- Great Jones/Instagram
- Great Jones is a cookware startup dedicated to making a small selection of stylish and durable pots and pans at lower prices than legacy brands like Le Creuset and All-Clad.
- After more than two months of testing, we found Great Jones’ line of pastel-themed cookware to be every bit as serviceable as Le Creuset and All-Clad, if not as finely finished.
- Founded in 2018 by childhood friends Sierra Tishgart and Maddy Moelis, the company aims to streamline the process of outfitting your kitchen by offering comprehensive cookware bundles (although they sell items individually as well).
- The company has even created a helpful cooking “potline” where you can text 1-814-BISCUIT for advice.
- See more: The best cookware sets
Great Jones is a startup looking to appeal to budget-conscious-but-quality-driven consumers. Its cookware is built well, styled with modern accents and fun pastel colors, and affordable compared to similar items by legacy brands like All-Clad. From what we can tell after more than two months of use, it might last every bit as long.
Sierra Tishgart, a James Beard award winner and former New York Magazine food writer and editor, and Maddy Moelis, a former product manager at Zola, started Great Jones back in 2018 because they recognized that twentysomethings fresh out of school and not exactly flush with cash don’t have a lot of options when it comes to cookware.
Up until recently, it’s more or less been Le Creuset and All-Clad or Target; Williams-Sonoma or Wally World. For millennials, who may or may not be as strapped as their parents were at their age, $400 dutch ovens are simply out of reach, and small direct-to-consumer startups that aim for that middle ground are often – and increasingly – the answer.
The quality is surprisingly great and durable despite prices maxing out at $145 for an individual pot. The brand uses corrosion-resistant, kitchen-grade stainless steel with 8% nickel for its pots’ handles, which are also TIG (or tungsten inert gas) welded. Since tungsten doesn’t melt, Great Jones’ fittings have a tidy, extra-sturdy weld with no screws, no rivets, and no seams to trap food or bacteria. Lastly, the handles on the pots and pans are hand-polished using PVD (physical vapor deposition), which results in a ruddy, aged stainless steel look, while the handles on the Dutch oven are ceramic-coated.
Great Jones has also developed a cooking advice “potline” where anyone can text 1-814-BISCUIT (1-814-247-2848) for real-time advice, recipe suggestions, and more. A brand rep will answer texts Monday through Friday from 4 to 5 pm EST. The aim is to be a resource for people who are just starting to cook or who are cooking more often.
- Great Jones/Facebook
The company’s name is an homage to the late cookbook author and editor Judith Jones, who shaped the way Americans cook by launching the careers of then-unknown culinary authors like Julia Child, Edna Lewis, and James Beard. Like their brand’s namesake, Tishgart and Moelis are dedicated to demystifying home cooking; the duo intentionally focused on producing just a handful of well-made products (a Dutch oven, a stockpot, a saucepan, a skillet, two frying pans, and a baking sheet) to streamline the process of outfitting a kitchen.
Here at Business Insider, we’ve felt a degree of shame over not having tried Great Jones yet. Buzz about the brand has abounded since it got rolling two years ago, but lo and behold, we’re finally here. Four writers tried Great Jones’ Deep-Cut saute pan, Big Deal stockpot, Dutchess Dutch Oven, and Holy Sheet baking sheet, and more than two months in, these are our thoughts.
Deep Cut sauté Pan
- Connie Chen/Business Insider
If you have limited kitchen space but want to maximize your dinner possibilities, the Deep Cut, a hybrid of a sauté pan and a skillet, is the pan you need to get. It’s two inches deep to let you make saucy dishes without making a mess, but you can still do classic fries because of the sloped sides. While cooking beef, the pan heated up evenly and gave it a nice crispy sear.
The handle design is beautiful, though it does sacrifice ergonomics for its unique outline look. If you have a strong wrist or don’t mind a few minutes of discomfort, you’ll be happy with the Deep Cut. Otherwise, I might suggest the less aesthetically pleasing but more functional Sauté Pan from Sardel.
