Can you cook acidic foods in Vollrath cookware?

dee456March 20, 2005

My husband and I just purchased a set of Ameriware from Costco today-- I was disappointed to find little or no information inside the boxes. Not having specific information on these pots and pans makes me a little nervous.

I know you are not supposed to cook tomato sauce or tomatoes, wine or lemon juice in teflon/aluminum pans, but what about Ameriware? The only tiny pamphlet in the box says it is hard ceramic; the salesperson emphatically stated these were not aluminum.

So, can I safely cook with wine and tomatoes in this cookware set?

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I forgot to mention that I have been using heavy-gauge stainless steel cookware I bought when I was 15 (I am now 53) from Homemaker's Guild. They are no longer in business and most of the handles have broken because of using the dishwasher (dishwashers were a luxury back then). The cookware itself is still pristine after 38 years of usage, but I cannot find handles, hence the reason I bought Ameriware.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 7:25PM
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dee -- my DH and I just bought a set of Ameriware from Costco on Friday. I agree the little pamphlet didn't say too much, and I'm a little nervous myself about this cookware costing so much..., but I have to say I had no idea you weren't supposed to cook with tomatoes in teflon pans, I did it all the time. I did find out once that you shouldn't use aluminum pans for tomatoe based sauces, I did that once for spaghetti sauce and I couldn't get the flavor of metal out of the sauce. But never encountered a problem with Teflon...and these pots are supposed to be superior to the Teflon, being ceramic and titanium so I can't see that there would be any problem.
Maybe contacting Vollrath directly to ask?
Anyone else out there own this cookware? Sure hope it's worth what I paid for it.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 10:42PM
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sewingbelle, thanks for your reply. Glad to hear about cooking tomatoes in Teflon. For some reason, somewhere along the line I was told that cooking in Teflon was the same as aluminum...a myth that turned into a belief.

I saved all the boxes my cookware came in just in case we decide to take them back. After reading some of the posts here about Ameriware, I'm still not real sure about them. Love my stainless steel, but need new handles on some of the pots and pans.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 10:41AM
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I bought a Pro-HG set at a home show. It and Ameriware are made in the USA by Vollrath for Cook's Warehouse to CW's specifications. The 25-year warranty is honored through Vollrath, but the details on the warranty were different than what the Pro-HG sales rep stated. The non-stick is ceramic-titanium reinforced... which implies those materials are reinforcing something not as hard - probably PTFE. Though, I could never get a straight answer from CW on what exactly the non-stick was made of other than, "well, yes, there is some plastic in all non-stick coatings."

Teflon and other PTFE-based non-sticks are non-reactive and food-safe. The coating can begin to break down at temperatures around 400 to 500 degrees F. The fumes can cause flu-like symptoms in humans and have been shown
to kill or seriously sicken pet birds. That is why non-stick often has warnings advising only medium and low heat settings. Some of the breakdown fumes are extremely potent greenhouse gasses, which is a disposal concern for the ubiquitous non-stick pan that often ends in the trash after a few years.

As far as pricing goes, you can find Vollrath cookware pieces at restaurant supplies such as ... As an example, the Pro-HG/Ameriware 12" Griddle that CW sells online for $99 can be had for about $32. Anyone know what they sell that for at the road-show price? I seem to recall about $30 or $40.

The $400 set price is not far from restaurant supply prices, plus you get a 25-year warranty from Vollrath. Sets, though, may leave you paying for pieces you rarely or never use, or would be better off having in a stainless, cast iron, carbon steel, or anodized aluminum surface.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vollrath 12

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 1:27AM
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geoffshepherd, thank you for all the information--it is very helpful. Knowing all this actually reinforces my original suspicion about their sales techniques. "Not getting straight answers..." is the red flag for me. It is still not too late for me to take them all back; our mistake was not walking away and thinking/researching before we bought.

The set works very well; the handles leave a bit to be desired. I also think the prices on their website are highly inflated to make it seem as though you are getting a deal.

