Some cookware is meant to last forever, but it needs work maintaining it. Other cookware, especially non stick, needs to be thrown away once the inside is damaged.
Now, I do like a decent set of nonstick pans. Cast iron and steel have their places in my kitchen, but nonstick makes my life easier.
Yet once I consider the environmental cost of throwing so many old pots and pans out the window, I begin to feel guilty.
Fortunately for us cookware fanatics, Cuisinart has come up with an eco-friendly nonstick line that’s easy on our planet.
SPOILER ALERT: If you just want to know whether to buy this cookware set: It’s a great set, slightly more expensive than the competition, but worth it for the durability and eco-friendliness.
Or for more details, including some cool alternatives, please read the rest of my Cuisinart Green Gourmet review.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Hard Anodized Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set
Hard anodized aluminum cookware sets make for a great addition to any kitchen and allow for high-efficiency cooking.
The material provides the following kitchen benefits:
- High durability
- Non-reactive materials
- Excellent cooking performance
- Easy to clean
Even so, the range isn’t for everyone, for the following reasons:
- More expensive than other cookware ranges
- Often comes with a nonstick coating which may not be dishwasher safe or suitable for high temperatures
- Nonstick coating (if supplied) often contains Teflon
- If there is no nonstick coating – the aluminum can be sticky
Hard anodized non-stick ceramic cookware uses a special ceramic coating and is more likely to be Teflon-free. It’s ideal for those who like to spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen, working diligently on crafting a lush dish.
However, if you’re in a hurry and need to get in and out of the kitchen, you’d be better off going for traditional Teflon pans.
If you are interested, I’ve written more about hard-anodized cookware generally.
Cuisinart Green Gourmet Review
Although I’m reviewing Cuisinart’s 10-piece Green Gourmet set, note that a 12-piece version is also available.
With this set, you get:
- 1x 8-inch (20cm) skillet
- 1x 1-quart (0.9 liter) saucepan with cover
- 1x 2.5-quart(2.4 liter) saucepan with cover
- 1x 3-quart (2.8 liter) sauté pan with cover
- 1x 6-quart (5.7 liter) saucepot with cover
- Pasta insert for the 6-quart saucepot
(The 4 lids count towards the 10 piece total)
This Cuisinart eco-friendly cookware set has a hard-anodized aluminum construction that offers fast and even heating.
Of note is the Cuisinart Green Gourmet pan set’s ceramic non-stick coating that’s also petroleum-free. It’s also PTFE-free, making the pots and pans highly safe for your kitchen. (PTFE is the main ingredient in Teflon.)
Yet the skillet’s non-stick coating isn’t perfect.
I’m afraid you’ll have to stick to the hand-washing, but at least this is easy to do with this set.
- Provides even cooking
- Quality, hard-anodized construction
- Riveted handles made from 70% recycled materials
- Not Dishwasher Safe
- Skillet is a bit small
Features and Benefits of the Cuisinart Green Gourmet
The manufacturer, of course claims this is a great set and highlights the interior non stick coating, you can see their video here:
Yet do these claims stack up? Mostly—yes. Read on to find out more.
If you want to pick up a cookware set that lasts a seriously long time in the kitchen, this set fits the bill.
It’s scratch-resistant and won’t chip or peel easily, which is all thanks to the anodized aluminum. Additionally, anodized aluminum is lighter than stainless steel while being much harder than regular aluminum.
Many customers report that their Green Gourmet has lasted for years. This speaks volumes as to the excellent durability.
The only factor to consider here is if you can properly maintain the product. Despite being durable, the range isn’t dishwasher-safe. In particular, the dishwasher can damage the non-stick coating.
Easy to Clean
Despite only being hand-washable, Cuisinart ensures this is easy thanks to the smooth, non-stick surface and hard-anodized body.
According to customers, you can easily scrape the food off the surface before cleaning, so there won’t be much residue left. This is especially true when you’ve used butter or oil to lubricate the top layer.
Non-Toxic, Non-Stick Ceramica
The set’s smooth sections go through an electrochemical anodizing process that creates the non-stick surface, called Ceramica. However, unlike Teflon, it doesn’t use Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)—making it potentially more eco-friendly and safer than its Teflon counterpart.
Customer reviews have highlighted that the non-stick properties work well, especially when you use oil while cooking eggs and meats.
When you’re cooking acidic foods, such as lemon juice or tomato juice, on metallic pans, the aluminum can leach into the food.
You won’t have this issue with this set, thanks to the hard-anodized surface and non-porous coating, which lock the aluminum inside the pan. Many customers have reported they’re delighted with the internal lining’s quality.
The hard-anodized aluminum allows for excellent kitchen performance. In particular, it’s ideal for even heat distribution, ensuring your meats are cooked throughout, and no hotspots exist.
According to the manual, you can use this cookware in the oven as well, with a maximum temperature of 204°C (400°F).
Further, when used on a medium or medium-hot flame, this cookware captures heat extremely efficiently, according to the manufacturers. This is thanks to the materials used, saving you save on gas and time in the long run—something I wished I knew a LONG time ago!
