In this article, you will find the best hard anodized cookware based on durability, feature, and performance. No matter if you’re going to use it at home or in a restaurant, a good quality cookware is the best equipment in a chef's repertoire.
There are many varieties of hard anodized cookware out there, but this article will give you 5 of the top options in the market.
- An Overview of the 5 Best Hard Anodized Cookware of 2018
- What is A Hard Anodized Cookware?
- Why Use A Hard Anodized Cookware?
- How Is Hard Anodized Cookware Made?
- Benefits of Using a Hard Anodized Cookware
- Choosing The Best Hard Anodized Cookware
- A Detailed Review of the 5 Best Hard Anodized Cookware in The Market
An Overview of the 5 Best Hard Anodized Cookware of 2018
What is A Hard Anodized Cookware?
This kind of cookware is made from aluminum that was chemically treated so it hardens during the process, making the cookware very durable -- almost similar to that stainless steel material.
Moreover, an anodized aluminum material has the same features as a non-stick teflon coated cookware. Therefore, it resists abrasion and corrosion, scratch-resistant and won’t absorb any flavors from the foods nor leach a “soapy” taste to the foods you cook with it.
The difference between an aluminum cookware and a hard anodized aluminum cookware is that the food cooked in an aluminum pan allows the metal to be absorbed into the food, giving the food a “soapy” flavor which is disgusting by the way.
On the other hand, the hard anodized aluminum cookware makes the metal non-reactive so you don’t have to worry about it absorbing into the food.
Plus, a hard anodized cookware is PFOA and PTFE free! Watch the video below for more details about this particular kitchen staple.
Why Use A Hard Anodized Cookware?
One of the first nonstick cookware has Teflon and back in the old days, it became an instant hit in homes and restaurants because they are made without PFOA. But through time, the teflon material would wear out and the cookware would be hard to clean because the food tends to stick all over the surface.
No matter how home cooks and chefs loved using teflon, they quickly realized that the coating would be damaged when metal utensils would brush against the surface while you stir or scrape away the leftover. Studies would soon be published indicating that the metals leaching from the material are apparently dangerous when ingested.
Furthermore, the very high temperatures in industrial kitchens made the teflon dangerous to use. If their stove or oven got hotter than 450 degrees, harmful fumes and melting of teflon happen, prompting chefs to look for other alternatives
Fortunately, hard anodized cookware came into the scene and was shortly introduced in the kitchen industry, thereby improving the tasks of chefs around the world. Its technology was designed for high temperatures and can be used in home cooking as well, making it a safer alternative cookware to use.
How Is Hard Anodized Cookware Made?
Hard anodized cookware is made through an electrochemical process which hardens the initially soft metal. The metal starts off as a flat aluminum disc that is pressed hard through the electrochemical process, shaping the material into the saucepan, skillet, or other cooking utensils. It is then drenched in a sulfuric acid bath to expose the metal to low levels of electrical charges.
While the process is happening, the aluminum ions in the pan are exposed to oxygen. It then creates a natural reaction, making up aluminum oxide.
Since soft metal compounds are still present at this point, the metal is allowed to cool down to 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) while the electrical charges are increased. This stage makes the metal harden into an anodized state.
The video below discusses the electrochemical process. Watch it to further your understanding of how the revolutionary cookware is made.
Benefits of Using a Hard Anodized Cookware
1. Quick cooking
The best hard anodized cookware is made of high quality, lightweight aluminum so the pan gets hot quickly.
2. Easy to clean
This kind of cookware is very easy to clean. You don’t have to worry about burnt areas or food particles sticking stubbornly to the pan. What I do is, after letting the pan cool down, I wash the stain with warm water, then clean it using soapy water then I finally rinse it with warm water. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
3. No need for oil
Did you catch that, health buffs? Since hard anodized cookware has a stick-resistant surface, there is no need for oil, butter, and any other lubricants for cooking. This makes cooking less expensive and obviously healthier for you as well.
4. Can be placed inside the oven
If the handles are made of metal, these cookware can be used if the recipe you’re into tells you to place the food to cook inside the oven. Likewise, a hard anodized cookware is ideal for baking too.
5. Durable and sturdy
Since hard anodized cookware is made of aluminum material, it’s definitely durable and sturdy. With the right way of maintenance, this cookware can last forever!
Choosing The Best Hard Anodized Cookware
With so many hard anodized cookware options to choose in the market, it would be overwhelming for first-time buyers. The following tips will help you in picking the best product for you.
2. What type of stove or cooktop are you using?
If you’re using a ceramic or glass cooktop, you will need a flat-bottom hard anodized pan to get the best temperature to prepare food as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Hard anodized cookware cannot work in induction cooktops.
3. Consider your cooking capacity
This really depends on how many people you are feeding. If you have a small family, a standard 10-piece cooking set is perfect for you, but if you have more members, you must invest in a 14-piece cooking set or more to meet your needs.
Money is an important factor to consider when purchasing a cookware because an excellent one is sure to be on the steeper slope. The best hard anodized cookware is sold at $100 to $150 dollars.
5. Quality material
This is the most important factor when picking a cookware. There are a lot of brands out there that claim they have the best non-stick/hard anodized material, but over time the material breaks down. It’s best to do your research first before picking a specific brand.
A Detailed Review of the 5 Best Hard Anodized Cookware in The Market
- Two 8” and 10” skillet
- 5-qt saucepan with lid
- 10-qt saucepan with lid
- 5-qt saute pan with lid
- 10-qt stockpot with lid
These cookware are professional-grade certified cookware which consist of 5.5 mm hardened aluminum with a stainless steel bottom. The coating inside has a 3-layer nonstick material which is quite thick and durable.
