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Best Cookware For The Money  
Everything You Need to Know to Get a Great Cookware at a Great Price
Top Five for the Money (Based on our Frugal5 Formula)
How do we pick these products? We spend many hours doing unbiased research to only give you the highest rated products at the best price. We first come up with a list of features, which you can see below, that we feel the majority of people will need. We then look for the highest quality products with these features and only show you the top five with the best value. Our mission is to provide you with the best five options based only on the facts. Don't see the product you were thinking about getting? Click here to calculate it's frugal score.
WearEver Pure LivingCooks StandardT-fal C798SC64 UltimateCuisinart Copper Tri-PlyCuisinart Chef's Classic
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Product Rating
Average Price
Cheap ($91)
Cheap ($160)
Cheap ($100)
Cheap ($300)
Cheap ($115)
Frugal5 Score
Additional Info
Ceramic and Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel with an Aluminum Core
Copper, Aluminum and Stainless Steel
Copper and Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel with an Aluminum Core
Temperature Range
Up To 750 Degrees
Up To 500 Degrees
Up to 500 Degrees
Up To 500 Degrees
Up To 500 Degrees
Limited Lifetime
Limited Lifetime
Features Needed
Cool-Touch Handle
Even Heat Distribution
Secure-Fitting Lids
Features Not Needed
Dishwasher Safe
Flared Sides
Glass Lids
Heat Surround Tecnology
Interior Measuring Marks
PTFE, PFOA And Cadmium-Free
Safe For Induction
Stain And Scratch Resistant
What You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

Amazing food can be created in the kitchen, especially if you have a good set of cookware. As main dishes, side dishes, sauces and salads are made, the need for multiple quality pots and pans becomes all the more necessary. 

Though there are many options to choose from -each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages - there are a few things that should be standard on any set you choose. First of all, it is important to make sure that your pans are safe for long-term use. Because of the likelihood that Teflon or other non-stick surfaces will eventually flake off into food, we have avoided including these types of pots and pans as options. Likewise, solid aluminum has also been avoided.

It is also important to make sure that the cookware you choose will be easy to use. This means that the cookware will not only be easy to clean and maintain, but will also be easy to use during cooking. Handles should remain cool enough to touch and lids should fit tightly and be easy to remove.

There are also features that may be beneficial but are not necessary. For example, though lids must fit well, you may also want to find pieces that feature glass lids to help monitor the cooking process. 

Many people also consider the shape and texture of the handles to be important. In addition to cool touch handles, many companies manufacture handles designed to fit well in the hand including thumb rests, and may even have holes in them to allow the pots to be hung for storage.

Flared sides also make food preparation easier by making pouring easier. Though this feature certainly isn't necessary, the benefit of avoiding a messy stove is worth taking into account.

Size Matters 

Before purchasing your cookware, it's important to know  exactly what you will hope to get from your new set. If you only need a few extra pans to supplement other dishes you have in your cabinets you'll probably want a Fewer pieces. Conversely, if you are starting from square one and need to purchase many different pots and pans, you may find that a larger set will suit you better and save money compared to purchasing items separately. In other words, the size of your cookware set really does matter.  

The perfect composition  

The material that your cookware is made out of can have a big impact on the way your food turns out. Some metals conduct heat better while others are more durable, for example. So know your metals when choosing the best cookware set.  

  • Aluminum: Aluminum is a soft metal and can damage easily, and can even leach into acidic foods like tomatoes, so pans made with aluminum will need to be produced using one of two methods: it can go through an anodization process (which increases its durability and protects it from leaching into your food), or it can be sandwiched between other metals like stainless steel.  
  • Stainless steel: By far the most common material used in cookware, stainless steel has it's advantages. It is highly durable and easy to maintain, and can boast a flawless appearance for decades with little effort. But, like all things, it has it's flaws as well. Stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat, which means that it cannot maintain a steady temperature thus increasing the likelihood of burnt food. For this reason, stainless steel is often used in conjunction with other metals to promote even heat distribution.  
  • Copper: Copper cookware is a top choice among professional chefs because of it's superior heat conductivity. Copper alone, however, tends to be very expensive to produce and is therefore more likely to be used in conjunction with other metals. If you choose a set of cookware featuring this fine metal, though, be prepared to polish your set periodically to maintain its attractive appearance.  
  • Ceramic: Ceramic cookware is gaining in popularity, specifically because of it's resistance to wear coupled with its non-stick ability. Ceramic cookware is also safer because it does not leach into the food. Add this to the fact that it is typically lighter and cheaper than other metal pans and you've got good reason to try ceramic cookware in your home. It can break, however, so proper care and storage is essential if you want your ceramic cookware to last. 

Some of the best brands of cookware include anything by Cuisinart or T-fal. These companies continue to deliver the best product for competitive rates and have produced happy customers over and over again.  

On the flip-side of that coin is Chef's Du Jore. Popular only for their prices versus quantity, this company makes cookware that simply does not last.   

If anything, let the price speak for itself. Generally speaking, as the price goes up, so does quality. Therefore, the cheapest set of cookware you can buy is likely to be just that: cheap. If you want to invest in a quality set of cookware, you should typically purchase the best set you can afford.

Your cookware should last a lifetime. Make sure you choose the best set for your needs to make sure that this investment continues to give you a solid return. Carefully consider the amount of pots and pans you need compared to the amount of money you are able to spend, and make your decision accordingly.   

Use our list of favorites to help you decide, then get cooking

Features You Need
Cool-Touch Handle, Durrable, Even Heat Distribution, Secure-Fitting Lids
Features You Don't Need
Dishwasher Safe, Flared Sides, Glass Lids, Hangable, Heat Surround Tecnology, Interior Measuring Marks, Non-Stick, PTFE, PFOA And Cadmium-Free, Safe For Induction, Stain And Scratch Resistant
What You Should Pay
Between $90.77 - $299.99
Top Of The Line Price
Over $2,000.00