Compare and review the best cookware of 2015
Cookware Set Review Contents
It’s a well accepted fact that finding the best cookware is not an easy task. A chef is almost daily asked about the best type of cookware, the best quality of cookware, and which cookware is the most affordable and economical. The answers to all these questions can be easily found in the best cookware and tips section.The chef has been doing research over this topic and he feels happy to assist you in your journey to search for the best cookware. Various reviews for the best type of cookware by companies such as all-clad, calphalon, le crueset, Cuisinart etc. can also be referred at.
Knowing the various types of cookware-
There are so many varieties of cookware which are produced but what makes each of them different is the material used.Every material used has its own pros and cons.
The quality of the cookware basically depends on the material used for the production of the cookware.
The various types of cookware are as follows-
The most popular type of cookware is the stainless steel. It’s easy to use and clean. Stainless steel doesn’t react with any food and is resistant to corrosion, rust and stains. They are dishwasher safe and when washed their colour doesn’t go off neither does its shine.
Stainless steel isn’t a very good conductor of heat s sometimes hotspots develop and hence it is provided with a encapsulated bottoms. Bottoms of copper and aluminium ensure equal distribution of heat all over the surface of the metal.
Been used over for long time, cast iron is famous for its top rated cooking quality.Cast iron has this quality of retaining heat for a long time. It heats up quickly whereas cool downs slowly. All these qualities make people opt for it for outdoor cooking.
Unlike stainless steel, cast iron is difficult to handle.Its heat retention and distribution qualities are quite above the top.It even reacts with acidic foods like tomatoes. Neither it is suitable for the boiling of water.
Copper, the best conductor of heat, responds efficiently to temperature changes. Copper distributes heat more quickly and evenly.
Just like cast iron, copper is bit difficult to manage. It too loses colour and lustre quickly and fades away.Copper too reacts with certain food items and bring alterations in their colour and taste and to get away with this problem, copper cookware are often provided with a thin layer of tin or stainless steel.
Several layers of non-stick coatings prevent the food item from getting stuck to thebottom of the cookware and hence, the name, non-sticky. Foods don’t stick to the bottom and hence, the use of oil or fats to cook reduces to a great-extent.
It is prone to scratches and easily gets scratches. Several layers of non-stick make the surface of the cookware smooth. This cookware can last for a long time as compared to the other cookware with lesser layers.
Being the best-conductor of heat, aluminium is the most widely used material for the production of nearly half of the cookware produced today.
Since it is soft metal, it is susceptible to scratches and marks. Aluminium cookware is first treated with anodization process since the aluminium metal has the tendency to react with certain food items.This process helps in getting away with this mixing property of aluminium with foods and also makes it durable for a long time.
Knowing the type of cook you are
To know which type of cookware you should opt for, you should first be aware of the type of cook you are.
Occasional cooks- people who cook occasionally or are novice in cooking, stainless-steel stands as the best choice, being economical, durable, cost-friendly, and easy to handle, you can cook with a few sets of stainless cookware for a long time because they are sure to last long.
Dieting cook- those who want to shed a few extra kilos, the use of non-stick is the best as in this type of cooking, the use of oil or fats is reduced considerably and neither does food sticks to the pan.
Cooking-lovers- stainless-steel, aluminium, cast-iron remains the favourite choices of the cooking-enthusiast.Cooking-lovers usually have a set of almost all these cookware in their kitchen.
Professional- owing to its great heat-conductivity, copper is the favourite choice of professional chefs and cooks and so is aluminium. Occasional-cooks or novice don’t opt for copper cookware because they are expensive and not very cost-friendly.
Nobody actually likes cookware sets. Many cookware sets come with a set of cookware pieces which turn out to be of no use to the consumer. Besides pans in impractible-sizes,(1-quart saucepans which do no good more than melting butter, or the 8-inch skillets which turn out to be useful only when you are cooking for one) , fall under the quality of “speciality” cookware and usually sold with this tag. There is no point in filling your kitchen-cupboard with sauté-pans,rounded saucepans with wide rims(saucier), saucepans shaped like woks with domed lids ( chef’s pans), if you already own a Dutch-oven. These items prove beneficial in your kitchen then.And if you are under this misconception sometimes that you have been successful if hunting for the just right assortment of 14 pieces cookware sets, then one thing has to be kept in mind that manufacturers charge yu for every lid or cover in the set.
On the other hand, buying kitchen-pieces one by one would consequently lead to increases expenses. Especially when buying high-end brands.If you could buy some kitchen-cookware which speaks volumes for its quality, does justice to the money spent and is durable, of high-quality and resistant to corrosion and scratches, would be a dream come true.
Finding the sets
All-clad has been the choice of top-raters since a long-time. It has been the natural-starting point when seeking out to buy kitchen cookware.It comes in fully-clad, stainless-steel “try-ply” , which is a style which excels in three-layers of metal-mixed together .This coating extends from the bottom to the rim of the cookware.The even distribution of heat and even cooking are the result of such type of construction of this cookware. An ideal set would usually include a big 12-inch traditional-skillet ( also called the fry-pan ), where you can easily cook four large chicken pieces, a 10-inch non-stick skillet (to cook fragile omelettes and fish), a 12-inch cast-iron skillet(for frying and searing purposes), a 4-quart covered-saucepans) for vegetables and other side-dishes), a 2-quart covered saucepan ( for heating-soup and cooking-oatmeal), a 6-7 enamelled cast-ironDutch-oven (for braising, deep-frying and baking purposes), and last but not the least, a large stockpot that can do double-duty for pasta , lobster, or corn on the cob.
