Your Cookware Buying Guide

Discover our ultimate guide to choosing the best pots and pans for your kitchen.

Choosing the ideal cookware for you is an important task. Whether you're looking for some advice about selecting the best frying pan or your ideal saucepan; or if you just need some help interpreting some of the cookware jargon, we've broken it all down for you here.

The Basics

Q: What makes a good pan?
A: This very much depends on what you are going to cook and how you want to cook! Quality materials from a quality brand are usually a good starting point. It is important to consider your heat source. Is it suitable for Induction? Can it be used in/on an Aga? If a pan heats up more quickly this can be more efficient, however, a thicker/heavier based pan can spread heat more evenly and will retain heat, great for slow cooking! A thicker base is usually less likely to warp.

Q: What pans do I need?
A: If you only ever cook for yourself or if you regularly throw lavish dinner parties imagine the most you might ever cook for a single meal, think what pans you will need to complete the task - this will inform the number of pots and pans you need to have in your kitchen. However, if you’re starting out consider a starter set. These normally include the basics. If you’re not sure what size of pan to go for, unless you can buy one of every size, go large. It’s easy to cook less in a large pan and impossible to cook more in a small pan!

Q: What kind of warranty comes with pans?
A: The warranty varies depending on the brand, but you should look out for five years or more, so that you can enjoy top quality for longer!

Pots And Pans

Hard Anodized: Circulon

Anodised aluminium is used for a lot of cookware as it provides a strong, durable surface which does not react with the acidity of food.

One of the main benefits of hard anodised cookware is that it's extremely scratch-resistant - you can use any kind of utensil when cooking. Hard anodised cookware is not completely non-stick, however, so it's ideal for liquids or easily movable ingredients. In addition, hard anodised cookware is super light - it features the lightness of regular aluminium cookware, despite having the extra strength.

To clean, scrub gently and avoid abrasive cleaning products or steel wool.

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Stainless Pots And Pans

Stainless Steel: Stellar

Stainless steel cookware is very versatile and can be used for almost anything. The base of a stainless steel pot or pan provides an even surface for uniform cooking and stainless steel does not react with any foods. Stainless steel is hardy, dishwasher and oven safe, but can be slightly tougher to clean. If you pan isn't non-stick coated, you'll need to take precautions like using the right amount of cooking oil and keeping the temperature under control.

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Le Creuset Pan

Non Stick: Le Creuset

Purchasing cookware with a non-stick coating will save you time both when cooking and when cleaning up. Non-stick cookware is also an healthier option because you'll need less oil or butter for frying. In order to keep your non-stick base in tip-top shape, never use metal utensils and make sure not to heat up your cookware to more than 350 degrees.

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Tefal Cooker

Pressure Cookers: Tefal

Pressure cookers are ideal for saving time - they can create delicious meals in half the time you would expect. In addition, pressure cookers are economical as they help you cut down on power costs and are perfect for tenderising cheaper cuts of meat. To make the most of your pressure cooker, brown meat slightly beforehand, always make sure you've added enough water for maximum steaming, and filling your cooker past the 2/3 mark.

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Steamers: Prestige

Steaming your food retains nutrients, flavour and colours for a delicious and healthy option. A food steamer is an extremely versatile appliance, which allows you to gently expose your food to a consistent temperature, without the abrasive action that comes with boiling. This type of moist heat is perfect for delicate foods like fish, vegetables or dumplings. Steaming your food reduces cooking time, increases energy efficiency and preserves all of the benefits of each ingredient.

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