New cookware is always fun, so I was excited about giving the Ninja Foodi NeverStick Premium Hard Anodized Cookware Set a fair trial. The brand has made its name in appliances, but I wasn’t completely sold on its new venture into cookware. Would the cookware be as good as the blenders, or would it just be another cookware set? I pulled out recipes to make use of each of the pots, including sticky foods to test the nonstick property and also foods I wanted to brown.
Armed with plenty of eggs, vegetables, and meat, I used the cookware for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even a tasty beverage, just to make sure I covered all the possibilities. After plenty of use and plenty of washing, I’ve got the details.
What’s Included: Covers all the bases
The 8-piece set I tested comes with an 8-inch frying pan, a 10 1/4-inch frying pan, a 2 1/2-quart saucepan with lid, a 3-quart sauté pan with lid (the lid also fits the larger frying pan), and a 6 1/2-quart stockpot with lid. There is no lid for the smallest frying pan, but I seldom need a lid for a pan that size. While I liked this assortment of cookware, I would have preferred a slightly larger saucepan—a 3-quart rather than 2 1/2-quart. Still, the 2 1/2-quart saucepan was large enough to cook my favorite boxed mac and cheese, so it should be large enough for most uses.
The stockpot in this set isn’t the largest I’ve seen, but it’s large enough for making soup for large families or for parties, and quite generous for cooking pasta or making stock.
When the saucepot was a little too small for the ingredients, the stockpot was able to perform its duties. The stockpot in this set isn’t the largest I’ve seen, but it’s large enough for making soup for large families or for parties, and quite generous for cooking pasta or making stock. It’s also large enough to accommodate third-party steamers that can hold plenty of vegetables. When it’s time for storage, the stockpot isn’t too large to find a place in the pantry or on a shelf.
Design: Looks great for the price
This set looks much nicer than I expected for the price, with a rough, pebbly gray exterior and handles that have both shiny and matte surfaces. The interior is a close match with the exterior color and while it’s not as rough as the exterior, it’s not completely smooth, either. The interior has a bit of a sparkle to it, without looking cheesy. The large sauté pan would be perfect for making large casseroles or baked pasta dishes, but these aren’t pretty enough for serving except for the most casual family meals.
The handles are rounded and comfortable to hold, and the pots all felt well-balanced so they were comfortable to cook with. At the end of each handle is a large hole that makes hanging easy on any hook. The handles are riveted on for security, with the Ninja name etched into the shiny portion of the handle near the body of the pots. The branding is obvious when using the pots since it’s on top of the handle, but it’s unobtrusive from a distance.
The lids are glass, with a metal rim around the outside and metal loop handles on top that are branded with the Ninja name. For folks who have multiple pieces of cookware from different brands, it’s nice to have that branding so lids can be matched with pots. The lids don’t have a steam vent, so if any steam escapes, it does so around the rim of the pots. If steam needs to be vented during cooking, the lids can be set slightly ajar, but a small bump can cause the lid to slide back into place. At times, I heard a pinging sound from the lids as they heated up; I’ve noticed that with other pots I’ve tested, but it’s never caused a problem.
The pots don’t have any kind of pouring spout, but the design of the rim made it easy to pour liquids out of the pots, whether it was a thin soup stock or a thicker custard.
The pots don’t have any kind of pouring spout, but the design of the rim made it easy to pour liquids out of the pots, whether it was a thin soup stock or a thicker custard. Scraping thick, chunky foods out of the pots was easy as well.
Material: Aluminum, stainless, and glass
Made from cold-forged and anodized aluminum, which is actually stronger than stainless steel, these feel heavy enough to be sturdy—there’s no way they’re going to dent if accidentally dropped. The base is quite thick at 4.5 millimeters and there’s a stainless steel disk on the bottom that makes the cookware induction compatible, and it also helps with heat retention and even heating. The exterior is shot-blasted to give it a rough, nubby surface and has a clear coat that makes it dishwasher safe.
The interior has Ninja’s proprietary NeverStick nonstick material, which is metal-utensil safe. I appreciated that I could use metal utensils when I needed to use a whisk, but for the most part, I’ve moved on to using mostly silicone utensils. While metal utensils like whisks or spoons are fine for use in this cookware, sharp metal objects like knives and forks should be avoided. For storage, if the cookware will be stacked, it’s suggested that a dishcloth or other material be placed between the pans to prevent damage.
The handles are cast stainless steel that is bead-blasted to create the matte surface and polished for the mirror finish. Not only were they comfortable to hold during cooking, but they also stayed cool enough that I didn’t feel a need to use a pot holder. On the other hand, the loop handles on the lids did get hot when I cooked for more than a short time, so a pot holder will be required for those.