Best Cookware Sets 2015
If its time to upgrade your cookware we have featured a list of some of the best cookware sets available for 2015. If you have accumulated a lot of different pots over the years that are looking tired, it would be nice to replace those with a nice new set of matching top rated cookware in a style that you like.
Depending on what you prefer there is non stick cookware, stainless steel cookware, aluminium, cast iron cookware and more. Good quality pans come with a much more even heat distribution which will make it easier and quicker to cook with them, so you will find you use them more.
This is the T-fal Signature Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set
What Is The Best Cookware?
Best Stainless Steel Cookware 2015
The advantanges of stainless steel cookware are many. One of the main ones is how hard wearing it is. Stainless steel can take many of the knocks and scratches that would damage some other type of cookware and be pretty much unharmed. Its also very easy to clean. Even a pot that has been burnt just needs a good clean to bring it back to its former glory.
So because stainless steel cookware is so easy to maintain it can be used for all sorts of cooking tasks. You will often find that professional kitchens tend to go for stainless steel as it is so hard wearing and can be used for almost anything.
The downside to stainless steel on its own is that it isnt a good conductor of heat. Thats why the best stainless steel sets will have a copper or aluminium in the base and sides of the cookware to improve heat conduction to make up for that.
Below are some of the most popular stainless steel cookware sets available right now
This stainless cookware set features 18/10 steel for extra durability. This is a quality cookware set that offers great value for money and build quality for the price. Knowing that stainless steel isn’t the most even conductor of heat the pots and pans in this set also feature an aluminium core designed to ensure that these pans give a nice and even cooking profile.
The handles on this set are designed to stay as cool as long as possible. This helps to make cooking easier as cool handles make the pans easier to move around. If you read customer reviews on this set you will find that customer really love the ergonomic design of the handles on this set as it makes the pans much easier to work with.
This set is also safe to put in the dishwasher and also oven safe up to 500 degrees. This is the big advantage of stainless steel as it can take a lot more punishment. Even the best non stick cookware will be ruined in the dishwasher. This stainless steel cookware set will also work with all kinds of stoves and cook tops including induction cook tops with no problems. So if you have just got a new induction top on your stove or in your kitchen and you are wondering what cookware set will work well with a induction cook top then this set will perform fantastically.
The rims of this set are designed to be flared. The advantage of this is much less chance of dripping when you need to pour onto a plate or dish.
Stainless Steel Cookware Advantages
Best Aluminium Cookware Sets 2015
When looking for cookware you need to understand the properties of the various types of materials so you can weight up the cost against the advantages and disadvantage of the materials used. For instance with aluminium cookware, the advantage is that it is a great conductor of heat which of course makes it great for cooking.
The downside of aluminium is that it does tend to discolor over time. It is also a soft material that is easily scratched and can also react. This is why most aluminium cookware is anodized. This creates a layer of aluminium oxide that prevents scratching and the reacting with food so makes it durable and safe.
Aluminium Pots & Pans
Best Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookware Sets 2015
Aluminium cookware is anodized to make it safe by coating it to stop it reacting with food and liquids, and much more durable. Hard anodizing creates an even thicker layer of material to increase the strength and durability of the cookware.
The hard anodized coating is said to be as tough as steel and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. The main difference between normal anodized and hard anodized is that hard anodized is much thicker and is almost impossible to chip, scratch or peel.
Hard anodized cookware has some non stick properties though not quite as good as a true non stick material. If you are concerned about non stick materials wearing away and getting into your food, then hard anodized cookware is a good alternative and is certainly becoming more popular.
Hard Anodized Aluminium Pots & Pans
Cast Iron Cookware Sets 2015
If you have heard that cast iron is the best cookware to use, because of the way it cooks but also because there are no health issues with checmical leeching into food, then the a cast iron cookware set is for you.
And although cast iron may seem expensive, it is actually cheaper that some of the top non stick cookware, so isnt that expensive compared to other cookware. Now there is a little maintenance with cast iron as you have to grease them to keep them at their best.
Of course with cast iron, handles are moulded so do get hot, but that just a case of taking care and wearing mitts. The big advantage is very even heating with cast iron which means more success in the kitchen.
