The 7 Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets For 2020
There is a lot to consider when asking what is the best stainless steel cookware for your home. It’s a big investment. And, looking for the top rated cookware on Amazon isn’t sufficient. It’s important to consider your needs, your kitchen, and your budget when making this decision.
In this post, we walk through everything you need to consider when looking for the best stainless steel cookware set. This includes reviews and tips for how to make the most of your new cookware. We include top stainless cookware sets from various brands and at various price points for every budget.
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The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets for 2020
We recommend using Amazon for all sorts of home cookware and appliances. This is for a few reasons. First, they have a wide variety of every type of product for your home.
Second, we try to recommend products that are part of Amazon Prime, which provides purchasers with free and often super-fast delivery. (Get 30 days of Prime free here.) Almost all of our recommended cookware sets are Amazon Prime products.
I include full reviews of our recommended best-rated stainless steel cookware below. But, if you are short on time, included in the table below are all of our recommendations for the best stainless cookware sets. This is helpful if you are short on time.
What To Consider When Researching Top-Rated Stainless Steel Cookware
There are a lot of things to consider when making a purchase like this. Purchasing stainless steel cookware requires you to consider the sizes, materials, and features of each of these cookware sets. Here are some of the features and considerations to take into account before purchasing the best set for your home.
Your budget is important. The best stainless steel pots and pans don’t have to break the bank. We include options at a variety of budgets. The important thing here is not to consider what are the cheapest cookware sets. It’s okay to work within your budget. You don’t need to purchase the most expensive one, but look for the best value at your price point, not the cheapest.
Consider your cooking surface. Some of our recommended sets are made for induction, gas, ceramic, glass, or electric cooktops. The most important thing is that if you have an induction stovetop, it’s important to ensure you purchase induction-ready cookware. This stainless steel will be magnetic to ensure it works on an induction surface.
Although we have some recommended sets below that work on an induction cooktop, see our reviews of the Best Induction-Ready Cookware Sets.
Consider what the pot lids are made of. Glass lids allow you to look inside and check the status of your cooking without lifting it. Metal lids don’t allow you to check the cooking progress, but they can handle higher levels of heat. This includes the ability to place the pot or pan in the oven.
Look for stay-cool handles and lids, which makes cooking that much easier and more enjoyable. Also look for secure rivets that attach the handles to the pots and pans for long-term use.
Dishwasher Safe Stainless Steel
Look for dishwasher-safe cookware or for brands that recommend how to properly clean the cookware to make sure they last a long time. One of the benefits of stainless steel is that when properly maintained they can require minimal cleaning to keep them looking polished for years.
Look for features that help make cooking easier. This can include fill lines or straining holes. Can you stack some of the pots and pans within each other for easy storage.
What Is The Best Cookware Material?
Cooking with stainless steel pans can offer a lot of benefits. But it is not the only cookware material out there. There are a lot of words thrown around with cookware and we think we might know what the words mean, but it can get confusing. Some of the most commonly used cookware materials include stainless steel, ceramic, and copper. You might also see words like Tri Ply or 18/10, so I explain what those are as well.
Some of the best professional cookware is made with stainless steel and there is a reason for that. Here’s a little science. Stainless steel is a metal alloy. It includes a mix of steel along with other metals including chromium, nickel, aluminum, carbon, or other additions. Chromium is one of the most important additions because it hardens the metal and makes it corrosion-resistant.
What Is Tri Ply Stainless Steel Cookware
Pure 100% stainless steel cookware has some disadvantages. Using pure stainless steel means that pots and pans can heat too fast. There is low heat retention. And, the cookware can develop heat spots when it heats too fast. This is why many cookware sets use something other than pure stainless steel in order to make the cookware more efficient. Many cookware sets include aluminum, copper, or both solves this issue.
As a result, 3 ply stainless steel cookware is one that includes a layer of aluminum and a layer of copper to increase efficiency. They can be sandwiched in between the stainless steel to improve heat conductivity. Tri ply cookware ensures even cooking across the surface.
