Distributes heat evenly
Oven safe up to 500 degrees
1.25-quart saucepan tips over easily
Too small for large recipes
We purchased the Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Today, cookware does more than heat soup—for many people, it’s a key part of entertaining and makes a statement about your personal style. The Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set is undeniably an appealing option from an aesthetic standpoint, as it offers a sleek, modern style that will look lovely on display in your kitchen. Plus, the 10-piece set includes all the basics you need to make sauces, sauté vegetables, heat soup, and so much more in the kitchen.
We wanted to see how this pretty set performed, so we tested its various pots and pans for five weeks, using it for all of our daily cooking. Keep reading to see what worked, what didn't, and whether this set would make a good addition to your kitchen.
Design: Sophisticated, but small
The first time we opened the Anolon cookware, we couldn't help but notice the design. The beautifully polished stainless steel curves outward at the edge of the saucepans and stockpot, almost like a tulip. Each piece has a sleek, modern appeal, especially when compared to an older, squatter cookware set we've been using for the last 15 years.
Another feature that stood out right away is the tall lid handles, which can slide over the pot’s handle for hanging storage. We don't have hanging hooks for our pots and pans, so that particular feature didn't do us much good, but it would be an excellent way to keep lids and pots together. Plus, this set is definitely attractive enough to put on display in your kitchen.
Once we got over their appearance, we hit the kitchen, using the 10.5-inch skillet to make several stir-fries. The angled sides of the pan were great for tossing vegetables and meat, but we found the pan was too small to cook for our six-person family. We often double recipes to feed everyone, and the 10.5-inch skillet simply didn’t cut it.
This proved to be a consistent problem with all of the Anolon cookware. For example, the 6.5-quart stockpot could barely contain our soup recipes. We usually use an 8-quart stockpot, but, again, that’s because our family is large. The 6.5-quart model may be plenty big for a family of three or four. However, if your household has more than four people, you might find yourself wanting a larger stockpot, skillet, and saucepan like we did.
As much as we liked the looks of this cookware set, we had a serious issue with the handle on the 1.25-quart saucepan. Every handle in this set is heavy and long, which worked well on the large pans and skillets because the weight was balanced. However, the weight of the handle on the small saucepan caused it to tip over whether it was empty or full. It didn’t tip over quite as easily when it was loaded with liquid, but it was still a bit off-balance.
The weight of the handle on the smallest saucepan caused it to tip over whether it was empty or full.
This was especially problematic given that we have one burner that’s slightly crooked. We couldn’t use the small saucepan on it at all because it just tipped over too easily. This poses a serious burn hazard, not to mention that food could end up spilled on the stovetop. After a couple of tries, we stopped using that pan for safety reasons.
Material: High-quality with a heavy, layered bottom
Cookware comes in many materials, but stainless steel stands as one of the most popular, as it's durable, affordable, and efficient at absorbing and distributing heat evenly across the cooking surface. Some sets, including this one from Anolon, pair stainless steel with copper in the base to further increase heat absorption and distribution.
The five-layer base of the Anolon cookware includes stainless steel with a copper midlayer. Copper has amazing heat-conducting properties, aiding heat absorption and distribution, but it's easy to burn food in copper cookware, and it can be difficult to maintain. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is slower to heat but much easier to maintain and resists rust.
With this Anolon cookware set, you get the benefits of stainless steel—namely, durability and heat absorption—with some of the added benefits of copper, including better heat absorption and distribution. These bottom layers also contain materials with ferromagnetic properties, which makes them usable on induction stovetops.
Heat Capacity: Slow but steady
The cookware’s five-layer design makes each piece heavy, and in general, it took a while for these pots and pans to heat up. For example, when we put butter in the skillet, it took longer than usual for it to melt before we could add vegetables for sautéeing. It wasn't an unusually long time, per se, but in comparison to what we’re used to, the pots and pans took longer to reach the desired temperature.
Once the pot or pan reached the right temperature, they held the heat well and evenly distributed warmth across the cooking surface. The food at the side of the skillet warmed as well as the food in the center, and there weren’t any hotspots, which can't be said for all cookware.
We did notice that it took slightly longer for the cookware to respond to heat changes—this could be due to the heavy bottom, as well. The slow response didn't get in the way of cooking, though. Once we were aware of it, we simply adjusted our methods, factoring in the extra time it took for the pans to heat up. It was only the difference of a minute or two, and we hardly noticed it after a few days.
These pots and pans can be used in an oven up to 500 degrees, which is great when making recipes that require the food to be cooked on the stove first then finished in the oven. A cookware set like this allows you to do it all in one pot or pan, which we can appreciate.
Cleaning: Beware the challenges of stainless steel
This set can be hand washed or put in the dishwasher, but the instructions warn that harsh dishwasher detergents can discolor or leave a film on the stainless steel. For this reason, we opted for handwashing, and since stainless steel isn’t non-stick unless it has a special coating, it isn’t the easiest material to clean.
The instructions warn that harsh dishwasher detergents can discolor or leave a film on the stainless steel.
We wanted to see how badly food would stick to this cookware, so we tested it by cooking scrambled eggs. We prepped the pan with butter, but we still spent a good 5 to 10 minutes scrubbing to get the pan clean. That’s not unexpected—every stainless steel cookware set we've used has taken some work to clean, especially after cooking foods that are prone to sticking.
Price: Quality materials at a mid-level price
When we considered the price of the Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set, we tried to decide if the cost reflects the quality and functionality of the cookware. Some of the best stainless steel cookware sets can run anywhere from $800 to $1,000, and the elegant Anolon set comes in at well under that price, retailing for around $300.
However, it's not the materials or the quality of construction that would make us think twice about purchasing this set—it's the overall size of the pots and pans and the poor design of the smallest saucepan.
The angled sides of the pan were great for tossing vegetables and meat, but we found the pan was too small to cook for our six-person family.
For an average three or four-person family, this Anolon set might work just fine, but if your family has more than four people, you’re going to struggle to fit recipes into the cookware. On top of that, the 1.5-quart saucepan is basically unusable, which would force you to buy one separately to replace it. Factoring in these flaws, the set doesn’t seem like such a deal after all.
Competition: Better options are out there
Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set: Cuisinart knows how to make all sorts of kitchen essentials, and you’ll be impressed with its Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set, which also costs around $300. This set has larger pots and pans, including an 8-quart stockpot and 1.5-quart saucepan, in comparison to the Anolon set’s 6.5-quart stockpot and 1.25-quart saucepan, and it also includes a steamer insert. The Cuisinart set may not look as sophisticated as the Anolon cookware, but it's definitely more functional for large households.
All-Clad d5 Brushed Stainless Steel Cookware Set: If you want the best of the best stainless steel cookware, the All-Clad d5 Brushed Stainless Steel 10-Piece Set belongs in your kitchen. A classic design coupled with some of the highest-quality stainless steel makes this set worth the high price tag—which is close to $1,000. You have to use All-Clad’s own cleaner if you want the pans to stay sparkling new and stain-free, and the long handles make some pieces difficult to store. However, if you love to cook and stainless steel is your material of choice, this is the set for you.
- Product Name Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set
- Product Brand Anolon
- UPC 051153758188
- Price $299.99
- Color Stainless steel
- Material Stainless steel and copper
- Warranty Lifetime warranty
- What's Included 1.25- and 2.5-quart saucepans with lids; 6.5-quart stockpot with lid; 8- and 10.5-inch frying pans; and 3-quart sauté pan with lid