To reduce the overall price of a set, most manufacturers include smaller pot and pan sizes. I also spoke with several home cooks, including members of our own staff, who have used cookware sets for years. If you’re lusting after professional-looking stainless-steel cookware but don’t have the big bucks to shell out, this is the set for you.
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 gotham steel cookware sets 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.
Since then, the brand has expanded their line to include nonstick and stainless steel pans, and, most recently, a bakeware line. Great Jones refreshingly forsakes the signature dusty shades of other DTC cookware brands in favor of vibrant colors and punchy patterns. The Yves Klein-esque blue Dutch oven is particularly eye-catching. Kendra is a fan of the Hot Dish, a groovy, 9-by-13-inch baking dish with angular sides and corners that make for perfectly-square pieces of snacking cake and lasagna.
The set’s only other skillet, a 10¼-inch skillet/sauté pan hybrid, is also on the small side. 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.
Additionally, the set is made from recycled aluminum and reinforced with a wobble-free base for extra strength and even heat distribution. The first thing you must keep in mind is the required number of pieces. A cookware set typically comes with pieces like stockpots, saute pans, frying pans, saucepans, gotham steel cookware sets utensils, and stock pans. You can pick something with fewer pieces, according to your personal preference. Make sure to carefully look at what’s included in each cookware set, as many brands count lids as separate pieces and even count small utensils like spoons and spatulas as part of the set.
I’ve included a few picks for smaller sets in case you’re after frying pans only and not the whole cookware kit and kaboodle. I recommend having at least one nonstick skillet — either Teflon or ceramic — Cookware Sets for eggs and other sticky foods. That said, you’ll never be able to sear food using nonstick the way you can with other materials, so keep that in mind if you’re opting for a fully nonstick cookware set.
The Ostend 12 Pieces cookware set features drip-free rims and stay-cool handles for ease of use and extra safety while handling. If dinner normally consists of pasta and soups this clever set is perfect for your one-pot lifestyle! We love that the tops lay flat and that everything stacks with ease. You can even remove or add the pot handles if your kitchen is low on storage space.
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.
We also tested the Hestan 12.5″ Probond Forged Stainless Steel Skillet, but it discolored and warped the first time we used it. So we decided not to test the Professional Clad Stainless Steel 10-piece Ultimate Set. The Thomas Keller Insignia 7-Piece Cookware Set has only two universal pot lids and is quite expensive, even at its reduced price of $900 . We think anyone would be happier with the All-Clad set we recommend, which costs significantly less. We did our best to avoid sets that aren’t fully clad (meaning the aluminum core doesn’t extend up the sides of the cookware), since the sides of the pan are prone to scorching.