A chef’s kitchen requires the right set of tools, so nothing is more essential than a good quality cookware set. Prepared kitchens will have a variety of sauté pans, stock pots, saucepans, and chef pans. Each piece should be well designed for strength, function, and, of course, aesthetics.
Whether you want to revamp your kitchen with better quality cookware, or you’re moving into your first home and need to stock up quickly—we’ve selected the best cookware sets for the prepared home chef. We found great nonstick options, classic traditional European cookware, and fully loaded high-quality sets, so something works no matter your culinary aspirations.
Best for smaller kitchens: Calphalon Premier Space Saving Nonstick 15 Piece Set
This cookware set is a comprehensive selection of pots and flat tempered glass lids. The pans and pots are designed to be able to stack in any order (as long as they’re from the same diameter group). The stackable quality makes for easy storage and space saving in cabinets and cupboards. They can be washed in the dishwasher and used in the oven up to 450 degrees. The three-layer interior can withstand the scrap of metal utensils, which is unique for nonstick cookware.
Best for the traditional chef: Cuisinart French Classic Tri-Ply Stainless 13-Piece Cookware Set
This impressive 13-piece set includes sauté pans, stockpots, skillets, and pasta insert. The sturdy stainless steel construction and design of the handles made this an attractive looking cookware set, straight out of a professional kitchen. Made in France, this set uses tri-ply stainless steel with an aluminum core to allow for heat to be evenly distributed. It can be used in ovens up to 500 degrees and is dishwasher, freezer, and induction cooktop-safe.
Most stylish: Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper 18/10 Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set
This 10-piece cookware set comes with 2 skillets, 2 saucepans, a sauté pan, and a stockpot. The pans are designed with three layers of metal, stainless steel interior, aluminum core, and hammered copper exterior which gives the set a unique and beautiful look. The edges of the pan are rolled to make for easy pouring. Note that the hammered copper will become discolored with use and requires a special copper cleaning solution (but instructions are provided by the manufacturer).
Best for the eclectic gourmet: All-Clad 60090 Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set
This cookware set provides a good variety of fry pans, sauce pans, sauté pans, and chef’s pans in varying sizes, as well as a handy stockpot. The pieces are designed with a 5-ply construction to allow for strength and even heating, using stainless steel, aluminum, and a copper core. Oven safe up to a scorching 600 degrees, each piece of cookware can also be used in the dishwasher. This versatile set is a great investment that will prepare your kitchen for years of performance.
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