Many people turn to nonstick cookware in search of a quick and easy cooking experience. Good nonstick cookware should save you time on maintenance and cleaning, without sacrificing versatility or great tasting meals.
With so many brands claiming to have the hottest new nonstick linings, and such a range in prices, how do you know which one really stands up to the test of time and will give you the best value for money?
We’ve reviewed some of the best nonstick cookware sets around, and share our findings with you below, as well as answering some of the most common burning questions people have about nonstick cookware.
If you’re just looking for a frying pan, check out our best nonstick pans guide to compare great options.
11 Top Rated Nonstick Cookware Sets
1. T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Titanium Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Cookware Set, 14-Piece
The red spot on T-fal cookware helped popularize this nonstick collection and is one of many things we love about the T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick cookware set.
- Glass lids
- Silicone handles
- Thermo-Spot heat indicator
- Hard anodized aluminum
T-fal is easy clean and claims to be dishwasher safe; however, the pans tend to discolor when using a machine – you’re better off sticking with a gentle hand-wash for this set and re-season after every 10 washes.
The unique Thermo-Spots in the center of each pan are an interesting feature that claim to inform you when the pan is pre-heated. They do this very well if the pan is super-hot, but seem to struggle with this at lower temperatures.
Designed by a well-known brand that is known to keep on top of the latest nonstick technology, this lightweight T-fal cookware is high quality and stands up to heavy use. If you’re looking for a strong set of nonstick cookware that you can throw in the dishwasher occasionally, T-fal Ultimate is a great choice.
If you’re interested in the benefits of titanium, here are our top picks best titanium cookware.
2. Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10 Piece Cookware Set
Another leading cookware brand, Calphalon’s 10-piece nonstick cookware set in stylish black is visually appealing. The domed lids reduce condensation and fit snugly, and the metal is reassuringly thick, providing durable cookware that shouldn’t warp.
- Double coated with unique, PFOE-free non-stick coating
- Glass lids
- Not dishwasher friendly.
- Oven safe to 450F
- Made with hard-anodized aluminum
Calphalon cookware heats up rapidly, which saves time, but means you should pay extra attention to ensure your food doesn’t burn – cooking at a medium heat should keep you safe.
Keep in mind that the handles are only partly wrapped in silicone and the sides remain metal -this can get a little too warm – you’ll need to use a hot pad when maneuvering.
Over time, some brown discoloration will appear on the bottoms of the pans, which can’t be removed.
If you’re cooking for a large family, the size of some of the components may be insufficient.
This Simply Calphalon set is a good mid-range purchase that will do a bang-up job for the average cook. However, it’s by no means professional quality cookware – it’s very lightweight and you will need to wash it gently and avoid using metal utensils.
3. Woll Diamond Plus/Diamond Lite 10-Piece Cookware Set
This 10-Piece Woll Diamond Plus cookware is a high-end set that is professional quality, which is reflected in the price. With a solid weight and superior construction, you’ll find food cooks more evenly.
- Innovative hard coating embedded with diamond crystals
- Extra-long, cast iron handles
- Glass lids – oven proof up to 480F
- Dishwasher safe
The coating has diamond crystals embedded within, which conduct heat super-fast and evenly. You don’t have to pamper this cookware overly much, it’s perfectly fine for use with metal utensils – a very unique feature with non-stick cookware. You can also safely throw it in the dishwasher.
The non-stick coating does exactly what it claims… at the beginning, but unfortunately, after 2-3 years, this coating becomes notably less effective. With such a hefty price tag, this is not a set you want to replace after such a short time.
Perhaps Woll are aware of this: while the metal parts of the pan are covered by a lifetime warranty, Woll only covers the nonstick cooking surface for 3 years.
When this cookware works, it really works well. It has many qualities that are similar to cast iron, including heat retention and even cooking.
You will adore cooking with this set, while it lasts. Unfortunately, this will make it harder to take when it starts to fail – that oh-so-important non-stick coating will eventually let you down.
If the price was lower, it might be worth it just for the amazing first few years, but at this range, you’ll have to seriously consider if it will be a smart purchase for you.
4. Cook N Home 15-Piece Nonstick Stay Cool Handle Cookware Set
Our budget pick goes to the Cook N Home 15 piece set, which is comparable to similar cookware sets.
- Crafted from thick aluminum
- Stay cool handles
- Glass lids with steam vent
- Dishwasher safe
Aside from price, its top features are that it’s made from heavy gauge aluminum and the lids fit the pans well. As a bonus, the set also includes utensils, so you’re ready to go as soon as you get it. Is aluminum cookware safe? Yep!
