If you are one of those who actually love cooking, you may be spending a lot of thought (and of course money) on the best pots and pans you can get your hands on.
You may scour the web looking for the best stainless steel cookware available, or go with nonstick cookware as they are easier to use and lower the risk of messy food sticking.
The best cookware you can buy (for yourself or as gifts) are these Stainless Steel Pots and Pans which will last a lifetime when you use the right care and follow cooking guidelines.
It is essential to learn, for example, the non-stick way to cook with stainless steel, ways to prevent rust, the highest temperatures the items will withstand in the oven and which pieces are (or are not) dishwasher safe.
You will find this guide here in video tutorials and information.
Once you learn the basics, you are going to love using stainless steel cookware because it is one of the most durable materials you can buy with the least care worries.
As long as you follow the instructions for use and attention, you will be enjoying these sets for years to come.
Why Choose Stainless Steel
Some professional chefs use copper cookware, but this is very expensive. Aluminum cookware is cheap but not very strong. Stainless steel is good at conducting heat, so your food cooks evenly, and it is also very durable and will last for a long time.
You will get good results using your favorite stainless steel pots and pans, and you can get some great sets for very reasonable prices.
Photo Credit: All product images are credited to Amazon
The Best Stainless Steel Pots and Pans Set You Can Buy!
Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
Note: This is the official cookware of the RPN network sites. What we use that is. All the recipes and cooking research we do at our food sites we use Cuisinart cookware for a home cooks version of professional cookware.
It does take some getting use to cookware that is not “non-stick” but this cookware offers some big pluses, like being able to go from stovetop to oven is a must for serious cooking.
Also, the stainless construction means you can clean it like a nice set of cookware deserves so that it continues to offer superior heat transfer.
I cannot say enough good about this, and we do a lot of cooking at RPN to bring you great taste every week, so we have to be serious about our cookware.
Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware SetThis set gives you 2 different saucepans, 2 skillets, a sauté pan, a stockpot, and a steamer insert, all with lids.
The stainless steel has an aluminum inner core for quick and even heating, and the handles stay cool. Each pot has a lip to prevent spills and make pouring easier.
This set can be used in the oven up to 450 degrees F, which is handy. Usually, you have to spend a lot more for an ovenproof set, but these pots and pans are very competitively priced.
They are durable and sturdy and should last for years. Remove any stuck-on bits using the green side of a sponge and the pots will be sparkling clean.
Secrets to Flawless Cooking with Stainless Steel
Investing in good quality stainless steel pots and pans is something every home cook should consider, but before you automatically opt for nonstick, bear in mind our parents and grandparents managed perfectly well before 3-ply bases, and nonstick finishes were created, so what is the secret to successful cooking with stainless steel pots and pans?
This metal is nonreactive with foods, even acidic ones, unlike cast iron or aluminum, making it an attractive choice. You can also throw stainless steel into the dishwasher and use metal cooking utensils in these pots without scratching.
Stainless steel is more versatile and durable than any aluminum pots. It is pretty much indestructible!
Investing in good stainless steel cookware allows you to save your money and you will be able to afford a good range of pieces – sauté pans, stockpots, skillets, and steamers. You can either invest in a full set or separate pans.
The secret to successful cooking with non-Teflon coated stainless steel is understanding how it reacts to heat. You absolutely must preheat it before adding your food. Preheat the pan until a drop of water will ‘dance’ on the surface when flicked in there, then add a tablespoon of oil, or enough to cover the base of the pan thinly.
Wait until the oil is very hot and only then can you add your food. Do this, allowing the pan to heat up, then the oil, and there will be no sticking at all.
Caramelizing begins when your foods begin to brown, and those brown ‘bits’ that end up stuck on the pan are where all the flavor is. You can use the brown ‘bits’ to make a gravy, jus or sauce. Nonstick pans, Teflon-coated or similar, are not so good for getting flavorful food because they are unable to caramelize (brown) your meat, as well as non-coated pans, can. However, if low-fat eating is more important to you, go ahead and choose the non-stick type of pan because you will be able to cut down on the oil or fat you use. Both kinds are available, but remember if you use metal utensils in a nonstick pan you will scrape the nonstick coating off and bits will end up in your food.
