Nonstick cookware is tricky. At it’s best, it’s convenient, long-lasting, and functional for cooks of any skill level. At its worst, though, it’s a (potentially hazardous) waste of time and money.
That’s why we took it upon ourselves to scour the internet—reading endless reviews, both positive and negative—to find the absolute best nonstick cookware sets on the market.
Cooking dinner shouldn't be complicated
Before we dive into what we found, though, let’s talk about what the heck “nonstick” actually means:
What Does “Nonstick” Mean?
Nonstick cookware has been around for a long time. In fact, some historians think that Ancient Greeks made bread with nonstick pans more than 3,000 years ago.
Basically, “nonstick” can refer to any surface that has been designed to reduce the ability of other materials to stick to it—so it makes cleanup a breeze.
While these surfaces are certainly convenient, some researchers and environmentalists have raised concerns about potential health risks associated with certain nonstick coatings (most notably PFOA and PTFE, or Teflon).
Thanks to regulations by The Environmental Protection Agency, most modern nonstick cookware is made without PFOA.
When exposed to high heat, though, nonstick pans can create dangerous fumes. That’s why it’s important to stay below 400° when you’re cooking with these products and to throw out any nonstick cookware that begins to flake.
Is Nonstick Cookware Dishwasher-Safe?
Some manufacturers claim their nonstick products are dishwasher-safe. Don’t listen to them.
The high heat and harsh detergents will cause your pots and pans to deteriorate much quicker than they would if you had just washed them by hand.
Related: 10 Things You Should Never Put In the Dishwasher
Without further ado, here are the three best nonstick cookware sets you can buy:
Calphalon Classic Nonstick Cookware Collection
Buy it! Bed Bath & Beyond, $299
This 14-piece classic collection has more than 1,200 5-star reviews. Happy customers rave about the products’ durability, easy-to-clean interior, and user-friendly design. The long-lasting Calphalon set is relatively affordable at $299, but you can purchase pieces separately (starting at $29.99).
“I bought my set about a month ago and I'm in love with [it],” gushed one reviewer. “I've become happier in my kitchen and started cooking more. I love the sizes, measurements on the inside of the pots, and the lids have strainers. What’s more to love? Oh ya, I can put them in the oven!!”
- 8" fry pan
- 10" fry pan
- 12" fry pan with helper handle and lid
- 1.5-qt. saucepot with lid
- 2.5-qt. saucepot with lid
- 3.5-qt. saucepot with lid
- 3-qt. sauté pan with lid
- 8-qt. stockpot with lid
La Marque 84 Nonstick Cookware Set
Buy it! Sur La Table, $400 (was $600)
This pricey-but-impressive set is actually on sale right now at Sur La Table—so if you’ve ever wanted to splurge on a fancy cookware collection, now’s definitely the time.
So what makes this 10-piece French-inspired set so special? Well, for starters, three layers of pro-quality non-stick coating makes cleanup a cinch.
“Cooking surfaces are coated with three layers of dishwasher-safe, PFOA-free nonstick for quick release that lasts and lasts,” Sur La Table says of the set. “This same high-quality nonstick is found on the exterior for easy cleanup. All pieces feature Magneto Induction Technology, which maximizes efficiency on induction stovetops, but performs just as well on all other heat sources.”
- 1.5-qt. saucepan with lid
- 3-qt. saucepan with lid
- 3-qt. sauté pan with lid
- 6-qt. casserole with lid
- 10" skillet
- 12" skillet
Farberware Reliance Nonstick Cookware Set
Buy it! Target, $45.99
Home cooks who love this 12-piece set say they’re stunned by it’s crazy-low price tag (less than $50!) and a whopping 98% of purchasers would recommend it to a friend.
“I've had this set for nearly 2 years so I now feel I can vouch for its durability and quality,” one reviewer explains. “They're definitely worth the price and function as you'd expect. I haven't had any problems with food sticking to them or the coating coming off, and all of the pieces are easy to clean with just a bit of soap and water. I didn't expect much for the price and I've been very impressed. I cook frequently and am not always the most careful with my tools, but these have stood up to the test.”
- 1-qt. saucepan with lid
- 1.5-qt. saucepan with lid,
- 4.25-qt saucepot with lid
- 10-inch skillet
- Five nylon cooking tools (pasta fork, slotted spoon, slotted turner, spoon, tongs)
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