The Best Pots And Pans Sets in 2023
1. Introduction To Pots and Pans
A pot, better known as a stockpot, is a utensil commonly made of stainless steel, carbon steel, or hard anodized aluminum. A good stockpot heats up quickly and simmers evenly to make large batches of broth, stew, and other hearty meals.
Bring in a pan with a non-stick coating into the equation, and you’ve got yourself the perfect combination of utensils to prep meals for the week if you’re a busy bee.
A good pan would have great heat distribution and would be ideal for cooking a variety of meats and vegetables, as well as being oven-friendly. A stockpot is lighter than a typical le Creuset which is commonly classed as ceramic cookware and is ‘heavy-duty’. Comparatively, stockpots and pans can be picked up easily.
2. Different Types Of Pots and Pans
Stainless steel in general is a prime choice for most as it is recognized to be safe.
If you look around your kitchen, you would find most utensils made out of stainless steel. These pieces of cookware heat up instantly which saves time, are light in weight, and is easy to clean. They are efficient and durable enough to last a lifetime. You will find yourself making soups and stews in them as they are compatible with induction cooktops.
I won’t lie, I’m particularly biased to this stainless steel cookware from the Avalon series.
A Tri-Ply stockpot is a step up from stainless steel. They’re the perfect choice if you don’t play around when it comes down to heat distribution and heat conductivity of your cookware. Tri-Ply utensils have an inner and outer layer of stainless steel and a layer of aluminum in the middle. It would be the perfect choice if you’re particular about your kitchenware being stain-resistant.
Though on the higher end of price, copper stock pots and pans are used a majority of the time by home cooks and a lot of chefs. They are highly durable and are lined with stainless steel, which stops the copper from leaching into your food. However, copper pots and pans that are thicker are ideal for a seamless cooking process.
This is the most affordable type of cookware that is widely available. While being great conductors of heat, they don’t provide a great distribution of heat. It is also wise to note that utensils made with aluminum are not compatible with induction cooktops.
However, once you’re done cooking, these stockpots and pans would cool down quicker than others and are also much lighter in weight. Hard anodized aluminum pots are twice as tough as stainless steel which is a vital component since it resists scratches, thanks to its oxidized layer.
Most of these pots and pans are dishwasher safe, strongly built, and easy to maintain. And the best part? There are so many colors and designs. The sister dish to this is a piece of enameled cast iron cookware. Chances are, they’re placed at the center of the table at a Thanksgiving dinner!
Coated in porcelain enamel, these pots and pans are made with high-quality carbon steel as well. While they are great handlers of high temperatures, just be sure to not chip or crack the lid or pot/pan, as it wouldn’t be dishwasher safe anymore.
Good quality non-stick cookware will conduct heat well as they’re commonly made with aluminum. Its non-stick coating will resist food that is burnt or commonly sticks to the rim of the dish. While this is an ideal pick for most foods such as soups, broths, and stews, the stainless steel coating can be damaged if you're cooking it at a high temperature. Wood and plastic are the best kind of spatulas to use when stirring food as it encourages durability.
3. Sizes And Uses Of Pots and Pans
The sole purpose of a stockpot is to hold liquids, usually in large quantities. The way to measure its ability to hold liquid is by quarts. Six, eight, twelve, and 16-quart ones are the most common kinds which you would find in your home. They can go beyond twenty quarts, but those are found in commercial kitchens more than any other place.
A 6-Quart stockpot is ideal to feed 12 people or prep food for your family for the rest of the week. The most common dishes made in a 6-Quart stockpot are soups, stews, chilis, curries, and pasta.
An 8-Quart stockpot can feed up to 16 people and is best used during family gatherings or potlucks! If you’re someone who makes their own batch of stock for the holidays, this is perfect to make poultry or vegetable broths.
A 12-Quart stockpot can hold enough liquid or food for 24 people. It is best for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners to whip out large batches of beef, pork, or game stock. It is also ideal to make your very own corn on the cob!
A 16-Quart stockpot can hold mason jars or help in the process of canning. If you’re using it post-cooking for a large batch of kimchi or homemade marinara sauce as a wedding or party takeaway, this measurement would be perfect to store more than enough of it in advance!
When you’re looking to buy a pan, you must first decide if what you need is a sauté pan or a frying pan. A pan is best judged by its shape. You would need to choose the handle you think is best for you. A good pan would have a wide base and a helper handle to assist you in maneuvering it.
The next thing to consider is whether you need a non-stick pan or a stainless one. However, it is best to stay away from stainless pans as they do require a lot more maintenance and are a tad tougher to clean.
Additionally, have you ever wondered if what you may need is a skillet?
