Although most chefs prefer uncoated cookware for general use, many users prefer the convenience of nonstick pans. The biggest problem with nonstick cookware is that the nonstick coating tends to wear off over time -- either washing down the drain or ending up in the food you cook. In user reviews of nonstick cookware, the most common complaint is about the finish wearing off. However, one set of cookware is an exception to this rule: the Anolon Advanced Bronze Collection 11-piece Set (*Est. $290).
In more than 70 user reviews at Macys.com and Amazon.com, we saw only one complaint about scratching and peeling of this cookware's surface. In fact, a couple of users specifically say that their pans are still "like new" after a year or two of use. Owners also rave about the superior nonstick properties, easy cleanup and stylish looks. The Anolon Advanced Bronze cookware performs very well in professional tests as well. Testers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute award this cookware an A grade for its even heating, stay-cool handles and superior nonstick performance. Like most nonstick cookware, these pans are not dishwasher-safe, but editors say they clean up easily by hand.
We also found strong reviews from both professionals and users for the Sur La Table Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Set (*Est. $250). This cookware set earns an A grade from Good Housekeeping, which describes it as "an excellent all-around value." Editors praise its even heating, steady simmering, nonstick finish and easy cleanup. However, because this cookware set is sold exclusively at Sur La Table, we found few reviews from owners to support these results. The dozen or so reviews we saw generally agree that the pans are a great value, with good nonstick properties as well as good weight and balance. However, a few owners complain that the individual pieces are too small. Although most users find cleanup easy, we did see a complaint or two about hard-to-remove stains.
A somewhat less expensive set that earns good reviews is the CalphalonSimply Calphalon Nonstick 10-piece Cookware Set (*Est. $180). This cookware set has not been included in any professional tests, but it gets high marks from hundreds of users at Buzzillions.com and dozens more at both Amazon.com and Macys.com. Owners praise this cookware's fast, even heating, stay-cool handles and great nonstick surface. However, they are less united on the issues of durability and cleanup. While a few reviews praise the cookware's durability, we also saw several complaints that the nonstick finish began to wear off within a few months -- in one case, after the first use. The exterior surface is also easily scratched, requiring extra-careful handling to keep pots looking good. Most owners find these pans easy to clean. However, a few dissenters claim that stuck-on food can be very difficult to remove, especially around the handle rivets.