TL;DR – Is Paula Deen Cookware any good?
The Paula Deen Signature set is affordably priced compared with other PTFE-coated nonstick sets. According to owners, its performance and durability are about average. These pans feature a classy looking porcelain enamel exterior, which is available in multiple colors. This set will perform adequately for most home kitchens.
The Paula Deen Signature Nonstick Cookware Set
The Paula Deen Signature 15-piece nonstick cookware set includes all of the practical pieces you might need to equip a new kitchen. Each pan is constructed atop a heavy-duty aluminum base for quick and even heating. The exterior is coated with a porcelain enamel that adds a dash of color and resists staining.
The set is packaged with a measuring spoon kit and 4 shatter resistant glass lids. The pan and lid handles are colored to match each set’s porcelain enamel, which is available in 6 distinctive color options. The double-riveted pan handles are rated oven-safe to 350 F, and are equipped with hanging hooks for easy storage.
The cooksurface is finished with a Teflon (PTFE) coating for excellent non-stick performance and easy cleanup.
What We Like
We like the elegant look of the porcelain enamel exterior used on this set. The multiple color options make it easy to match the look of this cookware to the overall aesthetic of your kitchen.
The price per unit on this set is competitive compared with most other Teflon-coated cookware.
We like the inclusion of glass coverings for the saucepans, saucepot, and saute pan. These make it easier to monitor food as it cooks, even if they fog during cooking. This feature is particularly useful when preparing rice or grains that require consistent covering, but that also ruin easily once liquid evaporates from the cook vessel.
What We Don’t Like
There is a cost benefit to purchasing this set, but the overall performance of the cookware is run-of-the mill compared with competitors.
The non-stick interior requires heat moderation to low and medium levels to prevent food from sticking. Several owners suggested that the handles can become hot to touch after cooking in the oven or atop a gas stove.
- 8” Frypan
- 10” Frypan
- 1-quart Saucepan with lid
- 2-quart Saucepan with lid
- 6-quart Saucepot with lid
- 2.75-quart Sauté pan with lid
- 5-piece Measuring Spoon Set
What to know before you buy.
Does the cookware have Teflon?
Yes, it does. The set contains Teflon in the nonstick coating. Teflon is a popular brand name of the slippery synthetic compound Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
PTFE is one of the slickest substances known to man, and has exceptional durability compared with most ceramic non-stick alternatives.
Are the pans oven safe?
Yes, the pans in the Paula Deen signature set tolerate high oven temperatures of up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The heavy gauge aluminum material used to make the pans’ body is thick and the handles can withstand the high oven temperatures without being damaged.
Is the nonstick any good?
The non-stick on the Paula Deen signature set performs exceptionally well according to owner feedback. Food doesn’t stick on the cooking surface, and cleaning is easy by hand washing the pans with only clean water and soap. Like all nonstick pans, the coating will eventually wear off. Manufacturer care guidelines should be followed to maximize lifespan of the cookware.
How long do they last?
With proper care, cleaning, and maintenance owners report that this set can last up to 5 years before needing replacement. Operating this cookware outside of the manufacturer’s care guidelines will shorten its lifespan, often significantly.
How healthy is this cookware compared with other brands?
Teflon, which is used in Paula Deen’s nonstick coating, recently came under scrutiny for health and environmental concerns related to its manufacturing process.
Most of the claims relate to byproduct released by manufacturing facilities, and not specifically to kitchen safety of nonstick PTFE pans.
Over the past 10 years, ceramic nonstick cookware brands have emerged as an alternative to PTFE. These pans use a sol-gel coating to create non-stick properties. Teflon typically provides better food release and durability, but many kitchens now consider ceramic to be a safer alternative.
Can the pans be bought individually?
The exact items included in the Signature set cannot be bought individually. However, the company has similar products available for kitchens in search of individual utensils.
Is the set safe for use with metal utensils?
Metal spoons and spatulas should never be used on the non-stick surface. The metal can easily chip or scratch the coating which may cause it to flake during cooking and cleaning. Fortunately, according to the USDA, PTFE-based nonstick coatings are not harmful if ingested. But as the surface erodes, so will your non-stick performance.
We recommend that you use non-abrasive utensils that are made of wood or silicon.
Does the Paula Deen brand have a good reputation?
Paula Deen is no stranger to controversy. She has been widely criticized for enabling bad working culture in her companies.
Many voiced ethical concerns when Paula Deen partnered with a pharmaceutical company to promote a diabetes medication. Critics claim that Paula’s sugar-loaded recipes are contributing to unhealthy eating habits that trigger diabetes, and now she is profiting from the medical consequences of her own recommendations.
Many outlets have published accounts of racism by Deen and her associates, in both business and personal contexts. She settled a related discrimination lawsuit with former employee out of court in 2013. The Food Network did not renew her contract shortly after the allegations of racism were made public.
Clean by hand washing.
The porcelain exterior and non-stick coating on the interior of these pieces require handwashing with soap and water. They should never be cleaned in the dishwasher where constant collision with other utensils can cause damage to the nonstick coating. Allow your pan to cool fully before washing.
Don’t use cooking spray.
Avoid using cooking spray on the non-stick surface. Cooking spray contains aerosol propellants that form a residue layer that can impact performance of the non-stick surface. We recommend that you stick to regular cooking oil with a high smoke point when using this set.
Don’t exceed recommended cooking temperatures.
The manufacturer lists the pans, pots, lids, and handles as safe for oven use up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Ensure that you do not exceed the maximum temperature when cooking with the utensils in the oven. Doing so could cause warping of the body on the utensils and voids the warranty. Stay within low and medium heat settings on your stovetop when using these pans.
Clean the cookware bottoms before use on a glass cooktop.
Glass cooktops are delicate and scratch easily. Ensure you clean the bottom of the cookware to remove any dirt or speckles that may scratch a glass cooktop. Don’t move the pan around a lot when using atop a glass stove.
Alternatives To Consider
Starfrit The Rock
If you’re looking for a premium affordable option, The Rock by Starfrit is our bargain pick for ceramic non-stick cookware. We really like it for the price because of the design and durability compared to similarly priced competitors. The quality is really high, especially for the price.
The Danish cookware brand offers 10 lines of nonstick cookware, across a wide range of price points. We like their products, although we recognize that many of the “premium” lines are simply cosmetic upgrades. Scanpan Classic is the brand’s entry-level set. It offers the best Scanpan performance without extra cosmetic frills.
GreenLife makes a decent medium heat pan for a discount price. For chefs looking to add a splash of color to their kitchen, these pans are offered in 7 distinctive colorways.
This is an average performing product sold at a low price.
Our philosophy is that social, environmental, and cultural information about a product is important context on par with information about performance and durability. We don’t like the Paula Deen set for our kitchen because of the brand’s checkered ethical history.
We also think you can find a better set for the money, though maybe not with the same distinctive look. If you skipped over the article to see our recommendation, you can find a few good alternatives to Paula Deen listed above.
Depending on your personal goals and criteria, this set may be a better fit for your kitchen than it was for ours. If you do decide to purchase Paula Deen cookware, take a moment to consider which pieces you actually need before buying the full set.
The brand offers a variety of pots and pans for individual purchase. Most kitchens use only a few pots and pans heavily, while the pieces with less utility tend to collect dust. Being thoughtful with which pieces you purchase can save storage space and your wallet.You can check out Paula Deen’s full collection of products yourself by clicking here.