Made In and Misen are probably the best known direct-to-consumer (abbreviated "DTC" or "D2C") cookware brands on the market today. By cutting out the middleman (retail), they offer high quality products at lower prices than some comparable brands such as All-Clad.
Both Made In and Misen offer well-made cookware, but their product lines differ and so does the performance. Here we take a detailed look at the clad stainless pieces offered by both brands so you can understand the similarities, differences, and which one might be best for you.
Note: Both companies make several other cookware and kitchen products, but we look only at their clad stainless steel cookware in this review.
Our Overall Recommendation
Both of these brands are excellent quality, but our pick is Misen. The construction is thicker, so the heating performance is better, their prices are lower, and their Essentials set is possibly the best clad stainless steel cookware set on the market today. If you don't mind that Misen cookware is made in China, it is the best choice.
Made In Vs Misen at a Glance
This table shows the major features of Made In and Misen cookware.
-Clad stainless cookware
-Clad stainless nonstick skillets and sauce pans
-Carbon steel cookware (skillets, wok, roasting pan, paella pan)
-Flatware, dinnerware, glasses
-Utensils, cleaner, lids, misc. accessories
-Clad stainless cookware
-Aluminum nonstick skillets
-Carbon steel skillets
-Enameled cast iron Dutch oven/grill pan
-Prep tools, incl. cutting boards, utensils, cleaners, sharpening stone, and more.
Clad Stainless Configuration
-5 ply w/3 internal layers of aluminum
-18/10 cooking surface
-5 ply w/3 internal layers of aluminum
-18/10 cooking surface
Yes (stainless/carbon steel only)
Yes (all Misen cookware)
Cookware Prices (app.)
6pc starter set: $390*
11pc Sous set: $659**
12"/10" stainless skillets: $99/85
12"/10" carbn stl skillets: $95/80
3-qt sauciér: $109
5pc starter set: $225
9pc Essentials set: $375***
12"/10" stainless skillets: $85/75
3-qt saucier: $95
Country of Origin
USA, Italy, France, Hungary
-45 day free returns
-lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects
-one year warranty on nonstick.
-60 day free returns
-lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects
-no warranty on nonstick.
*Includes nonstick skillet.
**Includes nonstick and carbon steel skillets.
***The best set at the best price and our number one buying recommendation. See details below.
About Made In
Made In was founded in 2016 by Jake Kalick and Chip Malt. Kalick's family has been in the kitchen supply business for more than 100 years, so he has the knowledge and expertise to put out good quality products.
Kalick and Malt decided to uproot the cookware industry by eliminating the middleman--that is, the retail stores.They sell all of their products on their website, directly to the customer.
Made In clad stainless cookware is made in the USA (thus the name). Other products are made overseas, mostly in European countries. As far as we know, none of their products are made in China.
Their clad stainless cookware is 5-ply, with three internal layers of aluminum. We get into product details below in the Buying Considerations section.
The name "Misen" originates from the French term mise en place which means "to put in place," a philosophy followed by serious cooks--that is, they prepare their ingredients and have all their equipment out and ready to go before they start cooking. "Misen" is pronounced MEE-zen and is an homage to the importance of having good quality tools in your kitchen.
Omar Rada is the founder of Misen. He started a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 which was highly successful. Misen's first product was a high quality chef's knife, which quickly expanded to several kitchen products, in particular clad stainless steel cookware.
Today, Misen is best known for these two products: knives and clad stainless cookware, though you can see in the table above that they make several other types of cookware and kitchen tools.
Misen cookware is made in China. This keeps costs down (most Misen pieces are less expensive than most Made In pieces), and the quality does not suffer because the factories are operated to American quality standards, much like other imported Chinese brands we like such as Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad (or see our review) and Cuisinart Multiclad Pro (or see our review).
Like Made In's cookware, Misen's clad stainless is 5-ply with three internal layers of aluminum. However, there are differences in design and quality that we believe make Misen the higher quality of the two brands.
We get into details below in the Buying Considerations section.
Buying Considerations: Important Features to Consider
In this section, we look at all the important features to consider before buying cookware and compare Made In and Misen's products.
