Rachael Ray is one of the most recognizable names in the culinary world, thanks to 30 Minute Meals, her popular show that aired on Food Network for 11 seasons.
But putting a celebrity’s name on a product doesn’t always correlate with it being a good product. Many times it is more about marketing.
So, is Rachael Ray cookware any good? How does it compare to the competition?
In this review, I break down the pros and cons of Rachael Ray cookware.
- How it looks, feels, and performs
- How it compares to the competition
- What could be better
- How much it costs
- And much more
Ready to learn more about Rachael Ray cookware? Keep reading to see my full review.
Please use these links to navigate the review:
- Cookware Collections
- Rachael Ray vs. the Competition
- FAQs About Rachael Ray Cookware
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy Rachael Ray Cookware?
Rachael Ray offers several cookware collections with unique materials and designs. In this section, I’ll share what makes each collection stand out.
Cucina: The Cucina collection features a rustic appeal with modern accents. The pots and pans are sturdy, offering either hard-anodized aluminum construction or colored porcelain enamel on aluminum. Interiors are non-stick, and stainless steel handles are wrapped in heat-resistant silicone.
Classic Brights: This is Rachael Ray’s most extensive cookware collection. Most of the collection’s pieces are made from hard-anodized aluminum. Cookware sets offer a choice of colors with porcelain enamel on aluminum construction. Interiors are non-stick, and stainless steel handles are wrapped in rubber phenolic grips.
Stainless Steel and Hard-Anodized Non-Stick: This straightforward collection includes one set and a handful of individual stock. Construction is either heavy-gauge stainless steel inside and out or hard-anodized aluminum with a non-stick interior. With sleek stainless steel handles and exteriors, this is Rachael Ray’s most upscale-looking cookware.
Create Delicious: This collection boasts a variety of constructions. It offers enamel on aluminum, heavy-gauge stainless steel, enamel on steel, and hard-anodized cookware. Interiors are either stainless steel or utilize PlatinumShield non-stick, a reinforced non-stick coating that is nine times more durable than titanium-based coatings. Cast stainless handles feature heat-resistant silicone that matches the color of the cookware.
Cast Iron: This collection offers bare cast iron and enamel cast iron pieces. The 4-quart casserole dish has a griddle pan for a lid, so you get two pieces of cookware for the price of one. Lids are either enamel cast iron or tempered glass with stainless or black phenolic knobs.
Get Cooking!: This limited collection features a stackable cookware set that saves space. Its made with heavy-gauge aluminum coated in porcelain enamel with PlatinumShield non-stick interiors. This cookware features anti-warp bases, glass lids, and silicone handles.
Cityscapes: The Cityscapes collection has a sturdy aluminum base with a glossy porcelain enamel exterior. Interiors are non-stick. The handles on pots, pans, and glass lids are made from painted phenolic material. The cookware boasts a modern appeal with uniquely-shaped handles, domed cookware bodies, and silver cutout accents on handles.
Rachael Ray cookware is a representation of Rachael Ray’s bubbly personality.
The colors are vibrant with a mix of shades from pastels to bright oranges and reds.
There are options for a monochromatic (one color) look, a gradient style that blends two colors, the signature gray of exposed hard-anodized aluminum, and classic stainless steel.
Overall, Rachael Ray offers playful collections with handles and lids wrapped in silicone or a phenolic material, matching the colors of the cookware.
Plus, you get plenty of choices, making it easier to find just the right cookware to match your style. If you want eye-catching color, you have options; but there are also pieces with muted tones or stainless steel finishes.
Let’s take a closer look at the design of Rachael Ray cookware.
Many cookware pieces feature a dark exterior, as seen in the Hard-Anodized, Classic Brights, Cucina, and Create Delicious collections, but those same collections also offer bright colors.
Between the Classic Brights, Cucina, and Create Delicious collections, you have a choice of most of the following colors:
- Agave Blue
- Blue Gradient
- Burgundy Shimmer
- Cranberry Red
- Gray Shimmer
- Lavender Purple
- Lemongrass Green
- Light Blue
- Light Blue Shimmer
- Marine Blue
- Mushroom Brown
- Orange Gradient
- Pumpkin Orange
- Purple Shimmer
- Red Gradient
- Red Shimmer
- Sea Salt
- Sea Salt Gray
- Sky Blue
- Teal Shimmer
The colored porcelain enamel is glossy, and some colors have a slight sparkle effect in the paint.
