Should I Buy A Cookware Set Or Individual Pots And Pans?

All-Clad Stainless Steel 14-Piece Cookware SetOne of the first questions people ask when buying cookware is, “Should I buy a cookware set, or individual pots and plans?” It can be difficult to answer this question because it really depends on your cooking style, your budget and how many cookware pieces you currently own. In some cases, purchasing a set is the best option, and other times, purchasing individual pieces is more practical. When deciding whether or not to buy a cookware set, consider the following:

Are You Starting From Scratch?

If you’re just starting your collection, a cookware set may be a great option. Generally, sets offer a better value than purchasing individual pots and pans and will provide you with all of the basic cookware pieces you need.

However, the two points below (budget and cooking style) also need to be taken into consideration. If you’re on a tight budget and you only cook a few times a week, purchasing three or four individual pieces may be a more cost effective option.

Are You On a Tight Budget?

If you’re on a tight budget, purchasing individual pieces may be the best option, especially if you’re just starting your cookware collection. If you decide to go this route, you can purchase just the cookware pieces you need. A basic saucepan, skillet and stock pot will allow you to take on just about any cooking task.

What is Your Cooking Style?

Another important thing to consider is your cooking style. Certain cookware pieces are better suited for certain tasks. You may not want a complete set of non-stick cookware. You may prefer a nonstick griddle for cooking eggs, a copper core sauté pan for browning meats and a stainless steel stock pot for cooking stock. In this case, purchasing individual pieces is the best option.

Pros and Cons of Cookware Sets

There are some advantages and disadvantages to purchasing cookware sets.


  • Offers great value.
  • Includes a variety of cookware pieces.


  • May include cookware pieces you do not need.
  • Only one type of cookware material is offered.

Pros and Cons of Individual Pots and Pans

Purchasing pots and pans individually also has its advantages and disadvantages.


  • Allows you to purchase cookware that does exactly what you want.
  • A variety of cookware can be purchased.
  • Allows you to purchase only the pots and pans you need.


  • Purchasing pieces individually may be more expensive, especially if you’re starting your cookware collection from scratch.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Unless you are starting your collection from scratch, the general consensus is that purchasing individual pots and pans is the best option. In doing so, you purchase only the cookware pieces you need and can continue adding to your collection over the years.

However, it’s hard to ignore the value and benefits that the best cookware sets offer. If a cookware set offers all of the pieces you need at a great price, purchasing the set is clearly the best option. Knowing what you want and how much you can spend on cookware will help you make your final decision.