7 Best Waterless Cookware – Reviews & Buying Guide
Waterless cooking is an innovative way of cooking that utilizes the food's preexisting moisture to cook instead of adding water or fat since raw foods have a lot of water in them.
Traditional cooking methods have for the longest time resulted in good but not very healthy food. This is because most of the nutrients are lost when one adds water to food.
Let me explain!
When you add water to your food or keep opening your lid so vapor and heat getaway, you are losing nutrients from whatever it is you are cooking. To begin with, adding water dilutes the nutrients on your food and when steam is let out, it carries with it some of these nutrients and your food's flavors.
While the situation has remained unchanged for many years, this started improving somewhere in the 20th century. Although not commonly known, people have been trying out the art of waterless cooking since the 1930's.
To achieve this, however, you need to use specific cookware designed for waterless cooking. Choosing the best one can be a daunting task, which is why after an comprehensive research we came up with a list of the best waterless cookware set.
Our top picks of waterless cookware set at a glance:
6 Benefits of using waterless cookware:
1) Maintains food flavor:
Everything is kept under the lid so nothing escapes. The dome-shaped lid creates a seal that locks in moisture, heat, and juices to cook. Compared to conventional cookware, waterless cooking allows you to retain up to 90 percent of the food nutrients.
2) Healthy cooking:
Steel cookware requires oil to transfer heat from the pan to the food and to prevent it from sticking. Waterless cookware does not require oil since the food's juices are used to cook the food.
3) Saves energy:
Waterless pans require medium to low heat because you are not using any wet media to cook or to prevent your food from sticking and burning. The material on the cookware base and walls also allows you to keep cooking even when your stove is off.
4) Easy cleaning and maintenance:
They are highly durable and most can be cleaned in a dishwasher. They are easy to clean and store and if that's not enough, most manufacturers have limited and lifetime warranties on their products.
Most waterless pans can withstand very high temperatures, which mean that you can use your waterless cookware to bake. Baking requires 350-450 degrees, which it can handle easily even on a stovetop on medium to low heat.
6) Saves time:
Most waterless pans feature a heavy base that allows faster and even heat distribution. Some cookware comes with the stacking option, allowing you to cook more than one meal at once.
Top 7 Best Waterless Cookware Reviews:
1. Cuisinart MCP-12N Cookware Set
This waterless cookware is made of stainless steel and has a superior outer polish that ensures its surface does not discolor or react with the foods you are preparing. The base is made of pure aluminum while the body is made of stainless steel.
The base allows for even heat distribution and maximum heat retention to ensure proper, quick, and even cooking of food. This means that it is suitable for cooking on induction stoves.
Its drip-free tight-fitting cover ensures that moisture is locked in for healthier, tastier food every time. Unlike other waterless cookware whose covers are soft, which means you cannot dish wash them, the cover of Cuisinart can be cleaned in the dishwasher without causing any damage to it.
It can handle high temperatures of up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit and is dishwasher safe. Moreover, it comes fitted with ergonomic handles that are secured with steel rivets that prevent burn accidents from occurring in the kitchen.
The package includes 12 pieces of cookware including 1-1/2- and 3-quart covered saucepans, 3-1/2-quart covered sauté pan, 8- and 10-inch open skillets, a steamer insert with lid, and an 8-quart covered stockpot.
- Features a remarkable design and polish
- Dishwasher and oven safe
- Strong and durable
- Very affordable
- Quite hard to maintain
2. Cooks Standard Cookware Set
Cooks Standard is made of 18/10 stainless steel exterior and interior with a classy appealing finish. The base is made of aluminum, which ensures an even distribution of heat and retention.
It also features ergonomic handles that are long enough to allow you to handle your cookware with ease in addition to protecting you from burns.
Its tight fitting lids ensure that moisture and heat do not escape, which means that your food will be able to maintain its natural flavor and cook in its own juices.
