This analyzed cookware buying guide will not only answer all the questions you have in your mind but also assist you to pick the best cooking gear. If you’ve assessed that the quality of your cookware is no longer top tier and not fully functional, it’s time to do a little refurbishing.
Just got your new place and don’t know where to start? We’ve got you! Really need to switch out certain items to more advanced cookware? We’re here to help!
Instead of owning a variety of pots and pans in different shapes and sizes, selectively copping the best cookware for you will save time and space. Choosing from a wide range of available brands, materials, and prices can be quite overwhelming.
That is why we have done research on the best cookware suitable for your favorite cooking practices and stay within your budget you’ll be able to get what’s best for you.
What is the Best Cookware for Your Kitchen?
The best cookware isn’t determined by a single factor. It all depends on you and what knowledge you have of the cookware you need to work flexibly in the kitchen. How often will you be using them and knowledge of proper care and maintenance is also vital.
Factors To Consider When Buying Cookware
When buying cookware do not be overwhelmed by high prices. There are a variety of brands that market affordable cookware that gets the job done. Create a budget based on the quality you are seeking and stick to it.
Otherwise, you may find yourself purchasing more than one pot from two different brands that were made to do the same thing.
If you intend to keep your kitchenware for a number of years proper maintenance is a must. Some cookware will need a little more effort to remain spotless, shiny, and scratch-free.
This is usually determined by the type of material used to construct them. Stainless steel is a low maintenance material, unlike copper which requires way more care to remain unblemished.
Some cookware can withstand extreme pressure and are long-lasting. Cast iron pots and pans, for example, are extremely durable so if you have a habit of accidentally dropping cookware these are not easily dented and scratched.
How often will you be using different pots and how many persons are you preparing food for. Let’s be honest, purchasing extra-large pots and pans for everyday use in a small household isn’t exactly constructive.
Small to medium-sized is more suitable. Consider the storage space of your cabinet or cupboard and how each piece will fit perfectly with what you already have.
Some materials are good conductors of heat while others are not. Cast Iron and stainless steel are poor conductors of heat which means pots will take some time to heat up.
Copper and Aluminum on the other hand are excellent conductors and will provide an even distribution heat throughout the food.
Now that we’ve gone over the important factors to consider when buying cookware, let’s dive into:
- The types of pans you need in a kitchen
- Choosing the best cookware materials
- The best cookware brands to purchase from
The Types of Pans You Need in a Kitchen
Everyday cookware essentials for preparing appetizing meals
Have you ever been shopping online or in stores and noticed the variety of pans? You may wonder what is the point of that many considering each pan simply needs to carry out one thing and that is to prepare a meal.
The thing is each pan is tailored to perform a more specific duty. Now let’s take a look.
1. Dutch Oven
A Dutch Oven is a wide heavy-duty pot with a snug tight-fitting lid and durable loop handles. They are used to slow cook stews, chilis, sauces, braises, soups, and baked bread. If you need to deep fry different meats and doughs this is a useful pan. The cast iron material retains heat for a long time though it takes a while to heat up.
2. Frying Pan
Do you enjoy making eggs, bacon, and pancakes for breakfast? Or do you like making crispy fried chicken drumsticks for dinner? The frying pan has a flat bottom with long handles and is used to evenly frying, searing, and brown food.
Griddles are mostly used to prepare breakfast foods like sausages, eggs, and pancakes. If you’re a lover of grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, and steaks, this pan can be used just like a frying pan. The broad cooking surface fits over one or two burners for efficiency in cooking for a large number of persons.
4. Grill Pan
A grill pan has raised ridges across the base and is used to sear meat, vegetables, seafood, and even sandwiches. The best grill pans are made of cast iron because they retain such high temperatures.
5. Roasting Pan
A roasting pan is a large oven-safe rectangular pan with high sides that sometimes contains a roasting rack. It is used to cook vegetables, turkey, baked chicken, and roasted chicken among other things.
