A good cookware set in your kitchen is crucial if you cook regularly. Since I cook every day, I have always been looking for the best cookware set I can find.
Remember, a good quality cooking set doesn't have to be expensive. You can get the best cookware set under $100 and have it serve you for years.
I have identified the best cookware sets for healthy cooking in the sections below.
Why Do You Need A Cookware Set?
The major upside to having a complete cookware set is its multifunctional ability. Rather than purchasing different cookware pieces, why not just get one set with everything?
While the multifunctional ability stood out to me, there is great value for money in purchasing a whole set instead of different pieces.
A high-quality cookware set will also last for ages. For $100 or less, you can have a decent-quality cookware set and not have to buy cookware for a few years.
Cookware Sets Under $100
1) T-fal Signature Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set
- Set includes: 7.75 inch and 11 inch fry pans, 1 quart and 2 quart...
- Dishwasher safe: Easy to clean and dishwasher safe cookware set;...
- Use and care: Safe for all cooking methods except induction;...
- Heats evenly: With our thermo spot indicator, know when our T fal...
- Ergonomic heat resistant handles for a comfortable grip; Vented...
After unboxing this set, I first used the griddle pan to flip a few meat patties for burger weekend. What impressed me most was how the griddle made straight lines on each patty.
It also seared the patty evenly on both sides, and the ridges drained excess fluid. The pots and pans were next.
So I like to caramelize meats and other stews. The largest Dutch oven was the best option for this. Safe to say, I wasn't disappointed.
Image credit: Canadiantire.ca
I like how fast the pot heats up. However, it also heats evenly, and this is where the nonstick property shines through.
The metal cooking utensils that come with the set didn't meet my expectation. They felt flimsy and very light.
This 12-piece cookware set comes with 2 fry pans, 2 pots with lids, 1 large Dutch oven, 1 griddle, and a spoon, ladle, and spatula.
2) NutriChef Stackable Pots and Pans 14-Piece Cookware Set
- OPTIMAL SOLUTION: Preparing delicious food for your family is...
- WHAT YOU GET: This complete nonstick cookware collection includes...
- SPACE-SAVING DESIGN: Our coper cookware set has a practical...
- SUPER-STYLISH: Unlike other nesting pots and pans, ours feature a...
- SAFE OPTION: We have made sure that nothing will stick to our...
At first glance, the bold color of this cookware set stood out to us. However, since most cookware sets are either black, brown, or silver, this copper-coated set is a nice deviation.
Since I like to cook frequently, I like to try out different cookware sets. One of the best parts about this set is you can use them on induction cooktops, and no piece will scratch your countertop.
Cooking pasta is easier with the jumbo cooker as it is spacious and perfect for when I have company.
Additionally, the nonstick properties make cleanup a breeze, and I don't have to soak any pots and pans overnight.
I realized the set is scratch resistant since it is made from anodized stainless steel. The stackable design also helps with cleanup because the whole set puts itself away.
This 14-piece set comes with 1 saucepot with a lid, a cooking pot with a lid, a stew pot with a lid, a jumbo cooker with a lid, a small fry pan, a medium fry pan, a griddle pan, slotted spatula, pasta server, and soup ladle.
3) Country Kitchen Nonstick 5-Piece Cookware Set
- NONSTICK - Create the dishes you love without the frustrations....
- SAFE COATING - Our Cast Aluminum pots and pans are non-toxic and...
- BAKELITE HANDLES - These pot and pan sets feature a soft grip...
- SET INCLUDES - A complete kitchen essentials set, you're getting...
- CUSTOMER SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - At Country Kitchen, our #1 goal...
This nonstick cookware set is made from durable cast aluminum construction. I especially loved how they looked.
Right away, I noticed that I use less cooking oil when I cook in this set. This is due to the nonstick properties the pots and pans have.
Additionally, I managed to cook eggs, boil and sauté a mixed vegetable stew, and flip the most delicious pancakes.
Image source: Amazon.com
The pancake batter didn't stick to the bottom of the frying pan, and I had tasty brown and well-done pancakes.
