December 28

Chantal Cookware: A Detailed Review

By trk

Last Updated: August 12, 2021


Chantal cookware has been around for 50 years, and steadily gaining popularity. They offer a lineup not seen from any other cookware manufacturer, including such unique features as Japanese 21/0 stainless steel, enameled carbon steel, allergen-free cookware, and more. All Chantal cookware lines are induction compatible, which may account for its growing popularity--induction cooking is also becoming more popular in the US.

Chantal also makes bakeware, assorted countertop items (salt shakers, utensil crocks, butter keepers and more), and are probably best known for their high quality tea kettles. This review covers only Chantal cookware.

see chantal products on amazon

Chantal Cookware at a Glance

Here's a summary table of the different lines of Chantal cookware.  

All Chantal cookware has these features:

  • Induction compatibility
  • Tempered glass lids (though oven-safe temp can differ).

We put an asterisk on the lines we recommend.

NOTE: Table may not be visible in mobile view.

Cookware

Rating

Features

Cons

Chantal Cookware Induction 21 7 pc. set

-21/0 stainless (nickel free)

-Oven safe to 500F

-Dripless pouring rims

-Helper handle on big pcs.

-Lifetime warranty

-4yr wty. on nonstick 

-Stainless or ceramic

-$50/85 for sklt/cer. sklt

-$250/300 for set/cer. set

-11" skillet weighs 2 lbs.

-Very small amt of copper

-Aluminum disc base provides main heat transfer

-Skillets have smallish flat cooking surface

-Made in China.

Note: This is our rating as there are no reviews yet.

Chantal 3.Clad Nonstick Skillet

-Tri-ply 18/10 stainless

-Ceramic nonstick skillets

-Dripless pouring rims

-Made in Germany

-Lifetime warranty

-$100 for skillet

-$400 for set

-Skillet only available in ceramic nonstick

-Contains nickel (not a con unless you need nickel free cookware)

-Sets not available on Amazon (yet).

Chantal AllergenWare Stock Pot

-21/0 stainless (nickel free)

-Purple stripe

-Lifetime warranty

-$45 for skillet/sauce pan

-$85 for casserole

-Made in Germany.

-Only 3 pieces available

-Small pieces

-Lid safe to only 375F.

Chantal Enamel on Steel Stock Pot

-Enameled carbon steel

-3 colors

-Dishwasher safe

--NOT nonstick enamel

-Made in Germany

-10 yr warranty

-$80/120 4qt/8qt casserole

-Casserole pots only

-Carbon steel is heavy.

Chantal Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

-Enameled cast iron

-3 colors

-Dishwasher safe

-$120/150 Dutch oven

-$80 for 10" skillet.

-2 Dutch oven sizes

-1 skillet size

-Black interior

-10 yr warranty

-Made in China.

Chantal Copper Fusion Pot

-Carbon steel/ copper/ enamel construction

-Rivet-free cooking surface

-Dishwasher safe

-$100/8" skillet

-$260 for 6qt stock pot

-Made in Germany.

-Carbon steel is heavy

-Heating not very even (small amt of copper)

-NOT nonstick enamel

-Expensive

-Tough to find sets.

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Who Is Chantal?

Chantal is an American cookware company founded by German immigrant and mechanical engineer Heida Thurlow. The company was founded in 1971 and is probably best known for their lovely tea kettles with the two-tone, harmonic whistle. They are based in Houston, Texas and manufacture cookware in Germany and China. 

Chantal is the first cookware company founded by a woman. It is also the first to bring "dramatic color, tempered glass lids, and stay-cool handles" to the cookware world. They are a privately owned company.

You can read more about the company on their website.

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What Is 21/0 Japanese Stainless Steel?

Stainless Steel Rolls

One of the first things to know when buying clad stainless cookware is that all stainless steel is not created equally. 

There are hundreds of different types and grades of stainless steel, and enough to this topic to fill a book. We'll just look at the basics so you can understand the differences between Chantal's 21/0 stainless steel and that typically used by other cookware makers. 

The vast majority of clad stainless cookware is made from 300 grade stainless steel, usually 18/8 or 18/10. Some of it is made from 316Ti (also a 300 grade stainless). We'll talk more about what these numbers mean in a minute.

For this reason, the 21/0 stainless steel used by Chantal is new to most cookware buyers. So here's what you need to know about it.

Cookware is made from grades of stainless steel that are considered "food grade." This includes 200-, 300-, and 400-grade stainless steel. Most cookware manufacturers use 300 grade stainless steel on the cooking surface and 400 grade on the exterior. 300 grade--usually 304, also called 18/8 or 18/10 stainless steel--is 18% chromium and either 8% or 10% nickel. The nickel makes this steel highly corrosion resistant. However, nickel also renders stainless steel non-magnetic, so a different grade must be used on the exterior in order to make cookware induction compatible. Typically, this is the ferritic (i.e. magnetic) 400 grade stainless, also known as 18/0: 18% chromium, 0% nickel. 400 grade stainless steel is less corrosion resistant than 300 grade stainless, but it's necessary if cookware is to be usable on induction cooktops. 

