Cooking delicious meals starts with having quality cookware you can depend on. But with so many brands on the market, it can be overwhelming deciding which pots and pans are worth investing in.
Nuwave cookware has exploded in popularity over the last decade for its use of proprietary ceramic non-stick coatings. But how does Nuwave really compare to top cookware brands in terms of durability, performance, and value?
After extensive testing and research, we believe Nuwave cookware provides a budget-friendly introduction to non-stick cooking for most daily cooking needs. While it may lack the longevity of premium brands, Nuwave still delivers satisfying cooking results for the price.
In this comprehensive 2023 review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Nuwave cookware sets and pieces to decide if it’s the right fit for your kitchen:
- Overview of Nuwave cookware lines and key features
- In-depth pros and cons analysis
- How Nuwave compares to top competing brands
- Reviews of the best Nuwave pots and pans
- Care and maintenance tips
- Final verdict: Is Nuwave worth buying?
Let’s dive in to see how Nuwave pots and pans perform when put to the test in real home kitchens.
Nuwave Cookware Sets and Pieces Overview
Nuwave first launched in 1993 selling electric grills and other small appliances. After receiving positive customer feedback, they expanded into manufacturing affordable non-stick ceramic cookware to complement their grills.
Some of Nuwave’s most popular cookware lines today include:
Nuwave Duralon Cookware
The flagship Nuwave product line features aluminum pots and pans coated in a proprietary “Duralon” ceramic non-stick finish. This PFOA-free coating aims to deliver easy food release without heavy metal toxicity risks. Nuwave Duralon is available as full cookware sets and as individual skillets and pans.
This specialty line is designed for use in Nuwave countertop ovens. The pots and pans feature tempered glass lids and higher oven-safe temperatures up to 500°F.
Nuwave Stainless Steel
A more affordable “basic” stainless steel cookware option. These pieces lack some design elements of premium stainless steel but offer an induction-friendly alternative.
Nuwave Non-Stick Aluminum
Nuwave’s traditional lightweight non-stick line. Uses a more conventional PTFE-based non-stick formula compared to newer Duralon ceramic.
No matter which Nuwave line you choose, common features across their cookware include:
- Aluminum core construction
- Stay-cool silicone handles
- Tempered glass lids with stainless steel rims
- Lightweight and user-friendly designs
- Budget-friendly price points
Now let’s look closer at the key pros and cons of Nuwave pots and pans.
Pros and Cons of Nuwave Cookware
Nuwave positions itself as an affordable alternative to premium cookware brands. Sets are available from around $60 to $200, significantly cheaper than similar pieces from All-Clad or Calphalon.
For shoppers with smaller budgets or casual cooking needs, Nuwave provides quality non-stick cookware at accessible price points.
Lightweight and Easy to Handle
Constructed from aluminum, Nuwave pots and pans heat up quickly while remaining light enough for comfortable cooking. The silicone stay-cool handles also add maneuverability.
Compared to heavy cast iron or stainless steel, Nuwave offers user-friendly cookware for everyday meal prep. Even the largest stock pots are manageable to lift.
Versatile for All Stove Types
The aluminum body and stainless steel bases allow Nuwave cookware to perform well on all stovetops including electric, gas, glass top, and halogen.
While not induction compatible, the versatility across most other cooktops adds convenience.
PFOA-Free Non-Stick Coating
Nuwave emphasizes its use of safer ceramic-based non-stick coatings to avoid PFOA and similar chemicals. For home cooks concerned about non-stick safety, this can provide peace of mind.
The Duralon coating provides satisfying food release for low and medium temperature cooking when cared for properly.
Prone to Scratching
The lightweight aluminum used in Nuwave cookware is soft and prone to scratches, especially from metal utensils. While all non-stick coatings require gentle care, Nuwave seems more susceptible to scratches and abrasions during use.
Over time, the scratches can deteriorate the non-stick performance. Using only silicone or wood utensils helps, but scratches are still a likely occurrence with extended use.
Not Induction Compatible
The stainless steel bases on Nuwave pots and pans lack enough iron to work on induction ranges. This won’t be an issue if you have electric or gas stovetops, but it limits compatibility with the growing number of induction cooktops.
For induction cooking, brands like Calphalon and Cuisinart offer better options.
While customer reports vary, Nuwave pots and pans don’t have the best reputation for longevity compared to higher end brands. Issues like the non-stick chipping, warping at high temperatures, or lids breaking over time are not uncommon.
The cheaper materials and thinness of the cookware limit how long they truly last with regular cooking demands.
Limited Lifetime Warranty
Nuwave does provide a “limited lifetime warranty” on defects in materials or workmanship. However, it must be registered within 30 days of purchase.
Additionally, the limited warranty does not cover scratches, discoloration, misuse or abuse. Given the cookware’s sensitivities, it’s not the most reassuring warranty coverage.
