Due to its non-reactive properties, durable design, and relatively affordable price tag, stainless steel is one of the most popular materials to cook with. However, it’s only safe if it meets FDA regulations. Whether you’re a professional chef or a beginner that’s still learning the basics, stainless steel can be a great asset to you in the kitchen. Unfortunately, finding the best stainless steel cookware can feel overwhelming.
With so many options, it’s difficult to know which sets can meet your needs, and which ones won’t. The good news is that we’ve already done a lot of the legwork for you—here are the best stainless steel cookware sets currently on the market:
One of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a stainless steel cookware set is durability. While some people might assume that all stainless steel sets must be durable, this isn’t necessarily true. A poorly-constructed or designed cookware set could begin to corrode or rust after only a few months of use. Luckily, that doesn’t seem to be an issue with the Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel 11-Piece Cookware Set.
With a 3-ply metal construction, these pieces are unlikely to get damaged in an accident or corrode over time. Since heat distribution is an important part of how well something cooks, the design of this set also helps ensures that whatever you’re cooking will cook evenly (and all the way through).
With eleven pieces inside of the set, many cooks might find this cookware set to be a happy medium. While it doesn’t include as many pots or pans as some sets, it does offer the essentials.
- Durable and unlikely to corrode over time
- Cooks food evenly
- Safe to put in the oven up to 450-degrees
- Includes a lifetime warranty
- Not as lightweight
- Might not conduct heat as well as some cookware sets
Although stainless steel cookware sets are more affordable than some other materials (such as copper), some of these sets can still come with a hefty price tag. It can be challenging to try and determine which sets provide the best value. Made with 18/10 stainless steel and an aluminum bottom, the Cook N Home Cookware Set offers plenty of great value and special features without breaking the bank.
Unlike some cookware sets, which might not be compatible with an induction cooktop, these versatile pots and pans can work on induction cooktops as well as electric, glass, ceramic, gas, and halogen cooktops. If you’ve got an unusual cooktop (such as a halogen or ceramic one), this might be the right choice.
While the pans in this set are safe to place in the oven up to 500-degrees, it’s worth noting that the lids are only safe for up to 350-degrees.
- Better value
- Tempered glass lids help vent the food inside
- Easy to clean
- Not as durable
- Doesn’t have a durable Teflon coating
There are plenty of great stainless steel sets out there, but not all of them have the pieces you need to cook everything you want. Some sets might lack a specific type of pan or pot that could make all the difference. Hopefully, with seventeen pieces, that shouldn’t be a problem with the Cuisinart Stainless steel Cookware Set.
One interesting feature that this cookware set has is an aluminum base. Since aluminum can distribute and conduct heat well, using it as the base of these pots and pans can help ensure that you cook your meals all the way through. The last thing you want to do is bite into a piece of chicken that hasn’t been cooked in the middle.
When you’re done cooking, there’s no time-consuming cleanup. All you need to do is rinse the cookware off and then place it in your dishwasher.
- Easy to clean
- Has a larger variety of cookware
- Aluminum base helps conduct heat better
- Not all cooks might need this much cookware
- Not as portable as some sets
While some larger stainless steel sets might have all the pieces you could ever need, transporting them on vacation or while you’re moving can be a hassle. With a lightweight design and only ten pieces, the Farberware Millennium Stainless Steel remains one of the most portable cookware sets around.
While it might not be as large as some sets, this cookware collection does include an 8-inch stockpot, 3-quart saute pan, and 10-inch frying pans. Not only can it be used on an induction cooktop, but it’s also safe to put these pans in the oven as long as it remains under 500-degrees.
Another convenient perk is that many of the pots and pans come with glass lids. While you’re cooking, the heat or flavor of your food can easily escape if it isn’t confined well. The glass lids with this set help ensure that the flavor and nutrients of your meals don’t escape.
- Comes with glass lids
- Easy to transport
- Lightweight design
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Not as durable
- Coating might wear off over time
Stainless steel might be a great material to cook with, but a poorly designed or constructed cookware set can ruin any potential it has. The good news is that when it comes to design, the Kitchara Stainless Steel Cookware seems to be at the top of the list. This family-size set includes ten different pieces, and for most cooks, it will contain everything they need. For professional chefs that want more variety, this might not be the right choice.
With a 5-ply construction, it’s unlikely that this cookware set is going to easily corrode or begin to rust over time. Even in high temperatures, the top-notch design of the cookware should hold up. While it’s safe to put in the oven, cooking anything that exceeds 500-degrees could cause permanent damage to the pans.
It’s worth noting this cookware set also works on all cooktops and stove types, including induction cooktops.
- Better design
- Riveted handles might hold up better
- Less likely to corrode over time
- Large enough for families
- Some professional cooks might want more variety
- Only able to handle temperatures up to 500-degrees
For beginners that are still learning the basics of cooking (or have just never used stainless steel before), some of the best stainless steel cookware sets can be intimidating. If you’re still figuring out what works for you, the Frigidaire 3-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set might be the right choice. Whether you want to cook up a stir fry, make some pancakes, or try your hand at a vegetable medley, this set might be exactly what you need.
Keep in mind, however, that this set only contains pans. There are no pots in this cookware set, and it doesn’t come with glass lids to protect the flavor or confine heat while you’re cooking. For some cooks, this might limit their options.
When it’s time to clean up, rinsing off your pans shouldn’t be a hassle. All you need to do is run them under some cool water and then pop them in the dishwasher for a more thorough cleaning.
- Great choice for beginners or people that have never used stainless steel before
- Easy to clean
- Sturdy handles
- Doesn’t include lids
- Doesn’t come with pots
While there are plenty of great cookware options for beginners, some professional chefs looking to find a new kitchen set might feel left out. However, the Duxtop Stainless Steel 17-Piece set might be exactly what an expert cook needs. With plenty of different skillets, frying pans, steam baskets, and large pots, there’s no lack of variety with this professional cookware set.
To make sure this set lasts as long as you need it to, the commercial-grade stainless steel is combined with an aluminum base. Not only can aluminum help conduct heat better while you’re cooking, but it can also help protect the metal from corrosion or scratching. One common issue that many cooks tend to have with stainless steel cookware is that the coating comes off after regular use. Given the construction of this set, that shouldn’t be a problem. The handles on the set are even riveted to make sure they last longer.
For people that may have an uncommon stove-top, like halogen or ceramic, the good news is that this cookware set can be used on almost any surface. It’s even compatible with induction cooktops.
- Compatible with a variety of different cooktops (including ceramic, glass, and induction)
- Aluminum base helps heat distribution
- Great variety of cookware
- More durable than some other options
- Some cooks might not need this many pots and pans