The truth is, no type of cookware beats the sheer ruggedness of stainless steel. For this reason, it is not surprising that if you walk into any random kitchen, you are unlikely to miss a stainless steel cookware. They are robust, safe, inert, and durable.
Besides, these pieces of cookware do not rust, are resistant to stain, and do not react with any acidic food. What’s more, the best stainless steel cookware sets are not only great in cooking prowess. They are a gorgeous addition to your cookware set, thanks to a lustrous, shiny finish.
- 1 Best Stainless Steel Cookware Reviews 2020
- 1.1 1. T-fal Ultimate C836SD Stainless Steel Cookware Set – Best Overall
- 1.2 2. Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel 02410 Cookware Set – Best Budget
- 1.3 3. Farberware 10 Piece 75655 Cookware Set – Best for Everyday Cooking
- 1.4 4. All-Clad Stainless Steel D3 Cookware Set – Best High End
- 1.5 5. Cuisinart 77-11G 11 Piece Chef’s Stainless Cookware Set – Best Encapsulated Base
- 1.6 6. Duxtop Professional Stainless Steel SSIB-17 Cookware Set – Best For Professionals
- 1.7 7. Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 10 Piece Cookware Set – Best for Durability
- 1.8 8. Chef’s Star 17pc Stainless Steel Premium Cookware Set – Best for a Large Family
- 1.9 9. Cuisinart French Stainless 10-Piece FCT Cookware Set – Best for Aesthetics
- 1.10 10. Cuisinart Stainless Steel MCP-12N Cookware Set – Best for Money Value
- 2 Things to Consider Before Buying Stainless Cookware
- 3 How to Take Proper Care of Your Steel Cookware
- 4 Stainless Steel Cookware FAQs
- 5 Conclusion
Best Stainless Steel Cookware Reviews 2020
|T-fal Ultimate C836SD Stainless Steel Cookware Set – Best Overall||
|Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel 02410 Cookware Set – Best Budget||
|Farberware 10 Piece 75655 Cookware Set – Best for Everyday Cooking||
|All-Clad Stainless Steel D3 Cookware Set – Best High End||
|Cuisinart 77-11G 11 Piece Chef’s Stainless Cookware Set – Best Encapsulated Base||
|Duxtop Professional Stainless Steel SSIB-17 Cookware Set – Best For Professionals||
|Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 10 Piece Cookware Set – Best for Durability||
|Chef’s Star 17pc Stainless Steel Premium Cookware Set – Best for a Large Family||
|Cuisinart French Stainless 10-Piece FCT Cookware Set – Best for Aesthetics||
|Cuisinart Stainless Steel MCP-12N Cookware Set – Best for Money Value||
1. T-fal Ultimate C836SD Stainless Steel Cookware Set – Best Overall
The T-fal C836SD cookware set is in my opinion the best stainless steel cookware set. If you are looking for a professional-grade cooking set, then I think this set will be a great option. The set comprises of 13 pieces of high quality cooking accessories. The reason for the great performance of this set is the copper bottoms.
A careful placement of copper at the bottom ensures a fast distribution of heat throughout the pans and pots. The copper bottom channels heat outwards, for faster cooking. In addition to the copper, the multi-layered construction also consists of aluminum and the stainless steel itself. While steel provides the toughness, aluminum and copper evenly distribute heat.
Since the interior surface of all the components in the set are made from 18/10 stainless steel. As a result, you have an inert surface that doesn’t react with foods being cooked, regardless of their acidity. Moreover, the polished interior provides a non-stick cooking surface, provided you get the temperatures right.
When cooking, preheat the pans, then add a thin layer of cooking oil. You will have a non-stick cooking surface that makes the pans easy to clean afterwards. Regardless of the fact that stainless steel cooking wares can withstand high cooking temperatures, this particular set will last you long and work effortless if you use main moderate heat. Due to the fact that the bottom is made of copper, this set is suitable for all cooktops, including induction tops. Plus, the sets can be safely used in an oven, withstanding temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, these are dishwasher safe. For added convenience, measuring marks are inscribed into the interiors, for the instances when you need accurate cooking.
