The 7 Best Nonstick Cookware Sets For Your Money

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    Our Top Choice...

    Key Features

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      Durable, quick to heat, oven safe cookware set up to 400°F.
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      Bake in just 2 hours and 25 minutes
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      Easy to grip handles and lids
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      Great value for your money

    cooking in nonstick pan

    Nonstick cookware is a bit of an odd duck, with one of the hugest swings in quality of any kind of product in existence.

    This is in large part due to there being a variety of completely different methods for making nonstick cookware in the first place, some of which are cheap but don’t last long, and others that are far more durable.

    For that reason, we’re going to go over the common methods for making nonstick cookware work in the first place, the pros and cons of each method, and what you should look for in a good cookware set in general before we jump straight into the best nonstick cookware sets on the market.

     

    For the complete product list, please continue reading...


      7 Best Nonstick Cookware Sets Reviews

    Specifications:

    • Set includes: 1 quart saucepan with lid, 2 quart saucepan with lid, 6 quart stockpot with lid, 8.5” frying pan, 10” frying pan, 3 quart sauté pan with lid, slotted spoon, fish flipper.
    • Materials: hard anodized aluminum, silicone (handles and utensils).
    • Total weight: 16.55 lbs.

    I like this set quite a bit. It looks nice, with a muted gray color contrasted by the deep red handles giving it a good subtle flair. This is great “hang up in your kitchen” cookware that you don’t need to hide under a counter.

    The looks, of course, are secondary, but they don’t mar the actual construction of the set at all. They’re all oven safe, even taking into account the soft heat resistant handles you get.

    All of the cookware is made of a hard anodized aluminum, which is great for long term durability and retention of the nonstick surface.

    This cookware set is all around just solid. It’s thick and weighty but still distributes heat very well, heating up fast and retaining that heat for very long periods of time.

    Even the price isn’t that out of this world, though it is a bit higher than the average.

    Pros

    Lightweight and easy to use.
    Extremely hard anodized aluminum construction.
    Good assortment of basic cookware.
    Thick and durable.
    Oven safe up to 400 degrees.
    Comfortable and heat resistant silicone handles.

    Cons

    A bit pricey for what they are.

    Specifications:

    • Set includes: 8” skillet, 10” frying pan, 12.5” frying pan, 1.5 quart saucepan with lid, 2.5 quart saucepan with lid, 3 quart chef’s pan, 3 quart sauté pan with lid, 6 quart stockpot with lid.
    • Materials: anodized aluminum (exterior), titanium and ceramic (interior), stainless steel (handles).
    • Total weight: 26.1 lbs

    Rounding us out is this offering from Gotham Steel, with a very high quality set.

    If you break down pricing into low price, a “midrange” price point, and a high end price, this is somewhere in between that and the highest end, with a price just a bit below our best sets, similar to the Calphalon set below.

    I like this one a bit better than Calphalon’s 10 piece set. It has a bit of a sturdier build to it here, with heavy duty anodized aluminum construction and a combination of titanium and ceramic for the cooking surface., making it harder to scratch and leave as no longer being nonstick.

    The handles a great, a cool to the touch stainless steel. Rounding things off all of these are oven safe, giving you a lot more versatility in what you can do with them.

    For the price, these are an excellent cookware set you shouldn’t miss out on if you’re willing to shell out a bit more than the minimum amount of dough for it.

    Pros

    PTFE, PFOA and PFOS free
    Heavy duty construction

    Cons

    Not compatible with induction stovetops

    Specifications:

    • Materials: anodized aluminum (cookware), silicone (inserts).
    • Set includes: 8” frying pan, 10” frying pan, 2.5 quart saucepan with lid, 3 quart sauté pan with lid, 6 quart stockpot with lid, 2 “no boil over” inserts.
    • Total weight: 19.14 lbs

    This is a pretty nice set overall. You have all the major components you need in a cookware set: skillets, saucepan, sauté pan and a big saucepot. They have well made handles and good lids, though I’m not a huge fan of the lid handles; they’re a bit thin and uncomfortable, and heat up quite a bit.

    The overall construction is good, anodized aluminum with a solid, sturdy nonstick coating on it. I like that the pots have measurements built straight into the side, it makes it way easier to quickly cook some things that call for precise measures of water or some other liquid.

    The other major standout feature here is the interesting silicone inserts it comes with. They’re made to prevent spillover in things that have a tendency to boil over, like peas and potatoes, by breaking up the foam that rises off of these foods.

