Millennials eat out too much. We can’t afford to buy homes because we spend all our money on avocado toast. But millennials are also the ones reinventing the cookware industry. In 2017, Misen rendered the knife block obsolete by replacing it with a single do-it-all alternative—all via Kickstarter. Last year, Sierra Tishgart and Maddy Moelis answered our collective one-pot meal dreams with Great Jones, a rainbow-hued line of affordable (and Instagram-friendly) Dutch ovens. But that was only the beginning.
With entertaining season on the horizon, a new wave of direct-to-consumer cookware is hitting the digital shelves with the hopes of fixing everything that’s wrong with our plain old pots and pans; we’re talking fewer toxins, more versatility, and better storage solutions. “The kitchen is the cornerstone of the home, and yet our generation has the most complicated relationship with home cooking in relation to previous generations,” says Tyler Sgro, general manager of Equal Parts. “It’s because cooking in 2019 is a challenge: There’s little time, shrinking space, and a shortage of personalized inspiration.”
While we’re not about to get more hours in a day or more room in our cupboards, these new brands are aiming to bring us back to the kitchen—and so far, it’s working. If millennials truly don’t cook, why are we buying up all this cookware?
The One That Teaches You How to Cook: Equal Parts
Launched in September, Equal Parts offers good-looking cookware with one major selling point: an on-demand cooking coach available to answer any questions and offer advice, from knife tips to meal-prep ideas and even what to put on your grocery list. “Most people text our culinary experts what’s in their fridge and work with their coach to freestyle a meal from there with what’s on hand,” explains Sgro. Naturally, the pots and pans also come with a slew of bells and whistles, from quick-heat technology to clean materials and easy-to-clean nonstick surfaces.
The Nontoxic Alternative: Caraway Home
Jordan Nathan got the idea for Caraway Home (available tomorrow!) after getting a case of Teflon poisoning, so it’s no surprise that nontoxic materials are at the heart of the brand. But if PTFE-free coatings aren’t exactly sexy, the pots’ palette of moody hues certainly are, featuring sage green, cream, terra-cotta, navy, and light gray. “We created the palette to feel dusty and desaturated (which is normally accompanied by a matte finish), but added a gloss finish to create a unique contrast,” explains the founder and CEO. Plus, the cookware set comes with a magnetic storage system that makes putting pots and pans away extra easy.
The Small-Space Solution: Our Place
Shiza Shahid doesn’t believe in clutter. That’s why the Our Place founder created one pan to replace a 16-piece set. Like other options out there, the skillet-meets-pot is nontoxic and nonstick, but it also includes a nesting spatula and steamer basket to help you tackle virtually any recipe. The brand is value-driven at its core: “Whether it’s creating packaging that is free of plastics and 100% biodegradable or using the best possible materials in our products, in everything we do, we are constantly asking how we can show up in a way that is better for the world,” says Shahid. “We believe every choice we make offers us an opportunity to be better.”
The One That Reinvented History: Sardel
The three brothers behind Sardel, Daniel, Ross, and Andrew Kamhi, grew up cooking together as a family, so it was only natural that they partnered with a third-generation Italian family business to manufacture their cookware. Contrary to its counterparts, Sardel chose five-ply stainless steel as their material of choice and boasts a no-frills style. “Our products have a lifetime guarantee and are built to last, so it was important for us to design products that are timeless and not necessarily on-trend,” explains Daniel. Even better: The high-quality product is half the price of traditional options.
Now, who’s itching to get back in the kitchen?
Discover more kitchen tools we love:
6 Pro Entertainers Share Their Favorite Dutch Ovens
It Took Me 4 Years to Commit to a Knife Set—This One Was Worth the Wait
This $13 Kitchen Tool Makes Me Feel Like a Master Chef