Whether you romanticise about the art of cooking and good food or you like any time spent in the kitchen to be swift and easy, you're going to need a set of quality cookware. With stainless steel being an immensely popular, durable and practical material, we've focused our attention specifically on the best stainless steel pots and pans found online today.
Names like Morphy Richards and Russel Hobbs have long been synonymous with reliable cookware, but brands such as Zwilling, Velaze and Circulon are nipping at their heels, making for some unbelievably good deals to be found on Amazon, John Lewis, Argos and eBay. We've rounded up our top picks, alongside advice on choosing the best steel saucepan sets for the money.
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Two numbers that you'll quite often find accompanying stainless steel cookware are their chromium and nickel percentages. 18% is a good amount of chromium that should come as standard. This chromium gives the steel its rust-resistance as well as a hardened and durable finish, so it is important.
Nickel is a metal that is shiny in appearance and heavy in weight. That's why higher-end steel cookware sets will be coated in a layer of nickel, enhancing their feel and look. Nickel also gives cookware additional anti-corrosive properties, which in turn will give your set a much longer lifespan. Two common percentages of nickel found in cookware are 8% and 10%, whereby both equate to quality.
However, you will find cheaper stainless steel cookware sets with no mention of a chromium and nickel percentage. This will indicate that the stainless steel will be of lesser quality, with a lower percentage of chromium and potentially no nickel.
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Some of the most basic cookware sets will simply comprise of three different-sized saucepans. This can be a good option for a set to accompany another frying pan set you want to buy, or in addition to a few other individual pieces of cookware you may already have.
Meanwhile, larger eight-piece sets can include a casserole pot, a stockpot and varying amounts of frying pans, saucepans and milk pans. These substantial sets can be very useful if you're looking to inject a newly-improved clean cookware sweep into your kitchen and cooking life.
A very popular size that will have you equipped for most dishes is a five-piece cookware set, where you'll typically find three saucepans, a milk pan and a frying pan. While each brand will have their own take on a five-piece, it should come to represent the bare minimum for a functioning kitchen.
Another point of difference with these sets is what their lids are constructed from. While traditional stainless steel lids look smart and blend well with their pots in crime, with glass lids you can always keep an eye on the prize, putting a hopeful end to boiled-over water and dried out food.
Whether you go for glass or steel, lids with silicone or safety handles are a wise choice, as they'll allow you to move your pan or lid quickly without getting the oven gloves out. It'll also eliminate those questionable times when your hand accidentally ends up in the firing line!
Both materials make for clever, stress-free approaches for home cooks of all abilities who want to produce wholesome meals for their families without ending up with chef's hands in the process. Just remember to check whether each pan (or only some of them) comes with a lid to avoid disappointment.
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While most modern stainless steel cookware sets will come ready to roll with induction hobs, it's certainly not a given. What makes a pot or pan work on an induction cooker is its base being of a magnetic grade stainless steel. This magnetic base reacts with the induction element of the hob, allowing heat to transfer from hob to pan.
If you do own an induction cooker, be wary of cheaper cookware sets that may not be induction compatible. Other incompatible stainless steel sets will have aluminium and other materials included into their base construction.
While it may seem like a sure thing for your stainless steel cookware to be dishwasher and oven safe, it's not necessarily always the case. Checking the maximum temperature of each set will be an easy indicator as to whether it's oven and dishwasher viable.
A dishwasher-safe set could save you hours of hand-washing, profusely scrubbing to get your pots and pans as sparkly as a dishwasher can. Non-stick pans are notoriously naughty in dishwashers as they don't mix well with the high water temperatures and harsh chemicals.
Maximum temperatures typically attached to cookware sets are between 180° and 270°. This temperature has a direct effect on its oven suitability and subsequent quality, with the more expensive sets having higher quality, heavier-set stainless steel that will handle the heat your kitchen may be dishing out.
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5 Piece, Comfort Max, Stainless Steel
The Best Value Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Twin Classic Cookware Set
Industry-Standard, Heat-Resistant Steel Cookware
Induction Frying Pan and Saucepan Set With Lids
An Inexpensive Yet Impressive 5-Piece Set
8-Piece Stainless Steel Induction Ready Cookware Set
High-Quality, High-Volume Cookware That Handles Extreme Heat
Motti Series Cookware Set
Affordable, Dishwasher-Safe Saucepans With Glass Lids
Stainless Steel 5-Piece Saucepan and Frying Pan Set
Non-Stick Pans You Can Put in the Oven and Dishwasher
5-Piece Stainless Steel Pan Set
A Reliable Set With Unique In-Built Strainers
John Lewis & Partners
Tri-Ply Set of 3 Stainless Steel Saucepans With Copper Coating
Premium-Grade Set of Three Saucepans With Unrivalled Conductivity
5-Piece Stainless Steel With Silicone Rim Pan Set
Features Easy-Drain Lids for Stress-Free Pouring
12-Piece Stainless Steel Saucepan Set
A Cheap Six-Piece Set With Glass Lids and Handles A-Plenty
This set is from trusted non-stick inventors Tefal. Made from weighted 18/10 stainless steel, this five-piece set of cookware nirvana comprises of two frying pans, two saucepans and one milk pan.
