Rachael ray Cookware reviews and comparisons

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Rachael Ray is a household name for her brilliance as a culinary chef, though she prefers the term cook or even waitress as she has not received formal training in the arts. Born into a family that owned restaurants, being in that world always felt natural for Rachael. She has published numerous books, owns a magazine, and has hosted many cook shows–including her famed 11-seasoned, 30-Minute Meals.

It comes as no surprise that Rachael decided to dabble in the cookware industry. After all, who better to design cookware than the chefs who use it daily. So came about Rachael Ray cookware–sets designed with the vibrant personality of the celebrity chef herself. Her cookware line is produced in China and Thailand under the Meyer Group.

You may know Meyer from popular brands like KitchenAid, Circulon, Anolon, and Hestan–the brands totaling up to 30. Rachael Ray’s cookware is a budget-level offering, and closely priced to Circulon offerings. Not to say that the cookware performs dismally, but this just makes it clear that there are apparent trade-offs for having the cookware at a low price tag.

I have taken my time over the past two months to try out as many pieces from Rachael Ray’s cookware and spent the same time researching what chefs and consumers had to say about the cookware. There’s no umbrella description for how these products performed–their performance, design, durability, and cost vary quite a bit. But with 6 collections and a total of 16 sets available, Rachael Ray cookware has something for everyone looking to save some coins while getting decent performance from their cookware.

AN OVERVIEW OF Rachael RAY'S COLLECTIONS

Cucina

Recommended: Yes, but purpose to upgrade.

The Cucina collection is a budget cookware collection that features pieces made of either porcelain-coated aluminum or hard-anodized aluminum. Both sets are lightweight–they also conduct and distribute heat evenly due to the inherent properties of aluminum. Thanks to the nonstick cooking surface, you get okay cooking performance and good food release, while the aluminum ensures no hotspots. The interior and easy wipe enamel porcelain surface ensure that cleaning the set is a breeze. The handles come with silicone sleeves, which reduce the risk of burn hazards in the kitchen.

But, as with all budget cookware, there are some huge trade-offs. The glass dome lids are ill-fitting and allow steam to escape, which is not suitable for steaming or braising recipes. And while the silicone sleeves may help mitigate burn risks, they also lower the oven heat tolerance of the cookware. The dual rivets are susceptible to rust and catch grime and food residue, making them difficult to clean. The pieces are not also induction compatible. However, nothing tramps the exploding lids featured on this set.

While the Cucina collection may save you on cost, there’s a bit of price to be paid. If you’re on a tight budget and need cookware with average performance, then the Cucina might meet your needs. But, the average construction quality of this cookware means it won’t last you any substantial amount of time. My advice would be to save up a little more and buy better quality sets like the mid-range Accolade collection by Anolon or the budget Symmetry collection by Circulon.

Classic Brights

Recommended: No. Buy the Cucina Collection instead.

The Classic Brights collection is the most extensive collection, featuring the most number of sets, most open stock pieces, and the widest color variety. Like the Cucina collection, the pieces here are made of either aluminum with an enamel porcelain exterior or hard-anodized aluminum with colored sleeves. This popping collection has loud color options, with the porcelain variety featuring a full-color coverage and the hard-anodized only sporting color on the handle sleeves.

However, the Classic Brights fail on several fronts, most prominently with its low oven tolerance of 350°F. The collection is not dishwasher safe either. Consumers report a delicate nonstick that I found to scuff without much effort, despite care. The rubber handles get extremely hot, and first-time users can get deceived into holding them without protection, sustaining burns. Again, the porcelain pieces do not sit still due to the glossy nature of the exterior, which is a hazard on its own in the kitchen.

The collection is on the budget side and will not cost much to acquire. That said, it is expected that the pans won’t perform as well as a collection like Anolon’s Advanced. The performance is decent but will definitely not last past a few months. Therefore, anyone purchasing this should be ready to get back on the market within a short while. I was able to make significant damage without much effort, and therefore do not recommend this set to anyone unless they are on an extreme budget.

Create Delicious


Recommended: Yes. There’s something for everyone in this collection.

The Create Delicious Collection is a versatile offering with different metal construction for diverse cooking needs. The sets come in a stainless steel option and enamel-covered aluminum or a hard-anodized option. The stainless steel has a brushed stainless steel interior, while the aluminum options carry a platinum-reinforced nonstick coating. The handles are all made of silicone and are attached via a dual rivet. The cookware also comes equipped with glass lids. Best of all is that the entire set is induction compatible.

While the quality on this set is significantly better than that of its similarly-priced counterparts within the brand, it is still plagued with some of the same problems the others face. For instance, the oven tolerance is low. In addition, while the cookware is quite beautiful, it easily sustains permanent heat marks that ruin the aesthetics. Again, the stainless steel is more fragile than most and might ding if dropped. Finally, the nonstick, durable as it is, has been reported to peel, especially from the unsealed rim edges.

For a budget spend, the Create Delicious might just have something for everyone. As long as you’re willing to contend with the fact that the cookware might not serve you for a long time, the options here are adequate. However, it is not a sustainable practice; therefore you should pick the cookware that serves you the longest to conserve the environment.

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Cityscapes

Recommended: Do not purchase this.

The Cityscape collection embodies Rachael Ray’s peppy spirit. The cookware is an aesthetic offering, with a slightly different style from what seems to be a Rachael classic. The cookware is domed, thinning towards the rims. The curvy walls are very European, and Rachael attributes her inspiration to time spent in Copenhagen. However, that’s basically it with the cookware. If you’re looking for something beyond aesthetics, you will be disappointed.

The pieces aren’t versatile; thus, all your cooking needs might not be particularly met. To make it worse, the collection doesn’t sell the pieces as open stock, so you’re stuck with what you get in the set. The oven temperature limits are low at 350°F, limiting your cooking style. The nonstick also scuffs quite easily despite using nonstick-friendly cooking utensils. The enamel porcelain that’s the main selling point is not also durable, limiting the longevity of the aesthetics.

The aluminum make is not also the sturdiest, and you might ding the cookware should you drop it. However, this collection comes at a very budget cost, warranting the value it offers and the trade-offs that come with it.

Stainless Steel and Hard-anodized

Recommended: Buy this set.

The Stainless Steel and hard-anodized Collection is one of the best offerings by the Rachael Ray Brand. This collection bears a mixed metal offering, providing the best of both worlds. The pans are made of hard-anodized aluminum with a nonstick coating for easy food release and the ‘less oil guarantee.’ On the other hand, the pots feature a stainless steel build, with a full cap base featuring an aluminum layer for excellent heat conductivity. The pot’s construction allows for the best heat performance for boiling, simmering, and steaming foods or reducing sauces.

The downside is that while the metals bring you the best of both worlds, I have to admit the quality is not premium. The stainless steel is lighter than your standard full clad and speaks to the durability. You can tell the cookware will ding from a heavy drop, unlike big brand pieces like Anolon or All-Clad. The hard-anodized nonstick suffers the same fate as most other Rachael Ray cookware nonstick in that it superficially scuffs from hard material cooking utensils like wooden or plastic. The cookware is not also dishwasher friendly despite the nudge by the manufacturer.

However, I feel like, for the price tag, the mixed metal offering is the best deal for anyone on a budget. As a set, you get to save on cost and have versatile cookware for your varying cooking needs. The performance is also far from budget–with proper care, I feel that this particular set could serve you for a few years. And as far as the Rachael Ray brand goes, this is by far the best value for your money. Sadly, it does not come as open stock, and you have to be content with the pieces you get.

Get Cooking

Recommended: No. It will not save you on storage space in the long run.

The Get Cooking Collection is a limited offering by Rachael Ray with a couple of stackable options. The cookware features durable construction to withstand the friction that comes with nesting the cookware. The exterior comes in the classic enamel porcelain that is almost a Rachael Ray staple, while the interior features a durable platinum-reinforced nonstick. The handles are made of stainless steel but wrapped in silicone for a stay-cool touch. The set also features two glass lids that cover the stockpots.

As a stackable set, the Get Cooking delivers on nesting ability. However, the biggest drawback is that the set does not offer the most essential pieces, and you might find yourself back in the market looking for a frying pan or a Dutch oven pot. The set is not also dishwasher or induction compatible, limiting its convenience for users who prioritize these features. Again, the pieces have a lower-than-standard oven heat tolerance, limiting their versatility. Overall, while the set is affordably priced, it does not fully cover what you’d expect from a stackable collection and leaves a lot of need for supplementary pieces.

Rachael Ray Cucina

Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set, 12 Piece, Agave Blue
  • SET INCLUDES: 1-quart and 3-quart saucepans with lids, 6-quart stockpot with lid, 8.5-inch and 10-inch frying pans, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, slotted turner and spoon
  • DURABLE DESIGN: Nonstick pots and pans from Rachael Ray are crafted with durable aluminum and sturdy hard enamel porcelain exteriors to stand up to busy kitchens
  • ENHANCED PFOA-FREE NONSTICK: Cookware set features espresso-colored, PFOA-free nonstick for effortless food release and easy cleanup

One of the best-selling sets by the Rachael Ray brand, the Cucina collection, offers versatility in aesthetics, ensuring that your cookware can match your decor, no matter the style.

Construction

The Cucina collection is a fun kitchen’s best accessory. There’s a rustic appeal to the design and modern accents on the cookware. The set comes in two different variations, both made of aluminum. The less expensive variation is the aluminum construction with colored porcelain enamel on the exterior. The pricier option features hard-anodized aluminum construction. However, both variations come with nonstick interiors.

cucina handle

My initial observation is that the sets are extremely colorful (not said as a good thing necessarily), with the aluminum set featuring a full-color splash, with matching tones for its silicone-wrapped handles. This extends to the sleeves on the cookware’s shatterproof-glass lid handles. Although, I should mention that one of the leading consumer complaints is that the lids explode quite often, despite using within the recommended temperatures. It’s also probably the reason why they are so many–I found this to be a storage nightmare.

What I found as the key differentiator appearance-wise is that the hard-anodized set comes in grey, with a dash of color on the cookware and lid handles. The handles are made of stainless steel, making them susceptible to conducting heat and causing burn injuries–the silicone sleeves act as insulators. Yes, the handles on this set are dual riveted, but I found that the rivets caught rust after periods of use. They also bulge over the cookware’s surface, catching grime and food residue, which was a cleaning nightmare.

After a sustained use period, my takeaway is to hand wash your Cucina cookware. I found that the high heat conditions in the dishwasher led to the fast degradation of the nonstick and also discolored the enamel porcelain. For a set that prioritizes aesthetics, the discolored enamel renders the pan unsightly, thus not so pleasant to use.

Performance

I found the cookware light due to the aluminum construction and was therefore easy to maneuver. The long, grippy handles ensured the pan felt comfortable when holding and cooking. The excellent heat conduction properties of aluminum allowed the cookware to heat up fast and distribute the heat evenly. This also ensured there were no hotspots, which also meant my food was cooked evenly.