On the flipside, one the turnoffs of All-clad is its price, it is one of the most costly brands of cookware.An online search found a 14-piece assortment cookware set that included four of the pans discussed earlier, along with others which probably did not serve much of our use, and all this for a whopping $1899.95. Also found was a 10=piece clad-set, that had four of the useful pans(the 12-inch skillet, the 2- and 4-quart saucepans, and a reasonably large 8-quart stockpot), and there was just one of them which was not mentioned in our list. This showed some improvement in the assortment as well as the price.But still, the sauté-pan was a part of assortments and of not much use to us.This set cost us $799.95. is there a scope for more?
To opt for sets which lie under the price of $200, we will have to get away with our desire of try-clad cookware and opt for the next best thing: disk-bottom pans. In this case, the manufactures try to duplicate the try-clad coating by providing a layer of aluminium to the lower side of stainless-steel pan and again, it is covered with another layer of stainless-steel. Three sets under this category were worth mentioning-
A 10-piece set from a popular manufacturerhad the usual too-small pans (8- and 10-inch skillets and 1- and 2-quart saucepans), but it did offer an 8-quart stockpot, and its price ($179.99) was reasonable. For just a bit more ($189.95), a similarly composed 10-piece set caught our eye with its bright orange silicone handle grips and unusual convex design. Finally, another 10-piece set (8- and 10-inch skillets, 1- and 2-quart saucepans, a 6-quart stockpot, plus a 3-quart sauté pan and a steamer insert for the 2-quart saucepan) seemed worth a look at $159.99.
Not anything new, the disk-bottom pans did not work to our expectations and fell in the lowest-bottom rankings.Their biggest turnoff was confining the heat-controlling layers to the bottom of the pan made the fire heat up the perimeter and other sides of the pan. Onions, caramel all burned down in this disk-bottom technique cookware and did not turn out to be impressive.
The pear-shaped pieces of one-cookware set proved to be more problematic.The bulging sides made it easier for the heat to by-pass the thick, heat regulating bottom and singe food along the thin, over hanging edges.The pans suffered from other problems as well such as over-heating handles, and too deep-skillets which made the food to steam before browning. All these flaws put this design in the lowest of the ranking for the cookware quality.
Another set of pans was hot on its heels.. A lightweight stockpot not only scooted around the stove during the process of stirring a batch of chilli but it became so hot that it lead to the boiling of the mixture, even after the heat was turned down. Meanwhile, skillets lead to singed pot of sole rather than sauté. Protruding handle rivets in the skillets got sticky with sauce, and required extra elbow-grease to be cleansed with scrubbing.
When the final-set was taken into consideration, it fell victim to the same uneven heating as the other disk-bottom sets. The low, open saucepans were a plus-point; but high-ended skillets were not liked much. And the handles became very hot, despite silicone grips that tricked us into skipping the potholder. (Plain stainless steel handles on the other cookware sets actually stayed cooler to the touch.)
A GREAT BARGAIN
Talking about the fully clad cookware, the All-clad passed every test and earned full score. Its pans are well designed. The Skillets have enoughcooking surfaces and low, flaring sides that prevent steamingand it leads to better browning. While the stockpot and saucepans are solid enough to maintain a gentle simmer but light enough for easy handling. Even though there was an unwanted sauté pan in the assortment of items, this set was still a great bargain over its open stock price (for items sold individually), and led to a saving of more than $300 and hence, was the best choice for consumers.
Though the pan sizes were small yet one set earned our love and admiration as it passed mostly of the tests for its quality and work. . The pans are well shaped, with low-sided skillets and low, wide saucepans that performed easily tasks like stirring, pastry cream and finicky caramel. The tempered glass lids are the only point of complaint that did not turned out to be too impressive.. The supposedly helpful clear windows into the pan’s contents steamed up and blocked our view (the glass lids in two other sets behaved similarly).another thing, the glass is only heatproof up to a mere 450 degrees. But keeping in view the low price of $299, which is less than the half-price of the AllClad set, it isn’t a bad deal.
At the end of the day, the cheapest set of the lineup stood remarkably close behind the vaunted All-Clad. Priced at just $144.97, it is a great bargain. It is almost similarto the All-Clad in weight, shape, and design, this set was efficient is transferring heat, was well balanced and simple to handle, and rankedclose to the performance of All-Clad it is recommended. Its highly lustrous skillets gave out both the dishes and frittatas with an even gold colour and no sticking. Its rounded handles are even slightly more comfortable than the harder edges of the All-Clad handles. The 5-quart Dutch-oven, though it is small in size, was big enough to cook chilli. Its handles were easy to grip.
There was only a slight difference between the two brands. The cooking surfaces of these “Best Buy” pans are a little smaller in diameter than the All-Clad pieces (the 10-inch skillet, for example, measures 7 inches across the bottom, compared to the 10-inch AllClad 5/8 inches)
How many pieces do I need?
Get the knowledge of all the different pots and pans and their functions and then decide which one to buy.
The truth being there is no point is buying something which stands of no use. Before deciding to buy, few things should be thought of.
You don’t needCookware Company to tell you what you need, because you already know that. The important thing before buying is to know your cooking style, the type of cookware you would need and you cooking-preferences as well.