Best stainless steel cookware for your kitchen, tried and tested

·7-min read

It’s time to give your kitchen cupboards a seasonal spruce.

If you’re anything like us, your cupboards are chaotic - griddle pans, tagines, casserole dishes and an array of non-stick pots all precariously piled on top of each other in a tetris-like manner.

Well now it’s time to ditch these utensils and invest in some stainless steel cookware. A favourite amongst chefs, you can forget all about those poorly insulated pots and non-stick pans that stopped non-sticking a long time ago, as these cookware simmering, boiling and frying essentials will revolutionise your cooking.

But first, what is stainless steel cookware?

First invented in 1913 as part of a search for stronger weaponry material, stainless steel has become commonplace in the home and is used in everything from cookware to appliances to building construction. When it comes to cookware, stainless steel is a mixture of steel, chromium and other elements that help preserve it from rusting and give it extra special qualities.

Why use it?

Where to begin? Other than it being almost indestructible, it’s durable, distributes heat evenly, is oven-proof and above all, prevents food from sticking. It’s also extremely versatile - in a stainless steel pan you can fry, boil, steam and braise to name but a few of the functions.

How to look after it?

The number one rule when it comes to stainless steel cookware is do not immerse a hot pan in cold water. This temperature shock can cause permanent damage to the pan and make it harder to remove scorch marks and food residue. Instead, ensure pans have fully cooled before soaking it in soapy warm water. For tougher stains, a scouring pad will do the trick. They tend to be dishwasher safe.

Now you’ve been swayed by the benefits of stainless steel cookware, shop below the best on the market. We’ve rounded up pans across all price points and ones that are suitable for various hobs, including induction.

Morphy Richards Equip Induction Pan Set, Stainless Steel, 8 Piece Set

Best for: A large set

In our time at ESBest, we’ve encountered many deals and good value items, but little tops this whopping eight piece stainless steel set from Morphy Richards that comes in at under £70!

Including everything your chef’s heart could desire, we guarantee that you won’t need any other cookware. Use one of the four saucepans to boil and heat up food, or get the flames going in the premium feel frying pan. Don’t forget the steamer inserts and stockpot that provide endless culinary possibilities. All the handles and lid knobs are coated to ensure they remain cool, even under the most intense heat.

Buy now £65.78, Amazon

Professional Stainless Steel Cookware Set Uncoated 4 Piece

Best for: Bargain hunters

We know that stainless steel cookware doesn’t come cheap, that’s why we think this price reduction from ProCook is stellar - you can scoop up three saucepans and a 24cm frying pan for only £169 (previously £229). Suitable for all hob types and oven safe up to 260 degrees, you can transfer food from hob to oven in an instant. What’s more is the set is dishwasher safe and features CoolTouch handles that don’t heat up when on the hob. It comes with a 25 year guarantee in case anything goes wrong when you’re getting experimental in the kitchen.

Buy now £169.00, ProCook

ZWILLING TrueFlow, 5-pcs Stainless Steel Pot Set

Best for: Allround cooking

Give your pots and pans an entire makeover with this complete set from Zwilling, kitted out with a 20cm stew pot, various sized stock pots and a 16cm saucepan. As well as the usual benefits of stainless steel, this set is particularly energy-efficient thanks to the Sigma Classic+ base that distributes and conserves heat in equal measures. There are also a whole host of other standout features including a wide pouring lip, filing scale and integrated strainer. A true all-rounder.

Buy now £199.00, Zwilling

Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware, Fry Pan, 2-Piece

Best for: Frying pans

If you have enough pots and pans in the cupboards but are keen to give stainless steel cookware a go, then try out this two piece frying pan set from Calphalon. The flat and wide bottoms are designed to heat food evenly and provide a large amount of space for cooking, whilst the sloped sides are great for pouring, tossing and rolling.

Whether it’s a fried egg, endless stacks of pancakes or searing meat for Sunday lunch, you can say goodbye to scraping stuck food off the bottom of the pan as these are truly non-stick. They are easy to clean, leave no stains and most importantly come with a ten year full warranty.

Buy now £117.16, Amazon

Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Saucepan with Lid, 20 x 12.2 cm

Best for: Quality

As a brand that has almost become synonymous with luxe kitchen cookware, the Le Creuset stainless steel saucepan set has a lot to live up to, and it did not disappoint. The pans themselves are made from three-layers that spreads heat evenly across the pan, whilst the handles are designed to make the saucepans easy to lift and move. They wash well by hand and in the dishwasher. With just one use, you can tell that the quality pans are very well crafted. These will stand the test of time.

This set features three saucepans (16/18/20cm).

Buy now £288.75, Amazon

3pc Lakeland Stainless Steel 5 Ply Pan Set

Best for: Leftover lovers

When shopping around for stainless steel sets, you’re likely to find that most pans are three-ply. However, Lakeland has upped the game with its impressive five-layer constructed pans that heat things up quicker than you can say “stainless steel set”. The heat is well distributed across the base and sides, and as well as the practicality of them, they look sleek, professional and timeless. The pans are 16cm, 18cm and 20cm and are suitable for all hobs.

Buy now £131.99, Lakeland

Sabichi 3-Piece Stainless Steel Tapered Pan Set

Best for: Good value

It can be a hard sell to discard all the functioning pots and pans you already own in order to splash out on a new set, but luckily you don’t have to make that decision. For under £35, you can pick up a three-piece stainless steel pan set.

Each pan comes with its own tight fitting glass lid that has an active steam vent and they are just the right size for boiling pasta or cooking rice for a family meal. You can’t go too far wrong with such a good value purchase.

Buy now £34.99, Amazon

Ikea FINMAT Sauté pan with lid

Best for: A splash of colour

Stainless steel cookware doesn’t have to be boring in colour, as proven by IKEA’s latest FINMAT range designed by Ilse Crawford. The mix of a traditional copper exterior and hard wearing steel on the inside makes it aesthetically pleasing. This is fun and function combined.

The copper is robust and helps with heat transfer, ensuring your food is evenly cooked through, whilst the steel is versatile and durable. Impressively, the handle doesn’t heat up too much unlike other models thanks to its forged and hollow nature. The range also includes a saucepan and two deep pots with a three and five litre capacity.

Buy now £59.00, IKEA

Design Plus 6 Piece Cookware Set, Stainless Steel

Best for: A fashion statement

Who said saucepans had to be boring? This well-designed set from Italian kitchen crockery maker Inoxriv has a stylish angular look on the lids and handles which actually makes it easier to hold when the pan is hot. The set features three saucepans each with its own lid which is actually a rarity as many sets come with more pans than lids. These can be used on an induction hob and are dishwasher safe.

Buy now £129.00, MADE

Tala Performance 5 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Best for: A premium set with the price to match

If you’re willing to splash out on some of the best saucepan sets that money can buy then Tala Performance cookware set is highly recommended. While it may have a high price tag, this is reflected in the quality. The set features two stainless steel saucepans, a small milk pan and a non-stick frying pan. We particularly like the internal markings in the pan for easy measuring of liquids as you’re cooking. The set also helps you save energy as the base of the pans retain some heat so you can take the pan off the hob and the food will be kept warm.

Buy now £526.50, Amazon