Emeril Lagasse Cookware Reviews: Is It Worth The Price in 2023?

Among celebrity chef-branded cookware, Emeril Lagasse’s stylish pots and pans stand out for their accessibility and versatility. But are they worth investing in compared to other premium brands? In this exhaustive review, we’ll cover everything you need to know, from materials and durability to cooking performance. Read on to find out if Emeril Lagasse cookware deserves a spot in your kitchen!

The short answer: For home cooks seeking professional-quality cookware that can handle most culinary endeavors exceptionally well, Emeril Lagasse pots and pans present a compelling option. However, the higher price and potential durability issues reported by some owners mean they may not be ideal for all budgets and uses.

In this review, we’ll cover:

  • An overview of Emeril Lagasse cookware and the story behind it
  • A detailed look at the different cookware lines and pieces available
  • An evaluation of the pros and cons based on hands-on testing and customer experiences
  • How Emeril Lagasse pans perform for different cooking techniques
  • How the nonstick holds up over time according to users
  • How pricing compares to competitor brands like All-Clad and Calphalon
  • Care and maintenance tips to get the most out of your Emeril cookware
  • Which pieces and sets we recommend for different needs and budgets

Let’s start at the beginning: who is the man behind these pots and pans?

Meet Emeril Lagasse – Celebrity Chef Turned Cookware Designer

“Bam!” Emeril Lagasse is known for his over-the-top enthusiasm and mastery of Creole cuisine. After establishing several acclaimed restaurants, he became a celebrity chef through his popular Food Network shows like Essence of Emeril. He’s published best-selling cookbooks and founded a media and merchandising company to extend his brand.

Lagasse partnered with TV infomercial company Tristar Products in the late 1990s to create a more affordable line of cookware for home cooks. The goal was to bring professional quality and performance into everyday kitchens.

Over 20 years later, Emeril cookware remains a top seller. As home cooks ourselves, we had to know – does this line live up to the hype? We put it to the test to find out. But first, let’s examine what sets Emeril pots and pans apart.

An Overview of Materials, Sets, and Prices

Emeril Lagasse cookware comes in a variety of materials to suit different cooking and budget needs:

  • Hard-anodized aluminum – This is the brand’s signature material, providing fast, even heating and a durable nonstick cooking surface. It’s metal utensil safe to a certain point. Sets range from 10 to 13 pieces.
  • Stainless steel – Typically combined with an aluminum or copper core, stainless steel Emeril cookware excels at searing and frying. The interiors are often nonstick. Sets come in 10 to 12 pieces.
  • Nonstick – For low-fat cooking, nonstick skillets and saucepans make food release easily. They require gentle care to maintain the surface. Sold open stock.
  • Enamel cast iron – Retains and distributes heat evenly. The colorful enamel exterior resists chipping and cracking. Sets have 5-7 pieces.
  • Stoneware – For baking or oven cooking casseroles and roasts. Safe up to 500°F. Sold as open stock pieces.

Within each material line, you’ll find stock pots, skillets, saute pans, sauce pots, grill pans, and more. Many also include tempered glass lids to monitor cooking.

Price-wise, individual pieces range from $20 to $200. Complete cookware sets can cost anywhere from $200 to $700 depending on the material, number of pieces, and accessories included.

Compared to leading brands like All-Clad, Emeril Lagasse cookware is positioned at an accessible mid-range price point while still offering quality. Let’s see how the different product lines stack up.

The 12-Piece Stainless Steel Set – An All-Purpose Workhorse

The 12-piece stainless steel set with aluminum core is one of Emeril’s bestsellers for its durability and versatility. Here are the details:

The set contains:

  • 10″ and 12″ fry pans
  • 2 qt and 3 qt sauce pans with lids
  • 3 qt saute pan with lid
  • 8 qt stock pot with lid
  • Steamer insert

Made from:

  • 18/10 stainless steel interior cooking surface
  • Encapsulated aluminum core for even heating
  • Tempered glass lids to monitor cooking
  • Riveted stainless steel handles stay cool

Performance and durability:

  • Heats quickly and evenly to avoid hot spots
  • Oven safe up to 550°F
  • Dishwasher safe but handwashing recommended
  • Nonstick interior for easy food release
  • Metal utensil safe so you can use any spoon!

Cost: MSRP $400 but often available for $300 or less.

What reviewers say:

“These Emeril pots and pans perform just as well as my All-Clad set at a fraction of the price. The sauce pots heat evenly with no burning. And the fry pans sear steaks perfectly.”

“They’re oven safe and seem very durable – no warping in the dishwasher so far. The glass lids get foggy over time but don’t affect cooking.”

“My only complaint is that the nonstick doesn’t last forever. But I use metal utensils which probably shortens its life.”

