Even if you don’t cook, pots and pans are a necessity for every home. Granted, you may not need every single pot and pan in a cookware set, but you at least need a skillet/frying pan, a sauce pan, a wok, and a stock pot. I’ve listed them below, prior to cookware sets. As for the sets, there are a few things you should consider prior to picking a set and they are the following:
How many pots/pans do you need?
Depending on how often you cook, you may need more or less pots and pans. Experts recommend an 8-inch fry pan (best for quick meals such as eggs), a 10-inch fry pan (best for cooking for more people) a stock pot (best for pasta, soup, etc.) and a small sauce pan (best for making canned beans, sauces, etc.)
Not every material will look as great as when you bought it! Stainless steel is a material known to withstand washes and uses.
The amount of money you spend on a cookware set will reflect itself in the quality of the pots and pans. Therefore, consider how much you cook and spend accordingly. A good cookware set can last you a while, so it’s worth spending a couple extra dollars.
Some materials react better to heat than others. Heat conductivity is important because the better the conductivity is, the more evenly cooked your food will be. Additionally, a low heat conductive material will take a longer time to reach your desired cooking temperature. Copper is known to be the best heat conductor material. Stainless steel is not.
Handles or no handles?
You want to feel at ease when you’re cooking. Therefore, think about your preferences. For example, when you strain pasta, do you find it easier to do so with a pan that has one handle or with a pan that has two handles (second handle is known as helper handle). You have many options in terms of materials for the handles. A popular material is silicone because it’s more comfortable to grab and it stays cooler than other materials.
Food reacts differently to certain metals. What this means is that depending on what metal your pan is, there’s a chance your food is absorbing the metal. Aluminum is an example of this, as it’s a material that can have a reaction to acidic foods. So, when making your purchase, be mindful of the reactivity that the pans material may or may not have.
If you’re not a fan of doing the dishes manually, you need to make sure the cookware set you pick is dishwasher safe. Be conscious that not every material can withstand multiple washes and will fade the more washes they endure. Anodized metal and stainless steel are materials that are known to withstand multiple washes.
If you like your food to be cooked in the oven, make sure the pans are oven safe!
If you don’t want to buy an entire cookware set but you want the essential pots/pans:
Best non-stick sets
1. Calphalon Premier Space Saving Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
Calphalon Premier Space Saving Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set – $399.99 (on sale now)
2. All-Clad D3 Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set
All-Clad D3 Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set – $699.95
Best value non stick
3. T-fal Signature Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Black
T-fal Signature Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Black – $79.99
Best durable non stick:
4. Ninja Never Stick Premium Hard-Anodized 8-Piece Cookware Set, slate grey
Ninja Never Stick Premium Hard-Anodized 8-Piece Cookware Set, slate grey – $320
Best easy to clean non stick
5. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 17 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 17 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set – $249 (on sale now)
Best versatile non stick
6. All-Clad Essentials Nonstick Cookware set, 10-Piece, Grey
All-Clad Essentials Nonstick Cookware set, 10-Piece, Grey – $399.95
Best budget non stick
7. Rachael Ray Create Delicious Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set, 13 Piece, Teal Shimmer
Rachael Ray Create Delicious Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set, 13 Piece, Teal Shimmer – $143.13
Best stainless steel non stick
8. Tramontina Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Clad Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Made in China
Tramontina Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Clad Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Made in China – $339.33
Best ceramic non stick
9. Blue Diamond Cookware 14 Piece Cookware Pots and Pans Set
Blue Diamond Cookware 14 Piece Cookware Pots and Pans Set – $191.99