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.
While there’s nothing wrong with collecting pots and pans one at a time, a cookware set offers something that singular pieces don’t: cohesion. And because of their identical construction, design, and material, each piece will allow you to produce consistent, evenly cooked meals every time.
Before you can equip your kitchen with this essential, there are a few key things to consider, including your usual cooking routine and level of expertise. Many of the top cookware styles are nonstick, stainless steel, and hard-anodized aluminum, though you’ll also find ceramic and cast iron options, which are ideal for cooking low and slow.
On the other hand, if you consider yourself a pro home chef, you may be ready to invest in something of higher quality that will not only take your cooking game even further, but also be with you for the long haul. Most cookware collections are available to shop online from familiar retailers like Amazon, SUR La Table, and Williams Sonoma.
We browsed thousands of online reviews from real shoppers and found the 10 best cookware sets to add to your kitchen this year. The all-in-one cookware set is also designed with hard-anodized aluminum which creates a hard, smooth surface and essentially makes each piece nonstick.
“This is a very sturdy and well-made set of pots and pans given the low price,” said one reviewer, adding that they’ve “been using them for a while and no scratches or wear is showing up.” It’s important to note, however, that these budget-friendly pieces are not dishwasher safe, so hand washing is a must. With 18 pieces included, this large cookware set has everything the average home cook could possibly need to whip up a good meal, from saucepans to a stockpot to slotted spoons.
Shoppers love these pots and pans for their durability, even heat distribution, and super easy cleanup (they’re all dishwasher-safe!). More than 4,200 Amazon shoppers left a positive rating for this set, with one calling it “the best cookware purchase” they’ve ever made.
This 14-piece set from Total is designed to make cooking easier for beginners: the brand’s signature Thermostat feature indicates when the surface is at the right temperature, which helps create consistent dishes each and every time. Anyone with limited storage space understands the struggle of attempting to strategically place bulky pots and pans into a kitchen cabinet and hoping they don’t come tumbling down next time you open the door.
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 best cookware sets, 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. 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.
A small frying pan may be perfect for a single person but much less useful for a family. Experienced cooks will love this high-quality set of stainless steel cookware, which includes both a 1.5- and 3-quart saucepan, 8- and 10-inch open skillets, a 3.5-quart sauté pan, an 8-quart stockpot, and a steamer insert.
Our tester found the price to be “affordable considering the quality and number of useful pieces you get.” 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. Everyone knows that nonstick frying pans are great for cooking eggs, but this set goes way beyond breakfast.
Our tester noted, “The thick bottoms and sides of these pans distribute the heat evenly, preventing any hot or cold spots as you cook.” 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.
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.
Hand washing is recommended for these beautiful pieces, and some additional upkeep will be required if you prefer a shiny look versus the patina finish that will develop 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.
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.
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. A good set of cookware is an essential component of any Southern kitchen.
They’ll be the pots, pans, and skillets you used to cook dinner for your family on busy weeknights and the trusty cookware that you'll use to try your hand at Mother’s famous recipes during the holiday season. Whether you're looking to replace a well-loved set that you received as a wedding gift or are ready to once and for all replace your mismatched collection with one of the coordinating variety, we're here to help you find the best cookware set for the job.
When the time comes to purchase a new cookware set, the amount of options can be overwhelming. And to ensure that you get the most life out of your new pots and pans, be sure to read the care instructions before using them for the first time.
From stainless steel to ceramic to cast iron, here are the top-rated cookware sets in each category, starting at just $59. It's a great option to outfit kitchens for dorms, apartments, and first homes.
Cuisinart’s Heat Surround technology helps the temperature spread evenly through each piece of cookware to eliminate hot spots while cooking. Now just one, but two nonstick layers prevents food from sticking to this Clifton cookware set.
Made from hard-anodized aluminum, the durable pieces resist corrosion, warping, and are also oven safe up to 400 degrees. It comes in five shades: terracotta (pictured), cream, gray, sage, and navy.
Writes one reviewer, while another says, “We bought the entire set and haven’t looked back.” Cast iron offers unmatched heat retention when compared to other cookware materials.
This cookware set includes four basic pieces to fit all of your cast-iron cooking needs: 10.25-inch skillet, 10.5-inch round griddle, 5-quart Dutch oven, and a lid that fits both the skillet and the Dutch oven. Of all the materials used in cookware manufacture, an alarming number contains substances that have been linked with serious diseases and health issues.
In particular, NMR and NEP–both of which have been used in non-stick cookware –can contribute toward low birth weight and even fetal death. Teflon–previously the darling of the non-stick cookware industry –has since fallen out of favor for its tendency to chip and crack over time.
