If you enjoy cooking and get in the kitchen fairly often, it may be time to choose a set of quality cookware that give you the best results and last a lifetime.
- Advanced cookware generally performs better than cheaper cookware because the quality of its materials and construction is better. It heats more evenly and is easier to control, which leads to the best results in recipes.
- Nonstick surfaces such as Teflon and Silverstone work well but are best only in saute pans. In some pans, especially roasting pans, advanced sets are better off without the nonstick surface to better make pan gravies and sauces.
- With proper care, top-quality cookware will last for generations, not just one lifetime.
- Check your bank account. The best pots and pans are not cheap. Expect to pay more than $50 for a small saucepan and at least several hundred dollars for a starter set.
- Start with a set that includes at least two 8- or 9-inch saute pans, a 4- or 5-quart pot and a 7-quart or larger stockpot.
- Augment your set with a roasting pan and one or two 1-quart saucepans.
- Select cookware with thick-walled construction and riveted all-metal handles.
- Ensure that your cookware comes with some sort of lifetime warranty. Be wary of those that don't.
- Buy at least one good 6- or 8-inch chef's knife; consider adding a paring knife, a boning knife and a serrated knife for bread to the mix. These can typically found in a complete knife set.
- Add a whisk, a slotted spoon and serving spoons to your basic set of kitchen utensils (spatula, tongs, wooden spoons, vegetable peeler).
- Make your life easier by purchasing a set of mixing bowls, a cheese grater, a vegetable steamer and a ceramic casserole dish.
- For baking, add a cookie sheet, a jelly roll pan, a loaf pan, an 8- or 9-inch high-sided baking pan, measuring cups and spoons, and a rolling pin.
- Extend your set as you need to. If you start to bake bread, for example, you might consider a baking stone. If you start cooking Chinese food, invest in a wok, a bamboo steamer and a cleaver.