Best Cookware Set Reviews 2018: Top 10+ Recommended

Are you struggling with your current cookware? Stick with me, and I will help you find the best cookware set suitable for your budget!

Cooking is my lifelong passion (as if you haven't noticed that already), and, not to brag, but I think I'm pretty good at it. But then again, I'm no stranger to burnt food. This is something that annoys me the most when it comes to rice and popcorn. You can't simply clean that pan afterward.

Still, I have a perfect defense strategy when my husband and kids are making jokes about that: "It's not me, it's the pan". Of course, sometimes I simply forget and walk away from the food, and it gets burnt (don’t judge me, it happens to everyone). However, in most situations, sticky and messy cookware wasn’t my fault.

You'd be surprised to know just how true that can be. Some cookware sets are made of materials which are simply waiting to mess your food up. That’s why I’ve started my search for the best cookware sets on the market.

Before I share my finds with you, let me just guide you through the buying process and explain the factors that matter the most.

Why is having a cookware set beneficial?

A cookware set is my preferred choice when it comes to my kitchen. There are several reasons for it, but I'll start with the most obvious one - if you shop smart, you will end up with an entire set made of high-quality materials which will last you for so long, as well as fulfill all your needs in the kitchen.

This option is more practical, and usually, more easy on your budget. Whatever you decide to make, a piece within the best cookware set will provide you with everything you need.

Another thing I would like to mention (because I am a perfectionist and a sucker for details myself) is the aesthetics. Imagine having all your kitchen equipment looking the same, as opposed to various mixed items of different colors.

Of course, this doesn't affect the cooking in particular, but I enjoy watching my brand new cookware set stand out, especially if it's high-quality so it can replace any old cookware you have.

To give you more insight into what you need to pay additional attention to, let's start with some essentials when it comes to choosing your cookware set.


What you need to know when shopping for a cookware set?

1. Material

It’s all about the material. If I would have to subdue this entire buying guide to a single factor which will decide what is the best cookware set that would definitely be the material. 

It is imperative to choose cookware set which is constructed of an excellent conductor of heat so that the heat is evenly distributed throughout the pans and other cookware. Also, the material should, by no means, interact with food.

Now, we'll discuss the most popular materials for cookware and some of their pros and cons:

  • Stainless steel is famous for its durability and even heating. It doesn't react with the food. Stainless steel is dishwasher, oven, and broiler safe. If you decide for uncoated steel, it may be tougher to clean.
  • Nonstick coating is every housewife dream. It can be cleaned in several seconds, and it is also great if you prefer a non-fat diet because it requires little to no oil. If there is one evident flaw of this material that is that it is easy to scratch if you are using metal utensils. Also, the food doesn't get that nice brown color when cooked in nonstick dishes.
  • Enameled cast iron has that nostalgic charm I simply can’t resist. These classic, usually colorful sets heat slowly, but evenly and they retain heat very well. They don't react with acidic ingredients, and they are corrosion resistant. Still, they are very heavy to carry, and if you drop them, the enamel can chip.
  • Uncoated cast iron, on the other hand, is much more similar to nonstick materials because it can withstand high temperatures with little to no sticking of the food. Also, it is very durable and retains heat well. However, you may find it that some pans fry the food unevenly and that they are difficult to clean.
  • Carbon steel and blue steel are often used in professional kitchens because they are designed for high-performance cooking. They can be used on every cooktop and can be wiped clean in several moves. Carbon and blue steel are prone to rust and they are not dishwasher safe.
  • Copper cookware sets look amazing, but it also offers even cooking and rapid cooling down. Some, not all models, are safe for oven use. Despite all these advantages, the price of copper cookware can be a true turnoff. Also copper is difficult to maintain and can dent easily.
  • Aluminum is lightweight, strong, easy to maintain, excellent heat conductor, and, best of all, very affordable. However, aluminum cookware can cause discoloration in some foods and induce a bitter taste.

2. Your needs

In order to decide on a particular cookware set, you need to look at what you need.