This will not only result in healthy, tasty food but will also take less time to cook.
This cookware can be used on a wide variety of heat sources including gas, electric, induction, glass, and ceramic. It can withstand up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that it can be used for baking.
Moreover, it is dishwasher safe; you can clean it in the washer without worrying about its durability.
If you are looking for sophisticated and posh cookware, this Cooks Standard Cookware Set is a great option because it guarantees easy cooking and easy serving due to its tastefully designed exterior.
The package includes a steamer insert, 1.5 and 3 qt saucepans, a 4 qt/11 in. sauté pan, and an 8 qt stockpot with lids.
- Very affordable
- Features strong and durable construction
- Comes fitted with ergonomic handles for easy handling
- Warranty is unspecified
- Some users have complained that the aluminum base is too thin and does not offer good conductivity
3. Duxtop SSIB-17 Professional Cookware Set
Featuring 18/10 stainless steel commercial grade and aluminum heavy gauge bottom, this cookware allows you to cook fast while ensuring that the food you prepare is healthy and nutritious.
It has long ergonomic handles that are tastefully finished to offer protection from heat. The handles are also highly durable.
Additionally, it comes with glass lids that allow you to monitor your food as it cooks. This cookware can be used on all cooking surfaces from electric, gas, induction stoves, and infrared.
It is also freezer safe and you can use it to store food in your refrigerator. What's more, it is dishwasher safe; you do not have to worry about the dishwasher reducing the life of your cookware.
The manufacturer also has a limited lifetime warranty on the cookware, which guarantees the quality of the waterless cookware.
The package contains 8 and 9.5-inch fry pans, 1.6-Quart, 2.5-Quart sauce pans, an 8.6-Quart stock pot, a 4.2-Quart casserole, a 5.5-Quart Sauté pan with helper, a 9.5-inch steam and pasta basket, and 3 pcs kitchen tools.
- Comes with a set of 3 tools: a slotted turner, a spoon, and a 2-prong fork
- You enjoy a limited lifetime warranty
- Is quite versatile
- Quite expensive
4. Maxam KT17 Waterless Cookware Set
Maxam has been a household name among chefs and kitchen enthusiasts with their high quality kitchen products that include knives.
Their cookware is no different! Constructed using extra heavy surgical stainless steel, this cookware set allows heat to circulate evenly and lasts for a long time.
The 9-element base features a thick aluminum disc that conducts heat fast and evenly without creating any hot spots. Stack cooking allows you to cook different meals by stacking them on top of each other using one burner.
Moreover, it allows you to undertake healthy cooking since you will add no oil to your food. Tastefully designed and finished, you can also use this cookware as a dish on the dinner table when you are serving food.
This will not only look posh and sophisticated but will also reduce the cleanups you will need to do. It comes fitted with handles that are heat and cold resistant, which means that you can avoid the burns associated with cooking. It has a highly efficient steam control system made of an accurately fitted rim and cover that help retain steam in the pot for effective cooking.
Moreover, the cookware has an indicator that tells you when to add or reduce heat. If you are looking for a budget cookware option with the best steam valve system, choose Maxam KT17 Stainless-Steel Waterless Cookware Set. Overall it is the best waterless cookware.
It makes zero fat and waterless meals flawlessly thanks to its highly efficient and defined steam valves. Since the base is extra thick, it holds heat longer and allows you to finish cooking even under low heat.
- Easy to clean and store
- Comes with a limited warranty
- Highly durable
- Not non-stick
- The cookware's small parts need to be handled carefully when cleaning and storing
- Its cover cannot be cleaned in a dishwasher since it has small parts that can break easily
5. Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set
This waterless cookware is made from both steel and aluminum. The base is aluminum made for even heat distribution while the cooking surface is stainless steel. As a result, the cookware can withstand high temperatures and is dishwasher safe.
