The Pioneer Woman Cookware Set Review

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Ree Drummond is an ordinary American housewife who’s made a bit of a name for herself on the internet. From her blog, The Pioneer Woman, she’s made an impact sharing recipes, life stories, and more. Personally, her blog was a big inspiration for me to start cooking frequently and to start The Cookware Geek.

Recently, she teamed up with cookware manufacturers in order to produce her own line of speckled porcelain cookware.

Available at Walmart and Amazon, this cookware is rather nice. It’s fairly cheap, medium quality, and has a good non-stick surface — more about that later on in the review. The Pioneer Woman cookware set is giving a lot to talk about.

The Pioneer Woman has also released similar cookware lines with more pieces. This review focuses on the 10-piece vintage speckled porcelain line.

the pioneer woman cookware set review

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Here’s what each The Pioneer Woman Cookware Set (10-piece) includes:

  1. 8″ pre-seasoned cast iron frying pan
  2. 9.5″ frying pan
  3. 1.1 qt saucepan with lid
  4. 2.5 qt saucepan with lid
  5. 5.5 qt Dutch oven with lid
  6. 4.2 qt jumbo cooker with lid

The set is available in multiple colors, often at slightly different prices. You can get a set in black, linen, red, or turquoise. No matter which set you choose, the cast iron frying pan will be black.

Why Porcelain?

You’ve probably read somewhere that Teflon is bad for you. A few years ago, there was a big fuss about how many chemical non-stick coats were made. The manufacturers insisted everything was safe, of course, but they’ve since dramatically changed the way that they produce Teflon and other non-stick coatings.

It’s unclear whether or not the original Teflon was actually bad for you. You can find information that supports both sides. What is clear is that ALL Teflon, even the new stuff, starts to get pretty unsafe at high temperatures. At above 500 degrees, virtually every modern chemical non-stick will start to release toxic fumes.

You probably won’t cook above 500 degrees very often, but it’s not impossible to leave your pan on high heat for too long and reach even higher temperatures. This means that chemical non-stick coatings aren’t a good idea if you’ve got kids in the house or if you’re not a careful cook.

100% non-stick

Porcelain is an excellent natural non-stick alternative. It’s a type of clay that becomes very smooth and strong when fired. When used in cookware, it forms an effective non-stick coating that’s very pretty to look at. Unlike Teflon, it’s somewhat scratch-resistant, it’ll never flake off, and you don’t have to worry about it releasing toxic fumes at high temperatures.

 All the pieces use enameled porcelain as the cooking surface for most of the pots and pans. They’re just as non-stick as a Teflon pan would be, and you get all of the benefits above. You can easily fry eggs without using any sort of fat whatsoever.

But I must say that this particular porcelain coating isn’t as resistant as others on the market. Many buyers had reported that the coating starts to peel off around the 1-year mark.

Porcelain lifespan

The downside to this fantastic material is that it’s got a lifespan of about 3 years at most. Unlike stainless steel or cast iron , which might last you your whole life, you’ll probably want to replace your porcelain cookware after 2 to 4 years of use. It’ll eventually start to get much less non-stick and become far more difficult to cook on. With proper care, you can extend this lifespan a bit. You still shouldn’t plan on these pots and pans sticking around forever.

Just to be clear: while the non-stick coating in these pans won’t release toxic gas, you still shouldn’t leave them unattended on high heat. You can still damage the material in the cookware, especially the handles.

Oven And Dishwasher Safe

One of the biggest draws to The Pioneer Woman set is the fact that you can throw it in the dishwasher. If you’re a lazy cleaner like me (I love to cook but the dishes are my nightmare), you can simply put each pot, pan, or lid in the dishwasher when you’re done. Hand washing this set is pretty easy, however. A quick rinse and a wipe will fully clean off the enameled porcelain surface.

Oven safety is a pretty neat feature that’s absent from many modern cookware lines. As manufacturers throw on rubberized handles and other fancy gadgets, they quickly create complicated pots that you can’t put in the oven. The Pioneer Woman cookware line is oven safe to 400 degrees. The cast iron pan is oven safe to quite a bit higher, too. This means you can keep your dishes warm or simply use your pots and pans as baking dishes for most recipes.

The 400-degree limit is one of the few downsides to this set. You can’t cook a steak on this pan and then throw it under the broiler without using a different dish. All metal cookware sets will often have a max oven temperature of 500 degrees or more, which is more than enough for almost all home cooking.

User Friendly

When you’re actually using a cookware set, you tend to fixate on a completely different set of features. The beautiful exterior you admired a moment ago doesn’t matter anymore. Instead, you’ll notice how cool the handle is, how well the lid fits, and whether your food cooks evenly across the whole pot or pan.

Luckily, the Pioneer Woman line has all of these features covered. It’s got well-fitting glass lids with steam holes, enabling you to view your cooking without having to release all of the trapped heat. The handles and lids are made with an oven-safe material that blocks heat very well, so you can handle your pots and pans quite safely while you cook. Finally, (and perhaps most importantly), the pans distribute heat very evenly across the entire cooking surface.

Unique Features

The most notable part of this set is the inclusion of a pre-seasoned cast iron frying pan. Cast iron has been the rage among internet cooking discussions for many years now. It offers a number of unique features that can’t be matched by other cookware types. You don’t need a full line of cast iron cookware, but it’s pretty nice to have a single frying pan that you can use when you need it.