The handles are made of a material that resembles wood but keeps cool even when the pot or pan has been on high heat.
I also felt that these high-quality products are a great set for starting. So I decided to gift them to my nephew, who had just moved out of his parent's house, and he loved them. So, this set is worth a try and comes with 2 frying pans, a saucepan with a glass lid, and 2 casserole pots with glass lids.
4) GreenLife Soft Grip Ceramic 12-Piece Cookware Set
- Cookware set includes: 7” and 9.5” frying pans, 2 quart...
- Our healthy and easy-to-clean ceramic nonstick coating is derived...
- Soft Grip Bakelite handles are designed to stay cool on the...
- Made from recycled aluminum and reinforced with a wobble-free...
- Dishwasher safe, but most messes wipe away
This set is built to last since it is made from recycled aluminum. The base is also reinforced to do away with any wobbling. Additionally, I easily whipped up a good chicken and mushroom soup that's been in my family for generations.
However, what stood out to me was how easily I could check in on the progress of the soup through the glass lid.
Image source: Greenlife-cookware.com
Since all the pots and pans don't have rivets, cleanup is so much easier. Additionally, I won't be giving family and friends food poisoning because of food sticking and building up in rivets' crevices.
Naturally, I used wooden cooking utensils because I scratched one of the pots using a metal slotted spoon. The pot still works fine, but I use low to medium heat.
This set comes with a nylon spoon, stainless steel steamer, nylon slotted turner, 2 frying pans, a saucepan with a lid, a stock pot with a lid, a sauté pan with a lid, and 5-piece measuring spoons.
5) Blue Diamond Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
- Cookware set includes: 7" and 9" frying pans, 2QT saucepan with...
- Metal utensil safe, Blue Diamond’s signature diamond-infused...
- Diamonds are 4x more conductive than copper, so Blue Diamond...
- Toxin-Free: Free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium
- Warp Control Bases: Heavy-duty forged bases prevent warping,...
After purchasing this Blue Diamond set, I found it super easy to use them for oven-related cooking. So with this in mind, I did try baking a cake in the stock pot.
180 degrees, and 20 minutes later, I had a moist marble cake. So, safe to say, I might just exclusively use this set for my baking requirements.
I also tried out the sauté pan to sauté some bacon chunks I had been saving. Everyone appreciated them, and I will be using them again.
Image source: Amazon.com
Blue Diamond is the type of cookware set that you can use daily without needing to buy another set for years to come. This is because they are of solid construction and can withstand high temperatures.
After cooking, it is easy to pop these pots and pans in the dishwasher. However, I preferred to hand clean with a sponge and dish soap. So, I just let the pots cool first.
This set includes 2 frying pans, 2 black nylon multipurpose cooking utensils, a saucepan with a lid, a sauté pan with a lid, and a stock pot with a lid.
6) Cook N Home Stainless Steel 12-piece Cookware Set
- Includes: 1.5 qt saucepan, 1.5, 2, and 3 qt saucepot casseroles,...
- Made of mirror polished 18/10 stainless steel with an aluminum...
- Reflective finish inside and out for appearance and easy...
- Tempered glass lids with steam vent to view food; Riveted...
- Induction compatible and works on: gas, electric, glass, ceramic,...
These stainless steel pans are formed with an encapsulated aluminum base for an even and quick heat distribution capacity.
When I cook in the Cook N Home fry pan, it heats up very quickly. Therefore, any cooking task requires speed. All my cooking ingredients needed to be ready before I placed the pan on the stovetop.
Image source: Thespruceeats.com
This cooking set might not be the right cookware for a beginner. However, what it lacks in being beginner friendly, it makes up for in the healthy meals it produces.
Of course, this Cook N Home set is oven safe, so I had to try out lasagna. Safe to say, I was very pleased with the outcome.
The set is stackable, so it stores away very neatly and doesn't take up much space. Every dirty pan can be cleaned in the dishwasher. However, I easily wiped down the pot I used to bake. It looked clean instantly.
This set comes with a saucepan, 3 saucepot casseroles, a stockpot, and a 10-inch sauté fry pan with a tempered glass lid.
7) Stanley Base Camp Stainless Steel 21-piece Cookware Set
- 21 NESTED COMPONENTS: (1) 3 5L pot, vented lid, (1) 7" 3-ply...
- TOUGH AND DURABLE: Manufactured using 18/8 stainless steel this...
- SPACE SAVING: This comes fully loaded with 21 different pieces...
- EASY TO CLEAN: You should spend your time adventuring, not...
This stainless steel cookware set you can abuse daily, and it will still give you the best performance.
Initially, I loved how the set combines large and small pieces. I can cook for my small family in a small pot, and cook in a large one when I have company.
After a quick rinse, I made mac n cheese from scratch in a big pot. I am a huge lover of leftovers because sometimes I don't feel like cooking.
Image source: Happycampingmama.com
The cutting board helps with the preparation of salads, and it is conveniently sturdy.
After cooking the Mac and cheese, cleanup was super easy. Since I had to remove every particle of sticky cheese, I had to use steel wool.
This was a deep clean; however, with light sautés and soups, you only need a little dish soap, water, and a paper towel. Your pots and pans will look as good as new.
This set comes with 3 pots, a vented lid, 3-ply frying pan, a cutting board, a spatula, a serving spoon, 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 sporks, 1 dish drying rack, 1 heat-resistant trivet, and 1 locking bungee.
How To Clean Cookware Sets
Knowing how to maintain cookware sets is the key to having long-lasting cookware. The maintenance goes a long way in preserving the integrity of the nonstick features.
All these cookware sets should be maintained as well as possible. Some cookware sets come with maintenance and cleaning instructions which you should try to follow.
Here are some personal cleaning tips I learned for maintaining your cookware sets over time.
a) Hot Water Soak
After a while, the nonstick coating on the cookware starts to wear off. Therefore, you will often be burdened with stuck food particles at the bottom of the pots after cooking.
There are two ways of doing a hot water soak. Firstly, boil water in a kettle or separate pot and pour it into the pot or pan you want to clean.
Image credit: pixabay
Secondly, you could fill the pot with food residue with water, then bring it to a boil. Both methods work well.
After letting the pots and pans soak for an hour or two, the food residue will come off very easily.
b) Baking Soda
Stuck-on food residue is a problem almost everyone has encountered. But, unfortunately, cooking sets get these problems with use.
If the burnt food residue becomes too much, then you can try using baking powder. Baking powder is not very abrasive, so it is safe to use on cast iron, stainless steel, and ceramic cookware.
Image credit: pixabay
Mix a thin paste of baking powder and water, and let it sit on the bottom of your pot or pan. With this method, you have to leave the mixture in the pot overnight.
When cleaning it, ensure not to scrub the pot with the baking powder paste still in the pot. The baking powder might scratch your pots and pans.
c) Tomato Paste
A little tomato paste works wonders. Take a little tomato paste and spread it over the stains you want to remove.
Tomato paste or sauce is slightly acidic and will remove any stuck residue. However, with tomato paste, you must be careful not to damage the nonstick coating permanently.
Image credit: pixabay
This is why it is strongly recommended to soak the pan for 10 minutes. After that, the residue should come off.
You can then easily use a sponge and dish soap to get any other stains that didn't come off.
Buying Guide For Cookware Sets
Here are some things you should consider, before buying a cookware set.
i) Material Of Cookware.
Different cookware sets are made from different materials. Additionally, different stovetops require different cookware materials.
The best cookware sets are made from aluminum, cast iron, copper, stainless steel, and ceramic. Before going for a cookware set, ensure your stovetop can tolerate the material, be it an induction, electric, halogen, or ceramic stovetop.
Aluminum cookware sets are tough and easy to clean. Additionally, you can get cast aluminum or anodized aluminum. You can cook anything on aluminum cookware.