Silicone handles and lids that fit properly are characteristics of higher priced nonstick sets. However, being a budget set, there are a couple of things that stand out.
The nonstick coating works well, but you must be careful with budget cookware when it comes to coatings. The heavy gauge aluminum helps give the pots and pans a sturdy feel, but it’s not going to be able to take abuse from utensils or high temperatures.
Although they’ll do in a push – the provided utensils aren’t the best. That said, you’re not buying this set for the utensils. Also, you might find that the handles come a bit loose, but it’s nothing a few turns of a screwdriver can’t fix.
This set is not oven safe and can’t be used with induction cooktops. These things aren’t deal breakers, but definitely something to keep in mind.
Given the limited lifespan of non-stick pans, this budget set may be the best choice for someone who has just moved out on their own for the first time or really needs to keep those purse strings tight.
5. Paula Deen Signature Nonstick 15-Piece Porcelain Cookware Set
Popular TV chef Paula Deen offers a nonstick cookware collection that is a colorful way to cook in your kitchen. The Teflon interior of this set avoids many of the hassles of preheating and oiling your pans to prevent food from sticking.
- Beautiful porcelain exteriors available in a variety of colors
- Nonstick Teflon interior
- Soft, heat-resistant handles
- Glass lids with copper plated knobs.
Like all nonstick coats, it does have a shelf life. How long your coating lasts will depend on how you use and care for it. Realistically, you might have to replace a set like this in a year or two.
Paula has thoughtfully included soft, heat-resistant handles in this set. This is another major plus for convenience. It means potholders are another thing you don’t need to worry about for casual cooking.
Is Teflon toxic? Other than the shelf life of Teflon, the biggest downside to this set is a lack of high temperature oven safety. Because of the comfy handles, it’s not oven safe above 350 degrees.
This budget set is a fine choice for a first-time cook. The colors with a speckled finish are highly desirable, but you do get what you pay for; they scratch easily and the non-stick coating will peel sooner rather than later.
Better to invest a bit more money in something that will last longer.
6. GreenPan Paris Pro 11pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set
Let’s compare this set with some of the best ceramic cookware on the market. It’s beautiful to look at, this set is fine to use with metal utensils. The non-stick coating is one of the best on the market, and well worth the mid-range investment.
- Nonstick Thermolon coating
- PFA and PFOA-free
- Stainless steel lids
- Contoured handles
- Oven and dishwasher safe
We love that these pans don’t contain any chemicals or harmful compounds which can leach into your food. Is ceramic cookware safe? Yep!
The manufacturer claims this cookware is safe up to 600F, however the instructions recommend not to use them with high heat. You will need to adjust your expectations when using lower heats – obviously, food takes longer to cook!
Cleaning is so easy with these. Although they are dishwasher friendly, it’s just as easy to give them a quick wipe down in the sink
Although the cookware is pretty good quality, the lids really let this set down. The lid handles are small and get extremely hot – requiring use of a hot pad every time you use them.
If you can put up with inferior quality lids, this is a fantastic set for any kind of chef. The nonstick coating holds up well, and although you need to get used to cooking at lower heats, these pans do heat up rapidly and retain heat superbly.
7. Rachael Ray Cucina 12-Piece Cookware Set
The Rachael Ray Cucina collection is one of the more attractive and modern cookware sets that we have seen, with the colored handles creating a funky look.
- Constructed with hard-anodized aluminum
- Sturdy silicone-coated handles
- Glass lids
- Dishwasher and oven safe (except induction) up to 400F
This cookware is lightweight – not always a good thing, as light pots can slide around dangerously on your cooktop. This particular set, with the nonstick coating on the exterior as well as interior, tend to be very slippery, which can be dangerous.
The nonstick coating works well, and they are easy to clean. Although many different brands claim to be dishwasher friendly and don’t meet expectations, the nonstick coating still persists after regular dishwashing.
Considering the lower cost of this set, they work well – easy clean, fast to heat up and cool down, with the nonstick coating holding up well. Bear in mind that if you are cooking for a large family, these might be a bit small to fit your needs
These pots and pans DO slide very easily. If this will be a major problem for you, go for a weightier option or see our Rachael Ray cookware reviews for more options.
8. Anolon Advanced Bronze Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set
These attractive bronze colored pots and pans have a nice, solid weight to them, without being overly heavy. Very fast to heat up, they perform better at a low to medium heat.
- Silicone-coated SureGrip handles
- Hard-anodized build
- Glass lids
Although not the most expensive set on our list, or in our Anolon cookware reviews, you should still expect high-quality product for the outlay, and that is what you get.
