15 Stellar Cookware Brands That'll Have You Cheffing It Up In No Time (2024)

Out of all the things I write about on this website, cookware has to be the most ancient, right? The most conservative estimates say that early humans started cooking food around 400,000BC. That's like... 402,016 years before

AirPods came out. And while forms have stayed pretty consistent over time, there has been an explosion of innovation in the past few centuries. We've got kitchen gadgets that would have been considered sorcery in 1823.

And while all the big appliances, smart kitchen gadgets, and brand new blenders get all the shine, cookware is still the most important thing in your kitchen. What your food cooks in, what touches flame or stovetop, is what makes all the difference. So, we decided it worthwhile to layout the best cookware brands you can currently buy online.

However, you don’t need to hoard a dozen pieces of cookware. With the right pieces, you really don't need more than one or two pots and pans. (Of course, scale that up if you're a budding home chef trying all sorts of new techniques.) Below, we’ve got 15 best cookware brands that produce the right stuff. There's D2C viral newbies like Caraway and Our Place, old-school classics like Le Creuset and Lodge, and cookware titans like All-Clad. Whether it's a cookware brand for professional-grade chefs or nifty new inventions for your modern cook, your road to a chef starts from here.

Le Cruset - Best For Dutch Ovens

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Price Range: $$$ to $$$$

Where to Buy: Le Creuset, Amazon, Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Wayfair, Bed Bath & Beyond

There's something about Le Creuset's colorful, sheeny dutch ovens—un je ne sais quoi—that has made the brand such a staple. Maybe it's down to the near centennial worth of history history in manufacturing enameled cast iron cookware. Maybe it's the high-performance, durability, shock-resistance, and heat retention. Or maybe it's just because of how adorning its cookware looks on stovetop, and hence every course that comes out of these jewelry-like crafts taste like heaven on earth.Whatever your reason for wanting Le Cruset is, it's valid. Buy a skillet, dutch oven, or full set, and you'll be cooking like Julia Child in no time.

Staub - The Cast Iron Competitor

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Price Range: $$$ to $$$$

Where to Buy: Amazon, Williams Sonoma

Staub is mostly seen as the Le Creuset competitor, but its really so much more. Specifically, it's a more whimsical Le Creuset which we really rock with at this moment in time.

You can replace the knobs on your dutch ovens with little animals. You can buy a tomato coquette. Or, you can get one that looks like a heart. The point is Staub has a lot more fun with their cookware.

GreenPan - The Best Ceramic Nonstick

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Price Range: $$$ to $$$$

Where to Buy: Williams Sonoma, GreenPan, Amazon

A while back, I talked to Stanley Tucci about his jump into the world of cookware with GreenPan. His reasoning was that he already liked GreenPan, and they (of course) fly off the shelves, so it made great business sense for him to collaborate. If you want the nonstick pots Stanley Tucci cooks with, these are it.

Materially, though, GreenPan is the leader in the nonstick revolution. There's a lot of weird sh*t in traditional nonstick, and you have to be really careful with how you cook it. On the contrary, GreenPan's nonstick tech is ceramic, so you can broil and bake it with no worries about what's leaking into your food.

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Mauviel 1830 - Best Copper Cookware

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Where to Buy: Amazon, Mauviel 1830, Williams Sonoma

Price Range: $$$ to $$$$

What All-Clad is to stainless-steel cookware, Mauviel 1830 is to copper. At this point, neither is better, and the choice is mostly aesthetic, and the aesthetic of Mauviel 1830 is brasserie back of house.

Copper, like stainless-steel, is a phenomenal conductor of heat, but it has a more classic look and feel. It's easy to cook with and looks great. What more do you want?

Caraway - The "I Went Viral" Cookware Brand

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Where to Buy: Caraway, Bed Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom

Price Range: $$ to $$$

Caraway goes big on the easy-to-organize attitude and the Instagram aesthetic. Besides smart organizational feats like magnetic-bottom racks and smart handles that'll keep the cookware tidy in the cabinet, Caraway also makes its ceramic pieces in bright arresting hues that have earned them the "I went viral" insignia on social media.

That said, Caraway is not without substance. The brand uses a ceramic coating that's becoming a popular alternative to the old synthetic nonstick materials. Using regular nonstick is perfectly fine, but it's becoming more apparent that these ceramic alternatives are less likely to have long term effects. Caraway, which started as an essentials brand, is starting to branch out. The brand now has a pretty encompassing cookware and bakeware lineup.

Our Place - Best For Small Kitchens

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Where to Buy: Our Place

Price Range: $$

Editor's Choice: The Beautiful, 4-Piece Pan That You'll Use for 95% of Your Meals

Our Place is another rather Instagrammable brand whose cookware really went viral. It's one of the newest players on this list, so there's always new offerings coming out.

But while you're waiting for the brand to make a pasta pot, you won't miss it much. Our Place is kind of built on multitasking. Take its signature, cult-fav Always Pan, an all-in-one marvel that can replace eight other cookware products and do braising, searing, steaming, sautéing, frying, boiling, and even serving in one. Hell, you can get a tagine and spruce steamer to replace 10 (ten!!) cookware products.

If you're stuck with a small kitchen, or just aren't Gordan Ramsey on the stovetop, this is the perfect brand for you.

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Made In - The "Bang for Your Buck" Cookware Brand

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Where to Buy: Made In, Amazon

Price Range: $$ to $$$

Editor's Choice: Give Your Microwave a Rest and Cook Everything—Yeah, Everything—in This Perfect Wok

If you're looking for a cookware brand trusted by chefs and restaurants, then something from Made In is not only recommended, but required.

