Best Cookware Sets Under $200
Cooking is an art form. It requires skill, practice, and the right tools just as any art form would. Consider painting, if you will.
What painter can excel at his creations without the correct tools? Would Picasso have succeeded as a painter if he’d used bargain priced brushes?
Maybe, but probably not. He probably supplied himself with the highest quality tools for his trade as any artist would. It’s the same in the realm of cooking.
Granted, not all of us can afford to buy top of the line culinary cookware, which is exactly why I’ve compiled this list.
|Model||Material Type||Pieces in Set|
|Chef's Star Professional||Stainless Steel||17|
|Calphalon Classic||Stainless Steel||10|
|T-fal E765SE||Anodized Aluminum||14|
|Cuisinart 77-17N||Stainless Steel||17|
|Rachael Ray Cucina||Anodized Aluminum||12|
|GreenLife Soft Grip||Aluminum||14|
|Cook N Home 12-Piece||Stainless Steel||12|
|Vremi 15 Piece||Aluminum||15|
The tops of the pots and pans are transparent glass, which gives the chef a clear view of how dishes progress without having to let steam or heat escape. The handles are coated to prevent burns at high heats.
The set also comes with two colanders of medium and large size, and three utensils including a spoon, a slotted spatula, and a two-pronged fork. They are all dishwasher, oven, and freezer safe.
This set is rated at four and a half stars, and customer reviews are intensely positive, with only a few customer complaints that focused on the image not matching the actual contents of the set. Read the product description carefully so you know what you are getting, and the problem is solved.
The tops are clear glass, again a big plus, and the pots and pans themselves include drain spouts, which makes for easy draining without a colander. The set is made of stainless steel and has no heat, long handles for secure grip. They are dishwasher, broiler, and oven safe.
Calphalon reviews are usually positive, and this is no exception. This set had a decent number of reviews and the average star rating is four and a half stars, quoting ease of use and cleaning.
The only few negative reviews it had were discoloration over high heat and the thickness of the side walls of pans, which one customer complained caused scorching, but given the number of positive reviews in comparison, I believe this is an excellent choice under $200 to invest in. As is usual with Calphalon, this set is guaranteed for life.
The heat spot indicator comes in handy as well to show when the pot has been preheated to the desired temperature. They are dishwasher safe, and although their oven resistant heat is lower than the other sets, their handles, made of riveted silicon, are a surer grip.
Their reviews are through the roof, higher than any other product in this article and numbered in the 3000 mark. There are 4.5 stars of delighted customers and loads of question and answers, indicating a high response to buyer queries.
Perhaps I am biased as my mother owns this cookware and swears by it, but this product is at the top of the list for me. They are also guaranteed for a limited lifetime warranty.
The cooking section of the pieces are safe as high as seven hundred degrees, however in the oven they have the lowest rating of durability at 350 degrees due to the handles. Don’t be put off by the ceramic- it is metal utensil safe and PTFE, PFOA, Cadmium and lead free.
The positive reviews all rave about the ease of cleaning, with only a small percentage of negative reviews complaining that the non-stick surface wore off after a couple years and began to stick. However, as WearEver offers a limited lifetime warranty, this is easily sidestepped.
In the description is very much like the Chef’s Star link about, with its non-stick stainless steel, sturdy handles, and glass tops, but at a much lower price point.
It also is stovetop, oven, and freezer safe with a top temperature of 500 degrees. The reviews mostly cover ease of use and cleaning. The few negative reviews complained of easy staining and one of the inferior quality of the rivets, but overall the response was favorable.
Cuisinart also offers smaller collections of the same durability, but really who can have enough pots and pans? I’d go for the higher number of items for the price.
The pricing is also eye catching at under $150. There are fewer reviews than some of the other packages, however, this set rates at 4.5 stars and the positive reviews gush with enthusiasm.
The products are hard anodized aluminum with shatter proof glass tops and are oven safe to 400 degrees as well as suitable for the dishwasher. They also come with two nylon utensils; included are a slotted spoon and a spatula the same color as the handles.
The naysayers complained of metal warping and flimsy materials, but compared to the positive reviews, I would still take the chance for the price. They have a limited lifetime warranty as well.
It is dishwasher safe as well and presents as easily cleaned. It has a 4.0-star rating, a decent amount of reviews, and comes with four plastic utensils along with the set. There are multiple add-ons available to complete the set.
