Buyer Beware! Smart Living Ceramic Cookware

Like hundreds of other people this weekend, I attended the Northwest Flower and Garden show in Seattle, Washington. These shows are packed full of vendors showing off their latest and best innovations. But Buyers beware, what you buy isn’t always what you get.  This is my review of the Smart Living Ceramic Cookware set that I purchased this weekend.


This year I didn’t have any plans to buy anything more than maybe some flower bulbs and try out the new flavors in the tasting court.  Last year I got a lovely little garlic grater that I just love. So the opportunity to try and find new things is always exciting.

Cookware that doesn’t stick

Every morning I make the same thing for breakfast. 2 lightly fried eggs and gluten-free waffles. So while my routine is the same, my pans rotate. For many years I was a fan of my cast iron pans. I still love them. But more for the sentimental reasons of cooking like my Grandmother and less for their superior slipperiness when it came to making eggs.
However last year I discovered the joys of ceramic cooking. Thanks to the people at DaTerra Cucina, I discovered smooth, slippery cooking with little fats added to my food.
I LOVE my frying pan, and I used it daily. So when I went to the show this weekend and found another beautiful frying pan that promised the same surface in red, I was delighted.

I should have known better

For the “Show Special” I was able to get multiple frying pans and pots in delightful red. I LOVE red, and these just made me happy to look at. And I got all of them for around $250. I loved that deal!

Excitedly I took them home, washed them, and made my first batch of fried eggs. The guy had shown me in his demonstration how eggs were cooked with no oil at all and came out as perfect omelets.


My first batch… the eggs stuck to the pan and ripped apart. Hmm… maybe I needed to add a little oil. And yes, that did help. They slipped around the pan nicely. But something was off… and I couldn’t figure out what it was.

Ruined on the first try

What was off was that this high heat indestructible oven safe pan was actually burning. The gas flame and oven safe handle was charring!

I stared in horror at my pretty little egg pan with now a crispy ugly handle.

I went through a range of emotions.  Sad that my pan was ruined, angry that it wasn’t doing the job that it was supposed to do, and embarrassed that I ruined my pan cooking eggs on the first day!


More bad news

I called the number I found online for the pans to talk about the warranty for the pan. Even though I was confused when the man answered with a “Hello” instead of a company introduction, I told him about my issue with the pan.

“Well, these pans aren’t good for gas heat. They heat up very high and warp if the coil gets too hot.”

Wait.. that wasn’t the issue that I called about. He hadn’t been listening. And now he’d just shared the critical difference between these new pans and the Da Terra pan that I loved. My pan can get hot. I mean crazy hot. It can go from the gas stove to the oven, and it’s freaking perfect. And surprisingly, the lid and handle with the cool silicon never changes at all.

Is this guy telling me that you can only cook on the heat plates they used at the show??

Dazed I stood there looking at my pan and feeling stupid. The whole dazzle of the pans suddenly paled as I realized I’d been duped.

In almost tears, I vowed never to go back to the Flower Show because you really can’t trust what you see. I’d been scammed along with probably dozens of other people this weekend into believing that these were the same quality pans that could be found at a higher cost.

Then I looked over at my faithful skillet and smiled. I’d put off purchasing others. But this morning as I pulled out the shiny red pans and packed them up to send back, I realized the truth that I always preach to my children hadn’t been heard by myself at all. You get what you pay for.


Trust reviews

Over the years I’ve come to depend on user reviews. This weekend I strayed from the path of checking reviews and investigating before a big purchase and I regret it.

No reviews. A strange website, and a feeling like I just gave away a ton of money to a guy selling fake watches in a back alley. I learned my lesson.

This morning I purchased a new Dutch oven from DaTerra the one they call the “Work Horse” and I’m excited to see it arrive tomorrow and test it out.  The reviews were amazing on it. You can’t beat these rugged and heat-resistant pans.

I spoke with DaTerra this morning and thanked them for being amazing and they let me know that they are going to be having a big sale coming soon. So I’ll make sure to let you know when that happens.

Our Favorite DaTerra Cucina 8 Quart Nonstick Dutch Oven : Nontoxic Ceramic Coated Stock Pot with Oven Safe Glass Lid 


Lesson learned

This just proves that you are never too old to learn something new or to be reminded of lessons of the past.  If it looks too good to be true, it often is.

