I’ve always thought that bakeware has been neglected by the manufacturers of premium kitchenwares. While triply, 5-ply, and even 7-ply cookware has been around for a while (popularized by AllClad), most bakeware is just straight-up aluminum, sometimes coated with a nonstick layer. While aluminum has great heating properties, it’s difficult to clean and it warps easily in hot ovens. Even worse, some bakeware is just stainless steel; while easy to clean, stainless steel also warps easily and has terrible heating properties when it’s the singular metal in a piece of bakeware.
That’s why I was happy to test out the bakeware line from 360 Cookware, manufactured by Americraft. All of 360 Cookware’s bakeware is made in the United States of America. While this bakeware is on the expensive side, it doesn’t skimp on quality. All the bakeware is cladded with 5 alternating layers of aluminum AND stainless steel, for a total gauge of 0.7.
As mentioned above, aluminum by itself has great heat distribution; however, it’s difficult to clean and prone to warping. While stainless steel by itself is much easier to clean (you can even throw it in a dishwasher), it is also prone to warping and has poor heat distribution. When the two metals are clad together, they retain the properties of both; bakeware that is easy to clean and has great heat distribution! As an added bonus, the cladding process protects the pan from warping in a hot oven. There’s a reason why homecooks love cladded cookware, and there is no reason why bakeware can’t be cladded as well.
I received the 5-Piece Bakeware Set from 360 Cookware by Americraft, which contains the following items:
I also received 360 Cookware’s jelly roll pan (14” x 10”).
First Impressions of 360 Cookware’s 5-Ply Bakeware
When I first received the bakeware, I was initially impressed by the heft of their weight. For some, extra weight may seem like a downside; however, when it comes to cooking you want to ensure your cookware has enough highly conductive metal to distribute heat properly; generally speaking, heavier pans are better distributors of heat. Knowing that there is aluminum, an excellent conductor and distributor of heat, cladded between the layers of stainless steel made me confident that the bakeware would be able to conduct and distribute heat excellently.
While the actual cooking surfaces seemed high quality, the handles did seem like an afterthought. They are very lightweight, and while that won’t take away from the actual baking performance of the pans, it does make the pieces of bakeware with handles feel a little cheaper. I guess it could be argued that the lightweight handles won’t conduct heat as well, which in turn prevents you from burning your hands; however, if the pan is going in the oven, as bakeware is designed to do, you’re going to be wearing oven mittens regardless of what kind of metal the handles are made of. Better handles would add a premium feel to the bakeware, which isn’t too much to ask for considering the premium price.
High Heat Cooking Using a 5-Ply Baking Sheet