Viking is best known for its high-end kitchen appliances, but they also make premium cookware.
So is Viking cookware worth buying? Is it any good?
In this Viking cookware review, you’ll learn about its design, construction, performance, and price.
I’ll also show you how it fares against competing cookware brands, point out its downsides, and answer the most frequently asked questions.
By the end, you’ll know the pros and cons and be able to decide if Viking cookware is worth buying.
Use the links below to navigate the review:
- Materials and Construction
- Viking Cookware vs. the Competition
- Viking Cookware FAQs
- Bottom Line: Is Viking Cookware Worth Buying?
Overall, Viking cookware has a classic look. The brand offers multiple collections, from hammered copper clad to blue carbon steel — each with distinct design features.
To give you a feel for the brand, I’ll give you an up-close look at its most popular collection: Professional 5-Ply.
I’ll also highlight some unique design features of Viking’s other collections.
The exterior has a brushed (satin) stainless finish, making the cookware modern and sleek. The steel and titanium pots and pans include a magnetic and flat bottom suitable for induction cooking.
Most pots have a rounded bottom and straight, steep sides. The pans have rounded sides. But the 3-Ply Contemporary and Hard Anodized collections are unique, featuring cone-shaped tapering outward from the bottom up.
Except for the cast iron pieces, you’ll see the Viking logo prominently featured on the exteriors, just beneath the handles.
Although Professional 5-Ply cookware is made with five bonded layers, it’s noticeably thinner than other brands’ fully-clad cookware.
For example, Viking cookware is significantly thinner than Demeyere Atlantis, which is made of seven bonded layers.
It’s also thinner than Heritage Steel’s 5-ply cookware.
Here’s how Viking’s thickness compares to All-Clad D3 (3-layer) cookware.
And, here’s a side-by-side look at Viking vs. Made In, another 5-ply pan.
As you can see, Viking Professional 5-Ply is thinner than its competitors. Although thinner cookware heats faster, it usually doesn’t cook as evenly or retain heat as well. I’ll share the results of my heat conduction and retention tests in a minute.
Here are some other exterior design elements that stand out:
Viking Hard Anodized: All hard-anodized aluminum cookware has a black matte exterior.
Viking Blue Carbon Steel: Although it’s called blue carbon steel, the cookware has a black exterior, similar to the hard-anodized collection. Blue refers to the heat treatment it undergoes to resist corrosion and rust. Eventually, the exterior will display a patina that will alter the color but not impact its performance.
Viking Cast Iron: The cast iron cookware has a black exterior with a matte enamel finish on the interior.
Viking 3-Ply Copper Clad: The cookware has a shiny, hammered copper exterior. Over time, it will develop a rich patina, or you can use copper polish to keep its original look.
Viking Multi-Ply Color: The colored stainless steel collection steps outside the classic feel of Viking cookware. It offers a modern design with a matte exterior in blue, red, or black.
The interior of the 5-Ply Professional collection is the same on all Viking stainless, copper, and colored stainless cookware. It’s made from 18/10, non-reactive stainless steel.
The stainless interiors have a distinct circular ripple pattern across the surface. Viking’s titanium cookware features a smooth, satin interior finish.
Both options are non-reactive, allowing you to cook any meal, even acidic foods like tomato sauce.
It’s also worth mentioning that the cast iron has a glossy enamel finish on the interior, making it non-reactive to acidic foods.
While every pan in the Hard Anodized collection has a non-stick interior, only a few pieces in the 3-Ply Contemporary and 5-Ply Professional do. The 5-Ply Hard Stainless features stainless steel interiors.
While most collections feature flared rims, the Contemporary and Hard Anodized collections have flat rims. Flared rims make pouring liquids easier and aid in sliding food out of the pan.
If you’re looking for time-saving features, the Hard Anodized, 5-Ply Hard Stainless, Multi-Ply Color, and 3-Ply Contemporary collections have liquid measurement marks etched into the interiors.
Except for Viking’s cast iron cookware, all pots and pans have exposed rivets on the interior surface. One drawback of exposed rivets is that food and grime tend to collect around them, making them difficult to keep clean.
The handles are one of the features I like most about Viking cookware.
