Heckles, as well as sets sold under the names of celebrity cooks like Ayesha Curry, Rachel Ray, and the Pioneer Woman. We cook pancakes, fry eggs, boil water, and simmer tomato sauce.
We were able to easily maintain sauce at a low simmer, and the 6-quart Dutch oven quickly brings water to a near-boil. With Excellent ratings on both our cooking evenness and speed of heating tests, the Greenspan stands up to the competition.
The coating appears pebbly, but that doesn’t affect its nonstick properties, and we effortlessly cooked pancakes and eggs. Cooking evenness is superb, and this 8-piece set aces our speed of heating test by quickly bringing 4 quarts of water to a near-boil in the 5-quart stockpot.
The surface stands up to our durability test, in which we rub steel wool over the coating 2,000 times, earning a Very Good rating. Simmering a sauce produces impressive results, and this set earns a Very Good rating for cooking evenness.
Heckles Motion Grey is made of anodized aluminum and works with any type of range. Simmering in the saucepan, however, is only so-so, and the eggs needed nudging out of the pan in our food release test.
Clifton designed this set so that it stacks and nests, which frees up precious cabinet space. The Clifton Premier Space Saving 8-piece stainless set earns a Very Good rating in our evenness tests, like our other top performers in this category.
The stainless handles are long and sturdy, and you can use these dishwasher-safe pots and pans on any type of range, including induction. It earns an Excellent rating on our cooking evenness test, and when we brought 4 quarts of water to a near-boil in the 6-quart stockpot, speed of heating was also impressive.
If you're looking to treat yourself or someone on your shopping list to the ultimate kitchen gift, throngs of great cookware sets are waiting for your attention. The decision is complicated further when you're not familiar with common cookware brands or surface materials such as stainless steel, ceramic, nonstick cookware and enameled cast iron.
To help make your choice a little easier, here are some of our absolute favorite cookware sets by various categories. I made sure that all of these high-quality options have necessities like even heat distribution and a great cooking surface.
The best tech deals Subscribe to CNET's Cheapskate newsletter and save on everything from phones to gadgets and more. Cookware is commonly made from aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel, copper or a combination of several materials, and each type of metal has its pros and cons for cooking.
Stainless-steel pots can withstand heavier use, but stainless steel costs more and isn't as great at conducting heat while cooking (which is why stainless-steel pans often have an aluminum core). Other important considerations include the type of stove you have -- for instance, not all cookware works on induction cook tops -- as well as how you plan to use the pieces.
Some cookware is dishwasher-safe, oven-safe or both while other sets need to be cared for by hand or can't withstand certain types of oven heat. While it's not cheap, this set of stainless-steel cookware could very well last for the rest of your life if taken care of properly, making it a worthwhile investment for serious home chefs.
All the pieces are made from three-ply stainless steel with a thick-gauge aluminum core for better conduction and more even heat distribution, and they feature riveted stainless-steel handles. Amazon Cuisinart offers quality mid price wares, and many people have good things to say about the 12-piece stainless-steel cookware set.
The cookware pots and pans have an elegant, minimalist look and have a variety of features that will make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Amazon No one loves scrubbing burnt food off the bottom of a favorite skillet, which is why nonstick cookware is so popular.
The pots and pans in this 12-piece cookware set from Cuisinart are easy to care for, as pretty much all food will slide right off the scratch-resistant, ceramic-based nonstick coating. Because the set is part of Cuisinart's GreenGourmet line, the products feature an eco-friendly nonstick coating and the handles are made from 70% recycled steel.
If you're partial to stainless steel, you'll like this 12-piece cookware set from Tramontina, as it provides unbeatable heat diffusion and durability. Plus, their precision-fitted lids help to lock in flavor, and reviewers say you can't beat this set for price and performance.
Ceramic coating has become the darling of the amateur kitchen cookware world since it's nontoxic and as easy to clean as any other surface. It also comes with a smart magnetized storage rack and canvas lid for keeping your cookware organized.
Total cookware is known for its affordable prices, and this nonstick pan set has everything a novice chef needs to get started in the kitchen. The cookware is made from aluminum and features the company's Titanium Advanced nonstick finish to ensure your eggs always slide right out.
These pieces feature a lustrous brushed-copper exterior and satin stainless-steel interiors and lids, and they have an inner aluminum core for superior heat conduction. The riveted handles are designed to be ergonomic and resist heat, and all the copper pans feature flared rings for easier pouring.
