There are so many types of cookware and cookware sets in the market nowadays that we consumers are often spoiled for choice.
The main purpose that I write this blog is to help you choose the right cookware. Whether you are buying cookware for the first time or trying to find better cookware to replace old ones, I have recommendations for you.
How To Choose Your Best Cookware
The first thing to do when buying cookware is to choose the material of the cookware. This is an important step that will eliminate a bulk of choices and narrow you down to several good options. Here I have explained briefly about the features, pros and cons about each material, so that you can find the best pots and pans to buy.
|Stainless steel cookware
Durable and long lasting. Can go in the dishwasher, but it heats up slowly and is therefore less energy-efficient. Food tends to stick if the pan is not heated up first. Stainless steel cookware is affordable and commonly used in households.
|Hard anodized aluminum cookware
Generally inexpensive and heats up quickly! It is lighter too, but stains easily and is not dishwasher-safe. Avoid the thin-gauge aluminum since it’s prone to denting and warping. Enamel-coated aluminum, typically found in low-end lines, can chip easily.
Copper tends to heat and cool quickly and efficiently, so they are used by professionals who want precise temperature control. It’s heavy, durable, and generally expensive. Because copper reacts to acidity in food, the pots are often lined with stainless steel or tin.
|Cast iron cookware
Cast iron is the all-time classic. Strong, heavy and durable. Will last a lifetime and inexpensive too! Heats evenly and adds iron to the food. However, iron can rust so frequent seasoning with oil is needed.
Coated with teflon so that the food will not stick to the pans. Very easy to clean up but needs to be used with plastic or wooden utensils, otherwise will scratch and wear off easily.
Dishwasher safe, attractive and versatile. You can use the same pan to keep food in the freezer, then cook it on the stove, in the oven, broiler or microwave, and then serve it on the table. However, glass cookware is usually heavy, may chip or break, and cooks unevenly.
Ceramic cookware is beautiful and dishwasher safe. It is also versatile like glass cookware, and just as heavy. Ceramic cookware often come with a glazed surface that may contain lead or cadmium, so make sure the amount of lead is within safety standards before you buy.
Stone cookware is heavy and durable, resistant to scratch and is safe for cooking. Food does not stick so stone skillets are great for frying. However, they may look out of place in a modern kitchen.
Porcelain or enameled cookware are easy to maintain and they’re tough. But they are the most expensive of all cookware and the coating can chip.
What is the Best Cookware Set?
If I wanted top of the line cookware, I would definitely go for porcelain or copper cookware. For the second best, I’d settle for stainless steel. Stainless steel is the most popular material so I have many stainless steel cookware reviews, do check them out. If I truly have a tight budget, then hard anodized cookware or cast iron cookware is what I’d be looking for.
I wouldn’t buy a whole set of non stick, because they really don’t last and are not suitable for browning, braising and stir-frying. I only recommend buying a non-stick frying pan just for cooking eggs, even though there is some controversy about health risk using teflon coated cookware.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a stick-resistant frying pan (skillet) but want to avoid Teflon, cast iron cookware is a great alternative (only if you care to maintain it). If you like to know more about the advantage and disadvantage of using non-stick and uncoated cookware, you can find out more over here.
Best Cookware Reviews
Once you have determined what type of material for your cookware to be, check out my recommendations below for home cookware. The best cookware set in my mind is a reasonably priced stainless steel cookware set with one or two non-stick frying pans, but yours could be entirely different. Go ahead and read my cookware set reviews.
|Premium Stainless Steel Cookware
Made of shiny stainless steel, this is my best cookware set.
|Budget Stainless Steel Cookware Set
A good looking stainless steel set with great value for money.
|Best Hard Anodized Cookware Set
Lightweight, good looking and practical, though not very durable.
|Best NonStick Cookware Set
If you really insist on getting a whole set of non stick, here it is.
|Best Cast Iron Cookware Brand
Long lasting cookware to last years and years.
|Best Copper Cookware Set
High end cookware for professionals.
|Best Frying Pan To Go With Your Cookware Set
Fry and clean up easily. No stubborn grease.
|Best Rated Cookware for Glass Top Stoves
Flat-bottomed pots and pans to avoid ugly scratches on your ceramic or glass stove tops.
Isn’t this an easy way to choose your best cookware? I will write more cookware reviews in my blog posts when there are new updates.
Which Type of Cookware to Use for Different Cooking Methods
I like to mix and match cookware from different cookware sets for my different methods of cooking because I’m constantly looking to make cooking easier and more fun for myself, and create tastier meals for my family. So what are the cookware pieces that I use for roasting, pan frying and etc?
Cookware for Sautéing
Sauté pans come in all shapes and sizes. They are usually made of materials such as stainless steel, aluminum and cast iron. Your first step would be to make a decision on what material you would want to use.
