Best Stainless Steel Cookware in 2020 – Reviews & Guide

Did you just move into a new house and you want a new set of premium stainless steel cookware to go along with the new kitchen?

If so, then you are in the right place. As you might have guessed from the title of this article, we are going to be looking at some of the best sets of stainless steel cookware that we could find.

You will see options from both very well-known brands and lesser-known brands as well.

If you want to know what we think the overall best stainless steel cookware is, we recommend the All-Clad D3 Tri-Ply Bonded Cookware Set, Pots and Pans Set.

Comparison Table

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1. T-fal C836SD Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom 13 PC Cookware Set


To start off this list, we are going to be taking a look at the T-fal C836SD Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom 13 PC Cookware Set. Now, even if you aren’t particularly familiar with T-fal as a brand, you have still probably heard of them.

There is a good reason for that, they are recognized as being makers of some of the best stainless steel cookware out there. So, you just know that we had to review at least one set of T-fal cookware on our list.

It is, after all, an article looking at the best stainless steel cookware list.

Before getting too far into the review, the first thing that we have to address is exactly what you get in this set. This exact T-fal set comes in four different sizes. There is a 12-piece, a 13-piece, a 14-piece, and finally, a 17-piece set to choose from.

We are taking a look at the 13-piece set, but if that isn’t enough for you, you can always buy the 17-piece set. Everything that we say in the review will apply to the larger sets as well.

T-fal C836SD Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom 13 PC Cookware Set, Dishwasher Safe Pots and Pans Set, Silver

With this set, you get a set of 3 frying pans (8, 10, 12 inches respectively) with lids as well. You also get three different sized saucepans with lids.

Finally, rounding out the whole package, you also get a Dutch oven with a lid and a steamer basket. So, even the 13-piece set gives you a pretty substantial amount of cookware to fill out your kitchen with.

As for the quality of the cookware, it is about what you would expect from a brand that is as well-known as T-fal. Each piece of cookware is very durably built.

Made with hardened stainless steel, they are capable of lasting for decades if properly looked after.

Likewise, stainless steel is a great conductor of heat. This means that when you use the frying pans, the bottoms heat evenly which helps to make precise cooking a lot easier.

The handles and lids are equally well-made. The lids seal in heat and the handles make it easy to keep a firm grip on the cookware. The handles are also designed not to heat up, so you won’t get burned when using the cookware either.

Pros

  • Comprehensive set.
  • Very durable steel construction.
  • Cookware heats up evenly.
  • Great lids and handles.

Cons

  • Sticking can be an issue if you aren’t careful.

2. Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set


If you are the type who wants the absolute best of everything when it comes to your kitchen, then this next set of cookware on our best stainless steel cookware list is for you.

The Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set is pricey (to say the least), but it is definitely well-made enough to justify the price tag, as you will see in our review.

We should mention first off that the Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set comes with a very helpful lifetime warranty.

That’s always a good thing to see because it is a sign of just how much faith the manufacturer has in the quality of their product.

We should also mention that you can choose from either a 10-piece or a 14-piece set (we are reviewing the latter). In the 14-piece set, you get 3 saucepans, 3 omelette pans, a sauté pan, and a stockpot. All have lids included as well.

One of the great things about the Calphalon cookware set is how it manages to blend the quality of stainless steel with the heating power of aluminum.

Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 14-Piece

Now, stainless steel heats quite evenly, but aluminum is considered to be the “best” material to make a base out of. This is because aluminum does the best at evenly distributing heat and it also works perfectly with every sort of cooktop (induction, gas, electric, etc.).

The Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set uses a stainless steel exterior mixed with an aluminum base. This results in cookware that is not only durable, but that also cooks very evenly.

The lids on the cookware included in this collection deserve special mention since they are so incredibly well-made. Not only do they help to keep heat really locked in, but they also have these convenient little holes that make draining out water or excess juice super easy.

Trust us when we say that once you have used these lids once, you will never want to go back to draining pots and pans the old way.

Pros

  • Aluminum base for even heating.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Good selection of cookware in set.
  • Durable stainless steel exterior on cookware.
  • Well-designed and intuitive lids.

Cons

  • Pricey.

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


Next up we have yet another really famous brand that we are sure that you have heard of before. It wouldn’t be a best stainless steel cookware list without at least one entry from Cuisinart, who has almost as famous of a reputation as T-fal.

The Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set is very well-made and would be a great addition to any kitchen.

In terms of different sets, we are obviously reviewing the 12-piece set, but you can also get a 10-piece or 7-piece set. In a way, this a breath of fresh air.

Sometimes, you just want a few extra pots and pans to fill out your kitchen. In cases like that, being able to buy a cheaper 7-piece set (as opposed to the more expensive 12-piece and 14-piece sets that we have been reviewing so far) is really helpful. The 12-piece set that we are reviewing fairly standard.

It contains the same mixture of pots, pans, and other cookware that we have mentioned in previous reviews of the best stainless steel cookware, so we won’t repeat it.

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

The quality of the Cuisinart cookware set is exceptionally high despite the lower than average price. The bottoms of the cookware are made using induction-compatible aluminum, while the rest of the cookware is made using polished stainless steel.

Sadly, the cookware does seem to get scuffed up quite easily compared to many other cookware sets, but that’s a minor issue.

The cookware is also safe to use in an oven. Each piece of cookware is capable of sustaining temperatures of up to 550-degrees Fahrenheit.

So, you can do what professionals chefs do, and brown food on the cooktop before finishing it in the oven.

Cleaning the cookware also couldn’t be simpler. Just put in the dishwasher and forget about it.

Each piece of cookware (as well as the lids) is 100% dishwasher safe.

Pros

  • Great for use with induction cooktops.
  • On the cheaper side of the scale.
  • Comes in smaller sizes (see the 7-piece set) for those with full kitchens.
  • Larger set has everything that you need for a well-stocked kitchen.
  • Dishwasher safe.

Cons

  • Gets scuffed up very easily compared to other cookware sets.

4. OXO Good Grips Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Pro 13 Piece Set


You might not have heard of the OXO brand before, but trust us when we say that they have done a very good job of making some high-quality stainless steel cookware.

Such a good job in fact, that we think that the OXO Good Grips Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Pro 13 Piece Set easily deserves a spot on our best stainless steel cookware list.

One of the best things about the OXO cookware set is how well-made it is.

The bottom, as with the bottoms of many other great sets of cookware, is made using a combination of aluminum (for even heating), and steel for durability. The rest of the cookware is, as you would expect, made from very high-quality stainless steel.

What this results in is cookware that has an amazing sheen to it and that is also very tough.

OXO Good Grips Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Pro 13 Piece Set

You can easily use this cookware in both the oven (it is safe for use up to 400-degrees Fahrenheit) and you can also use it in the dishwasher as well, so cleaning isn’t a hassle either.

In terms of what you get in this 13-piece set, it is the standard variety of saucepans, regular pans, and pots that you have come to expect from cookware sets on this list.

The only disappointment is the lack of a steamer insert, which is found in a lot of the other cookware sets on our best stainless steel cookware list. Overall, it is still a pretty good package.

Although, those of you who want a smaller set will likely be a bit disappointed that there is only one set size to choose from.

A few times on this list we have talked about the lids on the cookware. We are going to do that again because the lids on this cookware are great.

They are strong (the glass won’t crack easily), they stay relatively cool to the touch, and they don’t steam easily so you can always see how your food is doing.

Pros

  • Very tough and resistant to damage.
  • Aluminum base ensures even heating.
  • Both oven and dishwasher safe.
  • Works with all cooktops.

Cons

  • Only one size set to pick from.
  • Lacking some items found in other sets.

5. All-Clad D3 Tri-Ply Bonded Cookware Set, Pots and Pans Set


To end off our list, we decided to save the best for last. The All-Clad D3 Tri-Ply Bonded Cookware Set, Pots and Pans Set is easily the highest quality set of cookware that we have reviewed yet.

