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The best nonstick cookware lives up to its name with a Teflon, ceramic, or hard-anodized aluminum coating that ensures that cooked foods release easily and seamlessly from the pan. Nonstick skillets are a home cook’s must-have for turning out flawless omelets and pancakes and ensuring even, stick-free cooking of sautéed vegetables, like asparagus, and seared proteins, like salmon. Nonstick saucepans and stock pots are essential for heating soups, boiling pasta, making rice, and simmering sauces.
Due to their unique finish, nonstick cookware is also lauded for its effortless cleanup, and many brands are durable enough to withstand trips through the dishwasher, too. Purchasing a set of nonstick pots and pans, which typically includes a variety of different-sized skillets and saucepans with lids, can be an economical way to stock (or refresh) your kitchen with this versatile, user-friendly cookware.
If you’re looking for a set, the Anolon Advanced Home Hard-Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set is our top pick.
Here are the best nonstick cookware sets to have in your cabinets.
Best Overall: Anolon Advanced Home Hard-Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set
Material: Hard-anodized aluminum | What's Included: 8.5-inch skillet, 12-inch deep skillet with lid, 1.5-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart saucepan with lid, 4-quart sauté pan with lid, 8-quart stockpot with lid
Anolon's heavy-duty, hard-anodized aluminum construction, which is twice as hard as stainless steel, practically screams quality. The material also ensures even heating for consistent cooking results. Nonstick inside and out, the interior coating on this 11-piece set consistently releases foods like a dream, and the outer coating ensures easy cleanup.
The set wins points for its versatility, too. The 12-inch covered deep skillet offers more cooking space than the oft-included 10-inch skillet. That skillet and the 4-quart sauté pan both have helper handles for easy maneuvering in the kitchen. A large covered 8-quart stockpot is a boon for boiling pasta and making big batches of soups, stews, and grains.
These pans are also oven-safe up to 400 degrees, so you can easily finish stovetop dishes like skillet chicken Parmesan in the oven. They’re designed with brushed stainless steel silicone handles for a comfortable grip and have shatterproof glass lids for ease of checking on cooking progress. The modern design is stylish enough to go from stovetop to tabletop, making for a seamless serving of family-style meals like fish stew.
Best Budget: Tramontina Nesting 11-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set
Material: Hard-anodized aluminum | What's Included: 12-inch sauté pan, 1.25-quart saucepan with lid, 2-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart casserole pan with lid, 4.75-quart sauce pot with lid
This durable, easy-to-clean Tramontina set boasts a nonstick interior finish made without PFOA, lead, or cadmium, and a sturdy enamel porcelain exterior. The price is easy on the wallet yet still includes features such as ergonomic, riveted handles, and heat- and shatter-resistant tempered glass lids with knobs that double as spoon rests.
In addition to three saucepans, this set includes a versatile 12-inch sauté pan, a 3-quart covered casserole pan, and 4.75-quart covered saucepot, which is a little bit smaller than the traditional 5- or 6-quart stockpots often included in other sets. Pans are dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 350 degrees.
The set wins points for the easy-to-store stackable design. The pieces nest together to save up to 50 percent storage space, and panhandles lock together to ensure spacing between pans to protect the nonstick interior finish. The sleek, polished exterior finish comes in a range of sophisticated hues to complement your kitchen décor.
Best Dishwasher-Safe: T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set
Material: Hard-anodized aluminum | What's Included: 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, 1-quart saucepans with lid, 2-quart saucepans with lid, 3-quart saucepan with lid, 5-quart stockpot with lid, solid spoon, slotted spatula
This scratch-resistant, nonstick coating is backed by a trusted name in nonstick cookware, and the rugged, hard-anodized aluminum construction makes it a kitchen workhorse. Best of all? It’s dishwasher safe.
T-fal’s hard-anodized finish promotes fast, even heating, and consistent cooking results. It also touts T-fal’s patented Thermo-spot indicator technology, which indicates when the pan is adequately preheated, making this set a good pick for beginner cooks, too.
The set includes two fry pans, three saucepans with lids, a stockpot with lid, as well as a solid spoon, and a slotted spatula. The nonstick protective layer shouldn't react to acidic foods, either, making it safe for cooking sauces like marinara or lemon-garlic butter sauce.
