Have you ever wondered how much time you spend in your kitchen prepping foods? If you are a takeout person, it might not be enough to rethink your cookware choice. And for those who venture into the kitchen once in a while to prepare some actual foods, you must admit how easier your life can get if you just have the proper kitchen essentials. However, finding the right cookware for your kitchen is not an easy feat. At times, it can be even more confusing than upgrading your gadgets. Well, don’t smirk at the idea; revamping all your kitchen essentials is a big investment, and you need to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.
As it is the case with all utilitarian investment, you need to choose well while buying cookware, without compromising the quality. Here we have listed some of the things you need to consider before you go for your next kitchenware shopping.
Things to Consider Before Buying Cookware
A lot of your cookware buying decision hinges on what type of cooking you want to do and what you plan to cook. Depending on your cooking style, you can figure out what material you need for your cookware. Budget, materials, durability, and utility should be at the forefront when deciding to buy kitchen essentials. Here we have explained the things you need to consider before buying your cookware.
How Much Budget Do You Have?
While price doesn’t determine most items’ standards, the budget is often the prime indicator of cookware quality. It is hard to find cookware with good quality and material that is also inexpensive. Besides, you should invest in cookware that you can use for several years to come; opting for something cheap can mean it will get ruined after a few use and you have to buy it again.
However, price doesn’t always indicate the overall quality of cookware, so don’t forget to conduct thorough research on different brands. For example, all clad cookware might be pricier than Viking, but when you compare viking vs all-clad cookware, Viking stainless cookware are much more durable.
What Is Your Cooking Style
Do you love cooking and often show off your cooking skills to your friends? Or you might be one of those people who love displaying their cooking essentials like some prized possession. If you are either one of these, you need to buy something that is both durable and nice to look at. Amateur cooks don’t need to invest in durability as they will occasionally use it occasionally; making it last longer.
What Will You Use It For?
If you have just gotten your kitchen and want to try your hand with just some basic cooking, buying all the bare necessary cookware will suffice for you. However, if you prefer experimental cooking with a myriad of cookware, you need to go beyond what is essential in the kitchen. Besides, your cookware should be able to support all your cooking needs. If you use your cookware for oriental style cooking that involves a lot of frying and sautéing, you need pans that are durable and easy to clean.
Your cookware choice can also vary depending on what you chose to cook- meat, fish, or vegetable. The best option will be to buy something that can fare well with everything, without causing a delay in the cooking process.
Do You Need A Set Or Individual Items?
You might consider buying a set if you have just gotten your place and start everything from scratch. Besides, buying a set can get you some discount on the whole package, and you will not miss out on buying something that is a must-have for your kitchen. However, buying a new set just to replace some of the items from your existing set might seem impractical.
What Material Is Used?
Material is the most deciding factor in buying cookware. There are four different materials available for cookware- stainless steel, cast iron, copper, and aluminum. However, some cookwares are made of composite material, allowing you to combine the advantages of two materials within a single item. Each material has its quirks. For example, stainless steel cookware is most widely used as they are lightweight and easy to clean, but they are a poor heat conductor.
You should choose a material that can serve your cooking needs. Some materials can be hazardous for your health and the environment. For instance, Teflon coated non-stick frying pans may release chemical substances if heated beyond 250°C; make sure you strictly follow the user restriction to save yourself from chemical exposure.
What Utilities Does It Feature?
Cookware often comes with different features. Handles, lids are some essential features to consider in cookware. Make sure the lids are tightly sealed and oven-proof so that you can use them for cooking in the oven. Avoid buying pots with a wooden or plastic handle, they are not eco-friendly, and you can’t use them in the oven.
Is It A Good Conductor of Heat?
The cooking process requires heat conduction. Different metals have different heat conduction qualities. Copper is the best at heat-conducting; it can conduct heat 20 times better than stainless steel; this ensures an even spreading of heat and even cooking. Better heat conductivity also means better heat sensitivity; you will see a faster result of temperature adjustment in copper cookware than in stainless steel cookware.
How Durable Is The Material?
Durability is the desired quality in cookware if you plan on long term use. Cast iron cookware might turn out to be the most durable material for cookware. For all you know, you might even have some cast iron skillet from your grandparents’ house lying around somewhere on your kitchen shelf. Aluminum and stainless steel cookware are also pretty durable considering their lightness.
How Much Maintenance Are You Up To?
Are you someone who despises doing the dishes? If yes, then you need to consider buying something that will require minimum maintenance. You might prefer stainless steel cookware as they don’t need much to keep up to make them shiny. And if you are someone who takes great pleasure in shining your dishes, you might consider cast iron or copper cookware.
Is It Compatible With Your Stove Type?
If you have an open fire gas stove, you can use almost all pan types in your kitchen- starting from round bottom oak or flat-bottom pans. However, if you have an induction stove, you need to pay special attention to your cookware type. Make sure you buy that can sit evenly on your stovetop without ruining the glass surface of your induction.
On a final note, while cooking is an art that depends mostly on the cook’s ability, you can’t ignore that having the right cooking gear can make a world of difference in your cooking experience. Whether you are a pro at cooking or an amateur, buying cookware is a significant lifetime investment, and you need to choose wisely for it. If you are concerned about not having enough budget for your cookware, make sure you buy only the essentials. You can always buy more when you are ready to explore your cooking skill further.