- Ergonomic handles
- Vent holes eliminate boil-overs
- Ideal for high temperature cooking
- Cleaning is a breeze
- Non-drip pouring edges
- Non-stick at right cooking temperature
- Dexterous brushed surfaces
- Glass lids provided
- Engraved measuring marks
- Shiny surfaces scratches often
- Feels lightly constructed
- Does not work best with the dishwasher
The Cook N Home 12 piece stainless steel cookware set is a perfect choice for those who don’t have the budget to go for a high end cookware set. Despite the low cost, the pans, pots, and lids are made from high quality materials. The pans and pots have an aluminum-stainless steel encapsulated disk at the bottom. This means exceptional heat transfer and durability.
This cookware set features brilliant mirror polished finishes. These look brilliant when displayed in your kitchen. At the same time, the polished exterior and interior make the pieces easy to clean. While the exterior neither scratches not stains with ease, the interior stays nonstick, albeit after preheating and adding a thin layer of cooking oil.
Lids made from tempered glass are some of the items included in the package. With see through glass, you have an unimpeded view of the cooking process. Steam vents are added to the lids. These vents let out steam, preventing boil overs that make for a messy cleaning job of the stove top thereafter. However, these glass lids would shatter if used in an oven.
Even better are the stainless steel handles that are riveted onto the surfaces. While ensuring longevity, these handles stay cool when heating, for safe handling of pots. Still, I would recommend holding them with something else as you cook. When the lids are off, these can be used at temperatures of 350 degrees and 270 degree Fahrenheit with the lids on. All the pieces in the set are compatible with induction tops, thanks to the encapsulated bottoms. As a result, you can use the set on halogen, glass, gas, ceramic, and electric stoves. One minor drawback is that these are not dishwasher safe. It has to take your careful handling and washing to get them clean. However, this shouldn’t be much work because of the nonstick properties.
- Both sides are mirror-polished
- Convenient see through glass lids
- Durable, stay-cool handles
- Even heat distribution eliminating heat spots
- Compatible with all cooktops
- Easy to clean
- Not dishwasher friendly
- Glass lids have low temperature limit
3. Farberware 10 Piece 75655 Cookware Set – Best for Everyday Cooking
The Farberware 75655 stainless steel cookware comes in handy for your everyday cooking needs. Featuring a gentle tulip shape, the set has exceptional heat transfer rate. This feature is great if you want to eliminate either hot or cold spots on your cooked meal. Moreover, this set has the bottom part made from aluminum-stainless steel combination.
Because only the bottom is made from encapsulated disc, the overall cost reduces considerably, while still retaining an excellent rate of heat transfer to the rest of the pot surfaces. All the pans in the set are dishwasher-friendly for your convenience. But if you want the functionality and the shiny appearance to last, then you better scrub them by hand.
All of the 10 pieces of pans and pots in the set come with their lids. These glass lids lock in flavors and heat, for even a faster cooking rate. Plus, these glass lids give you unrestricted view of the cooking meal. In the case of pressure build up, vapor vents on the lid prevent boil overs. Sometimes, these lids lock in quite a bit of pressurized steam. So take care when opening the lids
In place of the short curved handles, this set consist of pans and pot with flared stainless steel handles. The handles are riveted onto the pieces, with the elongated part staying cool. Dual Rivets used are sturdy, staying in place for long. One of the key advantages of stainless steel cookware is their high temperature resistance. This set stays safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are a professional chef out for millennium stainless steel cookware, then I think these can be a worthy addition in your kitchen. The interiors and exteriors are polished to a mirror-like appearance. You could even see yourself on them. Because of the polished surfaces, you need to be extra careful not to scratch and dent their auspicious look.
- Stay-cool flared handles
- Great shape design for heat efficiency
- Broiler-safe components
- Compatible to all cook tops
- Glass lids eases food monitoring
- Comfortable handles
- Great-looking polished finish
- Even distribution of heat
- Stainless steel finish chips with time at the bottom
- Lids and handles still get hot
- Watermarks remain on the polished surface
4. All-Clad Stainless Steel D3 Cookware Set – Best High End
If you are looking for a luxurious, high end stainless steel cookware, then the All-Clad D3 is one of the options to consider. This cooking set is available in 5, 7, 10, and 14 piece options depending on how busy your kitchen is. Alternatively, if you are starting out then the 5 piece would be ideal. Otherwise for professionals, the 14 piece set is suitable for all the work.