The negative reviews complained of staining and sticking. Others say this is easily avoided if cared for properly, as ceramic takes a little extra care as opposed to other pans. If you enjoy cooking with ceramic, this is an affordable option.
It does not mention oven use but a quick look at the Q/A section revealed that the pots and pans themselves are oven safe to 350 degrees, but the lids are not. The one-star reviews all complained about the glass tops, so care will be needed with these in high heat environments.
Staining was another sticking point. However, the five and four-star reviews all raved about the product, so for a budget, they are worth the low price.
The set has the signature Tfal logo heat indicator in the center of each pan to indicate preheating. It’s dishwasher and oven safe to 350 degrees and has comfortable, heat resistant handles.
For those who are interested in green products, it claims to be PFOA, Lead, and Cadmium-free. The major complaint in the few negative comments was that the paint on the logo scrapes easily, and that customer service was not the best, but personally, I have never had this issue with them.
The product also comes with three plastic utensils that may prevent the scraping issue with the logo. This is definitely a contender for affordable, effective cooking.
Can’t go wrong when it’s stove top and oven safe, with a maximum heat range of 350 degrees, but some reviews claimed that they should not be used in the oven at all, even the positive ones. There is no warranty so be careful with this one.
They do come in assorted colors, and are described in one review as having a “retro feel”. They seem to be a viable low-cost option while still offering a decent level of quality from the positive reviews I read. There’s a respectable number of them backing this statement up.
Best Cookware Sets Under $200 Buyers Guide
Heat conductivity– the ratings go as follow for each material. Copper rating of 9, Aluminum and Cast Aluminum rating of 5, Cast Iron rating of 1.5, Stainless Steel and Steel rating of 1, Ceramic rating of 0.5 and Glass a rating of 0.25. So, Copper conducts heat best while glass is the lowest. You will need to adjust your cooking temperatures accordingly. Also, take into consideration the evenness of the heat. Multi-layer bottoms are more evenly heated and should be your first choice.
Price- Higher price does not always mean better quality. If you go for the higher price item, make sure you do your research and aren’t just paying for a brand name. If you make an investment, you want to be sure it will perform and last.
Durability- Think about how long the product will last for the price. Is it something that will easily stain, crack, or stick? Do you want to replace your cookware every year, or every ten years? Realize that you will probably pay a higher price for a set that will last you ten years because you are paying for a higher quality item.
Reactivity- This is the level of which cookware may release harmful metals like copper into your food. That’s why looking for items that say they are PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium free is important. The greenest and safest materials are stainless steel and ceramic, but it’s a trade-off because these are also the lowest conductively.
Maintenance- How easy is it to clean and keep in tip top shape? Does the item stain or stick? Take a look at the reviews and learn from other’s experiences.
- What is the largest group of people you are considering cooking for?
- How elaborate will the meals be?
- How much storage space and cook space do you have?
- Is shipping included in the cost?
- Is there a warranty? If so, how long?
- Is there good customer service provided by the manufacturer?
These are all questions you should be asking yourself before you buy. Be sure to get online to read reviews and Q/A sections on items to see other customers’ opinions, and the level of customer care. If you don’t see the answers to the question above, ask the seller directly. It’s important to know what you are getting and sometimes the details are purposely left out to hide an inferior product.
Which type of metal should I choose?
Pros: Heavy, durable, dishwasher-safe, inexpensive for basic models.
Cons: Poor heat transfer and distribution.
Pros: Excellent thermal conductivity, lightweight, affordable.
Cons: Highly reactive to alkaline or acidic foods. It’s also very soft and tends to warp in high heat and scratch easily, which leads to health concerns with long term use.
For more information check out this article on twokitchenjunkies.com about Stainless Steel vs Nonstick
That concludes my list of the best cookware sets under two hundred dollars. I tried to include a wide range of products and price points whilst still maintaining a level of quality acceptable to the discerning cook.
As always, I urge you to research the products I recommend yourself before you buy. You will be glad you did when you taste that first meal. Learning to cook at home is a fantastic way to eat healthy and delicious food on a daily basis, so the right cookware is essential.
I hope I was able to help you find the tools that make the process fun and rewarding at a great price! Happy cooking, everyone!