Your habits and the things you cook most often should definitely be taken into account when you look at different cookware sets.

Additionally, your cooking personality has a lot to do with your choice of cookware. If you really love cooking and do it often, you will probably be ready to invest more money and make your cookware a lifelong investment.

I would recommend this to all of you with families and a strong passion for cooking. However, if you are on a low budget, living alone and have little to no time for cooking, you can feel free to go for some cheaper options.

3. Size

How big is your family? How often do you need to prepare delicious meals for larger gatherings? The number of people you cook for will determine how many pieces your set should have, as well as the sizes of the individual parts.

  • Therefore, if you usually cook for a small family, you ideally need a small set with the essential pieces (such as a skillet, saucepan, stockpot, sauté pan, etc. )
  • On the other hand, if your cooking persona is searching for something more challenging, and you often make food for large groups of people (or have a large family), you should complete your set with some additional pieces of different sizes, such as a larger stockpot, a few more saucepans, a wok etc.

4. What is suitable for your heat source

Finally, you need to consider how your cookware will match your stovetop. 

  • The most popular type of pans is flat-bottomed, and they are perfect for a smooth-top range. Round-bottomed woks need to be vented rings on the top of the stove for support.
  • As for the material, any material will do fine for glass, ceramic and gas cooktops, but if you have an induction cooktop that is a whole different story. Induction cooktops use the transfer of magnetic energy and therefore requires magnetic cookware. Regular stainless steel, aluminum, glass and ceramic sets are no good for this type of stovetop.

5. Aesthetics

Even though this isn't something that is important for some of you guys, there is a solid bunch of you who appreciate sleek-looking kitchenware and cookware, so I felt the need to include this as well.

  • There isn't much I can say about this topic, as everyone's taste is different. However, I also pay attention to this factor, especially if I am going to spend a significant amount of money on the cookware set. Why not have the whole package, right?
  • Apart from the looks in general, I also like to pay attention to the durability of the color of the product (if there is any). I had a bad experience with this beautiful, rose gold saucepan that I fell in love with, but it became discolored soon after I first used it.

Therefore, this is also a thing to consider if you want your cookware to be long-lasting in all categories.


Most Recommended Cookware Sets: Detailed Reviews 2018

Now that we got all the valuable information covered let's hop into some short reviews and my impressions of the ten selected cookware sets. I put a lot of effort into trying out all of these, so rest assured I have tested all the essential things.


Image Credit: Amazon.com

This 12-piece set is made of hard anodized aluminum and is coated with nonstick hard titanium coating. Also, it's nice to know that the exterior is scratch resistant, so you don't have to worry about the pieces quickly getting ruined.

The set includes:

  • two frying pans (8 and 10.25 inch)
  • a 5-quart covered Dutch oven
  • three covered saucepans (sizes 1, 2, and 3 inches)
  • a solid nylon spoon and slotted spatula

I particularly loved that the set includes a covered Dutch oven because I can't get enough of one-pot meals such as casserole and braised ribs. The first thing that sets this set apart from the other four is the thermo-spot heat indicator which shows when the temperature is ideal for cooking.

This is great if you are not a fan of some of the other techniques for determining if the pan is hot enough we, the traditional housewives love to use, such as drops of batter or dropping a grain of rice into the hot oil.

The riveted silicone handles are really comfortable to hold, and all the pieces are oven and dishwasher safe, which is extremely important for all of us who don't have much time on their hands.

As far as the heat sources go, you can use a variety of them. Gas, electric, ceramic and halogen heating sources are all acceptable.

It's a bit annoying that you can use only wooden and silicone utensils for these pieces, but if you get over that drawback, this is a pretty decent set. Unfortunately, I have noticed some scratches even with only using plastic utensils, but it wasn't anything dramatic.

As far as the aesthetics are concerned, this is a nice-looking, semi-average set, so it's not a stunner, but it still looks good. The unforgivable flaw, however, is the fact that the discoloration of the coating can appear after just several uses.

