The Best Cookware Brands in 2021
The best cookware brands offer innovative materials, sleek designs, and exciting colors that bring new life to your cooking adventures.
Both experienced home chefs and culinary beginners are always on the lookout for cookware that helps them produce mouthwatering results. The best cookware brands offer a wide variety of vessels in myriad shapes and sizes that are made with substantial materials such as cast iron, hard-anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and ceramic. Additionally, many cookware products feature nonstick coatings to reduce the time and effort involved in cleanup chores.
Supplementary features add value to today’s cookware. Ergonomically designed handles made from cushiony materials provide secure and safe handling. Contemporary cookware brands offer a plethora of attractively designed cookware in scrumptious colors to enliven the cooking experience. Ahead, discover the best cookware brands to meet and even exceed your culinary needs.
Known for: The durable quality and culinary performance of All-Clad cookware come from its multiple bonded layers of stainless steel and aluminum construction, with options for nonstick coatings and copper cores.
Editors’ Choice: The versatile 10 pieces in this All-Clad Essentials Nonstick Cookware Set (available from Amazon) are constructed from heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum that’s coated with three layers of nonstick material for easy cleanup.
Expert metallurgist John Ulam founded All-Clad Metalcrafters, LLC, in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1971. Ulam held more than 75 patents for metal crafting, and his enthusiasm as an amateur chef led him to experiment with cooking pans. Using his innovative metal-crafting methods, Ulam bonded layers of stainless steel with layers of aluminum and shaped them into cooking vessels.
Today, All-Clad offers cookware, bakeware, appliances, kitchen tools, and accessories. Materials include non-coated stainless steel in polished and brushed finishes, as well as hard-anodized aluminum and pieces with nonstick coating applied over the metal.
All-Clad’s copper-core cookware features layers of copper bonded with stainless steel to improve heat dispersion and control, resulting in even cooking. The graphite core pieces contain layers of graphite to amplify heat conductivity. Cooks enjoy the graphite’s weight, which is 80 percent lighter than copper. The FUSIONTEC pieces have steel cores with attractive ceramic exteriors for function and beauty from oven to table.
Known for: The Calphalon company pioneered the production of hard-anodized aluminum cookware. Their product line has grown to encompass a broad selection of cookware and bakeware made from a variety of materials.
Editors’ Choice: The saucepans, fry pans, and stockpot in the Calphalon Premier Hard-Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set (available from Amazon) feature three layers of hard-anodized aluminum coated with nonstick material to ensure durability as well as easier cleanup.
Beginning in 1963, Ronald Kasperzak manufactured cookware for restaurants and professional food services under the name Commercial Aluminum Cookware. Five years later, Kasperzak invented hard-anodized aluminum cookware by borrowing the electrochemical anodizing process from the aerospace industry. He named the new cookware Calphalon, and it quickly grew in popularity because of its durability and resistance to warping and corrosion. Based in Perrysburg, Ohio, the company changed its name to Calphalon in 1992.
Since Calphalon originated in professional kitchens, the company has always been dedicated to consumer education. With a history of supplying cooking schools and offering in-store cooking demonstrations, Calphalon continues today to offer its culinary expertise to its customers.
Although the Calphalon company built its reputation on high-quality hard-anodized aluminum cookware, they also offer a wide array of cookware, bakeware, cutlery, and utensils made from cast iron, ceramic, stainless steel, and nonstick materials. Additionally, Calphalon carries an extensive line of kitchen appliances, such as coffee makers, blenders, and countertop convection ovens.
Known for: Since 1973, Cuisinart food processors have made prep work easier for home chefs, and today, the company offers a large selection of cookware, bakeware, kitchen gadgets, outdoor-grilling tools, and more.
Editors’ Choice: The Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor (available from Amazon) includes three specialized discs for slicing, shredding, and chopping the ingredients for delicious home-cooked meals.
Engineer and inventor Carl Sontheimer founded Cuisinart in 1971. Borrowing from a French invention called the “Robot Coupe,” Sontheimer modified the original semi-industrial food processor to create a domestic version for home kitchens. He introduced the Cuisinart food processor to American cooks in 1973, and with the endorsement of culinary experts like Julia Child and James Beard, the innovative kitchen appliance quickly became popular.
Today, the company offers a vast array of high-quality cooking and baking products for home chefs. The Cuisinart line of cookware includes saucepans, griddles, chafing dishes, sauté pans, roasting pans, skillets, stockpots, and more.
Cookware materials include stainless steel, uncoated cast iron, enamel-coated cast iron, and hard-anodized aluminum. Offering a large selection of cookware pieces in multiple shapes and sizes, Cuisinart cookware meets the needs of home chefs for a plethora of everyday and specialty cooking projects.
4. Le Creuset
Known for: A pioneer in stylish and colorful cookware, the French company Le Creuset is known for durable, high-quality cast-iron cookware.
Editors’ Choice: The Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron 7.25-quart round Dutch oven (available from Amazon) features a wear-resistant finish along with superior heat distribution and extra-large handles for a secure grip.
Starting in 1925, iron-casting specialist Armand Desaegher and enameling expert Octavé Aubecq began to create colorful and attractive cast-iron cookware for French kitchens. Le Creuset’s commitment to beauty and function in high-quality cookware continues to the present day. A United States–based subsidiary has been in operation since 1976.
Le Creuset uses chip-resistant, enameled cast-iron materials in its products to produce durable, heirloom-quality pieces that last for years. The array of vibrant colors and signature gradient finishes make Le Creuset cookware distinctive and desirable for stylish kitchens around the globe. Although they are priced at the upper end of the spectrum, long-lasting Le Creuset pieces may serve multiple generations of cooks.
Today, the Le Creuset product line produces vivid, durable enameled cookware in a broad array of materials, including stoneware, silicone, enamel-coated steel, and cast iron. In addition to enamel, the company offers cookware with alternative finishes such as their “Toughened Nonstick PRO” signature stainless steel and nonstick metal bakeware.
Known for: The enamel-coated cast-iron cocottes (Dutch ovens) manufactured by STAUB feature nubs on the undersides of their lids to allow condensation to collect and drip uniformly to baste the simmering contents in delicious juices.
Editors’ Choice: The Cast Iron 5.75-quart Coq au Vin Cocotte (available from Amazon) offers a heavy weight, strong durability, and a choice of vibrant enamel finishes.
Originating in 1974 in the rich, culinary tradition of Alsace, France, STAUB specializes in cast-iron cookware with colorful, double-glazed enamel finishes. Professional chefs in famous restaurants utilize STAUB cookware, and home cooks also recognize the quality of the products. The enamel finishes make STAUB cookware resistant to wear and easy to clean. Although the products are somewhat expensive, many cooks realize the long-lasting benefits of STAUB cookware.
STAUB products for cooking and baking are available in cocottes, braisers, oval and rectangular baking dishes, and more.
In addition to enamel-coated cast-iron cookware, Staub offers a variety of ceramic pieces in lovely hues with diverse shapes and sizes, including prep bowls, serving bowls, trays, pitchers, and mugs. STAUB’s colorful ceramic tableware pieces include salt and pepper sets, egg cups, butter dishes, and utensil holders.
Known for: Lodge specializes in unbreakable, long-lasting cast-iron and carbon-steel cookware that’s easy to maintain and may make food taste better.
Editors’ Choice: The Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet is a pre-seasoned, 8-inch, 12-gauge carbon-steel skillet (available from Amazon) that only gets better with continued use and seasoning.
Founded in Pittsburg, Tennessee, in 1896, Lodge Cast Iron continues to operate two foundries in its place of origin. In addition to enamel-coated cast-iron cookware in an array of rich colors, Lodge Cast Iron offers an assortment of cookware pieces in uncoated cast iron. When properly seasoned and used according to Lodge’s instructions, the cookware is nonstick, easy to clean, and will last a lifetime.
Ideal for roasting, baking, searing, and frying, Lodge cookware can be used on stovetops, outdoor grills, or open campfires. Moreover, Lodge offers an assortment of specialized pieces for outdoor grilling, as well as a wide selection of accessories, including cookbooks, utensils, dish towels, silicone handle mitts, camp-cooking equipment, and more.
