Rachael Ray 17642 Brights Nonstick Frying Skillet Set, 2-Piece

Last updated date: July 28, 2020

DWYM Score

Rachael Ray 17642 Brights Nonstick Frying Skillet Set, 2-Piece

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Overall Take

This set includes a 9.25-inch and an 11-inch pan, both of which are heat-safe to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The handles are dual-riveted and rubberized for an exceptional grip. In addition to being colorful, the pan's exterior is made from a porcelain enamel that is stain resistant. In our analysis of 47 expert reviews, the Rachael Ray Rachael Ray Brights Nonstick Frying Skillet Set, 2-Piece placed 4th when we looked at the top 15 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 28, 2020:
Checkout The Best Skillet for a detailed review of all the top skillets.

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From The Manufacturer

Add the Rachael Ray(r) Classic Brights Hard Enamel Aluminum Nonstick Set Frying Pan Set to your kitchen, and bring the great cooking performance, style, and functionality home. Rachael Ray(r) Hard Enamel Cookware offers cooking performance, fun colors, and solid design. The sturdy skillet construction promotes even heating, helping to reduce hot spots that can burn foods, and the porcelain enamel fry pan exteriors in a bold, two-tone gradient hue are both colorful and durable. Make Rachael's easy and express Dinner Strata with this convenient frying pan set, using the medium-sized frying pan to caramelize the onions and the larger frying pan to blanch the asparagus using her quick sautéing technique. This colorful nonstick frying pan set is a great addition to the rest of the clever and practical kitchenware and cookware from Rachael Ray(r). The distinctive rubberized handles on both Fskillets are oven safe to 350°F and add double-riveted strength with a comfortable grasp for confident cooking. Stir up stovetop deliciousness with the personality and hard-working performance of the colorful, versatile Rachael Ray(r) Classic Brights Hard Enamel Aluminum Nonstick Set Frying Pan Set.

Overall Product Rankings

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Matfer Bourgeat Steel Fry Pan Skillet, 11-Inch
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Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Skillets

If your kitchen were a chessboard, the skillet would be your queen. A nice, deep skillet can do just about anything: sauté, stir-fry, braising, roasting. If it’s made of cast iron or similar materials, you can even add oven-roasting and baking to that list.

While any good skillet will be versatile, the material it’s made with is going to determine its specialties. Take the classic cast iron skillet. Everybody’s grandparents have one in their kitchen, for good reason. These weighty workhorses cook steak like nothing else, and — with a little TLC — are durable enough to handle thousands of meals on the stove or in the oven before getting passed on to the kids.

At the other end of the cooking spectrum, you have the nonstick pan. Lightweight and handy, these are typically made of quick-heating aluminum coated with a nonstick polymer that makes it a breeze to clean. They’re best for a nice plate of eggs or fish filet — soft foods that won’t abrade the surface.

In the sweet spot between the two is your stainless steel skillet. Steel is a great metal for retaining heat and distributing it evenly, making it the go-to choice for sauces, stir-fry, chicken, rice and a host of other everyday dishes. It’s also got natural nonstick properties, making it relatively easy to clean. In many cases, you’ll find skillets that are layered with an interior core of aluminum are ideal. The idea here is that aluminum heats up quicker, and then transfers that heat to the sturdier outer layer of steel.

In a nutshell, the meals you make are going to determine the skillet you need. That’s why most households have at least two options:  a nonstick for quick morning omelets and a cast iron or stainless steel pan for meats, veggies and other dinner staples.

DWYM Fun Fact

While it’s hard to trace the origins of the frying pan or skillet, the earliest examples of the cookware could be found in old Mesopotamia. Most early versions of pans were made from copper — a capable enough conductor of heat if you don’t mind the low-level copper poisoning that came with it. While that was probably not the biggest problem on the mind of a 3rd-century chef, today’s copper cookware comes with a protective coating that takes that worry away.

The Skillet Buying Guide

  • Using your skillet properly will not only result in better food in the short term, but a longer-lasting piece of cookware. Cast iron skillets can stand up to just about anything temperature-wise, but you’ll need to season it to get the most out of it. That involves coating it with a super-thin layer of oil and letting it bake in at high heat, a process that not only protects against rust but imparts a stick-resistant coating. Some cast-iron skillets come pre-seasoned, but a touch-up dab of oil every once in a while will help keep it protected.
  • Nonstick skillets require a lot less care, and that’s half the point. Just make sure you don’t put it through more than it was designed for. Most nonstick options aren’t safe for oven use, and even those that are have a max temperature that you’ll want to make sure not to exceed.
  • Cleaning your skillet also requires a little adjustment, depending on the material. Soap will actually wear away the seasoning on cast iron, but a decent one will actually clean off easier than you’d think with hot water and a brush. Just don’t put it in the dishwasher, or let it soak in water. Most nonstick skillets are dishwasher safe, but be sure to use a plastic brush that won’t abrade the polymer coating when washing by hand.
  • The weight of a skillet is something to consider long-term. Cast iron sounds heavy, and it usually is — especially with a pan full of steak. Older cooks might find it unwieldy enough to consider a stainless steel model instead.
  • The material of the handle is just as important as the base. Most skillets have a handle that’s made from a separate piece attached to the pan — ideally with rivets, which will hold longer than screws or bolts. A silicone-coated or wood handle will keep the coolest, no matter what’s cooking.
  • Check the base, especially if you’re cooking on an induction stovetop. Induction coils use an electromagnetic field that won’t work on sufficiently ferrous pans. Any pan with a metal base will do, and most will indicate if they’re induction-compatible.
  • Will you be whipping up a lot of sauces? Look for a skillet with a rolled lip that makes it easier to pour out the contents. Shaking up some stir-fry? Straight-edged lips are best at holding in the ingredients.