True review for the best cookware set and even more
You know, it does not even matter if you do not like cooking at home. Anyway you need the necessary kitchenware to make scramble eggs or to heat the milk for your breakfast coffee. But if you love preparing delicious dinners and baking the full-flavored cakes, you just cannot go without an appropriate set of cookware. But it is not so easy to make a choice. There are plenty of producers offering their product and persuading that it is the best cookware set. Moreover, the sets are all different consisting of various pans and pots. Which of them are really of help? Then the questions arise as to the quality of the items, the material they are made of. What should be chosen? Do not be confused! We’ll do our best to put some clarity into the above moments.
When do you need a new cookware set?
There is no doubt that a cookware set should be in your kitchen because it covers all your current needs. Even if you live alone and use only two pans and one skillet still once it will happen when you are expected to prepare meal for a crowd. And sure things when you’ve got a large family you can hardly do without various vessels of different size for everyday use.
If you are moving into a new flat and want to arrange it adding new utensils, this is the right time to pick over the set. Perhaps it is high time to upgrade your current cookware set because there are a lot of new technologies nowadays, which allow cooking better and which are safe and well-designed. We bet, you’ll be inspired by new pans and spend more time in the kitchen and prepare homemade meals with pleasure.
Remember that the old vessels with damaged inner surface can be dangerous for your health and that is a reason for changing it for the new ones.
Definitely the cookware sets are a good investment to buy cookware set, but we understand that the choice is wide thus it is rather difficult to pick the right product.
Common requirements to a cookware set
Why will you love your new cookware set? First of all, it provides the best value for money meaning that you’ll get the high quality and your needs satisfied at a price you can afford. Then you’ll have everything at hand and even if every day you do not use a saute pan, it will be of help once and you won’t have to use an inconvenient alternative instead of it. The producer composes the set meaningfully providing the things making it easy to cook.
Still there are concerns about the numbers of items, the purpose of every one, the material they are made of and the right producer promising the durability. Where to start? We are sure that the first step is to decide on what kind of cooking you are going to do taking into account usual quantity of people gathering at table. Are you an expert being able to feel the difference between the professional and classic vessels? Again there are sets consisting of 8 pieces and 18 pieces. Which items are necessary personally for you? To answer the question, first, you’d better regard the basic pans, determining their number and size. Then you can think over the specialty pans, but, when adding them to your prelist, remember about the price, if keeping within your budget matters for you. Though, when purchasing cookware in a bundle, you save your money. So, buy the best you can afford – it will be perfect!
What else is important?
Durability does matter if you want to use the vessels with good looks and all the initially declared properties for a long time. Here stainless steel wins.
Heat conductivity is an essential performance. When you decide on the material you should know that some metals are able to conduct heat better compared to the others. The best one as to this feature is copper and the less efficient is stainless steel. Why is it important? The heat conductivity provides the proper and even heating of the foods while cooking and the meal comes to be tastier. It also provides the quick reaction of the cookware when you increase or decrease the heat.
Reactivity is very important for your health and the taste of the meal. It means that some metals can be absorbed by the foods, for example aluminum reacts with acidic products that is why it should not be used in these cases.
And of course, the maintenance should be easy. The cast iron and copper items require quite a lot of efforts to keep them looking good. The stainless steel is much better on this count.
All possible components of cookware set
Now we should consider the different types of cookware for a variety of needs.
Fry pan or skillet
A fry pan has a flat bottom and not too high rounded sides. Usually it is marketed without a lid, but if you want, you can find the one in a diameter meeting your needs. The size should be chosen depending on a number of families. Perhaps, you need both a large fry pan and a small skillet, but you need at least one for sure. It is really irreplaceable for fast cooking like frying bacon, sausage, chicken, eggs and vegetables. It is also used to reheat the meal. You add some oil into it and put over high heat.
The Stockpot is a deep pan used for cooking soups, broths, stews and compots – any liquid foods. Due to tall profiles it is convenient to boil pasta into it. Though, it can be of different size and it will be the reasonable decision if you buy at least two of them for various occasions.
The sauté pan comes from French cuisine and it is used for preparing food in the pan under a lid. Compared to a skillet it has straight sides instead of rounded ones that is why it is more capacious. You can fry, sauter and prepare sauces in it.
Though, for sauces we use the particularly designed pan with a rounded bottom and high, straight sides. It is also used for soups in small quantity. You can apply it for reheating the soup also. It is usually sold with a lid, which can be used or not used. It is very useful and we’d say that it is a must in any kitchen. You can boil eggs, prepare the noodles and do something else in a sauce pan – it is ideal for many other purposes.
