Do you have a passion for cooking but your hardware isn’t up to snuff?
If you want to find out what the best pots and pans to buy are today, stick with this review so your food doesn’t stick to the surface!
Cooking is an art form, and we aren’t just talking about the numerous breathtaking displays one can create with it. We’re thinking more along the lines of the subtle yet precise nature in which food is prepared.
For a dish to turn out just right or exactly the way grandma used to make, you’ll need a steady hand, focus and a knack for combining the right ingredients with precise timing.
All of your hard work can be for naught though if you don’t have the tight cookery to actually prepare the food in. This is where we come in.
The guide you are reading is taking a look at some of the finest cookware for hobbyists and professional chefs alike.
We’ve sifted through a host of products and have rounded up those that stand out into our best pots and pans reviews for your convenience.
We’ve divided the guide roughly into three parts.
First we’re showcasing premium cooking products that are sure to produce mouth-watering results.
Then we’re turning our attention to more affordable, but nevertheless enticing cookery that will get the job done right a a reasonable price. We’ll bring it home by outlining some additional factors you might need to ponder over before deciding on what set to call your own.
Once you’ve absorbed all the information in the guide, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what a quality set of cookware is all about and will be able to pick out the one that suits your needs and budget the most.
So let’s get cooking, shall we?
|Name||Number of Pieces||Material||Color||Rating||Price|
|All-Clad 401488R||10||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||4.8||$$$$|
|Anolon Advanced Bronze 82676||11||Anodized Aluminum||Black||4.6||$$$|
|T-fal C836SC||12||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||4.4||$|
|Cuisinart MCP-12N||12||Stainless Steel||Silver||4.3||$$|
|Rachael Ray Cucina 16344||12||Aluminum + Porcelain||Agave Blue||4.2||$$|
|Paula Deen 12513||15||Aluminum||Aqua Speckle||4.5||$|
|Cook N Home NC-00250||12||Stainless Steel||Silver||4.1||$|
Premium Cooking Pots and Pans
1. All-Clad 401488R Stainless Steel Tri-Ply(4.8 / 5)
If there’s anything that frustrates professional chefs and housewives alike it’s the sensation you experience when taking a bite from your favorite dish only to discover that it is well done on the outside but leaves a lot to be desired in its center.
If this is an all too familiar sight, getting the 401488R will make unevenly cooked dishes a thing of the past.
This is a 10 piece set which contains an 8 quart stockpot, a 3 quart sauté pan, 2 and 3 quart sauce pans as well as 8- and 10-inch fry pans.
All of these items except the fry pans come with their own lid as well. The lids are flat and made of stainless steel, as are all of the handles which are secured by stainless steel rivets.
It’s secret lies in its specially engineered tri-ply construction.
Two layers of stainless steel are wrapped around a core of aluminum, making the heat spread out evenly throughout the cookery. The aluminum core extends all the way to the sides, ensuring that food is heated equally no matter where it is in the pot.
You can use this line on any type of range, including induction, and you can even place it in the oven to cook more elaborate dishes.
Once you’re done, you can simply put the cookware into your dishwasher, or wash it by hand.
Since most of the cooking surfaces aren’t non-stick (although there are options for those as well), a thin coat forms whenever you use one of the pans to cook or fry something.
Some vigorous scrubbing on your part or soaking the pan for a while before cleaning and it will be good as new in no time.
Even though the surfaces aren’t explicitly nonstick, the starburst finish means that food will have a harder time sticking to them than to a completely flat surface, and it ensures that the inner layer does not react with your food in any way.
We’ve found that the 401488R is simply the best pots and pans set out there right now. Its high quality make and the sturdy materials used will ensure that the set will last you for a life time if cared for properly.
It might be a bit pricy, but keep in mind that you are getting a professional-grade set that will evenly cook your food and make it taste great as well.
This might just be the last set of cookware you’ll ever buy, so why not make it count?
2. Anolon Advanced Bronze Hard Anodized Nonstick(4.6 / 5)
Stainless steel sets are all fine and dandy, but what if you’d like cookware that is equally efficient at preparing your food but sports a different kind of elegance and refined design?
If you have to have that set that works great while also looking sophisticated and at home in any high-end kitchen, then look no further than the Advanced Bronze set from Anolon.
With this set you get a 12-inch shallow grill pan, 8- and 10-inch open skillets, an 8-quart lidded stockpot as well as 1.5-and 3-quart lidded sauce pans. Each piece has a SureGrip handle made from stainless steel and silica.
They conform themselves extremely well to your hand and are oven-safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The lids are shaped like domes and are made of glass that is resistant to shattering.
The bronze finish seals the deal as it makes the whole set look elegant and at the forefront of aesthetic trends in cookware design today.
