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.
Pots and pans are available in a wide array of materials, with and without nonstick finishes, and there are distinct differences between the various offerings when it comes to how they cook and their ease of use. While sets are sold at a huge range of prices, you don’t have to spend top dollar to get a dependable one that you’ll find a pleasure to cook with.
Copper cookware heats the most evenly and is the most responsive (meaning, take your pan of hollandaise off the burner and it stops cooking immediately so there’s no danger it will curdle). But copper is super pricey and requires a lot of upkeep if you want to maintain its bright, shiny finish.
The vast majority of aluminum cookware has some kind of finish, either enamel or nonstick, to prevent this from happening and also make it easier to clean. Some aluminum pans are hard-anodized, which means they’ve undergone an electrochemical process that strengthens and darkens the metal, protecting if from denting and stopping it from interacting with whatever you’re cooking.
That might not bother you if you bought an inexpensive omelet pan but can be upsetting if you’ve invested in an expensive set. Keep in mind that some items are lids and sometimes the manufacturer throws in a few plastic utensils and adds them to the piece count.
We give points to sets that include a 12-incher as it’s such a versatile pan for frying, stir-frying and one-pot dishes like paella or chicken with dumplings. Every set will also include one or two saucepans and again, larger ones are more useful as you can warm a cup of soup in a 3-quart pot but might not be able to make enough rice for the whole family in a 1-quart.
To select our bestcookwaresets, we relied on our years of rustling pots and pan both in our test kitchens and on our own home stoves. Before becoming a cooking tools expert, she spent seven years working as a professional chef in New York City restaurants.
In her free time, she's busy baking sourdough bread and rustling pots and pans on her own stove. Hi, I’m Lindsay Madison, a trained professional chef and dinner party enthusiast.
I’m the type of person that uses every single pot and pan in the house when I’m cooking dinner (and, I’ll probably dirty up all the tasting spoons and mile en place bowls, too). It wasn’t easy testing all these samples (and my house was quite cluttered for a few weeks), but it was well worth it to help you find the best cookware for the right value.
Professional chef and food writer Sharon France also contributed testing and writing to this piece for both Heston sets. To earn our seal of approval, at least two saucepans, one sauté pan, and a stockpot had to fit on a standard cook top range at the same time.
Finally, we measured any noticeable hotspots and maybe did a little taste testing to see if one set made a tastier meal than the others. For example, you wouldn’t want to boil pasta in a small, 1-quart sauce pot because it won’t all fit.
So, cookware companies try to anticipate your needs by providing small, medium, and large pots and pans. The answer determines whether you want a selection of sauce pots or if having a large skillet is more important in your set.
The metal lids will never drop and shatter, giving them a longer lifespan than the glass variety. Stainless-steel is great for searing meat, leaving behind those delicious fond bits that make the perfect start to a pan sauce.
Many people find themselves attracted to nonstick pans when they start out because it’s a low-cost investment that can be upgraded in the future. When looking at nonstick, keep in mind there are two material types: The hard anodized aluminum pans are Teflon-free (Scot-free) and tend to be heavier (and more durable) than the coated varieties.
@zestandtang Lindsay D. Madison is a professional chef, food writer, and amateur gardener. Before becoming a cooking tools maven, she worked as a professional chef in New York City restaurants for seven years.