a stainless steel pot is placed on gas stove

When is comes to cookware, stainless steel is a classic material loved by home and professional chefs alike.

Stainless Steel Cookware Sets Reviewed

*We select and review all products independently, based on our opinion and customer feedback. Some links on this page are affiliate links and if you make a purchase we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more info on our disclaimer page.

Top pick

1. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro 12-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.3

Best budget

2. Farberware Millenium 10-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

9.0

Best high-end

3. All-Clad D5 10-Piece

- Base: 5-ply stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.4

Best stackable

4. Calphalon Premier Space Saving Stainless Steel 5-Piece Set

- Base: 3-ply stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

9.2

Best basic set

5. Cook N Home 8-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum disc
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

8.7

Best complete set

6. Duxtop Professional 17-Piece Induction Cookware Set

- Base: 18/10 commercial-grade stainless steel w. heavy-gauge aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction 

Our Rating

9.4

Most stylish

7. Rosle Elegance 10-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel, ceramic for pans
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

8.8

Best every day

8. Cooks Standard Classic 10-Piece

- Base: 18/10 stainless steel w. aluminum
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

9.1

Durable

9. Cuisinart Chef's Classic 11-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

8.7

Great investment

10. Calphalon Classic 14-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

8.9

Top pick

1. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro 12-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.3

Best budget

2. Farberware Millenium 10-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

9.0

Best high-end

3. All-Clad D5 10-Piece

- Base: 5-ply stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.4

Best stackable

4. Calphalon Premier Space Saving Stainless Steel 5-Piece Set

- Base: 3-ply stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

9.2

Best basic set

5. Cook N Home 8-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum disc
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

8.7

Best complete set

6. Duxtop Professional 17-Piece Induction Cookware Set

- Base: 18/10 commercial-grade stainless steel w. heavy-gauge aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction 

Our Rating

9.4

Most stylish

7. Rosle Elegance 10-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel, ceramic for pans
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

8.8

Best every day

8. Cooks Standard Classic 10-Piece

- Base: 18/10 stainless steel w. aluminum
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

9.1

Durable

9. Cuisinart Chef's Classic 11-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

8.7

Great investment

10. Calphalon Classic 14-Piece

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, induction

Our Rating

9.8

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Design:

The Multiclad Pro set features deep stock pots and lidded saucepans with straight sides, as well as two skillets with slightly rounded edges. The vibrant brushed stainless steel exteriors make the pans easy to identify, and the riveted handles on the lids allow for an easy grip.

Included in the set are a 1-1/2-quart saucepan and lid, a 3-quart saucepan and lid, 8- and 10-inch skillets, a 3-1/2 quart saute pan and lid, an 8-quart stockpot and lid, and a steamer insert (also with lid).

Materials:

This set is distinguished by a triple-ply construction that delivers superb heat retention and distribution. The brushed stainless steel finish is wrapped around an aluminum core. Because of this impressive conductivity, users won't have to worry about "hot spots" during cooking. The finish won't discolor or react with any ingredients during use, which is another huge plus.

Usability:

The first thing we noticed about the set was the rounded edges on the skillets, which have practical advantages in addition to their aesthetic appeal. These tapered rims make it easier to pour hot liquids out of the skillets without spilling a drop. 

The same principle is applied to the larger stockpots and saute pans, but the versatility of the skillets makes the effect more noticeable.

Both the pans and lids are dishwasher safe, and the pans are oven safe at temperatures up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. The "cool grip" handles and tight-fitting lids help to alleviate the risk of burns, in addition to improving flavor by locking in moisture. It should also be noted that this set is suitable for use on induction-style cooking ranges.


Pros

  • Pans heat quickly and efficiently
  • Quality construction
  • Tapered rims make pouring easier
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Great for searing proteins

Cons

  • Spotty customer service responses
  • Some shipping issues reported

Farberware Millenium 10-Piece Stainless Steel Set

Design:

This 10-piece set includes 1- and 2-quart saucepans with lids, an 8-quart stockpot with lid, a 3-quart saute pan with lid, and 8- and 10-inch frying pans. The saucepans have high, straight edges, giving them a stately appearance. The tapered handles are wide enough to allow for a stable grip, but not so broad as to appear bulky.

