Best Cookware Reviews

Find your perfect kitchen cookware match.

Are you shopping for some new kitchen cookware?

You should take time when choosing your new cookware as it's a big purchase that you would like to last through many years of cooking.

Here are some of my thoughts about and types to consider in this best cookware reviews section.




















There are so many different types of cookware on the market today, it's mind boggling. From hard anodized, to stainless steel, to aluminum, and regaining in popularity, cast iron. I haven't personally reviewed any microwave oven cookware, but my friend Liani at microwavewizard.com has taken care of that for you. Here's all you need to know about microwave oven cookware.

Different types of cookware have different strengths, and some will suit your needs AND your budget better than others. You want to choose your pots and pans based on how frequently you plan to use them, do you need it to be oven safe, are you interested more in function or looks, and you'll have to take into consideration how much money each different type costs.

Here's a breakdown of some of the most popular:

Cast Iron - the new generation-Cookware Reviews

Cast Iron is returning in popularity with beautiful enameled colors and the same heavy duty quality that generations before us loved. A very popular, albeit expensive brand is Le Crueset. Women on a forum that I belong to, rave about their Le Crueset dutch ovens. Some of it even boasts to be dishwasher safe, no need for seasoning, and no rust! That's fantastic!

However, most other brands on the market still require seasoning, and a little tlc, which users of cast iron say is worth the effort. Seasoning cast iron cookware requires putting 1/4 to 1/2 inch cooking oil over the surface of the pan and heating it either in the oven for 1 hour, or on the stove top. This seasoning fills in the porous surface of cast iron helping to make it stick resistant. It also helps prevent rust. No harsh abrasives or scrubbers should ever be used on cast iron, and a very little amount of mild soap.

Why cast iron?

  • Retains and redistributes heat for long periods of time
  • Perfect for “slow cooking” meals
  • Perfect for beginners and professional cooks
  • Excellent for browning, searing, braising, and caramelizing
  • Oven safe up to around 500, check with your brand, as some manufacturers vary slightly
  • Can be used to cook outside on a grill
  • Is great for low heat cooking because of it's excellent conductivity.

Cast iron pieces can be very expensive. In some catalogs I've seen $100 or more per individual piece. Shop around for your best deal!

Many of the cookware reviews that I've read on cast iron are mixed. The people that love it, LOVE it! The people that don't want to put the effort into maintaining it, hate it. It's definitely worth taking into consideration.

I finally have my own set of cast iron, and I can say that I love it! My set is the new enamel coated, so it's nonstick, and beautiful. It makes a terrific roast in the oven, and perfect for cooking chili or stew. It's very heavy though, and I can't recommend it for people with hand or wrist problems.

Le Creuset Enameled 6 pc Set
Le Creuset Enameled 6 pc Set
Le Creuset 20 piece Cookware Set
Le Creuset 20 piece Cookware Set
Le Creuset Essentials 5 piece Set
Le Creuset Essentials 5 piece Set


Hard Anodized Cookware Reviews

Hard Anodized cookware is getting rave cookware reviews, and personally speaking, I understand why. A relative newcomer, it's gaining huge popularity for chefs and wanna be chefs and people wanting a professional grade cookware.

What is hard anodized? It's aluminum, which is an excellent conductor of heat, that has been given a chemical acidic bath to make it 30% harder and more durable than stainless steel.

Why hard anodized:

  • Hard-anodized surfaces resist abrasion and corrosion. A hard-anodized pan is the most durable pan you can buy.
  • Anodized materials have an extremely long life span. Anodized surfaces do not chip or peel.
  • An anodized finish is chemically stable. It does not decompose. It is nontoxic. High heat levels will not damage the anodized finish.
  • Most important for cookware, hard-anodizing makes cookware surfaces so ultra-smooth that they become virtually nonporous. Pores in metal cookware are one of the leading reasons why foods stick while cooking.
  • So, because hard-anodized aluminum cooking surfaces are virtually nonporous, you have fewer problems with stuck-on foods. The surfaces are stick-resistant.

  • It's oven safe up to 500 due to stainless steel handles on most. (check your brand, because some manufacturers differ)
  • Because hard anodized is it's own heat conductor, the aluminum allows the heat to travel up the sides of the pan too for unsurpassed even heat distributions without hot or cool spots.

I know of at least one brand that is dishwasher safe (Todd English series) although most recommend hand washing to prevent a white discoloration on the outside of the pan.

My thoughts:I personally own a few pieces of hard anodized (The Todd English brand from hsn.com) and I LOVE it! I do put mine in the dishwasher, it's sooooo easy to clean even if I hand wash. The handles are riveted on meaning they won't become loose or fall off. Update, after almost two years of using this cookware, it still looks and performs like new! I couldn't be happier with the way it performs.

I've seen some excellent priced cookware sets at Sam's Club, including a Member's Mark hard anodized cookware set priced under $200. It has a nice feel, and is priced right for a large set. It has a teflon coating, which I'm unsure how that will hold up.

The only downside is traditionally hard anodized comes in 1 color, gray/black. It appears that some companies are recognizing our love of color, and I did notice that qvc has now made a hard anodized line in an assortment of colors and available in sets to make it more affordable. I'm excited about that since I love a colorful kitchen.