Made of a variety of metals, it is actually quite a stable material that will not leach a significant amount of foreign matter into your food. This is one of the safest and most inert materials around, and you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals being used in the manufacturing process.
Cookware manufactured in Mexico and China is known to have high levels of lead, which readily leaches out onto food. Unless the manufacturer explicitly states that their ceramic cooking surfaces will not leach harmful toxins, it might be best to avoid them altogether.
Greenspan Lima collection is especially impressive, with its hard anodized aluminum body and riveted stainless steel handles offering unparalleled durability. With over a decade of experience making quality kitchen equipment, the company is a recognized pioneer in the non-stick cookware industry.
Of all the innovations that the company has introduced over the years, it is the Thermal ceramic non-stick coating that has achieved the most attention. Used in the company’s earliest products, Thermal is a non-toxic ceramic surface that has revolutionized the cookware industry.
Neither is particularly cheap, but they do offer excellent value for the money in terms of quality construction and features. Each piece matches a hard anodized aluminum body with a stainless steel handle, ensuring total dependability.
Suitable for both stove top and oven use, all the pots feature Thermal non-stick coating, which Greenspan claims will remain intact even when subjected to high temperatures. Like the Lima collection, the Rio set features Thermal ceramic coating.
It also features Bakelite handles that stay cool even when things get heated up in the kitchen. For many users, the Greenspan line strikes the perfect balance between usability and performance.
One particular user was looking for a healthier alternative to the Teflon pans they used to own, and the Greenspan line seemed like the perfect choice. But they do provide excellent value for the money, and you simply can’t put a premium on ensuring good health.
Given the quality construction, safe and efficient performance, and undeniable good looks, Greenspan is easily one of our top picks for best non-toxic cookware. In its more than 35-year history, the company has released a huge array of professional cookware inspired by the finest kitchens in France.
The GreenGourmet line is ideally suited to the needs of today’s modern green kitchens. Full sets are a bit pricey, so you will be glad to know individual pots and pans are available for purchase at very reasonable prices.
The hard-anodized construction enables the GreenGourmet cookware to withstand even rigorous daily use. Compared to other non-toxic cookware, much less energy is required in order to reach optimal cooking temperatures.
Over time however, a number of issues popped up that made some regret making the purchase. Oil was now necessary for cooking even the simplest foods, and clean-up was no longer fast or easy.
The result is elegant and functional cookware that meets the demands of even the most discriminating chefs. The Covered Dutch Oven has a 6.5-quart capacity, with a non-toxic, non-stick coating that allows for efficient searing, browning, and deg lazing.
You can even pop it into the oven and broil or roast your food safely at temperatures of up to 500° F. It has a capacity of 3 ¾ quarts and a thick bottom that ensures even cooking at lower heats than usual.
With its 3.25 quart capacity, it can hold quite a bit more food and ingredients than your average sautéing pan. And like all the other pot and pans in the Scan pan Classic line, its non-toxic coating makes it a safe choice for healthy food preparation.
One user reported using the same sauce pot for over 15 years, with the surface remaining in pretty much the same condition as when he bought it. One of the few issues brought up about the Scan pan Classic line of cookware is that not all the pots and pans are dishwasher safe.
Nevertheless, the non-toxic cooking surface, easy cleanup, and solid reliability were more than enough to make them exceptional values. Over is fast making a name for itself with its line of stone-coated non-toxic cookware using the company’s own exclusive coating technology.
Called Stonehenge, this particular example of German technology provides durable non-stick performance with no harmful emissions whatsoever. The surface and materials of this cookware conforms to the most stringent German regulations, ensuring a high degree of safety even with regular use.
The company’s Stone Earth pans have an inert coating applied using a process that is free from harmful chemical substances. It is just as durable and resistant to scratching as the finest cookware, and it offers the added advantage of non-stick performance.
A 12-inch pan with superior heat conduction abilities, it will work just as well over an induction burner as it would on a standard stove top. The pan has a non-toxic stone-derived coating that is free from harmful chemicals such as Apex and FOA, and even NMR and NEP.
The bottom of the die-cast aluminum body is magnetic too, which makes it suitable for induction cooking. With the same non-toxic cooking surface as the frying pan, it ensures excellent performance without the health risks associated with non-stick cookware with Apex/FOA/NMR/NEP content.
Able to conduct and maintain heat to a remarkable degree, it is also suitable for use with induction burners due to the magnetic bottom. A remarkably versatile and useful cookware, it has proven to be just as effective for cooking soups as it is for handling full roast dinners.
