Stainless steel cookware should be found in all kitchens, whether if the individual is an experienced cook or not. They’re durable, versatile, retain heat, and relatively easy to clean. You can go from making a nice pasta dish in less than an hour to roasting tender, juicy chicken. They’re also a good substitute to cast-iron, which can be pretty pricey. I’ve ranked the best stainless steel cookware below based on their overall value and durability.
Stainless Steel Cookware Set Comparison Table
This table gives you a quick rundown on the best pans for gas stoves. I give them my personal rating based on their features, durability, and my personal experiences as a beginning and experienced home cook. All sets come with fry pans and saucepans. Any extras will be noted below.
|Cuisinart 77-11G Chef's Classic Stainless 11-Piece Cookware Set|
|Cuisinart 77-17N 17 Piece Chef's Classic Set, Stainless Steel|
|Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set|
|Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel Set|
|Chef's Star Professional Grade Stainless Steel 17 Piece Pots & Pans Set - Induction Ready Cookware Set with Impact-bonded Technology|
by Chefs Star®
|T-fal C811SA Elegance Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Silver|
|Cook N Home 10 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set with Encapsulated Bottom, Large, Silver|
|T-fal E759SE Performa Pro Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe Cookware Set, 14-Piece, Silver|
|Oneida 10pc Stainless Steel Induction Ready Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set|
|Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 10-Piece|
Stainless Steel Cookware #1: Cuisinart 77-11G Chef’s Classic Stainless 11-Piece Cookware Set
- It’s a great beginner set and compatible with every cooking surface except induction. The rims are tapered to make pouring drip-free. It’s also dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 500 degrees.
- The set includes:
- 1.0 Qt. Saucepan with cover, 2.0 Qt. Saucepan with cover, 3.0 Qt. saucepan with cover, 3.0 Qt. sauté with helper handle and cover, 8.0 Stockpot with cover, 8-inch on-Stick Skillet, 10-inch skillet with cover, and 18-cm Steamer Insert.
- It may take a couple of washes before residue is removed from the bottom of these pans.
- It takes a while for the pans to heat.
- The pan may discolor with searing.
Stainless Steel Cookware #2: Cuisinart 77-17N 17 Piece Chef’s Classic Set, Stainless Steel
- Great for professional cooks, those with big families, or those who like to entertain.
- This set distributes heat evenly and is oven safe up to 500 degrees. It’s also dishwasher and freezer safe.
- Set includes:
- 1.5 Qt. Saucepan w/Glass Cover, 2.5 Qt. Saucepan w/Glass Cover, 3 Qt. Sauté Pan w/Glass Cover & Helper, 8 Qt. Stockpot w/Glass Cover, 8-in. Open Skillet, 10-in. Open Skillet, and 18 cm Steamer Insert.
- It is not suitable for induction cooktops.
- They can discolor if food is burned due to the use of too much heat.
Stainless Steel Cookware #3: Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
- This set includes:
- 1-1/2- and 3-quart covered saucepans; 8 and 10-inch open skillets; 3-1/2-quart covered sauté pan; 8-quart covered stockpot; steamer insert with lid.
- The set is oven-safe up to 550 degrees and is dishwasher-safe.
- It’s tight-fitting lids seal in nutrients and its multi-clad construction slows for even heat distribution.
- It meets the needs for the most experienced chefs.
- Compatible with all cook surfaces, including induction.
- Handles stay cool on the cooktop.
- The most expensive item on this list.
- Some users said the bottom flakes after multiple uses, and though it doesn’t affect usability, it can make the cookware look less attractive.
- The pots may stain or rust after dishwasher use.
Stainless Steel Cookware #4: Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel Set
- Set includes:
- 1-1/2-Quart sauce pan with lid, 1-1/2-Quart casserole with lid; 2-Quart casserole with lid; 3-Quart casserole with lid; 5.1/2-Quart stock pot with lid; 10-Inch fry pan with lid.
- Suitable for all cooktop surfaces except induction.
- Least expensive item on this list and great for those on a budget.
- May rust after a few uses and is not dishwasher-safe nor oven-safe.
- It can be hard to clean if food sticks.
- Searing causes the food to stick, even with the use of various oils.
Stainless Steel Cookware #5: Chef’s Star Professional Grade Stainless Steel 17 Piece Pots & Pans Set
- Set includes the usual pots and pans, along with some handy bonus utensils:
- 8 and 10-inch Frying Pans,1.6-quart, 2.5-quart Sauce Pans with Lids, 4.2-quart Casserole Pan with Lid, 8.6-quart Stock Pot with Lid, 5.5-quart Sauté Pan with Helper and Lid, Boiler Basket, Steamer Basket, 3-piece kitchen tools: Spoon, Slotted Spatula, 2-prong Fork
- This set is compatible with all cooking surfaces, including induction.
- It’s freezer-safe and oven-safe up to 550 degrees.
- Good for those who cook regularly.
- The frying pans burn easily and some pieces in this set are hard to clean.
- Food sticks to the bottom of the pans and are difficult to remove.
- This set isn’t dishwasher-safe.
Stainless Steel Cookware #6: T-fal C811SA Elegance Stainless Steel 10-piece Cookware Set
- Set includes:
- 8 and 10-inch Frying Pans | 1.6-quart, 2.5-quart Sauce Pans with Lids | 4.2-quart Casserole Pan with Lid | 8.6-quart Stock Pot with Lid | 5.5-quart Sauté Pan with Helper and Lid | Boiler Basket | Steamer Basket | 3 Piece kitchen tools: Spoon, Slotted Spatula, 2-prong Fork
- It’s a great heavy duty, induction set.
- The tight-lids seal in the nutrients and flavor.
- This set isn’t oven-safe and is recommended to use over medium or medium-high heat, but never high heat due to the possibility of warping or discoloring.
- The handles get hot during cooking.
Stainless Steel Cookware #7: Cook N Home 10 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
- The Cook N Home 10-piece set is like its 12-piece counterpart above. It’s compatible for all cookware surfaces, including induction cooktop surfaces.
- The set includes:
- 1-quart sauce pan with lid, 2-quart sauce pan with lid; 3 Quart casserole with lid; 5-quart stockpot with lid; 10-inch fry pan with lid.
- The quality of this set is comparable to Cuisinart and is less expensive.
- It’s not clear if this cookware set is oven or freezer-safe, even though some users have reported that it’s oven-safe up to 450 degrees. Personally, I wouldn’t take the chance of using it in the oven.
- Sticking and discoloration is a common criticism with this product, so you may need to use a little more oil than usual to make sure your food isn’t hard to clean off at the end.
- It can also discolor with the use of high heat, so I wouldn’t stir-fry anything in these pans.
Stainless Steel Cookware #8: T-fal E759SE Performa Pro Stainless Steel 14-piece Cookware Set
- T-fal cookware sets are high-quality products and it’s hard to make a bad choice with any of their cookware items.
- This set includes:
- 8″ Fry Pan, 10.5″ Fry Pan, 1qt Covered Saucepan, 3qt Covered Saucepan, 3.5qt Covered Deep Sauté, 5qt Covered Dutch Oven, and 4 Measuring Spoons.
- It’s dishwasher-safe, the pots and pans are oven-safe up to 400 degrees and the lids are oven-safe up to 350 degrees. This is great if you need to start a dish on the stove top and finish it off in the oven. It’s also suitable for all cooktop surfaces, even induction.
- The raised pattern on the pan’s interior is built for easier food release and easy clean-up. A lot of the other stainless steel sets have had issues with food sticking and being hard to remove, even after multiple washes. However, this set has provided a solution to that problem.
- It’s on the pricey side, however, the quality makes up for it.
- The pots and pans are more lightweight than some users like and makes them question the durability of the product.
- They’re hard to hold because they don’t have a curvy or silicone easy grip.
Stainless Steel Cookware #9: Oneida 10pc Stainless Steel
- It’s a nice, quality, beginner set that includes:
- 1.5qt covered saucepan, 2.5qt covered saucepan, 3qt covered sauté pan, 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, and 5qt covered stockpot.
- My favorite thing about this set is its measurement engravings on the inside. I love it because it would save me the trouble of unnecessarily using a measurement cup.
- This set comes with a 10-year warranty, is dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 350 degrees.
- This set isn’t recommended for people who need to cook for big families or like to entertain.
- It can’t handle high heat. Too much heat will discolor the pan, cause food to stick and residue that will be hard to remove.
- To prevent sticking, you’ll have to use more oil than usual. This could be an issue for people living a healthy lifestyle.
Stainless Steel Cookware #10: Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 10-Piece
- Calphalon is a reputable brand when it comes to cookware. Their cookware sets are built to last. It’s nearly on par with the likes of Le Creuset. So, you can’t go wrong with the quality of this product.
- The set comes with:
- 8-inch Fry Pan, 10-inch. Fry Pan, 1.5qt. Sauce Pan with cover, 2.5qt. Sauce Pan with cover, 3qt. Sauté Pan with cover, and 6qt. Stock Pot with cover
- Though this is a heavy duty set, it also comes with a full 10-year warranty. It’s safe to use in the dishwasher, oven and broiler.
- You’ll be able to get a great sear, nice simmer, and perfect stir-fry with this set due to its even heating. It only takes a few minutes to preheat this set to the right temperature to prevent sticking.
It’s definitely on the pricey side, which makes sense. So, if you’re a beginner or someone who’s sticking to a tight budget, then it may be better to pick something else on this list.
Some users dislike that the lids allow steam to escape and difficulty to clean.
It’s not clear if this set is suitable on all cooktops. Like another set above, I wouldn’t take the chance on using this stainless-steel set on anything other than a standard gas range.
And the Winner Is…
My pick for the best stainless steel cookware is the Cuisinart 77-17N 17 Piece Chef’s Classic Set. It was a hard to choose between this and the Chef’s Star set. I chose Cuisinart because their brand is more reputable, and believe me, that matters. I also own a lot of Cuisinart kitchen items and they’re some of the most reliable kitchen items I have. I love that this set is huge and perfect for cooking for large groups of people. One doesn’t necessarily need to be an “experienced” cook to use this set, either. Cuisinart may be a little expensive, but it’s better to pay for a quality product and have it last awhile than a lower-quality product only to replace it within a year or so. Finally, the common issues with food sticking, discoloration, and residue on the pots and pans are most likely due to poor use of the equipment than the equipment themselves. Check out guides on how to properly care for stainless steel cookware before you use it.