10 Best Cookware Sets | March 2017

We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Professional chefs and casual cooks alike will find the perfect pots and pans for their next culinary creation from our selection of cookware sets. We've included everything from affordable, everyday options to highly durable sets that could handle the demands of a busy kitchen. Skip to the best cookware set on Amazon.
10 Best Cookware Sets | March 2017


Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 9
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The Simply Calphalon includes 10 pieces, each with double-coated nonstick interiors and aluminum construction for producing even heat across their bottoms and up their sides. However, cleaning this set can take a while, as they aren't dishwasher safe.
9
The Rachael Ray Nonstick set offers hard-anodized construction that provides even heat and reduces hot spots that would otherwise cook your food unevenly or even burn it. While this is a good starter set, it doesn't offer professional-grade durability.
8
The Cuisinart MCP-12N is a pretty good option for the casual chef, as each piece boasts a brushed stainless steel exterior and steel interior. They also feature tapered rims for drip-free pouring, helping you to keep a clean kitchen when cooking.
7
The Duxtop Professional is constructed from 18/10 commercial-grade stainless steel, with ergonomically-designed riveted handles and an anti-slip satin finish for comfort and ease of use. It is also backed by a lifetime warranty to provide you peace of mind.
  • freezer safe for food storage
  • comes with cooking utensils
  • lid handles can get hot
Brand Secura
Model SSIB-17
Weight 35.4 pounds
6
It's hard to decide whether the Lagostina Q554SA64 Martellata looks better or cooks better with its hammered copper exteriors and thick heat-radiating aluminum cores. They produce even heat distribution and retain their heat well to help you maintain temperatures.
  • high grade steel cooking surfaces
  • lids produce a tight seal
  • flared edges reduce dripping
Brand Lagostina
Model 8400001311
Weight 25.7 pounds
5
The Anolon Nouvelle set is oven safe for baking or broiling. Each piece has a full layer of copper sandwiched between 2 layers of aluminum and protected by an induction-capable stainless steel encapsulator for added durability and efficiency.
  • restaurant quality cookware
  • safe for use with metal utensils
  • handles feel very sturdy
Brand Anolon
Model 82835
Weight 27.9 pounds
4
The Calphalon Contemporary set delivers heavy-gauge aluminum construction, with its 11 hard-anodized pieces that are both durable and dishwasher safe. Their nonstick surfaces allow for healthier cooking and efficient performance time after time.
  • handles are brushed stainless steel
  • easy to clean after use
  • ideal for everyday cooking
Brand Calphalon
Model 1876787
Weight 31.8 pounds
3
All of the pieces of the Cuisinart CTP-11AM have a fast heating copper exterior with a durable stainless steel interior that is ideal for hard searing food. It features triple ply construction that ensures even heat distribution, so you get a proper cook every time.
  • offers precise temperature control
  • handles stay cool on the stove
  • oven safe to 500 degrees
Brand Cuisinart
Model CTP-11AM
Weight 25.2 pounds
2
The Circulon Symmetrycomes with several different sized saucepans, an 8-quart stockpot, and French skillets, all with stainless steel bases that function on most stovetops. They all feature silicone and cast stainless steel handles that are oven safe and nonslip.
  • compatible with induction cooktops
  • tempered glass rims fit well
  • great value for the price
Brand Circulon
Model 87376
Weight 24.6 pounds
1
Made by one of the trusted names in cookware, the All-Clad 401488R 10-piece set features a premium 3-ply construction that is durable, stick resistant, and designed to distribute heat evenly on almost any type of cooking surface.
  • aluminum cores for rapid heating
  • riveted stay-cool steel handles
  • cookware is oven safe
Brand All-Clad
Model 8400000962
Weight 30.1 pounds

How Bonded Metal Changed the Cooking World

There's some pretty cool sciency stuff going on with these 3-ply, 5-ply, heck! I've seen 9-ply pans. Lucky for you, I'm not the science-type, but I'm smart enough to research the difficult material and then regurgitate it in plain, hopefully conversational, language.

If you're reading this, and you have science smarts, please forgive me my lack of technical aptitude. Or get over yourself. Whichever is most applicable.

It all started with the Rolls Royce of cookware, All-Clad. To this day, it's still THE aspirational brand. It's pricey, sure, but if you take good care of it, it will last a lifetime. Generally considered America's finest cookware, and used by chefs around the world, it's also the first company to make cookware from bonded metals. Or, more apropos to this conversation, sandwich metals.

Its inventor, John Ulam was a brilliant metallurgist in mid century Pennsylvania, and he had a company that made sandwich metals for various applications, not cooking. He had an impressive 50 patents under his belt. The U.S. government even entrusted his company, Clad Metals, with making dimes, quarters and half dollars, and with their conversion from silver to the bonded layers of metals we see in today's coins. A real big wig in the world of metals.

Of his ultimately most commercial invention, Ulam writes in his patent: "We have discovered a method of cladding metals which overcomes the difficulties of prior art practices and makes it possible to provide close control over the physical properties of the metals in the ultimate composite clad metal and at the same time to control and provide a strong bond between the dissimilar metals forming the clad body." In other words, he discovered a way to clad stainless steel and aluminum together in such a way that it exploits the best properties of each of the metals. WHOA! Human innovation at its very best. But he didn't stop there.

