Many of us choose non-stick cookware for a number of reasons: they are easy to maintain, easy to clean, and easy to cook in. Your food will not burn easy when you are cooking in a non-stick pan, because many of us have the tendency to get distracted while cooking. Non-stick cookware gives us the freedom to catch up on our other chores around the house or TV programs because your food will not burn easily as you leave the kitchen area.
However, non-stick cookware also happens to be quite expensive and not everyone can end up with a dozen or so pans in their kitchen. What you need to do is choose a few of the right tools that you can use for all of your cooking needs around the kitchen.
Depending on the number of pots and pans, quality, size, and durability, non-stick cookware sets can cost anything between $50 to $500. For a standard quality set that will last you a long time, you have to at least spend $150 to $200 on them, if you cook regularly.
What features should I consider in a budget non-stick cookware?
What are the more advanced features that I should consider in a high-end non-stick cookware?
Size. Although you are going to need a number of pans, pots, and skillets in total, the deeper a cookware, the more you can add ingredients to it. Very large pots are not going to be needed every day, but it is good to keep a few handy for special occasions. It is rather the smaller skillets that you are going to need more for cooking eggs, frying, or stir-frying.
This is a 17-piece set that is surprisingly affordable at just over $150, where you can get pots, pans, and skillets of every shape and size. If you are going to buy one cookware to last a decade, this is the one you can think of getting.
Not many cookware sets will come with this many individual pieces, at least not at this price. A unique feature of this cookware set is the thermos-stat heat indicator in the middle of each cookware that gives an indication when the pot is heated. Adding food to already heated cookware is recommended by chefs, health experts, and dieticians alike, as it helps meat, poultry, and fish to cook properly. These are scratch-free utensils which are also healthy, oven and dishwasher-safe.
Fat or oil is not necessary to cook with these utensils, but not prohibited if it is used for flavor. With the T-fal Hard anodized, you can cook healthy food without any oil.
This cookware set has been affiliated with the renowned cook Rachael Ray, in a beautiful teal color. At just over $100, this is a 12-piece set where you get two saucepans, one stockpot, one sauté pan, two skillets, four lids, and two spoons for cooking.
You get a variety of shapes and sizes in this cookware set, including pots, skillets, and pans. The lids are glass-made and transparent, and completely shatter-free. The handles are made from stainless steel and are quite sturdy. The material is completely PFOA-free and heats almost immediately. They are suitable for almost all types of stoves in your kitchen, even in your oven (up to 400 degrees).
There's nothing really that unique about this cookware set except that it is associated with the name of Rachael Ray. This cookware set is not for dishwasher use or induction stoves. Over a very high fire, some pieces have been known to start melting. The color may start fading after regular use, and most of the cookware comes with a single handle - which can be quite a hassle if you are cooking something heavy.
The Circulon Symmetry Hard Anodized is rather a standard non-stick cookware set from Circulon that comes with one rather large 8-quart crock-pot, two skillets, and three saucepans, including four lids. However, just over $100, unlike many other cookware sets, this set is suitable for both dishwashers and induction stoves.
Not many cookware sets in the market can be used on an induction surface, but this one can. This set is suitable for ovens (up to 400 degrees), dishwashers, induction stoves as well as every other stove types. They are durable and steady, constructed with hard-anodized aluminum that is supposed to be twice as hard as stainless steel. The handles are pure stainless steel and sturdily attached; silicon wrapped for comfort. The glass lids are tightly sealed and transparent.
You get a large 8-quart covered stock pot with this set that can be perfect for soups and pot roasts for the holidays, or when you have company coming over for dinner.
This cookware is not PTFA-free. Although you need to cook over an extremely high fire for a very little amount of harmful chemicals to release into your food, this is always a chance. Besides, unlike ceramic or aluminum, the non-stick coating can come off after a while even when rubber spatulas are used. Only the stockpot comes with two handles while the others have single handles, which can create a problem with holding when you are cooking something heavy.
The Granito X-tra is a compact, strong cookware set of 10 pieces, at an affordable price of just above $100. From Bialetti, this is a durable and sturdy cookware set that will give you years of use, being made from granite.
This is a scratch-free granite cookware set that won't be damaged even if you use metal utensils. You will be able to use on almost all stoves as well as ovens but only up to 400 degrees. Even with regular use over a long period, there will be much fewer scratches than with any other cookware. All the cookware will heat evenly, with no hot spots even over an uneven fire. Cooking time will reduce significantly with these pots and pans from Bialetti. At an affordable price, you will be getting everything you need in the kitchen.
This is not a PTFE-free cookware set, which means it is not something 100% safe for your family even if you cook under a low or moderate flame. It can be used on almost all stoves except induction surface. The handles may get hot while cooking, as will the lid. While the interior is smooth, the bottom may get a little damaged after regular use.
This is a beautiful 10-piece steel cookware set that you can get under $100, with a non-stick Ti-cerama coating that is scratch proof and durable. You get stock pots, saucepans, skillets, and a total of 4 lids with this cookware set from Gotham Steel.
This cookware set is completely PTHE-, PFOA- and PFOS-free. You can cook for your family in it without any health worries. You can use this cookware in the oven up to 500 degrees, and in the dishwasher for cleaning. They are all scratch resistant and long-lasting, made from sturdy steel. The handles will stay cool throughout cooking time and you won’t need any butter or oil to cook anything in this non-stick set (unless it is for flavor).
