The Best Stainless Steel Pans For Every Kitchen

The durable and easy-to-maintain stovetop essential you need in your cupboards.

byLauren Brown West-Rosenthal| PUBLISHED Apr 23, 2021 9:32 PM
The Best Stainless Steel Pans For Every Kitchen
Your kitchen just got a serious upgrade. Adam Dachis, Unsplash

Stainless steel pans not only look pretty in your kitchen, but they’re also durable, non-reactive, safe, and compatible with all types of utensils (though wood is best). No matter what meal you’re whipping up, a stainless steel pan can help you take your dish to the next level. Here’s how to make the most out of your stainless steel pans.

  • Stainless steel on its own is a poor conductor of heat. That’s why you want to look for a stainless steel pan with a core (the disc at the bottom of the pan) or cladding (the layer along the base and sides) made from aluminum or copper. With that combo, you’ll get the durability of stainless steel with the top-notch heat conductivity of aluminum or copper.
  • The grade of your stainless steel cookware is an important consideration. Look for a grade of 18/8 or 18/10, which are the standards used in quality pots and pans. The numbers are usually stamped at the bottom of the pan or listed on the packaging. But don’t fret if that information is not there. If the pan feels heavy when you lift it up and there’s a thickness to the base and sides, those are good indicators that it was made well.
  • The heavier your stainless steel pan, the better. A thicker quality makes for less of a chance of hot spots (a common complaint about stainless steel cookware) and ensures your food always cooks evenly. Another benefit of heavier stainless steel is it’s harder to dent or get banged up.

Our Picks for the Best Stainless Steel Pans on Amazon

Top Pick: Calphalon Classic 10-Piece Cookware Set

Impact-bonded aluminum base distributes heat evenly for browning, searing, and sauteing.

Runner Up: Saveur Selects Tri-Ply Cookware Set

Oven-safe up to 500 degrees, with an aluminum core for even heating, and a quality steel grade of 18/10.

Good for Beginners: All-Clad 12-inch Fry Pan

Good for Beginners
Easy to Clean
Check Price
This pan features low, sloped sides for easy flipping and turning, and a wide flat surface for searing and browning. It can fit three to four chicken breasts at once.

Also Consider: Cuisinart Stainless Stell 11-Piece Cookware Set

The aluminum encapsulated base heats quickly and spreads heat evenly to eliminate hot spots.