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The 8 Best Cookware Sets to Buy in 2023

Whether you seek stainless-steel cookware, nonstick skillets, sturdy cast iron or a budget-friendly collection, these are the best cookware sets for 2023.

David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's logged more than a decade writing about all things edible, including meal kits and meal delivery subscriptions, cooking, kitchen gear and commerce. Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the eats business from slicing and dicing as a sous-chef in Rhode Island to leading complex marketing campaigns for major food brands in Manhattan. These days, he's likely somewhere trying the latest this or tasting the latest that - and reporting back, of course. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
Expertise Kitchen tech, cookware, small appliances, food innovation, meal delivery and meal kits.
David Watsky
12 min read
$500 at Amazon
all-clad 7-piece set
All-Clad D3 7-piece set
Best overall cookware set
$500 at Made In
Made in cookware set
Made In's 6-piece starter set
Best cookware set with nonstick and stainless steel
$213 at The Home Depot
tramontina 8 piece cookware set
Tramontina Tri-Ply 8-piece cookware set
Best budget cookware set
$225 at Misen
misen nonstick cookware
Misen 5-piece nonstick set
Best nonstick cookware set
$250 at Walmart
Calphalon nonstick 9-piece set
Best nonstick cookware set for small kitchens
$79 at Amazon
lodge cast iron cookware
Lodge Seasoned 7-piece bundle
Best cast-iron cookware set
$395 at Caraway Home
Caraway ceramic cookware set
Caraway Cookware
Best ceramic cookware set
$60 at Amazon
All-Clad 2-piece nonstick skillet set
Best two-piece nonstick set
$60 at Amazon

What's the best cookware set for 2023?


For a quality cookware set that will last, it doesn't get much better than All-Clad. That's why the iconic kitchen brand's excellent seven-piece D3 stainless steel set is our pick for the best cookware set in 2023. While it's certainly not the cheapest set you'll find (don't worry, we've got a budget pick) this All-Clad bundle represents great value, especially considering quality cookware will last you many years if it's cleaned and cared for properly.

But no two chefs are alike, which means another heap of cookware might be the better fit for your kitchen. From nonstick and stainless steel to cast iron and copper, there are a lot of variables to consider when choosing the best cookware for you and your money. Speaking of money, quality cookware often costs a pretty penny, but you don't have to spend many hundreds to get high-performance pots and pans.

In addition to All-Clad's excellent D3 seven-piece collection, this list features picks in other categories, including a sturdy cast-iron cookware set, a nonstick cookware set and another set featuring both stainless and nonstick pans. So strap on your finest apron and peruse our list of the best cookware sets for 2023.

Best cookware sets for 2023

all-clad 7-piece set

All-Clad D3 7-piece set

Best overall cookware set

If you want some of the best cookware money can buy but don't want to overpay for pots and pans you won't use, this seven-piece stainless-steel set from All-Clad is the one to get. All-Clad cookware consistently impresses in the various testing we do. In fact, the very skillet included in this D3 set nabbed the top spot for best stainless-steel skillet in 2023 with its impressive even heating, sturdy build and comfortable handle. 

This All-Clad D3 stainless-steel cookware set includes the four pots and pans most chefs use most often: a 10-inch frying pan for frying at high heat, a 3-quart saucepan with lid, a 3-quart sauté pan with lid and an 8-quart stockpot with lid. If you were to buy all of these pieces individually, it would cost closer to $550.

All-Clad makes a beefed-up 10-piece set for $700 but this one should be more than enough cookware to see you through most recipes. There's also a pared-down five-piece D3 set for $400.

While it's not exactly a budget buy, All-Clad's D3 line of steel cookware should last for decades if cared for properly, making it a worthwhile investment for a home chef. Each cookware piece is made from three-ply stainless steel with a thick-gauge aluminum core for fast conduction, and riveted stainless-steel handles. The pots and pans are warp-resistant, induction-compatible, dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 600 degrees (without the lids). All-Clad products are made in the US and come with a limited lifetime warranty.

Made In is one of my favorite new players in the cookware space, although the brand makes far more than just cookware. Made In has a number of material types available but the slimmed-down Starter Set is exactly what you need to get off and running, especially if you want an easy nonstick skillet slipped into your collection. 

This fantastic collection at a reasonable price features no superfluous pieces that won't get used and has everything you do need. This six-piece set gets you a 10-inch stainless-steel skillet, a 10-inch nonstick frying pan and a lidded saucepan and stockpot. 

Made In isn't quite in the budget category, but the set won't totally break the bank either. The solid steel construction and sleek design remind me a lot of All-Clad but for less coin. If you're looking for a few really great stainless-steel and nonstick pans to kick off your 2023 cooking journey, this small set will not disappoint.

The 10-piece version of this set is also available and includes a covered sauté pan and a small saucier for $749.

Stainless steel cookware is undeniably nice to look at, but they also deliver in terms of performance, as this metal is incredibly durable. If you're partial to stainless steel, you'll like this eight-piece cookware set from Tramontina, which sports excellent heat distribution and durability at an attractive price. 

