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Without a doubt, pots and pans is an essential part of every kitchen. From frying to simmering, there’s nothing you can do without the help of your cookware. Especially during this current period with the pandemic when we have more time to spend at the comfort of our home, pots and pans are becoming more and more entwined in our life as many people start to consider cooking a way of coping.
No matter whether you take cooking seriously or see it as nothing more than a hobby, you obviously need decent cookware which can assist you as much as possible. In today’s article, we will show you some of the best pots and pans on the market as well as how to search for them.
The cookware market is witnessing the participation of several manufactures, with more and more models being introduced. After thorough research and trials, we’ve compiled a list of the best pots and pans. Below is the list in no particular order:
1. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel Cooking Set
This cookware set is a dream come true for both professional and amateur cooks in the kitchen. The whole set is made of stainless steel, not only improving durability (can endure up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven), but also giving the pots and pans that sleek, aesthetically pleasing look. The pots and pans come with tight-fitting lids that help seal in flavors as well as nutrients of your food, helping you prepare nutritious and tasty dishes. It’s also worth mentioning that all the parts are dishwasher-safe so you can be more at ease when it comes to cleaning.
A standard set features 12 pieces, including 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; and steamer insert with lid. However, based on your preference as well as your usage pattern, you can get other versions like a 7-piece, a 10-piece or a 13-piece set.
2. Calphalon Premiere Space Saving Pots and Pans Set
This 15-piece cookware set provides you with every tool you need to become a better cook: 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, 12-inch fry pan, 2.5-quart sauce pan with cover, 3.5-quart sauce pan with cover, 4.5-quart soup pan with cover, 3-quart saute pan with cover, 5-quart Sauteuse with cover, 8-quart stockpot with cover. With the 3-layer interior being made with hard-anodized aluminum, this set is metal-utensil-safe and superior when it comes to durability. The items in this set are all oven-safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and they’re also dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. All the pieces can be stacked up easily to save you some space in the kitchen.
Similar to Cuisinart, besides the traditional 15-piece set, Calphalon offers cookware sets with different numbers of pieces, so you can easily choose the most suitable one among a 2-piece set, a 5-piece set, a 6-piece set, and a 10” set that has 3 pieces.
3. All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware Set
If you aren’t hesitant when it comes to money, why not indulge yourself with the All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware Set? No matter how savvy you are in the kitchen, as long as you’re passionate about cooking, just purchase this product from All-Clad and let it help you. Going more than the classic stainless-steel look, this set is well-constructed, high-performance and easy-to-use, definitely a must-have for any household.
With 10 pieces including 8-inch and 10-inch fry pans, 2-quart and 3-quart sauce pans with lids, a 3-quart sauté pan with a lid, and an 8-quart stockpot with a lid, the All-Clad D3 is versatile for every cooking need. What’s more interesting is that by using this set you can save up some money you normally spend on energy, as every single piece is made with premium-quality materials that facilitate even heat distribution, meaning you won’t have to go too high on heat when cooking.
4. T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set
The basic version of this efficient set from T-Fal contains 12 pieces (8 inches fry pan, 10 inches fry pan, 1 quart; saucepan with lid, 2 quart saucepan with lid, 3 quart saucepan with lid, 5 quart Dutch oven with lid, solid spoon and slotted spatula), but right now you can also opt for a 14-piece version or a 17-piece version. No matter which one you choose, the entire set is still promised to satisfy you. The hard anodized aluminum allows the pots and pans to retain perfect heat as well as creating a much more durable layer with reinforced hard titanium, making them corrosion and scratch resistant.
What sets this product apart is the thermo spot indicator. We all know how important preheating is in cooking, and this function is implemented to help you better manage such a task. A ring is added and when pans are preheated to perfection it turns solid red to remind you when it’s time to add your ingredients. No more guessing, no more gut feelings, only precise signal.
You may also like: Best Nonstick Cookware Sets
Clearly reading about some of the best pots and pans is not enough to help you decide which one to pick. You need something general, something more like a buying guide that gives you all the key factors you should take into account before making your decision. Don’t worry, because that’s exactly what we’re gonna show you in this section.
1. Number of Pieces
The first thing you need to consider is the number or pieces included. Before making your purchase, answer the question: How many pieces do you need? Keep in mind that each pot, pan and lid is counted as one piece. For normal day-to-day use, we recommend a 10-piece set like the Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Cookware Set, a 11-piece set like the Anolon Advanced Home Hard-Anodized Nonstick, a 12-piece set like the Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware Set.
However, depending on how variable you want your pots and pans to be, you can settle for other choices. If you don’t see the need to invest in such sets, you can choose a smaller one with 5 to 7 pieces or versions with fewer pieces. You can also go far more than our recommendation with a 17-piece like the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Non-Stick Hard Anodized Set.
