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If you love to cook and all the best cookware types, like Chrissy Teigen cookware and the Tasty cookware set, get you excited then this is for you. But, do you really need more cookware pieces?
Before reading all the cookware reviews, work out how much kitchen cabinet storage space you have or whether you are going to display the pots and pans by hanging them up, ideal if you have restricted storage, and also what types of cookware are most suitable for your cooking style.
The Ultimate Buying Guide for Your Kitchen
To help you build the best cookware set for your kitchen and cooking style, we have put together this cookware buying guide. These are all the things you need to think about before adding new pieces to your kitchen collection.
When choosing cookware make sure you understand the different cookware materials available, this is important to ensure that your new pots and pans are perfect not only for your preferred style of cooking but also for your kitchen!
Set vs Individual Pieces – Which is Best?
When buying pots and pans a cookware set is a good starting point for a new kitchen. The best set has all the basic pots and pans that you need in a matching design.
However, a set is just that – a starting point. Even the best sets are not a complete collection for a serious home cook.
Although we recommend a set for a first home, over time you will notice that you need to add individual pieces to make all of your favorite recipes. So, buy a versatile set made of the best type of material for your favorite recipes and then add individual specialty pieces later on.
After you have used the set for some time you will know which types of pans are missing from your collection. So, don’t rush into it when buying pots and different individual pieces, take some time to familiarize yourself with the pieces you have before adding to your collection.
Also, think about which type of material these individual pieces should be. Is the material in your set the most appropriate for your cooking style or do you need a few pieces made of a different material for specific recipes? Choosing cookware is not just a case of looks there are varients that should be taken into consideration, after all, it is an investment.
What to look for in cookware. Each type of material has its own advantages and disadvantages. The best cookware material really depends on the ingredients and recipes that are your favorite.
A complete set needs several versatile pieces and a few specialty pieces. Think of it as having a combination of workhorses and show horses.
Anodized and stainless steel types are the most popular materials. While cast iron and 100% ceramic pots for in the oven are examples of popular specialty pieces.
Check out our article on the best cookware materials for a complete more in-depth guide to materials and when to use each type.
Essential Types of Pans
Every set should have the following items below. These pieces 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 would recommend a set with a glass lid as this lets you see what is happening 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 pieces like the ones below:
- Braising Pan
- Dutch oven
Again, consider the material for these individual pieces so they can perform their job best. For example, copper pots and pans work great for high heat cooking so consider a copper wok if you love a stir fry and an enameled cast iron Dutch oven is great at retaining heat and good for the slow-cooked recipes.
Choose Based on Your Other Kitchen Items
Don’t forget when buying cookware about your other kitchen appliances. Make sure that the pots are compatible with your oven, stove, and dishwasher.
Tips on how to choose cookware that is perfect for you and your kitchen.
Do you have a gas stovetop or is it induction? As not all types of materials are suitable for induction cooking, so ensure not to buy at random.
The best material for induction is stainless steel, cast iron, and certain all clad types. Induction pots and pans must be magnetic and with a flat bottom for it to work.
Also, if you prefer using the oven instead of frying or just enjoy making over recipes, ensure that you buy oven-safe, it will cost you all over again if you can’t put your favorite recipe and pan to slow cook in the oven. The following materials are usually oven safe but always check whether there is a maximum heat that the pans can handle.
- Cast iron
For easier cleanup, choose sets that are dishwasher safe. For example, nonstick sets and hard anodized aluminum sets are very easy to clean compared to the specialty cast-iron pieces.
What Are the Best Brands?
It is difficult to label one specific brand as the best. Each brand has its own style and specialty so it is difficult to compare. Also, what is the best type is very subjective. Each home cook has their own cooking style and preferences so it is a good idea to look at different brands.
A few of the biggest 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 manufacturers and popular newcomers like the Tasty cookware.
The better question is how much you should spend on a set. Are high-end brands always the better option? It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on a high-end brand if you do not cook often are not looking for a professional pan. 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 quality because they are looking for pots and pans that allow for more precise cooking. But, if you are a simple home cook then a nonstick set might even be enough for you.
In the end, the type and material are by far the most important factors than the brand. We hope this cookware buying guide has helped you on your way to getting the pots and pans that suit you.