Stainless steel cookware sets are among the safest, durable, and versatile cookware. Their presence in almost every kitchen is, therefore, not surprising. Also, these cookware sets do not rust; they do not react with any acidic food, are stain resistant, and can withstand high heat cooking.
Besides their impressive kitchen prowess, stainless steel cookware also looks gorgeous on your kitchen tables and cupboards. The chromium component of the alloy produces a lustrous look that shines, even with minimal polishing.
Even so, the extensive variety of sets, brands, and products still makes it difficult for buyers to settle on the most appropriate one for their needs. It is in this confusion that this detailed buying guide comes in.
We will clear your worries by addressing everything you might want to know about stainless steel cookware. And for those looking for the best stainless steel cookware, we have prepared 10 of the best products and brands you can select from.
10 Best Stainless Steel Cookware in 2018
The Duxtop SSC-9PC stainless steel cookware is one of the best stainless steel cookware currently available. It features a 3-ply construction consisting of bonded layers of aluminum sandwiched between 18/10 stainless steel layers.
This bonding and cladding technology not only extends cookware lifespan, but it also ensures even heat distribution. The heat flows evenly from the bottom all the way to the sides. In this way, hot spots which cause warping of the bottom part is eliminated.
The Duxtop can be used by a variant of heating techniques. Whether it is induction, electric plate, gas or halogen cooktops, the set flawlessly handles it. Another great feature is the drip-free property of the rims. It keeps the sides clean and eliminates messes on your countertops.
Also, the stainless steel construction extends to the handles. Before you worry about the handles getting hot, note that they have a stay-cool property to prevent them from heating up. These handles are then riveted onto the pans for extended durability.
The cooking pots come with a stainless steel lid for covering them while cooking. These keep in moisture and prevent heat loss. A loop-handle in on every lid. All the pieces can withstand oven temperatures of up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
They can also be used for food storage in a freezer. Although this set of cookware is dishwasher safe, it is recommended that you hand wash them to maximize their lifespan.
- Even heat distribution
- Durable whole clad bonding
- Can be heated up to 5000 F
- Can be used for freezer food storage
- Usable on any type of cooking surface
- Stay-cool handles to prevent burns
- Great warranty
- Hand washing is recommended
- Poor at induction cooking
- Food might stick on the pan
The 13-piece T-fal stainless steel cookware is a great choice for a homeowner looking for a professional grade cooking set. Copper placement on the bottom of each cookware piece facilitates fast heating, while quickly distributing the heat throughout the cooking pot.
On the other hand, the stainless steel upper imparts strength for a long-lasting cooking experience. This multi-layered base design also has an aluminum layer to quicken the heat transfer further and make the sets durable.
All the pans and their lids in the set can be safely washed in your dishwasher. Additionally, they can be subjected to cooking temperatures of over 5000 F in the oven. Holes on the tempered glass lids vent out steam as you cook while retaining flavor. These holes also alleviate boil overs.
Comfortable, ergonomic handles crafted from stainless steel stay cool during cooking time. For added strength, these handles are riveted onto the pans. Measuring marks engraved (not painted) on the metal provides convenience when you need to measure exact quantities.
Since the lids are made from tempered glass, checking the cooking progress only requires a glance from you. The bottom magnetic stainless steel layer makes the cookware suitable for induction cooking.
- Compatible with induction cooking
- Dripless pouring
- Vent holes prevent boil overs
- Convenient glass lids
- Measuring marks engraved on metal sides
- Dishwasher safe
- Withstands high-temperature cooking
- Contemporary brushed surfaces
- Easy to clean
- Food rarely sticks
- Dishwasher degrades their quality
- Susceptible to scratches
- Have a light construction
Cook N Home manufactures some of the most popular stainless steel cooking sets. This particular product is a 12-piece cooking set, suitable for people with large families. Moreover, the pieces cater for most of the cooking needs in your kitchen, at a budget-friendly price.
The pieces in this set are made from high quality 18/10 stainless steel. Capsulated aluminum disk layer is placed at the bottom of the pieces to make the heat distribution even. Effectively, this prevents heat spots which cause uneven cooking.
Stainless steel handles are comfortable to grip at, stay cool, and are riveted in place for the longevity of service. The tempered glass lids provided make it easy to check on the progress of what’s cooking. At the same time, the tempered glass keeps the lid from cracking under heat.
Regarding heating temperatures, the pots are oven safe up to 3500 F without the lid. With the lids, the pots are safe to 2700 F. However, if you do not mind about the changes in appearance from heat, you can use the pots and lids to temperatures of 5000 F and 3500 F respectively.
The pots are induction compatible and work on gas, ceramic, electric, halogen cooking tops. Also, they are dishwasher safe. Unfortunately, there are claims that the glass lids do shatter at times, even when cooking on low heat.
- Mirror polished on both sides
- Compatible with induction cooktops
- Even heat distribution with aluminum encapsulated bottom
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Durable handles
- Clear cooking view from glass lids
- Discolors beyond 3500 F oven temperatures
- The aluminum layer is only at the bottom
- Glass lids shouldn’t be used beyond 2700 F
The Cuisinart MCP-12N is a wonderful stainless steel cookware for professional chefs and homeowners alike. Its high-impact base is Triple-Ply bonded using a pure aluminum core and 18/10 stainless steel inner and outer layers. The aluminum provided has unsurpassed heat conductivity.
Stainless, cool-grip handles are riveted in place using rivets made from stainless steel. Every cooking pot has a tight-fitting stainless steel cover to trap the natural food flavors in the pot. Covers, pots, and pans are dishwasher safe. Nonetheless, you might want to hand-wash them.
These pieces are usable on induction cooktops as the outer stainless steel is magnetic. All other stovetops including infrared, gas, glass, ceramic, and electric can be used. Thumb rests on the riveted handles provide a comfortable way of handling the pots and pans.
With this cookware, you can apply heat of up to 5500 F. Also, the pans are usable under a broiler. Being dishwasher safe means cleaning and maintenance is an easy process. Tapered rims mean you have a drip-free cooking session as you transfer contents from the products.
Overall, with this cooking set, you can accomplish tasks from reheating portions of soup to preparing entrees, appetizers, and side dishes for the entire family. However, it has a steep learning curve as you have to master how to preheat or the usage of oils as it is non-stick.
- Great looking polished surfaces
- Lids are tight fitting
- Curved rims ease pouring
- Provides most of the pieces you may need
- Good build quality
- Usable on all cooktops
- Well-balanced handle design
- Uniform heat distribution
- Takes some time to learn how to use properly
- The warranty has questionable wording
- Skillets have a tendency to warp
The Cuisinart 77-10 is another cookware set from Cuisinart for chefs who need a cheaper set with fewer pieces. It has a total of 10 pieces, 2 fewer than the Cuisinart MCP-12N. Featuring a highly polished cooking surface, the set retains its look without altering food flavor.
The cookware features cool grip handles securely riveted onto each piece with high strength stainless steel rivets. Tight fitting, self-basting lids seal in moisture inside the skillets and stockpots. As a result, flavors are retained as cooking time is shortened.
Rims/edges on all the pieces are tapered to facilitate a drip-free content transfer. Effortless cleaning is a top priority, as the cookware washing can be done in dishwater. The set is compatible with all types of stovetops, including the induction types.
Another great feature is the ability to safely use this cookware in ovens heated up to 5000 F. The used heat surround technology infused into the pieces evenly distributes heat from the bottom to the sides. Thus, heat spots become non-existent as you cook.
Moreover, the 3-ply construction at the bottom of cookware offers unsurpassed distribution of heat. Pure aluminum is used as the core, encapsulated between an inner and outer stainless steel layer. For some reason, there are numerous complaints about these pieces warping, sticking, and staining easily.
- Mirror finish
- Drip-free pouring
- Tight-fitting lock lids
- Non-shattering stainless steel lids
- Fit for various cooking techniques
- Measurement marking included
- Easy to clean sticking food provided instructions are followed
- Handles do not get hot
- Great value for the price
- Requires strict following of care instructions
- Heats too fast
- Some pieces require magnetizing before induction cooking
The 10-piece Cooks Standard Multi-Ply clad cookware set is an ideal option for those looking for a starter cooking set. They are also great for chefs seeking for cooking ware to improve their cooking skills on. Relatively pricey, the 10 pieces have high-end-like features.
This cookware utilizes a multi-ply clad construction. In this design, 18/10 stainless steel is bonded together with a multi-element core made from aluminum. The aluminum in the middle ensures heat flows from the bottom all the way to the top of the walls for even cooking.
