If you’ve ever looked for a full set of pots and pans, you’ll know just how difficult it can be to find an affordable set. Most full sets of pots and pans are in the $300-500 dollar range, and if you try to buy your own cookware set one piece at a time, it can be far more expensive as individual pots and pans are usually more expensive than $40.
There are, surprisingly, quite a few cookware sets from 12 to 17 pieces that can be found for under $200, you just have to take your search outside of a retail outlet. We’ll go over some of the considerations you should think about prior to browsing for a cookware set and will also have a selection of reviews to help you find the best cookware set under $200.
The composition of your cookware set should be your first and foremost concern as it will undoubtedly have the biggest impact on the durability and the cooking experience. The different types of material can range anywhere from stainless steel, Teflon, porcelain to anodized pans.
The cheapest buys will be your typical pots and pans with a nonstick surface sprayed on that is easily scratched and won’t stand the test of time, and cheap stainless steel sets which heat up very quickly and also lose heat quickly.
Anodized pans offer the benefit of a nonstick surface without the flaw of being able to scratch it off as the whole pan is made out of the material. They also tend to be heavier and more durable as a result. Stainless steel tends to be a bit harder to clean than nonstick pans and a bit more challenging to cook on.
One of the big benefits of buying high-quality stainless steel or anodized pan set is simply being able to put them in the dishwasher for cleaning as you don’t need to worry about the surface scratching off. We have reviews on various different cookware sets made out of different materials in our reviews below to help with finding the best cookware set under $200.
It’s best to consider how many people you’re going to be cooking for on a regular basis and to buy a cookware set that fits your needs. If you’re cooking for a whole family and friends regularly, you’re going to want a bigger cookware set that can handle the larger portion sizes. If you’re a bachelor/bachelorette then maybe a smaller cookware set is more practical as it’s easier to store and easier to cook smaller portions of food.
Your favorite style of cooking is also an important consideration when discussing the size of the cookware set as if you’re a regular saucier; you’ll obviously need a good collection of saucepans. Whereas, if you’re cooking pasta regularly a large pot is necessary no matter the portion as it simply isn’t feasible to cook pasta in a small pot. You also might opt for a 12 piece cooking set over a 17 piece one if you are cooking for a smaller crowd as you might not need that many pots unless you’re a serious chef.
If you’re just your average everyday person and you’re looking at purchasing an inexpensive cookware set with a reasonable performance the best option is going to be a cookware set with a bit of both options. You’re going to need something that has the capability to cook pasta, and then the next most important is going to be at least two differently sized saucepans to saute with. Pots may be less important if you’re not that big on soups or stews, but it’s a good idea to have a small pot for oatmeal and a medium-sized pot for chili, soup, or stew.
Note that most set counts include the lids as pieces in the set, so a typical 12 piece cookware set might be only six pieces if it comes with six lids.
After you’ve evaluated what you’re looking for based on the paragraphs above, your main concern is going to be on the performance of the cookware set. In each of our reviews, we focus on giving you a breakdown of the pros and cons of each cookware set and make sure to mention anything that sticks out (pun intended).
We will also make sure to include information about how well food is cooked on the set and how it compares to other cookware sets at a similar price range. Be sure to check out all of our reviews for the most informed decision guaranteed to land you the best cookware set under $200.