Often priced at less than $100 even for multi-piece packages, a stainless cookware set features a durable design meant to maximize heat conductivity while still providing a mirror-like finish. Stainless steel cookware should be hand washed to help maintain its luster. Many manufacturers offer long warranties, 25 years or more in some cases. That kind of guarantee translate into reliability for those using the cookware. When well-cared for, stainless steel cooking utensils can last a lifetime or longer.
Stainless steel cookware usually features a thin layer of encapsulated aluminum between steel layers. The presence of this metal increases the conduction of heat for more even heat distribution. Cooked food doesn't stick to stainless steel, so serving directly from a pan is easy. Cleanup goes fast as well. Even cooked-on food scrubs off in no time. The cookware commonly includes stay-cool handles, so moving pans or pots from burner to burner is accomplished without the risk of being burned. Stainless steel is also warp resistant and, as its name suggests, won't discolor or rust.
Each set is different, but stainless steel cookware packages usually feature one or more saucepans, a saute pan, a stockpot and perhaps a chef's pan, all with lids. A single 10-inch skillet is almost always a feature, while more comprehensive sets feature dual skillets. Pasta or frying inserts and/or a steamer come with some multi-piece sets.