Are you in the market for new cookware and considering Anolon?
The company claims its cookware “cooks like cast iron, but cleans like non-stick.”
Are these claims true? Is Anolon cookware any good?
In this in-depth review of Anolon cookware, you’ll learn:
- What the brand offers
- How the cookware looks
- How it is crafted
- How it performs
- What it costs
- Pros and cons
- And much more
Ready to find out if Anolon cookware is right for you? Keep reading.
Use the links below to navigate the article:
- FAQs About Anolon Cookware
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy Anolon Cookware?
Anolon boasts nearly a dozen unique cookware collections.
In this section, I’ll detail the design of the brand’s best-selling collection: Anolon Advanced Home.
I’ll also call your attention to a few other eye-catching collections to give you a good foundation of the design features of Anolon overall.
For now, let’s dive into Anolon Advanced Home.
Anolon Advanced Home comes in multiple colors, all featuring a metallic matte-finish look. There’s a hint of sheen to these pans, but it is very subtle — like brushed metal.
Across the collection, some cookware pieces have multiple color options: bronze, graphite, indigo, umber, or onyx. Others come in two or more of those colors.
The exterior finish is a durable non-stick material, ideal for keeping the pans looking good as grease and food debris are repelled from the cookware when washed.
The PFOA-free non-stick coating is abrasion-resistant. Anolon uses a high-quality PTFE (Teflon) coating similar to the material used by high-end brands like Calphalon and All-Clad.
All cookware in this collection features a hard-anodized aluminum body with a dark, heavy-duty aluminum base. The base is completely flat, so the pan maintains even contact with the stove and doesn’t shift or wobble.
Anolon Advanced Home cookware interiors feature Autograph 2, a triple-layer non-stick cooking surface made by DuPont.
Surfaces are either flat, have grill indentations, or a split profile — half grill/half pan or two half pans. These divided skillets allow you to cook on two sides without food mingling.
The pots and pans are offered in circular and square shapes, with some feature pour spouts.
The pans have tapered sides, ideal for cooking low and slow and sealing in juices. The frying pans are mildly shallow, perfect for reducing and stirring sauces, but have enough height to contain the ingredients and prevent splattering.
The rims are flared, geared for spatula work, and easily pouring sauces or flipping omelets.
The rivets protrude a bit into the interior on the handle side of the pan.
Some Anolon collections, such as Accolade, feature rivets that are flush to the pan surface.
Anolon calls this Unity Surface, and it’s designed to make cleaning the cookware easier (no places for food to get caught).
Anolon Advanced Home pan handles are stainless steel wrapped in latex-free silicone. They’re designed to stay cool to the touch. Even so, I always suggest using an oven mitt or glove when using them in an oven.
The ergonomic-friendly handles are angled upward slightly for better gripping. Larger pots and skillets feature helper handles.
The lid handles are large, offering plenty of space between the lid surface and the top of the handle — perfect if you are wearing a bulky mitt.
All handles feature a hanging loop if you wish to store your pot on a hook or pot rack.
One complaint I have about the handles is that the silicone wrapper has a visible seam on top where the material’s two ends meet, making the cookware look cheap.
I wish they hid the seam on the bottom or smoothed it out to make it less visible.
The lids are mainly tempered glass, but there are a few other lid designs worth mentioning.
For example, the Dutch ovens boast lids that double as cookware. They feature a grill pan or frying pan that fits snugly on top of the Dutch oven or can be turned over and used as additional cookware.
Another exception is the Anolon Advanced 14-Inch Wok, which features a hybrid glass/stainless steel lid.
Other Noteworthy Anolon Designs
The design of Anolon cookware shows how much the company values function.
For example, the Anolon Nouvelle Copper collection features a copper layer in the middle to deliver precise heat control.
And, while most copper cookware is not induction-compatible, this collection has a steel base, making it compatible with all cooktops.
Additionally, it has an attractive copper accent at the bottom of each pan, contrasting with the polished stainless steel.
Another noteworthy collection is Anolon Tri-Ply Clad. This is an excellent option for those who love the sleek look of polished stainless steel and the sturdy construction of fully-clad cookware. It looks and feels a lot like All-Clad or Calphalon stainless steel cookware but costs significantly less.
Another convenient option is Anolon Smartstack. This collection is designed to take up less space and is made with a sapphire-reinforced non-stick surface called Infinity Slide. Anolon claims this non-stick coating lasts 16 times longer than traditional non-stick surfaces and 80 times as long as ceramic non-stick.
Finally, AnolonX is one of the company’s most innovative collections. It features a thick stainless steel base and a SearTech cooking surface. This innovation allows oil and fats to remain unified under the meat or vegetable for excellent sear and caramelization.