What Is 18/10 Stainless Steel Cookware
Another type of cookware is called 18/10 stainless steel. This is stainless steel that contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel. The rest is “pure” stainless steel. This makes the stainless steel last longer, prevents the steel from rusting, and ensures it doesn’t develop stains.Check out Our Review Of The Best Omelette Pans
What Is Included In Typical Stainless Steel Cookware Sets
One of the most important decisions to make is how many pieces you need in your cookware set. This comes down to the pieces you think you will use the most. Most of our recommendations average around 10 pieces, although some are slightly bigger. Some of our recommendations have options to go up a size or down a size all within the same listing.
A typical, quality stainless steel cookware set includes a saute pan, a skillet, a saucepan, and stockpot. Most of these pots and pans come with a lid as well. Larger sets might include a second saucepan or a second skillet or omelette pan.
In the cookware reviews below, we include what pieces are included in the set. Also consider the size of each piece. Larger families will want more larger pots and pans whereas singles and couples might be happier with smaller pieces.
Professional Stainless Steel Cookware Pro Tip
Just remember that bigger isn’t always better. If you have a huge kitchen and plenty of space, then purchasing a larger set probably isn’t a big deal. But, don’t go for a 13 piece set or larger if you have a smaller kitchen. Always remember you need to have space to store each piece in a cookware set.
What Are The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Brands
Included below are our recommendations from some of the best cookware brands.
In the end, the best brand for stainless steel cookware really depends on your needs and your budget. That said, it is best not to go cheap or look for budget cookware. That’s fine when outfitting your very first apartment, but a quality cookware set is an investment.
Best Stainless Steel Cookware Reviews
Here are our top recommendations for good quality stainless steel cookware sets. We include what the cookware is made of, what is included in the set, and other details on their features.
Our goal is not to tell you one particular set is the overall best, although we do have a top pick. Instead, our goal is to tell you what you need to know to make a decision on which set is right for you, your cooking style, and your kitchen. To find out current pricing, just click the red button.
All Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Set
With over 40 years of experience, All-Clad has been a leader in manufacturing high quality cookware for both world class chefs and home cooks. Their 10-Piece All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Set is the ideal collection of pots and pans for family dinners and dinner parties.
The set is crafted with three alternating layers of American-made stainless-steel and aluminum. This allows heat to evenly distribute throughout the cooking surface. The set includes an 8-inch and 10-inch fry pans, 2-quart and 3-quart sauce pans with lids, a 3-quart sauté pan with lid, and an 8-quart stockpot with lid.
Each piece in the set is compatible with various cooktops, including induction. It is safe for use in ovens and broilers up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Each piece is dishwasher safe and comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. See more All Clad Cookware Reviews here.
OXO Stainless Steel Pot And Pan Set
For over 25 years, OXO has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality cookware and kitchenware. Their Good Grips 3-Ply Stainless Steel Pro line combines the durability of high quality stainless steel with the unmatched heat conductivity of aluminum. The 13 piece set includes 8 inch, 10 inch, and 12 inch fry pans, 1.5 quart and 2.5 quart saucepans with lids, a 9.5″ covered skillet, 3 quart covered casserole pot, and 8 quart covered stockpot. This set has everything you need.
Each piece in the cookware set is made from professional-grade materials to ensure high-quality cooking performance. Additional features include built-in measuring markings for quick and accurate filling, drip-free pouring edges, and stay cool, stainless steel handles.
Clear glass lids keep in moisture while making it easy to check on what’s cooking. The all-metal construction is ideal for all stovetops, including induction. Safe for both ovens and broilers up to 430 degrees Fahrenheit. The 3-Ply Stainless Steel Pro Cookware line is dishwasher safe for quick and easy cleanup. A lifetime warranty is also included.
- Dishwasher and oven safe
- Everything needed for the kitchen at a great value price
- Built-in measuring markings and spill-free pouring edges
Our Top Pick For Value!Check Pricing Here
Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Since 1989, Anolon Cookware has been using the latest technology and innovations to produce some of the world’s finest cookware. Their Nouvelle 10 Piece copper stainless steel set features 1-1/4-Quart and 2-1/2-Quart covered saucepans, 6-1/2-Quart covered stockpot, 8-Inch and 10-1/2-Inch french skillets, and a 3-Quart covered sauté.
These professional quality pieces are made from layered copper and stainless steel. Copper is sandwiched between dual layers of stainless steel at the base of each piece within the Anolon cookware sets. This provides optimal cooking temperatures while distributing heat evenly. Riveted stainless steel handles form long-lasting strength and a solid grip.
