The Rachael Ray Hard Anodized 8-Qt. Oval Stockpot has not been included in any professional tests, but it earns high marks from users. Owners like this pot's shape and weight, as well as added features such as the easy-clean nonstick coating, stay-cool silicone handles, pour spout and see-through glass lid. Performance-wise, the pot heats quickly -- sometimes too quickly, as it may overheat without proper attention.
Heats up very quickly. This is very handy when boiling water for pasta, corn or boiled eggs. One owner claims that this pot boils water for spaghetti twice as fast as other pots. However, the fast heating can be a drawback. As one Amazon.com user explains, the thin walls cause scorching. This owner recommends reserving the Rachael Ray pot for pasta and corn, while choosing a heavier pot for preparing soups or beans.
However, we did see other reviews that say the Rachael Ray pot heats evenly, so overheating doesn't appear to be a problem for most users. Another user does note that it's important to "move the food around from the sides to the middle of the pan for even cooking/browning." Also, because this pot is made from anodized aluminum rather than stainless steel, it won't work on an induction cooktop.
Oval shape is a big hit. It can accommodate corn on the cob and long pasta like spaghetti, and one owner says it's great to be able to "arrange chickens, roasts and vegetables without putting things on top of each other." Another reviewer likes that the oval pot can sit across two burners on a smoothtop range. (However, an Amazon.com reviewer who tried the same thing ended up with a burned pot handle.) The capacity is also convenient for most users. One owner at Amazon.com says it "really gives you room in the pan to move your ingredients around," and others like the fact that the pot isn't too heavy to lift when full. Only a couple of users at Buzzillions.com say they would have preferred a bigger pot.
The Rachael Ray pot includes a variety of convenience features. Its silicone handles stay cool to the touch, and the glass lid allows you to watch your food as it cooks. The pot also comes with a pour spout for draining off water; however, a couple of users say that the spout is not well designed. One owner says it's messy to pour from, and another says that sauces cooked in the pot can splatter from the spout. Finally, users generally say the pot is easy to clean: One Amazon.com review enthuses, "Even forgotten chili has wiped out easily!"
Distinctively styled. This pot has a black exterior and bright orange handles that provide a pop of color on the sides and lid. This feature doesn't suit everyone's taste; a couple of users say they "love the orange color," while others cite the orange handles as a drawback. We also saw conflicting reports about how well this pot maintains its looks over time. One owner at Amazon.com says, "I use it often and it looks brand new," but a user at Buzzillions.com complains that the exterior scuffs easily.
Nonstick coating requires special handling. The pot can't go in the dishwasher, and it shouldn't be used with metal utensils. We also saw a few complaints from users that, even with careful handling, the finish still develops scratches. The anodized-aluminum body seems to hold up well, but the nonstick coating is vulnerable to scratching. One Amazon user complains, "I only use wooden spoons on this pot and never put it in the dishwasher... I have so many scratches on the bottom of this pan you would not believe it." However, we did not read any complaints about the pot's structural soundness, and several Buzzillions.com reviews cite durability as a plus. The pot is equipped with a limited lifetime warranty.
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Review Credibility: Excellent Of the 100-plus users posting on this website about the Rachael Ray Hard Anodized 8-Qt. Oval Stockpot, about 80 percent give it a perfect 5-star rating. The pot's oval shape and pour spout, in particular, earn high praise, with users also noting that the pot cleans very easily. Some users, however, report problems when they use the pot for anything other than boiling pasta or corn. One user says that because the pot's walls are thin, soups tend to scorch. Others note that chili and soup come out fine as long as a lower temperature is used.
Review: Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Nonstick 8-Quart Oval Pasta Pot with Glass Lid, Orange, As of March 2013, Contributors to Amazon.com
Review Credibility: Very Good Buzzillions.com is a user-review site that culls reviews from lots of smaller sites. We found about 190 reviews here for the Rachael Ray Hard Anodized 8-Qt. Oval Stockpot, pulled from a variety of retail sites (including Cooking.com). The most commonly cited pros for this stockpot are its easy-to-clean nonstick coating, stay-cool handles, durable construction and even heating. A few users say the pot is on the small side, but most have no complaints about it. Overall, it receives a rating of 4.8 stars out of a possible 5.
Review: Meyer Rachael Ray 8-Quart Covered Oval Stockpot, As of March 2013, Contributors to Buzzillions.com