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Cookware can be a daunting topic for home cooks to discuss. How do you select a brand for your newest set knowing the variance in material, price, and Amazon reviews on the seemingly insurmountable amount of cookware brands?
Lucky for you, we’ve taken the guess work out of cookware. We’ve researched some of the top-performing brands on the market today and compiled a list of some of our favorites. While we recognize that some brands are of higher quality than others, much of maintaining the perfect cookware set comes down to the buyer. No matter which cookware brand you choose, you should always remain diligent about the best ways to clean cookware and care for everything from Dutch ovens to saucepans. Taking good care of your cookware will ensure its longevity and that your recipes have a fighting chance.
Here are our picks for the best cookware brands on the market!
Gotham Steel products are cheap, readily available, and lightweight for the first-time home cook. Most Gotham Steel products come with a copper-colored glossy inside that sticks to everything imaginable. Although you might think that this brand is made of copper, it is actually ceramic and titanium. Although this does make the pan quite easy to handle, it also makes the edges prone to damage. Moreover, the thin walls also cause the pan to heat up rapidly and burn food more easily (via The Rational Kitchen). According to Prudent Reviews, the non-stick coating may only last a few months — a significantly shorter shelf-life than other non-stick pans on the market.
Perhaps the biggest complaint with many of Gotham’s products from Amazon customers is that the middle of the pan tends to warp faster than the edges. This causes oil, eggs, and butter to slide off to the edges of the pan rather stay in the middle. The only upside to purchasing a Gotham Steel product is the price. A Gotham Steel 9.5-inch non-stick skillet is priced on Amazon at $29.99 while a 15-piece aluminum basic cookware and bakeware set is priced at $170.76 at Home Depot, at the time of publication.
Dansk offers several lines of cookware straight out of a 1950s film. Saveur notes that Dansk’s vintage-style Dutch ovens, saucepans, and baking dishes offer the same amount of utility as aesthetics — except for the skillets. According to the article, many of Dansk’s enamel-on-steel skillets do not have the correct design or material makeup to conduct heat well. Cuisine Gizmo also noticed the poor quality of some of Dansk’s items: The paint was chipping off one of the pots before it had even been used. Although the wooden handle is a beautiful aesthetic touch for Dansk’s design, it can be prone to warping or rotting if not kept in proper condition.
Despite these drawbacks, Dansk does have some redeeming qualities: The lids double as trivets and the products come in a range of aesthetically-pleasing colors. We ranked Dansk lower on our list because of its high price tag and consumer complaints. Also, we don’t really understand why each color of Dansk products come with a different price.
T-fal is a popular low-end cookware brand that is super convenient for first-time home cooks. The trademark of the brand is the red T in the center of the pan, but it changes to a bright red when the pan is hot and ready for use. Plus, the center of this pan contains anti-warping technology that slows the process of uneven heating. Although the handles are shorter than other brands on the market (including Calphalon), the handle design is comfortable and easy to hold. You can also unscrew the handles if needed.
T-fal manufactures several different materials including non-stick, ceramic non-stick, stainless steel, and hard-anodized. We’ve found that this cookware tends to chip and warp easily because of its lightweight makeup. The materials also allow the pan to easily heat up, but does not allow the pan to retain heat well.
Prudent Reviews found that the non-stick coating on T-fal pans was not as non-stick as other popular brands — meaning that home cooks should add extra fat to the pan to ensure eggs (and similar foods) don’t stick.
According to CNN Underscored, the Always pan from Our Place is a cute addition to a compact home kitchen. The Infatuation notes that this pan is designed to replace between six to eight kitchen items including a skillet, saucer, steamer (basket is provided), sauté pan, fry pan, and a non-stick pan. Now that’s multi-use. The pan even includes a thoughtful spot to place your spatula while the food is cooking and reviewers found it heats relatively evenly for an aluminum non-stick pan. However, at $145 for a single pan (at the time of publication), it can be considered very costly.
The Our Place Always pan is limited because it cannot be put in the oven and is easily damaged with high-heat cooking. Plus, the pan and its lid are bulky. An Always pan would be a good purchase for someone with limited kitchen space looking for a single versatile pan, but it would be impractical for someone looking to cook several ingredients at the same time.
Green Pan is just another addition to the collection of “eco-friendly” cookware on the market. According to Honest Brand Reviews, Green Pan manufactures its pans with aluminum and a non-toxic ceramic coating. Although the cookware itself is covered under a two-year warranty, the non-stick coating on the pans is not.
Green Pan is pricier than other non-stick brands: The 11-inch Valencia Pro pan is around $160 while the Searsmart 10-piece ceramic cookware set is around $500 at the time of publication. Overall, customers who have purchased these pans have found the price to be worth it — especially because these pans hold up well to the wear-and-tear of everyday use.