One user reported it to be especially effective for caramelizing onions, and that roasts were free of the excessive charring at the bottom of the meat. Minor issues aside, the Over Stone Earth Pans are pretty impressive for the price.
If you are interested in non-toxic cookware but don’t want to pay a lot of money, you could do worse than the Over Stone Earth line. Also, from Over, the Green Earth Pans line utilizes another inventive example of German cookware technology.
Called Revlon, it is a dual ceramic coating that is absolutely free of harmful chemicals. The ceramic coating is designed in a honeycomb pattern that allows for a bit of air underneath the food.
According to Over, these air pockets distribute heat more efficiently, improving the performance of the cookware. Like Over’s other non-stick products, Green Earth Pans are more resistant to scratches than other non-stick cookware.
They each have a non-toxic cooking surface made of Revlon ceramic, which is totally free of PTFE, FOA, and Apex. You can therefore use this cookware safely at higher temperatures than usual without worrying about harmful toxins leaching into your food.
Extremely resistant to scratching, the surface can be cleaned easily without a lot of elbow grease necessary. The same Revlon non-toxic ceramic coating is applied, so you can enjoy your food without worrying about Apex/FOA/NMR /NEP content.
The sauce pan is equipped with a side handle so you can manage it quite easily even with its considerable weight. One user reported several months of trouble-free use, even with the pans being subjected to daily wear and tear.
This particular user doesn’t even bother washing the pans, only wiping the cooking surface gently with a dish towel after each use. Priced much lower than competing brands from other companies, the Green Earth line provides very decent value for the money.
Compared with higher-priced non-toxic cookware that wears down even when babied, these are definitely worthy of consideration. Greene offers a few different lines of professional cookware that promise to bring durability and convenience to the home kitchen.
Features such as hard anodized bodies ensure perfect heat conduction properties, while innovative non-stick surfaces provide years of safe and reliable performance. Capable of performing a variety of roles in the kitchen, they provide many benefits that you would normally expect from much higher-priced cookware.
These affordably-priced sets have a ceramic-based coating called Thermal, which does not contain Pas, FOA, lead, or cadmium. Even if you unintentionally leave the pots at high heat for too long, you won’t have to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into your food.
All the pieces in the non-stick cookware sets feature hard anodized aluminum bodies that are remarkably resistant to heat and rugged use. Although most of the pots and pans are primarily intended for stove top use, they can safely be used in an oven without mishap.
Even the glass lids can withstand temperatures of up to 492° F, and they effectively lock in moisture, flavor, and nutrients of food. Low to medium heat is recommended, and a few drops of oil or a small pat of butter is ideal for ensuring longevity.
Like the other cookware in the 12- and 16-piece sets, Greene bakeware have Thermal non-stick coatings that do not release harmful toxins even when subjected to the high temperatures of a typical oven. Although the pans did work as advertised for over a year, seeing more and more bits of coating in the food was understandably unacceptable for these users.
For too many users however, joy ultimately turned to disappointment with the scratching and chipping of the cooking surface. Despite its reasonable price and decent initial performance, the Greene line falls just a bit short of the mark.
Some cookware lines deliver excellent performance at the start, only to reveal serious flaws after several months of use. The dishwasher-safe pieces with stay-cool handles and lids stack easily to free up storage space.
The Teflon-free nonstick coating on Total’s pots and pans makes them foolproof when it comes to turning out crêpes, frittatas, and other sticky foods. Their handles stay cool to the touch, so they’re comfortable to use when cooking with a finger grip for extra control.
Whether you hand-wash or use the dishwasher, these pieces clean up beautifully thanks to their dark nonstick finish inside and out. Their pots and pans are durable enough to handle a steak, but light enough to move around and use for the simplest of tasks, like frying an egg or boiling water.
Their nonstick coating is applied at a very high temperature to help avoid chipping and scratching and is oven-safe up to 500ºF. In previous tests, we were very impressed with Anglo’s ability to distribute heat evenly, maintain a steady simmer, and make scrambled eggs without oil.
Scan pan CTV 14-piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set with Titanium Nonstick CoatingScanpanamazon.com With the Scan pan CTV line, you can have the beauty of stainless steel and the convenience of a nonstick finish without the use of Teflon.
The five layers make them super durable and resistant to peeling, scratching, or corrosion. In our tests, they won top scores for cleaning and maintaining cool handles during cooking.
Unlike traditional nonstick pans, they’re designed to withstand high temperatures in order to achieve a good sear. The two small pots are great for boiling eggs and heating soups, and the silicone-grip handles make moving them around easy.