In this stainless-steel cookware set, you'll find an 8- and a 10-inch fry pan along with 2- and 3-quart saucepans with lids, plus a 5-quart Dutch oven with lid. The cookware is made from triple-ply stainless steel and features riveted, ergonomic handles. All of the pieces can be put in the dishwasher and are oven-safe up to 500 degrees. Plus, their precision-fitted lids help to lock in flavor, and reviewers say you can't beat this set for price and performance.

I wouldn't recommend paying any less than $200 for a full set as you'll likely wading into bad quality territory with pans that warp and won't come clean no matter how hard you scrub. If this is still out of your budget, consider piecing together a smaller set with one or two good frying pans and adding a stockpot and saucepan, which you can find for cheap.

While nonstick cookware has its limitations, there is something to be said for easy cleanup. You might want to consider having just one trusty nonstick pan, but if you're opting for a full nonstick cookware set, I like Misen's. The coating is extremely durable and the construction is sound. Cheap nonstick coatings will break down easily, sometimes as fast as a year or two.

A quality coating such as the four layers of safe PFOA-free nonstick material on Misen's pans should give you more like four or five years if you keep metal utensils away from it and wash the pans by hand. The pans feature an aluminum core for fast heating and a bonded steel plate for structure and even distribution.

This solid five-piece set with a 10-inch skillet, covered sauté pan and covered saucier for $225 is most of what you'll need in the kitchen. The only piece missing from this Misen set is a stockpot, but you can find a good stockpot for $20 or $30.

If you're looking for more hardware, there are nine-piece and 12-piece sets available. For a more budget-friendly option, Calphalon makes a reliable 10-piece nonstick set for around $200.

A large collection of cookware can quickly take over your kitchen cabinets, and if you live in a smaller home or apartment, the Space Saving collection from Calphalon will be your best friend. These pans are specially designed to stack together neatly, taking up 30% less space.

This nine-piece set consists of 8- and 10-inch fry pans, a 2.5-quart saucepan with cover, a 3-quart sauté pan with cover, a 4-quart chef's pan and a 5-quart Dutch oven with cover. The pans are made from hard-anodized aluminum with a nonstick finish, and what's unique is that they're metal utensil-friendly -- there are multiple layers of the nonstick finish to resist scratching when they're stacked. The pieces have silicone grip handles, and you can pop them in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

There's also a seven-piece version of this same set at Walmart for $190 if this feels like too much cookware. The smaller set is the fry pan, chef's pan and stockpot with lids and a few utensils. And a stainless steel version of this stackable Calphalon set can be had for $270.

lodge cast iron cookware

Lodge Seasoned 7-piece bundle

Best cast-iron cookware set

With the ability to hold on to heat as well as some people hold on to grudges, cast-iron cookware is ideal for searing burgers, steaks and chicken. It's also durable as heck and will develop both a seasoning and a natural nonstick patina over time.

Lodge is as safe a bet as there is when it comes to cast iron and you won't have to spend loads to get a small set of this legacy cookware. This $86 cast-iron set consists of a 10.5-inch griddle, 10.25-inch grill pan and 10.25-inch skillet. You'll also get a silicone pot holder, handle mitt and two pan scrapers that are safe to use on cast iron.

The pans are all preseasoned so you can jump right into your favorite recipes. Cast iron needs a little extra attention when it comes to care and cleaning. See our guides for how to perfectly season and safely clean a cast-iron skillet so your trusty stovetop sidekick will stay with you for decades.

Read more: I Tried 2 Lighter Cast-Iron Cookware Options. Here's What I thought

Ceramic has become rather popular as a more natural alternative to traditional nonstick cookware like Teflon. While it typically starts out great, ceramic will likely lose its nonstick properties faster than Teflon and it often costs more.

That said, this sleek Caraway ceramic cookware set gets style points and it's as durable as any ceramic set I've used. Caraway's pots and pans held up well, even after months of use. If you covet easy, nonstick cookware but are iffy on the chemicals that are used, ceramic cookware is probably your best bet. Ceramic coating has become the darling of the amateur kitchen cookware world since it's nontoxic and as easy to clean as any other surface.

For less than $400, this Caraway set includes a 10.5-inch fry pan, 3-quart saucepan, 4.5-quart sauté pan and 6.5-quart Dutch oven. It also comes with a smart magnetized storage rack and canvas lid for keeping your cookware organized. You can buy the pieces individually, but you'll get the best bargain when you snag a set.


All-Clad 2-piece nonstick skillet set

Best two-piece nonstick set

If you don't need an entire kitchen cookware set, you might think about nabbing one or two frying pans. I love All-Clad's nonstick frying pans with comfortable handles and relatively tough PFOA-free coating. For quick stir-fries, omelets, pancakes and reheating leftovers these are my go-to skillets. In this set, you'll get the versatile 10.5-inch pan and the 12-inch version for larger meals.

