The 10 Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

Stainless-Steel-Cookware-Sets

When you’re choosing pots and pan for your home kitchen, you’ll have a choice between traditional stainless steel cookware, non-stick cookware in a variety of materials, or ceramic cookware.

All these types of cookware have their unique benefits, but stainless steel cookware comes into its own in terms of consistent heat distribution and searing food at scorching temperatures.

The primary drawback of stainless steel is the fact it’s tough to keep clean. Don’t be fooled by the name, stainless steel pots and pans tend to stain quite badly, with food sticking to the surface quite easily.

If you feel you can deal with the cleaning and maintenance and you don’t mind sacrificing a non-stick coating, what should you consider before buying a stainless steel cookware set?

  • Number of pieces: Most stainless steel cookware sets contain 10 or 12 pieces. Note that lids are included in the piece count. A larger set allows you to cover more bases when you’re cooking but will cost more and also requires more storage space. We list the number of pieces in the features tab of each product to help you readily compare them like-for-like.
  • Stainless steel grade: You will often find the grade of stainless steel stamped into cookware. The most common choice for high-grade cookware is 18/10. The fractions used to express stainless steel grades refer to the percentage of chromium and nickel in the alloy. 18/10 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel. This grade of stainless steel is rust-resistant but also retains its polish over time.
  • Construction and core: The best stainless steel cookware has a disc of copper or aluminum at the core, with layers of stainless steel surrounding it. This allows for optimum heat distribution. The number of layers is expressed in terms of ply count. 5-ply and 7-ply pans are often classified as multi-clad pans. The other notable build feature to look out for is the riveting on the handles. Look for robust and double or triple-riveted construction to avoid a nasty accident in the kitchen. Spot-welded handles, by contrast, are likely to let you down.
  • Weight: Look for weighty cookware that stops short of being unwieldy to handle. Heavier pans stay in place on the stovetop and also distribute heat more efficiently. You should also eliminate hot and cold spots with heavier cookware. As a bonus, bulkier cookware will also last longer.
  • Heating capacity: Almost all stainless steel cookware is oven-friendly. Some lighter and cheaper pans may only withstand oven temperatures to 350F, where more expensive and heavier pans are often oven-safe to well over 550F.

OK, if you keep these pointers uppermost in mind, you should have no problems navigating our showcase of the most effective cookware in this class.

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I. The 10 Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

1. Our #1 Pick: Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Cuisinart -MCP-12N -Multiclad -Pro -Stainless -Steel -12

Features

  • Number of pieces: 12
  • Weight: 25.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24.2 x 14.2 x 10.7 inches

Cuisinart has an enormous range of kitchenware and cookware. How, then, does this stainless steel set shape up?

Well, here’s what comes bundled:

  • Covered saucepans (1.5-quart, 3-quart)
  • Open skillets (8-inch, 10-inch)
  • Covered sauté pan (3.5-quart)
  • Covered stock pot (8-quart)
  • Lidded steamer insert

To avoid repetition, the lids in these cookware sets are counted as one piece, so while a 12-piece set sounds expansive, you don’t get as much cookware as you might imagine.

These pots and pans are safe to slide into the oven at super-high temperatures to 500F. This gives you the scope for almost all your favorite stovetop to oven recipes.

All lids fit snugly to keep all the nutrients and juices inside the pan rather than cascading down the sides.

The triple-ply construction layers stainless steel around a highly conductive aluminum core. Unlike much stainless steel cookware, these pots and pans shouldn’t stain too badly.

The common weak point on pots and pans is the meeting point of cookware and handle. Here, the handles are riveted rather than welded into place, minimizing the chance of your cookware slipping from your grasp and the handle detaching.

Almost all user reviews for this cookware set, our overall favorite from today’s collection, are positive. The few complaints we found reference the skillets warping over time.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Polished surface won’t stain
  • Robustly riveted handles
  • Tightly fitting lids
  • Skillet prone to warping

2. WearEver Cook and Strain Stainless Steel Cookware Set

WearEver -A834S974 -Cook -& -Strain -Stainless -Steel -10

Features

  • Number of pieces: 10
  • Weight: 13.35 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 12 inches

Next up comes a slightly smaller set of stainless steel cookware, this time from WearEver. What can you expect from the Cook and Strain line, then?

