The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets Of 2022

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A good set of pots and pans is the backbone of any kitchen. Without these essential tools, cooking would be practically impossible. Which makes you wonder: What kind of vessels did our ancestors use to boil water? As it turns out, some research at Paleolithic sites suggests that fire-heated rocks were dropped into animal hides filled with water until it boiled (via The Atlantic). Luckily for us, we don't have to go through all of that trouble since we have plenty of premium cookware at our fingertips.

Stainless steel is a stellar choice when it comes to scoring some new pots and pans. That's because stainless steel is durable, non-reactive, and heats quickly (via Misen). There are a wide range of other features that should be considered in a stainless steel cookware set, such as how many pieces it comes with, how many layers of metal it contains, and the level of quality it offers in relation to the price tag.

How we selected products

We sifted through countless products to curate this list, using a vast spectrum of factors to decide which stainless steel cookware sets are truly some of the very best on the market. One of the most crucial aspects we considered was affordability — after all, what good is a cookware set that's beyond your price range? For this reason, we were careful to select stainless steel cookware sets that run the gamut from the cheaper side for those on a tighter budget to higher-end sets for those willing to make a bigger investment in something top-notch.

Of course, other factors were also taken into consideration. The amount and variety of pieces offered in each collection, the level of portability for those in need of a set that can travel well, and variations in layers of metal and thickness were all deciding factors. User reviews, chef recommendations, and general popularity were also analyzed. At the end of the day, there should be a stainless steel cookware set on here for everybody, regardless of budget, experience, or the amount of space in your kitchen. Read on to take a good look at some of the best stainless steel cookware sets of 2022. All prices were accurate as of July 2022.

Best overall stainless steel cookware set

Let's cut right to the chase: You're probably looking for a stainless steel cookware set that has it all — something built to last that's affordable and easy to cook with. Look no further than this 12-piece stainless steel cookware set from Cuisinart.

This is a 3-ply clad stainless steel cookware set. For those unaware, cladding is the process of bonding and arranging different metals together. The ply number reflects the number of metal layers in the piece of cookware (via Made In). In most cases, the outer layers are made of stainless steel to take advantage of its non-reactivity, while the core is made of aluminum to maximize the cookware's heat retention. One thing that sets this stainless steel cookware collection apart is its "heat surround technology," which means that it doesn't just retain heat at the bottom of the pan — it's also designed to distribute heat along the sidewalls of the cookware.

This Cuisinart stainless steel cookware set comes with different saucepans, skillets, and saute pans, along with an eight-quart stockpot and a steamer insert. When it comes to aesthetics, the polished surfaces on each piece gleam with an impressive brilliance that's professional looking and highly pleasing to the eye. Oven-safe up to 550 Fahrenheit and equipped with grooved rims that assist in smooth pouring, this stainless steel cookware set is worth every penny.

You can buy the Cuisinart 12-piece stainless steel cookware set on Amazon for $229.

Best budget stainless steel cookware set

Affordability is one of the most important attributes of any cookware set. For those on a budget, the amount of money a new product costs can be a potential barrier. This financial boundary can make the difference between going without new equipment or deciding to make the purchase. The good news is that we've taken the time to find plenty of low-cost, high-quality stainless steel cookware sets, like this one by Cook N Home.

This 12-piece stainless steel cookware set by Cook N Home comes with a saucepan, three different sizes of saucepots, a stockpot, and a 10-inch saute pan — all with glass lids. The polished mirror surfaces on the pieces of cookware in this set are exceptionally reflective and alluring. Each piece has a thick bottom with an aluminum disc to aid with even heat distribution. With a set like this, you can fry, boil, braise, and saute your way to deliciousness with ease and style — and better yet, you can do it without breaking the bank. Just don't mistake the cheap price for a lack of quality: Once you cook with this set, you'll see for yourself how top-notch these pots and pans are.

Purchase the Cook N Home 12-piece stainless steel cookware set for only $90.

Best variety stainless steel cookware set

The amount of variety provided in a stainless steel cookware set should be one of the key factors in the decision process. Some stainless steel cookware sets come with just the basics, while others come with a wider range of accessories that can provide you with some much-needed tools for your kitchen. This impressive 18-piece stainless steel cookware set by Kitchen Academy comes with some extra tools that make this deal an exceptional value.

The stainless steel pieces in this set are 3-ply, with an aluminum core bonded in between two layers of stainless steel. The stainless steel pieces include two saucepans, two saute pans, and a stockpot — all beautifully polished and accompanied with matching glass lids, one of which also functions as a strainer. This set even goes a step further by also providing you with two different non-stick frying pans to sweeten the pot. Even better, it includes a variety of handy utensils like spatulas, slotted spoons, a meat fork, and a whisk. If you're in need of a stainless steel cookware set that offers just about everything you need to get started in the kitchen, this deal is right up your alley.

