March 10

The Best Cookware for Gas Stoves

By trk

Last Updated: May 10, 2022

best cookware for gas, cookware for gas stoves, gas stoves

Gas can heat anything. What makes some cookware better than others on a gas stove has more to do with basic quality and with what you're trying to achieve than anything else: Pick quality cookware, and it will work well on a gas stove. Pick the right cookware for the task, and you will get the results you want.

We'll tell you how to pick the best cookware for your gas stove (and it has very little to do with the gas), based on the quality of the cookware and what your goals are.

Jump to Cookware Features at a Glance
Jump to our advice on How to select good quality cookware 
Jump to Our recommendations
Jump to Cookware we'd avoid

Does It Really Matter Which Cookware You Use with Gas?

Yes and no. All cookware is compatible with gas. A gas flame heats any material it comes in contact with. 

In this article, we're going to dispel some Internet misinformation. A lot of websites have a list of the "best" cookware to use with gas. But they don't tell you why, what makes it better, or what tasks the cookware is best for. This is because they can't: there's no logic behind these random lists of cookware, and they're not helpful because they don't teach you anything about how you can improve your cooking techniques by understanding the cookware you're using. Furthermore, a lot of the cookware we see on these lists is not great quality.

The fact that some cookware heats better on gas has very little to do with the gas, and almost everything to do with the cookware material. For example, 100% stoneware (like Corningware Visions or Xtrema) heats poorly on gas heat because it has poor heating properties, not because it is a poor choice for gas. But if you prefer 100% stoneware for safety reasons--which many people do--you can use it with gas (or electric). You just need to learn the right techniques (which is not at all hard). 

A "best cookware with gas stoves" list should really just be a "best cookware" list. Pick good quality cookware that serves your needs and it will work with your gas stove.

To understand what we're saying, it might be helpful to look at the one type of cooktop that does have cookware restrictions: induction. 

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A Quick Word About Induction Stoves

Pot on induction burner

Induction cooktops are the only type that have actual restrictions on the kind of cookware you can use. This is because induction uses magnetism to heat, so your cookware has to contain magnetic material.

Which cookware is magnetic? Cast iron, carbon steel, and enameled cast iron are naturally magnetic. Clad stainless needs a layer of magnetic stainless to work with induction (which most now has). Copper, aluminum, and 100% stoneware won't work with induction unless they have a magnetic base added to the bottom; you see this frequently on aluminum cookware and almost never on copper or 100% stoneware. (Some copper cookware contains a layer of magnetic steel like de Buyer Prima Matera and this line from Mauviel, but it's not common.)

Thus, induction is the only type of cooktop that needs special cookware. Gas and conventional electric will heat any type of cookware (as well as anything else). 

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Cookware Features at a Glance

If you assume good quality, the best cookware for gas--or any heat source--depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Here we give a list of cookware types, features, and what they're best for. 

We give recommendations of our favorites of each type below.

Cookware Type

Features

Best For

Clad Stainless Steel

Demeyere Industry 10 piece set

-Steel exterior

-Aluminum and/or copper interior

-3 or 5 plies

-Heats quickly and evenly

-Durable, safe, non-toxic

-Quality brands can be heavy

-Good brands are expensive.

Great all-purpose cookware for most daily tasks (all pieces--so great for sets). Even good for eggs (with proper technique). 

Cast Iron

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

-100% cast iron

-Heats slowly and unevenly

-Retains heat extremely well

-Requires seasoning

-Becomes more nonstick with use and seasoning

-Durable, safe, non-toxic

-Heavy

-Most brands are affordable.

Many people use it for all purpose cookware, but it excels at high-heat searing (so skillets are best here). Works well with gas but be sure to pre-heat for several minutes.

Carbon Steel

Matfer Bourgeat Carbon Steel Pan

-100% carbon steel

-Similar to cast iron but thinner

-Heats slowly and unevenly

-Retains heat well

-Requires seasoning

-Becomes more nonstick with use and seasoning

-Durable, safe, non-toxic

-Heavy

-Most brands are affordable.

Does everything cast iron does, but it's thinner and lighter, so doesn't retain heat quite as well. Good for all-purpose frying and high-heat searing on all heat sources. Works well with gas but be sure to pre-heat for several minutes. Mostly seen in skillets, sets are hard to find.

Enameled Cast Iron

Le Creuset Dutch oven

-Cast iron with enamel coating

-No seasoning required

-Heats slowly, retains heat well

-Not nonstick

-Durable, safe, non-toxic

-Heavy

-Wide price range, but the best brands are expensive.

