Circulon Elite Review : Hard Anodized

The Circulon Elite is one of the few Circulon hard anodized sets in the market. It is not the cheapest among them but somewhere in the lower middle range for a 10-piece set. Customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive for this cookware, so it is worth a peek indeed. What sells could be indeed the more affordable price range compared to the more upmarket Circulon Symmetry.

Circulon Elite Review

circulon elite cookware setThe Elite has the following pieces in its 10-piece set:

  • 1-quart covered saucepan
  • 2-quart covered saucepan
  • 8-quart covered stockpot
  • 3-quart covered saute pan
  • 8-inch skillet
  • 10-inch skillet

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The Circulon Elite certainly looks elegant with the lids drawing attention with its wide and gleaming stainless steel rim binding the shatter-resistant tempered glass in the middle. The glass portion allows you to watch what you are cooking while the tight-fitting rim locks in nutrients and flavors. The glass has been treated to withstand large fluctuations in temperature to minimize risk of breakage as it is put into the freezer or oven.

Matching the lids are the charcoal-gray body of the pieces. Crafted using hard anodized aluminum, they are strong and durable as well as an excellent conductor of heat. Quick and even heating are the trademarks of hard anodized aluminum cookware which prevent hot spots from burning your food. The interior uses the TOTAL® Food Release System and DuPont™ advanced 3-layer nonstick coating. The benefits of these two materials are superior nonstick capability and durability of the surface. That is why the cookware is also claimed to be metal-utensil safe. Even the outer layer has this nonstick coating for easy clean-up.

The handle for the Elite is comfortable to grip while strong and tough on the inside. The stainless steel handles are riveted securely to the pieces while wrapped with silicone for a no-slip grasp that is also heat-resistant. The cookware is heat-safe up to 400°F. The pieces are not dishwasher-safe.

Circulon Elite And Other Models

The table below will show the differences among the various Circulon hard anodized cookware sets, i.e. Circulon Elite vs Symmetry vs Infinite vs Genesis vs Contempo vs Premier Professional:

 EliteSymmetryInfinteContempoPremier ProfessionalGenesis
Nonstick SurfaceTOTAL Food Release System & DuPont AutographTOTAL Food Release System & DuPont AutographTOTAL Food Release System & DuPont AutographTOTAL Food Release System & DuPont AutographTOTAL Food Release System & DuPont AutographTOTAL Food Release System & DuPont Autograph
HandlesStainless steel with silicone comfort gripStainless steel with silicone comfort gripStainless steelStainless steel with silicone comfort gripStainless steel with silicone comfort gripStainless steel
LidsTempered glassTempered glassStainless steelTempered glassTempered glassTempered glass
Induction CompatibleNoYesYesNoYesNo

Note: Prices do fluctuate from time to time.

Should You Buy The Circulon Elite Cookware?

  1. Good for daily use – The coating works as it should as food does not stick to the surface. Therefore, the clean-up would not be a pain even if you need to hand-wash the pieces everyday. And you can cook using less oil too so that your daily meals would be healthier with less grease. If you prefer to dump everything into the dishwasher, you will have to look at the more expensive Circulon Symmetry instead.
  2. Durable – Complaints on the nonstick coating peeling is few and far in between. We have come across users’ reviews who mentioned that they have used the set for a few years with no chipping and other defects seen unlike those cheap nonstick cookware which tend to peel easily. The Anolon Advanced Bronze is another hard anodized cookware set that has few complaints.
  3. Cooks beautifully – The heat distributes evenly across the surface and together with the nonstick coating make cooking easy to do. Even if a little overdone, the food releases easily from the surface.
  4. Easy to handle – While the pieces feel solid in your hands, the weight is not too heavy to handle. About 20 lbs in total, it is more solid than other nonstick cookware like the Rachael Ray Cucina which could feel flimsy to some. Yet, it won’t feel like you are lifting a ton like you might with the All Clad Copper Core which weighs over 30 lbs for a set. Generally, most people are comfortable with a 20 to 25 lbs 10-piece cookware set because it is not so tiring on the arms and at the same time, it does not feel too thin and flimsy.
  1. Rivets on the inside – The rivets on the inside of the pots and pans where the handles are attached are problematic for some because they can be difficult to clean once food and sauces are stuck there.
  2. Lacks a bigger saucepan – Many buyers have commented that they would have preferred a bigger saucepan. A 3-quart would be ideal because the two provided in the set are just too small for a family. The Simply Calphalon Nonstick hard anodized 10-piece set has a 3-quart saucepan but you would have to make do with a 6-quart stockpot instead for the set.

Given the large number of good reviews from customers with a fairly frequent comment that the pieces show little signs of defects after repeated uses, it is hard not to be upbeat about the Circulon Elite. We feel it is worth a buy as the price is still reasonably priced at the time of writing at around $180. Although not as cheap as the Circulon Genesis, it has a bigger stock pot and silicone grip handles in its favor.

So, all in all, we like the Elite’s price point in relation to the quality of the cookware. Get it for below $200 for the 10-piece set if you can, because anything more will seem a little too expensive for a nonstick cookware set that is neither dishwasher-safe nor induction compatible.

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