Kitchen & Cooking

This cookware claims it's 400% stronger than stainless steel

Here's how Hestan cookware stacks up.

This cookware claims it's 400% stronger than stainless steel Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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If durability and design are top of mind when considering cookware, you might be curious about Hestan. From the makers of Circulon and Anolon, Hestan cookware is designed to hold up to the demands of a professional kitchen while remaining beautiful and modern—and one of its lines claims to be 400% stronger than stainless steel. Its three lines of pots and pans, NanoBond, ProBond, and CopperBond, each have hefty price tags to match, with 10-piece sets ranging from $800 to $1,600.

But do they deliver on their promise? Are they worth the big bucks? Of course, we had to get into the kitchen and find out.

What do all Hestan cookware lines have in common?

Hestan Cookware - ProBond Full Set
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

All Hestan sets come with the same 10 pieces, but are made of different materials.

Each 10-piece set from Hestan includes 8.5- and 11-inch skillets, 1.5- and 3-quart saucepans, a 3.5-quart sauté pan, and a stockpot (8 quarts for NanoBond and ProBond, 6 quarts for CopperBond). While each line is made of different materials, which affect durability, appearance, and heat retention, the basic shapes are all the same. The skillet sides are not as sloped as on traditional omelet pans, which gives you more interior space for cooking, but they’re not totally straight, so it’s easy to slide a spatula under pancakes, roll out an omelet, or toss veggies like a pro.

The skillets and saucepans on all three lines feature the same curved and comfortable-to-hold stainless-steel handles. They remain cool enough to handle after cooking as long as you don’t clutch up and hold them near the pot itself. And they’re attached with rivets that are flush to the interior surface so they’re effortless to clean. On the stockpots and lids, there are smaller handles that do get too hot to handle without a pot holder. In each of the collections, the stainless-steel lids are identical.

Hestan has all of its cookware handcrafted in Italy. The brand includes very thorough use and care materials with each set, and a lifetime warranty is offered. If you have any questions about what to select, you can take advantage of what is called the “Cookware Concierge” service through the Hestan website.

Hestan NanoBond

Hestan Cookware - NanoBond Full Set
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Hestan NanoBond is the super-durable line made of titanium and steel.

What’s it made of?

Thousands of layers of titanium-based nanolayers are bonded to the stainless-steel surfaces of NanoBond cookware. Hestan claims that makes it 400% harder than traditional stainless steel and therefore resistant to staining and scratching. On the inside, there's a a smooth, dark gray, lustrous finish. The cookware has a core of aluminum to provide even heating.

How does Hestan NanoBond cookware look and feel?

It’s beautiful. With slightly flared rims, rounded edges, and a shimmering gray finish, it’s less commercial-looking than its competitors in the luxe category. NanoBond is hefty but not so much so that you feel like using it is a chore. The 10-piece set is currently priced at $1,599.95.

What we like

  • The highly lustrous surface looks classy.
  • It includes a good assortment of useful pieces, including a stockpot.
  • It distributes heat evenly.
  • There’s a helper handle on the sauté pan.
  • The pot handles stay cool enough to handle during stovetop cooking.
  • It can be used under the broiler or on the grill.
  • The rivets are flush, making cleaning easy.

What we don’t like

  • It’s very expensive.
  • There’s no Dutch oven in the set.
  • You need to polish it to keep it looking good.

How does it perform?

Hestan Cookware - NanoBond Close-Up
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Every NanoBond piece performs exceptionally well.

The skillets conduct heat evenly on the bottom and on up to the sidewall. What this means to you is that you won’t have to keep rearranging chicken pieces or chops to sear them evenly, and you won’t find tomato sauce scorching right where the bottom meets the sides. When I cooked a fried egg with a pat of butter, I got a little sticking but was able to flip it over and lift it out of the pan intact.

Using a generous amount of butter, I was able to make a rolled omelet with ease. In a saucepan, I kept water at a near perfect simmer for a full hour. Rice steamed up moist but not mushy and there was no stuck-on layer on the bottom of the pan. It was easy to stir vanilla custard with a wooden spoon or a small wire whisk, but a large whisk didn’t quite get around the edge. The large stockpot brought water for pasta to a boil in just 15 minutes.

Is it easy to use and clean?

These pieces can safely take heat up to 1050°F, which means you can not only run them under the broiler but can even use them on the grill if you are so inclined. NanoBond can be used on an induction burner and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Although we did find that the sleek finish tended to resist burnt-on stains, it did discolor.

We were able to restore its sheen with an included sample of Hestan NanoBond Professional Grade Cleaner, as well as some Barkeepers Friend. The flush rivets were a huge plus when it came to cleanup. On other pots and pans, I often spend more time working around the little rivets than the rest of the pan and over time, learn to live with some permanent staining around them.

What owners say

There are only 8 reviews, all 5-star, on Hestan’s website. Users describe it as “phenomenal” and “the best cookware ever” and rave about how easy it is to clean. On Williams-Sonoma, the overall rating dips to 4.4, with negative comments noting that food sticks to the pan and that the pans discolor.

Bottom line

Overall, the NanoBond is our favorite of the lines we tested from Hestan. From the minute you open the box, you know this is high-quality cookware. It’s gorgeous to look at and feels good in the hand. You get the kind of performance you’d expect at this price—even heating, steady simmering, and no burning at the bottom or in the corners. I’m a firm believer that it’s discerning taste buds and solid technique that make a good cook, but fine tools like these can definitely be an asset.

While there are lots of good cookware sets out there, this line offers just about every performance plus and ease of use you could ever want and is worth the dough if you have it. The 10-piece set includes a good assortment of basics and is definitely a value compared to buying individual pieces if you’re starting from scratch or want to replace every pan in your cabinets.

