Last updated: 16/10/2022

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As usual, we will briefly introduce you to everything you need to know about cookware, so that you can equip yourself with the best cookware and take your cooking experience to the next level.

Instead of buying individual pots and pans, buying a cookware set will allow you, in addition to having uniformity in all your instruments, to have different pieces useful in specific moments and meals, made with resistant and compatible materials.

In this article you will find all the characteristics that you should know and that will lead you straight to the perfect cookware for you. Grab a notebook and start jotting down your notes so you don’t miss any details, and good luck with your purchase!




Summary

  • Cookware consists of sets of pots, frying pans, saucepans, ladles and similar items for the different needs you have when cooking. You can find them in a variety of materials and they will allow you to give each food the cooking specifications it requires.
  • Although there are different materials of manufacture, stainless steel and aluminium are the two most common. They vary in weight, heat distribution capacity, durability and other aspects that you will learn about throughout this reading.
  • When purchasing the perfect cookware, you should take into account the weight of its elements, the number of pieces it contains (which usually varies a lot), the guarantee offered by the manufacturer and its non-stick properties in order to achieve a successful purchase.

The best Cookware: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about cookware

Cookware brings magic to your meals and it’s you who holds the wand. That’s why today we’re bringing you details about this ideal piece of equipment when it comes to preparing your best recipes and how to recognise the ideal choice when you’re looking at it. Take a closer look at the following information.

Cookware can include pots, pans, saucepans, strainers, spoons, spatulas, ladles, knives and more, depending on each brand and model. (Photo: Freepik / Freepik)

What is cookware and what are its advantages?

When we talk about cookware, we are referring to a set of containers and utensils such as pots, pans, griddles and the like, designed to contain the food you will prepare. There is an incredible amount of presentations, so a cookware set can include from 3 to 20 pieces or more.

This not only means that the number of elements in it varies, but also its material, utility, function, size and many other aspects that we will talk about in more detail later on. And believe it or not, all of this will influence its lifespan and how long you can enjoy it.

The intention is that the same cookware can last with you for many years, so it is important to select the brand, model and other specifications very well if we want to buy really durable cookware.

Advantages
  • Useful for every type of food
  • Diversity of materials
  • They can cook several foods at the same time
  • They are usually very durable
Disadvantages
  • They take up a lot of space when stored
  • Some need to be cleaned by hand
  • Some can be very expensive

Aluminium or stainless steel cookware – what should you look out for?

If there is one thing we can agree on, it is that we need cookware that is durable, gives us the best experience in the kitchen and makes our work as easy as possible, rather than being more of a burden than we were able to carry before we bought it.

For this reason it is important to accurately define the material from which our cookware is made. Pay attention to the following information in which we will explain the advantages of the 2 most frequent options: aluminium and stainless steel.

Aluminium. It is the material par excellence of the kitchen implements since decades ago. Among its advantages are its lightness and durability, as well as its ability to conduct heat in an excellent way and distribute it.

If the aluminium pot or pan does not have any other material inside (such as Teflon or others), it is recommended not to heat acid or alkaline food in it for a long time, as it can modify its flavour and even release some particles that will remain immersed in the food.

Stainless steel. It could be said that this is the chef’s favourite option. Pans made of this material tend to be extremely durable and resistant to scratches or knocks. The food that is cooked in them does not suffer any type of alteration, regardless of its properties.

On the other hand, it is important to know that the heating time will be much longer than in an aluminium pan, and may not distribute the heat as efficiently, although some pans started to include copper or aluminium centres to alleviate this problem.

ALUMINIUM STAINLESS STEEL
Weight Lightweight Heavy
Strength Durable Very durable
Flavour of food Can modify flavours Never modifies flavours
Heating Fast and distributes evenly Slow and does not distribute evenly

How much does cookware cost?

Prices can vary widely due to many factors, but the most important will be the material, the technology used in its creation, the brand and the number of pieces it contains. Remember that we can find 6-piece cookware and 20-piece cookware.

