The 15 Best Cookware Brands

Published on 04/24/2023 · 12 min readToo many brands to choose from? Kitchen Expert Jacob Cummings details the top 15 world-famous cookware manufactures to help you make the best choice.
Jacob Lewis, Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Jacob Lewis

Photo courtesy of GreenPan

Cookware is filled with options, but, to an untrained eye, everything looks the same. However, there are countless nuances between every piece of cookware, including the wonderful histories of the manufacturers, their dedication to the process of improving the experience and love for cooking, and, of course, unique style and durability. Alphabetically, we’ll go over 15 legendary manufacturers that all have lifetime warranties on their high-quality cookware.

All-Clad

All-Clad was founded in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1971 by metallurgist John Ulam, who specialized in the fabrication of bonded metal coins. Ulam needed a new pan for himself and discovered his unique design worked well in the kitchen.

All-Clad is best known for cookware that blends durable, stainless exteriors with lightweight and conductive interior metals like aluminum, copper, and graphite. Their products are durable, lighter weight than full-stainless cookware or cast iron, and have fast, even heat distribution.

Perfect for home cooks and professionals of any experience level, the All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Sauce Pans are legendary for quick heating, stainless steel durability, balanced handling, and their definitive copper ring styling around the exterior.

Anolon

Anolon was introduced by the Meyer corporation in 1989 to meet the desire for gourmet, robust, thick-gauge nonstick cookware. Decades later, the image remains with their durable and innovative cookware that promises superior taste and texture.

While Anolon now has several lines of cookware with materials ranging from lightweight, hard-anodized nonstick to clad stainless, the Anolon X Frypan is set apart from other PFOA-free (perfluorooctanoic-acid free) nonstick pans. It features a stainless mesh in the center of the cooking surface that locks oils into the center of the pan and flat rivets on the handles for reduced effort during cleanup. Great for beginner cooks or professional chefs who want the simplicity of using a nonstick and need forgiving durability that can withstand the use of metal cooking utensils.

Calphalon

Founded in 1963 in Perrysburg, Ohio by Ronald Kasperzak, Calphalon was originally a cookware and food service company under the name Commercial Aluminum Cookware. By adopting the hard-anodized process from the aerospace industry, Kasperzak created durable and corrosion-resistant cookware sets that became known as Calphalon.

Remaining innovators in cookware technology, Calphalon is best known for durable, nonstick sauté pans that have elegant and comfortable handles. They claim their modern advancements in PFOA and mineral-based nonstick cookware are five times more durable than traditional PFOA nonstick coatings.

Great for home cooks who want clean aesthetics, Calphalon is most famous for matching durability, comfort, and performance with affordability with their stainless cookware. The Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Multi Pot fills an essential need in the kitchen with a high-volume vessel, an easy-handling domed lid, and steamer inserts for vegetables or pasta.

Circulon

In 1985, the Meyer company introduced Circulon, their first line of nonstick cookware for home cooks. With an emphasis on comfort and style, the brand has remained relevant for decades for its elegance in the kitchen.

Circulon is best remembered for its circular design in the bottom of the cooking surface, which they claim both increases durability and performance. But it’s their modern innovations in Steelshield technology that blends a nonstick surface for cooking performance with elevated rings of stainless steel to protect the PFOA coatings—making their cookware safe for use with metal utensils!

Circulon Steelshield 12-inch saute pan is great for home cooks who want the easy performance of nonstick surfaces while retaining the pleasure of using metal cooking utensils. Additionally, stainless steel circular grooves in the cooking surface help retain the cooking oils in the center of the pan which increases cooking performance in both flavor and texture.

Cuisinart

The first American electric food processor was introduced at the Chicago food show in 1973 by Carl Sontheimer, who had a fascination with French cuisine. The product initially struggled to gain wide popularity until it gained favor with renowned chefs and culinary publications. Since then, Cuisinart has remained a staple in the kitchen for its mixers, food processors, and other electrical appliances.

Lesser known is their high-performing and cost-effective stainless cookware that have unique and elegant curves. Perfect for both beginning cooks on a budget and seasoned home cooks who want to fill a void in their cookware without breaking the bank, Cuisinart’s Stainless Saucepan is famous because the glass lid has a built-in straining device that can easily replace the need for an additional strainer.

