Top 5 Best Hard Anodized Cookware Sets in 2020

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With so many different anodized cookware set options on the market today, it can be hard to find the perfect set for you. If you are looking to find out just which is the best hard anodized cookware set for you, you have come to the right place.

Here is our shortlist of the Best Hard Anodized Cookware sets of the year. If you want to learn more about hard anodized cookware and read our full review of each set, feel free to keep scrolling!

Best Hard Anodized Cookware Sets of the Year

What is Hard Anodized Cookware?

Before we get into our top picks for the year, we thought it might be a good idea to give an overview of hard anodized cookware in case you are not familiar.

Hard anodized cookware is a type of cookware that is typically made with an aluminum core. The surface of the cookware then goes through an anodizing process to seal the metal which comes in contact with your food. Once completed, this process keeps the metal from reacting with the food you are cooking. Anodizing then results in a hard, smooth, and durable surface that can survive even the toughest of kitchens.

Hard anodized cookware is also non-stick which allows you to cook with little to no oil or butter. After you are done cooking, anodized cookware is also very easy to clean with just dish soap and a soft sponge. Many of the hard-anodized cookware sets on the market advertise being dishwasher safe. However, we recommend cleaning this cookware by hand to protect the surface of the pots and pans. Washing your cookware by hand will help your cookware to last as long as possible.

Why Aluminum?

Of all the metals in the world to cook with, you may be wondering: why is the aluminum core so common in cookware? The main reason for this is aluminum’s great heat conducting properties. Once heated, pans with an aluminum core will stay much more evenly heated than some other metals. Cooking with aluminum will help even the newest cooks evenly cook their food. Hard anodized cookware will also heat up very quickly, so no need to worry about excessive preheating being necessary.

Is Aluminum Safe to Cook With?

There has been a lot of controversy about cooking with aluminum in the past. The anodization process separates this type of cookware from typical aluminum cookware. With non-anodized aluminum cookware, there is a possibility for aluminum to seep into the food you are cooking at high heat. By going through the anodization process, this surface of the cookware is sealed to prevent that from happening. This makes hard anodized cookware one of the safest cookware options available today.

What is the Best Anodized Cookware Set for You? Things to Consider:

How do you like to cook?

Are you the type of home cook using all 4 burners on your stove at once while also finishing something in the oven? If so, one of the larger sets would be a wise choice to provide you with a lot of variety in pots and pans.

On the other hand, maybe you are more of a 1 pan type of cook, mixing all your ingredients together during the cooking process and just transferring it to the plate (or eating from the pan if you get too impatient!). If that sounds like you, maybe one of the smaller sets would suit your needs by just providing the basics.

It’s also important to look at the individual pots and pans included in the set. Do you use more skillets or saucepans in your day to day cooking? Thinking about the dishes you cook most often will help you determine which types of pots and pans are must haves in your new cookware set.

If you like to finish your dishes off in the oven before serving, look at the “oven safe” rating on the below sets, as they can vary from 350 degrees to 500 degrees.

What Type of Stove Do You Have?

All the sets recommended below will work great with gas and electric stoves, but only some sets we recommend will work with induction stove tops. If you do have an induction stove, make sure to pick a set that is compatible with it.

Our Reviews: In Search of the Best Hard Anodized Cookware Set

Viking Culinary Hard Anodized Cookware Set, 10 Piece, Gray – Pro’s Pick

viking hard anodized cookware set

Viking is no stranger to creating top of the line products and their brand is respected around the world. This cookware set is no exception and is certainly the highest quality set on the list. You can count on these pans lasting for years to come, even after they take a bit of a beating. A good mix of pots and pan sizes keeps this set versatile. The gray finish contrasted by the bold steel accents will look great in any kitchen.

