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The 10 Best Nonstick Cookware Sets For Every Home Chef

These pots and pans make dinner and dishes a breeze.

best nonstick cookware
Staff, Courtesy of Rachael Ray

If cast-iron skillets are the heirlooms in a kitchen, nonstick cookware are their trusty sidekicks. A solid nonstick cookware set will help seasoned chefs and people new to the kitchen to cook everything from eggs to fish without leaving the best parts stuck to the pan.

We scoured the market for the 10 best nonstick cookware sets that will make it easier to get dinner on the plate and speed up the clean up afterward.

Best Nonstick Cookware

Types of Nonstick Cookware and How They Work

Nonstick cookware is made from aluminum or stainless steel that’s coated with a nonstick polymer or ceramic. Look for hard-anodized aluminum, which is hardened via oxidation to be more durable, because it heats evenly and quickly.

Nonstick coatings are typically made with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a synthetic polymer you might know better by a branded name: Teflon. Nearly a decade ago, there were some concerns around PTFE and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a potential carcinogen and a compound that was previously used to make PTFE, but cookware sold in the U.S. has been PFOA-free since 2015.

Nonstick pans can also be coated in ceramic, wherein silica (part of beach sand) is adhered to the inside of a pan before being baked-on in a high-heat oven. Ceramic pans can be good performers but can also be more prone to chipping.

Selecting and Caring For Nonstick Cookware

The right nonstick cooking set is the one that makes sure you always have the pan or pot you need on hand. Skillets (also called frying pans) are what you’ll likely use most often for eggs or sauteing. A 10-inch frying pan should give you enough coverage for meals for two. Saucepans, which tend to be sized from 1 to 3 quarts, are for heating soup or sauces. You can fit a can of soup in a 2-quart saucepan. If you meal-plan or have a large family, a stockpot—which ranges from 6 to 8 quarts—is useful for big batches of chili, stews, and soups.

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When it comes to features, consider the max temperature a pan can withstand in the oven before you have to worry about flaking or chipping. It’s also important to know if your nonstick cookware can be used on an induction or electric range; the manufacturer should tell you if a pan is compatible in the product description. Induction ovens require cookware with a magnetic base to work, and the aluminum in some nonstick pans isn’t magnetic. Take a look at handles, too, to see if they’re coated or longer to remain cooler while on the stove. If your kitchen is tight on space, consider cookware that can nest and stack inside a cabinet.

When caring for your pans, avoid nonstick cooking spray; it can build up on the surface and doesn’t improve the performance. Unless otherwise specified, use silicone utensils instead of metal tools, which can scratch the protective coating on some pots. Although some pans are dishwasher-safe, they’ll last longer if you wash them in the sink with warm water, dish soap, and a soft sponge.

How We Evaluated

I’ve owned and used multiple brands of nonstick cookware during my career as a food writer. I also wrote an entire cookbook about stock. To compare sets, I considered the mix of pots and pans offered, heat tolerance, materials, and cost of more than two dozen brands. I combined my daily kitchen experience with a deep dive into review sites, such as Good Housekeeping and Consumer Reports, alongside customer reviews on Amazon and Wayfair.

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Best Set for Two People
Calphalon Classic Hard-Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set with No-Boil-Over Inserts
Calphalon amazon.com
$239.99

Key Specs

  • Number of pieces: 10
  • What’s Included: 8- and 10-in. frying pans, 2.5-qt. covered saucepan with no-boil-over insert, 3-qt. covered saute pan, and 6-qt. covered stockpot with no-boil-over insert
  • Oven Safe Temp: 450 degrees F

The Calphalon nonstick pans that I’ve owned heat up quickly and evenly, though the handles can get warm. This set, made up of mostly smaller pans, is perfect for two people that cook a lot of rice, pasta, and soups. The pour spots and measurements on the interior of the pots make it easy to add water, and the silicone inserts will help inattentive cooks avoid water bubbling over the top of the pot.