A saucepan is tall stovetop cookware with a flat circular base, a lid, and a long handle. It is used to boil and simmer mostly liquids but you can use this pan to boil eggs or make pasta, sauces, and pastry cream. There are a variety of sizes available to fit your needs.
7. Sauté Pan
These pans are quite similar to frying pans but the difference is the sides. The sauté pan has a higher side making it easier to sear large steaks or brown chicken legs. It also holds way more food than that of a frying pan.
A skillet is a kind of frying pan made of cast iron. The flat base and sloping sides are ideal for stir fry, seared, baked, broiled, and sauteed meals.
9. Stock Pot
A stockpot is a large pot with a wide opening, straight sides, and a lid. The handles on opposite sides facilitate easy movement from the stove to any other location. It is used worldwide for cooking soups, pasta, corn, and seafood boil.
A Wok is the best pan you could have for making stir fry. The deep thin-walled cooking pan is round and lowers the need for using excess oil. The carbon steel material also allows meals to be prepared quickly.
11. Pressure Cooker
For foods that need to be tenderized, a pressure cooker will get the job done. The lid seals in heat and moisture leaving no air space so food is cooked at a boiling point of 212˚ F. The high temperatures reduce cooking time and keep all flavors intact. Foods such as pork chops, dried beans, and brown rice are commonly cooked using this pan.
12. Double Boiler
Double Boilers look like two interlocking pots. It works by filling the lower pan which tends to be a bit larger with water, then set the shallow pan on top of the other. They are used to make delicate foods like sauces, custards, and melting chocolate for many desserts.
After analyzing the different pans, we hope you’ve singled out the pans that you actually need for your kitchen. So go ahead and pop out those awesome recipes you’ve been waiting to try. Purchasing the pan, you need to cook will create an even more euphoric feeling after all has been prepared.
Choosing the Best Cookware Materials
When purchasing cookware selecting the right material is important. It’s not about which material is specifically the best as each has features that make them effective or ineffective for preparing particular meals. These are some of the materials used to construct cookware:
Non-stick is really popular because it flawlessly makes the most delicate foods easy to prepare and requires little to no oil. For all your tasty meals that need no oil this material is best.
It cleans up nicely and can be used in dishwashers. Note however that the non-stick quoting can become rather harmful if extremely overheated.
The excess heat may cause the quoting to chip away so monitor the temperature of your stove while you cook. To prevent scratches on the surface use wooden utensils or hard nylon and avoid metal ones.
When caring for non-stick pans, ensure that it is cool before washing or dipping in cold water. To maintain your pan for a number of years it’s best to handwash with a sponge or towel, drain and let them air dry.
Stainless-steel materials are created with other metals such as nickel and chromium. It is relatively low-maintenance cookware and looks absolutely attractive on stovetops, tabletops, or tables. They are durable and do not scratch easily or leave marks that will alter the taste of foods.
Oil is needed to make a cleanly finished meal but it is a relatively low stick metal. Use in ovens and dishwashers is permitted and considered safe. These tend to last for many years so if you are interested to keep your pots and pans for a long time this is suitable.
For meals that you need to prepare with high heat but don’t want to use oil, ceramic pots and pans are best. The aluminum base creates speedy and even heat distribution and is completely scrape resistant.
Though they are used for healthy meals and have no PTFE or PFOA, they tend to be less durable so extra care is needed. To prolong the use of ceramic cookware, handwash instead of using a dishwasher.
Use silicone or wooden utensils to limit scrapes and allow the ceramic pan to cool before washing.
4. Carbon Steel
Carbon steel is a good conductor of heat and is inexpensive and durable. They work well with all types of stovetops or grills and are relatively lightweight. For all your searing, sauteing, and browning recipes carbon steel is effective.
Due to the tin material, extreme heat retention is minimal to prevent burning. Proper maintenance is key to preventing rust, otherwise, they will be in your household for a significant number of years.