Some manufacturers use 200 grade stainless, which is nickel free because it uses manganese as its anti-corrosion agent. It's a less expensive grade than 300 and less corrosion resistant, though still considered food grade. 200 grade steel is usually found on inexpensive cookware--and often it is not disclosed that this is what's used in the cookware. Here's an example of a pot with 200 grade stainless steel--note the very affordable price. 

21/0 Japanese stainless steel is officially called JYH21CT. (If you want to learn more about it, google that term.) As far as we can tell, Chantal is the only cookware maker to use 21/0 stainless; they may even have developed it specifically for their Induction 21 line of cookware (but don't quote us on this). Most other nickel-free stainless cookware is made from 18/0, 400-grade stainless steel--which is not ideal because it corrodes faster than 300-grade stainless. (It's also less expensive, so cheap stainless cookware is often made from 400 grade steel.)

Chantal discovered--or developed--21/0 stainless steel to solve the problem of nickel-free stainless not being corrosion resistant (and of 18/10 stainless not being induction compatible). Per its name, it has 21% chromium, 0% nickel. The higher chromium content makes this stainless steel almost as corrosion resistant as 18/10 stainless, but because it contains no nickel it is magnetic, so also induction compatible. This means 21/0 can be used on both the interior and the exterior of the cookware. 

The question here, then, is: Is 21/0 stainless steel better than 304 stainless steel?

To answer that question, we have to look at the composition of 21/0 steel compared to that of 18/10 and 18/8 steel.

Here's the composition of 21/0 stainless steel: 

21% chromium

0% nickel

0.4% copper

0.3% titanium

...plus a few other elements that don't really influence the differences from 18/10 steel.

The addition of titanium is said to improve the corrosion resistance of the cookware. However, there are also grades of 300 stainless that contain titanium and are used in cookware making (316Ti), but it's just different than 304 and not necessarily better. (Heritage Steel uses 316Ti on their cookware--note that they claim it's more corrosion resistant than 18/10, but it's a difference that you would not be likely to notice in everyday use.)

The same is likely true for 21/0 stainless steel: it's different, but not necessarily better.

The addition of copper to 21/0 is said to improve the heat conduction of the steel. In fact, Chantal claims that 21/0 stainless is about 30% more heat conductive than 304 stainless. We weren't able to figure out a qualitative way to test this claim, but even if true, it doesn't mean a lot, since stainless steel has notoriously awful heating properties: 30% of nothing is pretty unimpressive, and this was what our testing showed: Chantal cookware did not heat any faster or more evenly than other good quality stainless steel cookware (e.g., All-Clad). In fact. it was slightly worse.

Stainless steel is not used in cookware for its heating properties, it is used for its durability, despite its awful heating properties. A grade of stainless steel that also transferred heat as well as, say, aluminum, is an exciting thought. But 21/0 stainless is not it. 

So 21/0 stainless sounds impressive at first, but the truth is a bit bleaker. Nickel prices are going up, and nickel is one of the most expensive ingredients in stainless steel. Thus, 21/0 stainless steel is cheaper to make than any 300 grade stainless. We suspect that this is the primary reason Chantal uses it; not because it's significantly better quality. Because as far as we can tell, it is not. 

We were initially excited about 21/0 stainless steel, but it's really not better quality than 304 stainless steel. Despite the titanium and copper it contains, its corrosion resistance is about the same or slightly worse. And its minute amount of copper is not enough to improve heat transfer--which explains why Chantal's Induction 21 and AllergenWare cookware have encapsulated aluminum discs: the aluminum is (by far) the primary means of heat transfer in this cookware. If there were no aluminum disc, the heating properties of 21/0 stainless cookware would be awwwwwwful

You can find more information about Japanese 21/0 stainless steel at this website.

So what's the upshot? Chantal Induction 21/AllergenWare is basically a disc-clad cookware made with a grade of stainless steel that's approximately as corrosion resistant as 300 grade (or just slightly inferior), and less expensive to manufacture. For what it is, it's fairly reasonably priced--though you can find other disc-clad stainless cookware for a lower price. If you need nickel-free cookware, Induction 21 and AllergenWare are probably the highest quality available.

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What to Look for When Buying Cookware

Buying cookware can be a frustrating experience. What's the best kind of cookware? What makes one brand higher quality than another? (And believe us, price is not always a clear indicator.) How do I decide what's best for me? When you compare stainless steel to nonstick to cast iron to carbon steel to copper to glass and enamel, you can get overwhelmed by the options. And Chantal, with all its different lines and unique stainless steel, can be a particularly puzzling brand for a lot of people.

We've tried to smooth out the process for you by summarizing all you need to know into a few categories. If you consider all of these before buying--prioritizing them as you see fit for your needs--the end result should be cookware you love and find a joy to use. We look at all the properties as well and summarize how the Chantal lines rank in each category.

To compare different types of cookware (e.g., stainless, nonstick, cast iron, etc.), see our article How to Choose the Best Cookware: The Ultimate Buying Guide.

Heating Properties

Induction Stove with Pan

Since the purpose of cookware is to heat food, heating properties are the most important feature to consider. For example, even if you feel strongly about nonstick cookware because it cleans up so easily, you wouldn't use it if it didn't cook your food. So no matter what else matters to you about cookware, the heating properties are what make or break cookware's usability.