This set is not dishwasher safe and can’t be used with induction oven, but is oven safe up to 400F, including the silicon handles, which stay cool to touch.
There is a tendency for these pans to scratch more easily than you would expect from something in this price range, and perhaps the nonstick coating isn’t as durable as one would hope – it seems it’s easily damaged and may peel off after a few years.
The lifetime warranty seems promising; however, many customers that have had issues with the quality of their cookware who tried to utilize the warranty received zero help and support from Anolon and were left out of pocket.
This set is definitely an attractive choice, with its bronze exterior and chocolate brown interior. It has a nice heft to it, compared to some of the more budget, light weight options reviewed here.
The handles are fantastic, meaning you can take it from stove top to oven without having to use a hot pad. However, if this price range is a real investment for you, we advise you to go for something with a more reliable warranty.
9. Circulon Elite Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
This is certainly a striking, modern design, with the black exterior and shiny silver fittings. Circulon boast that their nonstick technology is innovative, creating a durable nonstick surface that can be used with metal utensils.
- Constructed from hard-anodized aluminum
- Stainless steel handles with silicone pieces
- Glass lid
- Oven safe to 400F
With a heavy feel, these really are high quality pans, without the associated price tag. They cook faster at a lower flame, and the nonstick coating for this set seems to be outstanding – with no peeling, bubbling or wearing down, even after heavy use over many years.
One complaint is that the skillets are a little lacking in size. If you prepare larger meals, you may need to invest in a 12-inch skillet on top of this set.
Because of the special nonstick technology, there are tiny grooves in the base, making it ever so slightly more time-consuming to clean, but only minimally so.
The bottom is flat, making these pots and pans ideal for use on a glass or ceramic cooktop.
If you have the patience to hand wash your cookware and wait a few minutes longer for it to heat up, then you’ll be completely happy with this set.
Although not for a tight budget, they are reasonably priced, and the quality and durability really is everything Circulon claims it to be. Invest the extra money and you may not have to replace this for a very long time.
10. 13-Piece All-Clad Nonstick Cookware Set – Hard Anodized, Dishwasher Safe
One of the few sets that are compatible with induction ovens, the All-Clad range can withstand higher oven temperatures too – up to 500F (without the lids). Although they are safe for the dishwasher, handwashing is still the recommended method.
- Hard-anodized aluminum
- Glass lids
- Stainless steel handles
- Induction safe and oven safe to 500F (without lids)
- Dishwasher safe but hand wash recommended.
Of course, the metal handles of the pots and lids get hot, so you’ll need to handle them with pot holders.
The handle design is really the only thing we can gripe about. This cookware is heavy! When your pan is full, it is difficult to pick up without some discomfort – the slightly sharp edges dig painfully into your hand.
Because the pots have a subtle bell shape, they don’t “nest” well, so may take up a little more storage space.
With a sturdy build, these beautifully designed kitchen implements are designed to last a lifetime – as one would hope, with a premium price tag to match the quality. They are truly non-stick, and even the most experienced chef will find them a joy to use.
11. Gotham Steel Ultimate 15 Piece All in One Chef’s Kitchen Set with Non-Stick Ti-Cerama Copper Coating
It’s not often a product does what it claims on the infomercials, but in this case, Gotham Steel is a winner for us. Even though it is lightweight, this cookware is still sturdily made. It heats evenly and quickly and the lids fit properly even when heated.
- Crafted with low-weight Gotham Steel
- Oven safe to 500F
- Dishwasher safe
- PTHE, PFOA and PFOS-free
- Metal utensil proof
The handles do get super-hot, so be sure to use a pot holder.
Although the inside is easy to clean, you may find the exterior is easily stained and can look dirty even after a thorough clean.
This is a good choice, with quality value for money. There are no nasty chemicals in the nonstick lining, and you’ll find this cookware set does exactly what it claims to do. A great pick for all cooks, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned pro. For a more in-depth look, check out our Gotham Steel Pan reviews.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Can You Put Non-stick Pans In The Dishwasher?
Manufacturers will always let you know if their cookware is dish-washer safe. However, even when they claim that it will stand up to dishwashing, your nonstick cookware will last a lot longer and retain its nonstick qualities better with a gentle hand wash.
Even the hardiest nonstick coating will eventually degrade over time with frequent dishwashing, due to the stronger detergents and heated water used in most machines.
A good nonstick pan should be super easy to clean anyway, so you’ll save yourself water and power bills by simply giving it a quick rinse and wash with warm soapy water.
Can You Sear In A Nonstick Pan?