Beyond the classic polished stainless steel, the All-Clad D3 is a high performance kitchen ware for culinary artists. Each of the pieces is hand made from three layers of Aluminum sandwiched between stainless steel layers. Unlike in previous cookware sets where the 3-ply construction is only at the bottom, this set has the layer throughout up to the rim.
All the pieces in this cookware set are compatible with all cooktops, thanks to the aluminum component in the structure. What’s more, the pans and pots are safe for ovens and broilers. Superior quality handles feature contoured bolsters to improve on your grip on them. We all can agree that handling a pot full of boiling food can be treacherous without proper handles.
The best part is that the D3 stainless steel construction slowly heats up, evenly spreading the heat throughout the pot. As a result, you will only need the heat to be on medium for most of your cooking such as simmering, sautéing, braising, and searing. These pieces feature stainless steel lids, which are great for high temperature cooking. While all the cookware pieces can be safely washed in the dishwasher, nothing beats the effectiveness of a personal touch. In case you have food stuck, mixing water and white vinegar does the trick. Alternatively, you can use a stainless steel powder cleanser. The best part is that the items have flared rims, making for spill-free liquid transfer.
- High temperature resistance up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit
- Available in options for all culinary skill levels
- Compatible with all cooktops
- 3-ply bonded layer is up to the rims
- Flared rims eases transfer of liquids
- Comfortable to handle
- Nonstick properties
- High temperature resistant stainless steel lids
- Long lasting beauty
- Still delicate for a dishwasher
- Handles have the tendency to crack
5. Cuisinart 77-11G 11 Piece Chef’s Stainless Cookware Set – Best Encapsulated Base
The Cuisinart 77-11G is an excellent option for customers in need of stainless steel cookware with encapsulated bases. What this means is that the bottom of the pieces are made from a 3-ply aluminum and stainless steel. The aluminum core is sandwiched between an inner and outer steel. Then finally, a protective layer is placed beneath the outer steel for durability.
With the premium bottom construction, chefs are afforded optimal cooking at moderate temperatures. Aluminum is one of the best heat conducting metals, thus an even and fast heat spread. Better still, cool touch handles stays cool on the stovetop. You can then get a secure grip thanks to the contoured stick handles.
For a tasty meal, you need to keep all the moisture, nutrients, food flavor, and food texture locked in. That’s why the 77-11G comes with glass lids. More importantly you can conveniently monitor the progress of the simmering food without having to open the lid. Moreover, each piece has tapered rims, making for a subtle foods transfer without spills. These pots and pans are extremely versatile. They are resistant to temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence, you can use the set in ovens, under a broiler, or any stovetop. Further, these items are freezer safe, allowing you to safely store leftover food for the next day. In addition, the cookware is dishwasher safe for effortless cleaning.
- Freezer safe
- Professionally riveted handles and helper handles
- Clean and easy pouring
- Usable for a variety of stove tops
- Dishwasher safe
- Bottoms evenly spread heat
- Measurement markings easy to use
- Handy glass lids
- Package includes a steamer
- Handles still get hot at high temperature cooking
- Some foods corrode the rivets
6. Duxtop Professional Stainless Steel SSIB-17 Cookware Set – Best For Professionals
With a package consisting of 17 pieces of high quality stainless steel cookware, the Duxtop SSIB-17 ticks in almost all the boxes a professional chef is looking for. In an ordinary kitchen/household, you may not require all the pieces, that why I recommend this set for high culinary skilled individuals.
One of the great features of this cookware set is the 3-ply construction. Aluminum and stainless steel are bonded together in a disk at the bottom. The best part is that the bonding technology lasts the lifespan of the set. At the same time, the technique ensures even heat flow from bottom to rims. As a result, unnecessary warping is eliminated.
