Before you buy cookware, there are several things you need to know to save time, money, and a bad cooking experience. There are some tricks to selecting the proper cookware. Here are 9 tips on how to buy cookware that is right for you. These will help you save money and get the best cookware, for you, at the best price.
Buy Cookware Right for You
1) Understand the “Type of Cook” you are buying for
Whether buying for yourself or someone else, choosing the most suitable cookware materials is directly related to how much it will get used. If someone wants dishwasher safe cookware, and you get them something that requires hand washing, well, you get the point. Your Cookware Helper has a unique and exclusive article called “Matching Cookware Materials To The Cook.”
2) Follow the simple 3-step process
Before you buy cookware, first pick your cookware material(s). Second, pick your brand(s). Third, get the best price. Very important – I recommend you not concern yourself with price first. Virtually all materials can be found in the full price spectrum. If budget is your primary concern, the Cookware Brands page has a chart of relative prices by cookware brands. Read the complete article about the 3-step process.
3) Quality lasts longer
Like fine cutlery, it is recommended to buy the best individual pieces you can afford. A long lasting and customized cookware set may include different materials and brands. Match your cookware pieces to what you cook and how you cook.
4) Read the care and use instructions
Most quality products will only support their warranty if proper use and care are evident. Most recommend hand washing in warm sudsy water with a nylon type scrub pad. Automatic dishwashers are very tough on cookware with the high drying heat and harsh cleaning chemicals. Today, there are some top quality brands offering dishwasher safe products, but time will prove how good they are.
5) Low to medium heat
Quality cookware, especially those clad with aluminum or copper, can perfectly and safely cook your food using low or medium heat. The use of medium high and high heat can cause damage with warping, discoloration, and fumes that can kill birds. Yes, that really is a warning for non stick products!
6) Watch your acidic foods and salts
Acidic foods can react with certain materials. It is best to remove foods soon after they are cooked. When adding salt to a dish, make sure to add it to a liquid first, and not directly on heated cookware. The salt can pit the cookware, damaging the surface and make foods stick to the pan.
7) Be “clad” you have layers
To improve the heat distribution of certain cookware materials, manufacturers will clad or layer high heat distribution materials like aluminum or copper between or underneath the lesser heat quality materials. This is often done with stainless steel, where 3, 5, 7, or even 9 ply layers are used to improve the quality of the product. Of course, the more layers, the higher cost. Another factor with multi-clad products is where there are layered. Bottom layered products offers help where it needs it most. Fully clad products are layered on the walls also providing a far superior heat distribution throughout the cookware.
8) Handles and lids
Do not underestimate the worth of handles and lids. If the cookware item can be placed in the oven, what is the max temperature the handle can withstand? If you are looking at a large skillet, what is the size of the handle? As a tennis player, I know the value of having an appropriate sized grip. Handles that are too small can cause muscle strain. And if the skillet is extra heavy with food, will it wobble as you carry it across the kitchen? Helper handles to grip both sides of a pan come in very handy.
Lids need to seal properly. If the cookware is advertised as “waterless”, the seal has to be extra tight. If the lid is glass, is it tempered to reduce the risk of breakage, or protected with stainless steel?
9) Real-life user reviews and opinions
A lot can be learned from the experiences of others. Cookware reviews are an essential way to determine if a product is good at the start and over the long-term. Through-out this site, you will see we include a fair sampling of reviews for the given cookware
Before you buy cookware, be sure to consider all these factors. How you will use the cookware and what to look out for will help you buy the right cookware for your particular needs.