As you know, your kitchen must not be overcrowded with cookware. Hence, there's a real need beyond simple vanity to pick out the perfect cooking equipment to match your personality and style. We get it; sometimes we get confused on which brand to go for and which cookware set is the best. Sometimes we think of sacrificing quality for quantity, and we want to go for pocket-friendly utensils to fill in the holes in our equipment list. Rest assured, we considered everything before coming up with this piece. This article will help you make the perfect choice as you “hunt” for the cookware of your dreams.
First, let's set the field right; there are a couple of different kinds of cookware sets depending on the material used, such as stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, and copper. You can never go wrong in the kitchen if you are using the perfect combination of cookware!
Here are some tips to help you pick the best cookware set:
You can spend almost a thousand dollars or more if you want top-quality cookware. However, why spend the extra money when you can get similar quality for less? You need to peg your cookware budget to a fixed price that will not prevent you from getting other important kitchen equipment. You can get a quality dishwasher-safe, nonstick pan for a few hundred dollars if you make the right choice. Always remember this rule: “Buy the best you can afford.”
How Often Do you Cook?
One of the factors we cannot dismiss is how often you cook and the kind of meals you love to cook - both will affect your choice of cookware. You must consider your family’s needs when making decisions on your cookware set. If you tend to use your equipment more often, consider looking for more durable cookware that will maintain its performance and appearance in the long run. Stainless steel is one of the best options in this regard.
Will this Cookware React with my Food?
Yes. Some metals react with certain foods. For example, aluminum reacts with tomatoes and other acidic dishes. Ensure you are going for a cookware set that will not negatively affect the quality of your food. A good number of people consider nonstick pans to others in this regard.
How Conductive is the Cookware?
Some metals and materials used in making cookware conduct heat better than others. Copper thrives better here than stainless steel. Essentially, when you turn up or lower the heat, copper cookware will react faster than other materials will. Naturally, you also need your cookware to conduct heat evenly so that your food won't suffer from cold spots - or worse - a partially done meal.
What is Maintenance Like with this Cookware Set?
Do you want a cookware set that needs constant polishing just to maintain its colors and shine? Perhaps you’d rather go for others with low maintenance? Copper and cast iron cookware are notoriously known to need quite more work to keep them looking perfect compared to stainless steel or aluminum cookware. You should consider the amount of time you need to sacrifice in order to keep your cookware in top-shelf shape before purchasing.
Here are a few Final Tips:
The decision on whether to go for stainless steel, aluminum, copper, or cast iron depends on the kind of foods you want to be cooking, your cooking expertise, budget, and the time you want to spend each day in the kitchen. Generally, stainless steel cookware ticks most of the boxes on durability, price, usability, and flexibility. It's a great compromise when you compare it with other material types; the only major issue is that it does not quickly conduct heat.
Your best bet is to go for composite or clad cookware – they are a combination of multiple layers of different metals such as stainless steel with a layer of copper or aluminum on its base. The ones with a copper base are more expensive, but do the job well.
Try to plan your cookware budget by considering how many pieces you need before visiting a store. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the selection and attempting to purchase more equipment than you actually need. That said, buying a complete set is more convenient and usually runs cheaper than buying individual pieces. Remember; go for the best you can afford.