Small apartments, tiny homes, RVs, dorms, and boats; what do all of these have in common? Yup, they are all tight on storage space, especially in the kitchen!
Luckily there is an easy solution to this problem; stackable cookware! Stacking regular pots and pans can damage them, but these sets are innovated to stack safely and take up as little space as possible. But, if you aren’t in the position to invest in a whole new set of cookware, I will offer some space-saving tips for pans that aren’t meant to be stacked.
In this article, I will review six of the best stackable pots and pan sets on the market right now and provide you with a buyer’s guide so you know what to look for in space-saving cookware.
What Kind of Pots and Pans Can You Stack?
Materials like stainless steel and hard anodized aluminum can be stacked, but as soon as a nonstick finish comes into play, things become a little more delicate. Nonstick and ceramic coatings can be scratched easily, ruining your pans if you don’t have a set designed for stacking.
Overall, I recommend the Tramontina Nesting Cookware set because it stacks up relatively small for the size of the set, and the lids are conveniently incorporated into the stack.
Tramontina Nesting 11-pc Nonstick Cookware Set– Best Nesting Pots and Pans
Out of all the sets of this size, this Tramontina Nesting Cookware Set stacks up really small, which is why it caught my attention. I love sets like this because you don’t have to compromise on variety due to having a small space. An enthusiastic home cook living in the smallest RV would have pretty much every pan they could ever want with this set.
One thing that frustrates me about so many stackable sets is that the pots stack neatly away, but then you’re left with a bunch of lids to try and awkwardly store.
This set has incorporated the lids into the stacking design. The lids are placed into the base of a larger pot, and the next pot rests on top of it. This protects the nonstick coating on the pan, so they are a crucial part of this feature. The handles all lock together to keep the stack neat.
Gotham Steel StackMaster 17-piece Set- Best Stackable Pots and Pans Set
This Gotham Steel StackMaster Cookware Set features just about every pot, pan, and utensil you would ever need in a kitchen. This set is a hefty one at 17 pieces, but they stack away so neatly they take up a fraction of the space you might expect when you see the set laid out.
Each pan has a metal stacking plate fixed to the outside for the pot on top to rest on; this suspends it above the nonstick surface of the pot below so it remains unharmed.
A downside to this set is the two extra lids you must find storage for because only two can stack with the set. But, overall, this set is attractive, has one of the best nonstick finishes around, and can be used on every cooktop–including induction.
If you want a really in-depth look at this set, then check out my full review here.
Anolon Smart Stack Hard Anodized Cookware- Best Hard Anodized Stackable Pots and Pans Set
If you enjoy the durability and fast heating quality of hard anodized aluminum cookware, then this Anolon Smart Stack Hard Anodized Cookware Set is perfect for you. This space-saving set stacks into two stacks less than 13” in diameter, with all the lids nesting inside and interlocking handles that keep the stacks firmly in place.
I enjoy that this set comes with a steamer insert because it adds an extra layer of versatility and saves you from having to buy and store a separate steamer. But I think many other options stack up smaller, so if you have very limited space, then this one may not be the one for you.
Calphalon Premier Space-Saving 10-pc Set- Best Stainless Steel Stackable Pots and Pans Set
If you favor stainless steel cookware because of how hardy it is, then the Calphalon Premier Space Saving Cookware Set is right up your alley. This durable stainless steel set can be stored in one tall stack or two smaller ones, so the amount of space they take up varies depending on cupboard space.
For me, the best part about this set is the innovative lids. Instead of being domed and hard to store, they are flat so they can be stacked along with the pans. But you must be careful when removing the lid from a hot pan as there will be some condensation runoff.
STAUB Cast Iron Stackable 4-pc Cookware Set- Best Stackable Pots and Pans Set
Cast iron is an incredibly durable nonstick surface that is perfect for stacking! This STAUB Cast Iron Stackable Cookware Set is small, and it stacks perfectly into a tiny space. This whole stack has one universal lid, which eliminates the hassle of storing multiple lids and makes this stack super compact.
This set is very aesthetically pleasing, so you could even keep this little stack on a countertop or in a glass cabinet as part of your kitchen decor. But this material is not just pretty; it's incredibly hard-wearing and will last you a lifetime if you look after it. That said, this set is very pricey for how many pieces you get, especially when compared with some of the other sets in this roundup.
Magma A10-360L-IND Gourmet Nesting Set- Best Stackable Pots and Pans Set with Removable Handles
If you want a cookware set that stacks up to the smallest size possible, then this Magma A10-360L-IND Gourmet Nesting Set is the best option for you. For a really great price, this set stacks all nine pieces into just ½ cubic foot of space.
