Sunbeam Armington 7-Piece Review
Carbon steel is known for being able to withstand high temperatures, but consumers say this brightly colored cookware scorches and rusts easily, and the nonstick coating is barely there.
The Sunbeam Armington set (starting at $20, Amazon) comes in sunny colors indeed -- turquoise, red, and lime in addition to black. But a colorful kitchen doesn't make up for a lack of quality. The nonstick surface comes in for particular criticism in Sunbeam Armington reviews. On Amazon, reviewers complain that the nonstick coating comes right off -- and many specify that they use only plastic utensils and follow the manufacturer's directions. One user says the coating came off the first time the pan was used and the food took on an orange tinge, raising health concerns. Others writing on the Walmart website assert that the coating is too thin to keep food from sticking to the cookware. When they scrub off the burnt residue, even with a plastic pad, the nonstick coating begins to peel off.
The carbon-steel exterior is magnetic and will work with induction stoves but is not oven-safe. (Carbon steel is typically used in cookware that needs to get extremely hot, such as a wok or a pan that will be used for searing and deglazing.) Another complaint with this set is that the pots and pans are too lightweight and seem unlikely to last very long. Positive reviews often point to the low price, and many buyers seem to consider the cookware disposable -- a perfectly fine choice for college or another temporary living situation.
There are just four pots and pans in this ultra-cheap set: a 9.5-inch fry pan, 1.5- and 2-quart saucepans, and a 4.5-quart Dutch oven. The sizes are fairly typical, although our top picks have Dutch ovens that hold at least 5 quarts. The pots come with vented, tempered-glass lids and the pieces have Bakelite plastic handles designed to stay cool during cooking. The whole set is supposed to be dishwasher-safe, but again, some users report that even hand washing disturbs the nonstick coating.
For less than $20, the Sunbeam Armington 7-Piece might be good enough for a beginner who doesn't do much cooking. But be aware that you get what you pay for with this set; the nonstick coating may not stick around for long.