The best stainless steel cookware sets at 6 different price points — Calphalon, Viking, All-Clad and more

·5 min read

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There are a few solid investments every home cook should make for a complete, well-rounded kitchen and a good stainless steel cookware set ranks high on that list.

While many automatically gravitate towards non-stick options due to their vast affordability, stainless steel reigns supreme because one quality set will usually last a lifetime. Non-stick pots and pans, on the other hand, often scratch and wear over time and eventually have to be tossed and replaced.

Stainless steel, especially when it comes to cookware, is super versatile, easy to maintain, indestructible and, contrary to popular belief, can be very budget-friendly. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up five of the best stainless steel cookware sets on the market from brands we know and trust.

From the best overall stainless steel cookware set you can buy that gives you the most bang for your buck to the most affordable option under $90, there are a solid number of options to choose from.

This list includes trusted brands like All-Clad and Calphalon and newer brands like the ethically produced and crowd-funded Misen. Find a more detailed perspective of each set below.

1. Best Overall: Misen Complete Cookware Set, 12 Pieces, $425 (Orig. $605)

Credit: Misen

Misen launched with the philosophy that “better cooking doesn’t need to be expensive,” and its stainless steel series features premium quality products that rival some of the most luxe options on the market.

Each piece in the Misen 12-piece Complete Cookware Set boasts a 3.00mm thick composite of five layers of stainless steel and aluminum for top-of-the-line heat conduction and retention — the best of this list. They also have ergonomic stay-cool handles and lifetime durability.

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2. Most Affordable: T-fal Performa Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 14 Pieces, $79.99

Credit: Target

T-fal is many folks’ first foray into the cookware space. The brand’s non-stick cookware set remains a best-seller across the board for a reason. While T-fal’s non-stick line is arguably its most popular, its solid stainless steel cookware set remains one of the most affordable on the market.

Retailing for just $80, the T-fal Performa Stainless Steel 14-piece cookware set features premium quality stainless steel construction, riveted stainless steel handles and all of the baseline perks that generally come with stainless steel cookware.

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3. Best Mid-Priced Option: All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 10 Pieces, $699.95 (Orig. $1,100)

Credit: Amazon

All-Clad likely remains the most high-end and well-known stainless steel cookware brand available today. While its hefty price range is certainly a conversation piece (these sets retail for up to $1,199.95), All-Clad has just as high of a reputation for its premium quality.

In fact, the All-Clad D3 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set retails for $699.95 on Amazon, right now. That’s 36% off its original retail price. While the brand’s stainless steel pieces feature tri-ply constriction that pales in comparison to Misen’s five layers, it has so many more features that justify its price for many, including its up to 600°F induction rate, riveted handles, even heat distribution and more.

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4. Most Versatile: Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 11 Pieces, $169.99

Credit: Bed, Bath & Beyond
Credit: Bed, Bath & Beyond

Cuisinart, across the board, is one of the most trustworthy brands you can shop, and its expertly polished and extensive stainless steel cookware set proves just that.

Some shoppers say that these pots and pans are lighter in weight than some of its competitors. However, they loved that the full set is, in fact, cheaper than many other notable cookware brands — and you get so much for what you pay for. The Cuisinart 11-Piece Chef's Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set comes with two saucepans, a sauté pan, a stockpot (all covered), two skillets and a steamer insert.

Buy Now at Bed, Bath & Beyond

6. Best High-End Option: Viking Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 11 Pieces, $899.95 (Orig. $1,500)

Credit: Sur La Table
Credit: Sur La Table

Buy Now on Sur La Table

Viking is one of the most trusted and reliable brands in high-end cookware and its new Tri-Ply 11-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set is a must-have for anyone who loves having the absolute best quality and performance.

This luxury set that's sure to last for years to come includes two skillets, two saucepans with lids, a sauté pan with a lid, a stockpot with a lid and a steamer insert. Each piece also features copper handles for a stylish, heirloom-quality touch that complements any kitchen or stovetop.

This set is particularly impressive for keeping meals hot for long periods of time thanks to its aluminum core that conducts heat evenly and quickly. It also has a stainless steel cooking surface that's non-reactive, easy to clean and delivers excellent browning and searing on meats and vegetables. Also, the heavy-duty glass lids add a premium touch that locks in heat and moisture to keep food warm until you're ready to serve.

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