5. Cast Iron
Cast iron materials heat slow and maintain heat at even temperatures. This is an excellent choice for cooking that requires high heat like searing and frying.
They are highly durable when cared for and need extra maintenance to prevent rust. Based on your budget if you are seeking affordable pots and pans cast iron is the way to go.
Out of all the materials mentioned, copper is the best heat conductor used to manufacture cookware. It heats and cools evenly making it easy to control temperature.
Note however that it is quite expensive and proper maintenance is essential to its durability. Hand wash with a soft scrub and avoid using bleach to remove any form of spots or marks.
One of the most affordable materials used to make kitchenware is aluminum and it is a fine conductor of heat. One thing to consider however is that aluminum may react with certain acidic and sulfurous foods like tomatoes, organ meat, and vinegar leaving a metallic taste.
To avoid this, purchase aluminum pots with non-stick coating. Be careful when handling pans as the thin exterior is usually prone to warping.
The Best Cookware Brands to Purchase From
Many brands have come to the rescue with a variety of cookware options in shapes, sizes, and colors to match your needs. Whether you’re an experienced chef who has mastered all areas of amazing cuisine or an eager beginner, these brands cater to all users.
Let’s take a look at some of these well-known cookware brands.
All-Clad is U.S based manufacturing company and one of the best in business to produce quality and hard-wearing cookware. Their pots, pans, kitchen tools, and accessories are used by both professional and in-home chefs.
They offer cookware that is non-stick, copper, and stainless steel so you can make the best meals with the right tools. You can shop for their products on Amazon, Macy’s, Williams Sonoma as well as Crate and Barrel.
Calphalon is an American company that has been producing anodized aluminum cookware. They manufacture durable and warp-resistant pots and pans layered with 2 to 5 nonstick coating making the product long-lasting.
3. Green Life
If you’re more into using nontoxic cookware GreenLife produces nonstick ceramic pots and pans that cater to healthy cooking. Their products can be used to make appetizing omelets, pan pork chops, and required little to no oil.
All GreenLife pots and pans so far are dishwasher safe and can be found at Walmart, Amazon, Home Depot, Target, and Wayfair.
4. Le Creuset
If you are fascinated by bright colors Le Creuset is the pioneer in color development and still has some of the most durable and chip-resistant products.
They are manufactured using cast iron and though they can be a bit high-priced will last for a long time. These distinguished products can be found on Amazon, Crate and Barrel, and Williams Sonoma.
Lodge is another established American cookware brand founded in Pittsburg, Tennessee. They produce enamel-coated and uncoated cast iron pots and pans which are easy to clean, nonstick, and durable.
Whether on stoves or grills their pots can be used for a variety of food preparation methods. To purchase pots, utensils, and more visit Target, Walmart, Wayfair, and Amazon.
Cuisinart is a high-end brand that creates four types of cookware that is hard-anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and copper. Their high-quality products such as skillets, roasting pans, and stockpots can be found at Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Wayfair.
Marc Gregoire was the mastermind behind the Teflon-coated nonstick cookware. His company Tefal now manufactures cookware sold in several appealing colors in sets and individual pieces.
These include durable and scratch-resistant stock pots, frying pans, Dutch ovens, saucepans, and more. If you’re interested in this brand their cookware is available in Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon.
8. Other Brands
The cookware brands mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. The following are cookware brands that may already be in your kitchen or ones you’ve read or heard about:
• Rachael Ray
There are many more brands and they invest a lot of time and research to create quality cookware for their customers. After reading about the different brands, pans, and materials used to make them the key is to purchase what works best for you.
If you are a regular chef who is always in the kitchen trying new recipes and making new discoveries, then you may need an array of cookware. For those who don’t tend to be in the kitchen that much a few essential pots and pans may be all you need.
Stay within your budget and analyze quality based on what you prefer. Purchasing cookware because it sounds and looks fancy but is never being used it isn’t necessary.
If you’re someone who believes in buying cookware until the time comes for use by all means get what you desire.