Oven and broiler safe, each piece can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideal for all types of cooktops, the domed stainless steel lids lock in moisture and heat. The entire set is dishwasher safe and come with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. See more Anolon cookware reviews here.
- Dishwasher safe
- Oven safe up to 500F
- Copper core for even heat distribution
T-fal Stainless Steel Cookware Set With Copper Bottom
An innovator in the non-stick cookware industry, T-fal has been developing high-performing and user-friendly cookware for over 60 years. Today, they continue to produce top of the line cookware including their 13 piece, Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Cookware Set. The set features 8 and 10.5 inch fry pans, a 12 inch fry pan with lid, 1 quart saucepan with lid, 2 quart saucepan with lid, 3 quart saucepan with lid, and a 5 quart dutch oven with lid and a stainless steel steamer.
Constructed using copper, 18/10 stainless steel, and aluminum typically found only in high quality stainless steel cookware, the T-fal 13 piece set is the perfect choice for any home cook at a great price. This combination of metal is ideal for ensuring faster heat-up times and even distribution of heat across the cooking surface. T-fal’s heavy gauge multi-layer base is constructed with copper and an encapsulated aluminum core. Riveted stainless steel handles are securely designed for maximum comfort. The tempered glass lids keep in heat and moisture while a vented hole that helps prevent boiling over.
Every piece in the set is dishwasher safe, oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. See more T fal Stainless Steel Cookware Reviews here.
- Dishwasher safe
- Oven safe up to 500
- Stainless steel, aluminum, and copper materials for even heat distribution
Viking Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Handcrafted in the USA for over 25 years, Viking Culinary produces NSF-certified cookware for both professionals and home cooks. Combining elegance and high-quality craftsmanship, Viking’s cookware provides unmatched cooking performance.
The Viking Professional 10 piece set includes 8 and 10 inch fry pans, 2 and 3 quart saucepans with lids, an 8 quart stockpot with lid, and a 3.4 quart sauté pan with lid. This 5 ply stainless steel cookware includes layering of 18/10 non-reactive polished stainless exterior and a three layer aluminum core. These metals allow for quick heating while maximize heat distribution throughout the cooking surface.
It is compatible with all cooktops including induction as well as ovens and grill tops up to 600°F. The polished stainless steel is easy to clean and maintain. Viking Professional 5-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware is dishwasher safe and includes a manufacturer’s limited-lifetime warranty.
- One of the top names in high-quality stainless steel cookware
- Dishwasher and oven safe
- 5 ply stainless steel cookware for even heat distribution
Calphalon Classic Stainless Cookware
Beginning in the early 1960s, Calphalon set out to produce the finest, most durable cookware to enhance the at-home cooking experience. Specializing in cookware to stand up to daily use, the Calphalon Stainless Cookware Setfeatures 8 inch and 10 inch frying pans, 1.5 quart and 2.5 quart sauce pans both with lids, a 3 quart saute pan with lid, and a 6 quart stock pot with lid.
Built in fill lines make measuring fast and easy while a built-in pour spout makes draining liquids simple. All the Calphalon stainless steel pots and pans included in the set are constructed from brushed stainless steel and feature an impact-bonded aluminum base. This base allows for faster, more even cooking. Long, ergonomic handles provide a safe and secure grip. With its stainless steel design, the handles stay cool even when the pan is hot.
Easy to use on any cooktop, the set is safe for both ovens and broilers and are dishwasher safe. A full lifetime warranty is included. See more Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel reviews here.
- Brushed stainless steel with aluminum base
- Dishwasher safe
- Oven and broiler safe
Tramontina Gourmet Prima Stainless Steel Cookware
The Tramontina company started manufacturing in Brazil in 1911, and currently assembles and packages their products in the U.S. The Tramontina Gourmet Prima Cookware line combines exceptional performance with durability and high-quality stainless steel.
This Tramontina Cookware set features three impact-bonded layers, consisting of 18/10 stainless steel, an aluminum core, and magnetic stainless steel. These layers provide exceptional conductivity while distributing heat quickly and evenly throughout the cooking surface. Thanks to this, the pieces in the Gourmet Prima set can be used on any cooktop including induction-ready cooktops. They also work in ovens and under a broiler up to 500F.
