Are you shopping for new cookware and wondering if Pioneer Woman Cookware is worth buying?
Ree Drummond, known as The Pioneer Woman, is best known for her cooking show on Food Network, award-winning blog, and cookbooks. But her cookware is relatively new.
In this Pioneer Woman cookware review, you’ll learn what the brand offers, how it looks and performs, how much it costs, and the downsides to consider before purchasing.
I’ll also reveal how the cookware stacks up against the competition and answer the most asked questions.
Use the links below to navigate the review:
- Cookware Offerings
- Pioneer Woman vs. the Competition
- FAQs About Pioneer Woman Cookware
- Bottom Line: Is Pioneer Woman Cookware Worth Buying?
The cookware isn’t categorized by collection like most brands. Instead, you can shop by material. The brand offers the following materials:
Other popular options include:
- The 25-piece Ceramic Non-stick Aluminum Cookware Set features stainless steel mixing bowls, measuring spoons, and wooden cooking utensils.
- The Prairie Signature Cast Aluminum Jumbo Cooker features vintage speckle print, olivewood handles, and tempered glass lids.
- The 5-quart Dutch Oven is made from enameled cast iron and available in multiple floral patterns.
Pioneer Woman doesn’t offer fully-clad pans or carbon steel woks. Most pots and pans have a ceramic non-stick coating that makes cooking and cleaning easy, but it’s not the most durable material (learn more about ceramic non-stick cookware in this guide).
Pioneer Woman cookware has a distinct look. It’s colorful with a down-home and rustic appeal.
Pieces are overwhelmingly floral because that’s part of the Pioneer Woman signature design. But there are also solid and gradient-style colors, primarily red, turquoise, or black. The brand also has some offerings with speckled gray or colored exteriors.
Most Pioneer Woman cookware is made with an aluminum base and a white ceramic non-stick interior. Exteriors feature colors like red, gray, and turquoise.
The bare cast iron cookware comes pre-seasoned. You’ll have a choice of skillets in different sizes.
Finally, there are stainless steel stock pots in 8- and 12-quart sizes. They have helpful measuring marks etched into the interior walls.
Let’s take a close look at the Pioneer Woman Ceramic Fry Pan, one of the brand’s best-selling pieces.
The base is aluminum, and it’s thin.
As you can see in the picture below, it’s about half the thickness of the Zwilling Motion hard-anodized aluminum pan.
The exterior coating is a blue, glossy enamel with a gradient. It goes from a dark blue on the bottom to a lighter turquoise blue at the rim.
The bottom of the pan features the Pioneer Woman logo along with the following cooking and care instructions:
- No Metal Tools
- Use Appropriately Sized Burner
- Do Not Boil Dry
- Medium Heat
It features riveted stainless steel handles wrapped in heat-resistant silicone. The Pioneer Woman’s butterfly logo is etched into the base of the handle.
The silicone wrapper provides a comfortable grip but limits the pan’s heat tolerance. This pan is only oven-safe up to 350°F. For comparison, most non-stick pans with steel handles (without a silicone wrapper) are oven-safe up to 450°F.
The cookware’s interior has exposed rivets and features a white, ceramic non-stick coating. If you’re unfamiliar, ceramic coatings are made from silicone, a byproduct of sand. A process called sol-gel turns the silicone into a gel, and that gel gives the coating its non-stick properties.
Ceramic non-stick coating is free of PFOA and PTFE (artificial chemicals) but loses its non-stick properties faster than traditional non-stick coatings (learn more in my comparison of ceramic vs. Teflon cookware).
Although it’s not made of actual ceramic, it’s labeled as such because of its smooth glossy texture that mimics the look of ceramic.
Overall, the design of Pioneer Woman matches Ree Drummond’s personality. It’s bright, colorful, rustic, and fits the farmhouse style. It’s not sleek, modern, or sturdy-looking. But that’s not what the brand is all about.
Over several months, I put the Pioneer Woman 12-Inch Ceramic Fry Pan to the test. I used it for several meals, including meats, vegetables, eggs, pancakes, fish, sauces, and more.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the pan is lightweight. Since the aluminum walls are thin, it weighs significantly less than most pans.