The 5-Ply collection 12-inch fry pan features a long stainless steel handle. It’s riveted to the body of the cookware with built-in finger guides to make it easy to lift the cookware.
The ergonomic, stay-cool handles are nine inches long and hollow inside to disperse heat and prevent you from burning yourself. That said, I always recommend using oven mitts, pot holders, or heat-resistant gloves when handling hot cookware.
The top side of the handles is flat with a slight groove, which allows you to press your thumb in and get a firm grip. They remind me of All-Clad handles, but the indentation is shallower, which makes Viking handles more comfortable.
Unlike rounded handles, these won’t rotate or slip in your hand when you tilt the pan or pour liquids, even if your hands are wet or you’re wearing an oven mitt.
Overall, the Viking handles are comfortable, safe, and functional. Plus, they look great.
Viking has several types of lids, depending on the collection. It also offers standalone lids if you ever need a replacement.
The 5-Ply Professional, 5-Ply Hard Stainless, and 7-Ply Titanium collections feature domed, stainless steel lids. The 3-Ply Contemporary, Hard Anodized, and Copper Clad collections feature tempered glass lids.
The Multi-Ply Color collection comes with vented glass lids.
Like the Hard Anodized and 3-Ply Contemporary collections, the cast iron cookware features snug-fitting lids. But the Cast Iron collection features cast iron lids with self-basting spikes on the interior. These spikes redistribute moisture as it collects inside the lid during cooking.
Viking carbon steel cookware does not include lids.
You’ll notice that the lid handles are mostly the same across the collections. They are stainless steel with a cut-out on either side of the handle, near the rivets. However, the cast iron cookware features a stainless steel knob for its lid handle.
Viking cookware employs multiple constructions and uses different materials to appeal to a wide variety of home cooks.
The exact makeup varies by collection. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Viking 3-Ply and 3-Ply Contemporary: The 3-ply construction consists of a heavy-gauge (thick) aluminum core with 18/8 stainless steel on the interior and magnetic stainless steel on the exterior to support induction cooking. A few pans in the 3-Ply Contemporary collection feature Eterna, a high-performance, dual-layer non-stick coating.
- Viking Professional 5-Ply: If you want more cladding, the 5-ply construction has three layers of aluminum at its core, sandwiched between 18/10 stainless steel on top and magnetic stainless steel on the bottom.
- Viking 7-Ply Titanium: The 7-ply cookware has a five-layer aluminum core, a titanium interior, and a magnetic steel exterior. Titanium is strong, conductive, non-reactive, and doesn’t require high heat. Plus, it’s a naturally occurring element.
- Viking Hard Stainless: 5-ply bonded construction with an induction-compatible hard-anodized exterior, alternating layers of aluminum and stainless steel with an 18/8 (18% chromium and 8% nickel) stainless steel cooking surface.
- Viking Hard-Anodized Non-Stick: Heavy-gauge (thick) hard-anodized aluminum with a durable PFOA-free non-stick coating (3 layers) and a steel induction plate bonded to the bottom. Hard-Anodized aluminum is aluminum that’s gone through a process to make it harder, more durable, and more corrosion-resistant. The construction of this collection is similar to All-Clad HA1, which I recently named one of my top non-stick cookware picks.
- Viking 3-Ply Hammered Copper: 3-ply construction with a copper exterior for excellent heat conduction, an 18/8 stainless steel cooking surface, and an aluminum alloy core. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and offers precise temperature control for advanced home chefs.
- Viking Cast Iron: Cast iron excels at heat retention and is highly versatile. However, it is much heavier than other cookware options. Normally, it’s reactive without seasoning, but Viking has coated the interior with enamel to make it non-reactive.
- Viking Blue Carbon Steel: Blue carbon steel is the lightweight answer to cast iron. It also has better food release than stainless steel and undergoes a heat treatment process to prevent rust and corrosion. It has a very high heat tolerance, but this Viking’s max temperature is 450°F — on the low side for carbon steel. By contrast, Made In blue carbon steel pans can withstand temps up to 1200°F. Learn more about this material in this breakdown of its pros and cons.
