Yes, we know, there is so many different brands of cookware available today that it can get your head spinning just trying to remember which ones are good, and which ones don’t meet the mark. What are the cookware brands that matter?
This article is here to answer this question. First, we’ll go over the most popular cookware brands available today and in the second part of the article we choose the two best cookware brands in every category. Enjoy!
Table of Contents
- 1 All-Clad
- 2 Anolon
- 3 Calphalon
- 4 Circulon
- 5 Cuisinart
- 6 Farberware
- 7 T-Fal
- 8 Best Cookware Brand in Every Category
All-Clad is an American company with a long-lasting reputation of making high-quality cookware. However, are they really that good or is it all just hype? Our verdict – yes, their cookware is awesome!
All-Clad’s origins can be traced back to 1967, the prime time of the U.S. steel age. They started as Clad Metals, a company that focused on perfected the technology for bonding metals. Today, All-Clad Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and they still use American-made steel just as they did decades ago when they started.
While in the past they made bonded metals for a variety of industries, today they focus exclusively on cookware and they do so with amazing results.
The “clad” part in the name All-Clad refers to the process of bonding two or more different metals together. The cookware made by using this technique will have multiple layers, usually three or five.
But why does a pot or pan need to have multiple layers, you may wonder. By using the bonding technique, it is possible to bring out the best characteristics of different metals, including stainless steel, aluminum, and copper, to create high-performance cookware that can last for years.
For example, stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion and damage, but it is not the best heat conductor. Copper and aluminum, on the other hand, are great heat conductors, but they are not nearly as durable and impact-resistant as stainless steels. For this reason, the outer layers of All-Clad cookware are usually made of stainless steel with the inner layers featuring aluminum, copper, or both.
All-Clad is a premium cookware brand. This means that their products are at the higher end of the price range, but they certainly make up for the price with quality.
The name Anolon is derived from the word “anodized” so it’s no wonder that most of their cookware is made of hard anodized aluminum. Why? Because hard anodized aluminum is simply a great material for cookware.
Thanks to the anodization process, the material is very hard, smooth, and non-porous. It’s also completely non-reactive, which is not the case with regular aluminum. Moreover, aluminum is a good heat conductor and it gives the Anolon pots and pans the ability to heat up quickly and distribute heat evenly.
Despite the name, Anolon has also dabbled with cookware made of some other materials. For example, their Vesta Cast Iron collection is comprised of cast iron pans and dutch ovens and the Anolon Nouvelle collection features a copper layer at the core of the pots and pans and a stainless steel base that makes the cookware compatible with induction stovetops.
Anolon uses a high-grade non-stick coating made by DuPont, the original manufacturer of Teflon. This coating is applied in three layers to make it more resistant to scratching and chipping. However, even in the case of damage, the non-stick coating that Anolon uses does not pose a health risk since it is made without PFOA.
The guys at Calphalon originally made a name for themselves with hard anodized cookware. They started perfecting aluminum cookware back in the 60s when they were still called the Commercial Aluminum Cookware company.
In the early 60s, they were making a line of aluminum cookware called Epicure that was quite well accepted. However, in the late 60s, they decided to apply the anodization process to cookware and this is how Calphalon was born.
Anodization refers to a process that creates a hardened surface on the aluminum that makes it many times more durable and impact-resistant.
Besides using hard anodized aluminum, Calphalon has one more signature detail – the Cool-V handle. It’s a long, elegant stainless steel handle that remains cool on the stove top. It was the first such handle to appear on the market, and it is still featured on numerous pots and pans made by Calphalon.
Today, Calphalon makes a wide range of kitchen products, including cutlery and electric appliances, but cookware has remained their main focus. Their cookware collections boast a sleek and functional design.
Hard anodized and non-stick cookware is still what they are known for, but they also offer cookware made with stainless steel and even copper!
Circulon is one of the cookware brands manufactured by the Meyer Corporation, a company that is also behind some other popular lines of cookware including SilverStone and Anolon. Circulon cookware is quite affordable, but also quite functional and durable.