Cookware is usually graded on two aspects of heating: heat conductivity and heat retention. Heat conductivity measures how fast and how evenly a material heats; copper and aluminum have the best heat conductivity ratings, while cast iron and carbon steel have the worst. (Stainless steel is actually worse, but since it is not used for heating but rather for durability, we don't count it.) Heat retention measures how long cookware hangs onto heat: cast iron (and to a lesser extent carbon steel) has the highest heat retention rating, while copper has one of the lowest (meaning that copper is very responsive to temperature changes). 

Mass also affects both heat conductivity and retention: the thicker and heavier a pan is, the more even it will heat and the longer it will retain heat. Thus, thicker cookware of any material is going to heat evenly and hang onto heat better than thinner cookware made of the same material. (This makes thick copper about the best possible type of cookware, but also one of the most expensive.)

Because heat conductivity and heat retention are somewhat at odds, most cookware is a happy medium between the two heating properties. Clad stainless has an aluminum or copper (or both) interior that conducts heat. The thicker that layer, the better the conductivity and retention. But if cookware is too thick, it becomes hard to use. Thus, most clad stainless cookware has enough aluminum (or copper) to provide good heating, but not enough to be too heavy for most users. 

If you don't mind heavy cookware, then you should buy the heaviest clad stainless cookware you can find, as it will have the best heating properties. One of the best out there is Demeyere Atlantis. Their Proline skillet contains about 75% more aluminum than All-Clad D3--but it is almost as heavy as cast iron, so be sure you can handle it before you buy.

Cast iron has poor heat conductivity no matter how thick it is. That is, it heats slowly and unevenly. However, it hangs onto heat extremely well. This makes it very good for high heat searing and deep frying--both tasks that need optimal heat retention. Many people use cast iron as their everyday cookware and it's fine for that, but the issues of repeated seasoning, possible transfer of iron into acidic foods (giving an off flavor), and weight (it's heavy) make it not the ideal choice for many people.

When buying, you should go for the heaviest cookware you can handle for optimal heating. If you're looking for good all-around cookware, clad stainless is a good choice because it has good heating properties, isn't too heavy, doesn't react with food, and is extremely durable. If you're looking for searing/heat retentive cookware, cast iron is the best choice--or, to a lesser extent, carbon steel. However, cast iron is not quite or versatile as clad stainless because it's heavy and acidic foods or high-liquid foods can strip the layer of seasoning.

Cast or forged aluminum is typically thick enough to provide excellent heating and still be lightweight. It's also inexpensive. However, aluminum cookware is usually has a nonstick coating, which makes it less than ideal (nonstick coatings last an average of 1-5 years). You can find aluminum cookware with a stainless steel cooking surface, but it's not very common. 

Copper is also an excellent all-around choice (if it's thick enough), but it's expensive and a bit hard to maintain. If you're interested you can learn more in our Copper Cookware Review.

There's no right or wrong answer here: it all depends on your preferences, your cooking style, your ergonomic issues (if any), and more. But if you're unsure, clad stainless is a great choice for all-around cookware. You may eventually want to add to your collection with a nonstick skillet, a cast iron skillet, or an enameled cast iron Dutch oven (highly recommended!), but clad stainless is an excellent starting point for equipping any kitchen.

The upshot for Chantal: As far as Chantal cookware's heating properties, we like their 3.Clad the best for all-around cooking, and their Enamel-on-Steel is very good for soups, stocks, and braises. Their disc-clad Induction 21 and Allergenware have okay-but-not-great heating properties, and we don't recommend their Carbon Fusion for anything--it heats like cast iron, which would be great at cast iron's price point, but it's the price of high quality clad stainless; a bad combination, in our opinion. Their enameled cast iron is going to be pretty much like any other enameled cast iron on the market, so if you like the design and the price, then it's a fine purchase (but we suggest you read our article on enameled cast iron before buying anything).

Durability and Stability

Durability refers to how long cookware lasts and how much abuse it can stand up to.

Stability means how reactive the cookware is with food; the more stable, the less the cookware's propensity to react with food.

Clad stainless wins in both of these categories: it is extremely durable and extremely non-reactive. Nonstick cookware is stable, but it is not durable. Cast iron cookware is durable, but it is not terribly stable--seasoning makes it more stable, but acidic foods and liquids can strip the seasoning, so it gets lower marks than clad stainless.

Glass and enamel cookware are also very stable, but not always durable.

Thus, Chantal's Induction 21, 3.Clad, and AllergenWare all have excellent durability and stability. The enamel-on-steel, carbon fusion, and enameled cast iron cookware by Chantal also get high marks in both categories: they are very durable as well as very stable. However, because enamel can chip, stainless edges them out, meaning their Induction 21, 3.Clad and AllergenWare are all better choices in these categories.

Ease of Cleaning

Chantal Cookware Pile of Dishes

Some people hate clad stainless cookware because it's "hard to clean." While it's true that it doesn't wipe right out the way nonstick pans do, it has other desirable traits that make it much more versatile cookware. For example, it's extremely durable--and it will last forever.

Nobody wants to spend any more time than necessary washing dishes, so we understand the desire to have easy-to-clean cookware. However, we've found that, when used properly, all cookware is fairly easy to clean. 

For example, if your stainless cookware has stuck-on gunk, it's probably because you used a heat setting that was too high, or not enough oil--or didn't let the oil heat up before adding the food. 

