Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set 2017 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

There are many articles about how non-stick Teflon-coated pans are bad for human health. Besides Cast-iron is heavy, tends to rust, and requires seasoning before use. That makes stainless steel pots and pans the best choice for the majority of home kitchens, and they are preferred by many kitchen professionals as well.

Stainless steel is rust resistant, easy to clean and care for, will not affect the flavor of foods, and is very durable over time. This article is intended to help shoppers decide which stainless-steel cookware is the best for them. Knowing next to nothing about cookware, we decided to search industry blogs, user reviews, and expert opinions in order to find the best stainless steel cookware available on the market.

How to Choose the Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set - Things to Consider​

What features should you consider before making the purchase? We narrowed it down to five major considerations:

Price

Buying a cookware set can be an expensive proposition. Most of us have a specific number in mind when we begin to look at any purchase. The key is to spend the least amount of money while getting the most for the dollar amount.

Compare features between cookware sets and figure out which one is right for you price-wise. Brand name or celebrity endorsements don’t mean anything.

Also, compare the number of pieces that come with each set, and don’t count books or utensils that are included.

Materials

Stainless steel cookware is made of 100% stainless steel, right? Wrong. Stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat. In order to help with this, most stainless cookware has a layer of aluminum or copper sandwiched in between layers of 304 or 316 stainless steel.

The stainless steel is also graded by percentage of chromium and nickel. Most common is 18/10, or 18% chromium and 10% nickel. Make sure your cookware is made with 304 or 316 stainless, which is the best quality. Poorer quality stainless steel will flake and pit over time.

Quality

Carefully consider the quality of construction in the cookware. Along with materials used in making the pots and pans, consider the construction methods used.

Most often the items used to consider this are the handles and lids. Are they constructed with plastic handles or knobs that are glued or screwed on? Or does the cookware have all metal handles attached with welds or rivets? Welded and riveted handles will never fall off.

Cookware with metal handles can also be used in the oven without any problems. Try to avoid all plastic handles and lid knobs, which will eventually break. This is an area where user reviews can be very helpful.

Sizes

Take the time to figure out what size pots and pans you use most often. Make sure these sizes are included in the cookware sets you are looking at.

You want to be able to use most, if not all, of your new cookware. It does you no good to buy a new 12-piece set when you are only going to use two or three of the pieces. Make sure you get lids for all sizes of pots and pans in your new cookware set as well.

Durability

Does the cookware hold up over time? Yes, it does. You should invest in a quality set of cookware that will last for a long time. Good stainless steel cookware can last you as long as you live.

Don't forget to check user reviews of the cookware you are looking to buy. Direct experience of people who actually own the products is a great tool to use. We read 10+ reviews on each cookware set to see how it held up over the long haul.

People who take the time to write a review are either really happy with the product or very disappointed. By reading many reviews, you can quickly figure out if the overall opinions are positive or negative.

10 Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set for Kitchen

Keeping the five considerations in mind, we began to search the web for the best stainless steel cookware, and pretty quickly narrowed it down to ten top performers:

1. Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Editor Rating:

9/10

Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Our top pick is from Cuisinart. The set comes with an 8-quart stockpot with a steamer insert, a 3 ½ -quart saute pan, 8 and 10-inch skillets, 1 ½ and 3-quart saucepans, and lids to fit all of them.

The material is 18/10 stainless sandwiching an aluminum layer. All handles are solid stainless steel and riveted. This cookware is oven safe up to 500 degrees and is also dishwasher safe.

Customer reviews for this product were very positive overall. Users report ease of use and ease of cleaning as very good. Durability seems to be excellent as well, with one user reporting ten years of use with no problems.

Finally, many owners compared this set to more expensive ones and were very happy with this Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro cookware.