Next, there would be options of the type of inner coatings. Some sauté pans have non-stick coatings for example Teflon, ceramic or even the newly discovered thermolon. To find out more about thermolon and Teflon you can read my post regarding their differences (coming soon).
Finally you have the task of choosing the perfect size of pan. There is no point in getting a 14-inch pan to serve a single person. Try to have feel of the pans before purchasing them. Grip and weight do play an important role in the sauté process. My best choice is this saute pan.
Cookware for Pan Frying
The best way to pan fry is by using a skillet. From experience, this cast iron skillet does wonders. There are other types of skillets on the market too.
Stainless steel, anodized steel and non stick are just a few examples. I usually heat my pans to high temperatures to get that crispy charred outer layer before finishing off the browning in the oven. Only a cast iron skillet would be able to do this.
A tip would be to wait until the oil or butter is hot enough before frying. This keeps the meat moist and tender. Nevertheless, if I was just frying a couple of sunny-side eggs, I would surely stick to regular non-stick pans like this frying pan because it would appear the more convenient choice. They are indeed a lot easier to clean. It even has a thermal indicator in the middle of the pan that would help out a lot in determining the right time to slide my eggs in.
Cookware for Roasting
Stainless steel pans provided me some great results in roasting because it does not leach away any flavor from the roast. Stainless steel evenly roasts the roast from all sides due to its excellent heat conduction that transmits heat evenly.
I especially like this rectangular roaster. It is sturdy, dishwasher friendly and has drip-free lining to ensure I get all the delicious gravy from my roast.
Cookware for Baking
Have you tried baking a casserole? All you need is an array of cooked or sauté ingredients, an oven and a baking dish with a lid. On the market there are casserole dishes that are made of glass, porcelain, enameled cast iron and stone.
This enameled cast iron casserole is my favorite cookware for baking my children’s favorite chicken casserole. I usually sauté the ingredients in the dish on the stove top before adding the rest of the ingredients and transferring it to the oven.
Cookware for Grilling
Grilling indoors is one of our favorite things to do nowadays. Common grill pans found on the market are usually made of enamel, cast iron, aluminum, and stainless steel.
This cast iron grill pan is my top choice because it keeps the meat sizzling away with evenly distributed heat. Remember to pre-heat it for a bit before actually placing your meat on it. Searing improves the flavor of the meat by caramelizing the surface when it comes in contact. The best part is that the grill comes pre-seasoned so its ready to be used as soon as it arrives.
Cookware for Broiling
Broiler pans are usually made of porcelain, steel and non-stick material. However it is getting harder to find them on the market and many users have been replacing them with just the iron rack inside their oven with a pan at the bottom.
I however use a stainless steel broiler set. This stainless steel broiler pan is a wonderful set which is also dishwasher friendly. I love the fact that it does not contain a non-stick coating and is an overall safe metal to use.
Cookware for Deep Frying
I get the crispiest fried chicken using this stainless steel stockpot. My crispy Fried chicken remains crispy because my oil is pre-heated to high temperatures that range from 375 Fahrenheit to 425 Fahrenheit.
If you use oil that is not hot enough, oil will seep into the poulet making it less crispy. Remember to ensure your ingredients are dry when you plan to deep fry it or you will have oil splattering everywhere.
Cookware for Poaching, Simmering, Boiling
I prefer glass cookware for poaching, simmering and boiling but stainless steel pots work just as well. I just like to keep an eye on the temperature without lifting off the lid.
Cookware for Steaming
You can use a steamer insert together with any tall stock pot for steaming. The best material is stainless steel for easy cleanup after steaming. My favorite steamer insert is this universal one which fits with most of my pots.
I hope I have helped you grasp a brief picture on what cookware I use for different cooking techniques. Cooking is a journey in which you should experiment until you find your own signature style. If you like to read more about the different methods of cooking, click here.
Best Cookware Brands
Here are my best cookware brands reviews. Some of the top brands are All Clad, Rachael Ray, Calphalon and Lodge. Check out these recommendations!
- All Clad cookware
- Calphalon cookware
- Cuisinart cookware
- Farberware cookware
- KitchenAid cookware
- Lodge cookware
- Rachael Ray cookware
- T-Fal cookware
- Staub cookware
- WearEver cookware
Cookware Maintenance Guide
Having a good cookware set doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do anything to keep it in good condition. Make sure you take steps to care for your cookware set so that they will serve you longer and continue to be the best cookware you ever used! Here are some tips to care for different types of cookware:
- How to Care for Non Stick Cookware
- How to Care for Cast Iron Cookware
- How to Care for Copper Cookware
- Cookware Reviews Blog – Click Here for More
More Blogs to Read:
- You may be interested in this article by Consumer Reports