BEST POTS AND PANS BUYING GUIDE
Good pots and pans can enhance your cooking experience for years of food preparation. You don’t necessarily need a complete set of cookware but just make sure the ones you buy are premium.
How many pots and pans is enough?
This is very subjective. You need to know your cooking habits and how many people you will cook for on a regular basis. Most households have one large pot for stewing or bulk preparation. A least 2 mid sized pots are used and at least one fry pan. Make this the framework of your collection and add more based on your needs.
What are the commonly accepted materials for cookware?
Stainless Steel Cookware
This is a common first choice for purchasers. It is sturdy, does not corrode and is less expensive and available at most outlets. Even though they are advertised as stainless steel, cookware is never entirely made of this metal. The best grade of these pots can be compared by ratio. It should contain 18% chromium and 10% nickel (18/10). The chromium component stops any rusting and the nickel guards against acid.
The transference properties for heat with aluminum are excellent and another tick for this type of cookware is that is doesn’t rust. They are generally cheaper than other options but it comes with its challenges. It is not a material you can expose high heat to as the flame extends to the sides and burns any food there. If you do not place water in the bottom of the vessel after cooking, moist food remnants can leave pit marks on the bottom.
Cast iron Cookware
Cast iron is a great conductor and maintains a very consistent temperature. It does however, take a little longer to heat up and conversely to cool down than other alternatives. It is a heavier metal and has the propensity to rust. Make sure if you are looking at this option the pot has an enamel coating. They also require a level of maintenance to ensure the base does not chip.
How functional will your choice be for your home?
The first thing you need to make sure of is that the cookware you would like to choose fits on your stovetop elements. You want good heat transference so a make sure your choice has a component of copper and/or aluminum. A pouring lip on a saucepan can be a great accessory. Remember to investigate the quality of the handle of the cookware you are looking at purchasing. Ensure it is very strong and cool to the touch when lifting a hot saucepan off the stove. Make sure you don’t buy anything too heavy if the person it is intended for is aged or not strong in the wrists. Make sure you have cookware that has the appropriate magnetic properties required for induction cooking. Pots with see through lids are always a great idea. You can see exactly what is going on and some have a small hole to assist with steam release.