It is important to have sturdy cookware to ensure its longevity and quality performance. (Photo: Bru-nO/ Pixabay.com)

Purchasing criteria

Although material may be the most important factor to consider, it is not the only one. There is so much variety in options that you can make a list of the variables you need your battery to contain and you will surely be able to find the perfect one. When making this list, consider the following components:

  • Weight
  • Number of pieces
  • Warranty
  • Non-stick

Weight

As we have already explained, the weight of the product will depend on the material, as if you choose an aluminium set it will be much lighter than a stainless steel cookware set. This variable is important as it will have to be adapted to the use you want to make of it. Depending on its function, a pot can weigh between 400 gr (small) and 5 kg (large and soup pots).

For example, if you are a heavy user, the weight may not be important, but children and teenagers are becoming more and more involved in the beautiful world of cooking, so it is also important to think about them. Choose a cookware whose weight of elements will not prevent you from moving it and will not create complications in your routine.

Number of pieces

As you have seen throughout this article, there is no specific number of pieces in a cookware set and no, there is no perfect number of pieces, as it will depend on your needs and the pieces that are missing in your kitchen. You can find 6-piece cookware sets and 20-piece cookware sets.

Our recommendation is to note the pieces you are missing and look for a cookware set that has them. The most important ones are always pots of different sizes with lids (3 could be a good number), at least one frying pan, at least one griddle, a spatula and a ladle. Here are some of them:

Frying pan. This utensil is widely used, especially for frying and sautéing food. This pan usually has a handle for better handling.

Pans. We could say that they are the stars of the cookware. It is usually a deep container with two handles for better handling, especially when it contains a lot of food inside. It is functional for soups, stews, pasta, rice and similar.

Griddle. When you want to cook food without using a lot of oil or butter, the plancha is a good option. When we have a mobile griddle (like the ones included in the cookware), we only need to put it on the fire and its flat surface will heat evenly. It works for meat, fish, vegetables and more.

Colander. It can come in different sizes, but basically its purpose is to filter water from food or to drain it. Depending on its capacity, it can be used to drain water from pasta, to separate ingredients from soups, to cook vegetables, among other uses.

Ladle. Its main purpose is to obtain and serve liquid in larger quantities than an ordinary spoon. Its handle is elongated, so it can be used for soups, pastas, pancake mixes and more, without the fear of burns and large spills.

Spatula. This utensil has a flat blade at the end that helps to turn food from pans or griddles, such as pancakes, chicken, meat, omelettes or similar.

Pasta spoon. Although the ladle is used for serving and stirring pasta, there is a special ladle with holes to drain any liquid back into the pot.

The discovery of a new dish is of more benefit to mankind than the discovery of a star” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Warranty

It is common for household appliances and other kitchen implements to be guaranteed by manufacturers, so that you can recover your investment or obtain a product in good condition when the one you bought in the first place has a defect of origin. But not all warranties are the same.

Check the packaging or contact the seller or shop to find out the details of the warranty and its coverage. There are some that cover for 10 years, some that cover for 25 years and some that cover for life, as long as you follow the recommendations for use as determined by the brand and the regular procedures for use, storage, display and so on.

Non-stick

Perhaps by now most cookware you encounter will have non-stick properties, but there may be exceptions. This feature is not prized in vain, as it saves us from using oils to prevent our food from sticking to the surface and the result will be much better.

In addition, you will avoid losing some of the food on the sides of your pans and you will save time and cleaning products to peel them off. This information is usually shown on the cookware packaging, so you should read the specifications carefully. Some of the non-stick materials are:

Teflon. This is the commercial name for PTFE, a non-toxic, non-stick and impermeable compound that does not react chemically when in contact with your food and withstands extreme temperatures.

Titanium. In addition to preventing food from sticking, it works to provide strength and durability to the product by reducing the chances of scratches. This also generates an increase in the price of the utensil.

Ceramic. Of all those mentioned, this is the most ecological and healthy option. It does not give off toxic gases, but you should use it at temperatures below 260 ° C to maintain its durability.

If you want a safe option, you can resort to ceramic frying pans, although it must be specifically stated on the packaging, as there are many products with a similar appearance. If you want a more durable option, titanium may be your bet. But if you want greater effectiveness, Teflon is your effective and practical choice.

(Featured image photo: Katarzyna Białasiewicz / 123rf)

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