Customer Reviews: Anolon Chef Clad Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 5, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Have you ever bought "stainless steel" pots and pans with manufacturers' claims that they work on induction burners - but do not? I have had that happen twice. So I immediately tested the Anolon Stainless Steel Set on both my induction and regular burners ( my cooktop has both types of burners, two induction and two standard burners).

I was delighted to learn that the Analon Chef Cookware does indeed work very well on induction burners, a "make it or break it" factor for me. My storage space is limited so I only want multi-functional pots and pans. It is also very helpful to see the words, "induction suitable" and "dishwasher safe" printed on the bottom of each piece of cookware, a nice reminder since I do have a few older pots which are not dishwasher safe.

Other features which I love:

1. The weight of each pot, pan and skillet. They have a very nice heft and they cook food evenly. Lesser cookware allows food to burn on the outside while the inside is still raw, even cold to the touch. But this isn't an issue with the Anolon.

2. They are both dishwasher and oven safe (up to 500 degrees F). They can even be used under the broiler.

3. The set has every type of basic pot and pan I use regularly: 1, 2, and 3 quart saucepans, a 6 quart stockpot (perfect for homemade soups and broths), two sizes of open skillets, etc.

4. The glass tops are also a "make it or break it" feature for me as I like to check on recipes as they cook - without having to pick up the lids, releasing steam, juices, and heat. Glass tops save time and energy.

5. While non-stick cookware has its benefits, I like the fact that the Anolon doesn't have to be treated too carefully. I can use both metal and wooden spoons with each piece and don't have to worry about family members scratching the cookware.

6. The brushed aluminum exteriors are very attractive. They clean easily and have a lovely shine.

I'm also pleased that Analon is a sponsor of Slow Food USA and Slow Food Nation, with its emphasis on cooking at home with fresh and season ingredients. There is even a brochure with the cookware which has tips on how to "go slow". Planting a garden. Buying locally. Making recipes from scratch. While it certainly isn't necessary to use cookware sets from a company which supports Slow Food programs, it is a nice bonus for me because I do like the focus of the Slow Food Movement - to help people to enjoy cooking at home, relaxing, and making tine for good meals shared with family and friends.
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on June 22, 2011
I have a couple Anolon Advanced pieces that I picked up at BB&B, the 8" skillet and the "Ultimate Pan" to be specific. I was impressed with the quality of these products, but noticed - like on most teflon or non-stick coated surfaces - they could be damaged by heat, using a metal spatula, or being washed in a dishwasher. Well, Capholon is typically overpriced and the quality doesn't seem much different. Others seem inferior or out of my price range of what I wanted to spend.

So, looking on Amazon and the Anolon website - I found this set. An aluminum set with a stainless steel inner layer? I don't think I've ever seen that combination but it made a lot of sense. Aluminum is only surpassed by copper as far as cookware goes for distributing heat evenly. The steel inside acts as the protective layer, making it easy to clean and last for years to come. And, I can put them in the dishwasher!

If you are looking for a set that is reasonable in price, but don't like the fact your non-sticks are peeling and chipping and/or can't put them in the dishwasher: You cannot go wrong with this set!
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on December 15, 2010
I wanted the Clad pans with the outer Anolon cover. LOVE the pans. Heavy, thick, nice looking, clean well and cook great. Was a little worried since I couldn't find but one review of these. But very pleased that they will last a long time.
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VINE VOICEon November 26, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Cookware is worth spending a lot of money on. Good cookware that's properly cared for will last a lifetime, if not longer. With the exception of cast iron, good cookware is typically expensive because the materials cost what they cost -- everybody is paying the same price for metals; nobody can sell them cheaper than someone else.

Anolon keeps costs down by having only the cooking surface of the pans -- the interior -- be stainless steel. The outside of the pans -- except the bottom which is stainless -- is aluminum. The reason All-Clad stainless steel cookware is so expensive and praised is because the exterior is completely stainless steel (the interior is aluminum). That, combined with their construction, makes them pretty much indestructible. The aluminum exterior of the Anolon will be more susceptible to damage from impact with objects and especially heat than pans that are completely stainless. You must be very careful not to allow a heat source to come into direct contact with the aluminum sides of the pans -- that means never using the smaller pots on large gas burners.

I spent a week using this set to make everything from sautéed vegetables, to risotto and soups. Overall the performance was pretty good. The pans heated pretty fast and fairly evenly; the benefit of the stainless steel interior is that you can stick sharp objects into the pan -- it's very hard to damage the surface.

My main complaint is that these pans are fairly heavy -- noticeably heavier than my All-Clad stainless and Calphalon hard-anodized. If you're cooking something that requires tossing or moving the pan around a lot, it could make things a bit more difficult. That's why I removed a star.

While the pans are advertised as being dishwasher safe, I would never do that because dishwasher detergent tends to be pretty abrasive. The easiest way to clean stainless steel is with Bar Keepers Friend. Just let the pans soak for a little, pour out the water, sprinkle some BKF in, and clean with a wet spong. They'll look brand new.

