360 Cookware Review – Our Hands On Test

360 Cookware

Our Rating:

Key Features:

Excellent heat conductivity

No chemical stainless steel and aluminum build

Vapor-cooking or traditional-cooking compatible

Uses less oil to cook food


Exceptional Cookware that Is Healthier for You and the Planet

360 Cookware doesn’t just make pots and pans. They deliver a brand new cooking experience. These high-performance utensils allow you to cook without added oil or water—or not!

Confused? I was too. But trust me, it is worth getting to know this cookware.

I had a chance to try out two of the company’s most popular products, the 4qt stockpot, and the 3.5qt saute pan. Like most of their cookware, these pans are made with layered stainless steel and aluminum to deliver effortless, even cooking without chemicals.

When used as traditional cookware, these pans blew my cheap set of stainless steel pots away. They cooked more evenly with much less heat. And they cleaned up with hardly any effort.

But what truly sets these pans apart are their unique vapor cooking abilities. Their exceptional heat conductivity combined with a unique shape and specialty lids allow you to cook veggies and meat without added water or oil. That means fewer calories and more flavor and nutrition.

Whether you are looking for a way to cook healthier or are just ready to upgrade your cook set, these pans are a great option.

Review Criteria Ratings

Overall Performance4.5/5

Pros

  • Vapor-cooking or traditional-cooking compatible
  • Excellent heat conductivity
  • No chemicals or toxins
  • Super-durable, high-quality construction
  • Made in America with Earth-first principles

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Take some time to get used to
  • Lid handles get hot during use

Should You Buy It?

If you are on a low-oil heart-healthy diet or just trying to cut back on calories, you need these pans. Not only are they a joy to cook with, but they also provide an option for oil-free vapor cooking.

Related: Our top cookware set reviews

Disclosure: This product was sent to us by the manufacturer for free in order for us to provide an honest review. However, this does not affect how we rate and review the product and all opinions are our own. We may earn commissions from any purchases made through links clicked on our website.

360 Cookware Overview

picture of 360 Cookware pot and pan

360 Cookware specializes in making quality, chemical-free cookware for all occasions. And, they have a vast product line to choose from. 

Each of their pots and pans consists of three high-performance layers. The first—the one that touches the stove—is a durable high carbon steel layer compatible with induction cooktops. The inner layer is aluminum which has amazing heat conductivity and provides even heating.

Related Post: The different types of cookware material

The final layer, the cooking surface, is made of surgical-grade stainless steel. This layer protects your food from the leaching of the inner aluminum and provides a durable surface for utensil contact. This layer is sanded to be perfectly smooth and nonporous, offering similar benefits as a coated non-stick pan without the toxins.

The transition from flat bottom to high sidewalls is gradual with extra curvature. This thoughtful design does not only makes stirring your food easier but allows for more even heating.

The lids have a similar convex curvature that helps trap heat and vapor and cycle it through the pan. Once steam begins to rise, the lids seal to the pans with just a simple twist, allowing the food to cook thoroughly without added water, oil, or extra heat.

This vapor cooking process is highly unique to this company.

Another unique aspect of 360 Cookware? Their dedication to the planet. 

They built their facility without toxic manufacturing processes. They hold zero EPA permits due to their ultra-clean operation. Plus, they create pans that are environmentally friendly and additive-free. All their products are made in the USA at their West Bend, Wisconsin manufacturing plant.

In addition to pots and pans, the company also produces bakeware, flatware, and cooking accessories.

I had a chance to take a couple of their more popular pans for a test drive. Keep reading to find out how this high-performance cookware stood up to the hype in our full 360 Cookware review below.

How It Performs

picture of 360 Cookware saute pan and stockpot on top of an induction stove

I got to try out the 3.5qt saute pan and 4qt stockpot from 360 Cookware. 

I spent plenty of time experimenting with the vapor cook technology. I also checked if these pans can perform in a more traditional way.

Mastering a new way of cooking proved problematic at times, but overall I was very impressed with these pans. Below, I’ll tell you exactly how they overshot my expectations and where I came up a bit disappointed.

The Cookware

close-up picture of 360 Cookware

From the moment I picked up these pans, I knew I was dealing with high-caliber cookware. They just feel well made. 

They are noticeably heavier than traditional stainless steel pots and pans. They are also much thicker than your standard pans.

