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Equipment & Gear: NSF Certification
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Check out what the Better Business Bureau has to say Reply with quote

Excellent research Heather! (And well written, I enjoyed reading your comments.) I had similar concerns about the company, but did not look them up at Better Business Bureau. It seems pretty apparent to me that Cooks Warehouse is Ameriware since they have the same address/telephone (I can't remember where I found their address because it doesn't seem to be on their website and the site is kind of sketchy). I think Cook's Warehouse (the Ameriware one ( http://www.onlinecookery.com ), not the one in Atlanta, Georgia ( http://www.cookswarehouse.com )) is there just to show the "full" price of the products.

I had a bad feeling about how Ameriware seemed to do business and when I called them and they never returned my calls, I kind of just sighed and shook my head. Maybe they have a decent product - it certainly seems to work at Costco, but they just don't seem to be running the kind of business that I want to be handing over that much money to. I plan to try to talk to them at the next Home Show that runs through my region, but who knows if I'll be able to (the demonstrators seem to only know what they are told to say, though).

Many of the claims made by the Ameriware representatives are similar to those made by Danish company Scanpan (US website is a little less informative and is located at http://www.scanpan.com ). I have performed the same "tests" that the Ameriware rep. performed on the Ameriware on my 9-1/4 inch fry pan. It is similarly priced (if not slightly lower priced for that size) at $40 but Scanpan has a much better reputation. So far, I have to say the pan is impressive - it still releases cleanly and amazingly when compared to other nonstick brands (I've only had it since January - I'm planning too keep using it and see how it performs next January and do a write up). I've have other brands which release really well, but after a month or two become so-so non-stick. The Scanpan has continued to clean up well, release marvelously, and has yet to show any indication of a scuff mark. (Since I paid for the pan, I couldn't bring myself to use metal utensils on it all the time - although I have on occassion used a fork and twice used metal tongs because I was in a rush - still no marks). My other non-sticks all have scuff marks and don't release perfectly anymore even though I only use silicone spatulas, plastic tongs, and wood (which is my tool of choice) and never metal.

Heather Constable wrote:
Call me stubborn, call me stupid, call me strange Id rather buy a $20 pan that Ill need to replace every five years from an upstanding company than buy a $100 pan that will last me four times as long from a company of ill-repute. And try the math. Either way - $20 a pop five times in twenty years or a single $100 pop in twenty years you end up in the very same place.

If you factor in time-value of money, the $20 five times over twenty years is less money than an upfront $100...
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Check out what the Better Business Bureau has to say Reply with quote

Heather Constable wrote:
So, to www.bbb.org I go. I look up Ameriware. I am again impressed... but this time by my seemingly limitless gullibility.

Hmmm... I was unable to find any information on www.bbb.org concerning Ameriware. Am I typing in the wrong company name? I tried Ameriware, Cook's Warehouse (brought up a local store in San Francisco), www.onlinecookery.com (in the url field), and couldn't come up with any results...
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Heather Constable
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:29 am    Post subject: Ameriware, AKA "Ameri-Warehouse" Reply with quote

Straight from the BBB website (if anyone reading is unfamiliar with business-world lingo, "DBA" in the first line stands for "Doing Business As".

DBA: Ameri-Warehouse
Other
Address: 2504 North Ontario Street
Burbank, CA 91504 Other
Primary Phone: (818) 556-2740 Other
Primary Fax: (818) 556-2746 Other
Primary Contact: Howard Teichman, Senior Vice President Other
E-mail Address:

Website:

Company ID: 13013596
Business Start Date: 1/1/1978
BBB Created Record on: 5/2/1995

Nature of Business:

This company's business is sells cookware at homeshows, state and county fairs, military bases and Costco.