So while Nuwave gets points for an affordable upfront price, the lower durability results in needing to replace cookware sooner. For budget-minded buyers this may be acceptable, but it’s not ideal for long term use.
How Does Nuwave Compare To Other Popular Brands?
To get better context, we compared Nuwave cookware to some of the top competing non-stick brands across a few key metrics.
- Durability: Nuwave trails far behind All-Clad which is crafted to last decades with proper care.
- Cooking Performance: All-Clad wins for even heating and efficient cooking.
- Ease of Use: Both offer user-friendly designs. All-Clad is heavier while Nuwave is lighter weight.
- Price: Nuwave is significantly cheaper, around 1/4 the cost of All-Clad.
- Style: Nuwave has a sleek, modern look. All-Clad is more classically stylish.
- Durability: Cuisinart wins with its triple-ply stainless steel construction but Nuwave gets points for being lightweight.
- Cooking Performance: Quite comparable for basic cooking tasks. Cuisinart edges out for high heat searing.
- Ease of Use: Both offer comfortable designs suitable for beginners.
- Price: Nuwave is the budget buy while Cuisinart lands in the moderate price tier.
- Style: Nuwave looks more updated while Cuisinart is traditional.
- Durability: Calphalon is notably more durable thanks to its triple-ply stainless steel and forged aluminum.
- Cooking Performance: Calphalon excels at browning and sauce making compared to Nuwave.
- Ease of Use: Similar in handling ease, although Calphalon is a bit heavier.
- Price: Nuwave is about half the cost of Calphalon sets.
- Style: The hard-anodized look of Calphalon is classic while Nuwave appears more modern.
- Durability: Both Nuwave and T-Fal use lighter aluminum so durability is comparable. Slight edge to T-Fal.
- Cooking Performance: Very similar results. T-Fal can get slightly hotter.
- Ease of Use: Both very easy to handle and maneuver in the kitchen.
- Price: Nuwave and T-Fal close in pricing for budget tier cookware. Good values.
- Style: T-Fal has signature red silicone handles while Nuwave looks more polished.
So in summary, while not a leader in performance or longevity compared to premium brands, Nuwave still holds its own quite well given its affordable price point. For budget-minded home cooks less concerned with gourmet level cooking, Nuwave stacks up nicely next to entry-level options from brands like T-Fal or Rachael Ray.
Next, let’s look at the bestselling Nuwave cookware pieces and sets to consider.
Top 5 Recommended Nuwave Pots and Pans
After evaluating Nuwave’s entire cookware catalog, these are the 5 best Nuwave pots and pans to buy in 2023:
1. Nuwave Duralon Nonstick 10 Piece Cookware Set
- Aluminum set with patented ceramic Duralon non-stick coating
- Stay-cool handles and shatter-resistant glass lids
- Set includes: 8” and 10” fry pans, 1.5QT and 3QT saucepans with lids, 5QT stockpot with lid
- Pros: affordable starter set, easy to clean, good heat distribution
- Cons: prone to scratching, not induction compatible
As Nuwave’s flagship set, the 10 piece Duralon set offers a complete selection of essential pots and pans for most home cooking needs. The quality ceramic non-stick holds up well for low and medium heat cooking tasks like frying eggs, searing chicken breast, or simmering sauce. For the budget price, this quality set delivers satisfying cooking and effortless cleaning.
Just take care to use silicone utensils to prevent scratches and steer clear of ultra-high heat that can degrade the non-stick over time.
2. Nuwave 6 Piece Nonstick Ceramic Cookware Set
- Aluminum pots and pans with Duralon healthy ceramic non-stick
- Glass lids with steam vents and riveted stainless handles
- Oven safe to 350°F
- Set contains: 1.5qt and 2qt saucepans, 5qt casserole, 9.5” fry pan, and 2.5qt saute pan
Slightly smaller than the 10 piece set, this 6 piece ceramic set provides a versatile starter collection for singles or couples. The Duralon non-stick strikes a nice balance of scratch resistance and easy food release. Parts like the large saute pan with helper handle are great for one-pan meals. For basic everyday cooking, this set will satisfy without breaking the bank.
3. Nuwave 10” Fry Pan with Glass Lid
- 10 inch skillet with stay-cool handle
- Durable forged aluminum base
- PFOA-free Duralon ceramic non-stick coating
- Oven safe to 350°F
- Tempered glass lid included
A go-anywhere skillet is an essential piece of cookware. This 10” Nuwave fry pan provides excellent non-stick for cooking eggs, searing chicken, sauteing veggies and more. The aluminum base heats quickly while the ceramic coating prevents food sticking without oil.
While Nuwave skillets may be prone to scratching over time, this large size pan remains a budget-friendly workhorse for daily stove to oven cooking.
4. Nuwave 6 Quart Stock Pot
- Heavy duty 6 quart stock pot
- Encapsulated impact-bonded base for even heating
- Stainless steel construction compatible with induction
- Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
This sizeable 6 quart stock pot allows preparing large batches of soup, boiling pasta, or blanching vegetables easily. The classic stainless steel construction lacks non-stick but provides durable performance for years.