Like I do with all brands I review, I put Viking cookware to the test. Specifically, I tested the 12-inch Professional 5-Ply frying pan. It’s one of Viking’s best-selling pans and the only collection made in the USA.
I used the pan to cook eggs, steak, fish, sauces, vegetables, and more. I tested its ability to sear, simmer, boil, broil, saute, fry, and bake.
There are several aspects I like about Viking’s performance, and a few I don’t.
First, I love the handle. It’s one of the best-designed handles I’ve used. It’s comfortable but also incredibly safe and functional. The indented top allows you to get a firm grip, and the slight bump underneath prevents your hand from getting too close to the heat.
It’s 9-inches long, which is an inch or two longer than handles on several other brands I’ve tested.
Another positive for Viking is the shape of the pan. Most frying pans have shallow sloped sides, but Viking’s sides are steeper, similar to a saute pan.
The steep sides provide two benefits. First, they allow you to cook more liquid-based meals by containing the ingredients. Second, they increase the flat cooking surface so you can cook more food at once.
This 12-inch Viking pan has a 10-inch flat cooking surface. Most 12-inch frying pans have a 9-inch flat cooking surface.
The downside of steep sides is that it’s harder to flip eggs or slide food onto a plate. You have to tilt the pan at a greater angle to transition it to a plate.
In terms of actual cooking performance, Viking performed on par with other premium brands like All-Clad, Made In, Heritage Steel, and Hestan. It heats up fast and evenly, and due to its relatively thin construction, it responds quickly to changes in temperature.
Cooking eggs on stainless steel is tricky, but using these techniques, I avoided sticking.
Throughout my tests, I noticed the Viking pan cool down as I added ingredients faster than other 5-ply pans. For example, after placing a cold pork chop on the pan, it took a minute or so to heat back up enough to begin searing.
Thicker pans retain heat better, so I wasn’t surprised by this result. That said, I never had an issue getting to my desired results with Viking; it just took more patience to form a crust when browning and searing meats.
Overall, Viking cookware performs as advertised. The pan is enjoyable to use thanks to its large cooking surface, comfortable handles, and quick and even heating. However, the lack of heat retention means you have to pay closer attention and adjust the dial more often.
Viking Cookware vs. the Competition
Based on my observations in the kitchen, Viking cookware heats fast but doesn’t retain heat as well as other 5-ply cookware.
To confirm my observations, I conducted two simple tests.
The heat conduction test measures how fast and evenly the cookware heats. After pouring two cups of cold water into the Viking pan and placing it on the stove on high heat, I measured the time it took for the first bubbles to appear and the time it took for the water to come to a full boil.
I also observed how evenly the bubbles were distributed across the cooking surface. Bubbles concentrated in one area (usually around the edges or in the middle) are a sign of uneven heat distribution.
Fortunately, Viking passed the test. The water was rippling evenly across the pan, and the bubbles were uniform.
It took only one minute and 42 seconds for the bubbles to appear and 2 minutes and 39 seconds for the water to boil.
I conduct this test with every cookware brand I review. As you can see in the chart below, Viking wasn’t the fastest to heat but boiled the water quicker than major brands like Calphalon and All-Clad. These results are consistent with my real-world cooking tests.
|Pan||Time to First Bubbles||Time to Boil|
|Made In fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 21 seconds|
|Misen fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Anolon fry pan||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 27 seconds|
|Zwilling fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 31 seconds|
|T-fal fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||1 minute and 58 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||1 minute and 47 seconds||2 minutes and 36 seconds|
|Viking fry pan||1 minute and 42 seconds||2 minute and 39 seconds|
|Calphalon fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 40 seconds|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||2 minute and 2 seconds||2 minute and 46 seconds|
|Hestan fry pan||1 minute and 52 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|GreenLife pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|Circulon fry pan||2 minutes and 7 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|All-Clad skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||2 minutes and 3 seconds||3 minutes and 10 seconds|
|Ballarini fry pan||2 minutes and 15 seconds||3 minutes and 12 seconds|
|Heritage Steel fry pan||1 minutes and 59 seconds||3 minutes and 15 seconds|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||3 minutes and 25 seconds|
Once the water boiled, I took the pan off the heat and set it on the counter to cool.