It comes with a hefty price tag, to say the least, but for those who don’t mind paying a lot, they will be getting an amazing set of cookware.

There are four sets to choose from. We are looking at the 10-piece set, but there is also a 5-piece set, a 14-piece set, and a 21-piece set.

So, there are several sets for you to pick from depending on how many pieces you need to fill out your kitchen. In our particular set, there aren’t any extras like steamer inserts, but it is still a good collection otherwise.

The quality of each pair of cookware is extremely high. As you have probably guessed, the All-Clad cookware does what so many other sets of cookware have done, which is mix materials.

All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware Set, Pots and Pans, Tri-Ply Stainless Steel, Professional Grade, 10-Piece - 8400000962

This cookware is made using a 3-ply system. On the outside, there is stainless steel. The next layer is made of aluminum. Finally, the last layer is yet more stainless steel.

So, each piece of cookware has layers of stainless steel providing protection to the aluminum core, which helps with even heating.

To give you an idea of just how tough this cookware is, it can be used in extremely high temperatures.

You can put this into an oven, and it will be safe at temperatures exceeding 600-degrees Fahrenheit.

Naturally, it is also dishwasher safe as well.

Pros

  • Best made cookware set on this list.
  • Great mixture of stainless steel and aluminum.
  • Wide variety of sets to choose from.
  • Extremely durable.
  • Oven safe up to 600-degrees Fahrenheit.

Cons

  • Most expensive cookware set on this list.

Stainless Steel Cookware Buying Guide

Typically, most people buy stainless steel cookware without paying too much mind to it. They go to their local kitchen supply store or department store and buy the first set of cookware that they like. However, as you saw while reading our best stainless steel cookware list, there is a surprising amount that can go into picking out a really good set of stainless steel cookware.

For those of you who are looking for some advice on how to pick out a great set of cookware, this second part of our article is for you. In this buying guide, we are going to look at some of the main things that need to be considered when buying high-quality cookware.

Size Of The Set

Something that we mentioned a lot on our best stainless steel cookware list was the various sizes that cookware sets come in. This is something that you as a buyer need to consider. The ideal size of the cookware set is going to change depending on what you as a buyer need. If you already have a very well-stocked kitchen, then going for a very large cookware set is going to end up being a very unnecessary expense.

If, on the other hand, you just got a new kitchen, then we would recommend going for one of the larger sets. Something like the 21-piece set of cookware offered by All-Clad would be perfect for someone who needs to restock a brand-new kitchen. Larger sets also have more specialty items in them that let you cook more dishes. A good example of this would be steamer inserts, which are crucial for steaming vegetables. These are often left out of smaller sets.

Cooktop Compatibility

Keep in mind that if you happen to have an induction cooktop, then not all stainless steel cookware will work on it. Stainless steel is good for a lot of things, but it isn’t a great conductor, which means that it isn’t a great option for use on induction cooktops. Thankfully, many stainless steel cookware sets (including most of the ones on our best stainless steel cookware list) use a mixture of steel and aluminum. Aluminum is a great conductor and it is a great option if you have an induction cooktop.

Oven Safe Cookware

Another really crucial piece of advice that we would offer is to look for oven-safe cookware. This is important for two reasons. First off, oven-safe cookware is more versatile. As we mentioned in one of our reviews on the best stainless steel cookware list, the professional way to cook many dishes is to start them on a cooktop and then finish them in the oven. So, if you have cookware that can do that, then you are capable of cooking a wider variety of dishes. Secondly, seeing how much heat cookware can stand will give you a good idea of its overall durability. To use an example from our list, you know that the All-Clad D3 Tri-Ply Bonded Cookware Set, Pots and Pans Set is durable because it is oven safe for temperatures around 600-degrees Fahrenheit. It is a sign of quality.

Conclusion

If you are still curious about some aspect of our best stainless steel cookware list, we have great news. You can use our contact us section to ask any questions or leave any comments that you may have.