The primary advantage of cast iron is the way it handles the heat. Unlike other types of cookware, cast iron pans take a very long time to heat up. Once they heat up, however, they maintain that temperature for a long time. They’re much safer to use at high temperatures than other types of cookware since they’re made entirely of a very strong type of metal. If you want to sear a steak on an extremely hot pan, a cast iron skillet is the best way to do that.

The big downside of cast iron is that it’s not naturally non-stick. In order to combat this, cooks work a thin layer of cooking oil into the top of their pans over time. This layer is called “seasoning,” and is pretty effective at keeping things from sticking. Cast iron advocates will tell you that their pans are much slipperier than Teflon pans. On the other hand, seasoning a pan is a fairly arduous process. Seasoning can last a lifetime, but it’s almost immediately destroyed if your pan ever comes into contact with any sort of soap.

The cast iron pan in the Pioneer Woman line comes pre-seasoned, so you don’t have to worry about seasoning it yourself. All you have to do is make sure that you avoid using detergent to wash it. If you do, you’ll have to replace the seasoning, a process that can take a couple hours.

Quick review: Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Good price/quality relationship
  • 100% non-stick
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Vintage aesthetic

Cons

  • A short lifespan (2-4 years)
  • The colorful exterior may get some damage after long-term use.

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Final Verdict

The Pioneer Woman Vintage Speckel set makes a pretty solid addition to most kitchens. It’s got a unique rustic aesthetic that’s subtle enough to fit in with any sort of decor or dinnerware, yet vibrant enough to be memorable. The pots and pans are well made, easy to clean, and fantastic to use.

They deliver quick, even heat, they’re oven safe, and the lids and handles stay cool while you cook. Finally, the cast iron frying pan is a great addition. It’s a great tool to have in any kitchen, whether you use it every night or just once or twice a year to experiment. If you want a 100% safe non-stick cookware set maybe you should look to other cookware sets like bialetti.

Because, even if it breaks my heart, I must say the quality of the nonstick coating isn’t the best for the price.

I really hope that this review has been useful to you. In case you want a non-stick set that doesn’t have Teflon or porcelain, you can read my list of the best ceramic cookware out there.

See you the next review or recipe. Happy cooking!

16 thoughts on “The Pioneer Woman Cookware Set Review”

    • Hi Jackie!
      The surface is scratch resistance but a mixer would be too harsh on the surface.
      This kind of set works better with silicone and wood kitchen tools.

      Reply
  1. I think one of the main reasons why I love this cookware set, is that because it’s coated with porcelain. It is great for cooking food and it does not release toxic gases when heated and is very eco-friendly and safe for everyone to use.

    Reply
  2. Overall I was pleased BUT my small boiler scratched very bad, while only using acceptable utensils and I find when you drain meat the lid gets the meat pieces up inside the rim, very hard to get that out, also the bottoms of my pans turned black very easily. The cookware was quiet expensive for what I ended up with but it is pretty.

    Reply
    • Hi Cindy!

      The problem with the bottom of the pans is very common. The set is pretty, but the colorful exterior (That includes the bottom) wear off relatively quickly. That was the main “cons” we found out when doing our research.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Reply
  3. I love the fry pan and the red outer color so matches my kitchen. My question is this… am I not to use cooking spray when I cook or fry something in the pan? Does it hinder the goodness of cooking in the pan?

    Reply
    • Hi Doreen!
      If you don’t like to use cooking oil this pans will performance good without it. I usually use a bit of oil just to ensure the nonstick effect when I’m making eggs for example.

      Happy Holidays!

      Reply
  4. Hi,

    I recieved this set for Christmas a few weeks ago, and I love it!! I just wanted to make sure if I were to use the Dutch oven and lid in the oven under 400 degrees, it won’t melt the handles or break the glass? I’d hate to ruin this beautiful cookware, thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Laurie!

      I’m so glad you received this gorgeous set for Christmas! According to the manufacturer instructions the set is Oven set up to the following temperature:

      -Cast Iron: 500 degrees F
      -Enameled Aluminum: 400 degrees F
      -Glass Lids: 350 degrees F

      Taking this into consideration I wouldn’t risk the beautiful glass lids of the dutch oven baking over 400F.

      I hope this information is useful to you!

      Reply
  5. The bottom of my pioneer woman set (& the Tasty* Set) is so ugly with grease stains! 🙁 Other than that, holds up great!

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah!

      The problem with all those colorful sets is how fast they peel compared with traditional black sets. But the performance of the cookware set is really good.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  6. I’ve had the pot set for going on two years now and have experienced no issues with it. I hand wash it as that is what the box it came in recommended, so putting it in the dishwasher may be a reason everyone is having issues with it and why for others its lifespan is shorter. I wouldn’t recommend cleaning it in a dishwasher because over time it does damage it.

    Reply
    • Hi Chassidy! I agree completely. Non-stick cookware sets are not made to last forever like stainless steel and cast iron. Hand washing is always the best option to make non-stick pans last a bit more.

      Reply
  7. I love the pioneer woman line. However I bought my first set of cookware less than a year ago and I less than six months the Teflon in the large frying pan started peeling. I have no idea how to fix it but I wish I could.

    Reply
  8. Hi Melissa!

    I think 1 year is too soon for peeling Teflon. Maybe you need to use silicon or wood kitchen tools to avoid the peeling.

    Either way, did you tried to use the warranty? Again, less than 1 year is too soon for any peeling.

    Reply
  9. This christmas will be 4years I’ve had my teal coloured set. None of the colouring has changed. But I dont jerk them around on the stove top when cooking and I dont pile them into a sink of dishes. I hand wash them on their own.

    Reply

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