Being induction suitable, dishwasher safe and suitable for ovens up to 175° only adds to its seductive cookware charm. The pan bottom increases and evens out its heat distribution to acclaimed levels, making this set one for the books.
From the acclaimed Zwilling, this five-piece set oozes style with its suave satin finish. Consisting of three varying depths of saucepan, one milk pan and a saute pan, you can rely on the set to deliver you good food, all day, every day.
While the pans are constructed from super high-quality 18/10 steel that's both attractive and durable, its handles are even more impressive. Large, easy to grab and with heat-resistant, stay-cool stainless steel technology, they give an industrial look with a home-cook stamp of safety. This is a very sensible kit well deserving of its price tag.
Morphy Richards knows how to produce good-quality kitchenware for pleasant-on-the pocket prices, so it's no shock this is an insanely popular set that's got thousands of people head over hobs. It's induction suited, dishwasher safe and probably oven-OK, although no max. temperature has been stated.
Sticking to the common thread, it includes three saucepans with glass lids, one frying pan and one milk pan. Each piece is constructed from 18/10 stainless steel and includes a stay-cool handle, as well as the brand's thermocore technology to eliminate hot spots and ensure even heat distribution.
Now this is a set for the culinary fans who envisage creating great food to impress their guests. This all-steel affair is constructed from high-quality 18/8 stainless steel with an aluminium-clad base to evenly distribute heat during cooking.
Included pieces are a larger-than-life 38-litre stockpot, two saucepans, one non-stick frying pan and a regular frying pan. Each piece is induction ready, dishwasher safe and can handle a staggering 260° of heat, which is market-leading indeed. This is an ideal choice for the avid home chef and commercial kitchen alike.
It's a saucepan party with this set, so this is a great pick if you're already sorted on the frying pan front. There are five saucepans and one serving pan, and each piece is complemented by a thoughtful glass lid, helping to contain every bit of flavour that may try to escape from the pot.
This is another set that's conveniently induction ready and dishwasher safe, although unfortunately no maximum temperature has been divulged. With the 18/10 stainless steel it's made from, however, you can bet it'll be a set that'll keep you happily fed for plenty of memorable dinners to come.
This set takes a 100% non-stick approach, plus each piece is induction ready and able to handle temperatures up to 204°, making for an oven- and dishwasher-safe set too. This is not normally the case with non-stick pans, which is why it's also accompanied by a rather hefty price tag.
Still, it's a remarkable set that comprises of three saucepans with accompanying glass lids and handles, and a frying and milk pan to boot. The handles of each piece are wrapped in a silicone overlay for safe handling, keeping it cool under pressure.
Here's another five-piece cookware set, only this time from the famed British company Russell Hobbs. The set features a frying pan, milk pan and three saucepans, each with a glass lid and in-built strainers to take the uncertainty out of cooking and draining.
As it does not have any added plastic or silicone on the handles or lids, the entire set is oven-safe up to 200°, plus it is induction compatible and dishwasher safe too. The quality stainless steel is complemented by a mirror finish to give off a radiant shine that'll light up your kitchen.
John Lewis have produced a premium product with this three-piece stainless steel and copper saucepan set. They're constructed from the highest quality 18/10 stainless steel with an outer layer of solid copper to enhance its conductivity by spreading heat evenly through the pan.
Each saucepan is accompanied by a sleek stainless steel lid with riveted handle, built to last and endure the harshest of kitchen climates. The triumphant trio also features a very minimal yet alluring sense of style, while being oven and dishwasher safe up to 220°. A fine example of cookware prestige which, expectingly, is far from cheap!
This clever five-piece set from the Home kitchen range by Argos includes three saucepans with practical silicone handles, while the silicone lids feature an easy-drain system to make pouring and straining safe and simple.
Also included is a 24 cm frying pan and a 14 cm milk pan, both with silicone handles, which rounds off a thoughtful set to keep your hands out of harm's and heat's way. On the downside, the chromium and nickel percentages have not been revealed, which tells you the set is probably not made from high-quality stainless steel.
First on our list is an inexpensive six-piece cookware set that boasts 4 casserole pans, a saucepan and a frying pan. All of the pieces are dishwasher safe, ensuring they can take some heat and keep on cooking.
There are also four glass lids for the casserole pans, and each pan has either one or two plastic handles, making for a set that puts safety first. This does mean that it probably isn't suitable for oven use, though. Also, unfortunately the pans are not induction compatible, so it's definitely one to avoid if you're an induction convert.
No. 1: Tefal｜5 Piece, Comfort Max, Stainless Steel
No. 2: Zwilling｜Twin Classic Cookware Set
No. 3: Morphy Richards｜Induction Frying Pan and Saucepan Set With Lids
No. 4: AmazonCommercial ｜8-Piece Stainless Steel Induction Ready Cookware Set
No. 5: Velaze｜Motti Series Cookware Set
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