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The 5 Best Cookware Sets (2022 Review)

Cookware sets include multiple pots, pans, and other cooking essentials. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best cookware sets on Amazon to help you find the one that’s right for you. The products included in this article are available at various retail stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

cookware set Courtesy Cuisinart

No kitchen is complete without a proper set of pots and pans. These essential cooking supplies are complemented by spatulas, tongs, spoons, strainers, and other utensils and tools. Whether you want to cook more meals at home or wish to upgrade your existing cookware, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best cookware sets on Amazon to help. Keep reading below to discover our top recommendations.

Best Gripping: GreenLife Cookware Pots and Pans Set

If you’re looking for a starter cookware set that includes more than just the essentials, we recommend this 16-piece option. It comes with three pots, four pans, a steamer, and four utensils. The ceramic coating in all of the pots and pans is nonstick and dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.

Key Features

  • 16 pieces
  • Aluminum, glass, and ceramic
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Oven-safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers thought that this cookware set offered even heating, solid durability, and easy maintenance. However, other customers experienced issues with chipping and scratching after using the cookware set for a few weeks.

Best Entry-Level: Amazon Basics Cookware Set

We recommend this budget cookware set for those who are moving out of their parents’ house and cooking in their own kitchen for the first time. This simple eight-piece set comes with two pans, three pots, and three lids. The lids keep the heat locked in while still giving you easy visibility of your cooking food.

Key Features

  • Eight pieces
  • Aluminum and glass
  • Hand-wash

What Customers Are Saying

Although customers had complaints about the nonstick coating, they felt like the pots and pans were of decent value given their entry-level price. Many customers wished that the pots, pans, and lids were dishwasher- and oven-safe.

Best Cast Iron: Lodge Cast Iron Set

At-home cooks and professional chefs alike enjoy cooking in cast iron because it flavors the food with the leftover seasoning from the previous dish. If this interests you, consider this simple but high-quality five-piece cookware set. The set allows users to sear, saute, simmer, bake, broil, roast, braise, fry, and grill food with its two pans, one griddle, one pot, and one lid.

Key Features

  • Five pieces
  • Cast iron
  • Oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked that every piece of cookware in this set was safe to use in their oven or on their grill. Conversely, other customers received chipped or rusted cookware. Some also found the pre-seasoned layer from the manufacturer to be unsatisfactory.

Best Stainless Steel: Cuisinart Cookware Set

A premium cookware option, this complete set turns your oven and stove into a professional kitchen. The stainless steel material offers even heat distribution in ovens and on stoves that are as hot as 550 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also clean all of the pots, pans, and lids in your dishwasher without worrying about them losing their shiny, nonstick finish.

Key Features

  • 12 pieces
  • Stainless steel and aluminum
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Oven-safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit

What Customers Are Saying

Positively, customers valued the durable build, even heating, and tapered handles of this stainless steel cookware. Negatively, customers found that the stainless steel material stained after a few meals.

Best Comprehensive: GOTHAM STEEL Cookware and Bakeware Set

If you don’t have any supplies for cooking or baking in your home, this set provides you with everything you need. It includes four frying pans, three pots, five lids, a Dutch oven, a muffin tray, a steamer, a fry basket, a cookie tray, two cake pans, and a loaf pan. Every piece besides the steamer, fry basket, and Dutch oven, has a copper ceramic coating that’s nonstick and nontoxic.

Key Features

  • 20 pieces
  • Aluminum, glass, and ceramic
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit

What Customers Are Saying

The comprehensiveness and nonstick coating of this set were highlights in many positive customer reviews. However, unhappy customers cited small pan sizes, inconsistent coloring, and premature wear in their reviews.

Buyer’s Guide

Even if you’re purchasing a beginner cookware set, it’s still worth doing some research. Make sense of size, material, and other factors by reading our below buying guide.

Size

The size of a cookware set refers to the number of items it contains as well as the dimensions of those items. Keep in mind that manufacturers include lids and other accessories in the total count, so if a set is advertised as having eight pieces, it may only include four or five pots and pans.

Eight-to-12-piece cookware sets are usually sufficient for the average cook. If you don’t have any kitchen supplies, consider a 16-to-20-piece set with bakeware and utensils. Common pot and pan sizes range from four to 12 inches in diameter.

