Anolon X cookware promises the convenience of non-stick with the searing power of stainless steel.
But is this claim valid? Are these pans worth buying?
In this review, I break down the pros and cons of Anolon X cookware. You’ll learn about its design, construction, performance, price, and more.
I’ll also reveal how it compares to HexClad, the leading hybrid cookware brand.
Use these links to navigate the review:
- Anolon X Review: Key Takeaways
- Materials and Construction
- Anolon X vs. the Competition
- FAQs About Anolon X Cookware
- Bottom Line: Is Anolon X Worth Buying?
Anolon X Review: Key Takeaways
Here are the key takeaways from this Anolon X review. These insights are based on my thorough real-world tests in the kitchen and controlled experiments I conducted to compare Anolon X against competing brands like HexClad, Calphalon, Made In, and others.
- Innovative Design: Anolon X cookware pairs stainless steel with non-stick for excellent searing and quick food release. It features flat rivets for easy cleaning, cool-to-touch handles, and a magnetic steel base for sturdiness and induction compatibility.
- High-quality Construction: The pans have a hard-anodized aluminum body, making them durable, dishwasher-safe, scratch-resistant, and heat conductive. Their lightweight design makes them easy to maneuver.
- Excellent Performance: The pans heat up quickly, retain heat well, and deliver consistent results. The unique stainless steel mesh infused into the non-stick interior allows for better searing than traditional non-stick pans.
- Good Value for Money: Anolon X cookware is less expensive than its main competitor, HexClad, and other premium stainless steel brands, offering good value for the price.
- Food Sticking Issues: Delicate foods like eggs tend to stick to the stainless steel mesh, so greasing the pan with oil is necessary.
- Exposed Non-stick Surfaces: The stainless steel mesh only protects the center of the pan, leaving the sides prone to scratches, which may reduce the lifespan of the pans.
- Thin Pan Walls: Anolon X’s construction is thinner than most cast iron, fully-clad stainless steel, and other hybrid pans (like HexClad), resulting in below-average heat retention.
- Quality Control Issues: The gaps I noticed between the steel induction plate and the bottom of the pan raise questions about Anolon’s quality control and the product’s long-term durability.
Anolon X released food better than stainless steel pans and sears better than traditional non-stick. This all-purpose cookware is ideal for home cooks with limited storage space who want to consolidate their cookware. Based on my testing, HexClad performs better and is more durable, but Anolon X is significantly less expensive.
Anolon X features an innovative design that pairs stainless steel with non-stick and gives you the best features of both materials: excellent searing and quick food release.
Let’s get into the details of the design.
The exterior is jet black with a matte finish. The body of the fry pan features flared rims and sloped sides, which are ideal for sliding food onto serving plates or flipping food while cooking.
A magnetic steel plate is bonded to the bottom to improve the sturdiness of the pan and protect it from warping. This plate also makes Anolon X pans compatible with induction cooktops.
The unique hybrid interior of Anolon X pans combines the superior food release of non-stick and the searing excellence of stainless steel. The brand refers to this design as the Anolon X SearTech surface.
The interior is completely coated with PTFE-based non-stick, but in the center of the pan, you’ll see patterned, stainless steel mesh infused into the non-stick surface. The mesh is slightly raised to protect the non-stick surface from scratches.
The mesh center allows oils and fats to pool in the center of the pan, keeping it under meat and vegetables. That gives the pan exemplary performance with searing and caramelization.
However, since the raised steel mesh is only in the center of the pan, there is no scratch protection for the smooth non-stick coating on the walls of the pan. That differs from HexClad and other hybrid cookware brands, which feature raised steel throughout the cookware’s interior.
The cookware is easy to clean since the rivets are flat and lay flush with the pan. Traditional raised rivets interrupt the cooking surface and collect oil and food debris.
Anolon X handles are polished stainless steel with a Y-shape towards the pan side, which disperses heat and keeps them cool.
The flat design and a slight indentation on top provide a secure grip. Unlike rounded handles, Anolon X handles won’t rotate in your hand if your hand is wet, greasy, or covered with an oven mitt.
Anolon X lids are tempered glass with stainless steel rim and handle. The lids are slightly domed. As steam gathers during cooking, droplets run down the sides of the interior, keeping food moist and sealing in flavors.
Anolon X cookware features a hard-anodized aluminum body. Hard-anodized aluminum undergoes an electrochemical process that strengthens and hardens it, making it more corrosion-resistant than untreated aluminum.
As a result, Anolon X’s hard-anodized aluminum cookware is:
- Highly heat conductive for quick and even heating
- Scratch-resistant and low maintenance
Many hard-anodized cookware brands are not suitable for induction ranges. However, Anolon’s addition of the bonded steel plate makes it induction-compatible. The plate also adds some heft to the pan and increases its durability.