I do think every chef should have a few nonstick skillets in her arsenal for eggs and pancakes and a cast iron Dutch oven for stews and braises, so you will have to supplement with them to round out your batterie de cuisine.

Hestan ProBond

Hestan Cookware - ProBond
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Hestan ProBond looks more like traditional stainless steel cookware.

What’s it made of?

All of the ProBond surfaces are forged stainless steel, while the cores of the pots and pans are aluminum.

How does Hestan ProBond cookware look and feel?

While ProBond is primarily brushed stainless steel on all its surfaces, there’s a band of polished stainless right under the rim. Like the NanoBond, it has flared lips and rounded edges and has less of a pro aesthetic than its competitors in the high-end stainless-steel category. ProBond doesn’t feel lightweight, but it’s not so heavy that it’s difficult to maneuver. The 10-piece set is currently priced at $799.95.

What we like

  • It’s beautiful.
  • You get a good assortment of useful pieces, including a stockpot.
  • It distributes heat evenly.
  • There’s a helper handle on the sauté pan.
  • The pot handles stay cool enough to handle during stovetop cooking.
  • It can be used under the broiler.
  • The rivets are flush, making cleaning easy.
  • You can supplement the set with nonstick ProBond skillets.

What we don’t like

  • It’s expensive.
  • There’s no Dutch oven in the set.
  • You need to polish it to keep it looking good.

How does it perform?

Hestan Cookware - ProBond Range
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

We were impressed by the performance of the ProBond line.

The skillets conduct heat exceptionally evenly extending from the bottom up to the sides. This means you won’t have to keep moving your burgers around to prevent one from burning before the others brown. You can simmer chili without worry that it will scorch if you don’t remember to stir often. However, if you’re looking for a fry pan to make omelets or flapjacks be prepared for some sticking. When it came to simmering, the saucepan’s ability to hold a steady temperature for 60 minutes was remarkable.

Is it easy to use and clean?

These pieces can safely take heat up to 600°F, which means you can use them under the high setting on the broiler. ProBond is safe for both induction and dishwasher use. The flush rivets were a huge plus when it came to cleanup. However, when we used the skillet to cook a steak over high heat, we wound up with burnt-on stains inside and discoloration on the outside, and it took an awful lot of work to restore the pan to a pristine condition.

What owners say

On the Hestan website, there’s one 5-star review calling the set it a “big upgrade.” Users describe it as “phenomenal” and “the best cookware ever” and rave about how easy it is to clean.

Bottom line

Hestan ProBond is great-looking and high-performing cookware, competitively priced with stainless steel sets from All-Clad. The set includes a good assortment of basics and is definitely a better buy than individual pieces if you’re in need of all of them. You have the option of supplementing your set with ProBond nonstick skillets, but will have to look to another brand for a Dutch oven.

Hestan CopperBond

Hestan Cookware - CopperBond on Range
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

What’s it made of?

Hestan CopperBond cookware has a copper core that gives it exceptionally even heat distribution and makes it super responsive to changes in temperature. However, the bottom is stainless steel to give it resistance to denting and staining, as well as making it safe for use on an induction burner. There’s stainless steel inside, too, which prevents food from interacting with the copper.

In other words, it’s designed to give you the benefits of copper with few of the drawbacks. Between the copper and stainless, there are also some layers of aluminum.

How does Hestan CopperBond cookware look and feel?

The exterior sides are copper with a ring of polished stainless right at the top. Both the bottom and the interior are stainless steel. With its flared lips and rounded edges and stainless steel accents, it’s more modern in design than traditional copper cookware, which usually has either a commercial or rustic look. While CopperBond is quite weighty, it should be manageable for most people. It certainly is not as heavy as traditional cast iron. The 10-piece set is currently priced at $1,499.95.

What we like

  • It has a stunning modern design.
  • You get a good assortment of useful pieces, including a 6-quart stockpot that can double as a Dutch oven.
  • It distributes heat evenly.
  • There’s a helper handle on the sauté pan.
  • The pot handles stay cool enough to handle during stovetop cooking.
  • It can be used under the broiler.
  • The rivets are flush, making cleaning easy.
  • All of the pieces nest for storage.

What we don’t like

  • It’s very expensive.
  • It requires hand washing and polishing.

How does it perform?

Hestan Cookware - CopperBond Close-up
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The CopperBond pieces conduct heat very well, but they're easy to stain.

We were only able to test an 11-inch skillet and a 2- quart saucepan from the CopperBond set. As you would expect from copper, the skillet conducted heat super evenly on the bottom and on up to the sidewall. What this means to you is that if you’re making a roux for a sauce, you won’t have to stir quite as vigilantly as in other saucepans and there’s little chance of scorching at the edge.

In the saucepan, water boiled exceptionally quickly and stopped instantaneously when I took it off the heat; if you’re making custard, these pans will help prevent it from going past the point of overcooking and curdling.

Is it easy to use and clean?

These pieces can safely take heat up to 600°F, so you can use it to brown off a gratin under the broiler. CopperBond can be used on an induction burner. It is not dishwasher safe and both the stainless steel and the copper require polishing, with different cleaners, to maintain their shiny finishes. The flush rivets definitely help with cleanup.

What owners say

There’s only one review on Hestan’s website, which gives CopperBond five stars for being “high-performing cookware.”

Bottom line

Hestan CopperBond is great-looking cookware, but it requires a lot of maintenance. It’s not the cookware you want for searing steaks, making instant pudding, or other everyday cooking tasks. However, a serious cook might want to consider a few open-stock pieces like a saucepan for sauces or a sauté pan for coq au vin. Just be prepared to pay top dollar and spend a bit of time on cleanup.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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