2 Best Stainless Steel Cookware & 1 Brand I Do NOT Recommend

If you’re in the market for a stainless steel cookware set but find yourself confused by all the options, then this article can help you. I’ll give you my Top 2 Picks for the Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets AND I’ll also give you a tip on one brand I am NOT currently recommending.

Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets Summary

If you’re in a hurry and just want to know my top picks, they are as follows:

  1. Best Overall Stainless Steel Cookware Set (Any Price): All-Clad Brushed D5 Stainless 10-Piece Set
  2. Best Overall Stainless Steel Cookware Set (Under $500): Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
  3. Brand I am NOT Recommending: Tramontina


Why Listen to Me?

Hi, I’m Mike, That Helpful Dad. As noted in my Trust Guarantee, when you see a product mentioned on my site, please know that these are products that I personally use and enjoy (many of them are ones I use every single day). I’m sharing them with you because they make a positive difference in my life and I’m hoping they will help YOU live a better life too!

Is Stainless Steel the Best Cookware Surface?

It depends. Stainless Steel may not be the best option for everything you do in your kitchen, but Stainless Steel is often considered the best overall cookware surface because of it’s versatility. Consider the following…

The Benefits of Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless Steel cookware is…

  • Long-lasting
  • Durable
  • Relatively easy to care for
  • Does NOT react with foods.
  • Beloved by chefs because it provides rapid, uniform heating.
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Broiler-safe (depending on handle)
  • Doesn’t rust or scratch (unless you buy a mirror-finish)
  • Induction Ready – just be sure the type you buy is specifically magnetic so that it’s compatible with induction cooktops.
  • In short, stainless steel cookware is the workhorse of your kitchen.

That said, on this site, I always try to give you the pros AND cons of the topic at hand. When it comes to stainless steel cookware, you should be aware of the following cons:

  • food can stick to it if you don’t use butter, oil, or a similar fat;
  • it can be tougher to clean if you don’t know how to.

As you can see, the pros of cooking with stainless steel far outweigh the cons. So, if you are like me and want to cook with stainless steel, then let’s find the best stainless steel cookware sets and get busy cooking (and eating!) and not continue wasting time on idle chatter.

Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set Any Price

There’s a reason why people buy All-Clad Cookware: it’s American-made stainless steel cookware that offers a superior-quality and lasts a lifetime.

While certainly more expensive than most stainless steel cookware, it’s actually not the highest priced cookware on the market and in our opinion the price of All-Clad cookware does indeed match the quality.

Time and again, trusted review sites recommend All-Clad Stainless Steel cookware because it’s durable, heats evenly, are comfortable to hold, and clean up easier than other brands.

Recommended Set: All-Clad Brushed D5 Stainless 10-Piece Set

Why Buy the All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Set?

The All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Set is your “buy-it-for-life” cookware set. When you buy this set you’ll get a consistently highly-rated, top-of-the-line set that offers some of the most realiable even heat distribution, is extremely durable, and fun to cook with. You’ll feel like a chef cooking with these pans!

What Pots & Pans are in the All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Set?

This set includes 8-inch and 10-inch fry pans, 1.5-quart and 3-quart sauce pans with lids, a 3-quart sauce pan with a lid, and an 8-quart stock pot with a lid. Each piece has flared edges for drip-free pouring and is crafted with quality materials, including the stainless-steel core, to hold and distribute heat evenly throughout the pan, so only medium heat is required for your searing, braising, sautéing and simmering needs.

Features & Benefits of the All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Set

  • TIMELESS PROFESSIONAL APPEAL: Beyond the attractive brushed exterior, this set is a high-performance, durable kitchenware set, trusted by cooks of all levels for decades.
  • 5-LAYER PERFORMANCE: The Brushed D5 Stainless collection features five alternating layers of American-made stainless-steel and aluminum, bonded together all the way to the rim. The classic stainless-steel handles are uniquely designed for balance and control, stay cool on the stovetop, and are permanently secured with stainless-steel rivets.
  • CONVENIENT AND LOW MAINTENANCE: All items included are dishwasher safe. For anything stuck on, use a mixture of white vinegar and water, or a stainless-steel powder cleanser, such as Bar Keepers Friend.
  • Induction Ready? Broiler Ready? Each All-Clad piece is compatible with all cooktops, including induction, is oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

What’s the difference between the All-Clad D3 & D5 Stainless Steel Sets?

The difference between the All-Clad D3 and D5 Stainless Steel cookware is the construction. The D3 uses 3 layers (stainless steel interior, aluminum, stainless steel exterior). The D5 uses 5 layers (stainless steel interior, aluminum, stainless steel core, aluminum, and stainless steel exterior).