Anolon Advanced Bronze Hard Anodized 10 piece collection
Anolon Advanced Bronze Hard Anodized 10 piece collection
Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized 10 piece collection
Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized 10 piece collection
Rachael Ray Hard Anodized 10 piece Set
Rachael Ray Hard Anodized 10 piece Set


Stainless Cookware Reviews

A cookware reviews page could not be complete without doing a stainless cookware review. It is perhaps one of the most common types of cookware. It's composed of Iron and chromium and when called 18/10 specifically has 18% chromium and 10% nickel, making it durable and shiny.

It may or may not have a nonstick coating inside. Chefs prefer plain for it's browning and de-glazing abilities, as well as it's oven safe to 500 degrees F.

Nonstick coatings vary in quality, so do your research to find one with a lifetime warranty.

Stainless steel is not the best conductor of heat, so most brands put an aluminum base or core on the bottom of the pan for more even heat distribution.

I own an 18/10 Stainless Steel cookware set, and have used it for 10 years now. My stainless cookware review is good, however on my set the handles were not riveted on, and consequently one piece in the set lost its handle and another piece has a loose handle (and there's no way to tighten it). So make sure you look for riveted handles.

Most brands can be put in the oven up to 350.

Prices vary from inexpensive to expensive so shop around for the "extras" you want and need.

TFal Performance Stainless Steel Copper Bottom 10 pc Set
TFal Performance Stainless Steel Copper Bottom 10 pc Set
Circulon 10 Piece Stainless Steel Nonstick
Ciculon 10 Piece Stainless Steel Nonstick
Farberware Stainless Steel 17 piece
Farberware Stainless Steel 17 piece
Element 28 piece Stainless Steel Cookware
Element 28 piece Stainless Steel Cookware


Porcelain Enameled Cookware Reviews

Porcelain Enamel Cookware or enamelware is a great everyday kitchen cookware option. The glass-like enamel is usually coated over some kind of metal such as aluminum or steel.

It is durable, pretty, and naturally nonstick due to its non-porous surface. You can find it in a variety of colors from turquoise to tangerine and everything in between.

The brands I've looked at are oven safe to 350. You need to pick an enamelware of good quality, though. Some of the cookware reviews I've read, say that the pan can warp at high heat unless it's reinforced.

I haven't tried any enamelware yet, but hope to do so and will keep you posted as to my opinions on it.

Keep checking here for more cookware reviews as my list becomes more complete, and as I have the opportunity to try them.

Paula Deen Signature Porcelain 12 Piece Set
Paula Deen Signature Porcelain 12 Piece Set
Paula Deen Porcelain 6 piece Soup and Stew
Paula Deen Porcelain 6 piece Soup and Stew


GreenPan™ Cookware Reviews

What in the world is a green pan right? It may very well be the future of nonstick cookware that all other brands will try to copy and imitate.

GreenPan Cookware Reviews (the brand bought from HSN) from my Mom and sister: I originally posted here that my mom and sister loved their greenpans, and they did, but I have to come update after a couple years of use. Some of the pans have warped on bottom and so they won't lie flat on the stove. These pans claim to be able to resist heat higher than normal cookware, and yet with normal cooking, they've warped. They haven't been put into the dishwasher or the oven, even though it was advertised as safe.

The GreenPan by Todd English sold at hsn.com says it s the first cookware to have Thermolon nonstick technology. The ceramic based, nano nonstick GreenPan™ with Thermolon™ Technology does not contain any PTFE nor is it manufactured with PFOA.

According to hsn, it was developed to be the last cookware you'll have to buy and it won't break down or wear over time. The superior 850-degree nonstick release is a first! Because nothing will stick, this cookware allows you to cook healthier with no need for added butters, fats or oils. GreenPan with Thermolon has also earned the Good Housekeeping Seal.

Why you may be interested in the GreenPan™ with Thermolon™ Technology

  • Scratch-and abrasion-resistant
  • Heat-resistant, stainless steel, riveted reinforced handles
  • Aluminum core provides even heat distribution throughout the entire pan for even browning
  • Good Housekeeping Seal
  • Oven/stovetop safe to 850 degrees
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Comes with a manufacturer's lifetime limited warranty

NOTE:

PFOA is a chemical that is used in the manufacturing of traditional PTFE-based nonstick cookware coatings and other products. It is not present in finished cookware products, and there are no health risks from PFOA in cookware. However, because PFOA has been found in the environment, companies have committed to the Environmental Protection Agency to work toward eliminating facility emissions and product content of PFOA by the year 2015. Thermolon™ is made without PFOA. It is made to be eco-friendly for our environment. PTFE is a chemical found in traditional nonstick coatings. It can begin to degrade at temperatures over 500 degrees, which is why the instructions on traditional nonstick pans generally advise to use them only on low and medium heat. You can use Thermolon™ on low and medium heat like traditional nonstick, but unlike traditional nonstick coated pans, GreenPan with Thermolon™ is also made to be used at high heat (above 500 degrees) for something you would normally use stainless steel or cast iron cookware (This according to hsn)

The verdict:

I'm all about eliminating as many unnecessary chemicals from my life that I can reasonably do! Everyday I read something new that makes me want to run to hills screaming and hiding to raise all of my own vegetables and meat.

The reality is I can't do that, so I'm slowly eliminating many chemicals and additives from our life. Isn't it amazing how a baby can change your life so drastically?

Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard Anodized 10 piece Set
Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard Anodized 10 piece Set

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