I Tried the New Anolon X Cookware and It’s Sear-iously Amazing

Updated: Jul. 17, 2024

The crowd-favorite cookware company introduced its Anolon X cookware series that boasts innovative technology for the perfect sear—but can it handle the heat? Our cookware expert tested it to find out. 

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When buying quality cookware, you’re ideally looking for something you’ll use for years to come. Some of our favorite brands, like HexClad and Made In, are backed with lifetime warranties. Others, like Smithey cast iron, claim heirloom status. And yet, the cookware industry keeps innovating. Purportedly new and improved pans arrive on store shelves with claims that they’re changing the game.

Recently, stalwart brand Anolon introduced a new line called Anolon X, with technology that the company claims is the next great evolution in nonstick cookware. I knew I had to see for myself.

What is Anolon X cookware?

Nonstick pans, such as ceramic marvels from Caraway, Our Place and Green Pan, are ultra slippery. This, for the most part, is a good thing. However, they’re so slippery that cooking oil tends to slide to the sides of the pan, which isn’t ideal for browning, searing and frying.

Anolon X cookware attempts to solve this problem with its exclusive SearTech technology, which embeds a stainless-steel mesh into the pan’s base to prevent oil from drifting to its edges. By keeping hot oil directly underneath the food, the pan distributes heat more evenly. Therefore, you end up with the sort of browning and caramelization of which dreams are made.

We Tried It

Anolon X Cookware

This nonstick pan is perfect for searing meat, frying and sauteing.

Anolon X Features

The most notable feature of Anolon X cookware is the signature SearTech technology, which creates a shiny diamond pattern etched across the pan’s matte black nonstick surface. The stainless-steel grooves keep cooking oil from sliding toward the pan’s edge. Between the grooves is a triple-layer of ultra-durable, PFOA-free nonstick coating, which ensures that food will cleanly release when it’s time to flip it over.

One of the most impressive parts of this pan, in my opinion, is the handle, which makes it easy to lift and balance. Typically, I sear things in my cast-iron pan, which does a dynamite job but is too heavy and bulky to lift with a single hand. The Anolon X frying pan delivers the same searing abilities but at a fraction of the weight. Its easy maneuverability is ideal for making pancakes or omelets.

Anolon X cookware has thick rims for extra strength and durability, as well as flat rivets that make them easier to stack and store. It’s suitable for gas, electric and induction cooktops, and is oven safe up to 500 degrees. And if you’re not in the mood to scrub out your pan by hand, you’ll be happy to learn it’s dishwasher-safe, too.

In addition to the 10-inch skillet that I tested, Anolon X is available in many cookware configurations, including a 10-piece set. The collection includes two saucepans, a large stockpot, a saute pan, two frying pans and the corresponding lids.

How We Tested It

I’ve been testing the 10-inch Anolon X skillet since June 2023. In that time I’ve used it extensively for a variety of cooking tasks.

Oiling

Before I cooked anything in my new 10-inch Anolon pan, I made sure it did, in fact, prevent oil from awkwardly pooling or drifting from the middle to the sides of the pan. I drizzled a few tablespoons of olive oil into a cold pan, and it worked as advertised!

Oil sits as naturally at the bottom of this pan as it does a cast-iron skillet, saute pan or any other piece of cookware without a nonstick coating.

Searing

steak in a pan on the stove with cooked side upAllison Robicelli for Taste of Home

The Anolon X frying pan’s main selling point is its ability to sear, so what better way to test it than with a big hunk of red meat? Without a deep brown crust, beef can’t live up to its full flavor potential. And without searing, beef tastes boring.

To put the new Anolon pan to the test, I grabbed a large slab of chuck roast to make braised shredded beef nachos. We stick to a mostly vegetarian diet at home, so on the odd occasion I do cook meat, I don’t mess around. Before my beef braises, I want it to be as brown as possible.

I coated the bottom of my Anolon pan with a thin layer of cooking oil and let it sit over high heat. I patted both sides of the beef dry because any excess moisture trapped between the meat and pan will turn into steam and prevent browning. After sprinkling the meat with a generous amount of kosher salt, I gently laid it in the pan. Then I turned down the heat to prevent burning and left it untouched for five minutes.

When I flipped the meat, there was excellent caramelization with large swaths of charring. The scent that filled my kitchen was so powerful that it drove my cats toward the edge of madness.

The only issue I had with the pan was that it was a bit too small for my cut of meat; it would be a tight fit for any significant cuts of steak. To get the most out of this pan, I’d recommend investing in the 12-inch skillet.

As for the final result, the braised beef was spectacularly delicious, full of the sort of big beefy flavor you should demand from all red meat. The sear was intense enough that you could still taste its notes of caramel and char after an hour in the Instant Pot with other ingredients.

Cleaning

Img 9213 I Tried The New Anolon X Cookware Allison Robicelli For Toh JveditAllison Robicelli for Taste of Home

The downside, however, is cleanup. The nonstick portions of this pan easily returned to like-new condition with a simple sponge, soap and water. But the etched grooves, despite their shallowness, held onto the mess my meat left behind. A gentle scrubbing helped some, but I found getting the pan back to pristine condition impossible.

Sharp metal utensils scraped away the nonstick in my attempt to loosen the debris, despite Anolon’s claims. Although I remain impressed by many of this pan’s attributes, I would suggest using nonstick utensils if possible.

Pros

  • Excellent heat conductivity
  • Oil distributes evenly over pan surface
  • Incredible searing power
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Truly nonstick
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • Requires some elbow grease to clean
  • Limited warranty that only covers the construction of the pan, not the nonstick coating

FAQ

Is Anolon X cookware safe?

Yes, Anolon X cookware is safe. The PTFE nonstick material is non-toxic and free of PFOA chemicals.

What is Anolon X cookware made of?

Anolon X cookware has an aluminum body covered in PTFE nonstick coating. A stainless-steel mesh is inlaid in the nonstick coating, so oil disperses across the bottom of the pan without pooling.

Does Anolon X use Teflon?

Anolon X does not use Teflon, which is a brand-name nonstick coating that contains PFOA. Instead, Anolon X pans are covered in PTFE coating, which is both nonstick and non-toxic.

Product Comparison

The technology and design of the Anolon X pan are very similar to those of the HexClad pan, which impressed me during my previous review. There are a few key differences, though.

The Anolon X pan is slightly lighter than the HexClad pans, which makes it better for cooking foods that need to be flipped with a flick of the wrist. The biggest difference between the two, however, is the price. A 10-inch HexClad pan is about $180, whereas an Anolon X pan costs $99.99.

Why You Should Trust Us

I’m an acclaimed chef, author, humorist, podcaster and entrepreneur. A nominee for the prestigious James Beard Award, my writing has appeared on Eater, Food52, TASTE, Food & Wine, Epicurious and more. I’ve written numerous cookware pieces for Taste of Home, including reviews of brands such as HexClad, Great Jones and Beautiful by Drew.

Final Verdict

I can’t argue with the results! The Anolon X pan sears like it means it, and that’s always a good thing when cooking a nice piece of meat. It offers the same versatility as HexClad but at a fraction of the cost. If you’re looking for a versatile everyday frying pan that’s attractive and built to last, you’ll want to check out this model.

Where to Buy Anolon X Cookware

We Tried It

Anolon X Cookware

This nonstick pan is perfect for searing meat, frying and sauteing.

The Anolon X 10-inch frying pan costs $99.99 and can be purchased at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart or directly from the Anolon website. The pan’s searing skills will have you flipping with excitement.