Great for Dutch ovens. You can buy sets, but sauce pans and stock pots are heavy, and bare (seasoned) cast iron is the better choice for skillets. 

Works well with gas but be sure to pre-heat for several minutes.

Copper

Mauviel Copper 9 piece set

-Copper exterior with stainless or tin cooking surface

-Exceptionally fast, even heating

-Durable, safe, non-toxic

-Lots of fake copper brands

-The real thing is very expensive.

The choice of professionals for its fast, even heating and quick response time. Great choice for entire sets. Great for use on gas, but very expensive. The best cookware is 2.5mm thick (or more).

Aluminum (no nonstick coating)

Volrath Wear Ever Aluminum Sauce Pan

-100% aluminum, bare or anodized

-Fast, even heating

-Lightweight

-Used mostly in restaurants

-Bare can impart metallic flavors to your food and possibly toxins

-Affordable

-Anodized aluminum hard to find without nonstick surface.

Aluminum without a nonstick coating is most often seen in the restaurant industry, but available for home use. Light, inexpensive, but is not a stable cooking surface. Works well with gas. Hard to find entire sets.

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How a Gas Burner Works

Gas Flame under Pot

Knowing how a gas flame works, its advantages and disadvantages, can help you understand the best ways to use cookware with it. So here's a very elementary lesson on how a gas burner works.

Gas burners simply emit flames when switched on, resulting in heating the cookware--any cookware--you place on them.

Thus, gas heat is instantaneous: You turn on the burner, and the heat is right there.

The reverse is also true: when you turn the flame down or off, the heating stops immediately.

Instantaneous heat change is the main advantage gas has over electric, which takes a relatively long time to heat up and cool down. Thus, with gas you have more control over the cooking process. 

(By the way, induction cooktops also have instantaneous temperature control, so if you're stuck with an electric hookup, you may want to consider induction--but that is another topic.)

The disadvantage of gas heat is that on most stoves, the area of gas flame is rather small, usually just 4-6 inches in diameter. This means that larger pans will take longer to distribute heat, and that some pans may never fully heat around the outer edges. And, you're always going to have areas of higher heat concentrated above the flames.

All this means is that you have to learn the right techniques when cooking with gas for best results. This generally means allowing your cookware to preheat long enough to distribute heat as evenly as possible, a fair amount of stirring or shaking food around the pan, and knowing when to adjust the heat higher or lower to get the results you want. 

It also means that selecting good quality cookware--that is, cookware that distributes heat evenly and retains heat fairly well--is important. That's what this article is about.

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How to Pick Good Cookware (For Gas Stoves and Otherwise)

Any good quality cookware will be a pleasure to use on a gas stove and any poor quality cookware will be a pain. (Same goes for electric and induction.)

We break down cookware factors into 5 categories: heating properties, durability, safety/stability, design (ease of use), and budget. If you have a basic understanding of these, you are more likely to buy quality cookware that you will enjoy using.

Let's look at these categories in more detail. 

NOTE: We talk about all of these factors in more detail in some other articles, including The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets, The Best Induction Cookware, and several other buying guides on our cookware page.

Heating Properties

For most cooks, heating properties are the most important feature of good cookware. There are two ends of the heating spectrum: 1) cookware that heats evenly and responds quickly to temperature changes, and 2) cookware that hangs onto heat well and responds slowly to temperature changes. Both are good cookware, depending on what you're trying to do.

The first--responsive cookware--has what's called good thermal conductivity. Copper is at the top of the list here, with aluminum a fairly close second place. If you're cooking a lot of sensitive dishes that require responsive cookware (like sauces and candies), copper is your best bet. But it's expensive, so if you're mostly cooking simple daily meals--eggs, bacon, chicken breasts, veggies, pasta--aluminum cookware is fine. If you want to avoid both nonstick and aluminum coming in contact with your food--which we highly recommend--clad stainless steel with an aluminum core is an excellent choice (though more expensive). 

The second--cookware that hangs onto heat--has what's called good heat retention. Cast iron is by far the best cookware for this, with carbon steel in second place: it heats slowly and unevenly, but once hot, the heat is distributed well and it stays hot for a long time. This makes cast iron (and to a lesser extent, carbon steel) excellent for high heat searing and deep frying, both tasks that require good heat retention for best results. 