Calphalon can be used on most heating surfaces including electric, gas, halogen, induction stoves, and glass ceramic. To maintain its luster, however, you are advised to stick to hand washing the cookware.
All types of utensils can be used with Calphalon since it is scratch free. It also comes with ergonomic handles that give you a firm grip and are heat resistant to keep you safe from burn accidents in the kitchen. They stay cool even in very high temperatures.
The dome shaped lid on this cookware set has strainer holes and a pot spout that when lined together, give you control over the amount of steam that escapes from your pot.
To seal the holes, just turn the lid so that the holes and the spout are not lined up.
Besides giving you extra control of your cooking process, this cookware also features fill lines inside the pot that help you measure your food without requiring extra kitchen tools.
Are you looking for combined functionality of your lid strainer and steam valves? If you are, Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set has you covered.
The manufacturer has a full lifetime warranty meaning that the product is high quality and durable.
The package includes 8 and 10-inch frying pans, 1.5 and 2.5 quart sauce pans, a 6-quart stock pot, and a 3-quart sauté pan, all with lids.
- Highly durable
- Comprises of 10 pieces
- Comes with full lifetime warranty
- Very expensive
6. 360 Cookware Premium Waterless Stainless Steel
360 Cookware boasts of a 3-ply construction featuring a 110-gauge thickness that makes it perfect for vapor cooking.
This means that you can cook healthy meals free of water, oil, and time. What's more, it features an ergonomic design that is easy to handle and comes fitted with durable handles.
Its vapor lock technology circulates heat around your food ensuring that your food's water and juices are locked and used to cook your food for a healthy tasty meal. The cookware can withstand up to 400 degrees of heat, making it microwave safe.
This cookware is induction ready, which means that the bottoms are magnetized and can be used with induction stovetops.
This saves energy since your burner will only turn on when your cookware comes to contact with the stovetop. This easy to clean stove comes with a lifetime warranty although its electrical parts have a 2-year warranty.
The package includes a 1qt saucepan and a 3.5qt sauté pan with covers. What's more, the manufacturer has included a jute tote grocery bag for your shopping requirements and 360 recipe cards.
As a result, you need not worry about what to cook or the recipes to follow thanks to its many options. Cool, right?
360 Cookware Premium Waterless Stainless Steel can be defined as a high-quality cookware with great additions from the manufacturer. It also has a two-year warranty, meaning that it is highly durable.
- Highly durable
- Easy to clean
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Too expensive
7. ELO Premium Black Pearl Stainless Steel Kitchen Induction Cookware Pots
Made in Germany, this waterless cookware is one of the top rated cookware brands across the world. It is made from 18/10 stainless steel that is not only strong and durable but also is appealing to look at.
Its lids are made using glass and have a silicon rim that prevents breakage. As a result, it seals in moisture and heat for even and fast cooking and retaining of food's natural flavors.
The lids also have an easy pour feature that is easy to use and separates liquids. To let out steam from the pans, you just need to align your lid accordingly.
The inside of each pot has a measuring scale for precise measurements. The ergonomic nylon handles on the cookware are easy to clean, durable, and are heat resistant to prevent any burn accidents.
The handles are held in place using a stainless steel flame guard that prolongs their usage.
ELO cookware can withstand up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, thus making it safe for use in the oven and even for baking on a stove top. It can be used on gas, electric, induction, and glass ceramics heat stoves.
Plastic inserts are fitted on the cookware, making it dishwasher safe. As such, you do not have to worry about it being damaged when you use the washer to clean it.
ELO Premium Black Pearl Stainless Steel Kitchen Induction Cookware Pots are premium quality waterless cookware from Germany that provides high capacities. If you have a big family, this could be an ideal choice.