Why: Misen is 3mm thick vs 2.7mm thick Made In, resulting in more even heating and slightly better heat retention.
Heating performance is arguably the most important aspect of cookware. While this is a complex subject and books have been written on it, there are really just three important features of heating performance that you need to understand: thermal conductivity, heat retention, and mass.
Thermal conductivity measures how evenly and quickly a pan heats. A pan with a good thermal conductivity rating will distribute heat fast and evenly, without hot and cold spots. It will also respond quickly to changes in temperature--so when you turn the heat off, the pan will not hold heat for very long.
Except for special tasks that need heat retention (searing steaks, deep frying), thermal conductivity is probably the more important of the measurements. Most cooks want cookware that heats evenly and responds quickly to changes in temperature.
Cookware materials with the highest thermal conductivity ratings are copper and aluminum.
Clad stainless cookware lined with enough aluminum and/or copper tends to have good thermal conductivity, i.e., they heat evenly and quickly.
(What's enough? Read the Mass section below.)
Heat retention, sometimes called heat capacity, measures how long a pan hangs onto heat after the heat source has been removed. This is especially important for tasks such as deep frying and pan searing steaks, where avoiding temperature crashes is crucial for good results.
Cookware materials with high heat retention ratings are cast iron and carbon steel (very similar materials). Thus, carbon steel and cast iron usually have better heat retention than clad stainless cookware, again depending on mass.
As you can see, these two heating performance measurements are essentially opposites. Thermal conductivity measures responsiveness to heat changes, while heat retention measures stability.
Both are important in cooking, but for everyday cookware, most people want cookware that does both things fairly well, with thermal conductivity being more important for most tasks--this describes good quality clad stainless cookware.
Cookware's mass is also important to know because it affects both thermal conductivity and heat retention. The thicker and heavier cookware is, the better the thermal conductivity and heat retention; yes, it will take longer to heat through (because, more mass), but once heated through, heat distribution tends to be stellar (i.e., very even).
And, the thicker and heavier cookware is, the better the heat retention, regardless of the material. Thus, thick copper will hang onto heat better than thin copper. Thick copper may also, if it has enough mass, hang onto heat better than carbon steel or cast iron.
Mass is best measured by thickness, primarily because that's the easiest way to compare different types and brands of cookware.
In short: thick, heavy cookware is better quality and will perform better than thin, lightweight cookware.
This means you should buy the heaviest cookware that you can comfortably handle.
Thick, heavy cookware is always better quality and will perform better than thin, lightweight cookware, especially when we're talking about clad stainless and aluminum cookware. If you're interested in clad stainless cookware, you should buy the heaviest cookware that you can comfortably handle.
This is less important for cast iron and carbon steel, but because you buy these for their exceptional heat retention properties (for searing steak, for example), you should consider thicker, heavier brands as well. However, most brands of cast iron are thick enough to provide excellent heat retention, and most brands of carbon steel will, as well.
Why All of This Matters
When we get into the actual properties of Made In and Misen clad stainless cookware, it's easy to see that Misen is the better choice. Saying that they both have 5 layers of cladding doesn't tell you very much. But saying that Misen cookware is 3mm thick while Made In's is 2.7mm thick tells you a lot.
0.3mm may not seem like a lot, but it is enough for Misen to provide superior performance in both thermal conductivity and heat retention.
This was shown in our testing. Misen held onto heat about 30 seconds longer than Made In, and the skillet heated more evenly, though it took slightly longer (about 40 seconds) to heat through.
This may not seem like a huge difference in everyday cooking, but the fact remains that Misen has the better heating performance. And though taking longer to distribute heat may seem like a drawback, it isn't. Rather, it is a clear indication of a good quality pan.
Durability and Stability
Why: Both are extremely durable, stable, high quality products.
Two of the best things about clad stainless cookware are its durability and its stability. Stainless steel is an extremely strong substance that will last for decades in your kitchen. It is also a very stable substance that won't rust or react with foods, making it a safe, clean choice.
The quality of both Made In and Misen stainless cookware is outstanding. You can't go wrong with the durability and stability of either brand.
Why: Though both are well designed, Misen's skillet has a larger flat cooking surface, and their sauciér wins for design (so much so that Made In put out their own copycat sauciér).
Design refers to pan shape, handle shape, weight, balance, lids, helper handles (where needed), and other aspects that make cookware a joy (or a pain) to use. Here's an overview of the main pieces and features of each brand.
Overall, we find Misen's design the most usable, with minimalist features that still manage to make the cookware a joy to use. Made In's design is also good, and you will probably be happy with either brand. However, Misen's minimalist approach and excellent sauciér wins in our testing.
Why: More flat cooking surface, which we think is one of the most important aspects of a skillet. The difference is small, but noticeable.
The skillets look like this:
Design is similar (as well as similar to All-Clad and other popular brands) for the two brands. Misen edges out Made In with a slightly larger amount of flat cooking surface. You can see this by looking at the slope of the pan's sides: Made In sides are longer and more sloped, which gives the pan a smaller flat cooking surface; Misen sides are steeper, which results in a larger flat cooking surface. The difference isn't huge, but it's enough that we wanted to show it to readers.
The more sloped sides of the Made In makes it easier to get a spatula in there to flip your burgers. But again, the difference is small.
We like the Made In handles better. They have a better grip and we think they're more attractive. But we believe the greater amount of flat cooking surface is the more important feature.
Why: The Misen hybrid design is innovative and excellent, and the heavier bottom makes Misen the better choice for sauces (because, less scorching).
The sauce pans look like this:
You'll notice right away that these pans have very different designs. The Made In sauce pan has straight sides; the Misen sauciér has slightly curved sides.
Technically, a sauce pan and a sauciér have different purposes--the sauce pan is used for cooking liquids such as boiling pasta and making soup, while the sauciér is used to make sauces that require whisking and/or reducing--thus the curved sides that make it easy for a whisk to reach everywhere.
Traditional sauciér pans are slightly shallower than sauce pans and have flared sides that facilitate evaporation and reduction, as illustrated by this All-Clad sauciér (which is quite different from an All-Clad sauce pan):
Misen came up with this sauce pan/sauciér hybrid design, so the pan has a curved bottom, like a sauciér, and straight sides, like a sauce pan.
We love this design, and a lot of other people do as well: at one point, there were more than 1,000 people on a waiting list for this pan. Since Misen's inception, this pan has consistently been one of their best sellers.
What makes the Misen sauciér so great? It works as both a sauce pan and a sauciér. More traditional sauciérs aren't great for cooking liquids because of the flared, shallow sides; liquids can slosh out too easily. But the Misen design is really great for any type of liquid cooking as well as making sauces.
Its one drawback is that the taller, straighter sides aren't as effective at reducing liquids. But unless you are a dedicated sauce maker, this is not a big issue.
In fact, the Misen sauce pan/sauciér hybrid design was so well-received that Made In put out their own sauciér, and it is almost identical to Misen's:
Because of Misen's thicker construction, they win the sauce pan/sauciér competition. Thickness isn't all that essential for most sauce pan tasks because liquids heat more evenly than solids due to natural convection. But it is important for sauce making; the heavier bottom helps you avoid scorching with thick sauces like bechamels and caramels.
The Misen sauciér also costs less, further adding to its appeal.
Made In's sauce pan is available in 2-quart and 4-quart sizes. Which is a little frustrating to us, because 3-quart is the sweet spot for most cooks when it comes to sauce pans. 2-quart is a little small for jobs like pasta, and 4-quart gets a little too unwieldy for some people. (This All-Clad 3-quart sauce pan is our favorite sauce pan, and also a loss leader, which means it's a great deal.)
Made In's sauciér is available in 3-quart and 5-quart sizes. The 5-quart pan has a helper handle (essential for a pan this size). However, 5-quart is really large for a sauciér, though it makes a pretty good chef's pan.
Misen's sauciér is available in 2-quart and 3-quart sizes, which are both better sizes for both a sauce pan and a sauciér; much bigger than this and you are getting into stockpot--or chef's pan--territory.
Winner: Made In
Why: Their handles have better grip and we think they're prettier. But the difference is small and is not enough for us to change our recommendation (Misen is our recommendation even with the less desirable handles.)
