It is not simply purchasing a set of pots and pans, but one must also look at what they are going to be cooking as well as their stove top (smoothtop ranges do not work with cast iron as an example). A person’s cooking style is also a factor in what type of cookware is best for them. You might have a wonderful set of cookware, but your favorite fry pan is something the children used in an experiment, so you could simply purchase a good fry pan instead of replacing your full set of cookware. If you do not like heavy pans, you will not want any form of cast iron pans as they are very heavy.
There are some pots and pans that will allow you to use them on the stove top as well as the oven. It would be wise to check the handles on the product even if it is stated to be oven safe. Metal handles are about the only ones which are truly oven safe, however silicone handles can handle being in the oven, but only to a certain temperature. It is suggested that before purchasing a set of pots and pans that the individual buying them handles them. Find them at the store (even if you are getting a smoking deal online) and pick them up. See if the handles feel good in your hand. Determine whether the pan is too heavy for you to use regularly.
Some important things to consider when purchasing cookware concern how the cookware works for you. Heat conductivity is something which is very important, does the pan spread heat evenly. Durability is another selling point of cookware. Is the cookware going to last for years or look battered and beaten within a year? Reactivity is something most do not think about, but certain metals do not react well with certain foods, especially acidic foods. Maintenance is another area which needs to be looked at before purchasing some pots and pans. Copper and cast iron cookware both require a lot of maintenance to keep them looking good and in decent cooking shape. As example, cast iron cookware must be seasoned and cannot be washed with soap. Most who use it oil it after each clean up to keep it in good shape, so in other words, high maintenance.
Many people enjoy the various cooking shows on television and many of these shows offer their signature pots and pan sets, or may make suggestions as to “the best” set of cookware. First we are going to take a look at some of the different types of cookware that can be purchased. Some of the types of pots and pans available are stainless steel, nonstick, enameled cast iron, uncoated cast iron, carbon-steel & blue steel, aluminum, and copper. In each of these groups there are different brands and pricing ranges. Each group also has pros and cons for cooking with that particular type of cookware.
Stainless steel cookware is excellent for browning and braising. It is an extremely durable and easy to care for. This can be a major purchasing point. It also provides rapid even heating and does not react with foods, as an example using unlined copper pots can impart bitterness with sauces of a tomato nature or even creamy sauces. Stainless steel cookware is often magnetic and compatible with induction cooktops. This type of cookware is often dishwasher and oven safe, but one would need verify this information on the set purchased. Many of the name brands of cookware have different types of cookware such as stainless steel, non-stick, and aluminum cookware.
Stainless steel cookware can be purchased in sets or as separate pieces. A good idea to determine if this cookware is one you would like to use is to purchase a piece and use it. If you find it is a type of cookware that you enjoy and find valuable to your cooking, then you can look at getting a set or even adding particular pieces that you use most often: a frying pan, stockpot, or whatever item you might need. Stainless steel cookware is extremely durable, does not react with foods, and the maintenance is generally extremely easy.