A GUIDE TO CHOOSING POTS AND PANS

A good set of cookware will last you for years, making it an investment for your kitchen. A really good cookware set is one that allows you to do the most with the least number of items. Sturdy materials and durability are essential for good, long-lasting pots and pans.

Material

Stainless Steel:

You will most likely be using your pots and pans for a variety of cooking tasks. Stainless steel, one of the most versatile materials, does the best overall job, doesn’t pit or corrode and doesn’t react to alkaline or acidic ingredients. But it isn’t the best heat conductor so you need to check for added heat conduction features– look out for an aluminium core or an aluminium or copper disc at the bottom.

Cast-iron:

Heavy cast iron pots and pans are very good for anything that needs to be cooked on high temperatures over a long period of time. They are also great for frying food. But even though cast iron pots will look stylish in your kitchen, they can be more difficult to clean.

Enamel:

Enamel is a great look in the kitchen right now. Besides fitting right in with your décor, enamel pots and pans conduct heat very well. They often come with a metal cooking surface for even distribution of heat.

Aluminium:

Aluminium is a great heat conductor and is great for fast, even cooking and energy efficiency. Hard anodised aluminium is very strong and is scratch and chip resistant, and a set of cookware in this material will last you for years.

Non-stick:

Non-stick pans are easy to use and means you can cut back on your use of oils and fats. They are also easy to clean but do scratch easily.

Quality

Whether you are an inspired chef or a part-time cook in your kitchen, you still want to have the best quality when it comes to your cookware. Look for good, well-balanced design, good heat conducting features, good weighting, secure handles and lids that fit well. Buying good quality cookware means buying long-lasting value.

Function

Whether you are buying your first set of pots and pans, or updating your kitchen essentials, there are some cookware items that every kitchen should have.

Here are the basic pots and pans you need and why.

Saucepan

Use for making sauces, reheating soups, cooking rice

Frying pan

Use for searing and sautéing meat, and vegetables. The frying pan is fairly versatile

Stockpot

Use for boiling pasta, rice and or for making big pots of soup, stew or stock.

Caring for your pots and pans

Don’t use metal utensils or abrasive cleaning materials on your non-stick pans to avoid scratches. Rather leave your pan to soak before cleaning it.

When you have just finished cooking, do not put your hot pan or pot in to cold water to avoid warping.

Be aware of putting your pots on to a hot stove plate when they are empty. This will waste electricity and damage your cookware.

Consistently using high heat when cooking can damage your non-stick surfaces.

Check if your cookware is dishwasher safe before stacking them in the dishwasher.

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