Whether your on the keto diet or not, having good quality cookware is a must have for any family. No one can afford buying new pots and pans every couple of years.
I should know, because as I was experimenting in the kitchen, that is exactly what happened to me.
Stainless-steel cookware offers many benefits, from durability to easy cleaning. Its popularity has an unfortunate downside, though—the market is flooded with options, and not all of them are quality products.
When I choose to invest in a new set, it took me a good deal of research to find one worth my hard-earned cash.
To save you the same struggle I had, I’ve whipped up this guide to the five best stainless-steel cookware sets on the market in 2019.
This 10-piece cookware set comes with a 3-qt sauté pan with lid, 1.5- and 3-qt saucepans with lids, 8-qt stockpot with lid, and 8- and 10-inch frying pans.
- Five-ply bonded construction –This set is constructed with alternating layers of steel and conductive aluminum, making it possible to have even heat distribution when cooking. This construction also allows for faster heat transfer.
- Non-stick –A highly polished stainless-steel finish ensures food doesn’t stick, thus making cleaning easy.
- Sturdy handles –The handles are also made of stainless steel rather than plastic to ensure long-term durability.
- Special cleaner –Stainless steel requires a special cleaner to remove stains that often form from high-heat use.
- Handles transfer heat – The handles on this set, being stainless steel, do transfer heat, and there’s no coating to protect your hands. This is true of all the sets in this review, so I won’t continue to list it as a con every time, but it’s worth keeping in mind. You’ll need to use oven mitts or get pan handle covers.
This 12-piece stainless steel cookware set contains the following items: 1.5-, 2-, and 3-qt saucepots, a 10-inch sauté frying pan, a 1.5-qt saucepan, and a 5.5-qt stockpot. All the above come with a tempered glass lid.
- Tempered glass lids –The tempered glass lids allow you to easily monitor the progress of your meal without having to move the cover and open the pot.
- Dishwasher safe– Cleaning is made easy with a dishwasher safe guarantee. This feature helps to save you a lot of time.
- Durable material –The set is made of 18/10 stainless steel reinforced with an aluminum disc for even heat distribution.
- Poorly Attached handles –Some users have complained that the riveting that holds the handles on is low quality, and as a result, the handles break off after a short period.
This 10-piece cookware set by Magma contains a 5-qt stockpot, .5-, 2-, and 3-qt saucepans (including interchangeable lids), a 9.5-inch frying pan, and a 9.5-inch sauté pan, which also have interchangeable covers.
- Interchangeable lids– Some items in the set have interchangeable lids. This feature minimizes fuss when your cooking—no digging for that one top that fits.
- Bungee cord– As a bonus, a bungee cord is included in this set to help to make storage much more convenient and secure.
- Marine-grade stainless steel– The set is made purely from marine grade stainless steel that is 18/10 mirror-polished for durability.
- Not non-stick –With this cookware, prepare for some rigorous scrubbing. It’s not non-stick.
With this ten-piece, you get a 3-qt sauté pan with a lid, 6.5-qt stockpot with a lid, 8- and 10.5-inch French skillets, and 1.25- and 2.5-qt saucepans with lids. The lids are elegantly crafted stainless steel rather than glass.
- Effective heat distribution– This set has two layers of aluminum that sandwich a layer of copper, thus ensuring effective heat distribution.
- Stainless steel polish –A durable polished finish helps hide scratches from metallic utensils while making cooking easier in the process.
- Dishwasher safe –While handwashing is generally recommended for pots and pans, you can throw these in the dishwasher.
- Small pan is tippy –The smallest pan in this set is a bit tippy if the contents aren’t heavy enough to counterbalance the handle.
This 12-piece set from Cuisinart, a well-known name, contains 8- and 10-inch open skillets, 1.5- and 3-qt saucepans with lids, a 3.5-qt sauté pan with lid, and an 8-qt stockpot with lid. You also get an extra steamer lid.
- Tight-fitting lids –Compared to many other cookware sets, this set comes with tight-fitting lids to help to preserve moisture and nutrients during cooking.
- Oven safe– The cookware set can comfortably be used in the oven with temperatures up to 550F.
- Triple-ply construction– Triple-ply aluminum construction allows for faster for more efficient conduction and retention of heat as well. This feature makes cooking much faster.
- Non-durable skillets– Over time, the skillets in this set warp. They are inexpensive but don’t have great longevity.
Stainless-Steel Cookware Sets Buying Guide
Now that you’ve seen the top five stainless-steel cookware sets, let’s have a look at a few things you should consider when shopping.
What Makes a Good Stainless-Steel Cookware Set?