Lightweight cookware is easier to shake, flip, and transfer from stove to oven but won’t heat up evenly or retain heat compared to thicker walls. Plus, it’s more likely to dent and warp, which is why the bottom of the pan warns you to “Use Appropriately Sized Burner” and cook on “Medium Heat.”
The next thing you’ll notice is the handle. The silicone wrapper provides a safe and comfortable grip and prevents the handle from getting hot while cooking on the stove. The downside of the handle is that it limits how much heat the pan can tolerate.
This pan is advertised as being oven-safe up to 350°F, which essentially means it’s not oven safe at all since most recipes require at least that temperature. Most high-quality non-stick pans can handle up to 450°F; some (like All-Clad HA1 and Made In) can tolerate up to 500°F.
I attempted to cook steak and salmon in this pan, but the heat retention was so poor that achieving an even sear was almost impossible. The thin base lost too much heat when the cold proteins hit the pan. I tried cranking up the heat to overcome the poor heat retention but ended up burning the meat.
On a positive note, the Pioneer Woman pan initially did an excellent job cooking eggs. I barely used any butter, and the eggs skated around the pan with no signs of sticking.
That said, after testing the pan daily for about two months, I noticed eggs and other delicate foods sticking.
By the 6th month, it was nearly impossible to cook an egg without sticking unless I greased the pan with a massive amount of butter. Ceramic non-stick pans are notorious for losing their non-stick properties after a few months to a year, so seeing this happen was not a surprise.
I also noticed that this fry pan is shaped more like a saute pan with vertical sides; you have to tilt it at almost a 90-degree angle to slide eggs onto a plate.
Overall, I was not impressed with the performance of Pioneer Woman cookware. Although it’s lightweight and the surface is slick out of the box, it retains heat poorly, and the non-stick coating breaks down after a few months.
The real-world testing didn’t go so great. But what happens when I take a more scientific approach?
I conducted two simple tests to measure how fast and even Pioneer Woman cookware heats and how well it retains heat.
First, I poured two cups of cold water into the pan. Then, I set it on the stove and turned the heat high. As the water began to bubble, there was a noticeable cold spot in the middle of the pan.
After a minute, the heat distributed across the pan, and the bubbles filled the middle. However, thicker pans heat up more evenly, and the bubbles are uniform across the pan from the beginning.
The first sign of bubbles occurred after two minutes and two seconds, and the water came to a full boil after two minutes and 46 seconds.
I repeated this test with several other brands to see how Pioneer Woman stacks up. As you can see in the results below, this pan ranked in the middle of the pack.
|Pan||Time to First Bubbles||Time to Boil|
|Made In fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 21 seconds|
|Misen fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Anolon fry pan||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 27 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|
|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|
|Circulon fry pan||2 minutes and 7 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|All-Clad skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 55 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|
After the water began boiling, I removed the pan from the stove and set it on the counter.
After five minutes, the water temperature was 104.3°F.
After ten minutes, the water temperature was 90.9°F.
I took the same measurements with the other pans. As the results below show, Pioneer Woman had the worst heat retention after five minutes and tied with Anolon for the second worst after ten minutes.
|Pan||Temperature After 5 Minutes||Temperature After 10 Minutes|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||122.0°F||106.3°F|
|Made In fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°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|
|Circulon fry pan||133.3°F||102.0°F|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||115.2°F||96.6°F|
|Calphalon fry pan||112.8°F||101.1°F|
|Ballarini fry pan||120°F||99.9°F|
|Hestan fry pan||114°F||98°F|
|GreenLife fry pan||119°F||95°F|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||113°F||95°F|
|Anolon 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|
I’m not surprised by these results because I observed the Pioneer Woman pan lose heat quickly while cooking steak, salmon, and other cool ingredients. This test just confirmed what I saw in the kitchen.
If there’s one great thing about Pioneer Woman cookware, it’s the price. Simply put, this cookware is affordable.