What I Liked​

  • Thermo-spot
  • Dishwasher and oven safe
  • Non-stick
  • A large variety of pieces

What I Didn’t Like

  • The coating isn’t long lasting
  • Only silicone and wooden utensils
  • Prone to scratching and discoloration

Image Credit: Amazon.com

This AmazonBasics cookware set is made of aluminum and has a non-stick coating for easy cooking and cleaning.

Unfortunately, my experience doesn't completely confirm this, as I had a lot of situations in which my pan apparently wasn't non stick. It might have been a manufacturer's mistake, but I needed to state it anyways.

The set consists of 8 pieces, so it is quite a basic set for those of you who have smaller families or simply live alone.

The parts of the set are:

  • two frying pans (8 and 10 inches)
  • two saucepans (1.5 and 2 quarts)
  • a 3-quart casserole pan

All of these also come with lids.

The handles are comfortable, and they stay cool during use, so for all of you who can't stand wearing kitchen gloves all the time, these might be some good news for you. Also, the glass lids have vents which let steam escape, and that makes your job easier.

The spiral bottom heats evenly, but the coating easily gets scratched even without using metal utensils. I am generally not so pleased with the overall build quality, but for this price, I wasn't expecting anything magnificent.

This set is compatible with gas, electric and glass stovetops, but it's not compatible with induction ovens as well as regular ovens.

A slight disappointment for some of you might be the fact that this cookware set is suitable for hand-wash only: it's not dishwasher safe, so if this is a big thing for you, you might want to look the other way.

I like the look of this set, mostly because one of my favorite colors is black. I think it's very sleek and fancy, especially in a light-colored kitchen, so this set can stand out and give a nice contrast to your kitchen.

What I Liked​

  • Suitable for small families
  • Comfortable and stay-cool handles
  • Fancy aesthetics
  • Price

What I Didn’t Like

  • Not non-stick
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Not oven safe
  • Easily gets scratched

Image Credit: Amazon.com

This cookware set was love at first sight, and can you blame me?

The set is made of durable aluminum coated with a non-stick coating, and it performs quite well when it comes to everyday cooking activities. The cookware is oven safe, and the glass lids in the package are ideal for cooking soups because they release more steam than metal lids.

There is a total of 15 pieces in this cookware set, consisting of:

  • four pots (1, 1.3, 1.75 and 4.2 quarts)
  • one saute pan (14.5 inches)
  • one frying pan (17.75 inches)
  • five non-stick cooking utensils (slotted spoon, slotted spatula, spaghetti server, soup ladle and potato masher)
  • four glass lids to match the pots

Don't let the big number fool you - even though there are 15 pieces, the ones in which you actually prepare food don't offer that much variety. Therefore, this set is also suitable for those who don't need many pieces.

A side note to all of you, the glass lids are not oven safe, even though the cookware itself is. This set is suitable for most other heat sources except microwave/induction ovens.

The Vremi cookware set isn't dishwasher safe, so you need to wash it by hand. This can be a bummer for a lot of you, but it isn't such a big deal in general if the set satisfies some other, more critical needs.

This is, in all honesty, the most beautiful cookware set I have ever seen. I absolutely adore the vibrant colors and their variety as well. The downside to this is that if you cook on higher settings, you can expect discoloration from the fire burners on the pans and pots.

What I Liked​

  • Non-stick
  • Oven safe (except the lids)
  • Beautiful
  • Suitable for most heat sources

What I Didn’t Like

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Not suitable for microwave/induction ovens
  • If overheated, it might become discolored

Image Credit: Amazon.com

This cookware set has a hard anodized aluminum construction which ensures even heating and easy cleanup. On the inside, the pieces of the set are enriched with stainless steel. This makes a fantastic combination of two materials that complete each other so well.

The build is excellent, and this set feels like it's made to survive the apocalypse! The coatings are non-stick and scratch-resistant for healthier cooking with less fat.

This cookware set consists of 10 pieces: 

  • two frying pans (8 and 10 inches)
  • saucepans with lids (2 and 3 quarts)
  • one sauté pan with lid (4 quarts)
  • one stockpot with lid (8 quarts) 

I am a big fan of this, and I appreciate the fact that there are no utensils to mess with your perception - you get ten pieces strictly for cooking.