This set is constructed from hard anodized aluminum which grants it exceptional hardness and durability while being an excellent conductor of heat due to the aluminum core.
Another unique fact about it is the special nonstick formula used in the interior. It is called DuPont Autograph 2 and extensive testing has shown that it is one of the most durable coatings on the market today, being resistant to scratches and oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can use metal utensils while stirring or otherwise handling your food without the fear of the coating being damaged or food being contaminated.
The Advanced Bronze set has a few minor drawbacks. It can not be used with induction stoves and isn’t suited for dishwashers either, so you’ll have to wash it by hand and let encrusted stains soak for a while before washing.
While the unique interior coating prevents scratching marvelously, caution is advised when handling the pots’ outer surface as the beautiful finish is susceptible to scratching and easily marred by scratches.
These minor annoyances aside, the Advanced Bronze are some of the best non stick pots and pans we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing.
Their superior coating will make cooking your 100th meal exactly as exciting and rewarding as cooking your first, and their unique appearance will give you a nice topic to discuss whenever you have dinner guests over.
3. T-fal C836SC Ultimate Stainless Steel(4.4 / 5)
There’s something about copper we find particularly enticing.
Not only does it have a unique color that adds a touch of natural elegance to your cookware, it is also a highly effective heat conductor, which means the heat will travel as quickly as possible from your stove through the pot to your food with minimal energy loss and with great results.
T-fal, who have been on the market for over 60 years now, continue to impress with their high quality products, this time with the C836SC cooking set.
This is a 12 piece set that includes 1, 2 and 3 quart sauce pans, a 5.5 quart covered dutch oven, an 8 inch and a 10.5 inch fry pan as well as a stainless steel spoon and slotted turner.
The oven and sauce pans have glass lids that allow you to watch the cooking process and intervene as needed. They also have vents which will let out steam and prevent the lids from moving when the water inside is boiling.
The handles are ergonomically designed and feel very comfortable when gripped. There are internal measuring marks that allow you t add the exact amount of ingredients you need at just the right time.
The great thing about this set is the aforementioned copper used in form of heat channels on the bottoms of the cookware. This augments the already impressive heat distribution we’ve come to expect from a stainless steel / aluminum core design.
The set is lighter than a comparable one made from cast-iron, but is strong, resistant to warping and able to cook meals quickly at the same time.
The items in this set are dishwasher safe and can be used on any type of stove as well as in the oven at a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some users have complained that the nonstick surface tends to come off rather easily, but this is something you can avoid if you take care of and use the set properly.
All in all, T-fal’s C836SC are top rated pots and pans that are sure to help you prepare your food safely and adequately while looking fabulous at the same time. If durability, great results and stylish design are what you are looking for, this set has your name written all over it.
4. Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro(4.3 / 5)
Cuisinart are known for their excellent quality products which are still rather accessible. Their newest development, the MCP-12N line is a fine example of the no nonsense, good quality results approach the company takes when making all of their products.
The set is made up of an 8 quart stockpot, 1-1/2- and 3-quart covered saucepans, 8- and 10-inch open skillets, a 3-1/2-quart covered sauté pan as well as a steamer insert with lid.
The handles ensure a tight, slip-free grip while being cool to the touch. They do look a bit basic, but get the job done flawlessly. Flared rims on the pans and pot ensure that you can pour liquids out of them without spilling a drop.
The lids are also made from quality stainless steel and as resistant to corrosion as the rest of the set.
All-Clad have held the patent for various stainless patents until about a decade ago when other companies were finally permitted to imitate it. As one might expect, this has led to a host of cheap knock-offs that were advertised as the real deal.
Luckily, companies like Cuisinart took advantage of the new technology and came p with their own less expensive but nevertheless reliable product lines.
The MCP-12N line showcases the best of what stainless steel has to offer – even heat distribution, an appealing mirror-like shine, top performance under varying conditions and the ability to be safely cleaned in a dishwasher.
All things considered, these were some of the best pans for cooking that we’ve encountered while writing this guide. The uncompromising quality coupled with a great value are what makes this set worthy of your serious consideration.
5. Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Porcelain(4.2 / 5)
What if all that shiny steel isn’t your thing though?
What if you want a sturdy cookery set that will cook your food to perfection but which looks cheerful and elegant as opposed to sterile and serious?
It looks like the hard porcelain Cucina line from Rachel Ray is just what the doctor ordered.
With this set you’ll be getting a 1- and 3- quart covered sauce pan, a 3-quart covered sauté pan, 8.5- and 10- inch skillets as well as a slotted turner and spoon combo.
The Cuchina line comes in an assortment of bright colors ranging from agava blue to pumpkin orange. The lids are made of glass and have sturdy stainless steel handles that are covered in rubber of the same color as the cookware.