Materials:

All of the pots and pans feature a stainless steel construction, and the lids are made of glass with steel edges and riveted handles. The lids are particularly good at locking in heat and moisture, making them a great choice for stews and hearty sauces. We especially appreciate their transparent nature, which makes it easier to check on the food's progress without releasing any heat.

The entire set is dishwasher safe, and the stainless steel pots and saute pans are oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. They're also compatible with induction cooktops.

Usability:

The large riveted handles on the saucepans and skillets lend stability and security to this fine set of cookware. The handles on the lids are likewise well-designed, arching high enough to keep fingers from accidentally brushing hot surfaces.

In addition to being easy to see through, the glass lids make cleanup a snap, even without a dishwasher. For that matter, we would recommend washing these pieces by hand whenever possible to avoid discoloration.

Despite their sleek appearance, the pots and pans are impressively sturdy, with great heat retention. We should point out that they're geared towards people who have some kitchen experience—users seeking their first-ever cookware set might want to look elsewhere. Note that Farberware offers consumers a lifetime warranty with this purchase.


Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Attractive design
  • Heavy, durable construction
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not suitable for novices
  • Pieces will hold up better when washed by hand

All-Clad D5 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Design:

Softly flared edges and broad lid handles set the All-Clad pieces apart. The 8- and 10-inch frying pans have higher sides than some of the competition, with riveted handles that give them ideal balance.

The set also includes a 1-1/2-quart saucepan with lid, a 3-quart saucepan with lid, and an 8-quart stock pot with lid. The handles on either side of the stock pot match the ones on the lids, with a rectangular shape that's easy to grab hold of.

Materials:

The All-Clad set features alternating layers of aluminum and brushed stainless steel, with all-steel handles. This material is oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit and compatible with induction cooktops.

All the pieces are dishwasher safe, but a bit of elbow grease might be required for any food that gets stuck on during cooking. In these instances, we would recommend using a stainless steel powder cleanser or a similar remedy to remove the burnt-on bits before they have a chance to damage the finish.

Usability:

The flared edges allow for drip-free pouring, which is always a plus as far as we're concerned. Because the edges of the skillets are so high, they can be used to heat soup and sauces in addition to sauteing.

Speaking of which, the heat distribution is so effective that medium heat will typically get the pans hot enough for most cooking applications. This superb temperature control is enough to justify the high price tag for most home chefs. Novices should beware—using excessively high heat may cause food to burn and the pans to discolor.

All-Clad offers a limited lifetime warranty on this set. Because of the superior construction, we feel confident that the pieces will pay for themselves over time.


Pros

  • Energy-efficient
  • Strong, durable construction
  • Tapered edges for drip-free pouring
  • Oven and broiler safe to 600 degrees

Cons

  • High price point
  • Pieces require regular care to help maintain the shine

Calphalon Premier Space Saving Stainless Steel 5-Piece Set

Design:

This set consists of 4 qt chef's pan, 8 qt stock pot with cover, 5 qt saute pan with cover. Both pans feature straight edges, so the smaller pan can be nestled into the chef's pan in order to free up cabinet space. Fork-style attachments helps to keep the riveted handles cool during cooking—a feature that's included on the lid as well as the pans themselves.

Materials:

The triple-ply stainless steel pans are induction-ready, and the tempered glass lid features a steel rim to boost the durability factor. This set is dishwasher, oven, and broiler safe, but we wouldn't recommend the use of abrasive cleaning techniques.

Usability:

The main selling point of this Calphalon set is right there in the name. Because these pans can stack and nest inside one another, they free up a great deal of kitchen space. 

However, users should take care not to slide the pans over the glass covers, and to stack them as gently as possible when putting them away.

The high, straight sides make these pans an excellent choice for pan-frying, braising, and reducing liquids for sauces. Because of the glass lid, it's easy to keep an eye on the cooking process. Note that the pans should be allowed to cool before they're put in the dishwasher.


