The 7 Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets of 2022

Our top pick is the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel Set.

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Stainless steel cookware

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Ever wonder why chefs usually opt for stainless steel cookware? It’s because of its great heat distribution and durability. Stainless steel doesn’t rust, it’s non-reactive even when cooking acidic foods, and it's free from the "forever chemicals" or PFAS found in some non-stick coatings. It can be used on the stovetop or in the oven, and it's great for searing and caramelizing meats. You also can use stainless steel cookware when working with high temperatures.

While a bit on the pricier side, quality stainless steel can last you decades, which makes it a more eco-friendly choice than pans that have coatings that get scratched easily and need to be replaced frequently. Using wooden cooking utensils can also help prolong the life of your pans. When it's time for clean up, it's easy: Clean your stainless steel pans with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad (do not use steel wool), warm water and dish soap. 

Here are the best stainless steel cookware sets:

Best Overall: Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

4.8
Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

Amazon

You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck with this 12-piece set that includes 1.5-quart and 3-quart saucepans, 8-inch and 10-inch skillets, 3.5-quart sauté pan, 8-quart stock pot, and a steamer insert. All the pots come with lids except the open skillets. They're made from triple-ply construction, and an aluminum core creates excellent heat conductivity, distribution, and retention.

Compatible with induction stove tops, this set is oven-safe up to 550 degrees and dishwasher-safe. The riveted, cool-grip handles are an added perk, as are the self-basting lids. The pieces also have tapered rims for drip-free pouring, and the polished cooking surface won’t react with food or alter flavors. There’s no risk of off-gassing or leaching here, since the set is not coated. The set also comes with a lifetime warranty against defects.

This is a great set for beginners cooks and experienced home chefs alike. 

Nonstick Tip

Stainless steel sometimes gets a bad rap for not being as easy to clean as nonstick cookware, but with a little oil and know-how, you can cut down on how much food adheres to the pan. Simply preheat your stainless steel pot or pan before cooking, then once it’s heated, add a little oil or butter and let it warm up before adding food. This will reduce the amount that foods stick as you cook.

Best Induction: Anolon 75818 Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware

4.1
Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware Pots and Pans Set, 10 Piece

Amazon

Copper has great heat conductivity, and the addition of a copper mid-layer between the stainless steel pieces in this set means it has great heat conduction and distribution. Each piece here has a five-layer base, and the handles are dual-riveted for strength. The set is oven-safe up to 500 degrees and compatible with all stovetops, including induction. They're just plain beautiful as well.

The stainless steel lids are designed to help seal in heat and lock in moisture, and everything is dishwasher-safe. The set includes 1.25-quart and 2.5-quart saucepans with lids, a 6.5-quart stockpot with lid, 8-inch and 10-inch frying pans, and a 3-quart sauté pan with lid. A lifetime warranty rounds out this sweet deal.

Best Nonstick: GreenPan Venice Pro Stainless Steel Healthy Ceramic Nonstick, 7 Piece Set

4.5
GreenPan Venice Cookware Set

Courtesy of Amazon

This combo stainless steel/nonstick set is great for those who love nonstick cookware but want to make the switch to stainless steel. This set is made from multilayer stainless steel, and the interiors are coated with GreenPan’s Thermolon Minerals Pro, a ceramic nonstick coating that’s free from PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium.

The cookware is also reinforced with Evershine technology to resist discoloration. It's safe in the oven up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much higher than some other brands. The glass lids are safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. GreenPan says the set is metal utensil safe, due to the durable nonstick coating, but we recommend sticking with silicone or wooden utensils any time you’re cooking on a metal surface. The set is also dishwasher-safe and comes with a limited lifetime warranty covering defects in material and workmanship (the nonstick coating is covered by a warranty for two years).

Pieces include a 10-inch open fry pan, 3-quart covered skillet, 5-quart covered casserole with two spouts and a straining lid, and a 1.5-quart covered saucepan.

Best Starter Set: Made In The Starter Set

4.8
Made In Starter Set

Courtesy of Made In

This is a great set for those who just want a few quality pieces to get started or have small kitchens because the pots and pans included are great sizes to cover all the basics. The set comes with a 10-inch stainless steel frying pan, 10-inch blue carbon steel frying pan, 2-quart saucepan with lid, 8-quart stock pot with lid, and a 2-ounce can of carbon steel seasoning wax.