Contrary to popular belief, yes you can! The majority of nonstick pans don’t do well at high heats, losing their nonstick qualities, but this doesn’t mean you can’t still get a great sear over a lower heat. The searing, or browning, may take a little longer, but the final outcome will be the same.
Searing is technically the process of building flavor as the outer layer of your meat caramelizes. To help with the browning process – since you are not relying on high heat alone to sear your meat – add something with a bit of sugar in it, such as honey, wine, juice, vinegar or syrup.
If searing is an important part of your cooking, select a nonstick pan that is a little more heavyweight – this helps the heat to spread evenly over the pan and does a more effective job at searing.
Do I Need To Season Nonstick Cookware?
Just because you don’t need to season nonstick cookware, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! Even if the manufacturer’s instructions don’t specify that seasoning is needed, what have you got to lose by doing this every now and then?
At best, it will help your cookware last longer and improve the nonstick surface. At worst, you’ve wasted a few minutes and a bit of oil.
You’ll need to adjust your seasoning method slightly. As opposed to the best cast iron cookware or stainless steel, nonstick cookware should be seasoned at lower temperatures. Check out some of our guidelines on the best seasoning techniques.
Before seasoning, do double check your cookware’s instructions; some manufacturers, such as Calphalon, state that seasoning their pans can actually damage them.
Is Nonstick Cookware Oven Safe?
Usually it is, but to what degree depends on the coating and handle type; each nonstick cookware manufacturer gets a little bit creative when it comes to trim and handles. While several options and styles are available, they boil down to two categories:
- Metal handles – Oven safe to about 500 degrees, but get hot when you cook.
- Non-metal handles – Typically oven safe to only about 350 degrees, but remain safe to handle during normal cooking. Non-metal handles are often made of silicone or plastic.
Be sure to check the instructions provided with your cookware for more information and exact temperatures.
What Happens If I Scratch A Pan?
Scratching a nonstick pan damages the overall integrity of your nonstick lining, and will result in peeling and further degradation.
In the early years of nonstick Teflon-based pans, there were fears that damage such as this could cause your cookware to release toxic compounds. However, most of the non-stick pans today use more innovative, and much healthier components, so this is less of a concern than previously.
Although the dangers of toxic chemicals being released from a damaged pan during heating are hotly debated, it won’t be an effective cooking tool anyway, so should be replaced.
Either way, you will want to prevent scratching – which you can do by following the tips below.
How Do I Care For Nonstick Cookware?
- Although seasoning isn’t always required by most manufacturers, it’s a good practice to develop. As above, check your instructions to make sure that seasoning won’t in fact damage your particular brand of cookware.
- Even if your cookware is dishwasher friendly, prolong its life by opting for a quick hand wash instead.
- Never use nonstick cooking sprays with nonstick cookware, they can actually damage the nonstick component. Stick to oils or butter instead.
- Avoid metal utensils, even if the manufacturer states they can be used. Stick to wooden, silicone or plastic utensils just to be on the safe side.
- If stacking your pots and pans in the cupboard, place a paper towel in between them to protect from scratches. Learn how to store pots and pans properly.
- Never clean a nonstick pan with rough scrubbers or cleaning items: use a soft sponge and warm soapy water.
- Only cook over a low or medium heat; high temperatures break down the nonstick coating (and with some coatings, can release toxic fumes.)
- Let your nonstick cookware at least get to room temperature before washing in cold water. Rapid changes in temperature may warp your pan.
Does Nonstick Mean No Oil Needed?
This depends on the brand of pan you get, and what particular nonstick surface is used. You will need far less oil than with other cooking surfaces.
Generally, you don’t HAVE to use oil in a nonstick pan, but we do recommend you use a small amount of oil or butter when cooking, just to give that nonstick surface an extra helping hand. Remember not to use cooking sprays!
In contrast to most cookware, you should add your oil or butter before heating a nonstick pan. This will enhance the nonstick qualities and prevent any possible dangerous fumes from being released.
Our ultimate favorite here is the All-Clad Nonstick Cookware Set. Although pricey, it is a premium quality set that should please even the most accomplished chef and last a lifetime when taken care of properly.
For a mid-range budget, we love the Circulon Elite Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set; a sturdy set with a long-lasting nonstick coating.
On the real budget end of the scale, we recommend Cook N Home 15-Piece bundle; it’s great for a starter set and will do the job without breaking the bank.
With so much innovation, time, and effort going into cookware production these days, there are many options to suit different wants and needs.
Now that you know what to look for, you should be able to find nonstick cookware the works best for you.
After you’ve figured out your budget, take a look at how often you’ll be cooking, your style of cooking, and how many people you’ll cook for.