If you follow a few simple steps, all cookware can be (mostly) easy to clean:

  • Use low to medium heat
  • Preheat pan before adding oil or food
  • Add enough oil to coat pan surface
  • Let oil heat before adding food
  • Let food cook for a minute or two (or more) before trying to move it.

Heated oil creates a barrier between the pan and the food which helps food to not stick. Also, when food has properly browned, it will release naturally from the pan--this is true no matter what you're cooking with (it's just less noticeable on ultra-slippery nonstick pans).

You can always use good cleaning agents like Barkeeper's Friend, too, to do fast, easy cleaning. (We prefer the powder to the liquid.)

Sure, there will always be some food residue stuck to the pan--but this is called fond and it is the makings of a great pan sauce. So while there's a time and a place for nonstick skillets (e.g., eggs), we do not recommend all-around cookware. They are too delicate and wear out too fast. Instead, learn how to use your clad stainless or other pans properly, and cleaning will be far less of a headache than you ever imagined.

If ease of cleaning is important to you, you can choose Chantal's ceramic nonstick pieces, found on both the Induction 21 and the 3.Clad lines. Their high grade enamel cleans up about the same as their stainless. But remember that if you follow the steps above, ease of cleaning should be of minimal concern when buying any cookware.

Design/Aesthetics

Sauce Pan with Callouts

Design is the most personal category when selecting cookware. Is the cookware comfortable to use? Does it do everything you want it to do? Are the lids and handles to your liking? Is it pretty? Is it too heavy (or too light)?

Some considerations:

  • Size: is the cookware the right size for your needs? (Always pay attention to the sizes of pieces in sets!)
  • Shape: does the skillet have a lot of flat cooking surface? Does the sauce pan have straight or curved sides? Can you easily get a turner in the pan to flip food? Can a whisk reach into all the corners? Do the pans have drip-free rims?
  • Weight: Can you easily life the pans? How heavy will they be when full of food?
  • Handles: Are the handles comfortable to hold? Easy to stabilize? Do the larger pieces have helper handles? 
  • Lids: Do the lids fit well? Do they have comfortable pulls? If you want to hang them from a pot rack, can the handle fit through the lid pull?
  • Do you like the looks of the cookware?

These are just a few of the important considerations. The point is that you should consider as many daily use factors as possible. If you have ergonomic issues, make sure you can handle the cookware; if you're picky about aesthetics, make sure you think the cookware is attractive and will complement your kitchen decor--because yes, it's important. Don't ever buy cookware if you don't think it's pretty; it will make daily use awful for you.

We can't really summarize Chantal cookware here because it's up to you whether it works. We will say, though, that if you want cookware you can hang from a pot rack, Chantal is not it: it's lid loops are too small to fit a handle through, so you'd have to hang them without lids. (This just might be our number one complaint about this cookware.)

Price and Warranty

Not a lot to say here except that you should stick to your budget and try to find cookware with a good warranty and a company with a customer service department that will back it up.

Some Chantal cookware is reasonably priced, while some of it is (we think) overpriced. And we're not sure why the Enamel-on-Steel pots come with only a 10 year warranty as they should last forever. With another company, we would find this suspicious, but not with Chantal, who we know will stand behind their cookware.

Chantal makes good quality cookware and has a great reputation for customer service--but they lose a few points from us on both price and warranty.

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Review: Induction 21 Cookware

Chantal Induction 21 7 Pc Set

See Induction 21 Chantal cookware 7 Pc. set on Amazon

See Induction 21 Chantal cookware skillet on Amazon

See Induction 21 Chantal cookware at BB & B

Go to Chantal website

Heating: 3/5

Durability: 5/5

Stability: 5/5

Ease of cleaning: 3/5

Design: 3/5

Price/Warranty: 3.5/5

Chantal's Induction 21 is unique cookware: there's nothing else like it on the market. This is primarily because of the 21/0 Japanese stainless steel, which is nickel free. If you have anyone in your home with a nickel allergy, this is probably the highest quality nickel-free stainless steel cookware on the market.

All Chantal cookware is well made, and Induction 21 is no exception. We love the comfortable, perfectly-shaped handles, as well as the helper handles on the larger pieces. 

The skillet is deeper than most brands, which we like (but you may not). The sauce pans and stock pot ("casserole pot") have a great shape with straight sides and a slightly curved bottom that make them easy to use and clean.

Speaking of cleaning, we found the ID21 about average for stainless cookware. The 21/0 isn't going to make the pans any easier to clean than other stainless. This shouldn't be a problem if you know how to use your stainless cookware. 

The ceramic nonstick is about the same as other ceramic nonstick we've worked with and tested. It's lovely when new, but we doubt the nonstick surface will last more than a few years. The good thing about ceramic nonstick is that even after it loses its nonstick properties, it's still safe to use (unlike PTFE). 

We're a little disappointed that Induction 21 is disc-clad cookware. The encapsulated aluminum disc is the primary heat transfer mechanism, as the amount of copper in the 21/0 stainless steel is extremely small (0.4%) and not nearly enough to influence the heating properties. We also don't care for the glass lids, which are more fragile than stainless lids (and also cheaper to make, the primary reason makers use them). 