Amazonas iron is ideal for searing, braising, roasting and anything else that takes advantage of its heat retention. The cooking surface of each pan is preseasoned with 100% vegetable oil and the pieces need to be hand-washed and dried to maintain the integrity of the seasoning.
Buyers say these pans “exceeded expectations,” performing beautifully and saving space in the cupboard. Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
When you're equipping your kitchen with the best cookware, there are some advantages to buying a complete set. First, a set can be much less expensive than buying each piece individually, so you’ll save money.
This 7-piece cookware set from direct-to-consumer brand Caraway is the perfect blend of both so you don't have to choose between performance and design. This will not only make it easier to find the right lid when you're cooking but it will prevent them from getting lost.
They are oven and dishwasher safe, although hand-washing is recommended to keep them looking their best (most foods will glide off with a little soap and warm water). The aluminum core provides fast, even heating, while the stainless steel exterior makes these pots and pans suitable for induction cook tops.
The lids are shatterproof glass so you can see inside while cooking, and the handles are covered with a non-slip material that stays cool. This set includes four essential pieces that will get used regularly, with no odd pans that will spend their lives hiding in storage.
With a 10.25-inch skillet, a 10.5-inch griddle, and a 10.25-inch grill pan, this set is functional for everyday cooking. Because cast iron is so durable, you can use these pans on the stove, in the oven, under the broiler, on the grill, and even in a campfire.
She also found the price to be “affordable considering the number of pieces, the versatility, and the fact that it can last for generations.” Made from hard-anodized aluminum, the cookware is responsive to heat changes while the stainless steel handles stay cool during cooking.
The included lids are glass, so you can check on the food without releasing the heat, and the handles are generously sized, so they’re easy to grab and hold. While the coating held up for our reviewer during her testing period, she did notice that it was less effective over time.
Final Verdict Donna Carrie is a cookbook author who reviews products and writes roundups for The Spruce Eats. The Spruce Eats commerce editors Kate Gravity and Katherine Louie both own Caraway cookware sets in their small New York apartments.
They find the size of the pans perfect for larger recipes, like a week's worth of pasta sauce or a pot of chili to feed a crowd. Be careful when it comes to stainless steel as it can be made with a variety of materials that may block the magnetic field.
An anodized exterior, which is sometimes found on aluminum cookware, hardens the metal, creates a colored surface, and protects the pans from stains and corrosion. While the effects of FOA at low doses in humans are disputed, there are links to some health concerns.
However, if used properly (including not overheating, not using metal utensils, and not using abrasive cleaners), there shouldn’t be any concern about your old nonstick pans. Or if you're a seasoned cook, you might be looking for higher-quality cookware to replace older pieces that have seen better days, or to upsize pots and pans to fit a growing family.
The most common pieces of cookware are frying or sauté pans for foods like burgers, steaks, and eggs, and saucepans for cooking pasta, steaming vegetables, making mac and cheese, and cooking soups and sauces. Dutch ovens are great for making chili or cooking large quantities of foods that won’t fit in the sauce pot.
Stockpots are used for even larger quantities of food, as well as for making soup stock. Cookware can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, and they can come with or without nonstick or decorative coatings.
Whether you’re looking for a pan to sear steaks or a pot to cook jam, there’s a piece of cookware that’s just right for that purpose and a set that will be the perfect fit for your kitchen and your lifestyle. The Spruce / Donna Carrie Material is the first thing to consider when buying cookware since it affects both the price and the performance.
Most cookware is made from some type of metal, with stainless steel, aluminum, and copper being the most common. The Spruce / Donna Carrie Responsive metals gain and lose heat rapidly as you adjust the stove temperature.
It’s also useful for making jam or candy when it’s important to stop the cooking process at a specific temperature. Cast iron retains heat well, which means that it stays hot for a long time, even after the stove is turned off, and it also heats evenly, so you won’t get hot spots above the burners.
Stainless steel and aluminum fall between copper and cast iron in terms of heat retention and responsiveness. Nonstick interior coatings prevent your eggs from sticking and make cleaning easier, while uncoated cookware tends to be better for searing meats and for handling high heat on the stove and in the oven.
While anodizing isn’t technically a coating, it creates a hard outer surface on aluminum cookware that looks attractive and resists stains and corrosion. Coated cast iron is resistant to corrosion and can handle acidic foods with ease.
