Saturday, August 29, 2020

Vremi 15-Pc. Saucy Pots Multi-Color Nonstick Cookware Set (Various)

A pretty, surprisingly long-lasting set...just be forewarned these are small.
After being incredibly disappointed by a multi-piece cooking set we bought at Aldi around Christmastime several years back, we quickly found ourselves in the market for yet another one. We looked at Calphalon, Rachael Ray, and all the big name brands, but having just had our first (and only...knock on wood) baby in November of that year, we didn't have a lot of money to be throwing around for cookware that we probably wouldn't have a lot of time to use. And sure, those brands usually offer “entry level” sets, but judging from the reviews, they also use entry-level materials. Certainly there was an under-the-radar company offering up quality sets for a price suggesting a lack thereof, right?

Well after endlessly researching pots and pans for what felt like years, one set caught my eye. Amidst the sea of "boring" black or solid-colored pans stood a 15-piece set by a brand I had never heard of: Vremi. Kind of a cool name, probably a Chinese manufacturer, but reviews on the set were pretty solid, especially considering the price point: under $50*. For fifteen pieces. Sure, half of that number was made up of plastic utensils, but still, for that kind of price, I figured as long as the pans lasted a year, we would have time to save up for an even better set.

We ordered ours right before the New Year in 2017, and are just now starting to shop around for something to replace them—not because it's really all that necessary (although the non-stick coating is starting to wear away on a couple pieces), but just because we want to upgrade our set to something a little more...”roomy”.

Right off the bat, that's the biggest complaint I have about these: they are small. Like they were made for kids, or midgets, or something. If you're interested in this set and will be cooking for large groups of people, just stop reading right now and keep on looking: This is definitely more suited to a dorm room (or bachelor/bachelorette pad) than any sort of functioning family setting. In fact, the smallest pan is so small that it can barely handle boxed macaroni and cheese. I think the only reason we've made it this far before deciding to get something bigger is because she still has a few larger pans from a previous set, which she can turn to for more demanding recipes: otherwise, we admittedly would have been searching a long time ago.

However, as far as performance is concerned, these have exceeded expectations: Aside from the unavoidable “burn marks” on the bottom, most of these pans look pretty much like they did when we first bought them. A couple, like our most-used saucepan, do have some chips on the inside, presumably to the non-stick coating, but it still works like a charm, with no excessive smoke or other functional problems that can be a sign of worn-out pans. Perhaps rather surprisingly, none of the paint on the outside has been noticeably affected at all, either. I really thought that they would start to chip or ding after a few months, or even discolor after a few washes, but they are every bit as brightly-colored as the day we received them, and with nary a cosmetic flaw. Even the handles have held up well; a couple might have gotten a little looser than they initially were over the past 42 or so months, but none are so noticeably bad that we have to exercise extra caution when using them. This has been an issue we've faced with other sets.

One thing I will stress is that we mostly washed these by hand for the first couple years, especially after seeing how the dishwasher almost immediately eroded our last Aldi set (which, for the record, were clearly marked as “dishwasher safe”); that's probably the best advice you can follow when caring for non-stick cookware. The more expensive sets might be better equipped to handle the scalding heat a lot better, but many cheaper sets—even the ones marked as “dishwasher safe”, just to reiterate—will noticeably deteriorate over time, if not much sooner than that.

Thankfully, maintaining these without the use of the dishwasher is incredibly easy: all you need to do is gently wipe with a sponge and warm soap and water. For stuck-on messes, just soak the contents of the pan in hot water and soap until the mess loosens up, and then just give it a good wipe. And I'll even admit that we've gone through bouts of neglecting our dishes more than a couple times throughout the years, leading to disgusting messes that would probably make even an experienced police detective heave, and yet these things wipe off with a minimum amount of effort each time. It's really quite impressive, and yet another unsung benefit of non-stick coating—the “non-stick” part doesn't just apply to cooking!

Another thing worth mentioning is that my wife doesn't cook as much as she used to, so these pans certainly aren't getting daily use. That being said, she still fires up the stove at least a couple times a week, so they also aren't just sitting in a cupboard collecting dust; I'd say this review pertains to “moderate” use, over the span of three-and-a-half years, with results that could vary in either direction based on how often you plan to use the set. In fact, as impressed as I have been with how well they've held up, I still don't think I'd be all that comfortable using them in a “heavy duty” environment, where they're in constant use...if you know you'd be using them a lot, it's probably best to splurge on a more expensive, more durable set.

But for under $50*, I definitely can't complain with how well they've held up. And while it's definitely not the most “gourmet” set around, there's certainly a lot of solid bang for the buck here...assuming you won't be cooking for large groups of friends or family anytime soon, that is.

Overall: 7.5/10. We bought these at the tail end of 2016, looking to replace an Aldi set that crapped out almost immediately, and were hoping to get at least a year's worth of use out of them; by those requirements, this set has performed above and beyond, lasting three-and-a-half years of moderate use. In fact, the reason we're looking to replace them isn't due to performance, but rather size: these things are so dang small. Were it not for us having bigger pans from a previous set on hand for the larger or more rigorous recipes, we probably would have been shopping for a replacement a whole lot sooner. That being said, if you're single, don't cook much, live in a dorm, or just want an inexpensive backup set, (or hell, a realistic play set for a cooking-obsessed child), this should fit the bill, and at a great price. PRO TIP: Even though it's dishwasher safe, handwashing is the way to go and will elongate its lifespan even more: it helps to prevent breakdown of the non-stick coating, which the intense heat of the dishwasher can wear down over time.

*PRICING NOTE: When we bought this set in December, 2016, they were just under $50. Three-and-a-half years later, the price has only jumped up about $10, which is still a great deal. The multi-color set we purchased seems to be in dwindling supply, but a more standard black set is still widely available for under $60.

No comments:

Post a Comment