Regal Ware is an American Cookware manufacturer that has been around for over a hundred years. Even though they have been around for so long, most people do not know who they are. Most of that can be attributed to the lack of marketing surrounding their cookware. However, if you actually take a long at some Vintage Regal Ware pots and pans, you can find that it is some of the best made cookware around. People often argue that the older stuff are better. But most of the time, those are just antecedent evidence. This review will take a closer look at the Vintage Regal Ware Cast Aluminum Pot. We will discuss its construction, design and fit and finish.
Why is Regal Ware not as Well Known
Based on my finding, Regal Ware main focus is via business to business. What they do is that they manufacturer cookware for other company. If you look at their website, you can see they offer manufacturing to other companies. What business owners would often do is contact them and they will slap on their label for them. Kind of like a white label product. It seems that just recently, they have partnered with Chris Kimbal (Cook’s Illustrated and Milk Street Founder) to create the 1919 cookware line. While, I wont go too in depth on that cookware, it looks to be well made with a fully cladded design. Some other cookware brands would be west bend, Classica, Royal Queen, Salad Master, etc…
Another reason is because the company is privately held. What that means is that the company is most likely family owned. They do not have to report to stock or share holder. Any marketing or manufacturing decision is decided by them. As such, it doesnt seem like they are too interested in marketing their cookware to the public. But for a short stint of time, they did manufacturer some cookware and I was very impressed by the construction and design, particularly their Cast Aluminum Cookware.
Vintage Regal Ware Design
The design of the older Aluminum cookware is quite frankly impressive. The thickness of the Aluminum used is considerably wider than what you get these days. Although during this time, there is no Cladding technology publicly available, they got around this by using a enamel coating. This section will take a deeper look at the individual aspect of the cookware.
Cookware of this era seems to all follow the same weird Z shape design. Most manufacturer uses a plastic handle that is held on by a screw. On this particular cookware, instead of plain black plastic, they used a beautiful brown wood grain plastic handle. Quite frankly, I thought it was real wood at first. Regardless, the style and theme of the cookware matches the period of its time.
It is affixed with a screw that has corroded and rusted over time. I tried to tighten the handle, but for fear of me stripping the nut, I decided against it. I would have preferred that they used a stainless steel screw. Now I cant tighten the loose handle.
The handle feels comfortable in the hand. The bottom is rounded while the top is flat to help maintain grip. However, the balance of the handle is off, making the pan feels heavier than it is. The metal loop at the end is starting to show signs of rust but it still feels well built and robust.
The shape of the saute pan resembles that of a half saucier. The bottom has a gradual gradient that leaves no corner. This gradual curves make whisking easier and prevents food from getting stuck. Like Le Creuset, the bottom have a slight raise to make it thicker. This means that it can store more heat to sear food better. However, the pan does not have any rolled lip, this will make pouring liquid difficult. It also looks like it was made thicker on purpose.
this is where I am most impressed by Regal. It has a sidewall thickness of 3.73 mm. If you compare this with All Clad D5 line, those only have a thickness of 3.2 mm. Half a millimeter thicker. The main benefit that comes with this is the even heat. Often time with a thinner pan, you are riddled with heat spot issues. One way to get around this, is by making the cookware thicker.
This of course increases cost, which most manufacturers are unwilling to do. Not only that, these type of cookware is usually only seen on professional grade cookware. It is suprising that they made it for the public. What is even more surprising is the lid. It has the same thickness and carries a substantial weight. If you tap it, you will hear a beautiful ring. The only other lid that I saw of this quality is the Demeyere Industry5.
Exterior and Interior Finish
The exterior design is what attracted me most to the cookware. It is also one of the most disappointing feature. Why I like this design is simply the color combination of this cookware. A slight tan with stripes of brown is a color combination that is simply alluring. However, the coating or paint is extremely fragile. I see bits and pieces of it missing from the cookware. And its not chipped, it looks like it was just torn off. On the bottom, where the heat is applied, you can see it wearing out. I am assuming that they did not put a lot of foresight to it. It is a shame that the beautiful finish wont last long. I have cookware from Le Creuset that is over 50 year old, those still look new.
The interior is also another problem. After a while, it will come loose and flake off. To be fair, this is inherent to all non stick cookware, but I would not want to toss it out due to its coating. If it ever comes to that, I would just sand it off and just use it a pure aluminum cookware.
Fit and Finish
Fit and Finish of this cookware is excellent. There are no odd burrs or mark on this cookware. It looks like it was machine made. The only issue is simply the paint. It wont last and I expect it to get worse as you use it more. It is a shame really, its is otherwise a beautiful set of cookware.
Vintage Regal Ware Specs:
Note:These measurement are done by me with the tools that I have on hand. The manufacturers have their own measurement guidelines and that should be assumed to be accurate. What I find on this review can vary widely due to several factors, such as ambient temperature, location, water, tool calibration, stove btu, etc..and should only be considered as my opinion.
Weight: 629 g 1.388 lb Lid Weight: 441 g .974 lb
Rim Width:Around 7.25 inch
Base Rim Width:Around 4.5 inch
Height: Around 2.2 inch
There are so many that was done right. However, upon closer inspection, they also do a lot of things wrong. The handle is a beautiful wood like design, but the screw that they use cause it to come loose. It also rust over time, making it difficult to change/repair. The exterior design is beautiful but wont last with prolonged uses. If they used the same type of Enamel Coating that Le Creuset uses, it beauty would be preserved. One saving grave is the thickness of it. Thick Aluminum cookware is usually only seen in restaurant cookware. It is refreshing to see that Regal Ware use to sell it to the public. While I do like the cookware, it is sad to say that I cant cook in it. I simply like its fragile design too much.
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