The Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel 10-Piece Cookware Set is a budget-friendly cookware set that provides the same even heating and nonstick performance as pricier sets. For the low price, however, you sacrifice some durability. Reviewers say the pans are light and flimsy, and both the interior and exterior finishes wear off quickly. Still, if your budget is tight, these should serve you well in the short term.
Rivals more expensive brands in performance testing: Testers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute say this cookware distributes heat evenly, maintains a steady simmer and has good nonstick properties. Overall, they say, it "offers excellent performance for a price that's tough to beat." Owners at Amazon.com, Cooking.com and Buzzillions.com generally agree that this cookware provides even heating and good nonstick performance. One Cooking.com reviewer raves that the heat is distributed evenly without hot spots. However, we did see one or two dissenting voices complaining that these thin pans heat up too quickly and can burn food. One problem with this cookware is that it's not recommended for use on a smooth ceramic cooktop, as the porcelain enamel may stick to the surface.
Generally easy to use and clean: Although some owners are disappointed that the cookware isn't dishwasher-safe, most say it cleans up pretty easily by hand. However, a couple of reviews say that cleaning this cookware has its tricky spots. One problem is the rivets where the handles are attached. Food tends to build up here, according to Good Housekeeping testers, requiring extra scrubbing to remove it. Staining of the nonstick surface can also be a problem. The Good Housekeeping review recommends "an abrasive cleanser" to remove it, while one Amazon.com reviewer suggests rinsing with cold or lukewarm water before washing and rinsing with hot water afterward. Both professionals and users agree that the silicone-wrapped stainless handles are a nice feature.
This porcelain enamel cookware comes in a range of bright colors. Currently, the Rachael Ray store offers this set in red, orange and deep blue, although we have seen additional colors available on other sites. Owners appreciate the cheerful colors, but many reviews express frustration that the enameled finish wears off so easily. One owner at Amazon.com says that the finish on hers began to rub off within a week after purchase, despite careful hand washing. Another describes the finish deteriorating as a powder all over her stove, cabinets, sink and hands. This problem is not universal; we did not find any complaints about it at Cooking.com, and some Amazon.com users say that their cookware looks like new after years of use. However, the problem crops up frequently enough in reviews to be a cause for concern.
Like most inexpensive nonstick cookware, this set wears out quickly. We read many complaints from users about the nonstick finish coming off within a few months. One Amazon.com owner reports that when washing the cookware for the first time, the nonstick surface "peeled right off." Users also note that the exterior finish scratches easily (a separate problem from the wear due to rubbing described above). Good Housekeeping editors also note that the cookware is lightweight, which makes it more vulnerable to warping and denting. Rachael Ray backs this cookware with a limited lifetime warranty, but we found no reports from users about how easy (or difficult) it is to return products to the manufacturer.
1. Good Housekeeping
Review Credibility: Very Good Testers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute evaluate nearly 50 lines of cookware on a wide variety of kitchen tasks. (The report covers cookware lines as a whole, not specific sets.) They simmer sauces, pan-brown burgers and (for nonstick cookware) prepare eggs without fat. Editors also evaluate the cookware's construction and how easy it is to clean. This Rachael Ray set receives a grade of A-minus. Testers say it heats evenly, simmers steadily and has a good nonstick finish and useful features. However, the pieces are lightweight, can't withstand high oven temperatures and stain with use.
Review: Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel Nonstick Cookware, Editors of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, November 2010
Review Credibility: Good In more than 140 reviews, the Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel 10-Piece Cookware Set earns an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 from owners. Users say this cookware has a good nonstick surface, and they like its lighter weight. However, we saw many complaints about the durability of both the nonstick surface and the enameled outer finish. A couple of reviews also mention staining on the bottom of the pans; one owner describes a technique for removing it that is not covered in the instruction manual.
Review: Rachael Ray 10-Piece Porcelain Enamel Cookware Set, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Good This Rachael Ray cookware set gets a 4.5-star overall rating (out of 5) from more than 30 users at this retail site. Owners say the cookware cooks evenly, cleans up easily and is comfortable to use. There are a few complaints about durability, but not nearly as many as at Amazon.com. A few users also express disappointment that the cookware isn't dishwasher-safe. Still, a clear majority percent of owners recommend the cookware and say it is a good value.
Review: Blue 10-pc. Porcelain Enamel Nonstick Cookware Set by Rachael Ray, Contributors to Cooking.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Good We found about 500 reviews at Buzzillions.com for the Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel 10-Piece Cookware Set. These reviews are pulled from a variety of retail sites across the Internet, so they do overlap with the reviews from Cooking.com above, but additional sources are also included. Owners say these pans are easy to clean and distribute heat evenly, and they really like the stay-cool handles. Most also describe the cookware as durable, although there are some complaints that it scratches and stains easily.
Review: Rachael Ray 10-piece Porcelain Enamel Cookware Set, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of December 2012