I was able to send my pans back for a refund, after I paid for shipping. But really, I’m still annoyed and out $30 for shipping.

Have you tried a new gadget or invention that didn’t measure up to the hype?  What about found something new that you just can’t live without?  We’d love to hear about it.

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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  1. Hi Crysta! I’m Courtney and I work for the Flower & Garden Show. I’m so sorry you had to go through this!
    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve passed this post along to our exhibits manager to make her aware of this unfortunate situation to look into this exhibitor. Please let me know if I can help with anything else. – Courtney

    • Wow! Thank you. I am so glad that my experience might help others in the future to have a better time at the show. This actually does change how I feel about returning next year. Thank you!

  2. Wow, Crysta. I’m so sorry you had go through that, but so pleased you came back around to DaTerra Cucina. Thanks very much for the kind words. As a family business, we are so honored when people not only like our product, but are willing to shout out their love for it. We are truly flattered!

    P.S. Those carrots looks AMAZING. May we use the photo on our social media? 🙂

    • Aww! You know you can use them. And I really am trying to make more time to write out recipes!

  3. I appreciated the review about the smartliving pans, but I would say that it was your demo person that was at fault. I bought one after seeing a demo at a county fair and the woman said that the pan conducts heat very well and that it would be damaged by very high heat. Someone borrowed an old Revereware copper clad pot of mine and ruined it that way. It sounds like without the consistency of numbered dial setting, it’s too easy to exceed the heat limits. I use mine on a glass top and never use it above 5 (tho I suspect my son puts it on “6”) and it works great and cleans up sooo easily. I am not affiliated with this company in any way, just offering another point of view.

    • I’m really glad you had a good experience with them. I just think that a pan that catches fire easily, isn’t something I need in my kitchen. But thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  4. I am just now looking this cookware up. Unfortunately people get caught up in the moment at “fairs”. We purchased ours last year at the state fair and for quite a while they performed just like demonstrated. They are just over a year in use and I can’t cook anything without sticking horribly and using so much oil or whatever to keep from sticking. I’m ready to throw them out. Also, when we returned to the state fair this year the company wasn’t anywhere in sight. It probably was a good thing, because I might have embarrassed myself and my husband. Didn’t think about trying to return them, figured they would never take them back. Regards.

    • Yeah, I learned a lesson myself. They looked so cool! But they are a scam and sadly we weren’t the only ones taken by them.

      • Hello Dancing…

        This in very interesting, because I went online to find out how to expand my set of Smart Living pans! I like my single 10″ pan so much that I want more sizes, and I find your experience to be totally different from my own.

        I did buy it at a fair.
        I was impressed with the incredible performance in the demo.
        I was able to duplicate the same demo when I got home.
        I have been using the pan for 2 years and it is still perfectly non-scratched, clean as a whistle and slippery as can be.
        I want a small one for 1 or 2 egg mornings.
        I NEVER use it on high heat! All non-stick coating gives off toxic gas above 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
        I DO always take my time, letting it come up to heat and I check the temperature with a fling of water drops to see if they quickly boil away… then I can add my eggs (they WILL stick if the pan is cold).

        The person doing the demo told me exactly how to use the pan.
        She did NOT lie nor scam me.
        I am a good listener, so I heard every detail and followed what she taught me.
        I want more of these pans, but in different sizes.

        I can only vouch for the quality of the pans and the exactness and truth that MY demo-lady operated under, to assure I’d be happy with my purchase. By the way, my pan only cost me $30.00, so I guess I got a good deal, too.

        I use cast iron when I want to brown and sear things or don’t have time to use lower temperatures. I’ll never give up my cast iron, but cast iron cannot due what this pan does! Not in a million years.

        I eat eggs by the dozens, so making a very thin crepe’ and rolling it in Lebanese flat-bread is my favorite way to start the day. This pan is ABSOLUTELY the best for that!

        I’d say, anyone who can take a little extra time cooking, should try these pans. They fill a niche’ in my cooking that none others can fill.

        • Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts Wenzel! I am really glad that you had a good experience with your purchase.

          Sadly, we have met others like myself who had a negative purchase. But it’s great that you weren’t feeling as frustrated as we were.

          Thanks for reading! And enjoy your pans!!! 🙂

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