Best Cookware

Pots and pans for your home are a significant long-term investment, so doing your research up front can definitely pay off when you decide to buy. We did a ton of research to find the absolute best cookware made in America. Below, you’ll find the summary of our findings, top picks, additional details about each one, and the factors we considered in our research.

Our Findings

There is a lot to consider when buying cookware, especially with all of the different product varieties. Stainless steel is one of the most popular, and can come back to bite you if you don’t buy the right steel quality. We found that Viking makes the best stainless steel cookware products, followed by USA Pan and All-Clad as other good options. Nordic Ware led the way for non-stick cookware, Lodge is the best in the business for cast iron skillets, and a little guy named Brooklyn Copper Cookware is producing great copper pots and pans. More details about each one of our recommendations is below!

Top Recommendations

Best CookwareBest for:
Viking 5-Ply 10 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware SetStainless Steel
USA Pan 8-Piece Cookware SetAffordability
Nordic Ware Restaurant 7-Piece Cookware SetNon-Stick
Lodge Cast Iron SkilletCast Iron
Brooklyn Copper CookwareCopper

Recommendations: Going Deeper

We’ve compiled product details, what we liked, what we didn’t like, and even some close alternatives for each of our top picks.

Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Viking 5-Ply 10 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set


Viking sets the standard for quality among other stainless steel cookware brands. It’s also a great company that treats their employees well, rated best place to work in Mississippi in 2016. Their 10-piece cookware set was the front runner coming out of our research; handcrafted right here in the USA. The 5-ply construction and aluminum core gets you nice heat transfer from your stove top, an even heating surface to cook on, and actually reduces energy usage compared to other cookware manufacturers. It’s also made with 18/10 stainless steel, which means it contains 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel – bottom line, that means it’s super high quality and helps prevent rust. The ten piece set includes frying pans, saucepans, and stockpots of varying sizes.

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Things we like:

  • Quick and even heating
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Oven, broiler, and grill safe
  • “Stay cool” handles

Things we don’t like:

  • None

3-ply Viking alternative: Found here
Most affordable stainless steel set: USA Pan 8-Piece Cookware Set
Honorable mention: All-Clad Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set

 

Best Non-Stick Cookware Set

Nordic Ware Restaurant 7-Piece Cookware Set


Nordic Ware has been making high quality cookware in their Minneapolis manufacturing facility since 1946. Their 7-piece cookware set was the best we found with a reliable non-stick surface, and for a good price too. The non-stick surface worries some folks due to health concerns – these pots and pans were tested and certified by NSF International, an organization for public health safety. The Nordic Ware pans have a nice, even heating surface and a bit of a concave bottom to help prevent any warping, which can happen with some lower quality pans. Overall, a very solid starter cookware set for a great price.

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Things we like:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Non-stick surface
  • Comfortable, stay-cool grips
  • Even heating surface, no hot spots

Things we don’t like:

  • Lid is a little thin in the larger stockpot, making it tougher to retain heat

 

Best Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet


Headquartered in Tennessee, Lodge Manufacturing is synonymous with pre-seasoned cast iron skillets and has been perfecting their craft for over 100 years. These Lodge skillets are super sturdy (weighing in at over 5 pounds), retains heat well, and can be used in pretty much any cooking environment – stove top, oven, campfire, you name it. After you use it, make sure to clean it with just some hot water, a stiff brush, and a towel dry – any form of soap or throwing it in the dishwasher is not recommended.

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Things we like:

  • Cooking versatility
  • Pre-seasoned
  • Sturdiness and longevity – this skillet can last you a lifetime
  • Great heat retention

Things we don’t like:

  • Requires some upkeep to stay conditioned and prevent rust (this is a requirement for all cast iron, not just Lodge skillets)

 

Best Copper Cookware

Brooklyn Copper Cookware


Copper cookware is a great choice for your kitchen if you need very refined heat management, and Brooklyn Copper Cookware does it best. Copper pots and pans are known for warming quickly and evenly distributing heat. That’s why you see professionals like expert candy makers use copper – they need to be very scientific about the temperatures they are cooking at and making sure heat is evenly distributed throughout their cooking surface. Brooklyn Copper Cookware is simple and organic, only made with 3 ingredients – copper, tin, and iron. Overall, we really like the quality of this cookware and how it performs against other copper cookware manufacturers.

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Things we like:

  • Even and quick heating
  • Ergonomic handles
  • Copper shine looks good in the kitchen

Things we don’t like:

  • Requires a little more upkeep than traditional stainless steel or other material

What About the Best Ceramic Cookware?

We were disappointed to find no quality US manufacturers of ceramic pots and pans. Brands known for their ceramic cookware like Ceramcor Xtrema Cookware, GreenLife, Calphalon, and Tramontina all make their cookware products outside of the United States.


Factors We Considered

Performance

Performance is obviously one of the most important criteria when choosing a new cookware set. Pots and pans that don’t perform like they are supposed to and undercook or overcook your food is extremely frustrating. We looked out for products that satisfied our criteria for:

  • Even heat distribution
  • Heat retention
  • Weight and sturdiness
  • Scratch resistance
  • Handle performance
  • Ability to clean

Longevity

Pots and pans are a long-term investment. We want to make sure you’re getting products that will last a lifetime. We eliminated any products from our research that easily rusted, dented, or had the potential to lose significant quality over time.

Value

We want to make sure that you’re getting the best cookware for your money. And that means not overpaying for the product quality that you’re receiving. If we thought the cookware quality didn’t line up with the price tag, we eliminated it from our consideration. We feel that our recommendations will give you a great bang for your buck.

 

All American Reviews

We’re here to take the guesswork out of buying quality, American products and services.