Best New General Use Cookware Sets
Our Best Cookware Sets Comparison Chart[table id=4 responsive=scroll/]
Cooking was once seen as a chore that was part of our daily lives. Though all of us love to eat great food it is only in recent years that the real joy of cooking has touched so many of us. Cooking is an art that really does take some time to master. We have all watched a cooking show on TV and seen the chef effortlessly cook some truly mouthwatering dish in as little as 30 minutes and dreamt of doing the same thing.
The simple fact is that most of us can. With a little time and effort, all of us can be cooking delicious meals that don’t just have to be for a special occasion but instead a regular meal every day of the week.
Cooking doesn’t just give you the pleasure of eating restaurant quality food at home, it also saves you lots of time and money as well. Yes, that’s right, time. Though it might take a little extra time to prepare, cook then wash your dishes, the entire process more often than not takes a lot less time than getting to your local restaurant and back. The main reservation most people have about cooking is about having to clean up all those dishes afterward, especially all those burned pots and pans.
The great news is that by getting yourself a good quality cookware set, you can say goodbye to all those burned meals and those hard to clean pots and pans. No matter what your cooking abilities, a good set of cookware will change your life and make cooking the real joy that it should be.
This guide will reveal just which are the top cookware sets that top chefs recommend for home use.
How Do I Choose The Best Cookware?
Most of us have at some time bought a new pot or pan that promised the earth only to find that it was a piece of junk. That awful smell of burned food followed by the realization that you have just ruined another meal and will have to order takeout is one that is familiar to most of us.
Finding a good quality cookware set can really help to prevent cooking disasters and make your life much easier all round. Unfortunately, it can be a lottery trying to find the best cookware as it is really quite a bit of trial and error. To help you find the best set for your home, there are a few things that you should look out for.
Though price and brand are often a sign of quality this is not always the case. We recommend that you do your research on whatever cookware product you intend to buy regardless of the price and brand. That said there are several important factors that price does bring into the equation.
Firstly, it is important to set yourself a price limit for your new cookware set. Cookware can be quite pricey, which is something that might influence your decision, especially if you are on a tight budget. We recommend spending a moment to come up with a reasonable budget before beginning to shop for cookware products. This budget should factor in how much you intend to use the set if money is an object. If you are on a tighter budget, there is no point in spending huge amounts of money to get the best set when you are not going to use it that often.
Price will also give you some idea of the cookware’s overall quality as it does with so many other things. The important aspect with higher priced cookware is that this will usually represent better construction materials and to an extent better design.
Materials and construction
You can’t have great cookware without having good materials. It’s as simple as that. Poor quality materials not only cause pots and pans to warp and bend with high heats but will also lead to food being burned much more easily. You’d be amazed how much a piece of cookware that has been made out of good quality materials will actually help to make cooking easier by distributing the heat more evenly and by also providing much more steady heat to your food.
Metals such as aluminum and stainless steel are the main materials used in cookware though other materials are used to coat frying pans to make them nonstick. The thickness of these layers is important as a thin pan will heat up faster causing food to burn and stick much more quickly than a thicker one for example. Thin pans will also not retain heat as well leading to food going colder more quickly.
As we have just seen there is a lot more to good cookware than you might think. Many modern materials allow better distribution of heat and therefore a much better all-around cooking experience.
While material and its thickness make up a large part of how effective cookware can be, there is also a surprising number of other things that affect performance.
Many modern pieces of cookware are actually multi-layered meaning that they are much more effective at distributing heat than single layered ones. Some also offering features such as being magnetic and therefore stick to your hobs as part of a safer design.
Some designs come with a thermal spot feature that glows red when the pan has reached a certain temperature. This is designed to let the user know when the pan is the right temperature for foods like pancakes that only need a short exposure to heat at a certain temperature when they are cooked.
Stick vs. NonStick – Frying Pans
To prevent food from sticking and to cut down on the amount of oil you need to add to the pan to prevent this from happening, many frying pans come with a non-stick coating that is usually made from Teflon. Though chefs avoid nonstick coated pans, this is not because they are not effective but rather because of the constant high temperatures that they work with day in day out and the fact that Teflon pans are not as durable.
