How We Picked These Cookware Sets
We used our years of experience cooking with pots and pans in our test kitchens and at home to choose the best cookware sets. We looked at what professional reviewers said about how it worked in their tests and what home cooks said about how it held up over time.
We looked at how well pots and pans cooked, how easy they were to use, and how easy they were to clean. We also looked at how many pieces each set had. We chose pots and pans that we think will meet most of your cooking needs.
Our Top Cookware Set Picks:
- Best Nonstick:Anolon Advanced Home 11-Piece Cookware Set
- Best Budget: Rachael Ray Create Delicious 13-Piece Cookware Set
- Best Ceramic Nonstick: Blue Diamond Pan Cookware-Set, 14 Piece
- Best Nontoxic Set: Caraway Home Cookware Set
- Best Value Stainless Steel: Tramontina Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Clad 12-Piece Set
- Best Stainless Steel: All-Clad D3 Cookware Set, 10 piece Set
1. Best Nonstick: Anolon Advanced 11-Piece Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set
Included: 8.5″ skillet, deep 12″ skillet with lid, 1.5- and 3-quart saucepans with lids, 4-quart saute pan with lid, 8-quart stockpot with lid
You’ll get the best nonstick performance with this set. Even when you don’t use butter, even the stickiest foods, like fried eggs and pancakes, fall out of the pan, leaving the surface almost spotless. You might think that nonstick is best for frying, but rice won’t stick to the pots either. You can also use these pots and pans to evenly brown burgers and keep a tomato sauce from boiling over. The pan’s body is made of anodized aluminium, and the outside, which comes in grey, indigo, bronze, or black, has a nonstick finish for the easiest cleanup possible.
Since Anolon can go in the oven up to 400 degrees F, you can use the skillets to make a frittata or Dutch baby pancake that starts on the stove and ends in the oven. In addition to an 8-quart stockpot, you get a wide and deep 12-inch skillet that is perfect for dishes like pork chops and peppers or chicken and dumplings. All of the lids are made of glass so you can see if your paella has soaked up all of the broth without having to open the pan and lose heat. One small thing: to keep the stainless steel rivets inside the cookware clean, you might need to do a little extra work.
2. Best Budget: Rachael Ray Create Delicious 13-Piece Cookware Set
Included: 8.5″ frying pan, 10.25″ deep frying pan with lid, 1.5- and 3-quart saucepans with lids, 6-quart stockpot with lid, 3-quart saute pan with lid, turner, cookie pan
If you like kitchen tools that are bright and cheery, this set comes in shimmery shades of red, burgundy, teal, light blue, and, if you must, grey. Even though this set is very cheap, it heats evenly and has a nonstick finish on the inside that makes it easy to scramble eggs and clean the pan afterward.
Rachael Ray offers some nice features that you don’t always find at this price, like silicone handles that are riveted on instead of screwed on, so they won’t come loose, glass lids, and flared rims that make it easier to pour. The bottom of the cookware is made of stainless steel, so it can be used on an induction cooktop, and you can put a skillet in an oven up to 400 degrees F. There are no extra-large pots in the set, but the 6-quart stockpot is big enough for soups and pasta water and can also be used as a Dutch oven.
3. Best Ceramic Nonstick: Blue Diamond Pan Cookware-Set, 14 Piece
Included: 7- and 9.5-inch frypans, 2- and 3-quart saucepans with lids, 5-quart stockpot with lid, 2.5-quart skillet with lid, stainless steel steamer insert, 3 nylon cooking tools
Blue Diamond is made of aluminium, but instead of the usual PTFE coating on the inside, it has a ceramic coating. Even though it might not be as stick-proof as you’d like, it will be easy to clean up. Unlike other nonstick pans, these can handle temperatures up to 850 degrees F on the stovetop or in the oven. This means you can confidently sear a sirloin in a frypan or glaze pork chops under the broiler. Tests have shown that Blue Diamond heats evenly, so if you’re making pancakes, you don’t have to keep moving them around in the pan to get them all done at the same time.
Even though these pieces are cheap, they look very nice. They have a dark blue enamel surface on the outside and stainless steel handles that have been brushed. Even though the handles are held on with rivets to make them last longer, they are coated with a nonstick finish so they don’t need any extra cleaning. The lids are made of glass so you can see if your soup is gently boiling or ragingly boiling and then adjust the heat. One thing to note about this set is that the pieces are not very big. The Dutch oven holds 5 quarts, while the deep sauté pan with straight sides only holds 2.5 quarts.
4. Best Nontoxic Set: Caraway Cookware Set
Included: 10.5″ fry pan, 3-quart saucepan, 4.5-quart saute pan, 6.5-quart Dutch oven, magnetic pan racks, canvas lid holder
This line of ceramics sold directly to consumers is great in three ways: design, durability, and effectiveness. Also, it’s great for people who don’t cook much or don’t have much storage space. Even though this set doesn’t have an 8-inch frying pan, the 10.5-inch frying pan, 4.5-quart saute pan, 3-quart saucepan, and 6.5-quart Dutch oven (with three mix-and-match low-profile lids) will meet your cooking needs. The bonus canvas lid holder and magnetic holding rack will keep your cabinets neat. Caraway is your partner in crime when you need to make dinner quickly. It heats evenly, boils quickly, and is easy to clean. We recommend their star-studded collection for newlyweds, people who just bought their first home, and anyone else who wants to update their stovetop needs. Crate & Barrel has four exclusive colours with gold hardware for people who want more options.
5. Best Value Stainless Steel: Tramontina Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Clad 12-Piece Set
Included: 10″ and 12″ fry pans, 1.5 and 3-quart covered saucepans, 6-quart deep sauté pan, 5 -quart Dutch oven, and 8-quart stockpot
If you want stainless steel cookware that looks like it came from a professional kitchen but don’t have a lot of money to spend, this is the set for you. You’ll get good results whether you’re making caramelised onions or a Bolognese sauce. Because the handles are round, they are easy to hold.
You get a lot of value for your money with this set. You also get a large saute pan, a Dutch oven, and a large 8-quart stockpot in addition to the basic skillets and saucepans. The 12-inch fry pan is great for stir fries because it is deep and round. All in all, you have pretty much everything you need to cook. Tramontina can go in the oven up to 500 degrees F, which should be more than enough for everything from keeping a casserole warm to browning an apple crisp. This cookware is made of stainless steel, so it can be put in the dishwasher. However, over time, it may change colour.