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On the hunt for the best stainless steel cookware sets on the market? We made a list of the highest rated stainless steel cookware sets in 2023.
From 3-ply pans, to 5-ply and 7-ply stainless steel cookware, there’s something for every need and budget. Also, if you’re new to stainless steel cookware, take a deep dive with us as we explore the difference between various stainless steel cookware sets, different types of “plys”, grades, and more!
p.s. If you love non toxic cookware, check out our full roundup of the best non toxic cookware picks here!
The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets in 2023.
Durable, gleaming pots and pans, elegantly designed to become your ticket to worry-free, delicious meals for the entire family? Yes, please!
High quality stainless steel cookware sets will forever be our number one choice!
First and foremost, stainless steel is an inert material, meaning it doesn’t react with the food you cook. It won’t leach harmful chemicals or unwanted flavors into your dishes.
That’s not all! Stainless steel’s corrosion-resistant properties ensure that it remains stable and safe for cooking even after prolonged use. It doesn’t corrode or rust, preventing any potential contamination.
Also, it’s recyclable! When you’re ready to part ways (which will be a long time from now), the highest quality stainless steel cookware can be recycled, making it an eco-conscious choice.
On top of that, you can go from stovetop to oven without a hitch. Fry, bake, sauté, sear – it can do it all. Plus, this fantastic material is non-reactive, so you can cook anything without worrying about the cookware meddling with your food’s taste or nutrients.
What’s more, stainless steel cookware doesn’t retain odors, flavors, or bacteria. A little soap and water, and voila! It cleans up like a breeze.
To put it simply, it’s a top choice when you prioritize the well-being of your family and want a cooking surface that won’t compromise the quality or safety of your meals. Read on to find the best non toxic stainless steel cookware brands in 2023.
Which stainless steel cookware set is the best?
The best type of stainless steel cookware often comes down to the construction and design, which affects performance, durability, and overall cooking experience.
Here are some of the safest options on the market:
- Multi-Ply or Triple Ply Stainless Steel Cookware
The most popular and effective type of stainless steel cookware is multi-ply (or tri-ply) construction. It typically consists of three layers – an aluminum or copper core sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. This design ensures even heat distribution and retention, avoiding hot spots and providing precise cooking results.
- Aluminum or Copper Core
Cookware with an aluminum or copper core ensures better heat conductivity. Copper is the best conductor of heat, but aluminum is more affordable and still provides excellent heat distribution.
Clad Stainless Steel: Clad stainless steel cookware refers to cookware made by layering different metals together. Look for cookware with a thick layer of aluminum or copper at its core for optimal heat distribution and retention.
- Stainless Steel Grade
The grade of stainless steel matters. 18/10 stainless steel (18% chromium and 10% nickel) is often considered the best quality for cookware due to its resistance to corrosion, durability, and ability to maintain a shiny appearance.
To put it simply, the best stainless steel cookware is typically multi-ply or tri-ply construction with an aluminum or copper core, clad stainless steel, high-grade stainless steel (e.g., 18/10), and well-designed lids and handles.
What makes some stainless steel cookware toxic?
Granted, stainless steel cookware is generally considered safe and non-toxic for cooking (especially the ones we chose for our top picks!). However, there are some concerns about the potential for stainless steel cookware to release trace amounts of metals into food, particularly when exposed to certain conditions.
- Metal Leaching: Stainless steel cookware is made from an alloy containing various metals, including chromium, nickel, iron, and sometimes others like manganese. While these metals are generally safe, they can leach into food, especially when cooking acidic or salty foods, or when using damaged or poorly manufactured cookware.
- Nickel Exposure: Nickel is a common component of stainless steel, and some people may have nickel sensitivities or allergies. Prolonged exposure to nickel, especially through acidic foods, can potentially lead to adverse health effects in sensitive individuals, such as skin rashes or respiratory issues. *If you have a nickel sensitivity or allergy, you need to purchase 430 or 18/0 type cookware, which does not have nickel.
- Chromium and Iron: Chromium and iron are essential minerals, but excessive amounts can potentially be harmful. Ingesting high levels of chromium or iron, which can occur if there’s a significant leaching from the cookware, could be detrimental to health.
- Poor Quality or Coatings: Cookware with poor quality or coatings can pose risks. For instance, non-stick coatings may contain harmful chemicals like PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) or PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). Coatings can deteriorate over time, potentially exposing food to the base metal.