Here are closeups of the skillet handles:
The flat Made In handle is easy to grip and fairly easy to stabilize a pan with, although some sort of groove or thumb stop would help with stabilization.
We found the squarish Misen handle slightly less easy to grip. It would also benefit from a groove or thumb stop.
Users of both brands tend to prefer the handles to All-Clad handles, which are commonly hated for being uncomfortable to hold. However, we like All-Clad handles because the "uncomfortable" groove makes it easy to stabilize a pan, and thus are safer than both Made In and Misen handles.
Overall, the handle design of both brands is similar enough that it shouldn't have much of an affect on your decision.
Why: Both brands lack a helper handle on the 12-inch skillet, which is a miss, but do have helper handles on their other large pieces.
Helper handles are small handles opposite the long handle and are useful on larger sized pans:
If you have any issue at all with heavy cookware, a helper handle is essential on larger pieces such as 12-inch skillets and 4-quart sauce pans, or if the cookware is innately heavy (such as cast iron).
Made In's 4-quart sauce pan, 5-quart sauciér, and even their 3.5-quart sauté pan have helper handles, which is great. Their 12-inch skillet does not, which is a miss for us, especially considering that this skillet weighs the same as the sauté pan.
Misen's 3-quart sauté pan has a helper handle but none of their other long-handles pieces do. Since the pieces are on the small side, with their largest sauciér being 3 quarts, this isn't a huge miss. However, their 12-inch skillet also lacks a helper handle, and this is a miss. 12-inch skillets are large enough that they should have helper handles.
Helper handles on 12-inch skillets are not a given on other brands of cookware, either, although for comparison, most All-Clad 12-inch skillets do have them (and all brands should).
Why: The designs of the stock pots, sauté pans, and other pieces are so similar that they shouldn't influence your decision on which brand to buy.
We will say that Made In has a few more pieces available than Misen, including a rondeau and a butter warmer in stainless and a wok, roasting pan, and grill pan in carbon steel.
Misen has only a carbon steel skillet and no rondeau or butter warmer. But they do have a very nicely designed enameled cast iron 7-quart Dutch oven priced around $165 (compare to a 7-quart Le Creuset oven). It's available in 5 colors and comes with a grill pan that also serves as a lid. We aren't crazy about the grill-pan-as-lid because using it as a grill will discolor the enamel, but it also has another lid, which is great. This Dutch oven is too new to the market to know if it will hold up to higher priced brands (like Le Creuset), and at 11.5 pounds, it's a heavy piece. But at this price, it may be worth checking out.
Weight and Maneuverability
Why: Most Misen pieces are heavier, but the difference is small--fractions of a pound--and the bump in heating performance is worth the slightly extra weight.
As we said above, you should buy the heaviest cookware you can comfortably handle. You will get better performance as well as better durability from heavier cookware.
Misen is the thicker cookware of these two brands, which means that it's going to weigh more. However, the difference is small.
For comparison, the Made In 12-inch skillet weighs 3 pounds and the Misen 12-inch skillet weighs 3.1 pounds.
You might think the weight difference would be larger. The reason it isn't is probably because of Misen has more aluminum, which is very light. More aluminum is also going to mean more even heating, so once again, we believe Misen is the best choice here: the weight difference is so small, you don't sacrifice much in maneuverability, and you get superior performance.
Why: Both brands have grooved lips and pour well without a lot of dripping.
Pourability isn't a huge issue, as you can pour from most pans--both skillets and sauce pans--without a lot of dripping, even if pans do not have a grooved lip (such as All-Clad D3 sauce pans).
Both Made In and Misen have grooved lips on all of their clad stainless pieces, which is great for pouring. But this is a small concern, and probably shouldn't be a huge factor in your decision process.
Why: This is purely an aesthetic decision.
Stainless steel cookware have a polished or brushed (matte) finish. Polished finishes are the most common, but brushed is becoming more popular.
Made In stainless cookware has a brushed finish, while Misen stainless has a polished finish.
There is no advantage or disadvantage to either finish and it is purely an aesthetic decision.
What Size Cookware Do You Need?
