Best Hard Anodized Cookware Reviews 2018: Top 5+ Recommended
If you are looking to renew your old cookware and to find the best quality hard anodized cookware for its price, you came to the right place! Stick with me, and together we will go through the top 5 best on the market. Finding The Best Hard Anodized Cookware: Shopping With Catherine!
Do you ever get tired of bad cookware that always burns your food and sticks to everything?
I remember those days vividly.
I used to try so hard to make a beautiful meal, but my cookware wouldn't cooperate with me - and then, I had to scrub burnt leftovers off the bottom. I get frustrated by just talking about it!
However, I was determined enough to step into the culinary world more thoroughly, and so I discovered the beauty and glory of hard anodized aluminum cookware.
My life has been so much easier ever since I incorporated non-stick cookware in my kitchen, especially as I always strive to make as healthy and low-fat meals as possible.
If you are interested in finding more about hard anodized cookware, and later looking for the best hard anodized cookware sets on the market - come along and let's jump into the search!
Further Reading: Stainless Steel Vs. Nonstick Cookware: The Full Comparison
What Is Hard Anodized Cookware?
So, first of all, let's get the "whats" out of the way. Hard anodized cookware is aluminum cookware that goes through the process of anodization.
Anodization reacts with the surface of aluminum pans and pots through a process which builds up aluminum's natural oxide coating. This way, a hard and nonreactive substance is formed as a tough coating which, as a result, is non-stick, easy to clean, and scratch-resistant.
Anodized aluminum shouldn’t react to acidic foods, so you can theoretically use these pots and pans for preparing rhubarb and sauces with tomato, wine or lemon juice – ingredients that you shouldn’t cook in traditional aluminum pots.
These hard anodized cookware set are corrosion resistant, and the oxide layer is part of the metal structure so it won't peel off.
Why Is Hard Anodized Aluminum So Good?
Apart from the apparent reason I have already mentioned, such as non-stick finish, easy cleaning, and scratch-resistant features, hard anodized cookware has more useful things to offer.
- One of the first that I, as a mother, look for, is the health benefits you can have by using this kind of cookware. Having high-quality hard anodized cookware enables you to remove unnecessary fats from your diet. When I used non-stick cookware for preparing anything that has some fat in it, I don't even need to put extra fat - what you have is what you need. Talk about non-fat cooking!
- Also, I know that some people worry about using hard anodized aluminum cookware. If you are one of them, please, don't worry - hard anodized aluminum is different from the "ordinary" aluminum you've heard bad things about. The whole anodization process serves this purpose - eliminating the chance of toxins from aluminum reacting with your food and getting into your body. Therefore, it is entirely safe (and healthy) to use hard anodized cookware daily.
What To Pay Attention To When Choosing The Best Hard Anodized Cookware
1. Longevity of the non-stick property
- I can't imagine a hard anodized cookware set not having non-stick properties - it is quite a reasonable and necessary thing to expect. However, in some cases, the non-stick layer can be done quite poorly and, either disappear somehow during the time or just not perform as it's supposed to.
- I, unfortunately, had a lot of experience with non-stick layer not performing as it should, and I always used to get mad and disappointed because the manufacturers would tell anything to make you purchase their product.
- Luckily for you guys, I am here for you as a "middleman", as I personally used all of these hard anodized cookware sets, and I am here to tell you my honest opinion.
There are many things that go into account when we talk about practicality. When we look at hard anodized cookware, there is a set of things I need to mention, and that can affect practicality significantly.
- First, let's mention the scratch-resistant feature I mentioned previously. Even though much as the non-stick feature, it is normal to have a scratch-resistant bottom, that is not always the case. It happens very often that some pans and pots get easily damaged and scratched, even though they are allegedly non-scratch. Therefore, it is crucial to know what utensils you can use on your hard anodized cookware.
- The next thing I always mention is the cleaning aspect. Cookware can get quite sticky and dirty, and I don't want to waste time on handwashing my dishes - that's what dishwashers are for! However, not every cookware set (not even hard anodized ones) are dishwasher safe - mostly because of all the different layers that are prone to destruction when put under the high water temperatures and the chemicals used during the dishwasher's processes.
- Last, but not the least, is an often forgotten feature that we naturally overlook, but is essential for cooking - the type of heat source your hard anodized set can be used on. Most cookware sets aren't compatible with all the heat sources, but probably the most often asked question is whether a set is oven safe or not. There are also some variations to the stovetops on which you can use the given set, but I will cover all of that later on.
- There isn't much I can say about the durability as it's quite self-explanatory. Some sets are made to last years and even decades, whereas some are simply not built well, and they very quickly become malfunctioned ( to the point of barely being able to use the cookware).
- I consider durability to be in direct proportion to the quality of the given set, mainly because that is why my experience had taught me. However, keep in mind that the price is not (and should not be) a judge of the quality. I have used some cheaper products and hard anodized cookware sets that held up better than some more expensive ones.