Overall this is a good entry-level set for someone who wants the benefits of cooking with a stainless steel interior. The price really is quite good for the quality. More experienced cooks will want to save up for All-Clad.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon November 27, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The brushed aluminum finish really makes these look great, but looks aren't everything...unless you don't plan on using them...then looks would be pretty important.

But if you do plan on using them, there are a few quirks.

We compared these against a nice Kitchen aid set, and the Anolon seem weighted heavy.

- Well Balanced? -

Heavy cookware can mean quality, but it's not that the Anolon were heavier it's that the way the handles are placed, they just doesn't feel properly balanced between the handle and the pot. It was a very noticeable difference when we picked them up. Maybe the angle of the handles are too steep and don't distribute the weight very well. Not sure. They just are not as easy to hold as they should be.

- Hot Handles? -

The lids are pretty good. They don't have the rubber along the edges which can actually make a seal and lock the top on to the pot. But, the handles do get hot, just FYI. Other pots will have a rubber or silicon grip to the underside of the handle. These don't.

- Brushed Aluminum for show? -

The Cookware look great with the brushed aluminum, but I thought Aluminum was being removed from antiperspirants over health concerns.

Wanting to see what the fine print said in the notice that came with the pots, it looks like the aluminum is just a coating on the outside. But what's interesting is the warning that it states if you let a pot boil water until dry (not a good idea at all, but accidents do happen), and since the aluminum is just for the distinct look, it's interesting to see what the care information states for the Aluminum with stainless or copper base:

"In some cases, cookware with an aluminum core base or cookware with a base container copper that is allowed to boil dry, may melt and separate from the pan body resulting in severe personal injury and/or property damage. If your pan boils dry and you see molten aluminum, do not pick up your pan. Turn the burner off, allow the pan to cool, then remove from the burner and discard."

Doesn't give me a lot of confidence there. Maybe that can happen to any old pot or pan, but our old set is stainless steal, not covered in brushed aluminum.

Some people will care about that, and some won't but I wanted to mention it for those who might want to look into it before buying.

-- A tip --

After a little bit of use, one thing we noticed were white spots in the base of the pan. Scrubbing didn't do much, but the care instructions said a little vinegar would do the trick, so we scrubbed with a little vinegar, and it worked.

So, if you're going for the look, they are elegant looking. They don't feel well balanced, but that's a matter of preference and will be different for each person.
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on February 26, 2013
I love this cookware but have come to find out that Anolon discontinued this particular line (Chef Clad) in 2/13. It's going to be hard to find replacement pieces if necessary.
However, it is an outstanding set of cookware and a fine replacement for my 37 yr old Revere Ware. Cooks nicely and cleans up easily with BarKeeper's friend. Loved the brushed exterior.
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on December 2, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been getting good use out of these and trying to get a sense of how they hold up. The company happened to send them to be reviewed just before Thanksgiving, so it was a good opportunity to test them out.

These have been extremely easy to use. They've been cooking things very evenly, and I've been impressed by how easy it's been to clean them up thus far. They don't have the bolts for the handles that are flush with the surface of the pot, so you occasionally have to scrub around that area with just a little extra care to make sure it's getting clean. Nothing that's especially troublesome though.

I've particularly liked how well the handles do at remaining cool even when something has been cooking for a long time. I was really paranoid about burning my hands for the first couple of days but it seems like they just aren't getting all that hot.

In person they look like they'd be very much at home sitting next to a computer or monitor made by Apple due to the finish. If that's an aesthetic you happen to enjoy, you're very likely to be pleased with them. They feel a bit heavy, but I suspect that's because I'm used to pots with plastic handles and the additional metal adds weight.

On the whole, you can obviously do better quality-wise if you get something like All-Clad, but I'm really impressed by how good these are given the price point they're sitting at. They're much better than the various pieces I've been using previously that are in about the same realm for cost.
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VINE VOICEon March 18, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Using many different types of pots and pans, from non-stock to anodized to stainless steel there are many benefits and drawbacks to each one.

The benefits to stainless steel is the cleanliness of steel vs chemical 'interference' and generally a very even heat distribution--not to mention the durability of steel vs 'coatings'.
The drawbacks are that they are slightly more difficult to clean than non-stick cookware and they need a little more attention so that food does not stick.

Because the only real drawbacks to using stainless steel are qualities that can be remedied simply by using more effort in the sink and in the preparation--even though it may take up slightly more time, I prefer stainless steel for cooking.

That being said, let's talk about the Anolon set.

Construction 8.5/10

The brushed aluminum outside gives the aesthetic quality a nice contrast with the iridescent, cold shimmer of the interior steel. Because it is brushed, it does allow for a more rough handling because it is already 'scratched' to some extent.
a. Handle Temperature 9.5/10
The handles are solidly affixed to the outside of this cookware that feels rigid and does not conduct any heat i.e. the handles do not get warm or hot. My cooking usually involves first turning the dial to 'high' and then proceeding on the decline in temperature--I have not felt any warm handles.
b. Lid Fitting 10.0/10
Sometimes with cookware sets, the lids will not be perfectly however the lids with the Anolon set literally forms a vacuum inside when you proceed to cover the pots and pans. Exceptional fitting.

