Titanium is known for its strength, its lightness and its durability, so it should come as no surprise that titanium is beginning to be utilized to maximum effect in the cookware industry. If it’s good enough for fighter jets, surgical instruments and high priced golf clubs, you better believe it’s good enough for a sauté pan.
But titanium isn’t the principal ingredient in a lot of cookware - that remains aluminum and stainless steel. Rather, titanium is most often used to strengthen a pan’s non-stick coating, or as an additive to enhance a pan’s stainless steel. With so much variation in materials, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
To help out, I’ve put together a list of the absolute best titanium cookware sets on the market.
High End Pick
My pick for the all around, best titanium cookware set.
Heritage Steel is a family-owned small business that’s been manufacturing stainless steel cookware in Clarksville, Tennessee for the last 40 years. Each piece of cookware is hand crafted by a team of artisans to meet exceptionally high standards, and backed with a lifetime guarantee.
Heritage Steel actually makes three different titanium cookware sets, and what I’m detailing here is the 5 Piece Essentials Set. That said, if you are looking for a more complete collection of pots and pans, you might consider the 8 Piece Core Set, or even the full 10 Piece Set.
This five piece option is a great starter set, and includes a three quart saucepan with a lid, a four quart sauté pan (also with a lid) and a 10.5 inch skillet. The lids are each made from stainless steel, as are the stay cool handles, making these things completely dishwasher and oven safe.
But let’s get straight to the titanium cooking surface. The 316Ti is actually titanium-strengthened 439 stainless steel, which has unprecedented stability and durability. It’s so durable in fact, that it’s been evaluated as 20x more resistant to corrosion than the already extremely resistant stainless steel.
This is a fantastic surface to cook on, and one that will retain its luster for a lifetime. Better yet, it’s also 10x less likely to leach harmful chemicals into your food. And the interior layers of aluminum (two layers of 1145 pure aluminum and one layer of 3004 aluminum) make for uniform and efficient heat distribution.
Aside from the price - these pans are expensive, there is no way around that - my only concern is with the rivets. These things are super solid, don’t get me wrong, but they also project out into the interior surface of the pan, which means they have the potential to collect food. Just be aware of these rivets while cleaning - it might take extra attention to detail - and you shouldn’t have any problems.
When I review kitchen products, I scour the internet for legitimate critiques that I then include in my list of “cons'' that buyers can take into consideration when I recommend a product. But in the case of this Hestan NanoBond Collection cookware set, I couldn’t find even a single downside to include in my “con” category, other than the high price tag.
These pans are truly spectacular. But before getting too deep into the weeds of why these pans are so great, let’s first take a look at what comes with each set. I’m going to give a brief overview of both sets, the 5 piece and the 10 piece, because even though the latter is absurdly expensive, it would probably be the last set of pans you ever buy.
The 5 piece set, and the primary focus of this review, includes:
And if you decide to truly splurge, the 10 piece set includes:
All of these pans are made from a triple ply stainless steel, with a ProCore aluminum interior for fast and efficient heat distribution. According to Hestan, the stainless steel base delivers 35% greater heat conductivity as compared to traditional stainless steel pans, and the rims are also encased with stainless steel, making them truly dishwasher safe.
The pans’ performance also matches and actually exceeds what you might expect from a cookware set at this price point. The handles stay cool, the finish retains a beautiful luster and will never corrode, and the pans can go from stovetop to oven, withstanding temperatures up to 1050 degrees Fahrenheit!
But without question, my favorite detail about these pans is the flush rivets. As you well know, any stainless steel pan worth its salt will have a riveted handle. But unfortunately, most of the rivets used to secure a handle project into the pan, obstructing your cooking surface and collecting bits of food.
Not so with these Hestan pans. The rivets are flush with the cooking surface - meaning, the rivets are flat and don’t project outward at all - so you’ll never have to worry about food debris collecting in the rivets, or awkward fits when it comes to stacking. This kind of attention to design and performance puts this cookware set over the top.
Now obviously, these pans are expensive, there is no way around it. And if you’re looking for a starter set, this probably isn’t it. But if you’ve been cooking for a while and want to step your game up, and you’re ready to truly invest in a set of beautiful stainless steel pans that will last a lifetime, look no further.
This Gotham Steel 10 Piece Pro Chef Cookware Set is a solid option if you’re looking for a full set of pans that both look and perform great. With a mirrored stainless steel exterior and a copper-tone interior with a non-stick titanium and ceramic surface, these pans are both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional.
Let’s take a quick inventory of what comes in the box when you order this set. The Gotham Steel set includes:
Two pans, two saucepans, a stockpot and a strainer - that’s a pretty comprehensive selection of pots and pans that will cover you for anything you might want to take on in the kitchen. And while the saucepan lids aren’t stainless steel, the tempered glass is still plenty strong, and they let you check on your food while it cooks.