Still, Anolon X is lightweight enough to maneuver. The 10-inch frying pan only weighs 2.3 pounds.
The interior and exterior are coated in a non-stick material called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), better known as Teflon. This material ensures foods like eggs and fish won’t stick. It also makes cleaning oils and splatter off the outside of the pan easier.
As I mentioned, the most interesting aspect of Anolon X pans is the stainless steel mesh infused into the cooking surface. This SearTech surface is designed to keep oil in the center of the pan and protect the PTFE coating from getting scratched.
Although the design is well thought out, there are quality issues with the steel base. The steel base plate on the pan I bought isn’t completely sealed all the way around.
Although this doesn’t impact performance, it collects grease and food debris and could break off in the future. It makes me question Anolon’s quality control.
I’ve been testing the Anolon X Cookware for several months, putting it through its paces with various meals from steak and chicken to vegetables and eggs.
The first thing I noticed is that the flat handle is incredibly comfortable and secure. It doesn’t rotate in the hand when you tilt the pan and remains cool on the stove.
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It reminds me of the Viking 5-ply handle, one of my favorite designs — an ideal balance of comfort and safety.
I also appreciate the weight and balance of Anolon X. The 10-inch pan weighs 2.3 pounds, which is light enough to flip eggs easily, but hefty enough to remain stable on a flat cooktop and avoid warping.
In terms of cooking, it performs more like a non-stick pan than stainless steel, but with an added bonus. The steel mesh infused into the non-stick interior grips food and keeps oil in the middle, allowing for better searing than traditional non-stick pans.
As you can see from my testing, this feature is not a gimmick. When I poured oil into the center of the hot pan, the oil stayed in the center.
You can tilt the pan to spread the oil evenly across the surface, but it won’t run to the edges and leave the center dry.
And because it keeps the oil centered, it browns and sears meat more evenly. Look at the consistent browning on this seared chicken breast.
That said, Anolon X pans have a few flaws.
Cooking eggs can be a challenge. Unlike traditional non-stick pans, where you can get away with cooking eggs without grease, the Anolon X requires butter or oil to prevent sticking.
To get a comparison, I cooked eggs in Anolon X and HexClad pans using the same heat and oil.
Although the eggs didn’t stick and fall apart in either pan, HexClad’s surface was slicker, and the eggs moved around the pan with less effort. I needed to nudge the egg in the Anolon X pan several times to loosen it off the surface.
Anolon claims these pans are safe for use with metal utensils, but there is a caveat. The steel mesh only protects the center of the cooking surface, not the sides. So if you accidentally scrape the sides with a metal utensil, you risk scratching the surface.
Overall, Anolon X pans heat up quickly and deliver consistent results. And the steel mesh delivers what it promises — it keeps oils in the center of the pan directly under the food for enhanced searing and caramelization. It’s versatile all-purpose cookware that’s good enough for all cooking techniques but not great at any.
In addition to my cooking tests, I conducted two controlled experiments to see how Anolon X compares to the competition in terms of heat conduction and retention.
For the heat conduction test, I poured two cups of cold water into the Anolon X pan, set it on the stove, and cranked the heat to the highest setting.
As the water heated, I looked for bubbles forming evenly across the surface. In the case of uneven heating or a slightly warped bottom, bubbles would concentrate in one area.
The first bubbles appeared after one minute and 35 seconds, and a full boil was achieved after two minutes and 22 seconds. The bubbles were evenly distributed, suggesting excellent heat distribution.
I conduct this test with every cookware brand I review, and as you can see in the results below, the Anolon X pan heated faster than most competitors, including All-Clad HA1, HexClad, and Hestan. Only Farberware and Made In pans heated faster.
|Pan||Time to First Bubbles||Time to Boil|
|Farberware||1 minute and 2 seconds||1 minute and 29 seconds|
|Made In stainless steel fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 21 seconds|
|Anolon X pan||1 minute and 35 seconds||2 minutes and 22 seconds|
|Misen fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Caraway||1 minute and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 26 seconds|
|Anolon Advanced fry pan||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 27 seconds|
|HexClad fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 30 seconds|
|Made In non-stick fry pan||1 minute and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 31 seconds|
|Zwilling fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 31 seconds|
|T-fal fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||1 minute and 58 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||1 minute and 47 seconds||2 minutes and 36 seconds|
|Viking fry pan||1 minute and 42 seconds||2 minute and 39 seconds|
|Calphalon fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 40 seconds|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||2 minute and 2 seconds||2 minute and 46 seconds|
|Hestan fry pan||1 minute and 52 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|GreenLife pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|Our Place Always Pan||2 minutes and 2 seconds||2 minutes and 48 seconds|
|Tramontina fry pan||1 minute and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 52 seconds|
|Circulon fry pan||2 minutes and 7 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|All-Clad D3 skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|All-Clad HA1 fry pan||2 minute and 12 seconds||2 minute and 58 seconds|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||2 minutes and 3 seconds||3 minutes and 10 seconds|
|Ballarini fry pan||2 minutes and 15 seconds||3 minutes and 12 seconds|
|Heritage Steel fry pan||1 minutes and 59 seconds||3 minutes and 15 seconds|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||3 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Xtrema fry pan||3 minutes and 41 seconds||6 minutes and 7 seconds|
While speed can be beneficial for quick cooking or boiling water, the evenness of heat distribution is a more crucial factor, and in this, Anolon X excels.