4. Pieces in the set
- For me, it was always essential to look at the pieces in a set. I have specific needs as I cook for my two kids: whether I'm making a small portion of oatmeal for their breakfast, or I want to heat some leftovers for dinner - I need a certain variety when it comes to cookware sets.
- In my case, I like both smaller and larger pans and pots, but some of you might prefer one over the other. This one is mostly based on your needs, so you probably won't be needing much help with this.
5. Cooking experience
This category is often overlooked by people who don't enjoy cooking, yet do it because they have to. Don't be that person!
I'm just kidding with you guys - I know how stressful it can be to work the entire day and then go home to cook food for dinner or the next day's lunch. We've all been there. But, I want you to know that, with the help of a few minor things at first glance, your cooking experience could be much more fun and comfortable.
Think about things like handles, lids and general comfortability:
- Handles can easily get overheated and almost unusable without cooking gloves, and that can limit your space and movement in the kitchen. However, some handles are built, so they stay cool, and are ergonomic, so they fit in your hand perfectly.
- Lids are also an important factor: whether they are made of glass or some other material, if they are heat resistant, if they have small vents for excess heat, and probably the most important - whether they are snug fitting and tightly sealed to the pan or pot.
- A general comfortability and the pleasure of using a certain cookware set is something you have to experience by yourself, but I will try to make your decision easier by giving valuable information on this topic as well.
Most Recommended Hard Anodized Cookware Sets: Detailed Reviews 2018
Now that you covered all the must-knows about hard anodized cookware, as well as some specific things you need to know when shopping for a cookware set, I can start with the list of the five hard anodized cookware sets I had the best experience with.
If you haven't heard of T-fal so far, I have no idea where you've been for the past decade. T-fal has made its name as a reliable cookware manufacturer. Therefore, I had to have one of their hard anodized cookware sets on this list.
The set consists of 12 pieces:
- Two frying pans (8-inch and 10.25-inch)
- A Dutch oven with lid (5-quart)
- 3 saucepans with lids (1-quart, 2-quart, and 3-quart)
- A solid nylon spoon and slotted spatula
I am quite satisfied with the pieces in this set, although ideally, I would have liked some other pieces as well, for a complete variability.
A far as the non-stick coating is concerned, Prometal Pro nonstick interior is exceptionally durable and scratch resistant. During my usage of this hard anodized set, I had no problems with the non-stick property - everything worked fine, and hardly anything could stick to the bottom of the pans.
The parts of this set are, indeed, scratch resistant and, allegedly, safe for use with metal utensils. However, I still don't use these unless I have to.
What I love about this cookware set is that it is dishwasher safe. This can be a dealbreaker for so many of you - cleaning is no problem when it comes to T-fal hard anodized cookware.
Another great thing about this set is that it is oven safe (up to 350 degrees F), and there are also some other heat sources you can use: gas, halogen, ceramic and electric. These are all safe for use. Induction is the only one that I would advise from using.
I haven't used these for that long of a time. However, I heard trustworthy people say that this cookware set lasts for many years. From my experience, I would also say this set is quite durable.
The handles on this set are silicone and riveted, meaning they can hold up high temperatures without heating themselves. The lids are glass, and therefore also dishwasher safe.
The pieces in this set are thick and heavy, so it's not super comfortable to use them, but it's not a problem at all when it comes to cooking. However, I need to mention that they heat quite slowly, so you might be surprised if you're used to super quick cooking.
And now, the bonus - manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty for every hard anodized cookware set purchased!
The Cuisinart set includes 11 pieces:
- Three saucepans with lids (1, 2 and 3-quart)
- One saute pan with helper and lid (3.5-quart)
- One Dutch Oven with lid (4-quart)
- One stockpot with lid (8-quart)
- Three skillets (8 and 10-inch without lids, and 12-inch with lid)
- A steamer insert (20 cm)
This is what I like to see when it comes to variety - I am very pleased with the content of this cookware set.
Of course, all the pieces are non-stick. Unfortunately, my experience was bad with this Cuisinart's set, as the non-stick finish lasted for a month or two before it started wearing off. This was a big disappointment.
Another thing that was a big problem is that this set is, by no means, scratch-resistant. I always try to use soft cooking tools and utensils (silicone, plastic, sometimes wood), but this didn't help at all. After only a few stirs with a silicone spatula, I noticed scratches on the bottom.
Therefore, I would have to say that the durability of this cookware set is dissatisfying and below my standards.
Now, apart from that, the cooking experience is good. Solid stainless steel riveted stick handles stay cool on the stovetop and provide a safe and firm grip.
The lids are made of tempered glass, and they are break-resistant, as well as tight-fitting.
The set is heavier than I expected, but still comfortable for daily usage. It's oven safe (but not induction safe), and don't even think about putting the pots or pans into the dishwasher - it will ruin it for good.
You've all probably watched Rachel Ray's show and saw her cookware sets on camera. But, not many people dare to try one on their own - and that is why I decided to give this hard anodized set a try.
