From Stainless-Steel to Copper, These Are the Best Cookware Sets for Every Kitchen
Whether you're building your collection for the first time or upgrading an existing set, shop our full-range of cookware picks.
There are a few essential kitchen tools that every home cook should have: a super sharp, durable chef's knife; a colander and fine-mesh sieve; measuring cups and spoons; and a versatile set of cookware. From all-purpose stainless-steel sets to heavy-duty cast-iron and exquisite copper (Martha's preference!), we've rounded up the most popular cookware sets at a variety of price points.
Let's start with a basic: stainless steel. "There are plenty of benefits to cooking with stainless steel pans, as they are incredibly versatile and even more so when the pans are created from premium materials," says KellyAnn O'Donnell, senior product manager for All-Clad. "Premium multi-layer bonded construction means heat is distributed evenly throughout the entire surface of the pan without any hot or cold spots. This ensures perfect searing, sautéing, simmering, and even oven roasting every time," she adds. From pan-searing fish to cooking stovetop burgers and sautéing vegetables, stainless steel cookware is an essential for home cooks of every level.
Looking for something more specialized? Consider copper. French and Italian brands such as Mauviel and Ruffoni have been producing copper cookware for decades and it's touted not only for aesthetics, but also for performance. "Thanks to copper's conductivity, when the heat source is removed the cooking will stop immediately, avoiding overcooking," explains Giulia Ruffoni, president of Ruffoni US.
Do you like the easy-release of nonstick cookware with the durability and versatility of stainless steel? Cast-iron cookware may just be right for you. Choose from enameled cast iron, such as the colorful products from Le Creuset and Staub, or non-enameled cast iron like Lodge, which can be used for both campfire and home cooking.
Take a peek at the best cookware sets, then make some space in your cabinet (we have a feeling you may want more than one).
Stainless steel provides a non-reactive cooking surface that can be used for searing, sautéing, stewing, and frying. It's the type of cookware that is often called for in our recipes and for good reason: It's easy to find, easy to clean, and a strong heat conductor.
Martha Stewart 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
This set from our founder includes all of the essentials: two saucepans, two skillets, one sauté pan, a Dutch oven, and matching clear lids. They're oven-safe up to 480°F and can be used on both gas and electric stove-tops.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart 10 Piece Stainless Steel Nonstick Cookware Set, $159.99, wayfair.com.
Cuisinart Multiclad Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
The aluminum core in this versatile set of cookware ensures even heat conduction and no hot spots. The set includes 8 ½-inch and 10-inch fry pans, 1 ½-quart and 3-quart saucepans, 3 ½-quart sauté pan, 8-quart stockpot, one steamer insert, and five lids.
Shop Now: Cuisinart Multiclad Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set, $299.95, williams-sonoma.com.
All-Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Steel 10-Pc. Cookware Set
The crème de la crème of stainless steel cookware, All-Clad is beloved by our food editors and is prized for its high-quality construction, durability, and sleek look. The set includes 8-inch and 10-inch fry pans, 1 ½-quart and 3-quart sauce pans with lids, a 3-quart sauce pan with a lid, and an 8-quart stock pot with a lid.
Shop Now: All-Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Steel 10-Pc. Cookware Set, $799.99, amazon.com.
Copper cookware looks good, but that's not all—copper's thermal conductivity and resistance to bacteria and corrosion makes it something special to have in your kitchen. Experiment with copper cookware from Ruffoni, Mauviel, or Sara Dahmen.
Cuisinart Copper Tri-Ply 8-Piece Cookware Set
For home cooks who haven't cooked with copper before, this copper-stainless steel blend is a fabulous introduction to the wonders of this material. This set includes a 2 ½-quart saucepan, 4-quart sauté pan, 6-quart stockpot, 8-inch skillet, and 10-inch skillet.
Shop Now: Cuisinart Copper Tri-Ply 8-Piece Cookware Set, $299.99, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Ruffoni Historia Hammered Copper Cookware Set with Acorn Knobs
This copper cookware set from Ruffoni, a family-owned Italian company that was founded in 1931, is perfect for someone looking to build their collection of copper cookware. It includes a 10-inch fry pan with lid, 2 ½-quart saucepan with lid, 4-quart chef's pan, and 4 ¾-quart stockpot with lid. Unlike stainless steel, copper cannot withstand high-heat and must be hand-washed to preserve its quality.
Shop Now: Ruffoni Historia Hammered Copper 7-Piece Cookware Set with Acorn Knobs, $999.95, williams-sonoma.com.
Mauviel Copper 150b 12-Piece Cookware Set
Cook like the French with this stunning set of copper cookware that features a stainless steel interior. The bronze handles add an extra modern, super chic touch to this timeless collection. This large set includes two fry pans, two saucepans with lids, a sauté pan with a lid, a stew pan with a lid, and an oval cocotte with a lid.
Shop Now: Mauviel Copper 150b 12-Piece Cookware Set, $1,900, williams-sonoma.com.
Every home cook should own at least one nonstick skillet for frying eggs, making pancakes or crepes, and even making grilled cheese (a favorite method of senior food editor Lauryn Tyrell). Nonstick pans are forgiving, especially for beginner cooks—treat them well (meaning don't put them in the dishwasher!) and they'll last for years to come.
Martha Stewart Collection 10-Piece Hard-Enameled Aluminum Nonstick Cookware Set
How pretty is this aqua blue set of nonstick pans designed by our founder? It's complete with a Dutch oven, sauté pan, two saucepans, two fry pans, and accompanying glass lids. And at a budget-friendly price point, this set is just right for college students or beginner cooks.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Collection 10-Piece Hard-Enameled Aluminum Nonstick Cookware Set, $149.99, macys.com.
HexClad Hybrid Non-Stick Cookware
Can't decide between stainless steel or nonstick? Try this genius set of cookware from HexClad, which marries the two materials into one. This oven-safe, shiny set includes eight-, 10-, and 12-inch fry pans with glass lids and a 12-inch wok with a lid.
Shop Now: HexClad Hybrid Non-Stick Cookware, $445.27, amazon.com.
GreenPan Prestige Ceramic Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set
The PFOA-free nonstick ceramic surface on this set of pots and pans means that they feature an easy-release surface and non-toxic coating. This complete set includes two fry pans, two saucepans with lids, sauté pan with a lid, stockpot with a lid, and a stainless-steel steamer.
Shop Now: GreenPan Prestige Ceramic Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set, $499.95, williams-sonoma.com.
Calphalon Classic Nonstick 10-Pc. Cookware Set
Make cooking a breeze with this quality set of nonstick pots and pans made with heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum and tempered glass lids. Unlike most nonstick pans, these pieces can be safely put in an oven up to 500°F.
Shop Now: Calphalon Classic Nonstick 10-Peice Cookware Set, $599.99, crateandbarrel.com.
Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Gourmet Essentials Cookware Set
Get to know cast iron with this basic set from Lodge, America's oldest family-owned cookware company. It includes a 10 ¼-inch skillet, 10 ¼-inch grill pan, and 10 ½-inch round griddle. Use the grill pan for seafood or meat, and see how the nonstick properties shine when you make bacon and pancakes on the griddle.
Shop Now: Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Gourmet Essentials Cookware Set, $99.95, williams-sonoma.com.
Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron 8-Piece Cookware Set
In addition to performing well, Le Creuset cookware also looks good on your stovetop (choose from four bright hues: Flame, Lapis, Ocean, and Red). This essential set, which includes a 12-inch fry pan, skinny grill pan, 3 ½-quart braiser, 4 ½-quart Dutch oven, and 6 ¾-inch Dutch oven, comes with all of the essentials.
Shop Now: Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron 8-Piece Cookware Set, $999.95, williams-sonoma.com.