For starters, its pieces—every pot, pan and cookware set you'd ever need—are surprisingly reasonable considering the quality and durability they offer. They're made to professional standards in materials like carbon steel to stainless clad. (And then there's the wok that we just had to endorse.) Really, even if you're a budding home chef, Made In will make you feel like you've made it.

Material - Best For Essentials

Where to Buy: Material, Nordstrom, Bespoke Post, Huckberry

Price Range: $ to $$

Editor's Choice: The Cutting Board That Brings Honest-to-Goodness Excitment to Prep Work

Here's a way of stocking up kitchen cabinets your wallet would appreciate: Only buying cookware based on intention and necessity. Material tends to this essential-only, excess-averse way of cooking. A nonstick skillet, a sauce pot, and a sauté pan... That's it, and that's really all you need.

Here at Esquire, we especially love its colorful, sustainable cutting board that makes your mise en place something to look forward to.

Lodge - Best For Cast Iron

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Where to Buy: Williams Sonoma, Amazon, Sur La Table, Walmart

Price Range: $ to $$

Editor's Choice: The Upgraded Lodge Cast Iron Skillet With More Character

Down South, Lodge cookware is in everyone's kitchen, and a lot of it is handed down from great or great-great-grandparents. A cast iron skillet or dutch oven is also a traditional newlywed gift, because it's supposed to symbolize how long your marriage will last: forever. Many brands on this list make cast iron, but none do it fairer than Lodge.

First, there's the brands 120-years-experience that renders each of its piece an heirloom-worthy cookware. Then, there's the uniformity: Lodge's pans, griddles, dutch ovens, pots, grills, skillets, sets, and beyond all come in a trademark glossy cast iron black. But there's also the versatility that comes naturally with the material: For grilling steak over a campfire or baking cornbread in the oven. Anything goes. And so long as you clean and season it properly, it's really f*cking hard to ruin a piece of Lodge cookware.

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HexClad - Best Celebrity-Endorsed Cookware Brand

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Where to Buy: HexClad, Amazon, Walmart

Price Range: $$ to $$$

Gordon Ramsey personally uses HexClad at home. And Oprah has its stainless steel pan as one of her favorite things. And we—Esquire—consider it as one of the best cookware brands ever.

The limelight goes to the brand's technology-backed, patented laser-etched hexagon hybrid cooking surface that's both nonstick and stainless steel. Yes, you heard that right: Stainless steel can be nonstick now, made possible by HexClad. This is some serious stuff. Even Gordon Ramsey was impressed, and he called HexClad "the Rolls Royce of pans.” After some yelling, of course.

Abbio - Most Durable Cookware Brand

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Where to Buy: Abbio, Amazon

Price Range: $$ to $$$

The best way to exemplify the Abbio robustness is through its pan which features a fully-clad stainless steel and aluminum construction, or its nonstick, four-layer coating. Everything you put in it will get heated up fast, cooked evenly, and slide out smoothly. Abbio's cookware is also professional-grade, as well as a breeze to clean.

All-Clad - The "I Have Everything" Cookware Brand

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Where to Buy: Williams Sonoma, Amazon, Sur La Table, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Food52

Price Range: $$$ to $$$$

The most famous one is always the hardest one to write about—and unfortunately, we're not an encyclopedia. But we'll do our best, which is to call All-Clad the 51-year-old Pennsylvanian cookware maestro that's now a giant in the market. It's the have-it-all one-stop-shop brand.

While All-Clad is known for its stainless steel pots and pans—it's perhaps the best fully bonded stainless steel cookware brand out there—there's also ceramic, nonstick, and hard anodized, available in sets or à la carte, from kettles to 12-quart stockpot. Its pieces are on the pricier side, so consider every All-Clad you purchase a lifetime investment, because they are. Long-lasting, high-performance, and classic, these are the ultimate investment for cooks of all levels.

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Ayesha Curry - Best Celebrity Cookware Brand

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Where to Buy: Amazon, Wayfair, Bed Bath & Beyond

Price Range: $ to $$

Ayesha Curry—the cookbook author and cooking television personality, plus Stephen Curry's wife—makes a case for why celebrity-worship can turn out quite conducive... in the kitchen, at least.

Curry's kitchenware brand puts form like enamel on steel, and function like enhanced nonstick together. And its roster is not short of stuff for stocking up, from pots to ovens to grills to bakeware to cast iron to bacon grease jars—the last of which is super gifty. The Hard Anodized Collection is a standout because it makes cooking rather effortless.

Smithey - Best-Looking Cookware Brand

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Where to Buy: Smithey, Food52, Huckberry

Price Range: $$ to $$$

Editor's Choice: A Cast Iron Skillet That Will Last Generations

Most brands on this list have some aesthetic appeal, but Smithey is truly a knockout beauty, courtesy of its association with ironware and craftsmanship from the 19th century.

Each cast iron looks vintage and unique, and we specifically love the look of the cast iron skillet. Better yet, Smithey now carries carbon steel cookware that looks, well, idyllic. And you can add custom engraving to every piece. Truly heirloom-worthy.

Sardel - Best Italian Cookware Brand

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Where to Buy: Sardel, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom

Price Range: $$ to $$$

Editor's Choice: Sardel's Italian-Made Pots and Pans Are So Elegant You'll Be Passing Them Down for Generations

Sardel's story is very ciao bella. The family business is founded by three brothers who were united and given the entrepreneurship dosage by their childhood memories at the kitchen table.

Everything is carefully sourced, selected, and made in Italy—including a multi-generational steel manufacturer there, bringing about a line of mean stainless steel cookware. Ergo, Sardel's pots and pans—all reasonably priced, thankfully—in their five-ply build for better heat distribution, have rightfully earned our endorsem*nt.

15 Stellar Cookware Brands That'll Have You Cheffing It Up In No Time (2024)
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