Another feature professionals will love is the versatility of this set. The set is compatible with virtually all heating techniques from halogen, gas, electric, to induction. It handles all these flawlessly. While at it, drip-free tapered rims keep the sides and stovetops clean while transferring pot contents. The 18/10 stainless steel construction extends to the handles. These ergonomically constructed handles have a different satin finish to create an anti-slip surface. The smaller pots and pans have assist handles for better handling control. Riveting of the handles onto the pieces ensures durability. Fortunately, the rivets are from stainless steel so they will not corrode after a while.
- Dishwasher safe
- Oven safe up to 550 degree Fahrenheit
- Ergonomic handles
- Long lasting encapsulated base
- Ideal for all cooktops
- Lots of useful pieces for professionals
- Tempered glass lids eases monitoring
- Durable construction
- Nonstick when preheated and layer of oil added
- Requires careful handling otherwise food will stick
- Excessive heat damages the set
7. Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 10 Piece Cookware Set – Best for Durability
Sometimes buying an effective cookware it not enough. It won’t do you any good if the set doesn’t last for long. That’s why the Calphalon Classic is one of the best stainless steel cookware sets. The set comes in variants of 10, 13 and 14 pieces, depending on how much cooking work your kitchen handles.
The Calphalon pieces are made from a combination of brushed stainless steel and aluminum. At the base, both materials are impact-bonded to form a heat efficient 3-ply structure. As such, the set is reliable for everyday cooking jobs. And to make your cooking a lot easier than in conventional sets, measuring marks are etched on the pots and pans.
Separately, the tempered glass lids have draining holes aligned with pour spots on the pots. Hence, when draining liquids from the pots, there is no need for a separate strainer or colander. Talk about cost saving innovation. Whereas there are only 10 pieces in the set, it still allows you to boil, fry, simmer, sear, and do many more cooking techniques with dependable results. The durable stainless steel and aluminum construction gives continuous dependable results whether on induction, halogen, electric, gas, or ceramic stovetops. With this set, you get the nonstick properties, with the ability of using metallic utensil, unlike the purely nonstick pans. For comfortable handling while cooking, stay-cool handles come in handy.
- Excellent versatility
- Impressively durable
- Brushed appearances stays stain free
- Encapsulated base heats up fast
- Long handy handles
- Oven and broiler-safe
- Quick cleanup in the dishwasher
- Etched measurement marks for accurate cooking
- Aligned lid holes and pour spouts eliminate colander
- Rarely stains, but difficult to remove if the eventually stain
- Requires careful heat setting to make nonstick
8. Chef’s Star 17pc Stainless Steel Premium Cookware Set – Best for a Large Family
Family is everything to us. While most of us have a family of about 2-3 people, there are those with large-sized families. As such, you get a unique kind of challenge in preparing decent meals. Bearing this in mind, Chef’s star created a stainless steel cookware set to meet all the hassle of preparing enough food to feed your whole family.
With 17 pieces of high quality stainless steel cookware, there is just about everything you need. In fact, this set comes in highly recommended by chefs all over for its stylish, versatile, and great looks. Featuring a commercial-grade 18/8 stainless steel construction, heat transfer is quick, needing just the moderate heat setting.
The bottom part is made from a combination of aluminum and stainless steel, further hastening the cooking process, with the best cooking results. When using the pans for frying, the results are often as crisp as you like it. Even better, the set is dishwasher compatible. Cleaning all the 17 pieces by hand after a tasty meal is too much work, don’t you think? All the pieces come with induction and infrared cooktops ready. This feature means it can be used on any other stovetop as induction tops are the ones requiring magnetic features from the pots and pans. When you need to bake a meal in the oven, remember not to exceed the 550 degrees Fahrenheit maximum temperature that the pots can withstand.
- Safe for freezer and refrigerated storage
- Big sized pots and pans for large sized families
- Works with all cooktops
- Vented glass lids works great
- Long lasting bonded disc bottom
- Ergonomically shaped handles
- Great warranty
- Shiny 18/8 commercial grade stainless steel
- All the 17 pieces may be too many for most users
- Hard to grasp nonstick feature
9. Cuisinart French Stainless 10-Piece FCT Cookware Set – Best for Aesthetics
The Cuisinart FCT-10 French stainless steel cookware set epitomizes everything great about these types of cookware sets. Great looking, functional, durable, and classy, the FCT-10 is indeed one of the best sets of stainless steel cookware. Contained in the 10 piece package is everything you need to recreate those world class recipes you have always desired.
