Adding a nonstick cookware set to your kitchen arsenal is just a smart choice these days. Not only will it make cooking delicate foods, like eggs, crepes, hash browns, and fish, easy but cleaning easy too. Less fuss and time cooking and cleaning means more time for you, and that’s certainly something we all can appreciate.
- Best Nonstick Cookware Set
- Best Budget Nonstick Cookware Set
- Best Value Nonstick Cookware Set
- Best Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set
What makes a good nonstick cookware
The best nonstick cookware will gently cook delicate foods and quickly release them without overcooking. It will have a slick coating that will allow it to do this. The cookware itself can be made of a variety of materials, but it’s usually made of hard anodized, which is aluminum treated with electricity, making it nonreactive and more durable than aluminum alone.
Besides releasing food effortlessly, the best nonstick cookware will also have excellent heat conduction. This feature is important, as it not only enables food to cook evenly but also makes the nonstick coating last. When compared to other cookware, nonstick cookware has a much shorter life span. Once the coating has become worn from regular use, you will eventually have to replace the cookware. As such, I recommend that you don’t spend too much money on it.
All my nonstick cookware selections on this list are reasonably priced with quality and durability attested by both pros and home cooks. Moreover, they are comfortable to use and easy to maneuver, ensuring you’ll get the best nonstick pots and pans for your money.
Types of nonstick coatings
There are two types of nonstick coatings you will find on the market today:
PTFE: Also known by its trade name as Teflon, PTFE is a tough synthetic resin which is used to coat non-stick cooking utensils. This type of coating is more lasting than ceramic coatings. There are, however, safety issues about it that you should be aware of. When exposed to high temperatures, this coating will start to degrade and release fumes that may kill pet birds and cause people to develop flu-like symptoms.
So does that mean Teflon or nonstick cookware is not safe to cook with? The short answer is no. As long as you do not exceed the recommended maximum temperature for cooking with it (more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit), Teflon is safe. You may learn more about Teflon and its safety here
Ceramic: The other type of nonstick coating is ceramic-based which is made from silicon and oxygen. While ceramic coating is synthetic free, and is thought to be more eco-friendly than PTFE, it doesn’t last as long as PTFE though. In fact, many said that it only lasted about a year, after which the coating would generally be rendered replaceable. The main cause of this is the silicone oil which will eventually get washed or cooked away, even with proper care.
Speaking about proper care, here are some tips on how to use and care for nonstick cookware.
How to use, care, and maintain nonstick cookware
Even the best nonstick cookware sets will eventually lose their slickness even with proper care. Regular use and exposure to heat will wear out the coating, after which you need to replace the cookware once it becomes completely dull.
While you can’t avoid the inevitable, you can certainly prolong the life of the cookware. Below are some tips you can follow to do this.
- Nonstick pans will require some fat to be effective; therefore, dab a small amount of vegetable oil or butter onto them before you start cooking.
- Don’t heat your nonstick cookware on the stove while it is empty. This will cause it to overheat which may break down the coating.
- This may sound counter-intuitive but never use nonstick cooking spray on your nonstick cookware, as this may make the cookware more prone to sticking.
- Though some nonstick cookware sets are advertised as being dishwasher safe, we advise against putting them into the dishwasher, as heat, harsh detergents, and metal-on-metal contact may damage the coating.
- To clean your nonstick cookware, use hot, soapy water with a soft sponge, and never use steel scrubbers or heavy-duty sponges.
- Don’t use metal utensils on your nonstick cookware. Only use wooden, plastic, or silicone utensils.
- Never run your nonstick cookware under cool water while it’s still hot. Doing this will rapidly wear down the coating.
- If possible, don’t stack your pots and pans on top of each other, as this may scrape the coating. If you must insist, at least place a cloth between them.
Nonstick Cookware Reviews 2017
Best Nonstick Cookware Set – Anolon Advanced Bronze Collection Set
The Anolon Advanced Bronze Collection set is well known to give its users years of service. No question that its hard anodized construction is to thank for that. But considering that the superior slick coating used on the pieces still works after years of use, that’s all the more impressive.
Yes, it’s precisely the construction and coating of this cookware set that make it the best there is. The anodized aluminum ensures the pieces offer even heat distribution for evenly cooked meals, while the slick coating effortlessly releases food without browning. The handles are a combination of stainless steel and silicone, which are comfortable to hold and are oven safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Included in this Anolon Advanced set are 1.5 and 3 qt saucepans with lids, an 8 qt stockpot with a lid, 8″ and 10″ skillets, a 3 qt saute pan with a lid, and a 12″ shallow grill pan. It should be worth noting that this set also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, making it a great value.
Best Budget Nonstick Cookware Set – T-Fal C111SC Signature Set
If you find my top pick a little bit pricey and would like something cheaper but still performs decently well, then be sure to look into the T-Fal C111SC Signature Set. Constructed of anodized aluminum, as with my top pick, this set, too, offers excellent heat conduction for evenness of cooking.
That said, the pieces got very hot in a nonstick cookware test ran by The Sweethome, a New York Times company. Which may cause the nonstick coating to degrade faster than it otherwise would. Everything else though including maneuverability and comfort of use is noteworthy.
The riveted handles have an appropriate length, which is easy to grab onto. In addition, they are made of plastic, which stays cool on the stovetop. All the pots and pans in this collection can survive trips through the dishwasher and temperatures up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Included in this T-Fal set are 1 and 2 qt saucepans with lids, 7.75″ and 11″ fry pans, a 5 qt dutch oven with a lid, 8″ and 10.25″ saute pans, a griddle, a spoon, a ladle, and a slotted spatula. As with my top pick, this set also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Best Value Nonstick Cookware Set – Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel Non Stick Set
If you don’t mind using light cookware, the Rachael Ray porcelain enamel cookware set should be on your list of cookware to check out. This 10-piece cookware set would be perfect for anyone who’s on a budget.
The pieces of this cookware have a coated porcelain exterior and a nonstick interior. This means you have to be a little careful while using these cookware because porcelain is rather fragile and prone to chipping.
Thankfully, all the pieces of this set are dishwasher friendly so if you’re someone who loves cooking but hates cleaning up after, take a look at this Rachael Ray set.
Best Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set – Circulon Symmetry 11-Pc Set
The hard anodized 11-piece cookware set by Circulon is another nonstick cookware set that I would recommend.
The handles on this hard anodized cookware set are remarkable. Not only are they ergonomic but thanks to the silicon lining, the handles remained slip-resistant even when my hands were oily.
Cooking was also rather simple when I used the pieces from this set. Heat transmission is a plus point because all my dishes cooked evenly.
Moreover, the signature impact bonded stainless steel base also made it possible for me to use this set on almost every cooktop surface there is.
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