Now we are going to remember the vessels of special purpose. You can do without them but if there is a need and budget for them, we recommend considering the possibility.
Wok is a deep Asian pan of a particular form. It has a rounded bottom and sloping sides. It is usually made of carbon steel or cast iron and used for frying almost any foods. Being very popular in China it becomes highly requested all over the world due to a healthy cooking technique it is providing. It has an extremely hot cooking surface on the bottom and the temperature reduces up the sides. Thus when you move the foods around you can keep the temperature under control. The ingredients are heated in no time but they do not burn. You can use this pan for steaming, stir frying, and deep frying.
This is a large pan of a rectangular form with low sides for roasting all the foods evenly placing them in one layer. It is usually used for cooking over high and dry heat of the oven. Any roasts are perfect into it: roasting chickens, turkeys, pork ribs.
The Dutch Oven is a heavy pot with thick walls made of cast iron and designed for slow-cooking under a tightly fitting lid. It is the best for preparing stews or braised meats. The classic shape of this pan is round. As far as it is not light there are short reliable handles making it easy and safe to lift the hot pot. Dutch Ovens are marketed in colors, so you can decorate your kitchen with this cookware.
The French Oven looks like the previous pot but with enameled coating. So you can fry foods without seasoning. Frankly speaking this is almost the only difference and all other properties and purposes are the same.
When you set your heart on certain types of pots, there is another important option left to be considered – the material. The most popular ones are cast iron, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum. Each of them can be used in combinations or with particular coating improving the useful properties. In order to decide on material you should know all their pros and cons, which we are going to reveal
- Aluminum is a perfect conductor of heat that is why it provides even heat distribution over the foods cooked in an aluminum pan and fast change of the temperature. It is lightweight and rather durable. Speaking about drawbacks, this metal is highly reactive to alkaline and acidic environment that is why there are certain restrictions as to its use without protection coating. Aluminum can be covered with a non-stick layer or can be anodized. The latter is the best solution. This technology makes metal to become non-reactive, easy cleaned and still affordable. In order to guarantee that aluminum does not leach into the food, you should check the surfaces ensuring that they are not damaged. Do not forget to buy correspondent utensils for such pots and pans, they should not be metal, otherwise they can chip the upper layer.
- Cast iron perhaps is the best choice for high temperatures both on the stove and in the oven. Searing can be done in the pans made of this material perfectly. It has thick walls and it is heavy. It is heated up for a relatively long time but heat distribution is even and it gets cold slowly. You can use pan of cast iron for braising, browning, stewing, and even baking. There are also products enamel-coated. Among drawbacks we should mention a complicated maintenance. The cast iron vessel should not be soak in water for a long time and remained wet after washing. The point is that this material can rust under such circumstances. You are expected to wash it with hot and soapy (if you want) water and dry it. If you use bare cast iron, you should season it before cooking to prevent sticking. Or you can buy enamel-coated cast iron combining the benefits of the cast iron with easier maintenance.
- Carbon steel is rather expensive. It looks like the previous one but much lighter in weight. If the recipe requires quick changes of the temperature, a carbon steel pan is just the thing. Woks are often made of this material.
- Ceramic is an insulator, so the cookware made of it cannot respond to heat immediately. So it is recommended for the dishes which should be cooked for a long time at the constant temperature. It is rather light buy fragile. Here we can determine three categories: earthenware, stoneware and porcelain, which is very delicate but durable because it is fired to become hard. Stoneware is produced in a way familiar to porcelain but of a different type of clay. Earthenware is the least strong and can be easily scratched. It is not often used to cook, just to serve.
- Stainless steel is very popular and use for general purposes in kitchen. The pans made of this metal are durable, lightweight, and easy to maintain due to smooth surface of a vessel. But it is not a good heat conductor that is why it is usually used together with other metals applied in layers or with a particular construction of a bottom with a disk made of good heat conductor like aluminum or copper.
- Copper is a very good heat conductor and the pans made of this metal can be used on top of the stove so that the temperature can be under control. But its disadvantage is reactivity with foods that causes toxic impact. To avoid this, the copper pots are covered inside with stainless steel often. To maintain the cookware of copper, you should polish it removing scratches and discoloration and that is not easy. And this material is expensive.
For majority the best cookware set is the nonstick one. In order to prevent sticking, a metal is covered with nonstick coating inside the pan. Thus you can cook healthy foods even without fat or oil as far as there is no need in it. The disadvantage of this technology is relatively short type of cookware is that it can be easily scratched.
