Chef’s Du Jour 32-Piece Review

Think Twice

Only four of the 32 pieces in this cookware set are pots and pans. Buyers report that food sticks and burns, the knives don't cut, and the nonstick coating peels off at the get-go.

The Chef's Du Jour 32-piece set (starting at $25, Amazon) may seem like a good buy if you are looking to equip a kitchen without spending much money. Unfortunately, Chef's Du Jour reviews rail against the quality, warning shoppers that it likely won't be long before they have to buy everything again.

A 32-piece set may sound like it includes practically every pan you could imagine, but it comprises only four pieces of cookware: a 3.25-quart Dutch oven (tiny compared with the other sets we researched), 1.25- and 1.75-quart saucepans, and a 8.625-inch saute pan. The rest of the 32 pieces: three lids; six kitchen tools; a seven-piece cutlery set that includes scissors and a wooden block; and four knives, forks, and spoons. The pot lids are made of vented, tempered glass and the handles are a stay-cool material. Although everything but the knife block is dishwasher-safe, none of the pieces can go in the oven.

The pans in the Chef's Du Jour 32-piece set are made of carbon steel with a nonstick coating. The steel rusts very quickly, as does the flatware, according to user reviews on Amazon. The nonstick interiors don't seem to work very well, either. Food sticks to the surface, reviewers say, and pieces of the coating come off easily.

The other items in the Chef's Du Jour 32-piece set seem no better in quality. In reviews, consumers describe the knives as very soft and flimsy and report that they don't cut much of anything. (A knife from the set will cut butter, but only just, says one reviewer.) The flatware bends easily, according to some reviews, and the handles have come off after a few uses.

On the whole, the Chef's Du Jour 32-piece set is exactly what most purchasers seem to expect from cookware that costs about $1 per item; i.e., the quality is poor. Although some customers who posted reviews on Overstock are glad to have outfitted a starter kitchen on the cheap, a couple of other reviewers say the pieces remind them of a children's toy set. Even a parent who was happy with this purchase for a son's first apartment concedes that, if he does much more than boil water, he'll need a replacement soon enough.

Elizabeth Sheer

Elizabeth Sheer is a Brooklyn-based writer and researcher. In addition to researching and writing about household appliances and other consumer items, Elizabeth draws on her history of preparing cooking-related articles to conduct taste tests on all things delicious.

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