Rachael ray cucina nonstick performance

However, I would advise that you stick to low or medium temperatures to preserve the nonstick. And while this has not been my experience (yet, rather), the thin metal used in construction is a hazard for warping. Several users online have had the unfortunate experience. On the bright side, the cookware delivered on the ‘less oil needed’ promise without worrying about food sticking. The nonstick coating also ensures that the cooking surface is non-reactive and that the aluminum doesn’t leech harmful metals into your food.

Coatings

The Cucina collection is entirely nonstick. According to my research, the PTFE variation is called Eclipse–a more durable nonstick option adopted by premium brands like Mauviel. The food release is great, and cleanup is just as easy. However, do not be tempted to use metal utensils on this cookware. For the purpose of this review, I tried different utensils and found that even wooden and plastic utensils scuffed the surface, with metallic ones making deep peels.

The exterior of the aluminum set is colored enamel porcelain. Enamel porcelain is a great option for cookware as it is light but still very strong. It also has low porosity, giving the cookware’s exterior an easy-to-clean, naturally nonstick surface. If you’re a color fan, which I’m not, you will enjoy the variety of color options. The quality on this set doesn’t seem to fade or peel, but that’s because I’ve taken excellent care when. I also quickly learned to be mindful by matching the cookware to the right-size burner. Once or twice, fire rose up the sides of the cookware, and it formed unsightly marks that have been difficult (near-impossible) to get rid of.

The alternative collection features a hard-anodized aluminum with DWS clear coat–a corrosion-resistant coating. I’m a fan of the exposed grey appearance of the aluminum that is complemented by colorful sleeves on the cookware and lid handles. The espresso-colored nonstick also nicely contrasts the cookware’s exterior, giving it a rustic feel. This is the set I was most drawn to aesthetically.

Compatibility with Different Stovetops and Oven Ranges

The cookware is compatible with all stovetops, except induction tops. The entire set is only oven-safe up to 400°F, including the silicone-wrapped stainless steel handles. However, please note that the glass lids should not be exposed to temperatures beyond 350°F. They have been reported to shatter from way lower heat; therefore, I advise extreme caution when using them.

Price Range

The Cucina collection is an affordable cookware range. It delivers decent performance for the price range, but users shouldn’t also expect too much from the set. I will definitely be giving this set to anyone who desperately needs a nonstick set but cannot afford it for one reason or the other.

Available Set Options

Rachael Ray offers the Cucina Collection in different combination sets or as open stock. Below are the options available:

  • 12-Piece Aluminum Collection: 1-quart and 3-quart saucepans with lids, 6-quart stockpot with lid, 8.5-inch and 10-inch frying pans, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, slotted turner, and spoon
  • 12-Piece hard-anodized Aluminum Collection: 1-quart & 2-quart saucepans with lid, 6-quart stockpot with lid, 8.5-inch & 10-inch frying pans, 3-quart sauté pan with lid and utensils
  • 13-Piece hard-anodized Aluminum Collection: 1-quart & 2-quart saucepans with lid, 6-quart stockpot with lid, 8.5-inch & 10-inch frying pans, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, tray, and utensils
  • 11” Square deep grill pan
  • 9.25” and 11” Frying pan set
  • 11” Square griddle
  • 9.5” and 11.5” hard-anodized frying pan
  • 3 Qt covered saucepan
  • 14” Frying pan with helper handle
  • 11” Covered stir fry
  • 0.75 Qt nonstick butter warmer

Rachael Ray Classic Brights

Rachael Ray Classic Brights Hard Enamel Nonstick 14-Piece Cookware Set, Orange Gradient
  • COOKWARE SET BY RACHAEL RAY: These pots and pans feature durable construction that heats quickly and evenly
  • EYE CATCHING, EASY TO CLEAN COOKWARE: The cookware set’s stylish two-tone exterior color makes a bold style statement; long-lasting nonstick interiors provide easy food release and cleanup
  • NONSTICK COOKWARE SET INCLUDES: 1-Quart and 2-Quart Saucepans with Lids, 3-Quart Sauté Pan with Lid, 6-Quart Stockpot with Lid, 8.5- and 10-Inch Frying Pans, Medium Cookie Sheet, Mini Spoonula, Medium Turner, Lazy Solid Spoon

The Classic Brights collection is a bright, bold, and popping collection–the color density is the loudest and brightest of all of Rachael Ray’s cookware. This is also the most extensive collection.

Construction

The collection, as the name suggests, features brightly colored cookware pieces. If you’re looking to spruce up a dull space, then this is probably the brightest it gets. The color choices are the selling point for this particular set, and though I still prefer my grey and shiny pots and pans, it was sightly to see sparkles spread out across my kitchen during my run at this collection. I ensured there was a purple, red, and orange piece because what better way to feel regal.

There was not much difference appearance-wise between the Cucina collection and the Classic Brights. Like the Cucina, the Classic Brights feature sets are made of hard-anodized aluminum with colored grippy handles and an alternative aluminum set with colored enamel porcelain on the exterior. The interiors are also nonstick in this collection.

classic brights handle

This collection still features what they call shatter-proof glass, but consumer reviews for this state the same exploding issue as that of the Cucina. I haven’t had the issue yet, but I’ve been super cautious about using them on any significant heat setting. However, my main issue is the ill-fitting design on the lids that allows steam to escape and rattles a lot in the process. I’ve also singled this out as a leading cause of the nonstick peeling along the rim edges.

During my research, it was hard to establish the key differences between the Cucina and the Classic Brights besides appearance. However, as soon as I got both sets, I could immediately tell that the insulation material also played a significant role. The Classic Brights collection uses phenolic rubber material on the handles instead of the classic silicone on the stainless steel handles. The feel of the classic Brights is a bit tougher and not as ergonomic when holding.

