Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.
It isn’t easy to choose a good cookware set for your home particularly if you are on a budget. There are so many choices out there that it can be overwhelming. You will have to decide on what sorts of pots and pans you want, how big a set you need and, most importantly what material is best for your needs. The most purchased material is stainless steel, but copper, aluminum, titanium, and cast iron have many advantages. Some cookware is made of two or more different metals, for example, you may get stainless steel with aluminum or a ceramic titanium set.
In this guide, we will give you our top choices of cookware sets under $100 and will tell you more about the materials you can choose from. We hope that you will find a set to suit.
This is our top choice out of the cookware sets we will be telling you about. It comes with all you need to make the perfect meal for your family and even for guests. There is an 8” frying pan, a 9” frying pan, a 1-quart saucepan, a 2-quart saucepan, a 3 quart sauté pan, a 5-quart Dutch oven, a solid spoon, and a slotted spatula. It is always good if utensils are added to the set as they will be made of the correct materials for your purchase.
All the pans are nonstick and are reinforced with Titanium. This makes them extremely durable and long-lasting. This means that you can safely use metal utensils in all the pans. The pans all have soft-touch handles that are safe and comfortable. They don’t get hot to the touch and will cope with going in the oven up to a heat of 350 F. The saucepans come with vented glass lids that fit perfectly and let out extra steam. You won’t have to let the heat escape by removing the lids but will still be able to see how your food is cooking through the glass.
Each pan comes with the T-fal Thermospot. This allows you to preheat your pan to the correct temperature before you begin cooking.
The pans are all dishwasher safe, but it is easier to clean them by hand. Just use normal dish soap and cloth. No scrubbing is needed at all and once done, then just wipe clean.
The pans can all be used on gas, electric, ceramic and halogen hobs.
Heavy gauge and extra durable
Easy to clean
Lifetime limited warranty
One customer has claimed that they are flimsy
One customer has claimed that they aren’t nonstick
This is a 12-piece cookware set comprising of a 1.5-quart saucepan, 1.5- and 2-quart casserole pans, a 3-quart casserole pot, a 5.5-quart stockpot and a 10″ frying pan. All have tempered glass lids with a vent that lets out steam. The glass makes it easy to watch over your food without removing the lids.
The pans are all made out of stainless steel and have an aluminum disc layered between two pieces of stainless steel at the bottom. The aluminum helps the pans to conduct heat well as stainless steel on its’ own doesn’t conduct heat particularly well. You should get even cooking and not ‘hotspots. The handles are riveted so they are durable.
The frying pan has deep walls, so it traps moisture and stops too much evaporation unlike a frying pan with lower sides.
All of the pans work on gas, electric, glass, ceramic, halogen, induction and conductive hobs which just about covers all the hobs out there.
All the pans are easy to clean. Handwash with a sponge and soak in hot soapy water for a few minutes if something has got stuck to the bottom.
This is very reasonably priced for an 8-piece cookware set. It has an 8” frying pan, a 10” frying pan, a 1.5-quart saucepan, a 2-quart saucepan, and a 3-quart casserole pan. The saucepans and the casserole pan have glass lids so that you can keep an eye on your food without lifting the lid. These lids have vents that let the steam escape.
The pans are aluminum with a nonstick coating that stops cooked food from sticking to the pans. Because they are nonstick, you will be able to use less butter or oil for cooking which is better for your health. All of the pans are all free of BPA which isn’t good for you. BPA is a synthetic compound often found in plastics as well as in the lining of canned food containers. The pans have soft-touch handles that stay cool while they are being used. There is a spiral bottom to each pan which means that all your food will heat evenly.
These pans can be used on gas, electric and glass hobs, but not on induction.
This is a 16-piece set that will fill all your cooking needs even if you have a big family. It comprises a 4″ mini frying pan, a 7″ open frying pan, a 9.5″ open frying pan, a 1-quart saucepan with lid, a 2-quart saucepan with lid, a 5-quart stockpot with lid, a 2.5 quart sauté pan with lid, a 7” stainless steel steamer and 4 kitchen utensils. The lids are made out of glass so you can keep an eye on how your cooking is progressing without removing the lid and the utensils are very useful.