After the water reached a boil, I removed the pan from the stove and left it on the counter to cool. After five minutes, the water temperature in the Anolon X pan was 114°F; after ten minutes, it had cooled to 96°F.
As you can see in the results below, Anolon X’s heat retention is below average. It’s comparable to Caraway, Our Place, and Viking but significantly lower than Xtrema, Made In, and HexClad.
|Pan||Temperature After 5 Minutes||Temperature After 10 Minutes|
|Xtrema fry pan||142°F||113°F|
|Made In stainless steel fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°F|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||122.0°F||106.3°F|
|Made In non-stick fry pan||120.2°F||105.8°F|
|Misen fry pan||118.6°F||103.4°F|
|Zwilling fry pan||121.1°F||103.0°F|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||126.3°F||102.7°F|
|HexClad fry pan||120.7°F||102.4°F|
|Circulon fry pan||133.3°F||102.0°F|
|Tramontina fry pan||118.5°F||101.3°F|
|Calphalon fry pan||112.8°F||101.1°F|
|Ballarini fry pan||120°F||99.9°F|
|All-Clad HA1 fry pan||117.9°F||98.1°F|
|Hestan fry pan||114.4°F||98.0°F|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||115.2°F||96.6°F|
|Our Place Always Pan||118.0°F||96.7°F|
|Caraway fry pan||116.6°F||96.4°F|
|Anolon X pan||114.1°F||96.0°F|
|Viking fry pan||106.6°F||95.9°F|
|Farberware fry pan||112.0°F||95.4°F|
|GreenLife fry pan||119.0°F||95.0°F|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||113.0°F||95.0°F|
|Anolon Advanced fry pan||112.7°F||90.9°F|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||104.3°F||90.9°F|
|T-fal fry pan||108.7°F||88.0°F|
Pans that retain heat well provide a more steady, uniform temperature, which allows you to cook food more evenly. Although Anolon X heats fast, its heat retention could be better.
That said, it only performed a few degrees worse than some of the top brands, and I didn’t notice any significant issues with temperature control during my real-world testing. So take this data with a grain of salt.
Anolon X costs less than premium stainless steel pans like All-Clad and Demeyere but more than traditional aluminum non-stick pans like T-fal and Calphalon.
It ranges between 40-80% less expensive than HexClad, its main competitor in the hybrid cookware category.
The chart below shows the current prices of Anolon X’s most popular pots, pans, and sets. I’ve also included competitors to help you compare prices. Click on the prices to learn more about each item on Amazon.
|Anolon X 8.25-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Anolon X 3-Quart Saucepan||Amazon|
|Anolon X 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Anolon X 2-Piece Fry Pan Set||Amazon|
|Anolon X 8-Piece Cookware Set||Amazon|
|HexClad 8-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|HexClad 12-Inch Wok||Amazon|
|HexClad 10-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|HexClad 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|HexClad 6-Piece Fry Pan Set (3 pans, 3 lids)||Amazon|
|HexClad 6-Piece Pot Set (2-, 3-, and 8-quart pots with lids)||Amazon|
|All-Clad D3 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|All-Clad Copper Core 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|T-fal Signature 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
There’s a lot to like about Anolon X cookware, but it’s not perfect. Before you buy, consider these downsides:
Food sticks: One of the biggest complaints is that food sticks to the stainless steel mesh. You’ll need to grease the surface with oil or fat to avoid sticking food. If you prefer low-fat cooking or not using oil at all, you’re better off with a traditional non-stick pan. Made In is one of my favorite brands; here’s my review.
Exposed non-stick: Unlike HexClad, the steel mesh that protects Anolon X’s non-stick coating covers the flat part of the cooking surface but doesn’t extend up the walls.
Based on my experience, the steel mesh provides a false sense of security. The stainless steel rises just above the non-stick surface, and there’s enough space between the steel to scratch the non-stick coating with a force or sharp knife.
Although Anolon says these pans are metal utensil safe, use wood or rubber if you want the coating to last more than a couple of years. Once the non-stick coating scratches, you’ll need to replace the pan.