The both the D3 and the D5 All-Clad Stainless Steel Sets are good and you really can’t go wrong with either. I have a D3 All-Clad Saute Pan and love it. People say the D5 takes longer to heat up but holds the heat better longer. For an Average Joe like me, I can’t really tell the difference and therefore I recommend BOTH the D3 and the D5 depending on what the best deal is for you and your budget.

Where are All-Clad Stainless Steel Sets Made?

ALL-CLAD IS MADE IN THE USA TO LAST A LIFETIME: All-Clad D5 Stainless cookware pieces are crafted in our factory in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. All-Clad products are rigorously tested to ensure that every item with the All-Clad logo offers a lifetime of beauty and performance.

What is the Warranty on All-Clad Stainless Steel Sets?

ALL-CLAD OFFERS A LIFETIME WARRANTY: To learn more, click here.

All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Cookware Demo Video

Other All-Clad Stainless Steel Sets to Consider

If you don’t want the All-Clad D5 Set and want to look at other All-Clad options, consider these…

  • All-Clad D5 5-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set: a smaller version that offers you a great way to start to build your collection with essentials like 10-Inch Fry Pan, 3-Quart Sauce Pan with lid, and a 3-Quart Saute Pan with lid
  • All-Clad D3 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set: the 3-ply alternative to the D5, this set includes: 8-Inch and 10-Inch fry pans, a 2-Quart covered sauce pan, a 3-Quart covered casserole, a 3-Quart covered sauté pan and an 8-Quart covered stockpot.

Shop the All-Clad Store on Amazon

Click this pic to shop the everything All-Clad Store on Amazon…

Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set < $500

If All-Clad isn’t in the budget, that’s no problem. There are still other very good stainless steel cookware sets you can buy. In fact, we believe we’ve found a great set that is well below the $500 price point.

Best Overall Stainless Steel Cookware Set (Under $500): Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

Best Overall Stainless Steel Cookware Set (Under $500): Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

Why Buy the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Set?

Despite it’s lower price tag, the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Set is consistently highly rated by review sites and it earns our recommendation as well.

Like the All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel line, the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Set triple-ply construction: an aluminum core between stainless steel interior/exterior. This ensures for heat retention and even heating.

What Pots & Pans are in the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-piece set.

The set consists of: 1-1/2- and 3-quart covered saucepans; 8- and 10-inch open skillets; 3-1/2-quart covered saute pan; 8-quart covered stockpot; steamer insert with lid. 

Features & Benefits of the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-piece set

  • Polished cooking surface does not discolor, react with food or alter flavors.
  • Cookware also features cool grip handles secured with stainless steel rivets and self-basting, tight fitting lids.
  • Triple-Ply construction includes the unsurpassed heat conductivity of a pure aluminum core. It insures maximum heat retention and even heat distribution, eliminating hot spots
  • Oven safe up to 550F, Rims are tapered for drip-free pouring.
  • Dishwasher safe and Covers are dishwasher-safe
  • Professional Triple Ply Construction features a core of pure aluminum and a brushed stainless exterior
  • Suitable for use with induction cook tops

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Set – Demo Vid

Shop the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Store on Amazon.

Click here to Shop Amazon’s Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Store

Tramontina Brand – Why I Don’t Recommend It.

If you are a regular reader of my site you know I not only give you tips for products I recommend, but also for products/brands I don’t.

The short answer for Tramontina is that I am not recommending it because I feel that the brand makes it difficult to find out where the products are made – specifically there is simply too much confusion on whether the products are made in China, Brazil, the US or elsewhere. When I see that level of confusion, misinformation, and consumer frustration, I just can’t recommend a brand.

The Tramontina brand of stainless steel cookware may well be great – I’ll admit I have not used it myself. But the horror stories of consumers who have used this brand are enough to scare me off.

Consider the following average ratings on Amazon…

  • All-Clad D5 Pans: 85% 5 star ratings, only 8% 1 or 2 star
  • Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Set: 89% 4 & 5 star ratings; only 9% 1 or 2 star
  • Tramontina Stainless Steel Sets: around 70% 5-star and 15% 1 or 2 stars with the #1 complaint being difficulty of manufacter location.

I am NOT saying that stainless steel sets made in China are necessarily bad. In fact the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro line is made there and numerous high end sets are also made in China. (But remember All-Clad is made in the USA if that matters to you).

But I am saying that Tramontina seems to make it difficult to find out where there products are made and to myself and many other consumers this raises a red flag enough that I don’t want to deal with the brand.

If you feel otherwise, let me know in the comments.

What Do Other Review Sites Say?

As always, I never claim to know everything, here are some other trusted review sites I recommend you check out if you want to further explore the topic of Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets…

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