In ordinary times, we’d ease into writing a kitchen cookware buying guide by saying it doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. But these aren’t ordinary times. Thanks to Americans social-distancing at home, most of us are looking for a distraction. So now is actually a very good time to check out some of the best cookware brands out there so you can finally upgrade your old pots and pans at home.
We do, however, have a pretty neat shortcut for finding the cooking tools for your kitchen. Let’s start by looking at a few of the best cookware brands and what makes them so special. Why just look at top-rated cookware sets? Thecookwaregeek.com says, “with some brands, you can expect nothing but the best.
Here are the brands experts highlight for being the best in their category:
- Le Creuset 5-Piece Stainless Steel Set
- Anolon 82693 Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set, 11 Piece
- Cuisinart Forever Stainless Steel Collection, 11 piece set
- T-fal C561SC Titanium Advanced Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, 12-Piece
- Calphalon T10 Tri-Ply Copper 10 Piece Set
Best Cookware Brands
Widely considered an industry favorite, Le Creuset is one of the best cookware brands out there. Thanks, in part, to the company’s stellar, nearly century-old reputation. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, you’ll likely recognize their colorful cast iron Dutch ovens. Since 1925, the premium cookware brand has been manufacturing stainless steel, enamel, and stoneware pots in the same French foundry and using traditional sand casting techniques. Ever wonder how these pots get passed down through generations while others barely survive a decade? It’s because Le Creuset was founded by casting and enamel artisans who knew what they were doing.
Le Creuset’s collection of cookware includes stainless steel pots and pans. They have an aluminum core and titanium-infused exteriors. The company’s hot-forged frying pans don’t warp and the nonstick, triple-layer coating resists peeling and flaking. But what most people know Le Creuset for is their full range of stylish enamel on steel stockpots, which come in a variety of bright colors. They also sell specialty cookware items like casseroles and baking dishes, classic Asian woks, and traditional Moroccan tagines.
What you can expect with Le Creuset cookware
Le Creuset is known for manufacturing durable, weighty cookware that last a lifetime. But here are some other useful facts.
- Stoneware: Uniform heating for even cooking
- Pans: Aluminum core pans have a nonstick-coating
- Cast iron: Ideal heat distribution and heat retention
- Enamel: Quick-heating, plus chip and crack resistant
- Lids: Tight-fitting, plus heat and moisture locking
- Stoneware: Freezer, broiler, microwave and dishwasher safe
- Compatible: Dishwasher and oven safe and can be used with all types of stovetops and outdoor grills
Le Creuset products come with a lifetime or limited lifetime warranty.
In the nonstick category, you’ll see Anolon Advanced on many lists compiling the best cookware brands. Anolon’s parent company, Meyer Manufacturing, was established in the 1950s. After decades manufacturing metal products, they focused their metal smithing expertise on creating culinary tools. The company has since revolutionized home cooking.
The signature feature of Anolon’s gourmet cookware sets are the nonstick exteriors. But at the same time, their pans are dishwasher safe and oven-safe for up to 400 degrees. Anolon cookware also has thick bottoms that promote even heat distribution. Shatterproof glass lids let you see what’s happening inside the pot without putting your eyes and face in harm’s way.
What you can expect with Anolon cookware
Anolon has several highly-rated home cookware sets to choose from. Home chefs love the versatile 11-piece, bronze line. The hard-anodized nonstick collection has a skillet and shallow grill pan in lieu of two cooking pans. It also comes in a soothing bronze hue. The copper stainless steel 10-piece set is induction-friendly and compatible with all stove-top types. Induction-ready means the pans are compatible with electromagnetic cooktops. Induction cooktops induce electrons to move. That creates an electric current for heating the pot or pan. Then the heat is transferred from the pot to the food.
