Finding the top cookware set can make all the difference to your cooking and make your life in the kitchen much easier.
Among other things, this will help to prevent food sticking to the inside of the pan (thus preventing burning), it will shrink the amount of time you spend washing up and it will ensure that your food is all evenly heated through.
In short, getting the right kitchen set will make you want to spend more time cooking and actually enjoy that time as well.
You’ll eat better meals because of it and this can impact on everything from the quality time you get with your family, to your health and physique. And there’s more to it than that too!
Did you know that some cookware sets can actually be toxic to your health, while others add to the nutritional value of your food? And did you know that there are some culinary feats that are only possible with specific types of cookware?
There’s a lot to think about here. So how do you go about finding the right cookware set for you? What things should you look for when buying pots and pans? What material is best?
This article will answer all those questions and more. This is your complete buyers guide to finding the top cookware set, complete with 39+ top cookware set reviews and information on what to look out for.
Quick Comparison: 5 Top Cookware Sets
|1|| All-Clad 401488 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply
Bonded Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set
|View On Amazon|
|2||Swiss Diamond 10 Piece
Set: Ultimate Kitchen Cookware
|View On Amazon|
|3|| Simply CaphalonNonstick 10
Piece Cookware Set
|View On Amazon|
|4|| Paula Deen Signature Nonstick
15-Piece Porcelain Cookware Set
|View On Amazon|
|5|| Lodge L5HS3 5-Piece Pre-Seasoned
Cast-Iron Cookware Set
|View On Amazon|
Top 10 Best Cookware Sets: Our Picks & Recommendations
- All-Clad Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set
- Swiss Diamond 10 Piece Cookware Set
- Caphalon 10 Piece Nonstick Cookware Set
- Paula Deen Signature Nonstick 15-Piece Cookware Set
- Lodge 5-Piece Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Cookware Set
- Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set
- All-Clad Brushed d5 Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set
- Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Cookware Set
- T-fal Signature 12-Piece Nonstick Set
- Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Aluminum Set
What Features Make The Perfect Cookware Set?
Even as you mull over which cookware set to buy, it is important for you to settle on the set that will best meet most, if not all, of your needs.
Some features make for the ideal cookware sets. As such, you should have these factors in mind whenever you shop around for cookware sets.
Any cookware should be easy and comfortable to handle. In this regard, the superior cookware set is one whose pots and pans have excellent handles. Metal handles and silicone-coated ones transition easily from a stovetop to an oven.
At the same time, wood and silicone-coated handles remain cool to the touch regardless of how long the pan has been on the stove.
Rivets are one of the ways through which different parts of pans and pots are joined to each other. For instance, the handle to the lid is joined to the lid in the same way the main handle is fastened to the body of the pan or pot.
While parts can be held together by welding or using screws, excellent fastening will determine the durability of the cookware as well as be able to hold relatively large quantities of food.
The body of your cookware set of choice should be suitable for the types of food that you plan to prepare it in. Therefore, the kind of food you make should help you to settle on the excellent cookware material.
In case most of your cooking involves braising, we recommend that you consider buying cookware made of enamel cast iron. Stainless steel, on the other hand, works best when you need to brown food.
However, it is still a great all-purpose cookware choice.
While the rim of your pan or pot may not seem like a big deal, it plays a big part in ensuring that you maintain cleanliness and order in your kitchen.
While a straight edge will work better for you when tossing ingredients, a slightly rolled rim makes it simpler for you to pour liquids.
Depending on your circumstances, you may prefer to have a cookware set that mixes different kinds of pans.
Each type of cookware surface has its pros and cons depending mainly on what you cook. For instance, stainless steel is not only the best for browning but is also a durable cookware material.
On the other hand, nonstick makes your work easy when you are cleaning up after preparing and serving your food.
Lastly, when looking for a stick-resistant and durable material, you may want to consider settling for Wolfgang Puck cast iron enamel cookware.
Cookware sets come in different shapes and sizes. This is not just linked to the amount of food that pans and pots can hold.
High vertical sides are suitable for simmering liquids while flared sides will be of great help when you require cooking liquids to reduce through evaporation.
As such, great cookware sets are those with a depth that will ensure that your foods cook properly.
The conductivity of cookware is a major factor for you to keep in mind when shopping for the same. In connection to this, you should consider the design and material from which the base of your cookware is made.
For induction ranges, stainless steel products will be the best as they will be responsive to the magnetic field.
However, a flat base will be more appropriate for smooth-top electric ranges. Pans and pots that encapsulate aluminum bases are also known to allow for the even heating of your food.
We recommend that you buy cookware sets with glass lids. The transparent lids will let you see what goes on in the pot without the need to keep lifting the lid and letting steam escape from the pot.
Certain metals are known to react with specific foods. For this reason, we advise that you establish the reactivity of each product before making a decision to buy.
For instance, aluminum tends to react with tomatoes and other acidic dishes. This may lead your food to absorb some of the metal, posing health dangers to those who eat such food.
The top cookware set should offer you great durability. The material from which your pans and pots are made should be robust enough to be able to last for a long time.
