Whether it’s the kitchen utensils, the décor, or everyday tools, stainless steel has become an essential everyday use item. Its regarded for its endurance, longevity, and the enhancement of quality it brings to the things we use. But if we stop and think about which utensils specifically in our home go through the most rigorous of uses, we naturally think of the cookware.
The constant exposure to heat, scrubbing, washing, and round-the-clock use, makes the selection of our cookware an important thing. It doesn’t matter whether one is a home-based cook or professional restaurant chef, a parent who cooks for the family, or a student who lives off frozen items, cooking utensils are an indispensable need. And in this advanced era, the competition between products is intense. It can often get quite confusing as to what to invest in. We’ve compiled a list of the best stainless steel cookware sets that we think are a must-have in your kitchen.
- Stainless steel cookware reviews
- 1. Cuisinart MCP-7N – Best stainless steel cookware set of 2021
- 2. Farberware Millenium
- 3. Duxtop
- 4. Chef’s Star
- 5. Cook N Home 02410
- 6. Calphalon Classic
- 7. Cuisinart 89-11
- 8. HOMI CHEF
- 9. Magma A10-360L-IND
- 10. Calphalon Contemporary – Best stainless steel pan set
- Buying Guide
Stainless steel cookware reviews
1. Cuisinart MCP-7N – Best stainless steel cookware set of 2021
The Cuisinart stainless steel cookware is made for the modern kitchen, providing great design, technology, and performance cookware can offer.
Heat surround technology
Cuisinart is famous for its heat surround technology. This is the placement of conduction alloys at the base of the cookware in such a way that the heat is evenly distributed to the center and the sides of the pan or pot. This ensures a well-cooked meal prepared in a cost-efficient time. It works great on all stovetops.
The sticky issue
Teflon coating was all the rage a decade ago, and then we found out that it was intoxicating our food all this time. Now all health-conscious consumers are switching to stainless steel because of its commendable properties. The non-stick is in its sense not all literal. It can start to stick when heated excessively or this complaint generally arises from consumers who are new to using stainless steel pots and pans.
This is like a basic go-to stainless steel cookware that is great for a small family. It does not cater to larger meals; thus the 12 pieces set is recommended for that. Furthermore quality wise it is near professional grade. It’s great with its dull polish for the aesthetics which hardly anyone notices and the sturdiness. One feel of these pans and pots and one can be sure that they’ll last a lifetime. One point that needs to be noted is that the edges of the pots and pans are aluminum dusted so scrubbing them while washing can dull the polish and scratches may be extra visible there.
2. Farberware Millenium
This set has excellent value for money. It’s great for anyone trying to buy a decent variety of stainless steel pots and pans for everyday basic cooking. The assortment in this 10 piece set is a complete package to last quite a long time, or as the warranty states, a (limited) lifetime.
The set is a Farberware original design, and while they may have worked on the quality of this product, the design is bland and mundane. The packaging is satisfactory as well. In short, the packaging and the look of the entire set are very local and do not scream quality. However, the nonstick coating is a plus point. The glass lids make cooking convenient, and the items are sturdy.
Weight and heat distribution
One thing we couldn’t help but notice is how well the weight distribution has been managed. The glass lids add to the weight of the item, yet it does not feel heavy. It does weigh, mind you. But it’s evenly distributed in a way that does not cause strain to the wrist, especially when long strenuous cooking is required. The weight distribution furthermore allows a very efficient heat distribution and cooking is as easy as it can get. It’s safe to use on any type of stovetop.
We like to watch our food cook just as much as the next person. Glass lids let us do that. It also prevents loss of steam, moisture, and nutrients that occurs with opaque lids where one has to remove it from time to time to check in on the food. It adds to the aesthetics as well.
The glass lids can withstand a temperature of up to 500 degrees. It also adds to the weight, but we don’t mind that in this case. While glass lids may not seem like a special feature because of occurrence, it is notable that many do not have glass lids and resort to good old stainless steel or opaque lids.
Simplicity isn’t for everyone
While this 10-piece set may be the best stainless steel cookware set out there that is easy on the pocket and made for the most basic of the use, it is, however, all in all quite basic. And sometimes that is enough for most. But it isn’t ‘it’ for anyone looking for that extra factor or likes their cookware sophisticated. These are dishwasher, oven and, broiler safe.
Many households have all the cookware items present, but they’re bought one after the other from different places and have different appearances. Kitchen enthusiasts will always be left wanting if this is the case. The Duxtop is a stainless steel cookware set that is beautifully constructed and great for anyone looking to invest in a set that has it all-Quality, practicality, aesthetics, and ease of use.
Looks might not be everything – they’re something
We know that what an item looks like has almost nothing to do with the performance and practicality aspect. But if a product is good and has a great design, can you blame us? What those stainless steel pots and pans look like in your kitchen matters to a lot of consumers. Duxstop understands this and has created a set that performs just as well as it looks. The stainless steel is a gleaming grey that gives all the cookware in this set a sophisticated aura. The lids are fitted with tempered glass with a venting hole on the side surrounded by stainless steel seam that lets them fit snuggly on the pot.
Built to endure
This Duxtop stainless steel cookware set is considered a professional cooking grade caliber. How? In any of the quality cookware utensils, the base construction is a vital aspect of how well the item will perform. In this set, the base has been engineered to have a heavy gauge impact-bonded aluminum disc sandwiched between the stainless steel plates. This provides impressive conductivity and durability. The aluminum is bonded without using any adhesives so it’s absolutely void of any risk of contamination of food. The pots and pans themselves are also constructed from 18/10 gauge stainless steel bonded to heavy gauge aluminum through pressurized impact. This ensures great performance and tends to give a long-lasting absolute leak and crack proof experience.
Another thing that makes this set stand out as the best stainless steel cookware mentioned here is the versatility of use. Like a few others mentioned on our list, these also can accommodate any type of stovetops out there without altering the heat distribution. Stovetops such as induction, ceramic, electric, halogen, gas, glass, or even infra-red are not the slightest of an issue for these stainless steel pan sets.
4. Chef’s Star
As the name indicates, this company makes professional-grade cutlery and cookware especially designed for extensive, rigorous daily use.
Why the hype?
The Chef’s star 17-piece set is built with 18/8 commercial grade stainless steel along with the base encapsulating impact-bonded aluminum ensuring high-level endurance and longevity. The 17 piece set contains all the basic necessities of cookware plus the fancy, sophisticated ones that some high-level cooking requires. This is a cooking enthusiast fantasy come true kind of set.
Built to last
With its strong commercial-grade construction, a variety of items, and completely riveted handles for extra durability, it’s quite apparent that this is made to withstand all the heat, scratching, scrubbing, and whatnot. The anti-slip features and the ergonomic handle designs are great for use as well. It’s a sturdy, weighty, mean business, and can be used on all stove types. These are a dishwasher, broiler, oven, and even extensive freeze safe. All in all, these are made to last.
Easy on the pocket
The overall cost may seem a lot but if one takes into account the 17 pieces per set aspect and divide the cost over each item, it suddenly becomes quite a steal. For anyone looking to start over from scratch or renewing kitchen utensils, this is an easy haul that won’t cost an arm or a leg.
5. Cook N Home 02410
In our hunt to balance out a product that promises quality but is economical as well, we came across a Cook N Home stainless steel cookware set. For what it costs, one couldn’t help but be skeptical because of the notion that is often attached with that price tag. For something that costs this low, how can we trust it provides the same quality as other slightly high-end products that are a part of this stainless steel cookware review?
Easy come, hard go
Inexpensive does not mean inferior in quality when it comes to this stainless steel set. Constructed with mirror-polished 18/10 stainless steel with an encapsulated aluminum at the bottom for effective and efficient heat and weight distribution, this one is almost just as good as the rest of the cookware mentioned above. The construction material is high-grade quality; thus these pots and pans are durable. The mirror polishing makes these look great which one can hang anywhere in the kitchen saving storage space.
Handles need handling
The stainless steel handles are riveted on the sides of the pots and have a seamless finish. They are durable and sturdy. They tend to get heated while cooking, so that’s a bummer. Another complaint that arises is the surface friction between the metal utensil used while cooking and these pots and pans which leads to scratches. In no time, one’s month old cookware can start to look a year old. The same problem was observed here so might as well switch to plastic, wood, or silicone ones to protect the cookware.
6. Calphalon Classic
We’ve heard from a lot of people, that food made in quality cookware tastes better. And we think we’re starting to agree now. Calphalon stainless steel cookware is quite famous because of the company’s prior lengthy experience in making state-of-the-art cookware since 1963. They have made it easy for everyday people to have access to professional-grade cooking utensils so that they don’t miss out on what it feels like to use the best stainless steel cookware brands in the market.
This Calphalon stainless steel cookware set has it all. The basic qualities we’ve talked about in all the cookware sets above are a must-have – the encapsulated aluminum at the base, the ergonomic handles, and lids, the good quality and design, etc. One distinct feature that sets Calphalon apart from the rest is the employment of a technology called “hard anodizing.” It is a process of treating raw aluminum with an electrochemical process to produce high-performing and durable kitchen utensils and cookware.
Ease of use
Another thing that we appreciate is the convenient etched marks on the sides of the pots and pans for easy measuring. These fill lines and covers having straining holes that allow pouring thus making the draining process easier without having to use a separate colander. It is dishwasher friendly and is oven-safe as well. It can stand temperature up to 400 degrees F which may be slightly less than the others mentioned here. Drain spouts are a small yet useful addition that allows easy drainage of liquid, and we appreciate these.
7. Cuisinart 89-11
Another Cuisinart stainless steel cookware set? Yes, because they’re that good. Now, these come in two sets, an 11 piece and a 13 piece. The only difference between these two is a saute pan and a dutch oven with a lid.
These series have been made for everyday use. They are not professional grades like some mentioned here. We mean, not that this can’t be, but due to its lightweight appearance and thin walls, it seems rather a homely set. We are even slightly skeptical about recommending using it rigorously. The company does not say exactly what the steel quality is, but we do not expect any less quality than they provide in their other sets.
The bottom of the pans and pots are made out of magnetic 18/0 stainless steel in order to make this ideal for induction stoves. Somehow we think that the finish isn’t going to hold for too long especially when it comes to holding acidic food for prolonged periods. We also suggest not to let it soak for long periods of time, to avoid any damage. Apart from that, the heat distribution is great in the middle. The sides, however, are not lined with aluminum encapsulation, only the center thus there’s a sudden heat drop in that area. Many do not like this arrangement, but we think it can save the contents from sticking to the sides, avoid overcooking, and possibly reduce burning. On the contrary, the cooking experience is good.
The company has somehow chosen to line the skillet with Teflon since it’s non-sticky and the majority of the consumers fry eggs and other small things in a skillet, and they tend to stick the most. So despite Teflon being a dying technology in the cooking industry, this is a small attempt at a comeback. Because after all, Teflon is pretty effective and long-lasting. But it requires careful washing and gentle scrubbing.
8. HOMI CHEF
The feature that caught our eye is the company declaring this cookware to be nickel-free. In the world of science and research, we have a load full of knowledge on how to strengthen our health through food. What good is healthy food if the cookware it’s prepared in causes harm? According to the company, the average stainless steel when raised to high temperatures constantly ‘leaks’ nickel into our food, thus lowkey contaminating it. This nickel-free stainless steel is not only more corrosion resistant but is industrial grade and ensures maximum preservation of the nutritional content of food. Furthermore, this type of stainless steel pots and pans are more heat-conductive. So this HOMI CHEF stainless steel set claims it is non-allergic and non-toxic.
Don’t miss: Best nonstick cookware sets
No matter what the pans are coated with, nonstick coating like Teflon or any other, it has its life, and after that, it starts to come off after each use. More than often releasing particles in our food which are toxic. HOMI CHEF does not apply any coating to its cookware items; thus its free of any health hazards. The 3-Ply construction provides an even heat distribution eliminating any specific heat accumulative sites that may lead to deterioration of a certain part only. This elongates reliability and durability.
The base is a vital part here more than any because of its 5 mm thick 3-Ply construction. It refers to a layer of pure aluminum encapsulated between two nickel-free stainless steel plates pressed together by high-pressure compaction. This ensures the best heat distribution possible which leads to great performance, healthy food, and more energy savings.
9. Magma A10-360L-IND
If you are looking for a stainless steel cookware set that is great for people with storage restraints or a 10 piece set that has all the items required for preparing a variety of meals – then this is it! It’s flexible and has a fun one lid fits all size kind of practicality to it.
All the items fit in ascending order on top of each other and take up as minimal space as possible. It’s oddly satisfying fitting these all into one another. What’s more fascinating are the removable handles to make the nestling of each item into the other hassle-free. The thoughtfulness of design and practicality is much appreciated here.
The company uses high-quality commercial-grade stainless steel for this cookware. A similar as above mentioned 3 layered bases is seen here as well. The heat is well distributed even to the sides of the pot or pan thus reducing chances of food burning or overcooking in the center. These are lightweight, dishwasher safe, oven and refrigerator friendly. They’re easily used for any kind of stove although the handles tend to get heated up so use a mitten or a glove when handling them.
10. Calphalon Contemporary – Best stainless steel pan set
We know how we’ve discussed all the multi-variety sets with features catering to different needs of consumers. Our last set that ought to be mentioned in the best stainless steel cookware is a simple, all-rounder cookware that is considered an indispensable item in every household. Fry Pans.
Full lifetime guarantee
Before we get into the details of what these two fry pans are like, let’s quickly peek into guarantee details. The most empowering aspect is the company provides a full lifetime guarantee of these items. That’s a win-win for us. Why? Because if you pay attention to our parameter table at the beginning of this review, you’ll see that almost all the products offer a ‘limited’ lifetime guarantee which means that the company gets to decide the circumstance on which to approve a warranty at all times. This ‘full’ lifetime guarantee means otherwise. The company will replace any item found defective or not withholding to the set standards anytime during regular use. Any. Time. Ever.
Fry pans themselves are versatile cookware items, to be honest. From eggs to nuggets to saute vegetables, what cannot be done in a frying pan? It’s like a go-to kitchen item for even people who do not know how to cook. These best stainless steel frying pans come in two sizes. These can be used on top of any stove. The heat distribution is great due to heavy-gauge anodized technology. The long handles remain cool at all times, making it easy for even the inexperienced to handle it.
We understand it can be overwhelming sometimes when looking for a new product to invest in. It can be even more of a hassle when you also want to explore this territory. The internet is full of different lists claiming top-rated stainless steel cookware and one might not be able to tell what interests one more. So we’ve assembled a simple buying guide to help you with the process.
What is stainless steel?
Steel is an alloy- a mixture of iron combined with up to 1.7% by weight of carbon. It is a very stable mixture thus more robust and durable than many other alloys. It is further mixed with chromium and other elements to become rust and corrosion-resistant. The addition of chromium makes steel non-reactive and more stable. Therefore the higher the chromium content, the higher the corrosion resistance of stainless steel.
Why should I invest in stainless steel cookware sets?
- It’s durable – it’s harder than aluminum or copper yet much lighter. It’s not easily susceptible to heat damage and can be used in a vast majority of ways.
- Stable – it does not corrode easily or rust. It makes it a much safer choice, especially for cooking.
- Easy to maintain – Does not require a lot of maintenance. One can scratch it scrub it and use it carelessly. It does not lose its integrity.
- Withstand high temperatures – again great for cookware because of its ability to withstand the highest temperatures for a long time without damage to the structure.
- Non-reactive – owing to the content of chromium it is non-reactive thus does not react with an acidic material. Rust and corrosion-proof is also a great advantage.
- Versatile – despite not being a great conductor on its own, it is great for cooking conducting heat from all sorts of sources making it ideal for cooking.
- Flexible customizations – it can be customized by the addition of other elements to fluctuate conducting properties thus making it a great variable for various uses.
- Economical – usually very affordable and offer great value for money because of good durability.
How do I minimize sticking in stainless steel cookware?
Stainless steel is usually nonstick in its way and requires the least amount of maintenance. But there is a list of a few dos and don’ts that need to be kept in mind when using one.
- Medium heat – always cook on medium heat. This prevents the food from sticking to the bottom and easy cleaning afterward as well.
- Cooling off – after using the pan, let the pan cool off on its own instead of placing it directly beneath water especially cold. This may damage and cause cracks in some low-quality stainless steel items. Once cooled off, it can be washed.
- Soaking – avoid soaking for long periods. Soak awhile before you intend to wash it.
- Do not use these items to store food for long periods, especially acidic food.
What should I consider when choosing stainless steel pots and pans?
As great as stainless steel products sound, the quality varies, and it can be hard to choose let alone determine if the quality is worth investing your hard-earned money in. So here are some basic aspects that one ought to consider when buying stainless steel cookware.
- The quality of stainless steel
The quality of stainless steel is determined by the grades used. Instead of explaining the entire physics and chemistry behind grades, the short and easy answer is to always look for 18/8 and 18/10 grades. These are the ones used in quality cookware. Most of the items have this mentioned on the packaging or stamped on the item itself.
- The material used in the center
Stainless steel itself is not that great of a conductor which isn’t a plus point when it comes to making cookware out of it. Therefore the cookware is made with an excellent conductor encapsulated between stainless steel layers for providing proper heat distribution. So aluminum or copper cores are a preference to look for.
- The weight of the item
A lot of us relate weight to quality since the weight means more material has been used. That is true but stainless steel being a poor conductor does not fit into this fact. The more amount of stainless steel used, the poorer performance can be expected from the cookware. Also, heavy cookware is not ideal for daily use because nobody wants that extra strain that comes with cooking in and washing heavy cookware.
Why buy sets and not individual items?
This totally depends on the budget and the utility of the consumer. Some buyers do not use half of the cookware included in these sets while for some, even these may not fulfill the requirements. While individual items may appear like a good option, sets are more economical and uniform in design for those interested.
What does a certain number of sets mean?
Whether it’s a 12 piece or 10 piece set, the number stated includes the total number of items where lids and accessories are counted as an individual unit. So a certain number does not mean that all of them are pots and pans exclusive of lids and other utensils.