Non-stick pans are a godsend for most cooks and for the person who does the dishes. They are really effective at reducing the chance food will stick and therefore burn. They are easy to clean and don’t require you to use much oil.
Handle design is really important. Wherever possible a handle should be designed in such a way as to insulate your hands from the heat. This usually takes the form of a heat proof plastic that is molded to it or metal designs that are either detachable or try to limit the heat transferred to where you hold it.
Finally, when buying a cookware set, you should take the time to investigate what additional items come with it. All good sets should come with covers for the pots and other extras like user manuals and cooking utensils like spatulas.
T-fal E765SC Cookware Set
This is the cookware that does it all. Available in a 12 piece, a 14 piece and a whopping 17 piece set this has everything you could ever need to make a delicious meal. All of the sets feature at least 2 different sized frying pans and 4 different sized pots. The larger sets have even more and a few great extras like the square griddle for example.
The set is also available in 2 different materials to suit your preference. The hard anodized titanium nonstick set will ensure that food won’t stick to your pans when it gets hot. Unfortunately, this material is not as long lasting as it is not suitable for many detergents and also reacts with more acidic foods. To combat this, T-Fal has produced this set from stainless steel and copper which will last until the end of time, though won’t prevent food from sticking to it nearly as well.
The pans feature a thermo-spot heat Indicator to let you know when they are at a certain temperature so you can start cooking at the right time. Each piece has riveted silicone handles for extra safety and comfort. They come with a TechnoResist anti-warp base meaning that you will never have to worry about them getting damaged either.
We would definitely recommend trying out the hard anodized titanium nonstick set provided that you don’t expect it to last forever. No matter which of the 3 sets you choose, you will have a durable and reliable set of cookware that will offer you the best cooking experience and least hassle from things like burned food and washing up.
- Hard Titanium nonstick interior for the ultimate and longest lasting performance
- Riveted silicone handles for safety and comfort
- Hard anodized aluminum construction for durability
- Unique Thermo-Spot heat indicator for proper preheating
- TechnoResist Anti-warp Base
- Oven safe to 400F
- Lifetime Limited Warranty
- No lids for skillets
- Bottom will discolor with use
Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
This cookware is available in both a 7 and a 12 piece set. The 7 piece set features 3 pots and 1 pan, while the 12 piece set has 5 pots and 2 pans. The Tri-Ply design utilizes 2 layers of aluminum that are coated around a steel core. This provides a really great level of heat conductivity and an effective nonstick capacity too.
This set is an excellent choice for all of you who are going to do some pretty intense cooking since it is extremely durable and won’t warp or bend. The polished cooking surface won’t discolor or react with certain ingredients either so your pots and pans will stay looking great.
This construction also means that this set is certified as being oven safe up to 550F, which means they can withstand a lot more heat than other cookware like the T-Fal set.
The cookware safe grip handles are made from stainless steel as part of a Triple-Ply construction to help reduce the amount of heat in the handles. This system is quite effective though not as effective as silicon or a temperature resistant plastic coating.
The entire set is dishwasher proof and though more than double the price of the T-Fal set, it will last as long as you need it to.
- The polished cooking surface does not discolor
- Cool grip handles secured with stainless steel rivets and self-basting, tight fitting lids
- Oven safe up to 550F
- Rims are tapered for drip-free pouring
- Dishwasher safe
- In the higher price bracket
- Not nonstick
Rachael Ray Hard Anodized II Nonstick Dishwasher Safe 10-Piece Cookware Set
This mid-range cookware set is available in 10, 12 and 14 pieces. Its superb design and recognizable color coordinated brown rubber handles have made this set a bit of a TV celebrity in the last few years after having made an appearance on several cooking shows.
In fact, the handles are what make this set unique. They are double riveted so that you can lock them onto the pot or pan top while cooking. This really helps to reduce mess as you don’t need to put them down on a top when you need to do something else.
The pots and pans are made from a hard-anodized construction and have been designed to help to reduce hotspots that lead to food burning, something that is reduced further by them being nonstick too. The lids are made from tempered glass, so you don’t need to keep opening them to check on your food, something which helps to retain heat to help the food cook.