Shopping for the Best Stainless Steel Pans
Check for a label of 18/10 (chromium steel/nickel steel) and choose a 3-ply sandwiched metal base with aluminum or copper layers, if your budget can stretch to it. Such a heating base will absorb and spread the heat evenly over the whole base, thus avoiding hot spots and decreasing the risk of your food scorching.
You also need less fuel to keep the heat constant. The best brands will have 3-ply throughout the pan, including the sides, not just on the base. Stainless steel handles riveted to the pan are a good idea because then your pan can go in the oven. Obviously, plastic handles and ovens are not compatible!
T-fal C836SD Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom
This highly sought after stainless steel pots and pan set is sure to make the cook of the house very happy, whether that is you or your significant other. With this set, you get a pair of sauté pans, 3 covered saucepans, a large Dutch oven, a spoon, and a slotted turner.
The pans are made from stainless steel, and the bases are layered with aluminum and copper as well as steel for even heating.
The handles are ergonomic, and the glass lids trap in nutrients and moisture as well as heat. These pans are durable and tough. Using stainless steel instead of nonstick coated pots means you will not get flakes of nonstick coating ending up in your food.
Soak these after use if anything is stuck on and it should lift straight off. These are a great buy.
Cuisinart 755-26GD Chef’s Classic Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Multi-Purpose Pot with Glass Cover
Reviewers love this big pot and use it for all kinds of recipes from soups to rice to stews, curries, casseroles, and more. It is shiny inside and out, make from high-quality stainless steel, and the cooking surface will not react with food or discolor.
You will find the solid stainless steel handles stay cool on the stovetop.
The base has encapsulated aluminum, so it will heat up quickly and evenly, and this pot is broiler and oven-safe to 550 degrees F.
So you can brown your meat on the stove, then add the other ingredients and transfer it into the oven to braise to perfection, or prepare a pasta dish in there then add cheese and finish it under the broiler.
The pot is also freezer-safe. The lid fits snugly to lock in all the nutrients, texture and flavor, and the rims are tapered for easy pouring.
After use, you can simply throw the pot in the dishwasher. This pot is durable, versatile and a wonderful buy. If you need a large, versatile pot, definitely choose this one.
Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel Set
This mirror-polished stainless steel pot and pan set is great for electric, gas or glass and ceramic stovetops, and it has capsulated bases for even heating and heat distribution.
The vented, tempered glass lids allow you to watch your food cook while the stainless handle rivets are durable. This set offers a saucepan with lid, 3 different sized casseroles with lids, stock pot with lid, and frying pan with a lid.
Reviewers like how the bases are nice and thick, meaning your food will not scorch or cook too fast. If you are replacing your old cookware, do consider this set because it is high quality yet affordable, and this set offers everything you will need for making delicious family meals on the stove.
You can also use them under the broiler and in the oven since they do not have any plastic components.
Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 13-Piece Cookware Set
Getting rid of your old cookware and upgrading could not be easier thanks to wonderful stainless steel pan sets like this one. How does this classical style, polished pan set tempt you, with its polished exterior, satin interior, and 3-ply base to guarantee even heat distribution? These pans are induction, oven, and broiler safe, and they have stay-cool handles.
You can also throw them in the dishwasher for effortless cleanup. This set offers 3 omelet pans, 2 covered pans, a sauté pan, stock pot and covered chef’s pan.
The heavy-gauge aluminum core is sandwiched between 2 layers of stainless steel so you can brown, sauté, braise or fry your food and get perfect results every time.
Reviewers love the versatility and capability of this set but stress that you have to use it right.
Let the pan get hot, then add some oil and let that get hot. Finally, add your food. That is the way to get perfect results every time.
Duxtop Professional Stainless-steel 17-piece Induction Ready Cookware Set Impact-bonded Technology
This is a remarkable set, both because of the quality and because of what you get.
This Duxtop set offers 2 frying pans, 2 saucepans with lids, a casserole with lid, a stockpot with lid, a sauté pan with helper and lid, a boiler basket and steamer basket, a 2-pronged fork, slotted turner and spoon, all made with 18/10 commercial grade stainless steel with heavy-gauge aluminum. These will last for years and probably outlast you! Enjoy everything from the riveted, ergonomic handles to the fact you can simply throw them in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
These pans are oven-safe to 550 degrees F and freezer safe too. Use them with electric, gas, induction, glass, ceramic, or infrared stovetops.
