Pots and Pans for Tiny Kitchens: Cristel Cookware

Only from France, where many kitchens are tiny but people take their home cooking seriously, could a concept like Cristel cookware come. Fancy and small are two words that don't usually come from American designers.

Cristel pans are multi-ply stainless steel with an aluminum wrap for even heat distribution and easy clean up. Saucepans have a thermodiffuser base, which Cristel claims eliminates the need to cook with water or fats. Of course, that's dismissing the taste-based reason for cooking with certain fats, but we'll take that as a "plus" in the design.

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Because the handles are detachable (and really, you only need one), the pans store much easier in a cabinet than traditional cookware. The nest neatly, without tipping or taking up a huge footprint the way traditional, long-handled cookware does. Of course, if you're using a pot-rack, this is a moot point.

The line is dishwasher-safe, should you happen to have such a luxury in your "tiny kitchen."

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OK, so it's a little gimmicky, but for the right home, this could be the perfect line of cookware. Starting around $100 for a 5.5" 1-quart saucepan (lids and handles are extra), the line isn't inexpensive, but given its sturdy construction, I am guessing this is cookware for life.

What if you strike it big, and move into a big kitchen and you actually want all those handles attached to your cookware? Buy yourself a set of All-Clad and put the Cristel on your boat.

Cristel is available in the US only from these retailers:

Rose & Radish
San Francisco, CA
415.864.4988

Gallic Traditions
Saint Paul, MN
715.299.8116

Richard's Passport
Pelham, NY
914-738-0606

Gourmet Depot & Kitchen Shoppe
Mineola TX
903.569.2015

Cristel's North America website

Related: Have You Seen This Tiny NYC Kitchen?

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.

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