Everyday Living: Choosing Cookware for Your Kitchen

Your favorite cooking show on television may have inspired you to get hold of trendy cookware sets endorsed by celebrity chefs. But don’t get carried away. Evaluate the pots and pans you currently own, inspect their condition, and then go from there. Purchase only what you need and only those that work with your cooktop. If you are using an induction cooktop, for example, you’ll need a pan bottom that’s made of magnetic stainless steel. And when choosing which cookware to buy, it helps to know beforehand the many different types of pots and pans available in the market, as well as the materials used to manufacture them. Safety considerations such as these from the Government of Canada and the Environmental Working Group should also factor in deciding which cookware to get for your kitchen.

To prevent overbuying cookware that will just end up cluttering your kitchen cabinets, consider investing on a single versatile set such as this from www.bedbathandbeyond.com. A durable cookware set eliminates mismatched pieces. In addition, you’ll find the following list handy because it details the different types of cookware, as well as their pros and cons.

  • Stainless steel cookware is corrosion resistant and oven safe. It does not react with alkaline and acidic foods. It also resists scratching and pitting. Opt for high-grade stainless steel. This is indicated as 18/10 on the base of the pan. Check out this review on stainless steel cookware for more infomation.
  • Cast-iron cookware is remarkably durable and retains heat well. Cooking food evenly, cast-iron cookware heats slowly and is great for frying and browning foods. The cons: it reacts with acidic foods and needs seasoning to prevent rusting. The latter should be explained in the manufacturer’s manual.
  • Nonstick cookware, which is ideal for frying pancakes and eggs, lends convenience because the coated surface makes clean up easier. You also won’t have to use too much fat and oil since food just slides on the pan. Nonstick cookware is ideal for pancakes and eggs. The cons: susceptibility to thermal shock (when the hot pan is placed in cold water), overheating and release of toxic fumes when temperatures go over the medium heat level, and scratching (when metal utensils are used).
  • Enamel cookware is an excellent alternative to nonstick cookware. Instead of Teflon and the like as in the case of nonstick pans, the insides of either steel or cast-iron are coated with a thin layer of durable glass. Corrosion resistant and non-reactive to acidic and alkaline foodstuff, enamel cookware can also be used with induction cooktops.
  • Aluminum cookware is durable, relatively inexpensive, and most compatible with electric or gas ranges. Aluminum stockpots and other large cookware are much easier to handle because they are relatively lightweight compared to their stainless steel and cast-iron counterparts.
  • Carbon steel cookware is generally the go-to material for woks. It is perfect for cooking crepes and omelettes. Like cast-iron pans, carbon steel requires seasoning to present rusting. To clean, simply wipe with a paper towel.
  • Copper cookware has excellent heat conduction, so it heats up food quickly. It also cools down fast once the heat is turned off. The cons: it is not dishwasher safe and cannot be used for induction cooktops.



This is a guest post by Kevin George. He works in kitchen design and enjoys being able to share his insights on how to choose the right accessories and equipment you might need. He writes for a number of consumer lifestyle websites.