Picking out cookware can be a daunting task. There are so many different types of pots and pans available – stainless steel, non-stick, copper, cast iron, glass… the list goes on.
How many times have you been out shopping for cookware and come home with a set that is either too heavy, too light, or doesn’t fit your needs?
For those who have never purchased cookware before it may seem like an impossible task to find what will best suit their needs. However there are some factors that you should keep in mind when picking out your new cookware.
There are many different materials to choose from when purchasing cookware including stainless steel, cast iron, non-stick and copper.
Each material has its own set of pros and cons. For example, stainless steel is a great option because it is highly durable, but it doesn’t provide the same browning as a copper skillet or benefits from a non-stick coating.
The type of pots and pans you should purchase depends on the type of food you will be cooking most often. If you are just starting out with cooking then I would recommend getting an all-purpose size pot that can be used for boiling pasta or making soup for one person. You’ll also need at least one small skillet that
3. Size of the pots or pans (small, medium, large)
There are several factors to consider when determining the size of your pots and pans.
The first is how much food you will be cooking at one time. If you are cooking frequently for one or two people, then small to medium sized pots and pans would be suitable.
However if you are cooking for a larger group (4+), then large pots and pans may be what you need. Also keep in mind that large pots will require more energy to heat up than smaller ones which could affect the temperature of your stove top.
Lastly, it is important to determine whether or not you have enough storage space for these new pieces of cookware. Some cookware sets come with various pieces so all sizes may already fit nicely into your cabinet or cupboard.
4. Additional pieces
Some cookware sets come with various pieces such as a steamer, pasta pot or a saute pan in addition to your regular pots and pans.
If you are cooking for an average family then one of these additional pieces might be suitable in your kitchen.
However if you have limited storage space, then it may not be worth purchasing an extra cooking utensil that you do not need. Instead try finding a set that has all the necessary pots and pans included so everything is compact and easy to store.
When determining what kind of heat your pots and pans will have there are two main factors to consider – conductor material and insulation material . It is important when picking out cookware to find out whether or not the cookware has an aluminum core (it will say this on the box).
If you are cooking food that is high in acidity (like tomato sauce) then it might be best to avoid pots and pans with an aluminum core since acidic foods can wear away at the pot. This can end up causing unwanted chemicals like aluminum to seep into your food.
Pots and pans that do not have an aluminum cores usually contain stainless steel or copper – these materials are great conductors of heat!
You’ll want to keep in mind though, that a thicker layer of material may mean that it takes longer for your pot or pan to heat up. It’s important to find a happy medium when picking a thickness
6) Price (bargain, moderate, expensive)
When it comes to price the best thing you can do is stay within your budget. If you are on a limited food budget, then waiting to splurge on a top of the line cookware set may not be in your best interest.
However if you take good care of your pots and pans, a more expensive set will generally last longer than a cheaper one.
The average price of cookware ranges depending on what you are looking for. It would be generally priced at $50-150 for an all-purpose set of pots and pans.
If you have a more limited budget, there are cheaper options out there ranging from $25 to $60.
Generally, the more expensive the cookware set, the higher quality it is and if you take care of your pots and pans they will last a long time!
There are many brands available when looking for cookware sets such as Farberware, Calphalon, Cuisinart, Emeril by T-fal and Hexclad Cookware, just to name a few.
It would be impossible for me to list which brand is better or worse since each has its own unique pros and cons that I have not tested personally. So it is up to you and your personal preferences as to which brand you will end up choosing.
8) Dishwasher safe
If you are an active person and do not have the time or patience to hand wash each piece of your cookware then it would be best if it were dishwasher safe.
Some sets come with a special coating that specifically protect your pots and pans from damage at high temperatures in the dishwashers. If this feature is important for you then make sure to look out for this when purchasing new cookware sets.
9) Stainless steel exterior
Cooking food over high heat can cause food stuffs like oil, tomato sauce or even chocolate to burn onto your pot or pan. These stains are difficult to remove and often require special cleaners.
A cookware set with a stainless steel exterior can help prevent this from happening since it does not warp or tarnish when exposed to different ranges of heat.
10) Metal utensils
Metal utensils are generally better at preventing scratches in your pots and pans compared to plastic ones. If you love cooking dishes that require the use of metal utensils then try finding some nice ceramic non-stick coating on your new pots and pans so you can enjoy cooking without leaving unwanted scratches on the surface.
I hope I was able to give you somewhat of an idea on how to pick out your own kitchen cookware sets . It may sound like a lot but many brands have websites where they will provide you with all the information you need such as dimensions, materials and warranty.
Happy shopping! 🙂