The 12 piece set includes an 8 inch and 10 inch fry pans, 5.5 quart covered deep sauté pan, 1.5 quart, 2 quart, and 3 quart covered saucepans, and an 8 quart covered sauce pot. A cast riveted handles ensure a firm grip while a flared edge makes for easy, dripless pouring. Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
- Dishwasher, oven, and broiler safe
- Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
- 18/10 stainless steel, an aluminum core, and magnetic stainless steel for even heat distribution
What Are The Benefits Of Stainless Steel Cookware
There are a lot of benefits of using stainless steel cookware. Stainless steel is versatile. This means you can purchase one cookware set for almost all of your cooking needs. It can be used for boiling, grilling, sauteing, frying, roasting, baking, steaming, and really any other cooking method you can think of. The one exception is – don’t place your stainless steel pan in the microwave! Stainless steel cookware sets are safe and durable and can be a great addition to your home.
Some of the benefits include:
- Stainless steel cookware doesn’t rust or corrode. You can even put a cooled pot or pan in the refrigerator to store food.
- The cookware doesn’t react to acidic foods meaning you can cook anything in a stainless steel pan set. Stainless steel does not give a metallic flavor to the food when it is cooked.
- A stainless steel pot set can withstand high heat cooking, which is one of the reasons why it is preferred by professional chefs. It also means that many of these stainless steel pots are oven safe as well.
- This type of cookware is stain resistant so the cookware looks nice in the long term.
Is Stainless Steel Cookware Safe?
Many home cooks are concerned with cooking with steel, chromium, nickel, and other heavy metals. I can understand this concern. In the end, the biggest question is, are stainless steel pans safe?
Every cookware set we recommend is non-toxic cookware. Non-toxic stainless steel cookware means that the cookware is tested to ensure that no heavy metals leach or seep into the food when it is cooked. This is one of the benefits of purchasing high-end stainless steel cookware. It’s not made with cheap materials.
Most stainless steel pans are safe to put in the oven. But before assuming your utensils are oven safe, please check the box or manual your cookware came in. Most cookware has a maximum temperature that it can safely handle. Additionally, while the pans themselves may be able to be placed in the oven, the lids may not be.
Stainless Steel Non Stick Cookware
Many times, people are drawn in by the idea of non-stick cookware. Most home cooks just don’t want their food to stick to their cookware. Who does? But, it’s important to understand what non-stick cookware means.
In the past, people often purchased Teflon cookware when looking for pots and pans that are non stick. There are a lot of controversies with Teflon, though. There are concerns that some of the chemicals from the Teflon coating leached into food.
Now, almost all non-stick stainless steel cookware doesn’t include Teflon, or includes a non-stick treatment that doesn’t cause chemicals to leach into the food. Just be careful when purchasing any cookware that is non-stick to ensure it doesn’t have Teflon.
How To Clean Stainless Steel Cookware
When it comes to cleaning stainless steel cookware, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for how to clean the set. Most of our recommended sets include dishwasher safe cookware. For 18/10 stainless steel it will not corrode when damp, so it is entirely dishwasher safe. I do still recommend hand washing all cookware. It’s an investment and worth the time.
Unlike copper cookware, it is not necessarily required to season your stainless steel pots and pans. That said, seasoning stainless steel cookware is not a bad idea. To season your set, clean it with soft soap and a soft rag. Dry the cookware thoroughly. Then coat the pot or pan in oil and heat it over high heat. After the pan is cooled, wipe away any excess oil with a dry rag or paper towel.
FAQs - Choosing The Best stainless Steel Cookware
If trying to make the most of your stainless steel set, be sure to cook at a low temperature. Don’t forget to pre-heat the pan before starting to cook. Add oil after the pan completes the pre-heating process.
Yes, food can stick to stainless steel pots and pans. But, if you properly season your pans, you can greatly reduce the chance of food sticking to the surface.
Be sure to properly season the pan before using it the first time. Don’t use abrasive cleaners on the cookware set. And be sure to always towel dry the pots immediately after cleaning.
Although some cookware sets are non-stick, stainless steel can be difficult to clean. It’s important to pay attention to the manufacturer’s suggestions for how to keep the cookware clean.
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Reviews Of The Best Stainless Cookware Sets
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In the mean time, check out these related posts on how to cook better at home: