised circular pattern on the cooking surface intended to prevent scratches. But, in my experience, the pattern reduced its food release properties and made the pan more difficult to clean.
The interior of Sardel carbon steel pans is smooth, but unlike the brand’s stainless steel and non-stick pans, the rims are not flared. This design does a better job keeping food contained but makes pouring liquids and sliding food like eggs onto a plate more challenging.
At 9 inches, the handles on Sardel’s stainless steel and non-stick cookware are long. They provide plenty of space to grip without getting close to the heat. The handle forks before the base to disperse heat and keep the handles cool.
Unlike All-Clad and Made In, which have flat or concave handles, Sardel handles are round. While this design adds comfort, be aware it increases the chances that the handle will rotate in your hand.
The handles can easily slip if your hand is wet or greasy and you tilt the pan. For example, if you’re wearing an oven mitt and go to pour pasta from the pot into a strainer, your hand could rotate, and you could lose your grip.
Sardel carbon steel handles are flat with a concave center, providing comfort and security. They are also one inch longer (10 inches) than the stainless steel and non-stick handles.
Sardel stainless steel cookware features 5-ply construction with a thick triple-layer aluminum core sandwiched between two layers of steel.
The walls are 2.7 mm thick, which, in my opinion, is an optimal thickness — there’s enough mass for excellent heat retention, but it’s not so thick that it’s difficult to maneuver.
The 12-inch Sardel pan weighs 3 pounds. For context, the Made In and All-Clad D5 12-inch stainless steel fry pans are around the same thickness and weight.
The aluminum conducts heat fast and evenly, while the steel provides a durable, non-reactive surface so you can cook any ingredient and use any cooktop (including induction).
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Brands like Made In, Heritage Steel, Misen, and Demeyere Industry, use the same aluminum-core 5-ply construction.
The non-stick cookware has the same base construction as the stainless steel. However, as mentioned, the interior is coated with a PTFE non-stick layer with a unique honeycomb pattern.
The carbon steel pans are constructed from unseasoned carbon steel (99% iron, 1% carbon). And yes, ‘unseasoned’ means you’ll need to season it before using it. But as the seasoning develops, the food release properties of these pans improve.
It’s worth noting that, at 1.9 mm, the walls of Sardel carbon steel pans are relatively thin. The 10-inch pan only weighs 2.6 pounds.
For comparison, the 10-inch Made In carbon steel pan weighs 3 pounds. With thinner walls, Sardel heats faster and is easier to move, but it won’t retain heat as well as thicker brands like Made In and Mauviel.
I’ve been testing Sardel Cookware for several months, cooking various meals, including steaks, chicken thighs and breasts, vegetables like peppers and onions, fluffy pancakes, and delicate eggs.
The first thing I noticed was the heft of the stainless steel and non-stick pans. The thick 2.7 mm walls provide a sturdy and durable feel.
But despite the thickness, these pans aren’t overly heavy. Unless you have weak wrists or arthritis, you should have no problem handling these pans with one hand.
Another positive I noticed is how evenly these pans heat. When searing salmon, steak, and chicken, the crust was uniform, and the inside of the meat cooked perfectly.
In addition to heating evenly, Sardel pans have excellent heat control (when you turn the dial down, they respond fast). I noticed this when cooking pancakes and accidentally turned the heat too high. When I turned the dial down, the pan cooled quickly so the food didn’t burn.
Sardel’s non-stick coating is worth mentioning too. With a bit of oil, food glides off effortlessly. Whether it was eggs or pancakes, there were no issues with sticking.
Finally, the carbon steel pans heat up fast due to their thin walls, and they’re much easier to maneuver than most brands I’ve tested. And unlike the stainless steel and non-stick pans, there’s no risk of the flat handle rotating in your hand. It’s not the most comfortable handle, but it’s safe.
But it’s not all perfection.
My biggest complaint lies with the rounded handles. They are long and comfortable and stay cool on the stove, but the round shape caused my hand to slip several times during my testing. You have to be very careful when tilting or pouring, especially with wet or greasy hands.
Food sticks to Sardel stainless steel pans without the proper cooking techniques, but that’s typical for stainless steel. It’s something that can even be turned to an advantage when deglazing the pan to make a delicious pan sauce.
Also, I noticed some sticking on the non-stick pan when cooking eggs without oil. Eggs and other delicate foods can stick if you don’t use enough oil or butter. A traditional non-stick pan doesn’t require much, or even any, oil to prevent sticking. But that’s not the case with Sardel due to the honeycomb pattern.
Also, the grooves in the honeycomb pattern tend to collect food bits and grime, and though it’s easy to clean, the extra few seconds of scrubbing over time can degrade the coating faster.
Overall, I’m a fan of Sardel’s performance. The pans heat quickly, maintain a stable temperature, and deliver consistent results. Besides the rounded handle design, this cookware passes the test.
In addition to the real-world testing in the kitchen, I also conducted two controlled experiments to see how Sardel’s heat conduction and retention compare to the competition.
