Sure, there’s a certain amount of technique and skill that goes into cooking food. But if you don’t have the proper tools, cooking becomes a lot more difficult. Buying individual pots and pans is certainly a cheaper way to ensure your kitchen is properly equipped, but there’s something to be said for just getting one big group of pots and pans and calling it a day, which is where cookware sets come into play.
While they often come in different sizes, the idea behind a cookware set is to provide as many different (and useful!) tools in one set. The majority of cookware sets are crafted out of nonstick aluminum to ensure an even heat distribution, strong heat retention, are dish-washer safe, and durable enough to last through thousands of cooks. Oh, and some sets are even stackable to help save on space.
Regardless of which one you choose, there’s an option out of our eight selections that are bound to be perfect for your use. Take a look at our picks below to help you become the next top chef — or at least help you make sure your meals are as good as possible.
1. Anolon SmartSatck 10-Piece Cookware Set
Anolon’s impressive 10-piece cookware set includes everything you’ll need to cook wonderful meals, including two different saucepans, a covered stockpot, three skillets and a stainless steel steamer. That sounds like a lot of cookware to keep up with, but luckily the brand has designed each piece of the set to naturally fit into one another for easy stacking. The interlocking handles not only help protect the nonstick functionality of each piece but make it easy to fit into whatever space you may have in your kitchen.
2. Our Place Always Pan Cookware Set
You may look at this Always Pan from Our Place and wonder why it’s just one piece. Don’t worry. Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, but rather, the Always Pan has been designed to be an all-in-one replacement for your frying pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, and even a spoon rest. The deep setting allows you to use it as a saucepan, the handle allows for skillet use, and the included steam-basket heats things up quickly, and so on. For those looking to really save on space and get one tool and call it done, this is for you. In fact, we love this pan so much we added it to our Christmas gift list!
3. HexClad Hybrid 7-Piece Cookware Set
What’s great about HexClad’s 7-piece cookware set is that while it looks a lot like your standard cookware, it actually has more in common with cast iron than your standard stainless steel. The resulting set has superior heat retention and distribution thanks to a laser-etched coating process that helps bolster its stainless steel and nonstick construction. The set comes with three different-sized pans, a 12-inch wok and lids for each.
4. Cuisinart GreenGourmet 12-Piece Cookware Set
Cuisinart is one of those classic cookware brands that you can absolutely trust. Their 12-piece, anodized-aluminum cookware set is no exception, as it’s full of smart features to ensure you can cook your best. The nonstick coating helps to better retain heat thanks to its improved conductivity, which means you’ll use less energy, heating it over the course of your meal. Oven safe to 400 degrees, the set includes a skillet, a covered fry pan, a covered small saucepan, a large covered saucepan, an everyday pan, a dutch oven and a steamer insert.
5. Starfrit The Rock 8-Piece Cookware Set
Made with a special coating that not only provides nonstick ability but actively protects against wear, scratch, and corrosion resistance, this 8-piece cookware set from Starfrit is a great set for those cooks just starting out. Perfect for college students, new renters, or even aspiring cooks, this 8-piece set has pretty much everything you need to get going, including pots, pans and a stockpot. And the price is under $120, making it approachable for the chef on a budget.
6. Ninja Foodi NeverStick 12-Piece Cookware Set
Ninja’s Foodi NeverStick has a lot to live up to, given the fact it has “never stick” in its actual name. But the brand is keen on making sure they’ve put their money where their mouth is, crafting a superior product. Ninja’s process involves making a durable shot-blasted, hard-anodized exterior that functions like stainless steel, down to the excellent heat retention and scratch-resistance. Oven safe up to 500 degrees, the full set comes with a few different sized frying pans, saucepans and a stockpot.
7. All-Clad Essentials Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
With easily stackable pans, ergonomic handles for comfort, full stovetop range compatibility, this 10-piece cookware set is a great upgrade for those who are willing to invest a little more upfront. The impressive 10-piece set includes an anodized, stackable set of pans crafted from aluminum for the best results. With an 8.5 and 10.5-inch frying pan, a 4-quart saute pan, a 2.5-quart saucepan, a 7-quart stockpot and a 13-inch square pan; there’s more than enough here to help you tackle any kitchen project.
8. Calphalon Premier Space Saving Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
Easily stackable, this cookware set from kitchen stalwart Calphalon is great for those who don’t have much storage but don’t want to forgo a good cooking experience. The 10-piece set includes two frying pans, three saucepans and a stockpot to help further improve your cooking. And with a lifetime limited warranty, you’ll be set to cook for a long, long time.