The pans are all made out of Thermalon ceramic nonstick material. The bodies are all reinforced with durable aluminum. This means that your food will cook evenly, and you will use less energy. The pans are made without harmful chemicals, such as PFOA, PFAS, cadmium or lead. Toxic fumes won’t be released even if you overheat your pan. However, it is better to cook on a low or medium heat setting for the best results. Use high-smoke point oil or butter, but as the pans are nonstick, you won’t have to use a lot of fat. Use nylon or wooden utensils as metal may scratch.
The handle is cool to the touch and the pans can withstand being put in the oven up to a heat of 350F.
The pans are dishwasher safe, but you can hand wash them with dish soap and a soft sponge. Leave the pan to cool before rinsing.
Made without PFOA, PFAS, lead or cadmium
Oven safe to 350F
Some customers have said that the pans easily got chipped and scratched
This is a 10-piece cookware set which includes an 8” frying pan, a 10″ frying pan with lid, a 1.5-quart sauce pot with lid, a 2.5-quart sauce pot with lid, a 6-quart sauce pot with a lid and an aluminum steamer insert which inserts into the 2.5-quart saucepot. It is always handy to have a steamer and not that many cookware sets come with one.
All the pans are made from a tough grade copper-infused ceramic material which means that they conduct heat well and cook food evenly. The lids are all made of glass, so it is easy to keep an eye on what you are cooking. The pans are oven safe up to 500F, but it is important to note that the lids aren’t oven safe.
The pans are nonstick and are PFOA and PFTE free. These chemicals are usually added to nonstick cookware, but they disintegrate at high heat adding harmful chemicals to your food. Because they are nonstick you need little or no butter or oil for cooking which is healthier for you. The cooking surface is scratch resistant with most utensils, but don’t use metal as they can scratch.
Once you get your pans, you will need to season them, and they may need extra seasoning at regular intervals to get the best performance out of them. Seasoning makes the pans nonstick.
The pans are dishwasher safe, but they are also easy to clean by hand. You don’t need to do a lot of scrubbing. If you have just done light cooking, you can wipe the pans down with a cloth. For heavier cooking use a mild detergent and warm water. Abrasive cleaners can scratch the surface.
Food cooks evenly
Made of tough grade copper-infused material
Dishwasher safe or easy to clean by hand
The metal handles may become hot
1 customer complained that the coating came off after 1 week’s use
A few customers have complained about food sticking
Τhis is a set of 12 which should most of your cooking needs. There is a 1-quart saucepan with lid, a 2-quart saucepan with a lid, a 3-quart saucepan with lid, a 5-quart Dutch oven with lid, an 8″ frying pan, a 10″ frying pan, a nylon slotted spatula and a nylon spoon. There are plenty of pans for a large family.
The exteriors of the pans are made from hard-anodized aluminum. For the pans as a whole, there is 60% aluminum, 20% stainless steel and 20% glass. The aluminum means that the pans will conduct and evenly distribute the heat well, so you won’t have any hot spots. The lids are made of glass so you will be able to keep an eye on your food without removing the lids. The lids have vents so any steam can escape.
The pans are all nonstick which means that you only need a little butter or oil to cook with. This is much healthier for you. You will also just have to slide the food out of the pan without leaving bits behind.
These pans shouldn’t be put in a dishwasher. Handwash with a mild detergent and soft sponge. Don’t use scouring pads or metal utensils as they may scratch your pans.
Even heat distribution
Doesn’t contain the harmful chemical, PTFE
Dishwasher safe or easy to clean by hand
Not dishwasher safe
The bottoms of the pans are flat with no heat thermal rings
When choosing your cookware set there is a list of things you need to consider before deciding which one to purchase. Take your time and don’t rush into a purchase. After all, you will want your cookware set to last for a good many years.
Some metals conduct heat better than others. For example, copper and aluminum both conduct heat well, much better than stainless steel, although of course stainless steel has advantages as well. The better the heat conductivity of a pot or pan means that your food will cook more evenly. In addition, when you turn the heat up or down, the piece of cookware will react a lot quicker.
When it comes to durability, stainless steel comes into its’ own. Cast iron cookware is also extremely durable, sets often being handed down from generation to generation. On the other hand, aluminum isn’t as durable, and you will probably find that you will have to replace cookware sets more often.