While phenolic is lightweight, tough, and durable, it doesn’t stand up to heat as well as silicone. Therefore, you will also note that the heat tolerance for the Classic Brights is at a dismal 350°F. When using the cookware on normal stovetops, you will also need potholders, something I quickly discovered on my first throwdown with the set.

You need to get acquainted with handwashing if you’re a dishwasher fan. The material composition of this collection is unforgiving, with high heat settings in dishwashers. From the nonstick and enamel porcelain that risks degradation to the high heat intolerant rubber sleeves, hand washing is your best bet. I tossed my purple pan in the washer out of curiosity, and after a couple of washes, the purple hue had almost completely washed off, and the nonstick performance was pretty much gone.

Coatings

The Classic Brights collection features a nonstick interior on both the aluminum and hard-anodized aluminum sets. The nonstick is not durable, and you will experience scuffing despite using nonstick-friendly utensils. I thought I could deglaze my 9” frying pan using my wooden cooking stick, only to rinse and find that each attempt to nudge the residue off left a trail on the pan’s surface. The manufacturer says this is not harmful, but it’s a small leap from that to full-on peeling.

The exterior is either one of two. The first is the colored porcelain on the aluminum surface. The color options will go with whatever style of decor you settle for. I acquired my pieces as open stock and had the pleasure of owning (for the first and probably last time) an Orange Dutch oven pot, a purple frying pan, and a red saucepan. I also got the 11” hard-anodized pan with agave blue colored sleeves on the handle. This option bears grey aluminum with the same DWS clear coat that prevents rusting, and I liked the subtlety of this one better.

Performance

I did not find the performance varying too much from the Cucina. As would be expected of aluminum cookware, the conductivity and heat distribution are good. However, it doesn’t retain heat as well as thicker aluminum on higher-budget alternatives. This meant that I had to be very precise with my heat regulation to ensure perfectly cooked meals.

classic brights performance

The nonstick delivered near oil-free cooking, but I had to be extra gentle with the cookware. It’s almost tedious the amount of effort I had to put in not to scuff the surface. Several users reported peeling and pieces of nonstick in their food–a situation I wish no one in the world.

I was pretty frustrated by the pans sliding off my glass top cooking surfaces due to the glossy nature of the enamel porcelain. Not to mention, the handle’s weight doesn’t balance on all the pieces, leading to some tipping action on the smaller saucepans. The rivets also interfere with the cooking surface–I prefer higher-end models that incorporate flush rivets that create a continuous cooking surface and eliminate instances of food residue in the rivets.

Compatibility with Different Stovetops and Ovens

The cookware is compatible with all stovetops, except induction tops. The entire set is only oven-safe up to 350°F, including the stainless steel handles wrapped in rubber phenolic. The glass lids will also tolerate the same limits of about 350°F. They have been reported to shatter from way lower heat; therefore, we advise extreme caution when using them. The only exception is the bakeware on this collection that is said to go to 400°F, which I still found limiting, especially for its purpose.

Price Range

This is an incredibly affordable option for anyone on a budget and looking to own their first nonstick cookware. The number of pieces is also remarkable considering the price tag. And this is also a cheaper alternative to the Cucina, even though they do not offer similar-sized collections.

Available Set Options

Rachael Ray offers the Classic Brights Collection in different combination sets or as open stock. Below are the options available:

  • 15-Piece Hard-Anodized Collection: 1-quart saucepan with lid, 2-quart saucepan with lid, 5-quart Dutch oven with lid, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, 7-inch frying pan, 9-inch frying pan, 11-inch frying pan, 9.6-inch small nylon turner, 11.4-inch large nylon turner, 9.4-inch mini silicone spoonula, 9-inch x 13-inch cookie sheet pan
  • 14 Piece Collection: 1-quart and 2-quart saucepans with lids, 6-quart stockpot with lid, 8.5-inch and 10-inch frying pans, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, 10-inch x 15-inch oven lovin’ crispy sheet, jumbo spatula, medium turner, jumbo spoonula
  • 19-Piece Collection: 2-quart saucepan with lid, 5-quart dutch oven with lid, 3-quart sauté pan, 8-inch deep frying pan, 9.5-inch deep frying pan, 11-inch frying pan, 13-inch slotted spoon, 5-piece measuring cup set, 3-piece LocknLock food storage container set with lids
  • Covered deep frying pan in different sizes: 9” and 9.5”
  • 11” Square grill pan
  • 5.5 Qt nonstick casserole cooker
  • Nonstick frying pan in different colors
  • 9.25” and 11” nonstick frying pans in porcelain and hard-anodized
  • 3qt covered steamer set
  • 6 qt covered stockpot
  • 3qt covered saucepan
  • 5 qt covered oval saute with helper handle
  • 10 qt cover stockpot
  • 8.5” and 10” nonstick frying pan set

Rachael Ray Create Delicious

Rachael Ray Create Delicious Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set, 13 Piece, Gray Shimmer
  • PREMIUM NONSTICK TECHNOLOGY: Cookware set features PlatinumShield Technology enhanced nonstick reinforced to be 9X harder than titanium
  • BUILT TO LAST COOKWARE: Durable aluminum construction with induction compatible stainless steel base for versatility and strength
  • EASY TO CLEAN POTS AND PANS: Cooking set is dishwasher safe for fast, easy cleanup(handwash recommended for cookie sheet)

This is Rachael Ray’s most versatile collection, with mixed metal construction and unique sets for different cooking needs and styles.

