12 Cookware Essentials Under $100 That Our Editors Swear By

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Roasted carrots on a blue baking sheet
Credit: Joe Lingeman

No matter where you shop, high-quality cookware is easy to come by. You could go to Amazon and find a nonstick skillet that will forever change your relationship with omelets, or you can browse a Williams Sonoma sale and discover a stainless-steel pan that is so strong and versatile you could use it every day for 10 years and never have a problem with it. However, the tradeoff with high-end stuff is that it usually costs an arm, a leg, and a second arm, too.

The Best Cookware Under $100

Thankfully, our editors have a keen eye for spotting kitchen tools that do their job well without costing too much. They’re constantly testing cookware in real home kitchens just like yours, and over the years, they’ve developed a short list of some of the best values they’ve ever found. These are the pots, pans, sheet trays, and other items that hit the sweet spot between performance and price, and now we’re sharing them with you. Every one of these picks costs less than $100 and is well worth every penny.

Do you have cookware you love? We want to hear all about it! Tell us about your favorite finds in the comments below.

1 / 12
Great Jones
$40.00

These colorful pans look so good you can take them out the oven and serve dinner directly from them. That means you have one less serving dish to clean and a nice pop of color on your dinner table. Our editors rated them the best overall baking sheet because food doesn't stick to them, they don't warp, and their sleek design lets you spread out your food when roasting or baking, which results in everything cooking more evenly and quickly.

2 / 12
Caraway
$95.00

With a superb nonstick coating that's easy to clean and tall sides to let you cook sizable portions, this is a great everyday pan. When our contributor Danielle Centoni tried Caraway's entire cookware set, this pan was the first piece she tested — and one of her favorites. "I turned to the larger pan for sautéing all sorts of veggies for dinner," Danielle wrote. "I came to love that the pan is deep enough to hold a ton of ingredients."

3 / 12
Amazon
$22.39
was $39.99

A quality nonstick pan that includes a lid and costs less than $30 is virtually unheard of, but this thing is the real deal. For our contributor Erin Cavoto, this became her go-to pan for cooking eggs — fried and scrambled — and making flawless pancakes, because it's lightweight and doesn't develop hot spots. "I’m notoriously bad at making pancakes because I lose control of the pan’s heat and wind up with burnt discs toward the end," Erin wrote. "With this skillet, however, I actually made fluffy, golden pancakes, and because of the nonstick surface, I had no issues when it came time to flip."

4 / 12
Walmart
$49.96

Electric skillets are a great addition to every kitchen because they give you an extra spot to cook if your stove is cramped with other dishes in the works. This model has an expandable collar that increases the cooking area for when you want to make large recipes, and with its stylish color choices, it doubles as a serving dish. Editor Ian Burke found the lid holder to be super helpful and likes its overall versatility. "That’s exactly what I was looking for," he wrote, "something that I can sear meat in, then saute veggies, then simmer stock, and finally slow-cook the whole thing for hours in just one pan."

5 / 12
Amazon
$73.75
was $115.00

Our editors rated this the best saucepan because it has a sturdy and easy-to-hold handle, cooks evenly thanks to its stainless-steel construction, and is surprisingly spacious inside. It also comes in at an affordable price, considering its ergonomic design and the high-quality materials used in making it. "This saucepan’s interior lost some of its shine after repeated washings," our editors wrote. "However it’s still a fantastic pan that I think most home cooks will be incredibly pleased with — especially at this price."

6 / 12
Amazon
$56.99
was $69.99

This nonstick skillet beat out 13 other pans to become our former tools editor Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm's favorite nonstick skillet ever. She called it a dream to cook with because food simply won't stick to it and it's incredibly lightweight — 2.5 pounds to be exact. "It has a smooth, comfortable rounded handle," Riddley wrote. "And its walls are high enough to contain food, but low enough so that you’re still easily able to retrieve crispy-skinned salmon filets, cheese-filled omelets, and lacy crêpes."

7 / 12
Williams Sonoma
$39.95

These baking sheets actually tied with Great Jones' Holy Sheet for first place and cost the same. They're an excellent alternative if you prefer your bakeware to have a more common metal color, and because they're completely nonstick, they're very easy to clean. "It was one of the only sheets to never warp, it browned foods (when I wanted it to), and kept cookies even and blonde (like I wanted)," our editors wrote.

8 / 12
Amazon
$19.99
was $22.95

Although this baking dish is surprisingly inexpensive, our editors found it to be their favorite glass casserole dish of all. It earned that ranking because it performs so well and is designed to be easy to use. Because it's made with borosilicate glass, you don't have to worry about breaking it if you take it straight from the freezer to a hot oven. Its lightweight construction also makes it comfortable to hold when you're washing it and more convenient to carry when you travel with it to a potluck.

9 / 12
Amazon
$49.90
was $76.00

This Dutch oven uses a cast-iron skillet for its lid, giving you two pieces of cookware in an affordable bundle. Both the Dutch oven and skillet work great on their own, and together they make a powerful cooking combo. In her testing, our contributor Danielle Centoni used both pieces to make a green chile stew, then she turned over the lid and baked a side dish of cornbread in it. "What a treat to make two components of a meal and technically only get one piece of cookware dirty," she wrote. "If your kitchen cupboards lack real estate, this two-in-one pot/skillet combo is the one thing you shouldn’t do without."

10 / 12
Williams Sonoma
$79.95

The NS Pro line is All-Clad's latest release, with 50% better performance compared to its previous collections. Its new and improved nonstick coating is supposed to be more resilient than earlier models, and it's also dishwasher-safe. "This fry pan has genuinely made me a better cook," says SEO commerce writer Haley Lyndes. "I use it daily, it's one of my go-to pans." For such a high-quality fry pan, you can score it for under $100 — truly a steal!

11 / 12
Misen
$74.00

Carbon steel offers the meat-searing power and durability of cast iron in a much lighter and easier-to-use pan. This one from Misen can be used in every kind of cooking environment—on the stove, in the oven, or on a grill. It comes pre-seasoned, too, so you can go ahead and use it right away.

12 / 12
Amazon
$69.24

If you don't have an outdoor grill, we highly suggest opting for this OXO grill pan. After using it once, you'll understand why it's essential in your cookware lineup — it works like a dream! "Just like with my regular cast iron or stainless steel skillet, I got a lovely sear on meats, vegetables, bread, and more, but unlike a regular skillet, the heat is concentrated on what’s in contact with the raised ridges — imparting those characteristic little grill lines," said contributor Caroline, who tried the pan out for herself. It's perfect for making meats at home.