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Best Cookware Sets of 2019

Familiar names such as All-Clad, Calphalon, and Cuisinart do well in CR's tests—but so do a few newcomers

A person cooking on a range with a cookware set.
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Is it time to replace your cookware? If the bottom of a pan is warped (which can create hot spots that burn food), or if handles are loose or broken, it’s time to shop. And when a nonstick pan’s coating is flaking, it's got to go. 

Cookware is sold in sets—consisting of about 7 to 12 pieces—or as individual pots and pans. If you need an entire set, we’ve got you covered, starting with details on what’s included.

“In boxed sets, manufacturers count a lid as a piece,” explains Marion Wilson-Spencer, a market analyst covering cookware for Consumer Reports. “Even utensils and a cookbook may count as pieces.” So keep in mind that a 12-piece set won't contain a dozen pots and pans.

Lab-Tested for Your Kitchen
We buy and test cookware sets ranging from about $100 up to $600. Our cookware ratings provide all the details and, in addition to the brands reviewed below, include sets from Ayesha Curry, Blue Diamond, Gotham Steel, Kirkland, Le Creuset, Pioneer Woman, Red Copper, and T-Fal, among others.

To determine whether a pot can maintain a consistent low temperature, testers simmer tomato sauce for 20 minutes. They place thermocouples (sensors that measure temperature) throughout the pot to measure temperature uniformity. A pot should be able to maintain a consistent temperature below the boiling point to simmer properly. We also evaluate speed of heating, sauté performance, nonstick durability, handle sturdiness, and more.

Nonstick surfaces remain popular because they’re easy to clean and require little or no oil or butter when cooking. Refer to our cookware buying guide, which includes a primer on different materials.

Below, the best cookware sets from CR’s latest tests—four nonstick sets and three uncoated sets—listed alphabetically by type.

1
Nonstick Cookware
Cuisinart Green Gourmet Hard Anodized GG-12
Cuisinart Green Gourmet Hard...

    Cuisinart Green Gourmet Hard...

    CR’s take: The 12-piece Cuisinart Green Gourmet nonstick set is one of only two sets in our ratings to earn an Excellent in cooking evenness. And the 6-quart Dutch oven quickly brings water to a boil. This top-scoring set is made of anodized aluminum. (Anodizing is a process that hardens aluminum and renders it nonreactive, so you can cook acidic foods in the pan without worrying about aluminum leaching into it.) That coating makes anodized aluminum sets, including this one, more expensive than plain aluminum sets.

    2

    Swiss Diamond Reinforced #6010
    Swiss Diamond Reinforced #6010

      Swiss Diamond Reinforced #6010

      CR’s take: The 10-piece Swiss Diamond is one of the most expensive in our ratings. What do you get for a premium price? The nonstick coating proved to be one of the most durable in our tough nonstick durability test—a machine rubs steel wool over the coating for up to 2,000 strokes or until it has worn through, whichever comes first; Swiss Diamond withstood all 2,000 strokes. And its handles are among the sturdiest of all nonstick sets in CR’s tests. The pans are made of aluminum. The 8.5-quart stockpot is a generous size, and the set's glass lids allow you to keep an eye on what’s cooking.

      3

      Tasty Titanium Reinforced Ceramic
      Tasty  Titanium Reinforced Ceramic

      Tasty  Titanium Reinforced Ceramic

      CR’s take: Impressive performance and an appealing price make this set a CR Best Buy. In fact, the Tasty 11-piece nonstick is among the least expensive we tested and the set is one of the few that earns an Excellent in our crucial cooking evenness test. The set, from the arm of Buzzfeed that generates those wildly popular food videos, is sold exclusively at Walmart. A 6-quart Dutch oven and an 11-inch griddle pan are included—a nice surprise, given the relatively low price. But the makers also include a recipe booklet as one of the 11 pieces, and it's worth noting that the handles can get hot to the touch and aren’t very sturdy.

      4

      Zwilling J.A. Henckels Motion Grey (Bed Bath & Beyond exclusive)
      Zwilling J.A. Henckels Motion Grey...

        Zwilling J.A. Henckels Motion Grey...

        CR's take: Zwilling is long known for their knives, but this cookware is a cut above. The 10-piece Zwilling J.A. Henckels Motion Grey is made of anodized aluminum and works with any type of range. Sold exclusively at Bed Bath & Beyond, the set earns a Very Good rating in our nonstick food-release tests, meaning food slides off somewhat easily when the nonstick surface is new. So take good care of the nonstick coating—no metal utensils or abrasives. This cookware is labeled dishwasher-safe, but the manual says hand-washing is recommended to keep it looking good.

        5
        Uncoated Cookware
        All-Clad Stainless-Steel
        All-Clad Stainless-Steel

          All-Clad Stainless-Steel

          CR’s take: The most expensive of the uncoated cookware in our ratings, the seven-piece All-Clad Stainless Steel stands out in our sauce simmer test: Simmering sauce evenly and without scalding can be a challenge for uncoated cookware, but not for the All-Clad, which earns an Excellent rating. This cookware works with induction ranges, is oven-safe up to 500° F, and is dishwasher-safe, too. Note, however, that the handles aren’t very sturdy.

          6

          Calphalon Premier Space Saving 8 piece
          Calphalon Premier Space Saving 8...

            Calphalon Premier Space Saving 8...

            CR’s take: Low on storage space? Calphalon designed this set so that it stacks and nests, which frees up precious cabinet space. The Calphalon Premier Space Saving 8-piece stainless set earns a Very Good rating in our evenness tests, like our other top performers in this category. The stainless handles are long and sturdy—besting the All-Clad set, which retails for nearly twice as much, in that area—and you can use these dishwasher-safe pots and pans on any type of range, including induction. You can also pop them in the oven up to 500° F.

            7

            Made By Design (Target)
            Made By Design (Target)

              Made By Design (Target)

              CR's take: Target's Made By Design 8-piece stainless set combines impressive performance with great value, earning a designation as a CR Best Buy. Unlike most uncoated cookware, this set is easy to clean. We used a sponge and soapy water to remove sticky bechamel from a saucepan (no elbow grease needed), which earns the set a Very Good rating in our ease-of-cleaning tests. You can use it on any type of cooktop, including induction, and the set's oven-safe up to 450° F. The handles aren't very sturdy, and while the other sets tested offer a lifetime or limited lifetime warranty, Made By Design's warranty lasts just one year.

              Kimberly Janeway

              For years I've covered the increasing water and energy efficiency of washers and what it means to consumers, along with innovations in a variety of products, and whether manufacturers deliver on their promises. What I'm really trying to do is to help consumers, and consumers help me by posting comments and posing questions. So thanks!