This set consists of 10 pieces:
- Two saucepans with lids (1-quart and 2-quart) )
- One stockpot with lid (6-quart)
- One saute pan with lid (3-quart)
- Two skillets (8.5-inch and 10-inch)
In my opinion (and for my needs), I feel like this set doesn't offer too much variety. However, some of you might be looking for a smaller set, and this would definitely be adequate for you,
I liked the non-stick finish on these pots and pans, it lasts long, and I had no problems with food sticking - at least for the time I've been using these.
What I found useful is that it heats up rapidly and evenly, whereas in some cases you need to wait a lot until your cookware is adequately heated and ready for cooking.
As far as the infamous scratching is concerned, I would say that I'm not wowed, but not disappointed either. The pans are scratch-resistant in a certain sense, but I had the impression that the effect wore out after some time.
I think this set is excellent for beginners in the culinary world, as well as for smaller families, but I don't believe it's a set that will satisfy your needs over many years - I think this set is durable, but that it doesn't have that big of a lifespan in general.
And now, for the practical stuff - the most important thing to mention is that the pieces of this set are both dishwasher and oven safe, which makes my life so much easier! However, it's not induction safe.
Handles are rubberized, beautiful and extremely comfortable.
The only major drawbacks I encountered with are related to the lids. First, the lids don't seal well so you need to monitor them closely. Another thing I should mention about the lids is that they aren't shatterproof, so some accidents can happen.
For a bonus, Rachel Ray offers a lifetime limited warranty, and with all things considered, this makes the set worth trying out if it fits your needs.
Emeril Lagasse is a well-known chef who decided who make his own cookware line, and I decided to try it for myself and see what the hype is about.
The set of 12 pieces includes:
- Two frying pans (8-inch and 10-inch)
- Three saucepans with lids (1-quart, 2-quart, and 3-quart)
- One deep saute pan with lid (3-quart)
- One stockpot with lid (6-quart)
I think this set is well equipped, but I still wouldn't mind seeing more variety and different pans.
The non-stick layer consists of three layers to ensure easy cleaning, but from my experience, I wouldn't call this one a long-lasting non-stick feature. However, I still think that the cook this set provides is quite well and even.
Another thing I have to mention is the fact that I managed to scratch the bottoms of these pans and pots by using wooden utensils, even though the manufacturer claims that you can freely use metal utensils as well. I don't know if it was a particular malfunction in my case, but I had to tell you guys.
All these things considered, I think this set isn't very durable, but the cooking itself is rewarding and satisfying.
An amazing thing about this set is that it's dishwasher safe so your lives just became easier!
Overall comfort while using this set was positive, so that's another plus for me. And for the end, the thing we all like to see - Emeril Lagasse offers a lifetime warranty for his product.
The Anolon Advanced cookware set is very highly ranked amongst other products of this kind, so I was entirely sold on trying it - especially when I saw its beautiful, bronze design.
This set looks stunning. But, what's even more remarkable is the triple-layer nonstick surface that ensures superb food release performance and durability. As far as the longevity of the non-stick layer is concerned, I had a silly experience.
Somehow, some of the pans and pots had a more durable non-stick layer than the others. Some of them seem to last an eternity, whereas some malfunctioned quite soon. I don't know if it's the case with my set only, but that's what happened to me, so I need to warn you.
The set consists of 11 pieces:
- Two saucepans with lids (1.5-quart and 3-quart)
- One stockpot with lid (8-quart)
- Two French skillets (8-inch and 10-inch)
- One shallow grill pan (12-inch)
- One saute pan with lid (3-quart)
Even though there aren't that many pieces in this set, I think that the selection is fantastic and it offers a variety of options to the user.
The pans are scratch-resistant even with the usage of metal utensils, and all pieces offer fast and even heating without hot spots which can burn your food.
Unfortunately, the color that makes this set so beautiful and stunning is the thing that will ruin your experience with this set in the long run. Of course, for that same reason, the set isn't dishwasher safe, but even with fully respecting that rule, the color will still eventually start to peel off.
Therefore, the durability of this set is a problematic area.
All pieces of the set are oven safe and suitable for many kinds of stovetops: gas, electric, ceramic and glass, except induction.
The handles are a combination of silicone and stainless steel, and they are incredibly comfortable for use - probably one of the most comfortable I have ever used.
Glass lids are break-resistant and also oven safe, and they seal well so you won't lose heat or moisture.
The manufacturer also offers a limited lifetime warranty, so if you have any problems with your hard anodized cookware set, feel free to contact them anytime.
What Is The Best Hard Anodized Cookware Set?
It's never easy to decide on the best product on the market because they all have some advantages and flaws. However, it was somewhat easy for me to weigh out the pros and cons in this case, and the set that fulfilled my expectations the most was the T-Fal E765SC Ultimate Hard Anodized Cookware Set.
If you want to see Jamie Oliver’s impressions of a Tefal set, check out this video:
I am confident that you won't regret buying this set, but all the others on this list are also worth trying out and can even suit your needs more. I hope you found this helpful, and if you have any additional questions, or you want to talk, feel free to contact any of us.
Until the next time! 🙂