How To Buy the Best Cookware Set for Your Money

Shopping for new cookware can be fun. But it can also be a bit daunting. 

Instead of feeling overwhelmed, use our handy guide to find the best cookware set for your money! 

Armed with these helpful tips and current reviews of some of the top cookware sets for sale, you’ll be ready to whip up anything your heart desires in the kitchen. 

Whether you want non-stick, shiny classic stainless steel, or something more bright and colorful, we’ve got options for you. All of our picks for 2020 are under $200, making them budget-friendly as well as fully-functional. Check them out below and don’t miss out on our FAQs section at the end.


Option #1 Best All-Around: Cuisinart MultiClad 12-piece Cookware Set

If you’re looking for a cookware set from a trusted brand—that can truly do it all—look no further than this 12-piece from Cuisinart.

What do we love most about this Cuisinart Multiclad cookware set?

It’s just so comprehensive. It has everything a starter kitchen needs. If you’ve just moved or remodeled, you owe yourself a shiny set of cookware for that new space!

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With the large stockpot, you can boil soup or veggies and prepare lots of yummy pasta. Or use the awesome steamer insert to make your vegetables taste even yummier and preserve those precious vitamins and minerals. But wait, there’s more!

There’s a 1.5 and a 3-quart saucepan (both with lids) that you can use for cooking smaller portions of pasta (mac & cheese!), rice, risotto, or even mashed potatoes. The saute pan works for perfectly searing meats, while the skillets are ready to hook you up with some fluffy omelets for breakfast.

Stainless steel looks great in any kitchen and it’s relatively easy to care for. The polished surface won’t discolor. Nor will it react with your food and alter flavors. The triple-ply construction has a pure aluminum core for unsurpassed heat conductivity. So you get maximum heat retention without hot spots.

Pros

  • Oven safe up to 550 degrees
  • Tapered rims for drip-free pouring
  • Cool-grip handles
  • Works on induction cooktops
  • No hot spots

Cons

  • A little pricier than other options
  • Not 100% non-stick

Check out the reviews for yourself on Amazon.


Option #2 Best Hard Anodized: T-Fal E765SC 12-piece Cookware Set

If you need cookware that will hold up through extreme kitchen conditions, then you want the T-Fal E765SC 12-Piece Set. The process to become hard-anodized is a fascinating one. It starts with aluminum. The aluminum is put into a chemical bath. Then an electric current is run through it.

The result? Cookware that is more durable and corrosion-resistant. Because this cookware is much harder than traditional, you’ll want to be careful storing it. You can stack hard-anodized cookware on itself, but don’t stack it on regular pots and pans as it may damage them.

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12 piece sets boast a lot of variety. You get two frying pans, an 8 and a 10-inch. 1, 2, and a 3-quart saucepan all with fitted lids. A nice big 5-quart dutch oven with lid (amazing for homemade soups!). Unlike most cookware sets, this one comes with accessories in the form of a slotted and a solid spoon. All pots and pans are oven safe up to 400 degrees, lids up to 350 degrees. Each piece has riveted handles and all lids are vented as well. 

One of the coolest features of this cookware set though? The Thermo-spot head indicator. You’ll know when a pot or pan is perfectly preheated when the ring around the spot turns solid red. They’re also all toxin-free nonstick on the interior, making for an easy clean-up every time. On top of that—they’re dishwasher safe! Saving you precious scrubbing time. 

Pros

  • Riveted handles
  • Vented lids
  • Corrosion and scratch-resistant
  • Toxin-free nonstick
  • Oven safe up to 400 degrees

Cons

  • Lids are only oven safe up to 350 degrees
  • Dishwasher safe but handwashing is recommended

See more pictures of the set here.


Option #3 Best Nonstick: T-Fal C561SC Titanium Advanced Nonstick Cookware Set

Another great nonstick option from T-Fal is their C561SC Titanium Advanced Cookware Set. It has the same Thermo-Spot Indicator as the previously reviewed T-Fal above. No more throwing food into a not-quite-hot-enough pan. Your meals will come out tastier and with better flavor when you use these pots and pans.

So what’s included?

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Like the T-Fal E765SC, you get accessories! A sturdy slotted spatula and a solid spoon. There are two frying pans, 8 and 9-inch. Two saucepans, a 1 and 2-quart. A 3-quart deep saute pan, great for searing meats of any kind. Last but not least, a 5-quart stockpot with a fitted lid. The lids are vented glass.  All pots and pans are heavy gauge, with an even heat base, and ultra-durable. The riveted soft-touch handles will protect your hands if you want to check on your food during cooking. 

They’re all ovenproof up to 350 degrees. Start a meal on the stovetop and finish it off in the oven! As far as cleaning up goes, everything is nonstick and dishwasher safe.

Spend more time enjoying your food and less time washing and scrubbing. 

Pros

  • Thermo spot heat indicator
  • Some accessories included
  • Ultra-durable construction
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Don’t use metal utensils or you’ll scratch the nonstick coating and it cannot be recoated

But don’t take our word for it, check out what customers on Amazon are saying about this set by clicking here.


Option #4 Best Budget: Cook N Home NC-00359 Nonstick Ceramic 10-piece Cookware Set

At a nigh unbeatable price, this 10-piece cookware set is a steal of a deal! The Cook N Home Nonstick Ceramic pots and pans come in several color options. You can keep things simple in black. Or add a pop of bright color (green or red) to your kitchen. This cookware set is made of thick gauge aluminum to provide even heating and prevent hot spots. 

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In this set, you get both a 1 and a 2-quart saucepan, a 3-quart casserole pot, and a 5-quart dutch oven. All with fitted lids! That’s not all. 2 frying pans. An 8-inch and a 9.5-inch. Fry up bacon and eggs any time of day. Breakfast for dinner anyone? The frying pans don’t come with lids...but that’s only because the tempered glass lids for the saucepans fit on them as well! 

Healthy cooking is a breeze with these nonstick pots and pans. No need to cook with oils, so you can make all your homecooked meals a bit lighter on calories! You do have to handwash the dishes, but since food doesn’t stick it’s a pretty easy job. The handles are comfortable and stay cool. As are the knobs on top of the vented glass lids—no more burning your hands when you want to check on your food.


Pros

  • Comfortable, stay-cool handles
  • Nonstick ceramic coating is easy to clean
  • Tempered glass lids fit all pans well
  • Works on gas, electric, glass, ceramic, and halogen cooktops
  • Even heat conduction

Cons

  • Not oven safe
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Not suitable for use on induction stovetops

Check price for this cookware on Amazon now.


Option #5 Best for Induction Cooktop: Cuisinart TPS-10 Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Don’t need that many pieces of cookware?

Opt for Cuisinart’s TPS-10 Cookware Set instead! This stainless steel tri-ply cookware is comparable to the 12-piece, but without the steamer insert. If you prefer roasted veggies, this set makes more sense for you. Stainless steel is perfectly flat-bottomed. Meaning it makes complete even contact with your stovetop—especially crucial for induction stoves!

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Stainless steel makes for attractive cookware that won’t react with foods and alter the flavors of your delicious homecooked meals. Also, it’s durable and strong. These pots and pans will last you for years to come. Cuisinart stands behind them with a lifetime warranty. The triple-ply construction guarantees optimal heat distribution so your food cooks evenly. 

In the 10-piece set, you get an extra-large stockpot (6-quarts!). A 3-quart saute pan cover and a handle helper. 1.5 and 2.5-quart covered saucepans. Lastly, two skillets. An 8-inch and a 10-inch. With all that variety you can make a ton of healthy meals right at home. Pasta, sauces, soups, rice, even big, fluffy omelets. 

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Induction ready
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Tempered glass covers
  • Oven safe up to 500 degrees

Cons

  • A little on the pricey side
  • Hard to stack with their lids for storage

Look no further, snag this sweet set here.


Option #6 Best Colorful Cookware: Vremi 15-Piece Nonstick Aluminum Set

It doesn’t get much more fun than this colorful cookware set. Also, it’s very affordable. Check out the Vremi 15-piece nonstick aluminum cookware if you’re looking to brighten up your kitchen space. Made from durable non-toxic food-grade aluminum, this cookware has an enamel exterior and a nonstick interior. Whether you’re simmering, sauteing, searing, or frying, you’ll experience even heat on these pots and pans.

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The set includes four pots with their fitted lids, two frying pans, and five nonstick cooking utensils. Made of BPA free nylon, these utensils won’t warp or scratch. You get a spaghetti server, a slotted spatula, potato masher, soup ladle, and a good ol’ slotted spoon. All with ergonomic handles for your cooking comfort. They all have holes on the ends, too, if you prefer to hang utensils for storage. 

Since these pots are so lightweight, they’re great for travel and camping. Or dorm rooms! You can use these pots and pans (but not their lids!) in the oven up to 300 degrees. Lending more diversity to your meals. The lids may not be oven-safe, but they are vented glass with stainless steel rims and easy-to-grasp comfort knobs. 

Pros

  • Colorful and fun
  • Durable
  • Accessories included
  • Nonstick
  • Pots and pans are oven safe up to 300 degrees

Cons

  • The lids aren’t oven safe
  • Not for induction use
  • Hand wash only

See the bright colors and read reviews for yourself on Amazon. 


Option #7 Best All-Around On a Budget: Cook N Home NC-00250 12-Piece Cookware Set

This cookware from Cook N Home looks a bit like the Cuisinart sets, but it’s a fraction of the price! With the Cook N Home NC-00250 12-piece set, you get attractive stainless steel dishes that won’t beat up your budget. The reflective finish makes for easy cleaning. They’re stackable for easy storing and their flat bases sit well on all cooktops.

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1.5, 2, and 3-quart saucepot casserole dishes with lids. A 5.5-quart stockpot with lid. A 1.5-quart saucepan, and a 10-inch fry pan both with lids. Everything has its own tempered glass fitted lid complete with steam vent. This way you can keep an eye on your food during cooking! The riveted stainless steel handles are durable and comfortable allowing you a good deep grip. The frying pan even has a helper handle, which I believe to be non-negotiable in my cookware. 