You can buy the Kitchen Academy 18-piece stainless steel cookware set on Amazon for $190.

Best basic stainless steel cookware set

Variety is great, but it may not be entirely necessary depending on your circumstances. Sometimes all you're really looking for is a set that offers a few top-notch pans to update your kitchen with. This set of stainless steel cookware by Misen offers high-quality pieces to ensure that the basics are covered in your kitchen.

This five-piece set of stainless steel cookware by Misen is 5-ply with three layers of aluminum bonded at the center of the pans to facilitate an even distribution of heat. There is an advantage to having thicker pots and pans like this because the extra distance between the heat source and the cooking surface allows the heat to disperse more gradually (via Fine Cooking). Better heat retention creates more consistent heat, which results in better-cooked food. This set comes with a flat-bottomed frying pan with sloped sides that makes tossing food a breeze. It also comes with a three-quart saute pan with plenty of cooking space and a saucepan with rounded walls. If you're looking for a quick way to upgrade your cooking game, this set is sure to do the trick.

Purchase the Misen five-piece stainless steel cookware set for $225.

Best professional clad stainless steel cookware set

If you're looking for a professional, high-performing set of stainless steel cookware, then look no further. This 12-piece stainless steel cookware set from Legend Cookware uses multi-ply cladding to offer impressive sturdiness and longevity. This set is designed to work on any cooking surface — gas, electric, induction, or even an open fire — to provide you with every possible option. The rivets are also well-constructed and firmly secured to maximize each piece's durability.

For your convenience, this stainless steel cookware set also has interior measuring lines that are easily visible to simplify your cooking process. Safe for the dishwasher and oven safe up to 450 Fahrenheit, this cookware set is also versatile and easy to clean. This set's heavy-duty, custom-fitted lids also seal in steam with a tight fit. A thick aluminum core at the base of the cookware is surrounded by layers of steel to assist balanced heat distribution. To ensure that you're totally confident with your purchase, Legend Cookware has a generous "forever" warranty and insists its cookware should last a lifetime, offering replacements or refunds to anyone who feels this stainless steel cookware set has failed them.

You can buy this 12-piece stainless steel cookware set from Legend Cookware on Amazon for $250.

Best mid-range stainless steel cookware set

Pricewise, sometimes it's best to shoot somewhere in the middle. While cheaper sets are obviously more affordable, sometimes they are made from low-cost materials that aren't designed to withstand the test of time and aren't well-constructed, so the cookware doesn't last very long. On the other hand, more expensive sets can be way too costly without a good enough value to justify their steep price tag. The good news is that this 17-piece stainless steel cookware set from Cuisinart strikes a perfect balance between cost and quality.

This expansive set includes four different saucepans, a saute pan, a stockpot, a dutch oven, three skillets, and a steamer insert along with plenty of matching glass lids. The aluminum core bonded in the middle of the cookware prevents hot spots from forming and assists with even heat distribution. Oven safe up to 500 Fahrenheit, this stainless steel cookware set allows you to bake, steam, fry, boil, and braise until your heart's content. With nearly 3,000 positive reviews, it's clear that this stainless steel cookware set leaves buyers feeling very satisfied with their purchase. Considering how much bang for your buck you get here, this is easily one of the best stainless steel pan deals on the market right now.

Purchase the Cuisinart 17-piece stainless steel cookware set on Amazon for $260.

Best portable stainless steel cookware set

There's no denying that portability has its advantages. This eight-piece stainless steel cookware set was designed with mobility in mind for those of you who love the great outdoors. Even if you aren't into camping, it's still nice to be able to easily move your cookware during those occasions when you're packing up to relocate.

There are a few brilliant features about this collection that make it well-designed and truly exceptional. To start off: the entire set was designed to stack into itself like a Russian doll, which conserves space and allows the set to be extremely compact. To ensure smoothness with this stacking process, the handles are cleverly designed to be foldable and removable. This cookware set comes with three different-sized cooking pots, a steamer, and a frying pan — everything you need to pull off cooking great meals on an epic camping trip. Imagine being outdoors and steaming up some fresh corn or frying up some crispy bacon in a pan over the fire. You can make that dream a reality with this set, then easily stack everything back up and carry it away in its own customized tote bag. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us.

You can buy the Wealers eight-piece stainless steel camping cookware set on Amazon for $121.

Best 3-ply stainless steel cookware set

When you're shopping for stainless steel cookware, it's best to go for a collection that's fully-clad. Fully-clad means that the cookware is made from a mixture of stainless steel and aluminum — usually at least three layers, which is referred to as 3-ply (via Southern Kitchen). The aluminum core and extra thickness all work together for better heat retention. This 3-ply 10-piece stainless steel cookware set from Duxtop features a heavy gauge aluminum core situated between two layers of food-grade stainless steel.

