Whether you cook meals at home every day or just a few times a week, having a good set of pots and pans on hand is necessary. With a set that provides you with cookware of various sizes, you can always have exactly what you need whenever you need it, whether you are preparing a big meal for a dinner party or you are making yourself dinner after getting home from work. The key is finding the right set of pots and pans that will last a long time.
What’s the point of buying a set of pots and pans when you could just buy each piece separately? Well, you may be able to save some money by going with a set. To determine how much you might save, you can do simple calculations to see how much you would need to spend on separate pieces versus how much you would have to spend on a set.
So Many Options to Choose From!
There are a lot of cookware sets you can choose from these days, so you can select the one that will match your budget and preferences. For instance, if you want a set of cast iron pots and pans, you can find that. Or, if you prefer non-stick cookware, there are plenty of options worth considering. Many of today’s best pots and pans are also easy to clean, which is certainly a plus, and some sets even come with accessories like bakeware or cooking utensils that can make preparing meals even easier.
When you start shopping for a set of pots and pans, you might start to feel a bit overwhelmed by the variety of options. But if you take a few minutes to consider not only how much you would like to spend but also which pieces are necessary, you can narrow your options down to those that are relevant to your needs. For instance, if you already have some pots and pans that you like to use and they’re still in good shape, you can look for a smaller set that gives you the additional pieces you need to have a full set of cookware.
What’s Usually Found in a Set of Pots and Pans?
You can find sets that come with a lot of pieces or just a few, such as saucepans, frying pans, stockpots, and skillets. A set will usually have more than one of each of these so you can get multiple sizes for an affordable price. And a good set will also give you matching lids so you don’t have to worry about finding lids on your own.
Sometimes, you might find a really great set of cookware but it will still won’t have something that you need. In that case, you can see if the item you require is sold separately by the same brand. That way, you can create your own set with the extra pieces that you want. Again, buying a set is oftentimes the more affordable way to go, even if you do need to add an extra piece here and there because it isn’t included.
Are You Ready to Start Shopping for a Set of Pots and Pans?
From stainless steel and aluminum to non-stick, ceramic, and cast iron, there are a host of pots and pans available from the top manufacturers in kitchen products. Finding a set that will give you exactly what you need might take a bit of time, but if you already have a general idea of the types of pots and pans you prefer, you may be able to save time by honing in on them.
To help you get started, here’s a short list of some of the best sets of pots and pans that are worth your consideration. Check out their features and prices, as you might find the perfect set below.
1. Editor’s Choice: T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick 17 Piece Cookware Set
This set of pots and pans contains 17 pieces, so it can really give you everything that you need if you’re starting from scratch and don’t have any cookware that you enjoy using. It includes a Dutch oven, saucepans, fry pans, and a deep sauté pan, along with matching lids. Plus, you get extras like a square griddle. And these items have a titanium reinforced non-stick surface to keep things simple while cooking and cleaning.
- These non-stick pots and pans are dishwasher safe.
- This set boasts hard anodized aluminum and silicone handles.
- Some of the pieces feature a Thermo-Spot that turns red to let you know when the pans are heated.
- This set might give you more than you need if you already have some of the pieces in your cookware collection.
2. Runner Up: GreenPan Valencia Pro Hard Anodized Healthy Ceramic Nonstick 16 Piece Cookware Pots and Pans Set
This is another large set of pots and pans, as it gives you 16 pieces. Featuring ceramic non-stick, it gives you a stockpot, saucepans, sauté pan, frying pans, and grill pan, along with glass lids. And you can use these items on all cooktops, including induction. Plus, these hard anodized pots and pans have stainless steel handles and they’re dishwasher safe.
- The ceramic non-stick on these pots and pans doesn’t contain PFAS, PFOA, cadmium, or lead.
- This set comes with pan protectors.
- These pots and pans are metal utensil safe, oven safe, and broiler safe.
- This is an expensive set, so consider your budget before purchasing.
3. Best Stainless Steel Pots and Pans Set: Calphalon 13-Piece Pots and Pans Set
Would you prefer getting a set of stainless steel pots and pans? Then check out this option from Calphalon, which gives you 13 pieces. These feature stainless steel and aluminum to ensure they’ll heat evenly, and the handles are designed to stay cool to the touch. Plus, these are oven safe and dishwasher safe, and you can use them on various stovetops.
- These pots and pans are designed to be durable and heat food evenly while it cooks.
- This set is metal utensil safe, dishwasher safe, and oven safe.
- These items are made of stainless steel with an aluminum core.
- This is a smaller set, as well as a more expensive one, compared to other options on the market.
4. Best Ceramic Pots and Pans Set: Bialetti Cookware, Ceramic Pro 10-Piece Set
If you are looking for a set of ceramic pots and pans and you don’t need a lot of pieces, this set of 10 from Bialetti might be just right. You get all of the basics that you need, including a Dutch oven, sauce pans, sauté pans, and a deep sauté pan, as well as matching lids. These feature hard anodized aluminum and a ceramic non-stick surface for ease of use. And, like other ceramic cookware, these might help you use less oil while cooking.
- These pots and pans are designed to distribute heat evenly.
- The ceramic non-stick coating is PFOA-free.
- The stainless steel handles are designed to be comfortable and easy to grip securely.
- If you’ve never used ceramic non-stick cookware before, it might take some time to learn how to make the most of it.
