It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally rounding up the ultimate pot guide. There’s a lot of information to cover, but over the next few posts we’ll get to it all.
Looking for a new set of pots? Getting married and don’t know what to choose? “Which pots do you recommend?” has been a question that we’ve received again and again over the years. We knew it was an important one, but that it would also be a job to collect all the information in one place so that you’re really guided when it comes to choosing the right pots. Now that Yom Tov is coming up, it just may be the perfect time.
Since each of us only have experience related to the pots we’ve used and loved (or didn’t love!), we turned to the teams at The Peppermill and The Kitchen Clique to help us sort through all the information. All of the information included on this post and the following ones is based on their expertise and our collective experience.
When looking for a new set of pots, you might have read different reviews online for various sets. The truth is, though, you can’t compare the use that your pots will get compared to the average American household. We cook A LOT and we cook for large families and for guests, for Shabbos, for Yomim Tovim, day in and day out.
What Type of Pots Should I Focus On?
That being said, the only type of pots which are recommended for Jewish families, especially for fleishigs, are stainless steel. They’re the only type which will stand up to the daily cooking, and they don’t have any coatings which will scratch off. Stainless is the easiest to clean for the same reason–nothing else but the dirt will come off. If a stainless steel pan is used properly and is heated before cooking, the food won’t stick either (if food is added to a pot that’s not hot, it will stick to any pan, even nonstick).
- Better stainless steel pots are made so there are no hotspots, so food cooks evenly and perfectly.
- We greatly prefer stainless steel pots that also have stainless steel handles and lids. There are cheaper sets of stainless steel pots which have plastic or rubber handles. Those handles or lids will break eventually (but they’re great for let’s say, Pesach).
- Entry level stainless steel sets are popular among kallahs, but know that you will be replacing them eventually down the line if they get heavy use. Sometimes you’ll see pretty sets of pots with different finishes and coatings and they might be tempting. But–don’t go there. At least not for your meat set (if you don’t cook a lot of dairy and want a nonstick set, we’ll get there). When you invest in pots they definitely pay you back over time (not in cash, but in use). Cheap pots will need to be replaced often. Expensive pots last a lifetime and will be just as perfect in 20 years as the day you bought them.
There are different options within stainless steel, at varying levels of quality and price.
The least expensive type of stainless steel cookware has aluminum only in the base, encapsulated by the stainless steel. Stainless steel doesn’t conduct heat, it’s just very strong. It’s the aluminum inside the pot which conducts the heat. But since aluminum is a soft metal, it needs to be encapsulated by the steel. In this range of stainless steel cookware, the aluminum is only encapsulated on the bottom of the pot, so the heat only travels to the food through the bottom. These pots are lighter in weight and less expensive, but still decent quality for the budget-minded consumer.
Best One-Ply Picks: $165-170
- Cuisinart Chef is probably the best value on the market
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 10-Piece Cookware Set from Kitchen Clique (also available in 7 and 17 piece sets)
- Rachael Ray is popular among kallahs at this price point, especially since they’re available in different colors for easy differentiation for meat and dairy.
Rachel Ray 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set from The Peppermill
Tri-Ply Stainless Steel
In Tri-Ply Stainless Steel, the aluminum is encapsulated throughout the entire pot, even up to the top edges. Even within Tri-Ply, there are different grades and levels of quality.
Best Middle Tier: $200-$350
- A basic Tri-Ply Cookware Set would be those made by Cuisinart. It has a nice, thick gauge of stainless steel. It’s made in China, so it’s more affordable than some of the other brands that are made in Europe. The handles are built in a way where the heat does not travel to them, so they will stay cool for quite a while.
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro 7-Piece Cookware Set from Kitchen Clique
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro 12-Piece Cookware Set from Kitchen Clique
Cuisinart Multiclad Pro 9-Piece Cookware Set from The Peppermill
- Tramontina is another well-priced brand at a middle price point that is getting good reviews (one BCP member has the Tramontina pots and has been very happy).
- Tramontina 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set from The Kitchen Clique
Tramontina 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set from Kitchen Clique
Tramontina 8-Piece Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set from Peppermill
Best High End: $700-$800
- The best high end stainless steel cookware sets are those made by All-Clad, Heston, and Le Creuset. These pots are all finished beautifully and will last a lifetime! In this post-Covid era, All-Clad has been in the shortest supply because it’s most well-known. All three brands, though, are comparative in quality and price.
All-Clad D5 10-Piece Cookware Set from Bloomingdales
All-Clad D5 10-Piece Cookware Set from Amazon
All-Clad D3 10-Piece Cookware Set from Bloomingdales
All-Clad D3 10-Piece Cookware Set from Amazon
- Heston is one brand that is becoming an all-star in this category. The pots are easy to handle, and have special features like extra grips that give you added stability. The brushed exterior is pretty, prevents fingerprints, and the handle doesn’t get hot.
Heston ProBond 10-Piece Cookware Set from The Peppermill
Heston ProBond 10-Piece Cookware Set from The Kitchen Clique
- If you’ve owned Le Creuset before, but didn’t think the heavy enamel pots were practical for you, you can enjoy Le Creuset quality in a stainless steel set (I have this set for dairy, which I cook as often as meat, and I love them. They’re pretty too. The stainless steel frying pan really doesn’t stick even though it’s not nonstick).
Le Creuset Tri-Ply 6-Piece Cookware Set from The Kitchen Clique
Le Creuset Tri-Ply 10-Piece Cookware Set from The Kitchen Clique
Le Creuset Tri-Ply 12-Piece Cookware Set from The Kitchen Clique
Super High End:
- If you’re the type that would prefer amazing pots over jewelry when it’s time for a big present, there’s the highest of the high end: Heston’s Nanobond. Because they’re made of Titanium, the finish has a black sheen, and they’re superior in performance, conducting more heat and withstanding higher temperatures than any other cookware. There’s also the easiest to clean. But yes, they’re very expensive.
Heston NanoBond (Titanium) 10-Piece Cookware Set from The Kitchen Clique
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