This is a non stick set where the pieces are comprised of three layers. The inner layer is similar to steel sets and is made from highly conductive aluminum that ensures an even spread of heat. The outer layer is hard enameled porcelain that makes this set light and easy to handle.
Customers have voiced complaints about several issues however. The bigger one stems from the fact that the set is thin due to its porcelain make. This means that it isn’t as durable as its stainless steel alternatives. The nonstick coating is susceptible to scratching, so use wooden utensils while cooking.
Another complaint of smaller importance is that the spoon and slotted turner are made from nylon and are of a low quality, but this shouldn’t be a factor that makes or breaks the deal for you.
In a nutshell, the Cuchina is a good set of pots and pans for everyday use and its place among other top rated cookware is certainly deserved.
If you don’t plan on using it for heavy-duty cooking every day of the week, and if you like your cookware to reflect your own colorful personality, then this set should serve you just fine.
Top Rated Affordable Pots and Pans
1. T-fal E765SC Ultimate Hard Anodized(4.8 / 5)
We all make mistakes, and especially if you are just starting on your journey to become a kitchen wiz, you’re bound to cut your fingers a few times or make a soggy bread roll or two.
Luckily, T-fal have engineered the E765SC Ultimate, a set which will at least make sure that you always know when the cookery has reached its ideal cooking temperature.
The 12 piece set comes with a covered stockpot, 3 covered sauce pans, 2 sauté pans, a skillet and a solid spoon. You’ll keep your cool when handling the pots as the silicone handles do not conduct heat and will keep you from injuring yourself.
The tempered glass lids will ensure that you can always take a look at what’s cooking without lifting them up and compromising the temperature.
The unique thing about this set is its innovative thermospot heat indicator in form of a circle in the middle of each piece.
Since the Anodized aluminum make ensures that hat is transferred quickly and efficiently, the spot will turn completely red once the pot or pan has been adequately preheated, allowing you to start cooking at an optimal temperature every time.
If you’re into this whole new food science thing either of its pans will be the best saucepan for the nerd within you.
Once you get cooking its titanium-based scratch-resistant surface will ensure that cooking even with metal utensils don’t pose much of a problem. Taking a look down below reveals that this set features warp resistant bases which allow for the heat to circulate and warm your food from all sides.
You can clean it in a dishwasher and cook with it using an oven, but this set is not suitable for induction stoves.
As we’ve seen above, anodized aluminum sets are not dishwasher-safe most of the time, making this one a positive exception. Most of the time the pans are so easy to clean though that you simply won’t bother.
When all is said and done, its sturdy make, elegant look and, above all else, the innovative heat spot feature make this set by T-fal the best pots and pans for the money.
They’re ideal for introducing newcomers to the world of cooking as well as being a solid, comprehensive set that is sure to last you a very long time. We’re convinced, and you should be too.
2. Paula Deen Signature Nonstick(4.5 / 5)
It looks like celebrity chefs have a thing for porcelain cookware. We can’t blame them – there’s nothing like a colorful cookery set to spruce up your kitchen and cook you a fine meal at the same time.
Paula Deen has decided to make her set a bit more accessible, but how does that bode for its quality?
This 15 piece set contains a 6-quart stockpot, a 2.75-quart sauté pan, 1- and 2-quart saucepans, 8- and 10- inch skillets as well as a 5 piece measuring spoon set.
It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty that ensures you’ll have a stress-free time when cooking, at least as far as the integrity of our cookware is concerned.
The dual riveted handles with soft-touch grip make for stable use, but the rivets tend to be where grime accumulates making the set somewhat harder to clean. The glass lids have color coordinated copper knobs which you can easily use to pick them up and work with your food.
The set features a non stick, scratch resistant surface which prevents tough stains and makes cleanup both easy and hassle-free.
The aluminum core makes sure everything is cooked quickly and evenly while the enameled porcelain finish provides a colorful and visually attractive style while being perfect for everyday use. You can use the set in an oven up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is not dishwasher safe.
As with the other ceramic set, problems arise due to the thin construction and ceramic enamel that can compromise durability. This might not be the best pans for cooking in the guide, but a good mix of substance and style for an affordable price make it a worthwhile choice.
3. Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel(4.1 / 5)
Do you have your sights set on a stainless steel cooking set, but don’t want to spend an exorbitant amount of cash on the very best lines?
The folks over at Cook N Home know how you feel and have come up with a cookery line that boasts most of the features you’d expect from a more expensive product while managing to retain a good balance of quality and price.
With it you get three casseroles of 1.5-, 2- and 3- quarts respectively, a 1.5-quart covered sauce pan with lid, a 5.5-quart covered stock pot and a 10-inch covered fry pan.
Unlike every other set in the guide, each piece, even the frying pan, comes with its own lid, which is very practical and a nice, considerate touch.
