If you’ve come to this site to learn more about cookware and to read cookware reviews, you’ve come to the right place!
Love to cook? Hate to cook? Either way, the truth is, most of us have to cook.
If you’re a budding Julia Child, you’re probably going to want the latest and greatest when it comes to your kitchen gadgets. If you cringe at the dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?”, chances are you don’t care all that much about aluminum vs stainless steel vs copper and which cooks the best. You just want pans that do what they’re supposed to do – cook food.
Regardless of which camp you find yourself, there’s a perfect set for you.
There are a lot of features available today, and I try to show you the very best features in every review I write, so that it will be a little easier for you to compare and contrast sets.
My cookware set reviews are broken down into several different sections, to help you understand what the strengths and weaknesses are for each particular set. I talk about features, what other consumers think about the set, and the most important positive and negative aspects of each cookware collection.
How to Choose the Best Cookware
There are so many choices available in cookware today, it can be confusing and overwhelming to try to make a decision. What works best for you is going to depend on your level of cooking skill, your every day needs and , of course, your budget. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect cookware just for you.
Determine Your Budget
The first thing to do is to think about how much money you’re willing to spend on your cookware pieces. As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Higher quality cookware is going to cost more; however, there are decent pots and pans available for nearly any budget.
Another thing to consider is whether you really need to go all out and purchase a full cookware set, or if you might be better off buying a piece at a time. Purchasing one pot or pan at a time is more expensive than buying a full set.
The advantage to buying one at a time, however, is that you can pick exactly the pieces you want. You won’t get stuck with cookware that isn’t useful to you. You may also be able to afford higher quality pieces if you just purchase one or two things as you’re able to afford it.
What Type of Cookware Is Best for You?
There are a seemingly unending amount of choices when it comes to purchasing cookware. Nonstick, anodized, copper core, stainless steel, cast iron… and on and on. How do you know which is best? Part of this will come down to personal preference. Here is a rundown of some of the more popular types of cookware, and what you can expect from each.
Stainless Steel Cookware
Stainless steel cookware is extremely popular, and sets come in a variety of price ranges. Stainless steel is easy to clean and very durable.
If considering stainless steel keep in mind that, on its own, stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat. Quick and even heat distribution depends on having a good heat conductor. Therefore, look for stainless steel cookware that is either encapsulated in copper or aluminum, which are both good conductors of heat.
Aluminum cookware, particularly hard anodized aluminum, is a popular choice among home chefs. Aluminum is a great conductor of heat and will heat up quickly and evenly, reducing the chance of hot spots that may burn your food.
While aluminum pots and pans are considered to be dishwasher safe, it’s best to hand wash this cookware since dishwashers can cause the pieces to discolor over time.
Copper cookware is, perhaps, one of the best types of cooking pans available. Copper is a fantastic conductor of heat. These pans will heat up quickly and distribute the heat evenly. There is less chance of hot spots developing when cooking and thus, less chance of burning food or uneven cooking.
It’s important to be aware that, unlike stainless steel, copper can react with some foods and change color and taste. If this is bothersome to you, look for copper cookware lined with either aluminum or stainless steel – this will help to eliminate the metal’s reaction to food.
Nonstick cookware is prevalent in stores these days, and for good reason. Even those who love to cook every day generally hate the clean up! Nonstick coating on cookware helps to keep food from burning and sticking to the pots and pans. Typically, nonstick cookware can be cleaned up easily by just rinsing it off and washing with mild soap and water.
There are some concerns that nonstick coatings may not be good for our health.
As nonstick pans age, the coating may begin to peel and flake off into the food prepared in them. The best way to avoid this is to always handwash your nonstick cookware. It will extend the life of the cookware and keep the nonstick coating in place longer. When the coating does begin to peel, it’s time to replace your pot or pan.
Other Factors to Keep in Mind
Budget and type are just two of the things you’ll need to consider when shopping for a new cookware set.
Also, keep in the mind the amount of space you have for storage and the amount of time you spend cooking – will the set be used daily or only a couple of times a week?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to easily narrow down your choices to the cookware sets that will work best for your individual situation.
Ready to get started? Here is a sampling of the reviews found on our site:
Anolon Cookware Set Reviews
The Anolon name has long been associated with quality, durable cookware and the Anolon Advanced Bronze Collection is no exception. Featuring useful pots and pans that you’ll reach for every day, the Anolon Advanced cookware has some great features all cooks will appreciate. Read the full review…
Calphalon Cookware Set Reviews
The Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 13-Piece Cookware Set combines 8 useful pots and pans (plus 5 lids) to give you a complete set that can cook up just about anything you can imagine. Calphalon stainless steel pieces can be used on any cooking surface, including induction stovetops, and is easy to clean whether by hand or in the dishwasher. Read the full review…
Circulon Cookware Set Reviews
The Circulon Symmetry Chocolate Cookware Set is an 11 piece nonstick pots and pans collection that has a lot to love! This set can be used on any stove top including induction and glass. It heats up quick, is incredibly abrasion and scratch resistant… and, it looks great! Read the full review…
Cooks Standard Cookware Set Reviews
There are plenty of things to like about the Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set. For starters, it has a really attractive price tag when it comes to quality stainless steel cookware. For less than $160 (with free shipping on Amazon.com), you can have this set that includes six useful pots and pans and their respective lids. Read the full review…
Cuisinart Cookware Set Reviews
With an elegant and contemporary look, the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Cookware set is an investment in cookware. Designed for years of cooking enjoyment, the MCP-12 pots and pans have some great features that will make cooking easier and more pleasurable. Read the full review…
The Cuisinart 77-10 Chef’s Classic Cookware Set comes with 10 useful, stainless steel pots and pans including 2 skillets, a saute pan, 2 saucepans and a stock pot. Made from sturdy stainless steel, the set contains an aluminum base to ensure even and fast heating. Read the full review…
The Cuisinart 66-14 Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 14-Piece Cookware Set features a hard anodized exterior that encapsulates a solid aluminum core. The interior is non stick with a durable coating called Quantanium, which is both tough and durable, and keeps food from sticking. Read the full review…
Rachael Ray Cookware Set Reviews
The Rachael Ray Hard Anodized II 10 Piece Cookware Set is a great value. It contains the everyday pots and pans you need – and will actually use – including saucepans, a saute pan, two skillets and a stock pot. Read the full review…
T-Fal Cookware Set Reviews
The T-Fal Signature Hard Anodized 12 cookware piece set comes with useful cookware pieces including a dutch oven, three saucepans and two sauté pans. The set also includes two utensils – a spoon and slotted pancake turner/spatula. Read the full review…
Whether you’re just starting out, or have been cooking for decades, T-Fal promises that the T-Fal Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper-Bottom 12-Piece Cookware Set will give you the essential cooking pieces you need, in an attractive and useful set. Read the full review…