The manufacturer has a 6 year warranty that guarantees the quality of this cookware. In case of a problem, you can expect a full refund zero questions asked. The package includes:
- A 6.5-inch sauce pan with 1.3 liters liquid capacity
- A 6.5-inch casserole pot with 1.8 liters liquid capacity
- A 6.5-inch easy-pour glass cover with a silicon rim
- An 8-inch casserole pot 3.3 liters liquid capacity
- An 8-inch easy-pour flat glass lid with silicon rim
- A 9.5-inch casserole pot 3.5 liters liquid capacity
- A 9.5-inch easy-pour glass cover with a silicon rim
- Boasts of a strong durable construction
- Comes with a 6-year warranty
- Very expensive
- Users have complained that the glass lids do not offer convenience as advertised. They let steam out and you cannot see the inside of the pot when cooking because it becomes very foggy.
Things to consider before buying waterless cookware
Some cookware materials are better than others. As such, when choosing the material for your cookware, it is imperative to consider factors such as your budget, the cookware's usability, your preferences, and the time you want to spend cooking.
Stainless steel is the top material for most cookware because it is cheap, flexible, and good looking. However, it does not conduct heat properly.
The perfect material for waterless pans has to be a blend of aluminum and stainless steel with stainless steel being on the body and several layers of aluminum or copper at the base.
Copper bases, however, are expensive leaving aluminum as a good choice for those on a budget.
Different metals conduct heat differently. Cookware made of material that is a better heat conductor cooks food better and more evenly. For example, stainless steel is not a great heat conductor but copper is.
However, you can blend stainless steel with another metal for better heat conduction. Most waterless cookwares are made of stainless steel with a copper or aluminum base.
A good conductor of heat also reacts quicker to temperature changes as compared to poor conductors. This means that achieving the right temperature instantly can be hard for non-conductors, which can keep burning your food.
Quality comes at a price and the rule is to buy what you can afford. Highly priced cookware can offer better benefits as compared to cheaper ones, which means that they may give you more value for your money.
Since cookware is a long-term investment, you can choose to overlook the price and get the best quality cookware.
Stainless steel is very easy to clean and maintain as compared to materials such as copper or iron.
When cooking, use low to medium heat since a lot of heat causes food to stick on the base of the pan. Since the bases are made from heavy metal, they heat up very fast and retain heat for longer. As such, your preferred cookware choices need to be easy to clean and maintain.
Most metals last differently depending on how you use them. Stainless steel is one of the best-looking cookware material because it is shiny and durable.
It is an alloy of steel, chromium, and carbon, which makes it very strong and resistant to corrosion. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking for long-term cookware.
Since cookware is a long-term investment, get the best quality for longer service.
Some materials, for example aluminum, react with the food when cooking. This means that some of these materials can be absorbed into your food.
As such, you need to choose cookware made from high-quality materials that will not be absorbed into your food.
Waterless Cookware Parts
The handles should be silicone or metal coated to ensure that they are heat resistant to prevent burn accidents in the kitchen. They also offer a smooth transition from stovetop cooking to the oven.
These join the different parts of the pan. For instance, they join the handle to the pan. They should be made of high-quality metal that is durable and rust free. Rivets can also be screwed in or welded.
Stainless steel is an excellent choice for all types of cooking and browning. Waterless cookware is mostly made of stainless steel that is easy to clean and cooks well.
Straight edges are ideal for tossing ingredients and cooking compact foods. A slightly rolled rim is perfect for pouring liquids.
Different surfaces are ideal for different cooking activities. For example, stainless steel is great at browning while nonstick pots and pans are easy to clean.
Choose your waterless cookware depending on your needs and preferences.
This is the most critical part of your cookware. The core should be heavy and made of good heat conducting material for even heating.
Most waterless cookware feature stainless steel bodies and several layers of either aluminum or copper cores.
Vertical pot sides are the perfect for shimmering liquids to avoid being burnt when the liquids spill out of the pan.
Flared pot sides are good for liquids that evaporate easily because they reduce the evaporation rate.
This is for electric ranges, a flat base is best. Induction tops require magnetic bases like stainless steel to respond to the magnetic field.