Based on the first few times I’ve cooked with the Deep Cut, it feels sturdy and comfortable overall, and it seems like it’ll face any everyday cooking task head-on. It also cleans easily and looks sleek, which are always pluses in my book. – Connie Chen, senior reporter
Pros: Takes care of need for sauté pan and skillet
Cons: Handles might be thin for some, not as finely finished as other, pricier pans (but who cares?)
The Dutchess Dutch oven
- Remi Rosmarin/Business Insider
As soon as I got my hands on The Dutchess – a surprisingly stylish Dutch oven – my mind was flooded with dreams of all the recipes I would create. Bread, stews, a whole roast chicken. A Dutch oven is a versatile piece of cookware that’s worth a spot in your kitchen, and, this Great Jones iteration is really great. The enameled cast iron is reminiscent of what you’d find from Le Creuset, though the price is much more palatable at $145. The Dutchess is sturdy, with roomy handles that make it easier to move the heavy piece around. The 6.75-quart size has plenty of space to evenly brown your meats, veggies, or whatever you’re making. The inside of the pot is light gray – light enough to see if things are browning or burning (as you can see, pictured) but dark enough to cover some of the food stains.
I used The Dutchess to make a mushroom bourguignon and I’m sure I will use it to cook many more delicious one-pot meals to come. It provides even heat distribution, is super easy to clean (soap and water was enough to scrape away any burnt bits), and as an added bonus, looks really fun on my stovetop. – Remi Rosmarin, reporter
Pros: Roomy handles, ceramic-coated like pricier options
Cons: Heavy (but they’re all heavy)
Big Deal stockpot
- Mara Leighton/Business Insider
The Big Deal is a pretty ideal stockpot. It’s beautiful with its brassy ergonomic handles and stainless steel, but, most importantly, it made cooking more convenient and enjoyable. I made pumpkin curry in it, and I appreciate the standard selling points (even heat, a generous 8-quart volume) as well as the more thoughtful details (handles that accommodate an extra secure four-finger hold, laser-etched measurements on the interior). In terms of price, $95 is pretty standard, but this pot looks like it would cost more. – Mara Leighton, senior reporter
Pros: Even heat, roomy handles, laser-etched interior measurements
Cons: Doesn’t come in a bigger size (yet)
Holy Sheet baking sheet
- Owen Burke/Business Insider
Great Jones’ Holy Sheet is the best sheet pan I’ve ever used. That might not be saying much because I don’t really bake, but I do have about three or four other sheet pans, and some of them cost me a good deal more than what Great Jones’ runs.
For one thing, it’s royal blue, which is a much prettier backdrop to any dish compared with a grease-stained piece of aluminum or steel. For another, it’s aluminized steel, which is steel that’s hot-dipped in aluminum-silicon alloy to create a metallurgic bond that provides the best qualities of both steel and aluminum.
In effect, it’s more corrosion-resistant than steel and more heat-stable than aluminum, meaning it won’t warp and bend when it reaches higher temperatures. There are also (presumably very thin) steel rods running through the pan, which help it keep its shape. When I broiled a whole fish in the pan and wanted to crisp up the dish before serving it, I was able to crank up the heat to well over 500 degrees Fahrenheit without any trouble.
Holy Sheet baking sheet
- Owen Burke/Business Insider
Then there’s the nonstick ceramic coating, which brings down its temperature tolerance a little but also makes cleaning easier. I’ve managed to burn more than one dish since I’ve started testing the Holy Sheet, but unlike my steel sheet pans that require heavy soaking, steel wool, and/or baking soda, a quick soak in hot water lifted up seemingly petrified caramelized onions and the glazes that glued them in place.
I’m sold, and for the price, I might slowly start replacing all of my baking sheets with the Holy Sheet – and what a perfect name, at that? – Owen Burke, senior reporter
Pros: Warp-resistant, ceramic-coated (more or less nonstick), easy to clean
Cons: Slightly more expensive than your average sheet pan (but oh so much better), only comes in half-size