In some cases, the cookware is dark but pops of color come from the handles.
The Create Delicious collection has a steel induction plate bonded to the bottom that not only aids in induction cooking but makes the pan less apt to warp.
The induction plate features small circular cutouts that look nice straight out of the box. Yet, they provide crevices that trap grease and dirt over time, making it difficult to keep clean.
The interiors vary between collections. Most are coated in PFOA-free, PTFE-based non-stick material, but others are bare cast iron, enamel cast iron, or stainless steel.
Some stainless interiors include etched measurement markings to save time while cooking. Using these, you can put your measuring cups away and just use the cookware.
The non-stick interiors, like those in the Classic Brights or Cucina collections, are black, but others, such as with the Create Delicious collection, are silver-toned.
The non-stick coating used on all Rachael Ray non-stick pots and pans is called PlatinumShield, which the company claims is nine times more durable than titanium-based non-stick coatings.
Across the collections, helpful additions like single or double pour spouts, flared rims, and sloped sides all make cooking more efficient.
Most Rachael Ray pots and pans have stainless steel handles wrapped in colorful, heat-resistant silicone or phenolic material that stays cool.
The Stainless Steel and Hard-Anodized collections feature cast stainless handles without the wrapper.
The handles on the lids are arc-shaped and affixed with visible rivets.
The lids are primarily made of tempered glass. Most are domed, but some stackable options feature a flat glass lid.
The lids are noticeably looser than other cookware brands I’ve reviewed, allowing more steam to escape.
That isn’t a big deal in most cases, but it can negatively impact steaming, braising, and performing any other cooking techniques that benefit from moisture retention.
The Cast Iron collection has a casserole dish with a lid that also functions as cookware.
Overall, many Rachael Ray cookware pieces — especially the aluminum collections like Create Delicious — have noticeably thin walls and lightweight construction. Other brands like Calphalon and All-Clad have much more heft and feel sturdier.
But how do they perform? I’ll cover that next.
The best way to get a feel for the cookware’s performance is to use it every day and test it on various meals and cooking techniques.
Over the last several months, I’ve been testing Rachael Ray cookware. I’ve used it for sauteing, searing, stir-frying, boiling, steaming, and frying. I’ve cooked eggs, steak, chicken, vegetables, sauces, among many other foods.
There are a few things I like and several I don’t. Here are my observations.
First, it’s very lightweight. Out of the dozens of cookware brands I’ve tested and reviewed, Rachael Ray is one of the lightest. The aluminum non-stick cookware, such as the Create Delicious collection, feels like a feather compared to a cast iron or fully-clad stainless steel pan.
Lightweight cookware is ideal if you’re looking for pans you can easily maneuver, but it’s not as sturdy and more likely to dent and warp.
Another factor to consider is the handles. Most Rachael Ray cookware handles feature a thick silicone wrapper. Even when your hands are wet, these wrappers provide excellent grip, but they’re a bit bulky and restrict how much heat the cookware can handle in the oven.
For example, the Create Delicious and Classic Brights collections are only oven-safe up to 400°F. Most high-end non-stick cookware is oven-safe up to 500°F.
Another downside is that the lids don’t fit tightly on top of the pots and pans. If you move a pan with the lid on, you’ll notice the lid sliding more than usual. That isn’t a significant issue, but it allows more steam to escape than you’d expect.
You want steam to escape for reducing sauces, but if you’re trying to maintain moisture for steaming or braising, it’s a problem.
On a positive note, Rachael Ray’s non-stick coating works well. I had no issues with food sticking, and eggs slid around the cooking surface with ease. The flared rims on the frying pans make it easy to slide food onto the plate and pour sauces without dripping.
Overall, it’s decent-performing cookware. Its handles are large and provide excellent grip, it heats up fast, and the non-stick coating is on par with similar mid-range cookware brands like Anolon and Circulon.
That said, how does it compare to the competition? Let’s find out.
Rachael Ray vs. the Competition
Every cookware brand that I review goes through a series of tests, including Rachael Ray. The first test is designed to measure heat conduction.
I want to know how quickly the cookware heats up and how evenly it distributes heat.
The test is simple. First, I poured two cups of cold water into a 12-inch Rachael Ray frying pan. Then, I placed the pan on the stove and turned the heat to the highest setting.
