Are your kitchen cabinets over crowded with pots and pans that each take up way more space than they should? Empty pots have a lot of room, but the odd shapes or handle bars on smaller pots and pans prevent them from going inside the larger ones. The end result? A lot of wasted space.
Stackable cookware are cookware composed of multiple pots and pans specially designed to easily stack inside one other, thus saving space. They are ideal for small kitchen cabinets, counter tops, and achieving a streamlined look in the kitchen.
What to Look for in Stackable Cookware
There are many choices in stackable cookware on the market, so choosing the right brand and set can be a little overwhelming.
Here are the typical features you should look out for when it comes to stackable pots and pans:
- It is vital for that the cookware is scratch-resistant, since the pieces will be touching each other when they are stacked. I like to place a cloth underneath each piece when I store them just as an extra precaution, though sometimes I forget.
- If you are buying a set, make sure it can covers all your needs, now and into the future. You need a small frying pan for cooking pancakes or eggs, a medium pot for making stew, and a large pot for cooking meat.
- It is crucial that the cookware is light enough so that your shelf or cabinet can handle the load when they’re stacked.
- If you are buying a set that nests into a single stack, make sure that they can also be divided separately to accommodate smaller shelves and cabinets.
In this following I’ll show you 3 of my favorite stackable pots and pans sets of 2019. Each set is made of different materials, so read carefully to decide which one works best for you.
Let’s start things off with Calphalon’s best selling cookware. All the pots and pans are made of anodized hard aluminum with stainless steel handles.
The set comes in 2, 3, 5, 6, and 15-piece variants. Below is the rundown of the components of each set.
Anodized aluminum cookware has many advantages compared to traditional aluminum. They are much more scratch resistant, lightweight, and excellent at heat conduction, resulting in food that cooks evenly.
The main disadvantage of anodized aluminum is that it takes longer to heat up compared to stainless steel.
Each cookware in this Calphalon Space Saving Set can be nested in any order with a larger piece. You get to save up to 30% in space, giving you leeway for other items.
The cookware is also versatile, just like every good cookware should be. You can use it on different platforms such as stovetops, gas, electric coil, halogen, and glass cooktops.
Due to the 3-layered interior, anodized aluminum cookware is resistant to abrasion and resistant to damage. Its handles are also engineered to stay cool for comfortable gripping.
The covers are flat, making it space-efficient compared to concave lids. The 15-piece set stacks into three piles, with the 8, 10, and 12-inch cookwares all stacking separately.
The set is suitable for beginners while providing a professional level of performance. You can find a size and price for your unique needs. And unlike many stackable sets, these anodized aluminum pots and pans will last a long time.
- A range of different sizes to accommodate all your kitchen needs.
- Stacks separately to adapt to different storage sizes.
- Lightweight and a superior heat conductor.
- Anodized aluminum takes longer to heat up than other types of pans.
- The handles on some pots are too short.
- The stacking process works when the products are of the same diameter.
Another Calphalon product I recommend is their 15-piece stainless steel cookware set.
Stainless steel cookware is a staple in every cooking enthusiast’s kitchen. Each piece in the Calphalon Stainless Set is triple plied with a aluminum core for more even cooking. The end result is somewhat the best of both worlds- a light cookware with decent heat conduction.
The Calphalon 15-piece Stainless Set comes with the following pieces:
I tried to sear a chicken breast skin-side down in one of the Calphalon pans to see if it would brown evenly. The result was a beautiful browning on the skin. There was also no blood inside the chicken breast, meaning it was cooked thoroughly. The pan did not burn the chicken residue, which we deglazed to make a sauce.
The US brand Calphalon has more than 50 years of producing the best kitchen equipment ranging from knives to cookware and bakeware. Your cabinet and racks will accommodate more items when you use their cookware sets. Your kitchen will also look organized and streamlined because of the aesthetics that the cookware provide.
- Stainless steel material is shiny and stylish
- Heats up fast. Good for fast-paced cooking.
- Lighter than the anodized aluminum set above.
- Dishwasher safe for easy cleanup
- The noise the pans/pots make when clanging can be irritating to some.
- No other set size.
The last item on the list is different from traditional cookware but still in a good way.
Neoflam has been engineering the best kitchen equipment and storage solutions since the 1990s. Their Midas 9-piece set is ceramic. Unlike anodized aluminum or stainless steel, ceramic is naturally non-stick, even right out of the box. They are also microwave- and dishwasher-safe. Most importantly, they are more affordable. This makes them a good beginner set to those just starting in the kitchen.
What makes this set unique is how they share a single detachable handle to further save space. When you aren’t cooking on the stovetop, you can use the cookware as a container that can fit inside the refrigerator, microwave, and oven. The single handle that comes with the set is compatible with the three pots and one pan.
Their pieces are multi-color, making it easy to remember which cookware is which. Below is the cookware that comprises the Neoflam Midas set.
All pots and pans are coated with their in-house Ecolon coating which makes them non-stick. The layer is PTFE and PFOA free (Polytetrafluoroethylene and Perfluorooctanoic acid), potentially toxic materials which are found on cheaper non-stick pans.
The coating lets you cook without oil and sticking. This is a plus for anyone looking to reduce the calories in their food. Dirt and grime also do not stick (unless extremely burnt), so you can wipe it clean with tissue paper.
To truly test its heat retention, non-stick coating, and oven capability, I cooked glazed pork ribs on one of the cooking vessels in the set. First, I checked if there were parts of the rib and glaze that burnt faster than the others. Second, I tested if the caramelized glaze stuck to the pan. Third, I put the whole pot with the ribs inside the oven to see if it will cook the ribs thoroughly. Cooking was even, thorough and without sticking thanks to the ceramic pot’s excellent heat conduction and retention.
- Removable handle make storage as compact as can be
- Can be used from the stove to the oven.
- Completely non-stick.
- Having only one handle means if you lose it, you’re in trouble
- Not suited for high-heat cooking.
Clever Ways to Organize Pots and Pans to Save Space
The best thing about transitioning to stackable cookwares is seeing how much space you free up for other items and purposes. However, if you don’t currently own or plan to purchase a stackable cookware set, there are creative ways to save space with your regular pots and pans.
- Utilize all vertical space. This means using hooks by the wall or hooks attached to the ceiling. This will save horizontal space to give special pots or pans their own space.
- Put labels on your lids. It is hard to organize your cookware when some pots are losing their lids.
- Use an open wire rack/pegboard. This will allow the modular organization and will adapt to your cookware collection as it changes.
- Make use of racks and portable cabinet dividers. They are cheap and can do wonders adding more storage place to your kitchen.
There are many types of racks in the market. The one I use is the Deco Brothers RK-038-1 rack, which sits inside my cabinet to create a multi-layer divider for my various pans. Below are the many features of the rack:
- You can use the rack upright for lighter pans, horizontally for bigger pans, or horizontally upright for heavier pans.
- Adjust the middle section when you want to stack bigger cookware such as a small Dutch oven.
- It can also be used as a dishwashing rack after you clean up your pans.
- Has rubber footing, making it stable.
- Durable and sturdy construction. The rack can even carry cast iron pans.
The rack is affordable.
If you have both pots and pans, a countertop or cabinet shelf works really well. Check out this video to see how you can use them to your advantage:
A good shelf I recommend is the BGT White Metal Shelf.
In the modern home where space is often at a premium, stackable cookware are a smart investment, as long as you get quality sets that are scratch resistant and made of non toxic materials.