You Should Never Buy Nonstick Pans From The Pioneer Woman. Here's Why

Blogger, author, Food Network star, and Oklahoma country girl Ree Drummond could probably sell us just about anything. But when Walmart debuted the Pioneer Woman's line of Vintage Speckle and Cast Iron Cookware in 2015, the cute design, reasonable price points, and nonstick functionality had folks clamoring to add a little country flare to their kitchens. The vintage cowgirl appeal and the variety of sizes included in this cookware set seemed like a slam dunk for Pioneer Woman fans. But, once the 800-plus reviews started rolling in, some of them told a different story. 

The cookware set comes complete with an 8-inch cast iron skillet, a 9.5-inch frying pan, plus two saucepans, a dutch oven, and something called a "jumbo cooker" with lids to match. The pots and pans are aluminum, with a PFOA-free nonstick coating. This means they were constructed without a chemical common to nonstick cookware called perfluorooctanoic acid, which The American Cancer Society says is associated with an increased risk of cancer. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, once customers began actually cooking with the cookware, things deteriorated quickly.

The Pioneer Woman's nonstick pans just don't last

When Walmart customers began using their Pioneer Woman-brand cookware, many found the nonstick coating chipped and flaked after just a few uses. One 1-star reviewer commented, "After using it like 3 times, there's a black spot on the bottom inside of the pot due to the paint chipping away or whatever that is. So not happy and sad." 

Another customer said, "After about three uses I went back to my old set cause the others started flaking and I will not let my family eat anything cooked out of something flaking!" Another person noted after only three uses: "Today as I was cleaning (RUBBING the inside with my hands) I noticed the inside is peeling/chipping away! What am I suppose to do with this!? Feed my family some extra ingredients that come directly from the pot!!??" Yikes

While these people, and the many other reviewers, are definitely justified in feeling their $89.99 was wasted, at least they don't really have to worry about it being dangerous. Chipped and scratched nonstick pans are annoying but Scientific American says they're pretty harmless — especially those with PFOA-free coatings. Even if the flakes of coating are ingested, they'll just pass through your digestive system.

But, bottom line: The shoddy coating, plus other complaints of warping and discolored, scorched pot bottoms are all signs you might not want to buy nonstick pans from the Pioneer Woman.