You can buy the sets and individual pieces in stainless or nonstick. The nonstick is considerably more expensive.

Features/What We Like

  • 21/0 Nickel free stainless steel
  • Oven safe to 500F
  • Glass lids oven safe to 425F
  • Dripless pouring rims
  • Stainless pieces are dishwasher safe
  • Helper handle on big pieces
  • Excellent build quality
  • Heat evenly and rapidly (despite disc cladding)
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 4yr wty. on nonstick 
  • Stainless or ceramic
  • Lightweight (the 11-inch skillet weighs only 2 lbs)
  • The 2.5 qt saucepan with strainer lid and measurements is an excellent piece:
Chantal Cookware Saucepan with Strainer Lid

What We Don't Like

  • Chantal is not straightforward about these being disc-clad pans. They imply that the 21/0 stainless steel has good heating properties because of the copper, but it does not contain enough copper to affect the heating (only 0.4%). They don't say anywhere on Amazon or their website (that we could find) that these are disc-clad pans. But they definitely are. Disc cladding can be very high quality, but to get maximum even heating out of a disc, it should be a wraparound design that covers the entire bottom of the pan and extends slightly up the sides (like Cusinart Professional and Demeyere Atlantis). These pans heat alright for being disc clad--but nothing like you'll get in these other brands. 
  • Glass lids are more fragile than stainless (and cheaper to manufacture).
  • The handles pull are too small for the handle to fit through, making it hard to hang these pots from a rack.
  • The ceramic nonstick wasn't terribly nonstick and required oil in order for eggs not to stick.
  • The ceramic nonstick probably isn't going to last very long.
  • The cookware is made in China, even though touted as a German company (some of their lines are still made in Germany, but Induction 21 one is not).
  • The skillet is a bit too wok-shaped, with a smallish flat cooking surface:
Chantal Cookware Induction 21 Nonstick Skillet

Recommendation

Chantal Induction 21 is a bit of an odd duck. It's very well made cookware, but it's expensive for what is essentially disc-clad cookware (and with a mediocre disc, at that). The 21/0 stainless is the highest quality nickel-free cookware on the market, so if you have nickel concerns, ID21 is a good choice. Otherwise, you can buy inexpensive disc-clad cookware with better heating properties (Cuisinart Professional), or good quality fully clad cookware for the same or slightly more (Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad). 

We wish we could give Induction 21 a more enthusiastic recommendation, because a lot of people really love it. Despite it's many positive reviews, we think it's just okay--a good choice primarily for people who suffer from a nickel allergy. We also recommend the clad stainless pieces over the ceramic nonstick pieces (or nonstick just in the skillets).

buy chantal induction 21 cookware now:

Chantal Cookware Induction 21 Set

Review: 3.Clad Cookware

Chantal Cookware 3.Clad Sauate Pan
 Chantal Cookware 3.Clad Nonstick Skillet
Chantal Cookware 3.Clad Short Handled Saute Pan

See 3.Clad Chantal cookware on Amazon

See 3.Clad Chantal cookware at Chantal.com

Heating: 3/5

Durability: 5/5

Stability: 5/5

Ease of cleaning: 3/5

Design: 3/5

Price/Warranty: 3/5

3.Clad is Chantal's newest cookware line, available on Amazon just since August 2020 (which makes it about 5 months old at this writing). In fact, you can't even buy sets yet on Amazon, though we expect that to change soon. 

3.Clad Chantal cookware is standard 18/10 tri-ply clad, probably meant to compete directly with All-Clad D3 (the "gold standard" of clad cookware). This makes it Chantal's most mainstream line of cookware to date.

It's very pretty cookware, with a nice shape and comfortable handles, but it has a number of drawbacks. The biggest one is that the pans are considerably lighter than comparable All-Clad D3 pieces. For example, the All-Clad D3 10-inch nonstick skillet weighs 3.2 pounds, while the 3.Clad 10-inch skillet (available only in nonstick) weighs just a hair over 2 pounds. This is a considerable difference. 

We didn't cut a 3.Clad pan open and measure--frankly, because we wanted to return the pieces after testing if possible--but the lighter weight is a dead giveaway that these pans contain less aluminum than the All-Clad D3. Testing proved this right, as the skillets heated unevenly and we had to deal with a lot of scorching and hot/cold spots. Even after several minutes of preheating, we still struggled to get even heating throughout the skillet.

Note also that 3.Clad Chantal cookware is 18/10, so not nickel-free: if you want nickel-free cookware, go with the Induction 21 (above). If you don't need nickel-free cookware, we recommend going with another brand if you want the best performance (All-Clad D3Tramontina Tri-Ply CladCuisinart MC-Pro). And if you want lightweight cookware, we suggest one of these brands, as well; you really don't want clad stainless much lighter or thinner than All-Clad D3, because you will be sacrificing even heating and will have to deal with hot/cold spots and scorching.

Features/What We Like

  • Tri-ply 18/8 stainless
  • Dripless pouring rims
  • Oven safe to 500F (lids oven safe to 425F)
  • Big roomy handles and helper handles on larger pieces
  • Stainless is dishwasher safe (nonstick ceramic is not)
  • Great looking and really nice design
  • Induction compatible
  • Made in Germany
  • Lifetime warranty
  • $100 for 10-inch skillet/$400 for 10-pc. set.

What We Don't Like

  • Skillet is only available in ceramic nonstick cooking surface (not stainless)
  • Pans are lightweight, meaning they don't contain enough aluminum to provide optimal heating properties (we compared weights to All-Clad, but did not cut open and measure)
  • Nonstick surface worked best with added oil or butter
  • 18/10 stainless, so not nickel-free
  • Glass lids are not as durable as stainless steel
  • Lid pull isn't a loop, so no hanging from pot rack
  • Sets not available on Amazon (yet).

Recommendation

Chantal's newest offering is probably meant to compete directly with All-Clad tri-ply--with the (possibly) healthier ceramic nonstick on the skillets rather than PTFE--but it falls short in a number of categories. While well made like all of Chantal's cookware, the pans are a little too lightweight to compete with All-Clad D3 (and D3 has the minimal amount of aluminum to provide really good heating properties). This was borne out in testing: the 3.Clad skillet heated unevenly and we had scorching and sticking. The nonstick as well was disappointing, requiring oil or butter to make eggs not stick. 

The glass lids are also not our preference, though we know some people prefer them.

We did like the overall design: comfortable handles and very pretty to look at. We even like the flat lid design, even though they're glass. But not being able to hang the lids from a pot rack was a real deal-killer for us.

The individual pieces are expensive--quite out of line with the set prices (example: a 10-inch skillet costs $100, while a 6 piece set costs $180). So if you like this cookware, we strongly recommend buying a set to get the best deal. Currently, we've only found the sets on the Chantal website, but that will probably change in the future. And by the way, if you buy, this is one instance where the Chantal prices are better than the Amazon prices.

buy chantal 3.clad cookware now:

Chantal Cookware 3.Clad Short Handled Saute Pan

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Review: AllergenWare

Chantal Cookware AllergenWare Sauce Pan
Chantal Cookware AllergenWare Skillet
Chantal Cookware AllergenWare Stock Pot

See Chantal AllergenWare on Amazon

See Chantal AllergenWare at Chantal.com
Heating:
 3/5

Durability: 5/5

Stability: 5/5

Ease of cleaning: 2.5/5

Design: 4/5

Price/Warranty: 4/5

AllergenWare is Chantal cookware's line for families who have people with allergies. Purple is the "universal color for food allergen awareness," so people with food allergies can be assured food that is cooked separately in these bright-colored pans is free of allergens.

The pans are made of 21/0 Japanese stainless steel, so they are also nickel-free (nickel is the most common metal allergy in the world). They are also non-porous, so there's no possibility of inadvertent cross-contamination; for example, from residue after one meal when cooking for someone else.

These pans are basically Induction 21 pans with a big purple band on the exterior, and without the option for a nonstick cooking surface. As such, they have many of the features and drawbacks of the Induction 21 line. They're also disc clad, with the disc providing the majority of heat transfer; the disc is on the thin side, so heating isn't as good as with disc-clad cookware with thicker discs (see the Induction 21 review above for more details).

There are limited pieces, and most of them are small (with the exception of the 12 qt. stock pot), and not available in sets. The good news is that the pieces are fairly priced, so if you need to keep foods separate in your family due to allergies, these offer an affordable way to do so.

Features/What We Like

  • 21/0 stainless (nickel free)
  • Induction compatible
  • Well made
  • Purple stripe (the universal symbol for food allergen awareness)
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Made in Germany.

What We Don't Like

  • Only 4 pieces available (1 qt. sauce pan, 8-inch skillet, 6 qt. casserole, 12 qt. stock pot)
  • Chantal does not state that these are disc-clad, implying the 21/0 stainless is responsible for heat transfer, which is not the case
  • Most pieces are small (presumably meant for separate cooking for one family member)
  • Lid oven safe to only 375F
  • Lid loops are too small for handles to fit through (which makes them hard to hang)
  • The skillet is a bit too wok-shaped (not a lot of flat cooking surface).

Recommendation

If you have a family member with food allergies, these pans may be literally life-saving; they will be a great help in keeping foods separate. Otherwise, there is no reason to buy these pans. They are only available in small sizes, they're

buy chantal allergenware cookware now:

Chantal Cookware AllergenWare Sauce Pan

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*Review: Enamel-on-Steel Stock Pots

Chantal Cookware Enamel-on-Steel Pot

See Chantal Enamel-on-Steel stock pots on Amazon

See Chantal Enamel-on-Steel stock pots at Chantal.com

Heating: 3.5/5

Durability: 5/5

Stability: 5/5

Ease of cleaning: 2.5/5

Design: 4/5

Price/Warranty: 3/5

Chantal cookware makes a number of different pieces geared toward different needs. In other words, their philosophy seems to be that people should buy the best piece for the job and not necessarily settle for a piece because it comes with a set. These enamel-on-steel stock pots (Chantal calls them "casserole" pots) are designed for making stocks, soups, stews, and (of course) casseroles. 

As with all Chantal cookware, these are well made and no doubt will last a lifetime. If you're looking for a pretty blue or gray stock pot, these fit the bill well. They're carbon steel with a fully enameled exterior (both inside and out). Carbon steel is heavy: the 4 quart pot weighs 4 pounds, while the 8 quart weighs just under 7 pounds (compare to an All-Clad D3 6 quart pot which weighs 4 pounds). These weights aren't in cast iron territory, but when full of liquids, they're fairly heavy.

