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Pots and pans may be a kitchen essential, but today’s trendy options are anything but utilitarian. Combining traditional elements and modern conveniences and design, the right cookware can simplify cooking by regulating temperature, preventing food from sticking, and being low maintenance to clean. Even better, there are options that are non-toxic, easy to store, and, let’s face it, attractive to look at.
So whether you’re on the hunt for something that’s easy to cook with or easy on the eyes (or both!), we’ve rounded up the cleanest, greenest, prettiest pots and pans on the market. From a classic cast iron to an all-in-one system that fits in one versatile pan, you’ll find the right kitchen equipment to suit your needs and space.
Here, the best pots and pans on the market.
Karibe 8-Inch Cast Iron Skillet
Short on kitchen space? Answer: Karibe’s 8-inch cast-iron skillet, which is one of the most versatile tools to have in your cookware collection. While it’s not non-stick, durable, and non-toxic cast iron is ideal for cooking everything from steaks on the stovetop to cobblers in the oven, plus it’s easy to clean and only gets better with time. (There’s a reason cast iron has been used in cooking for centuries, and seriously, it’ll last you forever.)
While Karibe’s 8-inch skillet is just right if you’re limited on storage space or need a vessel to cook full meals for one, if you want something bigger, they have a 10-inch option (view on Karibe), as well. In any case, this small-but-mighty skillet will pay for itself tenfold after years (and years and years) of use, which is why every kitchen needs one, regardless of square footage.
Caraway Cookware Set
Oh. My. Gorgeous: Caraway’s Cookware Set has beauty and brains. It comes in five stylishly retro colors that speak volumes above traditional stainless steel. And smart! These pots and pans are non-stick, non-toxic, and come with pot and lid organizers to help you keep your cupboards tidy.
While traditional Teflon® pans leach chemicals when they’re heated, Caraway’s mineral-based ceramic coating ensures clean cooking, plus it releases less CO2 than chemical coatings, so they’re more eco-friendly than your average non-stick cookware. They’re also shipped in recycled cardboard boxes and made in a facility with ethical manufacturing practices, so you can have good feels all-around.
Our Place Always Pan
When they call it the Always Pan, they mean it. Our Place’s 10-inch beauty isn’t just a pan, it’s an entire system. It comes equipped with a mesh strainer as well as a wooden spatula, and the best part? Both can be nestled inside the pan. Complete with a 2.7-inch depth and a fitted lid, the cooking possibilities are endless.
This unique pan features a non-stick, ceramic surface and comes in four on-trend colors. With the potential to replace a whopping 16 pieces of cookware, this multitasker is the epitome of a space saver. (Cramped city apartment dwellers, take note.)
de Buyer French Copper Stock Pot
If you want to go luxe, check out this stunning pick. This 1.5-quart copper stockpot is pricey, but especially for distinguished cooks, it’s a kitchen necessity. That’s because copper conducts heat better than iron and stainless steel, making it ideal for even and temperature-controlled cooking. Further, it’s also non-toxic and naturally antibacterial.
And as far as copper cookware goes, you can’t go wrong with deBuyer’s French-made version. It’s lined with stainless steel for effortless maintenance (copper tarnishes easily, but you’ll still reap the cooking benefits), plus stainless steel handles offer durable and handsome detailing. And if you’re ready to totally make the switch, deBuyer’s 8-piece set (view on Food52) is a worthy investment.
Material The Coated Pan
Get ready for the best of both worlds. Made with a stainless steel alloy and a copper core, Material’s The Coated Pan offers the low-maintenance appeal of stainless steel, plus the heat conductivity of copper. The interior is infused with a coating that’s free of lead, cadmium, and fumes to keep the surface safely slick, but don’t worry, it’s oven and dishwasher safe.
At a sizable 10.5 inches, The Coated Pan should fit the contents of most of your meals. And on a final note, can we just admire the striking contrast of the turquoise interior against the stainless steel for a moment?
Equal Parts Pots & Pans Set
This sleek, all-black set by Equal Parts is a minimalist’s dream. Well, at least as far as kitchen decor goes. As far as cooking up anything you can imagine? You can go as simple or complex as you want. Either way, you’ll enjoy the non-toxic, non-stick surface of this ceramic pots and pans set, which includes two sizes of each, plus two universal lids. They’re also oven and dishwasher-safe for simplified cooking and clean-up.
And, as most minimalists would agree, keeping tidy is key. These pieces are designed to nest in each other, so they can be stored in a neat and easy-to-access stack.
Great Jones Easy Bake
Bakers and dessert lovers, this one is especially for you. Touted as “a cookware-meets-bakeware set,” Great Jones’ Easy Bake trio comes with the non-stick Holy Sheet cookie sheet, the ceramic-coated Small Fry skillet (perfect for pancakes and cinnamon buns), and the stainless 0steel Saucy (ideal for sweet sauces and custards, thanks to curved sides and a built-in spout. Naturally, these cookwares are free of harsh chemicals, so when your loved ones request your favorite trifle, you can whip it up and share it with a clear conscience.
In addition to cheeky accents like copper-colored handles, the pot lids are engravable, so this makes a great gift (get it?!). And if you’re ever unsure what to make with your Great Jones collection, feel free to text the company Potline at 1-814-BISCUIT.
Le Creuset Oval Dutch Oven
Perhaps the quintessential piece of heirloom-worthy cookware if there ever was one, the Le Creuset Dutch Oven (aka, cocotte) was a pioneer of its time in 1925 and remains a kitchen icon today. The cast iron cookware was the first to be coated in a bright enamel glaze at a time when pots and pans were generally gray, resulting in a product that’s part necessity, part art.
But enough history. Thanks to its versatility, easy maintenance, and rustic-chic good looks, the Le Creuset Dutch Oven—in any one of its many ombre-toned hues—should be a stovetop and oven staple. Use it to roast chicken, simmer stew, stir-fry noodles, or bake bread (and that’s just the beginning), then serve your masterpieces in the same eye-catching vessel.
Greenpan® Nonstick 10-Piece Set
In the category of moderately-priced cookware, Greenpan is tops. The brand’s ceramic-lined pots and pans are non-stick and non-toxic so you can cook green, and with less fat and oil, too. Plus, this 10-piece set—which comes with two saucepans, two frying pans, a skillet, a Dutch oven, and four lids—will give you tons of bang for your buck. One thing to note, though: these are hand wash only.
Aesthetically, this collab with West Elm featuring a powder blue exterior is super on-trend. So if you’re looking for a clean and affordable Insta-worthy set (or one that simply looks pretty in your kitchen), this one’s a good bet.