Tempered glass lids will seal off heat and flavors when cooking. The steamer comes with its own handles for easy use. The pans are easy to hang with holes at the end.
Non-stick coating may peel off gradually and soon you’ll need to use oil, butter, or cooking spray to cook in them. While the product is a relatively good one for the price, this is not a set for a very long use. Sure, the cookware will not crack, bend, or damage in any way, but cooking will slowly become difficult. Bottom becomes grayish and fades with use.
This classically beautiful 15-piece cookware set from Faberware is just a little over $50 and comes with 5 different sized pots, saucepans and skillets, 4 lids, 5 cooking utensils, and a baking tray. It is a durable set that will not be damaged even after regular use at home, and you can try different types of recipes in them.
These are standard-sized cookware that you will get for a very affordable price. For this price, these are the best pots and pans you can get on the market. If you are single or if you cook smaller portions daily, this can be the perfect first cookware set for your kitchen. You get lids for most of the pots in this set: 4 lids in a set of 5 pans/pots. They heat up quickly and evenly and are easy to clean. The baking tray can be used in the oven for up to 350 degrees and is the perfect size for cookies and bars.
For a little over $50, this is a good starter pack for your kitchen, but not very suitable if you are cooking for company or family. The cookware is very small, indeed for extensive cooking purposes. They are not very suitable for use over very high heat, either; you might start hearing sounds over high heat, and a chemical smell might also start to come from the cookware. The bottom may burn off gradually with use. Also, you can't really expect this cookware to last very long at this price.
This is another affordable cookware set under $50 where you get a total of 18 pieces of cookware. You get 4 different saucepans of different sizes, each with a lid of their own, 3 skillets, and a total of 6 utensils, as well as a steamer in this cookware set from Tramontina - quite a find at this price.
At under $50, this is another great “starter set” that you can get for yourself or as a gift for someone else. Rather small, these pieces are actually a great size for single adults, traveling, camping, or dorms. You get a steamer and the complete set of utensils with this set, as well.
The handles are double-riveted and sturdy, and won’t get hot while cooking. The lids, too, are shatter-free and transparent, for easy use. These are small pieces that you can easily store one above another, so it makes storing in a compact space easy.
As expected at this price, this is compact and small, hardly suitable for cooking something for more than 2/3 people. This can be a good “starter set” and not something that you can keep on using for a number of years as your family grows. The pieces are rather thin and heat up very quickly, which can become a hazard sometimes. This is not exactly a 100% non-stick set; you will need to use oil/butter or pay close attention to the food at all times if you don’t want everything to get burnt.
If you have a big enough budget of about $150 or so, this 10-piece non-stick set from KitchenAid is definitely a set to consider. You get both large and standards-sized pots, pans and skillets with this set, as well as 4 separate lids of different sizes.
At a standard price of about $150, you are getting six different pieces - each one a different shape and size that you are going to need in your home, including one large stock pot and two skillets. The four lids are shatter-free, transparent, and tight-fitting, and won't get hot when cooking. You can use this cookware set on an induction stove, too. The sturdy 3-layer interior makes the set heat evenly in a very short time. You can also use these pieces in the oven safely up to 375 degrees.
These are not really scratch-free pieces; with use, you can see a number of scratches both inside and outside the set. Also, the handles don’t get heated, but the parts that are close to the pots can get a little heated when cooking. Although they work on induction stoves, cooking will take much longer than on other kinds of stoves. After regular use, the non-stick coating can also start peeling off which is actually a health hazard.
Costing just over $100, the Signature Porcelain Collection from Paula Deen is a beautiful set of 15 pieces, including a 5-piece measuring set that will be very helpful for your cooking. In a beautiful shade of black and gold, this set also includes a large 6-quart stock pot, two saucepans, one sauté pan, and two skillets.
This set comes with a measuring spoon set, something you do not see with many cookware sets in the market. Since it is made from a Teflon interior, this is actually a superior non-stick compared to other brands. You can use these pieces in an oven up to 350 degrees. The soft touch handles make cooking easy, and the tempered glass lids are also a big help. The cooking surface heats up quickly and evenly, and saves a lot of time cooking.
The interior surface is made from Teflon coating, which is something a lot of people try to avoid. If cooked on a high heat, the Teflon can melt into chemicals which can be absorbed into the food - a health hazard. If you do use a Teflon-coated cookware, you need to use if over very low heat, always.
This set doesn’t work on Induction stoves; although they are supposed to be dishwasher safe, the machines will not completely clean them. The pieces also happen to be much smaller than they seem in the picture.
When you are shopping for a complete cookware set, consider these two options: are you buying a good, expensive one that will last a few years and feed a good number of people, or are you buying one for yourself that you are going to throw away a few months later? If you want a durable one, you might have to end up with a budget of $150 or up for a set that will be healthy, durable, and sturdy. On the other hand, complete sets under $50 will last you for a few months, or even a year.
There are some other features to consider as well. For your family’s sake and for your sake, it is better to choose a set that is PTFE-, PFOA- and PFOS-free. Teflon non-stick cookware may be sturdy but the chemicals from it will harm your health. Other features like the exterior, build, handles, and lids, etc. are also important. Getting a set that can be used in ovens, induction stoves, and dishwashers are also helpful. Knowing exactly what to look for will make your search for nonstick cookware a breeze!