The large number of actual pots and pans in this set means that it provides better value than many competing options. One quick note before we dive in: while I often advocate purchasing a sauté pan or another single piece of cookware to try out a brand before you buy, this is pretty hard with Kirkland Signature.
Unless you want to use a weird piece like a roasting pan as your starting purchase, it’s probably best to dive right in with a full set. It’s got a polished steel exterior, a durable stainless cooking surface, and an aluminum core that helps distribute heat evenly throughout each piece quickly after you turn on the burner.
The outer layer is magnetic to facilitate seamless use on induction cook tops, meaning that this set will work with every sort of range in any home. One of the biggest benefits of this style of cookware is the extreme durability that’s granted by the use of stainless steel in the construction.
The handles are solidly riveted onto the bodies of each pot and pan, while the steel lids fit snugly and help ensure that any condensation that builds up drips right back down onto your food. The rims of the pots are tapered in just the right way for drip-free pouring, which is a common feature among high-end cookware brands.
Most serious home chefs will tell you that it’s easy enough to cook sticky dishes like eggs and meat without too much fuss as long as you’re careful. One common cause of food “sticking” to a stainless cooking surface is that you’re simply being too impatient.
That said, this cookware definitely feels very high quality and will last long enough to easily justify the little of additional cost. That isn’t the biggest or most serious downside, however, and I’m more than willing to overlook this awkward branding for the quality of these pots and pans.
Unlike the triply set above, this cookware line uses pure aluminum with no additional materials to make up each pot and pan. In order to lend aluminum the strength and toughness it needs to hold up to the rigors of everyday kitchen use, the outer layer of each pot and pan is treated with a process known as anodization.
This makes the aluminum quite comparable to stainless steel in a number of important ways, including durability and the ability to resist corrosion. Second, while anodized aluminum can do a great impression of steel in the short term, you probably won’t be hanging onto these pans for decades.
While Kirkland has chosen a modern Teflon coating for these pots and pans, even the best non-stick will chip and flake off over time. This includes ceramic non-sticks, too, so don’t feel bad for choosing Teflon over other modern alternatives.
Modern non-stick coatings are produced without the use of FOA, which is the chemical that caused a big scare a few years ago. As long as you don’t throw them in the oven at high temperatures (450 F+) or leave them unattended on your stove top, however, you’re probably fine.
This is a bit of an odd combination since metal handles are usually chosen over the rubberized alternative for high-temperature oven safety, which is defeated by the non-stick interior and glass lids. There’s nothing wrong with either choice, however: glass lids help you keep an eye on your cooking, while the metal handles lend a little of durability to this cookware.
Thick walls and bases help ensure that your pots and pans sit squarely on the stove top and lend it a bit of extra durability. There are a number of identical listings that all offer the exact same cookware set under very slightly different names.
“In boxed sets, manufacturers count a lid as a piece,” explains Marion Wilson-Spencer, CR's market analyst for cookware. We buy and test cookware sets ranging from less than $100 to $600 or more, from well-known brands such as All-Clad, Anglo, Clifton, Cuisinart, and Willing J.A.
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.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. And with so many great recipes, there are heated debates about which seasonings to use, the role of buttermilk, how long to let the chicken rest before frying and single- vs. double-dipping.
So as much as we love fried chicken, it’s understandable that some might hesitate to fill a skillet with oil, light the burner and stand back. Work with a few pieces of chicken at a time to ensure the oil temperature doesn’t drop too much.
Once you’ve removed the cooked chicken, wait for the oil to come all the way back up to temperature before adding the next batch. Now that you’re no longer afraid of the process, you can reap the rewards that home deep-frying brings to our favorite comfort food.
When I was growing up, my parents had a farm, and every year, Dad would hire teenage boys to help by haying time. They looked forward to coming because they knew they would be treated to some of Mom's deep fryer recipes, including this delicious fried chicken.
Slicing the chicken breasts into strips cuts down on cooking time and ensures every piece is crunchy and evenly coated. The secret is in the breading, which makes the chicken super moist and flavorful, Derby and golden brown.