The major selling point for this set is the removable handles. The set comes with two thumb-release trigger handles that can be clicked onto four pans. Removing these means that all the pots can nest inside one another, including the lids. One large pan forms the base for the nesting pots, and, once all the pans are inside, the largest saucepan is turned upside down to fully enclose the set.
It even comes with a bungee cord to secure them together if you are using them in an RV or boat. In fact, this set is perfect for boats as it was awarded the “Gear of the Year” and “Editor’s Choice” by Practical Sailor Magazine.
What are the Best Stackable Pots and Pans?
Now that we’ve looked at some of the specific products on the market, I’d like to take you through a more detailed buying guide so you can choose the perfect set for your needs.
Stackable pots and pans are cookware sets designed to nest together in a compact and organized way to save space in kitchen cabinets and drawers. They are ideal for small kitchens, RVs, camping, boats, or anyone who wants to declutter their cookware collection. These sets consist of a carefully chosen selection of pans that you will get plenty of use out of without an unused pot gathering dust in your cupboard.
Having fewer pans is also more environmentally friendly because the production of cookware, from mining the raw materials to manufacturing, is harmful to the environment.
Which Cookware Materials Can be Stacked?
Stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, and copper are the main metals used for cookware, and they all have unique properties. Not all materials can be stacked, because some will get dented or scratched more easily. It's important to know which of your pans can stack and how the stackable sets work so you can prevent your cookware from getting damaged.
Here is an overview of these materials and which can stack:
|Is it stackable?
|✅ Very durable.
✅ Natural Nonstick.
✅ Scratch resistant.
✅ Good heat retention.
❌ Slow heating.
✅ Scratch resistant.
✅ Induction compatible.
|❌ Often not nonstick.
|Ceramic nonstick aluminum
✅ Healthy nonstick.
|❌ Coating is easily
|Hard anodized aluminum
|✅ Strong surface.
✅ Fast heating.
|❌ Not metal utensil
❌ Not scratch resistant.
✅ Fast heating.
|❌ Dented more easily.
❌ Not scratch resistant.
|✅ Dented more easily.
✅ Not scratch-resistant.
|❌ Very expensive.
❌ Easily damaged.
Even though some of these metals can’t be stacked ordinarily, you may find some stackable sets made from these materials. That is because these sets have been specially designed to stack in a way that won’t damage the surface. Each set has its own unique way of preserving its materials, so you can choose the one that appeals to you most.
What Should You Look For in Stacking Pots and Pans?
Apart from the material, there are many factors to consider when shopping for stackable cookware, as not every set will work for every home cook. Most stacking cookware is sold as a set as they have unique design features that help them slot into each other when they stack.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for stackable cookware:
How Do You Stack Fry Pans Safely?
In a perfect world, we would all simply replace our mismatched cookware with a matching stackable set. But that is not possible for most of us, so we need to find ways of stacking our existing fry pans and other cookware as safely as possible.
Stacking cupboard organizers like this are a great storage solution that maximizes your space while keeping your pans separate and protected from one another. Another alternative is pan protectors like these, which are felt inserts that you simply slip between each pan to create a protective cushion.
I love finding solutions to household problems that I can DIY without having to spend any money, so I crocheted some pan protectors, but you can also make them from fabric if that’s more your speed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you stack smaller pans on larger ones?
With these stackable sets, the smaller pots are designed to stack inside the larger ones. But with regular cookware, I recommend avoiding this as it can damage the base and sides of the larger pan. If this is unavoidable, you will need to put a protective layer between them to prevent damage.
What’s the Best Cookware Set for RVs?
As I have discussed, certain materials are not designed for stacking, especially those with delicate nonstick coatings like Teflon or ceramic. The best way to stack pans without scratching is by using pan protectors, which are round felt pads of varying sizes that you place between the pans to protect them.
Is it safe to stack cast iron pans?
Cast iron is a hardy material that is entirely safe to stack without the risk of damaging the surface. I do recommend placing a layer of paper towel between them just to keep the pot below clean, especially after seasoning.
Is it safe to stack stainless steel pans?
Stainless steel is famous for being hard-wearing and scratch-resistant, even when they are stacked. But if the stainless steel has a nonstick coating, I would avoid stacking them in case you damage it. If you want to save space without buying a whole stackable set, I recommend investing in a few stainless steel pans that fit inside one another.
Stackable cookware is a great way to save on cupboard space, especially when you’re living in a small space. Out of all these products, I recommend the Tramontina Nesting Cookware for those with small kitchen space and the Magma A10-360L-IND Gourmet Nesting Set for RVs, mobile homes, and boats.
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