But the real showstopper with these pans is the non-stick coating, which is made from a mixture of titanium and ceramic. This titanium/ceramic compound, also known as “Ticerama,” is PTFE, PFOS and PFOA free, and provides a super slick, non-stick surface. And while the “Ticerama” coating gives the pans a copper color, be advised that there is no actual copper in these products.
That said, the non-stick surface is pretty robust, and will hold up to continued use and even dishwashing without degrading too rapidly. Of course, all non-stick surfaces eventually degrade, which is why I would still hand wash only if I were you.
These pans are also induction compatible, and oven safe up to 500 degrees. You can’t get these pans as hot as some other pans on this list, which is unfortunate - this isn’t the set you’ll use to get a good sear going, for example - but they work great for a myriad of other uses.
At a relatively low price point of around $150, these Gotham Steel pans present a solid, mid-range option.
This T-fal 12 Piece Titanium Cookware Set is another great option for a complete cookware set priced to sell. Coming in at basically $20 per piece, this set is definitely a steal.
Let’s get a closer look at what comes in the box when you buy this T-fal titanium cookware set:
So the first thing to note here is that while the advertised description is for 12 pieces, that is including both lids and utensils. In actuality, this cookware set is six pots/pans and two utensils - not bad at all, just worth mentioning to adjust expectations.
The pans are composed of heavy gauge aluminum, and covered in a non-stick, titanium coating. The aluminum keeps these things super light, so there should be no concerns about needing to heft heavy items.
On the downside though, this light construction is also relatively fragile, and these pans have been known to dent and/or warp when dropped. The other negative about the aluminum construction - these pans will not work on induction ranges.
Because the non-stick coating is reinforced with titanium, it’s more durable than a standard non-stick, but be forewarned that these pans can’t be heated above 350 degrees Fahrenheit. That fact, along with the soft grip handles, are going to limit what you can do with them in the oven.
That said, this cookware set is dishwasher safe, and relatively easy to clean even if you don’t have a dishwasher. Lastly, you’ll notice a little red dot in the center of each pan - that’s T-fal’s “Thermospot Temperature Indicator,” which basically lets you know when your pan is sufficiently preheated, giving you the ideal surface temperature.
These may not be the fanciest of all pans, but they certainly get the job done, and they’re also miles ahead of the many cheap imitations on the market that sell at similar price points.
This 5 Piece Titanium Cookware Set from Saflon is unique in that it includes both a crepe pan and a wok, two items not found in any other set reviewed in this article. Although woks are typically made from high carbon stainless steel rather than aluminum, it’s still pretty cool, and the crepe pan is definitely exciting.
As I’ve said, these pans are made from 4mm (relatively high gauge) forged aluminum, making them super light and ultra conductive to quick and even heating. The pans are also coated in three layers of non-stick titanium, making them pretty darned durable and up to three times as resistant to scratches as competing non-sticks, like Teflon and ceramic.
Although Saflon advertises these pans as dishwasher safe, I’d probably err on the side of caution and hand wash only. All non-stick coatings eventually degrade, regardless of what they’re made from, and hand washing will serve to extend the life and utility of your non-stick surface.
The handles are ergonomic and comfortably stay cool, and come in either gray or red. I’m partial to the red (more like a nice burgundy), but this is obviously a question of preference.
On the downside, because these handles are not made from metal - they’re more of a plastic polymer - they cannot withstand the high temperatures of your oven. The other problem with the handles is that they aren’t riveted.
If you’ve read my other reviews, you might remember that I usually list internal rivets as a concern, and that’s true. Rivets can catch food and obstruct your cooking surface. But the lack of rivets on this pan concerns me even more as it seems to be an indication of weak handle strength.
To be honest, these pans aren’t of a high enough caliber to have buried rivets, and so the lack of exposed rivets concerns me that the handles won’t be able to withstand much weight at all. Don’t overload these pans and you should be fine. Something to keep in mind!
These five cookware sets each have a lot to offer, although they very obviously run the gamut in terms of price. And let’s be honest, price will probably be among the first things you think about when searching for a new cookware set. So let’s break things down according to budget.
If you aren’t ready to really shell out for titanium cookware, that’s totally fine. You can absolutely get quality cookware at a reasonable price. There is a lot of cheap crap out there, but the more budget-friendly options on this list are far from junk. We’ve already weeded out all the duds.
If you want to keep your spending at about $150 or below, you’ll want to focus on the cookware sets by Gotham Steel, T-fal and Saflon. And another thing to remember, if you click through to Amazon, most of these sets can be either expanded or contracted to suit your needs in the kitchen, and the needs of your wallet.
And if you’ve made the decision and you’re ready to throw down for the best titanium cookware available, you’ll be looking at Heritage Steel and Hestan. These sets look a bit more like traditional stainless steel cookware than the other sets on our list, and that’s because the titanium is mixed right into the steel, rather than added as a non-stick coating.
This big difference means that these titanium cookware sets will truly last forever. They may be priced far above the more budget-friendly options, but in my opinion, they’re well worth it.
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