Everything from the handles to the rivets gives the impression of being very durable. The lids are solid. I don’t see the handles loosening up on these lids or pots anytime soon.

Overall, my first impressions of these pans were all positive. They are beautifully made, and the quality is very easy to see.

The Packaging

packaging of 360 cookware

The pots came nested together with plenty of cardboard padding. And each pot was packaged in its plastic bag. The first thing I saw when I opened the box was a giant paper stop sign that read:

STOP! High-performance cookware – turn the heat down.

This is the first indication I had that these weren’t just any old pots and pans. And my first warning was that there would be a bit of a learning curve using this cookware.

In addition to the two pots, two lids, and stop sign, you’ll also find a small booklet. Inside were care instructions and an abridged introduction to using vapor cooking technology.

I’d highly recommend reading through this guide before you do anything else with these pans. Even after you finish, you may want to hit the company’s blog for more information. This is, of course, most important if you plan to vapor cook.

If you plan to use the pans for more traditional cooking, the only thing you need to know is right there on the stop sign.

How Do They Cook?

cooked vegetables using 360 cookware

I cooked quite a few meals with these pans, utilizing traditional cooking methods and the famed vapor cooking. In both situations, I noticed the lid handles got very hot during use. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but you will definitely need to keep the potholders close when using your 360 cookware on the stovetop.

Here is a complete breakdown of how the pans performed under each circumstance.

Traditional

cooked saute pan stir fry using 360 cookware

I’ve tested a lot of high-performance cookware in the past. With each of these products, there is always one common characteristic: they conduct heat impressively well. This means that you do not need to apply nearly as much heat to them to cook your food.

360 Cookware recommends keeping your heat setting at medium or below. I found that I could start at medium and dial the temperature back further after the food started to heat. Even in these lower settings, the food is cooked quickly.

Starting over these heat limits almost instantly negates the non-stick potential of these pans, even if you add oil. But when I stayed below medium and used a moderate amount of water or oil to lubricate the pan, I had no problems with food sticking.

I found the shape of the pans—specifically the well-rounded edges—added a lot to the cooking experience. It was easy to move the food around without anything getting stuck around the edges.

Overall, I found my food cooked very evenly with minimal effort. I was impressed by how quickly the pans heated up and how efficiently they retained heat even after I turned the burner down.

Vapor Cooking

picture of broccoli and peas in a 360 cookware

As I quickly found out, vapor cooking takes a fair amount of skill to master. There is just something very counterintuitive to cooking food without adding water or oil to the pan first.

To soften the learning curve, I started with a few simple recipes that were well outlined in the manual that came with the cookware.

First, I steamed some broccoli and fresh peas from the garden. You only need to rinse the veggies with cold water and then put them straight into the pan. Once steam begins to escape, you are supposed to spin the lid to seal it and turn down the heat.

The first lesson I learned: you better pay attention. I ended up sealing the lid and turning down the heat a little late on my first attempt. But the final product was still fairly impressive.

The veggies got a touch crisp in spots, but none stuck to the bottom and they were still evenly cooked overall.

cooking rice in a 360 cookware

I used the vapor method to cook quinoa, rice, and mixed veggies for stir fry. Cooking grains with vapor cookware is similar to traditional methods, except removing the pot from heat after only a few minutes. The pots hold heat so well that the grains continue to cook off the burner and are done in about the same amount of time.

Getting the cooking times right proved a bit of a challenge, especially since you cannot lift the lid to check the progress of your meal.

But overall, I was very impressed with how these pans took raw ingredients and turned them into flavorful, evenly cooked final products with such little energy and without added oil.

How Do They Clean-Up?

cleaning 360 cookware

One of the best things about cooking with the vapor method (and there are many!) is that it makes cleanup really easy—assuming you don’t burn anything.

When I was successful using the vapor method, there was almost no food stuck to the bottom of the pans when I was done. This made the task of cleaning the pans as easy as wiping them down with soapy water. After a few uses, the stockpot developed a noticeable patina, but my saute pan still looks as good as new.

The one time I did burn my veggies while vapor cooking, I was amazed at how easily the black spots came off the bottom of the pot. I just soaked it for a few hours, then wiped it down, and it looked as good as new.