Construction

The Create Delicious line is one of the most versatile in the Rachael Ray brand. The Pieces feature either one of the following makes:

  • Aluminum cookware with an enamel exterior
  • Heavy-gauge stainless steel
  • Hard-anodized aluminum

The aluminum cookware with an enamel exterior features heavy-gauge aluminum construction that is slightly thicker than that of the Classic Brights or Cityscapes collections. Holding both pans in alternate hands, I could instantly tell there was an aspect of better quality construction with this set. The enamel on these pieces is toned down with a few pastel choices. For me, this was way better than the loud options on the enamel porcelain exteriors of the colored cookware in other lines.

Rachael Ray Create Delicious pan construction

The heavy-gauge stainless steel set features a polished stainless steel exterior and a brushed stainless steel interior. The steel walls are thinner than your classic metal-clad cookware, which on the one hand, lowers the overall weight for excellent handling. On the other hand, the steel construction is evidently of a lower quality, meaning the cookware might not be as durable. However, the thin walls are excellent for heat distribution.

The hard-anodized pieces are heavy. Their exteriors are exposed to hard-anodized aluminum, identifiable by the dark grey. As always, these were my favorite pieces as their aesthetic is timeless and blends with any decor.

Each piece, including the stainless steel pieces, feature dual riveted, silicone-wrapped stainless steel handles. The handles come in various colors, but the options are as toned down as those of the enamel. The rivets on this collection do not flush with the surface, making cleaning as complicated as that of other lines by the brand.

Each of the pieces in this collection also comes with an induction base. The full caps are made of magnetized stainless steel, and most (besides that of the stainless steel collection) come with circular cut-outs meant to enhance aesthetics and induction. I have found that they trap grease and dirt, making it harder to clean the cookware. The induction cap also makes for a great anti-warp solution, which most of the other collections are highly susceptible to.

The collection comes with tempered glass lids with roomy stainless steel, silicone-wrapped handles. Again, the number one complaint on this was the shattering, and I chose not to test the limits here.

Coatings

The cookware features either one of two interiors. The stainless steel collection comes with a brushed stainless steel interior. The interior provides a non-reactive surface for your cooking. I have always preferred stainless steel over nonstick cookware, and I found that the food release on this set was relatively good. You can use any type of cooking utensils on this and not damage the surface.

The hard-anodized aluminum and aluminum sets come with a platinum-reinforced nonstick that the brand says is more durable than titanium-reinforced varieties. I gave it a run, and it performed as well as that of the Get Cooking set. Wooden and plastic utensils gave the nonstick superficial marks but did not scuff deep marks on the surface as the other pieces I tested in the brand. However, consumers who have used the cookware for a long time say that the nonstick is prone to peeling, especially from the unsealed rims.

Despite Rachael Ray dubbing the entire set dishwasher safe, I chose to hand wash these pieces to avoid degrading the nonstick and the enamel on the aluminum. I noticed the stainless steel cap caught heat stains that required a tough scrubber to get off. Also, cooking on a larger stovetop than the pan’s base stained the enamel on one of the aluminum pans beyond repair.

Performance

Based on your cooking requirements, the Create Delicious set has something for everyone. Thanks to the heat retention, the stainless steel set was great for searing and browning. On the other hand, delicate foods like pancakes and fish fillets cooked exceptionally well on the nonstick pans. The food always cooked evenly on the aluminum pieces due to the material’s excellent heat conduction and distribution. The thin walls on the stainless steel also allowed the cookware to distribute heat fast for the same effect.

Rachael Ray Create Delicious performance

Compatibility with Different Stovetops and Ovens

The Create Delicious collection is compatible with all stovetops, including induction tops. The entire set is oven-safe up to 400°F. The silicone-wrapped handles are responsible for lowering the heat tolerance below what is average for nonstick cookware. I would also place the glass lids as oven-safe up to 350°F as a safety measure.

Price Range

The sets and pieces are in the budget category offering, including the hard anodized and stainless steel collection. I would recommend this over the Cityscapes, Cusina, and Classic Brights due to their better quality construction. The only reason one would opt for those over the Create Delicious is if the color choice (which is limited here) was really a priority. But, that does not mean that the performance is marginally better; this collection is simply designed to serve a little longer. Consumers should opt for more durable cookware as an environmentally conservative measure.

Available Set Options

Rachael Ray offers the Create Delicious Collection in different combination sets or as open stock. Below are the options available:

  • 13-Piece aluminum with enamel collection: 1.5-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart everything pan with lid, 6-quart stockpot with lid, 8.5-inch deep frying pan, 10.25-inch deep frying pan, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, 9.625-inch turner, 9-inch x 13-inch cookie pan
  • 8-Piece stackable option: Two stockpots, a saute pan, a steamer insert, and two lids.
  • 10-piece stainless steel collection: 1-quart saucepan, 2-quart covered saucepan, 6-quart covered stockpot, 10.25-inch deep skillet, 3-quart covered sauté, solid rubberwood spoon, slotted rubberwood turner
  • 6 qt covered stockpot
  • 14.25” Wok
  • 14.5” Nonstick frying pan with helper handle
  • 3 Qt nonstick straining saucepan
  • 10.25” Nonstick deep frying pan
  • 12.5” Deep frying pan with helper handle
  • 9.5” and 11.75” frying pan set
  • 3Qt steamer set
  • 3Qt covered saucier
  • 10.25” Covered deep skillet
  • 9.25” deep skillet
  • 12.5” Deep frying pan with helper handle
  • 9.5” Covered deep frying pan
  • 3Qt nonstick pan
  • 3Qt hard anodized covered saucier

Rachael Ray Cityscapes

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Rachael Ray Cityscapes Nonstick Sauté Pan with Lid and Helper Handle, 5 Quart, Turquoise
  • Rachael Ray cookware inspired by Rachael's time in Copenhagen and her love of hygge [hoo-gah]: a look of coziness, enjoying the good things in life, a state of mind
  • Sturdy long-lasting aluminum construction cooks quickly and evenly; helper handle makes it easy to hanle family-sized recipes
  • Durable nonstick interior keeps food release and cleanup easy

The Cityscapes collection was inspired by Rachael’s time in Copenhagen, her particular interest in hygge [hoo-gah]: a look of coziness. The cookware also speaks to Rachael’s relishing of the best that life has to offer. She also put this collection out as a testament to the delight of being in an excellent state of mind.

