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Cookware doesn’t get much better-looking than Hestan NanoBond. With clean, modern lines and a sleek silver finish, it’s easy to see that these pots and pans mean business. But, the collection’s appeal can quickly take an intimidating turn. One moment you’re admiring its elegance, and the next you’re self-assessing, internally posing questions like, “Is my grimy stove top really worthy such beauty?” and—perhaps more pressingly—“Can I actually afford this?”
The truth is, the Hestan NanoBond cookware will make a dent in your pocket. With individual pieces like an 81/2-inch open skillet starting at $150, the price laps most well-made stainless steel cookware—which means that, if you’re like most home cooks out there, purchasing one of these will be a big investment. And if you’re going to invest in something, you ought to at least do your research first, right?
We’re here to help with that.
So, first things first: What is NanoBond—the technology patented and released by Hestan in 2017—anyway? We went straight to the source: Pamela Stafford, Director of Hestan Culinary, and Rachel Kantor, a Sales Representative for Hestan. As they explained to us, all metal surfaces are naturally porous, with peaks and valleys that easily trap food particles (news to us!)—even if they’re microscopic. NanoBond swoops in to eliminate those peaks and valleys, using thousands of layers of molecular titanium and chromium. It’s an environmentally friendly process, and the result is a non-toxic, non-porous surface that’s four times as hard as that of your typical stainless steel pan.
Those tightly sealed pores go on to simplify cooking by creating a non-stick-like surface, despite having no PTFE (a.k.a. polytetrafluoroethylene, the chemical associated with most non-stick pans) or ceramic coating. What’s more, because that surface is protected with molecular titanium, it can withstand extremely high temperatures of up to 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit (right on par with cast iron and carbon steel)—without any resulting high-heat oxidation or tarnishing.
All of which makes NanoBond cookware super durable, not to mention a delight to cook with. Just ask acclaimed In Situ chef Corey Lee, whose all-star kitchen staff uses NanoBond cookware to turn out Michelin-star-worthy dishes. “Chefs often say that NanoBond simply cooks ingredients better,” Pamela told us. “Plus, the handles are very comfortable, and the balance and ergonomics of the cookware are fantastic.”
Still, we wanted to know if we’d really notice a difference between cooking with Hestan NanoBond and the less expensive cookware we already own. Rachel confirmed that yes, we would: this cookware both heats much more quickly, and distributes that heat more evenly. (She did not say we’d be effortlessly searing steak to medium-rare perfection from here on out, although we’d like to think that’s what she meant.)
In spite of all its sophisticated functionality, this cookware is actually delightfully simple to clean and care for—hello, better dinners and quicker cleanups. Metal utensils are okay, as is the dishwasher—and if you’re hand-washing, that non-porous surface means there’s never much residue to scrub away anyway.
If you’re still feeling the pinch of its price Pamela and Rachel have one more point to make: Hestan NanoBond actually has five times the lifespan of normal stainless steel or aluminum-clad cookware. “We studied the aerospace industry for inspiration,” Pamela explained. “We looked at how they protect surfaces from heat, and how they are able to create something that is virtually indestructible.” Rachel added, “In the long run, that means less money spent, and fewer pots and pans winding up in the landfill. Plus, in 20 years they’ll look better than some other cookware will after just a year or two of use.”
Our last order of business: We wanted to know why home cooks—and not just ambitious chefs—should buy Hestan NanoBond. Rachel’s answer was simple: “You should buy it because it will make your life much easier,” she said. And, as we neared the end of a long day and began to contemplate dinner, we found we really couldn’t argue with that.
What do you like most about your cookware? Tell us in the comments below!