The Best Cookware Sets of 2023
Outfitting your kitchen can be a time and money extensive process. Most people never finish outfitting their kitchen, and adjust and adapt to their cooking habits, equipment available, and taste. However, if you are in the process of moving, or learning to cook, you may want to add several pieces to your kitchen repertoire at once. Cookware sets are an excellent way to quickly expand your pot and pan collection but finding the right cookware set can also require a time and money investment. That is why we are bringing you this list of some of the best cookware sets available in 2023.
If you are looking for frying pans or other handy kitchen essentials to round out your kitchen, we have made lists of our favourite fry pans and our top 15 kitchen essentials to help out.
Our top picks
What to look for in a cookware set
Since a cookware set is made up of a lot of pieces, there might be several factors that you should consider when shopping for a brand-new cooking set. We recommend thinking about each individual piece included in a cookware set and how you may use it in the kitchen, before considering other factors. Ideally, a cookware set should have most of the basic pieces you need to start cooking your favourite meals, while being well-built and at a price that you can afford.
- Components: Most kitchenware sets feature at least one skillet, at least one covered saucepan and typically one larger covered stock pot, for 5 pieces total (lids are counted in the number of pieces included). Additional skillets, sauté pans, saucepans and extras like utensils or steaming baskets then will typically round out the cookware lineup. Whichever set has the most pieces you think will use will probably be the one that will suit you best.
- Cost: Cookware sets are an investment, as a quality set will set you back a couple hundred dollars. Some cookware sets are more expensive than others, but if they prove to be more durable, you can save money long term by buying quality from the get-go. However, caring for your kitchen equipment is a skill in its own, and if you are still learning the basics, it will be a smarter idea to start with something cheaper that can handle more abuse.
- Material: Cookware sets all include a collection of pots, pans, and sometimes utensils. However, all the pieces within a cookware set typically share similar construction and materials. Knowing what you want from your pots and pans is important. Personally, I prefer stainless steel pots and pans for their durability and easiness to cook with, but beginner chefs or people who do not cook often will make best use from a non-stick cookware set. Overall, we think a well-equipped kitchen has a range of cookware of varying designs, materials and purposes.
Why trust us
It is our goal in creating this list that there would be at least one cookware set that would be ideal for most people. We spent over 10 hours researching cookware sets and the different advantages of different pieces of kitchenware. We backed up our findings with professional product analysis and verified online reviews of users. Additionally, I am experienced in kitchen settings, both professionally and in my home, working in restaurant kitchens for over five years and being a passionate home chef in my spare time.
The best budget cookware set
T-Fal Signature Cookware Set
This T-Fal non-stick cookware set offers a lot of versatility, with the easy to wash and use performance of non-stick, making it great for sending with someone moving out for the first time.
Made from anodized aluminum with a Teflon-free non-stick surface on the inside and out, these pans provide solid heat-distribution while being easy to cook with. These pans are light weight and comfortable, and are equipped with heat-resistant handles, allowing these pans to be oven safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
This 12-piece cookware set includes a 10-inch and 7.75-inch fry pan, a 10-inch griddle pan, 1- & 2-quart saucepan with lids and a larger 5.5-quart Dutch oven with a lid. Rounding out the set is three different cooking tools. This lineup includes all the basics, making it an excellent choice for your first kitchen.
However, there are a few reasons that I do not really like non-stick cookware sets myself. First, most non-sticks do not have a long lifespan, and when the non-stick wears off, you are usually left with a useless, sticky pan. Secondly, non-stick only is advantageous when cooking with certain foods. Eggs, bacon, grilled cheese – all foods that benefit from a non-stick surface. But Non-stick surfaces typically do not take well to high heat, metal utensils and acidic food, and having all your pans non-stick can be limiting.
Overall, users love the ease of cooking and cleaning with this cookware set, as well as the affordability. Users have noted that these pans all tend to be on the smaller side of things, so they are better for college students and young adults than people with families. There are also issues with these pans wearing out quickly, with many users enjoying their favourite piece of this set for 6 months until the non-stick coating wears off. If you are looking for a little bit more reliability and long-term use in your cookware set, opt to buy a cookware set made from a different material and get a separate non-stick pan if you need to.
- Easy to use.
- Easy to clean.
- Prone to wear.
- Included pots are on the smaller side of things.
Best non-stick cookware set
Cuisinart Advantage 11-piece Set
The Cuisinart Advantage cookware set is also tied for our choice for Best rated cookware set.