They’re a popular seller on Amazon, with red, light blue, teal and burgundy being the new colors for 2019. Aluminum Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware SetKitchenAidwalmart.Comte red finish on these Kitchen pans will add a pop of color to your kitchen.
On top of stellar cooking results, these induction-safe pieces clean up beautifully, thanks to nonstick interiors and exteriors. In our tests, they scored high in cooking eggs with no oil and for having good heat distribution.
Betty Gold, Good Housekeeping Institute Senior Editor & Product Analyst, Kitchen Appliances & Technology Lab Betty Gold earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Studies and Nutrition from New York University, and prior to joining Good Housekeeping, she worked with the James Beard Foundation and other leading food media brands like Bon Appétit, Food Network Magazine, and The Martha Stewart Show. Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping Institute Senior Testing Editor & Producer Nicole is a recipe developer trained in classic culinary arts and culinary nutrition who specializes in testing and developing kitchen appliances; she currently runs the Good Housekeeping Kitchen Appliances Lab.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. In the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab, we fried 165 eggs, seared 50 steaks, and more to rate more than 35 new cookware lines.
We tested how evenly skillets distributed heat on gas and electric ranges, how well they browned meat, and how well saucepans maintained a steady simmer and resisted scorching sauce. Finally, we checked how easy all cookware items were to use, including whether handles became hot to the touch and whether each piece was oven- and/or dishwasher-safe.
Our favorite nonstick pans were the ones that could do it all, from cooking an egg with no oil, to searing a steak and being able to pop it in the dishwasher after. Our pros recommend at least an 8-inch fry pan for quick, small tasks like eggs and pancakes; a 10-inch fry pan for cooking larger dishes or for family sizes; a stock pot for pasta and batch sauces and soup; and a small sauce pan for quick, easy tasks, deep enough to boil an egg, good for reheating and simmering.
Every home cook needs to invest in a good stainless steel cookware set at least once in their life. And that's what's so great about stainless steel cookware, one quality set will last through a lifetime of use.
After a series of rigorous testing by experienced All recipes Product Tester Rachel Johnson, we've determined the 6 best stainless steel cookware sets for every type of home cook. When it comes to stainless steel, the heavier the pot or pan, the better (to a degree, you want to be able to handle it easily, of course).
Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel is actually a poor conductor of heat. Cladding (also known as ply) means there has been a complete layer of metal added along the base and sides.
While it's important to invest in a quality set, the good thing about stainless steel is you don’t have to break the bank to get one. Rachel Johnson, our seasoned product tester, rounded up the top stainless steel cookware sets from a variety of popular brands including Cuisinart, All-Clad, Total, and more.
Efficiency of Materials: How quickly and evenly does the pan heat and cook food? Keep reading for Rachel's thoughts on the top stainless steel cookware sets on the market.
Overall, this pan performed brilliantly for all of Rachel's tests, and the stylish design, durable build, and easy-to-clean surface put this set a step above the rest. “While this set is quite hefty in price, it does offer quite numerous pot and pan sizes applicable to completely fulfill any kitchen needs,” says Rachel.
If you're looking to level-up your cookware without purchasing a 20-piece set, this 5-piece set from All-Clad provides all the cookware essentials you need without cluttering your cabinets with excess: a fry pan, a covered saucepan, and a covered sauté pan. They have a thick, aluminum core, with a seamless stainless steel coated exterior.
Although this set is dishwasher safe, All-Clad recommends using a “fine powder cleanser” to best preserve the material. The only cons to this set that Rachel found were the long handles were somewhat cumbersome, and did become warm to the touch when working with high heat.
While this set is definitely the most expensive per-piece, it will impress guests and demonstrate that you are a serious cook that values quality,” says Rachel. Not only does it include a covered Dutch oven, two covered saucepans, a frying pan, and a sauté pan, but it also features a slotted spoon, a slotted turner, and measuring spoons.
This makes a great set for a beginner cook or someone looking to replace their entire cookware collection. However, this set felt much lighter than the others tested, causing Rachel to doubt the long-term durability of these pots and pans.
These mirror-polished stainless steel pots and pans with bonded aluminum bases prove that, once again, Cuisinart lives up to its reputation. Although the pieces were somewhat light, Rachel still found that they felt well-made and thoughtfully designed.
During testing, the cookware came to temperature very fast, and produced a nice even sear across the meat. Although the saucepan did gain some patina after searing meat, it mostly rubbed off with a little elbow grease on Rachel's part.
“Overall, this collection features a multitude of pots and pans leaving the customer without a desire to add more standard pieces to their kitchen,” says Rachel. During testing, the stainless steel frying pan created a nice, even crust on the steak.
