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There’s a certain amount of technique and skill required for cooking, but having the proper kitchen gadgets is also essential. Investing in a quality cookware set is one of the best ways to ensure you’re ready to rustle up delicious meals at any time.
If you’re moving, a cookware set is an ideal way to celebrate a new kitchen. Equally, if you’re just looking to upgrade your current cooking zone, a new cookware set is a great way to feel fresh.
Aside from the retail therapy buzz which comes with a new cookware set, there are a few other benefits to support the investment. Here are a few of them:
- Uniformity – Buying individual pots and pans can mean having a huge range of different color tones, handle coverings, heat coatings and shapes among your cookware. Alternatively, a set of cookware will match in style, will be intended for use together, is often stackable and is consistent in quality, too.
- Cost-Effective – We wouldn’t say investing in a cookware set is quite like bulk buying, but the same logic can apply. Opting to go all out on the cookware you need at once rather than buying individually will bring you savings, too. You’ll see certain sets are available as individual items at set prices or with all the possible pots and pans included at a lower price.
- Warranty – When shopping for an individual piece of cookware, you’re unlikely to hold onto the receipt, the warranty or any information which might be useful in the future. However, when you commit to a better kitchen by purchasing a cookware set, you’re likely to take the equipment a little more seriously, and the larger investment is more likely to come with a better warranty and better support from the brand, too.
Cookware Set FAQs
- Is one material better than the other? Short answer: no. It all depends on your preferences. Nonstick aluminum is light and ensures even heat distribution, strong heat retention and durability to last through thousands of cooks. It’s also usually dishwasher safe. Nonstick ceramic, while heavier and far less common, has many of the same properties of nonstick aluminum and is considered more eco-friendly. Cast iron is, of course, very heavy, and requires far more care than the others, but it’s virtually indestructible and many home cooks absolutely swear by it. Copper has exceptional heat conductivity and is arguably the most attractive if you’re displaying your cookware. Carbon steel is a hybrid of cast iron and stainless steel, and has the advantage of being able to withstand high heat in the oven while being lightweight, nonstick, and resistant to rust and corrosion.
- What does BPA-free mean? BPA stands for bisphenol A, which is an industrial chemical used to make some plastics and resins, like the epoxy resins used to coat the inside of some metal products. The concern about BPA in cookware is the possibility of it seeping from cooking surfaces into food, and causing harm primarily to children. Cookware labeled BPA-free removes that concern.
- How much should I spend? There are a select few items on which you should absolutely dish out the max you can afford, with the aim being buy it once, buy it right, keep it forever. Cookware definitely falls in that category. While nothing is worth going into hock for, a great high-end cookware set is the kind of thing that lasts a lifetime and even gets passed down from parents to their adult children.
Regardless of which one you choose, there’s an option below that is bound to be ideal for your kitchen. Take a look at our picks to help you become the next top chef — or at least help you make sure your meals are as good as possible.
1. GreenLife Cookware 16-Piece Set
As one of the most popular sets of cooking equipment available on Amazon, the GreenLife Cookware Set is a modestly priced, good-quality investment. This 16-piece set includes everything you need to get cooking, along with some more task-specific designs, such as a mini frying pan, ideal for singular fried eggs, and a 5-quart stock pot with a lid. You can select from a wide variety of vibrant colors for the exterior surfaces and handles to ensure the set compliments your kitchen, too.
2. LEGENDARY-YES 18-Piece Cookware Set
The LEGENDARY-YES 18-Piece Cookware Set provides a lot of cooking equipment for relatively little money. A good range of pots and pans are included in this set, along with six utensils to ensure you have everything you need for rustling up some delicious meals. The main exteriors of the pots and pans are colored in a stylish red highlighted by silver rims, which compliments the dark interiors. The lids, which come with certain pans, are see-through and made of tempered glass to ensure safety and a clear view while cooking.