    Given everything you get with this set, it’s potentially worth the price. They’re well made, high end nonstick cookware, but unless you’re starting from scratch with new cookware, it’s difficult to justify the pricing here.

    Pros

    Well made and durable.
    Good handles makes for easy maneuvering.
    Nonstick coating is thick and hard to scratch.
    Included no boil over insert is a handy gadget.

    Cons

    High price point.

    Specifications:

    • Set includes: 4” mini frying pan (“egg pan”), 7” frying pan, 9.5” frying pan, 1 quarts saucepan with lid, 2 quart saucepan with lid, 5 quart stockpot with lid, 2.5 quart sauté pan with lid, 7” stainless steel steamer, spatula, fish flipper, slotted spoon, ladle.
    • Materials: aluminum and ceramic, silicone (handles and utensils).
    • Total weight: 14.72 lbs.

    If you want a good midrange set, this is a great one to look at. They’re well made, with aluminum bodies and ceramic nonstick interiors that work very well unless you go out of your way to really scratch them up.

    The handles are a nice rigid silicone, sturdier than what you often find on the cheaper cookware sets on the market. My only real gripe with this set is the choice of sizes on the frying pans; you get a 7” one and a 9.5” one, both a bit smaller than the usual average size (8” and 10”), which make them a bit awkward to use. It doesn’t sound like it’s a lot smaller, but you can really feel it in action with certain foods that might be a perfect size for a 10” pan but don’t quite fit well into a 9.5” one, like many fish.

    Still, that’s not enough to stop me from recommending this set. It’s well made, it comes in a variety of very nice colors, and it’s a perfect set to get if you’re looking to go up one level form the cheapest stuff around without making a full deep dive into the highest quality cookware on the market.

    Pros

    Good performance; made of solid quality aluminum, ceramic, and silicone.
    Reasonable midrange pricing.
    Easy to handle; very lightweight.
    Sturdy and well built.
    Comes in a variety of nice pastel colors.

    Cons

    Utensils are cheaply made and weirdly shaped; very poor quality.
    Not as heavy duty as the higher end cookware sets on the list.

    Specifications:

    • Set includes: 5 quart Dutch oven with lid, 3 quart saucepan with lid, 3 quart steamer insert, 2 quart saucepan with lid, 1 quart saucepan with lid, 3.5 quart deep sauté pan with lid, 11.5” frying pan with lid, 10” frying pan, 9” frying pan, egg pan, 10.25” square griddle.
    • Materials: anodized aluminum with silicone handles.
    • Total weight: 13.08 lbs.

    This is a great set. You get an excellent variety of useful items here, with not just the standard items, but an egg pan, a square griddle pan, and a steamer insert.

    The handles are silicone here; highly heat resistant and well riveted, but more likely to deteriorate than the usual stainless steel. It’s a bit of a give and take.

    A final nice feature is the red ring in the middle. As the pan heats up, the center will turn a brighter red to indicate when it’s the perfect temperature. This isn’t a feature I’ve ever really needed, but it can’t hurt, and it’s perfect for beginner cooks to give them a vague idea of how long a pan takes to pre-heat.

    It’s very difficult to find a better set for the price you’re paying here. It’s a great value.

    Pros

    Lightweight and easy to use.
    Good price.
    Silicone handles are heat resistant and soft.
    Handy heat ring in the middle turns redder as heat increases.

    Cons

    Silicone handles deteriorate faster than steel ones.

    Specifications:

    • Set includes: 8” frying pan, 10“ frying pan, 1.5 quart saucepan with lid, 2 quart saucepan with lid, 3 quart casserole pan with lid
    • Materials: aluminum
    • Total weight: 8.23 lbs

    If you’re looking for the absolute bare minimum, this is it. That’s not to say these are bad, by any means. They serve their purpose well, and most importantly: cheaply.

    That’s what you’re getting yourself into here. These are well enough made, with decent enough construction. The soft touch handles are sturdy enough, but basic, as the product name implies. Speaking from experience, the only real maintenance you’ll need is to screw the handles back on tightly every now and then.

    There’s not a whole ton of other details to really talk about. The assortment is solid, the handles on the lids are decent, the aluminum construction is lightweight and easy to handle. They’re just all around decent and very cheap cookware.

    Pros

    Extremely cheap.
    Good starter or “throwaway” set for beginner cooks.
    Lightweight and easy to move.
    Decent variety.