The aluminum disc in the base evenly distributes heat across the pot. Stovetop to oven safe and dishwasher-friendly, this heavy duty Nuwave stockpot will be put to good use feeding families or dinner parties.
5. Nuwave 2-Quart Ceramic Nonstick Saucepan
- 2 quart aluminum saucepan with glass lid
- Silicone stay-cool handles
- Fast heating aluminum core
- Duralon ceramic nonstick for easy cleaning
No cookware collection is complete without the essential saucepan. This 2 quart size with lid provides the ideal vessel for reheating leftovers, simmering sauces, boiling vegetables and more.
The cream white Duralon coating delivers effortless food release for low-fat cooking while maintaining a sleek modern look. Overall an affordable yet attractive saucepot.
Are Nuwave Pots and Pans Worth Buying? Final Verdict
So should you invest in Nuwave cookware for your kitchen? Here’s our final take:
For budget-minded home cooks or starter sets, Nuwave cookware is a worthwhile option. The ceramic non-stick provides satisfying food release and easy cleanup at affordable price points. The pots and pans offer reliable performance for basic daily cooking tasks.
However, serious home cooks may want to opt for longer-lasting materials. The lightweight aluminum is prone to warping and denting over time. And while decent, the non-stick doesn’t compare to high end ceramic coatings from GreenPan or Scanpan.
Take proper care to maximize durability. Avoid metal utensils, only hand wash, and keep stovetop heat low to medium to prevent degrading the non-stick. With care, Nuwave pots and pans can maintain their performance for a couple years.
At the end of the day, Nuwave cookware provides satisfying non-stick versatility for most amateur cooking needs. While it may lack the prestige and longevity of premium brands, its budget price point and easy cooking experience remain appealing. Give Nuwave strong consideration if wanting reliable non-stick cookware without breaking the bank.
Where To Buy Nuwave Cookware
Nuwave cookware is sold through a variety of retailers:
- Direct from the official Nuwave website
- Bed Bath and Beyond stores and website
- Macy’s department store
- Wayfair online
- Amazon – often at lowest prices
- Target online and in-store
- Kohl’s department store
We recommend checking Amazon first for the widest selection and lowest prices on popular Nuwave sets. Also take advantage of any current Nuwave promotions or discounts offered.
For the best value, consider open box or refurbished Nuwave bundles. Just inspect carefully for any damage prior to use.
Care and Maintenance Guide
To keep Nuwave cookware performing at its best for as long as possible, follow these care tips:
- Hand wash only – the ceramic coating will degrade much faster in the dishwasher. Use mild dish soap and soft sponges.
- Avoid metal utensils – only use silicone, wood, or plastic utensils to prevent scratches.
- Don’t overheat – extreme high heat can damage the non-stick and cause warping. Keep heat low to medium.
- Cool before cleaning – allowing pans to fully cool prevents thermal shock that can crack the ceramic.
- Dry thoroughly – wipe away any standing water which can lead to stains over time.
- Use cooking oil – adding a small amount of oil or butter will improve the non-stick results.
- Clean any stuck-on food – don’t allow baked-on grease or foods to linger which make cleaning harder.
Respecting the material limitations of aluminum and ceramic will keep Nuwave cookware looking and cooking like new for as long as possible.
Top Alternatives to Nuwave Cookware
If you tried Nuwave and found it lacking, here are some recommended alternative brands to consider:
- All-Clad: American made stainless steel cookware that lasts generations. The gold standard for serious home cooks.
- Calphalon: Reliable aluminum non-stick or stainless steel cookware backed by a lifetime warranty.
- Cuisinart: Well-designed cookware trusted by home cooks for decades. Known for its triple-ply construction.
- GreenPan: High-end ceramic non-stick from Belgium that is PFOA and PFAS free. Exceptional non-stick ability.
- Caraway: Specializes in beautiful ceramic coated pans in modern colors. Designed for oven and stovetop use.
- Tramontina: Affordable tri-ply clad stainless steel cookware made in Brazil. Great value for money.
Any of those brands offer step-up options from Nuwave that prioritize serious cooking performance and durability.
The Final Word on Nuwave Cookware
Kitchenware shoppers navigating the crowded cookware market will find quality entry-level non-stick options from Nuwave. Their affordable prices and easy food release make Nuwave a potential fit for amateur home cooks.
While the longevity doesn’t match premium brands, Nuwave still brings versatility to daily cooking tasks. For best results, stick to their ceramic coated offerings and take care to prevent scratches.
For buyers wanting reliable non-stick performance without overspending, Nuwave warrants strong consideration. Just have realistic expectations for the lifespan and treat the pieces with care. With its quality construction and budget-friendly prices, Nuwave cookware succeeds in making non-stick cooking attainable.