How to Choose the Best Hard Anodized Cookware Set

With so many options to choose from in the world of cookware belgique and other kitchen accessories, it can be overwhelming to choose a new cookware set. Narrowing down the available selection is an important part of the process, and usually begins with the type of cookware that you like best. Hard anodized cookware combines the fast and even heat conduction of aluminum, the steel-like durability of its anodized exterior, and the easy cooking and cleaning of the nonstick finish. If you’re interested in hard anodized aluminum cookware, use the following considerations to help you find the perfect set.

Choose Your Brand

If you’ve always used a certain brand, or if you have fond memories of a specific brand in your mother’s kitchen, start your search by looking at that brand’s hard anodized cookware. While you should read all the reviews of different brands and cookware sets that you can, your personal brand loyalty is the best indicator of how much you’ll like the cookware set you choose. If the brand you prefer does not have a cookware set that matches additional criteria, such as the size of the set or your budget, move on to another brand.

Good to know: Some of the top brands in hard anodized cookware include KitchenAid, T-Fal, Rachael Ray, Cuisinart, and Circulon.

Consider Your Stove or Cooktop

How you plan to use your new hard anodized cookware set is a big factor in choosing the best set for you. For example, if you have a ceramic or glass cooktop, you need flat-bottomed hard anodized pans to get the best heat conduction and faster cooking. Flat-bottomed pans are also much less likely to leave scratches on your cooktop, compared to hard anodized cookware with ridged bottoms. Make sure the cookware you choose matches the stove or cooktop you already have.

Good to know: Hard anodized aluminum cookware does NOT work on induction cooktops.

Consider Your Cooking Needs

How and what you cook determines what kind of cookware set you buy more than any other factor. If you’re single or have a small kitchen, a standard 10-piece set might be enough for you. Those furnishing a kitchen from scratch, such as college students, will probably need a starter set that includes some utensils and cookie sheets in addition to standard pots and pans. If you have a large family or regularly entertain, you’ll want to look for sets that include more and larger pieces.

Good to know: The standard pieces and sizes of most cookware sets include: 5 to 8-quart stockpot with lid; 2 saucepans between 1 and 3 quarts with lids; 8-inch open skillet; 10-inch open skillet.

Consider Your Budget

Factoring in your budget goes without saying. It is possible to find quality hard anodized cookware in a variety of price ranges, but most will be at least $100. To save some money, consider buying a basic set, such as a standard 10 piece, and slowly purchasing extra pieces to complete the set. Commonly purchased extra pieces include 10-quart and bigger stockpots and 12 to 14-inch deep saute pans.

You may find other factors that are influential in your decision to purchase a particular hard anodized cookware set. Certain sets might offer more than the standard pieces. Some brands pride themselves on lids that fit both the saucepans and the skillets. A particularly good warranty might catch your eye. Most hard anodized cookware is oven-safe, but a specific set might be able to withstand the higher heat you usually cook with. These extra features can tip the scale in favor of one set or another, but the criteria listed above generally weigh the most when you compare cookware.

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