After five minutes, the water temperature was 106.6°F.
After ten minutes, the water temperature was 95.9°F.
I conducted this test with several other brands, and as the results below show, Viking’s heat retention falls short.
|Pan||Temperature After 5 Minutes||Temperature After 10 Minutes|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||122.0°F||106.3°F|
|Made In fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°F|
|Misen fry pan||118.6°F||103.4°F|
|Zwilling fry pan||121.1°F||103.0°F|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||126.3°F||102.7°F|
|Circulon fry pan||133.3°F||102.0°F|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||115.2°F||96.6°F|
|Calphalon fry pan||112.8°F||101.1°F|
|Ballarini fry pan||120°F||99.9°F|
|Hestan fry pan||114°F||98°F|
|Viking fry pan||106.6°F||95.9°F|
|GreenLife fry pan||119°F||95°F|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||113°F||95°F|
|Anolon fry pan||112.7°F||90.9°F|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||104.3°F||90.9°F|
|T-fal fry pan||108.7°F||88.0°F|
The two likely causes of these poor results are:
- Thinner pans lose heat faster. Although Viking pans aren’t the thinnest I’ve tested, they’re not as thick as most 5-ply cookware.
- Viking pans have a larger cooking surface than most brands, so more surface area of the water was exposed to the cool air.
Heat retention is important, but these numbers shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. In my kitchen testing, I could control the heat and achieve a proper sear on steak, fish, pork, and chicken without any issues.
Viking is more expensive than most cookware brands. However, the cost is similar to other high-end, fully-clad stainless steel cookware brands.
If you’re on a tight budget, consider purchasing a set from the 3-Ply Contemporary collection or a few pieces from the Blue Carbon Steel collection. Both offer a lower price tag but still feature good quality construction and materials.
The most expensive collections are 7-Ply Titanium and 5-Ply Professional.
Check out the current prices of Viking’s cookware on Amazon in the chart below. Click or tap the price to learn more about each item.
|Viking 3-Ply Stainless 10-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Viking 3-Ply Contemporary 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Viking 3-Ply Contemporary 4.8-Quart Sauté Pan||Amazon|
|Viking 3-Ply Contemporary 10-Inch Non-Stick Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Viking Professional 5-Ply 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Viking 3-Ply Contemporary 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Viking Multi-Ply Color 11-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Viking Hard Anodized 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Viking 3-Ply Hammered Copper 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Viking Professional 5-Ply 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
There’s a lot to like about Viking cookware, but no brand is perfect. Here are the downsides and common complaints about the brand.
Price: Viking cookware is not cheap. If you’re on a tight budget and looking for low-cost cookware, it’s not ideal. Buying Viking cookware is an investment. The brand uses high-quality materials, like copper, and offers solid construction. Plus, the cost is higher because of its association with Viking luxury appliances.
Where it’s made: Except for the 5-Ply Professional collection, Viking cookware is made in China. Quality control may not be as stringent as in the United States. If you browse reviews on Amazon, you’ll find a handful of complaints about the finish and overall quality. The pan I bought had a significant scratch on the exterior right out of the box, something you shouldn’t have to deal with at Viking’s high price point.
Riveted handles: Exposed rivets on the interior of a pot or pan can make cleaning difficult. Food particles, oil, and grime can settle around them and bake into the steel. Except for cast iron, all other Viking collections have exposed rivets.
Logo is difficult to clean: Like the exposed rivets, oil and food residue can build up on the large embossed “Viking” logo. The 5-Ply Professional collection is harder to clean because it spells out: Viking Professional. More letters equal more crevices to clean.
Blue carbon steel temperature rating: The Blue Carbon Steel collections tops out at 450°F, which is lower than most carbon steel cookware. Carbon steel is usually oven safe to 600°F or higher.
Heat retention: My testing proved that Viking Professional 5-Ply cookware heats fast but doesn’t retain heat as brands with similar construction. Because of that, the temperature isn’t as stable, and you’ll need to pay closer attention when cooking. You’ll also need to take steaks out of the fridge and allow them to come up to room temperature sooner before searing because cold ingredients will cause the pan to lose too much heat.
Here are answers to the most-asked questions about Viking cookware.
