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Made In Vs Misen: Which Is Better?

By trk

Last Updated: November 27, 2023

cookware, cookware reviews, made in, misen

Made In and Misen are popular direct-to-consumer (abbreviated "DTC" or "D2C") cookware brands. By cutting out the retail middleman, they offer high quality products at lower prices than some comparable brands such as All-Clad. 

(Update: You can find both brands on Amazon now: see Made In and Misen on Amazon.)

Both brands offer quality 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 brands are good quality, but our pick is Misen. The heating core is thicker, so it heats better, prices are lower, and their Essentials set has great pieces. If you don't mind that Misen cookware is made in China, it's the best choice. 

Made In Vs Misen at a Glance

Made In 6pc Starter Set

Made In 6 piece starter set.

Misen Starter 5pc set

Misen 5 piece starter set (our choice).

This table shows the major features of Made In and Misen cookware.

Prices are approximate and subject to change.

Header

Made In

Misen

Product Offering

-Clad stainless cookware 

-Clad stainless nonstick skillets and sauce pans

-Carbon steel cookware (skillets, wok, roasting pan, paella pan)

-Copper cookware 

-Bakeware

-Flatware, dinnerware, glasses

-Utensils, cleaner, lids, misc. accessories.

-Clad stainless cookware

-Aluminum nonstick skillets

-Carbon steel skillets

-Enameled cast iron Dutch oven/grill pan

-Knives

-Prep tools, incl. cutting boards, utensils, cleaners, sharpening stone, and more.

Clad Stainless Specs

-5 ply w/3 internal layers of aluminum

-18/10 cooking surface

-18/0 exterior,

-2.7mm thick.

-5 ply w/3 internal layers of aluminum

-18/10 cooking surface

-18/0 exterior

-3.0mm thick.

Induction Compatible?

Yes (stainless/carbon steel only).

Yes (all Misen cookware).

Cookware Prices (app.)

Country of Origin

USA, Italy, France, Hungary.

China.

Warranty

-45 day free returns

-Lifetime warranty

-One year warranty on nonstick.

-60 day free returns

-Lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects

-No warranty on nonstick.

To Buy:

*Includes nonstick skillet.

**Includes nonstick and carbon steel skillets.

***The best set at the best price and our number one recommendation. See details below.

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About Made In

Made In logo

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. 

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About Misen 

Misen Logo

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 the company with a Kickstarter campaign in 2015. 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 knives and clad stainless cookware, though they make several other types of cookware and kitchen tools.

Misen cookware and knives are made in China. This keeps costs down (most Misen pieces are less expensive than most Made In pieces). The Chinese 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 about this in the next section.

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Buying Considerations (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.

Heating Performance 

Winner: Misen

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 (assuming that it's safe to cook with). This is a complex subject, but the most important features of cookware heating performance are thermal conductivity, heat retention, and mass.

Thermal Conductivity

Thermal conductivity measures how evenly a pan heats and how quickly it will respond to changes in temperature.

Most cooks want cookware that heats evenly and responds fairly quickly to temperature changes. 

Cookware materials with the best thermal conductivity are copper and aluminum.

Clad stainless cookware lined with enough aluminum or copper has good thermal conductivity.

(What's enough? See the Mass section below.) 

Heat Retention

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 high heat searing, where avoiding temperature crashes is crucial for good results.

Cookware materials with high heat retention ratings are cast iron and carbon steel. Thus, carbon steel and cast iron have better heat retention than clad stainless cookware.

Thermal conductivity and heat retention are essentially opposites: Thermal conductivity measures responsiveness to heat changes, while heat retention measures the lack of responsiveness to heat changes.

Both are important in cooking, but most people want cookware that does both things fairly well. Clad stainless cookware is a good middle-of-the-road choice, with good thermal conductivity and enough heat retention for most cooking tasks. 

Mass

Cookware's mass is also important 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 is very even.

And the thicker and heavier cookware is, the better the heat retention, regardless of the material. 

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, light cookware, especially when we're talking about clad stainless and aluminum cookware. You should buy the heaviest clad stainless steel cookware you can comfortably handle.

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 of a difference for Misen to provide better thermal conductivity and better 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 it's clear 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

Winner: Misen 

Why: Misen is thicker, so it's more durable. They tie for stability.

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. However, Misen is thicker, so it edges out Made In in durability (it will be less prone to warping).

Design

Winner: Misen 

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. 

Skillets

Winner: Misen

Why: More flat cooking surface. 

