Hard Anodized Cookware Sets
What Does Hard Anodized Mean?
All pots and pans made from electrochemically-hardened aluminum fall under the broad category of hard anodized cookware. There are lots of different styles and brands. Virtually non-porous, this type of cookware has a significantly longer lifespan than traditional cookware. The fact that they are almost entirely lacking in porosity enables them to resist sticking, even when what’s cooking gets burned or overcooked.
The Chemical Process:
Hard-anodization is an electrochemical process that is surprisingly simple. The aluminum base comprising the pot, saucepan, or other implement, is submerged initially in a sulfuric acid bath; next, exposed to low voltage electrical charges. This process directly exposes the aluminum ions in the pan to oxygen.
The result is a natural oxidation reaction, creating aluminum oxide. Then the acid is allowed to cool to 32°F (0°C) and, at the same time, the electric current drastically increased, causing the pan’s outer shell to anodize immediately.
This process causes the surface becomes extremely hard—according to some accounts, fully twice as strong, hard, and durable as stainless steel—within a matter of seconds.
Comparing Quality Within the Hard-Anodized Cookwares-
The hard-anodizing process is the same every time, so you will not be concerned, when shopping for your best choice, about that aspect. Where the difference in quality becomes relevant is in the quality of the aluminum used to begin with, and in the quality of the craftsmanship in fabricating the finished product. Therefore it is prudent to do some research before purchasing.
The good news? We have done this research for you!
On this page you will find only top quality craftsmanship and aluminum, as well as other materials used in the hard-anodized cookwares we recommend.
- Durability and long lifespan – properly cared for, they can last a lifetime and more.
- Resists scratching, warping, and corrosion.
- Stick-resistant … while not classified as a true “non-stick” with chemically engineered bottoms, most people find the stick-resistance of these cookwares to be perfectly acceptable, and certainly longer lasting in performance than the non-sticks. NOTE: Some lines, in addition to being hard-anodized, have an additional non-stick interior added feature. Reviews of top line brands with this feature report that these interiors are extremely resilient and long-lasting.
- Even heat distribution, for producing consistently uniform results.
- Suitable for use with many different heat sources. Resistant to heat up to the melting point of aluminum, which is 1,221°F (660.56°C), hard-anodized surfaces remain non-toxic and durable. So they can be used on almost any indoor heat source: electric and gas ranges, as well as the hotter commercial griddles and burners used in restaurants.
- Easy, manageable, and durable to clean up. The tight porosity of hard-anodized surfaces allows them to be scrubbed with Brillo pads, and most abrasive cleaning implements without any damage being done. Caution, though: repeated vigorous harsh scrubbing can cause the surfaces to lose their nice sheen, especially the interiors where the most cleaning and scrubbing is required – this applies to the bare hard-anodized surfaces as well as the additional non-stick interior surfaces some lines have.
- Hard Anodized cookware sets are comparatively rather expensive, so it is a more sizable investment. But if your budget allows it, you will be rewarded long-term with not having to replace your cookware set for generations.
- Should not be used in camping, cooking over open flames situations. Then again, most quality cookwares designed for the kitchen are limited in this minor way.
- Some brands are not dishwasher safe. The metal can withstand the hot sudsy bath, but the other parts of the pan, like coated handles and/or plastic grips, could be subject to damage on some brands. Make sure you read the product specifications.
- Possible Health Concerns – some scientific studies have linked human consumption of aluminum and aluminum particles to certain types of cancer as was as Alzheimer’s disease. These findings have led some people to question whether cooking with aluminum pans — anodized or not — is it safe? In most cases, the answer is yes. Metallic elements rarely leach from cookware and, even when and if they do, usually only in tiny, trace amounts that should not cause concern. Still and all, most experts will say that if an aluminum pot or pan becomes scratched up and/or gouged, you should stay away from using it as they can be more likely to leach toxins into food.
Rachael Ray Cucina Hard-Anodized Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set, Gray with Cranberry Red Handles
This set is highly recommended, it has quality craftsmanship, uses top level materials, and is a great price for what you get, at just $161.99.
Check out these features:
- Hard-anodized aluminum cookware provides fast, even heating; long-lasting PFOA-free espresso-colored nonstick offers easy food release and cleanup
- Comfortable dual-riveted, silicone-over-stainless-steel-handles have a warm, earthy hue; shatter-resistant glass lids have wide stainless steel rims
- Along with the pots and pans, the cookware set also includes a sturdy, flexible slotted nylon turner and spoon that match the handles’ stylish color
- Oven safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the pots and pans are suitable for all stovetops, except induction and are conveniently dishwasher safe
- Lifetime Limited Warranty for a rustic, modern cookware set that makes a handsome addition to your kitchen’s cookware collection, serve-ware and dinnerware
Emeril by All-Clad E836SC Hard Anodized Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Black
Almost everyone the world over knows the famous chef, Emeril Lagasse. This is his line of hard-anodized cookware, and he is known for only the best in whatever he uses and/or creates. A little higher priced than the Rachel Ray line, but well worth it, at $199.99.
- The Superior Nonstick coating is scratch resistant, easy to clean and dishwasher safe
- Scratch-resistant and easy-to-clean polished Hard Anodized heavy gauge aluminum exterior surface for durable operation
- Professional style handle has been ergonomically designed for balance, control and comfort Handle is permanently attached with stainless steel rivets
- Glass lids are oven safe to 350 degree F and Hand Anodized cookware is oven safe to 450 degree F
- PFOA Free and Cadmium Free Life time warranty is provided
T-fal E918SC Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Expert Interior Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Gray
The least expensive of our recommended lines, this is an outstanding value for the price. A nice feature is the “thermo-spot indicator” that lets you know when the pot/pan is heated properly to begin cooking.
One word of caution, though, the spec’s say this line is dishwasher safe. Reviews we read reported several times from different reviewers that they are not; the coatings and plastic parts will be damaged when subjected to repeated cleaning in the dishwasher.
But other than that one drawback, and again, most hard-anodized cookwares are not dishwasher friendly, this set is a steal at only $108.99.
- The unique T-fal Thermo-spot heat indicator shows when T-fal pan is perfectly preheated for cooking
- Prometal Pro nonstick interior is exceptionally durable and scratch resistant, safe for use with metal utensil
- Hard anodized dishwasher safe exterior for long lasting durability
- TechnoResist Anti-Warp base provides outstanding warp resistance and even heat distribution for optimal cooking results
- Riveted silicone handles; Oven safe to 350-degree F; Glass lids; Limited lifetime warranty; Safe for all cooking methods except induction
Again, the above sets are what we consider the best deals for the price and quality. But it you would like to see a full selection of Hard Anodized Cookware sets, CLICK HERE.
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