We've already established that copper is an excellent conductor, and it doesn't hurt that it provides a stylish touch to any kitchen. This premium set from Anglo features a multi-layer metal base with a copper core and polished stainless steel construction.
Buy It: Anglo Novella Stainless 11-Piece Cookware Set, $400; Amazon Watching cooking shows may whet more than your appetite: It could leave you hungry for new kitchen cookware.
Take Stock Take inventory of the pots and pans you own to determine what needs to be replaced or what is missing from your cookware arsenal. If you only need to swap out a scratched frying pan, open stock is a cost-saving way to go, and what’s popular now.
A Dutch oven can brown, braise, boil, and bake bread. It has high sides, and when made of enameled cast iron, it holds heat well, making it a good choice for deep-frying.
For example, if you sear meat often, cast iron pans will facilitate even browning. If you like to cook stews or sauces low and slow, consider a Dutch oven.
A great Dutch oven can bake, braise, simmer and sear, with excellent results. Cladding refers to the layers of metal fused together to create the cookware.
Clad can also mean a material was added to the bottom of a stainless steel pan, enhancing heat transfer. Familiarize yourself with cookware terminology to make the best choice for your cooking style.
You need a variety of pots, pans, and casseroles, maybe even a few specialty items. A set that contains more pieces might not be the smartest choice if you use only a few and the rest take up space in your cabinet.
Note: Utensils and even a cookbook can count as pieces of a set. Pick It Up We all shop online, but it’s essential to handle the cookware at a retailer.
Glass Lids These allow you see what’s going on inside the pot without having to lift it off, letting steam escape. But they add weight and can break, which could be a problem in a household with young kids.
For example, sautéed foods turn out best in pans that transmit heat quickly, braised foods need pans that retain heat over long periods, and you shouldn’t cook white sauces or tomato sauces in unlined copper or aluminum cookware because those ingredients react with the metal. Long-lasting, classic, uncoated stainless steel is a good choice for browning and braising.
Often sold in sets, stainless cookware can be the kitchen workhorse, tackling everything from pickling to pasta sauce. Durable nonstick coatings effortlessly release even delicate foods, including eggs and pancakes.
Because little or no oil is needed, nonstick pans are a good choice for low-fat or nonfat dishes. Depending on the primary material, most pieces are ideal for use on any type of cook top, including induction.
Great for searing, sautéing, browning, and frying, these classic, colorful pieces transition seamlessly from stove top or oven to your dining table. Covered pieces are also perfect for braising, stewing, slow-cooking, and roasting meat.
Small handles can make transport from stove top to oven a bit cumbersome. Lodge, America’s oldest family-owned cookware manufacturer, has referred to its cookware as “natural nonstick.” Cast iron is extremely durable and can be preheated to temperatures that will brown meat.
It will also withstand oven temperatures well above what is considered safe for nonstick pans. A Dutch oven, which keeps food warm for a long time, is a handy piece to have.
These pans are favorites in professional kitchens because they’re extremely durable and efficient, and designed for high-performance cooking. Must be seasoned (rubbed with multiple coats of oil) to avoid rusting.
Pros: Ideal for everything from high-heat searing, sautéing, and frying to gently simmering delicate sauces. Heavy models with iron or brass handles are safe for oven use.
Aluminum cookware is an excellent heat conductor, as well as reasonably priced and lightweight. It is, however, prone to staining and can discolor light-colored foods and sauces, and can make them taste bitter.
As a countermeasure, anodized aluminum is coated to prevent such side effects. Frying Pans (Nonstick) Ratings The cookware industry consists mostly of large corporations that manufacture several brands.
For example, Meyer manufactures Anglo, Circular, Freeware, and Rachael Ray brands. The industry has seen several consolidations in the recent past as the Global Home Product brands Mirror, Regal, and Wherever became part of Group SEB, which also includes All-Clad and Total.
These products are distributed primarily in upscale department and specialty stores. There is also a line that is endorsed by the chef Email Agassi called Metalware.
Cuisinart is a mid- to high-priced brand that offers products in stainless steel, hard-anodized, and multi clad materials, nonstick and uncoated. Cuisinart's Green Gourmet Cookware line uses ceramic rather than petroleum-based (claimed PTFE- and Scot-free) surfaces.
The products are sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, specialty stores, and numerous online retailers. The brand offers products in uncoated and nonstick stainless steel and aluminum.
Other brands on store shelves include Chef mate, Kitchen, Le Crest, Mainstays, Swiss Diamond, Total, Tramontina, Rachael Ray, and Wherever, among others. When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions.