Before purchasing a cookware set, you will need to do some research so you can find exactly what you need and want. This process can be more complicated than picking out a car. There are so many different things to consider. Our purpose is to make you aware of all the different options available and to introduce you to different aspects you’ll want to consider when you select yours.
The first thing to consider is who you are buying the set of cookware for. Is it for a wedding gift, for a new kitchen, for yourself, for one of your children or for your mother? If it is for someone else, perhaps you want to talk with them to figure out exactly how it will be used. Another important factor to consider is how much are you willing to invest in this purchase? Sets are available from $20 dollars to over $1000. You usually get what you pay for, but the most expensive is not always the one that will serve your purpose.
When comparing different sets here are some of the options you will find: multi-clad, multi-ply, tri-ply, all-clad, stainless steel, hard anodized, nonstick, aluminum, oven safe, porcelain enamel, induction, copper, cast iron, and other choice. If you think that’s a lot you’re right. Some cookware sets feature just one of these features and others can have 2 or more.
You will want to do your own final research on what each of the above options provide and then make your decision. I will try to provide you with an insight into what some of these choices entail to help you get started.
Multi-Clad, All-Clad, Tri-Ply, and Multi-Ply all basically refer to a layering of different types of metals. This usually refers to the bottom of the pans, although there are some sets where this layering applies to the whole pan. This layering helps in making the bottom of the pan thicker so foods won’t burn easily. It also helps in distribution of the heat so there is more even heating on the bottom of the pan.
Stainless Steel is a term everyone is familiar with, but you need to be aware that there are different grades of stainless steel. The grade of stainless steel usually refers to the thickness of it. Stainless is preferred by a lot of home cooks because it is easy to maintain. It can be put into the dishwasher and is easy to wash if you prefer hand washing. It also looks clean and shiny sitting on the range top. Professional chefs like it because foods that contain acid maintain their qualities better.
Aluminum is one of the oldest types of metal that has been used for cooking. These pans are very affordable if you are on a tight budget yet want a good everyday cooking pan.
Nonstick usually refers to a special coating that is applied to a pan to make it really easy to clean. In the past some have been concerned with the health risk in using these. Today there is now available a nonstick coating that doesn’t pose such a problem.
Hard anodized is also a nonstick cookware where the metal has been treated to prevent food from sticking but it is not a coating that can come off. If you want nonstick, most people prefer this type. This is usually an aluminum product where many layers are fused together. Most cooks like to use this when cooking omelets.
Oven safe means that you can start a meal on the range and then move the pan into the oven to finish baking it. There are a few sets that advertise they are oven safe, yet most cookware can be moved into the oven. What you need to be careful about is if the handles are made out of cheap plastic that might melt when exposed to extended high heat. If you like to start your meals on the stove top and then move them to them to the oven, look for cookware that has metal handles.
Porcelain enamel, cast iron, and copper refer to the type of material the pan is constructed out of. They each have their own individual characteristics that make them a preferable product to cook with.
Induction cookware is a special type made specifically for those that own an induction cook top. It has to do with the form of heat on the cook top that is used. If you have an induction cook top, you may want to consider using induction cookware.
Cast iron is a heavy metal that has been around forever, but still some prefer it as their choice for cooking certain meals, especially one pot meals. If you are going to this on a glass top stove, use extreme caution as it can easily scratch or crack the surface.
So there you have it, hopefully all this will give you some idea of your choices and help you in selecting the perfect cookware set for someone special or yourself.