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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Which Is The Best Kind Of Cookware?

The cookware market is thriving at the moment and there are some amazing sets available. Top brands like Cuisinart and Circulon have some lovely pieces for you to buy, and sets from companies like Rachael Ray offer a quirky alternative.

You can't just shop by brand of looks though, you need to think hard about which type of cookware is best for your needs. There are really 3 main types, with stainless steel being the most traditional, and this type is really hardy and durable. The next category is cast iron cookware which is really heavy and some people prefer that, but you need to seal it well to stop food sticking which is a hassle. Finally you have non-stick cookware which is very popular and the coating on the interior of these stops your food sticking to it so cleaning them is a breeze, but the coating is liable to chip off and flake so they are not too durable.

Below we have a look at each of those categories and try to pick the best brand for each:

Stainless steel: If you are looking for a stainless steel cookware set that doesn't cost a fortune but still give you excellent quality, then the brand I would recommend has to be Cuisinart. If you go for their Multiclad Pro set which is more expensive than their other ranges, then you will get an aluminum core sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel, to help transfer heat quickly from the stove to the food, and it is well worth the extra money. You don't have to plump for the more expensive set though, the basic range is still fantastic value for money and the 12 piece set costs half as much as the 12 piece Multiclad Pro one.

Non Stick: I find this the hardest category to choose a brand for, just because there are a huge range of options in this category and they are all very similar in terms of both price and quality. As all the sets are so similar then it is actually good when somebody dares to be different, which is why I picked Rachael Ray for the best non stick cookware set as they dared to buck the trend and not make sets which were pure grey or black, and instead their dark grey set has bright orange accents to help make it stand out. They are hard anodized like the rest in this category so they are the same quality, but they have proper handles on the lids rather than knobs like some competitors, which to me is a huge bonus.

Aluminum is still porous even when it has been hard anodized like with this set, that is why you will find all of these kind of sets have a non stick coating applied to the interior of the pan to seal the metal as well as giving all the usual benefits of the coating. You have to be careful what kind of utensils you use with a set like this though, a hard material like metal will chip the coating so you need to stick to either plastic or wood instead.

Cast Iron: If you value quality and don't care about price then in this category I think Le Creuset are the clear winners. However buying a set from them is expensive so if you want cast iron cookware for a much more affordable price then I think Lodge Logic has to be the only choice. In fact you can get a perfectly good 5 piece set from Lodge for just shy of 70 dollars that will last you a lifetme if you look after it.

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