How to buy cookware
A cookware buying guide
Whether you are setting up your own kitchen or hoping to refresh your existing supplies, cookware can be a big investment. As you consider how to buy cookware, think about how much space you have to store it and the kind of stove you will be cooking on.
>> What will you use it for?
The best cookware to buy will vary based on what you are planning to use it for. If you plan to cook mostly basic meals for your family, you might look for basic types of cookware. However, if you will be cooking mostly for entertaining purposes, you might want to purchase themed cookware sets. If you are a budding chef, you will want cookware that can stand up to heavy use.
>> Consider your storage space
When looking at different types of cookware, think about how much space you have to store the cookware. Consider smaller cookware if you are living in a dorm or a small apartment. The accessories for cookware products might help you solve storage issues. For example, you might want to look for cookware designs that allow you to hang the pots and pans from the ceiling.
>> How many pieces do you need?
When figuring out how to buy cookware, think about what pieces you need. This decision may be based on what you plan to cook, because different meals require different types of cookware. For example, if you like to cook Chinese dishes, you will need a wok.
When considering the pieces you require, think about how many people you will be cooking for and what you are cooking. The options available range from types of cookware that include just the basics to ceramic cookware to professional-level multi-piece sets.
>> What materials do you want?
Cookware comes in a variety of materials. When thinking about how to buy cookware, look at aluminum, copper and stainless steel. The best cookware to buy is based on what you are going to cook on. Will you be cooking on a gas or an electric stove? If you want microwaveable cookware, you will want cookware material that does not conduct electricity, such as ceramic, glass or plastic. Most cookware that can be used in the microwave is plastic. Cast iron is extremely versatile because it can go into the oven, on open flames and on top of a stove and it conducts heat evenly.
>> Consider the coating
Cookware is available with several types of coating. One type of non-stick cookware is anodized cookware. This cookware is porous - the coating prevents food from sticking - and it is suitable for occasional or short-term use.
When doing a cookware comparison, you will want to consider more than just non-stick coating. Enameled cookware is a type of cast iron cookware that is very versatile.
If you wish to buy cookware without a coating, look at cast iron pans. Once seasoned, they need to be washed with only hot water.
>> What type of handle do you want?
There are many types of cookware handles; when thinking about how to buy cookware, consider the material of the handle as well as the material of the cookware itself. You want a handle that is heat resistant if you plan to use the cookware on the stove, but you might also prefer to have an oven-safe handle.
Think about the age of the people using the cookware. If you have children in your home, you will want a handle that is lightweight and will not get hot. You will not be able to use cookware with this kind of handle in the oven. Some handles, such as those made of silicone, are dishwasher and oven safe. Think about how often you will be cleaning the cookware, and if removable handles would be suitable.
>> What about accessories?
If you are looking at a 10-piece non-stick cookware set, which is a basic collection, think about accessories. There are many accessories to consider when you are looking at types of cookware.
When you are considering how to buy cookware, also think about all the other kitchen and dining products you own. You might want the color of your cookware to match your dinnerware, your storage products or your bakeware. With the variety of colors and styles available, you can find what you need for your kitchen.