Related: The Best Nonstick Pans
Best Ceramic: GreenPan SearSmart Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set, 10-Piece
Material: Ceramic | What's Included: 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pans, 1.5-quart saucepan with lid, 2.25-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, 5-quart stockpot with lid
GreenPan’s Thermolon Diamond Advanced ceramic nonstick coating is made without PFAS, PFOA, lead, or cadmium. The diamond-infused finish also helps to ensure fast heating and easy cleanup, and its durable construction makes it scratch-resistant and dishwasher safe, too.
GreenPan’s optimal use of space allows for 25 to 40 percent more cooking space compared to traditional models. The set includes two frying pans, along with four covered pots. These pans are also oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees, which helps finish dishes like skillet lasagna. The durable glass lids allow for ease of checking on cooking progress and are oven safe up to 425 degrees.
Related: The Best Cookware Sets
Most Durable: Ninja Foodi NeverStick Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set
Material: Stainless steel, aluminum | What's Included: 8-inch fry pan, 10.25-inch fry pan, 12-inch fry pan with id, 1.5-quart saucepan with lid, 2.5-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, 8-quart stockpot with lid
This Ninja set lives up to its name with a no-chip, no-flake, nonstick finish. The cookware is created at a maximum temperature of 30,000 degrees (traditional cookware is created at a maximum of 900 degrees), which results in a durable, textured nonstick coating. The finish allows it to withstand daily wear and tear and makes it safe to use with metal utensils. The Ninja’s durability promise is backed by a heavy-gauge, hard-anodized 4.55mm aluminum base, which also ensures even heat distribution (no hot spots!).
This 12-piece set earns points for including versatile workhorse pieces like a 12-inch covered fry pan and an 8-quart stockpot, which is particularly helpful for boiling pasta or making batches of soups and stews. The cookware is oven safe up to 500 degrees, and you can sear proteins in it like you would with stainless-steel cookware. The extra-long, stainless-steel handles are double-riveted for durability, too, and maintain a cool touch during stovetop cooking.
Best High-End: All-Clad Essentials Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
Material: Hard anodized aluminum, stainless steel | What's Included: 8.5-inch skillet, 10.5-inch skillet, 2.5-quart saucepan with lid, 4-quart sauté pan with lid, 7-quart stockpot with insert and lid, 13-inch square pan
All-Clad cookware is synonymous with quality, which makes it a go-to brand for professional chefs and seasoned home cooks alike. These pots and pans boast a heavy-gauge anodized finish that promotes rapid heating with even temperature control, as well as a sturdy PFOA-free nonstick interior that’s easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
The All-Clad 10-piece set comprises a versatile assortment of nonstick cookware, including a 4-quart covered sauté pan, a 7-quart stockpot with insert, and a 13-inch square pan, which lends itself to frying bacon or used as a griddle for grilled cheese sandwiches. This is also designed to nest for compact stacking, making this an especially great choice if you’re a serious home cook who’s short on space.
The set includes two trivets that can be used when placing hot pans on the counter, serving at the table, or separating the pans when stacked. Other features include cool-touch, riveted stainless-steel handles designed for comfort and durability, and safe in the oven up to 500 degrees.
Related: The Best Frying Pans
Best Space-Saving: Calphalon Premier Space Saving Nonstick Set
Material: Hard anodized aluminum, stainless steel | What's Included: 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, 12-inch fry pan, 2.5-quart saucepan with lid, 3.5-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, 4.5-quart soup pan with lid, 5-quart sauteuse with lid, 6-quart stockpot with lid
A top name in nonstick cookware delivers a stackable set with all the essentials, including an 8-inch and a 10-inch frying pan, a 2.5-quart and a 3.5-quart saucepan, a 3-quart sauté pan, and a 6-quart stockpot. The flat, tempered glass lids and pans are designed to nest in any order and can save up to 30 percent more space than non-stackable sets. A part of Calphalon’s Premier line, the nonstick coating is designed to last up to 40 percent longer than the Classic series, which makes this set worth the investment if you value high-performance cookware but lack storage space.
The triple-layer, hard-anodized aluminum interior has a scratch-free finish that withstands the use of metal utensils. The nonstick coating allows for easy cleanup, and the pieces are dishwasher safe too. The long handles stay cool on the stovetop omitting the need for oven mitts or potholders. And the pans are oven-safe up to 450 degrees, making for a seamless transition from stovetop to oven recipes.
The top spot belongs to the Anolon Advanced Home Hard-Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set (view at Amazon) for its versatile assortment of pots and pans, durable construction, and overall nonstick performance. While long-lasting cookware sets are hard to find when shopping on a budget, the Tramontina Nesting 11-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set (view at Amazon) has everything you need and should last you for years.
What to Look for in a Nonstick Cookware Set
Traditional Nonstick Coating: Traditional nonstick coatings are made with Teflon, or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is what helps prevent food from sticking while cooking and makes for easy cleanup. Related to PTFE is perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), but since 2015, regulations stipulate that all cookware sold in the U.S. is PFOA-free.
Ceramic: Pans with a ceramic nonstick coating that can be used safely at higher heat. The ceramic coating is made from silica, one of the elements of beach sand. This is either dipped or sprayed onto the interior surface to coat the pan, and then finished in a high-heat oven. Many ceramic models’ nonstick performance is on par with traditional materials, but the coating isn’t as durable.
Hard-Anodized Aluminum: Because hard-anodized aluminum’s nonstick surface is baked in, rather than coated onto other metals (as in the case of PTFE and ceramic coatings), it renders the product stronger than stainless steel. It also produces an oxidized layer that’s both nonstick and more rugged than traditional nonstick coatings. This makes for a product that heats quickly and evenly and withstands chipping or flaking.
The Included Pieces
When shopping for a set, consider what pieces are included, bearing in mind that manufacturers often include lids or additional utensils, like a spatula, as a piece. Typically, a set will include two skillets or frying pans, which are key for making eggs, pancakes, and sautéing veggies. Saucepans, ranging from 1 to 3 quarts are usually included; a 2-quart saucepan is big enough to heat a can of soup, a 3-quart saucepan is big enough to make mac ‘n’ cheese. Lastly, sets include a stockpot (sometimes called a casserole pan or Dutch oven), 5- or 6-quart models are common, but some sets include an 8-quart stockpot, which is a boon for big-batch cooking.
You’ll want to consider features like whether the pans are dishwasher safe or oven-safe, and if so, up to what temperature. Look at the design, too, like if pans are built with rubberized coated handles for a comfortable grip or an extra-long design to assure a cool-touch guarantee. If you’re short on storage space, look for sets that have nesting capabilities for ease of stacking.
Once you’ve invested in a nonstick cookware set, you’ll want to ensure that you follow the proper use and care instructions outlined by the manufacturer. One rule of thumb is to never use nonstick cooking sprays as they can cause a build-up of film. Plus, you don’t need it! Most pans tout the ability to cook without the use of added oil or butter, but a little bit is okay.
Avoid overheating pans. Generally, nonstick pans are best used at medium or low heat, and never heat an empty pan. Be sure to check the oven-safe temperature capabilities of your pans to avoid overheating, which can cause the coating to flake or chip. Check care instructions to determine if your set is hand wash only or dishwasher safe. Even if a set is dishwasher safe, many manufacturers recommend hand washing to protect the coating and extend the life of your pans.
Is nonstick cookware better than stainless steel?
This answer depends entirely on who you ask. Most home cooks, especially those looking to cut down on oil use and scrub time, will opt for nonstick. Suzanne Vizethann, chef and owner of Atlanta’s Buttermilk Kitchen recommends them for easy-to-stick foods, including the eggs her restaurant turns out in volume.
“These days, there are heavy-duty nonstick pans that can transfer and carry heat like a stainless steel pan,” says chef Joe Asto. However, that’s not to say he has a set-in-stone preference. "Most pans can be nonstick as long as they’re hot enough and there is enough fat in the pan," he says.
"I would never say one is better than the other; it comes down to which is more appropriate for the job you’re doing," says Asto. "For example, is a hammer better than a screwdriver? It depends on if you’re using a nail or a screw."
Can you use metal utensils with nonstick cookware?
Generally speaking, no, unless you want to ruin the nonstick finish, scratch its shiny, sparkly surface, and feel sad every time you look at it. Although many manufacturers now make nonstick cookware that claims to be metal utensil-safe, how resistant it is to damage also depends on the sharpness of the tool. One rough-edged spatula can cause a world of regret, which is why Vizethann recommends using silicone regardless. Asto is less conservative. "It depends on the style and quality of the nonstick pan," he says, as the higher-end ones are now often designed to withstand some more abuse. "Less expensive and basic nonstick pans are easily ruined by using metal scrubbers or utensils," he says.
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