Gotham Stackmaster Reviews
If you watch food TV, you’ll be familiar with the cooks and their kitchens. The vast racks of cookware, all neatly hung or standing in their individual spaces, ready to be grabbed at a moment’s notice in the event that they suddenly need to create a perfect beurre blanc or their Italian nonna’s famous ragu.
And to some extent, that sort of kitchen is a thing of beauty. A thing of perfect order, helping the cook to make the most of their creative urges.
It’s not, however, the kind of kitchen most of us have. Most of us have to pay through the nose for square footage, especially if we live in apartments. That means most of us have to look at space-saving solutions to make the most of our kitchen area, while still hopefully being able to pull off dishes that feel nourishing and tasty.
As part of a move to establish itself as the cookware of the spatially-inconvenienced, Gotham introduced its Stackmaster cookware. As the name suggests, the Stackmaster set is a 10-piece cookware collection that… well… that stacks, to save space, hopefully without compromising on quality.
But you know yourself that the degree to which supposedly neat, space-saving inventions actually work well and are fit for purpose is sometimes less than might be hoped for. Once you introduce the feature of space-saving, it can all too often become th4e be-all and the end-all of the product’s function.
Taking up less space is great – but if the product takes up less space but sacrifices its functionality, bottom line, it’s still a waste of the space it fills.
So, let’s take a look at the Gotham Stackmaster cookware, and see whether it’s worth clicking on the “Buy” button.
The most readily available and popular configuration of the Gotham Stackmaster set is the 10-piece cookware set.
Now, if you have a pedantic turn of mind, this is a description that’s going to irritate you straight away, because what you actually get in this set is:
- 1x 8” fry pan
- 1x 10” skillet
- 1x 2.75qt saucepan
- 1x 3.5qt saucepan
- 1x 5qt stockpot
- 3x interchangeable lids
- 1x slotted spatula, and
- 1x solid spoon
5 actual pots and pans, 3 lids, 1 spatula and 1 spoon. There are people who appreciate that as a 10-piece collection, and there are people who say it’s actually a 5-piece with the necessary accompaniments. Either way, that’s what you get in the set.
In terms of the collection’s signature move, all the pans and all the lids that are included do stack, so you know where everything is and where everything goes in your collection. The spatula and the spoon of course will likely be stored separately, among any other similar tools you have.
Here’s the thing, though. For a set of cookware that’s designed to make your life easier by stacking vertically and reducing the overall footprint of the space your cookware needs to take up, there’s an argument that says the Stackmaster collection is actually more trouble than it’s worth.
Well, because if you want to do it properly and ensure that nothing gets scratched, there’s only one “right” way the pans will stack.
Each piece of cookware in the Stackmaster set is designed to stack vertically without scratching the pots and pans below.
So, in the first instance, you kind of have to keep the right way in your head, because there’s only that single right way the Stackmaster’s Tetris-like vertical stack will work.
And secondly, as you might expect of any vertical stack, it can be an absolute pain getting to anything but the top two pans. In fact, you’ll spend time – and build up wrist strength – maneuvering pans around your kitchen if you want to get to the middle pan or anything below it.
What’s at least as troublesome is that if you take the middle pan or anything below it, because of the single stacking formula, you then can’t really replace the higher pans you’re not using in the stack. You have to find some space in which to put them while you use the middle pan – which could be said to defeat the very purpose of a stacking pan set.
Cooking with Gotham Stackmaster
When it comes to actually using them to cook with, the company makes strong claims for its cookware.
You can use them either on the stovetop or in the oven – though be aware when using them in the oven that the handles are metal, and will therefore conduct the heat straight to your skin if you forget to use protection. Gotham claims the pans can be used at temperatures all the way up to 500 degrees.
The pans are also suitable for induction stoves, along with electric and gas, so they have a fairly wide range of potential use.
When it comes to clean-up, the Gotham Stackmaster pans are dishwasher-safe, though ideally, as a non-stick set of pans, the use of abrasive scourers is best avoided if you clean them by hand.
The three lids in the set are all made of tempered glass, and are interchangeable between the pans and the skillet, so as long as you never need to use more than three of the pans at a time, you have a lid for each of them right from the get-go.
The cooking surface of each of the Gotham pans is reinforced with both ceramic and titanium, to provide a slick non-stick surface for your food, whether or not you use oil or fat in the cooking process.
So much so that Gotham claims you should be able to use metal utensils on its non-stick pans, but we for one would be wary of taking this on trust, and stick to plastic or silicone tools for a while with these pans as a way to guarantee yourself from any scratches.
That said, there’s some decent science behind the company’s thinking. Titanium is not only a very lightweight metal, it’s also Superman strong. When combined with ceramic it not only gets more slippery and more touch, but it’s not prone to corrosion and resists acids too.
What’s at least as reassuring is that, in the event that you start gouging at the titanium-ceramic surface and pry some chips of it loose, unlike for instance aluminum, there are no known health implications if it’s swallowed.
So it’s not as though you can do any serious or lasting damage if you happen to scratch the non-stick surface of the pans. But if you can avoid it, why not avoid it, by using plastic or silicone utensils as much as possible.
If you’re thinking of getting yourself the 10-piece set, there’s a dichotomy you should be aware of, which is that it’s available in three color finished, and the difference between the cheapest version (bronze) and the most expensive (black) is almost 100% of the purchase price, so it’s really worth asking yourself how stylish you need to be before you buy.
The question is whether the Gotham Stackmaster stands up to the competition from the likes of GreenPan and Faberware, both of which have their own stackable cookware offering. Certainly on price, the gotham is a reasonable proposal, being around halfway between the budget Farberware set and the eye-watering GreenPan.
And while there are more pots and lids in the Farberware, there’s aluminum and a non-stick ‘coating’ involved in delivering the slipperiness, so we’d discount it as a genuine rival.
The Greenpan has pure ceramic as its non-stick coating and the addition of a steamer, but it charges significantly more money for that privilege and you don’t get any of the strength and robustness of titanium in your cooking surface, so even though there are options both above and below it, the Gotham Stackmaster set fares pretty well in its marketplace.
There’s no doubt that the Gotham Stackmaster 10-piece cookware collection stakes its claim for your attention.
It’s neither too budget-conscious to use hardwearing, long-lasting, and robust materials, like some on the market, nor too profit-focused to sell you a good number of pans that will both stack for convenience and last you a long time of fairly intensive kitchen service.
There are issues with which we would quibble, like the significant price differential between versions of the set simply based on the aesthetic and the color of pans you choose.
But as pans, it’s difficult to argue against them – they can be used on several kinds of cooktop, as well as in the oven, they don’t include potentially harmful chemicals like aluminum, and the quality of the non-stick surface is pretty hardwearing and tough.
Weirdly enough, when we came in, we said that when a company started adding stackability to its cookware, the quality of the cookware tended to become a secondary concern. With the Gotham Stackmaster set, the opposite seems to be the case. The quality of the cookware remains impeccable.
But with its one-way-only stacking and the inability to properly stack when one pan is removed from the stack, it seems to be the case that this is great as cookware, but a poor stacking solution compared to others on the market.