When trying to determine the durability of different sets, you should rely on the warranty as a guide to ascertain the quality of the products.
What Are The Top Cookware Brands?
Now you know the What Features of the best sets and the best materials to choose from, the next question is which brands to seek out. These are some of the best options:
All-Clad makes some of the prime cookware sets and that means durability, aesthetics and versatility.
However, the price also reflects this so if you’re looking for something cheaper, you may want to try another company. They specialize in stainless steel.
Calphalon specialize in aluminium cookware sets which brings a lot of specific advantages such as rapid heat transfer. This is a well-known brand though, so you don’t need to worry about heavy metal poisoning.
The company also makes stainless steel sets, though these tend to feature aluminium in some capacity.
Rachel Ray sells a wide variety of cookware for use around the home. These come in all manner of different materials and colors and are generally very affordable.
KitchenAid makes a number of different kitchenware sets, all of which are superior quality and stylishly designed. The company also produces a number of different appliances and you can get some good deals by buying these together.
Cuisinart is well known for appliances but also makes some of the prime cookware for mid-range prices. These come in all manner of materials and colors and feature great build quality and finishes.
What Is The Best Type Of Cookware Material?
You’ll notice in our countdown of the ideal cookware sets that we covered a wide range of different materials including cast iron, porcelain, steel and more.
To help you decide which type of set like (Stainless Steel Cookware, Camping Cookware, Copper Cookware, Non-stick pans, Ceramic Cookware, Cast iron cookware) is best for you, it can be useful to consider these options and decide which is best for your specific needs.
This will help give you a better idea of what you’ll be getting as well before you make an investment.
Stainless Steel Cookware
Stainless steel cookware is affordable and durable. These pans will often last for years and they tend to look great too as they reflect light in brilliant silver.
Another big advantage is that this material is dishwasher safe, which means that you can throw them into the dishwasher and not have to wash them by hand.
This is a big consideration that can save you a lot of time in the kitchen and make you more likely to cook. But there are downsides too.
For one, stainless steel cookware is slow to heat and this means you a) use more energy and b) spend longer cooking. Another issue is that these pans are not naturally non-stick.
That means you’ll need to spend a little more to get a pan that uses some kind of coating, or you’ll need to pre-heat the pans/apply liberal oil.
Copper cookware looks fantastic thanks to its bronze coloring and retro steampunk aesthetic. And it comes with other advantages too.
Many reviews recommend copper thanks to its superior heat conductivity. It’s rare to find hot spots and the pans heat up very quickly. These pans are also light without being so light as to fall over.
Unfortunately though, copper is also highly reactive and also toxic. This means that copper pans need to be lined with tin or steel and seeing as this wears off over time, that means you’ll need to keep replacing your pans.
Non-stick pans can be made from any material. All this means is that your food won’t stick easily when you’re cooking it, meaning that it can be easily removed from the pan and meaning that it will be much easier to keep your cookware clean.
Some materials are naturally non-stick, while others use some kind of coating.
Hard Anodized Cookware
Hard anodized cookware is used in some of the leading cookware sets around. This is thanks to the durability, rapid heating and steel-like appearance.
Aluminum has been around for a while but raises concerns as aluminum, like copper, can be toxic if it enters the food.
The anodization process aims to solve this problem using chemical baths to prepare the surface and prevent aluminum from entering the food.
This means you get all the benefits of aluminum without the risks. The only downside is that this metal isn’t naturally non-stick.
Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware is naturally nonstick, oven safe and safe for cooking with. In fact, cast iron can even add iron to your diet!
This is also inexpensive and allows you to brown your meats as you would if you were cooking on a stone – something that is very hard to achieve with steel.
On the negative side, cast iron cookware is easier to burn yourself and is very heavy. It gets hotter than many other materials and stays that way for long. Combined with the weight, this can make the material unwieldy.
Another downside is that these pots are prone to rusting and need a bit more maintenance than other options. They also make stir-frying hard.
Ceramic cookware is excellent at heating up very quickly and can survive nearly any heat – heat that would melt stainless steel! It can also be used to store food in the freezer and even put in the microwave.
They’re easy to maintain thanks to a natural non-stick finish and they can be colored and patterned in all manner of styles for an attractive look too. Unfortunately, they are also very heavy and not particularly durable.
Drop these and they will crack or chip, which is painful if you’re spending a lot of money.
Stone cookware is something you may not have heard of but they can be a great choice if you’re really into your cooking.
Cooking with stone allows you to reach much hotter temperatures for searing and browning your meats and it lets you feel that much closer to your natural roots.
Of course, it’s also not all that versatile and not suitable for every scenario, so you’ll likely need another set as well.
10 Best Cookware Set Reviews
Before we jump into the specific details of what makes a good kitchen set, let’s start by looking at the best specific products you can find on Amazon and what makes them great.
This cookware set does pretty much what it says on the tin! It’s a beautiful stainless steel cooking set that is compatible with all hobs and is designed to be optimal for induction.
