The 4 Best Italian Cookware BrandsPublished on 05/17/2023 · 5 min readWhen it comes to high-quality cookware, some of the best brands are from Italy! Kitchen Expert Jacob Cummings deep dives into those brands and their products.
Photo by Jimmy Dean
Renowned for a vast culinary heritage, Europe remains one of the world’s top producers of high quality cookware. But it’s in Italy and France where the heart of this sentiment lies. In this guide, we’ll cover a list of the best Italian cookware brands and highlight their rich history and what makes each one unique. From stainless-clad pans to copper pots, these brands represent family values, local traditions and all of them celebrate high-quality products that elevate the cooking experience.
One of the smaller and lesser known, Inoxriv is an Italian company that specializes in stainless steel cookware. Founded in 1965 in Lumezzane, the company now exists as a vintage name that has faded away from the mainstream, and now mostly serves professionals with their coffee ware, milk boiling equipment, and pressure cookers. However, they do still have some cookware options.
The Io Bio set uses a polished finish and a classic European shape for their vessels. While this cookware has this distinct design, it’s actually quite far behind the times as for materials design and efficiency because their cookware uses only a single layer of aluminum in the base of the cookware, leaving the rest of the vessel to be contained with a thin and poorly conductive layer of stainless steel. Overall, this isn’t bad cookware, but there are better options for the money. Regardless, cooking should still be a breeze with no-hassle cleanup as all of the cookware is dishwasher safe.
The newest company on this list (founded in 2016) is actually an American company owned by the pioneer of hard anodized aluminum, Stanley Cheng. Cheng believes so strongly in the quality of Italian cookware production that he’s based all of the company’s manufacturing out of Italy. While Cheng helped create the nonstick revolution throughout, he’s since prioritized stainless steel his innovative Nanobond technology that blends titanium with stainless steel of the Probond line, resulting in the most durable cookware in the industry.
The Hestan Nanobond is a clad stainless steel cookware that functions similarly to nonstick in the sense that you can fry an egg on it without needing to use much oil. The difference is it’s very durable, it’s safe for use with metal utensils and has a high heat rating of 1050°F on the stovetop (unmatched by any other stainless cookware). All of this combined with a lifetime warranty makes the Nanobond one of the most high performing pots, pans, and dutch ovens on the market. The only downside is that it’s also one of the most expensive and that can prove to be a bit prohibitive for some folks.
A family company founded in 1901 in Omegna, Italy, Lagostina was originally a manufacturer of stainless steel flatware, the company grew worldwide throughout the century perfecting their form and function all with constant consideration to their Italian heritage. Known for blending traditional charm and innovation, Lagostina has implemented clad stainless with copper and aluminum to make some of the most memorable family heirlooms.
The hammered copper finish of the Lagostina Martellata cookware set is stunning from the outside and high performing on the inside with the stainless steel lining that ensures a non-reactive cooking surface that will last a lifetime. Because copper is so conductive, this cookware is essential for anyone who needs accurate heat control as the material both rapidly heats and cools faster than any other material (high quality aluminum being the next in line). The only real downside to this cookware is that copper will tarnish over time as it reacts to both heat and acidic ingredients, so there’s a bit of maintenance that goes into keeping the copper finish looking shiny and colorful, but it’s also worth noting that many top chefs take great pride in the tarnish of their copper cookware, as it does not affect performance and displays a wearing pattern that is unique to each vessel.
Founded in 1962 by Fremide Ruffoni who was celebrating the heritage and craft of his grandfather Antonio Ruffoni, the copper workshop brought together artisan blacksmiths from the Valstrona Valley, Italy. By the end of the century, the Ruffoni family insignia had established itself worldwide as one of the most prestigious copper manufacturers in history. Today, the company continues to celebrate this heritage with copper cookware that is available with a stainless steel or tin lining that makes the cookware non-reactive and perfect for all types of cooking and it’s a popular choice for adding a familiar touch to home weddings.
The Ruffoni Symphonia Cupra set uses a smaller batch of vessels, with the 5-quart braiser being the largest vessel in the group. This set is a perfect entry point for anyone who’s curious about high-end copper cookware because the stainless steel lining is durable and maintenance-free, while still holding all of the high-performance features of copper. This set is great for anyone who’s into delicate foods like fish or making the batter for cookies that have a short window of time before the sugars reach their peak and finish.
Italian cookware in general remains one of the top standards for quality and innovation. If you’re looking for the perfect set of Italian cookware for your kitchen, or your first copper pot, please reach out to one of our Experts in the kitchen department and we’ll get you some recommendations based on your ideal needs and budget!