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.

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."

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

Gallic Traditions
Saint Paul, MN

Richard's Passport
Pelham, NY

Gourmet Depot & Kitchen Shoppe
Mineola TX

Cristel's North America website

Related: Have You Seen This Tiny NYC Kitchen?