- Scratches and Damage: Scratches, dents, or other damage to the cookware’s surface can create areas where metals can leach into food more easily. Using abrasive cleaning materials or metal utensils can scratch the surface, especially in poor-quality stainless steel cookware.
What is the difference between 3-ply, 5-ply and 7-ply stainless steel cookware?
Before you start putting the best 7 ply, 5 ply stainless steel cookware, triple ply stainless steel cookware in your cart, let’s go over some important information about the differences between these three options. We like to follow a simple rule: The more “plys” the better!
In 3-ply cookware, there are three layers, an inner core of aluminum or copper for optimal heat distribution sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel, providing durability and resistance to corrosion. This design ensures even cooking and is versatile enough for a wide range of cooking techniques. It’s a balance of performance, weight, and cost-effective efficiency, making it popular among many home cooks.
Stepping up, 5 ply stainless steel cookware incorporates an additional layer of metal, typically an outer layer of stainless steel on each side of the core layers found in 3-ply. This addition further improves heat distribution and retention, offering enhanced precision in cooking. The outer stainless steel layers contribute to the cookware’s resistance against scratches and discoloration, making it more durable and aesthetically pleasing.
7-ply stainless steel cookware features an intricate layering of seven metals, alternating layers of aluminum and/or copper encapsulated by three layers of stainless steel, with an outer stainless steel layer. This complex composition achieves the highest level of heat conductivity, distribution, and retention. The superior layering enhances the cookware’s strength and longevity, delivering precise control over temperatures during cooking. It’s a top-tier option for those who prioritize exceptional performance, durability, and versatility in their culinary endeavors.
What are the pros of stainless steel cookware?
Stainless steel cookware is highly durable and resistant to scratches, dents, and corrosion. It can withstand high temperatures and is less likely to warp over time, providing long-lasting performance.
What’s more, stainless steel cookware is versatile and suitable for various cooking methods, including searing, sautéing, boiling, frying, baking, and more. It’s compatible with all stovetops, including induction, making it a versatile choice for different cooking setups.
Plus, due to the non-porous surface, the cookware doesn’t retain flavors or odors from previous cooking, preserving the taste of your dishes.
What are the pros of stainless steel cookware?
Single-ply stainless steel cookware may have inadequate heat retention properties compared to multi-ply varieties. It can result in uneven cooking, especially for dishes that require longer cooking times. This is why we will always recommend 5 or 7 ply stainless steel cookware.
High-quality stainless steel cookware can be relatively expensive compared to some other materials. However, it is often viewed as a long-term investment due to its durability and longevity.
Lastly, stainless steel cookware can be heavier compared to other materials, which might make it less convenient for some users, especially when handling larger pots and pans.
What is the difference between 304 and 403 stainless steel cookware?
The numbers “304” and “403” refer to specific grades or types of stainless steel, and they have distinct compositions and properties that influence their suitability for use in cookware.
304 stainless steel is an austenitic grade and contains around 18-20% chromium and 8-10.5% nickel. It also has small amounts of carbon, manganese, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, and nitrogen. It is highly resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for use in cookware where exposure to moisture and acidic foods is common.
Plus, 304 stainless steel is non-reactive with food, ensuring that it won’t alter the taste or quality of the dishes being prepared.
403 stainless steel is a ferritic grade and contains around 11-13% chromium and very little to no nickel. It also includes small amounts of carbon, manganese, phosphorus, sulfur, silicon, and iron. While it has some corrosion resistance, it’s not as resistant to corrosion as austenitic grades like 304.
403 stainless steel is not as heat resistant as austenitic grades, which can limit its applications in high-temperature cooking. What’s more, Ferritic stainless steels like 403 are generally more magnetic compared to austenitic stainless steels.
Ultimately, 304 stainless steel is a more common and preferred grade for cookware due to its superior corrosion resistance, heat resistance, and non-reactive properties.
On the other hand, 403 stainless steel, being a ferritic grade, is less commonly used for cookware, especially in areas that directly interact with food, due to its lower corrosion resistance and reactivity with some food substances.
This blog post is all about the best stainless steel cookware sets.
Best Non Toxic Stainless Steel Cookware Sets | Reviewed & Tested!
