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Cookware: 11 essential QA tests and checks

by John Niggl

Whether you’re a world-renowned chef or a homeowner who dabbles in the culinary arts, you want to be sure you’re cooking with quality pots and pans. Take it from the quality experts at InTouch when it comes to product testing cookware. Hot out of the frying pan, Quality Wars is serving up eleven ESSENTIAL quality assurance tests and checks for your cooking needs.

1. Cross Hatch Adhesion Test

Product Test Objective: verify if the coating firmly adhered onto the base material. Coating may easily peel off during the use.


  1. Cross-cut lines in small grid, scratching into the coating material.
  2. Apply tape.
  3. Remove tape to check for removed coating material.

2. Rust-Resistance Test

Product Test Objective: verify that the metal parts are resistant to corrosion and oxidation. The metal parts may easily get rusty.

Procedure: Spray the inner and outer surface of the pot or pan liberally with a 1% salt water solution. Let the pot sit 24 hours and then check for rust.

3. Egg Test/Burnt Milk Test

Product Test Objective: verify the non-stick feature of a coated pot or pan.


  1. Wash and dry the pot or pan.
  2. Heat pan to between 150 to 175°C (300 -338°F), no oil or other fat added.
  3. Add one room temperature egg.
  4. Fry egg until completely cooked where egg white surface is no longer a viscous liquid. During the process, maintain MEDIUM heat and DON’T turn the heat down.
  5. Once fully cooked, use a silicone spatula to remove it from the pan.
  6. Check if egg can easily be removed from pan.
  7. Wipe the pan clean with a dry towel.
  8. Check for any residue or stain left on the pan after removal.

4. Dry Boil Test

Product Test Objective: verify if the pot or pan bottom has been properly bonded or if any poor materials were used in manufacturing.


  1. Place the pot or pan on the burner at high heat. Heat the item for 10min (5 min if item is less than 1.5qt).
  2. Observe the item, especially the braised or bonded base, for any molten metal escaping from the bottom juncture.
  3. Check the integrity of the base after the pan cools.

5. Water Boil Test

Product Test Objective: verify that any rivets have been installed properly.


  1. Fill pot with water to level ABOVE top of interior rivet.
  2. Heat on high with cover and boil. Before, during, and after water boils, observe exterior rivets and handle attachment for any signs of leakage.

6. Glass Lid Test – Glass Fragment Check

Product Test Objective: verify the glass lid is made of tempered glass.


  1. Tape the lid and put pressure on it until the glass breaks (break the lid on the side with spring punch).
  2. Count the broken pieces for 5 cm².

7. Glass Lid Test – Steel Ball Impact Test

Product Test Objective: verify the glass strength.

Procedure: Drop a 225g steel ball from 1m high on the side of the lid.

8. Induction Test

Product Test Objective: verify the pan is safe for induction and can be used with an induction cooker as intended.

Procedure: Place a magnet on the pan’s surface and ensure that it holds well and does not fall off. Check 4 points on the bottom exterior.

9. Volume Check

Product Test Objective: verify if the pot volume conforms to specifications.

Procedure: Fill the pot or pan with water until overflowing. Measure the mass or volume of the water left in the pot (1cm3 = 1ml = 1g).

10. Internal Coating Thickness Check

Product Test Objective: verify the coating thickness meets specifications. 

Procedure: Hold a coating thickness gauge straight against the inner coating of the pot or pan so the gauge returns a number in micrometers. Compare this measurement to specifications. 

11. Dishwasher Test

Product Test Objective: verify the pot or pan is dishwasher-safe.

Procedure: Subject the pot or pan to 5 cycles through a dishwasher on the normal wash setting with domestic detergent. Check for any changes.

John Niggl is a Client Manager at InTouch Manufacturing Services, a QC firm that performs product inspections and factory audits in China for US and EU clients. John also writes for the QC-related blog, Quality Wars.

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