Last Updated Jan 2020 – Good cookware is hard to come by. Luckily, the Circulon Premier Professional line offers very fine cookware at an affordable price. In this review, I’ll go over all of the facts that you need to know in order to decide whether or not this cookware set is right for you.
For The Home Chef
Let me preface this review by saying that I’m not entirely sure what the “Professional” in Circulon Premier Professional Hard Anodized Nonstick means. While I’m sure this high-quality cookware set is used by professional chefs occasionally, it’s not something I’d expect to see in a commercial kitchen on a regular basis. Instead, it’s simply an excellent consumer-grade set with a fancy title.
A Solid Choice
When I say “excellent,” I really do mean it, however. The Premier Professional line offers a wonderful blend of price, quality, and features. It’s made from the right materials, it’s compatible with all cooktop types, and it offers some of my favorite ease of use features to make cooking at home easy. Best of all, it’s covered by a Circulon warranty that will ensure you get a full run of use from your pots and pans.
Adventures in Aluminum
So what are the right materials? Circulon specializes in making cookware from hard anodized aluminum, as you might know from my more general review of the brand.
This is the perfect material for non-stick cookware in my opinion. It’s cheap, it’s light, it’s quite durable, and while it tends to get scuffed up, you’ll have to replace your non-stick cookware eventually anyway. This means there are essentially no downsides.
The other normal negative associated with anodized aluminum is that it’s not magnetic. Circulon has neatly sidestepped the issue that this causes by including a stainless steel disk in the base of each piece of cookware. This allows each pot and pan in this set to be used on an induction cooktop to great effect. You’ll get to enjoy the wonderful even heating of aluminum in conjunction with the incredibly fast heating of your induction range.
Built To Last (A Few Years)
Quality wise, these pots and pans are exceptional. The Premier line is made from fairly thick aluminum and is constructed solidly, with sturdy tempered glass lids and silicone-wrapped handles.
Circulon offers a limited lifetime warranty on most of its cookware, including this set, and I hear that it’s quite good about honoring a wide range of customer issues. This means that they’ll probably replace your pots and pans if they’re damaged in the dishwasher, for example, which is somewhat unusual.
Of course, the one thing that you really want them to back is the non-stick coating. When your non-stick fails, their carefully worded warranty allows them to offer you a coupon off your next set instead of a full refund. Your non-stick WILL fail.
Professional chefs treat sets like this as disposable, since they understand that the non-stick coating will flake off after lots of constant use. I generally estimate that pots and pans like these will get about two years of use in a normal home kitchen, but that number will vary quite a bit based on how you actually use and store this cookware.
This isn’t a bad thing. Instead, it simply means that this set is in the same boat as literally every other cookware set on the market. No brand makes non-stick that lasts for decades in real use conditions. This means that you should stick to inexpensive non-stick sets (like this one) and plan to replace them every couple of years. You’ll get all of the advantages of having a fresh non-stick set for just a few dollars per month.
Cooking Made Easy
As far as food release goes, of course, this set performs wonderfully. I’m not entirely sold on Circulon’s signature series of concentric ridges, but it definitely doesn’t seem to detract from the PTFE-based formula used here. These pots and pans are entirely PFOA-free, meaning they’re totally safe to cook on. You can do all of the usual non-stick tricks on this cookware set, including cooking eggs without any fat or flipping meats haphazardly on unusual temperature settings.
The Premier Difference
Circulon is not the only brand to offer most of these features, and this isn’t the only Circulon set. It is, however, one of my favorites. This is because of a combination of three factors.
First, Circulon is pretty good about their warranty on this dishwasher-safe cookware set, which is somewhat unusual.
Second, however, the saucepans in this set come with spouts for pouring liquid out and special lids that allow you to strain liquid as you pour, no colander required. This is one of my personal favorite features in a cookware set and is definitely something I think you should look for.
Finally, this set is made from thicker aluminum with stainless steel bases. Not only does this make them compatible with all types of ranges, it also ensures that your pots and pans have sufficient thermal “weight” for cooking. In other words, if you get your pan hot and then throw a bunch of cold food in it, the pan itself will have stored enough heat to keep your cooking temperature where you want it.
You can find lots of affordable non-stick anodized cookware sets that come pretty close as far as price, quality, and performance go. These three factors, however, are much harder to find. The Circulon Premier Professional Hard Anodized Nonstick set is one of the few options that offers all of these features at once.
Circulon Premier Professional: An Excellent Choice For Consumer Chefs
If you’d like a fairly nice, fairly affordable non-stick cookware set that you’ll be able to depend on for a couple years, the Circulon Premier Professional line is one of your best options.
Be sure to check out other Circulon options as well. While I think the Premier line offers the best combination of price and features, the other options might appeal to you more or might be available at a discounted price.