Users have also reported that the handling accentuates its performance. You can easily pick up the pots and pans thanks to the stay-cool riveted handles.
Despite this excellence, the set isn’t suited to high-temperature cooking on the hob. According to the manufacturer, as the material is extremely efficient in capturing and distributing heat, consistent high temperatures can eventually damage it.
This set doesn’t have green in the name for nothing!
Specifically, it lacks PTFE, making it potentially healthier as well as eco-conscious. The use of these chemicals in Teflon pans can create toxic chemicals at temperatures over 260°C (500°F), so they are best avoided.
The eco-friendly philosophy also extends to the riveted “stay-cool” handles, which are made from 70% recycled stainless steel. Another environmental bonus!
One last great touch in this department is the recycled packaging, which is a big box-ticker for me. Customers don’t mind paying the premium price for this set, as they’re happy with the eco-friendly aspects.
If you aren’t set on the Green Gourmet, check out these alternatives.
GreenPan Valencia Cookware Set
This GreenPan set is also eco-friendly and is made from the brand’s signature Thermolon minerals. Thanks to this, the materials used are free from PFAS and PTFE, just like Green Gourmet.
Much like the Cuisinart model, it also won’t release toxic fumes if you accidentally overheat the pans. (Try not to “test” this, as overheating any pan could damage it)
In this set, you also get a wide range of options:
- 1x 8-inch (20cm) frying pan.
- 1x 9-inch (23cm) frying pan.
- 1x 5-inch (13cm) frying pan.
- 1x 11-inch (28cm) frying pan.
- 1x 2-quart (1.9 liter) saucepan with a lid.
- 1x 3-quart (2.8 liter) saucepan with a lid.
- 1x 3-quart sauté pan with a lid.
- 1x 5-quart (4.7 liter) casserole with a lid
Something else to consider if you don’t want a full set is the standalone GreenPan Lima 12” frying pan, which is an awesome option.
Unlike the Cuisinart cookware, the GreenPan set has a diamond-infused non-stick coating on this product, ensuring excellent durability, even heat distribution, and effortless cleanup.
One major positive, when compared with the Cuisinart option, is that this set is dishwasher-safe, which is perfect for those of you in a hurry after cooking. Additionally, it’s oven and broiler-safe up to 315°C (599°F).
One of the few downsides of this model, according to user reviews, is the fact that once the non-stick begins to chip off from this set, it almost becomes impossible to use.
- Dishwasher, oven, and broiler safe
- Diamond-infused coating for greater durability
- Easy to clean
- Ceramica chips off on the edges quite frequently
- Very difficult to use once the coating begins to wear off
Comparison to Cuisinart Green Gourmet Cookware
- Uses diamond-infused coating, while Cuisinart has a hard-anodized aluminum construction.
- Dishwasher and broiler-safe while Cuisinart cookware doesn’t offer this feature.
- The Cuisinart option has better durability in maintaining the non-stick coating.
If you like the look of the Green Pan Valencia set and are interested to see more Green Pan products, check out my Green Pan Reviews.
Gotham Steel Cookware
Another excellent set worth looking into is this Gotham Steel 13-piece set, which includes:
- 1x 8-inch (20cm) skillet
- 1x 10-inch (25cm) fry pan
- 1x 12.5-inch (32cm) fry pan
- 1x 1.5-quart sauce pan with lid
- 1x 2.5-quart sauce pan with lid
- 1x 3-quart (2.8 liter) chef’s pan with lid
- 1x 3-quart sauté pan with lid
- 1x 6-quart (5.7 liter) stock pot with lid
The hard-anodized aluminum exterior on this set makes it far stronger than Cuisinart’s stainless steel cookware. It also makes it dense, non-porous and extremely water-resistant, thereby allowing you to engage in some quality cooking.
All Gotham Steel products are also PTFE and PFAS-free, making them healthy and eco-friendly.
Even so, the non-stick offered by the mid-sized pans is reportedly mediocre in its effectiveness – a bit of a disappointment
Despite this, customers pick out how the solid stainless steel cool-touch handles provide a safe and solid grip while cooking, which I know many of you want from your cookware.
- PTFE, PFAS-free
- Clear, break-resistant glass lids to monitor your cooking
- Quality, hard-anodized aluminum exterior
- Mid-sized pans could have better non-stick properties
Comparison to Cuisinart Green Gourmet Cookware
- Both products use anodized aluminum exteriors
- Both are PTFE, PFOA, and PFOS-free
- Gotham Steel’s set is more affordable
- Cuisinart provides superior non-stick properties
Find out more about this Gotham Steel option and see if it’s better suited to you:
Eating Healthily In More Ways Than One
Being health-and-eco-conscious almost goes hand-in-hand, and as you’ve no doubt concluded after reading my Cuisinart Green Gourmet review.
In particular, its eco-friendly design shines with the lack of PTFE and PFAS. It’s also a highly-efficient set that minimizes your gas usage by making the most of the stove’s heat.
It’s a nice set, yes it’s a bit pricey, but the extra durability and eco-friendly features make it worthwhile.