Mirro: Inexpensive Cookware Just as Good as the Expensive Stuff
Mar 15, 2008
Pros: easy to use, easy to clean, great design, inexpensive set
Cons: bottoms have burn stains
The Bottom Line: Inexpensive cookware that helps make a novice chef seem like an expert.
When my husband and I got married, of course we registered for some nice Anolon cookware, which we received. The next year we found we needed a few more pieces of cookware that we suggested as a Christmas gift. My in-laws, the way they are (AKA you never know what you are going to get), purchased not ones that would match our existing set, but the Mirro 8-Piece Cookware Set. Knowing where they had purchased this set, we chalked it up to some extra pans for a little while... 5 years later, the Mirro pans rate as high in my book as our expensive Anolon cookware.
You can never have enough saucepans I will be the first to admit that Im not a pro in the kitchen. Oftentimes, my hubby is the one to cook extravagant meals, whereas I stick to quick and easy such as Macaroni and Cheese. This is definitely a great set with the pieces a novice chef needs. The only addition I would make would be a larger griddle style pan. Made with a light, wide design Ive come to treasure my cookware and how well it has lasted over the years.
* 1- and 2- quart saucepans (with lids): Both pans are wide, unlike my Anolon pans, which makes them great for easy stirring.
* 5-quart Dutch Oven (with lid): Great for making large dishes, like spaghetti, our Mirro Dutch Oven features two handles and is fairly lightweight in comparison.
* 8- and 10-inch saute pans: I love these two pieces as they are just the right size for things like eggs and the non-stick surface makes cooking spray a thing of the past.
Woo Hoo... No More Scrubbing This is where this set gets good. I myself am very partial to non-stick cookware, as really I dont like washing dishes. Every non-stick piece I have had in the past though, starts to peel or gets scratched somehow. These Mirro pans are much different. Made with somethign called Duraflex nonstick interior and aluminum nonstick exterior clean-up of my Mirro cookware is a snap. Most of the time, I run it under water and wipe it out with a sponge and Im done. If the food happens to get dried on, I use the nylon scrubbing side of my sponge and everything comes right off - inside and out. The only place I have had trouble with staining is the bottom, which to me really is expected.
Not only is clean-up easy, but in five years worth of use, the non-stick coating still looks brand new. We try to protect it as best as possible by using plastic or wooden utensils as well as hand-washing, but sometimes a stray fork or spoon gets used for cooking.
Grip it... Grip it Good As the name of the cookware indicates the handles of the pans, except for the Dutch Oven, are coated in a stay-cool silicone. The ends of the pans also have raised bumps for extra gripping power. This allows for easy grip of the pans especially with wet hands or grease spattering around.
The other thing I really like about the design of the handles is that the connection to the pan is fully enclosed. This means that no food gets caught up in a tight surface, making it even easier to clean. With my other pans, every so often I have to make an effort to clean out the screw that is left exposed, which is not an easy task.
Put a Lid on It Three of the included pieces come with lids as listed above. Each lid is made from tempered safety glass and have a slight dome shape with a nice sized handle for lifting it. They do tend to fog up some while cooking but that is expected with the amount of steam produced when cooking. It is still nice to be able to look at what is going on inside the pan without having to open it, loosing valuable steam. These lids easily interchange with my other set, with the exception of the 2-quart pan, which has a wider opening. I have broken one lid since it was dropped from the counter on the floor, but I cannot remember if it was from this set or the other. The way it fell, handle size down, any glass lid would have broke. It did make a really cool cracking design when it broke though.
Other Random Cookware Musings I find my Mirro cookware to be fairly light weight - for a metal pan, and usually my most chosen for cooking. The bottom of the pan has ridges, that I would assume are mainly for diffusing the heat throughout the pan, but it also creates a nice non-slip traction for the pan (nice for having a 2-year old in the house). Cooking is a snap and rarely do I ever burn anything. If for some reason, something does cook too long, the burned mess doesnt stick to the sides. Hand washing is recommended so the non-stick surface does not get destroyed, which in our house sometimes means a pan will sit for a day, or two. Using a dual sided sponge, getting that dried on food cleaned off has never been a problem for me.
Now for the best part... even though this was a gift, Ive looked around at the pricing of this particular 8-piece set and noticed it is retailing for around $50 and comes with a five year guarantee. This is about a quarter of what was paid out for my expensive cookware, and the Mirro set is just as good, if not better in some ways. I would definitely buy it again.
Amount Paid (US$): Gift
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About the reviewer
Mom and wife are my favorite jobs... I work full time in preschool supervising classrooms. I am also a writer and reviewer throughout the web.