Our number one favorite cookware brand, Caraway, has done it again!
They came up with a super lightweight non toxic stainless steel cookware set that aims to be your kitchen confidante for healthier cooking at higher temperatures.
Free from any potentially harmful culprits like PFOA, PTFE, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, or toxic metals, this 5 ply stainless steel cookware set steers clear of hard anodization.
Plus, it’s designed for a long life of sizzling, searing, and sautéing. To top it all off, complimentary pan and lid storage are included, ensuring your kitchen stays organized and stylish.
Notable Features: 5-ply naturally non-toxic stainless steel, made with proprietary passivation process, non-reactive & non-corrosive, pan & lid storage solution, burner agnostic & oven safe
Location/Shipping: USA, ships worldwide
Best Stainless Steel Cookware from Caraway:
360 Cookware is your kitchen buddy that can handle the heat – all the way up to a sizzling 500°F in the oven. Perfect for when you want that extra crisp or a melt-in-the-mouth finish!
These safest stainless steel cookware sets, backed by a lifetime warranty, are lovingly handcrafted by a family that knows the ins and outs of the cookware business.
What’s more, their pots and pans are crafted from surgical-grade, non-leaching 18/8 stainless steel, ensuring your meals stay safe and delicious. They also use a dry sanding process to give their products a smooth, non-porous surface.
Price: From $99+
Discount Code: SKL20
Notable Features: Ergonomic handles, oven safe up to 500 degrees, cladded metal, T-304 surgical grade stainless steel, stay cool long handles
Location/Shipping: USA, ships to Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, UK
Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets from 360 Cookware:
We’ve already written a dedicated Great Jones Cookware Review earlier this year, but let’s summarize it!
Whether you’re eyeing stainless steel pots and pans, ceramic non-stick cookware sets, or cast iron skillets, Great Jones has you covered.
Oven-safe and ready to tackle a variety of recipes, they’re versatile and reliable. The brand’s non toxic stainless steel cookware collection is completely free of PFOA and PTFE chemicals and the fully clad stainless ensures fast and even heat distribution.
Plus, Great Jones goes the extra mile by partnering with Hot Bread Kitchen, allowing you to recycle your old non-toxic cookware.
Price: From $90+
Notable Features: Clad stainless steel, bronzed handles & mirrored stainless, 60-day free trial, with free returns, oven safe up to 500 degrees, dishwasher friendly
Highest Quality Stainless Steel Cookware from Great Jones:
Premium quality, triple ply stainless steel cookware? You bet!
Alva’s Chef collection is crafted with a three-layer encapsulated aluminum base to ensure your cooking experience is all about optimal heat conductivity and even distribution. No more hot spots, just perfectly cooked meals!
Those easy-to-grip riveted stainless steel handles? They’re designed with your comfort in mind, giving you a secure hold as you work your culinary magic.
Bonus point: All tri ply pans, pots, and casseroles are completely free of all toxic materials.
Price: From $99+
Discount Code: SKL10
Notable Features: 3 layer aluminum base, stainless steel body, oven & dishwasher safe, suitable for gas, electric, ceramic & induction heat sources
Best Stainless Steel Cookware 3 ply from Alva:
The Made In stainless steel cookware is professional-chef approved and available in various sizes ranging from 3 to 13 pieces.
These non stick stainless steel cookware can handle the heat, boasting oven safety up to an impressive 800°F. For those who prefer carbon steel, they’ve got you covered up to a scorching 1200°F.
What’s more, they are infused with the essence of traditional French cooking methods and are ethically crafted in their USA-based factory.
Lastly, with their Recycling Program, you can easily recycle your old highest rated stainless steel cookware as well.
Price: From $97+
Notable Features: 5-ply stainless clad, lifetime warranty, stay cool handles, induction compatible, oven safe up to 800F, dishwasher safe
Location/Shipping: USA, ships worldwide
Best 5 ply Stainless Steel Cookware from Made In:
Next up is Proclamation’s raved-about, non toxic 430 stainless steel cookware set.
This 3x award-winning flagship stainless steel set is engineered with an unwavering commitment to stand the test of time.
No gimmicks, no empty promises—just a dozen or more cooking methods seamlessly integrated into three streamlined pieces that stack or nest neatly, ensuring effortless storage.
Plus, whether you’re a solo diner with a cozy kitchen or a household that loves hosting friends-and-family feasts, the 3 universal sizes will meet all your needs.