What size cookware do you need? This is a personal decision, based on how many people you're cooking for and other factors (do you like to meal prep? do you entertain often? do you have lifting restrictions?), but we believe there are optimal sizes for each piece. They are:
- 12-inch skillet
- 3-quart sauce pan
- 5-quart Dutch oven
- 8-quart (or larger, if you like to freeze big batches) stock pot.
This doesn't mean these are the only sizes you'll need, because you'll probably need a few different sized skillets and sauce pans. But if you could only have one size of each piece, these are the most functional sizes for most cooks.
You should give cookware size some serious thought before you buy; you may save yourself quite a bit of money in the long run if you do.
If you buy individual pieces, it's easy to get the exact sizes you want. But with sets, it can be a different story. (We talk about sets vs. individual pieces in the next section.)
Pay close attention to the piece sizes in any set before buying.
Sets tend to have smallish pieces, so if you want to add to your collection, you'll mostly be buying larger pieces, which will cost more.
For example, most sets come with an 8-inch and 10-inch skillet. They have their uses, and a 10-inch skillet is usable for most jobs, but neither size is ideal for making a meal, even for just two people. Remember, you can always make smaller portions in a big skillet, but you can't make bigger portions in a small skillet.
And for your basic, go-to sauce pan, you really want a 3-quart, which is large enough for most sauce pan tasks but not so large that it's heavy or hard to use. (If you live alone, a 2-quart may be all you need.)
Made In's 6 piece starter set includes two 10-inch skillets (one stainless, one nonstick), a 2-quart sauce pan, and an 8-quart stock pot for about $390.
Misen's 5 piece starter set includes a 10-inch skillet, a 3-quart sauté pan, and their world-famous 3-quart sauciér for about $225.
Both starter sets have some good pieces, but neither is perfect (at least for most cooks). Note that neither one has a 12-inch skillet.
Made In's 8-quart stock pot is a great piece, but their 2-quart sauce pan is small. And we always advise against getting a nonstick skillet in a set of stainless because you'll pay too much for a pan that's going to wear out in just a few years (and Made In's nonstick skillet is no exception). The pieces are functional, and it's great that there's no tiny skillet, but we think the nonstick skillet makes this set overpriced.
Misen's 3-quart sauciér is an excellent piece you'll get a ton of use from. The 10-inch skillet and 3-quart sauté pan are close in both size and utility and we much prefer them to the nonstick pan in the Made In starter set. You'll get use out of all of these pieces--but if you wanted a stock pot or other larger sized pan (e.g., Dutch oven), you're going to have to buy it separately.
All this to say that if you go with one of these starter sets, you will probably have to augment with more pieces (e.g., a 12-inch skillet, a Dutch oven, a stock pot). And you will definitely want baking sheets, a roasting pan, and more, depending on your cooking style.
If you're buying a cookware set, pay close attention to the sizes of the pieces. Most sets have smallish skillets and/or sauce pans, and Made In and Misen are no exceptions. A set can be a good way to start your cookware collection, but you will almost certainly want to add more pieces--so budget accordingly.
Sets Vs. Individual Pieces
Buying sets of cookware can be a great way to start a cookware collection, but no set is perfect.
Advantages to buying sets:
- You get a lot of cookware for a good price
- Your cookware matches.
Disadvantages to buying sets are:
- Most cookware sets have too-small pieces
- You can't pick the pieces you get
- You don't need the same level of quality for every piece, so you may pay too much for some pieces (e.g., stock pots) and not enough for others (skillets)
- If it's a stainless set with a nonstick piece, you'll pay too much for the nonstick.
Our Recommendation for Buying Sets
If you want to get a set, our recommendation is to go with a small one--no more than 7 pieces (including lids). This way, you get some great basics, but with the full understanding that you'll want to add to them with individual pieces that fit your needs exactly. You save some money, but you also get to choose exactly what you add to your collection.
Why Not a Larger Set?
Buying a larger set may be a solution, but it's likely that you'll end up with too many pieces, pieces of the wrong size (usually too small), or pieces that won't provide a lot of use.
Some large sets can also include non-pieces like utensils and cookware cleaner. Be sure the pieces in the set are all usable pieces of cookware (noting that lids are always counted as separate pieces when buying cookware).
