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Beginner’s guide on choosing and buying cookware

By Aurelia Muhanji

May 4, 2021


Every kitchen deserves high-quality cookware. Getting a suitable set for your cooking needs may not be an easy task. With the variety of brands on the market of good quality, it is tricky making the best decision for your kitchen if you are a beginner.

Cookware brands have invested in their products by innovative advancements to meet your cooking needs. Most cookware is expensive, but having quality cookware will guarantee you happiness in preparing your meals.

Ensure you invest in good pots and pans that will last you a lifetime. They range from aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, and copper.

Fortunately, there are various ideas you can use to choose the best within your budget. These includes:

1. Budget

Staying within your budget when getting your favorite cookware is essential. You first need to know what cookware will fit your kitchen and the material used for your easier cooking. There are various types you can choose from but ensure the quality meets your needs.

The right and high-quality cookware may mean a heavy investment but may save you in the long run with proper care.

The good news is that stores such as amazon have friendly offers and discounts on unique and quality cookware you can regularly check out.

2. Material used

Ensure the material used to make your pots and pans should be of the highest quality. When you are looking for pots and pans, get one that fits your cooking needs. Cookware comes in various materials to meet all your needs.

Stainless steel- their products are the most popular due to their durability. However, stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat and is incorporated with aluminum or copper that provides uniform heating with no reaction to food. However, they are not effective for high temperature and boiling water. Ensure you go for the heavy steel with aluminum or copper core cookware for practical cooking but are at a higher cost.

Cast-Iron- are durable, and their ability to withstand and hold heat is what makes them a great choice. They are ideal for cooking meats and can be used in the oven. However, they require heavy maintenance.

Copper- most are pretty expensive but are excellent conductors of heat for evenly distributed heat for your food. Frying and sautéing are great with this durable cookware that requires special care for more prolonged use.

Nonstick - These spacious and Teflon-coated pans are ideal for meat and egg cooking and making sauces. They are made from aluminum and stainless steel that determines their heat conductivity.

Most non-stick pans are easier to clean but may require higher care to keep them shiny and last longer. There are various options to select in terms of price.

Aluminum- they are tough and durable with superior heat conductivity for evenly cooked meals. They are pretty easy to mantain and clean, but the uncoated option is not suitable for acidic meals.

Titanium- This cookware is characterized by evenly distribution of heat, durability, and non-stick features. They are oven-used due to their removable handle.

Lids

Most people forget about the quality of their cookware lids. Ideal lids should be perfectly fitting and of the suitable material. Glass lids ensure you see what's cooking in the pot while steel ones allow oven use. For all-around kitchen needs, get the oven-safe one.

Handles

The handles should be safe and not cause burns when cooking. Pans made of stainless handles stay cool due to their low conductivity and can work in the oven. On the other hand, plastic or wood handles are heatproof but cannot work effectively in the oven.

You can also look for those with removable rubber guards, which are more convenient.

3. Quality 

High-quality cookware is every chef's dream. A low-quality pan or pot may be high to maintain, and it is characterized by poorly cooked food or burns which can be a nightmare for your kitchen.

Ideally, you invest in heavy cookware for even distribution of heat for smooth cooking. In most cases, good quality pans or pots are durable and serve you longer. They are backed up by reviews and highly recommended by pro chefs. You can also find their ratings on Amazon.

4. Kind of cooking

Depending on your cooking needs the frequency, it is essential to get cookware that fits your needs. If you cook less, consider getting cookware with fewer cooking pans and pots and vice versa.

If you love cooking soups and stews, stainless steel pots are your best investment plan. For heavy grilling, cast-iron cookware is what you need, but it does not support acidic foods or boiling water.

5. Type of cooker

Most manufacturers indicate on the instructions on the suitable heat source for cookware. Ensure you select the right pans and pots compatible with your source of heat.

Electric cookers- are compatible with any kind of cookware except copper made.

Gas cookers- are suitable for use with any cookware

Induction cookers or hubsthey are popular but are not compatible with all cookware. The most preferred pans have a magnetic base found in cast-iron or stainless steel.

Ceramic cookers- are effective with any cookware except those of copper or have an exposed copper base.

6. Safety and reactivity

Every cookware brand will ensure their products are shiny and colorful. However, make sure you know its reactivity with food. Certain materials are not advisable for high-temperature cooking or type of food.

For instance, aluminum pans and pots react with tomatoes while cast iron with acidic foods. What this means is your food will absorb some metal that may not be fit for consumption. Ensure you know how your cookware reacts and if approved by the FDA.

7. Conductivity of heat

The material used to make cookware will determine its heat conductivity. Metals react differently with heat. Some may be better conductors than others. Stainless steel is a known poor conductor of heat due to its heaviness, while copper has good conductivity.

It would be best if you got cookware that is an excellent conductor to cook your food evenly. Investing in a pan or pot that quickly reacts and adjusts to temperature change should be your goal for more manageable and smooth cooking.

8. Cookware coatings

It is essential to know the coating of your ideal cookware.

Non-stick coatings- the uniquely made cookware are ideal for making sauces and frying. Its non-stick feature prevents food from sticking and prevents further fat use. This cookware is easier to clean and is better conductors, but, ideally, you chose the suitable coating as the quality may vary. Go for pans with branded coatings, including Silverstone and Teflon, with a guarantee of greatness.

Enamel coatings- most popular with Aluminium and steel cookware. Their prices may vary, but they need lots of care. Look for a heavy coating as the light or thin ones lead to burned or sticky food. Heat distribution can be an issue, but they do not spit or react with food.

When making your final decision on the type of cookware has never been easier. Ensure you select the suitable material and quality while staying within your budget. There are various kitchen pots and pans to meet your everyday cooking, but you need to maintain them according to the manufacturer's instructions for more extended and easier cooking.

You can also check out 8 Best Bakeware sets of 2021

Aurelia Muhanji

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