The 7 Best Stainless Steel Cookware Brands

Published on 05/17/2023 · 7 min readConsidering stainless steel cookware for your kitchen? Check out these top brands making some of the best stainless steel cookware products on the market!
Jacob Lewis, Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Jacob Lewis

Photo by Jason Briscoe

As one of the greatest options in cookware for its durability, high performance, versatility, and even-heating, stainless steel remains one of the best options available. In this comprehensive guide, discover the best companies, their history, and what makes them stand out before looking at their best cookware options.

All-Clad

Originally a company known for minting coins, All-Clad was founded in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1967 by John Ulam but eventually stepped into the cookware market as he recognized the great potential for multi-layered cookware. Since then, the company has become known for its high-quality, American-made, fully-clad stainless steel cookware that chefs in both the home and professional environment belove. In the modern day, the company is most known for its 5-ply Copper Core cookware that uses layers of stainless steel and an aluminum core bonded with copper for the most even heat retention in the market.

The only complaint that some home users have is the handles on their products can feel aggressive and uncomfortable for some people’s hands and wrists. On the flip side, this same handle design makes their cookware feel agile and responsive in a fast-paced professional environment.

All-Clad Copper Core Cookware Set

The Copper Core 10-piece cookware set remains one of the most accessible cookware sets because it covers all the bases with a 10-inch skillet, both 2 and 3-quart saucepans, a perfectly-sized 3-quart saute pan, and an 8-quart stockpot. This cookware has a lifetime warranty, it’s oven-safe, and is great for induction cooktops. Keep in mind that because of the exposed copper core, it’s recommended to leave these out of the dishwasher.

Anolon

Founded in 1984, Anolon was created by the Meyer Corporation as a response to growing demand from home cooks who needed high-quality cookware. Anolon is known for their advancements in hard-anodized nonstick that brought a new era of durability, they later branched into clad-construction cookware that is oven-safe and has a layer of copper for the best control and heating evenness. While still known more for its advancements in nonstick technology and efforts to make durable and high-performing options that are safe for use with metal utensils, Anolon’s stainless Nouvelle set makes this list.

Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel Cookware Set

The Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel 11-piece cookware set is a fringe departure from the rest of the options in this list because the stainless steel pans are paired alongside some hard anodized nonstick vessels, making this set great for anyone who doesn’t want to fuss with a sticky egg. The copper ring along the cookware's base instantly catches the eye with its colorful hue, enhancing the vessel's performance. While the European tulip shape of this set always stands, the Nouvelle has elegance to the handles and a curve and comfort to the Dutch oven and fry pan that inspires cooking.

Calphalon

Founded in 1963 in Perrysburg, Ohio, by Robert Kasperzak (credited for inventing hard-anodized aluminum) under the name “Commercial Aluminum Company,” Calphalon officially took its name in 1992. It has forever since been one of the main nonstick and stainless cookware producers. With a big list of options in their portfolio, Calphalon has something for just about every type of chef and budget. Unfortunately, this same range of options has led many home cooks and professionals toward uncertainty about some of the quality of their nonstick products. Rest assured, Calphalon still produces some very high-quality options; you just need to know what to look for.

Calphalon Signature Stainless Cookware Set

The fully-clad stainless steel construction of the Calphalon Signature 10-piece emphasizes comfort in handling, along with ease of use with steel-rimmed glass lids that are oven safe to 500°F. As a result, it’s perfect for even sears on scallops and steak. The only complaint that some might have about this set is it has three rivets (one more than average) which can add a small amount of extra cleanup.

Cuisinart

Carl Sontheimer, the founder of Cuisinart, was originally into designing food processors (the company is still one of the best manufacturers in the industry). Eventually, Sontheimer and his partners saw a growing need for kitchen products that were easy to use and accessible for anyone with disabilities. Over decades of effort, they now how a wide range of products, from electrical appliances to classic cast iron cookware sets. Keeping the focus on both professional chefs and home cooks, many of their best stainless cookware sets feature the most affordable and rugged tri-ply construction, which remains the gold standard of decent cookware.

Cuisinart French Classic Cookware Set

The Cuisinart French Classic 13-piece cookware set is the peak of tri-ply design as it’s affordable, stylish, and has all the core needs covered, with various saucepans, skillets, and a large stock pot with a steamer insert. All of this set’s pieces are flexible in any kitchen for use with both gas and induction and are oven safe. In addition, this set remains very comfortable to handle, is dishwasher safe, and has durable metal lids for trapping all the moisture when simmering a sauce.

Hestan

Founded in 2016 by Stanley Cheng (the key pioneer of hard anodized aluminum), Hestan is a brand that is moving to innovate a new era of cookware that takes expectations for safety and durability to new levels. Their dedication is most seen with the lifetime warranty that stands behind their triple-coated nonstick cookware. Still, their most marvel innovation remains to be the titanium-coated stainless cookware that performs similarly to nonstick cookware and is safe to temperatures over 1000f.

Hestan NanoBond Cookware Set

The NanoBond 10-piece titanium cookware set stands apart from conventional stainless and nonstick because, unlike regular stainless, it behaves like nonstick. Unlike nonstick, it’s metal utensil safe and built to last a lifetime. The durability and performance of this cookware are matched flat-rivet handles that swoop up and flatten out to give their vessels some of the lowest centers of gravity compared to any cookware in the industry. These titanium pans are essential for high-heat cooking and are perfect for use on the grill and bbq. The only real downside for this cookware is the price, but if you consider that it will last you the rest of your life and won’t need replacing, it’s quite affordable.

Made In

As one of the newest brands in the cookware industry, Made In was founded by Jake Kalick and Chip Malt in Austin, Texas. They absorbed the wisdom of their old family-run restaurant supply business and applied it to create instant award-winning elegant cookware in design and flawless function. Made In is making its mark in kitchens worldwide, from carbon steel to knives and cast iron. Their Italian-made cookware also stands out in value because most cookware options from other brands at this price point are crafted with a slightly lower quality of refinement and come with fewer pieces in the set.

Made In 5-ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Their 5-ply 10-piece cookware set is an instant classic because it goes from any stovetop with high heat straight to the dishwasher in style and comfort. The handles have a stay-cool design that flattens out to give the vessels a low center of gravity.

Tramontina

Most people aren’t aware of how massive and important the population of Brazil has been to the cookware industry. Still, Tramontina has been around since 1911 as Brazil’s leading producer of cookware equipment, now with over 20,000 products. Typically, many of their products are just fine, but what we see most are the low-quality nonstick pots and pans that don’t hold up to either high heat or accidents in the kitchen over time. While the company remains relevant and evolves its products for use with all cooktops, its stainless steel set is making this list for its durability and price point.

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Cookware Set

The tri-ply clad stainless set is one of the most affordable stainless options on the market, and what makes it stand out from the rest of the cookware sets in this list is it has a massive 6-quart sauté pan that is built for a large family. Crafted in Brazil, it’s oven safe to 500°F and has a lifetime warranty. While most of their products would never be mentioned on this list, this set is high quality and deserves a mention!

Conclusion

Photo by Conscious Design

While your budget might be the first requirement in your search for a stainless cookware set, this list should give you the full range of options from low-cost Tramontina to fully high-end like All-Clad and Hestan. If you still have questions about where to go next in your search, please know that you’re invited to reach out to one of our Kitchen Experts, who are happy to help you find the set that matches your needs, cooking style, and budget.

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