The outer stainless steel layer is magnetized to enable you to cook on induction stovetops. Furthermore, you can use them on all the variants of stovetops you could possibly have. Open V-shape handle design has an air-flow technology to keep it cool, even in the oven.
The handles are riveted for durability and are comfortable to hold onto. Instead of tempered glass, the lids are made from the same stainless steel used along the walls and base. As a result, you can use the cookware in ovens heated to 5000 F.
Apart from being heat-resistant, the lids fit tightly to keep food from over-spilling when boiling. Since the lids are not see-through, checking the cooking progress requires you to open and take a peek. Cleaning around the rivets is also a challenge of sorts.
- Advanced air-flow technology to cool handles
- Heats up fast
- Retains heat quite impressively
- Effective domed lids
- Feels heavy-duty
- Are non-stick when properly pre-heated
- Looks great in the kitchen
- High quality, high-end construction
- Sliding the bottoms on gas cooktop scratches them
- Lids are not see through
- Cleaning around rivets is hard
The 10-piece Farberware Millennium stainless steel cookware is a professionally styled cooking set for your everyday cooking needs. The constituent stainless steel pieces feature a gentle tulip-shape. This shape increases the overall heat efficiency and their contemporary look.
A thick aluminum core at the bottom of the pieces is encapsulated between 18/10 stainless steel layers. Note that the aluminum core is only at the bottom and does not extend all along the wall or sides of the sets. Regardless, heat distribution at the bottom is still great.
The lid or cover is made from tempered glass. Because of this, it can withstand fairly high amounts of heat. Still, high temperatures would shatter the glass. Besides, a see-through glass lessens your burden when seeing how your food is progressing. You don’t put yourself at the risk of burns.
This cookware is not only dishwasher safe, but also broiler safe. With the stainless outer layer, an array of cooking methods is applicable, including induction and glass stovetops. The stainless steel handles are securely fitted onto the pans. Resultantly, they balance great when held.
This cookware set is held in high regards among prior users. However, there is some negative feedback from reviewers who have used it. For instance, it is reported that food tends to stick, which then becomes hard to clean.
- Safe usage on all stovetops
- Excellent heat distribution
- Durable glass lids/covers
- No release glass lids
- Great looking flared tulip shape
- Broiler and dishwater safe
- Great versatility
- Great worth for the money
- Sturdy construction
- Sticking food hard to clean
- Lid and handles get hot
- Retains watermarks
The 10 piece Farberware 70221 stainless steel cookware includes 2 non-stick aluminum skillets as well as nylon slotted turner and spoon. It also combines a high-tech design, durability, quality, and traditional cookware styling.
Saucepans, skillets, and saucepots in the package feature the iconic phenolic Farberware handles. These are time-honored, which makes them stay cool even at the maximum usage oven temperature of 3500 F. At the tip of the handles are hooked rings for hanging the cookware in your kitchen.
Styling lids spot a bell shape and look amazing in your kitchen. On top of the lids are knobs for handling when hot or checking how far along the food is. Full cap bases comprise of layers of stainless steel sandwiching an aluminum core.
Stainless steel provides the durability and high strength required of cooking sets, while the aluminum core acts as an excellent heat conductor and distributor. The eye-catching shatter-resistant glass lids snug fits on pans and pots.
All the other pieces can be cleaned in the dishwasher except the non-stick skillets. The detergents degrade their non-stick finish. If you have been using the previous models, then you will notice a lighter structure than before. It means you have to pay more attention to the food so that it doesn’t burn.
- Non-stick skillets widen your cooking scope
- Classy looking dome-shaped lids
- Snug fitting lids
- Pans and pot are dishwasher safe
- Handles stay cool
- Allows for customization of the cooking set in future
- Takes up less counter space
- Heat, shatter-resistant lids
- Are lighter than before
- Handles reported to catch fire
- Non-stick finish on pans wear off
If you are on a very tight budget but still desires to have a set of stainless steel cooking ware, then the WearEver A834S9 is an ideal choice. For the 10 pieces of cookware and the price, then you have a set that offers you great value for money.
The set comprises of beautiful pieces made from stainless steel. This material results in durable pans and pots that handle oven temperatures of up to 5000 F. There are pouring spouts on all of the pieces to make for easy pouring and straining.
Ergonomic handles are safe and comfortable to grip. Your hands would rarely slip even when handling a pot full of food. The sauté pan provided has a non-stick interior, making cleaning a breeze. Just keep it away from the dishwasher.
The Dutch oven, as well as the pans, feature polished surfaces. At the same time, their bottoms have the tri-ply disc. Stainless steel combinations provide a reliable cooking task from low to medium heat settings.
WearEver design adapts the cookware to oven temperatures of about 5000 F. Besides the pots and oven, serving and slotted spoons are included in the package. This set is light and small, making it suitable for only small-sized families.
- Pour and straining sprouts
- 18/10 polished stainless steel
- Heat efficient tri-ply bottom disc
- Sauté pans are metal safe
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Withstands high temperatures
- Works well with induction tops
- Easy to clean
- Easy to carry out when full
- See-through lids with steam vents
- Only for small families
- Foods stick onto them
- Some pieces not induction compatible
This Cook N Home 10-piece stainless steel cooking ware features an 18/10 stainless steel construction. Exterior and interior parts of the set are polished for an impeccable appearance making for easy cleaning.
Silicone is used to wrap the handles so that they stay cool and comfortable to grip. The solid end of the handle is riveted to the pieces to provide handling security. The tempered glass lids have vents on them. While cooking, there is no need of opening the lid to do a check.
A 3-ply disc bottom design evenly distributes heat from the base of the pots and pans to the walls. An aluminum diffuser is a great conductor of heat. The magnetic outer layer of the bottom disc makes the set induction compatible alongside gas, glass, electric, halogen, and ceramic tops.
Component pans and pot together with their lids are dishwasher safe. However, for the longevity of the aesthetically polished surfaces, take a little of your time to hand-wash the pieces. However, this set develops some unexplainable stains after a period of use.
- Simple to use
- Excellent heat diffusion at the base
- Cool silicone handles
- Handles are non-slip
- Induction compatible
- Non-stick after decent pre-heating
- Great price point
- Takes a short time to cook
- Tough structure
- Clean up is a breeze
- Requires minimal storage space
- Difficult to master cooking without food sticking
- Stains often
- Steel quality is questionable at times
Advantages and Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Cookware
- The polished, mirror-like appearance of stainless steel cookware requires minimal cleaning time to maintain the lustrous appearance.
- They are dishwasher-safe, taking a snap to clean sticky food after soaking for some time.
- Stainless steel cookware is relatively affordable. Prices are well spread so that everybody can afford one that meets their needs.
- Stainless steel is tough making the cookware durable, resistant to scratches and holds up well to dents and dings
- Versatile for usage across some cooktops
- Does not impart any metallic flavor to food, neither do they react with acidic foods
- Withstands high temperatures making them oven safe
- Lightweight for portability
- Vulnerable to discoloration when containing a small chromium percentage
- Can be difficult to clean if you don’t follow cooking procedures
- Sensitive to sudden changes in temperatures
When Should I Use Stainless Cookware?
The truth is, there is no limit to when you should use your stainless steel cookware. Since the materials used are non-reactive, even acidic foods can be cooked with this type of cookware. So, we recommend you take out your cookware set for every culinary desire you may have.
You could opt to boil, grilling, sautéing, frying, steaming, roasting, baking, scrambling, barbequing, braising, and poaching. Also, you can make a casserole. What you shouldn’t use them to do is microwaving. If you don’t want to buy another microwave, then keep stainless steel from it.
Stainless steel does not corrode. So, once it has cooled down, you can use the pan or pot to store the food in a refrigerator.
Things to Consider Before Buying
1. Look for one with a 3-ply construction
A pure stainless steel cookware is an item you might love cooking with. It heats too fast, has low heat retention, and develops heat spots resulting in unevenly cooked food. As a solution, a second material is introduced into the structure.
Including either copper, aluminum or both in a 3-ply design solves the heat distribution issue. Sometimes, it is the base that has the three, but in other high-end cookware, the aluminum core extends to the walls of the cookware.
On their own, aluminum and copper are weaker but have higher heat conductivity than stainless steel. So, they are fitted between stainless steel to provide the best of both worlds. The result is an even cooking and greater heat retention capabilities of the pan than before.
2. 18/10 Stainless steel is a must
Stainless steel containing 18% chromium and 10% nickel is one of the most durable and heaviest around. The high chromium percentage prevents the steel from rusting and developing stains. Additionally, more chrome makes the surface shiny, just as you love it.
It doesn’t have to be 18/10 specifically. The more the percentages, the more durable and corrosion resistant the cookware is.
3. Consider your cooking needs
Stainless steel cookware comes in sets with different sizes of pots, pans, casseroles, and skillets. The best buy for you would be one that has all the pieces you need. For this, figure out your typical cooking session and plan out the pieces you require.
If you don’t, you may end up buying pieces that you might never use and missing out on the most essential ones. A typical cookware set comprises of a sauté pan, skillet, saucepan, and a stockpot. These can be used to prepare meat, vegetable soups, sauces, and pasta.
We have discussed the set composition in details in the reviews section above. You can refer to see what pieces are offered by the various brands.
4. Stay-cool, comfortable handles, and lids
Nothing is quite as annoying as a flimsy handle that gets hot. You are forced to fetch for a mitten before you can handle the hot cookware from the stovetop. However, it doesn’t have to be so. Look for handles that stay cool, are comfortable to grip, and are securely riveted.
Lids should also have knobs/handles for easy opening and closing of pots when cooking. Another notable feature you would love is the ability to swap the lids for the various pots and skillets.
5. High Quality Accessories
In the quantification of the components of a set, the accessories too form part of the counted pieces. The lids, spoons, spatula are all part of the set. We believe there is no point in you buying a 15-pieces set if most of the pieces are spoons, spatulas, ladles or recipe books.
But then, also going for the 15-piece set with accessories you may never use does not also make sense. Look at the list of what is included in the package apart from the skillets, saucepans, sauté pans, stockpots, and casseroles.
6. Your Budget
The good thing about stainless steel cookware sets is that there is almost every product for every budget. If you are budget constrained, there is a set for you. If you want a high-end one and are willing to pay big, you will get sorted too.
While going cheap may not be a good idea as you tend to get what you pay for, there are still high quality products at relatively low prices. Paying a high price might also not guarantee you a quality buy. So, consider your needs, and go for a set that will serve you for long.
7. Your Stove
For those using gas stoves, consider yourselves lucky. Almost any cookware set would meet your demands. Issues crop up for those who have electric, induction, ceramic, and glass stovetops. To prevent uneven heating, bottoms must be flat.
We have never understood why some of the bottoms are warped anyway. For induction cooking, the stainless steel must be magnetic otherwise it will be no good to you.
Stainless Steel Cookware FAQs
Q: Can I use my stainless steel cookware on induction stovetops?
A: Yes. Provided the outer steel layer is magnetic, then it works. Check for the product description on whether the set is magnetic or not. For those buying in person, you can bring along a magnet to confirm if the set is indeed usable on an induction cooktop.
Q: Are stainless steel cooking sets safe?
A: Modern manufacturing ensures that the heavy metals composition of steel such as nickel and chromium never leak out in the process of cooking. Also, the aluminum layer is often sandwiched between stainless steel layers then bonded together. There is no chance of having the metals leak.
Q: Do Stainless steel cooking sets rust?
A: It depends on the quality of construction and the percentage of chromium in the stainless steel. An 18/10 stainless steel does not rust, so long as you take good care of it.
Q: Is stainless steel cookware non-stick?
A: We get this question a lot. And the simple answer is, it is not non-stick. Non-stick refers to the polytetrafluoroethylene coating applied on cookware. Popular examples are those produced by Teflon. However, if you follow the provided cooking and pre-heating instructions, you can achieve similar non-stick properties.
Q: Is cladding same as a coating?
A: No. coating is a layer of material applied on top of the stainless steel to serve a given purpose. The non-stick property is a good example of a coating. On the other hand, cladding refers to the bonding on material either at the bottom or along the walls.
Whenever you are in doubt of what cookware to buy, our comprehensive, informative buying guide should be your go-to-resource for reference. We hope we have delivered all the information you would have loved to know before buying stainless steel cookware.
We are at your service at any time. Whatever question you may have, feel free to engage with us. With the 10 best stainless steel cookware we reviewed, we believe you should be able to find one that would outlast you. Your younger family would then benefit from the great tasting food you used to make.
Of the 10 products, the T-fal 13-Piece stainless steel cookware with the copper bottom is in our opinion the best stainless steel cookware. It is popular, affordable (if you consider the number of pieces), has tempered glass vented lids and stay cool handles.