Pros

  • Rapid, even heat distribution
  • Great for smaller kitchens
  • Dishwasher, oven, and broiler safe
  • Cleverly designed handles stay cool during cooking
  • Tight-fitting lid

Cons

  • Customer service department can be slow to respond to complaints
  • Pans need to cool completely before washing

Cook N Home 8-Piece Stainless Steel Set

Design:

Silver in color with a mirrored finish, this set has a classic appearance and a user-friendly design. The 10-inch saute pan has rounded sides and a tight-fitting lid, while the 2- and 3-quart lidded saucepans offer straight edges and stout riveted handles. The 5-quart stock pot is also outfitted with a lid, with wide handles set into either side.

Materials:

Cook N Home utilizes 18/10 stainless steel in its construction, with an aluminum layer built into the base to improve heat retention. The mirror finish makes the pieces easy to clean, in addition to boosting their eye appeal. They can be used on any type of cooktop, including ceramic and induction ranges. While the pots are oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the tempered glass lids can only handle temperatures up to 350 degrees. The entire set is dishwasher safe.

Usability:

Our favorite aspects of this set are the extra-wide handles set into the lids and stock pot, which provide a reliable and comfortable grip. 

Conversely, we feel that the handles on the saute pan and saucepans are a bit too short to provide the right balance; some caution is in order when using these pieces, especially during high-heat cooking applications. Fortunately, their design helps them stay nice and cool.

The flat bottoms help these pots and pans sit evenly on the cooking range with no wobbling. Steam vents built into the glass lids help to prevent overflow. This set is also stackable, which helps to conserve kitchen space. Lastly, note that this is one of the most reasonably prices 8-piece sets listed here.


Pros

  • Appealing design
  • Low price point
  • Heavy, durable construction
  • Extra-broad handles on stock pot and lids make for easy gripping

Cons

  • Handles on smaller pieces are a bit too short
  • Should be washed by hand for best results

Duxtop Professional 17-Piece Induction Cookware Set

Design:

Included in this behemoth of a cookware set are the following items: 8- and 9.5-inch frying pans; 1.6-quart and 2.5-quart saucepans with lids; 4.2-quart casserole dish with lid; 5.5-quart saute pan with lid and "helper," 8.6-quart stock pot with lid, 9.5-inch pasta basket, steam basket, slotted spatula, serving spoon, and long-handled fork.

All of the components are silver in color with a brushed finish—except for the lids, which are made of glass with steel edges. Thick riveted handles provide stability and balance to the saucepans and saute pans, with slight tapering toward the business end.

Materials:

These Duxtop pieces are composed of 18/10 commercial-grade stainless steel, with a layer of heavy-gauge aluminum built into the base. They're compatible with all cooking ranges, including induction and infrared cooktops. In addition to being dishwasher safe and oven safe to 550 degrees, these pieces are also freezer safe.

Usability:

The ergonomic handles on the saucepans and saute pans have an anti-slip finish that helps to boost their stability. The broad steel rims around the glass lids provide good heat retention, as well as protection during storage. 

We especially appreciate the clear volume markings that are printed inside the stock pot and saucepans, which make it easier to track measurements and liquid reduction.

The aluminum core does an admirable job of distributing heat throughout the cookware, eliminating the dreaded "hot spot" phenomenon. Note that it's important to use moderate temperatures with this type of cookware—take special care when using a gas cooktop. Duxtop offers a limited lifetime warranty with this purchase, which is a great perk considering the low price tag.


Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Excellent heat distribution
  • Versatile set, includes utensils and pasta basket in addition to pans and lids
  • Superior packaging ensures that the pieces arrive in good condition

Cons

  • Can get too hot on gas cooktops
  • Tricky to clean if food is allowed to set for long

Rosle Elegance 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Design:

This attractive and unusual set is nickel-colored save for a black nonstick finish on the interior of the saute pans. Included are two frying pans, one saucepan, five stock pots of various sizes, and a milk pot with a downward-curved handle. While the frying pans have gently sloped edges, the rest of the cookware has straight sides.

All of the stock pots are equipped with matching lids, one of which can also be used on the larger frying pan. Although Rosle advertises this as a 10-piece set, be aware that this number doesn't include the lids—there are actually 14 pieces in total.