Well, the 10-piece set offers you the following:

  • Covered saucepans (1-quart, 2-quart)
  • Open skillet (9.5-inch)
  • Covered Dutch oven (5-quart)
  • Serving spoon
  • Slotted spoon
  • Colander

The primary draw here is the combination of a hardwearing and highly conductive stainless steel with a non-stick interior, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of stainless steel without the main drawback.

Made from premium 18/10 stainless steel, you’ll benefit from a bonded aluminum base for enhanced heat distribution.

All lids are constructed from tempered glass, rugged enough to withstand a few knocks and transparent so you can monitor your food at a glance. The rims on the lids allow you to use them for straining purposes. This set also includes a colander to streamline straining and serving food. A pair of spoons complete the set.

Unlike many cookware sets, this one bundles a Dutch oven, allowing you to widen your repertoire in the kitchen.

The handles, as you would expect, are designed to stay cool to the touch.

Overall, this cookware set manages to deliver impeccable build quality alongside commendable non-stick properties at a reasonable price point: what’s not to love?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Premium 18/10 stainless steel
  • Lids have glass covers and steel rims
  • Cool-touch ergonomic handles
  • Some issues with food sticking reported

3. Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Anolon -Nouvelle -Stainless -Steel -Cookware -Pots -and -Pans -Set

Features

  • Number of pieces: 10
  • Weight: 22.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 23.4 x 10.9 x 13.6 inches

Anolon cookware is not cheap but represents superb overall value given the quality of the construction.

Here’s what you get in this 10-piece set:

  • Covered saucepans (1.25-quart, 2.5-quart)
  • Covered stock pot (6.5-quart)
  • Open frying pans (8.5-inch, 10-inch)
  • Covered sauté pan (3-quart)

Stainless steel build includes copper at the core for even and reliable heat distribution, whatever you’re cooking.

Ideal for use on all types of cooking surface, this set is also induction-ready, making it one of the most versatile options on our shortlist.

Handles are robustly double-riveted into place so they will stay there rather than coming off in your hand with a pan full of boiling liquid.

Many users compliment the heat control provided by these pots and pans. You’ll be cooking like an accomplished chef even if you’re a novice in the kitchen.

If you frequently cook stovetop to oven recipes, you can slide these pots and pans inside at temperatures to 500F.

A few consumers report difficulties with cleaning these pans, especially if food burns and sticks on. Setting this aside, you’re getting a comprehensive stainless steel cookware set that should return years of happy service.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Exceptional heat control
  • Oven safe to 500F
  • Works with all stovetops and induction-ready
  • Awkward to clean

4. All-Clad Brushed Stainless Steel Cookware Set

All-Clad -Brushed -D5 -Stainless -Cookware -Set

Features

  • Number of pieces: 10
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Dimensions: 21.75 x 21 x 15 inches

If you’re hunting for cookware on a budget, All-Clad is not for you. For those who don’t mind digging deeper, though, does this costly but commanding set deliver or disappoint?

The set is quite small, with just the following components:

  • Covered saucepans (1.5-quart, 3-quart)
  • Open frying pan (8-inch, 10-inch)
  • Open sauté pan (3-quart)
  • Covered Dutch oven (5.5-quart)

If this seems like a neat fit for your kitchen, you’ll appreciate the rigid construction and solid feel. The pots and pans will stay in place on the stovetop, and they are built to last the distance. 5 layers of aluminum and stainless steel deliver consistent heat distribution whatever the recipe. A brushed finish ensures the cookware set looks just as good as it performs.

The handles won’t get hot and scorch your fingers, and the flared rims encourage drip-free pouring every time.

You can use these pots and pans on just about any cooking surface, from gas and electric to ceramic and induction stovetops. The pans are also safe to pop into the broiler.

