Best Cookware Set

More often than not, many of us find ourselves buying one or two pieces of cookware at a time. Typically, this is all you need to once again complete the arsenal of tools you have at your disposal while in the kitchen. However, there will come a time where so many pots and pans need replacing that buying your cookware separately won’t only have you paying a premium, but will likely have you spending a whole lot of time picking out your new equipment. In this review and buyer’s guide, we’ll find out what separates a good cookware set from a bad one, giving you examples along the way of excellent products.

Best Cookware Set
15 mins to read
28 products considered
15 products reviewed
24 hours reviewing

1. Cuisinart

Best Overall Cookware Set

5/5 Product Rating
When it comes to cookware sets, the Multiclad Pro is about as heavy-duty as it gets. Upon first looking at the set in question (you can see a picture of it at its Amazon page by clicking its name above), the first thing you might notice is that there’s one of everything. While some cookware sets will give you a variety of pans with a pot or two thrown in the mix, or vice-versa, the Multiclad Pro truly gives you everything you need to undertake any culinary adventure. Through the inclusion of two frying pans, a sautéing pan, two one-handled pots, a strainer/steamer and a large stew pot, you won’t find yourself in need of any new cookware for quite some time, no matter what future meal plans may be headed your way. Of course, this is a great thing to see in a cookware set.

As great as the above list of included pieces already sounds, you’ll find the set to be most beneficial if this is your first set to speak of. This is because it covers all of the basics (and then some), turning a brand new kitchen into an extension of your home. As such, those in the process of moving out on their own for the first time would do well by this set. However, being so heavy-duty and so high-end when compared to all other cookware sets currently available on the market, it goes without saying that you can expect to pay a bit of a premium for this set. This being the case, it helps to know just what type of cook you are (or plan on becoming) before going into the purchase. If you have a very extensive taste for different foods and enjoy putting time into making a variety of different meals, the Multiclad Pro is definitely the cookware set for you.

Sarah Lytle

2. Simply Calphalon

Best Overall Cookware Set – Runner Up

4.7/5 Product Rating
As great as the above product may sound, it comes with a major issue – a lack of non-stick surfaces. Although this can actually be a good thing (we’ll get more into this in the buyer’s guide below), there’s no denying that a good set of non-stick cookware can make life a whole lot easier through reducing the amount of time you spend cleaning your cookware, as well as leaving you less likely to burn your food and having it stick to the pot or pan on which it sits. If this sounds like the type of cookware set for you, you might consider going with the Simply Calphalon instead. It comes with much of the same types of cookware as the above set, though without the steamer. Despite missing a single piece; however, you’ll be able to acquire the set for eighty dollars less, making it one of the more frugal options at your disposal.

As far as non-stick cookware sets go, it just doesn’t get a whole lot better than the Simply Calphalon. Perhaps its best feature is the high level of durability which can be found on its non-stick surfaces. With a whole lot of non-stick pots and pans, you’ll eventually find that black flakes start coming off of the surface, which is obviously not ideal. The Simply Calphalon; however, doesn’t exhibit this problem. While I might not recommend using metal cutlery against its surface, it still proves to be one of the more durable products of its type. Its high level of durability coupled with its extremely low price ensures you’re getting a great bang for your buck as well. Lastly, because it brings its price down so low merely by doing away with a steamer, you can be sure you’re still getting a great quality cookware set despite paying a relatively low price.

Sarah Lytle

3. T-fal E918SC

Best Budget Cookware Set

4.5/5 Product Rating
Even though the above product ends up being very frugal in the long run, it can sometimes be hard to justify spending up to over one hundred dollars on some cookware. If this is the case, your best option is easily the T-fal E918SC. Once again, all of the pieces in this cookware set are coated with a non-stick material, which can be great if you prefer such cookware. It also actually comes with two more pieces than the last cookware set we covered, despite coming at roughly half the price.

So, what’s the catch? Unfortunately, you may find the T-fal E918SC to be little less durable. While you may be able to preserve the set for quite some time if you mean to do so, you’ll need to be very careful about which cooking utensils you subject the surface of the pots and pans to. This is true of cleaning them as well; you’ll certainly need to be gentle about it. However, compared to others within the same price range, it just doesn’t get any better than the T-fal E918SC.

