There are so many choices for choosing a cooking set and it can be often overwhelming to make a intelligent decision to buy a right cookware for your kitchen. We research and provide unbiased and complete cookware reviews and cookware guide with pros and cons and also where to get best value for your money.
We have tried to provide many questions you may have for choosing a cookware set, some questions you may not be aware of such as type of cookware material, advantages of using stainless vs. nonstick vs. cast iron cookware, what heat conductivity can do your food and why certain food changes color if you leave in pan and so on.We are also passionate cook just like you, check our cookware blog for health tips, recipes and how to tips.
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Our top picks for stainless steel, non-stick, cast-iron, copper, enamel coated cast iron, anodized sets and other kitchen products, all listed in one place.
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How to Choose Cookware
Stainless Steel is one of common type of cookware found in most home. Stainless steel is actually an alloy of metals including steel, carbon, nickel and chromium. Its gets its name because it does not stain and is because of its ability to resist dents and scratches. It does not react with acidic or alkaline food type. It is relatively cheaper but poor heat conductor. In order to overcome this quality choose stainless steel cookware that has copper or an aluminum core, so that food can be cooked evenly.
- Ease of cleaning, most dishwasher safe
- Cheap to reasonable pricing
- Looks good
- Scratch and dent resistance
- Does not react with acidic food
- Will not rust
- Not a good heat conductor
- Some food will stick at bottom of pan
Click here to see more information about Stainless Steel Cookware
Because Stainless steel is not good heat conductor, if you buy stainless steel cookware, buy with copper core or aluminum core. Food will cook better and evenly with it. Buy 18/10 quality Stainless steel cookware, as those are much more durable and will last longer.
Our Top 3 choices for Stainless Steel Cookware Set:
1. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless-Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
2. KitchenAid Gourmet Essentials 10-Piece Brushed Stainless Steel Cookware Set
3. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set
Multi-Ply Or Clad
Multi-ply or Clad cookware combines several metals in one cookware. Multi-ply cookware usually has a copper or aluminum core, with a stainless steel or nonstick interior. The exterior could be a aluminum or copper making stainless steel cookware to be better heat conductor. This combination of strengths makes multi-ply cookware cook friendly and desirable.
- Mixes various metal in to one making it beneficial to cooking
- Copper core cookware benefit without polishing work
- Versatile and user friendly
- Many (without non-stick) are dish washer safe
- Will not react with acidic food
- Can be expensive
We recommend buying a hand polished 18/10 stainless steel with inner core of pure aluminum or copper, not just at the bottom, but all the way up the sides. All three layers are bonded together for optimum heat retaining for even cooking. All-clad brand cookware pieces and quality cookware, hence tend to be on pricier, look for non All-clad brands for reasonable priced clad quality sets.
Click here for more information on Clad Cookware Sets
Our top 3 picks for the Multi-Ply or All-Clad Cookware:
Nonstick or Hard Anodized
What is hard-anodized cookware? Hard anodized is basically, metal pots and pans made from electrochemically process to make aluminum harder. Anodized material is significantly longer lasting than most non-stick cookware. It works and feels like non stick with out the coating that can peel, and it is stronger than stainless steel and durable. It is also highly resistant to scratches and rusts. It is used for not only stove top cooking but also electronic cookware such as griddle, woks and waffle maker. Also, one can use metal spatula without worrying about losing its non-stick surface and it is non reactive to acidic food.
- Good heat conductor
- Non stick surface without chemical coating
- Strong and long lasting
- Can use metal spoons, spatula without worrying about peeling
- Will not rust or scratches
- Non reactive to acidic food
- Electronic cookware not dishwasher safe
- Need to maintain and season
- Can be expensive
Most hard anodized cookware or electronic cookware must be hand washed, however many benefits outweighs this small discomfort of not being dishwasher safe.
Click here to see all Hard Anodized Cookware
Our top 3 picks for Hard Anodized cookware:
- Cuisinart GreenGourmet® Hard Anodized 12-Piece Set
- Cuisinart Dishwasher-Safe Hard Anodized 11pc Cookware Set
- Cuisinart Dishwasher-Safe Hard Anodized 8Qt Stockpot/Cover
Copper cookware looks great to cook and put display on your potrack. Copper and is very good heat conductor meaning you food will cook evenly and cook will have better control over food being cooked in it. Lot of professional chefs tend to use copper cookware because of its heat conductive property but it can be expensive however it can last life time, if properly taken care of it.
- Very good heat conductor
- Cooks food evenly
- Better control over cooking
- Can last life time
- Can be expensive
- Can react with some food (meaning color and taste can change)
- Most require hand washing and frequent polishing.
Click here to find our more about copper cookware set: Copper Cookware
If you buy copper cookware, remember to polish often to preserve its beauty. It can be displayed beautifully in your pot rack to show off its great looks when not in use. Copper cookware can last generation., looks great and cooks great! If you think copper is expensive, look for copper bottom, or copper core cookware which seems to be at reasonable price.
Our top 3 picks for the copper cookware set:
Cast Iron Material
Cast Iron can withheld high heating that makes it not only great for stove top cooking but also oven baking too. Cast Iron cookware are slow to heat up but once it hot, it holds its heat for longer period and great for even cooking. Cast Iron pans are great for searing and outdoor cooking as it holds heat better even if outside temperature fluctuates. If you season your cast iron pan, it can work almost like non-stick pan without chemical coating. It is not easy to maintain cookware though, as it can rust or create acidic food reaction if food is kept in cast iron pan for long time.
- Good heat conductor
- Great for outdoor cooking as it retains heat well
- Easy transfer from stove top to oven
- Can work like non-stick if seasoned properly
- Long lasting, durable
- Not easy to maintain
- Can rust if not properly maintained
- Reacts to Acidic food taste and color change
- Can be quite heavy to handle
Cast iron pan with both side handle are great for holding as pan can be heavy and will need more support. Bare cast iron have many benefits, if one can season and maintain it properly. There are also cast iron skillets and griddles with an enamel coating that makes for easier cleaning and maintenance and does not need to be seasoned periodically. We like enamel coated cast iron cookware, as they are easy to maintain, easy to clean and very forgiving cooking pans with all benefits of cast iron without the work of seasoning and maintain it. Enamel cookware tend to be expensive compare to bare cast iron so pick a few pieces set that fits your budget and style.
Click here for more information on Cast Iron Cookware Set
Our top 3 picks for Cast Iron cookware:
We have done our best to provide accurate and unbiased reviews and product guides. Lot of things can change since we have written the information so it is always best to check with retailer’s site to make sure, they have not changed products features or other information and to make sure you are getting right product with what they have advertised.
We do have an affiliate relationship with some vendors and all of our reviews are unbiased and based on our research and experience. We believe in providing value and useful tips that will make it easier cooking and healthy eating for all. We are not official health expert, before following any advise you should consult your doctor before changing diet or exercise program.