If you love to cook then all the best cookware hypes like Chrissy Teigen cookware and the Tasty cookware set gets you excited. But, do you really need more cookware pieces?
Before reading all the cookware reviews, decide whether you have enough kitchen cabinet storage space and what types of cookware is most suitable for your cooking style.
The Ultimate Cookware Buying Guide for Your Kitchen
To help you build the best cookware set for your kitchen and cooking style, we have put together a cookware buying guide. These are all the things you need to think about before adding new cookware pieces to your kitchen appliances.
Make sure you understand the different cookware materials available, to ensure that your new cookware is perfect for your style of cooking and also for your kitchen!
Cookware Set vs Individual Cookware Pieces – Which is Best?
A cookware set is a good starting point for a new kitchen. The best cookware set has all the basic pots and pans that you need in a matching design.
However, a cookware set is just that – a starting point. Even the best cookware is not a complete cookware collection for a serious home cook.
We recommend cookware set for a first home but over time you will notice that you need to add individual cookware pieces to make all of your favorite recipes. So, take a versatile cookware set made of the best cookware material for your favorite recipes and then add individual specialty cookware, later on.
After you have used the cookware set for a while you will notice which cookware items are missing from your cookware collection. So, don’t rush into buying many different individual cookware pieces but take some time to familiarize yourself with the pieces in the cookware set.
Also, think about which type of cookware material these individual pieces should be. Is the cookware material in your cookware set the most appropriate for your cooking style or do you need a few cookware pieces made of different cookware material for specific recipes?
Best Cookware Materials
Each type of cookware material has its own advantages and disadvantages. The best cookware material really depends on the ingredients and recipe.
A complete cookware set needs several versatile cookware pieces and a few specialty cookware pieces. Think of it as having a combination of workhorses and show horses.
Anodized cookware and stainless steel cookware are the most popular cookware materials for a safe cookware set. A cast iron skillet and 100% ceramic cookware for in the oven are examples of popular specialty cookware.
Check out our article on the best cookware materials for a complete guide on cookware materials and when to use each type.
Essential Types of Cookware
Every kitchen cookware set should have the following items below. These cookware items are most commonly used and will let you prepare most simple recipes.
- Small saucepan with glass lid
- Large saucepan with lid
- Stockpot with glass lid
- Saute pan with lid
- Frying pan
- Roasting pan/oven dish
We recommend cookware set with a glass lid because this lets you see what is inside the pot without having to open it and releasing heat. Look for glass lids with a stainless steel edge and a tight fit for the best heat retention.
For specific cuisines, you might want to add a few specialty cookware pieces like the ones below:
- Braising Pan
- Dutch oven
Again, consider the cookware material for these individual cookware pieces so they can perform their job best. For example, copper cookware works great for high heat cooking so get a copper wok and an enameled cast iron Dutch oven is great at retaining heat.
Choose Cookware Based on Other Kitchen Appliances
Don’t forget about the other kitchen appliances when you are choosing new cookware. Make sure that the cookware is compatible with your oven, stove, and dishwasher.
Do you have a gas stove top or do you need induction cookware for your induction stove top? Not all cookware materials are suitable for induction cookware so don’t buy at random.
The best cookware for induction is stainless steel cookware, cast iron cookware, and certain all clad cookware. Induction cookware must be magnetic and with a flat bottom for it to work.
Also, if you prefer using the oven instead of frying or enjoy making over recipes, make sure that you have oven-safe cookware. The following materials are usually oven safe cookware but check whether there is a maximum heat that the cookware can handle.
- Ceramic cookware
- Cast iron cookware
- Glass cookware
- Enamel cookware
- Aluminum cookware
For easier cleanup, choose cookware sets that are dishwasher safe. For example, nonstick cookware sets and hard anodized aluminum cookware sets are very easy to clean compared to cast iron cookware.
What Are the Best Cookware Brands?
It is difficult to label one specific cookware brand as the best. Each brand has its own style and specialty so it is difficult to compare. Also, what is the best cookware is very subjective. Each home cook has their own cooking style and cookware preferences so it is a good idea to try out different cookware brands.
A few of the biggest cookware brands are Calphalon, All-Clad, Cuisinart, Anolon, Circulon, and Farberware which have been tried and trusted for many years. However, there are also many small scale specialty cookware manufacturers and popular newcomers like the Tasty cookware.
The better question is how much you should spend on a cookware set. Are high-end cookware brands always the better option? It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on a high-end cookware brand if you do not cook often or do not need professional cookware. What affects the quality of the food more is your cooking skill.
Serious home cooks and professional cooks are more likely to spend on high-end cookware because they are looking for cookware that allows for more precise cooking. But, if you are a simple home cook then a nonstick cookware set might even be enough for you.
In the end, the type of cookware is a more important factor than the brand.