Highlighted Features:

  • Superior Cooking Performance - Polished stainless steel cooking surface does not discolor, react with food, or alter flavors.
  • 12pc set includes tools for virtually and cooking task a home chef undertakes.
  • Induction Ready - Compatible for cooking on induction stovetops.
  • Cool Grip Handles - Solid stainless steel riveted stick handles stay cool on the stovetop.
  • Professional Triple Ply Construction - Features a core of pure aluminum bonded brushed stainless steel exteriors and stainless steel interiors.
  • Heat Surround Technology - Provides consistent, even heat distribution along the base and side walls of cookware.

2. Cuisinart 77-10 Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Editor Rating:

8/10

Cuisinart 77-10 Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Our second pick is also a Cuisinart product available at a lower price point. 

The difference between the MultiClad and the Chef’s Classic is that the aluminum layer here is on the bottom only, not on the sides.

This set comes with an 8-quart stockpot with lid, a 3 ½-quart saute pan with lid, 1 ½ and 3-quart saucepans with lids, and 8 and 10-inch skillets. Handles are solid stainless steel and riveted. 

This set is both dishwasher and oven safe. We had a hard time determining the material used in this cookware. Some users claim the material is NOT 18/10 stainless, which makes it more prone to pitting and cracking. Others report 2-5 years of use with no complaints. One user said that molten aluminum shot out of his pan and burned his foot! 

However, the overall view from customers was that this cookware is a good value for the price, and performs very well.

Highlighted Features:

  • Solid, riveted handles, aluminum in base for even heating
  • Classic cookware made of mirror finish stainless steel
  • 3-1/2-quart sauté pan with cover; 8-quart covered stockpot
  • 8- and 10-inch skillets; 1-1/2- and 3-quart covered saucepans
  • Product Built to North American Electrical Standards

3. All-Clad 401488R Tri-Ply Bonded Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Editor Rating:

9/10

All-Clad 401488R Tri-Ply Bonded Stainless Steel Cookware Set

During our research, All-Clad kept coming up as the cookware that most people compare to. This brand is high-end and bit more expensive compared to other brands.

The material is two layers of 18/10 stainless steel with a layer of aluminum in between on both the bottom and sides. Handles are solid stainless with rivets to attach them. 

This cookware is dishwasher, oven, and broiler safe. The set comes with an 8-quart stock pot with lid, a 3-quart saute pan with lid, 2 and 3-quart saucepans with lids, and 8 and 10-inch fry pans. 

Lastly, customers are very happy with this set, rating it very high. Many people add that this cookware is great for induction stovetops. These pots and pans are definitely made to last for lifetime, but the price can scare away some buyers.

Highlighted Features:

  • Dishwasher, oven and broiler safe
  • 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface will not react with food
  • Stainless steel handles are permanently secured with stainless steel rivets
  • Compatible with all cooktops, optimal for induction
  • Set includes pieces perfect for everyday use

4. Cook N Home Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Editor Rating:

8.5/10

Cook N Home Stainless Steel Cookware Set

This cookware set is very reasonably priced and an excellent choice for the most who has a small budget.

These pots and pans have a layer of aluminum in the bottom only for heat transfer. Handles are solid stainless and riveted. All lids are made of tempered glass, not stainless steel. 

The set comes with a 10-inch frypan and lid, a 5 ½-quart stock pot with lid, 1 ½, 2 and 3-quart casseroles with lids, and a 1 ½-quart saucepan with lid. All lids feature a vent hole to vent out steam. 

Users are very happy with this set. A few complained about the lids breaking when heated up or dropped. Overall a good value for the money.

Highlighted Features:

  • Stainless handle rivet to body provide durability
  • Mirror polished stainless steel, inside and outside, capsulated bottom for even heat distribution
  • Capsuled bottom with aluminum disc inside for even heating
  • Tempered glass lid to clear view while cooking
  • Suitable for all cooking source electric and gas stove or glass and ceramic

5. Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Editor Rating:

8/10

Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set

This cookware features aluminum sandwiched between stainless steel layers on both bottom and sides. All handles are stainless steel and attached with rivets. Lids are made of tempered glass. 