Stainless cookware sets are popular because of their durability. However, most manufacturers nowadays do not make products purely from stainless steel. They use other materials to improve durability, usability, heat conduction, and even appearance. Pay close attention to the steel thickness and added materials. For instance, plastic handles tend to hurt durability.
Number of items
Think about the meals that you cook and the items you use to make them. You can save a lot simply by opting for a set that includes everything you need—and nothing that you don’t. Likewise, consider the size of the items included. Do you need to feed a small army, or are you a table of one? Size matters.
You’d think that being the same material stainless-steel cookware would have a pretty narrow price range, but that’s far from the truth. Prices vary based on the manufacturer, steel thickness, additional materials, set size, accessories included, and more. The reason you want to take all the points I mentioned above this one into account come primarily down to budget—know yours.
Check whether the set you’re interested in is non-stick. This information will determine the most convenient method of cleaning. Non-stick sets are easy to clean. They can be cleaned by a dishwasher effectively.
Sets without any sort of non-stick often take a bit of scrubbing or soaking. You can also boil off dried-on bits. My biggest tip with cleanup is to rinse your cookware immediately after use while the metal is still warm (not so hot as to burn you, of course).
As a side note, you can actually make any pan non-stick by seasoning it with oil before use. Simply heat the pan until you can feel heat coming off it with your hand, then cover the surface with the oil of your choice. It’s essentially the greased cake-pan of the pot and skillet world.
A good quality stainless-steel set is made with at least 18/8 or 18/10 steel. This info should be included in the product description, but if you ever opt to buy used, it’s usually stamped on the bottom.
What is Stainless Steel Cookware?
What Is Stainless Steel?
Is Stainless Steel Cookware Compatible With Induction Cooktops?
Reasons To Invest In Stainless Steel Cookware
- Appearance: Stainless steel provides a beautiful, shiny, and smooth look and feel. Cleaning stainless steel surfaces is also relatively easy, a reason it maintains its look and luster for very long.
- Versatility: Stainless steel is stain and corrosion-resistant. That said, stainless steel can be used in a wide range of culinary applications ranging from acidic foods (tomatoes) to alkaline foods (carrots, greens, and sprouts). You never have to worry about tainted taste due to your cookware reacting with your recipe.
- Durability: As the name denotes, stainless steel doesn’t gather stains nor scratches. It maintains its toughness and doesn’t dent up easily. You can also use it in your dishwasher as well.
- Cost: Stainless steel cookware is very affordable. You should be able to find quality and durable cookware from a supplier near you.
- Maintenance: As mentioned earlier, stainless steel is tough and scratch-resistant. It should therefore fare well in your dishwasher, detergents, and stains. All you need is a simple detergent and warm water to rinse stains off.
How To Clean Stainless Steel
How To Use Your Stainless Steel Cookware
How To Choose The Best Cookware Made Of Stainless Steel
Other Factors To Consider When Shopping For Stainless Steel Cookware
- Cladding: Stainless steel isn’t the best conductor of heat. Aluminum and copper solves this problem through cladding for even heat distribution. Go for cookware with either/both aluminum and copper on its base or sidewalls.
- Durability: The most durable stainless steel is comprised of 8% chromium and 10% nickel. Composition says it all about stainless steel, which is why you need to look at the numbers when shopping for steel cookware. Chromium is the compound that gives it a shiny and smooth look and feels. 18/10 stainless steel makes the most corrosion-resistant and durable cookware you can get.
- Handles and Lids: Most stainless steel cookware products come with ergonomic and easy to grip handles and knobs. Some of these will be cool to the touch even when the pot is boiling hot. Be sure to check the lids to ensure they fit well. Do you need the knobs and handles in the oven, or will they burn? These are some of the questions to ask yourself when shopping for such cookware. Some sets will, however, come with lids that can be used on both the skillet and the pot.
- Needs and Preferences: Always go for sets with pots and pans you need and use every day. A set will include a sauté pan, saucepan, a stockpot, and a skillet. Go for sets that fulfill your desires and needs when cooking.
- Extra Accessories: Some sets will have a few accessories such as a spatula, measuring spoon, and a slotted spoon included. While you might not want to buy an extra kitchen accessory, some of these come at no additional charge. These accessories may be made of rubber, plastic, wood, and metal. Metal might however scratch your otherwise impeccable cookware.
Stainless-steel cookware sets are popular thanks to their durability. They can be used for years if you treat them right. Many weary of the potential health risks of Teflon pans also flock to stain-less steel, especially if cast iron is too heavy for them.
Any of the sets above would make an excellent addition to your cookware arsenal, but if I had to pick one from the lineup as “best,” it would be the Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Cookware Set.
It is a 12-piece set with superb triple-ply construction that ensures even heat distribution. Additionally, you get a nice mix of pot/pan sizes.