Header Image

Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

Stainless steel is relatively cheap, durable, and great at retaining heat, making it an excellent material for pots, pans, and other cookware. But how do you know you're getting a high quality one when they all pretty much look the same? Let's consider some options.

Cookware is a very integral part of the kitchen. Without it, we'd all go hungry for lack of things to cook our food in. Stainless steel is the most common material used in making cookware, and for good reason. It is more durable and versatile than most other materials, and it doesn’t put too much of a strain on your wallet. Stainless steel has a smooth and shiny appearance that gives your cookware a mirror-like look. 

Whether it is utensils, pots, pans, or other kitchen appliances, stainless steel is quite versatile and as such can be used for any cookware. The global stainless steel market has had a compound annual growth rate of 5.2 percent from $85.45 billion in 2016. This has caused an increase in the application of stainless steel to our lives, and this increase has translated to the cookware industry. The proliferation of stainless steel cookware in the market has made purchasing such cookware sets more tedious. This guide was put together for this particular reason, so you can make an educated decision on which stainless steel cookware set to buy.

How much should I expect to spend on a stainless steel cookware set?

There are so many stainless steel cookware sets on the market today that you would most likely find one to buy no matter how much you have. The problem, though, is getting value for your money, no matter how little you plan on spending. You can get a good budget cookware set for about $150 or less, and the premium models can go for over $300.

What features should I consider in a budget stainless steel cookware set?

  • Weight

    Without going into technical details about composition and so on, a good stainless steel cookware should have a kind of “heft” about it that you will feel when you carry it. Heavier cookware is usually more sturdy and durable, and they allow food to cook more evenly. A heavier pot or pan is also less likely to get dings and dents.

    Handles

    It is easy to ignore the handle of your cookware when making your purchase. Many people focus on the stainless steel surface and forget how important the handles are. For easy use, go for wares with easy-to-grip handles that are low conductors of heat. The material used in making the handle is also important, as it determines the durability.

    Lids

    Lids are features that many consumers make the mistake of overlooking, usually to a lot of regrets afterward. Many food recipes require the use of cookware with lid, so you should ensure you get stainless steel cookware with lids if you are going to be making these recipes. It is advisable to go for wares with lids, and you can choose to leave them in the cabinet anytime they are not needed.

    Stackable

    Space is sometimes an issue in most kitchens, which makes adopting space saving techniques a must. Stackable cookware stacks up easily and has lids that also stack up pretty easily. This way, you can store a set of cookware with the space needed to store one. There are other features like interlocking notches that help in improving this feature.

What features should I consider in a budget stainless steel cookware set?

Weight

Without going into technical details about composition and so on, a good stainless steel cookware should have a kind of “heft” about it that you will feel when you carry it. Heavier cookware is usually more sturdy and durable, and they allow food to cook more evenly. A heavier pot or pan is also less likely to get dings and dents.

Handles

It is easy to ignore the handle of your cookware when making your purchase. Many people focus on the stainless steel surface and forget how important the handles are. For easy use, go for wares with easy-to-grip handles that are low conductors of heat. The material used in making the handle is also important, as it determines the durability.

Good, functional, stainless steel cookware is the smartest purchase you can make for your kitchen and cooking needs.

Lids

Lids are features that many consumers make the mistake of overlooking, usually to a lot of regrets afterward. Many food recipes require the use of cookware with lid, so you should ensure you get stainless steel cookware with lids if you are going to be making these recipes. It is advisable to go for wares with lids, and you can choose to leave them in the cabinet anytime they are not needed.

Stackable

Space is sometimes an issue in most kitchens, which makes adopting space saving techniques a must. Stackable cookware stacks up easily and has lids that also stack up pretty easily. This way, you can store a set of cookware with the space needed to store one. There are other features like interlocking notches that help in improving this feature.

What are the more advanced features that I should consider in a high-end stainless steel cookware set?

Core

The core used in making stainless steel cookware refers to the disc at the bottom of the pan, pot, and so on. The thickness of the core used in a stainless steel cookware directly affects how efficiently heat is spread over its surface without any hot spot. The best choices are aluminum and copper cores, so the next time you go to buy stainless steel cookware, be on the lookout for the ones with aluminum or copper cores.

Non-stick coating

Cookware with a non-stick coating is easy to clean and use, as the coating prevents food from sticking to the cookware, making cleaning straightforward. Another advantage of using non-stick coated cookware is the fact that they require less oil than non-coated cookware.

Stainless steel grade

The grade of stainless steel used in making the cookware is also quite important. This feature is often ignored, because most consumers don’t know about the different grades of stainless steel. The best choices are cookware made with 18/10 or 18/8, as these grades are the most used in making quality cookware.

1) Chef’s Star Professional Grade available for $169 on Amazon

Key features
  • 17 piece pots and pans
  • Durable handles
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Oven-safe to 550 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 18/8 grade stainless steel

The Chef’s Star Professional Grade is a stylish stainless steel cookware set that contains 17 pieces of pots and pans for your various kitchen uses. The cookware set is built to be safe and sturdy, as it is dishwasher-safe as well as oven-safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also use the cookware in the refrigerator for easy storage of your food. It also features ergonomically shaped handles with an anti-slip finish that give you a firm grip while cooking. The handles are properly riveted to the pots and pans for maximum durability. Although it is not the cheapest product on the market, many users consider the price a steal after considering the features.

Image Source: Amazon

How does this item compare to other stainless steel cookware sets?

The Chef’s Star Professional Grade stainless steel cookware is suitable for use on all cooking sources- electric, infrared, gas, stoke and cooktops, ceramic and glass cooktops, and so on. This is one of its biggest advantages, as it increases its functionality. One of its biggest selling points is the premium 18/8 grade stainless steel used in making the cookware, which gives it an overall durability and quality that makes it one of the top choices for consumers.

What's not so good about it?

Although this cookware is of high quality and offers some impressive features, some users have complained about food sticking too easily to the cookware. The ease at which food sticks to the cookware also makes cleaning very tedious. Another issue with this cookware set is the fact that food burns pretty easily when you are cooking, so you may need a bit of experience using the cookware.

Pros:
  • Premium 18/8 grade stainless steel
  • 17 different pieces
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Can also be used in the refrigerator and oven up to about 550 fahrenheit
Cons:
  • Some users have complained about food sticking too easily
  • Tedious to wash
  • Food tends to burn quickly

2) Cuisinart Multi-clad Professional available for $248 on Amazon

Key features
  • 18/10 grade stainless steel
  • 12 piece cookware set
  • Cool grip stainless steel handle
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cuisinart is a popular manufacturer of kitchen products, and the Multi-clad Professional is another product in their long line of top quality kitchen products. This stainless steel cookware is a 12-piece product, meaning there are 12 different cooking wares in the set. The tight-fitting stainless steel lids seal moisture in for a more flavorful dish. The cookware set is dishwasher-safe, so you can clean it easily in your dishwasher. The cool grip handle is made from stainless steel and riveted tightly for a sturdy grip. The Cuisinart Multi-clad Professional cookware set is more expensive than some of the other products reviewed here are, although the features offered make the price easily forgettable.

Image Source: Amazon

How does this item compare to other stainless steel cookware sets?

One of its most significant selling points is the premium grade stainless steel. The 18/10 grade is one of the highest grades you will find on the market, and many users consider it as the best. If you are looking for a cookware set that you can display in your kitchen, the Multi-clad Professional is an excellent choice, as its sleek design gives it aesthetic value.

What's not so good about it?

One of the noticeable disadvantages of using this cookware set is the stainless steel lid that you have to lift, which is not as comfortable as using a glass lid. The set seems to be lacking a piece in the medium-sized range, so small families are stuck with using a smaller or bigger piece. Some users complain about food sticking pretty easily to the cookware set.

Pros:
  • 18/10 grade stainless grade
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • 12 set cookware
  • Cool grip handle that gives you a sturdy grip
Cons:
  • Lid is made of stainless steel instead of glass
  • Food tends to stick easily to the bottom
  • Lacking a piece in the medium-sized range

3) T-fal Copper Bottom (C836SC) available for $298 on Amazon

Key features
  • 12 piece cookware set
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Non-stick interior
  • Thermo-Spot technology
  • Glass lid

The T-fal Copper Bottom C8366SC is another cookware set that is deserving of a place on our list. This stainless steel cookware set features a multi-layer base that gives it a fast, even heat distribution. It features a glass lid fitted with vented holes to make your cooking process painless. It's a 12-piece cookware set that is dishwasher safe, and you can also use it in your oven up to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It boasts a non-stick interior that prevents hot spots, so you don’t have to worry about food sticking to your pots, pans, or other utensils. Considering its features, the T-fal Copper Bottom C8366SC is reasonably priced.

Image Source: Amazon

How does this item compare to other stainless steel cookware sets?

One unique feature that sets the T-fal C8366SC apart from other cookware sets is the thermo-spot technology that indicates when the pan is perfectly preheated, saving you time and helping you with your cooking. The glass lid also makes it possible for you to watch what you're cooking, and the vented hole allows steam to escape, and so preventing it from boiling over.