This cookware is dishwasher safe and comes with a lifetime warranty. It also includes a 6-quart stock pot with lid, a 3-quart saute pan with lid, a 3-quart chef’s pan with lid, 1 ½ and 2 ½-quart sauce pans with lids, and 8,10, and 12-inch omelet pans. 

People who own this cookware are very positive. Very low complaints were about warping and food sticking. Many were going to buy All-Clad but opted to buy the Calphalon instead. They are very happy with the ease of use and cleanability, and also the fact that they saved a ton of money. 

Highlighted Features:

  • Includes 8-, 10-, and 12-inch omelette pans, 1 1/2- and 2 1/2-quart sauce pans with lids, 3-quart chef's pan with lid, 3-quart saute pan with lid, and 6-quart stock pot with lid.
  • Elegant brushed stainless steel exterior can go from the oven or stove directly to the table.
  • Aluminum core between 2 stainless steel layers provides even heating for excellent browning and control of the cooking process.
  • Clear tempered-glass lids let you see food while it's cooking and are oven safe.
  • All cookware is dishwasher-safe and carries Calphalon's full lifetime warranty.

6. Duxtop Whole-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Editor Rating:

9/10

Duxtop Whole-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set

The cookware features 3-layers on both bottom and sides with an aluminum core. Handles are riveted and made of stainless steel. All lids are solid stainless steel. This set is freezer, oven, and dishwasher safe, and includes a lifetime warranty against defects. 

The Duxtop set includes a 6 ½-quart saucepot with lid, 1.6 and 3-quart saucepans with lids, a 3-quart saute pan and lid, and 8 and 10-inch fry pans. This cookware works on all stove types.

Reviews of the Duxtop cookware are very positive. Everyone is very happy with this cookware and say they are great “for the price”. The one negative review we read complained about a loud noise coming from the pan when used on an induction stove.

Highlighted Features:

  • Stay-cool stainless-steel perfect-grip handle riveted to the pan.
  • Set includes 8-Inch, 10-Inch Fry Pan; 3-Quart Saute Pan with lid and handle helper; 1.6-Quart and 3-Quart covered saucepan; 6-1/2-Quart saucepot with cover.
  • Dishwasher-safe; oven-safe to 550 degrees F; Freezer-safe for food storage.
  • Whole-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel construction eliminates hot spots and ensures even heat distribution along the bottom and side walls of the cookware.
  • Lifetime limited warranty.
  • Works on induction, electric plate, radiant, ceramic, halogen and gas stove.

7. T-fal C836SC Ultimate Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Editor Rating:

8/10

T-fal C836SC Ultimate Stainless Steel Cookware Set

T-fal is another brand we were familiar with. Some of us have a couple of their fry pans in our kitchens. 

Construction is stainless steel with an aluminum core. The bottoms also feature a layer of copper to speed up heating times. All handles are stainless steel and riveted for durability. Lids are glass and have holes to vent out steam. 

This cookware is dishwasher and oven safe, and comes with a lifetime warranty. This set has 8 and 10-inch fry pans, three saucepans with lids, a stock pot with lid, a spatula and a spoon.

Finally, users report that they are very happy with this set overall. The few complaints we found mentioned the copper layer on the bottom flaking/peeling off.

Highlighted Features:

  • Dishwasher safe; oven safe to 500 degree F
  • Stainless-steel construction for long lasting performance
  • Riveted stainless-steel handles ergonomically designed for comfort
  • Safe for all cooking methods including induction
  • Multi-layer base w/ copper bottom for fast, even heat distribution
  • Glass lid allows you to watch cooking progress. Vented hole lets steam escape to prevent boiling over
  • Limited lifetime warranty

8. Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Editor Rating:

9/10

Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless-Steel Cookware Set

Construction of this cookware is three-ply, with an aluminum layer in between 18/10 stainless steel on both the bottom and the sides. All handles are solid stainless steel and riveted in place. Lids are made of solid stainless steel. 