From Heather: Following is the direct link to the information I reviewed.

http://www.labbb.org/BBBWeb/Forms/Business/CompanyReportPage_Expository.aspx?CompanyID=13013596&hAKAID=1&hAddrID=1

To start from square one, type "Cook's Warehouse" (without the quotes, and no , Inc.). The BBB database returns two results, the first of which is the link to the BBB's information concerning Ameriware/Cook's Warehouse/Ameri-Warehouse.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I see. I didn't realize that Ameri-Warehouse was the same as Ameriware but the address and phone number is the same as the one I've got.
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Heather Constable
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And imagine - with three operating names, one of which the BBB doesn't have listed as an alias (Ameriware) - how difficult it would be for the "Average Joe" to file a complaint. If one simply looks up "Ameriware",
the BBB database returns a solitary result for "Ameri-Warehouse", and unless one cross-references and digs deeper, it's not readily apparent just who Ameriware is.

My brother is an attorney and when I once was considering employment with a small (two person) company that provided only a P.O. box for the business address, he warned: "If anyone goes to even moderate lengths to obscure their identity or whereabouts and intentionally make themselves difficult to find, it's not someone you want to be involved with".

I have a feeling his words are applicable in this instance, as well.
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daisy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:10 am    Post subject: ameriware Reply with quote

just want to know how the ameriware cookware holds up and if anyone has had to return them
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Jake
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:28 pm    Post subject: Ameriware Professional Cookware Reply with quote

I just received an email response from the Ameriware customer support. He said that Vollrath has been making cookware since 1874. He said that their parent company is Cook's Warehouse, Inc. and has been in business since 1978. He said that all nonsticks have some PTFE in it and the Ameriware nonstick is a three layered nonstick surface with ceramic and Titanium. He claims that the product is ten times tougher than any other nonstick on the market today. Like all products, it depends on the care you give it. Then he concludes that you have the Vollrath 25 year warranty and Costco guarantee. I would conclude that I should keep my Costco receipt just in case!

I have experimented with the egg swished around the frying pan to get a thin layer that can be blown off. That trick works with two of our older teflon pans; however, it does not stick and fry more than a quarter inch above the bottom, so the cheaper pans probably are not hot enough above the bottom. The experiment did not work with my Circulon pot - the thin egg stuck in the narrow grooves and had to be pulled out by hand.
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Swebeck
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:30 pm    Post subject: scanpans hold up great Reply with quote

Hi all,

I just read on the scanpan website (http://www.scanpancookware.com/staticpages/sp/teflon) that their products do contain PTFE. I have a 12 inch scanpan frypan that I use frequently, especially to make crepes. It's a wonderful pan for this purpose as it releases well, but it also has some "tooth" to hold the batter in place as I tilt the pan. It also distributes heat beautifully, NO hotspots, AND I have consistently used metal utensils. After at least two years, it still works as well as the day I bought it.

I am so pleased with the perfomance of this pan that I went to the scanpan website with the intention of purchasing several more of their products; that's when I first saw the reference to PTFE. I had been under the impression that these pans were free of the potential toxic effects of PTFE. I believe that I was mislead when I purchased my pan two or three years ago -- I recall being told that the pan was made of a "ceramic/titanium blend as used on the space shuttle to reduce friction" . . .

I'm no engineer, but I was aware of the potential toxic effects of PTFE when I purchased this pan, and I did a reasonable amount of research. I did not contact the company and ask them directly if their product contained PTFE prior to purchasing the pan, but all indications were that it did not.

If you want to purchase nonstick cookware, I can highly recomend the scanpan. I shall continue to use it for situations that really need a nonstick surface, such as making crepes (in case you are wondering, I eat a inordinate amount of crepes because I have a wheat gluten allergy, and have found crepes to be one of the best ways to use odd flours such as barley, rice. or garbonzo. )

But, I shall continue to use my stainless steel and well seasoned cast iron for other purposes, to avoid the potential toxic effects of PTFE, both to me and to the environment. BTW, I'd rather spend $80 on a pan that works well than buy four pans for $20. Less waste, less time shopping - factor that into your cost analysis -- and the product tends to be better in other respects, such as better heat distribution resulting in a lack of hotspots.

Regards all. Hope my two cents helps.
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Ralph l. Emerson
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:42 am    Post subject: Ameriware Reply with quote

Ameriware is made by Vollrath of Sheboygan, Wi. and the PTFE coating is put on by Whitford Coatings of Frazer, Pa.
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Tobi
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 2:47 pm    Post subject: Ameriware Reply with quote

Thanks to all for your research and comments. I've been looking at this cookware set at Costco for the last 2 years and have watched several demonstrations and have ooo'd and aaa'd over them as well.