What's not so good about it?

Some users have complained of the non-stick coating coming off easily, which leads to food sticking to the cookware. Another issue is that the cookware starts to discolor after a few uses. Some users have complained about the handles getting hot too easily, thereby reducing the overall comfort of using the cookware.

Pros:
  • Thermo-spot technology to alert you when the cookware is perfectly preheated
  • Glass lid allows you to watch your food while cooking
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Has a vent hole that reduces the chances of boiling over
Cons:
  • Some complaints about the handles getting hot easily
  • Cookware starts to lose its color after a few months of use
  • Some complaints of the non-stick coating coming off easily

4) Cooks Standard Multi-Ply

Key features
  • 10 piece cookware set
  • Secure-fitting lids
  • Air-Flow technology
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Oven safe to about 500 Fahrenheit

The Cooks Standard Multi-Ply stainless steel cookware set is an excellent option for a first-time kitchen, as it offers you ten different cookware pieces. The 18/10 stainless steel grade and its aluminum core make it a top quality product. It features secure-fitting lids that trap moisture and heat, thereby preserving the flavor of your food. The riveted handles are comfortable and cool, making it easy to handle the cookware. The cookware set is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, and it is also oven safe to 500 Fahrenheit. Although it is not the cheapest product you will find on the market, the features it offers make it an excellent deal at its price point.

Image Source: Amazon

How does this item compare to other stainless steel cookware sets?

The Cooks Standard Multi-Ply is one of the most comfortable stainless steel cookware sets you will find, as it boasts an air-flow technology that is characterized by an open V-shaped design on the handles. This technology keeps the handle cool and comfortable for easy handling. The aluminum core gives it an even heat distribution, thereby preventing hot spots, and the premium grade stainless steel makes it highly durable.

What's not so good about it?

One of the flaws of the Cooks Standard Multi-Ply is the fact that food sometimes sticks to the bottom of the cookware, which makes washing a bit tedious and reduces the overall user experience. Also, the lids are not transparent, so you cannot see through them during your cooking process. Also, it is only a 10-piece cookware set, which is less than what some cheaper cookware sets offer.

Pros:
  • Features an air-flow technology that improves the handling
  • Aluminum core gives it an even heat distribution
  • Can be washed using a dishwasher
  • Premium quality 18/10 stainless steel
Cons:
  • Food sometimes stick
  • Lids are not transparent, so you have to open them to check your cooking
  • Doesn't offer as many pieces as some less expensive cookware sets

5) All-Clad d5 available for $775 on Amazon

Key features
  • Broiler and oven safe to about 600 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Stainless steel lids
  • 18/10 grade stainless steel
  • 5-Ply construction

All-Clad is a manufacturing company popular for the production of various kitchen wares and utensils. The All-Clad d5 is one of their premium products that can be used on all cooktops. It features riveted stainless steel handles with contours that improve the grip, making handling painless. It is broiler and oven safe to about 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It also features a stainless steel lid and its premium grade 18/10 stainless steel make it a top choice for most users. The All-Clad d5 is quite pricey, so if you are looking for a budget cookware set, you need to look further than the All-Clad d5.

Image Source: Amazon

How does this item compare to other stainless steel cookware sets?

The 5-Ply construction is definitely one of the unique features of the All-Clad d5 cookware. It features alternating layers of aluminum and stainless steel, thereby allowing for an even heat distribution. It can be used on any cooktop, and the contoured handles make handling straightforward. Overall, this stainless steel cookware set offers many amazing features.

What's not so good about it?

This cookware set is pretty expensive, which is quite discouraging for many potential users. It has short handles made from stainless steel that get hot easily, making it difficult to carry the wares while you are cooking. Some users have complained of food sticking to the bottom of the cookware, thereby making washing a bit tedious. The stainless steel lids mean you have to open them before you see what you are cooking.

Pros:
  • 5-Ply construction gives it an even heat distribution
  • Premium 18/10 grade stainless steel
  • Can be used on any cooktop
  • Contoured handles give you a firm grip
Cons:
  • You have to open the stainless steel lids to see what you are cooking
  • Pricey
  • Washing can sometimes be frustrating
  • Short handles that get hot easily

In conclusion...

Stainless steel cookware sets have become integral parts of the kitchen today, which has led more and more homeowners to search for stainless steel cookware that will fit their everyday needs. Before making such a decision, like which cookware set to purchase, you need to consider your budget, the grade of steel, lids, handles, the core, and so on. Some find the whole process overly complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. The products reviewed here are excellent starting points for your search.