A sauté pan has a lot more surface area when compared to a frying pan. What makes them versatile is the glass lid that comes with them. This can prove to be helpful since you’d be able to safeguard the heat, as well as moisture. Its vertical shape makes sautéing a breeze. It is perfect for searing almost all meats or reducing any sauces that you make.
A frying pan is more sloped and angular to achieve precise crispiness on the edges of certain meats or for easy cooking that requires shaking and the constant adding of ingredients. A typical frying pan does not require a lid for this particular reason.
Are you looking for a skillet?
I like to call this tool the best of both worlds when cooking! A traditional cast iron skillet is all you need to get the right kind of sear on a pork or lamb chop. They are most commonly used to perfectly cook a steak to its preference, or even bake certain goodies, thanks to its slanted sides. Such as a rustic apple pie, a berry cobbler, or globally devoured….tarte tatin!
4. When To Use Different Types Of Pots and Pans
When the chilly nights roll on, it makes perfect sense to get your pots and pans out of their shelves and get cooking! If you’re looking to buy your first ever set, or simply buy new ones to make your family’s handed-down recipe of chicken broth or a sensational lamb stew, we’ve got you covered.
Now that you’ve learned a little bit about the checkboxes to tick when buying a stockpot, it’s crucial to know the right kind to use for certain meals. They should be judged by two important factors – size and material. All stockpots up to 12-Quart can be used for home cooking purposes. They are ideal for family gatherings, and festivities such as Thanksgiving.
They are also perfect for large batches of broth, stock, and pasta. If you intend to use them in the oven, you’re in luck, as most of them are oven-friendly.
You need to be specific when choosing a pan, as you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen since all pans are different. Be it a nonstick skillet, grill pan, or saucepan, which is a hybrid of a sauté and frying pan. If you’re cooking saucier foods, a sauté pan would be the right pick.
If you’re tossing a handful of spices or ingredients from time to time, a skillet would be ideal to get the right char on your vegetables.
5. What To Look For When Purchasing Pots and Pans
A stockpot with double-sided handles and heavy screws is perfect when you’re boiling corn or reducing sauces. No one wants the unwanted risk of burning themselves with piping hot liquids, right? For this reason, I can’t recommend the tri-ply and porcelain-enameled stockpots enough. They have a strong build and are easily available, additionally, coming in various sizes. If you intend to use them in the oven, they are ideal.
When it comes to pans, size is not all that matters. The shape, surface area, and material are equally important. Riveted handles are much more durable and created to last a lifetime, rather than the welded kind since they do tend to fall off.
It is advisable to avoid pans with a disk-shaped base as heat is never distributed evenly, and the disk too can fall off after multiple uses. As for the material, pans with a nonstick surface are classic and simply perfect. They are great for cooking eggs, searing certain types of fish, making pancakes without creating a mess. However, non-stick pans do offer a much precise sear on your meats. Tri-ply pans are the way to go! They are lined with stainless steel which is a bonus.
6. Dalstrong’s Recommended Cookware
At Dalstrong, we take pride in providing an array of products that fit your personality. This includes iron cookware, fry pans, saucepans, aprons, cutting boards, and plenty of other essentials you would require, such as a 2-in-1 frying pan and skillet.
The Avalon and Oberon series ensures you an uncomplicated cooking process with your loved ones or when you want to play as a lone wolf.
This versatile bad boy may not be total steel but is a total steal. Ahem, apologies.
Luxurious in its appearance and build, as well as functionality, it is made with 5-Ply copper, heats 5x faster than iron cookware, and 20x better than steel. The mirror-polished exterior improves its grip tremendously. Its thickness is a solid 2.5mm which protects it from dents. Say hello to the perfectly fitting lid made out of stainless steel that comes along with it. Enjoy the perks of a scratch-free silk carrying bag and a fry pan protector.
- It has a Copper Forged Foundation which is a game-changer.
- Easily cleaned without much effort.
- Comes with a side handle to strengthen its grip tenfold.
- May not be budget-friendly for some.
- Its strong build could be intimidating for those just learning to cook.
This 3-Quart stockpot is the perfect buy for a couple or a small family; holding just enough food for 2-3 people. The perfectly fitting stainless steel lid allows you to conveniently store leftovers, sides, and other sauces. Designed to last a lifetime, the 18/10 stainless steel provides exceptional distribution of heat and maximum conductivity. Resistant to dents, it is gas and induction cooktop friendly.
- Added protection with its 5-Ply Copper Forged Foundation and pot protector.
- Heats 5x and 20x quicker than its iron and stainless steel counterparts.
- Others may prefer a nonstick cookware set over a stainless steel cookware set.
- It is used by professional chefs, which could be intimidating.
Form meets function in this 12” frying pan and skillet from the Avalon series. It has great responsiveness to temperature changes and instinctively preserves the nutritional qualities of the food, including its color. With a stainless steel lid designed to last a lifetime, it locks in moisture and heat to cook the food.
- 5-Ply Copper Forged Foundation which protects the cookware from staining and warping when you cook.
- A side stainless steel handle to strengthen its grip.
- Its functional and visual traits put this on the higher end of the price range.
- Some may want individual pieces of cookware if they’re creating specific recipes for larger groups.
This 12-piece cookware set from the Avalon series is nothing but versatile. The 5-Ply Copper Forged Foundation poses a challenge to a traditional stainless steel cookware set. Opulent in its appearance, it is functional with a full range of culinary essentials. This 12-piece cookware set would allow you to cook and sear steaks, sauté, deep-fry fritters, and make sauces and jams.
This set includes:
- 9 Inch skillet
- 10 Inch skillet
- 5 QT Saucepot
- 8 QT Saucepot
- 4 QT Saucier
- 12 inch sauté pan
- Perfect-fit stainless steel lids (x6)
- Scratch-free Avalon Series silk carrying bags (x6)
- Dalstrong padded pan protectors (x6)
- Dalstrong Support
- Built to last generations, so it is worth the price.
- One-stop shop for everything you require in the kitchen.
- This might be an expensive purchase for a new cook.
- This may be overkill for someone that lives by themselves.
This 3-Ply aluminum-clad cookware is extraordinary. It can evenly cook food with impressive conductivity to heat up so you can cook thick proteins and delicate foods. Tried and true to last 26 times longer in the ‘dry egg test’ than other nonstick cookware sets. It has a side handle that prevents arm fatigue. It is dishwasher, freezer, and refrigerator safe.
- Induction cooktop, gas and electric stovetop friendly.
- It has the world’s most durable nonstick coating.
- Folks could be intimidated as it falls under the ‘professional’ category.
- Some would prefer a 5-Ply cladded frying pan to cook.
Attention-grabbing in its appearance, this frying pan and skillet hybrid gives duality a new meaning. Made with 3-Ply Aluminum-Core, its non-reactive qualities preserve it from dents, encouraging its longevity. It has maximum conductivity and evenly cooks food while preserving its color.
The vented hole on the lid acts as a pressure release.
Compatible with induction cooktops and electric and gas stovetops.
- Some owners may want a stainless steel frying pan over a nonstick frying pan.
- Some may prefer a full cookware set rather than an individual piece.
This 3-Ply aluminum-clad stockpot is extremely convenient. The 18/10 non-reactive stainless steel improves its performance significantly. It is durable and designed to last a lifetime. It is freezer, dishwasher, and refrigerator safe. The 4mm tempered glass lid prevents warping.
- Its layers of satin and nylon aid in its scratch-resistant quality.
- It can be used on induction cooktops which is a great steal for a collegiate.
- Less decorated and visually appealing compared to the Avalon series.
- Some chefs may want a larger stockpot.
This 12 piece cookware set is a promising purchase. The 3-Ply aluminum-clad cookware has great conductivity and is high performing. It is not as heavy as stainless steel cookware sets. Every piece of cookware that belongs in a kitchen is included in this set. They are oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees F. Enjoy the ensured safety through its non-toxic and non-hypoallergenic make.
This set includes:
- 9" Frying Pan
- 10" Frying Pan
- 12" Sauté Pan
- 5 QT Pot
- 8 QT Pot
- 4 QT Saucier
- Perfect-fit tempered glass lids (x6)
- Scratch-free Oberon Series silk carrying bags (x6)
- Dalstrong padded pan protectors (x6)
- Neatly packed with Dalstrong’s Packaging
- Dalstrong Support
- Heats up quickly and has maximum conductivity.
- Vented hole on the lid acts as a pressure release and prevents boils.
- Safe and easy transition from stovetop to oven.
- Individuals might prefer the traditional route and opt for a stainless steel set.
- It could be intimidating if you’re just getting the hang of the kitchen.
7. Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good set of pots and pans?
Intention matters! Are you trying to sear a fish or make a batch of broth? When you identify your purpose, choosing the right size will come naturally. A good set of pots and pans would include a material that evenly distributes heat and has maximal conductivity. A good pot and pan would have a base that doesn't warp or stain when placed on a cutting board as you transition it from the stove to an oven.
What are the best pots and pans set to buy?
A traditional, stainless steel set of cookware never hurts! That would be my first choice if I’m new to the kitchen. You can go with copper forged pots and pans that have stainless steel linings as they last for generations. It is all about personal preference!
Written by Ananya Tiwari
Ananya loves the fine things in life. When she isn’t penning down poetry or song lyrics, she spends her time cooking and creating recipes while also enjoying new cuisines.