Anolon and Circulon are cookware labels that are both made by the same manufacturer – Mayer. The Mayer corporation also makes Farberware and SilverStone cookware along with a couple of other lines and labels of cookware.
Both Anolon and Circulon offer a range of quality cookware, although Anolon has also expanded their repertoire to bakeware, cutlery, and kitchen utensils. The two brands are similar in many aspects, so sometimes it can be hard to choose between them.
However, they have a couple of distinct differences. This is what we’ll talk about today. We’ve gathered all the important details about Anolon and Circulon to help you make the best decision when choosing new cookware.
One of the first things to consider when buying cookware is usually the material it is made of. The name Anolon is derived from the word “anodized” so it’s no wonder that most of their cookware is made of hard anodized aluminum.
Why? Because hard anodized aluminum is simply a great material for cookware. Thanks to the anodization process, the material is very hard, smooth, and non-porous. It’s also completely non-reactive, which is not the case with regular aluminum. Moreover, aluminum is a good heat conductor and it gives Anolon’s pots and pans the ability to heat up quickly and distribute heat evenly.
However, Anolon is not strictly dedicated to making hard anodized aluminum. For example, their Vesta Cast Iron collection is comprised of cast iron pans and dutch ovens. Furthermore, the cookware from the Anolon Nouvelle collection features a copper layer at the core for even better heat conduction and a stainless steel base that makes the cookware compatible with induction stovetops.
Circulon also uses hard anodized aluminum to make most of the cookware they make, including pots, pans, and whole cookware sets. They also dabble with other materials from time to time. Their Momentum collection, for example, features stainless steel cookware with a nonstick coating on the interior.
The Cooking Surface
Both Anolon and Circulon use non-stick coatings on their cookware, but there are differences between the two. Circulon uses their own three-layered TOTAL Food Release System which is PFOA-free, sturdy, and scratch-resistant which means you can safely use metal utensils with this cookware.
Furthermore, the cooking surface on Circulon non-stick pans features small circular ridges, so there are small grooves in the surface. This unique design of the cooking surface reduces abrasion and makes the coating more durable. It also does a great job at preventing food from sticking.
Circulon uses Autograph 2 Gourmet, a high-grade non-stick coating made by DuPont, the original manufacturer of Teflon. This coating is applied in three layers which makes it more durable and scratch-resistant. In fact, Autograph 2 has even been rated metal-utensil safe, although it’s certainly safer to use wooden or silicone utensil to preserve the coating as long as possible.
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Most people won’t even think about the handles when buying cookware. However, handles can make a big difference in the overall feel of the pot or pan. Handles need to be comfortably designed, so you can easily grip them with your hands.
Moreover, if you are cooking something heavy in a big pot, a handle that provides a good grip is essential if you want to avoid accidentally dropping the pan. Furthermore, if a handle is not oven-safe, neither is the pot or pan it is attached to.
Handles made out of silicone and other synthetic materials provide a nice grip, but they are often not oven-safe which can be annoying. Finally, handles need to be securely attached to the pot or pan in question.
With low-quality cookware (this is not the case with Anolon or Circulon), the handles can start loosening over time and eventually falling off. The handles can be either riveted on or welded onto the pot or pan, but riveted handles usually last longer.
Both Circulon and Anolon pots and pans have nice, comfortable handles. Anolon’s signature detail is actually their handles. They have created special handles that are comfortable to hold and provide a very secure grip.
These handles are made with Santoprene, a rubberized material. Their handles are even trademarked under the name of Anolon SureGrip handle. However, the handles on some of their pans are made from different materials, like stainless steel.
Circulon cookware comes in a variety of styles and they make the handles in a variety of styles. However, no matter what material they are made of, their handles are usually nicely designed and big enough for you to hold the pot or pan comfortably.
The Circulon Genesis collection, for example, features stainless steel handles, while the Circulon Innovatum collection features stainless steel handles coating with silicone for a firmer grip. The silicone is heat-resistant so it doesn’t melt at high temperatures which makes these pots and pans oven-safe up to 500-degrees Fahrenheit.
When it comes to choosing good cookware, the lid is another important detail. The lid needs to fit nicely and tightly to the pot or pan, in order to fulfill its purpose. If the lid fits tightly, it will lock in the moisture and the flavors which is really important for slow cooking techniques. Moreover, cooking with a lid actually saves energy since less heat escapes the pot.
Both Anolon and Circulon make most of their lids out of tempered glass, although they also make some lines of cookware with stainless steel lids. The Anolon Nouvelle collection and the Circulon Ultimatum collection, for example, feature stainless steel lids.
Both tempered glass and stainless steel work well for lids. Tempered glass has been specially treated so it’s shatter resistant. This means it is hard to break them, but it’s still possible if the impact is hard enough. This might not be important to everyone, but if you have young kids messing around the kitchen, for example, you might want to avoid glass lids.
Stainless steel lids, on the other hand, are virtually unbreakable but you can’t see through them like you can with glass lids.