Enameled cast iron is the best choice for braises, soups, and stews, because it retains heat and the enamel coating means liquids won't strip seasoning.

Our opinion is that responsive cookware makes better all around cookware, and our favorite is clad stainless steel for its heating properties, durability, and design. However, many people prefer cast iron or carbon steel for their daily cookware. There is no wrong answer, just knowing how to use the cookware you have--and ideally, buying good quality cookware, whatever category you prefer.

One buying tip we'll offer here is that thicker, heavier cookware is pretty much always the better choice over thin, lightweight cookware. This is true for all types of cookware. Thicker cookware takes longer to heat through evenly (regardless of type), but the heat is more evenly distributed, without hot and cold spots. Because of the concentrated flame on gas stoves, you really want even heat distribution--which means heavier cookware is better than lighter cookware.

Thin cookware--like inexpensive aluminum nonstick--will heat unevenly and will always give you hot and cold spots. 

The recommendations below are all heavy enough to provide excellent heat distribution. If you have strength or ergonomic issues, we suggest you go with the lighter brands; for example, go with All-Clad, not Demeyere clad stainless, and avoid high-end copper, cast iron, and carbon steel, all of which are heavy.

If you buy cookware with good heating properties, it won't be cheap, but it will be a pleasure to use on your gas stove (and anywhere else, too).

Durability

Second to heating properties is durability. If you're going to invest in cookware, you should buy a type of cookware that's going to last a long time. The most durable types of cookware are cast iron, carbon steel, and clad stainless.

Our number one choice is clad stainless because it doesn't require seasoning and it will last for decades. Clad stainless is also available in sets, and cast iron and carbon steel often aren't. Lastly, clad stainless is lighter and more maneuverable than cast iron or carbon steel without sacrificing heating performance.

But all three are good choices, if you don't mind seasoning.

Safety and Stability

Safety and stability are about toxicity and reactivity with foods and environment. The safest, most stable cookware material is clad stainless steel. The stainless cooking surface is inert and non-reactive (i.e., stable); it won't rust or leach toxins into your food. 

Most copper cookware today is lined with stainless steel, which makes copper cookware safe and stable, too, despite the copper exterior. The more traditional tin-lined copper cookware is also safe and stable, but tin requires a bit more care than stainless steel. (See our Mauviel Copper Cookware Review for more information.)

The more stable cookware is, the safer it is. Cast iron and carbon steel are also stable surfaces, but they have to be seasoned or enameled to be non-reactive. And even seasoned cast iron can leach iron into your food under some conditions, such as if there's an acidic sauce; iron is not toxic (unless you have a rare blood condition), but it can give food a metallic taste.

At the other end of the spectrum is nonstick cookware, in particular PTFE nonstick cookware: It begins to give off toxic gases around 390F and the nonstick surface begins to break down into other, possibly toxic, substances. This may also be true for ceramic nonstick cookware; more research is needed.

If safety and stability is important to you, avoid nonstick cookware.

Design (Ease of Use)

Important Features of a Skillet

Design is about what makes a pot or pan good--or awful--to use. Here are some important things to look at:

Handles: Are the handles comfortable? Do they help you grip the pan? Do the larger pieces have helper handles? 

Lids: Do the lids (if any) fit well? Are they durable? (Note: We prefer stainless lids over glass on stainless cookware because they're more durable; most higher-end brands of clad stainless have stainless lids.)

Pan Shape: Can you pour off liquid without dripping? Are the sauce pans deep or shallow? Do the skillets have enough flat cooking surface? 

Weight: Are the pans of a good enough weight to cook evenly, yet not so heavy that they're hard to handle? (For best heating, you should buy the heaviest cookware you can comfortably handle.) 

Aesthetics: Is the cookware pretty? Will I enjoy using it every day?

Add any other considerations you find important.

Budget

Finally, budget: You should buy the best cookware you can afford. The good news is there are good options at several price points. 

Certainly, you want the best price you can get. But we encourage to think a little bit beyond price. 

Think about cost-per-year-of-use. That is, think about how long the cookware you buy is going to last, and divide that by the total cost.

For example, clad stainless steel is more expensive than most nonstick cookware. But the average life span of a nonstick skillet is 1-5 years, while the average life span of a clad stainless steel is several decades.

So if you spend $40 on a nonstick skillet and it lasts 5 years (which is generous), your cost-per-year-of-use is $8 per year.

If you spend $200 on a clad stainless steel skillet and it lasts 50 years, your cost-per-year-of-use is $4 per year. 

