Paula Deen Cookware Review 2021

How you feel about buying Paula Deen cookware will depend as much on how you feel about Paula Deen herself as the actual pots and pans.

The rise and fall of her popularity in the wake of a number of controversies have been better documented elsewhere on the internet.

Despite all of this, her cookware range continues to prove extremely popular and she retains an army of loyal fans.

In my Paula Deen cookware review, I’m going to focus strictly on the pots and pans that make up her Signature and Riverbend product lines.

(If you want to explore more of my cookware content, take a look at the home cookware guide I have on the site.)

About Paula Deen Cookware

Before reading on to my two Paula Deen cookware reviews, it’s important to look at one thing that they both have in common.

Both of the Paula Deen cookware sets I’m reviewing today use a nonstick coating called Polytetrafluoroethylene (or PTFE).

Compared to non-Teflon coating surfaces, this stuff is exceptionally slick and makes cooking a breeze.

It’s important to note that PTFE is a different material to Perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA).

That long-popular material fell out of favor a few years back, after reports of chemical release during the manufacturing – not the cooking – stage.

Still, some people prefer to avoid chemical non-stick materials altogether, and use ceramic cookware instead.

Assuming you’re fine with a PTFE coating though, there are still some things you need to know:

The coating will wear down – This stuff doesn’t last forever. After a couple years of even careful use you will start to notice the surface flaking. That’s fine for many people, as they consider that super-slick surface to be worth the short-term payoff.

You can’t use metal cooking utensils – You’ll shorten the lifespan of your non-stick surface significantly if you use metal cooking utensils. It’s very easy to chip and scrape a non-stick coating using these tools, so stick to silicon or wooden utensils instead.

To be clear, neither of these is a negative point against Paula Deen cookware specifically. It’s just part and parcel of working with this kind of non stick coating.

As a result, you should expect to get only a few years use out of these cookware sets, even if you take really good care of them.

Paula Deen Signature Review

The Signature cookware set is one of Paula Deen’s most popular. It’s the natural place to start for this article, so let’s dive in and see what it’s all about.

Paula Deen Signature Nonstick Cookware Pots...
  • This set includes a 1 qt cov saucepan, 2 qt cov saucepan, 6 qt cov stockpot, 2.75 qt cov saute, 8 inches...
  • This cookware's colorful speckled porcelain exterior is durable, stain resitant and breeze to clean
  • This set has a heavy guage construction heats up quickly and evenly, and durable dupont teflon nonstick...

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Overview Of The Set

The Paula Deen Signature set consists of 15 different pots and pans (plus lids), and is a pretty cost-effective way of brightening up a new kitchen.

Here’s what you get out of the box when you buy the Signature cookware set:

  • 1 Quart Sauce Pan + Lid
  • 2 Quart Sauce Pan + Lid
  • 6 Quart Stock Pot + Lid
  • 2.75 Quart Saute Pan + Lid
  • 8 Inch Skillet
  • 10 Inch Skillet
  • 5 piece measuring spoon set

(I could live without the measuring spoon set myself, but overall I think that’s a pretty good cookware set that covers a lot of common cooking tasks.)

Colors & Overall Design

All of Paula Deen’s cookware items are designed to offer big, bold colorful designs. They’re not for those of you who like subtlety in their kitchens, to put it lightly.

They definitely stand out in the kitchen, and the handles themselves feature hanging hooks too. If you’ve got one of those helpful hanging racks by your cooktop, they’re easy to hang and show off.

Not all color options are available all of the time, but at the time of writing this review I was able to pick the set up in the following colors:

  • Aqua Speckle
  • Blueberry Speckle
  • Butter Speckle
  • Coral Speckle
  • Lavender Speckle
  • Red

Although the Red option stands out here, it’s worth pointing out that every color has a speckling effect as well. I’d like the colors to be simpler and without that after-effect myself, but this is obviously going to be a matter of personal taste.

The Paula Deen Signature set is designed to be vibrant and pretty, and it’s fair to say it delivers on that front!

Construction & Performance

Each pot and pan in the Signature collection has an interior made of heavy-duty aluminum. This stuff heats up quickly and is great for delivering even cooking.

