Best Stainless Steel Cookware Of 2021 Reviews

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Every home cook needs to invest in a good stainless steel cookware set at least once in their life. And that’s what’s so great about stainless steel cookware, one quality set will last through a lifetime of use. Stainless steel is versatile, easy to maintain, budget-friendly, and truly unbreakable.

That’s why we decided to test some of the best stainless steel cookware sets on the market so you can choose the best set for your needs — whether you’re a beginner cook looking to invest in your first set, or a lifelong cook looking to treat yourself to some upgraded pots and pans.

After a series of rigorous testing by experienced Allrecipes Product Tester Rachel Johnson, we’ve determined the six best stainless steel cookware sets for every type of home cook.

1 Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Pots and Pans Set

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Pots and Pans Set

QUICK TO HEAT STAINLESS STEEL: Cookware features full cap bases with stainless steel layered over thick aluminum cores for fast, even heating CONIC STYLE: Comfortable handles with iconic styling provide a confident grasp and stainless ...
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2 Gotham Steel 20 Piece Pots

Gotham Steel 20 Piece Pots

Complete kitchen in a box – includes a complete suite of fry pans, stock pots, sauce pans, bakeware pans, steamers and more Award winning Ti-Cerama coating ensures the ultimate release - everything just slides right off the pan, No need ...
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3 Rachael Ray Create Delicious Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Rachael Ray Create Delicious Stainless Steel Cookware Set

EASY CLEANING COOKWARE: Convenient and versatile 10-piece pots and pans set with shatter resistant glass lids is dishwasher safe for fast and easy cleanup. STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE SET: Durable, polished stainless steel pots and pans ...
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4 Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel

Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel

Includes: 1.5 qt saucepan, 1.5, 2, and 3 qt saucepot casseroles, 5.5 qt stockpot, and a 10-inch saute fry pan with lids Made of mirror polished 18/10 stainless steel with an aluminum disc bottom between steel layers for even/quick heat ...
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5 T-fal C836SD Ultimate Stainless

T-fal C836SD Ultimate Stainless

Set includes: 8 inches fry pan, 10.5 inches fry pan, 12 inches fry pan with lid, 1 quart saucepan with lid, 2 quart; Saucepan with lid, 3 quart; Saucepan with lid, 5 quart; Dutch oven with lid and stainless steel steamer Multi layer ...
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6 Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

Impact-bonded aluminum base distributes heat evenly, for exceptional browning, searing, and sauteing Stainless steel long handles stay cool on the stovetop Convenient measuring marks, pour spouts, and straining covers allow you to cook ...
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7 Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel

Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel

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 ...
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8 Cuisinart 77-11G Chef’s Classic

Cuisinart 77-11G Chef’s Classic

Mirror finish. Classic looks, professional performance and induction-ready Aluminum encapsulated base heats quickly and spreads heat evenly. Eliminates hot spots. Stainless steel cooking surface does not discolor, react with food or ...
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What to Look for When Buying Stainless Steel Cookware

Grade of Stainless Steel 

Often times, the grade of stainless steel is stamped on the cookware, with 18/10 being the most commonly used grade for good quality cookware. This fraction tells you the percentage of chromium and nickel in the alloy used—18/10 contains 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel and will resist rust while also retaining its shine and polish.

Weight

While the ideal thickness of a good pan is subjective to a cook’s preference, a quality stainless steel pot will have a certain heft in your hand. A weighty pot means that it won’t move around on the stove, and its weight also means it is more likely to distribute heat evenly and less likely to have “hot spots.” Heavier pans also stand up well to the rigors of daily use and are less susceptible to dents, warping, and dings than lighter, thinner pans.

Core and Construction

Look for a fully-clad pan with an aluminum or copper core. Good stainless steel cookware will have an aluminum or copper disc sandwiched between layers of stainless steel to aid in conducting heat. The full layers of stainless steel that make up the bottom and sides of the pot are called “cladding,” and the number of layers will be described by its “ply.” The most common is tri-ply, which describes two layers of stainless steel with an aluminum or copper core, but pans can also come in 5-ply or 7-ply (commonly referred to as “multi-clad”). Another quality feature is riveted stainless steel handles—they are more secure than spot-welded handles, which are more likely to come off with heavy use.

Heating Capacity

Most stainless steel cookware is also oven-safe, but its heating capacity depends on the quality of the cookware. Less expensive, lighter pans may only be oven-safe to 350 degrees, and higher-quality, heavier pans can often withstand temperatures well above 500 degrees (including use under the broiler). Be sure to always check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the maximum heating capacity of your cookware (and their lids) before use.

Versatility

Stainless steel is great for all-purpose cooking—it can be used for braising and browning as well as creating sauces and soups. The non-reactive properties of stainless steel make it ideal for cooking sauces with acidic ingredients (think tomato sauce or meats stewed in wine). Many stainless steel pieces are oven-safe, allowing you to finish a dish under the broiler if needed. 

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