Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about the best kitchen gear before — including the best toasters and toaster ovens, the best frying pans and skillets, and even asked chefs about their favorite pots and pans — here we’ve rounded up the best cookware sets as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated cookware set
With over 4,000 reviews, this cookware set from T-fal is one of most beloved on Amazon with reviewers raving about the quality of the nonstick coating, ease of cleanup, and the even heat distribution. One reviewer writes that the pans are “almost as strong as cast iron, at a fraction of the weight. These pans have all the advantages of cast iron without the need to first season them, will never rust, will never require heavy scrubbing, and, apparently, will never scratch or dent,” adding that, “They preheat evenly and retain the heat almost as well as cast iron, but have the advantage of faster response time. And absolutely nothing sticks to them.” One reviewer who has used the set for four months writes, “I’ve been cooking for over 50 years and have gone through several sets of cookware — everything from seen-on-tv fads to classic Faberware. They clean up like a dream, heat quickly and evenly and the handles stay relatively cool.” And the set is dishwasher safe, too. One satisfied customer writes, “I’ve resorted to being super lazy and just throwing everything in the dishwasher. Why? Because I can and it’s awesome.”
Best-rated (less expensive) cookware set
From breakfast to dinner, reviewers gushed about this affordable set, with dozens of reviewers noting how perfectly sized and lightweight it is: “These frying pans are terrific. I suffer from arm and hand weakness, so these lightweight frying pans are perfect for me,” writes one reviewer. Another adds, “First of all, I cook constantly and really appreciate … having different sizes for preparation. Recommend it highly for anyone making dinner in a timely way, without the worry of sticking and burning.” A third asks, “What’s not to love? These omelet pans are the perfect sizes and food slides right off. Oh, and then there’s the price, which was another plus.”
Best cast-iron cookware set
“I’m never going back to supposedly nonstick pans again,” declares one reviewer. “This Lodge set is a great deal if you’re wanting to get started with cast iron because you get several essential pieces for many uses. These are more nonstick than my nonstick pans ever were, and they hold heat remarkably well.” Reviewers agreed that this is the ideal set for “for someone looking to transition to cast iron” and were generally pleased with the durability and versatility of these affordable pots and pans: “Highly durable. There’s a reason sets well over a century old are still in use today.” However, reviewers did note that it is important to read and follow the care instructions: “I recommend doing your homework and learn all the usage tips regarding temperatures and cleaning/seasoning. I recommend baking them at 200 degrees and oiling them down with a film of your preferred seasoning oil before your first use.”
Best seven-piece stainless-steel cookware set
Many reviewers noted that this basic set is an affordable way to upgrade to stainless steel. “This set is a great deal. They have a good weight to them, heat fast, and cook evenly. Whenever anyone sees them, they’re surprised at the quality of them. Never having personally owned anything other than nonstick pans, this was a real upgrade for me,” writes one reviewer who has worked in commercial kitchens. “This is the perfect set for a small, minimalist kitchen. This has all the right sizes of cookware for the person that wants just the basics,” seconds another who bought this set to replace their nonstick pans. “The thick bases work fantastic for even heat distribution, and the pans hold their heat beautifully. In addition, the all-metal construction allows for oven use making this set, in my opinion, the best starter set for someone who wants to try a little of everything.”
Best ten-piece stainless-steel cookware set
Reviewers loved this “excellent, heavy, substantial stainless steel” set that comes with a “useful and flexible steamer insert.” One reviewer says, “The best part of this set (in my opinion) is the vegetable steamer! It’s such an AMAZING little attachment.” Another adds, “The reason I bought this set was for the selection of pieces. I needed the steamer. I needed the covered fryer. I needed the stock pot. What I didn’t need was more uncovered frying pans, so it worked out great. Terrific set.”