Circulon uses hard anodized aluminum to make most of the cookware they make, and this includes a wide variety of pots, pans, bakeware, and whole cookware sets. However, they also dabble with other materials from time to time.
Even though Circulon makes most of their cookware with aluminum, they have also thought about the customers that use induction cooktops. Thus, they offer quite induction-compatible products. The Infinite, Premier Professional, and Ultimatum Stainless Steel collections are all compatible with induction cooktops, for example.
What sets Circulon apart from other similar brands is their unique non-stick system. Circulon uses their own three-layered TOTAL Food Release System which is PFOA-free, sturdy, and scratch-resistant.
Non-stick cookware is often not dishwasher-safe which can be a problem, but this is not the case with Circulon. In fact, you can not only wash their pots and pans in the dishwasher, but you can also use metal utensils with them.
Furthermore, the cooking surface on Circulon non-stick pans features small circular ridges, so there are small grooves in the surface. This unique design of the cooking surface reduces abrasion and makes the coating more durable.
Cuisinart was founded in 1971. Back then, they were focused on making food processors for the US market and this is how the name Cuisinart became famous. Today, they still make top-notch food processors and blenders along with coffee makers, juicers, slow cookers, microwaves, and various other kitchen appliances.
If there is anything an appliance can do in your kitchen, most likely you’ll find the solution with Cuisinart.
Moreover, they have also expanded their range of products to cookware and bakeware. Cuisinart cookware is quite reasonably priced, while still being highly functional and providing consistently good performance.
In Cuisinart’s range, you’ll find pretty much anything you might need in the kitchen, from pots and pans made of aluminum, stainless steel, or even combinations including copper, to roasting pans and griddles.
Finally, they also have a collection of ceramic bakeware which we really love.
Farberware is an American brand of cookware and kitchen appliances that have a movie-worthy origin story! Namely, the company was founded as far back as the year 1900. At that time, Simon Farber, a Russian immigrant, and a tinsmith, set up his basement shop in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
At that time, he worked with copper and brass in a traditional way, making decorative plates and vases. However, Simon was an innovator at heart – during the 1930s, he created a percolator, and later continued to create a range of innovative kitchen products. In the 1940s, Simons sons, Isadore and Milton took over the company and moved it to the Bronx where they started manufacturing stainless steel cookware.
Over the years, Farberware continued to make innovative quality cookware. In 1992, for example, they introduced a pan with a non-stick coating that was totally scratch-resistant, which was an amazing innovation at the time.
Today, they offer a variety of aluminum, non-stick, and stainless steel pots and pans at budget-friendly prices.
T-Fal was founded in France more than half a century ago (in some countries it is marketed as Tefal). The names of T-Fal and Tefal are combinations of words Teflon and aluminum, so it’s not hard to guess what kind of cookware they are known for.
In fact, non-stick cookware is what they’re all about, and some would say they were the first to introduce non-stick cookware to the ordinary cook. They were certainly the first to use Teflon, and today they still use non-stick coatings, but the new coatings are reinforced and certified to be PFOA-free, lead-free, and cadmium-free.
One detail that sets T-fal apart from similar brands is their Thermo-Spot heat indicator. Namely, most of their pots and pans have a red circle in the middle that will tell you when the cooking surface is hot enough to begin cooking.
T-fal is a budget-friendly brand of cookware. They offer a range of pots, pans, and cookware sets at affordable prices.
Best Cookware Brand in Every Category
Best Cookware Brand for Stainless Steel Cookware
Cookware made of stainless steel is probably the most durable and versatile type of cookware available today. You can use stainless steel pots and pans to make a wide variety of dishes, they can go in the dishwasher, and they are even compatible with induction cooktops.
When it comes to stainless steel cookware, All-Clad is definitely the best of them all. The company has been focused on steel cookware since the beginning, and they have really perfected the process over the years.
However, stainless steel isn’t the best heat conductor which is why All-Clad combines it with copper and aluminum to bring you the awesome performance and heat conduction of aluminum and copper cookware combined with the durability of stainless steel.