The first test measures heat conduction, which is a pan’s ability to heat up fast and evenly. First, I poured two cups of cold (55°F) water into the Sardel 12-inch stainless steel fry pan. Then, I placed the pan on the stove and turned the heat to high.
Bubbles began to form after just one minute and 41 seconds, and the water came to a full boil after two minutes and 46 seconds.
As the pan heated, the bubbles were uniform across the cooking surface, which is a sign that the pan distributed heat evenly.
I conduct this test with every pan I review, and as you can see in the results below, Sardel falls in the middle of the pack. It’s not the slowest to heat, but not the fastest. It’s on par with brands like Calphalon, Hestan, and Ninja.
|Pan||Time to First Bubbles||Time to Boil|
|Farberware||1 minute and 2 seconds||1 minute and 29 seconds|
|Made In stainless steel fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 21 seconds|
|Anolon X pan||1 minute and 35 seconds||2 minutes and 22 seconds|
|Misen fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Caraway||1 minute and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 26 seconds|
|Anolon Advanced fry pan||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 27 seconds|
|HexClad fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 30 seconds|
|Made In non-stick fry pan||1 minute and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 31 seconds|
|Zwilling fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 31 seconds|
|T-fal fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 32 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|
|Viking fry pan||1 minute and 42 seconds||2 minute and 39 seconds|
|Calphalon fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 40 seconds|
|Sardel fry pan||1 minute and 41 seconds||2 minute and 46 seconds|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||2 minute and 2 seconds||2 minute and 46 seconds|
|Hestan fry pan||1 minute and 52 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|GreenLife pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|Our Place Always Pan||2 minutes and 2 seconds||2 minutes and 48 seconds|
|Ninja NeverStick Pan||2 minutes and 7 seconds||2 minutes and 49 seconds|
|Tramontina fry pan||1 minute and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 52 seconds|
|Circulon fry pan||2 minutes and 7 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|All-Clad D3 skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|All-Clad HA1 fry pan||2 minute and 12 seconds||2 minute and 58 seconds|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||2 minutes and 3 seconds||3 minutes and 10 seconds|
|Ballarini fry pan||2 minutes and 15 seconds||3 minutes and 12 seconds|
|Heritage Steel fry pan||1 minutes and 59 seconds||3 minutes and 15 seconds|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||3 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Xtrema fry pan||3 minutes and 41 seconds||6 minutes and 7 seconds|
The second test measures heat retention, which is a pan’s ability to maintain its temperature. You want a pan that will stay hot when you add cold ingredients. If you place a cold steak into a hot pan and the pan cools down, you won’t get an even sear, and the meat will steam instead of creating a crust.
After boiling the water, I removed the pan and set it on the counter to cool. After five minutes, the water temperature measured 114°F.
After ten minutes, the water was 97°F.
Again, Sardel’s performance was average compared to the industry. It retains heat at the same rate as brands like Hestan, Demeyere Industry, and Caraway. Thicker cookware, like Demeyere Atlantis (5 mm), retains heat much better than Sardel.
|Pan||Temperature After 5 Minutes||Temperature After 10 Minutes|
|Xtrema fry pan||142°F||113°F|
|Made In stainless steel fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°F|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||122.0°F||106.3°F|
|Made In non-stick fry pan||120.2°F||105.8°F|
|Ninja NeverStick Pan||130.5°F||104.8°F|
|Misen fry pan||118.6°F||103.4°F|
|Zwilling fry pan||121.1°F||103.0°F|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||126.3°F||102.7°F|
|HexClad fry pan||120.7°F||102.4°F|
|Circulon fry pan||133.3°F||102.0°F|
|Tramontina fry pan||118.5°F||101.3°F|
|Calphalon fry pan||112.8°F||101.1°F|
|All-Clad D3 skillet||111.6°F||100.9°F|
|Ballarini fry pan||120°F||99.9°F|
|All-Clad HA1 fry pan||117.9°F||98.1°F|
|Hestan fry pan||114.4°F||98.0°F|
|Sardel fry pan||114.0°F||97.8°F|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||115.2°F||96.6°F|
|Our Place Always Pan||118.0°F||96.7°F|
|Caraway fry pan||116.6°F||96.4°F|
|Anolon X pan||114.1°F||96.0°F|
|Viking fry pan||106.6°F||95.9°F|
|Farberware fry pan||112.0°F||95.4°F|
|GreenLife fry pan||119.0°F||95.0°F|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||113.0°F||95.0°F|
|Anolon Advanced fry pan||112.7°F||90.9°F|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||104.3°F||90.9°F|
|T-fal fry pan||108.7°F||88.0°F|
Check the current prices on SardelKitchen.com.
There’s a lot to like about Sardel, but no cookware brand is perfect. These are the downsides to consider before buying.
Slippery Handles: The comfort of the rounded handles comes with a slight drawback. They can become slippery during maneuvers like pouring, sliding, or tilting the pan, especially if your hands are wet or greasy.
