Do you have high standards for your cookware?
Do you want your cookware to be affordable and high-quality, all while making prep and cleanup a cinch? Oh, and also one that doesn’t contain harmful, poisonous chemicals?
Me, too, friends. Me, too.
Finding all of those features in your average cookware sets can be difficult. Yet, there are some brands out there that try to check all of those boxes.
One of those brands is Circulon. This article is a review of the Circulon Premier Professional 13 piece Cookware Set and whether or not it might be the right fit for you.
I found the Circulon Premier Professional Cookware Set to be an excellent quality non-stick option. I would certainly recommend it.
Yet there are alternative products available.
Read on to find out what alternatives there are and why I give Circulon Premier Professional set two thumbs up.
Circulon Brand – When Circles Align
Circulon is, unsurprisingly, all about circles. You can tell this not only from their name, but from their motto, “when circles align.”
Somehow having raised circular ridges on their pans helps with the cooking. Here’s what they say about it:
Nice in theory. Does it work in practice? Let’s find out!
Circulon has been making nonstick cookware products for over 30 years. This brand specializes in hard-anodized aluminum pots and pans known for their durability and even heat distribution.
What’s more, Circulon has a hassle-free Lifetime Warranty, which might give you some peace of mind.
So what exactly is included in the Circulon Premier Professional Cookware set?
When it comes to cookware sets, the Circulon Premier is quite generous. This 13 piece cookware set consists of the following items:
- 1-quart (.9 liters) straining saucepan
- 2-quart (1.9 liters) straining saucepan
- 3-quart (2.8 liters) straining saucepan
- 8-quart (7.5 liters) stockpot with lid
- 5-quart (4.7 liters) sauté pan with lid
- 8.5-inch (21.5 cm) skillet
- 10-inch (25 cm) skillet
- 12-inch (30 cm) skillet
You can stack the pots and pans, but doing so could potentially damage the exterior nonstick coating. If you have the storage space, I would recommend storing the cookware in a single layer.
I like that the set has skillets in a variety of sizes. Omelets, in particular, are easier for me to cook in a smaller pan. I also appreciate the included stockpot. I find the stockpot to be a must-have for batch cooking or larger recipes.
For a quick rundown of the pros and cons of the Circulon Premier Professional set:
- Suitable for induction heat cooktops
- Easy to clean & dishwasher safe
- Oven safe for temps up to 400°F (204°C)
- Circulon’s TOTAL® nonstick food release system
- Even heat distribution
- Durable hard-anodized aluminum construction with stainless steel base
- Comfortable handles and straining saucepans
- No glass lids for the skillets
- Some reviews mention loose-fitting lids
- Slower heating than cast iron or other cooking surfaces
- No steamer or griddle included
Features of the Circulon Premier Professional Cookware Set
Although the Circulon Premier Professional set is relatively affordable, it will cost you more than purchasing a simple nonstick pan you find in stores.
So why would you opt for this Circulon set over the average, run-of-the-mill nonstick cookware in the store?
Well, there are actually several features that make this product higher quality than other options.
Ready to find out what those are?
Let’s jump right in.
One of the Circulon Premier Professional cookware’s highlighted features is the heavy-duty hard-anodized aluminum construction with stainless steel base.
Whew, that’s a mouthful.
So what does that mean, exactly?
Aluminum is a popular material for cookware because it is cost-effective and known for its even heating, but it’s not as hard or durable as stainless steel. What’s worse? Aluminum is highly reactive with food and may be linked to Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
In short, a plain aluminum pan is best avoided.
This is where the term “hard-anodized” comes into play.
By soaking the aluminum pots and pans in a chemical bath and giving an electrical charge, manufacturers oxidize the aluminum.
The result? A nonporous layer that is scratch-resistant and highly durable.
In fact, hard-anodized aluminum is twice as hard as stainless steel. This is some pretty tough stuff.
The oxidized layer prevents any exposure to the interior aluminum, which means you can use your pans safely.
Circulon’s hard-anodized aluminum gives you all the benefits of aluminum (lightweight, heat distribution, etc.) while eliminating the downsides (reactivity with food, scratching, softness).
It’s a win-win.
If for no other reason, I like to have non-stick cookware for cooking scrambled eggs. Cleaning dried egg residue off a pan is one of my least favorite ways to spend a Saturday morning. And I’ve had to do that more times than I would care to admit.
Nonstick to the rescue.
The Circulon Premier Professional set has a non-stick coating and food release system to help you flip pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches with ease.
One unique feature of this non-stick is the rings on the interior cooking surface. These raised circles are part of the Circulon brand’s TOTAL® Nonstick system, which features 3 layers of non-stick coating.
Some may prefer a smooth cooking surface to the raised circles, and a few reviews mentioned food sticking to them. Then again, others claim the circles improve the non-stick properties as intended. Circulon’s layers and circles should also prevent surface wear from cooking utensils extending the life of the non-stick coating.
It all boils down to your personal preference.
As with almost all non-stick cookware, the Circulon non-stick coating has a chemical known as Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE is the active ingredient in Teflon. To ensure safe cooking, remember to always:
- Avoid using metal utensils on non-stick
- Stay within the heat recommendations
- Dispose of the cookware if there are chips or cracks on the interior
But since the non-stick coating is on the interior and exterior, this Circulon cookware is easy to clean.
No more dried scrambled egg residue? That makes me one happy home cook.
What is the perfect follow-up to a wonderfully cooked meal enjoyed by the whole family around the dinner table?
Hint: It’s not a big pile of dishes to wash by hand.
Are you the kind of person who looks at a sink full of dirty pots and pans with dread? I am. That’s why having cookware that is dishwasher safe is important for me.
Some nonstick cookware claims to be dishwasher safe, but it is not really dishwasher safe. You end up with discolored or scratched cookware. And you know what’s worse than having to wash cookware by hand?
The Circulon Premier Professional cookware set, however, really is dishwasher safe, making cleanup painless.
Just be sure to place your pots and pans inside the dishwasher so that they do not come into contact with any metal. This will help avoid damage and prolong the life of your Circulon Premier cookware.
Heat Resistance & Oven Safe
Cookware that can go seamlessly from stovetop to oven? I love these pans.
The Circulon Premier Professional set is oven safe for temperatures up to 400° F (204°C), which is excellent for getting that perfectly set skillet frittata. You can also use these pots and pans on a variety of cooking surfaces.
Do you have an induction cooktop? No problem. These Circulon pans are suitable for induction heat. Many reviews mention how well this Circulon product performs on induction stoves.
Pouring Lip on Saucepans
Just picture this:
You’ve just finished simmering a delightful tomato pasta sauce in your saucepan. All you have left to do is to combine it with your cooked pasta, and dinner will be served. As you begin to pour the sauce, it suddenly splatters and stains your sleeve while also burning your hand.
Sound familiar? We’ve all been there.
These Circulon saucepans have a pouring lip, a lifesaver for pouring pasta sauces or other scorching hot liquids.
Draining cooked corn or hard-boiled eggs can be a pain, but Circulon Premier Professional’s pouring lids make that process seamless.
Shatter Resistant Glass Lids
Cookware lids can potentially be an overlooked feature, but if you’ve ever had rice ruined because all the moisture escaped, you know the lid is essential
It needs to be tight and hold in moisture while being comfortable to lift and use.
These Circulon glass lids are shatter-resistant and feature rubberized stainless steel handles. The handles have a sleek, comfortable design.
Another perk? The handles stay cool, so you don’t scald your hand while lifting the glass lids off your pots and pans.
Not that I’ve ever done that (*cough, cough*).
Along with the pouring lips, the saucepan lid rims feature venting holes. These are great for straining pasta or boiled vegetables without letting the heat escape.
To keep moisture inside while cooking, simply rotate the lid, so the venting holes are not showing from the pouring lip.
While I enjoy the look of a sleek black or stainless steel pan, it can be nice to infuse some color into your kitchen with colorful cookware.
This Circulon Premier Professional cookware set has a beautiful, matte bronze finish to give your kitchen a fresh, classy look. The side and lid handles are clad in matching bronze silicone.
And since these Circulon pots and pans are easy to clean, you can keep that finish looking nice and sharp.
How Does Circulon Premier Professional Stack Up Against Alternatives?
Circulon claim to have made the first even hard anodized non-stick cookware. I can’t say for sure if that’s true, yet what is true is there are plenty of alternatives available now.
While the Circulon Premier Professional is a high-quality cookware set, there are other products on the market. These alternatives all feature a hard-anodized aluminum body. Let’s take a look at some of the options:
Circulon Premier Professional Versus Circulon Symmetry
Circulon offers several lines of cookware. One of those is the Circulon Symmetry line of cookware, using the same hard-anodized aluminum construction and food release system as the Premier Professional set.
While the two sets have practically identical quality and design, the Circulon Symmetry 10 piece cookware set does not include as many pieces. Usually, the Premier Professional 13 piece cookware set is more affordable as well.
To sum up:
- Typically not as good value as Premier Professional
- Fewer items (10 pieces)
- Extra color options
- Induction compatible
- No pouring lips
- Similar Quality and design
Too much cookware?
If you are looking for just a fry pan then I would recommend this Circulon Symmetry Fry Pan. It comes with a shatter-resistant lid greatly increasing its versatility. I like it because you have a few cooking options with it:
- Fry pan
- Saucepan (it’s large enough)
- Small Work–Great stir fry!
T-Fal, a brand known for its non-stick cookware, also offers a line of hard-anodized aluminum pots and pans.
The T-Fal 12 piece set has 2 fry pans versus the 3 skillets in the 13 piece Circulon set.
It also swaps out the 8-quart (7.5 liters) stockpot for a 5-quart (4.7 liters) Dutch oven.
To sum up:
- Similar quality to Circulon
- Slightly less expensive
- Fewer cookware pieces (12, 2 of which are cooking utensils)
- No pouring lips on saucepans
- Only comes in one color (black)
This 12 piece set of pans features a nice pop of color on the silicone handles and lids. It also comes in at a lower price point. On the other hand, you cannot use these pots and pans on induction cooktops. Also, some reviews mentioned the silicone becoming discolored in the dishwasher.
To sum up:
- Hard-anodized aluminum body like Circulon
- Not suitable for induction cooktops
- Fewer pieces (12, 2 of which are cooking utensils)
- Colorful handles (red, orange, and blue)
- Less expensive
The Calphalon Signature Cookware Set is a 10 piece set with similar construction to the Circulon Premier Professional, minus the rubberized handles. This product is advertised as oven-safe for temperatures up to 500°F (260°C) and safe for metal utensils.
But would I risk using metal tools on them? Probably not.
If you opt for the Calphalon Signature cookware, be prepared for a smaller, pricier set.
To sum up:
- Significantly higher price than Circulon
- Fewer items (10 pieces)
- Not induction compatible
- Oven safe for temps up to 500°F (260°C)
The Final Word
The Circulon Premier Professional 13 piece cookware set has a first-rate design and comes in at a reasonable price. It has more pots and pans than the alternatives listed and is the only set that has the pouring lip on the saucepans. The bottom line is if you want to get the most out of your cookware and your pocketbook, I would recommend the Circulon Premier Professional Cookware Set.