- Dishwasher safe
- Long-lasting nonstick interior lets food slide off with ease and makes cleanup quick and easy
- Grippy handles
- Oven safe to 350 degrees F
- Tempered glass lids
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Oven proof up to 350 degrees F so not suitable for some oven cooking
Circulon Infinite Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
If you find yourself cooking on both electric and gas stoves and using the oven at high temperatures then this might just be the cookware you are looking for. Its 10 piece set is made of hard-anodized aluminum with a stainless steel base. This design gives it an excellent level of heat absorption while resisting long-term heat stains that result from exposure to naked flames.
All the pans are coated with a nonstick material so they help to make cooking easier and reduce burning of food. The pot lids are heavy gauge stainless steel and certainly won’t warp or bend under even the highest temperatures. Since the handles are not coated in any heat resistant material, you will need to take extra care when handling them as they really do heat up.
This cookware can really cope with some serious temperature as it has been designed to deal with oven temperatures of up to 500 degrees F. Since the pieces are suitable for gas as well as electric stoves, these are an excellent solution no matter what cooker you have.
- Hard-anodized aluminum; stainless-steel bases with encapsulated aluminum cores
- Nonstick exteriors and abrasion-reducing ring design
- Cast stainless-steel riveted handles
- Stainless-steel lids
- Oven-safe to 500 degrees F
- Suitable for all stove types
- Limited lifetime warranty
Pan handles get very hot
- Thin pot side walls so as effective at retaining heat
Chef’s Star Professional Grade Stainless Steel 17 Piece Pots & Pans Set
This set gives truth to the old saying that you get what you pay for. It is made with commercial grade stainless steel with an impact-bonded aluminum bottom. The handles are riveted and have a ventilation system to disperse the heat to prevent it traveling up to the area you hold. They are also curved and gripped from maximum comfort and safety.
Another set of cookware that can be used with all types of stoves they are also oven safe to 550 degrees. They have a thick base that is designed to retain heat as well as preventing them from heating up too quickly.
They are both dishwasher safe and suitable for using in the freezer should you wish to do so. This great quality cookware comes with a 3-piece kitchen tool set comprising of a cooking spoon, spatula and fork meaning that it has everything you need to cook ready to go.
- Made from commercial-grade stainless-steel and aluminum
- Set is suitable for all types of cookers
- Oven-safe to 550 degrees Fahrenheit
- Freezer-safe for food storage
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Not non-stick
- Can be hard to remove stains
- In the higher price category
Cuisinart 77-10 Chef’s Classic Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set
Cuisinart is a household name as far as cooking is concerned. The fact that this article features 2 of their cookware sets goes to show why they have such a good reputation. This set seems to define their emphasis on quality and focus on what works best.
This tri-layered stainless steel and aluminum approach is a proven winner. It is very long lasting while giving an excellent cooking performance. It absorbs heat quickly and disperses it throughout the material helping to dramatically reduce the number of hot zones in the pan.
It has all the features you could want in a good cookware set. Firstly, there is a 7, 10, 11 and 14 piece set meaning that you have plenty of options. The pots and pans are very well made and have a good level of balance. You can use them on all stove types and Cuisinart’s patented Cool Grip handle is one of the most effective metal handles at keeping the temperature as low as possible.
Tapered rings make pouring liquids out of them nice and easy while cleaning them is a blast as they are dishwasher proof. That said, sadly this is another design where your food is likely to stick as it doesn’t feature a nonstick coating.
- Stainless steel
- Aluminum base
- Riveted handles
- Product built to North American electrical standards
- Not non-stick
- Tends to stain after continued use
Gotham Steel 10-Piece Kitchen Nonstick Frying Pan and Cookware Set
This cookware set takes a slightly different but equally effective approach to construction. Made from a titanium and ceramic composite which gives it extremely good strength and conductivity, something which makes them really effective pans to cook with.
This composite is a really effective nonstick material also and is safe for use up to 500 degrees. What is more, this material actually makes them microwave safe, unlike most other cookware you will find. They are PTFE, PFOA and PFOS free and dishwasher safe too.