These babies are even induction stovetop compatible. Which is amazing considering their low price. They also work on traditional cooktops like gas, electric, ceramic, glass, and halogen. They’re oven safe up to a blistering 500 degrees, lids up to 350 degrees. The best part? All pieces are dishwasher safe. Get in the kitchen, whip up some tasty food, and get out!

Pros

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Induction ready
  • Oven safe up to 500 degrees (lids to 350)
  • Stackable
  • Made of mirror-polished 18/10 stainless steel w/ aluminum disc bottom

Cons

  • Stainless steel isn’t nonstick
  • Some say the handles get hot to the touch (so keep hot pads handy!)

Check price on Amazon. 


FAQs

Q: What Should I Ask Myself Before I Shop for New Cookware?

A: Here are some helpful questions to guide you to make the perfect purchase for your home kitchen:

  1. What kind of stovetop do I have? Not all cookware works on induction stovetops, so it’s best to check this first.
  2. What kind of material do I like best? Stainless steel, hard-anodized, nonstick?
  3. Do I want to use these pots and pans in the oven? If so, go for a higher oven-safe rating. 
  4. How much money do I want to spend? There’s nothing wrong with sticking to a budget.
  5. Do I mind handwashing my new dishes? Not all cookware is dishwasher safe.
  6. Do I need accessories? You can always purchase some separately. Be sure to research what kind of material will work best with your new cookware and not damage it.


Q: How Can I Keep Food from Sticking to my Stainless Steel Cookware?

A: Start by properly preheating your pan. Food sticks to cold pans. And a pan that is too hot will burn the food which also makes it stick. Some types of food just always stick a little bit, protein-rich ones like eggs.

Here are detailed instructions to help you out:

  1. Preheat your empty pan over medium heat. 
  2. Give it 2-3 minutes.
  3. Put a little oil in your hot pan.
  4. To test if it’s ready, either drop a small piece of food or a drop of water into the pan.
  5. If it makes a “tsss” sizzling sound, you are good to go!


Q: Can You Use Spray Oils on Nonstick Pans?

A: No, you should never do this. You can use regular oils, but not propellant sprays. Over time, the spray will leave a build-up on your nonstick pan that is impossible to remove. This will diminish the nonstick of your pan and you’ll be left frustrated with food stuck to your pan and a difficult to wash dish. You can, however, buy an oil mister and use that. 


Q: Do I Need to Season my New Stainless Steel Cookware?

A: You can, but you don’t have to. If you wish to, here’s a good way to do it. 

  1. Wash the new pot or pan thoroughly (interior and exterior) using warm water and a mild detergent. Rinse and dry well.
  2. Coat the inside with a layer of oil. One with a high smoke point is best. 
  3. Now you heat the oil. You can use either the stovetop or the oven. If using the oven, place in at 350 degrees for one hour. For the stove, place over medium heat until the oil starts to smoke then remove. 
  4. Let the pan cool. Once you can handle it, wipe it with a paper towel to remove excess oil. Store with paper towels in between if stacking.


Q: How Should I Wash my New Cookware?

A: While a lot of modern cookware is marked dishwasher safe, handwashing is always recommended. This will preserve the luster and shelf life of your stunning set of pots and pans. Use warm water and a mild soap unless you seasoned your pans. 

Then you should avoid soap and instead wipe with oil and paper towels. If food still sticks, scrub with oil and salt to remove. If you have to wash the seasoned pan with soap, you’ll need to re-season it. 


Get Cooking!

No matter your needs, there’s a cookware set to meet them. Enjoy your time spent in the kitchen by choosing cookware that perfectly complements your style. Whether you want non-stick or stainless steel, there is an affordable set for you. 

If you’re struggling to make a decision, we really recommend going with option 1. The Cuisinart 12-piece Multiclad Pro Stainless Cookware Set topped our list for a good reason. It has amazing versatility at an unbeatable price. Cuisinart stands behind their product with a limited lifetime warranty. 

Sale
Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
  • Polished cooking surface does not discolor, react with food or alter flavors.
  • Cookware also features cool grip handles secured with stainless steel rivets and self-basting, tight fitting lids, Triple-Ply construction includes the unsurpassed heat conductivity of a pure aluminum core. It insures maximum heat retention and even heat distribution, eliminating hot spots
  • Oven safe up to 550F, Rims are tapered for drip-free pouring.
  • Dishwasher safe, Tight-fitting stainless steel covers seal in food's natural juices and nutrients for healthier, more flavorful results. Covers are dishwasher-safe
  • 12-piece cookware set. The set consists of: 1-1/2- and 3-quart covered saucepans; 8- and 10-inch open skillets; 3-1/2-quart covered saute pan; 8-quart covered stockpot; steamer insert with lid. 12 pieces total. Professional Triple Ply Construction features a core of pure aluminum and a brushed stainless exterior.Suitable for use with induction cook tops.Drip-Free Pouring Rim Tightfitting cover seals in moisture and nutrients for healthier, more flavorful results, every time you cook.Included components: 12 PC Set
Use our helpful buyer’s guide and FAQs to make an informed purchase. Write down what you want out of your kitchenware before you shop and enjoy your pots and pans for years to come.

Last update on 2022-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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