This is the Lodge 5-Piece Cast Iron Cookware Set
Best Cast Iron Cookware
How To Keep Your Cookware Clean
How to Clean Cooking Pots
Cookware gets used over and over again, often for many years and even decades in some cases. So how do you keep your cookware clean and looking good?
Probably the quickest and easiest way to keep your cookware shining for as long as possible is to clean it as quickly as possible after use. We all know how hard dried on stains are to remove from cookware, and all the additional scrubbing required to get them clean wont do the look of the cookware any good either.
So once you have used your cookware, clean it with warm soapy water straight away and dry it. Or at least rinse off the worst of the food and sauces if you know you aren’t going to clean your cookware straight away. The way when you do come to clean it all it needs is a gentle cleaning rather than a vigorous scrubbing.
If you do have pans with tough dried in stains, or maybe been overcooked with, then Bar Keeper’s Friend is a great product to help you get those pans back to good condition.
Check your cookware to ensure that it is actually safe to use abrasive scrubbers on. Stainless steel can take most forms of cleaning, but for instance non stick cookware will have its non stick surface damaged in abrasive cleaners or sharp implements are used on it.
How To Buy Stainless Steel Cookware Sets
Tips on Buying Stainless Cookware
Stainless steel cokware is very popular both in the home and in professional kitchens. This is for a couple of reasons, one being that it can look fantastic and maintain looking good for a long time even with heavy use, and two is that it is very hard wearing and can take a lot of usage and abuse.
So even though stainless steel may cost a little more than other types of cookware, you know you are getting value for money as you are likely to get many many years of use out of it. But how do you choose your stainless steel cookware from the vast choice thats available.
The one downside to stainless steel is that it is not a great conductor of heat compared to other materials. So pure stainless steel cookware is likely to give you some uneven cooking which can make it variable to cook with. To counter this look for stainless steel cookware that uses materials that are better conductors of heat in their core. Set advertised with copper core or an aluminium core in the base and/or the sides of the pans are going to conduct and retain heat a lot better than a pure stainless steel set of cookware.
When choosing cookware sets make sure you go for the set that matches your needs. You may want a set that includes a number if different sizes of pans of the same type, or prefer to get a wider selection that includes different pans. This really depends on the style of cooking that you tend to do so its hard to say go one way or the other.
One thing that people often dont consider is handles and lids. Good fitting lids make it easier to cook certain dishes that need more pressure to build up. It can also make the pans less noisy when cooking too which is a consideration for some households. Handles are important too and the grip will determine how steady the pan can be in your hand if you need to move it around.
Sometimes you may want to stick a pan in the oven to keep warm or finish off, but certain handles designs will restrict you from that. Some handles are designed to stay cool even when the rest of the pan is hot, which can really help with mobility of pans and safety too, but always check which type your pans are to avoid accidents. The great thing about stainless steel is that it is generally dishwasher safe, especially if the handles are stainless steel too.
Cast Iron Cookware
Tips For Using Cast Iron Pots And Pans
Another type of cookware that has been around for ever is cast iron cookware. The great thing about cast iron cookware is that its so solid that it lasts forever and is virtually indestructible. Off cast iron pots stay in families for many decade and still perform just as well.
There reason people tend to keep using them once they start is that cast iron really retains heat well. This make it excellent for providing even cooking and is perfect for cooking the type of meals that require long and slow cooking.
When using cast iron, especially new cast iron, it needs to be seasoned. Basically this means letting a layer of oil build up which helps protect the cast iron from rusting. This is why you should use little or no soap with cast iron. The soap will break down the oiley layer and also will penetrate the tiny holes in cast iron and give a soapy taste to your food. A medium heat will kill off most bacteria anyway so not using soap on a cast iron pan isnt going to be a health hazard.
Its best to clean cast iron pots and pans with very hot water, and then give them a little rub with oil immediately after drying. The oil helps to build up the seasoning and keeps the moisture away from the cast iron and hence no rust. Every time you use your case iron cookware the seasoning gets cooked in a little more giving it even more protection and making it last a little longer. If you do find your cast iron cookware keeps getting rusty this means you arent seasoning it enough so you will need to remove all rust and reseason.
Just remember that cast iron gets hot, very hot, and retains that heat for a long time. So a pan that has been off the flame for a while will still be very hot, even the handle, so be careful when handling cast iron pots and pans.
