Whether you're a whiz in the kitchen or you're just starting out, a good set of cookware is key to making the whole process quick and simple. In fact, the
best hard-anodized cookware can withstand high heat, warms up quickly, and won't emit chemicals while you cook.
Here's the major difference between regular pots and pans and true hard-anodized cookware: It's made from
anodized aluminum that's scratch-resistant and won't corrode over time. It's also nonstick and easy to clean, which means you can cook without any oil or butter. When shopping for new kitchenware, it's important that whichever piece you choose is clearly labeled as hard-anodized cookware. Even if a cookware set says that its "nonstick" or "anodized" cookware, you'll want to look out for the distinction that they're "hard-anodized" in order to ensure you get top quality.
Keep in mind how many pieces you'll need for your cooking needs. While hard-anodized pots and pans hold up to wear and tear for the long haul, they can also be a bit pricier. You may want to invest in a wide covered skillet that's super versatile, or even a large pasta pot that will cook your noodles without sticking. On the other hand, if you're ready to dive in, you could opt for an entire
Here's a round-up of some of the
best hard-anodized cookware out there to help you narrow it down.
The Best Covered Skillet: Cuisinart 622-30G Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet With Glass Cover
If you're looking for cookware that does it all, this
12-inch covered skillet is a godsend. This high-quality, wear-resistant skillet features an hard-anodized interior, making it completely nonstick. You can also cook pretty much anything in it without any oil or butter. The stainless steel handles stay cool on the stovetop and the oven. You can even pop this entire skillet into any oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit safely for super fast cooking. With almost 4,000 positive Amazon reviews, it's easy to see why this skillet is a fan-favorite. What fans say: "Eight years and it still has some life left. It is incredible for a nonstick piece to last this long. And we use this pan HARD. It cooks oatmeal several times a week, it's our go-to pan for reduction sauces, gravies, small batches of marinara, some veggies. I've even made candy in it, which it does well because the aluminum base is nice and thick. This is remarkable."
The Best Skillet Set: Calphalon Hard-Anodized Aluminum Pan Set
two-piece skillet set can fry up everything from eggs to veggies without sticking. Both the 10-inch and 12-inch skillets are constructed from hard-anodized aluminum and feature easy-release, nonstick coating on the inside. Plus, these skillets are designed with flat, wide bottoms for even heating and sloped sides so you can easily toss or flip any food you're cooking. And with the brushed stainless steel handles, these skillets are safe to pop into the oven to finish off a dish. Reviewers also rave about the longevity of Calphalon skillets. What fans say: "[These] Calphalon pans replaces a previous Calphalon pan that was used virtually every day for 16 years. Judging from information on the web 16 years is a long life for a teflon pan."
The Best Stockpot: Rachael Ray Hard-Anodized Aluminum Covered Pot
Not only is this
hard-anodized stockpot huge, it's also completely nonstick and easy to clean. At 8 quarts, this pot can hold enough soup, stock, chili, or just about anything else to feed a crowd. And no matter how long you cook with it, food won't crust along the bottom with the long-lasting, nonstick coating. Plus, the double-riveted handles are even oven-safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can throw this pot and it's lid in the dishwasher when you're finished for easy cleanup. What fans say: "One of my favorite pieces of cookware. I was a little concerned when it arrived. Only because it's thinner than my old pot (another brand) was. But the non-stick feature is great, the heat transfer is excellent. I've yet to burn food in this pot."
The Best Pasta Pot: Anolon Advanced Hard-Anodized Pot With Locking Straining
6-quart pot with built-in strainer is perfect for everything from pasta to potatoes. Made from hard-anodized aluminum and nonstick coating on both the inside and outside, this pot releases food in a snap and is super easy to clean. Plus, the shatter-resistant glass lid also features a built-in strainer, making it so easy to boil and strain. You can even put this pot in an oven heated up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit without worry of cracking or overheating. Although this pot is a little pricier than some other options, reviewers insist it's worth it. What fans say: "I've had this pot for a few months now and can't go back to any other pot. It has very good heat distribution, even on smaller gas burners. The quality of the handles is great, and the non-stick finish is a breeze to clean. So far, this is one of the best pots I've ever owned."
The Best Multipiece Set: Cuisinart GG-12 Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set
If you're ready to go all in, this
12-piece cookware set has everything you need to get started. It comes with 8-inch and 10-inch skillets, two small saucepans, a 3-quart lidded pan, a 6-quart pot, and a steamer insert. All included pieces are made with hard-anodized aluminum and feature a nonstick surface that won't peel. Each piece also features even heat conductivity and can be safely used in the oven or broiler. What fans say: "These are the best I’ve ever had. I’ve never had anything so easy to clean and use. No matter what we through at these pots and pans they work perfectly. We did curry last night and there was no left over residue in the pan it just pours right out. Bacon grease is no problem either. I love these!" Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.