Yes, Viking makes its cookware with safe and non-toxic materials.
The stainless steel cooking surface is safe. It’s made of either an 18/8 or 18/10 alloy. These types of steel contain 18% chromium and 8% (or 10%) nickel, and both are deemed food-safe by the National Sanitation Federation.
Other materials, like cast iron and titanium, use natural elements.
Collections with PTFE-based non-stick are safe to use as long as you don’t overheat them or scratch up the non-stick surface. Overheating can release fumes, and scratching it could leave bits of the coating in your food.
Yes, all Viking cookware collections are oven-safe, and the maximum temperatures range from 400°F to 600°F. Here are the maximum oven-safe temperatures by collection:
3-Ply Copper Clad: 500°F (lids 350°F); Hard Stainless: 500°F; Professional 5-Ply and Titanium: 600°F; Multi-Ply Color and Cast Iron: 400°F; Hard Anodized: 400°F (lids 350°F); Blue Carbon Steel: 450°F; and 3-Ply Contemporary: 600°F (lids 400°F).
Viking cookware is dishwasher safe except for the Carbon Steel and Cast Iron collections. However, even the dishwasher-safe collections should be hand washed for longevity.
All Viking cookware collections are induction compatible except 3-Ply Copper Clad.
Only the 5-Ply Professional collection is made in the USA. All other collections are made in China.
Although Viking makes its appliances, Clipper Corporation is the exclusive licensee for Viking pots and pans. Since 1994, Clipper Corporation has been supplying commercial kitchens with durable and high-performing cookware. Viking is one of its few consumer brands.
Both brands are pricey, but All-Clad is a better buy. All-Clad stainless steel cookware is made in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and keeping the manufacturing local and in-house has led to decades of consistent quality. Viking cookware is well made, but its durability and long-term performance aren’t as proven. For more information, check out my comparison of All-Clad vs. Viking.
Viking rarely goes on sale, but Prudent Reviews tracks Viking’s prices (and dozens of other brands). We will email you when it goes on sale. Sign up for our free newsletter to get notified.
Now that you know the pros and cons of Viking cookware, it’s time to decide if it’s right for you.
In this Viking cookware review, we’ve shared details on everything from the brand’s aesthetics to its performance.
But, is it worth buying?
Let’s quickly recap to help you decide.
You should buy Viking cookware if:
- You are looking for high-end cookware and have the budget to make an investment.
- You have an induction cooktop and need induction-compatible cookware.
- You want a brand with multiple designs and constructions, including choices of color.
- You want cookware with long, comfortable handles that stay cool.
- You want responsive cookware that heats fast.
- You are looking for non-toxic cookware options.
- You like the option of buying copper cookware for precision heating.
- You want cookware that’s made in the USA (Professional 5-Ply collection)
You should not buy Viking cookware if:
- You prefer a brand that makes all its cookware in the United States.
- You want ceramic non-stick cookware options.
- You need carbon steel cookware that can exceed 450°F in an oven.
- You don’t like cleaning around exposed rivets on your cookware’s interior surface.
- You like holding cookware in your hands before you buy; most Viking cookware is sold online.
- You’re a new home chef and want a starter cookware set from a budget brand.
- You want thick cookware with superior heat retention.
Bottom line — Viking is a well-known luxury appliance manufacturer, but they’ve licensed their brand to a third-party manufacturer, Clipper Corporation, to expand into cookware. Viking cookware is well-made and performs well in the kitchen, but it’s expensive and only one collection is made in the USA.
Before buying Viking, consider All-Clad, Demeyere, Hestan, and Made In. All are comparable in quality to Viking. However, All-Clad makes all stainless steel in the United States. Demeyere and Hestan’s flush rivets or rivetless interiors make them more appealing and easier to clean. And Made In costs less because of its direct-to-consumer business model.
- All-Clad vs. Viking: How Does Their Cookware Compare?
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- 3-Ply vs. 5-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware (The Real Difference)
- 5 High-Quality Alternatives to All-Clad Cookware
- Is Hestan Cookware Worth the High Price? An In-Depth Review
- All-Clad vs. Tramontina: Which Cookware Is Better?
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