The Spruce / Donna Carrie When it comes to cookware, size always makes a big difference. In general, wide, shallow pans are best for cooking foods where evaporation is desired.
Tall, narrow pots are best when the goal is to limit the evaporation of liquid, like when you’re cooking pasta. And while large stockpots, woks, and oversized frying pans can be useful, those pieces might not fit in a cabinet.
The Spruce / Donna Carrie Stainless steel cookware is one of the most common types you’ll find, and for good reason. It won’t rust or stain, and it’s not reactive when cooking acidic foods.
While stainless steel is typically dishwasher safe, you should refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to be sure. The Spruce / Donna Carrie Cast iron retains heat well, making it ideal for searing, frying, baking, and braising, and it will keep food warm after cooking is done.
Uncoated cast iron cookware needs some special care and cleaning, but it often arrives pre-season, so it can be used right away. Uncoated cast iron cookware is nearly indestructible, and can usually be used on a stove top, in the oven, on a grill, and perhaps even over a campfire, but it should be washed by hand and may need occasional reseasoning.
Some cast-iron cookware has a shiny colored enameled exterior with a rough matte interior that resembles uncoated cast iron but is impervious to acidic foods. Unfortunately, it’s also reactive to acidic foods and will discolor with use and time, so it requires maintenance to keep it looking shiny.
Enameled steel cookware is not as common today as it was in years past, but speckled enamelware can still be found occasionally, particularly in large pots used for water bath canning. Because ceramic is non-conductive, meaning it reacts slowly to heat and retains it well, it's ideal for slow, steady cooking.
Thus, fully ceramic cookware typically comprises roasting pans and casserole dishes that are intended only for oven use. Completely ceramic cookware are made of either porcelain, earthenware, or stoneware, and they're typically dishwasher-safe.
Their aluminum core allows for quick, even heat distribution, while their nonstick exterior also resists scratches and is compatible with all kinds of stove tops (including induction). Ceramic nonstick pots and pans are generally safe in the dishwasher, but for them to last longer, hand washing is recommended, as well as only using wooden or silicone utensils when cooking with them.
All-Clad is one of the high-end cookware brands that consistently manufactures quality cookware, usually featuring clad materials where copper and/or aluminum are sandwiched between layers of stainless steel for the optimum cooking experience. While All-Clad is known for its high-end cookware, they have several product lines at different price points, so they can be affordable for serious home cooks looking for quality.
Among their products, you’ll find nonstick cookware that is metal-utensil safe, so you can keep using your favorite tools. The Spruce / Donna Carrie The Freeware company has been in existence for well over 100 years, so there’s a good chance that someone in your family has owned at least a few of their pieces.
Today, they’re known for their budget-friendly but high-quality cookware, including some very durable nonstick product lines that are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. They also sell stainless steel cookware as well as companion items like bakeware, knives, and cooking gadgets.
Known for its made-in-France enameled cast iron Dutch ovens in a variety of colors, the brand has expanded to other types of cookware and other products. Besides Dutch ovens, they sell raisers, grill pans, and skillets in enameled cast iron, as well as stainless steel cookware, ceramic casseroles, and specialty cookware, some of which are made in countries other than France.
Le Crest Dutch ovens are often treasured family pieces that are passed down through generations since the coatings are well-made and unlikely to chip or crack with normal use. Like other companies, Lodge has expanded their product lines, and they now also sell enameled cast iron cookware.
While a lifetime warranty sounds like a great deal, most have caveats, like excluding commercial use or cookware abuse. When you’re buying a set, it’s wise to count the pans rather than the lids and extra pieces.
Also, you can find plenty of accessories online, including universal lids, silicone handle covers for cast iron pans, roasting racks, and a multitude of options for steaming, frying, and draining. This means that cooking is not just a daily routine, but it is an activity that will make you happy.
Before we go to our main topic, we will talk about various types of material to create different cookware. To give you a better insight into how was made and here are some popular materials to create different types.
Copper earns its reputation for its high heat distribution and conductivity. Most of the manufacturers come with ceramic pots and pans with modern technology that ensure even heat distribution, easy cleaning and much more.
They make this list awesome by putting some best -selling, most popular and highly durable ceramic sets. When you cook with stainless steel cookware, your food will not react with it.
The price of Aluminum pots and pans is significantly set cheaper than a stainless steel one. However, unlike stainless steel, aluminum tends to react with alkaline and acidic food.
To solve this problem, you can anodize your aluminum set before use Cast Iron: This product offers excellent durability. It is available in red, gray, white and black color to suit your individual needs.
All produced by Cuisinart Green Gourmet is FOA and PTFE free. Unlike others, Cuisinart offers excellent heat conductivity and distribution.
This particular cookware brand produces nonstick kitchenware and bakeware. Unlike other, Circular uses a total Food release system with free FOA.
Circular saucepan enables it, the user, to cook without butter or oils. Circular symmetry hard-anodized non-stick cookware use stainless steel bottom make them suitable any kind of stove including induction one.
This particular coating agent is far more durable than Teflon and safe to use at high temperatures. All produce by Greene is free from PTFE, FOA, lead, and cadmium.
This particular brand offers 12 pieces of cooking set at a budget-friendly price. Made from 18/10 high-quality stainless-steel cook N Home cookware is suitable for a household with many families.
It is a popular cookware brand that has perfect thick heavy gauge anodized aluminum for all its products. For safety purposes, the handles are made from stainless steel covered with silicon.
Beautiful dome shape lid created from tempered glasses supported with stainless steel around the edge. Kitchen is a familiar name for the customer who loves to use stainless steel cookware.
The user can place Kitchen Aluminum Nonstick in any type of stove. This is true as the base of Kitchen cookware is made from stainless steel.
She and her company produce premium quality under the brand of Paula Been Signature. Paula Been offers high-quality cookware in different colors such as aqua speckle, butter coral, lavender, honey, oatmeal pearl and so on.
I hope that this article gives you a better insight into popular brands in the market. If you’re starting from scratch, you don’t need to think about what you need to round out your collection as most sets come with a variety of sized pots and pans to cook a wide range of meals.
Also, unlike your drawer of multi-brand kitchen gadgets, when you get a cookware set, all of your pots and pans are made with the same technology and materials so you’ll know how long it takes to heat up and how sensitive your cookware is to temperature changes. Plus, they’re dishwasher safe which will save you tons of time and counter space on handwashing and drying.
Made from hard-anodized aluminum, these pans retain perfect heat and have a strong protective layer. There is a thermal spot ring indicator in the middle of the pans that turns solid red to indicate when pans are perfectly preheated and ready for ingredients to be added.
If you’ve ever tried for a perfect sear, you know this is key in maintaining flavor and cooking food evenly. It’s deep enough to boil pasta, comes with a steamer basket that nestles nicely in the pan and a spatula with a built-in handle rest.
The Always Pan uses a PTFE and Pas free coating that is tested to be safe and creates a non-stick barrier that makes cooking and cleaning a breeze. Not to mention it’s extremely attractive, lightweight, and comes in a range of beautiful muted colors.
The 10-piece set of pots and pans also comes with glass lids which helps you keep an eye on your food. Each piece comes equipped with cool grip handles to help reduce overheating and burning your hands.
These ceramic-coated aluminum pans promise impressive nonstick capabilities, and they deliver. The pans retain heat well, provides nonstick without any chemicals, and look good on your stove top.
With typical cast iron, you need to put a little work in to season them before using, but this set comes pre-season so you can use them right out of the box. Cast iron is extremely durable, so you can use this cookware set on the stove, in the oven, under the broiler, on the grill, and even over a campfire.
Most things that are enameled can easily chip if they fall, but with this awesome cookware set, you don’t have to worry. This Stab collection has a chip-resistant coating so your beautiful pans will stay that way for a very long time.
This set includes all the essential pots and pans that get used regularly and is perfect for a variety of cooking techniques. If you bring a date home to cook for them, they’ll instantly know they’re getting a * chef’s kiss* fabulous meal.
Not only is cast iron one of the best cookware materials for heat retention and distribution, but it’s also unbelievably durable, lasting for generations if cared for properly. Whether you’re searing meat or baking cake, a good cast iron skillet will be your best friend in the kitchen.
You’ll also want to consider the depth of your pan, as a skillet with shallow walls isn’t ideal for cooking sauces. As you shop, you’ll likely encounter the term “enameled cast iron,” which means the metal has been coated with a durable non-porous glaze.