Honeycomb Pattern: While visually appealing, the unique honeycomb pattern on the non-stick pans can pose a challenge. Your cooking tools might get caught in the grooves, increasing the risk of scratching or chipping the coating. Furthermore, food particles can lodge in these recesses, requiring additional scrubbing that could degrade the non-stick surface over time.
Carbon Steel Pre-Seasoning: For home cooks considering the carbon steel options, remember they aren’t pre-seasoned. You’ll need to spend a bit of time cleaning and seasoning them before cooking a meal.
Limited Products: Sardel focuses on essential pieces, so the options are limited. They only offer two skillets (10- and 12-inch), two saucepans (2- and 3.5-quart), one saute pan (4-quart), and one stock pot (quart). Unlike its competitors, it doesn’t make sauciers, woks, griddles, Dutch ovens, or specialty pieces.
Online-Only Sales: Since Sardel cookware is sold exclusively online, you don’t have the opportunity to handle these items in person before purchasing. That might be a turn-off if you like to gauge the feel and weight of cookware in your hands before committing to a purchase.
Long Shipping Times: Some users have reported long shipping times, meaning you might need to wait several weeks before your cookware arrives. That could be an issue if you’re eager to upgrade your kitchenware quickly.
Unproven: Sardel launched in 2019, so the company doesn’t have a long history or track record. It’s a start-up company with only a few employees. The website offers limited information about how the cookware is made or why it’s better than the competition. The product pages don’t include key specs like weight.
I called the customer service number published on Sardel’s website to see if anyone would pick up, and I got forwarded to voicemail with no voice prompts stating that I reached Sardel.
The point is; this is a small, unproven company built in the “direct-to-consumer” era. It reminds me of another cookware brand, Abbio, which made quality products but could never break through and eventually went out of business. I hope Sardel can make it work, but it’s a competitive industry with dozens of more established brands.
Do you still have questions about Sardel? Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions.
How is Sardel 5-ply cookware made?
The term 5-ply in Sardel’s cookware references the five metal layers used in its creation. There are two external stainless steel layers sandwiching a 3-layer aluminum core. The aluminum conducts heat fast and evenly, while the steel adds a non-reactive and durable outer surface.
How do you season Sardel carbon steel cookware?
To season your Sardel carbon steel pan, remove the protective oil coating applied for shipping. You do this by washing the pan under hot water, scrubbing it thoroughly with a mild dish soap and a soft-bristle brush or sponge.
Once cleaned, dry the pan on the stovetop over medium heat. After it cools, add a few drops of high-smoke-point oil, like canola or vegetable oil, spreading it evenly over the entire pan with a paper towel. Wipe off the excess oil, then heat the pan on the stove until it smokes slightly. Allow it to cool completely, and repeat this process 3-4 times until the pan changes color.
Is Sardel cookware oven-safe?
Yes, Sardel cookware is oven safe. The stainless steel and carbon steel pans can withstand up to 500°F, while the non-stick version can handle temperatures up to 480°F. Note: the non-stick pan is not broiler safe.
Is Sardel cookware dishwasher-safe?
The stainless steel skillets from Sardel are dishwasher safe. However, you should avoid putting carbon steel skillets in the dishwasher. In general, I always recommend hand washing cookware to extend its longevity.
What types of cooktops does Sardel cookware work on?
Sardel cookware is compatible with all induction, gas, and electric stovetops.
Where is Sardel cookware made?
Sardel cookware is produced in Italy in a factory with over a century’s experience manufacturing cookware.
Where does Sardel cookware ship?
Sardel currently ships throughout the United States and Canada (orders must exceed $550 to ship to Canada).
What is Sardel’s return policy?
You can test Sardel cookware for 30 days. If you’re not satisfied for any reason, you can get a full refund, no questions asked. They’ll even provide you with a return shipping label for no charge.
When did Sardel launch?
Sardel officially launched in 2019. The company was started by Daniel, Ross, and Andrew Kamhi, three brothers who paired up with a third-generation family business. This partner had a legacy of manufacturing steel products in Italy since the early 1900s.
Together, they’ve been developing cookware that blends traditional craftsmanship with a modern touch. It’s not a one-and-done process — the company continually launches new products. In addition to cookware, they also offer accessories like aprons and wooden utensils and pantry items like olive oil, vinegar, and coffee.
Bottom Line: Is Sardel Cookware Worth Buying?
Now that you know the pros and cons of Sardel cookware, the question remains:
Is it worth buying?
The short answer is: it depends. On the positive side, it looks, feels, and performs like some of the top cookware brands, including Made In, All-Clad, and Demeyere. It has thick walls, a wide cooking surface, and an attractive polished exterior.
The main downside is the handles. Some people love rounded handles because they’re comfortable. But, based on my testing, they’re not as safe.
If you prefer rounded handles because of the comfort and style and aren’t worried about the risks, Sardel is an excellent choice.
But if you want similar performance but safer handles, a brand like Made In is a better option. Like Sardel, Made In cookware is made in Italy and costs almost the same. Read my Made In review or visit MadeInCookware.com to learn more.
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