Pros: Heat does distribute evenly. Nice to look at.
Cons: Poor quality, cannot use metal utensils or put in the dishwasher.
I was enthralled by all the wonderful presentations of this cookware on HSN. They stressed the hand-polished finish for its beauty and also for the non-stick feature of the "mirror" finish. The set really sparkles and looks beautiful.
When my package arrived at home, I was excited to see my new cookware. The excitement turned to disappointment by the time I had removed half of the pieces from the box, however. Yes, it is pretty cookware, but on closer inspection, the poor quality becomes apparent.
The sides of this cookware are very thin - thinner than the cheap set of cookware that I've been using for the past 20 years. On some of the pieces, the gold coating is uneven and pitted in appearance - particularly on the pans with long handles. The handles are welded on - not riveted or screwed on. The open skillet has a deep scratch on the bottom of the cooking surface - and that piece has never been used.
The lids are made of tempered glass with gold knobs. The knobs are screwed on and they loosen easily - I am constantly securing them. The 13.5" lid had several hairline cracks in it upon arrival.
The bottoms of the pans are nice and thick as advertised, and the heat does seem to distribute as evenly as they say. That is about where the performance quality ends, however. When demonstrating the cookware, the HSN chef uses the stainless steel utensils which come with the set. Once you get the set home, however, you read in the care instructions that the use of metal utensils not only scratches the mirror finish and ruins the stick resistance, but it also VOIDS THE WARRANTY! Logic would indicate that if metal utensils cannot be used, then they should provide plastic or wooden utensils with their set.
Speaking of the warranty, Cuisine-Cookware, the manufacturer of Command Performance Gold, does not refund the purchase price for defective pieces. They will replace or repair the items only. Putting the pieces in the dishwasher also voids the warranty. The finish of the set is not covered under the warranty, either. Because of this clause, I am not yet sure if I will be able to get the badly scratched pan replaced.
Here are some specific details pertaining to the 20 piece set I ordered. I received:
1 QT Covered Saucepan
2.5 QT Covered Casserole
4 QT Covered Casserole with strainer insert
8.5" Open French Skillet
10" Covered deep Casserole
8QT Covered Stock pot
13.5" Covered deep casserole
6 piece metal utensil set (Turner, solid spoon, slotted spoon, fork, ladle and mini ladle)
This set contains all the wonderful sizes and styles of pan that I ever dreamed of owning for my kitchen. The 13.5" covered deep casserole is enormous - it holds 9 quarts! I very much wanted to like this set. I was in love with it before I received it. But it is not at all as advertised. I wanted the beautiful look, but I also wanted to be able to cook with the beautiful utensils. What I got was a set of decorative pieces. All I can say is that if someone is looking for a beautiful brand of cookware to hang on a pot rack, this is set is it. If you are looking for a set that will stand up to normal usage, then don't buy this set.
I will say that it was packed extremely well with two outer boxes and styrofoam padding between the boxes. Inside those boxes were four more smaller boxes with the set carefully divided between them. The box this cookware came in is huge and extremely heavy. The only reason I am not returning the set to HSN is because the price of return shipping and insurance (plus the shipping I already paid to receive it) would add up to almost half of the cost of the set.
I learned a very hard lesson...do not allow myself to be hypnotized by sparkly things on TV! Wait, investigate, and compare before buying from the TV or internet. The time spent will be less than the time you will spend kicking yourself later - - I guarantee it!
I contacted HSN regarding this, and they were not willing to help. Their email response was simply "I'm very sorry you are disappointed".