A great quality stainless steel cookware set is a wonderful thing to have around the home. It makes cooking, simmering, boiling and frying so much easier. And, when displayed on your kitchen shelves it will add an attractive look to your living space. So, it is both practical and aesthetically appealing. Below, you will find a handy guide to the key things to consider when purchasing a stainless steel cookware set, as well as some in depth reviews of 7 of the best sets.
Things to consider when buying
- Durability: a good set can last a decade or more
- Base: is the base made of a highly conductive material like copper (for quick heating) or of slow, steady ceramics?
- Material: what other materials are incorporated into the cookware set?
- Thickness: are you looking for large, heavy bottomed pans or smaller, lighter ones that you can whisk on and off the hob as required?
- Size of set: how many items do you need in the set?
- Budget: what price are you willing to pay?
- Brand: are you seeking a big brand name or something more artisan?
- Colour and design: classic or quirky? Shiny metal or matte colours?
Top 7 Stainless Steel Cookware Sets
Prestige Everyday Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Consisting of five pieces, this is a good average sized cookware set. Its shiny, classic look makes it comparable in aesthetic to the Meyer cookware set (though, of course, it contains fewer items overall). Three of the pans have non stick coatings, which enable you to fry or saute vegetables, meats and so on without oil. In addition, the pans are all equipped with glass lids so that you can see what it is that you are cooking. Overall, this is an excellent all round set with no extra frills or gadgets, but all that you need to cook a wide repertoire of dishes. Costing around £50, this is also one of the cheapest items on the list.
- Varied array of pans, including milk pan and frying pan
- Glass lids to keep an eye on cooking
- Extra grip on handles
- Non stick capabilities on three pans for low fat cooking
- Good value for money
- 3 pans do not have non stick coatings
Swan Products 5-Piece Stainless Steel Saucepan Set with Silicone Handles
Though some of the pans may be a little on the small size, this is (like the Prestige set reviewed above) a great all round set that will enable you to do a wide variety of tasks. Everything from frying veggies to simmering milk is possible with this set of pans. As it costs just under £40, this is the most budget friendly cookware set on the list. Not all of the pans have lids, but those that do have transparent glass lids so you can see how your cooking is progressing. In addition, the encapsulated bases ensure even heat distribution.
- Even heat distribution due to encapsulated base
- Silicone handles that stay cool during cooking
- Handy transparent lids
- Budget friendly
- Not all the pans have lids
Meyer Professional Stainless Steel Cookware Set
This cookware set is the kind that you might expect to see in a chef’s kitchen, and the price (around £82, so over twice as expensive as the cookware set by Swan Products reviewed above) reflects this. You do get an extra item for your money, though, as this is a 6 piece cookware set (unlike the 5 piece sets by Swan Products, Tefal and Prestige). In addition, the fully encapsulated bases give you wonderfully even heat distribution. This cookware set is highly durable, and the 10 year guarantee reflects this.
- 10 year guarantee
- Even heat distribution thanks to fully encapsulated bases
- Professional style
- 6 pieces
- More expensive than other items on the list
Tefal Comfort Max Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Like the Meyer set reviewed above, this 5 piece cookware set is dishwasher safe. It offers much the same as many of the other products on the list (5 pieces, with three glass lids, in similar style to the Swan Products set), however it also has an additional selling point: thermospot technology on the frying pans which alerts you when your pan has reached the perfect temperature. It is worth noting that only the frying pans in this range have non stick coatings. At around £50, this is an averagely priced set.
- Thermospot technology on the frying pans to tell you when to start cooking
- 5 pieces to create a varied range of dishes
- Dishwasher safe
- Not all items have non stick coatings
- Not all items have lids
Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Saucepan Set
Usually costing just over £270, this is the most expensive item on the list. However, it is suitable for an elite professional kitchen and carries a lifetime guarantee. So, buyers can think of the cost as a lifetime investment and also worth it for creating the most difficult and delicious tasting dishes. The key selling point of this four piece cookware set is its 3 ply design which uses a combination of aluminium and stainless steel to trap heat and distribute it evenly throughout the saucepan (not just across the base). The frying pan also has a non stick coating.
- Superior heat distribution technology
- Made for culinary professionals
- Lifetime guarantee
- The most expensive option
- Only four pieces on the list
Tefal Jamie Oliver Stainless Steel Classic Series Cookware Set
There are only three pieces in this cookware set, and yet its price (around £65) is well over the median price for this list. It as a famous chef’s name attached to it, which may be a plus for some buyers. This set is designed to be durable, and the handles have been designed to give optimum grip. In addition, handy measuring lines enable you to ensure that you have got just the right amount of ingredients in each recipe.
- Easy grip handles
- Measuring lines
- More expensive, and fewer pieces than, most other items on this list
Karcher 121008 Jasmin cookware set
This huge 20 piece cookware set consists not only of a variety of saucepans and frying pans but also of an array of bowls. And, as it costs around £72 it is great value for money as it offers four or more times the number of pans than the other items on this list, but only costs around two times more (if that). Dishwasher safe and equipped with those convenient glass lids (unlike most of the options on this list, every single one of the 20 pans and bowls has a lid in this collection) this cookware set also looks wonderfully elegant, timeless and harmonious.
- Large variety of pans and bowls
- Transparent glass lids
- Excellent value for money
- Dishwasher safe
- Suitable for everyday rather than professional use
- Smaller households, or less adventurous chefs, may not have any need for the majority of the pans in this set
In sum, what is the best stainless steel cookware set on this list? The best stainless steel cookware set for you will depend on what it is that you are looking for in your new cookware set. If you are shopping on a tight budget, for example there are plenty of options for you here, with the Swan Products set being the cheapest (though there are also several options around the £50 mark). However, if you want to purchase the largest number of pans for the best value then the 20 piece Karcher set could be a smart choice. If you want something more professional, why not try out the Tefal set that has been endorsed by Jamie Oliver? Or, if your budget runs into triple figures, why not splash out on the Le Creuset set with its innovative heating design and its lifetime guarantee. Finally, make sure to consider the various special features that many of these sets have. The Jamie Oliver Tefal set comes with measuring lines, for example, whilst the Tefal Comfort set comes equipped with thermospot technology to make pan frying much easier.