We ranked Green Pan in the middle because of its variety of cookware. Some of the brand’s collection can withstand temperatures up to 600 degrees in the oven, which is much more than many non-stick pans can withstand. One of the drawbacks to purchasing Green Pan is the upkeep the pan requires to retain its coating and its durability. The pan is limited to medium-high heat and certain oil types may carbonize the pan.
According to OnTheGas, Circulon predominantly uses aluminum in its manufacturing process. This metal is super conductive, so it heats up quickly than other steel or carbon-steel pans. Its non-stick cookware features anodized aluminum with small circular ridges cut into the pan. These ridges help food slide off during the cleaning process.
Anodized aluminum is beneficial for folks looking for an even-heating surface, but not for folks looking for a durable, scratch-resistant, and timeless piece of cookware. Like all non-stick pans, once the coating wears off, you’ll have to replace these pans with new ones. And priced at or around $200 set on Amazon (at the time of publication), you may consider buying a cheaper non-stick pan if you’re just going to have to replace it in two years.
As a whole, reviewers appreciate the ease of Circulon pans in both cleaning and cooking. The non-stick coating tends to hold up equally as well as other popular non-stick brands. Circulon is also coming out with new helpful features like pour spots and colander lids, to improve the home-cooking experience.
Mauviel cookware is a high-end brand that claims its for folks looking for “probably the best cookware in the world.” The M’Elite 12-piece set retails for four-digits and includes three saucepans, two sauté pans (one curved splayed and the other traditional), a non-stick fry pan, round fry pan, and stew-pan. Individual pans and cooking utensils can also be purchased.
In a comparison between Mauviel and another high-end brand All-Clad, Prudent Reports notes that Mauviel specializes in copper while All-Clad mostly produces stainless steel products. While stainless steel is much easier to maintain than copper, copper cookware does a lot the user more temperature control (with a higher price tag). Mauviel pans with a copper exterior are not induction safe, but the material does allot for higher sustained oven temperature than stainless steel at around 680 degrees.
Copper cookware is not for beginners because of how malleable the metal is. All copper cookware, not just Mauviel, is known to scratch easy and dull without proper polishing. The bottom line is, if you desire a lot of temperature control with your cookware and have the time to dedicate to preserving each piece, purchase a Mauviel — even if it’s not a common cookware brand for amateur home chefs.
Ecolution manufactures a range of cookware products for major retailers including Walmart, Amazon, and Target. Out of the close to 2,000 Amazon customers who have purchased the brand’s Evolve non-stick fry pan, the average rating came in around a 4.5. Customers on Amazon noted that although the pan was excellent in evenly heating food, it was prone to scratching and showing signs of wear within a year.
At the time of publication, the eight-piece Ecolution Artistry Cookware Set is sold for under $100 and comes with the essentials for a first-time home cook: two fry pans, two sauce pans, and a Dutch oven (all with lids). Folks who have purchased the set appreciate the cookware set’s ease-of-cleaning and dishwasher-safe materials.
Our major critiques for this brand come with the broad drawbacks of non-stick cookware: poor durability, ability to only cook at low temperatures, and propensity to replace the set within a year’s time. If you’re looking for a more reliable and ubiquitous cookware set, you’re better off spending a little bit more for a stainless steel brand.
Hex Clad is marketed as a hybrid stainless steel and non-stick pan. According to CNET, the brand claims that its cookware is truly non-stick, but holds up to the nicks and wear like a stainless steel pan. Hex Clad pans are slightly heavier than the traditional stainless steel pan and may not produce the same sear on food as a stainless steel pan. However, the Hex Clad is much easier to clean than a stainless steel pan; grease and food slides off the pan with a bit of dish soap and water. In the long run, users of this pan have agreed with the brand’s claim of durability. These pans are much more scratch-resistant than other non-stick options.
In short, the Hex Clad could easily replace a non-stick pan, but does not replace a stainless steel pan in your kitchen. At the time of publication, the 10-inch pan was priced at around $100 on Amazon. For this price, you may consider buying a cheaper non-stick option and splurging on a stainless steel pan.
OXO manufactures a variety of lower-end kitchen products and storage options, but it is clear that this brand doesn’t skimp on quality. OXO’s 13-piece stainless steel set on Amazon priced to be affordable and receives a 4.6 star rating from nearly 600 individuals. Purchasers really appreciate having measurement markings on the side of the pot as well as the rolled edges that make transferring the pan’s contents to another dish or plate easy.
Customers are equally as satisfied with the hard-anodized non-stick options from OXO. At the time of publication, the 12-inch fry-pan was priced at $69.99 and is a must-have for a novel home cook. Although this pan is not compatible with induction stoves, it is dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 430 F. Some customers have found that the non-stick coating lasts less than a year, but this is also dependent on the care of the pan. Even if the pan is not the highest quality with the longest non-stick durability, its price makes it a good option in the short-term.