At the core of its functionality is a pure aluminum core enveloped by two stainless steel layers. The result is unrivaled heat transfer capacity, while retaining the hardiness and inert nature of stainless steel all the way from the bottom to the rims of the cookware. Likewise, a Heat Surround technology allows the heat from the stovetop to be evenly transferred to the walls.
There is one feature that stands out from these cookware sets. The unique stay-cool handles ensure a superb control of the pots by incorporating a unique thumb rest feature. Lifting, transferring, and moving the pots is much easier when you adequately grip onto the handle. With all the pieces, preparing feasts to everyday meals is less daunting. Tight sealing stainless steel lids seal in nutrients, natural flavors, and moisture, for an even healthier meal. Besides, the elongated handles, large pots have wide cover assist handles, the same for the lids for a simple grip of the lid. Having a set of cookware usable in the oven for baking, freezer for storing, and dishwasher for a cleaning is an added advantage.
- Induction ready
- Classic convenience
- Lifetime warranty
- Versatile performances: oven, freezer, and broiler
- Tight sealing lids for nutrients
- Comfortable handling with thumb rests
- Stay cool elongated handles
- Exceptional heat transfer and retention
- Professional aesthetics
- Stainless steel lids makes it difficult to monitor cooking progress
- Glass lid option are fragile
10. Cuisinart Stainless Steel MCP-12N Cookware Set – Best for Money Value
Every one of us wants to get the best value for our investments. Either you spend less and get a good quality product, or spend more, and get even better returns. The Cuisinart MCP-12N falls in the former category. You won’t break your bank buying this set, yet you get the same quality you would have got if you bought a high end option.
All the pieces in the set have brushed exterior and highly polished interiors. These add to the contemporary look of the set. Handles that stay cool when on stovetops are strongly riveted for handling security. In addition, tight fitting lids make the food retain its natural tastes even after cooking. Note that these lids are stainless steel and not glass like in the other products.
As a multi-clad cookware, this set has a 3-ply construction. This technique encompasses a core of pure aluminum and stainless steel exterior. Aluminum and stainless steel offer the best cooking performance of any set of materials. Heat is evenly spread through the bottom to the side walls for an all-round cooked meal. The rims of the pots are tapered in a way that eliminates fluids/soup from dripping though the walls. What’s more, this set offers the best results in simmering, searing, frying, and sautéing of your favorite delicacies. Like most of the high end, more expensive options, the MCP-12N is oven safe up to temperatures of 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
- High temperature cooking
- Brushed stain resistant exterior
- Polished nonstick interior
- Maximum heat retention
- Enhanced safety mechanism
- All cooker tops
- Tight fitting lids speed up cooking
- Sometimes the skillet warps on high temperature
- Not the best on induction tops
Things to Consider Before Buying Stainless Cookware
1. Look for 3-Ply Construction
A cookware made purely out of stainless steel is one you don’t want to give with. It heats too fast, has poor heat retention, heat spots results, and the food ends up being unevenly cooked. To solve all the inefficiencies of pure stainless steel, a second metal is introduced within the structure. Mostly, either copper, aluminum, or both are used to solve the poor heat distribution and heat spots. On their own, these two metals have their drawbacks as well.
Sometimes, the 3-ply is only at the bottom, with stainless steel sandwiching either copper or aluminum. In high end cookware, the 3-ply extends through to the rims.
2. The Stainless Steel Must be 18/10
First and foremost consider steel noted as 18/10. This means it has 18% chromium and 10% nickel. This combination gives the heaviest and most durable stainless steel around. Each of the two components plays a critical role.Chromium prevents rusting as well as keeping the steel shiny and stain free. The more the chrome, the more shiny your cookware is, and you’ll love it.
3. Your Cooking Needs And Culinary Skills
There is a reason these sets of cookware are available in a specific number of pieces. In a typical set, you are bound to find skillets, pans, pots, and casseroles of varying sizes. First try to figure out all your cooking scenarios and work out which pieces you need.