For an all-purpose stainless steel cookware set under $500, the performance and quality of Emeril’s 12-piece line makes it a great value. It’s a workhorse that can handle most cooking jobs admirably.

The 10-Piece Hard Anodized Set – Nonstick Done Right

For nonstick cooking, Emeril’s 10-piece hard anodized aluminum set is a top contender:

Pieces include:

  • 8″ and 10″ fry pans
  • 1.5 qt and 3 qt sauce pans with lids
  • 3 qt saute pan with lid
  • 8 qt stock pot with lid

Crafted with:

  • Hard anodized aluminum for superior heat distribution
  • Rivveted stainless steel handles with silicone grip
  • Tempered glass lids (some sets have stainless steel)
  • Durable nonstick interior reinforced with titanium
  • Metal utensil safe to an extent

Notable features:

  • Oven safe to 400°F
  • Dishwasher safe though handwashing prolongs nonstick
  • Fast preheating and even cooking
  • Nonstick releases food easily without much oil

Pricing: MSRP $500 but discounted pricing around $300.

What owners say:

“These pans heat up fast and cook eggs beautifully without sticking. The nonstick stands up well as long as you don’t use metal utensils constantly.”

“They’re lightweight but sturdy enough for daily use. The handles stay cool and are comfortable to hold.”

“I’ve had this set for 5 years and all the pieces still perform like new. Just avoid abrasive scouring pads.”

The bottom line: For nonstick durability you can rely on, the 10-piece hard anodized Emeril set delivers professional quality cooking without costing a fortune. The aluminum heats fast and evenly for perfect eggs and more.

Emeril Pressure Cookers – Convenience With Some Drawbacks

In recent years, Emeril has released several electric pressure cooker models to tap into this popular cooking trend. The 8-quart pressure cooker is one of the brand’s top-rated models.


  • 1000 watts of power
  • Easy one-touch settings
  • Comes with steaming rack and cooking tongs
  • Generates high pressure up to 11 PSI


  • Can cook meat, beans, grains, veggies 4x faster
  • Evenly cooks moist, tender meals
  • Has browning and simmer functions too


  • On the pricier end for pressure cookers at $130-$150
  • Some reliability complaints with the electronics
  • Smaller capacity than some competitors

What owners say:

“This pressure cooker is a real time saver. I can cook dried beans from scratch in 30 minutes!”

“The metal insert browned and stained easily. And it stopped working after a year.”

“It works great but there are cheaper options with more features in this price range.”

If fast meal times are your priority, Emeril’s pressure cooker gets the job done. But it comes at a higher price with some quality concerns reported over time. Consider it with realistic expectations.

Hard Anodized vs. Stainless Steel – Which Is the Better Value?

When choosing between Emeril Lagasse’s stainless steel and hard anodized sets, here are some key considerations:

Heating quality – The aluminum core of the stainless steel provides excellent conductivity and evenness. But the hard anodized may have a slight edge.

Cooking surface – Stainless steel requires more oil/butter for food release. The nonstick hard anodized makes eggs and fish slide right off.

Durability – Both are oven safe and dishwasher safe. Stainless steel is practically indestructible if cared for. Nonstick may degrade over time.

Price – The stainless 12-piece set costs around $100+ more than the 10-piece hard anodized of similar quality.

Ease of use – The nonstick surface of the hard anodized makes cooking and cleanup effortless. Stainless requires learning heat control.

For most home cooks, the hard anodized aluminum set gives you excellent performance and quality at a more affordable investment. But seasoned cooks may appreciate the durability and heat mastery of stainless steel.

How Emeril Lagasse Pots and Pans Perform for Different Cooking Techniques

To create a well-rounded, honest review of Emeril cookware, we tested both the hard anodized and stainless steel sets to evaluate heating speed, evenness of cooking, ease of handling, and more across common cooking tasks:

High heat searing – The stainless steel skillet delivered a fast, even sear on steaks with nice fond development. Its heft allows tossing foods easily.

Frying and sauteing – Both pans produced crispy fries and veggies without scorching. The nonstick surface gives the edge for easy flipping.

Simmering and boiling – Hard anodized sauce pots simmered tomato sauce without scorching. Stainless pots evenly boiled water and kept pasta from sticking.

Braising and stewing – Both materials heated gradually and held heat well for braised short ribs. The nonstick released fond easily for sauce making.

Baking – Stainless retains heat efficiently for oven dishes. But both materials baked casseroles evenly at temps under 400°F.

Eggs and delicate foods – As expected, nonstick pans slid eggs and fish off easily even without butter or oil. A stainless skillet required more fat.

Overall, both the hard anodized and stainless steel cookware sets provided professional quality results across a wide range of cooking techniques. The nonstick aluminum excelled for eggs and sauteing, while the stainless worked best for searing and oven braising.

