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 Non-Stick Cookware: Abbio
I’m a swore Circulon non-stick lover, so I had my doubts about this Abbio set. However, their straightforward marketing to home cooks interested me, and the no-flares quality approach won me over. Abbio is a brand whose mission is to “inspire home cooks through a combination of accessible, professional-grade cookware, unique recipes, and educational tools.”
The set of cookware is efficient, which is just exactly what you’d need to prepare a great homecooked meal. Each item can be bought individually, or as a set for $355 that comes with:
- 2.3-Quart Covered Stainless Saucepan
- 6-Quart Covered Stainless Stockpot
- 3.5-Quart Covered Stainless Sauté
- 8-Inch Non-stick Skillet
- 11-Inch Non-stick Skillet
Abbio is dishwasher-safe, but people who love non-stick tend to avoid it, just to get the most life out of them. They are, however, able to be placed into the oven (despite their handles), in temperatures up to 450 degrees for non-stick and 600 degrees for aluminum. Abbio is also safe for glass and induction cooktops, an added perk. This set is also perfect for a housewarming gift, wedding present, or for the new college kid. I made fish tacos with the non-stick 11-inch skillet tonight, and I’m a fan. I love that it comes with a high temp silicone hot pad which allows you to go from kitchen to table with ease.
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 that 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.