Complete your kitchen by shopping for the right cookware

December 26, 2014

Professional and amateur chefs need quality cookware sets that are reliable and durable. Here’s some advice on what to look for when shopping for cookware.

Complete your kitchen by shopping for the right cookware

Common types of cookware

Cookware sets come in various combinations, depending on the manufacturer and the price. You can expect to get a frying pan, two sizes of saucepans and a large casserole, plus a set of lids. Bigger sets are available.

Frying pan: With a flat bottom and low angled sides, frying pans make flipping easy and encourage air circulation for even cooking.

Saucepan: A saucepan has a flat surface and high walls for boiling vegetables or cooking sauces.

Stock pot: Traditionally used to cook soup stock, these pots have very high walls to hold large amounts of liquid. Stock pots need heavy bottoms to prevent burning and tight-fitting lids for trapping moisture.

Grill pan: Grill pans are usually large, heavy and shallow. Some have a ridged bottom.

Sauté pan: A sauté pan resembles a fry pan with straight walls. They’re used for quickly cooking chopped ingredients in a little hot oil by shaking and tossing the contents.

Roasting pans: Roasters are large oval or rectangular pans designed for the intense dry heat in the oven. Heavier roasting pans are ideal, and many come with racks so meat doesn’t sit in the fat or liquid at the bottom of the pan.

Dutch oven: These pots are heavy duty with a tight-fitting lid for slow cooking anything from vegetable stew to your family's favourite casseroles. Dutch ovens should have two handles for easy lifting.

Cookware set materials

A cookware set can be made from many different materials, each with their own distinct advantages. Some materials are naturally non-stick, but a Teflon coating is the easiest way to ensure non-stick performance.

Copper cookware: Besides looking beautiful, copper is an excellent heat conductor for a more even cooking surface. It’s also reactive, so acidic foods can tarnish or damage copper cookware.

Cast iron cookware: A favourite for professional chefs, a cast iron pan or pot will be extremely durable and conduct heat evenly. Once seasoned with fat, it also offers a non-stick surface. A cast iron core with a ceramic coating is a popular but expensive option.

Stainless steel cookware: A stainless steel pan or pot offers a sleek and polished look and even cooking surface. They are nonreactive, affordable and dishwasher-safe.

Before setting out to buy a pots and pans set, think about the foods you like to cook and your budget. To save money, pick only the pieces you’ll use and consider what materials will best meet your needs.

Your cooking needs may require a basic pan and pot set or more elaborate pieces for extravagant cuisine. A few top-quality pans will serve you better than a lot of low quality cookware.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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