Best Stainless Steel Cookware
For most cooking uses, stainless steel cookware is your best bet. True, stainless steel cookware will require a little bit more heat to cook compared to other cookware material, but stainless steel is a healthy, durable, attractive, and versatile cookware material.
It’s dishwasher safe, easy to maintain, impervious to scrapes and long lasting.
Personally, stainless steel cookware is always my number one pick cookware for home cooking.
However, if you are professional cook that requires truly high end cookware, you should go with copper and porcelain cookware.
Here are my top picks for stainless steel cookware after much research from consumer report, cook illustrated and my personal cooking experience.
1. All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Set
The All Clad brand name is synonymous with top quality cookware. Their stainless steel cookware set lives up to this legacy.
For a good even heat, sturdy, excellent quality of workmanship, and a dependable name, I can’t think of anything better than the All-Clad cookware set except it’s a bit pricey in the category of stainless steel cookware.
The 9-piece stainless steel cookware includes:
- 2-quart covered saucepan
- 3-quart covered saute pan,
- 10-inch fry pan
- 3-quart covered casserole pan
- 6-quart covered stockpot
Consumer Reports chose this as the best value cookware… but it has more to offer than just the affordable price tag.
It has an excellent score for evenness heating, and performed reasonably well in testing of nonstick durability. Based on Consumer Report, handles could be sturdier, but they are safe and comfortable.
Cleaning the uncoated pieces require more effort but all component except frying pans are dishwasher safe.
This 10-piece of stainless steel over aluminium includes uncoated saucepans and large and small non-stick frying pans with glass lids.
3. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Cookware Set (Best Budget Stainless Steel Cookware)
Any shopper who is brand name conscious should stop for a moment and seriously consider this seven piece set. Cuisinart, a mainstay in the kitchen industry are the manufacturers of this 7 piece cookware set, which is available on Amazon.com at an exceptional price.
The 7-piece cookware set includes:
- 1-1/2-, 3-quart saucepan
- 8-quart stockpot
- 10-inch skillet–all with lids.
This is undoubtedly the best budget cookware in stainless steel cookware category.
The 10-piece set of uncoated stainless steel over aluminium will work on an induction cooktop and can go in the dishwasher afterward. Silicone rubber handles are oven proof and comfortable, but they could be sturdier. Typically, handle rivets collect dirt.
Hard anodized cookware sets
Hard anodized cookware simply means cookware made of electro-chemically hardened aluminum. Some come with handles of the same material but some with stainless steel handles. There are also hard anodized cookware with non-stick quantanium/titanium coated surfaces.
Advantages of hard anodized aluminum cookware
- Very durable because the hard anodized surface (uncoated) does not chip or peel and is resistant to abrasion and corrosion. (Hard anodized aluminum is even used for satellites!)
- Chemically stable so that it is nontoxic and does not react with acidic food.
- Uniform and quick heating up to the melting point of aluminum (1221 degrees F)
- Almost nonporous so the food does not stick stubbornly to the surface. But note that it is only stick-resistant and not non-stick like Teflon surfaces. Your omelet will not glide smoothly from the pan when done, but food does come off very easily when washing the pan.
- Unlike non-stick Teflon surfaces, hard anodized cookware sets can be used with metal utensils. The surface does not scratch with metal spoons and spatulas (with no sharp edge).
- Oven and broiler proof provided that the handles are also hard anodized material.
Disadvantages of hard anodized cookware:
- Not dishwasher safe. Hard anodized cookware can only be washed by hand with suitable cleaner for the stains. Stained hard anodized cookware does not affect cooking experience though.
- Have to use hot pads when taking them out from oven or broiler, because the handles are of the same material and will burn your hands if you don’t.
- Hard anodized pans are heavy for some people.
Here are my recommendations for hard anodized aluminum cookware
The Racheal Ray celebrity cookware set is surprising good! A lot of users give it almost a 5 stars rating in the Amazon user reviews, and for a good reason too.
Two things I really like about this cookware is the orange color handle and extremely easy to clean.
The Calphalon Commercial 9-piece Hard-anodized Cookware Set consists of a 2 ½ -quart covered shallow saucepan, three different sizes open skillets that measure 8, 10 and 12 inches, as well as two covered chef’s casseroles with diverse sizes, which are 3-quart and 7-quart.
This cookware set has heavy-gauged and hard-anodized aluminum construction that is capable of fast and even heat distributions. Most of the users who have left reviews on Amazon and other online shopping sites praise the cookware set for its even heat distributions capability, which makes the quality of the dishes produced near excellent.
The Cookware Set is equipped with heat resistant stainless-steel Cool V handles. The lid of the larger casserole of this cooker set is designed in a dome shape to preserve moisture and enrich flavor, which enables you to have succulent meat dishes.
The cookware set is safe to use with metal utensils, broiler and oven.
Although it is not machine washable, a great number of users reviewing it say that the cookware set is easy-to-clean.
Some users have complained that food sticks to the cookware set. Nevertheless, a few users have pointed out that the food will only stick to the pan while cooking, but at the completion of cooking process, the food will release from the surface automatically.
Verdict: Although, Calphalon might have little food-sticking problem that requires some tricks to eliminate it is a healthier choice as compared to Teflon cookware.
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Non-stick Hard-anodized 14-piece