Or, if you spend $30 on a cast iron skillet and it lasts 200 years, your cost-per-year-of-use is about $0.15 (wow!).

All of these are realistic estimates; in fact, a good quality clad stainless pan will probably last longer than 50 years. You'll be handing this cookware down to your children.

This is a good example of why spending a little more up front on a higher quality product is well worth it. Not only do you save money in the long run, but you don't contribute to landfill waste. 

Maybe most importantly of all, good quality cookware is a pleasure to use and can make your time in the kitchen more fun.

We are not saying that you should run out and buy the most expensive cookware on the market. You don't have to, and you can still get great quality. We give several options below in our Recommendations section.

About Warranties

 Most good quality clad stainless, copper, cast iron and carbon steel cookware comes with a lifetime warranty. If cookware doesn't have at least a 30 year warranty, you shouldn't buy it. A long warranty is well worth it, so be sure to figure it into your cookware budget.

Also, note that a "lifetime" warranty on nonstick cookware applies only to the pan's body and manufacturing defects. It does not apply to wear and tear of the nonstick coating due to normal use. Expect a nonstick coating to last 1-5 years (yes, even if it has a "lifetime" warranty).

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A Brief Discussion of Cladding

We don't want to get into too much detail about cladding, because we talk about it elsewhere on the site in some detail. But there are a few important facts to know before you buy:

  • Number of Plies vs. Total Thickness: The number of plies is less important than the thickness of the heating core (i.e., the total amount of aluminum and/or copper): tri-ply cookware with a 2mm core is going to heat better than a 5-ply with a total of 1.5mm. Many people think more plies automatically means a thicker heating core, but that is not always the case. Go by heating core, not number of plies. (We do a good analysis of this in All-Clad D3 Vs. All-Clad D5: Which Is Better?)
  • Full cladding vs. Disc cladding: Some cookware is clad only on the bottom, with walls that are just one layer of stainless steel. This isn't necessarily bad, but it can be an indication of poor quality, especially if the disc is thin. Thick disc cladding can be as good or better than full cladding, but try to avoid thin disc cladding, which heats unevenly and can be frustrating to use.

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Our Cookware Recommendations

Based on the criteria above--heating properties, durability, safety/stability, design, and ease of care--here are some of our favorite cookware brands. 

Best Clad Stainless Steel Cookware: Demeyere, All-Clad D3, Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad

Demeyere Industry 10 piece set

Demeyere Industry

Demeyere is a Belgian company that's been around for more than 100 years. Their cookware is made in Belgium and is absolutely top notch quality. If you want the best and don't mind that it's heavy, this is the best option. Their Atlantis line is even heavier and more expensive, and is also a great choice, especially their Proline skillet, which is possibly the best piece of cookware you could ever invest in.

Clad stainless steel is good all-purpose cookware so if you're in the market for a set, it's a good bet. There are better choices for some pieces (e.g., enameled cast iron is the best choice for a Dutch oven), but clad stainless works for all cookware pieces.

Price: $$$$

Configuration: 5-ply clad stainless with 3 internal layers of aluminum; total thickness 3.0mm.

Demeyere Industry 5 construction diagram

Best for: Clad stainless steel is good all-purpose cookware so if you're in the market for a set, it's a good bet. There are better choices for some pieces (e.g., enameled cast iron is the best choice for a Dutch oven), but clad stainless will work for all cookware pieces.

What Makes it Great: The 3mm walls give this line more heft and a thicker heating core than All-Clad. Silvinox proprietary treatment keeps the stainless shiny over time and makes it easier to clean (but don't expect nonstick). Superb design, with great handles and good amount of flat cooking surface on skillets. Their 30 year warranty makes it a safe purchase. 

Pros: Excellent heating properties, welded handles (no rivets on cooking surface), several open stock pieces available as well as sets.

Cons: Expensive, heavier than All-Clad (all lines).

See also: All-Clad D5 Vs. Demeyere Industry: Which Is Better?

Demeyere Industry 10 piece set

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All-Clad D3

All-Clad D3 10 piece set

If you want excellent quality but something not quite as heavy as the Demeyere, then All-Clad is the way to go. All-Clad has great heating properties (not quite as good as Demeyere) and is durable enough to last forever. It has just enough heating core to provide even heating without being so heavy that it's hard to handle. The D3 12-inch skillet weighs about 2.5 pounds without a lid.