The skillets look like this:

Made In skillet

Made In skillet.

Misen skillet

Misen skillet.

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 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 more flat cooking surface. 

The more sloped sides of the Made In makes it easier to get a spatula in there to flip your burgers-but you won't be able to fit as many burgers in the pan.  

We like the Made In handles better. They have a better grip and we think they're prettier. But we believe the greater amount of flat cooking surface is the more important feature.

Sauce Pans/Sauciérs

Winner: Misen

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:

Made In sauce pan

Made In sauce pan.

Misen Saucier with lid

Misen sauce pan/saucier.

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):

All-Clad Copper Core Saucier pan

All-Clad (traditional) sauciér.

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. 

It's a great design, and a lot of other people think so, too: at one point, there were more than 1,000 people on a waiting list for this pan. This pan has consistently been one of Misen's 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 works for any type of liquid cooking as well as making sauces.

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:

Made In saucier

Made In sauciér.

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. 2-quart is small for jobs like pasta, and 4-quart starts to get into stock pot territory (or at least soup pot territory).

This All-Clad D3 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). 5-quart is too large for a sauciér, but it makes a pretty good chef's pan

Misen's sauciér is available in 2-quart and 3-quart sizes, which are better sizes for both a sauce pan and a sauciér.

Handles

Winner: Made In

Why: Made In handles have better grip and they're prettier. (Misen is our recommendation even with the less desirable handles.)

Here are closeups of the skillet handles:

Made In skillet handle

Made In skillet handle.

Misen handle

Misen skillet handle.

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 be an improvement.

The squarish Misen handle is less easy to grip and 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 shouldn't have much of an affect on your decision because they are so similar.

Helper Handles

Winner: Tie

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 large pans:

Helper Handle on All-Clad pot

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, especially considering that this skillet weighs the same as their sauté pan (which has a helper handle).

Misen's 3-quart sauté pan has a helper handle but none of their other long-handled pieces do. Their 12-inch skillet should have a helper handle. 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, All-Clad 12-inch skillets do have them (and all brands should).

Other Pieces

Made In saute pan

Made In sauté pan.

Misen saute pan

Misen sauté pan.

Winner: Tie

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.

Made In has 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 nice enameled cast iron 7-quart Dutch oven priced around $165 (compares quite favorably 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 it, but it also has another lid, too, which is thoughtful design. 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's worth checking out. 

Misen Dutch oven and grill pan

Misen Dutch oven and grill pan.

Weight and Maneuverability

Winner: Misen

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, 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 Misen has more aluminum, which is a light material. More aluminum is also going to mean more even heating, so Misen is the best choice here: the weight difference is so small, you don't sacrifice much in maneuverability, and you get better heating.

Finish

Winner: N/A

Why: This is a preference and doesn't affect performance.

Made In saucier

Brushed finish Made In sauciér.

Misen saucier

Polished finish Misen sauciér.

Stainless steel cookware can 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.

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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 stock pot (or larger, if you like to make big batches).

This doesn't mean these are the only sizes you'll need, because you'll 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.

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.

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 (plus lids) for about $500.

Misen's 5 piece starter set includes a 10-inch skillet, a 3-quart sauté pan, and their 3-quart sauciér (plus lids) for about $275. 

Both starter sets have some good pieces, but neither is perfect. 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. We 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. The 10-inch skillet and 3-quart sauté pan are close in size and utility, but are a much better choice than the nonstick skillet in the Made In 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'll need more pieces. Knowing you'll have to buy more, we think the Misen set at almost half the cost is a no brainer.

If you're buying a cookware set, pay 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 probably want to add more pieces--so budget accordingly.

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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

Misen 9 piece Essentials set

Misen's Essentials set: possibly the best set of cookware on the planet.

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. 

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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:

Made In roasting pan w:rack

Made In carbon steel roasting pan.

Misen roasting pan

Misen 5-ply roasting pan.

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.

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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.

Header

Made In

Misen

All-Clad D3

All-Clad D5

8/10/12" skillet

3 Qt Sauce Pan

Starter Set

$500--6pc:

-10" skillet

-10" nonstick skillet

-2 qt sauce pan.

-8 qt stockpot.

$275--5pc:

-10" skillet

-3 qt. sauce pan w/lid

-3 qt. sauté pan

-10" skillet

-3 qt. sauce pan

-3 qt sauté pan.

$500--5pc:

-10" skillet

-3 qt. sauce pan

-3 qt sauté pan.

