I had no idea waterless cookware existed until this year and now I’m completely hooked. Waterless cookware is just that. It’s a technology that cooks with vapor rather than water—and it will revolutionize your kitchen, saving you time, energy and money, all while delivering nutrients in a big way.
Before we jump into how 360 Cookware is rocking my world, let’s tackle some of the bigger questions like…
Why stainless steel?
Stainless steel is one of the better cooking options as it provides a non-porous cooking surface. While stainless may transfer small amounts of nickel, chromium and iron (1), it is free from health-compromising chemicals found in polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE), otherwise known as Teflon (the material used on nonstick pans) which both the EPA and EWG warn against using. (2)
What is waterless cooking?
Waterless cooking uses the moisture from the food itself to cook the food. And if you are still scratching your head like huh?, let’s take broccoli for example.
Broccoli is made up of 90% water (3) (which is shocking in itself but let’s keep going). There are several ways to cook broccoli but boiling it (4), for example, reduces vitamin C content more than any other cooking method.
The most efficient cooking method in regards to nutrient retention is waterless cooking. This method requires specific cookware construction to support it, AKA 360 Cookware.
So in comparison, if you take broccoli and heat it at a low temperature, it will start releasing some of its own water. This water turns to steam and is captured in the 360 Cookware technology. The steam gathers at the top of the pot where it meets the lid and creates a liquid barrier. When this happens, you spin the top to create a full seal and let the magic happen. This seal is impressive because if you try to lift up the lid during this time, it will resist even though it’s just gently placed on top.
As the steam continues to accumulate, it moves around inside the pot and cooks the veg. Kind of like steaming vegetables, but not. If you’ve ever steamed broccoli and then dumped the water in the pot out after, you know you are dumping out green water. That’s lost nutrition right there, friends.
Waterless cooking retains the most nutrients out of all cooking methods (besides raw ofc), as there is nothing to dump out after cooking. Everything remains inside the food itself.
And it doesn’t stop at broccoli. I’m talking rice, (unsoaked) beans, meats, fish, pastas…all on your table in less time and with more nutrients.
A couple of other things to note are:
- This method operates at lower temperatures, which is an additional way to retain nutrients.
- The lower temperature (medium and lower) also helps prevent the leaching of nickel, chromium and iron we talked about earlier.
- It also does not require any additional fats, butters, oils or additives. So depending on how much fat you typically cook with, that is some serious fat savings right there. (Oil-free fried chicken anyone?!)
- Don’t be surprised if your food tastes better, too.
Waterless Cookware brand: 360 Cookware
Who is 360 Cookware? I’ve never heard of them!
360 Cookware is known for its waterless cookware. They are a USA-made and American-owned company based out of West Bend, Wisconsin, and they offer anything and everything from slow cookers to saucepans, fry pans, bakeware and more.
Is all stainless steel created equal?
Now maybe your next question is, Isn’t all stainless steel created equal? And the short answer is no.
Some stainless steel is layered differently when it comes to pots and pans and it’s really important to know which type of stainless steel is used on the layer that actually touches your food.
360 uses three primary metals to make their pots and pans.
- The inside layer (what touches your food) is T-304 surgical grade stainless steel and the range is 18/8 (18% chromium and 8% nickel). (To compare, Cuisinox is 18/10, containing more nickel than 360. That lower nickel content also helps reduce leaching into your food).
- The outer layer (what touches the heat) is T-400, which has a lower nickel content and higher carbon steel content to interact on induction cooktops.
- These two layers of stainless surround a layer of aluminum. You don’t want aluminum touching your food, but it is a killer heat conductor and part of the reason why this cookware works so well (because stainless on its own can’t conduct heat for jack).
Are there chemicals on stainless steel?
Another question to ask is what type of chemicals are used during manufacturing?
At Americraft (where they manufacture 360 Cookware), there are no chemicals used to polish and finish the stainless steel. Americraft uses a robotic arm and sanding belts—that’s it. So in addition to the food tasting better and being free from chemical residue, there are no additional chemical waste trucks pulling up to the plant to discard waste.
Says Brittany Pitschman, chief marketing officer at 360 Cookware, “We built our factory with a veteran workforce of over 400 years of combined knowledge. This knowledge eliminated toxic manufacturing processes in a worker friendly environment. Our advanced manufacturing techniques are why we need zero EPA permits to operate. The EPA actually gave thanks to our dedication to sustainable manufacturing.”
Bryan Hurley, owner of 360 Cookware says, “[The biggest eco-friendly initiative is] in our finish. There’s no smoke stacks coming out of this place.”
Another point to note is (unlike most) Americraft has its own water purification system, which Bryan says “is second to none.” Meaning that all water used in the manufacturing process has been filtered and treated to remove any additional points of contamination.
The Americraft factory is also Green-E Certified (a certification recognized by the EPA) that advocates for the advancement of clean energy policy, markets and technology.
360 Waterless Cookware Review
Okay, I’ve only tried one item from 360 but I do MOST of my cooking with it, so I felt like this review was warranted. Also, I wanted to write this review because if you are going to start with any piece from 360, make it their slow cooker. HANDS DOWN.
ALSO! Code THISORGANICGIRL will save you 20% off sitewide at 360 Cookware!
360 Cookware Slow Cooker
I used to have the All-Clad slow cooker (which is what people usually think of when they think of “American-made cookware”). I got it for my wedding and it worked like your typical slow cooker but then the ceramic insert cracked one day and it was buh-bye beef stew.
I’d been dragging my feet for a while on a new one because all the inserts were sketching me out like…what are those actually made of?
Anyway, when I feasted my eyes on 360 Cookware’s slow cooker made from legit stainless steel (legit, as in not made from scrap stainless steel), I was sold. Okay so that’s a really big plus, but that’s not even the best part! The best part is that the “slow cooker” is a single pot that sits on a hot plate (for lack of a better explanation).
That’s right, this slow cooker is actually two separate pieces.
SOOOOO, you can take that pot and use it solo on your stove top to cook a quick sauce. You can take that pot and brown a chuck over the stove top and then put the pot in your oven to slow cook.
OR you can obviously put that pot on the hot plate (slow cooker heating element) and leave for the day while dinner slow cooks while you are out. You can also heat up the pot on the slow cooker and brown meat/cook on the slow cooker…hello clean cooking for camping and travel anyone?! (Or maybe I should say glamping because you will obviously need a plug).
Even though this piece is classified as a “slow cooker,” it can really be your “one pot” for the entire kitchen. And even though this is “waterless cooking” technology, you can use 360 Cookware as regular pots and pans too. (Read the manual first, so you get the best bang for your buck. I know. I KNOW. I hate reading manuals too so just skim and take what you need but you will be able to use this piece so much more efficiently with a little training – trust me).
So you have your slow cooker, a pot to cook pasta and sauces, a pot to vapor cook all your veggies and meats, and more. The only thing missing would be a nonstick egg pan like this one. But with these two pots/pans, you pretty much have your entire kitchen outfitted.
I have the 6 quart size slow cooker which is what’s shown in the photos here. It’s their biggest size. I got this one because I’m extra but I also wanted to be able to cook a whole chicken in it too. They also have two additional sizes at different price points as well.
360 Waterless Cookware is built to last
This cookware is also built to last. My friend Steph introduced me to the line and she was introduced to it by her grandma who passed down 360 cookware to her. 360 also adds that their products will last for many generations as well, which (big picture) reduces waste, energy and lifestyle carbon footprint.
And even better, each piece comes with a lifetime warranty. And since I plan on living to 101, I think I got the better end of the bargain here.
For TOG readers only!!! Code THISORGANICGIRL will save you 20% off sitewide at 360 Cookware!
P.S. Have you ever “waterless boiled” eggs? 😳
TOG Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TOG uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TOG stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.
1. Kuligowski, J; Halperin, K M; Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology, August 23rd, 1992; Stainless steel cookware as a significant source of nickel, chromium, and iron; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1514841/
2. Kamerud, Kristin L.; Hobbie, Kevin A.; Anderson, Kim A.; Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Sept. 19th, 2013; Stainless Steel Leaches Nickel and Chromium into Foods During Cooking; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4284091/
3. US Department of Agriculture; FoodData Central Search Results, Broccoli Raw, Dec. 16th, 2019; https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/747447/nutrients
4. Yuan, Gao-feng; Sun, Bo; Yuan, Jing; Wang, Qiao-mei; Journal of Zhejiang University Science B: Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Aug. 10th, 2009; Effects of different cooking methods on health-promoting compounds of broccoli; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19650196/
360 Cookware Slow Cooker
This slow cooker from 360 Cookware is made with surgical grade stainless steel. Use their slow cooker for waterless cooking, slow cooking and as your “one-pot” for the entire kitchen. Plus, even though it’s “waterless cooking” technology, you can use 360 Cookware as regular pots and pans too.
- Built to last generations
- Lifetime warranty
- Reduces energy & lifestyle carbon footprint
- Helps you retain nutrients in your food
- Can be used for slow cooking, waterless cooking or regular cooking
- Replaces a kitchen full of pots and pans
- Made from surgical-grade stainless steel
- No chemical coatings
- Made in a Green-E Certified manufacturing plant
- Made in the USA
- Does not require any additional fats, butters, oils or additives
- Food tastes better
- Not made from scrap metal
- Mostly available online