Materials For Cookware
A Guide to the Best Material for Pots and Pans
How To Choose Your Cookware Pieces
How to Buy Cookware Guide
Once you have decided what you want your cookware to be made from, there is still the decision about what individual pieces of cookware you want or what cookware set you want. If you are starting a new home or looking to replace and update your current cookware then a large set of good quality cookware will probably be what you are looking at, but even then you need to have some idea of what pieces you are going to need in your kitchen.
When choosing your pans there are a number of things to consider. The material you choose will influence the maintenance required. For instance copper is a very good conductor of heat but discolors easily so need a fair bit of maintenance to keep it looking good and is also one of the more expensive materials for cookware. Many sets will come with handles that are safe for use in the oven, and also feature glass lids so its easy to see how the food is doing without having to remove the lid and lose heat.
Sauteing is cooking food quickly on a high heat. The sauté pan is very similar to the frying pan or skillet, but is designed to flip or sauté the food. This is why they have higher straight sides rather than the sloping side that you see on a skillet. So unless you tend to sauté food often, you can probably get away with using a skillet in place of a sauté pan.
The Dutch oven is a thick sided pan that has long been used for cooking. The popularity of this type of cookware is in its versatility. These days they tend to be used for long slow cook such as pot roasts, stews and soups. Due to their thickness and often the material which was historically cast iron, Dutch ovens tend to last for a very long time, and often will get handed down through families. Dutch ovens can also be used outdoors on a campfire or grill, and they are think and heavy duty so have no problems coping with the high heats. Just be sure to avoid the models with the wooden handles if you are likely to use them outdoors very often.
Frying pans or skillets are pretty much a must in any home. If you are going to get a cookware set then its likely you are going to need one of these. An omelette pan is just like a skillet, only they tend to be smaller to make them easier to handle. A stockpot is a very large pot that is ideal to cope with meals that need a large amount of liquid, such as soups, stews and chilis.
Do remember that cookware can vary very widely in quality and this can make it quite difficult to identify the right cookware for you. Simple things like the type of stove and oven you have can make a difference to the type of cookware you need. Most gas stove can deal with many different type of cookware. But cooktops made from glass or ceramic, or induction cooktops need different types.
Induction cooktops need cookware that will react to the induction. Glass topped cookware need flat pots and pans that will actually make contact with the surface of the cooktop. Check you flatness by resting the cookware on a flat surface. If you switch from gas to a ceramic cooktop, you may find you need to replace your old cookware as it may have started out flat but could well have warped through heavy use over time.
Cookware Sets And Which Pieces To Buy
Best Pots and Pans To Buy
What Do I Need In A Cookware Set?
Choosing Pots and Pans
One thing to consider when buying a cookware set is the size of the cookware. Some cookware sets come with larger pieces, and some cookware sets come with smaller. Smaller pieces may well be fine if you are a 1 or 2 person household, but if you have a large family then you may well require larger sized pieces for your cookware.
To work out what you need it really depends on the size of your family or household. If you are a smaller household and only cook simple dishes you will need less. If you have a large family or household and tend to cook complicated dishes that need a lot of pots going at the same time obviously you will need more. Most people will need a skillet, and a sauce pan as a minimum. And they are likely to need a stock pot too.
Cookware sets are great if you only need certain items, or if you aren’t sure what you need. If you have specific items that you need you may well be better off purchasing all individual pieces. Or you can buy a smaller cookware set, and then add to it with individual pieces that meet your additional requirements.
If you do a lot of cooking, then you are likely to have more specific requirements when it comes to cookware, so you are likely to need more than you can get from just an off the shelf cookware set. Now the right cookware isn’t actually going to make you cook better. But it will mean that you are making the best of what you have.
Better cookware cooks more evenly, so you are likely to get what you expect and more predictable results. The worst thing is to get food that is cooked on one side but possibly raw on another and even cooking helps remove that as an issue. So the right cookware can just make cookware much more predicatable which means you have to worry about the tools less and let you be getting on with cooking more.
Other Cookware Guides
Whats Cooking America – How To Choose And Buy Cookware
Relucatant Gourmet – Choosing Right Cookware For Home
Cooking Equipment About.com – The Best Cookware For Your Needsbest nonstick cookware sets 2013 reviews
best cookware 2013