Another quality non-stick cookware set from a brand everyone knows, this Cuisinart 11-Piece cookware set is our favourite non-stick set for what is included. While non-stick cookware sets in general are not our favourite, they are a great place for beginners in the kitchen to start with.
Like most non-stick pots and pans, the Cuisinart pans here are also made from anodized aluminum for solid heat distribution and non-reactivity. With Cuisinart’s non-stick interior, you can cook with minimal or low oil thanks to its strong non-stick performance. With handles with a secure and comfy grip that stay cool on the stovetop, and glass lids that are tight fitting to seal in the flavours.
Included in this cookware set is a 10-inch skillet, 1-quart covered saucepan, 2-quart covered saucepan, 3-quart covered saucepan, 3-quart covered sauté pan and 6-quart stockpot with cover. We like the extra sauce pots we get over the T-Fal non-stick set, however this set features a noted reduction in versatility, only offering pots and pans.
Users really enjoy cooking with this cookware set for the most part – the cookware included is light, easy to use, and as easy to clean. However, Cuisinart tends to offer “induction compatible” cookware that is anything but, and many users were disappointed to find that this cookware set did not work with their induction stove. For most users, this will be a solid non-stick cookware set that gives a lot of versatility in your kitchen.
- Easy To Use.
- Easy To Clean.
- Not induction compatible.
- Prone to wear.
Best ceramic cookware sets
Blue Diamond Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set
While I may not feel that non-stick cookware sets are something I need in my kitchen, many people love the ease of use and cleaning that non-stick pans can provide. If you are looking for non-stick performance without the Teflon layer most non-stick pans use, we think that ceramic non-sticks provide a few advantages over more traditional non-stick pans. This Blue Diamond set both performs admirably for a ceramic non-stick cookware set and provides lots of versatility.
This pan combines an aluminum construction with a naturally derived ceramic non-stick layer that is advertised as being infused with diamonds. These pans provide non-stick that is on par for Teflon, without the risk of fumes being released at higher temperatures. Because of this, this pan is effectively oven safe 850 degrees Fahrenheit, way beyond any reasonable oven application.
With two non-stick fry pans, a 1 qt- saucepan, a covered skillet, covered stockpot and included tools, this cooking set offers a decent amount of versatility. Each lid features a glass construction that allows you to safety monitor whatever you are cooking.
Users really enjoy the non-stick quality, ease of cleaning and affordability of this cookware set. However, there are a few flaws that users have brought up, including a handle that can get quite hot when used on a burner, so breaking out your oven mitts is a good idea with these pots and pans. Blue Diamond also advertises that the bottoms of their pans are resistant to warping, and the interior are scratch resistant, but some users have found otherwise on both accounts. Finally, these are non-stick pans and prone to wear, no matter what the company says. Overall, this is an effective set that has its flaws, but is advertised as some miracle product. It is not, and that is okay – all products are going to have some flaws. We just wish Blue Diamond were more honest about their claims of what this pan can and cannot do.
- Solid non-stick surface that is fume-free.
- Oven safe to high temperatures.
- Longevity and durability are vastly overstated by the company.
- Not induction compatible.
- Handles get hot on the stovetop.
Best granite cookware set
Starfrit The Rock 8-Piece Cookware Set
The Rock line of cookware from Starfrit have become one of the company’s most reputable lines of cookware, for an unconventional take on non-stick surfaces. If you are looking for an easy to use yet durable non-stick option, this Starfrit cookware set might be exactly what you are looking for.
The Rock features a forged aluminum construction for even heat distribution, with Starfrit’s Rock.Tec manufacturing process where the line gets its’ name and pebbled interior. Complete with a Bakelite handle, this cookware set is compatible with gas, ceramic, and halogen stovetops.
Included are 1.5 qt saucepan, a 3qt saucepan with lid, a 5 qt stockpot with lid, an 8” fry pan and a 10″ frypan with lid. Overall, this cookware set hits most of the bases of what most people are looking for, but the smallest saucepan does not have a lid, which while not being a deal breaker, would be a nice inclusion.
Users enjoy cooking with The Rock cookware and find it easy to clean. If these pans are not overheated, they should last longer due to the durable construction of the non-stick surface that everybody seems to be a fan of. However, the handles and covers are prone to getting hot. Additionally, the degree of non-stick may be less than what we are used to from typical non-stick pans, and these pans will still wear. However, if you take care of these pans, they seem to outlive other non-stick pans.
- Easy to cook with and clean.
- More durable than other non-stick pans.
- Lids and handles prone to getting hot.
