Generally, when people say highheatcooking,” they’re referring to techniques like stir-frying, sautéing, and searing meats. But cooking at high heats can actually be dangerous if you don’t have the right materials for the job.
Make sure your cookware can handle the heat of your kitchen by checking it against the list below. It’s safe for use on a stove top, grill, oven, or even directly over the open fire.
Although it is heavy and takes some maintenance it needs to be seasoned with a thin coat of oil after each use. It’s lighter than cast iron and slightly heavier than stainless steel, aluminum, or copper.
This provides added superior heat conductivity and even cooking, which is a fairly common complaint from regular cast iron cookers. But if you’re looking for an even distribution of high heat every time, enameled cast iron is the way to go.
That’s why a lot of high heat cookware combines stainless steel with another material for maximum usage. Copper and aluminum conduct heat very quickly, making it easy to burn or overcook, and stainless steel tends to be too slow or have too much insulation for thorough cooking.
The insulation of the stainless steel along with the heat capacity of other lighter materials makes these combination cookwares perfect for even, safe highheatcooking. Toxic residues from this breakdown process can mix with your food and contaminate it, causing it to be dangerous for consumption.
Avoid Teflon and other products advertised as non-stick (except for natural non-stick surfaces, like you may get with the seasoning process) for the safety of your food. If you stick to the materials outlined above for your high heat cookware and avoid non-stick surfaces, you’ll be stir-frying, sautéing, and searing in no time.
The breakdown process creates toxic residues that often end up in food, causing it to be harmful for human consumption. While more difficult to clean, cast iron and stainless steel cookware circumvent the worry of accidentally ingesting flaking surface.
Copper saves energy considerably and the risk of scorching is minimal. Cladding refers to layers of metal fused together to create cookware.
Cladding may also mean that a material was added to the bottom of a pan to enhance heat transfer. Otherwise, known as hard-coat anodized, coating refers to changing the soft surface of an aluminum pan to a hard one.
It is suitable for any cook top, highly durable and wipes clean easily. If the bottom of a pan is warped (which can create hot spots that burn food), or if handles are loose or broken, it’s time to shop.
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.
CR’s take: The 12-piece Cuisinart Green Gourmet nonstick set aces all our key cooking tests. 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. Its performance in our food release test, however, was subpar, so if you like to fry eggs, you may want to stick to a nonstick skillet.
Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials “H.J.” 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. 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 praise this multi-use set for its durable and comfortable designs, nonstick surfaces, and approachable price tag. With a price tag over $1,000, this set is certainly an investment, but the impeccable quality will make it worth every penny in the long run.
Shoppers love these pots and pans for their durability, even heat distribution, and super easy cleanup (they’re all dishwasher-safe!). The classic stainless steel pots and pans each have an aluminum base that quickly and evenly distributes heat, and they’re dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
While a set from Le Crest may be on the pricier side, it’s built to stand up to years of use and will prove to be well worth the initial investment. This cookware set from Rachael Ray’s collection not only comes in fun pops of color, but it’s also designed with a Scot-free nonstick surface that’s safe to cook on and virtually eliminates the chance of any pesky food scraps sticking, tearing, or leaving behind a mess.
One shopper claimed these are “the best non-stick pans they’ve ever used, and a whopping 300 reviewers specifically touted this set as being “easy to clean.” 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. And just as you can’t use some oils at high temperatures, some pots and pans don’t go well with high heat.
The type of cookware you use for highheatcooking can be the difference between a perfectly seared steak and a burnt raw one. Here, I review what materials perform best at high temperatures and identify some of the best cookware for highheatcooking.
As the name suggests, cooking with high heat involves preparing food at an elevated temperature for a shorter time. In this case, using low heat would only mean waiting for ages to get a perfect sear and probably ending up with an overcooked inside.
Yet, remember that turning the heat up on your stove to insane levels isn’t a faster way of preparing your food! Although you can cook at high heat on the stove top, most manufacturers advertise a safe oven temperature for their cookware.
Cast iron and carbon steel cookware are ideal, as it’s not likely you can damage them in a home oven. Yet, with some foods and cooking techniques, very high heat can help get that extra “restaurant quality” factor.
Some can handle the heat while some will burn your food or, even worse, emit smoke and start flaking. Due to its incredible durability and heat retention, cast iron makes for perfect high heat cookware.
Most cast iron and carbon steel cookware won’t usually have an oven-safe temperature advertised. Although quite hefty and requiring some maintenance, cast iron is an excellent material for highheatcooking.
Due to its high heat capacity, stainless steel cookware is a popular option for highheatcooking. I would suggest including cast iron and stainless steel pans in your kitchen, as each provides something a bit different.
Remember, carbon steel pans require seasoning and will rust with just a few uses without proper maintenance. It can take the temperature needed for stir-fries, retains its heat well but is light enough to let you toss your vegetables.
This lessens the hassle of using cast iron cookware as it requires no prior seasoning and is easy to clean. Like “bare” cast iron, it can withstand high temperatures and provides an even heat distribution.
This 10-piece cookware set boasts superior heat capacity and distribution with a blend of stainless steel and aluminum. The durability of stainless steel along the aluminum’s heat capacity makes this set perfect for safe, highheatcooking.
The entire set is oven safe to 315 °C (600 °F), including the lids, thus perfect for searing and sautéing. One thing, though, the bottom of the stainless steel pans can discolor with high heat use.
Though they can take some elbow grease to clean, these pots and pans are a great addition to any kitchen. Tips : Don’t add oil until the frying pan is hot and avoid overly abrasive material when cleaning (use stainless steel barkeepers).
Small handles get hot during cooking Bottom discolors when used on high heat Can be difficult to clean This non-stick ceramic cookware set includes 5,3.5, and 3-quart cooking pots ; 10.5 and 8-inch frying pans ; three universal lids; and two nylon cooking utensils.
They don’t cover dishwasher damages, heat discoloration, coating chipping, and flaking. From searing to Dutch oven cooking, you can rely on this combo cooker for everyday use.
This cast-iron pan and Dutch oven combo are great for any amount of home cooking heat. This set promises you even heating, natural, easy-release finish, durability, and versatility with proper seasoning.
This enameled cast iron set features a 3-qt skillet and a lid that doubles up as a shallow frying pan or griddle. It requires no prior seasoning, cleanup is a breeze and stands up to high heat abuse.
Enameled cast iron itself is typically safe for all regular home cooking temperatures. So it’s great to see that the handles on this multi-cooker are enameled cast iron, meaning this cookware is oven-safe at high heat.
Durable Great price Easy to clean Suitable for high heat cooking Integral enameled cast iron handles Lid doubles as frying pan If you want to stir-fry properly, then you need a carbon steel wok.
I love the 2 in 1 feature with the lid doubling up as a cast-iron skillet, saving you some space. With proper care and maintenance, this combo set is sure to give you a genuine non-stick experience with highheatcooking for decades.