The Best Stainless Steel Cookware for Every Budget

stainless steel cookware on stove

Stainless Steel Cookware Reviews

Whether you are a novice cook or a culinary expert trained at the finest schools and kitchens of the world, in order to succeed in your craft you will definitely need quality cookware to help you accomplish your goals. To ensure you get the very best pots and pans for your cookware budget, below we have introduced and reviewed some of the most popular and highest-touted stainless steel cookware sets on the market today.

We’ve also highlighted some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with each of these sets. 

This Stainless Steel Cookware Buying Guide will discuss some of the primary features and characteristics you should seek out when shopping for your latest set of cooking vessels.

All-Clad Brushed D5 Stainless Cookware Set 

If you are passionate about cooking and the food you serve, and if you want the very best results, you simply cannot go wrong with the All-Clad Brushed D5 Stainless Cookware Set.  With a professional appeal that is literally timeless, this cookware is ideal for those who love to cook.  Extremely attractive, these pots and pans boast a brushed exterior that will make you proud to own them. 

They are also constructed very well, which leads to durability and high performance in the kitchen.  Used by professional chefs the world over, this cookware set is definitely the real deal.

The All-Clad Brushed D5 Stainless Cookware Set comes with everything you need to be successful and versatile.  This includes an 8-inch and 10-inch fry pan, 1.5 quart and 3 quart sauce pans (both with lids), and an 8-quart stock pot (with lid) that is perfect for larger dishes. 

The edges of each piece are flared for drip-free pouring; and the stainless steel core that is added to each piece tends to hold and distribute heat quite evenly throughout the pan.  This means you can cook with less heat and still see the same results when searing, braising, sautéing and simmering. 

The All-Clad Brushed D5 Stainless Cookware Set is American made from top to bottom; and all the pots and pans are factory balanced for the very best in handling.  The collection features five alternating layers of US-made stainless steel and top-quality aluminum, all bonded together right up to the rim.


  • Renowned.  The All-Clad Brushed D5 Stainless Cookware Set is used by professional chefs the world over who recognize the amazing quality of each piece.
  • Dishwasher safe.  You will never have to hand-wash this stainless steel cookware set, as all the pieces are dishwasher safe.


  • Premium priced.  As you might expect from a product of this quality, it carries a pretty premium price tag.

Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware Pots and Pans Set

Built to last a lifetime, the Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware Pots and Pans Set is constructed with high-grade polished steel and is inlaid with copper to offer the finest in heat control, conductivity and culinary performance.  The set is very versatile, able to be used on gas and electric ranges as well as induction cooktops.  Boasting a European style, the set is very aesthetically pleasing; and all the parts are completely dishwasher safe.

You will never have a problem manipulating the Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware Pots and Pans Set, thanks to its flush, dual-riveted handles that offer an extra measure of strength to each piece. 

The deep-seated stainless steel lids do a great job at completely sealing the pots and pans, ensuring no heat escapes during the cooking process.  Each piece is oven safe up to 500 degrees; and the set includes all of the following cookware: 1.25-Quart and 2.5-Quart Saucepans with Lids, a 6.5-Quart Stockpot with Lid, an 8-Inch and 10.5-Inch Frying Pan and a 3-Quart Sauté Pan with Lid.  


  • Ten Pieces.  The Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware Pots and Pans Set comes with 10 pieces to meet all of your cooking needs.
  • Corrosion resistant.  Made from stainless steel that is inlaid with copper, all of the pieces in this cookware set are rust and corrosion resistant.
  • Induction capable.  Thanks to its copper core, this set can be used on induction cooktops.


  • Reports of Discoloration. According to some reviewers, the pieces in the Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware Pots and Pans Set can undergo some discoloration over time.

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

If you are looking for a large set of cookware that will not break the bank should highly consider the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set. 

This Amazon’s Choice set is made from polished stainless steel that resists discoloration and never reacts with food or alters flavor. This set is an amateur or professional chef’s dream. 

Each piece boasts a cool grip handle that is strongly secured with rivets; and features a self-basting, tight-fitting lid.  The triple ply steel construction with an aluminum core ensures the best in heat retention and an even distribution of heat throughout the pan, without any hot spots. 

Even better, the pots and pans are oven safe up to 550 degrees, and the rims are tapered to resist unwanted drips.

Cuisinart has become a high-quality household name in the world of kitchenware and its new Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set is certainly no exception. 

The set is regularly chosen by professionals for its unique aluminum core—a core that heats and cools very quickly for precise temperature control. 

Moreover, the patented “Heat Surround” technology in this cookware provides even heating, not just on the bottom of the pots and pans, but also up the sidewalls.  Its stainless steel interior is perfect for delicately simmering sauces, browning meats, boiling pasta or sautéing veggies.

The Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set is completely dishwasher safe right down to the lids; and the new handles on the cookware add a modern and professional style while still maintaining an easy, comfortable and controlled grip.


  • Great heat distribution.  The aluminum cores on the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set allow for rapid heating and great heat distribution.
  • Durable.  When used correctly, this premium cookware set will last you a lifetime.


  • Heavy.  The Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set is heavier than most other stainless steel cookware sets.

Stainless Steel Cookware Buying Guide

The above reviews demonstrate why stainless steel cookware is so coveted by culinary experts.  And if you have decided to invest in some of these pots and pans, it is vital that you know exactly what to look for when shopping. 

To facilitate this process, below we have outlined some of the primary functions and characteristics that are central to stainless steel cookware, all to help you make the most informed decision possible when the time comes to update your current cookware set.

Number of Pieces

The number of different pots and pans that come with your stainless steel cookware set is and should be a major consideration in the buying process.  Not all cookware sets are alike, and some come with more pieces than others, with sets ranging from 3 to 15 pieces. 

Therefore before you head out to shop you should have a pretty good idea about the number of pots and pans you need, and then you can shop for the very best quality and price based on that number.

Variety of Pieces

Again, not all stainless steel cookware sets are alike.  Some focus just on pots, while others consist of strictly frying pans of various sizes.  To ensure you get the very best bang for your buck, you should definitely look for sets with plenty of variety, including fry pans, sauce pans, and stock pots. 

Then, once you have determined the number, type and sizes of cookware you are looking for, you can then compare prices on only those sets that match what you seek.

How It Feels in Your Hand

Over the course of the many years you will own your stainless steel cookware set, odds are you will handle each piece thousands of times. 

Because of this long-term commitment, you should certainly select a cookware set that feels good in your hand—pots and pans with quality handles that are just the right weight and density.

Heat Conduction

On their face, pots and pans that are made strictly from stainless steel are traditionally not very good in terms of heat conductivity.  Given this problem, many manufacturers will layer their stainless steel cookware with copper or aluminum, both of which conduct heat very effectively. 

Be sure to do your research when shopping for stainless steel cookware and select only those pots and pans that are rated high for heat conductivity.


Not all pots and pans can be used on all types of cooking surfaces.  While stainless steel cookware can usually be used on both gas and electric ranges, some cannot be used with induction stoves unless there is another type of metal added on to the bottom of the pan, usually made of copper. 

Therefore, if you plan to cook on induction burners, be sure to read the fine print to see if your cookware is suitable for this surface.


Last but certainly not least, if you are going to shell out a lot of money on a new set of stainless steel cookware, nothing less than a lifetime warranty should be acceptable.

Long warranties are usually indicative of a very good product, and while sets that possess a lifetime warranty may be more expensive initially, the quality and peace of mind you get in return is well worth the extra cost.

Bon Appetit!

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