The goal is to see how fast it boils the water and how evenly the bubbles are distributed across the cooking surface. Cookware that doesn’t distribute heat evenly will have cold spots where the bubbles are inconsistent and sometimes large circles where there are no bubbles at all.
Fortunately, Rachael Ray passed the test. The water began to bubble after one minute and 47 seconds and came to a full boil after two minutes and 36 seconds.
The bubbles were completely uniform across the entire pan, indicating excellent heat distribution.
I repeated the same test with several other brands to see how Rachael Ray cookware compares to the competition. Here are the results:
|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|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||1 minute and 47 seconds||2 minutes and 36 seconds|
|Circulon fry pan||2 minutes and 7 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|Calphalon fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 40 seconds|
|All-Clad skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
The Rachael Ray pan came in fourth out of seven. Not bad, but not the best.
The second test was designed to measure heat retention. Cookware that cools down quickly will deliver inconsistent results because the temperature will fluctuate as you add ingredients.
Ideally, you want cookware that can maintain its temperature, even if you place a cold piece of meat on the cooking surface.
Here’s how I conducted the test.
After the water came to a boil, I removed the pan from the stove and set it on the counter.
After five minutes, I measured and recorded the water temperature. After another five minutes (10 minutes total), I measured the water temperature again.
At five minutes, the water was 126°F, and it measured 102°F after ten minutes.
Again, I repeated this test to see how Rachael Ray cookware compares to other brands. Here are the results:
|Pan||Temperature After 5 Minutes||Temperature After 10 Minutes|
|Made In fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°F|
|Misen fry pan||118.6°F||103.4°F|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||126.3°F||102.7°F|
|Circulon fry pan||133.3°F||102.0°F|
|Calphalon fry pan||112.8°F||101.1°F|
|Anolon fry pan||112.7°F||90.9°F|
Rachael Ray had the 3rd best heat retention, only behind Made In and Misen. I was somewhat surprised by these results because lightweight cookware with thin walls typically doesn’t retain heat well; Rachael Ray is one of the few exceptions.
Rachael Ray cookware is one of the more affordable options on the market.
For the price of one premium pan, such as All-Clad, Calphalon, Hestan, and Scanpan, you can get a complete Rachael Ray cookware set.
While prices vary by collection, piece, and retailer, you’ll find that the brand is relatively inexpensive across the board.
Stainless Steel and Hard-Anodized is Rachael Ray’s most expensive collection, but even that’s reasonably cheap.
The current prices of Rachael Ray’s most popular cookware sets are displayed in the chart below. Click or tap the price to learn more about each set on Amazon.
|Cookware Set||Price||View Details|
|Rachael Ray Classic Brights Non-Stick 14-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Anodized Non-Stick 12-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Rachael Ray Create Delicious Non-Stick 13-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Rachael Ray Cucina Non-Stick 12-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Rachael Ray Create Delicious Stainless Steel 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Rachael Ray Classic Brights Non-Stick 19-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Rachael Ray Professional Stainless Steel/Hard Anodized Non-Stick 11-Piece Set||Amazon|
Rachael Ray cookware brings with it plenty of positives, but no brand is perfect. Before you buy, consider these downsides.
Low Oven-Safe Temperatures
Rachael Ray cookware has low oven-safe temperatures across the collections. Except for Cast Iron, Stainless Steel, and Hard-Anodized collections (max of 500°F), most cookware offerings top out between 350-450°F. For comparison, Made In and All-Clad offer stainless steel cookware that’s oven-safe up to at least 600°F and non-stick cookware that can handle up to 500°F.
Most Rachael Ray pots and pans are not induction-compatible, so read the fine print if you have an induction cooktop. Only the Stainless Steel, Cast Iron, and Create Delicious collections are induction-compatible.
Non-Stick is Not Metal Utensil-Safe
One increasingly popular feature of high-quality PTFE non-stick cookware is the ability to withstand metal utensils. Rachael Ray non-stick cookware is not metal utensil-safe. In fact, some customers report chipped coating after a few months of use with wooden or silicone utensils.
No Fully-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware
Unfortunately, Rachael Ray’s stainless steel cookware is not fully-clad. Instead, it’s made with an impact-bonded base. With fully-clad cookware, the heat conductive core (usually aluminum) is layered throughout each pan, and, with impact-bonded, that layer is only present at the base. Besides increased longevity, fully-clad stainless steel cookware offers better heat distribution and retention.
Loose Glass Lids
The glass lids don’t fit snugly on the pots and pans, and that causes moisture to escape. It also causes condensation to run down the exterior sides of the pan, staining the cookware over time.
Lightweight Aluminum Construction
Lightweight construction is ideal if you have issues lifting heavier pots and pans, but in this case, the construction of the aluminum cookware feels cheap. Although Rachael Ray cookware doesn’t come with a high-end price point, it costs enough that you would expect more heft. Many purchasers remark that they feel like they’re paying more for the Rachael Ray name than the quality they expected.
Hard to Keep Induction Plate Clean
The induction plate on the Create Delicious collection looks sleek and shiny at first, but the beauty is short-lived. After a few uses, it shows brown spots and discoloration. The design detail of small recessed circles makes it nearly impossible to keep clean.
FAQs About Rachael Ray Cookware
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Rachael Ray cookware.
It depends on the collection. Cast Iron, Cityscapes, Get Cooking! and Cucina collections are not dishwasher-safe. The porcelain-enameled cookware, regardless of collection, is not dishwasher-safe. Dishwasher-safe options include: Hard-Anodized, Stainless Steel, and shimmer enamel Create Delicious cookware.
Except for the stainless steel pieces (like this one), Rachael Ray cookware is not broiler-safe.
All lids are oven-safe but to different maximum temperatures. Refer to the user’s manual for exact temperatures for any collection you choose.
Rachael Ray cookware doesn’t affiliate itself with the Teflon brand, but the non-stick is PTFE-based. Teflon is a type of PTFE, but there are many PTFE manufacturers on the market.
Rachael Ray cookware is a brand under Meyer. Meyer manufactures cookware in the United States, Thailand, Italy, and China. I spoke to a product specialist at Meyer, and she confirmed that Rachael Ray cookware is made in either China or Thailand (not the United States or Italy).
Rachael Ray cookware has different warranties depending on the collection.
It offers a lifetime warranty on stainless steel cookware and a limited lifetime warranty on aluminum and hard-anodized aluminum cookware. Both guarantee quality under normal household use and offer a replacement if the cookware fails to meet expectations.
It also offers a quality assurance guarantee on cast iron, enamel cast iron, and enamel on steel cookware. It ensures your cookware will be defect-free on receipt, and if it isn’t, reach out to customer service.
You can return a new, unused item in its original packaging within 30 days of receiving it. You must have the original receipt, and shipping charges are not refunded.
Bottom Line: Should You Buy Rachael Ray Cookware?
Buying cookware is very personal, and you need to consider several factors, including construction, design, and price.
So, should you buy Rachael Ray cookware?
Here’s my recommendation.
You should buy Rachael Ray cookware if:
- You are a Rachael Ray fan and want to support her brand.
- You want cookware that’s bright, colorful, and lightweight.
- You’re on a budget and are looking for decent-quality but inexpensive cookware.
- You want cookware that heats fast and evenly and retains heat well.
You should NOT buy Rachael Ray cookware if:
- You prefer fully-clad stainless steel cookware.
- You prefer metal utensil-safe non-stick cookware.
- You want cookware with a ceramic non-stick surface.
- You prefer American-made cookware.
- You want oven-safe cookware that can handle more than 500°F.
- You want more induction-compatible offerings.
- You want thick, hefty cookware.
Bottom line — unless you place a high value on colorful design or you’re a fan of Rachael Ray, I’d go with another brand. Rachael Ray cookware gets the job done, but its performance is nothing special. You can get thicker, more sturdy cookware for a similar price with other brands.
I recommend All-Clad or Made In if you want fully-clad stainless steel cookware. For reliable non-stick cookware, check out Calphalon or Scanpan. If you’re on a budget, try Misen, which offers low-cost aluminum non-stick, stainless steel, and carbon steel cookware with a high-end look and feel.
To learn more about my top recommendations, check out this guide to the best cookware brands.
- Calphalon vs. Rachael Ray: Which Cookware Is Better?
- Is Calphalon Cookware Any Good? An In-Depth Review
- 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
- Is Ballarini a Good Cookware Brand? An In-Depth Review