The market overview
Now when you know the principle features of pans and pots and are ready to choose, we are going to consider the producers leading within this market. You know, there producers and brands, meaning that one manufacturer can market its production under several trademarks retaining the approach towards quality and reliability of the kitchenware. Now we offer you the best rated cookware sets producers:
- Calphalon was founded in 1963 and now it offers a wide variety of useful things for kitchen including cookware, bakeware, cutlery, and accessories. It represents a range of collections made of various material and consisting of numerous sets for any taste and budget. Everybody will find the needed items in its assortment. It is considered as a midrange to high-end brand and sold in many department stores and online.
- Cuisinart is also a mid- to high-priced trademark with cookware produced of stainless steel, hard-anodized aluminum and multiclad materials. There are nonstick sets and uncoated collections.
- If you are looking for the premium category, pay your attention to All-Clad – a legendary trademark known all over the world. The company was founded in 1967 but only in 1971 it starts manufacture cookware made of steel delivered by only USA suppliers. The prices are really high here. The products like cookware are mainly made of stainless steel with core of copper and some of them with a nonstick coating. There are also tools and accessories for kitchen here. To buy a cookware set of this producer you should turn to specialty stores and department stores of USA, Canada, Australia, UK, and other countries.
- Anolon launched in 1989 and now it is a trademark owned by the Meyer corporation. It is marketed at midrange prices and can be found both in department stores and online. It is characterized by nonstick products. Meyer has a lot of brands and the following ones are worth of your attention: Circulon with nonstick products and midrange prices.
In order to make your kitchen even more attractive, we offer you some ideas which are very popular in 2018. You can add to your new cookware set tiny appliances, which work just as a full version of it but take up minimum space and easy to use. The key kitchenware manufacturers propose the knives and kitchen tools with wooden handles making the design softer and warmer. Copper comes back! Almost every cookware manufacture includes the line made of this metal adjusting them to the customers’ needs or just the copper-colored items. There are also artsy patterns on cast-iron cookware. The ceramic pans and Dutch ovens are covered in folklore images, stripes and hand-painted exotic floristics.
Things to avoid
To sum up we would like to highlight the features and other moments which should be avoided when you look through the offer of the producers. First of all we do not recommend choosing the sets with glass lids. The reason is clear – they are fragile and can crack when it happened that it falls. But this is up to you to decide because there is a benefit also – glass lid allows watching the food without taking it off. Though, the advantage is rather dubious as far as during cooking a lid is usually covered with condensation. Ensure that the lids fit well pan or pot remaining just a little loose room for steam to escape.
Mind the handles. They should be convenient and you’d better refuse the plastic ones, which are not always resist high temperatures and can be damaged in due course. In general the cookware intended for oven is expected to withstand the temperature of about 5000 F, so the plastic elements should be excluded. Moreover sometimes the plastic handles can crack even if the vessels are cleaned in a dishwasher. It is better to choose a pan with two side handles with a hole needed to hang the pan.
A few words about safety
Even for the best cookware sets the key property is safety. It means that the material used must not contain any chemicals or other agents dangerous for your health. In order to exclude health concerns check the certification and prove that there are not any toxic components. Direct your attention to non-stick layers. Of course it is a dream to cook easily when the foods do not stick but slide off the surface of pan. It is really frustrating when the dish is ruined because of sticking! That is why we prefer buying the cookware reducing or even eliminating this effect. The non-stick technology was invented by Roy Plunkett. It was updated and now we have the Teflon – PTFE material. But earlier for production of nonstick coating the chemical was used known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA – in-short), which caused heart attack, several types of cancer, immune system damage, and other problems with health. The side effects are proved by official investigations. Thus, this toxic chemical was forbidden by the FDA.
There are discussions as to the harm of aluminum. This metal has been determined as a toxin being able to cause health problems. The scientists suggest evidence proving that a large quantity of aluminum in the brain leads to Alzheimer’s disease, but there is no proof that the metal can get into the brain from aluminum cookware. Moreover aluminum is everywhere: in water and even in vaccines, and small concentration is not dangerous. Anyway if you want to be healthy, try to exclude the additional exposure and choose the anodized or covered with other safe metal aluminum. If you have some items made of this material, follow the instructions and use it only for the allowed foods.
Another reason for concern is copper. The copper pans are beautiful but this metal can also leach into foods. Though this mineral is needed for good health but the dose should be observed otherwise it becomes toxic. The copper can be inside our house, we can take birth control pills with it in formula, and so on. That is why the copper deficiency is rather seldom. And due to toxicity one can suffer from autism, bipolar disorder, and Asperger’s. So be sure that you buy copper cookware of the highest quality or you’d better stay away from it.
Following our tips and information we offer you, you can choose the best cookware set here.