Proclamation Duo
CNN  — 

It’s a frying pan. It’s a stockpot. It’s a wok. It’s a Dutch oven. The Proclamation Duo by Proclamation Goods Co. consists of two pans and a lid, and despite the endless claims by other new-age cookware, this is actually the kitchen set that can do it all.

If you’re looking to streamline your cookware (you minimalist, you) or you’re just starting to build a collection, consider the Proclamation Duo a great investment.

A few things to know about this sleek kitchen set:

It’s versatile

Proclamation Duo

I found myself nodding at the product’s slogan: “We didn’t reinvent cookware, just reimagined how much of it you need.” Indeed, unless you’re a professional chef or cooking for more than, say, a dozen people, the Proclamation Duo provides every tool you’d need for standard stovetop (and beyond) cooking — with just three pieces.

The set includes one 12-inch skillet, one 7-quart pot and one lid that can be fitted to either. The funky cool thing about the Duo is that the skillet and pot fit together like puzzle pieces: You place the skillet atop the pot and align their hinges to lock. This creates a Dutch oven. No, the pairing does not look as cute or iconic as the matching lid and base of Le Creuset, but it does the same job without any preciousness. By that I mean you can clang, bang and drop all three parts of the Duo without worrying about anything breaking apart.

As a Dutch oven, the pans move from stovetop to oven seamlessly, though it takes a few tries to get fully comfortable with the physical transfer. A traditional Dutch oven has two same-size handles, while the Duo stacks the pans’ long handles and then their much shorter hinges. The same two pieces can also function as a double boiler — just turn the skillet over and stack it over the pot, or vice versa.

I tested out the stainless steel version, which can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, while the carbon set (this skillet is more like a cast-iron) can handle up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit (who, may I ask, is cooking at such temperatures?).

While the surface is more “low-stick” than “nonstick,” a little fat goes a long way here. Still, when I fried an egg, for example, I didn’t get that completely residue-free slick slide that a brand-new nonstick skillet boasts. That’s just fine, however, because this set is really easy to clean, and every piece is — can you believe? — dishwasher-safe.

Plus, as the brand’s FAQ page points out, there’s something weirdly unnatural, if not suspicious, about a nonstick surface. “[R]esearchers continue to find that these nonstick coatings are bad for you, bad for the environment or both. Coatings, even modern ones labeled ‘nontoxic’ or ‘ceramic,’ often have a toxic application process, and they naturally chip and degrade over time, meaning they get into our food and our bodies and are destined for our landfills from day one.” The Proclamation Duo is a good pick for consumers concerned with toxins, and because it doesn’t boast a nonstick surface, there’s no chipping to worry about.

It’s hefty

These are big pans. The large size gives the set variable pros and cons, which are mostly dependent on you, your kitchen size and your general dexterity.

The stainless steel skillet is 3.5 pounds (pretty heavy for a frying pan), the pot is 4.1 pounds and the lid is 1.3 pounds. Admittedly, I struggled to pour food from the skillet onto a serving plate, but I don’t have much upper-body strength. I’ve certainly cooked with pots and pans that didn’t give me this kind of trouble, but for a quality set of cookware, it’s something I personally can live with. (If anything, it’s motivation to do more push-ups.)

Both the skillet and the pot, remember, are a foot in diameter, which does take up a lot of room. If you’re working with a wimpy stovetop, this is something to consider. Not to brag, but I recently moved into an apartment with an amazing gas stove on which the Duo sits beautifully. I can simultaneously use both the pot and skillet separately, but I don’t think the flimsy and tiny electric coils in my previous apartment would have been able to handle such girth.

The Duo’s size is a benefit when cooking high-volume meals (think: veggie-packed stir-frys, big-batch soups and stews, and whole roasted chickens). The set happened to arrive on the very evening I was making my famous (to me) tofu and veggie stir-fry with Thai peanut sauce (recipe adapted from here, FYI).

For this meal, I wanted to include a ton of kale (like, 4 cups) along with crispy tofu, and the skillet seemed like it would be the perfect vessel for all that bulk. Indeed, it provided a large surface area, so much of the kale could cook at once, not all piled on itself. Normally when I make this meal, I have to hover over my standard-size skillet to ensure every piece of kale makes contact with the hot surface. With this pan, I had to do a lot less maneuvering, tossing the greens just a few times to ensure they all wilted evenly. When it was time to cover the kale and tofu in the sticky peanut sauce, I had no trouble coating everything with just a few stirs.

It’s durable

Proclamation Duo

Like a grandparent’s cast-iron, the Proclamation Duo is something that will last. It’s a quality set of cookware that, without coating or needless bells and whistles, seems like it will withstand use and abuse for years to come. Its lifetime warranty supports this hypothesis.

Unlike most coated pans, the skillet can handle all types of utensils, including metal tongs. According to the makers, the carbon steel is a bit tougher, while excessive scraping and scratching may scuff the stainless version — but this is only an aesthetic issue.

The handles on both the skillet and the pot stay relatively cool, which won’t lead you to curse the set and toss it after one bad burn. Still, especially after using it in the oven, you should use some sort of protective mitt to handle the cookware.

The Duo is compatible with induction cooktops and the standard types too, so no matter what kind of kitchen you’re cooking in, these pans can come along.

It’s pricey

At $379 for the stainless steel set, the Proclamation Duo is no budget buy (the carbon version retails for $395). You could purchase every individual tool Proclamation claims to include in its set and still spend less. But depending on your needs, this set could be worth your hard-earned cash.

The bottom line

Proclamation Duo

This is a wonderful line of cookware — I love it! If you have plenty of pots and pans, however, you don’t need to add this set to your collection, as that would be redundant. But if you want to pare things down (I recommend dropping your old cookware off at Goodwill) or want to buy a very generous housewarming gift to someone who loves to cook, this is a great option.