Larger Set

$700--11pc Sous Chef set*

-10" stainless skillet -10" nonstick skillet

-12" carbn stl skillet

-2 qt/4qt sauce pan

-3.5 qt sauté pan

-8 qt stock pot

$475 9pc Essentials Set

-10"/12" skillets

-3qt saucier 

-3qt sauté pan

-8qt stockpot

$700--10pc set

-8"/10" skillets

-2qt/3qt sauce pans

-3qt sauté pan

-8qt stockpot.

$860--10pc set

-8"/10" skillets

-1.5qt/3qt sauce pans

-3qt sauté pan

-5.5 qt Dutch oven.

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Summary: Made In Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Excellent quality
  • Most of the clad stainless is made in the USA
  • Lots of buying options in addition to the clad stainless and carbon steel (e.g., bakeware, cutlery, flatware, glassware, utensils, copper cookware, and more)
  • More affordable than All-Clad for comparable quality.
Cons
  • Slightly thinner than Misen, resulting is slightly poorer heating (though the difference is small)
  • Mixed sets mean you're paying clad stainless prices for cs and nonstick) 
  • The nonstick is clad stainless (aluminum is a better choice)
  • Carbon steel and nonstick skillets are overpriced
  • Only some of the clad stainless is made in the USA (only a con if you want American-made cookware).

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Summary: Misen Pros and Cons

Pros
  • 3.0mm thickness provides superior heating and durability
  • Excellent quality
  • The 9pc Essentials set is one of the best stainless sets we've ever seen
  • Prices are lower than Made In
  • No mixed sets (all clad stainless pieces)
  • Nonstick is aluminum (not clad stainless)
  • No nonstick or carbon steel included in stainless sets.
Cons
  • Slightly heavier than Made in pieces (but better performance)
  • Fewer products and buying options than Made In
  • Made in China
  • Carbon steel and nonstick skillets are overpriced.

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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 chefs free cookware to use, takes photos of them using it, then has them 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 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.

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Made In Vs. Misen FAQs

Here are some common questions about Made In vs. Misen cookware.

Is Made In Cookware Made in the USA?

Made In's clad stainless steel cookware is made in the USA. All other Made In cookware (as well as their other products) are made overseas, mostly in European countries. As far as we know, no Made In products are made in China.

Where Is Misen Cookware Made?

Misen cookware is made in China. We believe that other Misen products are also made in China.

Which Brand Heats Better, Made In or Misen?

In our testing, Misen had the most even heating and the best heat retention. This makes sense because Misen is heavier cookware with a thicker aluminum heating core than Made In.

What Is the Warranty on Made In and Misen Cookware?

Both Made In and Misen have a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.

Is Made In Better than All-Clad?

Made In is marginally better than All-Clad D3 and much better than All-Clad D5. It has a slightly thicker heating core than both, so it heats slightly more evenly and hangs onto heat slightly longer; in our testing, we didn't see a noticeable difference. When first introduced, Made In clad stainless cookware was quite a bit less expensive than All-Clad, so it was a better deal. Today, the prices are the same and in some cases Made In cookware costs more than All-Clad.

Is Misen Better than All-Clad?

Misen cookware is heavier than All-Clad D3 and D5 and has a thicker aluminum heating core, so it heats more evenly and holds onto heat longer. In our testing, the differences were noticeable. Misen is almost always less expensive than All-Clad D3, so unless you really hate the Misen design, it's the better choice.

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Our Overall Recommendations

Overall, we recommend Misen over Made In. They have fewer product offerings, but the ones they have are worth looking at. 

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Final Thoughts on Made In Vs. Misen

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.

Thanks for reading!

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About the Author

The Rational Kitchen (TRK) is a collaborative effort, but the founder, editor, and writer of most of our articles is Melanie Johnson, an avid cook, kitchenware expert, and technical communications specialist for more than 20 years. Her love of cooking and the frustrating lack of good information about kitchen products led her to create The Rational Kitchen. TRK's mission is to help people make the best decisions they can when buying kitchen gear. 

When not working on product reviews, Melanie enjoys reading, playing with her dog Ruby, vintage video games, and spending time outdoors and with her family.

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  1. Fantastic review. I read this AFTER placing an order for the Misen 12 piece Stainless Steel Essential Set earlier today. Before reading this comprehensive review I was torn between Made In, All Clad and Misen. I chose Misen for its affordability/value, gorgeous, timeless design and supposedly exceptional performance. I am now convinced I made the right decision after reading this very thorough review and can't wait for my order to be delivered to start cooking!

    Thank you!

    Linda

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