Known for: The T-fal company was the first to introduce Teflon-coated nonstick cookware to the public, liberating home cooks from the chore of scrubbing stuck-on food from pots and pans.
Editors’ Choice: The T-fal Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Cookware Lid Fry Pan, 10-Inch (available from Amazon) is made of hard-anodized aluminum, reinforced with titanium, and coated with a durable, scratch-resistant, nonstick finish.
In 1956, French engineer Marc Gregoire founded the cookware company Tefal. The company’s success was based on Gregoire’s development of a process to bond polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, trademarked as Teflon) to aluminum cooking pans. Gregoire and his wife, Collette, began selling their Teflon-coated nonstick cookware in France. In 1960, with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, they expanded to the United States, where the company is known as T-fal.
T-fal offers nonstick cookware in sets or as individual pieces, including fry pans, saucepans, Dutch ovens, and more. The fry pans are constructed with T-fal’s patented Thermo-Spot technology, which features a central red dot to alert the cook that the pan is ready for cooking.
Available in a variety of attractive colors, T-fal cookware is dishwasher safe and designed ergonomically for easy handling. The nonstick interiors are scratch resistant for long-lasting durability.
8. Rachael Ray
Known for: Stylish and colorful, nonstick cookware and bakeware from TV personality Rachael Ray is available at a budget-friendly price.
Editors’ Choice: The Rachael Ray Brights Nonstick Cookware Set (available from Amazon) includes 14 pieces in a choice of vibrant colors with comfort-grip silicone handles and double-riveted pot lids.
Rachael Ray is a longtime television personality and cooking show celebrity who doesn’t claim to be a chef. She offers numerous product lines, including kitchen gadgets, dinnerware, pet food, home furnishings, and purses, as well as cookware and bakeware.
The brightly colored nonstick cookware delivers a stylish, upbeat vibe to the kitchen. Easy-grip handles are designed ergonomically, and the materials are durable and easy to care for. Wash Rachael Ray cookware by hand, as the nonstick coating provides easy cleanup for tough messes.
Rachael Ray’s cookware and bakeware are constructed from strong materials such as hard-anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and enamel. The handles on the pots and pans are covered in easy-to-grip silicone for confident handling. The lids are made from heat-resistant glass to offer cooks a clear view of simmering ingredients.
Known for: GreenLife’s goal is to make cooking healthier through the use of a nonstick ceramic material that’s non-chemical and nontoxic.
Editors’ Choice: The GreenLife Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Nonstick cookware set (available from Amazon), which is available in a variety of cheerful colors, features a ceramic nonstick coating.
GreenLife’s 16-piece set cookware offers a healthy alternative to Teflon for nonstick cooking. Their patented Thermolon ceramic nonstick coating is free from perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, known as Teflon). However, Teflon is approved by the FDA for use as a nontoxic coating for cookware and bakeware.
GreenLife is committed to environmentally friendly practices. Their cookware is made from recycled aluminum, and the production of the nonstick ceramic coating creates 60 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than traditional coatings create when curing.
GreenLife cookware helps promote healthy cooking because the nonstick ceramic surface requires only a few drops of oil to facilitate food release. Comfortable cushioned handles provide confident control for cooks. The forged bases of pots and pans prevent wobbling on the stovetop, and glass lids allow users to view the cooking process.
Known for: Circulon’s TOTAL Nonstick System utilizes raised circles along with three layers of premium nonstick material to ensure food releases completely from cookware surfaces.
Editors’ Choice: The Circulon Premier Professional 13-Piece Hard-Anodized cookware set (available from Amazon) includes eight nonstick, hard-anodized aluminum pots and pans in various sizes and shapes, along with five shatter-resistant glass lids.
Circulon cookware is manufactured and distributed by the Meyer Corporation (founded in 1981). In 1984, Stanley K. Cheng developed and patented Circulon’s food-release system with the introduction of miniscule grooves in the surfaces of Teflon-coated aluminum pans. These grooves help reduce abrasion of the nonstick surface, and the result is a long-lasting finish that reduces cleanup chores from stuck-on food.