Dansk

Legendary and timeless in all of their designs, the roots of Dansk cookware began in 1954, when the young American couple, Martha and Ted Nierenberg, found a unique and inspiring set of cutlery while traveling through Europe. They tracked down the artist and designer of the cutlery, Jens Quistgaard, and begged him to participate in their idea to join together in producing cutlery and cookware for a larger global market. The company grew throughout the second half of the century, becoming one of the most iconic names for cookware.

Colorful and simple aesthetics are what mark the reputation of Dansk enameled-steel cookware. Comfortable and inviting shapes paired with a lid with unique, functional styling on their Kobenstyle Saucepans make for an unforgettable first sight. This cookware is great for home cooks who want to experience color in their kitchen and at the dinner table. This cookware has been celebrated for decades, as the inviting design alone has the ability to uplift spirits.

GreenPan

As a reaction to the news about traditional PFAS nonstick coatings containing toxic chemicals, two Flemish childhood friends, Wim de Veirman and Jan Helskens, set out to produce a healthier alternative. After much research, they were able to produce a first-of-its-kind ceramic nonstick coating derived from sand. The two founded Green Pan in 2007 to launch a cookware company with a new ceramic coating they dubbed “Thermolon.” Since its release, the Thermolon coating continues to be improved and is now in the 8th generation of its evolutions that make the coating more durable and better performing while retaining the company’s promise of using zero harmful chemicals.

GreenPan has a variety of great options in their lineup, but it’s their skillets that get the most love and recognition. Any of them are great for home cooks who want the safest nonstick cookware. But the most eye-catching and favorite of all has simple, matte-black aesthetics that harken to old carbon steel.

The Venice Pro 11\" frypanableId":"AgAAADAAK59Nt51VSiq6wURcwzgVdA","text":"Venice Pro 11\" frypan"}@sellableLink@ is a high-performance skillet designed for intensive use and high-volume meals. The diamond-infused ceramic nonstick coating is more heat-conductive than PFOA-based nonstick coatings which Green Pan says helps achieve a crispier texture with less heat.

Hestan

With a lengthy history of culinary innovations, Hestan’s founder, Stanley Cheng, is the pioneer of hard-anodized aluminum cookware that eventually became the primary material used in nonstick-cookware sets. First released in the 1970s, Heston cookware has since expanded into kitchen appliances, outdoor grills, and rugged professional stainless cookware that is beloved year after year by professional chefs.

Great for restaurants that demand the most durability from their cookware, the Heston 2-Quart Saucepan features NanoBond stainless steel which is claimed to be four times harder than standard stainless. The result is an ultra-smooth, polished finish that is highly scratch resistant. It looks beautiful and stays beautiful with a flared rim that simplifies pouring and reduces dripping.

Le Creuset

In 1925 in Picardie, north of Paris, two men with specialties in casting and enameling metals came together to begin a foundry. Within the year they had produced their version of a cast-iron cocotte, colorfully encased and protected in enamel. What they presented was an unforgettable bright orange that caught the eye of food lovers all across the country. Since then, Le Creuset has remained one of the most iconic and dependable cookware companies in history.

Throughout the last century, Le Creuset has released a number of highly celebrated and remembered products that have wowed and disappeared from both the shelves and catalogs. What has remained is the classic 5.5-Quart Dutch Oven, a perfect size for family dinners and wowing guests with an inviting shape and color. It’s oven-safe and ready for any induction cooktop. Now available in a wide palette of wonderful tones that protect both the ingredients from the metallic leaching of cast iron and the rusting of the cookware, Le Creuset is built to last for lifetimes of intensive use.

Lodge

Joseph and Anna Lodge arrived in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, in 1877. Just short of twenty years later, Joseph opened Blacklock Foundry, a company that would come to change American history for the next 100+ years. While Lodge has innovated and pioneered many aspects of the cast-iron production line, one of the more renowned and now industry-standard techniques is their in-factory seasoning process. By seasoning the products before shipping, any cast iron skillet or dutch oven is protected from rusting, and provides a hassle-free and out-of-box cooking experience for new owners.

Great for chefs of all experiences and cooking styles, cast-iron pans are versatile and durable. Celebrated and beloved for its value, form, and function, the 4.5-quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is colorful, rust-proof, and has all the capacity necessary for a dinner of several people. The main feature of this quality cookware is that it maintains all of the same functions as premium-enameled cast iron for a fraction of the cost.

