You don’t have to break the bank to buy a cookware set that can handle your cooking demands. Whether you’re particularly fond of a specific brand or you just want to replace an aging collection of pots and pans, a set can be an ideal investment. There are several factors to consider when narrowing down the options.
Budget is a main concern for many consumers, and you can easily find full sets for under $100. However, spending more typically gets you better overall quality and durability along with even heat distribution and features such as stay-cool handles and multi-ply construction.
It’s also crucial to make sure that the set contains the right type of pans — and the best sizes — to match up with your cooking needs. Some cookware sets are geared more towards specific uses such as induction cooking while others are suitable for a wide range of cooking.
1. T-fal E918SC Cookware Set
One of the hallmark features of this cookware set is its unique thermo-spot heat indicator, which shows you when the pan is optimally preheated for cooking. The nonstick interior is scratch resistant and is safe to use with metal utensils. If you don’t want to deal with cleaning the pans, simply place them in the dishwasher. An anti-warp base protects against warping and promotes even heat distribution for the most desirable cooking results. This 12-piece T-fal set, which includes saute pans, sauce pans with accompanying lids, a dutch oven with a lid, as well as a slotted spatula and solid spoon, works with all cooking methods except induction. It’s also oven safe up to 400 degrees.
- Thermo indicator
- Scratch-resistant nonstick interior
- Anti-warp base
- Saute pans don’t have lids
- Doesn’t have stay-cool handles
- Not ideal for higher temperatures
2. Cook N Home 15 Piece Cookware Set
This budget-friendly 15-piece cookware set includes a covered 3-quart casserole, covered 1-quart sauce pan, covered 5-quart dutch oven, covered 2-quart sauce pan, 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, and nylon tools. Soft touch handles remain cool while you cook and are outfitted with an anti-slip silicone material. The set also features tempered glass lids that let you keep watch over your meal from start to finish. Each pan is constructed with a heavy gauge aluminum material, ensuring even and prompt heat distribution. The exterior is easy to clean. A smaller Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel Set is also available.
Price: $47.05 (33 percent off MSRP)
- Soft touch handles
- Tempered glass lids
- Heavy gauge aluminum construction
- Utensils aren’t heat-resistant
- Screws on handles and lids can come loose over time
- May warp when cooked over higher heat
3. Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
Highlights of this cookware set include a stainless steel steamer, second skillet, and a multi-use saute pan. A professional-level triple ply construction consists of a stainless steel interior and exterior for enhanced durability. The set also comes with a heat surround technology that provides continuous and even heat distribution along the base and walls of the pans. Cool grip handles remain cool on the stove top so that you can move and lift the pans as needed even if they’re still warm. The polished stainless steel surface won’t alter flavors or react with the food you’re cooking. Additional Cuisinart cookware options include the Cuisinart 77-10 Chef’s Classic Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set and Cuisinart 77-7 Chef’s Classic Stainless 7-Piece Cookware Set.
Price: $240.34 (8 percent off MSRP)
- Includes stainless steel steamer
- Heat surround technology
- Cool grip handles
- Takes a bit more effort to clean
- Requires proper pre-heating
- Pans can stain after cooking and washing
Find more Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set information and reviews here.
4. Calphalon 8 Piece Classic Nonstick Cookware Set
You can expect even heat distribution and overall durability from this Calphalon cookware set thanks to its hard-anodized aluminum construction. Tempered glass lids let you keep a close watch over your meal as it cooks. The double-coated interior surface is also non-stick. While the pans aren’t dishwasher safe, they can be cleaned with soap and water. The cookware set includes fry pans along with sauce pans, a saute pan, and a stock pot. Aside from the frying pans, every other piece comes with a cover. Measuring marks and pour spouts are included to help you save valuable time in the kitchen. The set also features straining lids for added convenience. It’s oven safe up to 450 degrees and should be used with coated, nylon, or wooden utensils to avoid damaging the surfaces.
Price: $149.99 (17 percent off MSRP)
- Hard-anodized aluminum construction
- Tempered glass covers
- Easy to clean
- Nonstick finish begins to flake and wear off over time
- Pan bottoms darken easily
- Not dishwasher safe
5. WearEver C943SF Pure Living Nonstick Ceramic Coating Cookware Set
This 15-piece ceramic cookware set is free from potentially harmful chemicals such as PTFE and PFOA. Soft touch silicone handles provide a comfortable and secure grip as you cook. Another highlight is the heavy gauge aluminum material with a ceramic coating. Not only does this material offer stain and scratch resistance, several consumers also note that it holds up well over time. The set features a high quality aluminum base for even heat distribution and more efficient cooking. You can safely use this set up to 350 degrees. If you don’t need quite so many pans, consider the smaller 10-piece cookware set.
- PTFE and PFOA-free
- Soft touch silicone handles
- Exceptional stain and scratch resistance
- Can become discolored over time
- Paint may start to chip off
- Nonstick material can start to wear off after a few months
Find more WearEver C943SF Pure Living Nonstick Ceramic Coating Cookware Set information and reviews here.
6. Heim Concept 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set with Glass Lid
If you want a higher quality multi-piece stainless steel cookware set at an affordable price, this Heim Concept collection is a solid choice. The set includes a fry pan, sauce pan, and three casseroles. Each item comes with its own lid. Other features include a thicker bottom for even heat distribution and tempered glass lids that let you keep close track of your meal as it’s cooking. You can also use this cookware set with a variety of cooking sources including electric, gas stove, glass, and ceramic. The interior and exterior mirror polished stainless steel provides an upscale appearance.
Price: $47.95 (52 percent off MSRP)
- Thicker bottom for even heat distribution
- Includes a lid with each piece
- Polished stainless steel material
- Stainless steel exterior may turn brown
- Pans are a bit thin
- Handles get hot
Find more Heim Concept 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set with Glass Lid information and reviews here.
7. All-Clad BD005710-R D5 10-Piece Cookware Set
This 10-piece cookware set is a bit pricier than many, but it’s a sensible investment for the serious cook. Bonded stainless steel material promotes even heat distribution, particularly during induction cooking. The durable stainless steel material is also warp-resistant. The high quality 18/10 material is stick-resistant and non-reactive with just about any type of food. A multi-ply construction includes alternating layers of aluminum and stainless steel for superior durability. While this set is optimized for induction cooking, you can just as easily use it on a traditional cooktop as well as in the oven or even under the broiler. Each piece is dishwasher safe.
- Durable bonded stainless steel
- Optimized for induction cooking
- Not ideal for high heat
- Uncomfortable handles
8. T-fal C530SC Signature Nonstick Cookware Set
As with other T-fal cookware sets, this one features a distinctive Thermo-Spot indicator that lights up when the pan is properly pre-heated. Durable heavy-gauge aluminum construction promotes fast and even heating for optimal results. This set is constructed with a nonstick interior made without harmful chemicals such as PFOA and lead. The comfortable handles are also heat-resistant. A vented glass lid locks in heat and moisture and allows you to keep track of your meal’s progress. A stainless steel alternative, T-fal C836SC Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom Cookware Set, is also available.
Price: $56.19 (38 percent off MSRP)
- Thermo-Spot indicator
- Durable aluminum construction
- Vented tempered glass lids
- Larger pans don’t come with lids
- Food can stick to bottom of pans
- Some complain the handles can get too hot
9. GreenLife 14 Piece Cookware Set
Each pan in this ceramic cookware set comes with a ceramic non-stick coating for healthier cooking without making a mess. Another feature is stay-cool handles with a soft grip for safety and comfort as you cook. These pans are dishwasher-safe and can handle up to 350 degrees. Despite their lightweight construction, these pans have a solid base for even heat distribution and stability. The set is also available in red and black.
- Ceramic non-stick coating
- Durable base
- Can be used in the oven
- Relatively small size
- Tends to stain easily
- Prone to chips and scratches
Find more GreenLife 14 Piece Nonstick Ceramic Cookware Set with Soft Grip information and reviews here.
10. Gotham Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set
This cookware set stands out for its lightweight construction and ultra non-stick surface. The surface is made from a combination of high-grade ceramic and titanium material for added durability, and has a high heat threshold. In addition, the ceramic component won’t alter flavors during the cooking process. Other highlights include a rust-proof construction and coating that won’t peel off despite heavy use.
- Ultra non-stick surface
- Constructed with high-grade titanium and ceramic material
- High heat threshold
- Handles can get hot
- Small fry pan doesn’t come with a lid
- Set isn’t induction compatible