Although they’re light to carry around the kitchen, this is solid and durable nonstick cookware. The aluminum is thick, making it oven-safe (up to 350F / 176C). The handles are likewise built to withstand these temperatures.

Just be aware that you won’t be able to use any of these Paula Deen pots and pans with an induction cooktop. There’s no magnetic layer, and so the heating element simply won’t activate.

Handle Design

The handles on these pots and pans are comfortable to grip and have been designed to match the color of each edition of the Signature series.

They’re also double-riveted – rather than screwed – which helps a lot of with stability, control and strength.

Screwed handles are notorious for wearing down over time, so this helps preserve longevity of each pot and pan. They’ll certainly outlast the non-stick coating, which is as much as you can hope for!

Tempered Glass Lids

The glass shatter resistant lids on the Signature series are tempered and hard-wearing.

As they’re made of glass, of course, it’s much easier to check on progress when you’re juggling a number of different hobs.

They do have a tendency to steam up though, so you’ll need to accept that some uncovering during cooking is inevitable.

Ease Of Cleaning

Because the set has a porcelain exterior, cleaning each pot and pan is very easy.

Porcelain is pretty stain-resistant, and so wipes down easily enough. Because of that non-stick coating, you won’t find cleaning the interior to be as bothersome as usual either.

It’s important to note here that you really do need to hand wash these items.

Putting a non-stick coating in the dishwasher is a recipe for disaster. It’ll pick up scrapes and scratches from other items in the machine, and you’ll shorten the lifespan of your cookware considerably.

Pros

  • PFOA-free surface is excellent for fuss-free cooking.
  • Easy to clean if you don’t mind hand washing your pots and pans.
  • A wide variety of color options to choose from.
  • Pretty affordable compared to the average Teflon non-stick brands.
  • Tempered glass lids allow you to check on progress at a glance.
  • Soft touch handles are comfortable to hold and the set feels steady and secure.
  • Oven safe (up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit).

Cons

  • The glass lids are very helpful, but they do steam up eventually.
  • If you heat these pots and pans for a long period of time, those handles do get quite hot.
  • Cooking sprays are a no-no, due to that non-stick surface.
  • This cookware set is not induction-compatible.
  • Must be washed by hand – the set is not dishwasher safe.
  • Scratch the non-stick surface and you’ll shorten the lifespan of the set.

Verdict On The Paula Deen Signature Series

If you’re looking for a colorful collection of affordable pots and pans, I think the Signature series is a pretty good way of kitting out your kitchen.

Most of the drawbacks of a non-stick surface like this apply to every cookware set of the same type.

If you’re comfortable using PTFE surfaces, and you accept that non-stick coatings have a limited lifespan, it’s a pretty useful cookware set.

Paula Deen Rivererbend Review

In the second of my Paula Deen cookware reviews, I want to take a closer look at the Riverbend range.

Paula Deen Riverbend Nonstick Cookware Pots...
  • DURABLE NONSTICK COOKWARE SET: Heavy-duty aluminum construction means the cookware set heats quickly and...
  • TOP QUALITY NONSTICK COOKWARE: Pots and pans feature premium, top-quality nonstick for great food release...
  • EASY TO CLEAN, STAIN RESISTANT COOKWARE: Porcelain enamel cooking set exteriors add a dash of color to...

The Riverbend collection shares much in common with the Signature series. For that reason, this review will be a little shorter as I’ll be focusing on the differences to save you time.

First though, here’s what the Riverbend set shares in common with the Signature collection (read the review above for more detail in each case):

  • Non-Stick Coating: PTFE
  • Oven-Safe: Yes, to 350F / 176C
  • Interior Material: Aluminum
  • Exterior Material: Stain Resistant Porcelain
  • Lids: Tempered Glass
  • Induction Compatible: No
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

What’s Different To The Signature Series?

Although the overall design of the Riverbend series is familiar (with some cosmetic adjustments), the main difference between the two is what you get out of the box.

  • 1.5 Quart Sauce Pan + Lid
  • 2 Quart Sauce Pan + Lid
  • 3 Quart Saute Pan + Lid
  • 6 Quart Stock Pot + Lid
  • 8 Inch Fry Pan
  • 10 Inch Fry Pan
  • 2 Slotted Utensils

Most importantly, the skillets are out and they’re replaced with fry pans instead. You also get a pair of slotted nylon utensils instead of those measuring spoons (a better deal in my opinion).

Although there are some visual differences, the overall look and feel is pretty much the same. There’s nothing between the two in terms of build and materials either.

The bottom line here? Go with the set that contains the most useful cookware items for your own kitchen.

Alternatives To Paula Deen Cookware

There are some other popular and colorful cookware sets that you might like to consider before settling on the Paula Deen range.

Here are a couple of picks that I think are worth looking alongside the Signature and Riverbend collections.

Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware

If you can stretch your budget a little further, then Rachael Ray’s porcelain collection is well worth considering instead.

Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware Pots and...
  • SET INCLUDES: 1-quart and 3-quart saucepans with lids, 6-quart stockpot with lid, 8.5-inch and 10-inch...
  • DURABLE DESIGN: Nonstick pots and pans from Rachael Ray are crafted with durable aluminum and sturdy hard...
  • ENHANCED PFOA-FREE NONSTICK: Cookware set features espresso-colored, PFOA-free nonstick for effortless...

It’s again got that crucial PFOA-free non-stick surface, but I personally prefer the cleaner design without the speckling. There’s also an even bigger collection of colors to choose from!

It’s also a little more heat tolerant than either of the Paula Deen sets, with an upper temperature of 400F / 205C. Having that extra wiggle room is always worthwhile, as this kind of cookware can’t take a tremendous amount of punishment.

Here’s what you get with this set:

  • 1 Quart Sauce Pan + Lid
  • 3 Quart Sauce Pan + Lid
  • 6 Quart Stock Pot + Lid
  • 3 Quart Saute Pan + Lid
  • 8.5 Inch Fry Pan
  • 10 Inch Fry Pan
  • Slotted Utensils

Green Life Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Cookware

As the name suggests, the big focus for Green Life is creating quality cookware with a lower impact on the environment. Where possible, recycled materials are used in each design element.

GreenLife Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Nonstick...
  • Cookware set includes: 4” mini frying pan, 7” and 9.5” frying pans, 1 quart and 2 quart saucepans...
  • Our healthy and easy-to-clean ceramic nonstick coating is derived from sand and free of PFAS, PFOA, lead,...
  • Soft Grip Bakelite handles are designed to stay cool on the stovetop for maximum comfort

It’s high quality stuff and available in lots of fun colors. For the cost, I think you get a surprising amount of versatility from this 16 piece set in particular:

  • 1 Quart Sauce Pan + Lid
  • 2 Quart Sauce Pan + Lid
  • 2.5 Quart Saute Pan + Lid
  • 5 Quart Stock Pot + Lid
  • 4 Inch Frying Pan
  • 7 Inch Frying Pan
  • 9.5 Inch Frying Pan
  • 7″ Stainless Steel Steamer
  • 4 Kitchen Utensils

This is a ceramic set, which means there’s no chemical layering on the interior. Instead, oils are slowly released over time to maintain a non-stick effect.

These pots and pans are also dishwasher safe, which might be appealing if haven’t got the time to wash up by hand after the hard work of cooking a meal!

I really like this set, and it’s one that’s definitely worth looking at alongside Paula Deen’s sets. In terms of budget they’re around the same level, although you need to be sure ceramic cooking is for you.

Final Verdict On The Paula Deen Range

If you want a low-cost cookware set with a true nonstick Teflon coating – and you love those designs – I think either the Signature or Riverbend Paula Deen set will serve you well.

They’re solidly constructed, although you should keep in mind that every non-stick surface has a limited lifespan. Still, if you want a low cost set of pots and pans that will last for a few years, this is a viable option.

With that said, I do think it’s worth looking at some of the alternative cookware brands before making a final decision .

Each of those alternative sets offer something slightly different, and at a similar price point to Paula Deen’s pots and pans too.