Lodge is an American company known for its affordable cast iron cookware, and many experts agree its budget-friendly skillets work just as well as those from high-end brands. For instance, the Artisanal Kitchen Supply Cast Iron Skillet is the perfect option for beginners or anyone on a budget, as it’s incredibly affordable and comes with a twice-seasoned interior cooking surface, giving you a jump start on building up a solid seasoning.
All the pans in this set are made in the USA, and they’rep re-seasoned to give you a jump start on building up a durable nonstick finish. The grill pan is ideal for searing meat and even vegetables, and the griddle will come in handy when you’re cooking pancakes or eggs on the weekends.
“Next, add a 5-quart Lodge Dutch Oven (which also gives you a lid that works with this set, albeit a heavy cast iron one), there won’t be much you can’t do.” If you frequently serve food right out of the pan, the Stab Double-Handle Skillet makes it easier to transport the hot cookware from oven to table.
This 13-inch skillet, which comes in five colors, would be the perfect pan for deep-dish pizza or party dip, and it has an enameled interior surface that doesn’t require seasoning. Its two loop side handles give you a better grip when moving the skillet, and as an added bonus, it’s also easier to store.
Some cheaper cast iron pans have a rough surface, which can impede their nonstick abilities, but the Fine Cast Iron Skillet is finished with an ultra-polished cooking surface that’s incredibly smooth, allowing you to build up a nonstick seasoning in no time. This 12-inch skillet has a unique octagonal design that allows you to pour out liquid from any angle, and it includes a matching cast iron lid with integrated self-basting rings for better flavor when you’re oven-braising or making sauce.
Plus, this grill pan gets top marks from reviewers, who say it delivers great flavor and is surprisingly simple to clean. This high-end brand is known for its top-tier construction and brightly colored finishes, and while its 10-inch skillet isn’t cheap, it will last for decades if taken care of properly.
The fry pan is available in a rainbow of colors, and it features a black enamel interior that requires no additional seasoning and minimal oil while cooking. This cast iron skillet is 10-½ inches in diameter with 2-inch sides, and it offers a convenient helper handle on the front of the pan that makes it easier to remove from the stove.
It has a unique flared rim that allows you to pour off liquid from any angle, and you can even choose whether you want the cookware pre-season or bare. This polished cast iron skillet is surprisingly lightweight at just over 5 pounds, and its smooth surface is easy to clean and maintain.
It takes a lot more material and effort to create a cast iron skillet compared to say, non-stick cookware. Making a cast iron pan is also time-consuming: It requires a lot of grinding to get the right finish.
MaterialsSafe bottom Line Greenspan Valencia Pro 11 piecesHard-anodized aluminum Ceramic nonstick continually stove tops including induction Best coating Check PriceMadeIn Starter Kit 4-piecesStainless steel Blue carbon steel stove tops including induction Best full-clad Check Price Cuisinart GreenGourmet Cookware set 12 piecesHard-anodized aluminum ceramic nonstick continually stove tops Oven & broiler Best Seller Check PriceXtrema 7-inch ceramic skillet With cover100% ceramicStopvetops Grill Microwave Best 100% ceramic Check PriceOzeri Green Earth frying pan set 3 piecesMagnetized base double ceramic continually stove tops Including induction Best Budget Check Price (perfluorooctanoic acid) is a synthetic chemical compound that is used, along with PTFE, to manufacture certain fluoropolymer and telomer-based products, including nonstick pan coatings like Teflon. According to cancer.org, FOA has the potential to be a health concern because it can stay in the environment and in the human body for long periods of time.
Studies have found that it is present worldwide at very low levels in just about everyone’s blood. The safest and healthiest way to cook would be using cookware that is FOA & PTFE free, though we should note that While FOA was used in the past in the US in making Teflon, it is not present (or is present in tiny amounts) in Teflon-coated products (made in the USA).
Another top brand that focuses on ceramic cookware is Cuisinart, founded by the late Carl Synthesizer, who introduced the food processor to America in 1973. Cuisinart is not about just food processors anymore and is a full-service culinary resource with a wide array of products, including kitchen appliances, bakeware, flatware, outdoor grilles, tools, and gadgets.
All cookware comes with stainless steel stay-cool (70% recycled) handles, and everything is designed in a way that saves energy and is toxin-free at the same time. They focus mainly on manufacturing products entirely made from ceramic, which helps distributes heat optimally in all pots and pans.
It can be heated at higher temperatures without worrying about health hazards, and the surface can not be scratched. Their eco-friendly cookware includes different types of ceramic skillets, saucepans, stockpots, teapots, bowls, bakeware, and a lot more.
