Not everyone is a natural-born Martha Stewart in the kitchen, but if you want to step up your cooking game, the best cookware sets are your gateway to culinary success. Easy kitchen upgrades and matching dinnerware sets are a great place to start, but the real pros know the secret sauce is in your pan—literally. Sure, presentation is key for making home-cooked food feel the slightest bit “pinkies out,” but let’s be honest, what you cook your food in is as important as the ingredients you buy.
Sometimes a single frying pan is all you need to achieve Chef’s Table glory. Other recipes require the full treatment—steaming, boiling, sautéing. And when you’re churning out three meals a day like you have five minutes left on Gordon Ramsey’s clock, used and abused cookware is not your friend. Investing in a trusty set of pots and pans will help you prepare meals easier and faster—and when you know what to look for, they’ll also last longer. Heat-resistant handles, side spouts, and brightly colored ceramic coating are all hallmarks of the best cookware sets. So whether you are ready to teach your own MasterClass or have simply grown out of your starter set, here are 20 of the best cookware sets that’ll take your skills to the next level.
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