Their D3 Collection features a stainless steel construction with an aluminum core, while the D5 Collection features as many as five layers.
And if you want the absolute best – they also have a Copper Core 5-ply collection that features a thick copper core sandwiched between aluminum and stainless steel layers.
The awesomeness of All-Clad cookware does come at a price, though. If you are on a tight budget, you might want to consider Farberware stainless steel pots and pans instead.
They offer stainless steel cookware that is affordable but still features quality construction, like this cookware set, for example.
Best Cookware Brand for Non-Stick Cookware
Non-stick cookware has many advantages. It’s lightweight, it’s easy to clean, and it lets you use less oil when cooking. Moreover, there are some tasks that can never be done as well as with a non-stick pan.
What we are thinking about is making eggs. In fact, many chefs will tell you that, even though they use different types of cookware for other tasks, they always use non-stick pans for making eggs.
When it comes to high-end nonstick cookware options, All-Clad offers the best quality non-stick pots and pans. Their All-Clad E785SC64 Ha1 Hard Anodized Cookware Set, for example, is a nice 10-piece set of hard anodized non-stick cookware.
These pots and pans have a beautiful, dark, brushed exterior, stainless steel handles, and tempered glass lids. However, if a non-stick frying pan is all you need, this 2-pan set from All-Clad has also received great reviews.
Most importantly, all of the non-stick cookware made by All-clad is dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, it is also compatible with induction cooktops which is often not the case with other brands that make non-stick cookware.
For a budget-friendly option, we suggest you turn to Farberware. Their High-Performance collection, for example, features pots and pans with durable construction and a non-stick coating that performs really well.
Moreover, the pans and griddles from this collection feature s unique dimpled surface called SmartGlide that improves durability and performance. Finally, not only are their pots and pans versatile and functional, but they also look very nice.
This non-stick cookware set, for example, comes in four different colors so you’ll definitely be able to find one that matches your kitchen decor.
Best Cookware Brand for Ceramic Cookware
You’re probably aware that what is usually called ceramic cookware is not literally ceramic – it’s metal cookware (usually aluminum), covered with a ceramic non-stick coating. However, this is not a bad thing.
In fact, the metal base gives ceramic cookware the ability to respond to heat much better and conduct heat evenly.
So what is the best brand for ceramic cookware? While there are quite a few options out there, we found that the line of ceramic cookware provided by Calphalon is certainly among the best.
You can buy a whole set featuring pots and pans with a hard anodized body with a ceramic coating a nice stainless steel handles. The coating itself is something like an advanced version of regular PTFE-based non-stick coatings.
It contains small particles similar to sand which make the coating more heat resistant than standard non-stick coatings and also more durable. If you don’t want to get a whole set, you can also get just a frying pan. Calphalon also makes a beautiful grill pan with a ceramic coating and grill-like ridges on the bottom. (see links below)
When it comes to the more budget-friendly options, we especially liked the ceramic cookware made by T-Fal. Even though they are mostly known for standard non-stick coatings, their line called Initiatives features cookware with a ceramic coating.
The coating on these is super tough, dishwasher safe, and suitable for temperatures up to 570 degrees Fahrenheit. And do you really ever need temperatures higher than that? This line of cookware also comes in the form of a 14-piece cookware set, but you can also find some individual pieces like this deep frying pan or this square griddle – perfect for breakfast!
