What's The Best Cookware Set To Buy
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. We checked what professional reviewers had to say about their test results and what home cooks reported about long-time use.
what's the best cookware set to buy
It includes a great assortment of cookware, including different-sized pots and pants for all your needs. Each is lightweight, strong and durable and can withstand high heat (up to 600F). The lids are clear with stainless steel handles that are designed to stay cool. Plus, the handles feel comfortable to hold and protrude a bit to fit comfortably in your grip while cooking. One perk is that the pan comes with protectors to help prevent scratching when storing. Even so, its light-colored interior prevents any nicks and scratches on the rim from being too noticeable.
This new cookware set got a lot of positive feedback in both our Lab tests and consumer tests. It even earned a Kitchen Gear Award in 2022 for its innovative design. The pieces are lightweight but sturdy and especially nonstick. In our tests, eggs slid around the pan and didn't require any effort to clean up and sauce didn't leave behind residue in our scorch tests. The thick, rounded handles are comfortable to hold. Each piece nests neatly, including the lids.
One of the most unique factors of this beautiful and thoughtfully designed set is its two universal lids that cut down on clutter but perfectly fit the pots and pans. One our of Lab analysts has been using this set for more than a year now and says they're still in good shape even though she put them in the dishwasher at least 20 times each. She also noted that she likes that the stock pot has a metal interior versus a nonstick coated one like most other nonstick cookware sets.
Ninja, the brand that makes our best overall air fryer, has designed pots and pans that are durable enough to handle a steak, but light enough to move around for the simplest of tasks, like frying an egg or boiling water. They have straight sides, which help maximize the cooking surface area, a bonus when you're cooking for a family or just looking for a good sear on food. (More space means more room to spread the food out and let it brown.) Both the cookware and the lids are oven-safe up to 500ºF. One of our testers has been using this set for over a year and said the pieces look just like new, even after numerous rounds in the dishwasher.
For advice on what to look for in a good cookware set, I interviewed restaurant and cookware professionals, including Candy Argondizza, then vice president of culinary and pastry arts at International Culinary Center; Janet Crandall, a private chef and cooking instructor in Los Angeles; Penny Rosema, then executive vice president of the Cookware Manufacturers Association (now The Cookware & Bakeware Alliance); and Hugh Rushing, former executive vice president of the Cookware Manufacturers Association. I also spoke with several home cooks, including members of our own staff, who have used cookware sets for years.
There are two main approaches to outfitting your kitchen with cookware: Buy a set, or build your own. Both involve their pros and cons. However, buying a set of cookware can be a convenient and affordable alternative to tracking down pots and pans one piece at a time. Cookware sets also make great gifts for weddings and graduations, or for anyone setting up their kitchen for the first time.
Though cookware costs more per piece when sold separately, it can be more practical to purchase specific pieces that suit your exact cooking needs. (See our guides to the best skillet, cast-iron skillet, nonstick pan, saucepan, roasting pan, and Dutch oven.)
Additionally, we limited our search to cookware with sloped sides. Some skillets, such as this Viking Contemporary Frying Pan, have sharply angled sides that make tossing vegetables while sautéing difficult.
We dismissed sets with plastic handles, since even those made to withstand high temperatures can deteriorate over time. Ideally, we wanted cookware that could safely withstand oven temperatures of at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit; that ruled out most cookware with plastic components. Several members of our staff have also seen plastic handles crack after they spent time in the dishwasher.
Stick handles that provide an easy grip and a comfortable angle allow you to quickly move saucepans around the stovetop using only one hand. So we dismissed sets with small or medium saucepans that had two side handles. (However, if you prefer saucepans with two handles, some manufacturers, such as All-Clad, sell them open stock.) We also looked for sets that included a hole on each handle for hanging. Side handles are best for larger saucepans (those over 4 quarts) and stockpots, which have a bigger volume and require two hands to lift.
We like the Tramontina Gourmet 12-Piece Tri-Ply Clad Cookware Set for its even heat distribution, durable construction, and reasonable price. The Tramontina skillets produced perfectly brown chicken pieces with nice fond development, and the saucepans and stockpot simmered liquids without scorching. We found the wide handles on the cookware and the lids comfortable to hold. This cookware did discolor over high heat, but the effect was a common one among all the sets we tested in this price range. All of the pieces in this collection are induction-compatible and oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
All-Clad offers a wide range of cookware outside the main set, so you can grow your collection. In our cookware guides, we recommend several other All-Clad pieces, including the 12-inch skillet, the 8- and 10-inch nonstick skillets, the 2-quart saucier, and the flared roaster. Go to the All-Clad website to see a full list of its cookware.
We previously tested the 12-inch skillet from the Breville Thermal Pro line for our guide to the best skillet. The Breville weighed almost 5 pounds and retained too much heat due to its thick base, which made temperature control difficult. Based on those results, we opted not to test the Breville Thermal Pro Clad Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set in this roundup.
Because copper is such an excellent conductor of heat, we decided to test the All-Clad Copper Core 10-Piece Set to see how it would perform against regular tri-ply stainless steel cookware. In our tests, the Copper Core cookware heated up so fast we had to swirl the pan more when making caramel, to prevent it from burning. Unlike the tri-ply All-Clad set we recommend, the Copper Core skillets discolored badly over high heat.
Reviewed's mission is to help you buy the best stuff and get the most out of what you already own. Our team of product experts thoroughly vet every product we recommend to help you cut through the clutter and find what you need.
Hestan ProBond is great-looking and high-performing cookware, competitively priced with stainless steel cookware sets from All-Clad. While not as exceptionally durable as their NanoBond line, these pieces are similarly well-constructed, with even heating, flush rivets, and a good weight.
GreenPan was the first company to produce ceramic nonstick pans, and they have dozens of cookware sets to choose from. We tested the 11-piece Premiere Ceramic set because of its stainless-steel construction, which is heavier than aluminum but more durable.
All-Clad is well known for top-of-the-line (and expensive) cookware. The All-Clad BD005710-R D5 Brushed 18/10 Stainless Steel 5-Ply Bonded 10-Piece Cookware Set is no exception. These 5-ply, bonded stainless-steel pans offer undeniably superior heat distribution and performance, but a few shortcomings pushed them down in the ranks.
After selecting over a dozen top-rated cookware sets (a combination of stainless steel and nonstick), we cooked a multi-component meal using each set. To function for everyday life, the pots and pans had to be sized appropriately to cook dinner for one. But we also wanted to know if you could easily cook a larger meal (like Thanksgiving dinner) using each set.
Aluminum cookware comes in regular (lightweight, affordable) and anodized (a little more durable). Aluminum can be easy to handle, and heats up well. However, regular aluminum can wear out quickly, and may react with some foods.
In late 2022, All-Clad settled a class action lawsuit. If you purchased any of All-Clad's D3, D5, or LTD cookware between January 1, 2015, and July 29, 2022, you might be eligible for benefits from the settlement. We stand behind the D5 cookware, and retested it in early 2023.
Pots and pans are essentials in every kitchen, whether they're being used by avid home cooks or take-out connoisseurs. Purchasing a cookware set can be daunting, especially given the wide variety of materials and combinations of pieces. Many sets include different sizes of saucepans and frying pans, not to mention the large Dutch ovens or pieces such as stock pots or casserole dishes that can serve the same purpose.
Based on our own experiences and conversations with chefs, food editors, and leaders of the Cookware Manufacturers Association, we determined that less is more when it comes to cookware. Similar to finding the best knife set, buying a cookware set can save you time and money. Finding a versatile set will help you outfit your kitchen with all the essentials in one fell swoop so all that's left to do is get cooking.
When we asked King Phojanakong, chef at the Institute of Culinary Education, which pots and pans were must-haves, he listed a 5-quart Dutch oven, 12-inch saute pan, and 3-quart saucepan, all of which are included in Tramontina's cookware set. The versatility of these pieces is the selling point: Phojanakong uses the saute pan for chicken dishes or baby bok choy, and takes out the 3-quart saucepan when he needs to heat up leftover soups and sauces and cook rice or small portions of pasta.
"Stainless steel is the most universal material. You don't have to treat it gently," said Lisa Chernick, author of "Your Starter Kitchen." Each piece in the Tramontina set is made up of an aluminum core sandwiched between 18/10 stainless steel layers. This tri-ply construction gives you the excellent heat conductivity of aluminum with the strength of stainless steel. While the set is dishwasher safe, hand washing your cookware will maintain its shine longer. 041b061a72