Top Pick: Proclamation Duo | $380 | Proclamation Goods
A few months into the pandemic, I glanced at my old worn cookware and decided I was ready for an upgrade. After losing my full-time job, I wasn’t able to spend $500 or more when I had perfectly good items at home.
Full-blown cooking sets can be expensive, so I understand that a lot of people are in a similar position, but some might be ready to dive into more cooking as we approach winter’s final stretch.
Here are some of my favorites.
Best Stainless Steel Cookware: Proclamation Duo
After working on my wedding registry last year, this pan set followed me around the internet for a while, in cooking groups, and on Instagram (perhaps it’s my fault because I followed them) so I am thrilled to be writing about it. This three-piece set is truly beautiful and can easily replace most of your pots and pans if you don’t regularly cook for an army. Stainless steel is both beautiful and super functional. I love to take my cookware from stove to oven—especially when I make fish or steak—and the stainless makes the task simple without any rubber grips to melt off (ask me how I know this!).
So here’s what you’ll get for $379:
- 12" Skillet
- 7-qt. Pot
- Stainless steel lid that matches both pans
The pan and skillet fit together to create a fabulous dutch oven, making it the perfect vessel for cooking; ranging from searing to baking, stewing, and frying. For the quality of these pans, which will last you a lifetime, it’s a fair price.
Don’t just take it from me, Heloise Blause, a former professional chef turned blogger at Home Kitchen Land, loves it too.
“The Proclamation Duo is an ingenious product. It’s one of those things that’s so simple you’re amazed you didn’t think of it yourself. They really did a great job on this.” Anyone who’s never cooked with stainless steel ought to be careful. That being said, “if you know your way around a traditional skillet, you’ll enjoy cooking with this pan,” Blause told me.
Best Under $200: Cuisinart® Chef’s Classic Pro 11-Piece
There’s a reason that Cuisinart is beloved by professional chefs and amateur cooks alike. Their stainless steel constructed pots and pans top of the line but are available at a more affordable price point.
This 11-piece set has cool grip stick handles and is compatible with all stovetops. It’s freezer-safe and oven-safe up to 500° F. The items included are as follows.
- 1.5 qt. our saucepan with cover
- 2.5 qt. pour saucepan with cover
- 3 qt. sauté pan with cover
- 8 qt. stockpot with cover
- 8-Inch skillet
- 10-Inch skillet
- 17cm steamer insert
And as a bonus, you can load it up in your dishwasher for easy cleanup at the end of a long day in the kitchen.
Best Non-Stick Cookware: Rachael Ray Cucina 12-Piece Set
The Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set, 12-Piece features a durable design and comes in a host of seven colors, including agave blue, cranberry red, lavender, lemongrass green, and sea salt gray.
This set includes:
- 1-quart saucepan with lid
- 3-quart saucepan with lid
- 6-quart stockpot with lid
- 8.5-inch frying pan
- 10-inch frying pan
- 3-quart sauté pan with lid
- Slotted turner
It also features espresso-colored PFOA-free nonstick for easy food release and quick clean-up. This set also has dual-riveted, rubberized, stainless steel handles and shatter-resistant glass lids. This cookware is also oven safe up to 400 degrees F and is suitable for all stovetops except induction.
Best Copper Cookware Set: Gotham Steel Hammered Collection
Do you swear by copper cookware? Well, the Gotham Steel Hammered Copper Collection – 15 Piece Premium Cookware & Bakeware Set will be a beautiful addition to your kitchen. It’s elegant, yet functional, even being dishwasher safe and scratch-resistant. These sets come with a non-toxic ceramic and titanium coating, so your food just slides off the pan. They are also oven safe up to 500° F with glass lids and bakeware that doesn’t warp.
At nearly $120 off, this purchase comes with:
- 8. 5" fry pan
- 10. 25" fry pan with lid
- 1. 5QT saucepan with lid
- 2. 5QT saucepan with lid
- 5QT stockpot with lid
- Stainless steel steamer
- Cookie sheet
- Round baking pan
- Square baking pan
- Loaf pan
- Muffin pan
Best Steamer: Costway 3-Tier Stainless Steel Steamer
Ok, if you have the pots and pans you need, there is still a good chance you don’t have a steamer set. Let me assure you, it’s time to try one out. They are budget-friendly, and function as both a steamer and a pot. It can steam lobster, make pork buns, and of course, steam broccoli to make sure it’s fork-tender but still crisp.
This Costway model is not only is it a stockpot and a steamer, but it’s also a double boiler. At the budget-friendly price of $53, it’s the perfect way to upgrade your kitchen experience and add a homemade chocolate mousse to your list. You can even cook soup in the pot and steam different veggies in the two steamer baskets at the same time. Amazon reviews rate it at 4.5 out of 5 stars. And if you don’t need a double boiler, try the one from Circulon.
This story was published by Chaya M. Milchtein on 02/01/2021 and updated with new information by Juliana Clark on 06/11/2021.