Calphalon 11 Piece Classic Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set
Calphalon 2 Piece Classic Ceramic Nonstick Pan Set
Calphalon 1937385 Classic Ceramic Nonstick Round Grill,
T-fal 2100088763 14 Piece Ceramic
T-fal C72882 Initiatives Nonstick Ceramic Coating Jumbo Cooker Fry Pan
T-fal C99113 Ceramic Chef Square Griddle
Best Cookware Brand for Induction Cooktops
- 14-piece cookware set includes 10 inch and 12 inch fry pans, 2 quart and 3 quart covered sauce pans, 3 quart and 6 quart covered sauté pans, 12 inch covered chef's pan and an 8 quart covered stockpot
- 5-ply bonded construction with stainless steel, aluminum, and a thick copper core for even heating, warp-free strength, and reliable responsiveness
- Highly polished 18/10 stainless steel interior with starburst finish offers superior stick resistance and easy maintenance, plus won't react with food
- Riveted stainless-steel handles with venting and contoured for a comfortable grip; stainless-steel lids; flared edges; capacity etched on base
Induction cooktops are called this way because they use magnetic induction to heat up the pot or pan that you put on them. While induction cooking is more efficient than any other technology, you do need specific cookware for the induction cooktop.
In fact, it has to be magnetic – which is only the case with cast iron and stainless steel.
But what cookware brand makes the best cookware for induction cooktops? All-Clad takes the throne again. They are simply the masters of stainless steel cookware.
Most of their pots and pans are made of high-quality stainless steel, usually bonded with another metal to make it more efficient, and almost all of them are induction-compatible.
Another brand that makes great cookware compatible with induction cooktops is Circulon. The Circulon Momentum collection, for example, features superb stainless steel cookware combined with Circulon’s signature non-stick technology with small circular ridges across the cooking surface for optimized performance.
The All-Clad Copper Core collections are popular and great looking sets.All-Clad 60090 Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Cookware Set
Best Cookware Brand for Hard Anodized Cookware
Hard anodized aluminum is one of the greatest innovations in modern cookware. Anodization refers to a process where the surface of the aluminum has been treated in such a way that it becomes much harder than regular aluminum, and more impact-resistant.
Hard anodized aluminum is light, tough, durable, and it conducts heat really well – all in all, a great, versatile material for making pots and pans. With that being said, there is a wide range of hard anodized cookware available today, from premium options to some suspiciously cheap alternatives.
How do you know which are the good ones and which are not? Don’t worry, we have solved this question for you.
When it comes to premium hard anodized cookware, our vote goes to Calphalon. Their hard anodized cookware features a beautiful brushed finish on the outside and a metal-utensil safe non-stick coating on the inside.
Their hard anodized pots and pans also come with quality stainless steel handles and tempered glass lids with stainless steel lids, so you can be sure that each piece will last for a long time. Check out the 10-piece set using our link below, for example, or the space-saving stackable version.
The second great brand we chose for hard anodized cookware is the one whose name actually comes from the word anodized – Anolon. Anolon makes a variety of hard anodized pots and pans including frying pans, saucepans, woks, griddles and all other kinds of cookware including whole cookware sets.
Calphalon Signature Hard 10-piece
Calphalon Premier Space Saving Nonstick 10 Piece Set
Anolon Advanced Hard-Anodized Nonstick Twin Pack 10-Inch and 12-Inch French Skillets
Anolon Advanced Bronze Hard-Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set
Best Cookware Brand for Copper Cookware
You can’t really go wrong with real copper cookware. Copper provides unmatched heat conductivity. What this means is that copper heats up quickly and cools down just as fast, allowing you to control the temperature with amazing precision.
However, not many manufacturers make real copper cookware, but two that do are All-Clad and Cuisinart.
All-Clad has a collection of pure copper cookware called “c4 Copper”, but their Copper Core collection is actually our favorite. Namely, while copper is amazing to cook with, it can be really troublesome when it comes to cleaning.
Copper surfaces change color easily, and they require a lot of manual polishing in order to stay shiny, not to mention the fact that copper should never go in the dishwasher. With the Copper Core collection, on the other hand, you get stainless steel interior and exterior, with a thick copper core in the middle.
The result – pots and pans that are oven-safe (up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit), dishwasher-safe, and induction-compatible.
A good alternative to All-Clad copper cookware is Calphalon. Their Calphalon T10 Tri-Ply Copper 10 Piece Set features cookware with a copper exterior, a stainless steel interior, and a layer of aluminum in the middle.
While these pots and pans aren’t induction compatible, they will provide amazing results on all other kinds of cooktops.