3. Amazon Basics 8-Piece Cookware Set
Amazon understands the need for quality cookware set in every home and has produced their Amazon Basics 15-Piece Cookware Set at just over $50.00 to make sure it’s an affordable option for all. It’s also available as an even more affordable eight-piece set. All pieces of cookware included in the set are made with BPA-free materials and have aluminum bodies covered with nonstick coating. However, they’re not dishwasher safe.
4. HexClad Hybrid Seven-Piece Cookware Set
BEST PATENTED DESIGN
What’s great about HexClad’s seven-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 conduction and retention thanks to a laser-etched coating process that helps bolster its stainless steel and nonstick construction. The set comes with three different-sized nonstick pans, a 12-inch wok and lids for each.
5. Starfrit The Rock 10-Piece Cookware Set
BEST FOR BEGINNERS
Made with a special coating that not only provides nonstick ability but actively protects against wear, scratch, and corrosion resistance, this eight-piece cookware set from Starfrit is a great set for home cooks just starting out. Perfect for college students, new renters, or even aspiring cooks, this eight-piece set has pretty much everything you need to get going, including pots, nonstick pans and a stockpot. And the price is under $140, making it approachable for the chef on a budget.
6. Nutrichef Cookware Set
BEST HANDLE DESIGN
The Nutrichef Cookware Set is made from non-toxic, eco-friendly and nonstick ceramic. This set is available in a range of classic kitchen tones, such as red, blue and gray, and it features a honeycomb-like print on the exterior surface. The handles of each pot and pan are covered in black silicone to ensure a safe and firm grip. A 10-year warranty is also included, so you can cook with peace of mind.
7. 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, 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.
8. Rachael Ray 12-Piece Cookware Set
BEST COLOR VARIETY
The Rachael Ray 12-Piece Cookware Set includes a variety of color-coordinated pots, pans and utensils. All of the pots and pans are nonstick and have great heat conduction, so a little oil goes a long way. A nylon spatula and serving spoon are included, as these are best suited for cooking with nonstick equipment. Silicone and wooden utensils are also fine, but it’s best to avoid metal tools, which may scratch the surfaces.
9. GreenPan Five-Piece Cookware Set
Less is more with the GreenPan Five-Piece Cookware Set. Although this is one of the smallest sets in our round-up, it’s definitely the most stylish and is sure to impress dinner guests. Both of the saucepans come with clear lids, so you can see what’s cooking. All three pieces of equipment showcase the gorgeous black-and-brass design. They’re also highly versatile and can even be put in the oven. Plus, they’re dishwasher safe, too!
10. Anolon 12-Piece Cookware Set
BEST FOR FAMILIES
Anolon’s impressive 12-piece cookware set includes everything you’ll need to cook wonderful meals, including three different saucepans, a covered stockpot, two skillets and a saute pan. That sounds like a lot of cookware to keep up with, but luckily the brand has designed some of the pieces to naturally fit into one another for easy stacking. The stainless steel coated handles ensure a firm grip, while the nonstick coating both on the interior and exterior of each pot makes for an easy clean-up.
11. Home Hero 23-Piece Cookware Set
The Home Hero 23-Piece Cookware Set has got it all covered. All 23 pieces in the set are dishwasher safe and styled with a glowing copper interior and cool grey exteriors. The included lids are see-through to allow for a clear view when cooking, and all the pieces are also oven safe, except for the small egg pan. When we say this set has it all, we mean it. It even includes three pan protectors, two cleaning sponges and two scrapers to help keep your new cookware set in prime condition.
12. Cuisinart GreenGourmet 12-Piece Cookware Set
MOST TRUSTED BRAND
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.
13. T-fal 17-Piece Cookware Set
BEST HEAT INDICATOR
With a whopping 17 pieces included, the T-fal Cookware Set is one of the largest on our list. A range of pots and pans come with the set, along with a steamer insert, a square griddle and a cute “One-Egg-Wonder” frying pan. All the pieces are made from reinforced titanium which makes them highly durable and nonstick. They also feature T-fal’s famous central heat indicator which glows red once the pan is heated and ready for cooking.
14. 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.
15. OXO Good Grips 12-Piece Cookware Set
BEST FOR CHRISTMAS
You can really get to grips with good cooking with the OXO Good Grips 12-Piece Cookware Set in your kitchen armory. The well-loved cooking brand has created this top-quality, attractive set of cookware to ensure all the most popular cooking methods are covered, especially for making gravy. Each of the pans and pots is coated with a non-stick material, so minimal oil is required for cooking and minimal time is required for clean up. These stackable pieces of equipment are both oven and dishwasher-safe, too.
16. GreenPan 11-Piece Cookware Set
Don’t let space hold you back from owning your dream cookware set. The GreenPan 11-Piece Cookware Set is ingeniously designed to stack into one neatly piled tower with all of the pots, pans and lids included. Each piece features a diamond-infused Thermolon Mineral Pro ceramic coating, which makes them extremely durable, high quality and non-stick. They’re also safe to use in the oven. All of the handles also feature a hole for hanging, in case your kitchen is set up for overhead storage rather than stacking.
17. Five Two Essential 11-Piece Cookware Set
BEST ESSENTIAL SET
Five Two Essentials is the best provider of quality, no-frills premium products for the kitchen, and their 11-Piece Cookware Set is no exception. These super sturdy, reliable and well-made kitchen tools are dishwasher safe but shouldn’t be stacked. Their minimalistic metallic and glass design makes them an easy addition to any style of kitchen. The set is also available in six pieces if that’s better suited to your space.
18. All-Clad Essentials 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.
19. De Buyer 8-Piece Cookware Set
Copper is highly conductive and also extremely beautiful. If you’re planning to showcase your new cookware set on hooks or shelves in your kitchen, then you should seriously consider the De Buyer 8-Piece Cookware Set. The gorgeous set of eight pieces includes two saucepans, three frying pans, two saute pans and a stock pot. You’re sure to induce kitchen envy with this cookware set. Or, if you’re feeling generous, this makes an incredible wedding gift, too.
20. STAUB Stackable 4-Piece Set
BEST OVEN SET
It’s hard to get much more elegant than this gorgeous stackable STAUB 4-piece set, that includes a grill pan, braiser, cocotte, and a lid. Whether using it on the grill, on the stovetop, or inside the oven, it’s ready, and does not need to be pre-seasoned. Go wild with these pots, they’ll last for decades.
21. The Pioneer Woman 25-Piece Ceramic Nonstick Aluminum Easy Clean Cookware Set
BEST SERIES TIE-IN
We love watching The Pioneer Woman series, and now we can pretend we are her in our very own kitchen with this massive cookware set. Each piece is made of a durable aluminum body and a nonstick coating. The set includes two saucepans, a sauté pan with lid, a 5-quart Dutch oven with lid, 2 skillets, an egg pan, acacia wood turner and wood ladle, stainless steel mixing bowls in nesting sizes, stainless steel measuring cups set and a stainless steel measuring spoons set. It’ll include everything you need for an epic dinner party.
22. Gotham Steel 20-Piece Aluminum Dishwasher Safe Non-Stick Cookware Set
This is as durable as cookware gets, and it comes in a set large enough to handle everything from baking to sautéing and deep-frying. Whatever you need to do in the kitchen, this set can handle it, and when you are done, just throw everything in the dishwasher.
23. Viking 3-Ply 11 Piece Matte Black with Copper Handles Cookware Set
BEST MATTE BLACK
This gorgeous 11-piece cookware essentials set feels like it is coming from a professional restaurant kitchen, with vented glass lids, matte black finishes and elegant copper handles. But despite how high-end and luxurious it looks, it’s very user-friendly thanks to being dishwasher safe and oven safe.
24. Le Creuset 16-Piece Cookware Set (Marseille)
BEST HERITAGE BRAND
Le Creuset is among the most legendary of cookware brands for a reason, and if you really want to impressively outfit a kitchen, this is a very worthwhile splurge. This set includes the classic Dutch Oven, as well as skillets, saucepans, and so much. You’ll feel like a fancy French chef in no time.