Everything you need to know about Rachael Ray cookware set: Review
Rachael Ray is a famous American Chef with the unique cooking ideas and lifestyle. The chef says cooking is her passion and she has proofed her love to this process with her new cookware sets. Rachael has her own magazine and Food Network series. The books are bestsellers, so no surprise she decided to create hew new cookware brand. The chef brings a combination of amazing performance, design and affordable price. No surprise the set is popular among professional chefs and hobbyist.
Rachael focuses on kitchen tools and gadgets such as bakeware, knives, prepware and cookware. The most famous pieces are casserole pans and stoneware collections that come in many colors and offer many appealing features. Every piece is different than the other and suit different cooking needs.
What’s the core material?
The Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Anodized Cookware features anodized steel by Meyer Corporation and you’ve probably used some of their products even if the name is new for you. Meyer Corporation owns Circulon, Anolon and Ruffini, it’s the biggest cookware company in the world.
The anodized aluminum surface is nonstick and provides even, quick heating. The handles are made of stainless steel with a silicone covering to protect your hands from heat. The lids are made of shatter-proof glass and feature quality rubber handles. The base materials provide easy cleaning and fast heat distribution.
Cookware construction can make or break your cooking experience. It’s usually a question of preferences and how long you will have to spend at the kitchen sink cleaning every pot. I have found that the main thing to choosing your perfect cookware set is to check 3 things: heat conduction core, cooking surface and exterior design.
Cookware cooking coating or surface is usually features in the title. Stainless steel and nonstick surfaces are the most popular nowadays. As the name suggests, nonstick prevents your food from sticking to the pan. You don’t need to drizzle your cookware with oil during cooking, which is good for your health. The most common material is Teflon (PTFE) but Rachael Ray’s cookware features more durable reinforced ceramic coating.
Nonstick surfaces are the easiest to clean, but it can’t last longer than 3-4 years of regular use. Then the whole set will need replacing. Stainless steel cookware are coated with reinforced ceramic and will lasts longer than Teflon. This material browns everything nicely, which isn’t something nonstick cookware can deliver. However, food sticking is a problem and you will need to cover the surface with oil.
The Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Anodized Cookware features:
- 2-qt. Saucepan with lid
- 1-qt. Saucepan with lid
- 4-qt. Saucepot with lid
- 3-qt. Saucepan with lid
- 6-qt. Stockpot with lid
- 3-qt. Saute’ Pan with lid
- 10-in. Skillet
- 8.5-in. Skillet
- Slotted Spatula and turner
- Slotted Spoon
As you can see, the set features everything you need in the kitchen. Saucepans, skillets, sauté pans and stockpots are included. Every piece features high-quality, see-through glasses and lids for watching over your food while cooking. Even though the company says the cookware can be washed in a dishwasher, I wouldn’t do it. I recommend hand washing the pieces to avoid unnecessary scratches. The better you care for your cookware, the longer it will serve.
Some of the pieces of the set have gotten incredibly popular among fans. The set features a classic gray color design, shiny handles of quality stainless steel and hard-anodizes pots and pans. Grips are covered with neo-orange silicone handles. Glass lids allows for the convenient monitoring of the food that you cook, no more unnecessary work to remove the lid. When you don’t push away the lid, you maintain the nutrients of the food. The pans of the set ensure even and quick cooking. With the set, preparing tasty food won’t take long.
If you search for The Rachael Ray cookware set, you will find they feature stoneware, stainless steel, porcelain enamel and anodized materials. She offers a variety of products to suit everyone’s cooking style. The orange handles are the signature feature of all her sets. They are made of silicone and can be found in many bright colors and options.
I personally love the lids in the set. Some other cookware sets come with 2-3 lids that can be used for two or three pots and that’s it. I usually cook more than 1 dish at once, so I can’t share lids.
I feel that the sets can cause confusion because there are so many of them and older sets have revisions. We’re looking at the second revision of The Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Anodized Cookware set. The first version wasn’t dishwasher friendly, and the second one is. I think it’s because the nonstick surface is more durable on the 2nd revision. If you’re looking for the Rachael Ray cookware set, make sure to get the updated version.
The set where’re looking at comes with items that you normally use in your kitchen: sauce pots, quart stockpots, sauté pans and skillets. Every piece of cookware comes with a glass lid except the skillet. There is a bigger set of 14 pieces that features 2nd tier cookware for professional cooks. In addition to what you get in a standard set, the bigger one offers an additional small sauce pan and a sauce pot.
The cookware set features beautiful modern design. The handles are made of stainless steel that feel sturdy and nice. The handles feature orange rubber, which is oven friendly up to 350 degrees but will melt at higher temperatures. The main color of the set is black, which provides a great contrast to bright orange handles. Tempered glass is used for the lids, and stainless steel can be found in rims. The design is really nice and would look great in most kitchens.