The lids seal tightly to efficiently seal in moisture, each piece is compatible with all kinds of cooking surfaces, and the outer layer is magnetic for induction stovetops. The aluminum core is cladded throughout each piece's sidewalls up to the edges to maximize heat retention. Safe for the dishwasher and the oven up to 500 Fahrenheit, this stainless steel cookware set is versatile, easy on the eyes, very affordable considering its high quality, and has over 1,000 positive reviews from satisfied customers.

Purchase the Duxtop 3-ply stainless steel cookware set on Amazon for $170.

Best 5-ply stainless steel cookware set

5-ply stainless steel cookware goes above and beyond 3-ply. While 3-ply features a single aluminum core sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel, the 5-ply cladding offers three layers of aluminum in the core for even better heat retention (via Made In). This high-quality 10-piece, 5-ply stainless steel set from Viking is one of the best deals out there for any serious cook looking for some professional cookware. But don't just take our word for it — Viking's 5-ply stainless steel cookware was the collection that chef Gordon Ramsay cooked with on his show, "The F Word with Gordon Ramsay" (via Viking Range). And if it's good enough for Gordon Ramsay, it's good enough for the rest of us.

This stainless steel cookware set is made in the USA, has riveted handles for a sturdy grip, and features a stylish satin finish that adds a touch of aesthetic sophistication. The polished surfaces are easy to clean and maintain, the handles are designed to stay cool and comfortable, and everything is safe for the oven. There's no doubt that this stainless steel cookware set is beautiful, practical, and extremely well-designed.

You can buy the Viking 10-piece 5-ply stainless steel cookware set on Amazon for $1,150.

Best high-end stainless steel cookware set

Here we are, the crème de la crème of stainless steel cookware. One special feature that makes this cookware set from All-Clad more efficient is that it has a copper core instead of an aluminum one, which makes it better at conducting heat (via Southern Kitchen). The copper core is surrounded by layers of aluminum and stainless steel to optimize heat retention and responsiveness.

The flared edges along the lips of each piece assist with pouring, the surfaces are polished for stick resistance, and this set will work on any cooking surface. Safe for the oven and broiler up to 600 Fahrenheit, this set can withstand higher temperatures than many other stainless steel cookware collections. Not only does this set have hundreds of positive reviews, but it also comes recommended by chef Chris Hastings, who describes All-Clad as the "best in the class of the cookware industry" for the brand's craftsmanship and durability. This 10-piece set comes with two frying pans, two saucepans, a saute pan, and an eight-quart stockpot — a solid set-up for just about any kitchen. Once you start cooking with this stainless steel cookware set, you'll see what you've been missing out on.

Purchase the All-Clad 10-piece 5-ply stainless steel cookware set on Amazon for $1,499.

Best glass lid stainless steel cookware set

Lids tend to vary between stainless steel cookware sets. Many collections offer stainless steel lids, and while they have the advantage of durability, they also prevent you from seeing inside of the cookware during the cooking process. If you're looking to maximize visibility, then making sure you get a stainless steel cookware set with glass lids is important. This 10-piece stainless steel cookware set from Farberware is a wonderful choice that offers beautiful glass lids with firmly-secured polished stainless steel handles.

With two different saucepans, two frying pans, a saute pan, and a stockpot, this stainless steel cookware set is dishwasher safe and designed for durability. The smooth handles have a wider grip at the end to enhance comfort and control. The glass lids are crystal clear and seal the cookware to efficiently capture steam and moisture, which makes them ideal vessels for braising. Between the simple and elegant shape of this cookware set along with its exceptional performance, this is one deal that you don't want to sleep on.

You can buy the Farberware 10-piece stainless steel cookware set on Amazon for $143.

Best heavy duty stainless steel cookware set

The truth is that most cookware takes beating from continual handling and constant exposure to vastly different temperatures. This heavy-duty, 10-piece, 5-ply stainless steel cookware set from Made In comes with five layers of four different kinds of metal to ensure optimal sturdiness.

Aluminum alloy is at the core of this cookware, surrounded on both sides by pure aluminum to maximize heat retention. The final layers on the exterior of the cookware contain two different types of stainless steel. Made by artisans in the USA and eastern Europe, this set comes with two saucepans, a saute pan, a stock pot, a stainless steel frying pan, and a non-stick frying pan. The stainless steel cookware in this set can withstand up to 800 Fahrenheit in the oven, which is a higher temperature than many other stainless steel collections can offer. Even the non-stick frying pan is oven safe up to 500 Fahrenheit thanks to Made In's nonstick coating which is made without PFOAs (via Made In). At the end of the day, you want a stainless steel cookware set that's strong enough to handle higher temperatures, and this set pulls that off safely and beautifully. Made In cookware also comes highly recommended by several chefs, including Brooke Williamson, Grant Achatz, and Matt Horn (via Made In).

Purchase the Made In 10-piece 5-ply stainless steel cookware set on Amazon for $679.