Sunday, December 4, 2016

Crofton 15-Piece Cookware Set (Aldi)

I'm not quite ready to make a full return to the world of blogging, but I do feel the need to weigh in on this product since they're offering it again this year.  More specifically, I feel the need to urge everyone to completely avoid it, because it's absolute junk.

Last year, my wife and I were in a tight financial situation during Christmastime...she had lost her job back in July, and was just getting settled into a new one, which paid only minimum wage, the week of Thanksgiving. In other words, we did not have the luxury of a "disposable income", and so I wanted to get her something practical for Christmas; since she had been asking for a new set of pots and pans for what felt like ever, I initially jumped at the chance to get these for her when I saw them in last year's Aldi ad.  After all, her current ones were setting off our smoke alarms, as the nonstick coating had almost completely worn off--if that's not a sign that it's time to get new ones, then I don't know what is.  As most of you know, cookware sets are often twice as much as the price Aldi was wanting for this, and so I figured I could fit this into the budget, thereby making both of us happy.

However, I never go into a situation without thorough research, and so research I did.  My main point of contention was the specific mention of "Xylan Plus" coating, which I knew nothing about.  After finding information about it--from the manufacturer's own website, no less--my fears about purchasing this only grew.  The manufacturer of Xylan only gave Xylan Plus a 4-6 rating (out of 10), and basically said it was one of their weaker nonstick coatings.  Initially, I decided that I was just going to pass, and figured I could find a better set for around the same price at a place like Big Lots.  But I kept coming back to the $40 price tag, and eventually talked myself into getting it anyway.  The rationalization was that our finances should be completely in order by the following Christmas, and even a bad set of pots and pans would last a year, at which point I could use our financial gain to buy her an even better set (NOTE: Our finances are still not sorted out, and have gotten even weirder, thanks to the arrival of a month-old newborn to our family...but this is beside the point).

So I bought it for her, and she was happy to receive it.  In fact, it would be the only thing I bought for her for Christmas that year.

Long story short, the coating wore off from the most-used pans in the set within six months of purchasing it--and that's being generous, because according to my wife it was actually closer to ONE month. She might cook a little bit more than the average person, but we're not talking about anything like we own a catering business and were using them fifty times a week, or something--with just standard use (three or four uses per week to start), these wore down incredibly fast. The coating on the large saucepan is now completely gone, and bits and pieces have worn off to a clearly noticeable degree on every other pan in the collection.  Our last set (Rachael Ray) had lasted us around 7 years, with the same frequency of use, so even with the weaker coating, this is inexcusable.

Thankfully, my wife got knocked up and didn't even need to use the pans for the last three months, when she was too big, and tired, to even think about cooking, which has bought me some more time to get her a better set. But even at $40, this is a complete waste, unless maybe you plan on using this as a backup, or rarely ever cook.  Aldi rarely disappoints me, but it completely shit the bed on this one; I don't want to see anyone else get ripped off like we did.

OVERALL: 0/10. A junk collection of shitty pots and pans that literally started wearing down within A MONTH of my wife using them. Now, a little less than a year later, all the coating is gone on the large saucepan, and the others are all missing large, noticeable chunks throughout. I researched these after seeing them in last year's ad and figured even the low-rated Xylan Plus coating would last at least a year, thereby buying me more time to save up for a better set, but the reality was much worse than that. Unless this is going to be an infrequently-used backup, or unless you rarely do any cooking and just want to have a set on hand for when you have to, this set is a complete waste of money at any price. No matter how low your budget is, please, please PLEASE learn from my mistakes and spend a few more dollars on a name-brand'll be glad you did. Hands-down the worst purchase I ever made at an Aldi store.