As you can see, Anolon has a range of unique offerings, and all display the company’s focus on function and performance. Speaking of performance, let’s see how Anolon stacks up against the competition.
I’ve been testing out Anolon pans for several months and, so far, have very few complaints.
The non-stick surface performs just as well as more expensive brands, including All-Clad, Made In, and Calphalon. Food slides around easily, and cleaning the pan is a simple process that takes only a few seconds.
Although I prefer the look of a pure stainless steel handle, the silicone wrapping is comfortable, provides an excellent grip, and keeps the handle cool.
Compared to Calphalon pans, Anolon pans have slightly thinner walls. That means they heat up faster, which is ideal for quick meals like eggs, grilled cheese, and boiling pasta.
However, pans with thin walls don’t retain heat well, and heat retention is essential for searing. You want a pan that holds its temperature when you place cold meat in it, and thinner pans tend to drop in temperature quickly.
That said, I’ve tested Anolon on steak, burgers, and salmon and was pleased with the crispy sear it was able to achieve.
Overall, Anolon performs as advertised. It’s durable, cooks well, and cleans up easily.
But how does it perform versus the competition?
To find out, I conducted a simple test.
First, I put two cups of cold water into the Anolon frying pan. Then, I placed the pan on the stove and turned the heat to high. My goal was to see how evenly the pan heated and how fast it boiled the water.
As it started heating up, the bubbles began forming completely evenly across the cooking surface. That pattern continued as the water started to boil, indicating even heat distribution.
The first bubbles started after 1 minute and 55 seconds, and it took the Anolon pan two minutes and 27 seconds to bring the water to a complete boil.
|Pan||Time to First Bubbles||Time to Boil|
|Anolon 12-inch fry pan||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minute and 27 seconds|
|Made In 12-inch fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 21 seconds|
|All-Clad 12-inch skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minute and 55 seconds|
|Calphalon 12-inch fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minute and 40 seconds|
|Misen 10-inch fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minute and 25 seconds|
As you can see, Anolon was within 6 seconds of the top performer (Made In) and heated significantly faster than Calphalon and All-Clad.
I’m not totally surprised by these results since the walls of the Anolon pan are slightly thinner than most of the pans I tested, which allows the pan to heat up quicker.
Heat conduction is one aspect, but another important one is heat retention. To find out how Anolon compares to the competition, I conducted another test.
After the water came to a boil, I took the pan off the heat and set it on the counter. After 5 minutes, I checked the water temperature.
I waited another 5 minutes and rechecked the water temperature.
I repeated this process with the other pans to see how Anolon compared.
Here are the results:
|Pan||Water Temperature After Five Minutes||Water Temperature After Ten Minutes|
|Anolon 12-inch fry pan||112.7°F||90.9°F|
|Made In 12-inch fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°F|
|All-Clad 12-inch skillet||111.6°F||100.9°F|
|Calphalon 12-inch fry pan||112.8°F||101.1°F|
|Misen 10-inch fry pan||118.6°F||103.4°F|
Anolon performed the worst in this test with a water temperature of 90.9°F after ten minutes. Again, I’m not surprised by these results because the other pans tested have thicker walls, which help them absorb and retain heat better.
The key takeaway is that Anolon pans heat up fast and evenly but won’t retain the heat as well as other, thicker pans.
Anolon is a high-quality cookware brand with plenty of positives, but it’s not perfect. Here are the main downsides to consider before buying.
One of the most common complaints about Anolon (and most non-stick cookware) is that the non-stick cooking surface scratches, wears down, and food starts sticking. While Anolon uses high-quality materials, it’s not indestructible. You can expect the coating to last three to five years.
Some collections are labeled metal-utensil-safe, but even those will scratch (and many home cooks complain they do). It’s best always to use plastic or wooden utensils when cooking with non-stick.
Low Oven-Safe Temperature
Anolon’s more affordable cookware collections, including their best-seller, Advanced, are only oven-safe up to 400°F. Most brands allow up to 500°F, but the silicone handles on Anolon pans limit their heat tolerance.
Cooking Surface Size
Many reviewers complain about the pan surface area. It’s important to know that a 10-inch Anolon pan does not yield a 10-inch cooking surface; it refers to the diameter around the top of the pan. On average, the diameter of a pan’s flat cooking surface is 2 inches smaller than the advertised size.
No Vent Holes in Lids
The glass lids don’t have vents, so in recipes where you need steam to escape, you are forced to tilt the lid to allow release.