Aside from a restrictive returns policy, we couldn’t unearth much bad press about this rock-solid stainless cookware set from one of the most reputable brands in the business.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Layered aluminum and stainless steel
  • Striking brushed finish
  • Heat-resistant handles
  • Limitations with returns

5. Duxtop Professional Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Duxtop -Professional -Stainless -Steel -Pots -and -Pans -Set

Features

  • Number of pieces: 17
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Dimensions: 26.7 x 16.3 x 12.1 inches

As we reach the midpoint in our search for the best stainless steel cookware sets, we have a sprawling 17-piece offering from Duxtop.

Here is what you can expect in your bundle:

  • Covered saucepans (1.6-quart, 2.5-quart)
  • Covered casserole (4.2-quart)
  • Open frying pans (8-inch, 9.5-inch)
  • Covered sauté pan with helper (5.5-quart)
  • Covered stock pot (8.6-quart)
  • Boiler basket (9.5-inch)
  • Steam basket (9.5-inch)
  • 2-prong fork
  • Solid spoon
  • Slotted spoon

As you can see, you’ll have ample cookware to prepare and serve elaborate meals, and you’ll get it all in one value-packed set.

All pots and pans are made from 18/10 stainless steel, food-grade and delivering impeccable heat distribution.

When transferring cookware from stovetop to oven, bear in mind that the pots and pans are safe at temperatures to 500F, but the lids will only withstand temperatures to 400F. Beyond this, you can also pop the cookware in the freezer and dishwasher, completing a winning package.

Not only do you have a great choice of pots and pans, but you’re also spoiled for serving utensils, giving you everything you could want in one place.

The only reported issues with this comprehensive cookware set concern some difficulties with induction cooktops. Aside from this, you’re getting one of the most versatile and sprawling stainless steel sets at a very reasonable price point.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • One of the most comprehensive sets in its class
  • Straight sides promote drip-free pouring
  • Safe in oven, freezer, and dishwasher
  • Issues flagged with induction cookers

6. Rachael Ray Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Rachael -Ray -Create -Delicious -Stainless -Steel -Cookware -Set

Features

  • Number of pieces: 10
  • Weight: 17.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22.75 x 8.4 x 13 inches

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray has a popular and highly effective line of cookware, including this 10-piece set finished in stainless steel.

Each sets includes the following pieces:

  • Open saucepan (1-quart)
  • Covered saucepans (2-quart)
  • Open frying pan (10.25-inch)
  • Covered sauté pan (3-quart)
  • Covered stock pot (6-quart)
  • Slotted turner
  • Solid spoon

All components are constructed from stainless steel, with the handles accented in pale blue silicone.

As with all the best stainless steel cookware sets, you’ll enjoy a winning combination of durability, versatility, and the best heat distribution possible. Cooking with stainless steel pans should help to eliminate hot and cold spots when you’re cooking, helping you to achieve great results every time.

While some stainless steel cookware has a reputation for being difficult to clean, these pots and pans are dishwasher safe, so you’ll get hands-free cleanup and cookware that should last for years without rusting or corroding.

This is the basic set including only the components listed above. You can also opt for a set with extra utensils, and also for a set including a wooden chopping block. Which configuration makes the right fit for you?

The only drawback with this set is the reasonably low heat capacity. Although the cookware is oven-safe, it can only withstand temperatures to 400F. This may restrict you with some recipes calling for searing heats in the oven, but it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Elegant aesthetics
  • Shatter-proof lids
  • Double-riveted handles
  • Only safe in oven to 400F

7. Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Calphalon -Classic -Stainless -Steel -Pots -and -Pans

Features

  • Number of pieces: 10
  • Weight: 22.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24.96 x 14.57 x 10.75 inches

Calphalon serves up a 10-piece stainless steel cookware set offering the following:

  • Covered saucepans (1.5-quart, 2.5-quart)
  • Open frying pans (8-inch, 10-inch)
  • Covered sauté pan (3-quart)
  • Covered stock pot (6-quart)

With all you need to rustle up most regular recipes, you can cater for all your cookware needs in one set rather than spending hours poring over more expensive separates.