Thin pan walls: Anolon X’s walls are thinner than cast iron and fully-clad stainless steel. The thin construction and high thermal conductivity of aluminum make the pan heat quickly but also limits its heat retention.
Since these pans are so responsive, it’s easy to accidentally burn food if the heat is too high or you lose focus preparing other parts of the meal.
Quality control issues: The pan I bought showed signs of quality control issues. There’s a gap between the steel induction plate and the bottom of the pan. Grease and small bits of food could get stuck between, burn, and cause the plate to detach over time.
Do you still have questions about Anolon X? Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions:
Anolon X has a hard-anodized aluminum body coated with PTFE non-stick on the interior and exterior. The interior features 304 stainless steel mesh fused to the center and a steel induction plate bonded to the bottom exterior.
Yes, all Anolon X cookware is induction compatible because of the magnetic steel plate fused to the bottom of the pots and pans. You can use it on any induction cooktop, and it is also suitable for other types of ranges, such as gas and electric coil.
Yes, Anolon X cookware is oven safe up to 500°F, including the tempered glass lids. However, the cookware is not suitable for use in a broiler.
Yes, you can put Anolon X pots, pans, and lids in the dishwasher. However, I recommend hand washing to prolong the integrity of the non-stick coating. Harsh detergents can impact the cookware’s longevity and performance.
Anolon X cookware is made in the brand’s factories in Italy and Thailand. The design for Anolon X was created and developed in California.
Anolon is a cookware brand that primarily produces non-stick pots and pans. Anolon X is one of the brand’s collections and the only offering with a hybrid non-stick and stainless steel design. The other collections are either PTFE non-stick or stainless steel.
Yes. Anolon X cookware comes with a limited lifetime warranty. The brand guarantees you will receive cookware that lasts and asks that you contact warranty support if you are unsatisfied with its performance.
Now that you know the pros and cons of Anolon X cookware, it’s time to decide if it’s the right collection for your kitchen.
To help you determine if it’s worth buying, consider these factors:
You should buy Anolon X if:
- You want to try hybrid cookware: Anolon X combines stainless steel and non-stick materials, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of excellent searing and quick food release in one pan.
- You appreciate thoughtful design: With flat rivets for easy cleaning, cool-to-touch and secure handles, and a magnetic steel base for sturdiness and induction compatibility, Anolon X offers a well-designed, user-friendly experience.
- You want high-quality, durable cookware without the heavy price tag: Anolon X pans are made with a hard-anodized aluminum body, resulting in a durable, dishwasher-safe, and scratch-resistant product that is relatively affordable compared to premium brands.
You should NOT buy Anolon X if:
- You prefer cooking with little to no fat: The design of Anolon X requires oil or fat to prevent food from sticking to the stainless steel mesh.
- You want complete protection for your non-stick surface: The stainless steel mesh in Anolon X only protects the center of the pan, leaving the sides vulnerable to scratches. If you want a pan that is fully protected, consider HexClad.
- You’re looking for cookware with high heat retention: The thin walls of Anolon X pans limit their heat retention, potentially leading to accidental burns or uneven browning if you’re not attentive.
- You want flawless quality control: The gaps I noticed between the steel induction plate and the bottom of the pan raise questions about Anolon’s quality control and the product’s long-term durability.
Bottom line — Anolon X cookware offers a unique hybrid of stainless steel and non-stick, delivering excellent searing and easy food release. But it doesn’t release food like traditional non-stick pans and doesn’t sear as evenly as cast iron or fully-clad stainless steel.
If you value the versatility hybrid cookware provides, it’s worth considering. But it’s not the best brand in the hybrid category.
Although Anolon X costs less, HexClad’s design protects the non-stick coating better. It also retains heat better and has no significant quality control issues. Learn more in my comparison of Anolon X vs. HexClad.
- HexClad vs. Anolon X: Which Hybrid Pans Are Better?
- HexClad Cookware Review: Is It Worth the Money?
- Is Anolon Cookware Any Good? An In-Depth Review
- Are HexClad Knives Any Good? An In-Depth Review
- HexClad vs. Made In: The Ultimate Cookware Comparison
- 4 Best HexClad Cookware Alternatives
- HexClad vs. All-Clad: Which Cookware Is Better?
- HexClad vs. Onyx Cookware: What’s the Difference?
- HexClad vs. Misen Cookware: An In-Depth Comparison
- HexClad vs. Calphalon: Which Cookware Is Better?
- HexClad vs. GreenPan Cookware: An In-Depth Comparison
- HexClad vs. Le Creuset: 7 Differences & How to Choose
- HexClad vs. Caraway Cookware: 9 Key Differences
- HexClad vs. Scanpan: Which Cookware Is Better?
- The Definitive Guide to the Best Cookware Brands