If you are a professional chef, then you will have as many pieces of cookware as possible. Otherwise you may end up having excess pieces with no use to you or less than you require. A typical small household only needs a stockpot, saucepan, skillet, and a sauté pan. These will enable you prepare meals such as pasta, sauces, soups, meat, among many more.
4. Lids and Handles
When cooking, it is the small things that make all the difference. Take for instance these two. A flimsy handle is annoying. Also, when cooking you might want handles that don’t get hot. Otherwise handling a stockpot of soup may be impossible. There are divergent opinions about lids. Do you prefer glass or stainless steel? While tempered glass is great for monitoring the cooking food, they crack under high temperatures or when dropped accidentally. Metallic lids on the other hand are hardy, but require you to keep opening the pot to check how far the food is. There is the risk of steam burn because of the pressurized steam inside the pot. Look for vents and know/handles on the lids for additional convenience.
How to Take Proper Care of Your Steel Cookware
Although stainless steel cookware has nonstick properties if correctly used, they present a tough cleaning challenge if improperly used. You need to learn the effective way of taking care of your stainless steel cookware set. I hope these tips will help.
Cleaning Tough Stains
One of the challenging aspects of a stainless steel cookware is figuring out how to remove food crusts when improperly preheated. Clean crusted food by soaking the pans in warm soap water. Soaking the pans overnight is a great idea.
In the morning, use a scouring pad to vigorously remove the build-up food. Don’t use copper or steel-based scrubbers. They will do a great job, but they scratch the surface of your cookware. On the other hand, if the cookware has burn marks, as a result of being left on the burner for too long, then use baking soda to clean these up. Sprinkler a generous amount of baking soda on a completely dry pan, then rub down with dry sponge.
Another challenge is water spots from salty water. When washing the cookware, always dry them before storing.
Regularly season the pans to a great extent helps in making your cleaning job a lot easier. First, preheat the pan at moderate temperature for about 2 minutes. Once hot, take the pan off the burner and add one tablespoon of oil. Either peanut, coconut, or olive oil works. Swirl the oil around the pan until it melts.
Take the pan back to the burner, and let it sit on the heat until the oil produces smoke. Turn off the burner and allow the pan to cool together with the oil. Once cool, drain the oil. Provided you do not wash the pain with dish soap, the nonstick properties will stay for a while.
Wash Your Cookware by Hand
After cooking, wipe your pans dry by hand. Avoid using the dishwasher at all costs. Most of the time, these cookware sets are indicated that they are dishwasher safe. However, using the dishwasher rapidly reduces the lifespan and lustrous look stainless steel is known for.
Stainless Steel Cookware FAQs
Q: Are stainless steel cookware nonstick?
A: No. Technically, stainless steel is not nonstick. What makes a piece of cookware is a coating of polytetrafluoroethylene. A good example is a Teflon coating. However, similar nonstick properties are achievable by first preheating the cookware and then applying a layer of cooking oil.
Q: How safe is a stainless steel cookware set
A: Over the years queries have been raised over the suitability of stainless steel for cooking, especially with regards to heavy metals. You shouldn’t worry though, as modern manufacturing techniques ensure nickel and chromium never leach into your food. Also, the surface is inert and doesn’t react with any food.
Q: Are all stainless steel cookware induction-ready
A: The simplest answer is no. Not all stainless pieces of steel cookware work on induction cooktops. The addition of either copper or aluminum is what makes them magnetic, hence suitable for induction cooktops.
A: Depends on your budget. A fully cladded 3-ply cookware is more expensive that one with an encapsulated bottom disk. However, the one with a full clad has better heating properties since the aluminum core extends throughout the walls.
Buying the best stainless steel cookware is never a straightforward outing. You have to sieve through thousands of customer reviews, leaving you even more confused on which one to buy. This is where I hope this review has been enlightening. I hope I covered all the information you have been looking for in order to make your purchase.
Out of the ten products I have talked about in depth, I think the T-fal C836SD 13 PieceStainless Steel Ultimate Cookware Set is the best stainless steel cookware. Its handles stay cool, the copper bottoms provide excellent heat transfer, it is not very costly, has almost all the cookware pieces you require, and it has a good public perception among those who have used it, including me.