The Zwilling Spirit Cookware Set has been my steady kitchen companion for over a year now and I’d like to share my thoughts on this pots and pans set. I love kitchen purchases and am always excited to share new products with you. My practical and analytical sides, however, want to use the product, put it through a series of tests and then provide thoughtful, informed opinions. I purchased the Zwilling Spirit Cookware Set in December 2016 and you’ve probably seen me cooking with it in my videos. The Zwilling Spirit Cookware set replaced my much loved, but very tired, over-a-decade-old Analon anodized non-stick cookware set.
Zwilling Spirit Cookware Set – The Search for the Perfect Cookware Set
As with most major kitchen purchases, it’s an investment so I wanted a cookware set I would be happy with for many years. What I was looking for in a cookware set was fairly basic: Quality/Durability, Non-Stick Surface, and Essential Pots and Pans with options to add on to the set.
Quality/Durability – My Analon cookware was almost 15 years old when I retired it. I know things aren’t built to last anymore but if I could find a cookware set that would last for half that time, I’d be happy. Quality and durability mean good materials and craftsmanship: Cookware is sturdy and well-designed. Pot handles and lids are securely attached. Screws or bolts don’t come loose over time. Cookware finishes or coatings don’t peel or chip. Stainless steel that is truly rust or tarnish resistant.
Non-Stick Surface – I like cookware with non-stick surfaces. I don’t have to use as much oil (much healthier), and generally, cleaning is easier. Non-stick cookware technology has advanced quite a bit since the days of polytetrafluoroethylene (brand name Teflon). Hard Anodized, Ceramic, Marble and Porcelain Enamel surfaces are popular options. I’ve used anodized surfaces in the past and was interested in trying a different non-stick material.
Essentials with Options to Add On – I like the simplicity of purchasing a cookware set but knew I would need some additional pieces. I was looking for a line which offered a variety of one-off pieces to add to my collection.
After much research and consideration, I short-listed the selection to the following:
All-Clad Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
Anolon Nouvelle Copper Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set
Zwilling Spirit Stainless Steel Ceramic Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
I researched many different cookware brands, considering high-end professional lines to inexpensive sets which I knew would have to be replaced in a few years. I also read a lot of online reviews and quickly realized the perfect cookware doesn’t exist. Even with some of the top-of-the-line brands, consumers were complaining about poor quality and durability and urged readers to consider less expensive brands.
The Zwilling Spirit collection satisfied most of my requirements. I purchased the set from Macy’s during the December holiday sale for $325. The cookware set included:
- 8 inch fry pan
- 10 inch fry pan
- 6 quart Dutch oven with glass lid
- 3 quart sauté pan with glass lid
- 1 quart saucepan with glass lid
- 2 quart saucepan with glass lid
I also purchased the 8 quart Dutch oven and 4 quart saucepan to round-out the collection.
Zwilling Spirit Cookware Set – Thoughts a Year or so Later
It’s been 18 months since my purchase. I use the cookware daily and there are things I love and don’t love so much. They are as follows, in no particular order.
Good Heat Distribution – The cookware heats up very quickly and evenly. This is so important. Nothing is more frustrating than a pan with hot and cold spots and your food is cooked unevenly. FYI: I have a gas stove and read these pans work with induction heating as well.
Non-Stick Surface – This ceramic-coated cookware is not the perfect non-stick surface. Food doesn’t just slide out of the pan as promoted. I’ve cooked a few things, like eggs, that just clung to the surface. Oiling the surface helps but it’s not my first choice. As much as I initially resisted using anything abrasive, I had to resort to using the scratchy-side of the sponge to remove sticky food bits.
Cleaning – The cookware set is dishwasher safe but I hand wash and dry the pans. (This just a personal preference as they take up too much room in the dishwasher.) When food is stuck to the pan, here’s my little trick: Fill the hot pan halfway with hot water. (Don’t put the pan in the sink and run cold water over it. This is not recommended as cold water may warp the pan.) Let the pan sit on the stove until it’s cool enough to handle but still warm. Clean the pan with soap and hot water. I find soaking the inside with hot water and washing the pan while it’s warm is really effective with removing sticky residue.
Hot Handles – The metal handles get hot. Pot holders are needed when touching the handles after extended cooking times.
Glass Lids – Love this! I’ve always had glass lids on my cookware and couldn’t imagine cooking without them. This was one of the reasons I didn’t pick the Anolon Nouvelle Copper Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set.
Non-Drip Pouring Rim – A design feature I really like. I didn’t have this feature on my last cookware set and remember what a mess it was to pour out liquids and sauces. It’s a seemingly minor feature until you need it! 🙂
Solid and Weighty – The Zwilling Spirit Cookware Set is made with 3 ply stainless steel and it is weighty. Fill a 4 quart saucepan full and it’s too heavy for me to lift with one hand. Fill an 8 quart Dutch oven with soup bones and broth and it’s an upper body workout! 🙂
Made in Vietnam – I love that this cookware set is made in Vietnam even though Zwilling is a German company. Everything we buy made in Vietnam helps to provide jobs and support the local economy. The craftsmanship and quality of materials are impeccable. After unboxing, the sight of my shiny new cookware just made me giddy! 🙂
Storing Pots and Pans – If you’re short on cabinet space and wish to stack the pans, use pan and pot protectors to prevent scratches. The handle and bolts on the pan will scratch the non-stick surface of another pan when stacked (yep, learned this the hard way!). An inexpensive solution to separate the cookware is to use old kitchen towels or Brillo Basics Reusable Wipes. Purchase a bag with 12 cloths for $1 at the Dollar Store.
Zwilling Customer Service – In the first year, the lid for my 2 quart saucepan had some rusting which I believed to be a defect. I contacted Zwilling Customer Service for a warranty request. I had to pay to ship the lid to their headquarters in New York. After 8 weeks, they sent back a brand new 2 quart pan and not just the replacement lid. The warranty process took a bit of time and it would have been nice if they paid for the shipping but they did replace my rusted lid with a new pan and lid. Overall, it was a positive customer service experience. (Zwilling cookware comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects. This, of course, does not include normal wear and tear.)
Durability – Other than the two issues I mentioned above, the cookware set is holding up well, 18 months and counting. Some customers have complained about the non-stick surface chipping or peeling but I haven’t observed this with my set so this is good news. I don’t put my pots and pans in the dishwasher and I think this helps them last longer.
Zwilling Spirit Cookware Set – Would I Buy It Again?
Given the Zwilling Spirit Cookware Set met my initial (and ongoing) cooking needs and was reasonably priced, the answer is Yes. The Zwilling Spirit collection is a high-caliber cookware set that will last for many years. There are some product care “features” I’ve learned to accommodate but nothing I would consider extraordinary.
Buying the right cookware can be challenging. It really comes down to each individual’s needs, preferences and budget. Most stores (online and brick and mortar) have generous return policies so if you buy a set you don’t like, you can return it, even if used. Good Luck!
On a side note, my little sister needed new cookware right around the time I bought my set. I recommended to her the Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware. She wanted something light-weight with rubber handles and dishwasher safe. She loves the set. I’ve used it on multiple occasions as well. It’s a good, dependable set and worth a look if you have similar needs.
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This is a well written VERY accurate assessment of this Zwilling cookware set. It’s a great set – heats up FAST, cooks evenly, browns beautifully. However, these pots are either NOT non-stick, or there’s a technique for using them in that way that I’ve not yet learned. Other than that they’re ALMOST as good as my All-Clad pans….almost 🙂