Materials:

The 18/10 stainless steel construction ensures rapid and even heat distribution, while the frying pans' nonstick surfaces make them ideal for fancy egg dishes. Because the stell is rust-proof, these pieces are built to last. They're also suitable for use on gas, electric, ceramic, and induction-style cooktops.

Usability:

The sloped edges of the frying pans makes it easy to tip scrambled eggs and frittatas onto a plate. Unlike the majority of the products on our list, they have a nonstick finish, so they're remarkably easy to clean (though not suitable for use in the dishwasher). All of the lids are tight-fitting, with slim handles that remain cool to the touch.

We appreciate the fact that this set includes a milk pot, which can be used to create impressive froth for espresso drinks. 

The array of stock pots and casserole dishes is another plus—many sets will include just one oversized stock pot, giving fewer options to singles and small families who don't always need the extra space. The Rosle set should be a good fit for anyone who prefers a nonstick cooking surface for their saute pans.


Pros

  • Works great on induction cooktops
  • Versatile offerings, including a milk pot
  • Easy to clean
  • Nonstick surfaces are user-friendly

Cons

  • Nonstick surface makes saute pans unsuitable for pan sauces
  • Material is prone to water spots without proper care

Cooks Standard Classic 10-Piece Stainless Steel Set

Design:

The bright silver color and high curved handles of the Cooks Standard pieces are both practical and eye-catching. This set consists of two saute pans with riveted handles, a stock pot, a casserole dish, and two saucepans. All the pieces, except for the saute pans, are outfitted with matching lids.

Materials:

The 18/10 stainless steel construction includes an aluminum disc and a magnetic bottom that makes it suitable for induction use. This unit is diswasher safe, but we would recommend giving it a good rinsing beforehand for best results. All of the components, including the stainless steel lids, are oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Usability:

The air-flow technology on the riveted handles makes it easier to handle the saute pans on a hot cooktop. The same effect applies to the saucepans, but we think these handles could be a trifle longer. 

The stock pot and casserole dish, meanwhile, have sturdy handles built into either end that give them superb balance—but be forewarned that these might get a bit hot during cooking.

Thanks to the impressive heat retention, this stock pot turns out excellent soups and stews. We would also recommend it for home canning and sous-vide cooking applications. Despite their few shortcomings, all of the pieces are built to last, so consumers should be certain that they're happy with the design before making an investment.


Pros

  • Water comes to a fast boil in stock pot
  • Quality construction
  • Air-flow technology keeps handles of saucepans and saute pans from getting too hot
  • Suitable across a wide range of cooking applications

Cons

  • Food will burn and stick at very high temperatures
  • Base exterior wears through more quickly than the rest
  • Some shipping issues reported

Cuisinart Chef's Classic 11-Piece Stainless Steel Set

Design:

Cuisinart's set offers pieces so brightly silver that they practically glow in the dark, making it easy to distinguish from the competition. The set includes two frying pans, one saute pan with lid, two lidded saucepans, an oversized stock pot with lid, and a pasta basket. Both of the frying pans have gently rounded edges, while the rest of the pieces feature straight sides.

Materials:

Composed of stainless steel with an aluminum-encapsulated base, these pieces are designed to heat up quickly at moderate temperatures. The pots and pans are induction-ready, but not suitable for use in the dishwasher. As for the lids, they're made of clear break-resistant glass, with curved handles and steel rims.

Usability:

Like the Duxtop set, this one offers measurement markings inside the saucepans and stock pot, allowing users to cut down on the amount of dishes that they generate. The glass lids are another plus, creating a tight seal without eliminating visibility. The riveted handles are tapered and provide excellent balance, especially while pouring.

Be forewarned that the lid handles, while sturdy, can get uncomfortably hot, so it's a good idea to keep a pot holder on hand when using the stock pot or saucepans. 

The frying pans are probably the best reason to invest in this set—they deliver an impressive sear to protein and vegetables alike, and they clean up easily afterward. It may take a little while to discover the proper setting—like most stainless steel cookware, these require very little heat—but once that's been achieved, these are destined to become favorites.