Over “Healthy Living” products range from eco-friendly cookware (entirely free of Apex, Gene, Pubs, UFOs, FOA, and lesser-known chemicals such as NMR and NEP) to 100% plant-made biodegradable dishware that doesn’t contribute to landfill waste. All of these include pans, pots, and other basic items that are free from toxic materials.
The honeycomb textured frying surface allows for even distribution of heat to avoid bottom food burning. The ergonomic handles are made from silicone, it is easy to clean, and safe for induction.
This is why there are more than a dozen reputed brands that manufactures and market high-quality non-stick cookwares today. Cuisinart is one of the oldest and top cookware manufacturers today; this product comes from the same brand and comes in a pack of 17 pieces set.
The entire set of products with an excellent non-stick coating that makes frying, sear, and cleaning easier Made of non-toxic food grade aluminum guaranteed to last for a lifetime Comes with vented glass lid and stainless steel rims that make the cookwares spill proof The entire set of cookwares are oven safe and could withstand a maximum heat up to 300 degree Fahrenheit Ergonomic handle incorporated lightweight cookwares makes using the product easy The set of cookware includes mini pot with lid, mini sauté pan, small pot, frying pan, slotted spoon, slotted spatula, spaghetti server, soup ladle, and potato masher This Rachael Ray product comes in a pack of 12 and is one of the most attractive set of cookwares available today.
Ideally, experts are of the view that three layers is best suited for a cookware that promises to have a longer life. Durability: As noted above, it is extremely important to consider whether the cookware that you are purchasing shall last for a long duration of time.
Depending on the coating and the way it feels, you shall be in a position to take a wise decision about the purchase of your cookware. Price: When you are spending money on something, you will obviously want to make sure that you get the full value of every penny spent.
When you invest in a cookware, you sure would want the one that is of the best quality and is also able to give you the benefits for the maximum period of time. When warm water and vinegar are bought to a boil, all the ingredients such as remnants of cooking oil, etc.
Some essential parts such as the handle or even the main coating may become weak when you are using a dishwasher in your non-stick cookware. The best way to adopt is to add a very small quantity of oil to the cookware and then turn on the flame or induction.
They can damage the quality of the non-stick cookware and moreover, they can really make things gooey and unhealthy. As mentioned earlier, the non-stick cookware is quick to heat and hence the food can get burned.
Most of the experts suggest that you must season the non-stick cookware and you must store it in the cabinet only once it is completely dry. These general rules are applicable for non-stick pan, cooker or any other type of utensil that you are using.
It serves as the best option for boiling soups, stews, Basques, potatoes, pasta, etc. The cookware requires proper preheating and oiling to avoid the risk of sticking.
The main feature of this cookware is that it is coated with Teflon to avoid sticking of food. The users may feel much more convenient to cook the food in nonstick cookware, and it saves a lot of time too.
But one has to handle carefully nonstick cookware, as it requires medium heat to cook the food. Because when you maintain a high heat flame, it will lead to the release of dangerous chemicals into the food.
One should also avoid the use of sharp utensils on such nonstick surfaces, as it will remove the coating of the cookware. One should not cook the food in cookware under high heat flames, as it releases toxin fumes.
As nonstick cookware coated with Teflon, a chemical, people may get potential health issues. When comparing the pros and cons of both cookware materials, it is concluded that each has its uses in its aspect.
When you want to cook eggs, pancakes, and other delicate foods, you can use nonstick pans or skillets. This means to cook liquid food such as stew and to get the brownish meat, one can go with the stainless steel cookware.
Feel free to purchase any product from the list, and we guarantee that you will not regret. Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
It spreads heat more evenly and requires less oil than a typical frying pan, for starters. It's important, however, to buy the right wok, as they come in all shapes and forms: from those with flat or round bottoms to those made from cast iron or carbon steel.
You can use it on any gas or electric stove, but since it’s made from aluminum, it won’t work on an induction cook top. This is a great starter wok for someone who doesn’t have ample storage or who prefers a pan that’s not quite so specialized.
Since this is made from aluminum, it can’t be used on an induction cook top, but since it has a flat bottom, it can be used on any gas or electric stove. Carbon steel is a very traditional material for woks, but it has some downsides that a home cook needs to be aware of.