With an impact-bonded aluminum base and layers of stainless steel promoting superb heat conduction, you can cook all your favorite dishes with confidence.

Transparent lids finished in tempered glass allow you to keep tabs on what’s cooking without removing the cover.

Once you’re done cooking and ready to eat, you can pop all this cookware safely into the dishwasher for your complete convenience.

Measuring marks inside the cookware help you to cook with even more precision and saves you from needing a separate measuring jug. Every little helps when you’re trying to streamline your kitchen.

If you cook frequently on the stovetop, you’ll appreciate the extra-long handles that stay commendably cool to the touch. If you use a gas stove, though, you might find the length of the handles problematic.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Even heat distribution
  • Lengthy stay-cool handles
  • Compatible with most stovetops
  • Not the best fit with gas stoves

8. Cook N Home Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Cook -N -Home -12-Piece -Stainless -Steel -Cookware -Set

Features

  • Number of pieces: 12
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 x 10.5 x 8 inches

Another fantastic 12-piece stainless steel cookware set is up next, this time from Cook N Home. You can expect the following pieces:

  • Covered saucepan (1.5-quart)
  • Covered saucepot casseroles (1.5-quart, 2-quart, and 3-quart)
  • Covered stock pot (5.5-quart)
  • Covered sauté fry pan (10-inch)

All pots and pans are made from a mirror-polished stainless steel. Graded 18/10, this type of stainless steel is hardwearing, conductive, and food-safe.

Vented lids are finished in tempered glass. Both the inside and outside of this cookware is treated with a reflective finish. Not only does this look great, but it also helps to discourage food splatter.

You can safely transfer all cookware from stovetop to oven at temperatures to 500F, giving you total freedom in the kitchen, even at searing temperatures. Note that the lids are only safe in the oven to 350F due to the tempered glass build.

If you have an overcrowded kitchen or limited storage space, you’ll be thankful for the stackable nature of the pans.

Riveted handles will stay in place, and these are also comfy enough to hold for extended periods and are also non-stick and stay-cool.

Compatible with all types of cooking surfaces, including induction, this is one of the best stainless steel cookware sets you’ll find, and it also happens to be one of the cheapest. We can’t recommend this set strongly enough.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Safe in the oven to 500F
  • Premium mirror-polished stainless steel
  • Vented tempered glass lids
  • Reports of popping sounds

9. Legend Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Legend-5-Ply-Stainless-Steel-Cookware-Set

Features

  • Number of pieces: 14
  • Weight: 40.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 28 x 16.75 x 12 inches

If you have deep pockets and demanding tastes, Legend has the perfect set of stainless steel cookware for you.

This is a substantial set with the following 14 pieces:

  • Covered saucepans (1.5-quart, 3-quart)
  • Covered sauté pan (5-quart)
  • Open frying pans (8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch)
  • Covered stock pot (8-quart)
  • Covered Dutch oven (5-quart)
  • Steamer

If you want all these benefits without quite the price tag, you can opt for a 3-ply variant of this set. Here, you get 5-ply construction, marrying 304 stainless steel, 3 layers of aluminum, and 430 stainless steel to deliver some impressive pots and pans.

Not only is it super-simple to cook with these pans, but you’ll also find they are remarkably easy to keep clean, eliminating one of the common bugbears of stainless steel cookware.

When you’ve finished cooking and you’re ready to serve, the rims of the pans come into their own, ensuring you get a drip-free experience every time.

While you can certainly find cheaper options when you’re browsing stainless steel cookware, if you are less constrained by price, this set is one of the best you’ll find.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • All-round cookware for most cooking surfaces
  • Edged rims for drip-free pouring
  • Oven-safe and super-simple to clean
  • Not the cheapest stainless steel cookware set

10. Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Features

  • Number of pieces: 10
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 x 10 x 4 inches

Last but not least in today’s quest for the best stainless steel cookware sets comes from Lagostina.

