Looking to buy cookware? I am here to help. My name is Samantha. I am a professional chef. I’ve spent over a decade researching and testing the most well-known cookware brands. I will help you choose the best cookware possible.
Understand the Different Types of Cookware
The very first thing to do when buying cookware is to choose the cookware material type. There are many different types of cookware material available on the market today. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantage. To help you make a buying decision, I have explained briefly about the features, pros and cons about each material below.
Stainless steel is the most common type of cookware material. It is non-reactive (meaning you can cook any kind of food in it), heavy, durable, dishwasher safe, inexpensive for basic models. But stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat. You can solve this problem by buying better quality (and higher priced) stainless steel cookware that has either an aluminum or copper bottom. It might be expensive, but it’ll last a lifetime.
Copper cookware is what most professional chefs use. It conducts heat extremely well which means it heats quickly and adjusts to changes in temperature just as quickly. This allows greater control over your cooking. It is heavy, durable, and generally expensive. Because copper reacts to acidity in food, the pots are often lined with stainless steel or tin in the interior. But copper cookware is not dishwasher safe.
Cast iron is extremely durable, relatively inexpensive and has very good heat retention properties. It’s not uncommon to see cast iron cookware that has been passed down through the generations. However, cast iron cookware can rust so frequent seasoning with oil is needed.
Non stick cookware is coated with Teflon to prevent food from sticking to the pan. It’s very easy to clean, and requires very less butter or oil to start a dish. But it needs to be used with wooden or plastic utensils, otherwise will scratch and wear off. Also do not use non stick cookware over very high heat. Non-stick or Teflon pans are great for food items that don’t require high heat (scrambled egg, fried egg, omelette, etc.), but Teflon can release an off-gas (at high cooking temperatures). Use non-stick cookware for delicate items that don’t call for high heat, and use your stainless steel or cast iron cookware for high temperature stove top cooking.
Ceramic is a newer material in the world of nonstick cookware and is gaining popularity among the more health-conscious consumers. It is a nonstick material that is healthier and environment friendly than traditional Teflon based cookware. Also, I love the way it looks. Just like with any other Teflon products, ceramic ones also require careful handling to prevent the interior from chipping.
What is the Best Cookware Set?
If I wanted top of the line cookware, I would either go for stainless steel cookware or copper cookware. I wouldn’t buy a whole set of non stick cookware because they really don’t last and are not suitable for high heat cooking. I would buy a single non-stick pan along with stainless/copper cookware set to cook delicate items such as scrambled egg, fried egg, omelette, etc.
Once you have determined what type of cookware material you want, check out my cookware set reviews below.
Stainless Steel Cookware Set
- All Clad 10 piece cookware set – Best cookware set available on the market, costs around $700, but will last a lifetime.
- Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad – Amazing deal for the money. Comes with features similar to the All Clad.
Copper Cookware Set
- Mauviel M’Heritage 10-Piece Copper Set – Highest quality copper cookware made by French manufacturer, Mauviel
- Calphalon Tri-Ply Copper 10 Piece Set – A good looking set with great value for money.
Cast Iron Cookware
- Best Cast Iron Cookware – Cheap and very durable. Will last for decades.
Non Stick Cookware
- Best Non Stick Cookware – I don’t recommend buying a complete set of non-stick cookware, but still if you insist.
- Best Ceramic Cookware – Environment friendly alternative for Teflon based non-stick cookware.