It’s dishwasher safe, designed with steel rivets on the handles for extra grip and won’t react with your food.
Stick resistance also makes sure this product is easy to clean and the reviews on Amazon are all very positive.
A premium choice for those that are serious about their cooking.
- Riveted Stainless-steel Handles
- Dishwasher, Oven, and Broiler Safe
- Stick Resistant Cooking Surface
This ‘ultimate kit’ is another 10 piece cookware set. Unlike the last option though, this product has a matte black finish achieved with a coating that employs real diamond coating.
Again, it won’t react with your food and is non-stick. It’s also safe for the oven up to 500 degrees F, making it a highly versatile set.
The handles are designed to stay cool too for safety purposes.
This product is arguably superior to the all-clad option in terms of appearance and specifications but it is actually a bit misleading calling this a 10 piece set.
In reality, you get six pieces of cookware and four lids. Your preference may also come down to whether you enjoy the matte black or sparkling silver appearance.
This is another 10 piece set, this time utilizing the signature hard ionized aluminum construction that is associated with the Calphalon brand. It also uses a non-stick coating and the lids are made from tempered glass.
Also interesting is the fact that his product is considerably cheaper than the last two.
One thing to keep in mind here though is that these are not dishwasher safe meaning you’ll have to wash by hand.
Whether you consider this a problem will depend of course on your routine and prefernces.
This is a highly attractive and very affordable cookware set that has excellent reviews on Amazon.
Porcelain is considerably cheaper than the other options on this list and this product, in particular, uses a heavy gauge that allows for fast and even heating. It’s easy to clean and very durable.
A colorful and speckled finish adds to the aesthetic value of this product, while the soft-touch handles make cooking comfortably.
Of course, it’s still not as durable as steel and it will also prove considerably heavier than the sets we’ve used so far.
On the other hand, this is a 15 piece set for less than the 10 set pieces!
This cast iron cookware set includes only five items but is still a great bargain.
It is designed with superior heat retention and even heating in mind and can be used on all cooking surfaces.
But this set also has its downsides. The relatively low number of items for instance, the weight of the iron and the somewhat unattractive look of cast-iron.
Consider this a good starter set that is well designed for what it is – but aim higher!
This is another cookware set from Calphalon, only this time it’s stainless steel. However, it still uses Calphalon’s impressive aluminum which is bonded to the base for faster heating.
It’s safe for the stove, oven, and dishwasher and the handles are long enough to remain cool when the pan is hot.
Measurement lines inside the pans help make cooking easier. The only downside? These pans are not rated as ‘non-stick’.
Fortunately, most of the reviews say that this isn’t a problem as long as you follow the company’s instructions and use vegetable oil.
All-Clad is a classic name, known to produce top-rated cookware sets. This set is 18/10 stainless steel and will work with induction cooking surfaces too.
There are 5 layers of metal in these pans (2 aluminum and 3 stainless) and the quality composition means they won’t warp and they distribute heat nice and evenly.
Another note: for conducting heat, the pans have an aluminum core, absolutely essential in a quality pan, and certainly something you would expect from the best brands.
The main features are:
- dishwasher safe
- freezer safe
- broiler safe
Cuisinart, one of the best brands, makes this very popular lineup of cookware that’s comparable to the All-Clad set above.
This too has an aluminum core for even heating, even in the sides of the pans for all-over even distribution of heat.
Here we have 3-ply rather than 5-ply but when you take a look the price difference you may not miss the extra two layers. More features:
- stay-cool handles
- 18/10 stainless steel
- drip-free pouring rims
- oven safe to 500 degrees
- lifetime limited warranty against defects
- dishwasher safe
- works on induction cooktops
- interchangeable lids
This is the optimal cookware set for people on a budget. This set from T-fal is nonstick and looks great in your kitchen too. Amazingly, even though it’s nonstick, you may use metal utensils on these pans.
They’re aluminum, which means they heat evenly. They’re of course easy to clean, being nonstick.
The “Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator” pleases many customers who’ve bought this set- easy to tell when it’s hot and ready for cooking.
- dishwasher safe
- limited lifetime warranty
- oven safe to 350 degrees
- PFOA free
Rachel Ray’s set is Anodized aluminum, which means pans have a nonstick surface and they heat evenly. Anodized aluminum construction also means the pans heat up quickly.
Customers absolutely love the rubberized handles, which make gripping the pots and pans comfortable (and somehow fun!).
The style is great, too. The only drawback is they cannot be used on inductive cooking surfaces.
- limited lifetime warranty
- oven safe to 350 degrees
- dishwasher safe
- glass lids
- very light weight
Conclusion: Choosing The Right Cookware Set
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing your cookware.
If you pick any of the brands or products we’ve recommended here though, then you can be sure to get one of the top cookware sets on the market that will help make your life that bit easier in the kitchen.
All that’s left then is for you to decide what materials you’re looking for and what your budget is. Everyone is different and thus everyone is better suited to different types of cookware.
Decide what you want to cook, think about the types of pans you’ve used in the past and read a few reviews. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to take the plunge!
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