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Technique in cookery matters. But so does the gear that you use to cook with. A poor workman can’t blame their tools, but the tools have to be right for the job.
That’s what you’ll find in our 6 best cookware sets – the perfect tools for your kitchen and for every budget too.
One of our favorite cookware brands delivers with a non-toxic, high quality cookware set.
TOP RATED CHOICE
An excellent multi-purpose pan set though we wish it had a bigger skillet in it.
BEST VALUE CHOICE
Super stylish and elegant is the order of the day with these super performing pans.
They’re one of the brands that we most admire in the world of cookware, so we’re glad to see that this Caraway cookware set knocked it out of the park for our tests.
This is a completely non-toxic ceramic coated set of pans that are shipped with magnetic pan racks (and also a nice canvas-style lid holder) that makes it really easy to put them away when they aren’t in use.
Quick Fact: The Caraway cookware set is among the easiest to clean because it’s meant to be wiped and then returned to use or the shelf. It really is that simple too.
1. 100% non toxic design is a big win for family cooking
2. Completely non-stick surfaces made of ceramic
3. They are also 100% safe for use in the dishwasher
1. A little more expensive than other similar sets
2. Not quite as many pans as we’d like in a set
3. They aren’t all compatible with induction stove tops
You get a lot of pans for your money here in the Cuisinart Cookware Set and we’d say that this might be the best choice for many households based on overall value for money.
All of these pans are made of stainless steel (with an aluminum core) and can be used on any stove including those with induction tops.
We were very impressed with the quality of the build of these products too.
Quick Fact: This set includes a very nice steamer made of mirror polished stainless steel that really stands out from the crowd, however, for some reason it also has different handles to the rest of the set.
1. Really attractive and classic feel to the design
2. We can imagine that these will last nearly forever
3. Great range of pans included
1. It really needs a 12” or larger skillet – the two included skillets aren’t quite big enough
2. The metal handles on the sides of the pans are capable of getting very warm
3. The lids sometimes form a vacuum and can be hard to remove
This is a gorgeous looking stainless steel cookware set from Williams Sonoma that really catches you eye the first time you see it.
And it cooks as well as it looks too.
They heat very quickly on the stove and you can use them in an oven no problem at all.
We like the fact that they can be cleaned in the dishwasher too – the less cleaning up we do, the better.
Quick Fact: Williams Sonoma have been making kitchen equipment for over b and everything they sell has been through a rigorous testing process in their test kitchen.
1. Solid, robust build quality
2. They work really well and cooking with them is a lot of fun
3. Eye-catching and interesting to look at
1. The handles have no heat-resistant properties
2. You get discoloration on the base of the pans over time
3. A bit expensive for what they are
If you just want the basics from your first cookware set then this competitively priced Lodge seasoned cast iron kit should get you started in style.
Cast iron is, of course, somewhat heavier than stainless steel but it means that you get a more solid and long-lasting pan for it.
Lodge also made our list of the best frying pans for this too.
And fortunately, the shipping is free – so you don’t need to worry about the weight too much.
Quick Fact: The fact that these pans come pre-seasoned is a real blessing as while seasoning isn’t too hard to do, it’s easy to get it wrong and then have to do it all over again.
1. You can use these in pretty much any conditions
2. They are going to last forever unless you’re trying to break them
3. They come pre-seasoned saving you a job
1. They are super heavy – which can be a problem for people with arthritis, especially
2. You have to maintain the seasoning
3. You need to buy a cookware care kit to get the best out of these pans
These Lagostina stainless steel pans with glass lids are very attractive and competitively priced for a 12 piece set.
The aluminum cores ensure that the heat is evenly distributed over the cooking surfaces and at a very rapid rate.
The handles are designed to stay cool, something that other manufactures could, perhaps, learn a lesson from.
Quick Fact: They are the only pans in our tests to come with a full lifetime warranty – not that we’d expect you to need it, but it’s nice to have, right?
1. They are very attractive to look at
2. A lifetime warranty is awesome
3. Recommended on Good Eats by Alton Brown
1. The stainless steel finish is prone to spotting
2. Some customers have seen rust-like marks on the steel
3. They need a bit more washing up than most pans in our tests
If you want a lot of pans but don’t have a lot of money to spend then this kit from T-Fal ought to be right up your alley.
It’s very inexpensive and at the same time has 14-pieces in it.
Though if you just want one T-Fal pan, check out our pan of the year.
Each pan has Thermo-Spot technology employed in it (it changes color when your pan is properly heated and ready to cook in) which is a very nice touch.
Quick Fact: T-fal was founded by Marc Gregoire back in 1954, so you can be sure that they’ll be around to service your warranty issues if you have them.
1. They’re super affordable – ideal for a starter kit for a new household
2. They come with several color options
3. They don’t weight very much
1. The exteriors are really easy to scratch
2. They are unlikely to last more than a few years
3. Some customers report that the handles come loose after continued use