On the plus side, carbon steel will do a pretty good job of holding heat, which is exactly what you want for liquid cooking (e.g., soups, stocks, stews, and braises).

The enamel is one of the highest grade enamels available (German AA) and is extremely durable (think le Creuset enameled pots). However, it is not nonstick. We don't consider this a drawback, as nonstick isn't necessary in a stock pot, and it's easier to maintain than bare carbon steel--and no worries about rusting. Also, the enamel is dishwasher safe, so you can toss these pots in the dishwasher without worry of harming the coating (love this!).

Features/What We Like

  • Enameled carbon steel
  • 3 colors (teal, cobalt blue, and gray)
  • 2 sizes (4 qt./8 qt.)
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made in Germany
  • $80/120 4qt/8qt casserole (so reasonably priced)
  • Enamel is not nonstick (so these pans are ideal for long braises, with no worries about rusting).

What We Don't Like

  • Stock pots only 
  • 10 year warranty--this is short for pots that should last a lifetime
  • Carbon steel makes them heavy.

Recommendation

Of all the Chantal cookware we tested, these enamel-on-steel were our favorites. They are super heavy duty, with a tough enamel (not nonstick!) that will last a lifetime. The carbon steel makes these pots a little bit heavy, but if you want a stock pot that will hold heat well and last forever, the Chantal Enamel-on-Steel are a great choice.

We're disappointed that these pots have only a 10 year warranty, because they seem like a lifetime purchase. It makes us a little wary, but it wouldn't stop us from buying this cookware.

If you want it mainly for stock-making, go with the larger size; if you want it mostly for stews and casseroles, the smaller pot is much easier to work with.

buy Chantal Enamel-on-Steel cookware now:

Chantal Cookware Enamel-on-Steel Pot

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Review: Chantal Cast Iron Cookware

Chantal Cookware Enameled Dutch Oven
Chantal Cookware Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

See Chantal Cast Iron cookware on Amazon

See Chantal Cast Iron Cookware at Chantal.com

Heating: 4/5

Durability: 5/5

Stability: 5/5

Ease of cleaning: 2.5/5

Design: 3/5

Price/Warranty: 2.5/5

These Chantal cookware cast iron pieces are also fairly new, coming out in late 2019. There are three pieces available: a 5 quart Dutch oven, a 7 quart Dutch oven, and a 10-inch cast iron skillet. We don't mind this limited line because cast iron is best suited for braising and frying (and in fact, for frying, we prefer well-seasoned bare cast iron). We would, however, like to see more sizes available, especially in the Dutch oven.

This enameled cast iron cookware is much like all other enameled cast iron cookware. It's durable, and the Dutch ovens are excellent for braising. Although made in China, Chantal uses the same top grade enamel (not nonstick!) on these pieces as they do on their Enamel-on-Steel pieces (see above). Prices are fairly comparable to other Chinese-made cast iron (e.g., Tramontina, Lodge, Amazon Basics), but in most cases a little higher, which may be due to the super high quality enamel. But other than the enamel, these's little to differentiate these pieces from other Chinese-made enameled cast iron; heating properties are going to the same across the board, as cast iron is cast iron (regardless of what you pay for it). In testing, the pans performed like other cast iron (that is, good), and the enamel cleaned up about average for all the enameled cast iron we've tested.

The Chantal enameled cast iron is good quality, but you can find other Chinese enameled cast iron for less--and in more size and color options. If you want to go a step (or several) up in quality, you'll have to look at le Creuset or Staub. 

Features/What We Like

  • Enameled cast iron with super tough Grade AA enamel
  • 3 colors (teal, cobalt blue, gray)
  • Dishwasher safe (enamel coating is not nonstick)
  • $120/$150 for 5 qt/7 qt Dutch oven/$80 for 10" skillet (reasonable, but higher than most other Chinese enameled cast iron).

What We Don't Like 

  • Limited sizes available
  • Dutch oven and skillet are the only pieces in this line
  • 1 skillet size (10-inch)
  • Black interior (it's enameled, so they could have gone with a light color)
  • 10 yr warranty (cast iron should last forever)
  • Made in China.

Recommendation

Chantal cookware cast iron is basic, made-in-China cast iron, comparable to many other brands imported from China. Its high quality German enamel may differentiate it somewhat from other Chinese imports, but we did not notice a significant difference in our testing. It performed well, like other cast iron we've tested. The enamel may last longer than other Chinese cast iron pieces, but only time will tell.

If you want to go with Chantal cast iron, we recommend the Dutch oven, though we wish it had a light-colored interior, which makes it easier to gauge doneness of food (though this is just an opinion: many people prefer a dark interior because it hides staining). The enameled skillet is nice, but not necessary. Bare cast iron (like the standard Lodge skillets) are a lot cheaper, and when well-seasoned, offer an almost nonstick cooking surface; enameled cooking surfaces will never be this nonstick.