What we liked:

  • Compatible with induction stoves thanks to a stainless-steel base
  • Three layers of PFOA free nonstick – safe for use with metal utensils
  • Measuring lines on stock pots – no more guessing or using measuring cups
  • Handles stay cool during cooking
  • Pots and pans oven safe to 500 degrees
  • Works with induction stove tops

What we didn’t like:

  • The price

Cuisinart 66-11 Chefs Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 11-Piece Cookware Set – Best Overall Pick

This set from Cuisinart is a great choice for newer cooks or those looking to upgrade to a full cookware set for the first time. There are 4 options for this set, but we chose to go with the 11-piece set as it provides a great value and does not leave much to be desired in terms of variety. They also have a 7-piece set which provides the basics, as well as 14- and 17-piece sets to give you some more options. Cuisinart is a well-known brand so you can rely on the quality, however some customers said the handles can get warm while cooking. If you go with this set, make sure to have some hot pads ready.

What we liked:

  • Several different packages to choose from based on your needs
  • Pots and pans oven safe up to 500 degrees
  • Great value

What we didn’t like:

  • May scratch easily
  • Some buyers noted the handles get hotter than they would expect
  • Does not work with induction stove tops

Cook N Home, Black 12-Piece Nonstick Hard Anodized Cookware Set – Budget Pick

This 12-piece set from Cook N Home is a great entry level set. At 12 pieces, this set will give you all the pots and pans you will need to bring out your best in the kitchen. With a spatula and spoon included with the set, you won’t need to worry about making other purchases to get started cooking. At it’s entry level price point it certainly leaves a few things to be desired but nothing major. If you don’t have an induction stove or care to use your pots and pans in the oven these limitations won’t hold you back from enjoying this set.

What we liked:

  • Very cost effective entry level set
  • Includes utensils that are compatible with the non-stick pan surface
  • The handles on the pans and lids are not metal so will not be hot to the touch
  • The lids have a steam vent to make to make it easy to see what you are cooking

What we didn’t like:

  • Does not work with induction stove tops
  • Only oven safe up to 350 degrees

Cuisinart GG-10 GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set – Pasta Lovers Pick

With an included pasta strainer, this set would be the perfect choice for the cook who can’t go a day without pasta. The 2 saucepans, 1 sauté pan, and large saucepot will allow any pasta lover to get creative in the kitchen. Part of the “GreenGourmet” line from Cuisinart, this set has a ceramic non-stick surface that is easier on the environment. The handles are made from 70% recycled material and the packaging is printed from soy-based ink.

What we liked:

  • Oven safe to 500 degrees
  • Environmentally friendly manufacturing
  • Even heating allows pasta water to boil quickly

What we didn’t like:

  • Metal lids can get hot and prevent you from looking inside without opening the lid
  • Only comes with 1 skillet
  • Not compatible with induction stove tops

Stone & Beam Kitchen Cookware Set, 17-Piece, Pots and Pans, Hard Anodized Non-Stick Aluminum Best Variety Pick

Stone & Beam, which is an Amazon brand, takes the cake with this set if you are looking to have options in your kitchen. With 17 pieces included, there is not much left to be desired with this set. Complete with 3 sizes of frying pans, 3 sizes of saucepans, a grill pan, and several other pieces, this set certainly has the most variety out of our top picks.

What we liked:

  • Versatile set
  • Great value
  • Long handles keep you away from the heat

What we didn’t like:

  • Rivets may be difficult to clean around
  • Pot lids can get hot during cooking
  • Not compatible with induction stove tops
  • Not dishwasher safe

Our Pick

These 5 sets above only represent a fraction of what is available on the market. We think they provide some great options for anyone looking to get a full hard anodized cookware set, no matter the job ahead of them.

While we would love to get the Viking 10 Piece Set to work in our kitchen, the cost holds us back a bit. If you are looking for the finest quality and craftsmanship, then go for it!

For a great all-around set that will perform well and not hurt your wallet too badly, we have to go with the Cuisinart Chefs Classic 11 Piece set. With a great mix of value and quality, it’s a great choice for newer cooks and seasoned kitchen veterans alike. Looking to make a 4-course meal for Sunday dinner? No problem.  Just want to scramble a couple of eggs before heading out the door? This set has you covered there, too. What more could a home cook ask for?

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Matt
Matt