Whether you’re someone who stays home to raise your kids or goes to work and comes back after a long day, you’re still going to need to cook meals for yourself and your loved ones at least once in a while.
And in order to cook to the best of your abilities, you’re going to need a cookware set that fits your needs. There are, however, a truly staggering variety of cookware sets currently available on the market. Finding a set that’s right for you can be a frustrating and time-consuming process.
With this in mind, we’ve put together this article for you, to help make the process at least a little bit easier. Not only do we provide you with some useful information regarding cookware sets in general, we’ve also assembled a list of what we feel are the best cookware sets currently available.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Do You Need a Good Cookware Set?
- 2 How to Choose the Best Cookware Set
- 3 Our Top 10 Best Cookware Sets 2017 – Reviews and Guide
- 3.1 1. Vremi 15 Piece Nonstick Cookware Set – Best Choice for Easy Clean-up
- 3.2 2. Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Porcelain Enamel Nonstick Cookware Set – Best Choice for Durability
- 3.3 3. T-fal Signature Nonstick Expert Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set – Best Choice for Ease of Use
- 3.4 4. T-fal E765SH Ultimate Hard Anodized Cookware Set – Best Choice if You Want a Long-lasting Cookware Set
- 3.5 5. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set – Good Choice for Heat Conductivity
- 3.6 6. Gotham Steel 10-Piece Kitchen Nonstick Frying Pan and Cookware Set – Good Choice for Versatility
- 3.7 7. Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel Set – Good Choice for Light-weight Cookware
- 3.8 8. Cook N Home Nonstick Ceramic Coating 10-Piece Cookware Set
- 3.9 9. Costzon 8-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set – Good Choice for Simplicity and Price
- 3.10 10. AmazonBasics 8-Piece Nonstick Cookware – Good Choice for A Basic Cookware Set
- 4 Tips on Cleaning and Maintaining a Cookware Set
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- 6 Conclusion
Why Do You Need a Good Cookware Set?
Whether you cook every night or just every now and again, it’s important to have a good set of cookware. Cookware sets come with a variety of pots, pans, and dishes, all of which you will probably need to utilize at some point, since different meals require different cooking methods.
Additionally, your cookware set can have an impact on the meal itself; different types of cookware conduct heat differently, which can impact how long it takes to make any given meal, and potentially even the quality of the meal itself can be affected.
How to Choose the Best Cookware Set
There are many factors to keep in mind when shopping for a new cookware set. Here are a few of the important things to keep an eye out for when selecting your cookware:
1. Material & Heat Conductivity – The material your cookware is made of directly relates to how well it conducts heat. For example, stainless steel does not conduct heat well, but aluminum and copper do. If a cookware set does not conduct heat well, it will cook your food unevenly.
2. Reactivity – The material your cookware set is made of is also important because of how some foods react to contact with certain metals. Acidic foods tend to have reactions with pots and pans made of aluminum, causing the metal to leech into your food, so make sure to keep that in mind.
3. Durability – How long your chosen set of cookware will last is also something to keep in mind. Stainless steel cookware is considered to be very durable compared to other types. Whatever set you choose, make sure it will last a decent amount of time before replacement is necessary.
4. Maintenance – Different types of cookware require different types of care. Cast iron and copper cookware sets typically need a little more care to keep them working properly and looking good, whereas aluminum and stainless steel sets are easier to maintain.
5. Use – The type of cooking you do is definitely relevant to what sort of cookware set you need. Do you need a set with many different pots and pans, or do you need just a basic set of simple cookware? Don’t buy a cookware set with more pots and pans than you will use.
Our Top 10 Best Cookware Sets 2017 – Reviews and Guide
There are more cookware sets on the market than can be counted, so choosing the one that’s best for you can turn into a complicated and time-consuming process. To help you pick the right cookware set, we’ve compiled a list of what we feel are the best cookware sets on the market, each with different qualities.
1. Vremi 15 Piece Nonstick Cookware Set – Best Choice for Easy Clean-up
This cookware set comes with four pots (each with a glass lid), two pans, and five kitchen utensils. The set comes both in standard black and multi-color, the latter of which includes red, teal, blue, yellow, and purple cookware instead of regular black, making it a good choice if you want a little brightness in your kitchen.
Most importantly, however, is that these pots and pans are non-stick, a feature that is pretty much a necessity no matter what you’re cooking. Made of non-toxic aluminum, they are also easy to clean and maintain, although hand-washing is recommended to preserve top condition.
The utensils that come with the cookware set are both useful and easy to clean; they are made of BPA-free nylon, are non-stick, and can be put through the dishwasher for easy clean-up.
2. Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Porcelain Enamel Nonstick Cookware Set – Best Choice for Durability
Available in blue, red, purple, brown, or orange, this cookware set is unique in its design. Made of sturdy aluminum with porcelain enamel exteriors, these pots and pans are suitable for use both on the stove-top and in the oven (with the exception of induction stoves).
This set comes with four differently sized pots and two pans, along with two handy kitchen utensils (a slotted turned and spoon). The glass lids that accompany the pots are shatter-proof, which is definitely a useful quality, especially if you cook with your family or children.
These products are also very sturdy; the handles are dual-riveted for durability, and the pots and pans themselves can handle oven temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. They are also non-stick, making clean-up incredibly easy.
3. T-fal Signature Nonstick Expert Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set – Best Choice for Ease of Use
This twelve piece set comes with three differently sized pots (with lids), two pans, one square-shaped griddle, and three utensils (a spatula, a ladle, and a large spoon), and is available in black or red. Both the exterior and interior are non-stick, making cooking easier and clean-up hassle-free.
Made of heavy-gauge aluminum, these cookware pieces are designed to heat up quickly and cook your food evenly. They even have a built-in heat indicator to show when the pan in question is properly pre-heated.
The handles are designed to be ergonomic for comfortable gripping, and are also heat-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about burning your hands when going to grab your pot or pan. The tempered glass lids are also durable and have small vents, making them good at keeping in both heat and moisture.
These pieces of cookware are also safe for use in the oven for temperatures of up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and are also dishwasher-safe. Overall, this cookware set is a good choice for both easy use and easy clean-up.
4. T-fal E765SH Ultimate Hard Anodized Cookware Set – Best Choice if You Want a Long-lasting Cookware Set
Another good product from T-fal, this cookware set is available in sets of twelve, fourteen, or seventeen pieces. Made of hard anodized aluminum (which means it is coated in a special protective layer), it is incredibly durable and built to last a very long time.
The interior is made of hard non-stick titanium, and these pieces of cookware also have unique Thermospot technology that indicates when your pot or pan is heated throughout.
These pieces also have anti-warp bases, are oven-safe for temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and the handles are made of silicone and specially designed for comfortable gripping.
The full seventeen-piece set comes with three frying pans (one with a lid), one square-shaped griddle, three differently sized saucepans (each with a lid), a deep saute pan, a Dutch Oven (with a lid), a steamer insert (with two side handles), and a One Egg Wonder (a small frying pan designed specifically for cooking an egg).
5. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set – Good Choice for Heat Conductivity
This twelve-piece cookware set includes two covered saucepans, two open skillets, a covered saute pan, a covered stock pot, and a steamer insert with handles.
Made of special polished stainless steel, these pots and pans also have aluminum cores, which provide very good heat conductivity; heat is distributed evenly throughout the cookware, helping to prevent hot spots and avoid burnt food while cooking.
These pieces are also designed not to react with the food you’re cooking, so no metal will leech into your meal and impact the flavor or color, even if you’re cooking with more acidic ingredients like tomatoes or peppers.
Both the cookware pieces and the accompanying lids are dishwasher-safe, making clean-up straightforward and easy. They are also safe in the oven in temperatures of up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Gotham Steel 10-Piece Kitchen Nonstick Frying Pan and Cookware Set – Good Choice for Versatility
Made of an ultra-strong titanium and ceramic combination, this non-stick cookware set includes two saucepans (with lids), two pans (one of which comes with a lid), one pot (with a lid), and a steamer basket (with handles).
Not only is this cookware set safe to use in the oven for temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, it can also be used in the microwave. And unlike many other cookware sets, you can even use metal utensils when cooking with this Gotham Steel set; the pots and pans are incredibly durable and scratch-resistant.
Additionally, the unique ceramic coating means that cooking with acidic foods will not cause a reaction from the pans, so the flavor of your food will remain unharmed. The pans are also entirely rust-proof, and the ceramic coating will never peel or flake off, even with constant use.
The non-stick design also makes for easy cooking and easy clean-up; even if your food is sticky or ends up burnt, clean-up is simple and hassle-free.
Do be aware that this cookware set comes with care instructions; also, you should not use aerosol cooking sprays with these products, as it can result in a sticky coating on the inside of the pan that can be difficult to remove. Also, the handles are not covered in silicone, so oven mitts may be needed.
7. Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel Set – Good Choice for Light-weight Cookware
Made of polished stainless steel, this cookware set is a good choice if you need something that works well and doesn’t weigh much; the light-weight nature of the products make it good for anyone not able to handle heavier pans.
The pots and pans also contain an aluminum disc within, to help create even heat distribution while cooking; these pots and pans also heat up very quickly. Additionally, the handles are riveted on for durability, and the glass lids are tempered with small vents.
This cookware set includes one saucepan, three casserole pots, one stock pot, and one fry pan; all of these come with matching light-weight glass lids.
Available in both green and red, this cookware set has a ceramic coating that is free of toxins (it contains absolutely no PTFE, PFOA, cadmium, or lead) and is also scratch-resistant.
These pots and pans use thick-gauge aluminum material to help with heat conductivity, and the exterior is resistant to high temperatures. This cookware set is also easy to clean, and the handles are easy to grip and stay cool while you’re cooking, so you don’t need to worry about burning your hands.
This cookware set includes a Dutch Oven (with lid), a casserole cooker/pot (with lid), two sauce pans (each with a lid), and two frying pans; the lids are made of clear tempered glass with vents. Additionally, although the interior is white, the ceramic coating will prevent it from getting stained by your food.
9. Costzon 8-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set – Good Choice for Simplicity and Price
If you’re looking for a simple cookware set and don’t want to spend time agonizing over ceramic coating and specialized designs, this might be a good selection for you, particularly if you’re on a budget and want just a simple set of pots and pans.
These pots and pans come with soft-touch handles designed for comfort and easy gripping, and the interior of the pans have a non-stick coating for easy clean-up. The pans and pots themselves are made out of aluminum, which help with conducting heat quickly and evenly.
This cookware set includes a casserole dish (with a lid), two saucepans (each with a matching lid), and two frying pans. This set is said to work well on both gas and electric stove-tops, and is also dishwasher-safe.
10. AmazonBasics 8-Piece Nonstick Cookware – Good Choice for A Basic Cookware Set
Similar to the Costzon cookware set, the AmazonBasics set is a good choice if what you’re looking for is a basic cookware set with the standard necessities.
Like most cookware sets, the AmazonBasics cookware comes with a non-stick coating that helps preserve the integrity of both the cookware itself and the meal you’re cooking.
The glass lids are tempered and designed to fit securely onto their respective pots and pans, helping to trap in heat and moisture while cooking. Additionally, the handles are designed to provide a firm yet comfortable grip.
This cookware set comes with one casserole dish (with a lid), two saucepans (each with a lid), and two frying pans, and is easily cleaned either by hand-washing or dishwasher use.
Tips on Cleaning and Maintaining a Cookware Set
As with most products, whatever cookware set you eventually decide to buy will more than likely come with a set of care instructions to help you use it effectively and maintain it properly so that it lasts a long time.
That being said, there are some important things to remember when taking care of your cookware, so we’ve gathered together some tips for you. This list is based on types of cookware, because the material that your pots and pans are made of determines how you should care for them.
1. Non-stick – While these types of pans are often very popular for how easy they are to use and clean, there are some important things to remember when using them.
- Avoid using aerosol cooking sprays; a non-stick pan doesn’t need them, and using them is actually harmful to your pan: it creates a sticky layer of residue that can be difficult to remove.
- Avoid using metal utensils or scrubbing with abrasive pads when washing; this can damage the non-stick coating on the cookware.
- Avoid putting your non-stick dishware in the dishwasher; unless the care instructions specifically state that your cookware is safe to go through the dishwasher, it’s better not to risk it, since this could result in scratches and damage to the non-stick coating.
- Avoid using these types of pans in high heat; anything beyond low or medium heat can cause wear on non-stick pans.
- Be careful when putting your non-stick cookware away; stacking them on top of each can also result in scratches and additional damage, so put a soft cloth between them when possible.
2. Stainless Steel – Cookware made of stainless steel is considerably easier to maintain, because they can handle higher levels of heat and are scratch-resistant. That being said, there are a few key things to remember if you want your stainless steel cookware to last.
- Try to avoid stacking your cookware; while not damaging to the main body of the cookware, stacking can damage and loosen the attached handles, which can in turn lead to leakage during cooking.
- Also try to avoid dunking your pots or pans in cold water immediately after use; the dramatic temperature change can cause warping in your cookware.
3. Cast iron – Cookware made of cast iron is known for its durability and strength (and also for its weight!). And while they are very sturdy and made to last, here are some tips to help prolong their longevity.
- Try to avoid cooking dishes with lots of moisture (such as steamed vegetables or broths) in cast iron, because the moisture can lead to rust.
- Also avoid washing your pain with water; as mentioned before, it can lead to rust. Instead, just wipe your pan or pot out with a clean dishtowel. Also, if it does require additional scrubbing, use salt instead of chemical cleaners, since cast iron is porous and could potentially absorb those chemicals.
4. Enamel or Ceramic – Quite a number of cookware sets have pots and pans with an enamel or ceramic coating. Here are some pointers for how to take care of them.
- Always wash by hand, using warm water and a gentle sponge or cloth; you don’t want to risk scratching or chipping the coating.
- As with all pans or pots, make sure to allow your cookware to cool before washing it; while metallic pans will warp when cooled too quickly, cooling cookware with a ceramic coating too fast can cause the coating to crack.
- If your ceramic cookware becomes stained, you can deep clean it by first soaking it in hot soapy water with a sprinkling of baking soda on the stained areas and then lightly scrubbing until the stains are gone.
- Be careful when storing ceramic-coated cookware; put soft towels or napkins between the dishes to avoid damaging the coating.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
In the end, you’ll be the one to make the final decision on which cookware set is best for you. Just try to remember some of the pointers we’ve provided in this article and choose a set that is best-suited for what you need in the kitchen.
Whether that’s a seventeen-piece set with high-end ceramic coating or a basic stainless steel eight-piece set, choose whatever is most comfortable and effective for you. Happy shopping!