The utensils you get with most of the cookware sets are simple, and you might have the same ones laying around in your kitchen, but they raise the price significantly. I think that this 10-piece set is terrific for all kinds of uses and suitable for various purposes and needs.

Stainless-steel handles are permanently secured with stainless steel rivets, so this cookware set is compatible with all stovetops. The parts of the set (glass lids excluded) are oven safe, as well as suitable for gas, electric, ceramic, induction, and halogen heat sources.

However, the handles were impressively uncomfortable in my hand, especially taking into account that aluminum is massive, to begin with. Therefore, picking up this cookware by the handle becomes an unsteady and uncomfortable proposition due to the handle design.

This cookware set is dishwasher safe, but the manufacturer recommends handwashing when possible. Now for the best part, All-Clad offers a limited lifetime warranty, which can be the X-factor when it comes to kitchen appliances.

I also love the design, it's simple yet elegant, and I had no problems with discoloration and other malfunctions.

What I Liked​

  • Material combination is high-quality
  • Non-stick
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Variable
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Limited lifetime warranty

What I Didn’t Like

  • Uncomfortable and unstable handles

Image Credit: Amazon.com

I think that none of us are strangers to Cuisinart's products, and you probably have mixed feelings about the company - some items are amazing, some are disappointing.
Let's see in which category this cookware set goes into.

The Cuisinart cookware set is made of stainless steel, which is a durable material that provides even heating. It also doesn't react with food and alters its flavor. What makes these pots and pans unique is the Triple-Ply construction which gives them unsurpassed heat conductivity of a true aluminum core and ensures maximum heat retention while eliminating hot spots.

The set consists of 12 pieces:

  • three saucepans (1, 1.5 and 3 quarts) with lids
  • two open skillets (8 and 10 inches)
  • one saute pan (3.5 quarts) with lid
  • a stockpot (8 quarts) with lid
  • a steamer insert with lid

I loved that the set includes a steamer insert, which makes easier many cooking tasks, including preparing pasta. I am thrilled with all the options you get with this set, and, similarly to the other case. I like that there are no utensils included because you usually never use them, but they raise the price.

I would say, however, that this set is suitable more for larger families, but a smaller one can also use this set - just not all pieces of it.

The biggest downside is that this set doesn't have a non-stick coating, but, as I already mentioned, this can be a good thing for browning your food or getting a nice crust.

This cookware set is dishwasher and oven safe. The tight-fitting lids preserve the food’s natural juices and nutrients. However, the handles on the top absorb heat too fast, and I had a few burns because of that. So, keep in mind that you need to wear kitchen gloves all the time when cooking in these appliances.

Since they have magnetic properties, all the pieces are suitable for induction cooktops, which is usually not the case with cookware sets, as you had the chance to see. So, if your main heat source is an induction cooktop, this might be the choice for you.

As far as physical appearance goes, the polished cooking surface does not discolor so you don't have to worry about your set quickly aging, but the downside is that the design is quite plain and simple. But, you might like that, but this is my taste.

What I Liked​

  • Durable material
  • Lots of options
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Induction oven safe

What I Didn’t Like

  • Not non-stick
  • Handles quickly overheat

Image Credit: Amazon.com

This set by Calphalon (another manufacturer you are probably quite familiar with) is made of heavy-gauge aluminum. The construction ensures even heating and is hard-anodized for durability. The interior includes three layers of nonstick coating - two of which provide durability, and the third one offers easy release performance.

The cookware set includes 12 pieces:

  • two omelet pans (10 and 12 inches)
  • two saucepans with lids (1.5 and 2.5 quarts)
  • one saute pan with lid (3 quarts)
  • a Dutch oven with lid (5 quarts)
  • a stock pot with lid (8 quarts)

I am genuinely amazed by the variety of options this set offers, and in this sense, it might be the best out of all on this list.