The main material of the cookware set is anodized aluminum and it feels light and sturdy. However, since it’s made of aluminum, it’s not induction compatible. I can’t say what’s the exterior coating is made of, and I couldn’t find any information online. I only found that the material is PTFE free and PFOA free. This can be a concern for many potential customers and the lack of available info on the material can be worrying. From what I could find the cookware is made in Thailand, which produces higher quality cookware sets that China. Basically, this is what you will receive when you get the set, so let’s find out more about its performance.
When I got the set, I tested the skilled with many different dishes. I usually prepare eggs with bacon because it’s a great nonstick test. The skillet heated up really quickly, and the dish wash cooked away in 5 minutes. I could easily remove my eggs and bacon from the surface, even though I think they were hotter in the center compare to the edges. I could easily remedy the little problem by lowering the heat, but it’s worth mentioning, especially if you want to make complex dishes. The nonstick surface is of high-quality, and eggs and bacons easily slid out without any resistance. I used a spatula that comes in the set and it works just fine. The cookware set instructions don’t say whether or not you can use metal utensils, but I recommend using silicone or nylon options. Cleanup is very quick and simple, and all you need to do is to wipe the surface with a clean towel. One minute of your time and your skillet looks like new.
The skilled passed my test and I moved on to the stockpot. I like chili recipes so I threw a mix of beef and beans into the pot. While I cooked the ingredients in the stockpot, I seared the meat in another pan. The nonstick coating performed nicely, and the lids preserve the moisture and heat in the pot. Thanks to the lid, you can seal the flavor and preserve the nutrients. I also used another sauce pan to cook rice, which slid out without sticking. I saw rice residue on the surface but soapy water removed the traces in a minute.
After some time, my chili was ready and I couldn’t wait to try my dish. The meat and beats come out nice and cooked, the flavors blended together well. My chili was simply delicious and the credit goes to the stockpot. I let it to cool down for a while and then tried to clean it up. The chili had caked on after an hours, so I was trying to rinse it out. This quickly removed almost everything, and the last traces were cleaned up with a sponge. I recommend to be very gentle with sponges because aggressive cleaning can leave marks of the surface.
The main features
The main material is durable enough for high heat that is distributed from the bottom to the sides for reduced temperature changes. It’s not exactly like a professional set but it does everything you need in a regular kitchen. They can handle daily cooking and will serve for years. These pans and pots are lightweight and you can easily move them around the kitchen.
The handles are covered with silicone which is good for ergonomics. They still cool during cooking. The glass lids fit tightly and feel heavy. You can conveniently check on what’s cooking without lifting the lid. The size isn’t enough for huge crowds but enough for a family of 3 or 4.
|Design||Rachai Ray’s signature is to make everything colorful and stylish. You won’t miss this cookware set. I love the vibrant colors of the pots and pans, from darker color fading to a brighter shade, which is a statement on its own. The set comes in 6 different colors suitable for most designs. Moreover, you can get other items such as grill pans and bakeware in the same color. This is not your regular design and I like it.|
Speaking of how the set performs, I was pleasantly surprised with how nicely and quickly everything cooks. Even heat distribution allows for shorter cooking time and nonstick surface require almost no cleaning. The pieces can handle up to 350F in the oven. However, it’s limited for some foods. I would like around 400F, but 350F is still enough for the majority of my meals.
I have done the egg taste and nothing sticks to the surface. The eggs just slide off right into the plate. However, I should tell that nonstick sets aren’t compatible with metal utensils. You should use plastic or silicone options.
|Cleaning and Caring||Even though the manufacturer claims the set is dishwasher friendly, I would recommend washing it by hand. Fortunately, it’s really easy to do. Moreover, just like any other nonstick cookware, you should take good care for it. No high heat, no nonstick sprays, no rub, nothing metal, no gas or induction stoves.|
I personally like the material of this set. It’s durable and doesn’t feel cheap. I believe you can use it for a long time without any problems. It features gauge aluminum that makes the set scratch resistant and maintains its beautiful appearance longer. As a material, aluminum is heat conductive and you can cook everything on different cooking top. Every time your food will be ready very fast. Aluminum is a great material for cookware because of its retaining capacity. You can make many recipes in these pans and pots.
I also like that the main exterior material is hard enamel porcelain, which is very durable and non lasting. It’s not harmful for our health, no chemicals will transfer on your food.
This set features sturdy rubberized handles that are very ergonomic. They are made of stainless still and can handle up to 350F oven heat. When handling meals out of the oven, the handles should keep the heat away from hands and have a good grip. This set features everything I need.
The handles are attached to the body using a special technology, allowing to lock them onto the pan. It significantly reduces mess in the kitchen because you don’t need to put the pan on a top and then do everything else. Thanks to the handles technology, there is no heat transfer to your hands. It also reduces the amount of heat required to cook, so you can prepare more foods under 350F limit.
|The grippy handles|
What I love about the handles is the fact that you can pick up the heated cookware without a kitchen towel or mitts. I like that the handles are long because it enhances the balance and stability of a pan. Besides, if you have long hands, you will love the length and the material of the handle.