Also remember to find out which material is suitable for you. The most common materials regarding pots and pans are copper, aluminum and stainless steel, each having its own pros and cons which are discussed below.
Copper cookware like the Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper Cookware Set or the Copper Chef Cookware Set is highly rated for their responsive nature and the ability to heat up food evenly. However, pots and pans made of copper are usually more money-consuming, and they also require a lot of effort to maintain their shiny look, so that could be a setback for those searching for the best pots and pans.
Another widely-used material is aluminum. Many aluminum pots and pans are hard-anodized to strengthen the metal so your cookware won’t get dented easily or interact with your ingredients. A disadvantage is that unless your set has its layer covered with a stainless-steel layer, aluminum cookware is incompatible with an induction burner. If you’re interested in aluminum pots and pans, don’t miss out on the Cuisinart GG-12 GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set.
Stainless steel is also common when it comes to pots and pans material. Stainless steel cookware is recognized for its sleek look and durability. The GreenPan Venice Pro Stainless Steel Set can be an example for that. On the flip side, however, heat conduction is an aspect that cookware made with stainless steel weak at, so you need to weigh up everything carefully.
Other materials include cast iron (like the Lodge Essential 7-Piece Set) and ceramic (like the Bialetti Ceramic Pro Cookware Set). Pots and pans made from these materials are less common and you may need to spend more time searching for them.
3. Oven- and Dishwasher-Safety
Pots and pans which are safe to use in the oven give you access to a wide variety of food, allowing you to cook more food for you and your family. Meanwhile, dishwasher-safe cookware saves you a lot of time and effort that would traditionally go into cleaning.
Although many sets introduced here are safe to use in the oven and/or safe in the dishwasher, not all pots and pans follow the same pattern. Therefore, our advice is to check beforehand, and you can do that directly at the shop or on supplies’ websites.
1. Do pots and pans have a specific recommended weight?
The answer is no. It’s hard to give a specific number as different manufacturers have different ways of making their products, not to mention the materials as well as added features (like handles for example).
Nonetheless, the general rule is to look for something mid-weight. You don’t want something too light, because they will feel fragile in your hand and tend to heat up too quickly, but you don’t want heavy-weight pots and pans either because they can’t be too difficult to lift.
2. Is there anything to look out for regarding cookware handles?
Handles are significant, they give you better control over the cooking process. Many suppliers now make sure that their handles are wrapped by silicone, which make the handles feel cooler and more comfortable in users’ hands.
If possible, try to find cookware that has an additional handle opposite to the main one, because they provide a lot of support in maneuvering your cookware, especially when you have little experience in the kitchen. If you’re confident with your control, however, you can skip this little tip.
3. What pieces should I look for in a cookware set?
One important principle when looking for pots and pans is that you should not forget to see which pieces you need and which are included in the set. Sometimes suppliers can add in some utensils like spoons and spatulas and count them as pieces of the set, so you need to do some research in advance to see which components are actually in the set.
Some necessary pieces that you absolutely should have are 8-inch and 10-inch skillets. An ideal set should contain a covered 12-inch skillet, one to two saucepans and a pot which is at least 6 quart. It’s hard to list all the parts that you need, but the key is to name some that you use on a regular basis and check if they are included in the set.
4. What are the most trusted brands for pots and pans?
With so many manufactures jumping in the cookware market, finding one that’s famous and highly regarded can be a bit challenging. Quality brands like All-Clad, Anolon and Cuisinart do provide high-quality pots and pans that deliver exceptional performances, but it doesn’t mean that remarkable products only come from well-known brands. Our suggestion is to search for the set, not the brand. As long as you find what you need, the brand does not really matter.
5. Is nonstick cookware safe?
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C-8, are sometimes used in nonstick coating layers for pans before the year of 2015. The effect on our health of this chemical substance is still a matter or argument, but as long as you buy new nonstick cookware you can be assured, since they were used mostly before 2015. Even if you use old nonstick pots and pans, no need to be overly worried. All you need is to use your cookware properly and you are fine.
So how can “use properly” be defined? That means you use your pots and pans at appropriate heat, no overheating, you don’t use metal utensils to scratch on their surfaces and you avoid abrasive cleaners. Do all of them and there’s nothing to be afraid of.
To wrap up our article about the best pots and pans, here is the compilation of the clear winners, as well as the criterion in which they exceed other products:
Best Durability: All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware Set
Best Copper: Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper Cookware Set
Best Aluminum: Cuisinart GG-12 GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set.
Best Stainless Steel: GreenPan Venice Pro Stainless Steel Set
Best Cast Iron: Lodge Essential 7-Piece Set
Best Ceramic: Bialetti Ceramic Pro Cookware Set
Best Budget: T-Fal Excite ProGlide Nonstick Cookware Set
We hope that our article on the best pots and pans has supplied you with enough information to help you find your perfect choice. Don’t forget to tell us your favorite set in the comment and we’ll see you next time!