Material, a direct-to-consumer kitchenware brand, launched in 2017 with a set of everyday tools. Slowly, they’ve been taking over countertops one thoughtfully made new product at a time as their design eschews nostalgia for modern-day sensibility and sustainability. Today, they’re expanding (from a dishwasher-safe cutting board made from 75% recycled plastic and 25% sugarcane) into stovetop territory with three copper core pans for the 29 Collection—named for copper’s number in the periodic table. An incredible conductor, copper heats up quickly and evenly, so this set of two stainless steel pans (10.5 and 12 inches) and one non-stick coated iteration will be valuable additions to any kitchen.
Material’s coated pan stands out, not only for its attractive dark green hue, but because it’s free of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). 3M developed this chemical compound and used it in the process of making PTFE—better known as Teflon. (There are other related chemicals in the umbrella, like PFOS and PFAS.) While this repellent has saved many breakfast eggs from sticking to pans (and also housed them from burning), more research points to PFOA being a possible carcinogen. The US Environmental Protection Agency found PFOA and PFOS “resistant to typical environmental degradation processes,” and low levels of PFOA have been discovered everywhere from water supplies to breast milk to agricultural fields and in the blood of nearly every person the CDC tested.
For their non-stick pan, Material stress-tested different non-stick coatings over nine months and landed on one that’s never been used commercially—because of its cost. The coating stands up to burnt milk, fried rice, chicken thighs, eggplant, the dishwasher, the oven, and even stainless steel tools.
The pan has a comfortable handle and overall weight, especially if your wrists hate tilting super-heavy skillets. That said, it doesn’t feel too light or flimsy. It’s a particularly satisfying tactile experience to cook with (the char on some of the meals has been a welcome surprise) and it’s even more satisfying to clean—just a single swipe with a sponge.
As a young brand aiming to earn trust, Material is offering a straightforward lifetime warranty: if it breaks, they’ll replace it. This makes the $95 price feel like a reasonable investment.
Images courtesy of Material