Best 12-piece stainless-steel cookware set
“My favorite part is the MultiClad not only on the bottom of the pans but on the sides. The pans heat so evenly, and that makes a difference in the food. It is a superior-quality stainless-steel pan set. Pans all weighted really good, the lids fit perfect[ly],” writes one reviewer. Other reviewers were pleased with the stainless steel lids: “steel lids is the way to go for long term durability and performance. No glass to break, no seams to fail and even heat throughout.” And, like most stainless steel pans, reviewers agreed that these pots and pans were “beautiful” and “substantial.”
Best ceramic cookware set
Compared to cast iron or stainless steel sets, reviewers couldn’t believe how nonstick the ceramic coating is. “I was a little leery of the ceramic non-stick, but I’m a believer now,” writes one. Several reviewers also loved the overall look of this set: “I am beyond pleased — a pretty retro avocado that isn’t muddy, and every piece was perfect and without a blemish.” Plus, all of the lids are conveniently interchangeable: “I really love that the lids are interchangeable; every pan, even the fry pan and skillet, has a lid that fits it perfectly.”
Best porcelain enameled nonstick cookware set
“I’d had other enamel cookware before (a different brand) that I initially loved, but as I used it, it quickly became very scorched looking on the bottom. [The set] is still as lovely as the day I took it out of the box. It’s as functional as it is beautiful,” writes one reviewer who, like many others, loves this set for its blue enamel exterior. Plus, this set is ideal for cooks who are making food for large families because the pots are “large” and “extremely easy to clean” Another reviewer sums it up simply: “Durable, large, easy to clean, and nice to look at.”
Best dishwasher-safe nonstick cookware set
For home cooks who want an expensive-looking set for a budget-friendly price point, this one from T-fal is a good bet. “Having owned a restaurant for nine years, I know cookware. This set will hold up under heavy home use. The number one thing to remember when cooking with aluminum pans is cook at medium heat and never use metal utensils of any kind on these pans,” recommends one reviewer who goes on to say that “For the money, these are hard to beat!” Another reviewer writes, “These pans cook food fast, food doesn’t stick to the bottom EVER, they haven’t scratched at all yet, and they come out looking brand new from the dishwasher.” Plus, the cleverly designed T-fal seal in the middle makes “it easy to know when they are heated to right temperature” so you don’t damage them.
Best stainless-steel cookware set with glass lids
“It has mirror polished stainless steel, inside and outside, capsulated bottom for even heat distribution, suitable for all cooking sources, stainless handle rivet to provide durability, and tempered glass lids for clear viewing while cooking,” writes one reviewer about this handsome cookware set from Cook N Home. And plenty of other reviewers agree that the glass lids are a great touch: “Each pot has a lid which is so handy if you have several cooktops and want to use all your lids the same time. Another nice feature is that each lid has a vent, so no boil-overs onto your counters.” Reviewers also noted that the pans were a great value for stainless steel. One reviewer wrote, “this set is actually a great quality for anyone that is looking for a stainless steel cookware set that is relatively inexpensive.”
Best colorful nonstick cookware set
Reviewers who opted for this charming multicolor set couldn’t stop raving about the fun and bright colors. The set “is really amazing, each piece heats evenly and they are so convenient to use and clean. They are also very cute, bright colors, and cool shapes to them,” writes one. “Great product, just love the colors,” says another. Reviewers also agreed that this is a great space-saving set because “the lids can be easily flipped upside down, for ease of storage, and they sit snugly on top of the pans when flipped either way” and would make “a fun and attractive addition to any kitchen.”
Best nonstick cookware set with glass lids
Reviewer after reviewer noted how this Cuisinart set is incredibly nonstick. “First of all, they feel heavy-duty without being too heavy. The coating is great, and even stands up to the few times my husband or son have used them, which says enough right there. My eggs cook like a dream. No sticking, even without adding oil!” According to another reviewer, “These pots are truly nonstick and SO easy to clean. Other notable features include “measuring lines on the sides of some of the utensils, the glass tops, and the ease of use (think, ergonomic design).” Reviewers also generally recommend this set for low maintenance home cooks who don’t want to deal with the needs of a cast iron or stainless steel set.
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