Pros

  • Tight-fitting lids
  • Good balance on saucepans and frying pans
  • Great heat retention
  • Eye-catching design
  • Pasta basket included

Cons

  • Erratic customer service
  • Some shipping issues reported, including possible instances of mislabeled product

Calphalon Classic 14-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Design:

This offering from Calphalon includes 8- and 10-inch omelette pans, a 12-inch omelette pan with lid, 1-1/2-, 2-1/2-, and 3-1/2-quart saucepans with lids, a 3-quart saute pan, and an 8-quart stock pot with lid. The set is silver in color, with glass lids that feature high, rectangular handles. All of the pots and pans have straight edges except for the omelette pans, which are slightly rounded at the sides.

Materials:

An impact-bonded aluminum base is encased with quality stainless steel to create a product that's both durable and effective. The pots and pans are suitable for the oven, broiler, and dishwasher, in addition to the stovetop. They're also induction-ready. Each glass lid is encircled with steel reinforcement to make storage easier.

Usability:

The aluminum core delivers rapid and efficient heat to the entire surface of the cookware. Despite this, the cleverly designed handles remain cool throughout the cooking process. Double rivets ensure that the pans remain stable during use.

We're big fans of the straining holes in the covers, which make it easy to drain pasta and vegetables without a messy colander. There are also built-in fill lines, thereby reducing the need for measuring cups.

The only real drawback to this set is the high price tag, which unfortunately puts it out of range for many consumers. Fortunately, Calphalon offers a full lifetime warranty with every purchase.


Pros

  • Excellent quality
  • Superb heat retention and distribution
  • Strainer holes built into lids eliminates the need for colanders
  • Convenient fill lines
  • Glass lids are particularly durable

Cons

  • Material requires seasoning before first use
  • High price point

What Is Stainless Steel?

"Stainless steel" is an umbrella term, meaning that it can refer to several different steel types. These types utilize a two-step process to combine iron, carbon, and chromium into a new metal. Often, other alloying materials may be added as well.

What sets the metal apart is the addition of chromium, which forms chromium oxide when added to steel. This creates a protective barrier that resists corrosion, hence the "stainless" designation.


What Features to Look for in Stainless Steel Cookware?

Construction

The best stainless steel cookware will feature an aluminum core, which will allow for superior heat retention and distribution. Beware of sets that lack this inner core, as the pieces may be prone to "hot spots" that will result in uneven cooking.

Metal Types 

As we mentioned, stainless steel is not a one-size-fits-all term. Look for pieces that use 18/10 stainless steel in their makeup. This means that the material contains 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel, which gives it increased durability.

a stainless steel cookware on tabletop

Handles 

Any handles should have a rugged, sturdy appearance. It's preferable for handles to be affixed to the business end of the piece with rivets, since welded-on handles will break off more easily. They should also be designed to remain cool during cooking, especially on frying pans and saute pans.

Lids 

Likewise, the lids should be durable, tight-fitting, and well-suited to their counterparts. While we're partial to glass lids on account of their transparency, stainless steel lids can hold in the heat and moisture just as well. If the lids are made of glass, there should be a thick steel band running around the edge.

Versatility

Be sure to select a set containing only pots and pans that will come in handy. Unnecessary extras will only take up valuable cupboard space. It helps if the individual pieces can serve a variety of functions, instead of being limited to one or two cooking applications.


FAQ

Is Stainless Steel Cookware Safe? 

Absolutely. The alloy strength of the combined materials helps the metal to resist leaching, which is one of the primary concerns when it comes to cookware. As long as it's quality material and not a third-rate imitation metal, stainless steel is perfectly safe to use for cooking.

What is the disadvantage of stainless steel?

The high cost of stainless steel is one of its greatest disadvantages. However, because that cost typically translates into quality, it can be considered money well-spent.

Stainless steel also needs to be cleaned and treated with the proper care. Despite its name, the surface can become smudged easily. It's also prone to water spots, so pieces should be thoroughly dried before they're put away.

What is the healthiest stainless steel cookware? 

As we mentioned, 18/10 stainless steel is the best type to choose. Any brand that includes this designation in their product description is a good bet. Some of our favorites include Calphalon, Duxtop, and Rosle.

Sean Bennett
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