As you can imagine, traditional cooking leaves a little more on the bottom of the pans. Even when this was the case, I was still surprised at how easy these pans were to bring back their original shine.

The key to maintaining that chemical-free, nonstick stainless surface is to keep it as smooth and uniform as possible, so this makes sense. The care instructions recommend avoiding abrasive cleaners and pads. For tough food messes, they recommend soaking the pans and making a baking soda paste for scrubbing.

To this point, I have yet to need to make a paste. Everything has easily come clean with just a quick hot, soapy water soak.

Keeping the outsides of the pots looking brand new has proved a little harder. They arrive so shiny and beautiful that any minor blemish is noticeable. 

As I work out my growing pan collection to keep (these are definitely on the keep list!), I have been storing these pans on the counter. Here, they quickly collect dust which for some reason must be washed away with soap and water rather than just wiped off. 

So be prepared to store these pots in a clean drawer or cupboard immediately after drying if you want them looking their best.

Overall, these pots and pans are easy to clean so long as you follow the manufacturer’s advice and stay away from high heat. It is not recommended to wash them in the dishwasher. 

Alternatives to 360 Cookware

If you are looking for quality pans that are versatile and will encourage you to eat healthier, you won’t find anything better than 360 Cookware. But if you are on a budget or are looking for something a little different, you’ll find other choices out there.

For those who simply can’t afford the premiere pricing that comes with 360, Cooker King cookware is worth considering. This nonstick cookware utilizes chemical coatings instead of natural nonstick applications. But you can’t beat the price or the quality you get for that price.

For those who are less concerned about budget, Abbio Cookware is another great option. Abbio has a wide selection of pots and pans, some stainless and some coated, to meet all your cooking needs. They are priced well but not as affordable as Cooker King cookware.

Lastly, for those who love the cooking versatility aspect of the 360 pans but aren’t ready to try vapor cooking yet, the Proclamation Duo set is worth a look. These ingeniously designed pans work alone or in tandem to braise, fry, bake, roast, and more. They are the perfect option for those with little storage space but wide-ranging cooking habits. 

Features360 CookwareCooker KingAbbio CookwareProclamation Duo
MaterialStainless and aluminum tri-plyForged aluminumTri-ply stainless and stainless clad aluminum Multi-ply stainless steel
Non-stick?Natural non-stick smooth stainlessCoated non-stick surfacePans include proprietary non-toxic non-stick coatingNaturally stick resistant
Best featureVapor cooking compatibleAffordableMultiple optionsEndless cooking options with just two pans
Price$$$$$$$$$$$

Things to Consider Before Buying Cookware

Investing in a new cookware set, especially one on the pricier side, is never something you should do on a whim. Before you select your new pots and pans, take some time to consider what it is you want and expect from your new cookware.

  • Non-stick vs natural non-stick. Non-stick coatings are excellent for easy cleaning, but many are made of questionable chemicals. Natural non-stick surfaces are a healthier alternative but not as effective on high heat.
  • Weight. Simple stainless steel and aluminum pans are lightweight and easy to maneuver. Multi-ply pans are a bit heavier but tend to be more durable and cook more evenly.
  • Material. Stainless steel is durable and an easy keeper but not very conductive. Aluminum is highly conductive but prone to leaching and scratching. Carbon steel cooks more evenly and is super durable but can be expensive. Cookware that incorporates more than one of these materials will give you the best of each world.
  • Price. There are some quality, affordable pans out there. But they still will never last you as long or cook as well as a premium set. Choosing your new cookware should be a matter of balancing the budget with quality.

Conclusion

Quality cookware can transform your cooking experience. And no pots or pans I’ve tried have been quite as transformative as 360 Cookware.

The ingenious design of these pots allows you to cook extra-nutritious meals without added oils. Or not! The versatility of this cookware is outstanding, and so is the quality.

These pots and pans are as beautiful as they are functional and a joy to use, after a slight learning curve. They clean up easily, are exceptionally good at retaining heat and cooking at low temperatures, and are made by a company that is committed to doing good for you and the planet.

Click here to learn more about what 360 Cookware has to offer, see their full line of products, and learn more about what makes this company different.

About The Author

Sara Seitz is a freelance writer and novelist. She lives with her husband and wildling toddler in Colorado where she spends her days working on their house, gardening, and reconnecting with nature.

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