Cast iron is perfect for cooking or searing meat. It is slow to heat up, but it retains heat well—however, cast iron rusts.
Stainless steel pans are built to last for years. However, with stainless steel, you might have to use more oil when cooking. Food sticks to the bottom of stainless steel.
ii) Storage And Maintenance
As mentioned above, maintenance is a big thing regarding cookware sets. Before purchasing a cookware set, ensure you can maintain it.
For the least maintenance, go with a stainless steel cookware set. Stainless steel can be washed in the dishwasher or scrubbed with a sponge and soap.
On the other hand, Nonstick cookware sets tend to be very fragile. Other pots and pans might require seasoning.
With storage, you should consider whether you want stackable or independently stored sets.
Storing your cookware set independently will take up more space. Stackable sets, on the other hand, don't require much space.
iii) Heat Conductivity
Every cookware set can conduct heat. The difference is the degree to which heat is conducted. The better the heat conductivity the better and faster your food will cook.
Remember, different metals will conduct heat differently. For instance, a copper cookware set will have the highest conductivity.
Stainless steel cookware sets, on the other hand, don't conduct heat as well as copper. However, stainless steel is still good for cooking.
With heat conduction, it remains upon you to select the metal that serves you best.
iv) Metal Reactivity
Some metals react with certain foods. For example, some aluminum is absorbed into the food if you cook something acidic, like tomatoes, in an aluminum pan.
The same goes for copper pans and citrus fruits and vegetables. Being aware of how reactive each metal remains important when you buy cookware.
Additionally, copper or aluminum could potentially be harmful. There is a possibility that such metals leech into food every time you cook.
v) Number Of Pieces In Your Cookware Set
The number of pieces you prefer in your cookware set is not a small matter. For starters, in some cookware sets under $100, you get saucepans with tempered glass lids.
In others, you also get utensils. Generally, I don't prefer cookware sets with utensils because I prefer to buy utensils separately.
However, it is perfectly okay to want utensils. It is recommended that you ensure they are of good quality. Sometimes they fall apart because they are very flimsy.
For a seamless cooking process, cookware and utensils should be of the best quality. Remember that large sets aren't necessarily practical if you have less storage.
Of course, buying the best cookware set for yourself is important. A good rule is to set a budget and purchase your cookware set based on that.
The price does not always determine how good the cookware set is. Therefore, laying out your options is important.
A rough idea of the type of cookware set you want will give you better results.
Of course, we all want a cookware set that will last ages. However, even the best cookware set still needs maintenance.
With durability, it isn't easy to pinpoint what will stand the ages of time. However, different cookware sets will last longer than others.
Stainless steel and cast iron cookware sets are worth considering because they last long. However, both metals have to be well-maintained for the best durability.
1) What Is The Most Important Thing To Look For When Buying Cookware?
A few things I look for first are; sturdiness and stability. I also prefer if the cookware is easy to clean and maintain.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider is that the metal doesn't leech. Cookware that leeches into food defeats the purpose of healthy cooking.
2) What Cookware Is Best For Daily Use?
For everyday use, I prefer nonstick pots and pans. This is because nonstick pots are beginner-friendly.
Additionally, nonstick cookware is easy to clean. You don't need to scrub your nonstick cookware with anything abrasive.
3) How Do I Chose Pots And Pans?
I like to lift the pots and pans that I want. By lifting, I can estimate how much heavier the pot or pan will be when it has food.
Additionally, I also give the handles a rattle and shake. I do this to ensure the handles are sturdy and won't fall off.
4) What Is The Healthiest Cookware To Use?
Ceramic cookware sets are the best. However, the ceramic cookware, in this case, is not nonstick.
Nonstick ceramic cookware sets don't emit or leech any harmful chemicals into your food. They also last longer.
The Bottom Line
Finding out you need new cookware can be intimidating. However, it can also be a fun experience.
Doing your research should take some of the pressure off. It is recommended to buy the best of what you can afford.
Additionally, there is no universal solution to the long-standing problem of cookware selection. So take your time.