When shopping for cookware, you get what you pay for. Pick up a cheap pot and it will fall apart in a year if you are lucky.
Invest in this Duxtop professional cookware set, and it will be your best friend in the kitchen. This set comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
Why Stainless Steel is the Choice of Professional Chefs
There is plenty of choices these days when it comes to cookware, and if you invest in a good set it should last for many years, so instead of grabbing the first set, you see it pays to learn more about different types of cookware, especially stainless steel which is a favorite of many professional chefs. What is it about stainless steel that appeals to the professionals, you might be wondering. First of all, stainless steel is an economical choice. It is not as cheap as aluminum, but when you consider aluminum is reactive with food and will probably not last the year, it makes sense to choose stainless steel as a nonreactive, durable alternative.
Another reason is that stainless steel is easy to cook with. Bear in mind nonstick pans are more for the amateur cook because they are foolproof, so choose simple stainless steel, preferably with a 3-ply base for even heat distribution. The key to cooking with stainless steel is getting the pan nice and hot. Good pans are fine whatever type of stove you have – gas, induction, glass, electric, and so on. Once the metal is really hot add a tablespoon of oil or enough to coat the base of the pan in one thin layer, then let that get hot, at least until you see wisps of vapor coming from the oil.
Now you have a hot pan with hot oil in it, add your food, and you will find it does not stick at all. This is how professional chefs cook. It might take a bit of time to get used to cooking in this way if you are used to using nonstick pans, aluminum or another kind of pans, but there is a reason why professional chefs use stainless steel. In fact, there are several reasons, and the fact it will not react with any kind of food at all, or stain, or cost a fortune, or allow your food to stick to it is surely reasons enough to make this smart purchase. Stainless steel cookware makes it easy to caramelize your food, the reaction when meats and other foods begin to brown, releasing those tasty, sweet flavors.
Where to Buy Stainless Steel Pots and Pans
This type of cookware is very popular, so it should come as no surprise it is widely available. You can find stainless steel cookware at specialty kitchen stores everywhere, as well as online. But if you want to save your money while still enjoying the benefits of top quality pots and pans, shop online because online stores have lower overheads and therefore can charge lower prices for the same items. You can buy such pots and pans individually or invest in a whole set of skillets, casseroles, a stockpot, steamer, and perhaps omelet pans or some small pots too. You can find real bargains online.
Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set
This cookware set comes with 2 covered saucepans, 2 open skillets, a covered stockpot and a covered steamer insert. You get an aluminum core sandwiched between a pair of 18/10 stainless steel layers for the ultimate in even heat distribution, and snugly fitting lids to trap in moisture and heat.
The handles are riveted stainless steel, and air-flow technology means they stay cool.
These pans can be used in the oven up to 500 degrees F, and they can also be used on induction stovetops and cleaned in the dishwasher.
This is a great cookware set to consider if you want to replace your existing pots and pans, upgrading to something better, and it should last you for many years because there are no coatings to scratch off.
Stainless steel is the choice of many professional chefs, and this is a great set which will make you want to cook great meals every single day.
Videos for How to Season a Stainless Steel Pan
YouTube Videos for “How To Cook On & Season A Stainless Steel Pan To Create A Non-Stick Surface.”
Considerations for your next set of pans
With so many options of cookware available a good first step on your way to buying your dream cookware is to understand the best pots and pans for different needs so that you can filter the options. Here are a few things to consider
The types of food you intend to cook should be well thought through so you have a better understanding of your needs. To help you do this think about which pans you currently use and the limitations of your current set? Understanding this at the beginning will help you choose from the various size pans and stop you from wasting money an extra pans you might not need.
Dishwashers can cause serious damage to all types of cookware. Even expensive cookware can be damaged from dishwashers. If you do use a dishwasher then make sure to check that you are buying the best dishwasher safe pots and pans.
Budget is a huge decision factor. Before you start looking at sets of cookware have a think about how much you would be willing to pay. Cookware can vary massively in cost so understanding your price range can help you find the best affordable pots and pans.
Type of cooktop will be the first thing to consider when buying new cookware. The best pots and pans for gas stoves won’t necessarily be the best pans for an induction electric hob.