Viking offers an array of products in stainless steel, hard anodized, and non-stick materials. The stainless collection is much more cost-effective than All-Clad. Customers appreciate the thick sides of the pans as well as the overall durability of the product. One of the most popular options from Viking’s selection is the three-ply stainless steel roasting pan with a metal induction lid and rack. The oval shape is said to promote optimal heat retention, and it can easily be converted into a nine-quart Dutch oven pan by removing the rack. You can also convert the lid itself into a 4-quart serving vessel for casseroles or au gratin.
Amazon purchasers have also highly recommended the three-ply stainless steel Dutch oven, receiving a 4.7 average rating from 177 individuals. The shape of this pot is super useful when it comes to boiling, sautéing, and making soups. Unlike other stainless steel pans, the Viking features conical sides to promote evaporation by expanding the surface area on the pot. This pot can sustain up to 600 degrees on the grill, broiler, or stovetop, thus making the Viking Dutch oven a lightweight option for consumers looking to add to a cookware collection.
Staub is a French-made cookware company that rivals the more expensive Le Creuset. Staub’s collection ranges from enameled Dutch ovens, skillets, and baking pans. Our recommendations from Staub’s product collections include the five-quart Bouillabaisse pot. This pot and lid, sold on Amazon, is a favorite among seafood-chefs and entertainers alike for its delicate appearance and fish-themed handle. The cocottes, which are cooking pots similar to that of Dutch ovens, are priced, at the time of publication, on Amazon at $369.95 for a 5.5-quart with lid. Customers who have purchased a Staub describe the brand as durable and more than worth the purchase value.
Overall, Staub quality is similar to that of Le Crueset — just less popular. If you’re looking for a brand for entertaining, we recommend either a Staub or a Le Crueset. We decided to place the La Creuset higher on our ranking because of its wider variation in purchase size and colors. For functionality and value, we recommend purchasing a Lodge instead.
For many years, All-Clad was the name when it came to stainless steel. With so many other stainless steel brands releasing products onto the market, how do our friends at All-Clad match up? According to The Rational Kitchen, All-Clad remains the industry standard for comparisons across stainless steel cookware brands. The two most common complaints for All-Clad pans are the price and the handle design. The traditional style handle, found on the D3, Copper Core, and D5 lines, are grooved for a better grip, but can be awkward to hold. All-Clad 10-piece sets are a pricey investment for a first-time buyer.
Although the brand has its drawbacks, we stand by its design, durability, and quality. The stainless steel pans are excellent at heating up fast and retaining heat. Most of the All-Clad sets are safe for use on induction stoves and in the oven up to 600 degrees. We ranked the All-Clad pans lower than some of its competitors simply for its price-tag, but we should note that purchasing an All-Clad pan is a win either way.
LivingCozy‘s Alexandra Frost tested two of Misen’s most popular non-stick pans: the 10-inch skillet and the 10-inch carbon-steel pan. At $55 (at the time of publication), the non-stick skillet is much more affordable than many other brands. The aluminum pan provides comparable heating as other non-stick pans on the market. Plus, the skillet has an ergonomic handle that makes maneuvering it much easier.
The carbon-steel pan is an option for folks looking for a pan with similar qualities to a cast iron — just without the weight. LivingCozy finds the drawback to using the carbon-steel pan is that it does not come pre-seasoned and will take some time for the average home cook to prepare the pan for use. Aside from the quality and durability of the pans, LivingCozy notes that the company culture of Misen was an important selling point.
Misen also sells Dutch ovens, woks, and stainless steel sets. We ranked Misen higher than other brands for its affordability and quality.
Made In cookware cookware is another burgeoning brand in the cookware industry. Forbes reviewer AnnMarie Mattila recommends Made In’s 11-piece Sous Chef Collection which, unlike every other cookware brand we’ve reviewed, contains five stainless steel pieces, a non-stick pan, and a carbon-steel pan. This means this collection provides a wide variety that every home cook needs in the perfect set.
Out of the over 16,000 reviews for this set on the website, Made In buyers rated this set a 4.9 out of 5. Customers who have purchased from Made In are pleased with the ease of cleaning for the stainless steel products and note the improved cooking quality (and price) compared to All-Clad. Foodal is a proponent of Made In’s products — especially the price-tag and popularity of its stainless clad line.
Made In also manufactures copper pans that are excellent even conductors of heat with a professional appearance to boot. Not to mention, all of the products in Made In’s line feature extra long, ergonomic handles to prevent burning. This cookware ranked high on our list for its versatility but lower than others due to its price-tag.