I've been looking for a decent set of pans for the last 5 years and this is the only set that I would have bought on impulse, but my penny-pinching ways stopped me. The next show in my area is Oct 28th and I am finally going to 'rush out' and buy it!

They may be a little overpriced, but in the long run, all the time it takes for me to research and decide on what I would like to use is worth the initial purchase of $100 rather than buying the same pan over and over again.

Another point, if I find something I like and it wears out over time, by the time I get around to replacing it, I can't find it! If it's tried and true, I want the same pan, I'm very picky and will be upset that I can't replace it with the same product!

Anyway, that's my two cents for all that is it worth!

I will let you know in a few months how I like my new pans!

Thx, Tobi
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Guest






PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have owned one of the professional series pans I bought from Costco for a year or so. It holds up really well to abuse that used to kill other pans. Metal utensils can be used in it without destroying the coating, just as advertised. I have used it every day at least twice a day, and many times more than that. With that level of use, it is stucturally sound. I have fried, baked and even lightly broiled. I have loved using this pan.

That said, the reason I am on this site posting is because I Googled up Ameriware to contact the company with a complaint. The nonstick surface is no longer non-stick and is now just sticky-but-easy-to-clean surface. I am going to ask them for a partial refund or a refurb. If need be, I will take it back to Costco for a full refund.
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OTazMan
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 7:14 pm    Post subject: Rpeat after me Stainless Steel Reply with quote

If we are talking about safety the guaranteed safest cookware on the planet is Stainless Steel! I gave up on Aluminum / non stick pans 6 years ago and haven't looked back since. Kitchen Craft 100% American made stainless steel with a lifetime guarantee. It took me a year to learn how to cook with stainless steel turning the heat down is the first rule but it is safe with no leaching of the metal or non stick surface. I can't believe anyone would even think of buying a pan where you can't figure out what the non stick service is. I don't care if PTFE is used or not if it has a coating it is going to come off. No one has brought up this little gem either the Ameriware product is made up of a ceramic-titanium product. Has there been any studies on how hard this combination is, does it leach or bleed through the non stick surface? Titanium is of course very hard but with the introduction of ceramics all bets are off. Titanium is a heavy metal and in a dust form it is extremely poisonous.

Watch FoodTV if the chef is not being sponsored by a company what do they use for cooking? Standard old Stainless Steel!
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Connie
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:13 pm    Post subject: Ameriware Reply with quote

I bought an Ameriware 12 inch fry pan last year at Costco. I wanted to see if it really did work like the man said it did. And I have had no problem since. Food doesn't stick, and everything cooks evenly. The Ameriware company is back at my Costco, so I bought the whole set. It works great, a lot better then Circulon, Caphalon and those other products at the mall. Which I have tried in the past, and would not buy again! I'm hooked on Ameriware!
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RickHan
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:02 pm    Post subject: Ameriware Reply with quote

I've watched the Ameriware demo at Costco several times. It is impressive.
But the lack of info about the Ameriware products is a bit suspect.
Costco will take defective items back, even without a receipt if you have all the parts and documentation that came with it.

Has anyone cooked with gas at higher temperatures with Ameriware? Or with any other brand of non-stick?
I do a lot of stir frys, which don't work well at medium heat.

Also, the cookware seems pretty functional. The vented lids are a nice touch.
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Larry
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 11:04 pm    Post subject: Ameriware Reply with quote

Key point to remember about this cookware set is that it is backed 100% by COSTCO. They would not allow Ameriware to demo their products in their stores if COSTCO was not satisified that they were a reputable company.

Need to ask yourself this question: If I trust COSTCO enough to pay them $45 or $100 to become a member, why would I doubt them about these pot and pans?

In this case, you are buying from COSTCO, not Ameriware.

As for me, I'm going down to COSTCO tonight and buy a set for my wife. If it turns out she doesn't like them or they don't live up to her expectations for performance or quality, I'll simply return them to COSTCO. That is one of the key benefits of becoming a warehouse club member; 100% satisfaction guarantee.
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