ShopSmart: The Best Skillets and Cookware Sets

Oct 22, 2013, 06:00 ET from ShopSmart

Tests reveal seven top choices including two store-brand winners from Walmart

YONKERS, N.Y., Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The best pots and pans should conduct heat evenly, clean up easily, and have comfy handles that stay cool to the touch. The November issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports, highlights seven skillets and cookware sets that exuded many of these qualities – including two from Walmart – and outperformed dozens of others in recent tests.

"You don't have to spend a fortune on pots and pans," said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. "Our tests found affordable options that work just as well, if not better, than some pricier models."

In ShopSmart's tests of skillets, Mainstays (Walmart) Nonstick Saute Pan $13, deemed a bargain buy, cooked evenly, was easy to clean, and is dishwasher-safe. Calphalon Simply Nonstick, $40, aced evenness and durability tests, is oven-safe, is also easy to clean, and comes with a 10-year warranty.

Matched cookware sets make sense for those who can use all the pieces – and can generally save shoppers money compared to buying individual pots and pans. In this category, Mainstays was also the winner; its Nonstick 8-piece cookware set, $40, cooked food as evenly and quickly as name-brand pots and pans that cost hundreds more.  T-Fal Performance 10-piece copper-bottomed stainless set, $100, was the best uncoated set for even cooking and handles stayed cool to the touch. 

For more information on the features that distinguish these pots and pans above the rest and other Smart Picks, check out the November 2013 issue of ShopSmart on newsstands now. 

Pots & Pans: Nice Extras

ShopSmart suggests looking for pots and pans with the following features:

  • Spouts built into the cookware make for easier, neater pouring.
  • Measuring lines inside pots allow users to add the right amount of water without using a measuring cup.
  • Glass lids allow users to monitor their cooking progress without removing them and letting moisture out.
  • Silicone rims on metal lids that help keep more moisture in.

About Consumer Reports:

Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of  products  and  services  annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

About ShopSmart magazine:

Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication's celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and "best of the best" lists. It's ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at

ShopSmart is available 10 times a year. Subscribe at



SOURCE ShopSmart