Even though this cookware set is large and has many pieces, it can be useful for smaller families as well. However, I think it's perfect for those of you who need a set for larger gatherings or a big family because it offers everything and anything you can need.

I would recommend using nylon, wood or coated utensils, even though I didn't notice any scratches or damaging - just to be safe.

The long, brushed stainless steel handles are designed to stay cool on the stovetop. Pans and covers are also oven safe, making it ideal for finishing a gourmet dish.

The rich, elegant exterior color is not a surface coating but is a result of a change the heavy-gauge aluminum undergoes during hard-anodization process. This means that this cookware set is dishwasher safe, as well as that the color won't chip, crack or peel.

The last, but not the least important thing, is the full lifetime warranty that Calphalon offers. This can be a massive bonus when it comes to kitchen utensils and can be the decision-making factor.

What I Liked​

  • 3 non-stick coatings
  • Incredible diversity
  • Cool handles
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Oven safe
  • Warranty

What I Didn’t Like


Image Credit: Amazon.com

I love Rachael Ray, and I used to binge-watch her shows millions of times. I also prepared a lot of her recipes and took some of her advice. That is why I was so excited about trying out this set.

This set is crafted with durable aluminum on the inside, and a sturdy hard enamel porcelain exterior, which altogether makes a stunning set which will last you long. There is also a non-stick layer on all of the pieces, to ensure an effortless release of foods.

The 12-piece set includes:

  • two covered saucepans (1 and 3 quarts)
  • one covered stockpot (6 quarts)
  • two skillets (8 and 10 inches)
  • one covered saute pan (3 quarts)

Although I am pretty satisfied with this set, there are some drawbacks I would love to mention. The set also includes a slotted turner and a spoon. The dual-riveted rubberized stainless steel handles are heat-resistant, and the glass lids are shatter-resistant, which makes using this set a breeze.

The pots and pans are suitable for all stovetops and ovens, except induction, and the cleaning and maintaining are quite simple.

I need to comment on the aesthetics of this set, as the pieces look sleek and vibrant. You even get to chose your favorite color! I didn't have problems with color coming off, as well.

Unfortunately, the set is not dishwasher safe, and if you would ever try it, the set would be ruined. A great addition to this set is a lifetime limited warranty which we all appreciate dearly!

What I Liked​

  • Non-stick
  • Heat-resistant handles
  • Shatter-resistant lids
  • Beautiful
  • Warranty

What I Didn’t Like

  • Doesn’t include everything you need
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Not suitable for induction stovetops

Image Credit: Amazon.com

I've heard of this set long before I used it myself, and all I kept hearing about is its practicality. Here are my impressions.

First off, the material combination is stainless steel and titanium. The Tri-Ply stainless steel construction features a full aluminum core with a magnetic exterior side-wall with a precision-pour rim, and it's infused with titanium to resist oxidation and discoloration. On top of that, the set is finished with a radiant luster.

As I already mentioned, probably the only bad side to stainless steel cookware is that it doesn't have a non-stick layer. Of course, for some things this is preferable, but in case you are a fan of non-stick pans and pots, you might be turned off.

The set consists of 14 pieces:

  • two saucepans (2 and 3 quarts)
  • one casserole (4 quarts)
  • one saute pan (4.5 quarts)
  • one stockpot (7 quarts)
  • two skillets (8 and 10 inches)

Of course, all of them come with fitting glass lids. I think this set is better for larger families, but if you are a cooking enthusiast, you might be satisfied with this as well.

The handles are ergonomic and make for easy maneuvering, aside from being heat-resistant.
One of the most significant advantages of stainless steel is that it's compatible with all types of stovetops and ovens, including induction.

For some of you, this might not be relevant at all, but for those who use an induction stovetop, this is essential.

My experience with this set was amazing, even though I prefer non-stick cookware. All the pieces cooked my food evenly, but I did pay attention to the temperature. Also, stainless steel cookware is dishwasher safe, so that’s another bonus.

This set looks quite simple, and it's not a stunner as some the others from this list are. However, that might be what you're looking for!

