No less than six chefs we spoke with declared their unending love for Lodge, and if you already own its skillet, consider stocking up on its equally beloved griddle and its “double” Dutch oven. “Bacon, eggs, hash browns, handmade tortillas, pressed sandwiches, searing meat and fish.
If you’re the kind of person who likes a quick, no-fuss breakfast that you can clean up in a jiffy, you’re going to need a dependable nonstick frying pan. Robert Guion, the chef and owner of restaurant Public Display of Affection in Brooklyn, swears by his All-Clad.
“I use the All-Clad three-quart because it’s perfect to cook one or two portions of risotto,” says chef Jamie Knot of the Saddle River Inn & Cellar. Chef Brandon Jew of Mister Jim’s and Mamahuhu loves the Camacho, which has been produced in Japan by Tuamotu Pottery since 1864.
“The pot can go over a low flame on the stove, but recently I took it camping with me and was able to cook rice over an indirect campfire. “A large sauté pan with two-thirds-inch sides is the most important pot you should own,” says chef Tony Palace of Jackson’s Eatery.
This has caused me to be reluctant in spending a higher amount on better quality cookware sets. In the professional kitchen, longevity and durability are the requirements for cookware.
They are abused, exposed to high heat and direct flame, and washed with harsh cleaning chemicals. Quick Navigation For your home use, standing up to this type of abuse is not nearly as important.
For instance, I never buy a frying pan or pot that cannot be moved from stove top to oven because that is an important feature to have that many advanced dishes call for such as duck or reverse searing a steak. Proper cookware is the difference between simple recipes and disaster.
On the other hand, over the top expensive models can lose their versatility because of perceived fragility. Choosing the proper cookware set doesn’t have to be hard.
My time as a professional cook has given me the opportunity to use both commercial and consumer sets. We will go over several sets that I would recommend for all skill levels and price points.
As with most things, it is best to find the right price point for the best value and that is our goal with this comprehensive cookware set guide. Be mindful when making your purchasing decision that you do not opt for a cheaper set that will cause grief down the line.
It has a reasonable price, clocking in at $214.99 USD for the 12-piece set. Its triple-ply design offers good heat conduction and uniform cooking.
Triple-Ply Design Aluminum Core 12-Piece Set Quality Consumer Brand It is always the dream of the chef to have these types of high-quality products in the kitchen but due to price, it is usually left for consumer buyers.
It is layered alternately with aluminum and stainless steel, providing an unmatched conductive and even heating product. Much of what you end up paying for in high-end cookware is the layering and quality of the material.
Another Cuisinart cookware set, but this one is on the lower end of the spectrum. It is very hard to find quality cookware set at entry-level pricing that I can be confident in recommending.
This means a thin cookware set will require careful management of temperature. If you are looking to have stainless steel cookware set on a budget, this is a good choice.
Upon receiving the set, you are greeted with a brilliantly laid out packaging that slowly introduces you to each new piece, like unraveling layers of surprises. It comes with a very practical cloth hanger that solves the problem of finding a place to store your lids.
Another addition is the vertical storage option available to store your pots and pans upright on a counter. The long handles provide important leverage for heavier cooking.
Their cookware is prevalent in professional kitchens, and they are thought of as a low-cost option. If you are looking for a bit better product than the Rachael Ray version, the Cap halon cookware set 1876788 is a fantastic alternative.
There are only a few reasons why one would choose the best copper cookware set and that is for show. Nothing beats the conductivity and even heating of copper cookware.
The reason being is that the level of abuse pots and pans tend to go through can be large. Many of the companies that we choose to have built their reputations through commercial cookware sets and products.
Cookware needs to be useful for many applications such as stove-to-oven use, high heat, and cleaning resistant. Although material plays a big role in these things, quality and durability impact a much larger scale.
Getting the best bang for your buck can be difficult when choosing the right cookware set. Copper pan set cookware is unsurpassed when you are cooking sugar and fruit mixtures.
If you are a restaurateur who is cooking with sugars or desserts, copper cookware may be a good investment. Copper is a beautiful material that has significant weight, but unmatched heat transfer.
Because copper reacts with some foods, it typically has a tin lining which is soft and can easily be scratched. Because of these deficiencies in copper cookware, you will find products layered.
Aluminum is a soft metal and it is important that it handled properly to avoid dents. Many essential kitchen tools guides include stainless steel pots and pans.
Such cookware gives the rapid, uniform heat conductivity of copper and aluminum. Cast Iron Cast-iron cookware distributes heat evenly and holds high temperatures very well.
If using in a commercial kitchen, keep it properly conditioned and dry to prevent rust. Tempered glass is suitable for microwave cooking, as long as it does not have any metal on it.
Thorough cleaning and total shut down occurs if glass breaks in a commercial kitchen. Quick temperature changes can cause the ceramic cookware to crack or shatter.
The enamel can chip or crack easily, providing areas for bacteria to grow. Also, chemicals used to bond the enamel to the cookware can cause food poisoning if ingested.
Non-stick Coatings Without affecting a metal’s ability to conduct heat, a plastic known as Teflon and Silverstone may be applied to many types of cookware. It provides a slippery, nonreactive finish that prevents food from sticking and allows the use of less fat in cooking.
Do not use non-stick cookware on high heat and be mindful not to use metal utensils as it can scratch or chip the coating. If the bottom of a pan is warped (which can create hot spots that burn food), or if handles are loose or broken, it’s time to shop.
We buy and test cookware sets ranging from less than $100 to $600 or more, from well-known brands such as All-Clad, Anglo, Clifton, Cuisinart, and Willing J.A. Heckles, as well as sets sold under the names of celebrity cooks like Ayesha Curry, Rachel Ray, and the Pioneer Woman.
CR’s take: The 12-piece Cuisinart Green Gourmet nonstick set aces all our key cooking tests. We were able to easily maintain sauce at a low simmer, and the 6-quart Dutch oven quickly brings water to a near-boil.
With Excellent ratings on both our cooking evenness and speed of heating tests, the Greenspan stands up to the competition. The coating appears pebbly, but that doesn’t affect its nonstick properties, and we effortlessly cooked pancakes and eggs.
Cooking evenness is superb, and this 8-piece set aces our speed of heating test by quickly bringing 4 quarts of water to a near-boil in the 5-quart stockpot. The surface stands up to our durability test, in which we rub steel wool over the coating 2,000 times, earning a Very Good rating.
Simmering a sauce produces impressive results, and this set earns a Very Good rating for cooking evenness. Heckles Motion Grey is made of anodized aluminum and works with any type of range.
Simmering in the saucepan, however, is only so-so, and the eggs needed nudging out of the pan in our food release test. Clifton designed this set so that it stacks and nests, which frees up precious cabinet space.
The Clifton Premier Space Saving 8-piece stainless set earns a Very Good rating in our evenness tests, like our other top performers in this category. The stainless handles are long and sturdy, and you can use these dishwasher-safe pots and pans on any type of range, including induction.
It earns an Excellent rating on our cooking evenness test, and when we brought 4 quarts of water to a near-boil in the 6-quart stockpot, speed of heating was also impressive. Its performance in our food release test, however, was subpar, so if you like to fry eggs, you may want to stick to a nonstick skillet.
Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials “H.J.” He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.