When buying large sets, you really have to be careful. Made In's 11-piece Sous set (about $660) includes a 12-inch carbon steel skillet, a 3.5 quart sauté pan, and a 4-quart sauce pan in addition to the two 10-inch skillets in their starter set. Most of these are good pieces (and this set is one of Made In's best sellers). But do you really want to pay clad stainless prices for carbon steel and nonstick pans? You can find excellent quality carbon steel for a lot less than Made In's price. And as we already mentioned, you'll pay too much for clad stainless nonstick because it won't last.
In fact, you'll almost certainly pay less in total if you buy nonstick and carbon steel pans separately (not the Made In brand), and the quality will be just as good.
learn more about carbon steel Vs stainless steel cookware
learn more about how to buy nonstick cookware
Another problem is that if you buy a large set, you may be reluctant to add to it, even if you need the pieces. For example, if you got a Dutch oven in your stainless set, you may not want to invest in a good enameled cast iron Dutch oven--yet the enameled cast iron Dutch oven is a much more functional piece. Or, if you got a set with three skillets, you may not want to get a cast iron skillet, even though they are an essential piece for many tasks. Neither Made In nor Misen (nor All-Clad, for that matter) are thick and heavy enough to provide optimal searing like cast iron.
Finally, this may not sound like a problem, but all the pieces in the set are the same quality, so you don't get to choose where you invest your money--and you don't need the same quality for every task. For example, you want a skillet with excellent heating performance, but that isn't so important for a stock pot. If you buy pieces individually, you can invest your money in a top notch skillet (such as a Demeyere Proline) and save on the pieces that don't require this kind of performance (stock pots and sauce pans).
The Exception: Misen's Essentials Set
Having said all of that, if you want a larger set, the Misen Essentials 9-piece set is our best recommendation. The pieces are all clad stainless and all very functional. The set includes:
- 10-inch skillet
- 12-inch skillet w/lid (yes--a lid for the big skillet!)
- 3-quart sauté pan w/lid
- 3-quart sauciér w/lid
- 8 quart stock pot w/lid.
Two large skillets! A big stock pot! And that world famous sauciér! No nonstick or carbon steel! This is one of the best combinations we've ever seen in a cookware set. All the pieces are simply excellent, and the goes for about $375, which is an excellent deal.
No cookware set is perfect, and buying a large set will probably result in having pieces you won't use. So our recommendation is to buy a small set--no more than 7 pieces, including lids--and augment with individual pieces as you know what you need.
Another advantage to buying individual pieces is that you can put your money where it is best spent. You don't need the same level of quality for every piece.
The exception to this is Misen's 9 piece Essentials set, which has two large skillets, a 3 quart saucier, 3-quart sauté pan and an 8-quart stock pot, all of which are excellent pieces that most cooks will get a ton of use from.
Cost and Buying Options
Even just sticking to their clad stainless cookware, both Made In and Misen have a lot of buying options (especially Made In). You can buy individual pieces, small sets, medium-sized sets, and kitchen sink sets. You can buy cookware-knife combinations. Made In has curated sets of cookware, bakeware, cutlery, glassware, and dinnerware. Misen has nonstick skillet sets and sets of skillets and knives. There are a lot of ways to go.
While many of the pieces are similar, some are very different. Made In's roasting pan is fairly deep, carbon steel, and includes a rack; Misen's roasting pan is 5-ply clad stainless and shallower, with no rack:
About Made In Buying Options
One thing we really dislike about Made In is that they've now combined much of their clad stainless cookware sets to include nonstick and carbon steel. If you only want stainless and no nonstick or carbon steel, you pretty much have to buy Made In pieces individually.
Also, if you want cookware made in the USA, Made In isn't a great choice--which, given their name, is somewhat ironic--because only some pieces of clad stainless are made here; the rest is made in Italy (we couldn't find out which are made where). Their carbon steel cookware is made in France. So despite the name, Made In cookware is mostly not an American product.
Made In prices are also higher than Misen across the board by about 20-30%. Adding nonstick and carbon steel pieces to clad stainless sets should lower prices, but that isn't the case. Thus, we feel their sets are, in general, overpriced. (And again: clad stainless nonstick is a terrible investment.)
Made In is good quality, but overall we were disappointed by both their prices and their buying options.