The only drawback is that this cookware is not designed for use with induction cookers so if you have one then this is not the set for you. Otherwise, this is a wonderfully effective cookware set that offers nonstick cooking as well as the unique ability to be used in the microwave.
- Ultra non-stick
- Gotham Steel weighs less
- 100% Safe: PFOA, PTFE, and PFOS-Free
- Dishwasher safe
- Oven safe up to 500 degrees
- Microwave safe
- Safe with metal utensils
- Not suitable for induction cooking
- Not good for cooking with oil, butter, and other fats
Cook N Home 15 Piece Nonstick Black Soft handle Cookware Set
If you are looking for the best possible cookware but are on a bit of a tight budget then this is definitely the set for you. Available in both a 10 and 15 piece sets, it offers superb value for money with a really good level of performance.
They have managed to reduce the cost by sticking to a heavy gauge aluminum construction with no layers. This is not as effective at helping to prevent stains but with the tri-layer designs it still offers a reasonably good level of cooking performance.
To deal with the fact that there is no stainless steel exterior they have added a non-stick coating. The handles are covered in silicon so they prevent a lot of heat from reaching the grip. The pots’ tempered glass tops give you the ability to keep an eye on your food while it is cooking without needing to open them and lose all the heat.
This cookware might not last as long as most of the other sets on this list but it is inexpensive when compared to the other designs. This is a nice and cheap set that does a good job considering the price.
- Stainless steel
- Tempered glass lids
- Soft-touch handles
- Made from heavy gauge aluminum
- Easy clean exterior
- Not for induction stovetop
- Won’t last forever
Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10 Piece Cookware Set
This set isn’t cheap by a long way, but for those of you with a budget, this is a really good all round cookware set that is worth considering. The main reason for this is its high quality of construction. Made from aluminum and coated with a nonstick composite, this set has really been made to last. Holding the pots and pans in your hands you can really feel the quality and get an immediate sense of how well they have been made.
This set is a little on the small side and though there are larger 12 and 14 piece sets, sadly they are a little hard to find as they are not stocked in many places. This set looks really great with its black body and silver handle color scheme and has a good performance level. The main drawbacks are the high price and the fact that they are not dishwasher proof, otherwise, there is not much more you can ask for in a set of cookware.
- Cookware set features Calphalon’s signature hard-anodized aluminum construction for excellent conductivity and even heating
- Nonstick coating
- Tempered glass covers
- A little on the expensive side
- This is not dishwasher safe
Duxtop Whole-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Induction Ready Premium Cookware
Suitable for all types of cookers including gas, electric, induction, and halogen units this cookware set is totally worthy of a place on this list. Made from tri-layered aluminum and stainless steel this set again provides a good level of cooking performance without suffering from hot spots.
Though another design that sadly does not feature a nonstick cover, they are dishwasher and freezer friendly and can be used in an oven with temperatures up to 550 degrees. It is always a bonus to know that your cookware will work on any type of cooker and these will do just that.
This cookware set offers a good cooking experience for the money. They are a little heavier than other pans but that definitely is offset by the fact that they are so durable and feel like they will last until the world ends.
- Aluminum and stainless steel tri-layer
- Oven safe to 550 degrees F
- Freezer-safe for food storage
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Works on all types of stove
- Handles heat up
- Frying pan hands are not positioned very well
- Larger sized sets not widely available
Buying cookware can be a really difficult task, especially when buying it online. The key to making sure you get the best set for your home is to spend that little extra time to do your research. Making sure that you read the product description carefully and that you read plenty of customer feedback to get a good feel of the product’s strengths and weaknesses will really save you from making a mistake.
All of the sets featured on this list are really giants in their class and definitely deserve consideration. Which one you should choose really comes down to how appropriate it is for you, your kitchen and your cooking ability. If you are a less experienced cook or don’t like heavy washing up then we recommend you go with a non-stick set.
Whichever set you choose remember to take care with hot handles and to always use the products in the way they were designed. And above all, remember to always enjoy your cooking.