Cuisinart is one of the most recognizable brands for home cooks. The brand prides itself on its performance, low price, and durability — and Cuisinart’s cookware sets are no different. According to Kitchen Ambition, the Cuisinart stainless steel sets are all great entry points for novel home cooks looking for easy-to-clean, reliable cookware. The Cuisinart 11-piece professional set is around $200 on Amazon at the time of publication and comes with impressive features like riveted handles, glass lids, and induction-safe bases. Out of over 9,000 reviews, the average score was a 4.6.
For a multi-clad enthusiast, Cuisinart also sells an 11-piece Multi-clad Pro, which is a bit more aesthetically pleasing and durable than the Professionals set yet still affordable for the average home cook. The major complaint with the multi-clad set on Amazon was the poor quality of the steamer, but most reviewers noted the performance of the set was similar to that of an All-Clad.
Cuisinart scored high on our rankings because of its affordability and quality. If you were to purchase the same set from a higher-end brand, you would be paying four to five times as much money for very similar products.
The dutch oven is a mainstay in the kitchen, and Le Creuset is a reputable brand if you want to splurge. Le Creuset pans have a cult-like following. And it’s no surprise that these beautifully-crafted dishes would make its way to the top of our list in some capacity. The famous Le Creuset Dutch oven ranges from 2-quart to 13-quart and come in a ton of beautiful colors. Le Creuset dishes are made of enameled cast iron, and are thus optimal for using in ovens up to 500 degrees, on the stovetop, or for bringing a beautiful casserole to a family dinner. They are also easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and relatively light for a cast iron makeup.
Le Creuset also manufactures cookware like saucepans, non-stick fry pans, tea kettles, and woks. Although these pieces are made with quality craftsmanship, each of the products range from $50 to $300. Plus, you won’t find any sets of Le Creusets (and if the brand carried sets, our wallets would be doomed).
Our top-performing stainless steel cookware brand recommendation is Calphalon. This popular cookware brand manufactures almost every kind of cookware including clad stainless, baking trays, ceramic non-stick, and PTFE non-stick pans. The brand was popularized by its introduction of hard-anodized aluminum cookware, according to reviewer Kitchen Ambition, and most of the brand’s products are modeled after the more expensive All-Clad.
Calphalon uses a three-layer or five-layer stainless steel technology that is relatively immune to warping or damage. Calphalon’s beginner set, a 10-piece, two-layer, hard-anodized non-stick, is reasonably priced on Amazon. We’re also a big fan of the brand’s space-saving, Calphalon three-layer 10-piece stainless set, priced on the website at $569.99, at the time of publication. The stainless pots are oven-safe for up to 450 degrees and come with long-handles to keep your hands away from the hot stove. These stainless sets are safe for a variety of stove types including induction, gas, and electric.
Overall, Calphalon offers affordable, and relatively durable cookware at different price points. While you can purchase sets from the brand, you can also purchase individual pieces to add to your collection.
The New York Times voted Lodge’s Chef Collection Skillet as the best cast iron pan of 2020 because of its affordability and size: available in 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch diameters. Unlike other skillets, the Lodge is relatively light at six pounds, and is thus more manageable for sautéing, baking, and general cooking. If you plan on searing or frying, Lodge also manufactures a pre-seasoned skillet that is slightly heavier than the Chef Collection model, but is equally as well-made and maneuverable in the kitchen.
If you’re looking to outfit your entire kitchen in Lodge cast-iron, consider purchasing the five-piece, pre-seasoned cast-iron cookware set. You’ll receive a 5-quart Dutch oven with lid, 8-inch skillet, 10.5-inch griddle, and a 10.25 skillet. Amazon consumers report that it has an unparalleled finish that is applicable for cooking over campfires, on induction cooktops, or baking in a hot oven. Lodge products are some of the most inexpensive cast-iron products out there, so this brand is a must-have for a new home kitchen.
Caraway is a company with aesthetically-designed cookware surging in popularity among home chefs. Each of the brand’s products are made with smooth ceramic, rather than Teflon, for what the brand claims is “an impossible to pronounce chemical that can leach toxic substances into your food and the air.” A study by the Environmental Science and Pollution Research International suggests there isn’t enough empirical research yet to claim that Teflon is actually toxic, nor is there enough research to state that cooking with Teflon poses health risks.
So, are you actually paying a lot of money for bogus cookware? The Food Network claims that Caraway is actually one of the most affordably-priced and high-quality cookware sets on the market. The $395 (at the time of publication) set comes with a fry pan, sauce pan, sauté pan, and Dutch oven (all with lids). The ceramic can withstand temperatures up to 550 F and is less sticky than other ceramic dishes.
We love that Caraway pans are designed for smart storage and a modern kitchen aesthetic. Each set comes with a trivet as well as a magnetic lid holder and magnetic pan rack. You can also purchase individual components to add to your Caraway collection. Plus, you can cook with Caraway on induction, gas, or electric stoves. Caraway is at the top of our list for its value, quality, and versatility in the kitchen.