The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets For Cooks & Chefs

Stainless steel is the cookware of choice for everyday cooks. Not only is stainless steel the most affordable option, it’s also one of the easiest to maintain. It resists warping, is easy to clean and can be used on any cooktop surface. Just about every cookware brand offers a stainless steel collection, but the two brands listed below offer the best stainless steel cookware money can buy.

The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

1. All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware

All-Clad d5 Brushed Steel SetAll-Clad is a leader in the cookware industry, and the brand offers two primary collections in the stainless steel category: d5 Brushed and Stainless. Both of these collections offer professional-quality cookware that’s designed for serious cooks or those who strive to be. Why is All-Clad on the list of best stainless steel cookware? The answer lies in the quality construction and features that both the d5 Brushed and Stainless collections have to offer.

The classic Stainless collection features a tri-ply construction with an interior layer of 18/10 stainless steel, an aluminum core and an induction stainless steel exterior.

  • The aluminum core provides excellent heat distribution that eliminates hot spots.
  • The stainless interior provides durability and stability. The surface will not react with foods, and the starburst finishing improves the pan’s non-stick performance.
  • The final induction stainless steel exterior is resistant to warping and compatible with all cooktop surfaces, including induction.

The riveted stainless steel long stick handles stay cool even while cooking. All pans are dishwasher safe, oven safe, broiler-safe and freezer safe. All-Clad’s Stainless cookware is incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of cooking tasks. What the Stainless collection offers is a great performance, easy maintenance, and great durability.

The d5 Brushed collection is a step up from the Stainless collection. All-Clad improved on the design by offering a five-play construction with the following layers:

  • 18/10 stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Induction stainless steel

This five-play construction takes advantage of the heat conductivity and distribution of aluminum and combines this with the cleaning ease and stability of stainless steel.

Pans in the d5 Brushed collection are designed to be energy efficient. The construction of the pan allows for heat to diffuse from the bottom of the pan upwards. With an interior starburst finish, the pan’s non-stick performance is improved. These extra features make d5 Brushed cookware so easy to cook with and maintain.

Much like the Stainless collection, d5 Brushed cookware is dishwasher safe, oven safe, broiler-safe and freezer safe. You can even use these pots and pans on induction cooktop surfaces. The long stick handles stay cool, while the rolled lip allows for easy pouring.

No matter whether you choose the classic Stainless collection or the upgraded d5 Brushed, you will be more than pleased with the quality of All-Clad cookware. Each and every piece is designed for a lifetime of use. Because this cookware is compatible with all cooktop surfaces, you can continue using your cookware no matter what type of appliances your home has.

The Stainless collection is All-Clad’s most popular line with the 10-piece set being one of the best selling in this collection. This is one of the brand’s most affordable sets but offers a performance that’s hard to beat.

If you spend a great deal of time in your kitchen, you need to invest in a set of high-quality cookware, and this is exactly what All-Clad offers. Even those who only cook occasionally can benefit from the convenience and ease-of-use of All-Clad’s stainless steel cookware.

2. Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware

calphalon-tri-plyCalphalon makes it onto the best stainless steel cookware list because of its quality construction and the vast selection of cookware available. The brand offers several different stainless steel collections, including Tri-Ply, Contemporary, Classic and Simply Calphalon. While each has their own benefits, it’s the Tri-Ply set that consumers love.

As its name suggests, the brand’s Tri-Ply cookware features an aluminum core surrounded by layers of stainless steel. The polished exterior creates a sleek, professional look, while the satin finish interior improves the stability and performance of the pan. The aluminum core is what offers great heat distribution and prevents hot spots. Every piece is safe for use on all cooktops (including induction), and is dishwasher safe, oven safe and broiler safe. This is a great collection for avid cooks that really want a high-performing set of cookware that doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance and care.

The Contemporary collection also features a tri-ply core and the same features that the Tri-Ply collection offers. However, Calphalon has designed this collection to include a professional, polished look. The stay-cool handles also remain cool even after hours of cooking. This allows for easy handling no matter what the cooking task may be.

In addition, the tempered glass covers allow you to conveniently monitor your cooking without having to remove the lid. For rice cooking and temperamental sauces, this tempered glass lid can mean the difference between a delicious meal and one that is over or undercooked.

Both the Classic and the Simply Calphalon collections offer aluminum-encapsulated bottoms for improved heat distribution. Pans in the Classic set also have etched lines for easy measuring. These little extra features are part of the reason why Calphalon cookware stands out in the crowd and why cooks of all experience levels enjoy using the brand’s stainless steel cookware.

The great thing about Calphalon is that they offer numerous types of cookware. From specialty items to frying pans, sauté pans and stockpots in just about every size you can imagine, you’ll have no problem finding the cookware you need. Once you’ve found what you need, you can enjoy convenient features like etched measurements, lipped edges for easy pouring and tempered glass lids for easy food monitoring. With the convenient features listed above, you’ll be more than happy to use your new cookware on a regular basis.

It’s not just the extra convenience features that make this some of the best cookware you can buy. It’s also the fact that Calphalon offers high-quality cookware at prices that the everyday cook can afford. With exceptional durability, this is a stainless steel cookware collection that will last a lifetime with proper care and use.