Worried about Waterless Cookware Brands?
Waterless cooking has been a thing for almost a century now even without the use of specialized waterless cookware. This means that getting waterless cookware set is not that important since you can achieve the same results with normal cookware.
The only real feature we look for in waterless pots is the steam valve, which might not be as important for some.
We are not dismissing waterless cookware for healthy delicious food. All we are saying is that it is critical to evaluate the marketing claims made by manufacturers before purchasing waterless cookware.
Some of the notable waterless cookware brands include Maxam, Calphalon, Duxtop, Cuisinart, Cooks Standard, 360 cookware, and ELO. These brands are top rated and have been reviewed as having some of the best features for cookware.
This is not to say that other brands are not as good. You will need to consider many other factors when purchasing this type of cookware, which can lead you to other amazing brands out there.
Additionally, we have reviewed all the great picks that you can consider when buying this cookware.
Adapting Waterless Cooking Recipes to Regular Cookware
Waterless cooking is pretty much the same as normal cooking. You can easily make a waterless cooking recipe using your normal cooking pots without making any alterations.
Most cooking pots and pans have the same similarities and are identical with the distinction being in the lid.
The difference is a steam valve on the lid of the waterless cookware. The steam valve controls how much steam and heat escapes the pot.
Special attention is paid to the lid fitting by the manufacturers. The lid should fit perfectly because it has an adjustable steam valve that determines how much moisture is lost.
Since regular cookware does not have a steam valve, you need to prop the lid to let out heat for open valve recipes and close it completely for closed valve recipes. You, however, might need to add a little water in these cases to replace the moisture lost as steam in regular cookware.
Adding a little water will not have a major effect on your dish.
How to use waterless cookware:
To enjoy the highest results from waterless cookware, here are a few tips that you can apply:
1) Ensure your foods are thawed before cooking. Remove them from the refrigerator 10 to 20 minutes before cooking.
Frozen and chilled foods might stick on your pan and take longer to release the water that is frozen in between the food.
2) Pre-heat on medium heat since it takes a short time to heat unless you are only boiling water or foods that do not need much time and attention to cook. This will also prevent your food from sticking on your pan.
Since pans are made of heavy metal, they retain heat for longer, which means you do not have to use a lot of energy.
3) Ensure that your waterless cookware is always clean since residues from other foods could cause your food to stick when cooking.
Residue also can accumulate slowly, which can stain your pots and pans overtime.
4) If your food is burning, you can add a little oil or water to prevent sticking on the base, which can be hard to wash off. However, when looking for a healthy meal, leave out the oil and use water instead.
5) Removing the pan from heat when the fire is still on can cause it to stick due to the vapor seal.
Do not force it out because the pressure might jerk steam and vapor out, which can easily burn you. You could also lose your food in the process through spillage. In case this happens, just re-heat the pan to loosen the lid.
6) Metal tools are way thinner than plastic and are ideal for use with waterless cookware since they will not damage it at all.
They are also firm and come with heat resistant handles. Plastic is also prone to melting and being absorbed by your food, which can have harmful effects.
7) When cooking using waterless cookware, make sure that you use the smallest pan possible for whatever it is you are making.
Using a big pot or pan with little contents means that more space is available inside which is not ideal. You also end up using more energy than you would otherwise have for a small pot.
Which is the top waterless cookware?
Undoubtedly, Cuisinart MCP-12N Cookware Set is the perfect stainless steel waterless cookware set in our list. This 12 piece package allows an even heat distribution and does not discolor or react with food.
Our waterless cookware review consists of a comprehensive buying guide and an analysis of the best 7 waterless cookwares.
It is almost guaranteed that you can get the best waterless cookware from what we have looked at. However, we are not done yet. we have made recommendations for you based on our research and experience.
With all this in mind, I am confident that your next waterless cookware buying trip to the store or online will be less hectic.