5. Best Cast Iron Set: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Set
This is a good option for anyone who prefers using cast iron cookware or who wants to add it to their collection for more variety. You only get five pieces, so this set is a lot smaller than others on this list, but you do get the basics that you can use to prepare a wide range of recipes on the stove and in the oven.
- This cast iron cookware set is pre-seasoned.
- This durable set can be used to cook meals in the kitchen and on the grill.
- The handles are designed to be easy to grip.
- You only get five pieces with this set, so you might need to buy additional pieces separately.
- Caring for cast iron cookware requires more effort than other options.
6. Best Aluminum Set: Ecolution Easy Clean Nonstick Cookware Set
This large set of cookware gives you a whopping 20 pieces for an affordable price. Items include saucepans, fry pans, a griddle pan, a baking sheet, and bamboo utensils. And, of course, there are matching lids that come with this set too. So, you’re getting more than just pots and pans with this option. Plus, this cookware is non-stick and designed to heat evenly so you can get great results every time you cook with them.
- The aluminum cookware in this set is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
- The handles on these pots and pans are designed to be comfortable to grip and hold.
- These items don’t contain cadmium, PFOA, or lead.
- Even though these items are dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended.
- It’s best to avoid using metal utensils that can scratch these pots and pans. Instead, use wooden, silicone, or nylon utensils.
7. Best Basic Set: Cuisinart 77-11G Stainless Steel 11-Piece Set Chef’s-Classic-Stainless-Cookware-Collection
This is another set of pots and pans that feature a combination of aluminum and stainless steel so they look great and perform really well. They are dishwasher safe, and should heat up quickly and evenly. Plus, the handles stay cool to the touch, the rims are tapered for easy pouring, and some of the pieces also have helper handles.
- These pots and pans are designed to be durable and heat evenly with aluminum and stainless steel.
- The handles are easy to grip and stay cool.
- You can use this set of pots and pans on various stovetops and in the oven.
- These pots and pans aren’t non-stick, so you need to take steps to prevent food from sticking to them.
8. Best Set with Accessories: Farberware Classic Traditional Stainless Steel Cookware Pots and Pans Set
When you want a set of cookware with some extras, check out this set from Farberware. You get the basic pots and pans you’d expect, along with a cookie pan and a nylon slotted spoon. Featuring stainless steel and aluminum, these products should heat up quickly and evenly, and the glass lids that come with this set are shatter-resistant. Plus, the sauté pan and the frying pans feature a textured surface that helps with searing, browning, and release.
- The handles on these pots and pans are designed to be easy to hold.
- The cookie sheet is non-stick.
- This set is dishwasher safe.
- These pots and pans don’t have a non-stick coating, so food might stick if you aren’t careful.
Things to look out for:
There are several things to consider as you shop for the right set of pots and pans for your kitchen. For example, think about the following as you browse the myriad sets that are available:
First, think about the material that you want your cookware to be made of, and whether or not it will be compatible with your cooktop, whether you have a gas, electric, or induction cooktop. If you aren’t sure which material to go with, do some research into each option. Also, when looking at a set of cookware, check the features to see if the items are made of one material or multiple materials, such as aluminum and stainless steel.
Non-stick pots and pans make cooking and cleaning easier because ingredients are less likely to stick to the surface—and there are multiple types of non-stick coatings these days, including those that don’t contain unwanted chemicals. In addition to non-stick, stainless steel is an attractive option that’s tough and can last a long time, or you could go with cast iron instead. Aluminum is known for distributing heat evenly and can be strong and long-lasting too. Then there is ceramic, which is an alternative to traditional non-stick coatings, as well as copper, which can also distribute heat evenly to help you achieve great results every time you cook.
Different types of pots and pans will come at different prices, so that is another thing to think about. Some sets might be out of your budget, or you might be pleasantly surprised by how affordable a durable and high-quality set can be. Think about how much you want to spend before you start browsing. Also, consider that even if you have to spend a lot today, if the set you buy will last for many years, you may ultimately save money in the long run because you won’t need to replace any pieces right away.
Next, consider how many pots and pans you need and the sizes that you want them to be. Do you need a large set or a small set? Some options give you the basics while others give you loads of extras, so it really depends on what you already have in your kitchen, what needs to be replaced, and what you have yet to purchase to add to your collection of cookware. No matter what, a set that provides matching lids for every pot and every pan is definitely a smart way to go.
Another thing to think about is how easy it will be to use the pots and pans. For example, do they have handles that are designed to remain cool and fit comfortably in your hand? Are they lightweight to be easier to move around and carry? And are they dishwasher safe and easy to store away?
You might have certain cookware brands in mind when you start shopping, especially if you’re familiar with their quality because you already own some of their products and you’re happy with them. But have an open mind and consider other brands as well. You might come across a set that gives you exactly what you need at a price you can afford, and you could always read customer reviews to gain greater insight into whether or not it is worthwhile.
Finally, some sets will come with accessories, as mentioned above. For instance, you might get some handy cooking utensils that will work well with the material that the pots and pans are made of so you won’t end up accidentally damaging or scratching the surface with the wrong types of utensils. Or, a set might include some bakeware, such as a cookie sheet, to provide you with greater versatility. If you don’t want or need all of these extras, though, it might not be worth paying for them, especially if you can find a smaller set that is more affordable and still gives you the essentials.
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