6 Best Cookware Sets 2022 Reviewed Top Pots and Pans

As well-loved as Cuisinart is, this set was edged out for a few reasons. Our testers found the nonstick coating to be not quite up to par. One of the more significant complaints, though, was the handle design. The handles are uncomfortable to use and difficult to grip, which is exacerbated when the pan gets heavier. The additional holes on the handles also make them more difficult to clean.

Now, you can easily match your favorite Smeg kettle or toaster to your cookware too. The line is 100 percent dishwasher gotham steel cookware sets safe, making cleanup a breeze. You need to consider appearance, quantity, material, durability and cleanup.

Each saucepan and the Dutch oven have pouring spouts with strainer lids, and the finish on the exterior looks great on any cooktop surface. Our professional Allrecipes product testers meticulously tested each set individually. Our testers are culinary professionals with years of experience testing products. They put the best-rated and most popular sets through the wringer to figure out which sets reign supreme. “We’ve had some for up to three years, but if we only use it three times a week for 15 minutes, it’ll still always look very new,” he says, but most nonstick pans don’t last more than a few years.

We were curious to see if the Demeyere 5-Plus 10-Piece Cookware Set was worth its exorbitant price. In our tests, the pans heated incredibly evenly and didn’t discolor over high heat. However, the pans took almost double the time to preheat as our picks and were heavier than we’d prefer. We think this set is worth the steep price only if you’re looking for rivetless cookware. The chicken we cooked in the Goldilocks 12-inch skillet wasn’t quite as evenly browned as the chicken we cooked in the All-Clad 12-inch skillet (which isn’t included in the All-Clad 10-piece set). Most people are inclined to buy sets because doing so is cheaper than buying pieces individually, but sets involve a compromise.

Cookware Sets

However, if you’re looking for a less expensive set, cookware with tri-ply disks welded to the bottom of the pan will distribute heat more evenly than pans made from a single piece of stainless steel. In our experience, pans with encapsulated bottoms performed better than those that had just a single layer of stainless steel, but we still wouldn’t recommend them for gas and electric stovetops. That said, if you have an induction stovetop, cookware with encapsulated bottoms will perform better than fully clad tri-ply cookware. You can read more about this type of cookware and its performance on induction in our guide to the best portable induction cooktop. However, when you cook directly in aluminum some of the metal leaches into your food, giving it a gray-ish cast.

The more pieces in the set, the more storage space you’ll probably need. With that said, if you lack space, either look for a smaller or stackable set. “In general, sets with larger pieces are better buys unless you cook in very small quantities,” noted Franke. Ceramic usually has a higher price point than nonstick, but their performance is relatively equal.

Piecing together your own cookware set gives you the freedom to customize your collection and allows you to buy only what you need. To avoid liability for damage caused by misuse, cookware manufacturers routinely advise against cooking over high temperatures. However, judging from our years of experience, as long as you reduce the heat after preheating your pan on medium or medium-high heat, you won’t damage your pans. Cast iron is heavy, reactive to acidic food, and more difficult to maintain.

When we tested this in The Lab, we found that this set excels in heat distribution. During our tomato sauce test, it began to bubble evenly around the diameter of the saucepan and developed an even simmer throughout after a few minutes. Because of the copper, our infrared thermometer detected consistent temperature through the bottom and center of the pan while the walls stayed a bit cooler. Though the frying pans require oil to make a fried egg without sticking, the resulting egg was delightfully even and beautifully cooked.

The set is easy to clean and offered an even sear during cooking tests. Generally speaking, you should not use metal utensils like whisks or spatulas on a nonstick surface. Another no-no for nonstick surfaces is extremely high heat, as it can shorten the life of the pan.

Even if you’re not super familiar with all the most popular brands in the kitchenware market, you’ve probably still heard of Cuisinart. They also make one of our other favorite cookware sets in stainless steel. This set is excellent for any task that requires you to go from the range to the oven, like making a perfectly set frittata or finishing a chicken breast in the oven. With four pots, two pans, lids, and a stainer, the Cuisinart GG-12 GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Set is pretty comprehensive.