Cleaning 8.0/10

On the bottom is etched 'Dishwasher Safe'. After pulling out a pan from the Anolon set that was just washed by my dishwasher, there was a rainbow sheen on the bottom of the inner part of the pan that was dull and did not look appropriate for stainless steel. I saw the dishwasher safe logo after I saw this 'abnormality' as it did not seem like it went well getting machine washed. After this, I switched to hand cleaning with: Bar Keepers Friend® Cleanser & Polish: 12 OZ. After the latter, the cookware regained their mirror like shimmer and looked just as I got them new.

Dishwashers are abrasive, and whether they still clean this set without 'greatly' harming the finish is not as important as taking as much care as you can so you can postpone their life a bit--even if it takes more time.

Cooking 9.0/10

The first thing to mention about the way this set performs on the stove is that it generates and spreads heat very quickly. My past pan was non-stick and I had gotten used to turning the stove on Med-High and letting it sit for a couple minutes so that it could rise to the proper temperature to drop an egg and have it cooked within a minute.
Normally, when you first get a new cookware set there is some adjustment to get used to the way it handles heat however, I had to rethink my strategy for this set. Medium heat means medium and low is low enough for a nice simmer. Before low was equally the same as off for most purposes. Cooks as if the food was on the burner directly--minus the smell and immediate burning.

This set's way of cooking can be described succinctly as clean, thorough, and even.

--Overall Impression--

For a stainless steel set, this is going to give you a different look than most--with its brushed aluminum outer layer. It has a slightly vintage look because of this. The most important feature of a cookware set, however, is the way it cooks and with this I can say, after hours of cooking with every piece of the set, that you will be cooking better and more efficiently than you have before--should you not be coming from similar quality pots and pans. Highly constructed set that should certainly be considered prosumer grade quality.
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VINE VOICEon December 19, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First of all, these have serious heft to them. They are the heaviest pans I have owned. Granted, most of my pans are mid-range Cuisinart and less expensive All-Clad pieces but these are much heavier. If you have wrist issues, be aware. These would not work for my mother-in-law and her arthritic hands, for example. And a larger stockpot would be too unwieldly for me when full, too, although the smaller one in this set is fine for my weight-bearing abilities. My husband held up the skillet when we opened the box and made bad weapon jokes with it. "Grab this first if we ever have an intruder."

I cooked some of my best scrambled eggs in years in the larger skillet with pretty easy clean up (it is stainless, not teflon!) and have been enjoying the pans overall for several weeks. They tend to be taller and narrower than my previous saucepans which makes my glass cooktop with its multiple ring sizing less accommodating. I have to be careful with some hot handles. The first time I used the stockpot to boil some pasta, I had to grab my pot holders for the handles were as hot as the pan, or so they felt. They were certainly not touchable. My Cuisinart handles have never gotten hot like that.

So I will be keeping this set and replacing some older pieces but not all of them. I need a variety of weights and uses and I am also not a huge fan of glass lids although they certainly make cooking nicer when I need to cover and watch a pot. I've shied away from glass before and am determined to be careful with them but hate the extra level of precaution that glass requires around a stovetop.

And they came out of the dishwasher looking fine, not as discolored as some other pans I have owned. I'm curious to see how well the matte surface exteriors hold up over time.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon November 21, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This latest offering from Anolon continues the tradition of quality I expect from their pots and pans. For those passionate about their cooking, demanding of their products and looking for a long-term value, I believe this set delivers. The Chef Clad Stainless Steel Cookware is solid in the hand but isn't unwieldy or overly-heavy like a cast iron items. They feel and look premium with the brushed steel exterior and heavy-duty aluminum surface. This set is beautiful enough to hang on a rack for full display in the kitchen. I have 2 other cookware sets from Amazon (the Nouvelle Copper Stainless and Nouvelle Copper Hard Anodized Nonstick) that I've reviewed previously and thus far, this cookware appears to be of at least of the same quality or perhaps even better. This set comes with well made aluminum rimmed glass covers. My experience with this design is that they last for years and years, even when placed in a dishwasher. It is nice to be able to see your food as it cooks too.

I cooked up meals that place different demands on the interior surfaces. First I tried the frying pans: bacon cooked to a perfect, even crisp without sticking and ripping. It also made a tasty burger fairly quickly; one that were evenly moist and delicious. I tried scrambling an egg, but it did stick to the surface as I would expect from aluminum (for eggs, I recommend the WearEver C944S564 Pure Living Nonstick, or some other nonstick surface). Pasta in the pot cooked to perfection. Water heats up quickly in the solid pans. Clean-up isn't bad but if you fry something, but it isn't just wipe-away clean either. You may have to soak a greasy pan in soapy water before taking the sponge to it (no need for brillo!), but that's nothing that would prevent me from giving this product a high rating. If this Anolon set is as reliable as previous acquisitions, I am hopeful that the pots and pans will continue to perform and maintain their professional finish for years to come.

~ Kort
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