Buying quality cookware can be a straightforward and fast process, but it’s also not a decision to make lightly. Failure to research the many available options and match them to your needs may leave you with a cookware set that’s not suitable for your home, family, or cooking preferences.
So, when you notice that your current pots and pans are in a state of disrepair and you need to start shopping for a new set, it’s worth considering the following purchasing points:
The Cooking Surface
Before even considering the price, materials, and general features, matching new cookware to your cooking surfaces is crucial. For example, if you have an induction cooktop, you’ll need the best induction cookware, and if you have a glass stovetop, your ideal cookware will differ from those designed for gas cooktops.
By considering your cooktop surface first, you can narrow down your options and speed up the shopping process.
The Food You Cook
Surprisingly, the food you cook the most may dictate the type of cookware you purchase. When you have an induction cooktop, most induction cookware is suitable for nearly any meal you prepare. However, that’s not the case for all stove and cookware combinations.
For example, if you prepare a lot of acidic food, you might not opt for uncoated cast iron pans that can rust. However, if you grill food regularly on high heat, cast iron may be more than suitable.
When you purchase new pots and pans, the handles are not always something you think about, but it pays to factor this feature into the decision-making process. Some handles are oven-compatible, whereas others are not. Figure out what will suit your needs, and if you think a mix of styles will be ideal, consider selecting individual pieces rather than buying a complete cookware set.
The lids of your cookware can be easy to overlook when you’re busy focusing on the materials and style. However, it’s worth thinking about whether the tops that come with a cookware set will make cooking easier or harder.
For example, steel lids may be oven-safe, but they don’t allow you to look inside to view your culinary masterpiece while it’s cooking. In contrast, glass is aesthetically pleasing and provides a clear view inside the pot.
If you have an opportunity to, see how the lids fit on the cookware. A tight seal may enhance your cooking experience.
Most home cooks will admit to having a favorite pot or pan they rely on the most, while the rest sit at the back of the kitchen cabinet. Think about how many pots and pans you realistically use. Every cookware set is different and comes with a few or many pieces in the set.
As you might expect, the more pots and pans you purchase in a set, the more you’re going to pay. So, if you really don’t think you’ll use every piece, once again, it may be smarter (and more economical) to purchase pieces individually.
The price tag of a cookware set should never be your primary consideration. Features like the materials, handles, lids, and cooking surfaces should guide your decision most of the way. However, there’s no harm in looking for bargains and competitively priced cookware sets to see if you can save money.
Shopping for new cookware can be exciting, especially when your current set is worn out and no longer functioning at its best. Improve your chances of a successful shopping session by considering the information above.