Construction

The Cityscapes collection has a different look from Rachael Ray’s other aluminum cookware. The differences are subtle but enough to have the collection stand out aesthetics-wise. Alongside my Classic Brights and Cucina, you can immediately point out the newcomers. I particularly liked that the pots have dome-shaped bodies, thinning towards the rim.

The cookware is made of sturdy aluminum with a colored enamel porcelain exterior. The dual riveted steel handles feature Rachael Ray’s painted rubber phenolic handles. I noticed that, unlike other cookware sets that feature Rachael Ray’s signature along the handles, this set stands out with a silver-accent cut-out that can be used to hand the pieces or hold the cookware. The problematic rivets that protrude on the interior also make an appearance– they are notorious for trapping grime and residue, which makes cleaning up a little hard.

Rachael Ray Cityscapes collection

The glass lids with metal rims and grooved phenolic knobs do not fit snugly on the pots. I also had difficulty cooking with the lids on at higher temperatures after the numerous reports of the glass shattering mid-cooking. Although, to be fair, there have not been any reports of that happening on this set (not any that I can find).

Coatings

Naturally, the interior is made of nonstick material to provide a non-reactive surface for your cooking. I found that the nonstick performance on this set did not vary much from that of other collections. The food release was good, but the surface did scuff quite easily from wooden and plastic utensils, not just metallic. Cleaning was relatively easy–soaking the pieces in warm water, and gentle soap does the trick. The set is not dishwasher safe.

The exterior is a full glossy enamel porcelain. Despite limited color choices, the blue and cherry red that I saw at the store looked sightly, and I imagine they’d look beautiful in most kitchens. But I did notice that the pots sustained burn marks that, hard as I tried, refused to come off. This had happened to the pieces from the Classic Brights and Cucina collections as well, so it did not come as a shock.

Performance

I would advise that you stick to low and medium heat settings. Not just to preserve the aesthetics but to keep the nonstick from fuming and releasing toxins into your food. The enamel porcelain base coat on one pan cracked a little from a high heat setting, and without its aesthetics, there’s not much appeal.

This set is riddled with the same problems as Rachael’s other sets, including the glossy bodied pieces sliding off flat burner tops and food getting trapped in rivets. The aluminum conducted heat well, but the pots and pans in this set were relatively weak and dinged quite easily when dropped. Unfortunately, the Cityscapes collection lacks a hard-anodized alternative that makes for more durable and responsive cookware.

Compatibility With Different Stovetops and Ovens

The cookware is compatible with all stovetops, except induction tops. The entire set is only oven-safe up to 350°F, including the stainless steel handles wrapped in rubber phenolic. The glass lids will also tolerate the same limits of about 350°F. They have been reported to shatter from way lower heat; therefore, we advise extreme caution when using them.

Price Range

This is one of the cheapest collections from Rachael Ray. The set makes a decent option for people on an extreme budget or looking to spruce up the kitchen with some bright pieces, but don’t expect much from them in terms of performance.

Available Set Options

Rachael Ray offers the Cityscape Collection in two sets and limited open stock. Below are the options available:

  • 14-Piece Set: Two saucepans, a nonstick baking sheet, a saute pan, two skillets, a nonstick suitable spatula, four lids, a Veg-a-Peel (handy Rachael Ray vegetable peeler), utility knife, and nonstick-suitable nylon turner.
  • 12-Piece: Two saucepans, a nonstick baking sheet, a saute pan, two skillets, a nonstick suitable spatula, four lids, and a nonstick-suitable nylon turner.
  • 12” Nonstick skillet

Rachael Ray Stainless Steel and hard-anodized collection

Rachael Ray Create Delicious Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 10-Piece Pots and Pans Set, Stainless Steel with Light Blue Handles
  • EASY CLEANING COOKWARE: Convenient and versatile 10-piece pots and pans set with shatter resistant glass lids is dishwasher safe for fast and easy cleanup.
  • STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE SET: Durable, polished stainless steel pots and pans feature etched measurement markings for full function and full shine.
  • STRONG & VERSATILE POTS AND PANS: Induction-suitable base for ultra strength and durability is compatible with any stovetop. Flared rims for easy pouring.

The mixed metal composition on this selection gives you the best of both worlds in a quality and durable set.

Construction

The pieces in this collection adopt the most convenient construction materials for best cooking results. The grey and silver cookware set features stainless steel cookware and hard-anodized pieces. The collection has 2 frying pans and a deep frying pan in hard-anodized construction, while the saucepans and stockpot come in stainless steel construction. As a cooking fanatic, I quickie agreed with this separation of cooking material as it gives each piece the best properties for the type of meal it prepares.

Rachael ray stainless steel construction

The stainless steel pieces are not fully clad but rather have a full cap made with an aluminum core sandwiched between the stainless steel layers. I liked this because it really improved the heating performance of the cookware. But not just that, it also ensures that the pieces can be used on an induction top–something that’s rare with Rachael Ray’s sets. The cap is thick and retains heat as well as it conducts and distributes it.