The handles are very lightweight, you only need one hand to lift the pot and move the pans and skillets, even when they’re packed with food. The con is that the handles can only withstand temperatures up to 350 degrees. Most handles are safe at 400F. If you want to cook chicken in the oven, 350F is enough, but 400F is better for browning.
|Glass Lids||Glass lids are the best choice because you can easily access to everything in your pan. You have full control of your food, and opaque lids are just nerve-wracking. You have to open the lid all the time while heat escapes to see what’s going on. The Rachael Ray set has rubbery coating on handles, so you don’t need mitts to open anything. Your hands are safe.|
|The little pot||The only piece in the set that I find useless is the little pot. I think it’s just too small for anything I cook. It’s only enough to prepare rice for 1 person, warm up 1 portion of soup or cook vegetables for 2 people. If you don’t have a big family, this pot is everything you need.|
|The big pot||My stockpots must be big, and this one is just the right size. I can cook pasta for the whole family without water bubbling over. The sauté pan is a perfect size, it’s deep enough to stir-fry for 2-3 people without spilling anything. A frying pan is also big with deep sides, so a big thumbs up for me.|
|The egg test|
Eggs stick to anything quickly, so an easy way to check the quality of the surface is to cook them. I drizzled a pan with olive oil and added an egg. Even with a small spritz of oil the egg slides without problem.
I was surprised that I can flip an egg without a spatula. I think you can cook eggs without oil, nothing will stick to the surface. Egg slid right off, the clean up was quick and easy.
The main features of a nonstick coating
The famous coating is called Eclipse that is produced by the manufacturer of the world’s biggest variety of quality coatings Whitford. Eclipse is the first surface that the company used in commercial products and their second best option.
A good coating features several important factors: it’s quality, how thick it’s layers are and how many layers it has. The brand representative said that Eclipse is produced to last much longer than traditional coatings and features three layers. The main material is reinforced steel. The surface is coated with PTFE, which is a quality nonstick coating.
I have been using my Rachael Ray cookware for over a year now but I believe it will last for years. Customers seem to be satisfied with the quality, stability and durability of this set, and I can understand, why.
If you watched Anna and Kristina’s Grocery bag TV show test, you know that this cookware set passed all the tests. They put a grinder to 4 different skillets to see how much times it takes for every surface to wear out. The results were surprisingly good for Rachael Ray’s:
- The most famous Gordon Ramsay skillet made by Royal Doulton lasted for almost 4 minutes.
- Paula Deen skillet made by the same company as Rachael Ray set lasted for a bit over 4 minutes 30 seconds.
- Jamie Oliver skilled manufactured by T-Fal took almost 5 minutes.
- Rachael Ray lasted for almost 6 minutes 30 seconds.
Should you buy the Rachael Ray cookware?
The advantages of The Rachael Ray cookware:
- Quality cast iron. Any good cookware set should have a sturdy pan. This set features cast-iron pan that is very versatile. You can use it every day for many years and always get amazing results.
- The design is nice. The outer layer features porcelain enamel that looks beautiful. The pots and pans are very appealing. They can also add a splash of color to your kitchen and compliment your design.
- Quality non-stick surface. The coating has passed my tests as well as tests of many other people. Eggs just slide off the pan. Cookware cleaning takes less than a minute. The durability can be worrying but in this price range you get the best you can possibly find.
- Light and convenient handles. The handles are easy to hold and stay cool while cooking. No need to use kitchen towels. You only need 1 hand to move a pot full of food.
The disadvantages of The Rachael Ray cookware:
- The surface isn’t very durable. I have seen complaints about the surface that gets scratched easily even when people only used silicone and wooden utensils. There are not that many lasting nonstick surfaces, and nothing affordable. Just make sure to be very gentle with your cookware and it will serve longer.
- Color loses it brightness. I’ve found that some people report fading on cookware. The bottom can get burnt marks if you place the pan over high heat.
- It can warp. The cookware is very light, but because of that the walls are thin. It can wrap faster than its heavier counterparts.
When you should buy it
If you enjoy seafood, burgers and thick sauces, you need a good sauté pan. Thanks to its construction, sauces and meat doesn’t stick to the surface. The biggest pot in the set can be used for soups or stew, especially when you cook for many people.
Smaller pots are perfect for smaller families or portions especially when you don’t want to have leftovers. This set can be used for a variety of different recipes and is enough for most cooking methods. It also featured deep pans and pots to keep everything inside without spilling over.
Making a delicious dinner for a big group of people is easy when you have a set that meets all your needs and cooking skills. This set cooks and heats up the food faster than its counterparts, and fast cleanup makes everything a cinch.
My steaks were seared to perfection quickly in this cookware. The set is very easy to use and even easier to clean. Stainless steel handles stay cool during cooking and nonstick surface really works. The variety of colors and durability of the cookware have made it so popular among users.