Misen: The Winner for Cost and Buying Options
Misen does not mix their types of cookware: a stainless set has only clad stainless pieces, no nonstick or carbon steel. We love this, because you'll pay too much for both nonstick and carbon steel pans if you buy them in a set mixed with clad stainless.
Overall, Misen is the big winner here. First of all, for cost. Prices on all their cookware are lower than Made In--and since we prefer the Misen build quality, this is great news.
Second, Misen's Essentials set has excellent pieces--including a 12-inch skillet, 3-quart sauciér, and 8-quart stock pot--at an excellent price of about $375. The set even comes with a lid for the 12-inch skillet, which is rare. All the pieces are clad stainless, so this is a lot of cookware for the price. We don't typically like larger sets, but this one is a stunning exception.
The only drawback is that Misen cookware is made in China, which is how they keep costs down. If that doesn't bother you, Misen pieces are universally less expensive than Made In and the quality is every bit as good (we think better).
For a price comparison of the most popular items, see the table at the beginning of this review.
Misen has the best buying options overall, even though they have fewer options. They don't mix clad stainless with other materials, their prices are lower, and their build quality is better. Their Essentials set is one of the best clad stainless sets we've seen (and at an excellent price).
If you don't mind that Misen cookware is made in China, it is definitely the better option.
Price Comparisons: Made In, Misen, and All-Clad
Here are price comparisons of popular clad stainless cookware stock sold by Made In, Misen, and All-Clad.
Made In and Misen products increase in price as they go up in size, but this is not always the case with All-Clad. For example, All-Clad's 3-quart sauce pan--we think the most versatile size--is their least expensive size, at about $120 for the D3 and about $140 for the D5.
It can be tricky to get apples to apples comparisons, but we compared the closest options we could. Nevertheless, you should get a good idea of your buying options here.
3 Qt Sauce Pan
-10" nonstick skillet
-2 qt sauce pan.
-8 qt stockpot.
-3 qt. sauce pan w/lid
-3 qt. sauté pan
-3 qt. sauce pan
-3 qt sauté pan.
-3 qt. sauce pan
-3 qt sauté pan.
-10" stainless skillet -10" nonstick skillet
-12" carbn stl skillet
-2 qt/4qt sauce pan
-3.5 qt sauté pan
-8 qt stock pot
-3qt sauté pan
-2qt/3qt sauce pans
-3qt sauté pan
-1.5qt/3qt sauce pans
-3qt sauté pan
-5.5 qt Dutch oven.
Summary: Made In Pros and Cons
Summary: Misen Pros and Cons
What About Made In Celebrity Endorsements?
The list of celebrity chefs that use Made In cookware may seem impressive, but we caution you against paying a lot of attention to it.
If chefs endorse a particular brand of cookware, it's because they're being paid to do so. The cookware company gives the restaurant free cookware to use, takes some photos of them using it, and then has the chef say how wonderful the cookware is.
Many chefs would endorse any reasonably good quality product if it is given to them for free. This doesn't tell you very much about the cookware, or how it stacks up against other decent quality brands.
Made In cookware is good quality. But just because it has several celebrity endorsements doesn't mean it's better than other brands. All-Clad got a lot of their early traction in the market by giving cookware away to chefs. It was a successful marketing campaign that Made In, as well as some other new brands, is using.
Our Overall Recommendations
Overall, we like Misen over Made In. They have fewer product offerings, but the ones they have are great.
- The best overall set is Misen's 9-piece Essentials set (excellent pieces)
- The best small set is Misen's Starter set
- The carbon steel skillets of both brands are overpriced; we recommend Lodge or Matfer Bourgeat
- The nonstick skillets of both brands are overpriced; we recommend Anolon Nouvelle Copper or All-Clad (both made in China).
Both Made In and Misen are new to the cookware market, but both brands are well made, high quality clad stainless cookware that should last for decades. While you'll probably be happy with either brand, Misen is more affordable and it also offers better heating performance because it's thicker and slightly heavier.
If you don't mind that Misen cookware is made in China, it's the best choice. If you want American made cookware, we recommend All-Clad, as only some pieces of Made In clad stainless are made here.
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