    Cons

    Very cheap and almost disposable construction.

    Specifications:

    • Set includes: 1.5 quart saucepan with lid, 2.5 quart saucepan with lid, 3 quart sauté pan with lid, 6 quart stockpot with lid, 8” skillet, 10” skillet, 18 cm steamer insert.
    • Materials:  aluminum and ceramic, silicone (handles)
    • Total weight: 17.9 lbs.

    These are great. Instead of a flimsy nonstick coating here, you get a nice titanium reinforced ceramic that sticks onto the aluminum shell very easily and gives you a very even heating surface.

    They’re technically oven safe, to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, but that’s not super useful. What is more useful is they’re also freezer safe, allowing for easy storage.

    The tapered edges are quite nice, allowing for easy pouring of liquids out of the main pot.

    The lids are a nice tempered glass as well, giving this entire set a great amount of durability, excellent for people who have fumble fingers like I do.

    Overall, and especially for the relatively very low price, this is one of my favorite nonstick cookware sets on the market.

    Pros

    Very durable construction of both the pots and lids.
    Easy to use and lightweight.
    Good thick ceramic nonstick coating.
    Very reasonable price.

    Cons

    A little less durable than high end sets.

    Final Verdict

    Rachael Ray 87630

    All of these sets have their own merits. I’ll stick by my choices o Rachael Ray Cucina set an the Gotham Steel set as my winner and runner up, but it was an incredibly tough call, particularly as the Calphalon set only falls a little bit short of  the Gotham Steel cookware set.

    The others are overall lower quality than any of these 3, but they also occupy vastly different price points, giving everyone an option within their price range and budget that works well. Cookware is one of those things it always pays to pay a little extra for when you can, but sometimes that’s just not possible, and the cheaper sets will always treat you well in a pinch.


    What Do You Look for in Nonstick Cookware?

    In many ways, what you look for in nonstick cookware is exactly the same as what you look for in any other cookware set. You want something sturdy, that can stand the test of time. You want a good variety of different pieces of cookware for anything you’d care to cook, and you want a good price for it.

    The “sturdy” part is hugely important, but unlike other cookware, is going to vary mostly based on one factor: how the nonstick properties were achieved in the first place. So let’s go over them.

    Different Kinds of Nonstick Cookware

    The two major kinds of nonstick surface are going to be PTFE, commonly known by the name brand “Teflon”, and a mix of ceramic and titanium bonded with a different surface (usually aluminum).

    Of these, PTFE is by far the lesser method, for a variety of reasons.

    PTFE is very easy to scratch, and once scratched becomes less and less able to remain nonstick. This means nonstick cookware created by using a PTFE coating are going to last a significantly shorter time than higher end cookware as the central surface is scratched and flaked away.

    This also presents a health concern, as the weaker bond can burn off, releasing fumes, or get into food when scratched with a spatula or something. In general, a PTFE coating is undesirable, and should only be accepted in the cheapest cookware, because not matter how good everything else is, the PTFE is inherently flawed.

    Nonstick ceramic is therefore going to be our preferred options. It’s more durable, safer, looks nice, and even provides slightly better heating, since ceramic is quite a good conductor on its own.

    Ceramic nonstick pans are made, as mentioned previously, by combining a mix of titanium and ceramic, which is sandblasted onto the existing pan base (usually some kind of aluminum) and then fired at very high temperatures to permanently bond it to the aluminum.

    This results in an intensely strong material that is safe in a variety of temperatures (ceramic nonstick cookware is going to be oven and sometimes even freezer safe), can withstand years of use and abuse, and remains nonstick for its entire lifespan unless you make one of the common blunders (like cutting your meat with a knife while it’s still in the pan).

    Price

    Price, in part, depends on what you’re getting with the set (the variety of the cookware), combined with the quality of the materials.

    Prices for sets like these fall into what I generally refer to as cheap or inexpensive sets, “midrange” sets, and high end or expensive sets.

    A cheap, basic set of cookware is going to cost you around $50 on average, sometimes a bit less. Midrange sets are going to be more than that, usually somewhere in the $100 to $120 range, and high end sets can cost $200 or more.

    I don’t think any of these price ranges is inherently better than the others; a lot of people don’t need a high end set of cookware. It’s just good to know exactly what your budget is before jumping into a purchase, because the “best” set might well be more than you’re willing to pay.