- No lid on smallest saucepan.
Best stainless steel cookware set
Paderno Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Stainless steel cookware can be on the more expensive side, but might be worth your money, considering that stainless-steel can be one of the longer lasting materials for cookware and provide amazing properties that make them quite versatile. Paderno are a Canadian manufacturer of solid stainless-steel cookware that will not be too hard on your wallet.
Modern stainless-steel cookware worth its weight will feature a tri-ply construction where an aluminum core is sandwiched between stainless steel, and this Paderno cookware set is no different. This cookware set uses 18/10 stainless steel in the cookware, with that number referring to the content of Chromium and Nickel in your stainless-steel respectively, which gives the steel its stainless quality. This means that these Paderno pans are excellently resistant to oxidation, improving durability. Combined with ergonomic riveted handles and flared lips for easier pouring, this cookware set features many pieces that are joys to cook with.
This set includes a 2L sauté pan with a lid, 1.3L, 2L and 3L saucepans with lids, and a 5L Dutch oven with a lid, and an included steamer, which is a nice touch. An included skillet would be nice over one of the saucepans, but overall, this set has good value.
Overall, users really enjoy cooking with these Paderno pans. These pans have solid heat retention due to their thicker construction and are a breeze to cook with. Additionally, these pans seem to be easy to clean and quite forgiving.
- Induction and flame compatible.
- Durable construction.
- 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface is both easy to use and clean.
- Only one sauté pan and no skillets are included.
Best budget stainless steel cookware set
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel 11-piece Cookware Set
Coming in on this list with another solid, affordable cookware set, Cuisinart offers a budget stainless steel set that includes a well-rounded assortment of pots and pans that will improve almost any kitchen. If you are looking for a stainless-steel cookware set but do not have the money for the cost of higher-end sets, this is our recommendation.
With a budget option, there are going to some degree of corners that are cut – this is just a fact of business. While higher end pots and pans may have an aluminum layer throughout, the Cuisinart features Aluminum encapsulated bottom that gives the bottom of the pan better heat distribution – however this means the sides of the pan can have uneven heating and makes overcrowding a bigger issue with these pans. Complete with riveted steel handles with Cuisinart’s Cool Grip that keep the handles from getting too hot with stovetop use, this is overall decent stainless-steel cookware.
This set includes a 1, 2, and 3 qt saucepans with lids, an 8-qt stockpot with lid, a 3 qt sauté pan with lid, a 10-inch stainless steel skillet and an 8-inch skillet. Oh, and an 18 cm steamer insert. This is without a doubt one of the more complete sets available for the price.
Users have generally enjoyed using the pots and pans included in this Cuisinart cookware set, and the variety provided is a main reason why. However, the biggest disadvantage of this set is the stainless steel is on the lower side of quality, and this is apparent with the complaints of food being stuck on, as well as the occasional issue of pitting on the bottom of the stainless-steel pans. While stainless-steel pots are not non-stick and should not be treated as such, cleaning and cooking certain foods will be easier with a pan with 18/10 stainless steel. However, for the price, this is an excellent set that has most of what you will need.
- Features most of the cookware you will need.
- Lower quality Stainless steel makes this stickier and harder to clean than some other stainless-steel pieces.
Best quality cookware set
All Clad D3 Stainless Steel Cookware Set
The All-Clad D3 cookware set is also tied for our choice for Best rated cookware set.
We have sung the praises of All-Clad stainless-steel cookware before, for the brand’s premium quality and remarkable attention to detail. While the price tag is very high, these pans have superior durability and can last you years granted if you treat them right. Available in both a 5-piece and 10-piece set, either can be an incredible upgrade for passionate home chefs.
All-Clad’s performance comes from quality construction and materials, as they are handmade in the US. The durable 3-ply bonded construction sandwiches an aluminum core between two layers of stainless steel including premium 18/10 stainless steel for the interior of the pan, for excellent cooking performance. This construction gives these pots and pans excellent heat distribution with the excellent cooking surface that is stainless steel. Users enjoy how easily hand-cleaned these pans are with a touch of vinegar, which is very important as hand washing pans of this quality is going to be essential for their long term performance.
The five-piece set features a 10.5-inch skillet, a 3-quart saucepan with lid, and a 5-quart stockpot with lid, while the full ten-piece set includes an additional 8.5-inch skillet, a 2-quart covered saucepan with lid and a 4.5-quart roasting pan with lid. These lineups cover a lot of ground, and since the lids are designed to be compatible among the different cookware, this set proves very versatile.