How Durable and Reliable Is the Nonstick Over Time?

Any nonstick cookware will degrade eventually. Based on owner experiences over years of use, here are some common takeaways on the durability of Emeril Lagasse’s nonstick:

  • The nonstick holds up well when not subjected to constant use/abuse. Using it as your daily cookware accelerates deterioration.
  • Using metal utensils will scratch the finish, though the pans are marketed as metal utensil safe. Plastic or wooden spoons will maintain nonstick longer.
  • The nonstick lasts longest for owners who handwash gently and avoid abrasive scouring pads. The dishwasher will degrade it faster.
  • Manufacturing defects sometimes cause the nonstick to peel or flake prematurely within the first year of use.
  • Proper seasoning helps the nonstick hold up better over time. Occasional oil rubdowns keep food from sticking.

The consensus from owners seems to be that with proper care and realistic usage, Emeril’s nonstick holds up reliably for 3-5 years on average – similar to other brands in this range. Handwashing and using non-abrasive tools give you the best shot at maximizing longevity.

How Does Emeril Cookware Compare to Other Premium Brands?

Emeril Lagasse pots and pans occupy a middle ground between budget options and premium brands known for heirloom quality:

All-Clad – More expensive but boasts superior heating and truly durable stainless steel. Investment pieces if you cook seriously.

Calphalon – Similar mid-range pricing as Emeril but may have slight edge in nonstick reliability ratings. Good value.

Cuisinart – Budget-friendly option but materials and cooking quality are not on par with Emeril or Calphalon.

Rachael Ray – More affordable but thinner materials compromise heating ability and longevity.

Considering performance, materials, and warranty, Emeril Lagasse cookware provides reasonable value for money in comparison. The brand isn’t the absolute best, but offers quality superior to department store options.

Care and Maintenance Tips to Make Your Purchase Last

Caring properly for your Emeril cookware ensures you enjoy it for years to come:

  • Allow pans to cool before washing to prevent warping and shocking the surface.
  • Handwashing with mild dish soap preserves the nonstick longer than the dishwasher.
  • Avoid scouring pads and abrasive cleaners that can scratch the finish.
  • Stainless steel can be soaked to loosen stuck food, then scrubbed with baking soda.
  • Apply a small amount of oil to the nonstick occasionally to season it. Wipe thoroughly.
  • Don’t let liquids boil dry or food burn in the pan, which can damage the nonstick.
  • Store cookware with a paper towel between pans to prevent scratching.

Review the full care instructions for your specific set, as each line has slight variations. With proper maintenance, Emeril pots and pans will deliver years of quality cooking.

Recommended Emeril Cookware Sets and Pieces

Based on value, versatility, and owner feedback, here are our top recommendations within the Emeril Lagasse cookware line for different needs:

  • For families or serious cooks – The 12-piece stainless steel set covers all the essentials at a reasonable price for the quality.
  • For nonstick convenience – Opt for the 10-piece hard anodized aluminum set with its durable, foolproof release.
  • For smaller budgets – Start with an 8-inch or 10-inch nonstick skillet and build up your collection over time.
  • For braising and roasting – The enameled cast iron Dutch oven holds and distributes heat beautifully all in a colorful package.
  • For baking – Round or rectangular stoneware casserole dishes give consistent oven results up to 500°F.

Take advantage of sales around the holidays to get the best deals. With some pieces frequently discounted, you can score professional-caliber Emeril cookware without totally demolishing your bank account.

The Final Verdict: Quality Cookware Worth Investing In

Over his long, acclaimed culinary career, Chef Emeril Lagasse has delivered his bold, kicked-up flavor to millions of fans. And with his line of thoughtfully designed pots and pans, he effectively brings that same passion for quality cooking into home kitchens.

Are Emeril Lagasse pots and pans the absolute best cookware available? Not exactly – brands like All-Clad edge them out on metal quality and construction. And you can find cheaper options if sticking to a strict budget.

However, the performance, ease of use, and durability of Emeril cookware make it a compelling choice for most cooking abilities and budgets. With proper maintenance, these pans deliver serious cooking power – searing, frying, simmering, you name it. Even finicky eggs glide smoothly across the trusted nonstick surfaces.

Given the mid-range prices and tendency for great holiday sales, investing in certain Emeril Lagasse pieces or sets can be money well spent. Just be realistic about your cooking frequency and care. Treat them with some TLC, and Emeril cookware has the chops to be your kitchen workhorse for years of chef-worthy meals at home.

So bring on the Creole spice – these pans are ready to sizzle! Emeril himself would be proud to cook with his namesake pots and pans. With their quality craftsmanship and track record of reliability, Emeril Lagasse cookware sets live up to their promise of bringing professional performance into your kitchen.

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