The stainless steel pieces are 5-ply stainless steel, and all pieces are induction-compatible. Stay-cool handles avoid high heat, and the stainless steel products are oven-safe up to 800 degrees, with the carbon steel cookware is safe in the oven up to 1200 degrees.

Made In recommends seasoning the carbon steel cookware with the provided seasoning wax before use and to avoid metal utensils with the set. We also like that Made In has a recycling program for old cookware and is made in the USA to support local jobs.

Best Functionality: Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel 11-Piece Cookware Set

4.5
Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel 11-Piece Cookware Set, Silver

Courtesy of Amazon

Smartly designed handles, a variety of pot and pan sizes, and great design make this set the most functional one we found at this price point. Unlike lots of other sets, it has a larger 12-inch frying pan with a lid in addition to a 10-inch frying pan with a lid, both 1.5-quart and 2.5-quart saucepans with lids, a 3-quart sauté pan with a lid, and an 8-quart stockpot with a lid.

The ergonomic handles make it easy to pour from the pan, or hold steadily while tossing a stir fry or flipping pancakes. The 3-ply construction has an aluminum core surrounded by stainless steel on both sides, which provides maximum heat retention. All pieces are dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 450 degrees. It can be used on all types of stovetops and has a lifetime warranty.

Best Set for Small Spaces: The Proclamation Duo in Stainless Steel

The Proclamation Duo in Stainless Steel

The Proclamation Duo is a great pick if you’re tight on space or just want a few pieces that can do a lot. This beautiful, practical stainless steel set comes with the Hybrid Pot, the Sidekick Skillet, and a lid that fits both pans. The Hybrid Pot can be used as either a wok or a pot that’s big enough to fit a whole chicken. The Sidekick Skillet is 12 inches in diameter and deep enough to use as a saucepan. 

A special feature of this combo is that they fit together to form a Dutch oven that can used in the oven to bake bread or roast a chicken. The handles are hollow-cast to help them stay cooler, and the pot’s handle can also serve as a spoon rest.  They're also made in the USA and have a lifetime warranty. This is also a great set for gift-giving occasions such as weddings, college graduations, and housewarming parties. The company is also a 1 % For the Planet corporation.

Best Splurge: All-Clad D3 Stainless 3-ply Bonded Cookware Set

4.9
All-Clad 10-Piece Cookware Set

Yes, this set is a bit pricey, but if used properly, this set should last, meaning you won’t have to spend more money in the long run on more cookware. This American-made cookware set features a three-ply design, with alternating layers of stainless steel and professional-grade aluminum bonded together all the way to the rim.

The high-quality materials distribute heat beautifully along the bottoms and sidewalls, meaning you'll need less energy and only medium heat for much of your cooking. All pieces (without the lids) are oven-safe up to 600 degrees,and are safe in the dishwasher.

The set includes 8-inch and 10-inch fry pans, 2-quart and 3-quart sauce pans with lids, a 3-quart sauté pan with lid, and an 8-quart stockpot with lid. There’s also a limited lifetime warranty on the set.

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Set, which is versatile and includes just about everything you need to cook anything. If you're tight on space or trying to build up your kitchen, we like the USA-made Proclamation Duo for its ingenious design, practicality, ease of storage, and sensible good looks,

What to Look For

Stainless steel cookware is a great investment because it conducts heat well and lasts for decades with proper care. Plus, it won't react with acidic foods such as tomatoes. Look for stainless steel cookware pieces with following attributes:

Aluminum core

Aluminum is lightweight yet conducts heat well, making it energy-efficient. Copper core or copper-clad bottoms are another option for excellent heat conduction and retention, which leads to more even cooking, but copper can be quite a bit more expensive.

18/10 Stainless

Stainless is described by its chromium and nickel content. The best quality pans have 18/10, meaning 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel. Chromium prevents rusting, while nickel contributes to structural integrity.

Number of pieces in a set

Pay attention to how you really cook before deciding on purchasing a large set. Sure, that 10-piece set may seem like a great deal, but if you never use the ginormous stock pot or the teeny-tiny saucepan, it's probably not worth it. Buying only pieces you know you really need is less wasteful and more economical.

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Author Amanda Ogle is a freelance writer and editor covering sustainability, travel, food, and lifestyle topics. She loves writing about sustainability and believes it is important that we all strive to be as environmentally friendly as we can.

Arricca SanSone updated this article and reviewed our picks based on practicality, value, reader reviews, durability and company sustainability practices. Her All-Clad set has taken plenty of abuse over the years and still looks good as new.