Like cast iron, carbon steel needs to be seasoned to keep it from rusting and it can’t be washed in a dishwasher. It’s important to read the specific instructions included with the wok for the proper way to remove the coating.
This wok is made from cold-forged carbon steel with two riveted loop handles and a very traditional round bottom. However, wood, nylon, or silicone utensils will help extend the life of the nonstick surface.
It’s large enough to cook dinner in a single batch, whether you’re making fried rice, stir-fry, or fajitas, yet it’s much lighter than traditional cast iron woks so it’s easy to lift, move, and store. It has a flat bottom that allows it to sit on top of a gas burner without the adapter ring needed for round-bottom woks.
Final Verdict Donna Carrie is a food writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats, specializing in all the latest cookware and kitchen gadgets. Caroline Goldstein, a lifestyle writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats, personally tested three of the woks on this list, putting them through the paces in her NYC apartment to evaluate their functionality, design, and ease of cleaning and storage.
This special piece of cookware has a unique shape that creates a hot spot at the bottom and sends heat up the sides, allowing food to cook quickly at high heat, which helps preserve nutrients and allows vegetables, proteins, and noodles to maintain their texture. Today, this piece of cookware is quite possibly the single most important tool in a Chinese kitchen, though it can certainly be used outside that cuisine.
The Spruce Eats / Danielle Goldstein While some people might think a wok only functions as a vessel for stir-fry, it’s quite versatile. Its larger capacity makes it great for deep-fat frying magnets or tempura, and it can also be used with a steaming basket to cook delicate shellfish or dumplings.
Woks made from traditional carbon steel are also extremely durable and affordable and can last for years before they need replacing (if they need replacing at all), but for those who require lower-maintenance versions, modern woks also come in stainless steel and nonstick versions for easy use and clean-up. It has many similar properties to cast iron: it holds heat well, can be used on any sort of cook top (including open flame and induction), and is extremely durable.
Because it is naturally chemical-free, it is a great choice for those worried about FOA, PTFE (Teflon), and BPA toxicity. While cast iron requires a little of special care to maintain its seasoning, cookware made from this material has a very long lifespan and can be used on virtually any cook top.
The maximum cooking temperature for nonstick pans is usually lower than that of other materials, so if you’re looking to get the char that a traditional wok would give, you may want to opt for another version. A wok made of this material will typically have a heat-conducting aluminum core surrounded by layers of 18/10 stainless steel, giving it some heft and thickness.
Because stainless steel is non-reactive, it’s a great choice for cooking acidic foods, like orange chicken or sweet and sour pork. These types of pans are not only beautiful to look at but will also stand up against sharp or metal cooking utensils without getting scratched.
Home woks come in a wide range of sizes, from small, 8-inch versions that are ideal for singles, all the way to 36 inches for feeding a party. A good average size to have is a 12- or 14-inch wok, which fits well on a standard stove and can typically feed three to four people depending on their appetites.
It will give you enough room to stir-fry a generous amount of food without worrying you might accidentally toss some of it out of the wok. This setup creates a hotspot at the bottom while sending heat up the sides of the wok, and also allows for a smooth scooping motion to stir ingredients around.
The Spruce Eats / Caroline Goldstein As with most cookware, woks can vary greatly in price. Larger manufacturers like Clifton and Total will typically offer a warranty on their woks, protecting you against defects in workmanship or material.
Some companies may limit their warranty to a specific number of years and may note that it does not protect against normal wear and tear or improper use. The brand’s midrange price points make it a popular and attainable choice for dedicated home cooks.
The Spruce Eats / Caroline Goldstein Founded in Colombia, Imus is a leading supplier of Latin and ethnic cookware across South, Central, and North America, with a primary focus on preparing Hispanic foods. It has two foundries located in South Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and continues to craft heirloom-quality pieces that last for generations.
Traditional carbon steel and woks can be cared for very similarly: use a non-abrasive scrubber and water to remove any debris, wipe the surface dry with a paper towel, then follow this guide to maintain its seasoning. For nonstick woks, you’ll want to use a nylon scrubber along with gentle dishwashing soap and avoid using metal utensils or sharp implements that could damage the coating.
The Spruce Eats / Danielle Goldstein If you feel like a wok is an item that you’re desperately missing from your kitchen, it’s a great investment that doesn’t have to be expensive to work well. Determine how big you need to go and be sure you have sufficient storage space for your newly acquired pot.