Stainless steel cookware is popular with all sorts of cooks for its quality and convenience. Stainless steel frying pans, for instance, are ideal for browning meats, and a stainless steel sauce pan can help you make an amazing sauce in no time (the clue is in the name). The reason for this popularity comes from how easy it is to use stainless steal pans and cookware, which offer a hassle-free and ultra-durable way to cook. In short, buying a set of stainless steel cookware or stainless steel bakeware as a gift or for your own use is a great investment in a quality product that you can enjoy for decades. It’s less expensive and more resilient than high-end copper cookware and also more inert and low-maintenance than cast iron or non-stick options.
To help you find the perfect product we’ve done more than 25 stainless steel cookware reviews. CuisineArt makes one of the bestselling sets, but the well-known brand name also comes with a big-brand price tag. So we set out to find a perfect, money-saving alternative for you. After lots (and we mean LOTS) of test cooking, we’ve found a winner! Our recommended budget alternative for the best cheap stainless steel cookware with virtually identical features to the KitchenAid is the CookNHome 12-piece set. The best part? It’s super affordable! We know you want to get cooking, so let’s compare the two sets head-to-head.
The CuisineArt set is considered one of the best stainless steel cookware sets available. It comes with a good variety of pan types, a steamer insert, and a large eight-quart stockpot. However, it can’t be used on induction cooktops and takes up more space than our recommended budget alternative. The CuisineArt is a good option for intermediate rather than beginner cooks, especially given its price tag.
If space isn’t a concern and you’re interested in buying from a well-known brand with the nice range of cookware this stainless steel set offers, CuisineArt may be the best stainless cookware set for you. For most beginner and intermediate cooks on a budget, though, the CookNHome is a much smarter choice. It works just as well, is high-quality, and comes at a very affordable price.
To be sure, both sets are excellent products, so the choice largely comes down to your budget and personal preference. There are people who swear by CusineArt products and also those who simply want great cookware at an affordable price.
The CookNHome stainless steel cookware set is all-around excellent or we wouldn’t recommend it as our smart budget pick. We liked that each of the main pieces comes with a lid, compared to only four in the CuisineArt set, and that you’ll have several casserole pieces available for cooking things like rice, stews, and… casseroles. If you have your heart set on the big eight-quart stockpot, the CuisineArt set provides, the 5.5-quart stockpot from the CookNHome might not impress you but is still plenty for most cooks.
The CookNHome also doesn’t provide an extra-deep saute pan or a steamer insert. But if you steam everything in the microwave anyway and think a regular fry pan will work for your all sauteing needs, you may never use those pieces from the CuisineArt set anyways. Moreover, if you love your induction cooktop or are interested in purchasing one, the CookNHome set is fully induction-ready steel cookware. Lastly, the CookNHome stainless steel cookware set takes up less space, freeing up valuable cupboard or countertop real estate. Oh yeah, and of course it also comes at a low price.
The CuisineArt set is crafted completely from sturdy stainless steel. Stainless steel is popular because it’s so tough that it can last for decades. Many cooks also prefer this permanent cookware to other kinds because the metal is inert and won’t react with acidic ingredients like tomatoes or leach unwanted flavors into a recipe.
The CookNHome stainless cookware set is also entirely made of stainless steel. In short, you get the same material as with the CuisinArt set. Tip: For best results, always make sure to fully preheat your cookware before actually starting to cook, and avoid using spray oil products.
The CuisineArt is an 11-piece set which consists of a 1.5 quart saucepan (with a lid), a 2.5 quart saucepan (with a lid), a 3 quart sauté pan (with a lid and a “helper handle”), an 8 quart stockpot (with a lid), an 8 inch open skillet, a 10 inch open skillet, and an 18 cm steamer insert. Plenty of options for most cooks.
The CookNHome is a 12-piece set comes with a 1.5 quart saucepan (with a lid), a 1.5 quart casserole (with a lid), a 2 quart casserole (with a lid), a 3 quart casserole (with a lid), a 5.5 quart stockpot (with a lid), and a 10 inch frying pan (with a lid). You’ll like never need more than this.
An encapsulated base ensures that heat conducts more evenly than stainless steel alone. The CuisineArt set does not disappoint with its aluminum core bottoms which are sandwiched between stainless steel. “Hiding” the aluminum between layers of steel prevents them from reacting to very acidic or very alkaline foods, perfect.
The CookNHome set also has an aluminum base surrounded by stainless steel, allowing for both great heat distribution and safe cooking. It is slightly different from the CuisineArt base since it’s also compatible with induction heating (which requires some amount of magnetic metal blended in).
The CuisineArt set is fully dishwasher safe, though you may want to hand-wash to avoid potential corrosion from some detergents, hard water marks, or dulling of the metal finish.
The CookNHome set is also fully dishwasher safe, and comes with the same caveats. If it seems worth the small risk (you daredevil!), place pieces on the top rack of the dishwasher for best results.
There are four glass lids with stainless steel handles in the CuisineArt stainless steel cookware set: one for each stainless steel saucepan, one for the sauté pan, and one for the stockpot. This leaves two items without lids if we ignore the steamer insert. Overall, that’s fine, but we would have liked to see free included lids for all pieces, especially given the price.
CookNHome wins against CuisineArt here, by including high-quality glass lids for all stainless steel cookware pieces in this set, from the frying pan to the stock pot. They come in handy for sealing in moisture and avoiding spitting oil as your meal fries, bakes, or simmers. This is how it’s done, CusineArt!
The CuisineArt set has rolled, tapered rims for minimal mess when you’re mixing and pouring. We know, exciting stuff!
The CookNHome set also has drip-free rims in the same style. They work great, making pouring easy and mess-free.
Every main piece of the CuisineArt set besides the stockpot has riveted long contoured handles that are supposed to help your grip. The three quart sauté pan has an additional “helper handle” opposite the main handle to make lifting the full pan easier. These handles are supposed to stay cool no matter what, but we found that they did get slightly warm after a while.
The ten-inch frying pan has a similar “helper handle” to the CuisineArt saute pan, and the stainless steel handles are all riveted to the cookware bodies for durability. Each of the casseroles and the stockpot has handles, too. CookNHome’s handles work very well, staying quite cool, even when you crank up the heat.
The CuisineArt set has a shiny professional mirror polish. To maintain it, clean the cookware with a scrubbing pad and baking soda or a mild abrasive. Avoid using harsh scrubbing pads or steel or copper wool to prevent micro-scratches.
The CookNHome set also has a gorgeously shiny mirror polish. If you want to use a stainless steel polish to really amp up the set’s shine between uses, make sure to get one that’s safe for polished metal cookware.
The CuisineArt set can be used with electric, gas, glass, glass ceramic, and halogen stovetops, as well as in ovens or broilers up to 500°F. The lack of plastic or rubber grips on the handles means you’ll need potholders for cooking in the oven, but it also makes the cookware usable at higher temperatures.
The CookNHome set is compatible with the same options as the CuisineArt set with the addition of induction heating. This means that any cook, no matter what your kitchen setup looks like, can use it. Other than the useful induction-heating compatibility, the CookNHome is identical with the CuisineArt in this regard.
The CuisineArt set weighs a solid 23 lbs. This could make the set harder to life frequently or to transport if you move or want to take the set with you on a road trip to bond with it.
The CookNHome set weighs 13lbs. Why is it so much lighter than CusineArt? The lower weight is mainly due to a different design, plus the fewer stainless steel pieces by comparison and the smaller stockpot size.