We can attest that this set is perfect for cooking steaks, eggs, pancakes, etc. plus they’re very easy to clean! What a delight for busy families who don’t have much time for scraping leftovers.
The handles of the pots and pans are made of stainless steel material with an elegant and classy look because of its black body and silver handles. Most importantly, this set is versatile -- it can be used on electric cooktop, induction, and gas top.
However, we have observed that this cookware isn’t as efficient in an electric top compared to when it’s set on a gas top. But, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t use it in your electric cooking top, it just takes time to heat the pan.
- Domed tempered glass lid
- Has riveted stainless steel handles -- makes it sturdy and supports heavy loads
- Thick coating -- three layers
- Versatile -- can be used on various cooktops
- Takes time to heat on an electric cooking top
If you are on a tight budget but still want a quality hard anodized cookware, the T-fal D913SC might be the best option for you!
This Cookware is PFOA-free so the coating ensures effortless nonstick cooking even with no lubricant. Also, these pans are also very easy to clean. But our favorite feature is its exterior which is also made of hard anodized aluminum for extra grit.
One can also observe that this cookware has a superb heat distribution because any food you put in it cooks fast and there seems to be no hot spots on the surface!
The set includes:
- 8” fry pan
- 10.25” fry pan
- 1-qt saucepan with lid
- 2-qt saucepan with lid
- 3-qt saucepan with lid
- 5-qt dutch oven
- Spatula and saute spoon
The lids are made with tempered glass so you can see through your food while it's cooking and also has a hole in the lid so that steam easily comes out. Overall, it’s a beautiful cookware with its black body and black handles, versatile and durable compared to other brands.
- Even distribution of heat
- Not dishwasher-safe
- Light and can be unstable to some
Have you noticed a trend with T-fal products? Aside from they churn out quality and superior products, they also sell them at relatively lesser prices than other cookware brands.
The same goes with the E765SC. It’s a total game changer because it has a very sleek black body with silver rubberized handles, while its lid is made of tempered glass for easy food monitoring.
What we liked most about its interior is it’s constructed with scratch-resistant titanium so you won’t have to worry about using metallic utensils while cooking in this cookware.
The set comes with:
- 8” frying pan
- 10.25” frying pan
- 1-qt sauce pan with lid
- 2-qt sauce pan with lid
- 3-qt sauce pan with lid
- 3.5-qt deep saute pan
- 5-qt dutch oven
- 3-qt steamer
Moreover, this T-fal product has a unique feature called the thermo spot technology. It’s located in the middle of the pan where it flashes red when the pan is reheated at the right temperature. It ensures perfect reheating temperatures so when you add food to it, it locks in the flavor and juices of the meat, giving it a nice sear.
The best thing of this cookware is, perhaps, it includes a lifetime warranty. Overall, the T-fal E765C cookware is a great addition for your kitchen.
- Scratch resistant
- Heat indicator
- Tempered glass lid
- Includes a lifetime warranty
- Doesn’t pair well with induction cooktop
- The spatula that comes with it can be flimsy
The Emeril Lagasse cookware is very versatile for any kind of home cook or chef. Made of heavy gauge aluminum stainless steel, it’s amazingly lightweight and heats up pretty fast.
It has a triple layer nonstick coating which is perfect for any kind of cooking method, without worrying if the food sticks to the pan. With this, you can cook your favorite meal with less or no oil at all!
Its tempered glass lids help you monitor the food without lifting the lid and it’s also safe for use in the oven up to 350 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can either use this set in gas or electric cooktops and it’s dishwasher-safe too. The set comes with:
- 1-qt saucepan
- 10” frying pan
- 11x18 double burner griddle
- 12” frying pan
- 12” griddle
- 12” wok
- 2-qt saucepan
- 5-qt deep saute pan
- Oven safe up to 350 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Riveted handles for a comfortable grip
- Safe even with metal utensils
- Triple-layer nonstick coating
- The lids can sometimes be hard to close
- Gets scratched easily
The Rachel Ray is famous for its quality. It’s a pretty basic cookware, easy to use and clean that is ideal for use anywhere. It exudes an even heat distribution so the natural flavor of food comes out.
The silicone-covered stainless steel handles stay cool even during cooking, making it safe to touch. It’s dishwasher-safe as well and has an elegant look due to the gray exterior and colorful handles -- you may choose from blue, orange, and red.
However, some people think that the sizes of these cookwares are too small and the non-stick surfaces get scratched easily.
On the brighter side, each individual component of the set is lightweight because of their small stature, easy to maneuver and easy to clean. The is interior may not chip stains, but then again, don’t use metal utensils on it.
The set includes:
- 1-qt saucepan with lid
- Two 3-qt sauce pan with lid
- 6-qt stock pot
- Slotted turner and saute spoon
- 8 ½” and 10” skillets
- Attractive and sleek design
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Handles stay cool
- Aluminum is too thin
- The interior is not that durable
The KitchenAid KCH2S5AKM Professional is our top choice for the best hard anodized cookware. They’re basically easy to use, non-stick, dishwasher-safe, and requires no lubricants when cooking. They’re quite expensive but definitely worth the price because it can withstand years of usage with the proper care.
This cookware allows a range of cooking methods while bringing out the natural flavor and aroma of dishes.
Just a little tip: If you want to preserve your cookware, refrain from using metal utensils during the cooking and cleaning processes. Use wooden utensils to mix and turn food pieces over instead and also, let the pan cool down first before cleaning it so you don’t have to use metal brushes to clean them.
Did you find this article useful? Have you had any experience with other hard anodized cookware brands? Did we miss something on the list? If you can recommend other brands, feel free to comment below. Don’t forget to share this post. Thanks and take care!