We like D3 because it's the best priced and offers nearly identical heating as the more expensive D5 and Copper Core. D5 and Copper Core are also excellent--see our Copper Core review--they just don't have a lot of features that make them worth the higher cost. If you fall in love with the design and have the budget, they're both decent choices, as well (with our preference being Copper Core).

Price: $$$

Configuration: D3 is 3-ply clad stainless with an aluminum heating core. Total thickness is 2.6mm (heating core is 1.7mm).

Best for: Clad stainless steel is good all-purpose cookware so if you're in the market for a set, it's a good bet. There are better choices for some pieces (e.g., enameled cast iron is the best choice for a Dutch oven), but clad stainless will work for all cookware pieces. 

What Makes It Great: D3 has enough aluminum to make it heat well without being too heavy so you can easily handle it. It's extremely durable and has a lifetime warranty. Made in USA.

Pros: Great heating properties, not too heavy, easy to handle, a lot of open stock and sets available.

Cons: Some people hate the handles (we like them because they're safe), expensive.

See also: The Definitive All-Clad Review: Which Lines Are Best?

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Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad 10 piece set

Tri-Ply clad is a D3 knockoff that's almost identical to All-Clad D3. It is one of the best quality knock-offs on the market and will provide nearly identical heating properties. It's made in China or Brazil, so the stainless steel isn't quite as high quality--but it has a lifetime warranty, and it's a great option for less expensive, high quality cookware. The mirror polish finish and stainless lids and handles make this cookware look a lot more expensive than it is.

Be sure to go with the Tri-Ply Clad, as other Tramontina stainless lines aren't as high quality.

Price: $$ 

Configuration: 3-ply clad stainless with an aluminum heating core. Total thickness is 2.6mm. Heating core is 1.7mm. (Yes, identical to All-Clad D3).

Best for: Clad stainless steel is good all-purpose cookware so if you're in the market for a set, it's a good bet. There are better choices for some pieces (e.g., enameled cast iron is the best choice for a Dutch oven), but clad stainless will work for all cookware pieces.

What Makes It Great: Tri-Ply Clad is a knock-off of All-Clad D3 that offers almost the same heating and durability at a much lower price. High-polish finish, very durable. Made in Brazil and China. (Chinese sets are cheaper and some have better pieces, so we recommend the Chinese sets.)

Pros: Great quality, lifetime warranty, not too heavy, several sets and open stock pieces available, more affordable than All-Clad or Demeyere.

Cons: Stainless not quite as high quality as All-Clad, so you may have some corrosion or discoloration.

See also: Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Gourmet Stainless Cookware Review

Tramontina Saute Pan

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Best Cast Iron Cookware: Lodge and Field

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Callouts

Lodge

Lodge bare cast iron products are still made in the USA. They require seasoning (even if pre-seasoned) and several uses before they start to smooth out and get that beautiful, almost-nonstick coating, but once they do you'll want to use this pan for everything.

We recommend bare cast iron primarily for skillets: it's heavy, and the bare iron does not lend itself well to liquid cooking methods because liquids strip the seasoning. But for a skillet, Lodge is hard to beat.

Price: $

Configuration: Solid cast iron.

What Makes It Great: Bare Lodge cast iron skillets are one of the best deals in the cookware market today. You can get a 10-inch skillet for about $20 or a 12-inch for about $30. These skillets will last forever and are the absolute best choice for high-heat searing. Many people use them for all-purpose skillets, too; if you do, be sure to let them pre-heat for several minutes, especially on gas, to let the heat distribute as evenly as possible throughout the pan.

Pros: Last forever, inexpensive, best choice for searing and frying, made in USA. Best for skillets.

Cons: Heavy, requires seasoning and drying after every use (or will rust). 

See also: The Best Cast Iron Skillets: How Much Should You Spend?

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Field Company

Field Cast Iron Skillet

If you want a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet that you can actually use out of the box, there are a dozen or so artisanal, made-in-USA brands to choose from. Our favorite is Field because they're one of the lighter brands (without sacrificing performance), and because they're not all that unreasonably priced: you'll pay about what you would for a nice clad stainless skillet.

Cast iron is all pretty much the same heat-wise, regardless of what you pay for it. This is why we really prefer the inexpensive Lodge. However, there are valid reasons to buy a more expensive brand. The main one is that the cooking surface is polished to a smooth finish, so you won't have to re-season and use it several times before you get that glossy, nonstick surface. 