Anolon has a tri-ply clad set made with stainless steel and a layer of aluminum, which provides the line with optimal heat conduction and even cooking. The highly durable 12-piece cookware set is compatible with all types of cooktops, including induction. It’s also oven-safe for up to 500 degrees. And the 11-piece Anolon Nouvelle hard anodized copper cookware has a 5-layer design constructed with aluminum and copper inlay.
No list of best cookware brands would be complete without seeing the name Cuisinart. In fact, Julia Child and James Beard were some of the most famous fans of the brand. Today, Cuisinart is one of the most famous cookware brand names. But before founders, Carl and Shirley Sontheimer, even started tinkering with their soon-to-be-famous “food preparation machine,” they were already importing stainless steel cookware sets.
Cuisinart’s stainless steel cookware is some of the most timeless and versatile cooking utensils in American kitchens. The name is also synonymous with attractive and nearly indestructible pots and pans. The pots have an aluminum core, they’re induction friendly and oven safe for up to 550-degrees. And the handles stay comfortable to the touch while you’re cooking.
What you can expect with Cuisinart cookware
Cuisinart is now owned by a large American company in Connecticut, but they’re committed to maintaining a tradition of creating quality cookware. See how:
- The Forever Stainless 11-piece collection has an attractive mirror-polished stainless steel exterior and satin interior. It’s versatile enough to go in the oven, broiler and freezer.
- The Smartnest Hard Anodized aluminum and stainless steel 11-piece nonstick collections are durable cookware sets specially designed for easy storing. And stainless steel exteriors won’t discolor.
- The 9-piece Hammered collection is made with stainless copper tri-ply. The stainless interior and exterior, plus aluminum core, distributes heat while eliminating hot spots.
T-Fal has been named a best budget cookware brand. You can get their 12-piece collection of nonstick pots and pans for less than $100. The company is credited with creating some of the first nonstick frying pans and cookware. Founder Marc Grégoire had been adding a nonstick coating to his fishing gear for years. In 1954, his wife said he should do the same to her pots and pans. Two years later, they launched T-fal.
CNet, a reliable name in product reviews, says T-fal is one of the best cookware brands in the under $100 category. Adding, “For those outfitting their first home, a budget-friendly cookware set might be more practical.” Everything a beginner needs to kick-off a home-chef career is in this line. This lightweight aluminum set has the company’s signature titanium advanced nonstick finish. So your cooked food literally slides right out of the pan.
T-fal’s pans also have a Thermo-Spot heat indicator. The pattern inside the pot turns red when your pan preheats to the desired temperature. “Appropriately pre-heating your pan is the key to perfect cooking,” says T-fal—and anyone else who has ever ruined dinner. The temperature indicator is also a popular safety feature.
What you can expect with T-fal cookware
- Thermo-spot technology makes cooking easier and safer
- Durable, scratch-resistant cookware
- Versatile pots and pans cook on gas, electric, glass and induction cooktops
- Goes from cooktop to oven, up to 350-degrees
- Evenly heats throughout
- Nonstick surfaces are easy to clean and dishwasher safe
- Cool-to-the-touch silicone handles
Professional chefs favor copper cookware because of their durability and appearance. Copper pots and pans are able to heat up quickly and evenly. And there’s an added economical benefit to cooking with copper cookware. Thanks to it’s incredible conducting capacity, it uses about half of the electricity or gas than cookware made with other metals. This is exactly what you’ll get when you bring home a set of Calphalon copper pots and pans.
Calphalon bills itself as the “approachable culinary expert in kitchenware.” The company launched in 1963 to manufacture aluminum cookware for commercial kitchens. They moved into retail in the mid 1970s after gaining notoriety in professional culinary circles. Throughout the years, Calphalon has introduced consumers to nonstick, hard anodized and tri-ply home cookware lines.
What you can expect with Calphalon cookware
Calphalon’s T10 line is made with durable tri-ply construction. The bottom copper layer is for aesthetics but also, it distributes heat quickly. The middle aluminum-core layer distributes heat evenly. And the pots’ interior surfaces are nonstick stainless steel with a mirror brush finish.