In yet another stroke of genius from a man who had had many, Ulam realized the properties of sandwich metals could revolutionize cookware: Aluminum and copper react with food and can change the taste, and they conduct heat very well. Stainless steel does not react with food, and does not conduct heat so great. But sandwiching them together!... It's like breeding a mutt and getting the best traits from each dog. With aluminum or copper sandwiched between two layers of stainless you got a pan that conducts heat without a chemical reaction to the food.

So, Ulam started a new company in 1967, All-Clad, making professional quality gourmet cookware with the sandwich metals. Originally, Ulam slogged it out at trade shows, hawking his cookware to professional chefs and restaurants. Then one fateful day in 1973, a Bloomingdale's buyer was at one of these trade shows, and picked the brand up for the store's high-end housewares department. (Turns out, his invention was so awesome, despite its scientific aspect, that a news program once spent more than nine minutes of airtime interviewing Ulam about the cookware). And the rest, as they say, is history.

A Guide to the Right Pots and Pans for You

It's a tough decision when you're talking about plunking down a pile of dough on a set of pots and pans. It's personal. If you cook a lot, it's even an intimate decision - one that you probably will have to live with for a long time. Hence all the research you're doing right now. Well, dear reader, we believe knowledge is power, so here's a little light instruction on the differences between the various cookware options and how they'll affect your food.

Stainless Steel: If you've been reading carefully, you already know that stainless is a poor heat conductor on its own. It will not give consistent heat distribution. Of course, that's why the better option is the bonded metals, using stainless on the inside and outside, and aluminum or copper sandwiched in between. One of the 9-plies I looked at has a layer of carbon steel and several layers of various aluminum alloys. A minimum of three layers will give you the best heat distribution with no chemical reaction with food.

Copper: The true Thoroughbred of the kitchen, copper cookware is gorgeous. Classic even. Here's a picture of the actor/epicurean Vincent Price in his gourmet kitchen, his first wife Mary in the background. Note the shining copper pots hanging overhead. Yes, they used the deviled eggs out of those pots. Maybe you didn't know that the Prices put together more than one cookbook. At any rate, the appeal of copper cookware is, obviously, its great beauty. And it conducts heat wonderfully. But if you're cooking acidic foods - foods with grains, sugar, dairy - they will pick up a metallic taste. And eggs. Well, they just get ugly. Unless you're whipping them, then you want a copper bowl. And, of course, the upkeep is ongoing. To maintain that beautiful glow, you have to polish it. Period.

Aluminum (Aluminium, if you're British): Conducts heat like a champ. Lightweight. Affordable. Unfortunately, reactive. If you cook with just aluminum, you risk discolored pots and food. And perhaps a metallic taste. Plus the metal is soft, so it dings pretty easily. Anodized aluminum is harder, and preferable in cookware.

Nonstick: (Commonly "Teflon", or polytetrafluoreothylene or PTFE). Very non-reactive. And food slides right out of the pan. But the surface tends to chip and scratch over time, no matter how careful you are. And PTFE contains PFCs (perfluorocarbons), which scientists say might cause liver damage, cancer, developmental problems, and possibly early menopause. Oh, and don't you know, you need to season it before your first use. Yep.

Cast Iron: We can't ignore cast iron in the cookware materials conversation, although a whole set of the stuff would be unwieldy and ultra-heavy, at best. Nonetheless, a home chef would have one or two of these hanging around the kitchen, no matter what the "set" is made of. So. Cast iron is relatively cheap. Lasts forever. And if properly seasoned, nonstick. But, like its copper and aluminum cousins, cast iron is reactive with acidic food. Some companies get around this by using an enamel coating, as is the case with these terrines.

Hope that helps.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pots & Pans

Let's fess up here. We all want the stainless steel. But only if it will gleam like new forever. Magically. Effortlessly. Without scrubbing and scratches. We don't want to invest without a guarantee that the pricey pots will sparkle and shine on demand. It is, clearly, a terrible misnomer to call the stuff "stainless" at all.

Bam! Here it is! Whether you like industrial strength cleaners or you go green all the way, we are going to take down your biggest barrier to buying stainless steel. Combined with the video we've already shared with you above, instructing you on how to make your stainless naturally nonstick, we have officially leveled the playing field between stainless and coated nonstick.

First, I will drop my voice to a whisper and let you in on a little secret: It's not as hard to keep stainless steel looking good as some would like you to think. You just have to be attentive.

So, the more industrial end of the cleaning spectrum uses products like Bar Keepers Friend. It uses oxalic acid as its main ingredient. (Sounds scary, but it comes from the flowering wood sorrel). Simply make a paste of the powder with a little water, rub it in the pot, let it sit. Or you can use it like a cleanser, and, using a sponge and a little elbow grease, scrub.

Natural options include: Boil water in the pot or pan for about 20 minutes, adding salt once the water starts boiling. Allow it to set for four hours. Then scrub.

Or, use baking soda and vinegar, or even lemon juice, which you can mix with water and boil if you like, and let the chemical reaction do all the work for you.

Some people say boiling tomato juice will remove particularly bad stains. But why bother, what with the other cheaper choices?



Wiki Statistics and Editorial Log
0
Paid Placements
5
Editors
31
Hours
233,640
Users
37
Revisions

Revision History

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page. For our full ranking methodology, please read 'about this wiki', linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.

Last updated: 03/25/2017 | Authorship Information

advertisement