Artisanal cast iron is definitely a want, not a need, but if you have the budget, Field is a beautiful skillet. You can even rationalize the cost (over Lodge) because it will last forever, so your cost-per-year-of-use will be low.

Price: $$$$

Configuration: Solid cast iron.

What Makes It Great: For an investment about the same as an All-Clad skillet, a Field skillet will last forever. Because it's lighter than other cast iron, it's a better choice for an all-purpose skillet (but its greatest strength is heat retention, like other cast iron).

Pros: Lasts forever, lighter than Lodge, smooth cooking surface (out of the box), made in USA.

Cons: Heavy, expensive, requires seasoning and careful drying after every use (or will rust). 

See also: The Best Cast Iron Skillets: How Much Should You Spend?

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Best Carbon Steel Skillets: Vollrath, Matfer-Bourgeat

Matfer-Bourgeat carbon steel skillet

Vollrath Carbon Steel Skillet

Vollrath carbon steel skillet

Vollrath, Matfer-Bourgeat

Carbon steel skillets have gained huge popularity in the last couple of years. They're being sold as nonstick without the toxic ingredients, but the truth is that they are not nonstick--but just like cast iron, seasoning and use makes them almost nonstick, and they make excellent egg pans, in particular. They're thinner than cast iron, so they don't retain heat quite as well, but they hold heat better than clad stainless, and are a decent choice for both high heat searing and all-purpose skillets. 

Vollrath and Matfer-Bourgeat tie for our favorite brands. They're about the same weight, with the M-B skillet just a little bit heavier. They're each about 3mm thick, providing enough heft to retain heat well, yet not so thick that the pas are unwieldy. (The 8-inch skillets weigh 1.5-2 lbs; the 12-inch skillets weigh about 4 lbs.)

The Vollrath skillet is made in the USA; the Matfer-Bourgeat skillet is made in France.

One thing we love about both of these brands is that they have welded handles, so there are no rivets to clean around. 

Like cast iron, all carbon steel pans have about the same heating properties (some are thicker than others, though), so there's no reason to buy an expensive brand; we couldn't find any artisanal brands we liked enough to recommend, and even marginally artisanal brands, like Made In, were overpriced.

Both Vollrath and Matfer-Bourgeat are going to provide decades of excellent service.

You will love or hate the functional, utilitarian design--they come from a background of use in restaurant kitchens, so the design is typically very basic. 

Also like cast iron, carbon steel heats slowly and unevenly, so give it several minutes to preheat on a gas stove. 

It's hard to find carbon steel in sets, so as with cast iron, we recommend them primarily for skillets. 

We also recommend carbon steel for woks. Gas stoves are great for woks--much more so than electric or induction cooktops because of the flames. Carbon steel woks are inexpensive and will also last pretty much forever.

Price: $

Configuration: Solid carbon steel

What Makes It Great: Both of these brands are affordable, durable, and have welded handles, so no rivets to clean around. They make excellent egg pans and you can use them as all-purpose skillets, too.

Pros: Durable, affordable, welded handles (no rivets), made in USA and France.

Cons: Heavy, will need seasoning before use, heats slowly and unevenly.

See also: Carbon Steel Vs. Stainless Steel: Which Is Better? and The Best Omelette Pans without Teflon.

Matfer Bourgeat Carbon Steel Pan

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Best Enameled Cast Iron: Le Creuset

Le Creuset Dutch Oven

You can buy sets of enameled cast iron, but we recommend it just for Dutch ovens. It's heavy for sauce pans and stock pots, and bare cast iron (well-seasoned, of course) is the better choice for skillets. But enameled cast iron excels at long, slow, wet cooking methods--what you use Dutch ovens for--like no other kind of cookware.

Le Creuset is the best brand of enameled cast iron on the market, and their Dutch ovens are superb for braises, soups, and stews. They come in several sizes and even in oval shapes so you can get exactly the size you want. For general purpose use, we like the 5.5 quart round or the 6.75 quart round, wide models.

Why pay a premium for enameled cast iron when you can buy a Lodge or Tramontina (both made in China) for under $100? Several reasons. First, Le Creuset is more durable--their enamel is incredibly tough and it's almost impossible to crack or chip it. This is not the case with less expensive brands (though cracks and chips don't necessarily render a pot unusable). 

Also, the enamel, particularly on the Signature series, cleans up more easily than other enameled products we've used (contrary to popular belief, the enamel on enameled cast iron is not nonstick). And the design of Le Creuset is also wonderful, from the light-colored interior enamel (for easy gauging of browning) to the excellent handles and lid pulls. 