You can get an entire cookware set for less than $100. For comparison, a good-quality stainless steel pan (just one pan) can cost over $100, and some really high-end pans go for over $200.
However, pricing can fluctuate depending on what you buy, where you buy it, and whether the cookware is on sale.
Before deciding whether Pioneer Woman cookware is right for your kitchen, here are some downsides.
Non-stick is not durable: It’s easy to scratch the ceramic non-stick coating, so you’ll have to handle it carefully. Use non-abrasive utensils, cleaning tools, and detergents. Wash it by hand.
Low oven-safe temperatures: Most Pioneer Woman cookware has a maximum oven-safe temperature of 400°F (350°F with glass lids). And some cookware, like the cast iron and enamel on steel, does not state the maximum oven-safe temperature. If you plan to use these pans for high-heat cooking, you might want to think twice.
Discoloration: The white ceramic non-stick interiors stain easily. That is also the case with the light-colored enameled cast iron interiors. The bottoms of Pioneer Woman cookware also quickly become discolored and are difficult to clean.
Cookware is thin and lightweight: The aluminum cookware is lightweight. The thin pan walls heat up fast but lose heat at the same rate. The lack of temperature stability leads to uneven cooking. It’s best to keep your stove on low to medium heat or risk burning it. Thin cookware is also more prone to warping.
Here are answers to the top questions about Pioneer Woman cookware.
Some cookware is dishwasher safe, such as the PTFE non-stick options. However, the brand recommends hand washing to extend the cookware’s longevity.
No, Pioneer Woman cookware is not broiler safe.
Yes, Pioneer Woman stainless steel, cast iron, enameled cast iron, and enamel on steel cookware options are all induction-compatible. The aluminum pans are compatible with all cooktops except induction.
Yes, the tempered glass lids are oven-safe up to 350°F.
Pioneer Woman cookware is designed in the United States and made in China.
Pioneer Woman cookware warranty details aren’t easy to find, I spoke to a Walmart customer service specialist, and she confirmed that they offer white glove service. If the cookware fails in performance or workmanship, it will be replaced with comparable cookware, or you’ll get a refund.
Pioneer Woman cookware is subject to Walmart’s 90-day return policy with or without a receipt. You can return it for free to a Walmart store or return it via mail if you order it online.
Not frequently, but we track the prices (along with dozens of other brands) and will email you when it goes on sale. Sign up for our free newsletter to get notified.
Now that you know the pros and cons of Pioneer Woman cookware, the question is:
Is it the right brand for you?
You should buy Pioneer Woman cookware if:
- You are on a tight budget and need affordable cookware
- You are new to cooking and want a starter set
- You like bright colors and floral designs
- You are a fan of Pioneer Woman and want to support her brand
- You need simple non-stick cookware for eggs and low to medium heat recipes
- You want lightweight and easy-to-use cookware
You should NOT buy Pioneer Woman cookware if:
- You prefer stainless clad or thick aluminum cookware
- You want cookware that can withstand 500°F or higher in the oven
- You want cookware that can withstand high heat
- You like cookware that has a traditional stainless look or prefer dark colors
- You are looking for an option with a rivetless interior
- You want long-lasting non-stick cookware
Bottom Line — Pioneer Woman is a decent option if you’re looking for super-affordable cookware. It has a colorful and bright look that goes well with rustic farmhouse-style kitchens.
However, it’s not the best performing or most durable cookware, based on my testing. Other budget-friendly cookware brands like Tramontina and Misen offer better quality. And, if you can spend a little more, try Scanpan or Made In, two of the best non-stick brands I’ve reviewed.
If you’re still considering Pioneer Woman, I highly recommend reading more reviews on Walmart.com. You’ll see the themes from this review repeated by dozens of customers.
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- Is All-Clad Cookware Worth the High Price? (In-Depth Review)
- Is Anolon Cookware Any Good? An In-Depth Review
- The Ultimate Cuisinart Cookware Review: Is It Any Good?
- Made In Cookware Review: Pros & Cons You Need to Know
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