Sarah Lytle

Cookware Set Comparison


Cuisinart Multiclad Pro
View

Simply Calphalon Nonstick
View

T-fal E918SC
View

Cook N Home
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T-fal A821SA
View

Cook N Home NC-00359
View

T-fal D913SC
View

Rachael Ray Cucina
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Heim Concept
View

Rachael Ray
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ColorChromeGrayGrayBlack
/ Green
/ Red
Charcoal
/ Red
Red
/ Green
GrayAgave Blue
/ Cranberry Red
/ Mushroom Brown
/ Pumpkin
Orange
ChromeRed
/ Orange
No of Pieces12101210101012121214
Heat Resistance5500 F4000 F3500 F3500 F3500 F3500 F3500 F4000 F3500 F3500 F
No of Plys3332323323
MaterialStainless
Steel
Hard-anodized
aluminum
Hard-anodized

aluminum

Hard-anodized

aluminum

Hard-anodized

aluminum

Hard-anodized

aluminum

Hard-anodized

aluminum

Hard-anodized

aluminum

Stainless

Steel

Hard-anodized

aluminum

Warranty1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 YearLimited
LifeTime
1 YearLimited
LifeTime

 

Cookware Set Buying Guide

Cookware Set Reviews

What is a Cookware Set?

The above models, while of an extremely high quality, are but three of the hundreds of different lines of cookware sets currently available on the market. As such, it’s understandable why you might want to look around some more before settling on any given product. When doing so, try keeping the below buyer’s guide in mind so as to ensure you walk away with the best product.

What will you be cooking?

Cookware Set1If your body’s weight consists of water and Kraft Dinner at an even ratio and you plan on keeping it that way, it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to purchase a cookware set which comes with a steamer or other high-end pieces. Remember, you can always add on more individual pieces later as you need them, though, once you’ve already paid for a set, there’s usually no going back. On the other hand, if you know you’ll be using every piece of cookware at your disposal, getting a larger set may end up saving you money in the long run through lowering the amount of individual pieces you buy later on down the road, being that these pieces typically cost more in the end.

How will you be cleaning your pans?

One would think that a piece of equipment which can endure scorching temperatures for long amount of time could handle a dishwasher. While this may seem like the logical conclusion to come to, this is not always the case. When using a dishwasher, you’re resting the surface of your pan on prongs. As such, it’s important to check to see if the cookware set you have your sights set on comes with scratch-resistant pieces if you plan on using them in the dishwasher. Otherwise, scratch resistance won’t be necessary, though it may certainly still come in handy. The choice is ultimately yours.

Types of Cookware Surface Materials

There are a variety of different materials which a piece of cookware’s surface can be made out of, all of which fall into one of two categories – regular and non-stick. While it can be easy to assume that non-stick is your best bet due to its newer stature, this is not always the case. Take a look at the categories below and decide which type of surface material is most suited toward your cooking style.

  • Non-Stick Pans – As the name suggests, food doesn’t often stick to these pans. This characteristic carries with it several benefits. For example, if you’re new to cooking and sometimes find the outside of your food gets seared more than you’d like, the use of a non-stick pan will greatly reduce this occurrence. As such, those new to cooking will likely be able to come out with better dishes through the use of these pans. Non-stick pans are also much easier to clean, being that any food particles left on them will often slip right off. In terms of convenience, it just doesn’t get any better than non-stick pans.
  • Regular Pans – If you’re a beginner cook, your food might not always come out looking as nice when using regular pans. For the advanced cook; however, this is far from the case. Once you’ve come to understand temperature control and how it determines the searing that takes place on the outside of foods, regular pans will give you a huge deal of control, allowing you to choose how soggy or crispy any given piece of food may get. Regular pans are also more likely to stick around for some time. Of course, steel is a lot tougher than a soft coating of a non-stick material. However, you may find these pans much harder to clean. Depending on what food you cook and at what temperature you cook it, you may find these pans get so messy that you may have to use a chisel while cleaning them.

Common Features

I can’t tell you which of the above two features is right for you. However, I can point you in the direction of certain features which are always great to see in a cookware set. Keep an eye out for them when shopping to ensure you get the best product possible.

    Cookware Set2

  • A Good Piece Ratio – When buying a cookware set, you really want your pieces to come in a good ratio. For example, you wouldn’t want to have more steamers than pans (although this may be an extreme an unrealistic example). Because frying pans and one-handled pots (or saucepans) are used much more often than stew pots and steamers, it only makes sense to have more of one than the other.
  • Scratch Resistance – As previously stated. Scratch-resistant pans are only mandatory in certain situations. However, they’re always nice to have around. Not only are they convenient, they will likely pay for themselves in the end through their high life expectancy.

Conclusion

By now, you should know exactly what you need in your next cookware set. Through keeping all of the above tips in mind, you’ll be sure to complete your kitchen once and for all with ease. Remember, because everyone’s cooking habits vary greatly, it’s important to get the best set for you.

Resources

  1. http://www.cuisinart.ca/cuisinart_product.php?item_id=403
  2. http://www.calphalon.com/en-US/simply-calphalon-nonstick-10-piece-cookware-set-ca-sa10h
  3. http://www.ebay.com/itm/T-fal-E918SC-Ultimate-Hard-Anodized-Durable-Nonstick-Expert-Interior-Thermo-Spot-/261621210604