Also, the 10-inch Tramontina skillet made perfectly golden-brown chicken breasts with extra-crispy skin. We dismissed sets with plastic handles, since even those made to withstand high temperatures cuisinart knife 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.
The lids are glass to let you check if your soup is simmering gently or boiling ferociously and then adjust the heat accordingly. One thing to note is that the pieces in this set are not exceptionally large. The Dutch oven is 5 quarts and the deep straight-sided sauté pan is only 2.5 quarts. If you love to host, KitchenAid’s set is a straightforward choice for your guests’ favorite meals.
Don’t preheat an empty pan to help avoid reaching high temperatures. In general, you can use higher heat with hard-anodized than traditional aluminum, whereas ceramic can only handle low to medium heat. And if you plan to use your cookware in the oven at any point, keep the manufacturers’ suggested temperatures in mind, as they vary widely. (Most recipes will call for the 375 to 450 degree range.) Lastly, keep in mind that almost all brands will warn not to use nonstick sprays which may ruin the interior surface.
As I emphasized in an earlier review of Made In cookware, a good nonstick set should offer the shapes and sizes needed for most standard home recipes. Ideally, most home cooks would own a 10-or-so-inch frying pan, a lidded sauté pan with a minimum capacity of three quarts, a smaller lidded saucepan and a large lidded stockpot. After extensive online research, I decided to compare some of the most popular nonstick surfaces—traditional PTFE, hard-anodized PTFE and ceramic—at a variety of price points. In total, I selected eight sets from well-known and well-regarded brands to test.
Aluminum can’t be used on induction cooktops unless the cookware has a stainless steel disk on the bottom to allow the induction cooktop to recognize it. While some nonstick aluminum cookware is dishwasher safe, you should check with the manufacturer to be sure. Nonstick interior coatings prevent your eggs from sticking and make cleaning easier, while uncoated cookware tends to be better for searing meats and for handling high heat on the stove and in the oven. Some cookware has an exterior coating, which tends to be more decorative than functional. While anodizing isn’t technically a coating, it creates a hard outer surface on aluminum cookware that looks attractive and resists stains and corrosion.
However, we did do some at-home testing of its sauté pan as a point of comparison in our review of the Always pan; this testing confirmed our understanding that ceramic-coated pans don’t last long . The Tramontina set we recommend is comparably priced , and unlike the Caraway set, it should last for decades if cared for properly. The Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set was our previous runner-up pick. However, after a new round of testing, we found the skillets warped over high heat. The bottom of the pans bowed so much that they wobbled on a flat surface.
They also loved how durable this set feels, describing it as “a beast.” This set is oven safe to 500 degrees and during testing, the temperature of the pan stayed pretty even. The temperatures ranged from 350 to 400 to 334 around the pan, which means when you’re browning meat or fish it’s going to be evenly cooked without a lot of fuss.