What I Liked​

  • Can be used on all heat sources
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Ergonomic and stay-cool handles
  • Suitable for large families

What I Didn’t Like

  • Not non-stick

Image Credit: Amazon.com

For a long time Teflon was the undisputed king of the non-stick coatings, and then ceramic coating came into play. Ceramic coating definitely wins in the eco-friendly and safety areas, but some argue that it has a shorter lifespan. However, if there are several layers of coating, there should be no such problems.

This set is made of thick gauge aluminum that provides even heat conduction and prevents hot spots, and it also has a non-stick ceramic coating which makes food release and cleaning easy and allows for healthy cooking.

The set consists of 10 pieces, which are:

  • two saucepans (1 and 2 quarts) - with lids
  • one casserole (3 quarts) - with lid
  • one dutch oven (5 quarts) - with lid
  • two frying pans (8 and 9.5 inches) - without lids

This set is ideal for small families, and even for a single person who cooks moderately. I am pleased with the choice of the appliances included, even though it is a smaller set.

The handles are equipped with anti-slip coating, which makes them comfortable and heat-resistant. However, if you notice that the handles are getting loose, you should take them apart and tighten them all over again, just to be safe.

The design is fun, as the exterior is painted in a vibrant green color. However, the paint can start to scratch off after a short period, especially if you are using a gas stove.

The set is suitable for ceramic, glass, gas, halogen and electric stovetops, but it is not suitable for induction stovetop and oven. It's also not dishwasher safe, so this is a big flaw and a lack of functionality. Of course, if this isn't important to you, sure - this set might be great for you.

What I Liked​

  • Non-stick
  • Even heat conduction
  • Anti-slip and stay-cool handles
  • Fun design

What I Didn’t Like

  • Not suitable for induction and oven
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Paint can scratch off

Image Credit: Amazon.com

For those of you who are ready to cash out, the last set on this list is the Mauviel collection M'heritage - the most expensive cookware set on this list. Is it worth the money?

The collection is a combination of two powerful and traditional materials: copper and stainless steel. There is 90% copper (on the exterior), and the interior (10%) is stainless steel.

The thick layer of copper allows unsurpassed heat conductivity and control, as copper heats more evenly, much faster than other metals and offers superior cooking control.

With this collection, Mauviel improved their stainless steel handles, enriching them with an electroplated black iron color finish will stay much cooler to the touch than the original Mauviel cast iron handles. The finish will never wear off, and it's incredibly durable.

If you were expecting a large set for this money, you were wrong. This Mauviel collection is the smallest set on this list, with only 9 pieces total.

The set includes:

  • one skillet (10.2 inches)
  • two saucepans with lids (1.9 and 2.6 quarts)
  • one saute pan with lid (3.2 quarts)
  • one stockpot with lid (6.4 quarts)
  • a "bonus" - a Copperbrill copper cleaner (5-ounce)

Although I like the collection, I still think this isn't enough for a family of 4 (or more), which makes me think about the practicality of this set.

The M'heritage collection is suitable for use on most heat sources (gas, electric, halogen, the oven, etc.), but it's not induction safe.

The design is beautiful - copper gives this set a rose-gold-tone which I absolutely adore. Unfortunately, to prevent discoloration, you should hand wash this set.

A great addition to this set i the lifetime warranty that the manufacturer provides all buyers with, so it compensates for the money you would spend!

What I Liked​

  • High-quality materials
  • Even heat conductivity
  • Beautiful design
  • Lifetime warranty

What I Didn’t Like

  • Not non-stick
  • Should be hand-washed
  • Not suitable for induction

And the best cookware set is…

The competition is fierce, but I have to give this one to Calphalon's Contemporary Cookware Set. I tried to find a flaw - I really did. However, it seems that this set is simply perfect. It is practical, durable, made of high-quality materials and suitable for all your needs. 

Of course, you might find some other set more adequate for what you're looking for, but this is my personal favorite. I hope you found these reviews useful, and if you have any more questions, feel free to contact me anytime.

Happy cooking! 🙂

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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