The 10-piece set includes the following:
Lagostina -Martellata -Hammered -Copper -18/10 -Tri-Ply -Stainless -Steel -Cookware -Set

  • Covered saucepans (2-quart, 3-quart)
  • Open skillets (8-inch, 10-inch)
  • Covered sauté pan (3-quart)
  • Covered stock pot (6-quart)

The 3-ply construction layers stainless steel around an aluminum core, perhaps the most common build for entry-level cookware in this class.

The exterior of the pans is finished in a hammered copper for a visual statement to complement the efficient performance.

When you’ve finished cooking, you’ll be glad of the flared edges to these pans, ensuring you don’t end up with food all over the kitchen counter instead of your plate.

All lids are tightly fitting to keep all the moisture where it counts. These are also finished in stainless steel, so you won’t enjoy the visibility provided by tempered glass covers.

Handles are firmly attached and riveted into place rather than welded, giving you total confidence when you’re cooking and an improved lifespan across all your cookware.

The only blowback we could find concerning this cookware set were a handful of complaints from users who burned the pans and found them remarkably hard to clean afterwards.

For anyone tired of staring at an expanse of stainless steel in the kitchen but still requiring the benefits of this material, the copper finish of this set is the ideal solution.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Aluminum core and layers of stainless steel
  • Handles are cast and solidly riveted
  • Flared edges for smoother pouring
  • Hard to deal with if burned

II. FAQs

1) Do I need to season my stainless steel cookware?

No. One of the key benefits of stainless steel cookware is the lack of maintenance and upkeep required. Carbon steel and cast iron pans both require seasoning. While this process is straightforward, it is also fairly time-consuming. Stainless steel cookware, by contrast, is ready to use right out the box.

2) Does stainless steel cookware have a non-stick coating?

No, most stainless steel cookware does not come with a non-stick treatment. This is considered one of the major drawbacks of this material when used for cookware. One way to mitigate the lack of non-stick coating is to use oil when you’re cooking, but this will still not give you the same efficient food release as you get with a non-stick pan.

3) How does stainless steel and hard-anodized cookware differ?

Stainless steel, self-evidently, is made of steel. Hard-anodized cookware, on the other hand, consists of electrochemically-treated aluminum. The uppermost oxidized layers serves as a highly effective non-stick coating. Both types of cookware are equally durable. The primary difference between these materials is that hard-anodized cookware can potentially react to some acidic ingredients and sauces. Stainless steel cookware is non-reactive, so you can cook anything in these pans without an adverse reaction.

4) How can I remove burnt food residue from stainless steel cookware?

Try adding some water to the pan and then heating it gently on the stove. Using a stiff spatula, scrape away all the food residue. If this doesn’t shift the food splatter, try using a more abrasive cleaner like Barkeepers Friend to loosen the debris, and then agitate it with a scrubber. This should remove even the most stubborn and burned remnants of food.

5) Is it safe to use metal utensils on my stainless steel cookware?

Stainless steel is a very hardwearing material, and it’s also resistant to scratching. While you can use metal utensils in stainless steel cookware, you’ll prolong the lifespan of your crockery if you avoid using sharp objects when you’re stirring and mixing your ingredients.

6) What are the benefits and drawbacks of buying a complete set of cookware?

Buying a set of cookware will save you money compared to buying all of the pieces separately. You will also enjoy a completely coordinated set of cookware rather than mismatched pieces. Picking up a comprehensive set and getting the pans delivered also saves you a great deal of hassle. On the downside, you may find you don’t use all the pieces bundled in a set. Both skillets and saucepans bundled with cookware sets tend to be small, so you may end up needing to supplement the set.


III. Conclusion

There’s no right or wrong to choosing cookware. All that counts is picking the right materials for your needs, and for many people that’s stainless steel.

The pots and pans we review today offer you all the basics you need for your home kitchen in a single convenient set. Whether you’re looking for restaurant-grade cookware or some more affordable stainless steel cookware for occasional use, you can buy any of the options we review with an accurate idea of their benefits and drawbacks.

Take a moment to bookmark our blog before you head off and pop back soon. With the holiday season over for another year, we’ll be bringing you plenty of ideas for kitting out your kitchen, so don’t miss out.

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