The 8 Best Cookware Sets to Buy in 2018

Outfit your kitchen with the right pots and pans for your home

Just the way mom did it
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Buying a cookware set is a one-stop shop for your kitchen. You'll get all of the pots and pans you need to cook eggs, make tomato sauce or weekend stew in a matching form. Cookware sets can come in a range of different prices, from high-end chef's quality ones to more budget-friendly...MORE options that work great for a first home or apartment. 

To find the right pots and pans for your household you'll need to take into consideration how much space you need and how often you cook. Those with a small kitchen might not want a cookware set that has a lot of pieces that might go unused, while those who cook a few times each day may want a few different frying pans so they won't have to clean the dishes at each meal. Whatever your preference, here, the best cookware sets to suit all your needs. 

  • Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

    Best Overall: Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

    If you don’t want nonstick cookware, this could be the perfect set for you. The three-layered construction with an aluminum core ensures even heating and the stainless steel surface won’t stain or react with acidic foods. This is a heavy duty, attractive, classic-looking set that will fit in with any kitchen’s décor. This cookware has rims that are designed for drip-free pouring, and it’s oven-safe up to a whopping 550 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The cookware and lids are dishwasher safe, but since the lids are metal, you can’t peek inside the pots without lifting the lid. The set includes 1 1/2- and 3-quart covered saucepans, 8- and 10-inch open skillets, a 3-1/2-quart covered sauté pan, an 8-quart covered stockpot, and a steamer insert with lid. If this set is a little too large, there’s a smaller set with two covered saucepans, a covered stockpot, and an open skillet.

  • Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set

    Best Durability: Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set

    This isn’t your mother’s nonstick cookware. The pans are made from hard-anodized aluminum and coated inside and out for even cooking without excessive weight. The nonstick coating is metal-utensil-safe, so you can use a spoon without worrying about damaging a saucepan.

    If you need to finish cooking in the oven, the cookware is safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The glass lids let you see what’s cooking, the tall loop handles on the lids made them easy to grasp, and the pot handles are designed for a cool, sturdy grip. The set includes a 3-quart covered sauté pan, 1-1/2- and 3-quart covered saucepans, a roomy 8-quart covered stockpot, and 8-1/2-inch open skillet, and a 12-inch covered deep skillet. This cookware should be hand washed.

  • Farberware 78648 Traditions Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

    Best Budget: Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set

    If you’re looking for an inexpensive set of cookware for a new kitchen, a vacation home, or extra pieces to round out what you have, this 12-piece set will fit nicely into your budget. Even better, it doesn’t include extra pieces that you don’t need.

    The cookware is made from polished stainless steel with a capsulated bottom for even heating and more reliable cooking. Lids are tempered glass, so you can see what’s cooking without lifting the lid and releasing heat. Handles are riveted on for secure, long-lasting use.

    The set includes a 1 1/2 quart saucepan with lid, a 1 1/2 quart casserole with lid, a 2-quart casserole with lid, a 3-quart casserole with lid, a 5 1/2 quart stock pot with lid, and a 10-inch frying pan with lid. This set works on any cooktop, including convection. The pans are oven-safe to 350 degrees and the lids can be used in the oven up to 270 degrees.

    While the pans won’t be functionally damaged at higher oven temperatures, they are likely to discolor with higher heat. If appearance isn’t a priority, the pans can be used in the oven at temperatures up to 500 degrees.

  • Rachael Ray Hard Enamel Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set, Orange Gradient

    Best Nonstick: Rachael Ray Hard Enamel Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set

    If you love bright color in the kitchen, this nonstick cookware set will make you happy. It comes in seven different colors and all pieces have a nonstick interior and an enameled exterior. The handles have a rubberized grip and the lids are glass so you can check the progress of your food without having to remove them.

