Are you looking to stock up on your cooking vessels? I suggest that you get hard anodized cookware. This type of cookware has been getting a lot of rave reviews from professional chefs and homemakers. I’ve got several at home, and I’ll tell you this--- hard anodized cookware is cheap, easy to maintain and heats up very quickly. Before we get into specifics, let’s discuss first what hard anodized cookware means. When we say anodized, it means that material in cookware has gone through an electrolytic process.
Aluminum, a material that is commonly used in the construction of pots and pans, is a good example. This is usually immersed in a chemical bath. An electric current is then applied to it which causes oxide to form. This layer of oxide can harden the aluminum and make it corrosion-resistant.
Hard anodized cookware is even more durable as the aluminum is subjected to lower temperature and higher voltage. In fact, it is twice tougher compared to stainless steel cookware.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Advantages of hard anodized cookware
Aside from being strong and durable, there are other advantages of using hard anodized cookware that makes it highly recommended to any chef.
One is that it is stick-resistant as the anodizing process I discussed earlier makes the pan smooth. And since the cookware is stick-resistant, this makes clean-up a lot easier. You’ll only need to wash it with mild soap and water.
The use of anodized cookware is also very safe. An anodized finish is non-toxic. Anodized cookware can also handle temperatures of up to 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the melting point of aluminum.
Regarding cooking, hard anodized cookware is known to brown meat well. It can also stand up to acidic foods such as tomatoes. I recommend using anodized cookware for searing, glazing, steaming, simmering and sautéing.
How to shop for hard anodized cookware?
When shopping for hard anodized cookware, I advise that you get one that is 100% non-stick. Not only would you be able to make amazing dishes, but it can also save you from having to spend a lot of time and effort in cleaning the pan.
Cleaning pots and pans is a task that I hate because of the mess and time it takes to do it. Hard anodized cookware that is dishwasher-safe is always a good choice.
But if you’re wary that the dishwasher detergent can damage your cookware, you can try using baking soda with hot water. Let the combination stand in the cookware for 10 minutes before washing it off with soapy water.
You should also consider the design of the cookware. When I say design, I am referring to the physical qualities of the pan like the shape, size, and appearance. The ideal design of the cookware will depend on the cooking you often do.
A good hard anodized cookware is also heavy duty. It should be strong and durable to last for many years.
Top 5 Hard Anodized Cookware Available On The Market Today
#1. T-fal E765SC Ultimate Hard Anodized
This 12-piece set features cookware made of hard anodized aluminum. It includes, among others, three fry pans one of which comes with a lid, three sauce pans with lids, a square griddle, and a deep sauté pan. There’s also a steamer insert included in the package.
These are all oven safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and come with a lifetime limited warranty.
There are plenty of things to like about this set. One feature is the Thermo Spot indicator that becomes visible to indicate that the pan is rightly preheated. The pans also come with an anti-warp base that also facilitates even heat distribution.
Lastly, the silicone handles are great. They don’t get hot so you can move the pans when needed. The handles are also long enough.
- The pans are oven safe
- Comes with a lifetime limited warranty
- Thermo Spot technology that indicates perfect preheating of the pan
- Anti-warp base that prevents warping and promotes even heat distribution
- Silicone handles that don’t get hot
- Most of the pans don’t have lids
- The bottoms tend to slip easily
#2. Circulon Symmetry Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set
This 11-piece cookware set features three saucepans, a couple of French skillets, a sauté pan and a stockpot, among others. The bases of these pans are made of stainless steel and thus suitable for all kinds of stovetops. These pans are oven safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. These are all dishwasher safe, and you’ll have an easier time cleaning them thanks to the nonstick interior and exterior.
The handles are made of stainless steel but wrapped in silicone. It’s just a tad disappointing that the handle tends to be filled up with water when you toss the pans in the dishwasher.
The pieces also come with tight-fitting lids to lock in heat and moisture. These lids are also clear so you can check whatever you are cooking in the pan.
- The pieces are suitable for all kinds of stovetops
- The pans are oven and dishwasher safe
- The handles don’t get hot due to their silicone construction
- The lids are tight fitting and clear
- There’s a tendency for the handles to be filled with water when the pans are cleaned in the dishwasher
- The non-stick coating doesn’t last long
#3. Circulon Symmetry Hard Anodized 11-Piece Cookware Set
This 11-piece set features Circulon’s food release system designed to minimize surface abrasion. The pans are made of heavy gauge hard anodized aluminum with tempered glass lids that would let you monitor the food you are cooking. The lids can also keep the moisture and flavor in the pans.
The pieces in this set are all dishwasher safe, which make them a great choice for busy homemakers. These are all oven-safe and can resist temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The pieces come in dark brown color, which you might want to keep in mind. The pans heat up fast and evenly. The silicone handles don’t get hot which is something you would want if you have a gas stove. The non-stick coating is awesome and tends to last long.
- Dishwasher-safe pieces
- Pans are quick to heat up
- Non-stick coating lasts long
- Tempered glass lids allow you to monitor food while keeping moisture and flavor locked in
- Cons:Ends of the handle is prone to retaining water when the pan is placed in the dishwasher
- The pans are a bit heavy
#4. Cuisinart 66-11 11-piece cookware set
This 11-piece set includes, among others, a saucepan with glass lid, a saute pan with glass cover, two skillets, and a steamer insert. All pieces are made from hard anodized aluminum.
This 11-piece set has been getting a lot of favorable reviews for its non-stick coating. I have used one of them once, and I will admit that scooping eggs off the pan with a spatula was a breeze. The non-stick coating also meant that it was easy for me to clean the pan afterward.
Speaking of cleaning, Cuisinart says that while these pieces are dishwasher-safe, hand washing them is the more suitable cleaning option.
The handles are also easy to grip and hold. They’re made of stainless steel, though, so I am not sure if they would remain cool when you cook for an extended period.
- Made of heavy duty hard anodized aluminum
- Non-stick coating that lasts for a long time
- The pieces are all dishwasher-safe
- The handles are ergonomically designed for easy gripping
- The stainless handles may not stay cool when cooking for a prolonged period
- Lid handles also tend to get hot
#5. Rachel Ray Cucina 12-piece set
Rounding out our list is this 12-piece set from Rachel Ray. These pieces are safe for use in the oven and all stovetops except for induction.
These pans have silicone handles that stay cool all the time. These are all easy to hold as well. Plus, the handles come in a stylish red color which is really a good bonus.
Speaking of bonus, you don’t only get pans in this 12-piece set. Included in the package are a spoon that matches the color of the handles and a flexible nylon turner spatula. You will get your money’s worth with this 12-piece set.
If I were to nitpick, then I would have to be honest and say that the non-stick coating isn’t the best feature of this set. The coating doesn’t last long so be careful in using the pans.
- Silicone handles stay cool
- The handles are also easy to hold
- The handles come in a stylish red color
- Package includes a nylon turner and spoon
- The non-stick coating will wear off eventually
- The spatula is flimsy
In my book, though, the Cuisinart 66-11 11-piece cookware set is the topic pick among hard anodized cookware.
As I've mentioned, I have experienced using the pans, and I can vouch for their durability. The non-stick coating is also very good.
So if you were to ask me what I would recommend, I'd say it has to be the Cuisinart set.