The hard-anodized collection is another gem. The construction quality on these sets is not the same as that of the Cucina or the Classic Brights. These pans feel sturdier and perform better as well. And while they do not feature induction caps on the bottom like their stainless steel counterparts, they do not glide all over the flat stovetops like the enamel porcelain pieces on most other sets within the brand.

The handles on the entire set are very ergonomic, and I enjoyed feeling the weight of the pieces balance in my hands. The long and short handles are all made of cast stainless steel, which allows them to stay cool to the touch even after a long cooking session. However, I still kept my potholders handy as I’ve been deceived one too many times by the ‘stay cool’ promise. I also think this particular feature gives the collection an upscale look–because, let’s face it, the silicone and rubber phenolic handles on the other collections have quite the cheap look.

Rachael ray stainless steel handles

The dome-shaped glass lids are said to be shatter-proof. I feel like I trust this set more, as they feel sturdier to the touch. The handles on the lids have protruding screws that I think add a sort of rugged look but could stand to be more blended with the surface. They also have soft metal rims that are delicate enough not to scuff the nonstick on the hard-anodized sets and are unvented, which keeps the steam locked in. The fit of the lids is also better than the other collections, which was a huge win in my books.

Coatings

The stainless steel pieces feature a brushed stainless steel interior and exterior. The feel of the stainless steel cannot be compared to that of Hestan’s premium offerings or, say, All-Clad. It is significantly lighter than most of the stainless steel cookware I’ve used in the past, but it gets the job done. To preserve the stainless steel cookware, I’ve found that hand washing keeps it pristine. Because while it claims to be dishwasher friendly, it leaves the cookware with splotchy marks. Adopt stainless steel-friendly cooking methods to have easier post-cooking cleanup.

The hard-anodized pieces come with a nonstick coating on the interior. I like the quality of nonstick on this set. While I’ve learned not to push the limits with metal utensils, this set stood quite well to wooden and plastic utensils. You can still see superficial marks from where I fought with a piece of salmon on the large frying pan, but at least there’s less scuffing to worry about. I do not subject my nonsticks to dishwashers, so I simply let these pans sit with a warm soapy solution, which got most of the cleaning done.

Performance

As mentioned earlier, the material on each piece is matched to the cooking method. Thanks to the nonstick, cooking fish, eggs, and pancakes on the pans was a breeze. With a little butter and on a low flame, the pans caught heat fast enough and without hotspots allowing my meals to cook evenly and without sticking. I also used significantly less oil thanks to the nostick, which is the essence of these pans.

The saucepans and stockpot allowed me to reduce and simmer well due to the heat retention of the stainless steel walls. The thick base also distributed heat quite evenly, allowing my dishes to cook evenly. The thin walls also conducted heat quickly, and there was nearly no difference with my tri-ply collection from Anolon (which cost almost three times the price of this set, if I might add). However, for a less sticky cooking session, you need to learn best practices for stainless steel cooking.

Admittedly, I had to stick to low heat flames on both sets. For the nonstick, I’m fully aware that it can start to release unwanted fumes at high heat. On the other hand, the stainless steel surprised me as it appears to have caught permanent heat stains from using a high flame. I rather like my cookware flawless, despite it not affecting cooking performance.

Compatibility With Different Stovetops and Ovens

The stainless steel cookware is compatible with all stovetops, including induction tops. The hard-anodized set is also compatible with most stovetops, excluding induction tops. The entire set is oven-safe up to 500°F, thanks to the cast stainless steel handles on both sets and the quality nonstick on the hard-anodized set. And while the manufacturer doesn’t give a disclaimer for the lids, I’d advise keeping them out of the oven at temperatures beyond 350°F as a safety measure.

Price Range

For Rachael Ray, this is her most expensive set, but a budget collection as far as cookware goes. Needless to say, it is also the most durably built and provides immense value for the pieces. They are adequately sized, without an overly tiny saucepan or pieces that create redundancy in function. You’re not also paying for cooking utensils as pieces, which most people will appreciate. Best of all is that you get mid-range performance for a budget price tag.

Available Set Options

Rachael Ray offers the Stainless Steel and hard-anodized Collection in one set and without open stock. The set includes:

  • 11-Piece set: 1.5-quart stainless steel saucepan with lid, 3-quart stainless steel saucepan with lid, 6-quart stainless steel stockpot with lid, steamer insert, 8.5-inch hard-anodized frying pan, 10-inch hard-anodized frying pan, 12.5-inch hard-anodized deep frying pan with helper handle

Rachael Ray Get Cooking

Rachael Ray Get Cooking Stackable Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set, 8 Piece, Gray
  • ENHANCED NONSTICK: PlatinumShield enhanced silver nonstick is reinforced to be 9X harder than titanium for effortless food release and long-lasting durability
  • SMART STACKING COOKWARE: Essential family-sized pieces stack smartly for 55% more cabinet space
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Heavy gauge aluminum construction provides fast, even heating and features an innovative anti-warp base

This is a limited collection by Rachael Ray that is almost exclusively available on her website. This is Rachael Ray’s version of stackable cookware.

Construction

When I first read about this stackable cookware by Rachael Ray, I was eager to see what this brand had to offer. The last set I tested out was Anolon’s Smart Stack by the same parent company, and they blew my mind. The Get Cooking collection comprises heavy gauge aluminum and coated in porcelain enamel. The pieces are heavier than those of the Cucina or Classic Brights, probably due to the visibly thicker aluminum layer.

