Cookware Rating Sources
Total of 11 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumerReports.org lists test results for 18 sets of cookware, including 13 nonstick sets and five uncoated sets. Editors cook pancakes to measure cooking evenness and clean sticky béchamel sauce to evaluate ease of cleaning. They also test the surfaces of nonstick pans by cooking four eggs in a row without adding oil between each, and they scrub the surfaces with steel wool to test their durability. This report puts special emphasis on handles, which get three separate scores for safety, comfort and sturdiness. Only two nonstick sets are recommended, with one also receiving a best buy designation.
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
Our AssessmentCook's Illustrated has a number of individual reviews of cookware that are extremely helpful in extrapolating how well cookware sets made up of similar pieces will perform. Reviews include stainless steel cookware items from All-Clad and Cuisinart, nonstick cookware from T-fal and Calphalon, cast iron reviews for Lodge and Le Creuset, and many other manufacturers. Skillets, pots, pans, fry pans, Dutch ovens, stock pots and roasting pans are al reviewed. Each review is thorough and includes testing. For more expensive items, comparable alternatives are suggested.
Lodge Logic 12-Inch Cast Iron Pan review: An American Classic, Now with Instant Gratification
by Editors of Chow.com
Our AssessmentLike Cook's Illustrated, Chow.com has through reviews of individual cookware items that are very helpful in determining how a set of cookware made up of items in that cookware line will perform. Chow.com's reviews are some of the most rigorous of any testing organization and their reviewers are much more detailed, with an up to 5-star rating and breakdowns for various attributes.
The Best Skillet
by Michael Zhao
Our AssessmentCooking enthusiast Michael Zhao chooses the best skillet by hands on testing, research and speaking with experts. Ultimately, he chooses the All-Clad 12-inch Stainless Steel Fry Pan, but his exhaustive research results in a lot of useful information about other pots and pans that are top picks (or not) for the kitchen. He does not review any nonstick pans, but this was a great resource for both stainless steel and cast iron products.
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
Our AssessmentIn this review, editors narrow the wide selection of cookware on the market to six sets that offer what they consider to be the most usable pieces. Reviewers test the equipment with specific cooking tasks and also consider the cookware's construction, pan weight and whether the handles get hot. Three sets are recommended. This test doesn't include any nonstick cookware sets, which Cook's Illustrated editors are not fans of. This is an older review, but the recommended products have not changed since the test was performed.
by Editors of Good Housekeeping
Our AssessmentTesters at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute evaluate 10 lines of nonstick cookware on a wide variety of kitchen tasks. (The report covers cookware lines as a whole, as well as a few specific sets.) They simmer sauces, pan-brown burgers and (for nonstick cookware) prepare eggs without fat. Editors also evaluate the cookware's construction and how easy it is to clean. Each cookware brand receives a letter grade, along with a brief summary of pros and cons. However, no brand receives a grade below a B. Also, while they say the tests are all nonstick cookware, stainless steel and cast iron are also tested. Technically, those are not considered nonstick.
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com has 400 pages of cookware sets in all price ranges and categories. It is an excellent source for owner reviews of cookware -- which often note durability problems that are missed by some professional tests. It's also a great way to learn how well the cookware performs in real-world use. Cheap cookware sets get the most ratings, but better brands get reviews from foodies or people who really care about cooking, so they tend to be more detailed and informative.
by Contributors to Walmart.com
Our AssessmentWalmart.com is a great resource for cookware brands that you might not find elsewhere, and is the primary seller of one of our top picks, the Tramontina 8-piece 18/10 Stainless Steel TriPly-Clad Cookware Set. There are a good number of reviews for the products and they tend to be thorough and well-thought-out. In addition to Tramontina, Rachael Ray and T-fal rule here.
by Contributors to Cooking.com
Our AssessmentThis site, which is strictly devoted to all things cooking-related as opposed to more general retail sites such as Amazon.com and Walmart.com, is a great source of reviews for higher-end cookware sets. There are fewer total reviews here, but reviewers are very knowledgeable and the reviewers say if they would recommend the product to others.
by Contributors to Macys.com
Our AssessmentMacys.com is a particularly good resource for mid-level to high-end cookware sets. There are fewer reviews overall, but the top-rated sets can have dozens. Reviews are thorough and reviewers have the option to recommend the product. There is also a demographic breakdown that includes the cooking skill level of the contributor, which offers interesting insight, especially in negative reviews where it may be obvious that the buyer did not know what they were purchasing.
by Contributors to Target.com
Our AssessmentThere are plenty of cookware sets available at Target.com, but a lot fewer reviews overall and they seem to be lower ratings, overall than we see at other sites -- even the same product. Still, this site may come in handy for finding out some negatives that reviewers at other sites may not be mentioning.