Some metals can react to certain foods. For example, both aluminum and copper have a tendency to react to acidic foods., meaning that the food will absorb some of the metal and you will get a metallic taste in your mouth.
If you don’t enjoy polishing your cookware every day, go for stainless steel or aluminum. Copper and cast iron need a lot of maintenance to keep them pristine. Cast iron needs to be seasoned at the beginning and at intervals.
Materials to Choose From
Stainless steel isn’t a single metal but is a mixture of steel, carbon, and chromium. The reason that it’s called stainless steel is that it doesn’t corrode. Although it doesn’t conduct heat well, this can be remedied by choosing stainless steel cookware with an aluminum or copper core. Without this, your food can cook unevenly. Stainless steel is inexpensive, durable, scratch and warp-resistant, and it doesn’t react with acidic food.
Cast iron has been used as cookware for hundreds of years. It is relatively inexpensive, has good heat retention and is very durable. A disadvantage is that it is very heavy. It does require seasoning regularly which means that it takes time to maintain it. Without seasoning, it will react with acidic foods and it can also rust.
Probably around half of the cookware sets produced are made out of aluminum. It is popular as it is reasonably priced and retains heat well. However, it is a soft material so it can dent and scratch easily. To stop this, some aluminum cookware has been treated through a process known as anodization. This also stops it from reacting to certain foods. Sometimes aluminum is sandwiched between other metals such as stainless steel which makes it more durable. This also means that stainless steel will conduct heat better. In addition, aluminum is often finished with a nonstick coating.
Copper is often used by professional chefs because it conducts heat so well. The disadvantages are that it reacts with acidic foods, is expensive and needs regular polishing to keep it looking good.
Titanium is one of the strongest metals on earth. It is as strong as stainless steel, but only weighs half as much so is very easy to use. Despite it being lightweight, it is durable, resists corrosion and does not oxidize. It isn’t the greatest conductor of heat, but a lot of titanium cookware is ‘titanium-reinforced’. This means that it has an aluminum base with a cooking surface that has been infused with titanium.
You can also get ceramic titanium. This is titanium with a ceramic layer inside the pot or pan. This makes it nonstick and as a result, you don’t need to use much oil or butter in the pans which is healthier for you. It is best to use either plastic or wooden utensils in these pans as metal may scratch.
Titanium is acid-resistant so your food won’t taste of the metal nor will the pans be damaged.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are bound to be some questions relating to buying cookware. It is an important purchase as we have to eat and will, therefore, want to buy cookware which is durable and lasts a long time. If we haven’t given you all the information you require, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below.
What Size Set of Cookware Should I Buy?
You don’t want to buy too few items and on the other hand, you don’t want to buy too many, particularly if space is limited. Consider the number of people in your family and how many guests you plan on having over for dinner parties. Generally, a family of four should think about having two frying pans of different sizes, two saucepans, also of differing sizes, and a stockpot. Getting a set that also comes with utensils isn’t a bad idea as you will know they are safe to use on your pots and pans.
Is it Best to Use a Dishwasher or to Wash by Hand?
Some cookware sets are marked as dishwasher safe, but we think that it is best to wash all cookware by hand. This helps to stop your pots and pans from being scratched. It is easy to wash them by hand, especially if they are nonstick. All you need is a mild detergent and a soft sponge. Don’t use abrasive sponges as they can scratch the cookware.
Are Glass Lids the Best?
In our opinion, glass lids have advantages. You can watch your food cooking which means that you don’t have to remove the lid and let out heat. Glass lids usually have vents to let unwanted steam out. Make sure that the lids fit perfectly otherwise you will lose heat.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and have found a cookware set to suit you. We stand by our decision to choose the T-fal C561SC Titanium Advanced Nonstick Thermospot Cookware Set as our first choice. It has enough pots and pans for a family of four and even more. It is very durable and nonstick and the special thing about it is that each pan has a Thermospot which is great for preheating your pans. It tells you when you can start putting food in the pan.
It’s always best to do some research and read the reviews about the cookware set you plan to buy. There are plenty of sets out there so it’s best to take your time before making a final choice.
alices.kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc or its affiliates.