The pieces are limited–two stockpots, a large saute pan, a steamer insert, and a set of two silicone cooking utensils. On their own, they occupy less space than a larger set, say from the Create Delicious line. I could already fit the pieces in one of my cabinets without really needing to stack the cookware. However, the pieces do seamlessly nest to form a short stack. I was also able to interlock the two lids with the interiors facing, then placed them atop the stack.

The collection comes with an anti-warp base, which is very important in preserving the cookware’s shape for efficiency in stacking. This heavy base also seems to keep the cookware from sliding off flat cooktops due to the glossy porcelain, which has been a welcome change. The pieces also came with two short dual-riveted, silicone-wrapped handles in place of the long handles. This took up less lateral space in my cabinets and is a design spec I can live with. After a few cooking sessions, it barely felt strange not having the long handle.

The rims are slightly flared to allow for the inserted pots’ base to slide in without scrapping the nonstick lining. The rims also come with stainless steel sealed edges for durability. The two glass lids do not have the interlocking mechanism I saw on the SmartStack. However, the stainless steel rims on the lids have been smoothened out to keep from damaging their resting surface on the pots. The roomy handles are made of silicone, and their ergonomic design felt more comfortable than the rigid ones on most other Rachael Ray pieces.

Coatings

The interior is made of Platinum Shield nonstick, a platinum-reinforced nonstick variety that the brand claims to be stronger than titanium-reinforced nonstick. Now, as with all other pieces I secured for this test run, I did try out my metal spatula, and the nonstick held up quite well. The plastic and wooden utensils that gave the rest of the pieces such easy scuffs did nothing to this variety, and I like what that means for longevity. With a stackable option, you need to guarantee that the constant friction will not wear out the coating.

The glossy enamel porcelain on the exterior also slides easily along the base cookware’s nonstick interior. The quality is pretty much in line with other enamel porcelain exteriors in Rachael Ray’s other collections. The color options are limited to grey, cherry red, and blue, but they each complement the light grey (almost white) nonstick interior. The cookware is not dishwasher safe, but handwashing was easy, and grime came off just as easily on the interior and the exterior.

Performance

The heavy-gauge aluminum was good for cooking. It conducted heat very well and distributed it evenly with no heat spots. Obviously, I stuck to low and medium flames to prevent the nonstick fuming and keep the enamel from developing burn marks. The food release was excellent–not just for a budget brand, but performed along the lines of premium brand nonstick offerings.

Compatibility With Different Stovetops and Ovens

The Get Cooking collection is compatible with all stovetops, including induction tops. The entire set is oven-safe up to 400°F, lowered below average for nonstick cookware by the silicone-wrapped handles. I would place the glass lids as oven-safe up to 350°F as a safety measure.

Price Range

The collection is affordably priced, but you do not get value for the number of pieces. This solution-driven convenience collection features 3 cookware pieces and a steamer insert, which is insufficient for your cooking needs. Despite its efficiency as a clutter-free set, you might find yourself purchasing extra pieces to complement the ones on the set–this would land you right where you started, with a storage problem. Therefore, this might not be the best value for money, considering there are sets that give you full-size cookware, with all pieces included and delivering on the same storage efficiency.

Available Set Options

Rachael Ray offers the Get Coking Collection in one set and without open stock. The set includes:

  • Two stockpots, a saute pan, a steamer insert, and two lids.

The Cast Iron Collection

Rachael Ray Enameled Cast Iron Skillet/Fry Pan with Pour Spouts, 12 Inch, Red Shimmer
  • CAST IRON STRONG SKILLET: Durable cast iron frying pan construction provides superior heat distribution for excellent searing and browning
  • READY TO RIP: Cast iron skillet featires inside and out enamel surface for easy cleaning with no pre-seasoning required
  • PUT SOME SHIMMER IN IT: Frying pan's exterior enamel features Rachael's amazing red shimmer finish

Recommendation: You need this.
The Cast Iron collection is an extra offering that I found quite handy to add to my collection. The pieces in this collection come preseasoned, but you can season them again to create an even more nonstick cooking surface. I got the cast iron skillet and risotto pan that together form the perfect dutch oven pot. They have an enamel-covered exterior, which to my surprise, looks very beautiful, especially in the grey color that I got mine in. However, you can get the bare cast options, which look professional and timeless.

The oven tolerance for all the pieces in this collection is 500°F, and they are compatible across all stovetops, including induction tops. I found that both the skillet and pan retained heat exceptionally well, in true cast iron fashion. The best bit about the enamel-coated set is that I was able to put on a decent presentation when serving dinner since the pan retained heat and looked good alongside my dinner set.

I’ve always loved that you use less oil on cast iron pieces without worrying about toxic releases, as in nonstick cookware. After my initial seasoning, my proteins barely stuck, and what stuck, I turned into a nice sauce. The skillets also gave my meals that categorical taste that lets you know you’re getting an iron-fortified meal, which I quite like. Cleaning the pan and skillet was as easy as letting hot water deglaze the surface and giving it a swirl.

I’m particularly glad that I know the set’s interior will improve with age. The enamel coating has held up. I’m sure the heat stains will catch up with the aesthetics, but that’s something I’m ready for, and I think the grey option makes them less of an issue than blue or red. The skillets come with pouring spouts, which serve your food without losing the juices when serving, so that’s a good option.

The pieces are averagely priced for cast iron cookware, but the pieces are highly durable and an investment you won’t regret. Below are the options available:

  • 4 Qt casserole plus 10” griddle lid
  • 12” Cast-iron frying pan
  • 10” Cast-iron skillet
  • Cast iron risotto pot plus skillet
  • 5 Qt cast-iron casserole with lid1.5 Qt fondue pot with forks.

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