Users love their All-Clad pots and pans, for incredible cooking performance and ease to clean. I think stainless is the material best suited for a cookware set, and I think All-Clad is easily one of the best manufacturers of stainless-steel cookware, however the price will most likely scare off many. If you do bite the bullet on All-Clad, I do want to stress that these pans do last many years if you treat them right. That means handwashing them. I know the Amazon posting lists these as “Dishwasher Safe”, but every posting of pots and pans does too. Dishwasher can cause added wear and if you are spending over $500 dollars on a cookware set, you should be prepared to treat them with the respect they deserve. If you have the time or know how to treat these pans well, they will return the favour.
- Excellent 18/10 stainless steel interior surface is easy to clean.
- Excellent heat distribution.
Best camp cookware set
Overmont Ultralight Cookware set
Cooking and camping are two of my biggest passions – so I know that combining them can be difficult at times. Bringing your kitchen cookware into the outdoors is not recommended generally, due to the fact they are not designed to work with camping heat sources (like fire or camp stoves), and they can end up being damaged or worn when used outside. For a camping cookware set for those outdoorsy cooks, we recommend this 15-piece Overmont cookware set, which provides almost everything you will need to cook for four when camping.
Cooking when camping is quite different than cooking in a kitchen, and as a result we recommend looking into equipment that provides different benefits. One of the more important things to consider with a campware cooking set is portability, as you will not want to lug around a lot of weight or size around with you. This is important if you are camping out your car, and doubly so if backpacking. Since you will either be cooking over wood fire or gas stove, you will also need equipment designed with that in mind, and the anodized aluminum construction of this Overmont cookware set will stand up to these heat sources. However, the silicone handles of this cookware set are not fire resistant, so we do not recommend putting these directly into the fire, either using coals from the fire or a grill grate overtop the fire.
This Overmont camp cookware set includes many necessary basics for camp cooking, with a pot, small frying pan, kettle, and bowls, with utensils, a cleaning towel, a bonus flint and a net bag that can hold all the components.
Overall, users seem to love the cookware included in this set, as this kit is inexpensive for camping gear and the kettle, pan and pot seem to be solid quality. However, the utensils, bowls and sponge that are included seem to be of lower quality, but can be upgraded cheaply. It is important to note that the included pan is not non-stick, so bringing a little oil with you is very important.
- Solid quality cookware.
- Lightweight, however not Ultralight.
- Some of the included utensils or dishes are low quality.
- Non-stick coating on the frying pan would be beneficial.
How we picked the best cookware sets in Canada
In preparing this buying guide, we selected products so that most people will find at least one cookware set that would appeal to them. We looked through many reviews and focused on cookware sets that included a useful assortment of kitchen pieces and were easy to cook with and clean, that could be had at a range of prices. We read through countless reviews in the process, only choosing products with an average rating above 4 stars.
Frequently asked questions
Where to buy cookware sets?
If you do not want your heavy and valuable cookware set to be delivered through the mail, there are a wide range of store that will offer a solid range of cookware sets. Canadian Tire, The Bay, Canadian Tire and Costco are just some common stores that carry cookware sets.
What are the best cookware sets?
I prefer stainless steel cookware sets, over the basic reason that stainless steel is more versatile and durable than non-stick cookware, and there is little reason to have a non-stick pot. However, different people are looking for different things in a cookware set, and opting for non-stick, or another material, is perfectly valid and will provide different advantages. At the time of writing this, I excluded copper cookware sets from this list, as while copper is one of the best materials to cook with, very few people will be able to justify spending the high price tag for a product that is known to be high maintenance, over the similarly expensive All-Clad stainless-steel cookware set we included. We also excluded cast iron, as people will only need at-most one cast iron skillet.
What to look for in cookware sets?
You should look for a cookware set that includes pieces you will actually want to use in the kitchen and very few pieces that you will not. Ideally, you will want to look for pans with good heat distribution and solidly constructed pieces, as well as multiple lids or lids that are interchangeable with different pots or pans. A solid warranty goes a long way since any one of your many kitchen items may be defective or wear out quickly.
What makes a good cookware set?
I am under the firm belief that a good cookware set comes down to personal preference. A good cookware set will have a lineup that you will be able to use thoroughly, and all the pieces will act how they are expected to (within reason). For myself, I prefer stainless steel pots for boiling my pasta water or making soups and curries, as well as the fact they are more typically oven safe, so I would go for the Paderno 11 Piece Stainless Steel cookware set, but we feel a certain type of chef will gravitate to each pot on this list.
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