Le Creuset is also the lightest enameled cast iron on the market, weighing a full pound or two less than other brands (though still heavy).

Even high-end competitors like Staub don't have the thoughtful design of Le Creuset.

You can get by with a less expensive Dutch oven--it may even last you several years--but if you have the budget, the Le Creuset is a Dutch oven you can truly love.

By the way, we only like Le Creuset Dutch ovens: their other enameled cookware, though high quality, isn't the best choice for a lot of people because 1) it's very heavy without adding to the performance of the pans, and 2) it's not nonstick and won't become nonstick with use, like bare cast iron skillets. Their clad stainless is not the same quality as their enameled cast iron.

Price: $$$$

Configuration: Cast iron with an enameled coating (so no seasoning required).

What Makes It Great: Le Creuset is an artisanal brand with a reputation for durability and excellent performance. The design makes their Dutch ovens a pleasure to use.

Pros: Superb design, lighter than other brands, extremely durable, made in France, many colors and sizes available.

Cons: Expensive, heavy.

See also: The Best Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Ovens: A Detailed Review

Le Creuset on Stove

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Best (Real) Copper Cookware: Mauviel

Mauviel M'Heritage 250S 5 piece set

When you get to this level of cookware, it's all fabulous quality. You can't go wrong with any brands of copper cookware, including Mauviel, Matfer-Bourgeat, and a few artisan American makers (which are astronomically expensive).

Copper is the traditional cookware of the most sophisticated cooks in the world (all of whom use gas stoves). From a performance standpoint, copper is the best cookware you could possibly choose, and a great option for all-purpose, every day use. However, its expense and upkeep prevent it from being the number one type of cookware on the market. But if it's in your budget, it may be worth considering.

We like Mauviel because it's beautiful, functional, and readily available in the US. It comes in 3 different thicknesses, with the 2.5mm copper line (called "M'Heritage 250") being the best performing and also the most expensive. You can also get M'Heritage 200 (2mm copper) and M'Heritage 150 (1.5mm copper). They're available with stainless, bronze, or cast iron handles; cast iron is the most traditional. 

All have a stainless steel cooking surface, which makes them excellent for all-purpose cooking. 

Traditional copper (including some Mauviel pieces) has a tin lining, and it's great for cooking on, but tin is soft, so it wears out and you have to send your pans in for re-tinning every few years. For this reason, we recommend stainless-lined copper.

Some copper pieces also come unlined (so, pure copper). These are specialty pieces for tasks like candy and jam making. But for everyday cookware, you want lined copper (stainless or tin) because copper leaches into food.

Copper requires polishing to retain its luster, but oxidation won't affect its performance. 

You can also find tri-ply copper, copper-plated, and copper-colored cookware for significantly less; some of these are beautiful, but none of them will have the superb, even heating of real copper cookware. (We talk more about this in our article How to Pick the Best Copper Cookware.)

Price: $$$$

Configuration: Thick copper base (1.5-2.5mm) with stainless steel cooking surface and stainless, bronze, or cast iron handles. 

What Makes It Great: Mauviel has been around nearly 200 years. Their quality is unsurpassed. It is a traditional French brand still made in France to traditional standards.

Pros: Top quality, fast and even heating, beautiful, and durable.

Cons: Expensive, copper requires polishing a couple of times a year. 

See also: Mauviel Copper Cookware: A Detailed Review of the Classic French Brand.

Mauviel 250C skillet

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Best Aluminum Cookware: Vollrath

Vollrath Wear Ever Aluminum Skillet
Volrath Wear Ever Aluminum Sauce Pan

Pure aluminum cookware, without a nonstick coating, is not a common type of household cookware. It's more commonly found in restaurants and the service industry, mostly because it's cheap and fairly durable. (We talk more about nonstick cookware below.)

If you're on a budget, pure aluminum cookware isn't a terrible choice. Aluminum has been associated with illnesses like Alzheimer's, but this has been largely debunked. 

The bigger issue with aluminum is that it can leach into your food. It's a fairly soft metal (especially compared to stainless steel), and particles will scrape off and into your food. This can cause an off taste.

However, many people use aluminum baking sheets (and other pieces) without a second thought. There's no evidence that this is unsafe, or that the aluminum affects the taste of food. (A skillet or sauce pan used with a metal spatula or spoon might be a different story.)

We aren't necessarily recommending aluminum cookware for use with gas, but you can certainly go this route if you want to. Aluminum's fast, even heating and low cost make it an appealing option for people with gas stoves.

You may have a hard time finding whole sets of aluminum cookware, since it's mostly marketed to professionals. But if you're looking for an inexpensive skillet or sauce pan, it might be just the thing you're looking for.

Price: $

Configuration: Pure aluminum, sometimes with rubber or plastic handles and glass lids.

What Makes It Great: It's not great, but it's a viable choice for people on a budget, and we think it's a better option than nonstick.

Pros: Inexpensive, fairly durable.

Cons: Soft metal, scratches easily and can leach into food.

Volrath Wear Ever Aluminum Sauce Pan

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Cookware to Avoid with Gas Stoves 

This article wouldn't be complete if we didn't also tell you the types of cookware we would avoid (and why). 

This cookware will work with gas stoves, but we don't recommend it. We will explain why for each type.

Nonstick Cookware

We write extensively about both types of nonstick cookware (PTFE and ceramic) elsewhere on this site. When we started the site, our advice about nonstick cookware was that "it's safe when used correctly." But more research has shown that the PTFE nonstick cookware has caused tremendous environmental contamination, and with most of the chemicals used in the industry still unregulated, continues to do so. The eradication of PFOA has not made PTFE cookware safer, because it's been replaced with very similar chemicals.

Also, nonstick cookware doesn't last, so it's a huge landfill issue.

So for these general reasons, we recommend buying cast iron or carbon steel instead of PTFE nonstick cookware.

The jury is still out on ceramic nonstick, but there is some evidence that it contains potentially unsafe chemicals. 

So these are all valid reasons to avoid nonstick cookware. But with gas stoves in particular, there are even more reasons.

The main one is that a gas flame can get very hot very fast, and high heat is the worst thing for nonstick cookware. Heat above 390F breaks PTFE down into toxic substances, so you have to be very, very careful with the heat you use. 

High heat doesn't break down ceramic nonstick, but it does destroy its nonstick properties faster than anything else you can do to it.

In general, high heat is the worst thing for nonstick cookware. And gas heat gets hot.

We turned a gas flame to medium and put an empty nonstick pan on it. It took less than 5 minutes for the pan to reach 505F--a dangerous temp for PTFE.

So unless you're extremely careful with your nonstick pans, you should avoid using them on a gas stove.

Cookware with Plastic or Rubber Handles

There's no avoiding the fact that cookware handles get hot on a gas stove. Even on low flame, the heat travels up the sides of the pans and radiates outward, heating the handle. You will quickly develop the habit of using a towel or oven mitt when grabbing cookware off a gas cooktop. 

For this reason, cookware with plastic or rubber handles are not a good choice with gas. They will burn or melt surprisingly quickly, leaving you without a handle. 

You can avoid this somewhat by always using a very low flame, but even this will take its toll. If you want it to last, it's best to buy cookware with stainless handles.

100% Stoneware

100% stoneware is just an all-around poor choice for cookware. Stoneware is an insulator, not a conductor, of heat, so it's slow to heat and will never heat as evenly as aluminum or copper. It's also heavy and fragile.

People who choose ceramic cookware usually do so because they're concerned about toxins in other cookware. But all cookware, with the exception of nonstick and possibly 100% aluminum, is safe and stable. It won't leach toxins into your food. (Yes, it may leach some iron or nickel in extremely small amounts, but these aren't toxic.)

So we caution against 100% stoneware simply because it isn't a good heat distributor--on gas, electric, or otherwise.

However, stoneware can be a good choice for baking: its insulating properties can protect baked goods from oven heat and help them bake more evenly. 

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Final Thoughts

Demeyere Industry 14 piece set

If you want the best cookware for a gas stove, just look for the best cookware in general. If you buy good quality cookware, you won't have any issues. There are a few exceptions: we don't recommend nonstick cookware, 100% stoneware, or anything with meltable handles. But other than these, any good quality cookware is fine.

Our favorite choice for gas stoves (as well as other heat sources) is clad stainless cookware: good quality clad stainless heats evenly and is durable, safe, stable, fairly easy to care for (when used correctly), and less expensive than copper (which is also a great choice if it's within your budget and you don't mind the upkeep).

Cast iron and carbon steel are also excellent choices for skillets, and enameled cast iron is indispensable in a Dutch oven.

Overall: Do your research, get the best you can within your budget, and you should be set for your gas stove for decades.

Thanks for reading!

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