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The Ultimate Viking Cookware Review: Is It Any Good?

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:


Design

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.

Viking 5-Ply Professional frying pan
Viking 5-Ply Professional frying pan

 I’ll also highlight some unique design features of Viking’s other collections.

Exterior

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.

Bottom of Viking 5-Ply Professional fry pan
Bottom of Viking 5-Ply Professional fry pan

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.

Viking logo on the handle

Although Professional 5-Ply cookware is made with five bonded layers, it’s noticeably thinner than other brands’ fully-clad cookware.

Viking stainless steel cookware bonded layers
Viking stainless steel cookware bonded layers

For example, Viking cookware is significantly thinner than Demeyere Atlantis, which is made of seven bonded layers.

Viking versus Demeyere cookware thickness
Viking versus Demeyere cookware thickness

It’s also thinner than Heritage Steel’s 5-ply cookware.

Viking versus Heritage Steel cookware thickness
Viking versus Heritage Steel cookware thickness

Here’s how Viking’s thickness compares to All-Clad D3 (3-layer) cookware.

Viking versus All-Clad cookware thickness
Viking versus All-Clad cookware thickness

And, here’s a side-by-side look at Viking vs. Made In, another 5-ply pan.

Viking versus Made In cookware thickness
Viking versus Made In cookware thickness

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.

Interior

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.

Viking cookware interior

The stainless interiors have a distinct circular ripple pattern across the surface. Viking’s titanium cookware features a smooth, satin interior finish.

Viking stainless steel circular 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.

If you prefer recessed rivets, check out Hestan’s NanoBond collection. If you’d rather not see the rivets at all, Demeyere Atlantis Proline cookware is an excellent rivet-less option.

Handles

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.

Viking Cookware long handle
Viking Cookware long handle

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.

Viking frying pan handle

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.

Viking versus All-Clad handles
Viking (top), All-Clad (bottom)

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.

Lids

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.

Materials and Construction

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.

Performance

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.

Viking pan on a gas burner

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.

Bump under Viking handle to prevent your hand from getting burned
Bump under Viking handle to prevent your hand from getting burned

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.

Cooking eggs in a Viking pan

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.

Viking cookware even heating
Viking cookware even heating

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.

PanTime to First BubblesTime to Boil
Made In fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 21 seconds
Misen fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 25 seconds
Anolon fry pan1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 27 seconds
Zwilling fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
T-fal fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Gotham Steel fry pan1 minute and 58 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Rachael Ray fry pan1 minute and 47 seconds2 minutes and 36 seconds
Viking fry pan1 minute and 42 seconds2 minute and 39 seconds
Calphalon fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 40 seconds
Pioneer Woman fry pan2 minute and 2 seconds2 minute and 46 seconds
Hestan fry pan1 minute and 52 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
GreenLife pan2 minutes and 11 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
Circulon fry pan2 minutes and 7 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad skillet1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
Demeyere Industry fry pan2 minutes and 3 seconds3 minutes and 10 seconds
Ballarini fry pan2 minutes and 15 seconds3 minutes and 12 seconds
Heritage Steel fry pan1 minutes and 59 seconds3 minutes and 15 seconds
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan2 minutes and 11 seconds3 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.

Viking heat retention test results after five minutes
Viking heat retention test results after five minutes

After ten minutes, the water temperature was 95.9°F.

Viking heat retention test results after ten minutes
Viking heat retention test results after ten minutes

I conducted this test with several other brands, and as the results below show, Viking’s heat retention falls short.

PanTemperature After 5 MinutesTemperature After 10 Minutes
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan122.0°F106.3°F
Made In fry pan121.1°F106.6°F
Misen fry pan118.6°F103.4°F
Zwilling fry pan121.1°F103.0°F
Rachael Ray fry pan126.3°F102.7°F
Circulon fry pan133.3°F102.0°F
Demeyere Industry fry pan115.2°F96.6°F
Calphalon fry pan112.8°F101.1°F
All-Clad skillet111.6°F100.9°F
Ballarini fry pan120°F99.9°F
Heritage Steel120.1°F98.2°F
Hestan fry pan114°F98°F
Viking fry pan106.6°F95.9°F
GreenLife fry pan119°F95°F
Gotham Steel fry pan113°F95°F
Anolon fry pan112.7°F90.9°F
Pioneer Woman fry pan104.3°F90.9°F
T-fal fry pan108.7°F88.0°F

The two likely causes of these poor results are:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 

Price

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.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Downsides

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.

Scratched Viking fry pan
Scratched Viking fry pan

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.   

Viking Cookware FAQs

Here are answers to the most-asked questions about Viking cookware.

Is Viking cookware non-toxic?

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.

Is Viking cookware oven-safe?

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).

Is Viking cookware dishwasher safe?

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.

Which Viking cookware is induction compatible?

All Viking cookware collections are induction compatible except 3-Ply Copper Clad.

Which Viking cookware is made in the USA?

Only the 5-Ply Professional collection is made in the USA. All other collections are made in China.Viking logo and instructions on bottom of pan

Who makes Viking cookware?

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.

Where can I buy Viking cookware?

You won’t find Viking cookware in many stores, but you can buy it online at Amazon and VikingCulinaryProducts.com.

Is Viking cookware better than All-Clad?

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.

Does Viking cookware ever go on sale?

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.

Bottom Line: Is Viking Cookware Worth Buying?

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)

If that sounds like you, check out Viking cookware at Amazon or VikingCulinaryProducts.com.

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.

Read more reviews and check the current prices of Viking cookware on Amazon or VikingCulinaryProducts.com.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He’s studied consumer buying behavior for 10+ years and has managed marketing campaigns for over a dozen Fortune 500 brands. When he’s not testing the latest home products, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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