    This set includes a 1-quart saucepan with lid, a 2-quart saucepan with lid, a 6-quart stockpot with lid, a 3-quart sauté pan with lid, and 8 1/2- and 10-inch skillets. The stockpot is smaller than those in other sets, but large enough for a pot of soup or chili for a crowd. This set is oven safe to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and should be hand washed. If orange isn’t quite your style, the set is also available in blue, two shades of green, purple, and red.

    Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best nonstick cookware sets can help you find what you're looking for.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • Best Luxury Splurge: All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Cookware Set

    If you want cookware that will last a lifetime and look good while you’re using it, this set is a great starter for your upscale collection. It includes pieces you’ll use most often — a 10-inch frying pan, a 3-quart sauce pan with a lid and a 3-quart sauté pan with a lid.

    This is made with a 3-ply bonded construction with stainless steel inside and out, and a layer of aluminum sandwiched in between, offering the advantages of both metals. This cookware offers quick, even heating with a nonreactive surface that won’t rust, stain or pit. The interior starburst finish helps prevent sticking and makes cleaning easier.

    The handles are secured with stainless steel rivets and are contoured for a comfortable grip. The pot capacity is etched on the base, so you’ll always know you’re working with the right-sized pan.

    These can be used on induction cooktops, and the pots are oven safe and broiler safe (without lids) to 600 degrees. The cookware is dishwasher safe and is made in the US.

  • T-fal C996SE Initiatives Nonstick Ceramic Coating PTFE PFOA and Cadmium Free Scratch Resistant Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe Cookware Set, 14-Piece, Black

    Best Ceramic: T-fal Initiatives 14-Piece Nonstick Ceramic Cookware Set

    Ceramic is the newest type of nonstick coating for cookware, and it has its own pros and cons. Since different manufacturers use different proprietary coatings, it’s wise to read the instructions for care, cooking and cleaning. While this set is dishwasher safe, it is likely to last longer if it’s hand washed.

    The coating is PTFE and PFOA free and the pans are made from heavy gauge aluminum. The set can be used on any type of stove, except induction. They are stovetop safe to 570 degrees and oven safe to 350 degrees.

    This set includes a 7 1/2 inch frying pan, an 11 inch frying pan with lid, a 1 quart sauce pan with lid, a 2 quart sauce pot with lid, a 5 quart Dutch oven with lid, and a mini frying pan that is perfect for cooking one egg or melting butter. The set also includes four nylon tools: a spoon, a slotted spoon, a spatula, and a slotted spatula.

    Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best ceramic cookware sets can help you find what you're looking for.

  • Best Cast Iron: Lodge L5HS3 5-Piece Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Cookware Set

    Cast iron cookware is the original nonstick cookware. It’s handy to have, and less expensive to buy in a set. This set includes a 10 1/2 inch round griddle, an 8-inch skillet, a 10 1/4 inch skillet, a 5-quart Dutch oven, and a lid that fits both the Dutch oven and the large skillet.

    All of the pieces are pre-seasoned, so they can be used immediately, but the nonstick qualities will improve with additional seasoning and use. Like any cast iron, these can be used on any cooktop, including induction or on your grill, but they should not be washed in the dishwasher. They are oven safe, and can even be used on a campfire. These are made in the US.

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    Best Starter Set for Small Kitchens: Farberware Cookware Set

    The perfect starter set for small kitchens, or a great add-on set for people who need a few extra pieces — this includes the cookware you’ll use every day, plus utensils that everyone needs. Made from aluminum, the pots have a nonstick interior and clear glass lids so you can peek at what’s cooking without lifting the lid. They are designed for even heating on both the base and up the sides, to promote even cooking without burning. The handles are rubberized for a firm, comfortable grip, and double-riveted for strength.

    This set includes a 4-quart Dutch oven, a 10" skillet, a 1 1/2-quart saucepan with lid, a 1-quart ​saucepan with lid, a slotted turner, a slotted spoon, a solid spoon, a pasta fork and a ladle.

    This set is oven safe to 350 degrees. Hand washing is recommended. It is not compatible with induction cooktops.