Thanks again. Dee

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 1:36PM
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I am very disappointed in the Ameriware cookware I bought at Costco. After several months of almost daily use scrambling eggs and frying hamburgers, the 10" skillet performed no better than a cheapie, and is ready for the trash. I ran into the salesman again at Costco and told him what happened. He said to contact Vollrath, tell them what happened, and they would send me another skillet. I have not heard back from them.
I, too, found the enclosed information a bit scanty and wondered about the material. This was an expensive lesson with a traveling salesman peddling miracle pots and pans. The covered saucepan is looking discolored and the surface is a lttle strange after light use.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 11:33PM
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Thanks for your feedback. The lovely thing about buying at Costco is you can return anything anytime. (We returned a vacuum a year after we bought it because it was a piece of junk--we got our full refund back.) I would take your set back asap and get your money back. If more people did this then maybe Costco wouldn't allow below-par items in their warehouse.

So far, I haven't taken my Volrath back--yet. I don't put it in the dishwasher and keep the heat on medium when using it. If my cookware starts breaking down, it's going back to Costco!

Thanks again for your post and enjoy spending the $$$ from your refund :)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 2:23PM
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I ran across your site looking for Pro-HG cookware by Vollrath. My wife and I bought a set at a homeshow, probably fifteen or twenty years ago. Not cheap but we've cooked all sorts of foods, including tomato-based sauces, etc. The only problem we've had was that one pan peeled on the outside (not the cooking surface). Vollrath replaced the pan. The cooking surfaces are scratched and marred from using hard utensils, cutting with a knife in the pan, or the like. They all still cook non-stick as if they were new. If something gets really stuck, a few minutes with water in it will unstick even the worst. I can't comment on the Ameriware but the Pro-HG is great.
Does anyone know where to buy another set of Pro-HG other than at a home show? (BoxerNW doesn't carry it)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 12:40PM
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If you read through this post on Cooking Engineers (5 pages) you'll learn all you need to know about the company the product, how it's made, who makes it (including the custom Titanium/Ceramic coating) and were to send it for warrenty.;postorder=asc&start=15

Here is a link that might be useful: Cooking for Engineers: Pro-HG Ameriware Info

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 1:05PM
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I bought the Ameriware set at a home show in 2000 and last year sent the 10" skillet and the smaller saucepan back for replacement because they'd starting to stick badly. I got the saucepan replacement easily, but they denied the frying pan, saying that it had not been properly cared for.

Now I've used it at least once a day and always with the nylon utensils, and have been careful to clean it (although it discolors and builds up a greasy coat, and I rarely use oil or butter to fry). I'd purchased it BECAUSE of the 25-year warranty, so wrote them back to protest.

They "granted" me a one-time exclusion and explained that I should use the Dip-It cleaner one uses on coffee pots to clean the pan. I've done that with the new one, but it still has a buildup starting.

I would not buy this set again. They include only the briefest information in the box, and cleaning instructions are not among that bare bones info. I have no confidence that they will replace anything else I send them, and as these wear out, I will replace them either with a good SS set or, as others have recommended, simply consider the nonstick stuff to be usable for only a few years before discarding.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 2:47PM
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Hi Dee - I know it has been years since you posted about Ameriware, but I stumbled across this site today and felt a need to connect if I could. I too have used Homemakers Guild since I was a teenager, it has served me well. I don't think there is another cookware mfgr that would really come up to their level without breaking my bank account. I hope you haven't gotten rid of yours because there is a site that offers replacement handles and knobs for Homemakers Guild (and other obsolete cookware). I hope it helps you to cook with the tools you love best. I am not a sales rep, truly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Regal Ware Parts Ordering

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 5:16PM
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I recently purchased several pieces of Pro-HG cookware at a home show. I would like to purchase some additional pieces. Can anyone tell me where I can buy these? I went to Vollrath's website, but was unable to find anything on the Pro-HG series. By the way, both my husband and I love the cookware. It has done everything the salesperson said it would. I do not put them in the dishwasher, use sharp objects and occasionally re-season the pots and pans as suggested.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 2:21PM
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