Made In

In 2017, with intentions to upend the cookware industry by combining unique and timeless design with boundary-pushing performance and value, Jake Kalich and Chip Malt founded Made In Cookware. What has since manifested is a series of iconic and timeless kitchen elements that have gained rapid approval and a nearly global cult following.

With a range of the most common materials from stainless steel cookware, nonstick, carbon steel, cast iron, and copper, one of the most legendary items in the catalog is the 12” Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan. Jake and Chip designed these pans with a “mission to replace your love for cast iron.” Perfect for lifetimes in professional kitchens, the pan is made with high-carbon steel that has been pounded and refined into an ultra-strong and lightweight, pre-seasoned vessel that is capable of high-heat cooking up to 1200°F.

Mauviel

It’s due to the 800-year history embedded in the French city Villedieu-les-Poêles, that in 1830 Ernest Mauviel was able to so confidently create what has become one of the longest-lasting and timeless modern cookware companies. Mauviel cookware has upheld their celebrated use in professional kitchens for almost two centuries.

The modern evolution of Mauviel copper cookware is a clad construction that features a fast and even-heating, quick-cooling copper exterior with a durable, stainless-steel cooking surface. Perfect for artisan cooks who work with delicate fats and oils and need exceptional heat control, the copper-clad M’Heritage 10.2-inch Round Frying Pan is the peak of premium cookware that will last forever.

OXO

The history of OXO begins like a love letter. In 1990, New Yorker Sam Farber crafted a peeling utensil for his wife that had improved ergonomics to lessen the pains of her arthritis. Since then, OXO has become world famous for having some of the most comfortable home-cooking utensils ever made. Expanding into cookware, OXO has covered all the staples between stainless, conventional hardened aluminum nonstick, diamond-coated ceramic nonstick, and high-heat carbon steel fry pans.

OXO cookware is perfect for anyone who’s getting started with cooking and wants affordable, durable, comfortable equipment in the kitchen. At a remarkable value, the 10-Inch Ceramic Professional Non-Stick Fry Pan is famous in college dorms for making quick work out of breakfast eggs and for easy cleanup with its flat rivets. Retaining the heritage of Sam Farber’s initial intentions, the handle is exceptionally comfortable and well-balanced with the cooking surface.

Scanpan

In 1956, Scanpan began as a family-run company focused on hardened, cast-lightweight aluminum cookware. Over time, the company refined their manufacturing process, resulting in some of the strongest cookware known in history, all due to their high-pressure casting technique. With a focus on healthy nonstick and reusing aluminum materials, Scanpan is dedicated to reducing their environmental and health impacts.

ScanPan has a wide catalog of famous and beloved cookware. But it’s the Technique Bistro Pan with deep walls like a saucepan and a rounded bottom like a wok that make this four-quart, ovenproof vessel a mainstay for family meals. Perfect for professionals and home cooks who are enthusiastic about exploring recipes that demand versatility in their cookware, the Bistro Pan is ovenproof, and the Stratanium + nonstick coating provides exceptional cooking performance with reduced need for oil.

Staub

Young in its age compared to other premium French cookware, Francis Staub began the design and production of the company’s first cocotte in 1974 with the intention of mastering the art of a self-basting lid. Further moving into enameled cast iron, Staub didn’t hesitate to go heavy in the materials, resulting in overbuilt and colorful dishes that are beloved in homes and professional kitchens around the world.

Perfect for anyone who wants a durable and versatile piece of cookware that will last forever, the 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte dutch oven is one of the most celebrated pieces of cookware. With the moisture-locking lid and a superior self-basting design, this dutch oven is ready to serve big batches of stew for 4–5 hungry guests.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes what’s most important when picking out cookware is simply the sight of it: which frying pan makes your heart sing? But it’s helpful to explore the way they feel in your hands, and how they make your life easier, or sometimes harder.

I sincerely hope this article planted seeds in your search for finding whatever cookware makes you feel most at home and empowered to cook exactly the way you’re dreaming of. In case you might be looking for a little more help, whether it’s locating stock on a high-carbon chef’s knife or wanting a little more help on picking out your first or fifth dutch oven, Curated Cooking Experts are always here for free advice that’s catered to your needs.

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