As I proved in my tests, Anolon pans heat up fast but don’t retain heat as well as many other brands. Keep this in mind if you plan to sear or slow cook frequently — both techniques require cookware with good heat retention.
Prices vary by collection.
For current prices of Anolon’s most popular cookware, refer to the following chart:
|Anolon Advanced 11-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Anolon Professional 15-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Anolon Nouvelle Copper Hard-Anodized 11-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Anolon Tri-Ply Clad 12-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Anolon Advanced 8-Inch Skillet||Amazon|
|Anolon Advanced 12-Inch Saute Pan||Amazon|
|Anolon Allure 10.25- and 12.75-Inch Frying Pan Set||Amazon|
|Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Stainless 12-Inch Skillet||Amazon|
|Anolon Advanced 10- and 12-Inch Frying Pan Set||Amazon|
FAQs About Anolon Cookware
Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding Anolon cookware.
Currently, Anolon offers 11 collections: Anolon X, Advanced Home, Advanced, SmartStack, Nouvelle Luxe, Accolade, Nouvelle Stainless Steel, Allure, Nouvelle Copper, Tri-Ply Clad, and Advanced Tri-Ply. Check out all of these on Anolon.com.
Most Anolon collections are made of hard-anodized aluminum. Some are made from stainless steel, either fully-clad or featuring an impact-bonded metal base.
Hard-anodized aluminum is a type of aluminum that went through a chemical-electric process to make it harder and corrosion-resistant. It’s a common material used to make high-quality non-stick cookware.
Fully-clad means there are alternating layers of heat conductive metal throughout the cookware to deliver heat evenly.
Cookware with an impact-bonded base is different from fully-clad in that it has a layered disc on the bottom and delivers even heat only to the bottom of the pan. The sides of a pan capture residual heat from the bottom, making the heat distribution less predictable.
Anolon cookware uses DuPont’s Autograph®2 Gourmet non-stick. It’s a triple-layered premium coating that is PFOA-free, lead-free, and cadmium-free.
Anolon cookware is made in multiple locations, including the United States, Thailand, Italy, and China.
Yes, but the max temperatures vary by collection. Anolon X, Nouvelle Luxe, Accolade, Nouvelle Stainless Steel, Allure, Nouvelle Copper, and Tri-Ply Clad have max oven temperatures of 500°F. Advanced Tri-Ply, Advanced Home, Advanced, and SmartStack can handle up to 400°F in an oven.
There are only two Anolon cookware collections that aren’t dishwasher-safe: Advanced Home and Advanced.
Most Anolon cookware collections are induction compatible. Only Anolon Advanced, Advanced Home, and Allure are not.
Yes, all Anolon cookware comes with a lifetime warranty. Keep in mind that it is voided in the case of product misuse.
You can return Anolon products within 30 days of receipt. Items must be unused, accompanied by the original receipt, and in the original packaging. Shipping charges are non-refundable.
Anolon was founded in 1986 and was the first brand to add non-stick to hard-anodized cookware.
Bottom Line: Should You Buy Anolon Cookware?
Anolon offers reliable cookware at an affordable price. Despite launching decades ago, the brand keeps innovating to meet the needs of modern kitchens.
Anolon’s offerings reflect a brand that is paying attention to what home cooks want: a variety of choices, affordable prices, and tech-forward cookware.
Yet, even with all of the positives, only one question matters: is Anolon cookware right for you?
Here’s my recommendation:
You should buy Anolon cookware if:
- You want affordable cookware with lots of options.
- You want a choice of non-stick, fully-clad, or impact-bonded cookware.
- You want dishwasher-safe cookware.
- You value well-established brands.
- You want cookware that heats up fast.
- You want induction-compatible options.
- You prefer cookware with tapered sides on pans and flared rims on skillets.
- You like the thought of designs that use lids that double as cookware.
- You always wanted to try copper cookware, but the prices were too high.
You should NOT buy Anolon cookware if:
- You prefer straight handles; Anolon handles are angled upward.
- You prefer handles without a silicone wrapper.
- You want pans with superior heat retention.
- You are looking for budget-buy cookware.
- You want a non-stick option that doesn’t need to be replaced for many years.
- You prefer cookware that can handle a broiler and oven temperatures over 500°F.
- You only want cookware that is fully-clad.
- You want tempered glass lids with vent holes.
Here’s the bottom line: Anolon is a well-established brand with quality products at affordable prices.
If you are looking for quality non-stick pans without overspending, Anolon is an excellent choice. It features durable construction and is coated with premium, triple-layer non-stick material.
Its performance and durability are similar to Calphalon and better than Circulon, T-fal, and Cuisinart.
Overall, it is a versatile cookware brand that’s worth consideration.
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