The manufacturer claims that the set isn’t suited for use with induction stoves, but satisfied customers claim that they’ve been using it without much trouble, adding to the set’s overall value.
In the end, this set features the best stainless steel pots and pans for people on a budget. It is a functional, practical and cost-effective addition to any kitchen and will prove to be worth much more than you paid for it.
4. Vremi 15 Piece Nonstick Cookware Set(4.0 / 5)
Singles love cooking as well, and nothing impresses the ladies quite like a man that can whip up a home cooked romantic dinner.
If you’re the type of person that’s just started living on his or her own, or have a small household where people aren’t too fussy about the range of cookware you’ve amassed, then this 15 piece set by Vremi will satisfy all your needs and then some.
You’ll get a stockpot, 2 frying pans, 3 sauce pans and a versatile 5 piece kitchen utensil set which should satisfy all of your basic grabbing, stirring and serving needs.
The set is available in a stylish all black coat that is resistant to scratching and looks classy, or you can also opt for a multi-color option where each piece is of a vibrant and unique color that is sure to brighten your kitchen up the moment you display the pieces on a rack.
As one would expect at this price range, the overall build is a little thin making the set prone to disfigurement if handled carelessly. Nothing a little common sense wouldn’t mitigate though.
They are also best cared for by cleaning with soapy water and by hand rather than using a dishwasher because it can damage the coating and leave spots.
Bottom line – these are good pots and pans and for this price tag they’re practically giving them away. Get your set before the stock runs out (pun somewhat intended).
5. T-fal A821SA Initiatives Nonstick(4.0 / 5)
We’ll wrap our reviews up with another entry from T-fal. The A821SA Initiatives line might not have all the bells and whistles its thermo spot cousin does, but it is nevertheless a quality product line that offers versatility at a great value.
You’ll get 3 frying pans with diameters of 8”, 9” and 11” respectively, 1- and 2- quart saucepans, 5- quart dutch oven and a steamer insert. All the pieces are treated with a nonstick coating that makes food preparation and cleanup easy. The aluminum base serves as a fine conductor, meaning that your food will be ready in no time.
What can we say, this is a functional, what you see is what you get cookery set that does what it’s supposed to and can last years with proper care.
It certainly isn’t the best set of pots and pans, but hey, a the three frying pans allow you to make multiple pancakes at once, and we’re suckers for a good pancake!
Things to Consider before Making a Purchase
Now that you’re better informed about what the best pans to cook with are, you might already know which top rated cookware you want to buy. Still, take a moment to consider the following factors before committing to anything.
Materials matter! – As we’ve seen, the best pots and pans sets are also made from the best materials, be that stainless steel, copper or aluminum.
It might be a truism, but the heavier it is, the better. And with good reason too as today’s sets are heavy because of their multi-layer construction which ensures well-rounded cooking.
The best materials are also the most resistant meaning that you are getting sturdy pots which might cost more upfront, but also might end up saving you money in the end because of their longevity.
Consider giving that extra dollar now to save yourself the headache down the road.
To stick or not to stick? – That is certainly the question. Depending on the quality of the product, having or not having non stick coating can be either a good or bad idea.
It isn’t as confusing as it sounds really. Some high-grade products don’t have a non stick coating, but still manage to be stick-resistant due to the manner in which they were made.
Other lines boast cutting edge coating that can’t be touched by metal utensils. On the other hand, even expensive coating can suffer scratches rendering the pan useless.
Consider what type of food you’ll end up preparing the most an go for a surface option that accommodates that.
Can it take the heat? – Another thing to keep in mind is that not all the products in the guide are suited for every type of stove. As we’ve seen, man of them aren’t suitable for use with the newer induction technology.
Most can be used in the oven, but the temperatures they can be exposed to vary as well.
Finally, some lines can’t be cleaned in the dishwasher, so you’ll have to spend more time cleaning them by hand or even soaking them beforehand to get the more stubborn leftovers off without damaging your pan.
If you have a fondness for the latest technological developments, like cooking roasts, casseroles and the like, or if you don’t have time to wash your pot by hand every time you use it, pay close attention to the limitations each line has.
That was certainly a lot of info to digest! We’re sure however that by doing so you’ve gained a much clearer picture of the best pots and pans to buy for your particular needs and cooking aspirations. As we’ve seen, the range of materials, production quality as well as a whole host of design and color options are all present to make your choice that much more difficult.
So what is the best cookware? Well, we’ve picked our favorites in both categories, but there are many more factors to consider. Maybe you are loyal to a brand you’ve been using for years and have discovered we’ve put one of their newer products on the list as well, or maybe you just love the colorful sets celebrity chefs have been producing recently.
Whichever set you end up buying, your imagination and perseverance will ultimately decide how much enjoyment you’ll get out of it, so put your apron on, heat your stove up and start making culinary magic. Bon appetite!