To top it all off, each non toxic stainless steel cookware set is meticulously crafted to order, ensuring a perfect fit for your needs.
Notable Features: 304-grade stainless steel interior, 400-series stainless steel exterior, aluminum core, oven safe, made to order
Location/Shipping: USA, ships worldwide
Marrying the tradition of expert German engineering and stainless steel know-how, ZWILLING has created some of the safest stainless steel cookware on the eco market.
The extremely sturdy clad construction with an aluminum core ensures consistent heating across the pan for perfect results every time.
As for the Ceraforce XTREME ceramic nonstick coating, it’s actually 50% longer lasting and 3x more durable than previous nonstick coatings.
It’s tough, safe to use with metal utensils, and impressively scratch-resistant. Zwilling is, after all, one of the highest rated stainless steel cookware brands in Europe.
Price: From $59.99+
Notable Features: 3-ply construction from rim to rim, thick aluminum core conducts heat quickly & evenly, oven safe up to 500 degrees, dishwasher safe, compatible with gas, induction, ceran, halogen & electric cooktops
Location/Shipping: Belgium, ships worldwide (choose your location at the bottom of the website)
From crafting the best 5 ply stainless steel cookware to offering multiple stainless steel cookware 3 ply set options, All-Clad should be on your eco radar.
The G5 Graphite Core spreads heat uniformly with no hot spots, for perfectly even browning and crisp searing.
What’s more, these chef-approved, non stick stainless steel cookware is oven & broiler-safe up to 600°F.
And because they are so lightweight, you can easily flip foods and maneuver in the kitchen
Price: From $99.99
Notable Features: Tri-ply construction, aluminum core bonded with 2 layers of durable stainless steel, limited lifetime warranty, oven/broiler up to 600F
What makes the Caphalon highest quality stainless steel cookware so darn unique?
The amazing construction. The impact-bonded aluminum base ensures an even distribution of heat, providing the ideal platform for browning, searing, and sautéing.
The non toxic stainless steel cookware is also equipped with long stainless steel handles to stay cool on the stovetop. Tempered glass lids provide a clear view of your cooking process while ensuring durability to withstand high temperatures.
On top of that, you can take your dishes from stovetop to oven effortlessly, as this set is oven-safe up to 450 degrees F. It’s incredibly versatile and fits seamlessly into your cooking routine.
Price: From 49.99+
Notable Features: Fully clad 3-layer metal construction, heavy gauge aluminum core, lifetime warranty, oven safe up to 450F, dishwasher safe, compatible with most stovetops
For the best stainless steel cookware sets that are equal parts premium quality and display-worthy, look no further than Anolon Nouvelle.
The gleaming mirror-polished exteriors not only catch the eye but also signify durability that lasts a lifetime. Seriously, you can achieve the perfect sear with these stunning stainless steel pots and pans.
The double full cap bases, featuring copper cores, ensure fast and even heat distribution, giving you the precision and control you need for impeccable cooking results.
As an added bonus, the domed lids are a thoughtful addition, locking in heat and flavor for exquisite dishes every time.
Price: From $69.99+
Notable Features: Triple layer nonstick & brushed stainless steel interior, stainless steel & hard anodized aluminum body, induction plate with copper midlayer base, lifetime warranty
If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate stainless steel cookware 3 ply set, check out BergHOFF’s safest stainless steel cookware sets.
Made from high-quality 18/10 Stainless Steel with a mirror finish, these sets exude elegance and durability, making them a worthy addition to any kitchen.
Glass lids with integrated steam vents allow for energy-efficient cooking while giving you a clear view of your culinary masterpiece.
Plus, the non-porous stainless steel cooking surface is safe for use with all kinds of utensils which is a huge plus.
Price: From $40+
Notable Features: 18/0 stainless steel with a satin finish, 3-layer base, 2-year warranty
Location/Shipping: USA, ships internationally
This blog post was all about the best stainless steel cookware sets!
There you have it – 11 of the best non toxic stainless steel cookware options for chemical-free cooking.
From innovative designs to the finest materials, these 3 ply and t 5 ply stainless steel cookware brands promise health and sustainability in every delightful meal.
If you liked this post on the best stainless steel cookware sets, you’ll definitely want to check out these other posts from SKL: