Top Cookware Sets: The Best of the Best
Let’s take a look at the best cookware as voted by Amazon consumers. These are the ones that have been rated no less than 4 out of 5. We’ve reviewed a number of these ourselves and have indicated as such below.
These are the best cookware sets:
- Cuisinart Multiclad Pro 12pc Cookware Set – best stainless steel set
- Cook N Home 12pc Stainless Steel Cookware Set – best budget cookware set
- Anolon Advanced 11pc Cookware Set – best hard-anodized cookware set
- Cooks Standard 8pc Hard Anodized Cookware Set – best budget cookware set
- Lodge Seasoned 5pc Cast Iron Cookware Set – best bare cast iron cookware set
- Le Creuset 5pc Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set – best enameled cast iron cookware set
- Cuisinart 11pc Copper Try-Play Stainless Steel Cookware Set – best value for money copper cookware set
Best Stainless Steel Set
Cuisinart Multiclad Pro 12 piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
We are big fans of this set. We both have personally been using Cuisinart for many years now and back when we first started this website, it was one of the first cookware sets we purchased to review. It is the one set we would recommend to anyone wanting to buy a good quality stainless steel cookware set at a reasonable price.
You can actually see the set in the image below amongst most of the other cookware and accessories we have reviewed over time.
We both also use All-Clad which is high-end cookware, used not only by home cooks but also by many chefs, and in all honesty we prefer the Cuisinart set.
- 8″ skillet
- 10″ skillet
- 1.5qt saucepan
- 3qt saucepan
- 3.5qt saute pan
- steamer insert
- 8qt stockpot
We’ve already written a full review for it but let’s just summarize the basics to see why it is our favorite stainless steel set.
1. Appearance – This is one good looking set of cookware. You can see in the image above how glossy and shiny it is. It really does look like something you would see in a chef’s kitchen. The outside of the pans is brushed stainless steel while the inside cooking surface is polished.
2. Even heat distribution – Have you ever cooked a steak only to find that part of it is overcooked while the rest is underdone? This has a lot to do with the cookware that you use. Cuisinart is up there with the best in this regard as you can see from this test.
The reason this Cuisinart set is so good at this is because of the aluminum core. Aluminum has much better heat distribution than stainless steel so by plonking it in between the two layers of stainless steel we get the best of both worlds. Plus, many cookware sets encase the aluminum in the base only; the Cuisinart set, on the other hand, runs the aluminum core up the sides of the pan as well.
Now let’s be honest here, you will never get perfect heat distribution with this as it will be dependent on your stovetop. My electric stovetop is going to get a different result to a gas stovetop for example but the price point of this set makes this an excellent deal for what you are getting.
If you really want to get the best heat distribution you can get then you might want to go with the All-Clad D7 range which you can find on Amazon here or get yourself a set of copper cookware (see further below for our recommendation). Both are going to be expensive but it will be a lifetime investment.
3. Dishwasher safe – Personally I prefer to hand wash my cookware. Now that maybe because I don’t have a dishwasher, but even if I did, I would hand wash. However, it’s good to know that you can if you want.
4. Suitable for induction stoves – If you have an induction stovetop then you are good to go with this set.
5. Amazon Choice – Amazon has labeled this as a ‘Choice’ product which means it is highly rated and well priced.
I could go on but if you want to read more about this set then check out the Cuisinart review we did for it.
You can also head straight over to Amazon to check out the price.
Best BUDGET Stainless Steel Set
Cook N Home 12 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Now this one is a real bargain with price ranging somewhere between $40 to $60. Of course, you are not going to get the quality of Cuisinart or All Clad but if you are on a serious budget then this is the set for you.
It’s a 12pc set so a decent size. Here’s what’s included:
- 1.5qt saucepan and lid
- 1.5qt casserole and lid
- 2qt casserole and lid
- 3qt casserole and lid
- 5.5qt stockpot and lid
- 10″ saute pan and lid
So what makes it such good value for money? It’s the fact that they have included a layer of aluminum in the core. Sure, it’s not running up the sides of the pan like the Cuisinart set mentioned above but the fact that they got it in there is pretty good at this price point. This means that you are going to get some even heat distribution so it’s going to reduce those hot spots where you get one part of your food cooking nicely and the rest is still raw.
The ratings are pretty good for this too considering the price. As I write this post, this set is rated at 4.3 out of 5 on Amazon.
You can check out the price for this set on Amazon here.
Best Hard Anodized Cookware Set
Anolon Advanced 11pc Cookware Set
We purchased this set many years ago now and the pieces that are left are still in great condition. Now you may be wondering what happened to the other pieces. The answer is that we don’t keep every single piece of cookware that we personally review. We will divvy up some sets between us, some will be sold off and some will be given to family members as presents. We just can’t keep everything we review as neither of us has unlimited storage.
Plus, frypans and saute pans are just not going to last forever although the ones we had lasted around 4 years or so. Wanda still has the large saute pan but doesn’t use it that often.
This is the thing with non-stick, frypans are just not going to last as long as saucepans. I often see people complaining about their non-stick cookware on Amazon. It’s always the same story – they’ve had a set for 2 or 3 years and their frypan has seen better days. Unfortunately when it comes to non-stick 3 years is about right – if you can get to 5 years then hooray! And like I said, the saucepans can last even longer than that. We both still have the two saucepans from this set.
You can also read our personal review for this set here.
You can also head straight to Amazon to check the price here.
Best BUDGET Hard Anodized Cookware Set
Cooks Standard Black 8pc Nonstick Hard Anodized Cookware Set
If you are on a budget, this is a great little set. Perfect for college students, a couple or a single person. It does only include 8 pieces but those really are all that a lot of people would use.
- 1qt saucepan with lid
- 2qt saucepan with lid
- 6qt saucepan with lid
- 9.5″ fry pan
- 11″ fry pan
This one sells on Amazon from as low as $70 but averages around $85, so it’s quite a bargain for such a nice looking set. The ratings are quite good too at 4.6 out of 5 at the time of writing this post.
The set has a hard-anodized surface and an aluminum core so you will get even heat distribution.
It’s not suitable for induction cooktops but for anyone else who might be counting their pennies then this one might be the one.
You can check the price on Amazon here.
Best Cast Iron Cookware Set
Lodge Seasoned 5pc Cast Iron Cookware Set
If you love the idea of cooking in bare cast iron then Lodge is one of the better brands to go with. They’ve been in business since 1856 so they know a thing or two about cookware.
- 0.5 Inch Griddle
- 8′ Skillet
- 10.25″ Skillet
- 5qt (10.25″) Dutch Oven
- Cast Iron Cover that fits 10.25″ Skillet and the 5qt Dutch Oven
- This set comes preseasoned and Lodge does state that it seasons its pans with 100% vegetable oil and does not use chemical or synthetic sprays. If you’ve never used cast iron before it’s important to note that the more you use your cast iron the better the seasoning becomes which ultimately leads to a better non-stick surface.
- It’s made in the USA from a family-owned business.
- Great heat retention – this cookware retains heat long after you have extinguished the heat source.
- Budget-friendly – Bare cast iron is always pretty cheap compared to stainless steel or non-stick or any other type of cookware for that matter. Even though Lodge is one of the better brands of cast iron cookware, this set is still priced at only around the $80 mark on Amazon which is a bargain. You can click here for the latest price.
- This cookware will last you a lifetime and you can easily pass this down to your children and they could probably pass it down to theirs. It’s solid and durable. That’s not to say it’s indestructible – it can crack in certain situations especially during rapid heating or cooling. It can also chip and pit.
Things to think about…
- You will notice that the handles are bare cast iron. This means they will get as hot as the pan itself so you are going to need to get yourself some silicone handles or use some really good oven gloves that can withstand these really hot temperatures.
- You will need to know how to clean your cast iron cookware as well as how to season it. Here’s a short video explaining how to do that.
Best Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set
Le Creuset 5pc Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set
I’m a bit of a fan of Le Creuset enameled cookware. I have the Dutch Oven and have had it for around 10 years now and it is still in perfect condition.
It’s probably considered to be one of the best brands of enameled cookware, along with Staub.
The Set Includes:
- 5 1/2 qt Round Dutch Oven with Lid
- 1 3/4 qt Saucepan with Lid
- 9″ Iron Handle Skillet
- Their cast iron cookware is made in France. (Just a side note, I took a look at the Lodge enamel cookware and apparently it is now made in China. However, their bare cast iron is still made in the USA.)
- It looks beautiful enough to have out on show.
- You get all the benefits of cast iron without having to worry about seasoning. Even the skillet is coated in enamel despite its black appearance.
- It works on gas, electric, ceramic, halogen, induction stovetops.
- These are often safe.
- It comes in an amazing range of colors.
The Not So Good
- This set isn’t cheap. The price is around $520 as of writing this blog post but you can check out the latest price on Amazon here.
- It’s heavy so if you have muscle or joint problems, you might struggle with these especially if the pot is full.
Best Copper Cookware Set
Who wouldn’t want to own a beautiful looking copper cookware set? I know I would, however, I probably would never get one. Not so much because they are so expensive but because I know that before long, they would start to look dull and lose that beautiful shiny copper look which makes them so special. I’m not one for spending hours polishing up cookware.
However, there are ways around this. This is where ply cookware comes into play.
Ply cookware is made up of layers of different metals that go together to make up the cookware. You may have heard of tri-ply cookware which is made up of 3 layers of metal, usually a stainless steel outer coating, an aluminum inner core, and a stainless steel cooking surface. In this case, however, the aluminum is replaced with copper although sometimes there can be both.
What this ultimately means is that you can get the benefits of copper cookware without the need for all that extra care and attention.
However, if the copper look is what you are after then you might want to take a look at the following:
High-End Copper Cookware
- Mauviel M’heritage 9pc Copper Cookware Set
- Ruffoni Protagonista 9pc Cookware Set
- Matfer Bourgeat 8pc Copper Cookware Set – (Picture Below)
Best Value for Money Copper Ply Cookware Set
Cuisinart 11pc Copper Try-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set
If you read the best stainless steel section above, you will know that we are fans of the Cuisinart Multiclad set, but they also make a Copper ply set. It’s priced around $430 and this makes it exceptional value for a copper cookware set.
- 1qt saucepan
- 2-1/2qt saucepan
- 5qt sauté pan
- 8qt stockpot and lid
- 18cm steamer insert
- 8″ skillet
- 10″ skillet
Bear in mind, that you are still going to have an issue with the copper outer surface dulling over time. I noticed that one of the most critical reviews on Amazon related to this. However, I also noticed one of the reviewers with a similar complaint who spoke about a product called Wright’s Copper Cream and you can see the difference in the image below. You can get it on Amazon here.
Here’s what she had to say and here’s the direct link to that comment on Amazon.
Best Copper Core Cookware Set
If you don’t want the bother of having to polish your copper cookware but still want to reap the benefits, then you might want to consider a copper core cookware set. These sets have a layer of copper in the base and are usually encased with stainless steel.
There is a difference between ‘copper core’ and ‘copper band’. If you see cookware described as having a ‘copper band’ like this Homi Chef set for example then essentially the copper is for looks only. Stick to copper core.
Some copper core sets you might want to consider include: