Looking for the best induction cookware? Quality levels vary considerably among makers, as do prices. If you want to invest your money well, it's important to educate yourself about induction cookware before you buy.
There's a lot to know, but we demystify your options, explain what makes induction cookware great, and provide our favorite recommendations.
Before you get to it, here's a short video, made by the Belgian cookware manufacturer Demeyere, on how induction cooking works:
You can also check out our other articles on induction and induction cookware:
Best Induction Cookware Recommendations at a Glance
Here are our favorite induction cookware brands. Scroll down to read detailed reviews of each brand.
-3mm thick (excellent heating)
-Rivetless cooking surface
-Made in Belgium
-30 year warranty
-Insulated lids (SLT only).
-Heavier than All-Clad
-Smallest set is 10 pc.
-2.6mm thick (excellent heating)
-Many sets and open stock to choose from
-Made in USA
Best Bargain Set: Cuisinart Multiclad-Pro
-2.6mm thick (excellent heating)
-Made in China
-Lower quality stainless than A/C.
-Super thick pieces
-Rivetless cooking surface
-75% more alum. than AC D3
-Made in Belgium
-30 year warranty.
Induction Cookware Basics
Most people in the market for induction cookware know that induction-compatible cookware has to be magnetic. There's a little more to it than that, though. Here are some important considerations:
- In fact, induction cookware must be highly magnetic--but only on the bottom, where the pan comes into contact with the burner. A magnet should not only stick, it should stick hard and fast and be somewhat difficult to remove. However, most cookware marketing/packaging now states whether it is induction-compatible or not, so the magnet test isn't as necessary as it was a few years ago. (And if you're shopping online, just be sure to search for "induction cookware" and not just "cookware.")
- The intense heat of induction burners is hard on pans, so it's important to use pans of decent quality. That is, heavy-bottomed and not prone to warping. Thin-walled pans can warp easily from the high, instantaneous heat of an induction burner, and once warped, pans are useless for induction cooking. (Warped pans are also often the culprit behind complaints about buzzing and hissing of induction burners. A pan needs to make good, all-over contact with an induction burner for best results.)
- Also because of the intense, rapid heat, it's important that the pan distribute heat evenly, or you will constantly have to deal with scorches in your pan and burnt food. Again, this requires a flat, heavy bottom made of a highly magnetic material.
- Also, don't bother with converter disks. They do a lousy job. They slow down response time, essentially turning your high-powered induction burner into a conventional electric stove. If you invest in good quality induction cookware, this is definitely now what you want.
Which Cookware Works With Induction?
So, magnetic cookware works with induction. But which cookware is magnetic?
Here's a list:
Clad stainless. However, the most common stainless steel, called 18/10 or 18/8 or "surgical stainless" or 316 stainless, is actually not magnetic. To make clad stainless cookware magnetic, an 18/0 grade has to be used on the exterior of the cookware. 18/0 is nickel free, and this makes it magnetic.
Why isn't it used throughout induction cookware? Because 18/0 isn't as corrosion resistant as 18/10 stainless. Thus, most clad stainless cookware has 18/0 or magnetic stainless on the exterior and 18/10, 18/8, or 316 stainless on the cooking surface. (Some cheaper clad stainless cookware is all 18/0 and advertised as "nickel-free." It tends to be inexpensive and rather poor quality cookware, so you don't want this unless you have a nickel allergy and are sensitive to the nickel in good quality clad stainless cookware.)
Older clad stainless cookware, made before the mid-1990s, may be all 18/10 and therefore not induction compatible. But almost all new clad stainless cookware is induction compatible.
Cast iron. Cast iron is magnetic, so all cast iron cookware is induction compatible. This includes enameled cast iron cookware like le Creuset and Staub.
Carbon steel. Carbon steel is magnetic, so all carbon steel cookware is induction compatible.
Cookware with a magnetic stainless disc on the bottom. You will notice that aluminum cookware is not on this list. Aluminum is not magnetic, so it is not compatible with induction cooktops. However, some aluminum cookware has a magnetic stainless disc attached to the bottom that makes it induction compatible. Most of this cookware is aluminum nonstick and includes T-fal Professional, Anolon Nouvelle Copper, and GreenPan Paris.
Which Cookware Does NOT Work With Induction?
Conversely, any cookware that is not magnetic--and does not have a magnetic disc on the bottom--is not induction compatible. Here's a list:
Copper. Most copper cookware is not induction compatible because copper is not magnetic. However, some clad copper cookware, like All-Clad Copper Core, is induction-compatible because of the magnetic stainless exterior. We do not know of any real copper cookware with a magnetic disc (though there probably is such a thing somewhere in the cookware world).
Aluminum. Aluminum is not magnetic so if there is no magnetic disc, it is not induction compatible. Many aluminum brands of cookware do have a magnetic plate on the bottom to make them induction compatible, such as All-Clad HA1 and Anolon Nouvelle Copper.
Ceramic. 100% ceramic cookware, like Xtrema and Corningware Visions, is of course not induction compatible (because, no magnetism). However, ceramic-coated cookware can be induction compatible if it has a magnetic base. Examples include GreenPan Paris (or see our Ultimate GreenPan Review), which is aluminum with a magnetic stainless base, and Zwilling Spirit, which is clad stainless cookware with a ceramic coating.
A Comparison Table of Different Cookware Materials
To compare different cookware materials, we rated them in the categories of heating properties, stability/nonreactivity, durability, and induction compatibility. This chart summarizes results, and shows why we prefer clad stainless for induction cooking.
We discuss the important traits below in the What to Know Before Buying Clad Stainless Induction Cookware section.
Enter your text here...
Yes (if exterior is 18/0 stainless).
No (unless it has stainless disk).
The Winner: Clad Stainless
We think clad stainless is the best cookware for induction cooktops, as you can tell from our recommendations. If you look at the table above, you can see that alone, stainless, aluminum and copper have several shortcomings. For example, stainless has terrible heating properties, aluminum and copper react with food--so alone, they do not make ideal cookware.
However, when you combine stainless steel and aluminum, or stainless and copper, you get the best of both worlds: the durability and stability of stainless with the fabulous heating properties of aluminum (and/or copper).
Clad stainless steel cookware is as durable as cast iron, has the heating properties of aluminum, and is completely stable and non-reactive.
For these reasons, we think clad stainless makes the best all-around induction cookware. In fact, we think clad stainless cookware is the best all-around cookware period--so even if you don't have an induction cooktop, there are a lot of reasons to go with clad stainless.
What About Cast Iron?
Many people use cast iron on their induction burners, and they love it. We think it's just okay. Cast iron holds heat well and is durable, but it's got some drawbacks in general and for induction cooking in particular.
Here are the drawbacks of cast iron that make it not the best for induction cooking:
- It's heavy and can have a rough exterior, so it can scratch glass cooktops if not handled carefully.
- It heats slowly and unevenly, which is not ideal for induction, which is super fast heating--so you can end up with a lot of hot/cold spots if you don't allow it to pre-heat enough before cooking.
Cast iron is also reactive with acidic food, which limits its usability for things like tomato sauce and lemon juice. This means you can't just reach for it every time you start cooking without thinking it through: if you're making something with tomatoes, lemon juice, or other acidic foods, cast iron isn't always the best choice. Even if it's not enough acid to eat through the seasoning, it will take its toll on the seasoning, requiring you to season more frequently than you otherwise would have to.
We like cast iron for a lot of things, but for daily use cookware on an induction cooktop, we think clad stainless is the better choice.
What About Nonstick Cookware?
Do yourself a favor, and don't buy nonstick cookware for your primary cookware.
Okay, yes, you should have one nonstick pan that you use for eggs, fish, and other delicate foods. But the life span of a nonstick pan is short--very, very short. Even with only moderate use and excellent care, nonstick frying pans don't usually last more than a couple of years.
They are fussy to use: You have to use utensils that won't scratch. You can't use anything abrasive to clean them. You can't put them in an oven--at least over 350F or so--because it degrades the coating. Aerosol cooking spray degrades the coating. And you should never, ever use them with high heat because heat ages the nonstick coating faster than just about anything else--and can possibly release toxic fumes, too.
Even if the manufacturer says you can use metal utensils, put it in the oven, and put it in the dishwasher, doing any of these will shorten the life of your pan even more.
But for a serious cook, probably the biggest issue with nonstick pans is that it's very hard to get a nice browning on your food. Even if you use high heat (which--again--is a no-no), the slippery surface isn't conducive to a proper Maillard reaction. So why would you want to use a nonstick pan for anything that you wanted to brown?
So yes, you should have a dedicated nonstick egg pan. But for just about everything else, stainless is the better option. best induction cookware
About Clad Cookware
Clad cookware is cookware that has more than one type of metal "clad" together to capitalize on the best properties of each. Usually the cladding is done so the durable stainless is on the outside, with an internal layer(s) of aluminum and/or copper. Three-ply cladding, also known as tri-ply, is the most common configuration: stainless-aluminum-stainless.
Here's a diagram from All-Clad showing their tri-ply construction:
Clad cookware can have more layers, but this gets expensive without always creating a lot more heat conductivity. If you're interested in multi-ply cookware, you have to do your research in order to get the best product. It is not automatically better than tri-ply. (The Demeyere Industry 5 we recommend here is an excellent 5-ply option.)
Cladding is done by exerting a tremendous amount of pressure on the metals to get them to bond together. It is an expensive process, which is why clad cookware can be expensive.
Actually, prices are all over the map--as is quality. With the exception of the very top brands (i.e., All-Clad, which is made in the USA and Demeyere, made in Belgium), most clad cookware is now made in China, with varying degrees of quality control. You needn't avoid all cookware made in China, but you do have to be careful about which brands you buy. We like and recommend a few brands, but recommend you steer clear of brands you know little about, especially if the makers don't give detailed information about the configuration.
Good Quality Clad Cookware Vs Not-So-Good
Good quality clad stainless is better than most other types of cookware for induction.
However, not all clad stainless cookware is created equally. Quality levels vary considerably among makers, as do prices. Poor quality clad cookware can warp, pit, and rust. And sometimes the inner layers of aluminum are too thin to provide good heating. indution cookware
You can pay too much for inferior cookware if you're not careful (even for a few well-known brands).
This is why it's SO important to educate yourself about the clad cookware market before you buy.
Here are some reasons to buy the best clad cookware you can afford:
- Quality control in Chinese factories can be poor or even non-existent, so it's hard to know what you're getting unless you choose a reputable brand.
- Layers can separate if not properly clad or if they're too thin, rendering pans useless.
- Inferior grade stainless steel can pit and rust--and remember that no induction-compatible pans are 100% 18/10 stainless, regardless of marketing claims. Cheaper pans can also have inferior grade steel on the cooking surfaces; there is often no way to know for sure, except by a company's reputation.
- Good companies (such as All-Clad) offer lifetime guarantees on their products. Even some Chinese-made clad stainless cookware has a lifetime warranty, so there's no reason to buy a brand that does not have a lifetime warranty.
Don't worry: you don't have to spend a fortune to get good cookware. If you're on a budget, there are reasonably priced options you can be very happy with. best induction cookware
What to Know Before Buying Clad Stainless Induction Cookware
What are the important considerations when choosing clad cookware? Aside from personal buying preferences--such as set vs. individual pieces--here are some things to think about: heating properties, cladding design, durability and stability, design/features, ease of cleaning, and warranty.
We discuss each of these here. indution cookware
With all cookware, the heating properties are the most important feature. That is, how quickly and how evenly a pan conducts heat and how well a pan retains heat. After all, this is why we use cookware in the first place: to conduct heat to cook our food.
Heating properties are a factor of what metal(s) a pan is made of and how thick those layers of metal are. The two important properties are 1) thermal conductivity and 2) heat retention.
Thermal conductivity refers to how quickly and evenly a pan can spread heat. Copper has the best thermal conductivity of all cookware materials because it's very fast, even, and responsive to temperature changes. Cast iron has the worst thermal conductivity because it's very slow, uneven, and unresponsive to temperature changes.
Heat retention refers to how long cookware hangs onto heat. Cast iron has the best heat retention of all cookware materials because once hot, it hangs onto heat for a really long time. This is what makes it great for heat-retentive tasks like searing steaks and deep frying chicken.
Also when looking at heat retention, mass is almost as important as material. That is, the thicker and heavier a pan is, the longer it will retain heat. A thick pan is going to retain heat better than a thin pan, regardless of what it's made of.
In general, heating properties are often a trade-off between thermal conductivity and heat retention. If you're going for heat retention--such as for searing a steak, where hanging onto heat is crucial--use cast iron. If you're looking more for evenness and speed, then clad stainless, aluminum, and copper are all better options.
Cladding can vary considerably among different brands. That is, the external stainless steel can vary in quality, and the inner layer(s) of aluminum and/or copper can differ in thickness--both of which affect the quality of clad cookware.
The thickness of the layers of cladding matter. The thicker the internal aluminum layer, the more even the heating. However, if the layers are too thick, pots can be too heavy, without bringing a whole lot more to the table. It can be hard to find exact specifications for the thickness of internal cladding, but the important thing to know is how evenly a pan distributes heat. indution cookware
The industry standard is All-Clad. Theirs is the product against which everyone else is comparing and competing. All-Clad stainless steel is of excellent quality, and their internal aluminum/copper is thick enough to provide even heating without being too heavy.
Most other brands have thinner cladding, which is what makes them less expensive. (Lower quality stainless steel can also reduce the cost.) Demeyere, a Belgian company, went in the other direction and is trying to outdo All-Clad. Its thicker aluminum layer(s) produces better heating properties--but it is also heavier.
How do you determine the quality of a cookware brand's cladding? It can be difficult, because often the information is not given (unlike when buying copper cookware, which you pay for by the thickness). This site, The Rational Kitchen, is one of a handful of sites that have done their own independent testing and research so we can provide the exact configuration of many brands. So even if you can't get the information from the makers themselves, you can often get it from an independent tester (like us).
Full Cladding Vs. Disc/Bottom Only Cladding
Another very important question about cladding is: Is it fully clad or bottom-only clad?
Some stainless cookware--such as Cuisinart Chef's Classic and Tramontina Gourmet Prima--is not fully clad but instead has a disc of clad material bonded to the bottom. Thus, there is no heat-conducting metal on the sides of the pan, just stainless steel.
(Aluminum cookware can also have a magnetic disc on the bottom to make it induction compatible--however, because aluminum conducts heat well, this is less of an issue than it is for clad stainless cookware.)
Full cladding helps distribute heat evenly all over a pan. It makes a huge difference with a skillet because you often use the sides of the pan in the frying process.
For pans that you use primarily with liquids--e.g., boiling water for pasta, making soups and stock--full cladding isn't as important. Natural convection currents in liquids distribute heat pretty well on their own.
However, there is also some excellent disc-clad cookware on the market, such as Demeyere Atlantis and Fissler. Most high-end disc clad cookware is made in Europe, where disc cladding is more popular. Conversely, most low-end disc clad cookware is sold in the US and made in China.
Which Type of Cladding Is Best?
Largely because of All-Clad's marketing, most Americans prefer full cladding. And it's true that there are a lot of low end cookware lines that have disc cladding because it's cheaper to manufacture. In fact, if you want to buy on the low end, be careful to choose a line that does have full cladding if you know that's what you want. (Good quality disc-clad cookware tends to be expensive.)
We prefer full cladding largely because the pieces feel more balanced in your hand--bottom cladding, especially the very thick bottom cladding of top quality pieces, can feel bottom-heavy and awkward to use.
However, as for which is better, it's really all about personal preference. Though bottom clad cookware should be good quality, it can be just as good as fully-clad cookware, if not better. Demeyere Atlantis is some of the best clad stainless cookware on the market.
How can you tell the good disc clad cookware from the not-so-good? The easiest way to tell the difference is by looking at the disc itself:
- If it's several millimeters thick and the entire width of the pan bottom, it's good quality.
- If it's the same thickness as fully clad pieces or only slightly thicker, and of a smaller diameter than the pan bottom, it's mediocre quality.
You can clearly see the difference in these images, which show a thick bottom disc and a thinner one:
If clad stainless cookware is much cheaper than competitors, it's usually for one of two reasons:
- It may be bottom-clad only (examine images carefully for a "seam" or look for phrases like "impact-bonded").
- It may be made of poor quality stainless and have thin internal layers of aluminum, meaning poor heating properties and the likelihood of pitting, rusting and warping.
Durability and Stability
Second only to heating is durability. You want cookware that can withstand a beating in the kitchen and keep going. You don't have to worry about heat, utensils, the dishwasher, or how much abuse a pan can take. You want cookware that's going to last--and even stay shiny and looking great over years of hard use.
Stability is a sub-category of durability: You also want cookware that doesn't react with food and is impervious to corrosion and rust. indution cookware
Stainless steel cookware wins in both of these categories.
Note that not all stainless steel is of equal quality. Even 18/10 stainless can vary in quality. If you want top notch durability, you should buy a reputable brand (such as the ones we recommend in this article).
You should have cookware that you love and that's a joy to use. This means you have to like the design and find it comfortable to use--and, that you like the looks of the cookware. If you don't like both the design and the looks of your cookware, your kitchen time may feel like drudgery. Nobody wants that!
Here are the design considerations we think are important.
Cookware can come with stainless lids, glass lids, or no lids at all. (Most skillets do not come with lids, for example.)
The best material for lids is stainless steel, for these reasons:
- Steel lids make the best fit.
- Stainless can go in the oven; glass may or may not be oven-compatible.
- Glass lids are more fragile, heavier, and can be harder to store.
All of our cookware recommendations have stainless lids.
You may disagree and prefer glass lids so you can see inside your pans without removing the lid. We've found that steam tends to make this impossible a lot of the time, so even the advantage of glass lids isn't much of an advantage.
Thus, we recommend stainless lids. indution cookware
Note also that stainless lids are often an indication of a higher-end brand, while glass lids tend to be found on mid-range and less expensive clad stainless cookware.
Handles present a number of considerations:
- Overall ergonomics: Is the handle easy to grasp? Does it cut into your hand? Does it feel unbalanced? In general, does it make the pot easier or harder to use?
- Short or long: Traditionally, skillets and saucepans have one long handle, but some instead have two short ones. A long handle makes a pot easier to grab, while short handles can make it easier to use in the oven and store. This is purely preference, but know that both options are available.
- Helper handles: Helper handles are short handles opposite from the long handle. They're called helper handles because they make it easier to maneuver heavy (and full) pots. They're incredibly useful, especially on larger sauce pans, skillets, and sauté pans.
- Silicone-coated and plastic handles: Some lines of cookware have silicone-coated or plastic handles. These are nice for gripping, but not so nice on a gas stove or in an oven. Although usually guaranteed to be oven safe, the silicone and plastic will wear out long before the rest of the pan. Gas flames will also take a toll. This is not the case with stainless handles--which we vastly prefer for this reason.
Some cookware has flared rims, which reduces drips when pouring. Other cookware has flat rims, which can drip more when pouring:
Some people insist on having flared rims for drip-free pouring, but in our testing we honestly didn't find a great deal of difference. If a flared rim is important to you, skip the All-Clad D3 and go with Copper Core, Demeyere, or Cuisinart MultiClad Pro. indution cookware
Rivets Vs. Rivetless
Now this one is important: Some clad cookware (Demeyere) has a rivetless cooking surface because the handles are welded on. This is a really nice feature because it eliminates the gunk buildup that can happen around rivets. Rivets are far from a deal-breaker, but rivetless pans are definitely easier to wash.
Ease of Cleaning
Most stainless cookware is dishwasher safe, which is a great feature. However, we recommend hand-washing all your cookware because dishwasher detergents can dull the stainless over time.
Stainless steel is not a non-stick surface, so all stainless pans are going to require some elbow grease if used for messy, sticky foods. Some brands are easier to clean than others, however. Demeyere, for example, has a proprietary finishing process called Silvinox® that makes their stainless easier to clean. And rivets vs. no rivets is also a factor.
In general, though, stainless cookware is not the wicked mess that a lot of people believe it to be. If you heat oil first, then add the food, then wait until the food releases naturally from the pan before trying to stir or flip it, you will be amazed by how little your food actually sticks to the pan.
No, it can't compete with nonstick cookware, but clad stainless has so many qualities that make it superior to nonstick that it's really a no-brainer for 95% of cooking tasks. Like what, you ask? Well, you can use any utensils and any level of heat you want. Most importantly, you can get a nice Maillard reaction on a stainless cooking surface that isn't possible on nonstick even if you use high heat (which you shouldn't).
Most brands of clad stainless steel come with very long--30 years--or lifetime warranties. Even many of the lower-priced brands do, including Cuisinart. So there is no reason to buy a brand that doesn't come with a long warranty. indution cookware
You should also try to buy a reputable brand name, as some lesser known brands may not honor warranties, but established makers almost always will.
Sets Vs. Individual Pans
There are good reasons to buy sets, and there are good reasons to buy individual pieces. In the end, your cookware collection is likely to be a mix of both, as no set is going to have all the pieces you'll need.
Reasons to Buy a Set
- Because you're just starting out and need everything.
- Because you know you'll use every piece in the set.
- Because you want your cookware to match.
- Because sets are a good deal, even if you have to put up more money up front (and again, if you'll use all the pieces in the set).
Reasons to Buy Individual Pieces
- Because you don't want and won't use all the pieces in a set.
- Because you want different quality levels--for example, you want a top-of-the-line skillet because it gets the most wear and tear, but you don't want to pay for a high-end stockpot, which won't get as much use (and doesn't need to spread heat as evenly).
- Because you're adding to an existing collection.
- Because the pieces you want aren't available in a set (e.g., a roasting pan, nonstick frying pan).
- Because the size you want isn't available in a set (e.g., a 12-inch frying pan).
- Because there's a sale going on and you can't pass up the great deal you found.
One of the main problems with sets is that they can contain small, "filler" pieces that bulk the set up, but which you won't find very useful. For example, some sets have a 1.5 quart and a 2 quart sauce pan. These are so similar in size--and both small--that you'll use them for the same tasks, whereas a 1.5 quart sauce pan and a 3 quart sauce pan have very different uses. Furthermore, large pieces are more useful in general than small pieces--you can use a large piece for a small project, but you can't use a small piece for a large project. So unless you're routinely cooking for just one or two people, larger pieces are better.
Our advice is to buy a small, 5- or 7-piece set of a skillet, sauté pan and sauce pan (including lids), like this All-Clad set. This is an economic way to acquire basic pieces that you're sure you'll use. Then you can augment with other pieces as you know you'll need them.
One exception to this rule, though, is the Demeyere Industry 5 10-piece set. Often, a 10-piece set has small, filler pieces that you won't find very useful. However, all the pieces in this set are really nice, including an 11-inch skillet, a 4 quart sauce pan, and an 8 quart stock pot. So even though Demeyere sets are more expensive, you really do get better pieces overall than you do from many other makers.
Remember: If the set doesn't have the pieces you want, no amount of saved money will make you happy.
The Most Important Pieces (and Sizes)
Whether you decide on a set or choose to buy pieces separately, the most important pieces--the ones you'll use almost every time you cook--are a skillet and a saucepan. You also need a Dutch oven or stockpot and a roasting pan. With these 4 pieces, most basic cooking tasks are covered.
What size pans should you get? Well, you have to think about how you're going to use your pans--How many people do you cook for? Do you entertain? Do you like to make enough for leftovers or just enough for one meal? Will you get more use out of a Dutch oven or a stockpot? Do you have other pieces that will take up the slack (like hand-me-down pots from your mom or an old cast iron skillet) when necessary? best induction cookware
But if you're trying to cover as many bases as possible with just a few pieces, here are our suggestions:
Best All-Purpose Size:
10-12 inches/3-5 quart
Dutch Oven or Stockpot
app. 20 in. x 14 in. (including handles; sizes vary by brand)
You will discover, as you use your pans, where you might prefer to have other sizes: a smaller skillet or saucepan for when you're just cooking for yourself; larger options if you're cooking for a crowd or meal prepping; maybe a good quality sauciér for bechamel and caramel. But these are good basic pieces in good sizes for the foundation pieces of your collection.
Best Set Overall (Heaviest): Demeyere Industry 5/5 Plus
Pros: 3mm wall thickness for superb heating, Silvinox@, welded (rivet-free) handles, excellent pieces in the set (no too-small filler pieces), optimal for induction.
Cons: Heavy, expensive, 10 piece is the smallest set available.
Other cookware makers competed against All-Clad with lower prices, but Demeyere's strategy was to make a better product for the same or slightly higher cost. We think they've succeeded with Industry 5, because their design is better than All-Clad's in several ways.
Demeyere introduced Industry 5 in the mid-1990s, probably to compete in the US market against All-Clad. You might also see it called 5Plus, but it's the same cookware. Demeyere has changed the name a few times, but the construction is the same--and it's excellent.
Demeyere Industry 5/5 Plus has three internal layers of aluminum sandwiched between stainless steel:
Industry 5 cookware has a total wall thickness of 3.0mm, with a total aluminum thickness of 2.1mm. This is about 25% more aluminum than All-Clad D3 (and remember, D5 has less aluminum than D3).
Being thicker than All-Clad makes Industry 5 heavier, as well. To compare, an All-Clad D3 10-inch skillet weighs 2 pounds, an Industry 5 9.4-inch skillet weighs 3.3 pounds.
It's not as heavy as the Demeyere Atlantis (reviewed below), but it's heavier than All-Clad D3.
This is why we have two "best overall" options: if lighter weight and maneuverability is more important to you, go with All-Clad D3 (or D5, or Copper Core). If you instead opt for top notch performance and don't mind that the cookware is thicker and heavier, than Industry 5 is the way to go. They are both excellent options.
Industry 5 has all the great features of classic Demeyere cookware, including:
- 3mm walls with 2.1mm of aluminum (about 25% more than All-Clad D3)
- Silvinox® finish for long lasting shine and easier cleanup
- Welded handles, which means no rivets on the cooking surface
- Flat base for optimal induction cooking and resistance to warping
- Grooved lip for spill-free pouring
- Shot-blasted handles for better grip
- Double-walled insulated lid (Sur la Table only)
- Oven safe to 600F
- Dishwasher safe
- 30 year warranty.
Demeyere Industry 5 comes in a 10-piece and a 14-piece set, and you can buy several open stock pieces available, as well. It's unfortunate that there aren't smaller sets available, but the 10-piece set does contain all useful pieces and nothing we consider filler pieces. So if you're looking for a set and need everything, the 10-piece Industry 5 should definitely be a consideration. Even the 14 piece set contains excellent, usable pieces, though we prefer an enameled cast iron Dutch oven--for reasons you can read about here--so you may not get the use out of that piece, even though it's a great size.
The 10-Piece Set includes:
- 9.4 inch skillet
- 11 inch skillet
- 3 quart sauté pan w/lid
- 2 quart sauce pan w/lid
- 4 quart sauce pan w/lid
- 8 quart stock pot w/lid.
The 14-Piece Set includes:
With 2.1mm of aluminum, Industry 5 has about 25% more aluminum than All-Clad, giving it excellent heating performance. It is also extremely flat on the bottom to provide maximum contact with induction hobs.
Industry 5 is also oven safe to 600F.
Demeyere cookware is made with the user in mind. It has a lot of really great design choices. Some of the great design includes:
- Grooved lips for drip-free pouring
- Welded handles for a rivet-free cooking surface
- Shot-blasted handles for better grip
- Flat, level base for optimal induction use and resistance to warping
- Helper handles on all the larger pieces
- Double-walled lids to hold in heat (Sur la Table only).
Ease of Cleaning
Demeyere finishes their clad stainless cookware with a proprietary process they call Silvinox®. Silvinox essentially removes all the impurities from the surface of the stainless steel, which makes it easier to clean and helps it keep its silver-white finish for years and years.
Industry 5 also has welded handles, which means no rivets on the cooking surface. This not only makes the pans easier to clean, it's also more sanitary, as there's no way for gunk to build up on the cooking surface.
Nobody buys clad stainless cookware because it's easy to clean, but because of Silvinox and the welded handles, Demeyere is some of the easiest clad stainless cookware to care for.
Demeyere Industry 5 definitely belongs in the "Best Overall" category. If you want excellent quality and great performing cookware and don't mind the heavier weight, go with Industry 5. If you want lighter cookware and are willing to sacrifice a little on performance, go with All-Clad D3. (And if you really don't care about weight and are concerned only with performance, consider the Demeyere Atlantis reviewed below.)
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Best Set Overall (Lightest) : All-Clad D3 Stainless Tri-Ply
Pros: Excellent quality, many set and open stock options available, made in USA, limited lifetime warranty.
All-Clad is the original clad cookware. It is made in the USA and it offers a limited lifetime warranty on all of its products. Every other clad cookware brand, including high-performing competitors like Demeyere, are competing for the All-Clad market.
All-Clad makes several lines of cookware. This review is for the stainless steel tri-ply (D3)--the line we believe to offer the best all around performance and durability of all the All-Clad lines.
All-Clad D3 sets come in 5 piece, 7 piece, 10 piece, and 14 piece. We recommend the 5- or 7-piece set if you want some nice basic starter pieces and the 10 piece if you're looking for a larger assortment. The 14 piece is probably more than most people need, though some of the pieces are really useful.
Note that the 12-inch skillet--a very useful piece and the best size for most people--is not included in the smaller sets. This is typical for most manufacturers (with the exception of Demeyere), but it's one of the reasons we recommend going with a smaller set, and supplementing with the pieces you know you want individually. In the big picture, it's more economical than buying a huge set just to get the larger skillets and sauce pans.
Always pay attention to the sizes of the pieces in sets. They're usually small, and you'll often have to supplement with additional individual pieces.
The 5 Piece set Includes:
The 7 Piece set includes:
The 10 Piece set Includes:
The 14 Piece Includes:
The stainless line has a 1.7mm layer of aluminum sandwiched between a magnetic stainless exterior and a polished stainless interior, with a total overall thickness of 2.6mm. This is enough to provide excellent evenness of heating. indution cookware
As mentioned above, All-Clad D3 has the even heating that all other clad cookware is competing against. This doesn't mean it's the very best, but the performance is very, very good for how light and durable the cookware is. For overall even heating, All-Clad is one of the very best available.
All-Clad D3 pans are also oven safe to 600F.
Design (Lids, Handles, Rims)
Lids: All All-Clad lids are stainless and fit snugly over the pans. The saute pan lids will fit the skillets. The lid handles have a nice rounded shape, easy to use and grip. They stay cool under all cooking conditions with the exception of high gas heat.
Note: If you buy All-Clad skillets separately, they can come with or without lids. If you want lids, make sure the skillet you order comes with one!
Handles: The long handles are grooved on the top; this has advantages and disadvantages. You can clamp your thumb into the groove to stabilize a pan while you're handling it, which is a nice feature. But if you just grip the handle, or steady it under your forearm, the groove can dig into your hand or arm uncomfortably.
A lot of people dislike the traditional All-Clad handles because of this. However, we like them: that "U" shaped design is there so you can stabilize the pot with your thumb, and it works very well once you get the hang of it.
Rims: The rims of the skillet/frying pans, saute pans, and Dutch oven/stockpot are flared for easy pouring. The rims of the saucepans are not.
Ease of Cleaning
One of the costs of high-end clad cookware is the polished surface of the stainless steel. More expensive cookware generally has a more polished surface, which makes it smoother, and thus food sticks less. All-Clad has a very polished surface, so it tends to be easier to clean than less expensive stainless cookware. Putting your cookware in the dishwasher will wear away the highly polished surface, so we actually recommend hand washing your stainless cookware. But in a pinch, you can certainly throw it in the dishwasher.
All-Clad D3 is lightweight, maneuverable, and yet provides great heating performance. You could go with more expensive lines of All-Clad, but you don't really get much of a boost in performance.
If you want maneuverability yet still great heating performance, All-Clad D3 is the way to go. If you want a boost in performance and don't mind heavier cookware, go with the Demeyere Industry 5 reviewed above.
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Best Bargain: Cuisinart Multiclad Pro
Pros: Good quality cookware at a very good price, lifetime warranty.
Cons: Made in China, not quite as high-performing as All-Clad, possibly not made of 300 Series (18/10) stainless.
Cuisinart Multi-Clad Pro is a Chinese knockoff of All-Clad. It has similar cladding but with a slightly thinner aluminum layer, so the performance isn't quite as good--but it's really, really close. So if you want something close to All-Clad without the high price tag, Cuisinart is an excellent option. The 7-piece set has a 10-inch skillet and two covered saucepans. The 12-piece set includes an excellent variety of pieces, including a steamer. Stainless lids are included for the saute pans and stockpot.
The company also offers a lifetime warranty, which is not something you'll find with a lot of other cookware sets at this price point. indution cookware
The 7 Piece Set includes:
The 12 Piece Set Includes:
The Cuisinart MCP Stainless Tri-Ply has cladding similar to All-Clad, but with a slightly thinner aluminum layer, which makes the performance less even than All-Clad--but still very good.
In our testing, we found that the Multiclad Pro heated as fast as All-Clad and only slightly less evenly; once it had a had a chance to even out, performance was virtually identical to the All-Clad D3.
All pieces and lids are oven safe to 550F.
One drawback of the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro is that it's probably not made from 18/10 stainless steel. We know this because Cuisinart doesn't mention the grade of steel they use, and at one time they did.
What kind of stainless is it made from, then? Probably a 200 Series stainless, which isn't quite as corrosion resistant as 300 Series (i.e, 18/10) stainless steel. But Cuisinart doesn't say, so this is only a guess.
In our testing, the stainless held up well. We hadno issues with corrosion, rusting, or pitting. However, it's quite possible that MC Pro won't hold up over time as well as a higher end brand.
The good news is that the lifetime warranty Cuisinart offers should cover any issues related to this. So if you have any problems, they should replace a pan at no cost. indution cookware
You can read more about stainless steel at Wikipedia.
Design (Lids, Handles, Rims and Rivets)
The overall design of this cookware is excellent. In fact, one reason we really like this set is that it is as pretty as All-Clad. It looks like a much more expensive set than it is.
Lids: The lids are made of stainless and fit the pans snugly. They are as oven safe as the pans themselves (to 550F). The skillets do not come with lids, but you can use some of the lids interchangeably on the different pieces. indution cookware
Handles: Both the long and the short handles are easy to grasp and hang onto:
The large saute pan has a helper handle. Unfortunately, there are no helper handles on the saucepans or large skillet--but few manufacturers include helper handles on pans of this size.
Rims: One of the really great design features of the Cuisinart Multi-Clad Pro line is that all the pans have flared rims. Even the saucepans have flared rims, which is great for dripless pouring.
Rivets: Handles are riveted onto the pans and lids, which isn't ideal because food particles can stick around them. If you want rivetless cookware, consider Demeyere cookware, which is a top notch and expensive brand we like and recommend. best induction cookware
Ease of Cleaning
The finish is (surprisingly) about the same as All-Clad, so this along with the rivets make the ease of cleaning about the same as All-Clad. MC Pro is also dishwasher safe.
Similar In Performance
Cuisinart French Classic (Tri-Ply): This is similar to the Multiclad Pro set, but it is made in France. It's higher priced than Multiclad Pro, but still considerably less than All-Clad. It's also really gorgeous cookware. If you don't want to buy "made in China," this is a great choice that won't break the bank.
Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad is another All-Clad knockoff that's extremely close in performance to D3. It's more expensive than Multiclad Pro but still a great deal, and made of 18/10 stainless. Be sure you're looking at the Tri-Ply Clad line--Tramontina makes several cookware lines and this is the one closest to All-Clad performance. indution cookware
Buy this set if you can live with good (not great) performance, want a lifetime warranty backed by a reputable company, and don't mind a product made in China. The Cuisinart Multi-Clad Pro is an excellent Chinese All-Clad knockoff. best induction cookware
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Best Bottom Clad: Demeyere Atlantis/Silver 7
Pros: Superb design and performance, optimal for induction cooktops, Silvinox® finish, welded (rivet-free) handles.
Cons: Heavy and expensive. Bottom-clad pieces might feel unbalanced to people who haven't used them before.
Atlantis is Demeyere's original line of clad stainless cookware, and everything about it is geared to absolutely superb heating performance, particularly on induction cooktops.
We should say right away that only the straight-sided pieces are bottom clad; this includes sauté pans, sauce pans, and stock pots. The curve-sided pieces--i.e., skillets and sauciérs--are fully clad. There is method in this madness: Demeyere designed their cookware this way because straight-sided pieces are used primarily for liquids, which don't need full cladding to heat evenly; and curved-sided pieces are used for solid foods and delicate sauces, which do require full cladding for optimal performance.
We love this design. It's thoughtful, and it makes the most of every piece of cookware. It shows that Demeyere has put real effort into coming up with the absolute best performing and most durable cookware you can find.
We also love that the magnetic steel is encased inside layers of 18/10 stainless: since magnetic stainless is less corrosion resistant, this design means the cookware is going to be more durable than that with the magnetic (18/0) stainless exposed. (This is what their "TriplInduc®" technology means: 3 layers of stainless steel.) indution cookware
We also love that the smallest skillet is 9.4 inches--almost as big as the big skillet in most sets. So even if you go with the smallest size, you get a good-sized skillet.
In short, everything about Demeyere Atlantis indicates well-thought-out design.
Here's a diagram of the bottom-clad pieces:
Here's a diagram of the fully clad pieces:
Atlantis is definitely not cheap. But here's what you get for your investment:
- Fully clad pieces have approximately 75% more aluminum than All-Clad D3 or D5
- Bottom-clad pieces contain 2mm of copper, plus two thin layers of silver (the best heat conducting metal known to man, but generally considered too expensive for use in cookware)
- Rivetless cooking surface
- Silvinox® finish ensures long-lasting shiny finish and makes cleaning easier
- Optimized for induction cooking with TriplInduc® technology that makes it about 30% more efficient on induction than other clad stainless cookware
- Good sized pieces in the set, with an 11 in. skillet and 8 qt Dutch oven/stock pot
- 30 year warranty.
Atlantis is almost twice as thick as All-Clad D3, which makes it heavy. And, the thick, heavy bottom-clad pieces can feel bulky and unbalanced, especially if you're accustomed to working with fully clad cookware.
These design choices make this cookware incredibly high performance, but may not be ideal for the average American cook.
Is all this performance needed? It really depends on how serious you are about cooking. Some chefs, once they've tried Demeyere Atlantis--especially the Proline skillet--can't bear to go back to the "flimsiness" of All-Clad. Others find it too heavy, comparing it to working with cast iron cookware (and some of it really does feel that heavy).
So if you're really into cookware, or want the best of the best, or are in search of an over-the-top gift for someone who loves to cook, Demeyere Atlantis is a fine choice. On the other hand, All-Clad D3 is excellent quality, will last you a lifetime, and is much easier for the average cook to work with. Both are superb choices; it's really a matter of your preferences.
If you're not looking for a set and would rather buy piecemeal so you get exactly what you want, we highly recommend the Atlantis Proline skillet. Since a skillet gets the heaviest, hardest use in most kitchens, and since it tends to be the piece that needs to have the best heating performance, the skillet is the best place to invest your cookware budget. And there is no better skillet on the market than the Proline. Its only drawback is that it's heavy, so if you have hand or wrist issues, this is not the skillet for you. Other than that, it's a superb piece of cooking equipment. indution cookware
Sur la Table carries a house brand of Atlantis called Silver 7: it's the same excellent cookware with double-walled lids. If you're interested in the Atlantis cookware, be sure to compare prices between it and the Silver 7 before buying--they are identical cookware. indution cookware
For more information, see our article about Demeyere and how it compares to All-Clad.
Atlantis is available in a number of set sizes, including 3 piece, 6 piece and 9 piece. These are all unique sets with very different options.
The 3 Piece set includes:
- 9.4 inch Proline skillet
- 5.5 quart sauce pot w/lid.
The 6 Piece set includes:
- 9.4 inch Proline skillet
- 5.5 quart sauce pot w/lid
- 3.2 quart sauce pan w/lid
- Steamer insert for sauce pot.
The 9 Piece set includes:
- 11-inch Proline skillet
- 2.3 quart sauce pan w/lid
- 3.5 quart sauciér w/lid
- 5 quart sauté pan w/lid
- 8.9 quart Dutch oven w/lid.
Silver 7 comes in a number of set sizes, as well. Go to Sur la Table to find out more.
Demeyere Atlantis/SLT Silver 7 is absolutely top notch cookware; some of the best clad stainless cookware around. If you can afford it, it will provide excellent performance for decades. Remember, though, that this is heavy cookware, so if you have any ergonomic issues, it may not be a good choice for you.
If you don't want a whole set, but do want to invest in one or two excellent pieces, the Proline skillet is hard to beat. Again, it's almost twice as thick as an All-Clad skillet, and all of that heft means unbeatable heating performance.
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These are brands that we also recommend, but didn't make it into our top 4 picks. If any of these brands appeal to you, they are all also excellent cookware. induction cookware
All-Clad D5: As high quality as D3 but more expensive without really adding a lot to the party. It comes in brushed or polished stainless, though, so if you like the brushed look and are willing to spend more to get it, then D5 is a good option. See our detailed comparison of D3 and D5 for more information.
All-Clad Copper Core: Also very high quality cookware but (like D5) more expensive without adding a lot of performance. It's beautiful, but that's about all you get for the extra cost. If you love it and don't mind spending more, Copper Core is a great choice. See our Copper Core Review for more information.
Cuisinart French Classic: The build quality and performance is pretty much identical to Cuisinart Multiclad Pro, but this line is more expensive. It's also prettier, and it's still made in France, so if you love it--and it's very pretty--and don't mind the higher cost, the French Classic is a great option. You can read more about it in our Cuisinart Clad Cookware Review.
Hammer Stahl/Heritage Steel: A made in USA brand and excellent quality. If you want American made and don't want All-Clad for whatever reason, Hammer Stahl/Heritage Steel makes excellent, though expensive, cookware. induction cookware
Made In: So many people want to know more about this brand because it's gotten rave reviews and is a made in USA brand that's cheaper than All-Clad. The truth is that it's not much cheaper, but the quality is good. They now include a carbon steel pan in their basic set and a good-sized, 8 quart stock pot. We haven't tested this brand yet, but we suspect the quality is good. If you're in the market for clad stainless cookware, though, you have to question whether you really want a carbon steel pan, presumably to replace your nonstick pan. It's an interesting idea, and carbon steel will last forever (like clad stainless), but it is not a straight-up substitute for nonstick. You may want to do more research before you decide.
Misen: Another direct-to-consumer brand that's gotten huge press in recent years. Unlike Made In, Misen is made in China. The cookware is 5-ply with a design similar to All-Clad D5. However, the cookware is a full 3mm thick--considerably thicker than any of All-Clad's offerings. While we don't care for the internal layer of stainless, we do think this is good quality cookware. If you like the looks of the set, or like the idea of getting a knife or two with your clad stainless cookware, Misen is the way to go. (We can't vouch for the quality of the knives.)
Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad: Good performance similar to Cuisinart MC-Pro. It's more expensive than the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro, which is why we didn't pick it as the best bargain brand. However, it's still considerably less than All-Clad. The 12-piece set comes with a large (12 inch) skillet and other large pieces, so it's actually a pretty great price, considering--but you have to buy the 12 piece set to get the big pieces, and most people don't really need a 12-piece set of cookware. If you prefer the pieces and design of this set, we recommend it. (See our detailed Tramontina review)
Other Brands We Looked At
Here are some other brands we looked at. They all get almost universally positive reviews on Amazon. Does that mean the quality is the same, regardless of what price point you choose? Absolutely not. We're glad many people are happy with their inexpensive sets (and their overpriced sets too!).
An asterisk indicates a recommended brand.
Note: Many of these brands make several lines of cookware, but we only looked at the clad stainless lines. Other lines might be excellent. (For example, Mauvial copper cookware is top notch.)
Calphalon: Mid-range cost and performance, but glass lids make this set less desirable than Cuisinart MC Pro or All-Clad.
Mauviel: French cookware with performance similar to All-Clad but more expensive. Not recommended.
Le Creuset Stainless Clad: Not made in France. Not comparable quality to Le Creuset enameled cast iron. Probably overpriced.
Viking: Some made in China, some made in USA. Expensive. Be sure you get the made in USA for best quality. Probably overpriced.
*Vollrath Optio: Good quality and decent price, but very heavy, bottom clad, not very pretty, and no lids are included. This is super heavy duty cookware, but designed more for professional kitchens (which some people might prefer).
Swiss-inox: Bottom-clad cookware with gimmicky "temperature management" knobs. Spend a little more and get Cuisinart MC-Pro.
Magma Nesting Stainless Coowkare: This set of low-performing, bottom-clad cookware has removable handles and is designed for RVs and other small spaces. But if you have limited space, why not just get a few basic, good-quality pieces instead? Those removable handles are going to loosen quickly, and few things are more potentially hazardous than cookware without solid handles. Do not recomment.
Duxtop: Would love to recommend this set as the price is great and we love some Secura products. (Secura owns Duxtop). But we haven't tested it, so the quality of this made-in-China set is largely an unknown (and yes, we say this despite its many positive reviews on Amazon). You're probably better off getting fewer pieces of higher quality that you know you'll use, or a set of Cuisinart MC Pro or Tramontina Tri-Ply clad for not a lot more.
Finding the best induction cookware set for you can be a challenge. You can spend a fortune and get top-of-the-line induction cookware. Yes, you'll probably love it, but with a little bit of research you may find cookware you'll love just as much for less money. As long as you know what you're buying (and there's a lot to know), you can be happy with your purchase.
Do you have any thoughts or ideas about the best induction cookware? Please share in the comments section.
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