Whether you’re a novice cook or an accomplished chef, the right kind of cookware is essential to meal prep. A well-made set of pots, pans and skillets can make break a great recipe. Here’s how to choose a cookware set that completes your kitchen.
Cookware is available in a range of materials. Consider the following when making your selection:
• Stainless steel cookware
is highly durable and easy to clean. It also conducts heat slowly, which makes it safer to use.
• Cast iron cookware is highly durable and long-lasting. Use it both on the stovetop and in the oven. After you “season” these pans, they become non-stick. They also naturally fortify your food with iron. Just keep in mind that these pans can be quite heavy.
• For easy cleanup, non-stick cookware
is the best choice. But because non-stick elements can chip, these pans may need to be replaced more often.
• Copper cookware is the right choice for quick heat-up, as it conducts heat rapidly. It’s just as durable as stainless steel and can add a vintage look to your kitchen.
• Aluminum cooking pots are lightweight and have excellent heat conduction. They’re also rust- and corrosion-resistant.
Most pot sets are dishwasher safe, although hand-washing your kitchen cookware sets is recommended.
Sets and Sizes
Pots and pans sets can range from 2 to 20 pieces plus cookware lids
. Some include only a couple of pots or pans, while others include frypans, saucepans, sauté pots, skillets and steamer inserts. Many sets also come with a Dutch oven—these versatile pots can move from stovetop to oven. Pots can range in size from two to six quarts.
Choose a complete cookware set to save money on buying pots individually. Make sure you have a range of sizes, so you have the flexibility to cook many dishes at once.