Versatile selection of pots and pans
Safe and eco-friendly nonstick finish
Oven safe to 400 degrees
Eco-friendly materials and packaging
Handles get hot while cooking
We purchased the Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
We all want to make our homes more eco-friendly—after all, it’s better for us, our families, and the environment—but not if it means sacrificing function and efficiency, especially when it comes to preparing food. We tested the Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set to see if this collection of eco-friendly nonstick pots and pans perform well in the kitchen. Here’s what we found.
Design: A comprehensive collection
The Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set is perfect for a family just starting out or novice home cook who wants to try essential cooking techniques without investing in a high-end set of specialized tools.
The Cuisinart set includes an 8-inch frying pan, a 10-inch frying pan, a 1.5-quart saucepan, a 2.5-quart saucepan, a 10-inch/3-quart “everyday” pan, a 6-quart Dutch oven, and a 2.5-quart steamer insert. With the exception of the smallest frying pan and the steamer insert, all the pots and pans come with accompanying lids. We loved that this set included everything we needed to make a wide variety of dishes. The lids allowed us to boil water and steam vegetables—two basic techniques that all home cooks will use from time to time.
If you often prepare single-skillet meals for a large group, you’ll probably need a bigger vehicle than anything included in this set.
If you often prepare single-skillet meals for a large group, you’ll probably need a bigger vehicle than anything included in the Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set. We would have liked an 8-quart stockpot or 12-inch skillet as part of the set, but if you are cooking for just one or two people, this set will serve you well.
Material: More eco-friendly than most
Every material used in the Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set is eco-friendly. This even includes the packaging, which is made from recycled materials and soy-based inks. The handles on the cookware are made of 70 percent recycled stainless steel, and it felt good knowing that these pieces were a little friendlier to the planet.
Our favorite aspect of this cookware set is the ceramic-based surface on the nonstick interior. Many nonstick pans include polytetrafluoroethylene, commonly called PTFE, and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, and research has shown these chemicals can potentially be harmful to our bodies and the environment, especially when heated to high temperatures. As such, we were happy to find the GreenGourmet set features a safer—yet still effective—nonstick surface.
Our favorite aspect of this cookware set is the ceramic-based surface on the nonstick interior
Heating Capacity: Oven-friendly
The Cuisinart GreenGourmet Cookware Set can go in the oven up to 400 degrees, and we loved this feature, as it allowed us to put dishes in the oven to give food a nice crispy crust or cook more thoroughly. Our favorite way to go from stove to oven is to brown steak on the stove for a tasty crust, then finish it in the oven to make sure it was cooked just the way we like it.
Keep in mind that the cookware’s stainless steel handles will get hot if you put them in the oven. We noticed that they even heated up when cooking on the stove because of their close proximity to the heat source, so we recommend using a towel or pot holder to hold the handles or lids.
We didn’t need to add oil or butter to the pan when cooking with this set. We made scrambled eggs without any additional cooking oil, and they turned out great with no sticking. When sautéeing carrots, we did add butter for flavor and were just as happy with the results.
Cleaning: Hand wash only
The surface of the Cuisinart GreenGourmet Set can be damaged by harsh detergents, so Cuisinart recommends only washing the pots and pans by hand.
Using an all-natural dish soap, we cleaned the pots, pans, and lids with a non-abrasive sponge, and it required minimal scrubbing. This was true both when we cooked in butter and when we cooked without it.
Price: Great for a full set
The Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set retails for around $250 at full price. You can find traditional nonstick cookware sets for less, but they often use the chemicals mentioned above to create a nonstick cooking surface. For items that we use often, we would rather pay a little more to get a healthier, green alternative. Plus, buying individual pieces of eco-friendly cookware can be much more expensive than buying this set as a whole.
Cuisinart also offers a 10-piece version of this set for around $200, but it doesn’t include the 3-quart everyday pan and lid. Since this was one of our most-used pieces, we recommend going with the 12-piece set if you can.
Competition: Other eco-friendly and traditional picks
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 17-Piece Set: If eco-friendly cookware isn't your priority, the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 17-Piece Set is another great buy. This traditional nonstick cookware set is around the same price, and it comes with five additional pieces, including an 8-quart stockpot and 12-inch skillet. Plus, if you take good care of the nonstick surface, this set will last for years to come.
The 10-Inch Green Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri: If you're in the market for a single eco-friendly skillet rather than a set, the 10-Inch Green Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri is the way to go. This single pan costs just $24, and it has a nonstick ceramic interior finish and is free of both PTFE and PFOA. Plus, it can be used on an induction range. However, it can be pricey to buy a complete cookware set from this brand.
A worthwhile green purchase.
We loved the Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set for both its green design and cooking performance, and it’s a great mid-priced option for those who are just starting out in the kitchen or cooking for a smaller family.
- Product Name GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set
- Product Brand Cuisinart
- Price $249
- Color Black/stainless steel
- Model Number GG-12
- Material Stainless steel with petroleum-free ceramic-based nonstick interior
- Warranty Lifetime warranty for material and workmanship defects
- What's Included 8-inch skillet; 10-inch deep fry pan with cover; 1.5-quart saucepan with cover; 2.5-quart saucepan with cover; 3-quart everyday pan with cover; 6-quart Dutch Oven with cover; steamer insert