This cookware is oven-safe to 500 degrees, dishwasher-safe, and comes with a lifetime warranty. The set includes 1.5 and 3-quart saucepans, 11-inch saute pan, an 8-quart stockpot, and a steamer insert that fits both saucepans. Lids are included to fit each piece.

Customer reviews for this product were very positive overall. The only complaint we found was that the cookware was difficult to clean. This seems like a good value for the price.

Highlighted Features:

  • Aluminum core sandwiched between 2 layers of 18/10 stainless steel
  • Secure-fitting stainless-steel lids trap in heat and moisture
  • 1-1/2-quart and 3-quart covered saucepan, 8-inch and 10-inch open skillet, 8-quart covered stockpot, and covered steamer insert
  • Oven-safe to 500 degrees F; dishwasher-safe
  • Solid stainless-steel riveted handles stay cooler with air-flow technology
  • Limited lifetime warranty

9. Emeril by All-Clad E884SC Chef’s Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Editor Rating:

8/10

Emeril by All-Clad E884SC Chef’s Stainless Steel Cookware Set

This is All-Clad’s low-end product with Emeril’s name on it. This set is a good fit for those who has a small budget but wants to buy from an expensive brand.

The cookware is made out of 18/10 stainless steel, and has an aluminum core for heat transfer in the base only. Handles are all stainless steel and riveted on. Lids are made of glass.

This set is oven safe to 350 degrees, dishwasher safe, and has a lifetime warranty. It also comes with an 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan with lid, 1.5-quart saucepan with pour spout and lid, 3-quart saucepan with lid and steamer insert, an 11-inch pan with lid, and a 6-quart stockpot with lid.

Customer reviews of this cookware set are a little lower than the rest. Overall, users were very happy with this set for the price. Some people were disappointed that this set was made in China for All-Clad. Other complaints were about discoloring and food sticking to the pans.

Highlighted Features:

  • PRO-CLAD design Chef's handle makes it easy to saute, stir, and carry pans
  • Pour and strain measuring sauce pan, measuring marks in sauce pans and stockpot
  • 18/10 stainless steel construction, aluminum encapsulated base with bonded base distributes heat evenly
  • Compatible with all cooktops, including induction
  • Dishwasher safe and Life time warranty
  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

10. Heim Concept Glass Lid Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Editor Rating:

8.5/10

Heim Concept Glass Lid Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Our final item is a 12-piece set from Heim Concept, which is very reasonably priced.

Construction is stainless steel with a core layer of aluminum on the bottom only. All handles are riveted and solid stainless steel. Lids for this cookware are made of glass. Rims are tapered for drip-free pouring.

This set includes 5.75, 3.25, 2.25, and 1.75-quart casseroles with lids, a 1.75-quart saucepan with lid, and a 10.5-inch fry pan with lid.

Customer reviews were positive overall, i.e. “better than the ones from Wal-Mart.” Most users referred to this as an entry-level set of stainless steel cookware but were happy with its performance for the price.

Highlighted Features:

  • Mirror polished stainless steel, inside and outside, capsulated bottom for even heat distribution
  • Stainless handle rivet to body provide durability
  • Includes 10.5-inch Fry pan with lid, 1.75-quart Sauce pan with lid and 1.75-quart, 2.25-Quart, 3.25-Quart, 5.75-Quart Casserole with lids
  • Tempered glass lid to clear view while cooking
  • Suitable for all cooking source electric and gas stove or glass and ceramic

Final Verdict

After carefully examining the ten cookware sets above, we have reached a final verdict. We took into account price, materials, quality of construction, sizes needed, and product durability over time.

We are very confident that all of these sets are very good cookware and will work well for everyone. However, our decision is the Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set as the winner.

We like the idea of three-ply construction throughout for even heating. We also prefer stainless steel lids which we believe will last better than glass ones over the long haul.

Overwhelmingly positive reviews from people that own and use this cookware was an important factor as well. We believe the Cuisinart MultiClad cookware is an excellent value for your money.

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