  • Tempered glass lids
  • Works with all stovetops

  • Fewer pots and pans than other sets
Best Starter Set
Rachael Ray 12-Piece Cucina Nonstick Cookware Set
Rachael Ray amazon.com
$159.99
$119.99 (25% off)

Key Specs

  • Number of Pieces: 12
  • What’s Included: 8.5- and 10-in. frying pans, 1- and 3-qt. covered saucepans, 3-qt. covered saute pan, 6-qt. covered stockpot, and a slotted spoon and turner
    Oven Safe Temp: 400 degrees F

While you’re saving to buy a nice dutch oven, this is a pan collection that can take care of everything else without breaking the bank. Silicone makes the stainless steel handles comfortable, but not entirely heat-resistant, on the stovetop. Gently flared pot rims make pouring easier. If you’re a smaller human, you’ll appreciate the lightweight pots, which also boil water quickly.

  • Shatter-resistant glass lids
  • Available in seven colors

  • Undersized skillets and saucepans
Best Value Starter Set
T-Fal Signature Nonstick Black 12-Piece Set
T-Fal amazon.com
$89.99
$79.99 (11% off)

Key Specs

  • Number of Pieces: 12
  • What’s Included: 7.75- and 11-in. frying pans, 1- and 2-qt. covered saucepans, 5.5-qt. covered stockpot, 10.25-in. griddle, and a spoon, ladle, and slotted spatula
  • Oven Safe Temp: 350 degrees F

Just like a kettle whistles, these hard-anodized T-Fal pans let you know when they’re ready for cooking with a “thermo spot” indicator, a center circle that turns red when your pan is preheated. This set is great for a family of three or four who is setting up a kitchen because of the included utensils and the range of sizes in the set. The 11-inch frying pan can easily fit four fried eggs, and the square griddle holds six large pancakes.

  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • Affordable

  • Low oven-safe temperature
Best Upgrade Set
Ninja Foodi NeverStick Vivid 8-Piece Cookware Set
Ninja amazon.com
$249.99

Key Specs

  • Number of Pieces: 8
  • What’s Included: 8- and 10.25-in. frying pans, 1.5- and 2.5-qt. covered saucepans, and 6.5-qt. covered stockpot
  • Oven Safe Temp: 400 degrees F

A couple ready to move on from their starter set should take a hard look at these hard-anodized aluminum pans. The bright red pots and pans are undersized if you’re looking to host but plenty big enough for heating oatmeal in the morning or cooking a pair of chicken breasts. Silicone handles stay cool, and the pans hold heat well. However, a thicker aluminum base means the pan needs to be preheated slightly longer than other nonstick pans.

  • Can use with metal utensils
  • Silicone handles stay cool on the stove

  • In-between pan sizes could make for more dishes to clean
Best Space Saver
Anolon SmartStack 10-Piece Cookware Set
Anolon walmart.com
$399.99

Key Specs

  • Number of Pieces: 10
  • What’s Included: 8.5-, 10-, and 12-in. frying pans; 2- and 4-qt. covered saucepans; 8-qt. stockpot, and steamer insert
  • Oven Safe Temp: 400 degrees F

The Anolon SmartStack set is full of thoughtful touches. Handles on both sides of the larger saucepan makes it easier to lift when full of a pound of pasta and boiling water; and the nonstick coating on the exterior of the pans makes them easier to clean. Best of all, the 10-piece set stacks in two compact towers that fit on a standard cabinet shelf.

  • Stackable pots and pans take up less space
  • Wide variety of pots and pans

  • Expensive
Durable Construction
All-Clad Essentials Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set, 10-Piece
All-Clad amazon.com
$399.95

Key Specs

  • Number of Pieces: 10
  • What’s Included: 8.5- and 10.5-in. frying pans, 2.5-qt. covered saucepan, 4-qt. covered saute pan, 7-qt. covered stockpot with insert, 13-in. square pan, and two silicone trivets
    Oven Safe Temp: 500 degrees F

I’ve had an All-Clad pan in my kitchen, in one form or another, for more than two decades because they reliably hold heat and tend to hold up over time with proper care. This set with stainless steel handles is certainly a splurge; but it’s dishwasher-safe and has solid temperature control, which is key if you’re cooking on an electric stovetop. The standout is the 13-inch square pan, good for one-pan dinners or searing a steak because of its high-heat tolerance.

  • High-heat tolerance
  • Durable

  • Heavy
  • Can’t be used with induction stovetops
  • Expensive
Best Statement Cookware
GreenPan Reserve Ceramic Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set, Blush With Gold-Tone Handles
GreenPan amazon.com
$372.80

Key Specs

  • Number of Pieces: 10
  • What’s Included: 8- and 11-in. frying pans, 2- and 3-qt. covered saucepans, 3-qt. covered saute pan, 5-qt. covered stockpot
  • Oven Safe Temp: 600 degrees F

If you’re tired of chunky black pans, this pink and gold set is the answer. The larger frying pan can easily handle a pound of ground beef for taco night, and the gold stainless steel handles are sturdier than aluminum handles. These are the kind of pans that are pretty enough to double as your serving container.

  • High-heat tolerance
  • Wide variety of colors available

  • Stockpot is slightly small
  • Expensive
Best Ceramic Set
Caraway Marigold 7-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set
Caraway target.com
$395.00

Key Specs

  • Number of Pieces: 7
  • What’s Included: 10.5-in. frying pan, 3-qt. covered saucepan, 4.5-qt. covered saute pan, and 6.5-qt. covered stockpot
  • Oven Safe Temp: 550 degrees F

Bright, sleek, and functional, Caraway’s ceramic pans come with dedicated storage solutions: four magnetic pan racks and a hanging fabric lid holder. And you’re going to want to store them somewhere that people can see them. The set is stripped down, with only one undersized frying pan. Still, the large saute pan and stockpot are solid choices for stews (with leftovers, even for a family of four) and steaming vegetables.

  • Can handle high heat
  • Work with all stovetops
  • Dishwasher-safe

  • You might miss small pans or pots for melting butter or heating a small amount of water
  • Expensive
Best Scratch Resistance
7-Piece HexClad Hybrid Cookware Set with Lids and Wok
HexClad amazon.com
$429.00

Key Specs

  • Number of Pieces: 7
  • What’s Included: 8-, 10-, and 12-in. covered frying pans; and 12-in. wok
  • Oven Safe Temp: 500 degrees F

If you pan fry or saute everything, you should consider the HexClad set, which combines stainless steel and a nonstick coating, for pans that hold heat well and are not as delicate as the competition. You can use metal utensils on these pans, then put them in the dishwasher or scrub them with steel wool. The included wok is a versatile kitchen companion for stir-frying, steaming mussels, or popping popcorn.

  • Scratch-resistant
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Works with induction stovetops

  • No pots included
  • Expensive
Dishwasher-Safe
Cuisinart Dishwasher-Safe Anodized Cookware 11-Piece Set
Cuisinart amazon.com
$520.00
$168.99 (68% off)

Key Specs

  • Number of Pieces: 11
  • What’s Included: 8- and 10-in. frying pans, 1- and 2.5-qt. covered saucepans, 3-qt. covered saute pan, 6-qt. stockpot and pasta insert
  • Oven Safe Temp: 600 degrees F

Nobody wants to do the dishes by hand every night. When you need a break, this dishwasher-safe collection from Cuisinart is a durable option. You can use a metal spatula and crank the broiler to 600 degrees as you look for a perfect sear on a steak in your 10-inch skillet, while angel hair burbles away in the stockpot. The stainless steel handles have a nice arch and good weight, though the larger pans can be difficult to lift when full.

  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Break-resistant glass lids

  • Bigger pots and pans are heavy without a helper handle
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