What Is The Most Affordable Cookware?

Shop Lowest Prices On All Cookware
Budget Image

Affordable cookware that performs well is hard to come by. Sure, you can find cookware sets for under $50, but how long will they last? If your cookware is only lasting a few years before it needs to be replaced, is it really affordable? This is why in the cookware industry, the term affordable doesn’t necessarily mean “cheap.” It means that a set of cookware is reasonably priced and will provide you with several years of use. Is that something you really want? Let’s take a look at what the most affordable cookware is.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is largely considered the most affordable cookware. It’s possible to find multi-piece sets for under $100 that perform well and will offer you many years of use if you take good care of it. The great thing about stainless steel is that it doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance. Most stainless steel cookware is dishwasher safe. Even those that aren’t are generally easy to clean.

It’s also possible to find stainless steel pots with aluminum encapsulated bottoms that improve heat distribution. This improves the cookware’s performance without inflating the price tag. For everyday cooking tasks, stainless steel is the most affordable option.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is also a great choice for those who are on a budget. Much like stainless steel, you can find multi-piece sets for under $100. Cast iron is revered for its exceptional heat retention and distribution. This type of cookware has been used for centuries, and providing you care for your cast iron cookware properly, it can easily last you a lifetime. The biggest issue is keeping the pan seasoned and preventing rust.

If durability and performance are your primary concern, cast iron is the most affordable choice.

Hard Anodized

Hard anodized cookware is another affordable and popular choice with home cooks. Part of its appeal, aside from its low price tag, is its non-stick capabilities. Most cookware in this category features a non-stick surface, so clean-up is a breeze. You can also cook with less oil, fat and butter.

While there are high-end hard anodized cookware sets that cost several hundred dollars, there are also more affordable options that run between $70 and $120 for multi-piece sets. If easy cleanup and healthy cooking are your main concerns, hard anodized is one of the most affordable options out there.

Most stainless steel, cast iron and hard anodized cookware sets are similarly priced, so finding the right option for you will largely depend on your own personal cooking style.


Is Expensive Cookware The Best? Does Cost Really Matter?

Shop Lowest Prices On All Cookware
Does Cost MatterMost people are under the impression high-priced cookware is the best in terms of durability and performance. For the most part, this is true, but there are some things that need to be considered. Even high-end cookware has its flaws, and if the cookware is not convenient or easy for you to use, it’s really not the best option for you.

What Determines the Cost of Cookware?

There are many reasons why high-end cookware is expensive. Generally, these pots and pans are crafted with the highest quality materials.

Some pots and pans are specially constructed with multiple layers of different cookware materials. Clad cookware is a great example of this. These feature an aluminum or copper core surrounded by layers of stainless steel. This construction combines the excellent heat distribution and conductivity of copper with the durability and easy cleaning of stainless steel.

Generally, high-priced cookware is worth every penny, but this isn’t a rule that’s written in stone. There are some things that need to be considered when looking at cookware in any price range.


Just because a set of cookware has a high price tag, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will last you a lifetime. Even more expensive non-stick cookware is not invulnerable to scratching and chipping. In fact, non-stick has a bad reputation for not being very durable. Most people replace their cookware every two to five years. Why spend so much on a piece of cookware that will need to be replaced after just a few years of use?

On the other hand, investing in an expensive cast iron, stainless steel or clad piece of cookware will likely be worth the price. These tend to be durable and well-constructed. Unless you purchase enameled cast iron, there really is no concern over chipping.

Ease of Use

High-priced cookware may be high quality, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll use it. Before investing in high-end cookware, check it out in person. Pick up the pots and pans to see how heavy or light they are. If a set of cookware is too heavy or includes items you don’t normally use, it may just wind up sitting in the back of your cabinet collecting dust. It doesn’t matter how much a piece of cookware costs, if you don’t enjoy cooking with it, it’s worthless.


Experience is another thing to consider. Copper is well-regarded as being the best type of cookware, and sets can cost upwards of $1,000 or more. However, if you’re used to cooking with non-stick or stainless steel cookware, you may not enjoy cooking with copper. An expensive piece of cookware is only worth the price if you’re actually going to use it.

As you can see, expensive cookware isn’t necessarily the best. It largely depends on what your cooking style is and the type of cookware you are considering. High price does not always equate to high durability, and some materials are easier to work with than others. Cookware with a high price tag is only worth the cost if you enjoy using it and it provides you with decades of use.