Material

The material your cookware is made from affects numerous elements, including how long it lasts and how you clean it. Here’s a brief overview of the most common cookware materials:

  • Copper: Copper cookware heats quickly and evenly and looks attractive. However, copper is prone to scratching and discoloration. It’s also expensive to purchase pure copper pots and pans.
  • Cast iron: Cast iron is the most durable cookware material, but it requires extra care to stay seasoned and corrosion-free. It takes some time for cast iron to heat, but once it does, it retains the heat well. It’s also oven- and grill-friendly.
  • Ceramic: Many cookware sets use ceramic for the nonstick, nontoxic coating. Although ceramic is prone to staining, it’s a solid mid-range finish option.
  • Aluminum: Although easy to dent and scratch, aluminum is a superior heat conductor. Most aluminum cookware sets come pre-treated with a nonstick coating to easily scrape off food.
  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel varies in quality, but true stainless steel cookware sets are often used in professional kitchens. Stainless steel resists scratching, denting, and discoloration. For ease of cleaning, this material is also dishwasher-safe.

Intended Use

Consider what dishes you like to make. If you’re a serious cook who makes a variety of meals, it’s worth investing in a high-end cookware set that comes with several durable pots and pans. Conversely, beginner cooks can get by fine with a simple budget set.

Maintenance

After using your pots and pans, you need to clean them. While certain cookware materials, including stainless steel, are dishwasher-safe, others have to be washed by hand. For easier cleaning, look for pots and pans with a nonstick coating so that you don’t have to soak or vigorously scrub them to get food off. The most difficult material to maintain is cast iron. It has specific instructions on cleaning and seasoning, which the manufacturer of your set should provide.

Compatibility

Make sure that the set you choose is compatible with the type of stove you have. If you like to throw your dishes in the oven to create a crispy or browned surface, your set also needs to be rated for oven use. The manufacturers of oven-safe sets typically provide a maximum temperature rating that hovers around 400–500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Accessories

Many cookware sets include more than just pots, pans, and lids. You’ll find sets with bakeware, including loaf pans, cookie trays, muffin trays, and cake pans. Other common accessories include spatulas, ladles, spoons, and oven mitts.

Taking Care of Your Cookware Set

Investing in a cookware set helps you make and enjoy more home-cooked meals. To take care of your investment, follow the below maintenance tips.

  • Avoid using metal tools, including knives, on your cookware. These tools can scratch pots and pans. Instead, use wood, plastic, or silicone utensils.
  • When in doubt, wash your cookware by hand. Although it requires more time, water, and effort than a dishwasher, you won’t have to worry about damaging your supplies.
  • Use plenty of butter or oil when you’re cooking to prevent sticking, burning, and staining.
  • Don’t stack coated pots and pans on top of each other. Instead, hang them on the wall, or use a tiered shelving system.
  • Don’t delay cleaning after you’re done eating. You should wash your cookware as soon as possible to prevent dried, caked-on food.
  • Clean your anodized aluminum cookware with liquid-based soap. Powdered soap can leave a chalk-like finish on this material.
  • Keep your cookware out of direct sunlight when you’re storing and using it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth buying a premium cookware set as a beginner cook?

In most cases, yes. Buying a high-quality cookware set can make cooking more enjoyable. It could also save you money in the long run because you won’t have to buy another set after a few years of use. Although damaging nice cookware as a novice chef is a valid concern, it’s worth investing in a decent set if you plan to make almost all of your meals at home.

Should I be worried about the nonstick coating on my cookware containing toxic chemicals?

Not anymore. Older pots and pans used to have a Teflon nonstick coating, which contained a potentially toxic ingredient called PFOA. However, manufacturers haven’t used this material since 2013.

What items aren’t usually in a cookware set?

While most cookware sets include several pots, pans, and lids, there are other items that you may want to purchase separately if you like to cook. To up your cooking game, considering a:

  • Griddle
  • Wok
  • Steamer
  • Dutch oven

Is butter or oil better for my cookware set?

Most cookware sets are designed to handle both butter and oil. Therefore, the choice is usually based on what dish you’re making. For example, butter works well for grilled cheese sandwiches, while oil is better for sauteed vegetables.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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