How we test and evaluate cookware sets

Testing and evaluating cookware sets at CNET works a bit differently than with other kitchen and cookware categories. Rather than run every piece of cookware from every set through cooking trials, I'm able to use the intel gathered from my exhaustive testing of frying pans for best lists and reviews. Frying pans are the most critical piece in any cookware set and are often constructed using the same materials and methods as the rest. Because of that, I can determine the quality of a full set based on the performance of its key component -- the frying pan.

two piles of skillets on a table

We've pulled intel from our extensive skillet testing to find the best full cookware sets in 2022.

David Watsky/CNET

Why the frying pans matter most

Don't get me wrong, stockpots and saucepans are important but, in truth, attributes such as quality construction, even heating and heat retention won't affect their performance the way they will a frying pan, sauté pan or skillet. A stockpot, for example, is mainly used to boil water for pasta or for cooking potatoes or shelled seafood. The materials used won't affect how well it does this very much. Carefully pan-frying a cut of good steak or piece of fish in a skillet? Well, that's another story.

After considerating the frying pans in these sets via our testing of cast-iron pans, nonstick cookware and stainless-steel skillets, I then looked at the makeup of the rest of the set, including how many pieces are included and how much it costs. I always take value into consideration but it won't trump quality. 

stacks of skillets on a stovetop

There's no piece of cookware more essential than the stainless-steel skillet. 

David Watsky/CNET

Don't get stuck with a bloated cookware set

One big consideration is what pieces are included and if they are essential to your kitchen or not. There are cookware sets as big as 14 pieces but they are generally going to have lots of pots and pans in a range of sizes that you probably won't use. I wouldn't suggest going bigger than eight or nine pieces (this includes lids counted as pieces) unless you have both the space and money for all those extras. 

Best cookware set FAQs

Is it cheaper to buy a full cookware set?

This depends, but it usually is cheaper to buy a set. Most kitchen and cookware brands offer a discount when you purchase a full set of pots and pans versus buying each piece individually. Our favorite set, the All-Clad D3 seven-piece, would cost about $50 more if you bought each piece of cookware individually. The difference will vary based on the brand and the specific set but you can expect to save some money when buying a cohesive set.

Is it better to buy a full cookware set?

While some prefer to curate their cookware collection piece by piece and, in some cases, that makes good sense, especially for experienced chefs who know exactly what they want in each piece. But there are distinct advantages to buying a full set of cookware in one fell swoop. For one, you'll save money (see above) since most brands offer a discount for the set versus buying each piece individually. You'll also get the benefit of consistency and become more familiar with the cookware type faster -- be it Teflon, ceramic, aluminum, cast iron or stainless steel -- with less time spent adjusting from pan to pan. Finally, there's an aesthetic bonus since all your cookware will match in whichever style you choose. 

What's the best cookware material?

The most important decision you'll make is what cookware material your set is made from. Cookware is commonly constructed from aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel, copper, nonstick chemical compounds (Teflon) or a combination of several materials. As you might guess, each type of cookware surface has its pros and cons as it relates to cooking, cleaning, durability and storage.

Aluminum cookware is cheap, for example, but it is not very durable and I wouldn't buying recommend a fully aluminum set. Stainless-steel pots and pans will better withstand abuse and won't warp or dent like aluminum. Stainless steel is also a slow conductor of heat, which is why steel pans often have a core made from a more conductive material such as aluminum or copper. 

For most people, stainless-steel cookware fitted with an aluminum core will be the best material composition for a set. Materials such as copper and cast iron have advantages but also some serious pitfalls. Cast iron and carbon steel are both a bit heavy and require slightly more involved cleaning and care, so you might not want an entire set. Copper cookware is also more difficult to care for and generally costs much more than its stainless-steel counterparts.

Nonstick is another popular option. I recommend having at least one nonstick skillet -- either Teflon or ceramic -- for eggs and other sticky foods. That said, you'll never be able to sear food using nonstick the way you can with other materials, so keep that in mind if you're opting for a fully nonstick cookware set. It also won't last as long since nonstick coatings break down over time.

What size cookware set should you get?

You'll also want to think about what specific pieces you need and how big of a set to buy. If you already own a stockpot or small skillet you love, for example, you might want to look for a smaller set without those to save money. You'll likely want a 10-inch frying pan, stockpot, saucepan and covered sauté pan. The most common additions to these basic four are larger and smaller frying pans and saucepans. 

Make sure to carefully look at what's included in each cookware set, as many brands count lids as separate pieces and even count small utensils like spoons and spatulas as part of the set. I've included a few picks for smaller sets in case you're after frying pans only and not the whole cookware kit and kaboodle.

What is the best cookware coating?

Then you have to consider the cookware coating. Do you prefer enameled cast-iron over regular cast-iron cookware? Do you find cast iron too heavy and time-consuming to season and clean? Nonstick pans with coatings such as ceramic and Teflon make cleanup much easier, but nonstick will wear out much faster than other materials and may not allow you to sear steaks and burgers quite like cast iron or stainless steel.

Other important considerations include the type of stove you have -- not all cookware works on an induction cooktop, for instance -- and what you plan to cook regularly. Some cookware is dishwasher-safe, oven-safe or both while other sets need to be cared for by hand or can't withstand certain types of heat.

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