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Chantal Cookware Enameled Dutch Oven

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Review: Chantal Carbon Fusion (discontinued)

Chantal Cookware Copper Fusion Skillet
Chantal Cookware Copper Fusion Stock Pot
Chantal Cookware Carbon Fusion Sauce Pan

See Chantal Carbon Fusion on Amazon

See Chantal Carbon Fusion skillet at Home Depot

Heating: 3/5

Durability: 5/5

Stability: 5/5

Ease of cleaning: 2.5/5

Design: 3/5 (higher if you like the glass lids)

Price/Warranty: 2.5/5

Carbon Fusion was Chantal's premiere cookware line until not too long ago. Today, it's no longer on their website--so probably discontinued--and they've introduced the new 3.Clad line, perhaps as a replacement. Since you can still find pieces of Carbon Fusion around the Internet, we included it in this review. We have not been able to find sets anywhere.

Carbon Fusion has a truly unique construction. The base is carbon steel (no stainless!), with a thin copper disc in the base for improved heat transfer, and the entire pot--inside and out--is coated with a durable enamel coating; the enamel is not nonstick ceramic, but old school glass-based enamel. This is the same high quality enamel Chantal uses on their cast iron and Enamel-on-Steel lines.

Carbon Fusion was by far Chantal's most expensive line of cookware, which is perhaps the reason they've discontinued it: it may not have sold well, because we have to say that while this is very well made cookware, it is probably not worth its exorbitant price tag.

Why not? Well, for one thing, carbon steel has mediocre heating properties. It's slow, uneven, and too thin to have the excellent heat retention of cast iron (though it does retain heat better than aluminum, clad stainless, and copper). It's also much heavier than stainless steel, so these pots are heavy. 

The copper in the base should much improve the heating, making it faster and more even, but from what we can tell it has almost no effect; we didn't take a pot apart to see how thick the copper layer was, but judging from the slow, uneven heating, we suspect it's very thin.

The enamel coating is durable, but it's not nonstick. Eggs stuck like crazy to this skillet. Oil and butter helped, but the pan was still kind of a mess; we would compare its cooking surface to stainless steel, and maybe even slightly stickier.

As with all Chantal cookware, we also don't like the glass lids, but we know a lot of people do, so even though stainless lids are more durable and easier (in general) to work with, if you prefer glass lids, you may love this cookware. 

We have mixed feelings about the enamel coating not being nonstick--it's a bit of a pain to cook on, but this tough enamel is going to last much longer than any nonstick ceramic would--so it's a mix of positive and negative. We will say that the stickiness is the source of most of the negative reviews on Amazon: people may have bought this cookware thinking it would be nonstick, and it definitely is not.

We do really like the overall heft and durable feel of these pans. They feel good in your hand and are nice to use (if you don't mind heavy cookware). The handles are super comfortable and easy to grip. Unfortunately, they're also too thick to fit through the smallish lid pulls--so if you want to hang these from a pot rack, you're pretty much out of luck.

We also love the rivet-free cooking surface--a trait all cookware brands should have.

A lot of people really love Carbon Fusion. We can't really account for this, as our experience using the pans was just okay. The heating was slow and the pans are heavy--and since the weight does not add to the speed or evenness of heating (unlike heavy Demeyere cookware or high-end copper cookware), we count it as a negative.

Features/What We Like

  • Carbon steel/ copper/ enamel construction
  • Enamel is extremely durable and safe for metal utensils
  • Enamel coating makes these safe for food storage
  • Nickel free
  • Rivet-free cooking surface
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Induction compatible
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Very well made
  • Made in Germany.

What We Don't Like

  • Carbon steel is heavy: the 11-inch skillet weighs almost 5 lbs (compare to 2 lbs for ID21 skillet)
  • Glass lids
  • Mediocre heating properties (compare to cast iron but with less the heat retention)
  • Heating not very even (small amount of copper)
  • The handle is too thick to fit through the lid pull, so it's difficult to hang from a rack.
  • Enamel is not nonstick
  • Expensive
  • Tough to find sets and some pieces as the company seems to have discontinued the line.

Recommendation

This Chantal Carbon Fusion is durable and well made, and being carbon steel, it's heavy--but that heft doesn't really translate to excellent heating properties, and there isn't enough copper in the base to improve them. 

This cookware is also very expensive--we think too expensive for a carbon steel, disc-clad, glass-lidded cookware, all of which are qualities of inexpensive cookware.

If you want nickel-free cookware, there are better choices.

buy chantal carbon fusion cookware now:

Chantal Cookware Carbon Fusion Sauce Pan

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Final Thoughts

Chantal cookware has a unique line of products, making pieces in carbon steel, carbon steel and copper, enameled cast iron, and two kinds of stainless steel (21/0 and 18/10), all geared to different buyers. While the cookware is very well made, our testing found that most of it had average to poor performance. We had to deal with scorching, hot and cold spots, and lots of sticking foods, even on the new ceramic nonstick coatings.

Our favorite was (to our surprise) the Enamel-on-Steel stock pots, which held heat well and were pretty easy to clean. The Induction 21 or AllergenWare are both top quality options if you're looking for nickel-free or allergen cookware.

We really wanted to love Chantal cookware because it's unique and it's pretty (and we love Chantal tea kettles). But in reality, there are just-as-good or better options out there for just about any piece you're looking for--at lower prices.

Thanks for reading!

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