WHAT MAKES THE RACHAEL RAY HARD ANODIZED SET SO POPULAR?
THE CELEBRITY? THE COLORED HANDLES? OR JUST GREAT PERFORMANCE? READ ON……
A few years ago I was in the market for a cookware set as a wedding present. While browsing in a shop, I happened to notice a set of really attractive looking pots with bright orange handles and a ‘Rachael Ray’ brand name.
At that time I didn’t know much about cookware or about Rachael Ray as a TV celebrity chef, so I didn’t have much to go by. But maybe it was the good looks, maybe it was the bright orange handles, I ended up buying the set as a gift.
And it was a gift well received and, I know for a fact, well used!
Turns out the Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Nonstick set is one of the most popular cookware sets on the market with many, many satisfied users.
Phew! Thanks to the orange handles, it seems I lucked out in giving a really good gift!
So let’s find out what makes this set so popular.
The Rachel Ray hard anodized set has 14 pieces. Here’s what’s included:
- 1-qt. Saucepan with lid
- 2-qt. Saucepan with lid
- 3-qt. Saucepan with lid
- 4-qt. Saucepot with lid
- 3-qt. Saute’ Pan with lid
- 6-qt. Stockpot with lid
- 8.5-in. Skillet
- 10-in. Skillet
Note: While this review is for the Rachael Ray Hard Anodized nonstick 14 piece set, it also comes in a 10 piece set and a 12 piece set.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Well, since the look is what got me when I bought this set as a gift, need I say more?
This cookware really has a very modern look with a black exterior and black nonstick interior.
Of course we have to mention the orange handles covers on the pots and the lids which is now a signature look of Rachel Ray cookware. The lids are tempered glass with a metal rim.
WHAT IS IT MADE OF?
The Rachael Ray hard anodized set is made of hard anodized aluminum with a nonstick coating inside.
WHAT ABOUT THE NON-STICK COATING?
What is it?
Since it wasn’t readily apparent what the nonstick coating on the Rachael Ray hard anodized cookware is, I called up the manufacturer Meyer to find out.
The nonstick coating is called Eclipse and is made by Whitford, manufacturer of the world’s largest, most complete line of nonstick coatings.
Eclipse is considered their second best coating, with their first used primarily in commercial cookware. As a matter of interest, their Quantanium coating, which is used in the Cuisinart hard anodized set is their third best.
Quality and Durability of the nonstick coating?
The quality of a nonstick coating is defined by 3 things: the quality of the coating itself, the number of layers and the thickness of the layers.
Eclipse is a reinforced coating, engineered to outlast all other nonstick coatings (according to the company) and is applied in 3 layers. The nonstick release is provided by the top layer which is PTFE (Teflon is the DuPont brand name for this material).
So it seems like the Rachael Ray hard anodized pans have a very tough and durable nonstick coating that is designed to last. Users of these pans seem very satisfied with the durability and performance of the nonstick.
Interestingly, in a test done by the hosts of a popular TV show called ‘Anna and Kristina’s grocery bag’, where they tested 4 chef designed skillets for durability, the Rachael Ray hard anodized skillet won! The test involved putting a grinder to the surface of 4 different skillets to see how long it took to wear out the nonstick coating. The results were as follows:
- Rachael Ray skillet took 6 minutes, 20 seconds
- Jamie Oliver skillet took 4 minutes, 50 seconds (made by T-fal, by the way)
- Paula Deen skillet took 4 minutes, 35 seconds (made by Meyer, same company as Rachael Ray cookware)
- Gordon Ramsay skillet took 3 minutes, 50 seconds (made by Royal Doulton)
ANY COOKING PRECAUTIONS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF?
The precautions to be used with this set are typical of non-stick pans.
- Do not use on high heat. Low to medium heat recommended
- Do not use metal utensils. Only plastic, wood or silicone.
- Never heat an empty nonstick pan.
- Not to be used under the broiler.
- Do not use nonstick cooking sprays on nonstick cookware – an invisible buildup will impair the nonstick release system and food will stick in your pan.
WHAT ABOUT THE HANDLES?
The handles are made of stainless steel with bright orange rubberized sleeves for a secure and comfortable grip.
The handles are oven safe up to 350°F.
Lastly, the handles are riveted to the pots which makes is very secure.
WHAT ARE THE LIDS MADE OF?
The lids are made of shatter-proof tempered glass and like the pans, are safe in the oven up to 400F. For those who like lids on their skillets, here is a piece of good news: the lids from the pots fit the skillets! So essentially, this set has a lid for every pan. This is the stuff great grilled-cheese sandwiches are made of!
IS IT EASY TO MAINTAIN?
Users of these pots give it flying colours for being easy to clean and maintain. The hard anodized aluminium makes these pots resistant to dents and scratches. The non-stick interior makes clean up very easy.
Just make sure to let them cool after cooking before washing or adding water.
If you stack the pans inside each other, user a protective liner to avoid getting scratches on the non-stick.
EASY POUR RIMS
The rims on these pots are specially tapered to allow for drip-free pouring.
CAN YOU USE THESE IN THE OVEN?
Yes, Rachael Ray hard anodized 14 piece set is safe in the oven up to 400F. This includes the glass lids.
Make sure to use pot holders when removing the pans from the oven though.
WHAT ABOUT THE BROILER?
It is not recommended to use these pans under the broiler. In fact, it is advisable to stay away from the broiler for ANY non-stick pan, even if the manufacturer says it’s ok. Reason for this is that at a high heat, not only do non-stick coatings deteriorate but release toxic fumes.
IS IT DISHWASHER SAFE?
These pans are dishwasher safe unlike a previous version of this set that was hand-wash only. However, no matter what a manufacturer says, I would always recommend hand-washing your cookware to prolong its life and protect the non-stick surface.
CAN IT BE USED WITH INDUCTION COOKTOPS?
No the Rachael Ray hard anodized set is not induction compatible.
DOES IT INCLUDE A WARRANTY
Yes, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
Users of the Rachael Ray pots and pans consistently give it high reviews on the Rachael Ray Store and similarly high ratings on other stores. So many people can’t be wrong!
Goodhousekeeping.com, a trusted resource for consumer reviews rates the 10 pot version of this hard anodized set as A-. The only negatives they mention are noted below. They say this cookware does provide overall good performance.
ARE THERE ANY COMPLAINTS?
Judging from the almost unanimously high ratings for this Rachael Ray cookware, it seems that most users are very happy with it, with very few complaints. But a well rounded review has to include any negatives along with the positives. So here goes:
- A few of the users complained about discolourations in the pans after use. Goodhousekeeping.com also mentions that as a negative. This can be cleaned with an abrasive cleaner.
- Goodhousekeeping also mentions the rivets as a disadvantage when it comes to cleaning the inside of the pots.
Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.