The Circulon TOTAL Nonstick System is available on both interior and exterior cookware surfaces, and the company states that their nonstick surfaces last 10 to 15 times longer than those on competitors’ cookware products. Circulon applies the nonstick system to aluminum hard-anodized aluminum and stainless steel pans, and the nonstick surfaces are reported to resist scratches and wear, even when cooks use metal utensils.
Utilizing heavy-gauge construction processes, Circulon produces cookware that features fast and even heat distribution, eliminating hot spots and promoting satisfactory cooking results. Their product line includes a broad array of cookware and bakeware items along with tea kettles and cooking utensils.
Known for: Tracing its roots back over 120 years, Farberware is a reputable brand that offers reliable quality in aluminum, stainless steel, and ceramic cookware and bakeware.
Editors’ Choice: The Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Cookware set (available from Amazon) includes seven stainless-steel pots and pans with nonstick interiors, five stainless steel lids, and three non-metal cooking utensils.
Starting in the year 1900, Russian immigrant Simon Farber began to manufacture and distribute his tin and copper cookware in New York City. As the company expanded, Farberware developed a comprehensive line of cookware and bakeware in aluminum and stainless steel with nonstick and ceramic surface coatings. One of the company’s best-loved products, the stovetop coffee percolator was a fixture in many American kitchens throughout the 20th century.
Today, Farberware cooking vessels feature nonstick coatings on aluminum, hard-anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and ceramic materials. And, yes, they continue to offer their iconic stovetop coffee percolators.
Priced in a budget-friendly range, the cookware is available in sets or individual pieces. Farberware continues to supply home cooks with durable, innovative cooking and baking products, making the company a trusted American brand.
Known for: Anolon was the first cookware company to add nonstick coating to hard-anodized aluminum cookware, and their high-quality nonstick technology continues to make the brand a standout in the world of cookware.
Editors’ Choice: The Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick cookware set (available from Amazon) is constructed from durable hard-anodized aluminum with a high-quality nonstick coating and SureGrip handles.
Building on the work of their sister brand Circulon, Anolon introduced the first hard-anodized aluminum cookware with nonstick coating in 1989. Later, they added stainless steel to their repertoire of nonstick-coated materials. As an additional innovation, Anolon introduced Santoprene, a rubberized material for their SureGrip handles that helps give cooks confidence and control when handling their cooking vessels.
Continuing to innovate and improve its products, Anolon offers a nonstick, stainless-steel hybrid material via its AnolonX SearTech system. Stainless steel mesh is inlaid with a high-quality nonstick material to produce exceptionally durable, long-lasting interior and exterior cookware surfaces.
With their large selection of cookware and bakeware items, Anolon offers well-crafted cooking vessels, including Dutch ovens, woks, saucepans, fry pans, steamers, roasting pans, and more. Materials include forged hard-anodized aluminum, stainless steel, stainless steel hybrid inlaid with nonstick material, and stainless steel–clad aluminum.
Known for: Caraway cookware features elegant and contemporary designs in delicious colors along with a commitment to chemical-free, nontoxic materials and ethical manufacturing practices.
Editors’ Choice: The Caraway Cookware Set (available from Caraway), which is available in eight colors, includes a fry pan, sauté pan, saucepan, and Dutch oven along with three pot lids.
Founded in 2018 by CEO Jordan Nathan, Caraway cookware is designed in New York City and manufactured in ethically managed factories in China and India. The company’s manufacturing processes meet the standards set by Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA), and Fair Trade.
The Caraway company is committed to producing chemical-free products using eco-friendly manufacturing processes. Their cookware is made in safe facilities in which workers receive benefits, fair wages, and ethical treatment. Additionally, Caraway utilizes sustainable packaging with zero single-use plastic material.
Caraway cookware is made with no harmful chemicals that could leach into foods. The ceramic-coated aluminum cooking vessels offer slick, nontoxic surfaces to ensure that food releases freely. The product line includes saucepans, sauté pans, fry pans, and Dutch ovens, available in sets or individual pieces.