Monday, July 30, 2012

Hard-Anodized Ceramic Cookware

Cuisinart Cookware 

Eco-friendly cookware!  Hard-anodized cookware is very popular and has been available as nonstick for several years.  However, in our “Best Nonstick Cookware” post (click here to visit), we cautioned users against assuming that hard-anodized nonstick cookware was safe.  In fact, many brands of anodized nonstick cookware have a Teflon-type coating. 
Good news!  One particular brand of Cuisinart cookware deserves special consideration, namely the GreenGourmet brand.  This brand of anodized cookware has a unique ceramic surface known as Ceramica.  Free of both PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), Ceramica could be an important advance in cookware technology. 
Cuisinart is making a strong case for eco-friendly cookware.  Ceramica nonstick cookware is water-based rather than petroleum-based.  Moreover, Ceramica hard-anodized cookware requires less heat to obtain the desired cooking temperature, thereby saving energy which is good for the planet and good for your wallet.  Also, the cookware handles are made with 70% recycled stainless steel.   Cuisinart ceramic cookware is even packaged in 100% recycled material printed with 100% biodegradable soy ink.

Recognizing the effort being made to address environmental concerns, we believe that a fair assessment of this promising brand of Cuisinart cookware is in order.  As is our standard practice, we only present products that have been reviewed by numerous users and have been rated 4 stars or better.  All of the ceramic cookware products listed below bear the GreenGourmet brand and are made with the Ceramica nonstick coating.  Snippets of quotes from satisfied users are included.

Hard-Anodized Ceramic Pans 


Nonstick Hard-Anodized Sauté Pan 

Cuisinart Nonstick Hard-Anodized Saute Pan
Hard-Anodized Saute Pan
The Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized Nonstick Sauté Pan is truly a multi-purpose pan.  Like any good ceramic pan, it is ideal for searing fish or meat.  However, with a volume of 5 ½ quarts and tall 5 ½-inch sides, it is large enough for making stews and other all-in-one meals.  Oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, it comes with a cover so it could even double as a Dutch oven.  It is even broiler safe.  Some users complain about warping when the pan used on a flat electric cook-top; however, this effect can be minimized by using a lower heat setting.  Low heat is preferred anyway for GreenGourmet ceramic pans.

“. . . our family favorite for cooking.”

Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized Nonstick 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan with Cover

Nonstick Hard-Anodized Grill Pan    

Cuisinart Nonstick Hard-Anodized Grill Pan
Hard-Anodized Grill Pan
Just like the sauté pan, the Cuisinart Green Gourmet 11-inch Grill Pan is also perfect for searing meat or fish.  The anodized grill pan conducts heat very efficiently and therefore uses less energy.   It has a stay-cool handle.  One can easily sear meat on the stove-top and then transfer the ceramic pan to the oven to finish cooking.  Reviewers love it so much that they consider it to be a viable replacement not only for their existing indoor grill, but for their outdoor grill as well.   

“Allows you to grill without standing in the rain or snow.”

Cuisinart GreenGourmet 11-Inch Square Grill Pan

Nonstick Hard-Anodized Griddle

Cuisinart Nonstick Hard-Anodized Griddle
Hard-Anodized Griddle
Great for grilling long filets of fish!  The Double-Burner (10 x 18 inch) Hard-Anodized Griddle is perfect for making lots of pancakes/waffles.  Energy-efficient – this hard-anodized pan looks like a large cookie sheet with handles.  Please be aware that the stay-cool handles do get hot, but the whole pan is oven-safe to 500 degrees.  

“This was a gift for my wife, she loves it!!”

Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized Nonstick 10 x 18-Inch Double-Burner Griddle

Nonstick Hard-Anodized Wok

Cuisinart Nonstick Hard-Anodized Wok
Hard-Anodized Wok

The Stir-Fry Wok comes with a glass cover.  Ideally, it should be used with relatively low heat.  Recommended by a professional chef, it does a great job with little or no cooking oil.  In fact, like all of ceramic cookware, the nonstick surface will last longer if less cooking oil is used.  Never use cooking spray on ceramic cookware!

“ .  . best one I have used for twenty years.”

Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized Nonstick 12-Inch Stir-Fry Wok with Glass Cover

Nonstick Hard-Anodized Cookware Set 

Cuisinart Nonstick Hard-Anodized Cookware Set
Hard-Anodized Cookware Set
Get everything that you need at one time!  This 12-piece set includes ceramic sauce pans, a Dutch oven, a steamer insert, and several other hard-anodized pans – all the Cuisinart Cookware you need.  Save money and save the environment at the same time!  

“It's now been 8 months. We still LOVE these pans . . .”

Cuisinart GreenGourmet Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set

Specific Recommendations for Cuisinart Ceramic Cookware

Users are strongly advised to follow the instructions provided with each purchase of Cuisinart Cookware.  In addition, there are two specific recommendations that we have gleaned from the user reviews: 
First, GreenGourmet ceramic cookware needs very little heat in order to cook most items.  Continued use of high heat probably contributes to the negative experience of some users. 
Second, never use cooking spray on ceramic pans - use only a very small amount of butter or cooking oil.  Some users are able to cook certain items without any cooking oil whatsoever.  It is possible that adverse user experience is sometimes related to the use of too much cooking oil. 
In general, some negative experiences were reported for each of the GreenGourmet hard-anodized products.  Most likely, these negative reviews are due to either using high heat or too much cooking oil, or both.  Clearly, the vast majority of users are extremely satisfied with GreenGourmet ceramic pans.
FINAL NOTE:  Several users have mentioned that some retailers do not carry the GreenGourmet brand of Cuisinart cookware.  The best place to find GreenGourmet cookware is on Amazon, especially considering that the price on Amazon is much lower than elsewhere. 
Buy now on Amazon!


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