These Are the Best Cookware Sets of 2018, According to Experts
If more than one of your pots and pans have seen better days—whether the wear and tear has added up, the handles are loose, or you've misplaced lids—then it may be worth investing in a cookware set.
But choosing one can be daunting. Many of them have high price points and bundles often contain items that you aren't sure you will ever use. The retail experts at Consumer Reports have done the legwork for you, though, and have released a list of their favorite cookware sets of the year.
The team behind the list tested and rated frying pans and sets based on speed of heating, how they handle sturdiness and temperature, ease of cleaning, sauté performance, and more. Tests included bringing tomato sauce to a near-boil before reducing the heat to simmer to determine whether a pot can maintain a consistent low temperature; placing thermocouples throughout the pot, which measure temperature for uniformity; and testing nonstick pans by frying an egg for two minutes.
Here are their top five picks for cookware sets of 2018. Keep in mind a cookware set also includes lids, utensils, and additional items in the piece count—while a 12-piece set may sound overwhelming, there's a chance it could hold only four or five pots and pans:
Cuisinart GreenGourmet Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set, $249
This 12-piece set includes an 8-inch skillet, 10-inch deep fryer, 1.5 and 2.5-quart saucepans, 2-quart sauté pan, and a 6-quart Dutch oven equipped with a steamer insert. The set earned an "excellent" in cooking evenness, and the team found the Dutch oven quickly brings water to a near boil seamlessly. The set is designed to be safe in ovens and underneath broilers.
More on this year's best cookware:
Rachael Ray Cityscapes Porcelain Enamel 12-Piece Cookware Set, $130
Food mogul Rachael Ray released her newest nonstick set, available in cherry, gray, and turquoise. The set is safe for ovens up to 350 and includes a 1.5-quart, 2-quart, and 3-quart saucepan, 6-quart stock pot, 8-inch and 10-inch skillets, cookie pan, and nylon spatula.
Though the set was rated excellent for food release after cooking, the reviewers warn the handles aren’t super sturdy as well as the frying pan's inability to expertly distribute heat.
Shop Now: Bed, Bath, and Beyond, $129
Swiss Diamond 10-Piece Set, $569.95
Though this is the most expensive set on the list, testers felt it was well worth the price. During testing, the handles were found to be sturdiest of all nonstick sets and the pans had one of the most durable nonstick coatings.
The set is oven proof up to 500 degrees and includes an 8-inch and 9.5-inch fry pan, 3.2-quart saute pan, 1.4-quart and 2.2-quart saucepans, and the 8.5-quart saucepan.
Shop Now: Williams Sonoma, $569.95
Tasty 11-Piece Cookware Set Nonstick, $79
On the other end of the price spectrum, Tasty’s newest set is designed with budget in mind. The set includes a 9.5-inch fry pan, 11-inch griddle pan, 1.5-quart and 2.5-quart saucepan, 4-qt deep cooker, and the 6-quart Dutch oven. It’s one of the only nonstick sets that can be used on an induction range or cooktop, due to a stainless steel base used across all models. In addition, it rated excellent in nonstick food-release tests.
But beware—the pot's handles do not stay cool to the touch and aren’t very sturdy, reviewers said.
Shop Now: Walmart, $79
All-Clad Stainless Steel 7-Piece Cookware Set, $500
As the only uncoated cookware to score high enough to make Consumer Reports' official list, All-Clad's set is also more pricey than other options given that each item is made of stainless steel.
Shop Now: Williams Sonoma, $500
Reviewers found the pots simmered sauce evenly without scalding, and works perfectly on an induction range. The set is dishwasher and oven safe up to 500 and includes a 10-inch fry pan, 3-quart saute pan, 4-quart saucepan, and an 8-quart stockpot. Like many of the other winners, testers found the handles aren’t very sturdy—but still something to consider.